2.7 Sacrifice the Queen

The untamed magic sage entered the study. Darrel looked up from his notes.

“Morgyn. How can I help you?”

Morgyn had no doubt Darrel had zero desire to help them, much like Morgyn themself had no desire to speak to Darrel in the first place. But here they were.

“I won’t take up too much of your time. I’m simply after a small favour.” Morgyn forced themself to smile at the man.

“I’m not sure I’m in a position where my favours carry a lot of weight.” Darrel replied cautiously. The palpable disdain behind his words would normally amuse Morgyn, but that was not the case today, not when they actually had everything riding on bloody Darrel Charm.

“I agree.” Morgyn nodded. “But as you know, I can change that.”

“You will support my ascension?” Darrel sounded sceptical.

“All I need in return is for you to support an ascension in return. A much more small-scale kind,” the sage added quickly.

“I’m merely looking to give spellcasting abilities to someone who doesn’t have them just yet. I’m sure you’ll recall this was just a formality when we did this for your lovely wife…”

“Who?” Darrel cut in.

Morgyn put on their best dazzling grin. “I’m sure you remember my goddaughter Hawthorne…”

Darrel’s expression changed within an instant. “She bit my son.”

“Wasn’t that quite some time ago?” The sage let out a casual laugh. But Darrel just glared at them in response.

“Oh come on, Darrel, are you telling me a lover never playfully nibbled on your neck in the heat of the moment? Perhaps you and Emilia ought to spice up your sex life…”

Darrel did not look amused, not that Morgyn expected otherwise. “Look, Darrel, I’m offering you an opportunity here. You can take it, or stay as you are, stuck and without progress.”

“I suppose there are limitations to what the individual can achieve when the spellcasting ability is not innate.” Darrel mused.

Limitations? Not if Morgyn could help it. The sage knew Hawthorne was unlikely to ever accumulate the kind of raw magic levels they had, but that was likely for the best.

They would still strive to help her reach her full potential, though. Something Darrel was clearly not keen on doing for Emilia. Apparently he did not think very highly of his wife’s capabilities. But Morgyn wasn’t going to share that observation.

“Quite right,” they nodded. “I’m not asking for much.”

“And I suppose if she were to ascend, you will keep her under control.” Darrel continued.

“Naturally.” Morgyn agreed once again. Just smile and nod and the exchange would be over soon. They forced themself not to think about how they’d deal with Darrel on the daily once he became a fellow sage…

Darrel, a fellow sage. The thought alone made Morgyn feel mildly sick, but it was worth it. For Hawthorne.

“Splendid.” Morgyn nodded mechanically.

For Hawthorne.

***

Everyone sat down at the table, for the first time in a week. Darrel glanced at each of the three sages for a brief moment. The tension was palpable. Time to watch the charade play out.

“You said you have finally come to a decision.” Simeon got right to the point, addressing the untamed magic sage.  “This better not be a waste of time, Morgyn. If you could just be reasonable this once…”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m nothing if not reasonable.” Morgyn flashed that stupid smug smile of theirs.

L Faba let out an indistinct huff. Darrel turned their attention to the mischief sage. She looked like she’d eaten a whole lemon. She’d really lost her touch lately.

“I have considered what would be in everyone’s best interest, and you have a point, Simeon,” Morgyn carried on in a fake jolly tone. “I won’t keep you from retiring. I’m in favour of Darrel Charm being your replacement, if that is what you wish.”

Simeon’s audible relief quickly drowned in L Faba’s outrage. “I don’t believe you! Are you really this petty and short-sighted? Do you really want to spend the next several decades alongside Darrel Charm?”

“Can’t be worse than decades with you, my dearest.” Morgyn retorted in an overly sweet tone.

As per usual, Darrel ignored the sages’ rudeness, airing their apparent disgust with him as if he wasn’t in the room. It would all be worth it in the end. 

Simeon cleared his throat. “Shall we proceed with the formalities?” He asked, clearly eager to progress the meeting before the other two sages chewed each other’s heads off.

“Actually, there’s one other matter I wanted to put to a vote today,” Morgyn added swiftly. “Why not get that out of the way, and then proceed with the wand business afterwards?”

Morgyn did not trust him to deliver on his promise, Darrel realised.

The mistrust was understandable, though unnecessary. Darrel would follow through, as much as he didn’t like the idea. Unlike the untamed magic sage, he knew that sometimes, one had to make trade-offs to reach the end goal. Sacrifice the queen to win a chess match.

“What is it?” Simeon asked impatiently.

“It has been over 20 years since we’ve had a non-spellcaster ascend into our ranks. I’m sure we can all remember the ascension of Darrel’s wonderful wife Emilia.” Morgyn rambled on. “I thought it’s about time we revisited giving someone the opportunity…”

“No.” L Faba cut in.

“You didn’t even let me say who I have in mind, L Faba.” Morgyn attempted to stay breezy.

“I already told you she will never ascend.” The mischief sage did not waiver.

Simeon sighed. “Is this about-“

“Hawthorne Blackwell.” Morgyn finished the sentence.

Simeon frowned. “I’m not sure if it would be prudent to allow a half-vampire to become a spellcaster. Combining any potential vampire powers she has with magic could have any kind of outcome, and reach unprecedented-“

“Everything was unprecedented once, Simeon.” Morgyn interrupted. “But regardless, this isn’t your vote anymore, is it? You insisted that the acting practical magic sage makes all decisions going forward, so it should be up to Darrel, if I’m not mistaken?”

“Of course.” Simeon obliged. “Darrel?”

Darrel’s first vote. It would be exhilarating, had it not been dampened by having to vote for the opposite of what Darrel actually wanted. No matter. Many more votes yet to come. Sacrifice the queen.

“I am in favour of Hawthorne Blackwell’s ascension.” He said, wishing his voice sounded more powerful.

Simeon raised his eyebrows. “You are? Darrel-“

“This is insane!” L Faba interrupted yet again. “Simeon, stop this! Darrel’s not a sage, he should not get to decide any of this!”

“All the rules have been followed as set out,” Morgyn reminded her.

“No. Not her. I refuse. She will never be a spellcaster.” Any resemblance of eloquence had left L Faba by this point, it seemed.

“Oh, but she will.” Morgyn beamed victoriously. “And should she chose to, she will be my successor one day.”

“Surely that’s a bit premature.” Simeon interjected. “You have no idea what her spellcasting capabilities will be like. Making statements like this is unwise.”

“You just can’t help pissing on my parade no matter what I do, can you, Simeon?” Morgyn’s gloating quickly turned into annoyance. “If I want to live forever, apparently I’m just like Aine; if I concede that I will have a successor one day, I am being unwise because of the one I picked. You of all people should be happy with this! Unlike Aine, I am not unwilling to let go. You can sleep easy at night when you’re retired.”

Darrel continued silently watching the scene unravel before him. He didn’t even need to interject. How all these unhinged individuals managed to avoid causing the realm to collapse for this long was beyond him.

“And I commend you for that, but your choice of successor should perhaps wait until-“

“Funny, just when we last held this meeting, you were adamant that the matter of succession is up to the sage in question alone and no one else.” Morgyn quipped at Simeon.

“I suppose that’s true but…” The old man seemed at a loss for words.

The room felt quiet as they waited for Simeon to make his point. But it wasn’t him who broke the silence. It was L Faba, her voice barely audible.

“Morgyn. Please. Not her daughter.” She whispered. The look in her eyes was plenty telling. The mischief sage had been defeated.

The untamed magic sage looked startled for a moment before regaining their composure.

“Will you never let go of this? So you hate Cordelia because of some jewellery related issue. This is ridiculous. Get a new necklace or something.”

“This is not about a necklace!” L Faba erupted, in stark contrast to her demeanour just a moment ago. “You have no idea…”

“You’re right.” Morgyn nodded, their expression growing cold. “I have no idea, and I don’t care. Darrel’s vote was clear. You have lost. Then again, it was you who wanted to expand on this majority vote matter, so perhaps in that sense you’ve won. Either way, Hawthorne will ascend.”

“Then I resign.” L Faba blurted out.

The untamed magic sage blinked. “What?”

“I resign. I’m done. All these years of you trying to get back at me at every possible opportunity, always trying to strike where it will hurt the hardest, so eager to jump at any chance to make me suffer. Well congratulations, you’ve done it. There’s nothing more you can take from me.”

“This is not about you! I… You can’t just resign.” Morgyn made a feeble attempt to sway her, so feeble they apparently had to resolve to changing their argument halfway through. “You don’t even have a successor. The realm-“

Screw the realm. And screw you!”

L Faba marched out of the room, the mischief magic symbol above her head dissolving. If there had been any doubt about whether she’d been serious or not, that alone sent a clear message. Enough of a message to propel Simeon into action in spite of his apparent shock.

“I will handle this.” He stood up from his chair with surprising resolve. “Nobody is resigning. And this Hawthorne Blackwell business needs to be put to rest.”

Now was finally the time for Darrel to interject.

“I thought you were a man of your word, Simeon.” He said calmly. “We just took a vote on Hawthorne Blackwell’s ascension, and the result was conclusive. Or is it your intention to discredit the first vote I’ve had?”

Simeon stopped in his tracks. The old man could not muster up a response. He was caught in a web of his own principles. Darrel’s lips curled into a smile.

“We appear to find ourselves in quite the predicament, with the mischief sage abandoning post without no successor lined up. L Faba’s not even taken on apprentices in the past few years, so it’s unlikely we will be able to replace her with someone of a purely mischief school background…”

“What do you suggest?” Simeon asked quietly.

“We need a well-rounded spellcaster. Luckily, we have someone who’s been able to shine in all three of the disciplines right in the Charm family…”

“You mean Gemma,” Morgyn said. Darrel took a moment to revel in their incredulous tone before confirming.

“You yourself have noted how talented she is on numerous occasions, Morgyn.” He nodded. “And conveniently, she just happens to be in the realm today. Why don’t I fetch her…”

“Conveniently.” Morgyn repeated, their voice dull.

Darrel grinned as Gemma appeared in the doorway before he even had to get up.

“Conveniently.” He agreed. “Now, I’m not sure what the protocol demands in terms of the majority vote when we are one sage down. My understanding is that in the sudden absence of one sage, it is imperative that the missing sage is replaced as soon as possible to prevent the realm’s collapse… Naturally, if you can think of an alternative candidate who would be qualified-”

A thunder interrupted Darrel mid-sentence. The realm’s inevitable response to the mischief sage’s resignation made his point for him. Could not have planned that better.

Darrel made himself comfortable, relishing in the scene before him. Morgyn was staring at Simeon, as if to silently plead for help, like a child. How pathetic. But the sight alone was incredibly satisfying. And that was just the cherry on top.

For years it had been the same old story. The Charm family, so old, so well-respected; that was what the sages always claimed. But did Darrel’s family ever get any true meaningful recognition? No.

He spent years in a semi-nonexistent role of “advisor to the sages.” Having to deal with the sages’ ridiculous whims, Morgyn’s obnoxiousness, L Faba’s mood swings and Simeon’s obsession with always playing by the book.

But those years have also allowed him to observe the sages, get to know their quirks, and predict their behaviour with a solid level of reliability.

And today, it all finally paid off. Today was the day the Charm family finally took their rightful place in the realm.

21 thoughts on “2.7 Sacrifice the Queen

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  1. Yes Morgyn, insulting someone’s sex life is the way to win them over. Also, does this mean Micah got a little bitey in bed with Morgyn? Yummy. I’d really like to take a bath in that giant cauldron. Not while Morgyn and Darrell were there, obviously. Ooh Morgyn, something tells me that you don’t really know what sort of potential Hawthorne might have. She is a unique hybrid after all, right?

    Ooh, check you out Plumbob, getting all arty with your aerial table shot. I laughed so hard that Morgyn and Faba were discussing how rubbish Darrel was while he was sat there, then you point it out and I die all over again. Ah, this is gold!

    Thank you Simeon for being logical about Hawthorne potentially being a major destructive force. Oh my god, even Darrel’s thoughts are drippy and weak and bland. Sacrifice the queen, hey? You’ve sold your soul to the sandy-haired devil there, Dazza; think you’ve sacrificed the board. Ugh Simeon, for once I agree with Morgyn; stop pissing on the parade! OK, Morgyn’s intentions are terrible and quite selfish and their methods are underhanded, but they’re sort of trying.

    “Get a new necklace” that’s it! That’s the solution! Oh, she’s resigning. Probably for the best because I think the realm imploding is probably the best outcome here. ⬅ optimism. Come on, Faba. You and I are going to Claire’s Accessories to buy you a new necklace. Ooh, the symbol fades if they stop being Sage? So… is Simeon actually still practical sage then? Interesting.

    Oh bloody fucking joy. It’s Gemma Charm! Ah, well my wish to implode the realm came true very quickly. 🤭 And Dazza grew a spine too. And now there are Charms everywhere, so we must already be in Claire’s Accessories!

    Huh. It’s not funny anymore. Damn Dazza. Now you’re boring and smart? I like you and your dull cardigan so very little.

    Wow, really ran the gamut of emotion this chapter, didn’t I? 😆 Up and down and up and down. Feeling seasick.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Morgyn sure knows how to sway Darrel… not. But hey, they totally convinced him regardless, so all is well, yay! Um… I mean, it’s pretty unlikely that Micah would not have gotten at least a little bitey over all this time. Moving on… to baths! Lol. In fairness, I could totally see the cauldron working well for baths. Could probably enchant it to work like a hot tub of sorts.

      “Ooh Morgyn, something tells me that you don’t really know what sort of potential Hawthorne might have.” Let’s face it, how much does Morgyn really know about… anything? 😅

      Haha I’m glad that counts as arty for you! Really the only reason for that shot is because I wanted a chapter cover/index image that would tell you absolutely nothing, lol. Oh yeah, it’s not the first time they’ve talked smack about Darrel right in front of Darrel either, we’ve seen much of the same during the last meeting but of course he had zero lines in that one so I guess it was easy to forget he was there… poor Darrel.

      Simeon does try to to be logical, yep, but sometimes he can’t quote put out all these fires quick enough. Oops. Yes, being inside Darrel’s head is not the most exciting. I’d dare to say even Simeon is more exciting. Though Darrel does have ambitions. Woop! Oh I do love how you’ve managed to praise Simeon and complain about Simeon in the same paragraph, that’s impressive! And technically for the same reason, even, haha. Alas, Morgyn’s parades are rarely logical, so here comes Simeon’s piss. Ok I’m just digging myself into a hole here. You always bring out my sophisticated side, Snuffy.

      Yes, why did she not jut get a new necklace, sheesh! I suppose L Faba now has ample time to go accessory shopping with you. Let me know what you guys end up buying!

      Yes, Simeon is still technically the practical magic sage, because unlike L Faba he would never have walked away without a successor fully in place. He’s delegated his sagely vote and duties to Darrel when he named him the acting sage, but in theory, until the ascension ceremony goes through he could very much still go back on his word and drop Darrel… but of course he won’t, because he’s Simeon. Not that he has a lot of time to back out, since they’re down a mischief sage they’ll need to do the sage ascension ceremony asap to pre-empt them magical thunderstorms.

      Yay! The Charms are here! Looks like the sandy-haired devil won’t have that much room on that board after all. Aww, so little love for Darrel and his knitwear. 😆

      Just another day in the magic realm! Have to make up for season one when we only ever got to see life at HQ when Micah or Cordelia were visiting – turns out when they don’t have guests, it’s equally fun over there! 😆

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      1. Haha, yeah Simeon went from being supportable to irritating to me in a paragraph. Too logical. I’m clearly just as confused as Morgyn. 😆 Hey, don’t you blame me for your lack of sophistication! I’m not the one pissing on parades (here).

        How has the realm not imploded by now? How did L Faba and Morgyn not come to blows before now? Random question: is the magic world big in your story? Are there loads of magical families we haven’t met or is it a relatively small community?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Simeon’s constistency is his best and worst quality, it’s in part his logical approach that landed us where we are, after all. Makes sense, it sounds logistically tricky to piss on more than one parade at once and you’re pretty busy over in AE, haha.

          L Faba and Morgyn have definitely come to blows before – though not to this extent. I mean, pretty much every single exchange we’ve seen them have throughout season one was bickering, whether it was snide remarks in an outwardly relatively civil conversation or a full blown argument. But things never quite got this extreme, since neither have been having a great time lately irrespective of each other. Luckily they know just to boost each other in tough times… not. Lol.

          Ooh, fun question! There are lots of magical families we haven’t met, though I wouldn’t say the community is huge. Pretty much everyone who lives in Glimmerbrook is a spellcaster (or has family ties to spellcasters), and Glimmerbrook is supposed to be a village or a very small town at best. That’s not to say there aren’t spellcasters outside of Glimmerbrook – there’s a relatively high concentration of them in the nearby Windenburg, though that city is more of a mix, and there’s random spellcaster families dotted around the world. Though like Grace told us in season one, anyone who is serious about their spellcasting career moves near the area for the easy access to the portal to the realm, since there’s only so far the average spellcaster is able to teleport, and while a glimmerstone gets you to the realm, it does not get you back home.

          I feel like I’ve rambled forever but not really answered your question 😅 If you mean families living in the magic realm itself, there is none, only the sages (and on occassion, their apprentices) live there; the rest just visit since it’s not considered a super stable place to live, especially after a part of it blew up 42 years ago (thanks Aine).

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          1. I’ve just realised that the festivities have paused over there, so I’m free to join in your parade after all.

            Oof, yeah. So many years of swipes and hisses, I’m not surprised it’s happened that one quit, I’m only surprised it took this long. Hopefully this will clear the clouds and the sun can shine through! 🌞

            Ooh, lots of Spellcasters in Windenburg? Exciting! Yes, I was meaning in the whole world, in general. When they said there was no one else, I was thinking ‘what? no one?’ Which may well have been the case; spellcasters might’ve been hunted to near extinction in your world so thought I’d best check, for notebook purposes. 🤓 Now I know there are others and I can see you’ve given it thought, I’m wondering if there might be a challenge to these ascensions at some point, wondering how many other Morgyn’s there are out there with their random powers, living amongst the non-magic people, biding their time and waiting to wreak havoc and oops! Now my mind’s going wild. 😆

            You did answer my question! I do enjoy a random ramble though. I hope you enjoy my random rambles in reply to your random rambles on my original random rambles.

            Like

            1. The more the merrier!

              Yes, the sun! Though the sun doesn’t technically ever properly come out in the magic realm. Maybe that’s the problem 😆

              Oh yeah, the lack of a suitable replacement is mainly down to the fact that there’s nobody on the sages’ radar that’s proficient in mischief magic specifically, in part because L Faba hasn’t taken on any dedicated apprentices, at least not lately. As you say that might not necessarily mean nobody’s been doing independent study, but looking for a hypothetical like that is a bit of a needle in a haystack situation. Plus if said talented spellcaster wasn’t on the sages’ radar, chances are they wouldn’t really have aspirations to become a sage in the first place.

              Someone with random Morgyn-level raw magic could technically pop up out of nowhere, though if they were Morgyn-level oblivious to magic like when Morgyn first rocked up, they’d definitely need some training first to become a sage. And that time is a luxury the realm doesn’t have at the minute. (Of course, we don’t really know how random Morgyn’s raw magic really is. All we really know on the subject is that Simeon claims magic can’t come from nowhere but can sometimes skip a generation. )

              You know I’m always partial to random rambles ❤

              Liked by 1 person

  2. “This is fine,” said Darryl Charm, as the Magic Realm burned behind him. On one hand I’m kinda glad Darryl decided not to be a doormat, and on the other, would it kill one of the sages to be normal?? There’s an in between, guys…

    While I’m sad that L Faba resigned (I’ve gained a lot of sympathy for her), I also feel this might be the best for her. She can now distance herself from Morgyn and the toxicity and maybe build her identity around something else in her life. Unfortunately I have a feeling that she might focus on the negatives. Getting back at Cordelia, for example. Why can’t anyone just be happy.

    I am so very against the idea of two sages out of three being from the same family. The fact that the two are Darryl and Gemma Charm make it infinitely worse. But seriously, separation of powers and all that. This is going to lead to so much nepotism.

    All in all, somehow this little meeting made more problems than it solved, the Realm is screwed, who’s laughing now? Darryl. Damn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Darrel is oficially sick of being walked all over, yep. What is normal, really? 😆 I’m not sure if an average joe could become a sage, or retain “normality” once they become one. It’s a bit of a self-propelling cycle, I suppose.

      Focusing on something else would definitely do L Faba some good. Depending on what that something else is, as you point out.

      Oh you’re totally right, that’s a lot of power in the hands of one family. Typically the sages of the three disciplines were vastly different from each other, often clashing, but that would retain some level of balance. Whereas now, if the Charms unite, they’ll pretty much own the realm. But who knows, maybe they’ll be great for the realm!

      At least someone’s laughing, right? Right? 😬 Poor Darrel has been grumpy for the longest time, he deserves a bit of happiness… Maybe 😅

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As usual, Morgyn thinks they can figure everything out … and as usual, it triggers a disaster.
    Morgyn makes far too quick conclusions, is impulsive and in their constant eagerness to maintain emotional control, they are dazzled by their own reflections. Ironically, they end up acting on their emotions.

    I dread what the new dynasty in the magic realm is going to mean, with twice the Charm with a majority vote.
    Darrel is a strategist. He has utilized his observations and his time in the shadows. He immediately seems calm and cunning, but that man has a lot to avenge. Humiliations accumulated over half a century. A wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    Lulu has given up. Since we’ve got her whole background story, it makes me terribly sad.
    Maybe in the end it will mean a better future for her. Her constant confrontations with the one she can not reach and get, wears her up and makes her bitter and angry.
    She can now get the change that Cordelia has never allowed herself. A new start. Maybe she should seek out her uncle at the well. Ten years of meditation might do her good.

    I do not remember if Dandy told Lulu the whole story of Cordelia or if her hatred is justified by the fact that Cordelia must endure the punishment for her mother’s malicious deeds.

    I can’t help but think about what Lulu’s resignation is going to mean for Morgyn. They can not be completely unaffected as so much of their energy has been tied up in suppressing a love that could ignite fire and flames.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, Morgyn likes to claim they have their emotions super under control but lots of the decisions they make (if not most of them) are emotional ones. Oh the irony.

      Oh yes, the new majority vote rule gives the Charms a lot of power. Let’s hope they’ll use it wisely. Simeon picked Darrel since he believed he represents what the people of Glimmerbrook want, so I suppose the accuracy of that will be put to the test now.

      Being somewhat invisible to people certainly has its perks, and Darrel turned the sages’s disregard to his advantage. He’s definitely had enough of disrespect, but hey, maybe he won’t be petty! And of course, Gemma likely has opinions of her own. Time will tell how the new dynamic in HQ will work out.

      Lulu has given up, yes. It’s been a challenging few days for her at the minute, even Morgyn aside. But as you say, she’s not really been vhappy for decades, so this might not be a terrible thing for her. Ten years of meditation doesn’t sound like a bad idea!

      Dandy did not quite tell L Faba the full story, no. Although Cordelia herself told L Faba the necklace used to be her mother’s the very first time they met way back.

      I’m sure Morgyn will be affected one way or another. Even if there wasn’t a great deal of, erm, fiery history between them, let’s not forget that the whole time Morgyn’s been a sage, L Faba and Simeon have been their sagely counterparts, for over 40 years. A hella disfunctional family, but the only real constants in their life, for better and for worse. The lovers came and went, with the exception of Micah, but he’s now opted out too, so… A lot has changed in Morgyn’s life recently.

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      1. If I remember correctly, Morgyn uses all his lovers to escape his emotions. Micah may have started out as a sensible commitment but things definitely developed more seriously.

        Morgyn seems taken by surprise for once. This is probably the first time in the story we have seen Morgyn ask someone for help.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Seeing that Micah was Morgyn’s only lover in the last 19 years or so, yes, probably a bit different from the short term ones before. But what’s done is done so it might not necessarily matter anymore.

          I mean, they still didn’t verbally ask for help. Not sure what that would take 😅

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  4. Oh WUT. Gemma takes the Mischief Sage’s spot? Bahaha! This is so nasty. I didn’t realise L Faba was as impulsive as she is!

    And now the tables are flipped on Morgyn who will not have a majority vote for a long time and will have to kiss both charms’ bottom for any particular decision to go through? Wow I did not see this coming. At least they’ve got Hawthorne’s ascension out of the way, though wouldn’t it be possible for Darrel to do a ‘revote’ and change his initial vote for Hawthorne to a ‘no’? Gemma would support him I bet. I hope he at least lets Hawthorne learn a few skills before deciding to go for that revote.

    I’m not sure I’m happy at all to see Gemma all snippy and smug-like. I still remember what you did to Dandy! I do not support your ascension! D:

    Personally, I’m not feeling the sting of Faba losing her powers. It will definitely feel like a loss from the character’s part. It’s an esteemed title and controls many aspects of the realm, but I suppose as the reader hasn’t seen exactly what kind of goodies does being a Sage provide, seems like it provides more headaches than good stuff so I’m a bit like, yeah Faba will be better off with some time away and a vacation. You can tell I’m in denial about Gemma being anything more than a temporary figurehead XDD Man. Politics. So messy.

    Darrel’s facial expressions though. How did you manage to make him look so zen??? Lol I’m like laughing at him everytime you feature his face shots. XD

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    1. Hehe. I mean, we have seen L Faba make a few impulsive decisions, like deciding to study mischief magic full time right after receiving several conflicting offers from the sages, pretty much only for the sake of being near Morgyn, or casting a love spell on herself haha. Though admittedly she was younger at the time. You’re right that the decision to resign is pretty extreme, though! But this is not a neutral state L Faba, she’s had a really crappy few days since New Year’s Eve, from Dandelion’s perceived betrayal to learning the person she’s been in love with for decades set their own family home on fire and claim to feel no remorse over it, to Dandelion straight up reopening all those old wounds with the Syeldell fire and admitting Hawthorne, the daughter of the person she directly associates with all of her childhood losses, played a part in his newfound rebellion… she’s basically in the middle of a breakdown.

      Yep, that’s exactly the situation Morgyn has found themself in. Needless to say they did not see that coming either, lol. Yes, at least they got Hawthorne’s ascension signed off. It would be shaky ground for Darrel to try to revoke the vote, since his whole argument around Faba’s resignation and swiftly plopping Gemma in her spot was around how preposterous it would be to revoke the vote results. So trying to undo the vote could threaten the validity of what he’s just achieved. As he said here, sometimes you have to cut your losses to achieve the bigger goal… whatever that might be in his case.

      We don’t really know a whole lot about Gemma, other than that she did break poor Dandy’s heart just to spite Cordelia as you say, so… I’d say give her let’s give her the benefit of the doubt, but what we do know is not all that favourable, yep. But hey, maybe she’ll not bring any of her personal biases into the new role. Right? 😆

      That’s a really good point! The sage role does come with a lot of esteem and prestige, but it’s also one that completely takes over your life – they’re not even allowed to leave the realm for extended periods of time, lest it collapse. In the BC universe the sages are pretty much the primary legislatorial and jurisdictional body governing over the spellcasting community – whether that is or isn’t a desirable role is completely up to the individual. We do know that there are spells only the sages can master or spells that can only be performed by the sages jointly, but losing the sage role does not cause the spellcaster to unlearn the abilities they’ve learned as a sage (like we’ve seen with Haruka).

      So yes, a long winded way of saying that whether t’s really a loss or not is up to perspective! Though with a role that does take over your life to such an extent, it would inevitably become a part of your identity, and losing that can never be easy to reconcile. I guess we’ll see how L Faba copes with her new situation. As for Gemma, whether she’ll be Darrel’s glorified figurehead or have an agenda of her own remains to be seen (not sure which of those options is the better one, mind 😆)

      Haha, Darrel’s expressions. Darrel sort of has a resting b face by default so it’s not very difficult to catch him looking like that 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh that’s true. Those were some pretty rash decisions, but yeah. I sort of attributed those to Morgyn being her first love and Faba being a teenager and all. Yeah. Faba has had pretty much consecutive days of crappiness. That’s a lot to process. I wish she took a sick leave or something. But if she’s as emotional as you say then it may not have come to mind, and I did catch that part you say about the restrictions of being a Sage. Yeeeiiiikes. Maybe she’ll meet Dandy’s dad. Or go DSV and meet Damien. O.o

        I really like the whole insight to Sages and their role. Spells that can only be performed by sages jointly. Hmm.. I’m pretty sure there’s more hidden secrets that we don’t know about then.

        Gemma. Huff. Huff. Nup. Ice not melting. xD

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Her age would have definitely been a contributing factor back then, for sure! Not that she’s old now. Oh yeah, I don’t quite think like sick leave would have really been an option, more of a lifestyle than a job. So a bit of an enforced “break” may do her good! Ooh, interesting speculations about where she might go! I see you’re eager for Damien to reappear, hehe. I suppose he’s currently on tour, so he could technically pop up anywhere, haha.

          Secrets? Here? Of course not 🎵🎶🎵

          Clearly I need to work on selling Gemma better, haha.

          Like

  5. So Morgyn went to Darrel, after all. I really dislike the guy but I can’t help but agree with him about the other sages at the same time. Simeon on his own can barely keep Faba and Morgyn from biting each other’s heads off, let alone actually govern the magic realm together.

    Whoa, Luella resigned? I did not see that coming. But apparently Darrel did, or maybe they had been waiting for something like this to happen for a while. Two of the three sages being from the same family – that is going to be a very big problem in the future. So not only do they have an impending vampire infiltration/attack in the future with Verena having found Micah, but now the Charms control the sage vote, and with how Morgyn has treated Gemma and Darrel, swaying either of them in their favour is going to be one heck of a hurdle.

    It’s all going to heck and yet a part of me is gleefully eating popcorn and watching the fire burn 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Morgyn did go to Darrel. They were adamant not to grovel to L Faba – though let’s face it, no amount of grovelling would have likely swayed L Faba when it comes to Hawthorne specifically.

      I don’t like Darrel a whole lot either, but he does have a point, yes. He’s been in the advisor to the sages position since Hawthorne was little, so well over a decade if not closer to two, and I can’t imagine how frustrating it would have been to watch the sages make all these big decisions simply based on personal vendettas and petty interpersonal conflicts.

      Though it’s worth pointing out that the last couple of meetings have been far more heightened than these meetings would typically be, since both L Faba and Morgyn have had more emotionally charged stuff going on than usual. It’s all a bit of a domino effect. Darrel has noticed the rapid escalation that kicked off from Faba and Morgyn’s blowout at the New Year’s Eve ball, and coupled with the opportunity Simeon tossed him, he’s decided to ride that wave. Which makes him sound like a surfer, and Darrel is so not surfer-like 😆

      Yep, absolutely, if the Charms band together, Morgyn effectively has no vote. Time will tell if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, haha.

      Haha, I can’t judge! Seeing the number of times everything was metaphorically or literally on fire throughout this story I can’t exactly hide my twisted ways 😆 So enjoy the popcorn! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This whole chapter I was thinking, “wow. Morgyn is actually really smart”. And then Darell brings up Gemma and I’m blown away. “Well, Morgyn WAS smart but Darell is more conniving.” Good lord that was a roller coaster.

    Oh Luella finally had it. Part of me feels so bad for her and the other part is so frustrated with her!!!

    Gemma, Gemma, Gemma! Oh goody. How glad we are to have you🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Morgyn is not quite as smart as they think they are. 🙂 I kind of feel like they walk a weird line between being pretty intelligent and being a total dumbass 😀 They have a high mental capacity, but waste too much of it on bullshit… Darrel was able to distance himself, assess the situation and use everything at his disposal to his advantage. Sneaky.

      Yep, Luella reached her limit. Maybe a change of scenery will help her get out of her patterns. Then again, maybe not. 😬

      I see everyone is united on Gemma. She’s clearly got a ways to go if she hopes to be a fan favourite, haha.

      Like

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