((SPOILERS FOR THE NEW STORY CHAPTER. SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS. In the absence of concrete lore this is all wild conjecture and I’m just making shit up. Also, Tuuli is my husband’s character.))
Three women stood in a large lab within the Priory. A fourth sat on a stool nearby, taking notes in careful, precise script.
Rikvi gently took twin swords from her belt and placed them on a weapon’s rack. “I cannot access one of the spirits I use at all. That entire swath of abilities is unavailable to me.”
The second woman, with stark white hair and a build that had her standing taller than even Rikvi–shook her head. “I can’t reach two of the four I have established ties with.” Tuuli fingered the hilts of her own weapons, and sighed. “Cousin, just how dire are the Mists right now?”
“I do not know,” Rikvi said softly. “Ambrosine, of your revenant abilities, how many can you use?”
“None,” Ambrosine said crisply. She stroked the red hair of the baby strapped to her chest, soothing herself more than the child. “I can’t use anything.”
Ceridwen glanced up from writing with a frown.
“I wish I had a larger sample size of revenants.” Rikvi walked over to the shelves, most of which held her own published studies and notes. How much of her life’s work was now irrelevant? How much knowledge had been rendered untrue? Despair choked her for a moment; her shoulders hunched up around her ears.
But why was a little thing like her personal identity so upsetting when she also understood the greater implications?
“There’s cousin Jo,” Tuuli offered.
“Same state as Ambrosine,” Rikvi said, resting her hand on the spines of the nearest books. “I asked her this morning, since she could not get free from work for this this meeting.”
“Does this mean the spirits are…gone, or just that the Mists are in such a state we can’t access them?” Ambrosine, a member of the Priory herself, was of course already thinking of the knowledge they would have to hunt down.
Raven willing. Raven…
“Unknown,” Rikvi whispered. She did not notice how intently Ambrosine’s gaze fell on her.
“Can we open a portal and…go in and look?” Tuuli, who had gotten lost in the Mists and fallen out of one of Rikvi’s portals years later, tended to be more cavalier about the idea than most.
“None of the anchors I have established will currently allow me to open a portal,” Rikvi replied, voice wavering. She dropped her hand from the books and turned around. “I am going into the field. My research here is useless.” And then she walked out the door, leaving her friends, family, and apprentice to stare after her.
Ceridwen cleared her throat, stacked her notes to one side, and ran out the door after Rikvi.
“Shit,” Ambrosine said.