Winter in Hieron 01: An Arrow Let Loose

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Background[edit | edit source]

Episode description[edit | edit source]

In the early days of the New Archives, the philosopher and historian Krent Kava wrote that the first sign that Hieron was on its way to recovery was the return of roadways that connect coast to heartland, city center to distant university. "There," he wrote, "Is civilization back again, drawn together by the eternal will of survivors trying to connect, one to another." Some of the roads, he reminds us, were highways repaired from the days before, and others were wholly new--as our times require paths that the past did not.

It is noble thought, of course. But we know now that by the time Scholar Kava wrote those words, Hieron's road system had been rebuilt and destroyed dozens of times by fledgling--and eventually, failed--settlements. The truth, friend, is that our roads neither reflect nor protect any civility we've found. They are merely our footprints turned to stone and gravel, waiting to be covered and lost by the coming snow.

This week on Winter in Hieron: An Arrow Let Loose

Perhaps, Arrell, perhaps. But we walk them anyway, don't we?

Cold open[edit | edit source]

There is a dirt road that runs from Velas to Rosemerrow. It runs alongside the hidden city of Nacre and the light snows of the Mark of Erasure, which have spread into a broad blizzard that consumes the northwest of Hieron. It runs between trees and over babbling brooks. And there, in those woods, an arrow is let loose, and flies through empty air, towards you, Hadrian. What do you do?

Plot[edit | edit source]

Hadrian, Hella, Throndir and Adaire are waylaid by several mothkin and Red Jack while escorting Solomon "Sol" Cider-Brew through the snowy woods from Velas to Twinbrook.

Love Letters[edit | edit source]

Adaire is returning to Twinbrook for the first time in six months or so. From her previous time there, she knows that Twinbrook has a strong fishing and fish processing industry. She also knows that a missionary group from the Church of Samothes led by Sister Carol has been successful in the town, bringing its culture closer to Velas and further from Rosemerrow.

Hella has been spending more time in Ordenna. After the fall of Nacre, she presented evidence from the cart she left in to show that she slayed the queen of Nacre, and is now recognized in Ordennan society as the Queenkiller. She sees firsthand the rapid technological advancements being made thanks to the pre-erasure knowledge pillaged from Nacre, as well as the Ordennan Anchor. Hella learns that the designs for the Anchor were based not on information from Nacre, but on a group of inactive pala-din the Ordennans discovered behind a door on Eventide Island that Hella failed to break down early in season one. She also sees the development of witchhunts in response to reports of the undead.

During the downtime between seasons, she set out to follow the treasure map she took from Brandish in episode one of the first season, which leads to a spot off the coast of northern Ordenna that the map showed as being on land. She dives underwater and reaches a cave with a metal door. Inside the cave, which holds an air pocket, is a library filled with books, papers, and maps, much of which she does not understand. She recognizes symbols of the three clans of Ordenna as well as one additional symbol, and finds a book indicating that her surname "Veral" may mean "drying line" as in a line used for hanging people, but does not fully understand it. She takes materials back with her for future reference.

With the onset of winter, Throndir recognizes that the climate has become like that near the Mark of the Erasure. Knowing what it's like to live with winter all the time, he has been trying to help farmers, hunters, and gatherers learn to live in the new climate. Throndir hears via Mitta that the goblins have recovered their words and begun rebuilding their society, and he is requested to help negotiate between the goblins and Auniq. He takes part in the negotiations on the side of the goblins, and befriends a goblin diplomat named Gnik who he can call on in the future.

Following the violent and public death of Prelate Lucius, Hadrian's life was thrown into chaos where he could not withdraw to grieve because he had to be a visible presence of the church in Velas, and in fact, on a technicality, he was the highest ranking member of the church in the city. Privately, he threw himself into his faith in the private, reflective way of the common devout worshiper in addition to the ways he normally communed with Samothes. In time, Exarch Alyosha, a young and well-meaning clergyman, comes to take control of the church in Velas. Hadrian has begun wearing the ring of Samothes on a chain around his neck after it fell off his finger. He also still wears the cloak given to him by Samot.

Cast[edit | edit source]