Gavan emerges from his conjuring to discover that the majority of his followers are dead. His reaction is not as predicted-they died doing what they would have wanted to do, working for a cause they delighted in, and so there should be no problems. He thought that his conjuration had done something more to his followers, also. Something perhaps permanent. But before he would test it, the heroes decided to all return to Capitol, and to the Palace. Although Brigid remained unable to use her cloak, others turned out not to have that problem, and they soon enough were home. There had been visitors-thugs who awaited Ellis (they wanted a job, recommended by Countess Michael). There had been cult growth—moreso now that Gavan convinced them they could travel to known worlds by an effort of will, which some of them, perhaps, did. At least, they disappeared. And the Council of Nobles wished them to appear, within five days, to account for themselves. Word had it that huge fines were to be levied, and when they couldn’t be paid, the Heroes would be required to serve. But before all of this, they went to speak with the Master. The wizard explained to them that if they killed the Emperor, which shocked him, that they must have gone through his Runic Door, which they had, of course, no idea existed. He mentioned then that there were Runic Doors at both ends of creation, and that the Topaz King, and the Onyz Queen, had gone through the one at this end, apparently under the guidance and with the advice of the Lord Emperor. Now, apparently, no one at all was holding on to whatever power was beyond the Runic Doors, and this could be a bit fretful. The Heroes then went to meet with Prince Michael to see if they could straighten out this whole Council of Nobles issue before it went too far, and in fact, they could. Michael wanted them to agree that the Council had authority over them, and to submit their actions for approval, when those actions would impact the Council, but he recognized that he was unlikely to be able to fully control them, and didn’t expect to do so.
And so we come to poor Thomas. Two of them, clones one of the other, and the first of a servant at the Castle, created to love and serve Brigid. Both of them, at different times, turned to stone so as to get them out of the way, and tucked into the gardens in back, collecting moss and such. For reasons still unclear, Ellis decided it would be a fine time to de-stone the one that he had once, some time earlier, turned into a statue. This fellow went immediately to serve Brigid, a bit the worse for his time outside. But she had decided it was best to not have a devoted, rather overamorous manservent, and sent him away. He returned, with the wine she had requested, and she suggested he take a bath. Which he remained in for some twelve hours, while she attended meetings. He had expected her to join him at any moment, of course, as this was the sort of thing he was created by Gavan, at Brigid’s request, to expect. She tried to convince him that she didn’t want his attention any longer, when Bennett asked him to hold a large metal bowl, and then, a moment later, he was turned back into stone. Now a perfect birdbath, he was taken out into the garden for a time, his basin filled by Mr Pants who was eagerly awaiting the first bird, while new spells were prepared and Brigid thought about what to do. Gavan, in the meantime, dispersed the other statue of Thomas, once his creation and still vulnerable, in some degree, to his will. The birdbath Thomas was changed back into human form, and then Brigid attempted to make his mind change with her cloak, but discovered that she couldn’t, only that she could, with some effort, make him into a piece of stitching on her cloak, by trapping him there. She freed him from the cloak, and began once more to try to convince him he should not serve her, this time with an offer: go away forever, or be imprisoned in the cloak forever. He couldn’t seem to grasp that either option was one he could undertake (and in fact, he couldn’t, he wasn’t made that way) and was growing more and more confused, but before Brigid could transport him into the cloak again, Teddy cut his head off. A mercy, by this time, oddly.