Trial of the Ornic Up To This Point

The most important thing to know, first off, is that every year, a Rift opens in the sky. This Rift was built by powerful users of magic, known in this story as Ornic Lords (or Ladies, as the case may be). It was meant as a way of winning the war with the Tothsins  (those who feel magic must be restricted by trade) yet nearly burned the whole world. It took the king and many, many nobles to close this Rift that was created by only two Ornic nobles. And every year, they must close it again, or it might burn the whole world.

Now, it’s time to talk about our main characters and the story as it currently stands.


Krysilla Gillasin, exhausted by working alone in her husband’s bakery while he gets drunk with friends, hates her life. She goes to the local market, both to get supplies and to find some joy in her life. But when she hears the songs of a mysterious fiddler, she runs. On the way home, she finds that same fiddler lying by the side of the road, clearly suffering from a fever. Feeling it’s the right thing to do, and moved by (at the very least) compassion, she takes him home and nurses him through the fever. Afterward, the fiddler, who gives his name as Parlay, shows her, through a break-in deep within the Felldesh manor, that her husband has been having an affair with Lady Felldesh, that Lord Felldesh is not as righteous as he appears, and that she loves magic that’s forbidden to her more than she wants to admit.

In the process, she discovers Parlay is no ordinary fiddler, but Zhiv Mikailsin, Minstrel to the King, and a man with many secrets of his own.

Needing time to think, Krysilla goes to visit her sister in the kingdom’s capital, Hurush. While there, her husband leaves her and runs off with Lady Felldesh, she helps Zhiv foil a plot by the king to open the Rift and prove he doesn’t need nobles to help him control it, that he can do it all by himself. In the process, Zhiv and Krysilla manage to save the king from himself, but he dies, leaving his queen to rule, and it’s the queen who grants Krysilla a divorce from her husband.

But Krysilla is left with a binding in her wrist, placed by the now-dead king, that compels her to go back to her husband if he ever says he wants her back.

Zhiv has promised he will find a way to remove the binding, even though the one who cast it is dead. He also allows her into the small group he’s formed with the local locksmith, Daegan Jixsin, to learn magic, not for power, but to help others. She swears the oath and, in a sense, finds her family.

However, the next day, things begin to unravel. Krysilla’s sister, Nitty, attempts to kills Zhiv, having been bound by Lord Vyomsi Teranasin, a noble who aspires to the throne. Having thwarted the attempt, Zhiv finds himself framed for the murder of the royal family, which had actually been performed by Vyomsi and those on his side. Running for their lives, Zhiv and Krysilla hide at his house where Zhiv takes on his two nephews from his sister, Krysilla learns Zhiv has a spell leftover from an attack by a Dog that torments him nightly, and Krysilla finds out she has trouble removing herself from the timing spell of a portal next to his house.

We also meet Zhiv’s brother and sister, and find out they are the last survivors of a group known as the Okya Minstrels, remnants of the Ornic war who were massacred because of fear regarding Ornic magic.

The Dogs find them and attack. During the attack, they barely escape through the Ornic portal, and Krysilla nearly dies in the process.

The portal takes them to the seaside town of Openwater.

Here, they are taken in by an old man who thinks he’s an Ornic lord. Zhiv meets up with an old flame, Lady Lia Marilisin, and they are granted asylum by her father in exchange for the retrieval of a book. In the process, Zhiv’s spell that torments him becomes more unpredictable, Lia attempts to get Zhiv back and make him her husband, Krysilla finds out Lejer is in the city, and that the captain they’re supposed to get the book from no longer trusts Zhiv. During a battle on the captain’s boat, Krysilla also discovers that Zhiv has lost all confidence in himself and thinks it would be better if he were no longer alive, due to the threat he now poses to the group because of the spell within him…as well as soemthing else he won’t explain. She shakes him out of it and they not only get the book, but find out that a new member of their group, a Tothsin Disciple named Hyaji, has books from the Ornic themselves that have an even better solution for Lord Marilisin’s plans to defend his city.

Those plans include a defense for the walls, and for Lord Marilisin to denounce the corruption that has infested the nobles and will lead to a coup by Vyomsi. But even though the work on the defense progresses quickly thanks both to local help and the help of the old man who thinks he’s an Ornic noble, Lord Marilisin is executed for both treason and heresy in Hurush and his city is claimed by the kingdom. A list is being made of all those who are heretics, all those who might be secretly using Ornic magic, and people are beginning to die.

Not to mention, Lejer has asked Krysilla to come back to him. She manages to bide time by becoming his assistant in the bakery he’s begun, but that won’t last forever. Zhiv has told her the oath no longer stands as a way to push her back to something close to stability, and has even kissed her, showing her the depth of the binding in her wrist and the pain that could come from ignoring it.

And the Dogs have finally come to Openwater to take the city. If they can.

While the new KIng Vyomsi practices to both overcome the power of Lord Felldesh and kill Zhiv with his own hands…