Last time on The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Elisa and Humberto returned to the hidden village, and the party received a message concerning a potential alliance with Treviño. Is Treviño’s offer genuine? Or is it part of an elaborate trap? Find out after the cut.
Part 1: It’s a Trap!
All the major named members of the Malficio gather to discuss Treviño’s offer for an alliance. Here’s what they have to say:
Humberto: It’s a trap! Treviño made a deal with the Inviernos for amnesty or a government position after they conquer Joya d’Arena! Also, I bet he would give Elisa to the Inviernos if it means keeping his people safe.
Alentín: It’s a trap! But we need allies if we’re to defeat the Inviernos.
Elisa: I think it’s genuine. Besides, I can check my pigeon mail if I go to Basajuan. Also, I hope Belén isn’t a traitor.
Cosmé: I think Treviño’s trying to do the right thing for his people by making a deal with the Inviernos.
Jacián: I wonder how that messenger got to our village so quickly. Also, Belén is a traitor, and he probably told Treviño all about us.
Elisa comes up with a plan to ensure that Treviño works with the Malficio: they will make the Inviernos believe that Treviño betrayed them. Of course, this requires learning how and when Treviño ships his supplies so that the party can sabotage them. Alentín is wary about the plan because there are too many unknown variables to deal with, but everyone else thinks it’s a great way to make a difference in the war. Cosmé still has contacts in Basajuan, and the Malficio have enough duerma leaf to poison the entire Invierno army, so it looks like this plan is good to go.
Part 2: The Return of the Traitor
The Malficio decide to send ten people to Basajuan for their little sabotage mission. Remember, parties must have 5x members, and 10 is a multiple of five, so it’s double lucky. But who will join Elisa, Humberto, Jacián, and Cosmé?
Well, Alentín certainly isn’t one of them. He had a little falling out with the priests at the Monastery-at-Basajuan before he ran off to the hidden village. The priests at the monastery believe that, if they ever ran into the Chosen One, they should cut out their Godstone. Alentín disagreed with their interpretation of scripture, so he left the monastery and took their oldest copy of the Afflatus with him.
I guess the party doesn’t need another person who can detect magic, since Elisa can already do that. What the party really needs is another cook! Mara asks Elisa to join the party because a) she’s never been to a big city, and b) she has no family who will worry about her safety. Elisa agrees to bring Mara along, as long as the party doesn’t eat jerboa soup every day.
Before the party can gather and venture forth, though, some sentries return to the village with Belén in tow! And Belén looks like he’s definitely seen better days: he’s badly burned, and he’s missing an eye. Elisa orders Adán, one of the sentries, to scout the village’s perimeter for enemies while she attempts to interrogate Belén. All Belén will tell her, though, is that the Inviernos already know about Elisa’s Godstone. And if they obtain her Godstone, the Inviernos will destroy Joya d’Arena.
Stuff I Forgot to Mention Above:
The party actually worries about Cosmé returning to Basajuan. Remember, she was employed as Ariña’s maid, and Ariña is Treviño’s daughter. Cosmé assures the party that Treviño always welcomes her back home, so this shouldn’t be a problem. However, the conversation hints that Cosmé isn’t saying everything about her relationship with Treviño.
Adán shows up in Mara’s prequel adventure as a member of her party.
Cosmé initially doesn’t want Elisa to interrogate Belén because he’s so badly wounded. She also doesn’t believe that Belén is a traitor.
All the foodstuffs mentioned in this chapter:
- Thinly sliced coal-roasted lamb shanks rolled in a bread, onion, garlic, and pine nut batter
Next time: Elisa comes to a realization. Belén spills the beans on the Inviernos’ plans. A party is gathered and ventures forth. The Malficio’s guerrilla tactics have dire consequences.