The Paragons make their way to the Pentatome League in Haven, where the Bearer of the Fifth Book is organizing the remaining mages of the city in the clean up and shoring of the defenses. When Baern appears asking for access to the Portal chamber, he lets him know that “when this is all over, I have another book for you to hold” , alluding to a promotion in the Pentatome League to the position of Bearer of the Fourth Book. Baern uses Grimnar’s Astra Veloce to open a portal to the dwarf’s sanctuary and the Paragons move on to get some well-deserved rest.
Lyneth, meanwhile, lays out her plan to deal with the Prince of Frost. The only way she thinks she can divert his attention from his plan for the domination of all creation under the sway of Winter, is to melt his frozen heart with love.
She plans to marry him herself.
The others are more than a little surprised, since Lyneth has often expressed her disgust at the Pale Prince, especially after he showed his power over her in the Court of Stars, forcing her to stop singing the poem El’Lath’Argenum.
She explains that she can almost remember the Sunlit Prince — the man Sharaea once held in some affection — possibly because of the part of Sharaea that she still holds in her. Her hope is to restore the Sunlit Prince with her love, and he will give up his plans.
She wants to talk to Quarion and his father The Prince of Hearts, and ultimately Tiandra, the Queen of Summer, to get them in on her plan.
The Epics travel to Mithrendain to meet with Quarion as their first step. When asked why he has Sharaea, he answers “You know my heritage — you know why.”
Lyneth assumes this means Quarion is the reincarnation of Hayne Kasar, but he disavows any knowledge of that. On further questioning he says “I am my father’s son.”, which she then takes to mean he is acting on behalf of the Prince of Hearts.
They then meet the Prince of Hearts in Senaliesse. The Summer City is shrouded in a depressive gloom, it’s glorious verdant leaves tinged with red and gold. Autumn has come to Summer, and the Prince of Hearts cautions them not to visit Tiandra. She is “not herself” at present, and he fears as she fades, so too will all of Senaliesse , and the Summer Court.
When Lyneth tells the Prince of her plan, where she will formally Name the Prince of Frost her Pact Lord, in return for a Name of her own, he asks “And with what Name will you address your new Lord? Will you call him Pale Prince? Or Name him by that which has been struck from living memory? the Name of the Sunlit Prince”
Instantly Lyneth sees the Prince of Hearts’ point. If she Names the Sunlit Prince as her Pact Lord, the Pale Prince will be forced to recognize that aspect of himself if he is to accept her Pact completely. Either he surrenders much of his power over her, or he must allow the frost in his heart to melt enough that she might have a chance to turn him from his current path.
But who still knows this name? His power is such that only the Arch Fey themselves would be ones still to remember his ancient name. Tiandra, his mother, certainly. The Prince of Hearts might, but Lyneth feels that she is on the edge with him — he has already given her much without exacting any price or favor from her. For now, their aims are aligned, but she would avoid some unspecified future favor.
Martin suggests that, only those who were out of time when the Pale Prince expunged his name might remember it — like Sharaea herself. Lyneth or one of the other shards might be able to recall it on their own, but they think their best chance is to make Sharaea whole and question her directly.
When she suggests that Quarion is but the Agent of his father, the Prince of Hearts wonders why she thinks that is.
“He said as much.”
“Did he? What words did he speak.”
“He said ‘I am my fathers son.’ "
“And whom to do I serve?”
" .. you serve .. yourself?"
“Quarion is, indeed, his father’s son. In that we are much alike, for he too, serves himself.”
The Epics decide to go get the Heroics and contact Quarion again, so to put Sharaea back together — preferably somewhere far from Vale of Long Night. Then they can ask her the Prince of Frosts True Name.
While they are formulating this plan, Martin hears whispering whenever he is looking at Lyneth. Even Anika can hear the low voices. Lyneth is at first oblivious, but when alerted to the phenomena, she switches to Deep Speech, to test out her theory that the voices are related to the Dark Pact. Martin doesn’t know Deep Speech, but to his ears, the whispering cadences match with her words, so that her vowels are completed with whispered consonants, and vice versa. Anika, who knows Deep Speech doesn’t recognize words within the whispers.
After a while, Martin thinks he can hear some words in common tongue : “Help usssss.”
Paragons get Grimnar moving. Tregan goes off on Grimnar’s suggestion to tap on the shell surrounding Morack with some sort of tool Grimnar makes to help diagnose the source of it’s power
Grimnar then offers to complete making some items for the group from his stash of incompletes.
When Amata asks for a Mirror Of Opposition, Grimnar repurposes a magical mirror he used to communicate with Galendin.
They get to the Shadowfell using a portal Grimnar used last time, and they make their way on Phantom Steeds. As they ride, an ominous mist rises before them, and they fear entering it, lest they be trapped by a Dark Domain of Dread.
They try to circle around it, but it appears to block their every avenue towards the Bright Tower. They take their steeds over it, hoping it will not rise too high. Once in the air, it seems that the mists are covering the entire area around the tower. As they make their way to the center, it’s clear that the mists are enshrouding the land beneath them, all around the tower. In the distance, the Tower rises from the mists, a clear circle around it where the mists do not go. They rise high, like an ocean crashing against the rocks of the invisible barrier. Then , over the course of their approach, gradually recede, leaving the tower silent and alone in the landscape. When the mists leave, the landscape below them has changed. Where once a forest stood, a rocky hillside appears. etc.
When they pass through the invisible barrier, their Phantom Steeds dissipate into so much smoke — whatever keeps the mists at bay works as well against their magical steeds.
They proceed on foot. Klaw sees a road through the marshes and woodlands, so they make their way towards it.
As the cobbled road passes through a dark marshland, they are attacked by rotting corpses rising from the fetid waters, led by a Bodak DeathKnight, his death-gaze laying Ash low before he himself was dispatched. With Klaw’s aid, Ash is saved from certain death,.. They look around desperately, hoping they can catch their breath before another wave of corpses attack.