The morning sun rose behind the Spire. It captured the light in its crystal veins, and glowed with a warmth that seemed divine. There was no better place in all Newland for the House of Names. The campus built around the Spire stirred, still drowsy but for the students who in their infinite wisdom thought that sunrise classes were a good idea and for the academics for whom sleep was a chore imposed by the limits of the flesh. The skies were clear, the ground cloaked in a spring-morning mist soon to melt away.
Trochanter Bygone-Glory and Lady Marlyl Glorygaunt could see the morning campus through the enormous windows in Shell's room (and Trochanter could smell it, the wetness of the fog, the freshness of the wind). Shell herself was absent.
"Oh," said Lady Glorygaunt. "This... this is not to be accepted."
Trochanter Bygone-Glory chuckled. "You sound so worried."
Lady Glorygaunt fidgeted with her bracelets. "The