The First Denouement

In the following weeks, each does his or her part to try and stem the tide of ill will between the Courts.

Waconda tries to persuade his fellows that they have no right to take revenge on behalf of the guy who got beat up. He patently ignores the prohibition on discussing the details, telling everyone in the Spring Court roughly what happened, but no who the murderer actually was. His efforts, however, pay off, and the Spring Court is mollified.

Dim likewise spills the rough details of the case, which prevents the Summer motleys from believing that Autumn or Winter are up to some sneaky plot. He intimidates other Summer courtiers into sitting down, shutting up, and following orders.

Shika plays the shame card, berating everyone in the Autumn Court for their breach of Autumn behavior. Their thuggish violence resembles the unthinking brutality of the Summer Court and should be beneath them. The right ears hear her words and are suitably chastened, while those who already agreed with Shika applaud her strong stance on the subject.

Jacob, however, does the best of all. He manages to carry off a subtle campaign of information and misinformation, convincing all of the suspicious Winter courtiers that there is too much conflicting information for any of it to be true, which leaves them all scratching their heads long enough for the Court of the Roses to come around. Moreover, Jacob is hailed as a subtle and highly clever man for his participation and the way he comports himself.

Finally, Court is held in the Bowl. Again, Festerion and Olga stand robed before the assorted changelings, and Festerion’s chittering voice carries all around. “Fellow Lost, the blessing of this Court on all of you and yours. May you find Glamour and comfort. I know many of you have been waiting to learn the cause of Demetrius’ death. I will not keep you waiting any longer.

Demetrius was the victim of nothing more than the broken mind of an unfortunate soul. One of those who returned to us fractured, unwhole, and hurting. His death is a tragedy, but there is no solace to be had in revenge. Only sorrow for the loss of one so respected, desire that our peace shall not be broken again, and anger that it could not be prevented. I assure you all that the murderer has been dealt with appropriately.”

Olga steps forward. “We will broker no further violence or misbehavior from any Autumn Court member over this matter, and we expect that our peers of the other Courts will have similar admonitions for their subjects.

“Four individuals have distinguished themselves for their service to the Port of Roses in this investigation. For our own Autum Court, Shika. For the Spring Court, Waconda, For Summer, Dim. And for Winter, Jacob. We thank them and release them from their pledge of service.”

As Olga commends each person in turn, that person’s court cheers, some changelings enthusiastically, others demurely, others not at all. But the message is clear; all four are rising stars in their courts.

The First Denouement

Petals of the Rose Malkom Malkom