Lots of fun stuff in this chapter....So, Varina answers the question that is sort floating in the air...
"Toad speaks the truth," continued Varina. "The Old Friends were given two thousand years by the creative seven and not one second more. They must all leave by the stroke of midnight on the Fall Equinox, or they will die. Now of course, the plot thickens. One of the twelve wants to stay here in the World of the Humans. She has approached you for the same serum that you and Toad have used to suspend time in your own lives. The fountain of youth serum, isn't that what you call it?"
Well!!! A lot has suddenly been revealed here.
1. The Old Friends (remembering that the Old Friends are code for some thing / some one else, but of course) have to leave on the Fall Equinox - the "at the stroke of midnight" - to be exact - (another code) and the consequences of staying will be dire!!!!
2. One of the Friends (Junia) wants to stay. So, why does she want to stay? The reader is led to believe it is because of the "Fountain of Youth" serum. (She has fallen in love with being young...and will do anything to prevent the aging process and her needing to leave).........well, we could talk about that on and on - but perhaps for another ay ------- The serum, the reader will find out, does indeed cause rejuvenation (something that the world has long sought)...but is there more? Are there other reasons that Junia has in mind? What does she really still need to figure out and accomplish in the World of Humans.
3. For aficionados of the Chronicles, I go to great length to create characters that are neither all good nor all bad....:) except Skoll of course....Junia then does have reasons why she feels she needs to stay, reasons that one might argue contain some virtuous qualities, reasons that are not just self serving. In Chapter 39, she will explain some of this to the Shadowling when he visits her (one of my favorite chapters)...The real reason that Junia wants to stay.......................????? Well, this will be revealed in ---perhaps Book Two...depending on where the action goes...but eventually, the reader will understand.
4. Toad and Nibel have used similar batches of the serum to suspend time. So the serum does work and if you take away the serum, the old march of time will catch up with them. A dependency then !!!! Yes, indeed. Toad and Nibel have created a magic elixir that Junia now needs but at the same time - they need as well....Perhaps a fatal flaw. So I guess...........the moral of the story...be careful what you wish for :)
more on the chapter later