Owls and Serpents
  1. Long before the Glantrian Civil War, the houses of Invernesse and Ambreville were rivals
  2. The crest of the Invernesse is an owl with a serpent in its clutches
  3. The Chateau housed a serpent god's avatar, suggesting an Ambreville affiliation with serpents and reinforcing the Invernesse affiliation with owls drawn from their crest.
  4. The principal inn of Malinbois is The Smoking Owl, which may be an allusion to the defeat of the Invernesse
  5. Is there a connection between the Invernesse and Les Hiboux. a town whose name means "the owls" in (ahem) High Glantrian? Is it the seat from which Rainier D'Invernesse sprang to lay claim to the Ghost Tower?
  6. What feelings does the tortured tutor of Invernesse's leader harbor towards the Crossed Swords? What does Rainier think of the Company's support of a usurping house?

## Richard Bluelip was tortured by an early iteration of the Company; Alphonse Bluelip is Rainier's tutor.

Owls

Under the dark yews which shade them,
The owls are perched in rows,
Like so many strange gods,
Darting their red eyes. They meditate.

Without budging they will remain
Till that melancholy hour
When, pushing back the slanting sun,
Darkness will take up its abode.

Their attitude teaches the wise
That in this world one must fear
Movement and commotion;

Man, enraptured by a passing shadow,
Forever bears the punishment
Of having tried to change his place.

— Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil (William Aggeler, trs.)

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