Monday, August 8, 2016

After the Rain ep34 : Houses of the Blooded

After the Rain

Episode Thirty Four

Houses of the Blooded

Gillian has learned to tell when someone has been replaced by tulpa from the Old Shanri.  The idea that the Sorcerer-Kings are returning has been raised, and the thought brings fear to those who consider it.  Investigation of the tunnels beneath Citadel reveal they go all the way to Bastion, where Gillian's grandfather helps them cross to the Old Shanri.   The Serpents have identified the connection between potent blood and the existing ability to call upon Blessings.  They have begun cataloging the people who have such Blood.

Gillian meets with Count Kether, who tells her he'll be watching the war to come in Old Shanri.  He knows better than to be too close to the coming battle.  She forms an army of her own, one composed of Orks.  She visits Nia's old holding which Rio had taken over and speaks with her "sister" on these matters.   The two silently discuss the power of the Quill, and begin unlocking its secrets.  Gillian admits she fled because she attempted to poison Dalvinosh Steele and failed.  A grinning man pointed to her as the culprit.  The two now attempt to gain the Secret Names hidden in the Quill, but there seems to be no finding Nia's.  To their surprise, the Quill breaks and spells out, "Enough."  Rio stalks out in frustration.  Gillian grabs the Quill and tries one last name, "Dranna" and is surprised when the Quill writes, "Dranna Ru knows."

Rio finds herself intercepted by Foxes, who have come for Sanctuary against Dalvinosh Steele and the Senate.  Their leader, Y'lena Yvarai, the mother of Velya Vykos, tells her that her son once was close to Rio's mother.  The Orks look to Rio for a decision and she chooses to allow them to hdie.

Cassalanter and Nolwen speak of their upcoming wedding.  He talks of having the Golden City descend to the ground so the sun and the ground can be united - wed - together.   The discussions meander often, but Nolwen is too smitten to notice.  Galeo soon arrives to join the conversation, and she talks to Cass about other matters.  She seems shocked to learn that Hero is still alive.  The two realize that does mean she is still married.

House Serpent gathers to deal with the realization that the threat of the Sorcerer-King is real.  A voice in the crowd raises the inquiry of Dalvinosh Steele himself might be one, especially given the strange and powerful manner of Sorcery that he invokes.  Some fear is is he who has been replacing various ven with the tulpa in some strange bid to raise an army.  Their worries are laughed at by an attendee, who reveals herself to be Madelyn Yvarai.  The woman directly corrects their misconceptions, speaking of the Old Shanri and of the coming danger.  The Earl, fearing the change, accuses James to be her Spymaster.  Madelyn scoffs as such a thought.

Back at Q'naldinir, Jalani joins Cass and Galeo and once Galeo leaves, she invites Cass to join her in a secret conversation and using the Ritual of the Rose, creates a chamber of privacy for them to use.  There, Jalani tries to learn where Cass stands.  She shares that they seek to stop the Totem Rex.  Cass, however, remains flightly and undecided, which frustrates Jalani.  Jalani reveals she has a clam-shaped compact, similar to what has been used by the mythic Cherno, but she does not use its magical properties to steal the memory of the meeting away.   Beyond Jalani's senses, the presence in Cass' mind whispers to her that it might serve her interests to help Jalani take the Totem Rex down... and to then take his place.  It suggests she should throw someone the Totem Rex would follow over the island.

The Orks and the Foxes, in an unprecedented moment, train together for the coming war.  Gillian brings up the Shadows that Dalvinosh employs and offers an approach for the Serpents to use against them.  But when Zhivali Ru is dragged to them, they learn he is the new Spymaster for Maja and was sent to search for the Quill.  He was overcome by the sight of the Ork army.  Rio considers keeping him prisoner given his value as Dranna Ru's son.  He admits he cannot contact his mother because she is gone - left for some temple.  Rio realizes this may be the upside down temple and sends Gillian to take Zhivali there with her.

Madelyn refuses to answer any of the accusations the Earl makes on James being affiliated to her.  Multiple incarnations of Madelyn surface, which shocks the gathered.  One throws James a ring and he recognizes it to be the one Jarik talks about before, owned by Dalvinosh Steele and used to communicate with the other Earls.  The real Madelyn wears one too, and through whispers attempts to gain James' support.  But James, tired of her mind games, destroys the ring - causing Madelyn intense pain from the feedback.  The Earl of the Serpents tries to interrogate James, but he uses his cursed blade to injury one of the Serpents and forces them all to back away.  Madelyn offers herself to the blade, and knowing the blade would force the injured to speak truthfully, James realizes Madelyn plays a dangerous game to make him believe her claims: that she was sent by Jarik to pick up his children before the war with the Sun comes around.  James drags Madelyn off before she could reveal more secrets. In private, Madelyn shares Count Kether had failed to gather them, having lost his will to do anything given his loss of love and having been swallowed up by a deep boredom.

Cassalanter meets with the Totem Rex.  The man, dressed in gold, addresses her directly and she shares she has come because Nolwell desires marriage in view of the world below.  The Totem Rex does not disagree with this request and even admits the Treaty has reached its time to end.  He seeks to hold the wedding in the Opera House in the Summer.  He is visibly distraught, however, when Galeo speaks of wanting to create art.  As the Dragon, her words hint she sees herself as a Fox.  Cass counters as a Dragon her way is to cultivate change, and this might only be expressed through Art.  She requests to have the Wedding attended by her friends, and seeks to have Dalvinosh Steele, Madelyn Yvarai and Maja Thayl to come on first light of summer to fit for clothing. Jalani simply believes Cass is playing a long con.  She fears, however, she is giving Cassalanter too much credit.  

Weeks later.  Cass is watching a performance on the streets.  He holds a small mirror, which she uses to speak with the Demon when she feels she must.  The Demon offers to help discern Cherno's motivations, for a price.  Cass approaches Cherno during the act, and asks him to take her home.  Cherno seems awestruck at the realization she has none.  Cherno visibly changes form and Cass takes him with him to her own abode.  She asks him of how he arrived at the city and admits he merely walked through some doorway.  He mumbled about Ash having many named, including a James Adrente.  Cass asks if he would like to play the role of the Totem Rex.  Chero admits he has no idea who that name is.

The Wasp, Noreen, arrives.  Sister to Nolwen, Noreen approaches the two to talk to them about personal matters. In response, Cherno becomes Nolwen in appearance and asks her to be one of the bridesmaids.   Cherno wanders off to the side while Noreen talks to Cass.  She shares her brother has been trying to find a way to break the treaty and find a place down below -- he might still be below.  Cass finds Cherno back in the room, confused on where they are.  He seems fascinated by the story of Galeo's daughter, and when she glances at the mirror to check on the demon, to her surprise, it is silent.

Back at Old Shanri, Jarik screams in frustration as he can no longer reach out to James.  Madelyn explains that James refused to accept it.  Jarik concedes though because his focus will have to be on Jalani and finding a way to save her.

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