Minalan the moody!
Meanwhile, back at the castle…Minalan the spellmonger faces the boredom of house arrest after being confined to his lands by Prince Tavard for his defiance with the Wilderlands refugees. The Alka Alon have returned to their seclusion, dealing with their own crisis, the dead god is being quiet within the Umbra, and Min’s plans toward reestablishing a functional Duchy of Alshar are progressing.
Min sees his punishment as a unique opportunity to indulge in thaumaturgical research. When the Sevendor Magic Fair brings a tide of enchanters eager for snowstone, irionite, and opportunity to his door (as well as the newly formed Arcane Knights of Nablus, the successors of the Censorate in Merwyn), Minalan uses his wealth and position to invite them to stay on in Sevendor over the winter and focus on the developing art of enchantment.
He forms the first Bouleuterion, a conclave of enchanters dedicated to producing and researching the creation of magical items, since the fall of the Magocracy. Such notable enchanters as Lanse of Bune, Taren, and Masters Andalnam and Cormoran arrive to help Minalan and his staff of experts push the frontiers of magical science as far as he can. Even Lorcus, Tyndal, and Rondal help out. His secret mission is, of course, to fathom the complexities of the secret Snowflake of Sevendor, the enigmatic pseudo-molopor created from Minalan’s fevered subconscious…but not before they improve the lot of the peasantry by creating a wealth of labor-saving (and potentially socially revolutionary) devices.
But enchanters and former Censors are not the only ones to arrive at the fair: Baron and Baroness Greenflower, Magelords Dunselen and Isily, come to Sevendor as well…and the results are explosive. Before they depart Minalan’s entire life is thrown into doubt. Especially when a new divinity appears to make him an offer the spellmonger just can’t refuse.
As Minalan works through his psychological issues by obsessively focusing on his craft, he must also nimbly maneuver his way around an inevitable war between Sendaria and Sashtalia, protect his vulnerable domains, deftly negotiate his course through the tangle of feudal law and obligation in the Bontal Vales, and contend with his troubled marriage.
His frustration, guilt, and doubt are soon revealed to be authored by a secret plot against him. The return of an old enemy and the revelation of new foes challenges his position as head of the Arcane Orders and puts his entire family in jeopardy. Could it be that Minalan’s new 11-year-old apprentice, Ruderal, is the only one capable of seeing through the deceptions in time to save them all even as he struggles with his own guilt about his role in releasing Korbal the undead Demon God from his tomb? Or will their fates lie on the whims of a former lover who has ambitions of her own for Minalan?