The Quicksilver Court
You can use this guide to refresh yourself on what was going on at the end of The Quicksilver Court. I’ve included a summary of important events in The Quicksilver Court, as well as a listing of key names and what their status was at the end of the book. (This refresher focuses on The Quicksilver Court, so feel free to read the one for The Obsidian Tower as well/first!)
WARNING: MASSIVE SPOILERS!!! Absolutely DO NOT read any further if you have not read The Quicksilver Court. I mean it! There are surprises all the way up to the last pages of that book, including at least one really massive one. Don’t spoil them! If you haven’t read the first two books all the way through, STOP NOW!!!
Got it? Got it.
Okay, here we go.
Where We Left Off at the End of The Quicksilver Court
When we last left the Rookery, they had just sealed the demons of Nightmare and Madness into the warded Summer Palace of Loreice. Ryx learned she was the demon of Disaster, who she merged with as a toddler when her grandmother made a bargain with the demon to save her life. Whisper had severed her memories at her own request, and had been abiding by his promise to help her live a normal life. But after Ryx released him from that promise, he could no longer protect her when Madness restored the connection to her memories of her demonic half, and those memories have begun to trickle through…including brief, strangely compelling glimpses of a girl with bright eyes.
Foxglove reported the truth about Ryx’s nature to his superiors, and after confronting Ryx, they determined not to take action against her for now—but they warned her that other powers in Eruvia might see her as a threat to be dealt with rather than a helpful ally. And in the last pages, Whisper warned Ryx that Hunger had thrown open the gate to the Hells and brought all the remaining demons through.
What Is this Name Again and What Was Going On with Them?
Alevar: A domain that borders on Morgrain to the north. Ruled by the Shrike Lord, Severin’s twin, who wants Ryx dead because of her role in his fiancee Lamiel’s death.
Ardith: A child of the Fox Lord, often sent to do his business and that of the unofficial alliance that backs the Rookery and manipulates world affairs to promote peace and stability between Vaskandar and the Serene Empire. Ryx’s friend, but not always purely an ally.
Ashe: A member of the Rookery, specialized in the sword. She used to be the sole non-mage member of the chimera-hunters known as the Furies. Currently in a relationship with Kessa. Has an enchanted sword called Answer.
Aurelio: Ryx’s friend since childhood, one of the very few she had, and a member of the Zenith Society. Tried to murder Ryx at the behest of the Zenith Society to clear the way for them to gain control of the gate; successfully murdered Ryx’s Aunt Karrigan. Voluntarily became the host of the Demon of Hunger in order to gain a powerful ally for the Zenith Society. Still hosting Hunger, though he sometimes acted against Hunger to help Ryx (and sometimes didn’t). He felt betrayed when Ryx showed willingness to kill him if necessary in order to protect her friends from Hunger.
Bastian: The Rookery’s alchemist and scholar, knowledgable in the magical sciences. He’s also secretly a chimera with the chameleon-like ability to make himself nearly invisible and other enhancements. The mentor who betrayed him (Moreni) and the skinwitch who transformed him against his will (Cortissa) both resurfaced along with the Zenith Society in The Quicksilver Court, but the Rookery killed them both in a final confrontation. Bastian lost half a finger due to Cortissa’s attempts to finish his transformation into a killing chimera.
Castle Ilseine: An imperial fortress on the border of Morgrain that houses the Rookery headquarters. It’s located in the imperial client-state of Loreice.
The Crow Lord: An influential Witch Lord and one of the founders of the Rookery; the authority to whom the Rookery reports on the Vaskandran side.
The Dark Days: A period in Eruvian history four thousand years ago when the Nine Demons came through from the Hells, plunging the world into a time of suffering and horror during which human civilization was essentially destroyed. The Dark Days are cloaked in legend, and not much is known about what truly happened. Now that Hunger has released the last of the Nine Demons into the world, the Dark Days have fallen over Eruvia once more.
Demons: The Nine Demons are regarded as evil, all-powerful, terrifying beings in story and legend, and the villains of imperial religion. The Rookery has learned that they are actually beings of pure and seemingly limitless energy, the incarnate entropic fire and light of the Hells, each with their own particular manifestation of power and varying degrees of control. Demons in the mortal world must take hosts whether they like it or not, and will be drawn into the nearest human if they do not choose a host themselves. Voluntary hosts are not destroyed, but share a body with the demon, switching control back and forth; unwilling hosts have their souls evicted, effectively dying. In rare cases, a demon may merge with a compatible host soul, fusing irrevocably into one being, as has happened with Ryx and her grandmother.
Here’s the status of all currently known demons:
- Discord – Merged with Ryx’s grandmother and ruling over Morgrain
- Hunger – Voluntarily hosted by Aurelio and abroad in the world causing havoc
- Nightmare – Bound in the Summer Palace
- Madness – Bound in the Summer Palace
- Disaster – Merged with Ryx
- Death – Whisper, doing Whisper things
- Corruption – Unknown, newly unleashed upon the world
- Despair – Unknown, newly unleashed upon the world
- Carnage – Unknown, newly unleashed upon the world
Foxglove: The leader of the Rookery field team. A Raverran artificer and a former imperial assassin. During his time as an assassin, the Zenith Society improperly used connections to send him after Kessa and her brother; after killing her brother he realized something was wrong, helped expose the Zenith Society, and has tried to protect Kessa ever since in an attempt to atone. A serious rift formed between him and Kessa when she learned his secret, but they have begun to tentatively mend it.
The Gate: A tear in the fabric of reality that leads to the Nine Hells, located in the Black Tower, which was built around it to seal and contain it. A black obelisk at the center of the tower seals the gate and can act as a portal to open it in a controlled fashion. The wards around the gate require the blood of one of Ryx’s family to cross them.
Gloamingard: The sprawling, ancient castle of which Ryx is Warden. Contains the Black Tower; carved through with the Gloaming Lore.
Gloaming Lore: The ancient snippets of poetry and warnings passed down through Ryx’s family, mostly centered around not opening the Door in the Black Tower.
The Graces: Central figures of imperial religion, each embodying a virtue, ideal, or strength of humanity. Imperial myths say that the Nine Graces defeated the Nine Demons during the Dark Days and banished them back to the Hells they came from. Vaskandran legends do not acknowledge the Graces, saying instead that powerful mages or human heroes defeated the Nine Demons, though the stories are otherwise generally similar. Imperial religion is vague on where the Graces came from and whether they were originally human or not, with theologians having various competing theories.
Kessa: A member of the Rookery; a vivomancer and former spy. Her brother was murdered by the Zenith society—and, as she recently discovered, by Foxglove’s hand, which caused a rift between them that has only begun to heal. Currently in a relationship with Ashe. As the one who put Ryx’s jess on, can seal and unseal Ryx’s magic.
Lady Cornaro: A member of the ruling Council of Nine in Raverra and the authority to whom the Rookery reports on the imperial side. (Note for Swords & Fire readers: As Rooks & Ruin takes place 150 years later, she is Amalia’s descendant.)
The Lady of Owls: Ryx’s grandmother, the Witch Lord of Morgrain. Currently merged with the Demon of Discord, who attempted to possess her and accidentally became one with her instead. Has magical power over every living thing born in Morgrain, Ryx included, as well as whatever unknown demon powers she now possesses.
Lia: Foxglove’s romantic partner, part of a triad with him and Teodor. A sharpshooter for the Raverran military, stationed at Castle Ilseine.
Loreice: An imperial client-state, part of the Serene Empire, that lies on the border of Morgrain. One of the most powerful, large, and important imperial client-states.
Madness: The Demon of Madness likes mortals but has a poor understanding of how her powers hurt them. She loves Disaster, and attempted to restore Ryx’s demonic memories so that her beloved sister would remember her and come back to herself. Ryx has made some progress convincing her to stop using her powers on humans, and Madness ultimately gave Ryx the key to the wards of the Summer Palace, turning against Nightmare and siding with mortals. But Ryx had to leave her bound in the Summer Palace with Nightmare (according with Madness’ own wishes).
Morgrain: Ryx’s home domain. She has a deep magical connection to all life in the land there. Ruled over by Ryx’s grandmother, the Lady of Owls.
Nightmare: The Demon of Nightmare torments mortals for her amusement, finding the colors of their souls in terror and distress intoxicating. The Rookery bound her within the wards of the Summer Palace.
Odan: The steward of Gloamingard Castle, Ryx’s second in command as Warden and also something of a father figure for her.
Raverra: The city-state that controls and rules the Serene Empire. Ryx’s mother is Raverran and used to be a Raverran diplomat working in Vaskandar before she married Ryx’s father and settled in Vaskandar permanently.
The Rookery: An international magic troubleshooting squad that solves difficult magical problems and also the equally difficult diplomatic issues that arise around them. The current field team includes Kessa, Ashe, Bastian, and Foxglove (their leader); Ryx is an associate member.
Ryx (Ryxander): The Warden of Gloamingard and an atheling (royal with an inherited magical connection to the land) of Morgrain. She is also the Demon of Disaster, merged with her human half when she was two years old to save her life. With her jess off, her demonic powers of entropy and destruction are channeled through her human conduits, focusing them such that she kills everything she touches and unravels magic, among other things. With her jess on, this focused, destructive touch is blocked, but she can still access her demonic power. If she doesn’t keep her demonic aura under tight control (which fortunately is instinctive for her at this point), her mere presence is enough to cause horrific destruction, as she learned when she loosed a small part of her power for a brief moment in the ballroom of the Summer Palace to save the Rookery and caused many innocents to be injured in the resulting mayhem.
The Serene Empire: One of the two major powers in Eruvia; a sprawling empire consisting of many smaller client states ruled by the city-state of Raverra. The empire is an oligarchical republic ruled by an elected doge, the Council of Nine, and a general Assembly. Has a history of conflict with Vaskandar. Currently extremely concerned about the demons unleashed upon the world and taking actions to try to neutralize them.
Severin: Heir to the Shrike Lord and an atheling of Alevar. Currently staying with the Rookery because he has no place else to go since his brother exiled him from Alevar for helping Ryx escape…and also to be with Ryx.
The Shrike Lord: The Witch Lord of Alevar. Held Ryx responsible for Lamiel’s death and tried to execute her. In their final confrontation as Ryx and Severin fled his castle, told Severin not to come back to Alevar.
Teodor: The third member of Foxglove’s romantic triad and family, along with Lia. A logistics officer for the Raverran military, stationed at Castle Ilseine.
Vaskandar: One of the two major powers in Eruvia; the loose collection of domains of which Morgrain is a part. Ruled by the Witch Lords, who gather as the Conclave to make decisions that affect the whole nation. Has a history of conflict with the Serene Empire. The Conclave had just gathered to attempt to determine how to face the demonic invasion and what to do about Morgrain around the end of The Quicksilver Court.
Whisper: Ryx’s chimera friend, who is actually the Demon of Death.
Zenith Society: The treacherous magical research society that allied itself with the Demon of Hunger. They have a history of enmity with the Rookery, and Aurelio was a member. The Serene Empire has arrested all remaining members of the society that it could find, and the Rookery defeated the largest remaining active group of them.