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Baxil and his fellow Emuli cousin Av break into Ashno’s palace along with their mysterious mistress so that she can deface and destroy works of art. The mistress confuses her employees as they don’t know what race she came from or her reasons for destroying the art (instead of stealing, which she forbids them from doing). The mistress is beautiful, with large eyes like a Shin and darker skin like a Makabaki, but the tall build of an Alethi. She also has light violet eyes and her presence scares them so they tread lightly around her.
The mistress asks for her tools as they enter the Hallowed Hall where Ashno keeps his images of the Kadasix. She begins slashing paintings and small works of art starting with a painting of Epan, Lady of Dreams.
Beyond sneaking into palaces, Baxil and Av’s job seems to consist mostly of carrying around the mistress’s tools and acting as lookouts, which leaves them plenty of time to talk with each other. Baxil mentions he is thinking of "seeking the Old Magic" by visiting the Nightwatcher. Av warns him off from doing so as his close family has chased the Old Magic in the past, and no good has come of it. With each boon the Nightwatcher grants, you are also cursed. Av’s father, for example, had to live the rest of his life seeing the world upside down.
Baxil wants to ask the Nightwatcher for courage, believing that if he wasn’t such a coward, the mistress might look upon him as "more than just hired muscle." The mistress soon returns for her mallet (to destroy a large statue), and she idly mentions trying to procure a Shardblade in order to make quick work of such things in the future, though it "might make it too easy."
Baxil worries over the hammering of the statue, as the noise may draw attention. Av points out that is probably why she left it for last. As she finishes, Baxil asks Av why she did this. Av suggests if Baxil isn’t fond of his limbs, he’s free to ask the mistress himself. Inwardly, Baxil decides that he will search out the Old Magic.
- by Michael Pye
Quote of the Chapter:
|“|| "I could phrase my request perfectly," Baxil said.
"Doesn’t work that way," Av said. "It’s not a game, no matter how the stories try to put it. The Nightwatcher doesn’t trick you or twist your words. You ask a boon. She gives what she feels you deserve, then gives you a curse to go along with it. Sometimes related, sometimes not."
"And you’re an expert?" Baxil asked.
It has been postulated that Baxil's mistress is Shalash. However, when asked at a book-signing whether it could reasonably be assumed that she is, in fact, his mistress, Brandon replied that it could be reasonably assumed but that he couldn't confirm it. However, it has been confirmed that Baxil's mistress destroyed the statue of Shalash in King Gavilar's palace in Kholinar and that Shalash is Jezrien's daughter. So ... ?