Will Synopses

Will Synopses by Jon Smith

Some weeks after the events depicted in “Eleanor,” Will and Amelia awake to the sound of Conlan and Eleanor arguing passionately. To prevent Conlan charging into an obvious trap, Eleanor had withheld a letter which reveals that his grandfather has been arrested and is being held in the dungeons of the North Tower by Conlan’s father, Daratus. At Conlan’s desperate request, Will and the other members of The Five devise a rescue plan. They will approach Remic, the Dwarven General, for funds to disguise themselves as Players, Mydren’s wandering entertainers and minstrels, so that they and the former Protectors now swayed to their cause can travel incognito to the North Tower.

Relations between the Five and the Protectors who have joined them, especially Mickle, the man Conlan has assigned as their commander, are initially subdued and slightly mistrustful. Their mood does not improve when Conlan becomes frustrated that he cannot use the connection between the Five to talk to the Avatars during balancing, an act performed by the Avatars to calm the elements and help to prevent damage to the country and people of Mydren.

In an attempt to foster some harmony in the camp, Will asks Kip – a slow witted but pleasant sixteen-year-old boy – if he will begin teaching Amelia and Freddie to speak Dwarfish, to which they all agree.

Davlin, a quiet and dangerously competent former Protector has taken lookout duty and notices a disturbance along the road. He deduces that Protectors are coming to investigate the area and, with no time to call for reinforcements, Will holds them up by using his Avatar abilities to destroy a bridge over the river Sharte, preventing them from reaching the contingent quickly.

Taking this as a warning sign, the group makes haste to leave. As they travel, both Will and Conlan sense that they are being watched although they are not able to detect anyone. Noticing that Will appears to be unwell, Conlan asks after his health. Will deflects the question with careful wording, to Conlan’s apparent satisfaction.

After deciding that it is safe to pitch camp, Conlan initially refuses to let Eleanor go to the village to send a message to Remic asking for help, fearing for her safety should she be recognised from the “Wanted” posters bearing her likeness. Determined to prove that she could disguise herself sufficiently well to fool even Conlan, Eleanor does so by privately requesting of Davlin that he beat her. Eleanor hopes that the bruising and cuts on her face, in combination with dying and cutting her hair, will change her appearance sufficiently. These actions, while effective, incur Conlan’s wrath. Equally infuriated by her recklessness, Will points out to her that in Mydren’s misogynistic society her disobedience not only undermines Conlan’s authority, a potentially dangerous situation, it also puts Davlin in danger of having to be punished for harming their leaders’ lover.

After they return from contacting Remic, Conlan makes Davlin Eleanor’s bodyguard, an action construed as punishment by the former Protectors but as an honour by Davlin, thereby defusing the problem. Conlan also begins to try and change his men’s attitudes by assigning some of them to learn sword-fighting from Eleanor. After their initial disgust and scepticism, they begin to come around after Eleanor demonstrates her lethal skills with a sword. Later, despite relationships beginning to slowly improve, a fight occurs in the camp. In response, Will and Conlan decide to teach Healer skills to anyone who wishes it in order to treat injuries more effectively. Eleanor expresses a desire to become involved and begins to learn in earnest.

Will, Davlin, Mickle, Moylan and Eleanor visit a village called Gallendary to purchase equipment. On their return, they are attacked by bandits who shoot Mickle with an arrow. It transpires that Davlin and the “bandits” are acquainted. They take Will, Mickle, Moylan and Eleanor captive, apparently with Davlin’s aid. As they travel, Eleanor uses the Avatar connection to summon help. While it arrives, the Avatars find out that Davlin and the men are ‘Night Paws’, the Lords of Mydren’s secret elite assassins. Davlin leads his former associates into a trap, taking them all captive when Conlan arrives with reinforcements. After talking to the assassins, Conlan takes the unpopular decision to allow them to leave unharmed. The subtle strategic wisdom of this decision is explained to his fellows by a quick-witted former Protector named Elroy.

Now fully equipped for their disguise, the group prepares the Player’s carts, with Will decorating them.

As they travel, Eleanor outlines a plan to make gunpowder and requests Will’s help. Will is horrified, believing that gunpowder would only cause more death and destruction in Mydren. Will tries to dissuade her, but Eleanor is resolute. They both agree to give the idea further consideration.

Over the first night in their new carts, the group inadvertently give Arran, the former Enforcer and outsider in the group, no place to sleep. Upset and hurt, he remains outside. Eleanor volunteers to look after him for the night, to Conlan’s annoyance. Eleanor gently tells Conlan that she believes Arran is his half-brother. Shocked, Conlan allows her to leave.

The following morning, Mickle and Teris launch a surprise attack on Arran in retribution for the perceived slight against Conlan’s honour, injuring Davlin, Amelia and Eleanor in the process. Eleanor manages to preserve Conlan’s face, at her own cost, with some quick thinking. Conlan takes the opportunity to strip Mickle of the captaincy for his men and gives it to Will.

That evening, Will again senses someone watching them. Shortly afterwards Moylan has a seizure, requiring medical intervention from Will, who is concerned about the prognosis for Moylan, given Mydren’s low level of medical technology.

As they prepare their costumes and share a private moment together, Amelia asks Will what he is concealing from her. Shocked, Will gives her a half-truth but fails to convince Amelia that he is not hiding anything from her.

During a discussion at the camp, the group begin to write a play about Alaric, the first King of Mydren and a subject severely censored by the Lords. They obfuscate the details to avoid drawing attention to themselves, but believe that people will understand the message they are trying to send. To disguise themselves further, the Avatars drain their energy from Conlan to prevent his glowing eyes from being noticeable. In doing so, Will loses control of his energy slightly but recovers well enough to not raise major concerns amongst his friends.

The group decide to travel at night so that they can practice the necessary skills during the day, so as to pass more convincingly as genuine Players.

Arriving at the village of Virr, they put on their first show. During the negotiations over the village council’s cut of the profits, Will becomes suspicious of a man called Nicolas’ intentions towards Eleanor and warns Davlin about him. After the show, Nicolas demands to buy Eleanor from them, which Will refuses. Nicolas tries to force him by having his thug beat Will up but Amelia stops him actually hurting Will by using her shielding powers. Pretending to be interested in the money Nicolas offers, Conlan tricks a confession of murder out of Nicolas in earshot of his fellow councillors and he is dragged away to face justice for his crimes.

As they travel towards the Central Tower, playing shows as they go, the group comes across a village called Merckley, where two people who have been mistaken for Eleanor and Amelia are going to be burned alive. In trying to save them, Will loses control of his energy, breaches a reservoir and destroys the village, killing many people and inadvertently turning the inhabitants against them. They are about to be killed by a mob when the rest of the troupe arrive to rescue them. Discussing what happened, Eleanor is angry at Will who retaliates by reminding her of her actions at Nethrus. He lies to Conlan about what happened, claiming that it is an effect of the work they have been doing together. Will apologises to Eleanor but lies to her too, convincing her to help stabilise his energy. She concocts a story to tell the remaining Avatars that will explain matters.

The following day, Arran falls ill. It transpires that the Lords use a drug to control their Enforcers, from which withdrawal means death. Arran has lied about his supplies, trying to wean himself off the poison and has failed. He will die a painful death, including the explosive loss of his energy. Will suspects that the Lords have lied about the potion, and that Arran is in fact an addict, not a victim of poisoning. All other victims who attempt to escape are chased down and executed or kill themselves before an anticipated horrific demise. This, along with the discovery of an intense craving inside Arran’s mind lends credence to his theory. They medicate Arran and make him as comfortable as they can while he goes through withdrawal.

While they wait, they are caught by the Protectors who have followed them from Merckley, an Enforcer having witnessed the destruction there. They make their way across a river, using Will’s abilities, however the Protectors catch them before they are all across safely. The Protectors and one of the Lords of Mydren, Hernas, take Will, Arran and Conlan captive and stab Kip, leaving him to die painfully. The captain of the Protectors takes pity on Kip and grants him a merciful death.

As their captain has left to escort Lord Hernas away, the Protectors torture Conlan, permanently shackling his wrists and eventually place his Talisman, the Crown, onto his head to mock and humiliate him. The Crown bonds to Conlan and Will, experiencing a huge backlash of energy, collapses unconscious. When he wakes, he finds himself dragged into a representation of Conlan’s mind, where what Will means to Conlan is finally revealed.

Amelia, Freddie and Eleanor enter Conlan’s dreamscape. They have returned to attempt a rescue. Conlan tells them that the Crown has connected them all and Eleanor realises that he can use it to take energy from them all and use it to mount an escape. The Protectors release Will, forcing him to attempt to remove the Crown from Conlan. Will manages to palm and hide a pouch he sees on the ground that Conlan always kept with him, but lost when he was dragged away by the Protectors the previous night. Conlan finishes drawing the energy he requires and awakes, killing Rudd, the Protector who stabbed Kip. He incapacitates several more of their captors, including the Enforcers.

Conlan asks the Protectors to allow them to leave and gives them the option to join him. Their leader, Cai, refuses as the Lords would simply execute them and torture their families. The Protectors attempt a further attack which Conlan repels using Avatar energy before collapsing as his injuries take their toll. Cai attempts a further assault but is knocked unconscious by Amelia, Freddie and Eleanor who arrive to complete their rescue mission. The captain of the Protectors returns and divulges that Cai and Rudd were brothers and his sons. He apologises for Kip’s death and tells them that he gave the boy a warriors’ funeral before allowing them to leave in order to avoid more bloodshed.

As they leave the Protectors, Eleanor confesses that she managed to slip away from Davlin by drugging his stew. When they return to camp, Arran has partially recovered, confirming Will’s theory. Davlin is angry with Eleanor and refuses to speak to her. He entrusts her to Will’s care.

They hold a memorial for Kip, burning his remaining belongings on a pyre. As it burns, Conlan announces to his men that he now means not only to rescue his grandfather but also to destroy the North Tower and reveals the truth of his lineage; that he is Alaric’s heir, the rightful king of Mydren.

Gathering the Five to him in a private meeting after this declaration, Conlan talks to them about gunpowder and they put it to a vote, with Conlan casting the deciding ballot, deciding to proceed with Eleanor’s plan to Will’s chagrin. Put in mind of using Earth’s technology by the discussion, Amelia expresses a desire to make hot air balloons, pointing out that they have the abilities to make them fly.

As the group prepare to sleep for the night, Moylan has another seizure. The frequency of them has been increasing. As Will tends to him the following morning, Moylan absently refers to the feeling he gets before a seizure as “she comes.”

Davlin comes to talk to Conlan and asks to be released from his duties as Eleanor’s protector, citing his anger with her and her betrayal of his trust. He states that he is poor at the job anyway. Conlan takes the blame, stating that he should have known that Eleanor would refuse to accept protection and asks for Davlin’s forgiveness. He also asks that Davlin look out for her and train her, but no longer holds him responsible for her well-being. Davlin accepts and leaves to seek out Eleanor and rebuild their friendship.

Will and Conlan make plans to attack the North Tower in winter as conventional wisdom suggests against it and they will therefore be unexpected. Additionally, Will points out, hot air balloons would function well in colder weather. They complete their journey to the North Tower without arousing further suspicion and place it under surveillance as winter sets in. As Conlan, Eleanor, Will and Arran are monitoring the tower, Eleanor talks to Conlan about their feeling of being watched. Arran realises then that he too feels the presence of a “madwoman” spying on them. Will realises that this is likely the same person plaguing Moylan, using magical abilities.

They deduce that the unknown woman is using Moylan as a conduit to spy on them over great distances and that all their plans may be ruined. Desperate not to have to abandon the attack, especially after the effort to construct the balloons, Conlan realises that no-one else yet knows about the gunpowder. He orders them all to keep quiet about their discovery and they return to camp, where they decide to use their discovery against the woman spying on them despite the risk to Moylan.

Conlan goes to talk privately with Freddie and Eleanor – his council of war upon which Will initially declined to sit. When they return after some time, Will becomes upset at how uncommunicative they are and feels marginalised. He asks to change his mind about taking a place on the council and is horrified when Conlan refuses. Conlan explains that his decision rests on Will’s recent behaviour, refusal to reveal the truth about his problems to his friends, and his apparent addiction to lepdrac, a painkiller Will distils from plants and had been taking to cope with physical trauma, headaches and his fluctuating energy levels. Despite this, Will still refuses to tell Conlan his secrets and accepts the judgement.

Conlan puts his scheme into motion, outlining a fake plan to the group, which he hopes will get back to their enemies via Moylan. When the disinformation has had a chance to be passed on, Conlan has Will sedate Moylan and outlines his real plan for taking the North Tower to his comrades.

Before they launch their attack, Conlan leaves to get some privacy and Will follows him, realising that he never had a chance to return Conlan’s pouch to him. Receiving it back, Conlan is grateful and shows Will the personal treasures that the pouch contains.

When they return, Davlin has already been slipped into the Tower by Amelia and Freddie, using the balloons. He is to use an unpleasant combination of laxatives and sedatives to incapacitate the Protectors. Will, Amelia, Freddie and Mickle use the balloons, shielded from view by Amelia and controlled by her and Freddie’s Avatar powers to descend on the North Tower unseen. They kill the guards and enable Conlan to enter the Tower. Freddie uses his abilities to destroy the doors blocking their way and the battle begins. They fight their way through the ranks of Protectors untouched by the drugs, aided by Will, Amelia, Freddie and Mickle, who abandon the balloons.

During the fighting, they encounter Cai, who is persuaded to surrender to them. It transpires that Cai was promoted to fill his father’s position, who was imprisoned for his failure to keep Conlan captive. When Conlan decides to attempt to rescue Cai’s father, Cai agrees to join them.

Conlan senses that Eleanor is in trouble through the connection that they share, and they attempt to mount a rescue. They follow the sound of two huge gunpowder explosions to their source, finding Davlin and Arran unconscious and injured.  A comatose Eleanor has been taken captive by Hernas and Lord Daratus, Conlan’s father. They hold her and Gregor, Conlan’s grandfather, at knifepoint, aided by Teris, one of Conlan’s group who has betrayed them and by an Enforcer, Bram, who shields them using magic.

A tense standoff ends when Conlan makes a tortured choice to potentially sacrifice Eleanor. They break through the shield and incapacitate their enemies but not before Eleanor is stabbed, her lung punctured. Will improvises a clever treatment for her, but her survival is not guaranteed.

Will tends to the survivors as Conlan frees Erit, Cai’s father, and his second, Daman. Both agree to join Conlan’s cause. The remaining Protectors are imprisoned in the North Tower. Utterly drained, Will collapses.

He wakes to find that Eleanor has recovered consciousness, although she is still badly injured. He finds that Freddie has incinerated Hernas in an act of revenge and is furious, reminding Conlan of his duties as a King and his responsibilities over his own men and their prisoners. They move Eleanor to safety and strip the Tower of its valuables and provisions.

After witnessing Conlan use his powers to melt the shackles from his wrists without incurring injury, Daratus bargains for his own life. He offers Conlan information in return for freedom, a deal which is accepted. Daratus reveals that they have had men tracking Conlan for months, but were told not to attempt an assault as the Lords knew of the existence of the balloons and gunpowder and desired to take both from Conlan when he attacked the North Tower. Their information came from someone referred to only as The Source. The Five’s early arrival following their deduction of the spying prevented their outright defeat.

Conlan releases Daratus, Bram and Teris first who leave to travel to the nearest Tower. When Teris lingers, Daratus slits his throat before departing. As they disappear, the captive Protectors are released in groups, some choosing to join Conlan’s growing ranks and some choosing to return to the life they know. When the last people have left the Tower, Amelia and Freddie reduce it to rubble using their abilities. As this occurs, Will’s withdrawal from lepdrac finally reduces him to comatose agony.

Four days later, Conlan forces Will out of his stupor. Will finds that their numbers have swollen to over one hundred and a camp has been formed. Will moves to look after Davlin and Eleanor with the aid of a healer called Murray. While tending to a leg injury Conlan picked up in the battle for the Tower, Will discovers his plan to hide in the Box Swamps, an area reputed to be cursed, while they consolidate their forces and prepare their next move.

While walking Conlan back to see Eleanor, they run into three children; Arabel, May and Oakes, all of whom are proficient in magic and are refugees from the North Tower where they were taken to become Enforcers-in-training. In the face of the children having nowhere else to go where the Lords of Mydren could not locate them, Amelia has provided facilities for their care, effectively adopting them as her – and Will’s – own. Will finds himself more than happy with this arrangement.

It takes the group over three months to journey to the Box Swamps, during which time Oakes, thanks to Amelia and Will’s care, emerges from the catatonic state in which he arrived. Will’s control over his energy deteriorates further during this time and becomes obvious to his friends, although he refuses to burden them with the truth about his condition.

Conlan summons Will and Amelia to a council meeting where he explains that they are aware that the Source is still watching them. They ask Will to infiltrate the Central Tower and locate the woman. He would pose as a newly recruited Protector and send them information via the link that they share. Despite Amelia’s obvious devastation, Will accepts and two days later he departs for the Central Tower with Davlin and two more of Conlan’s soldiers, Elroy and Finn. Before leaving, Will’s energy is drained away to almost nothing in order to prevent him from being spotted by the Enforcers.

As they travel, Davlin trains Will in all he needs to know about the life he will lead. One evening, Will’s travelling companions spike his drink although they are only partially successful, and Will is still awake and aware when they burn his brand from his arm, eventually passing out in agony. On awaking, Davlin explains that it was necessary to remove his Avatar brand as the Protectors would have been able to identify him from its existence. Furthermore, disguising it for an extended period of time would have been impossible. Eleanor had instructed Davlin to perform this act against Conlan’s orders, having first tested it on herself, to determine whether or not it would have any adverse effects.

Davlin tells Will to choose a new name for himself – “Harper” – and begins his training in earnest. Harper’s companions treat him much differently than Will, and under their now brutal treatment, Will soon feels his old identity begin to leak away. They teach Harper skills in such fields as assassination, burglary and lock picking, setting him challenges to complete, rewarding him for success and punishing him when he fails.

When they arrive at Hemtark, the city housing the Central Tower, Will has now come to exist much more as Harper than as his true self. Davlin meets an old contact with the necessary influence to have Harper enrolled in the Protectors. Once enrolled, Harper endures the basic Protector training and is assigned to one of the lower ranking units, patrolling the streets of Hemtark.

Harper uses a punishment detail to manipulate a captain of the guard into taking him to see Pandral, a lower-ranking Lord of Mydren who is in command of the Hemtark Protectors. Pandral is an intelligent and observant man and immediately spots that Harper has abilities and education that he is deliberately hiding. The Lord poses Harper a series of subtle questions to which Harper responds in kind. Despite agreeing to the captain’s request for a flogging, Pandral has Harper transferred to his own office to work directly for the Lord following his punishment.

Harper is ordered to accompany Pandral to investigate the abduction of a boy called Rodin, the grandson of a fellow Lord. To do this, Pandral disguises himself as a Protector and takes the alias Jonas. They visit the house where the kidnapping took place and from evidence in the boy’s bedroom, Harper deduces that Rodin had in fact run away.

Pandral confides in Harper that he wishes to make changes to the way the Lords run their world. Harper realises the risk that Pandral has taken just by expressing that desire and decides to trust him, agreeing with his words. Pandral reveals that he wishes to be brought to the attention of the higher-ranking Lords and work his way up the chain in order to gather like-minded Lords and force change from within. To do this, he requires Harper’s help to solve the more complex crimes that occur in Hemtark, which will gain him notice and therefore promotion.

Pandral decides that they need to find Rodin, and he and Harper return to the city streets dressed in civilian clothes. Investigating the areas that Rodin had drawn in his bedroom, they bribe a food vendor into telling them that Rodin was seen in the company of a boy called Hari but had not been seen in several months.

Arriving at an apparent dead-end, Harper asks Pandral if he knows of anywhere that a runaway street urchin may be hiding. After some thought, Pandral uncomfortably admits that he does and leads Harper to the hideout of the street children, thereby revealing his own origins amongst them to Harper.

Travelling through the hideout, Harper is injured and knocked unconscious by a trap. When he wakes, “Jonas” is discussing Rodin with the leader of the children, Jac. After convincing Jac of his origins, Jonas persuades him to reveal that Rodin and Hari both vanished a month previously and that members of their group had been disappearing on a regular basis. Jac lets them go on the condition that they find whoever is behind the abductions and stop them.

While Harper recovers from his injury, Pandral has brought in a prisoner who was seen driving a cart from which a child was heard crying. Pandral takes Harper to the dungeons where they discover that the prisoner, Daxis, has been interrogated nearly to death by the Lords’ torturer who takes the title Mortarlo. After Pandral leaves the cell to find aid before their only lead dies, Harper uses his Avatar abilities to enter the man’s mind. He sees the abuse that Daxis puts children through before selling them on as slaves and also finds out where Rodin is being held. Unable now to control even this small amount of energy, Harper is unable to stop it escaping and killing Daxis, which Pandral witnesses but decides not to reveal to anyone.

The following morning, Pandral and Harper set out to investigate the place that Harper saw in Daxis’ mind. After subduing the occupants, they learn that Rodin was sold as slave labour to a local bakery from where they recover him.

Following their success, Pandral is summoned to the offices of Lord Tarplan, giving Harper a chance to investigate Pandral’s office for information concerning the Source, but his search reveals nothing of value. When he returns, Pandral reveals that he has been promoted to a new station by Lord Tarplan in gratitude for the rescue of his grandson. Pandral will investigate cases given to him by the most senior Lords of Mydren. He requests that Harper join him as one of his staff and confides that he considers him a friend.

By way of celebration, Pandral takes Harper to what he discovers to be a high-class bordello. Harper is introduced to Shyla, one of the prostitutes. He takes a liking to the girl and they spend the night together, but his loyalty to Amelia prevents him from sleeping with her.

Upon his return to the Tower the following morning, Harper assists with the move to Pandral’s new quarters and discovers that he has been promoted to sergeant and has command over three other men – Patryk, Rudd and Lev.

Over the months that follow, Pandral, Harper, and his men perform excellently in their new function. Harper also takes the chances, when he is able, to search the offices of most of the Lords who are present in the Tower, although he is unable to find any further information concerning the Source. His improved salary means that he can afford to occasionally spend time with Shyla, although he refuses to sleep with her, viewing their time together as respite from the stresses of his life.

Pandral is summoned to see Lord Avery, the most senior Lord of Mydren. When he returns, he informs Harper that he has been tasked with hunting down Conlan and the Avatars. They are provided with an extra twenty men under Harper’s command and an extensive set of notes detailing the reports that they have received concerning Conlan’s movements. Using the files, Harper manages to identify the information originating from the Source and makes some valuable deductions. The Source was only able to locate them once the connection between Conlan and his Avatars had been triggered, and her ability to spy on them seems to have been blunted by his departure. Harper also realises that her inability to understand the Avatar’s native English could be a valuable defence against her.

Entering the dungeons to interrogate a prisoner that Mortarlo has already tortured for information concerning the Avatars, Harper is horrified to recognise the man as Duncan, a man whose life he had once saved. With little other option and at Duncan’s request, Harper performs a mercy killing. Appalled at his actions, he flees to see Shyla for solace and, pushed beyond the limits of his endurance and desperate for comfort, finally consents to have sex with her. Awakening, he is wracked with guilt and leaves Shyla, gently telling her that he cannot see her again. He apologises to her as he walks away.

When Harper returns to the Tower, his men surround him. Harper has been recognised and identified as the Avatar of Water. Faced with this news, the facade of Harper crumbles away as Will is beaten into unconsciousness by the men he had begun to trust.

Will wakes up the dungeons, chained to the wall and already badly hurt. He is tortured and permanently deafened in one ear by Mortarlo who wants the location of Conlan and his budding army. Will is dragged to see Pandral who informs him dispassionately that it was Bram, an Enforcer present at the battle for the North Tower, who recognised him and alerted the Lords. Bram, present at Pandral’s request, attempts to break through Will’s shield. He is unable to do so but informs Pandral that the shield is weakening as Will’s torture takes effect. Pandral laments that he once called Will friend and seems to be furious, but manages to secretly convey a message of hope to Will before ordering Mortarlo to return them to the dungeons and continue.

Refusing to comply with his torturer, Will endures a sequence of increasingly agonising torments leaving him with a shattered body and a mind near to insanity. Mortarlo eventually produces Shyla and threatens to inflict countless agonies on her unless Will acquiesces to his demands. Pandral intervenes as Will nears death and demands that Mortarlo makes sure that Will lives. Broken beyond measure, the shield around Will’s mind finally collapses. Before the information can be torn from Will’s now defenceless mind, Pandral engineers the escape of both Will and Shyla, aided by Rudd. Utilising the balloons, they leave the Central Tower while Rudd dies defending them.

Will awakes to find Conlan looking after him. With no shield, Eleanor has entered his mind and is preventing him from feeling the pain of his injuries. After allowing him time to recuperate, Will is visited by Amelia. She is furious and feels betrayed over his actions with Shyla. Will begs for her forgiveness. Amelia tells Will that she loves him but is reduced to rage again when she finds Shyla visiting Will. She throws Shyla out of the cart and confronts Will, who attempts to placate her but fails as Amelia storms out.

Will talks to Eleanor who gives him some painful but much needed advice. She tells Will about the extent of his injuries, both physical and psychological. As Will slowly recovers, she insists that he takes walks through the camp, eventually coming across Jonas – no longer Pandral – who he learns has been offered a place on Conlan’s council. Will advises his friend to accept.

Will realises that the time has come to tell the truth about his condition. In a private, emotional meeting with Conlan and Eleanor, Will unburdens his secret: he is dying.

His energy is out of control and his ability to keep it in check is deteriorating. Only with Eleanor assisting him is he now able to prevent it from tearing him apart from the inside. Will has known for years that his death is close and inevitable due to the circumstances surrounding his creation and now knows that he only has a few months left to live. Conlan finally understands why Will took the mission to the Central Tower: he didn’t want his loved ones to witness his death. Will expresses how proud he is of Conlan and that he believes the king that Conlan will become will change Mydren forever for much the better.

Devastated, Conlan asks when Will is going to tell Amelia. When Will refuses, claiming that it will do no good, Conlan orders Will to tell her. He reiterates that Will is the only person he has ever considered to be his father and the pair share a moment together before Conlan and Eleanor leave.

Staring out at the camp before him, Will reflects that he has done his duty, and that the only thing left to him now is hope…

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