Summerealm Deliberates

"I do not fully understand the situation," said the young man who sat upon the throne of Summerealm. He was leaning off the edge of his seat, peering over a calm basin of water. "Who am I looking at?"

Before him stood the seer who was scrying over the water. Beside them, a scribe was examining the letter they had received from Winterealm.

The seer spoke calmly, "I am not sure who the woman in white is. The focus of my scrying remains upon the young man the Order of Belendar sent, as he is the only person I am familiar with. His name is Bundle, if I am not mistaken, my liege."

"And if this Bundle dies or leaves their company, we are made blind to the Paladin's whereabouts?"

The seer nodded. "That is correct, your stalwartness. Our knowledge of the situation is ironically tied to the Order's success."

"They kept Belendar's weapons from us, and from Winterealm, for centuries, ever the thorn in my father's side, and his father before him. We must dispose of Bundle as soon as we have another way to keep track of these events. And what of this young woman in the silver-trimmed cloak? Or is that a man?"

"That is a woman, my liege. She may be a rogue interloper, but there aren't many of those in the Highland. Just cutthroats and washed up old bards."

"Is she from Skathain?" asked the prince.

"I have no way of knowing," admitted the seer. "Now come, let me clear this water lest one of them detects us. We must scry with caution. There is no telling how sensitively tuned their magic is."

"So she is Gifted!"

"It seems likely," said the seer as he sent a ripple across the basin of water to clear its image. It now showed only a reflection of the courtyard sky above. "The girl may be unimportant, but she has an odd familiarity to my eyes."

"My prince," began the scribe, "I detect a lie in this letter Gwydion sent. Something isn't entirely true or sincere. I sense deceit in the words inked here."

"Does he exaggerate Winterealm's plight?"

"I cannot be certain. However, most of what he tells us is indeed true - the energy is pure in the beginning of the letter. I sense desperation and foreboding. Whatever his lie, it seems to be justified in his mind."

"Very well. I will consult with my advisors in private, and then I will call the royal court back into session," proclaimed the prince. "But no matter our course of action, I need someone to look up the closest portal to Hathenford, and the closest to Mount Stonegard. No doubt the Order of Belendar will have instructed their lapdog to lure young Williard directly to the Oracle."

The End

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