The group returned to its chambers through the stone corridors of Pynwydden Abbey after the talk with the Abbess and the High Bard.
Once alone, rather than taking their rest, they continue the discussion, rolling around between themselves what may be going on, and what their future options may be.
They decided to respect and not respect the advice of the Abbess. They sent Saar to locate one of the little ghost storytellers they passed and have him send a message to the bard Fodaan that they would like to meet him and talk.
Eventually, talk dies down and the group retires in their little stone-walled, wooden-doored suite.
Later, deep in the northern Teuthál night, they are woken by the brang of a harp assaulting the dark. Dressing quickly, and exiting into the ground-hugging chill of the fog, they found the harper, Fodaan, playing to himself at the edge of the cut lawn on the grounds outside their room.
He played for them a finale that was both triumphant and sad, a success and a failure of overreaching technique.
They talked and he confirmed for them that he was Ciamhain’s teacher/mentor/master here at Pynwydden Abbey.
He told them, in his remarkable voice that seemed to warm the night, that his grief was a folly passed on. He felt that he had inculcated Ciamhain in a legacy of adventure. Before Araic came and persuaded the young Bard to come away from the Abbey, Fodaan passed on a Godsblood flute that he had acquired on some adventures with a group of friends in his youth.
The flute, he admitted, was won from a Builder site in Western Arddbyn. He was uncertain of its origins, except that it clearly was an object of power that was beyond Fodaan’s mastery, but which the eager Ciamhain took to like a seal to water.
He did not know the details of the Cyrdaen expedition, save that the young Araic seemed to have amassed a diverse, skilled and connected company of companions to bring with him as he ventured across the Bys Pynwydden into lands foreign.
The sadness and the desire to make up for his past failure was palpable upon the bard, as was a terrible resignation to events as they unfolded. He seemed to know or suspect that the Abbess had instructed them not to take him along with them, and he offered no demand or request for accompaniment. He told them he would offer any knowledge, wisdom or aid that was within his compass to offer.
Disturbed and informed in equal measure, they retreated from the foggy highland bog into the warm ember embrace of their rooms to pass the remainder of the night dreaming of impossible things.