Gold & Green
From The Western War and its Participants, by the Mystagogue Anthony, pg. 140-141
When Pandion and the Cabal of the Half-Remembered Dream had killed the Tetrarch Vespertine, they received the adulation of their fellows, being the first group of Pentacle mages in a generation to defeat a senior officer of the Enemy in California, and the Seers of the Throne found themselves thrown into chaos and confusion. Even as the armies of the combined Pentacle Orders approached the city, these servants, being of a duplicitous and scheming nature, found that every attempt to organize resistance dissolved as every foundation was long-ago rotted by plots and vendettas. Pylons reacted to their king’s death not with mourning tears, but with sharpened knives, pointed at the hearts of their former comrades. Vespertine had been the personality capable of suppressing these private squabbles, and the Pentacle mages, arriving in the Capital, were surprised and gratified to find that no great siege awaited them, and that the campaigns of the valley would be mobile and short compared to the long, static desert battles fought in the previous year.
While Pandion and her captains invested the city, other Seer outposts remained, flung out and scattered not according to any strategic principle but following the complacent designs of Seer lieutenants who had never imagined war coming to this secure place. Most were abandoned, their occupants fleeing in every direction but east, and their contents evacuated or trusted to runes of concealment. The greatest exception to this was a gathering of some strength in the town of Winters, some twenty miles to the west. Not every Seer was content to flee or betray his fellows, and the Obrimos Master Memphis, who held the title of Warmaster under Vespertine’s reign, had persuaded a half-dozen others to occupy the town with him, and kill any Pentacle mage who approached, while they awaited reinforcements from their Gods. When Pandion learned of this, she despatched her captain Téméraire and two cabals to reduce this stronghold.
These are the mages who were sent:
Téméraire, the Moros, who had survived the destruction of her previous cabal at Battle Mountain the previous year, and (as her fellow survivors had disbanded that cabal, called the Laughing Ring) was working with the cabal of the Red Iris on an ad-hoc basis;
Safir, the Thyrsus, a spirit-talker of some fame and known for his gentle speech with those creatures, a member of the Red Iris Cabal;
Cherkassy, the Obrimos, a member of the Red Iris Cabal;
Atë, the Mastigos, a member of the Red Iris Cabal;
Superb, the Obrimos, a member of the Sighing Azure Stone Brotherhood, known for Awakening at an advanced age, and being a fearsome combatant despite it;
Mirabeau, the Acanthus, a member of the Sighing Azure Stone Brotherhood, known for crossing the Atlantic to find the North American mages who planned on warring, and joining them;
Bell, the Obrimos, a member of the Sighing Azure Stone Brotherhood.
These two cabals, having been entrusted with this urgent duty, approached Winters as quickly as they dared, enlisting whatever help from spirits and beasts they could find. Arriving at the town, they discovered that Memphis had occupied a manor near the foothills leading to the mountain roads, and that it had been warded against attack, and that destroying the structure was beyond their abilities. Here, Safir and Atë, who had spoken to the spirits of Winter, told the rest that if they could kill one of the town’s patrolling sentries, then Memphis, impetuous and rash by nature, would rush out, and be at the mercy of the Pentacle mages. The other mages were pleased with the plan, and a sentry was killed, one Periadon, and Memphis rushed out as Safir and Atë had predicted, his followers trailing behind him. The Pentacle mages could have killed them all easily, and began reducing the numbers of the Seers with the most terrible magic, but in the minutes after the fighting began Memphis summoned an unexpected ally: the enslaved spirit of the lake nearby, called Berryessa. The spirit, a great, angry thing, freed from its bounds by the magic of Memphis’s pylon, leapt into the ranks of the mages, and before it could be destroyed, Cherkassy and Mirabeau were both pierced by its teeth and claws, and Cherkassy was killed.
Safir, the only one possessing an exceeding knowledge of the Spirit realm, banished the thing back to its plane, and the reduction of the stronghold continued, with Memphis being killed by Téméraire after long hours of fighting in the countryside. Today, a Paradox of great danger and complexity, known locally as Memphis’s Tomb, marks the site of the fighting, and has yet to be contained.
With the stronghold was destroyed, and its defenders either dead or captured, Pandion was able to advance to the south-west, out of the delta, without worrying about the presence of the Warmaster and his reinforcements, entrusting the capture of the capital to her lieutenants.
The two cabals responsible for the victory possessed divergent fortunes, and one disbanded shortly afterwards. The Sighing Azure Stone Brotherhood rejoined Pandion’s army, and distinguished itself many times in several famous campaigns, although it saw many members leaving, and many new ones joining. The Cabal of the Red Iris, already diminished by Cherkassy’s death, did not survive Téméraire leaving to rejoin Pandion, and Safir and Atë parted ways. In the years afterwards, it is said that Atë embraced the Vidantus heresy, and was shunned by her fellow Arrows, and that Safir renounced his vows entirely and left the Order, and spent much of his time in solitude, where he took for himself the name Oasis Child.