Arriving at the ring fort, they found torches in sconces burning round the walls. Once inside, they found torches in sconces ringing the walls of the fort itself where it sat atop the hill like an artificial mushroom.
Caerdwyn opening himself to the Eye, he perceived a kind of vermillion power bleeding out from the Caer itself, and the word “Protect” in Vosheal written on the thatch roof, probably in blood. Huw pulled them out of their reverie by inviting them inside.
In one of the side rooms, around the fire, there was hearty food and warmth, and the surround of human company. Llewer continued to bond with his cousin and uncle, talk of people the rest of them didn’t know filling up the spaces not kept by sustenance. A Ternyn wizard seemed to be stationed at the Caer Bwyn, from the capitol. He was young and there were runes woven in golden thread into his cuffs and the edges of his old-fashioned kilt. He looked over the new party and Llewer in particular, and argued significantly with Uncle Huw before leaving them all in the peace of the hearth.
The ritual of the fireplace was interrupted by a rising conversation between Evayn and Fodaan. As Caerdwyn turned to it, he reflexively opened the Eye. Fodaan was looking away from Evayn, toward his harp, still in its hard leather case, which seemed to be vibrating in place, as though the harp were in a dozen places at once, filled with shaking. Something in the wizard closed the Eye as he regarded Evayn. And something in the resonant voice that was not hers confirmed his suspicions, as she said, “Play for me, son of Machain.”
He shook his head, defiantly, and did not speak. She reached one white arm forward and said something terrible, quietly.
Caerdwyn lept upon her, grappling her to the ground. There was some kind of internal battle that resulted in a cry and then silence from Evayn as Caerdwyn clasped at her throat. Finally, she seemed to submit, and slump into unconsciousness as Caerdwyn rolled off her, gasping, wiping something off her forehead.
There was a brief, heated exchange with Fodaan, who left the room – and his harp – behind. Caerdwyn, hot from wrestling with gods, followed him out. They had another confrontation in the entry hall, and Fodaan seemed to soften, and then, clutched his left arm, cried out, and slumped to the floor.
Caerdwyn followed him to the ground, writing a binding in his spit on the bard’s head and opening the Eye. In the grey twilight world of the Eye’s sight, his heart boomed in his ears, laboring as though against a great weight. He could feel Fodaan’s heart being squeezed within his chest by some great non-organic failure.
The Caer’s wizard, the over-dressed Ianto, arrived on-scene, eyeing Bayeo nervously as he hovered over wizard and bard, not knowing what to do. The young wizard gazed at the scene intently, crying out after a moment. He drew the small black blade all Ternyn men keep in their boots, and drew it across his arm. Blood spilled free, and he raised the bloodied blade – as Bayeo tackled him to the floor, bared teeth slavering at his throat. Ianto struggled, and locked eyes with Bayeo, “You fool, I’m trying to save them!”
Bayeo grudgingly backed off, hackles raised. Ianto marched around the pair, fingerpainting his blood on the pavers of the Caer. He knelt within it and reached out to the two, starting to write something on their flesh. He faltered….
In the twilight world, something compressed and throbbed in the twilight, and first a kind of burning cartouche shining in the grey, his name in the ancient Anderin script, then a shadowing figure, shouting silently.
Another presence became evident: a dark hand clutching Fodaan’s heart. It burned with black fury and power. Drawing on his energies and the Sciandearg at his side, Caerdwyn smote the hand with a banishment. There was a terrible flux in the grey. Ianto winked out. The dark beating of the 2 men’s hearts began to stagger toward a regular rhythm.
In the coat room of Caer Bwyn, young Ianto perished.