Tomas sends out formal invitations to a dinner the following week. Quite an ornate card. Later, I hear that this has become a noted social event in the city. Or so I’m told.
Mery continues her research into Lichdom, performing regular data dumps on Sebastian. After seeking her at her house, I’m directed to a library, which sends me to another and another. Eventually I find her, engrossed in the middle of a table of books. Actually reading, and even taking notes! We end up having a long and very deep not-quite-philosophical discussion about justice, remorse, and atonement — specifically about Valentine. I learn that Mery still isn’t sleeping well, and fear that she is not yet thinking overly clearly. I also learn that she has not yet seen her Mother, and immediately offer to escort her over, in hopes of saving her skin. Fortunately, she agrees to this.
At Mery’s Mother’s place, the serving lady doesn’t appear to recognize Mery. At some point in the entry negotiations, my name is mentioned, and shortly afterwards I’m being ushered through the house and into the yard for tea and conversation. Mery is allowed to trail along. Eventually, I escape, after promising to mention to Tomas that Mery’s Mother was hoping to receive an invitation. I deem leaving Mery behind as acceptable casualties in the skirmish.
I find Hydell, systemically visiting all of the temples in the city. I chat with him briefly and learn that he is gathering information, and will likely have some time of contemplation. I offer my help, including assistance in finding the temples of other nation and races. I mention Goblin gods, and he mentions the Dwarves. I ask, specifically not an order, for him to let me know how things turn out.
I chase down Porter, finding him just as he is leaving his office. I ride with him to a Constabulary while we chat. I ask him to look into under what conditions a member of a foreign government or nobility can serve as a Montenegran officer. His initial consideration is that it should not be a significant problem. At the Constabulary, I help Porter bail out Jared, who has been incarcerated after a drunken brawl the night before. Porter has apparently become the resident Romanian legal assistance.
I visit Milo at his Temple for a short visit. We talk briefly about Hydell and Mery. Milo had not realized that Mery had not yet visited with her Mother.
I find Tomas being attended by a bevy of assistants and a tailor, being fitted for some new garment or another. I pass along the suggestion that he ensure Mery’s Mother is invited to the Dinner. I ask for a recommendation or a scribe, and learn that I actually need a secretary.
Garrick, out and about town, runs into a sword-wielding Elf, a member of the Spanish military, that has been seeking him out. He tells Garrick that civil war has broken out, and that he has been ordered to advise certain Elves, to include Garrick, not to return home. The Winter Court, long considered dark, is no longer viewed as the darkest of Elves. A newly acknowledged faction, the Undying Court is even darker, considered abominations, what others might consider undead. These Undying activated the machines that generated the warforged. More recently, the warforged have been used against other Elves. The Spanish borders have been closed by the Elven Queen to buy time — when this expires, possibly in a few short decades, European blood will undoubtedly be spilled once again.
Garrick looks into new from the Spanish/French border, mostly from the French side. He confirms most of the information about the borders. Even returning Elves are being turned back and not permitted entry. The last time borders were closed, when the Elven Queen ascended to the throne, the borders were closed close to a decade.
Milo exchanges magic messages with Lynn, and discovers she will be able to join him to Tomas’ dinner.
Heinric works to ensure the two warforged will be accepted into the academy. He has to apply some leverage to the appropriate arms, and ends up succeeding.
When I check in at military HQ, I learn that Raskin has been wandering about yelling for Peabody, unsuccessfully. We deem this a success, as Peabody should still be on leave. Sebastian finds me and drags me off for a beer. I promise Raskin to have one for him. After avoiding much semblance of small talk, he dives into a new topic for us, the Blasted Waste. The Waste was the scene of a ferocious magical war, with monsters, streams of refugees, and ultimately the collapse of a few countries over the following months. According to Sebastian, Bosnia had accumulated a bunch of money, something I may need for, say, gaining Polish votes to become King. A long-standing legend reported a money caravan vanishing as they tried to escape the then-forming wastes. Sebastian has unearthed a report from a Serbian officer that discusses a particular church where multiple empty wagons had been sighted. I offer to set up a meeting over drinks the net evening, and will have “my secretary” send out the invitations.
Sebastian and I further compare notes. Apparently, Mery’s Mother has started a rumor that Mery has not been seen in society because she is pregnant or has given birth to a child. This was intended to assess just how out of touch Mery is. I revel in this for a moment, and beg of him the permission to tell Mery the rumor myself, to which he agrees. Sebastian also mentions that Garrick has had an Elven visitor, a member of the Spanish Army. Hugely unusual.
I use the first Tomas-recommended secretary, as a trial, to send out invitations to drinks the next night. Mery’s invitation has an extra codicil that an escort will be provided if required.
Tomas’ party will be on the 16th.