The next morning, breakfast is served by a plump German woman with blond braids coiled above her ears. "Eat, eat! Magi always too thin." She places hot bowls of honey-sweetened porridge on the table, along with clay mugs of milk. "This morning I have special treat for you! Straight from Chester! It vas difficult import der schweinfleisch after butchered, you must enjoy!" With that she plates an enormous platter of crispy thick-cut bacon in the center of the table before bustling back out of the room to the kitchens.
The assembled young magi are all present for breakfast, though Shmuel the apprentice is absent. Stefan reports that Valten departed for Durenmar at dawn's first light; Elysante is also not present at breakfast, which does not seem out of the ordinary, as she had gone to visit the Baron the day before. Breakfast is interrupted, however, when Sir Guillaume d'Arras bursts into the chamber. "Pardon the interruption, sodales," he says with a cursory bow and the slightest hint of a wink to Maruska, "But the Lady Elysante is being held against her will by her cousin the Baron. He will not grant me leave to speak with her, nor would he divulge the reason for her captivity, not even to ask a ransom. I would not risk causing or exacerbating political trouble without leave from my House--" he nods to Attravere, "So I thought to bring this to you directly."