The Mists of Paoru
[Guntur is upstairs in House as Utari magics away a monkey-mess, before they raided the Eyerie.]
Guntur: I barely remember what it was like not having faith.
Utari: It has been a while since you got on board with Team Spirit.
Guntur: There is a certain mindset that goes with that, I think. Knowing that if you do what you are supposed to do, everything will turn out ok eventually; that brings a little peace of mind.
Utari: Feeling on an even keel again?
Guntur: Pretty much. Just organizing my sense of being for when we get back downstairs. After the interminable wrangling over the best way to hide our invisible lair, and then no one calling out they recognize the fanged horror is really Tenn transformed until after I waste a spell, and then Vasan wanting to play magic duel burning more spells, I needed a moment to….
Utari: Regain your equipoise?
Guntur: You have explored the library while I mediated. Yes, I would say that is accurate. We need to have a sense of teamwork and mutual trust, and the situation was rapidly descending into barely concealed mutual hostility. I needed to remind myself we are all committed to the same mission, and we will be relying on each other in the battle to come. Although I wonder now if it would not be wise to retreat for a day and come back with a fresh mindset and a tactical plan.
Utari: Suggest it when we get back.
Guntur: I will.
Utari: Have you figured out why we are trying to sneak past a massive army? I mean, have you figured out why it is there? I honestly was not expecting to see that.
Guntur: No, but I will theorize.
First: It is a defensive formation. They are guarding the Eyerie. Ringed around it. If they were preparing to march they would try to group themselves differently. Or at least I would if I was commanding.
Second: We know from the Spirit the Lady has been warmongering among the other nations.
Third: We know that some of those nations are mobilized for war and have begun assaults into the Rosewylds.
The second and third points suggests that the One Who Died is inciting an attack on the Rosewylds, and the first point weakly suggests that she wants to incite an attack on herself rather than on her enemies.
Utari: But why?
Guntur: Speculating, but I imagine she would have terrain, logistic, and magical advantages fighting here rather than in, say, The Empire. Maybe she wants to break the armies here, and take advantage for either a military attack or to get her conspiratorial hooks in deeper with the breakdown of order.
Utari: I have a competing theory. The Lady had no idea the Ban Xien was going to awaken. She did not expect the volcanos which I am certain have destroyed some key sections of the Greenwall. I say her plan was to manipulate the outside forces into attacking her enemies, but those plans got disrupted along with her enemies when the Forest King in particular lost a key base of operations and became unpredictable , or possibly dead. Now she has armies ready to march on the Rosewylds but no one for them to fight but her, so she is forced to defend.
Guntur: Interesting. You may be right. We will see eventually I am sure. I do not think it significantly impacts our plans. You?
Utari: Oh no, the suicide mission is still a go. Fly up the mountain, hit one of those counterspell fields that everyone seems to have now, and plummet to our death.
Guntur: You are a bird, remember?
Utari: Plummet to our death in a flock of fifteen thousand poisonous wyverns. Happy now?
Guntur: Your boundless optimism uplifts me.