1. Ainir is lifted, ahem, derived from Old Norse einir (juniper)
2. The whole idea of juniper mead is partly inspired by gin (which uses juniper), but it's definitely not gin. Probably something closer to slivovitz - nice and sweet and will knock you out before you know it.
Unknown assassins hound the steps of Marshal Areghyr Deguisay, the supreme commander of the Halcian Republic. As the attack gets blamed on the neighbouring kingdom of Bereg and the senate cries for vengeance, Deguisay's surviving adjutants struggle to uncover the real enemy. Wish them luck, because nothing in Halcian high politics is what it seems - including, perhaps, Deguisay himself.
Meanwhile in Bereg, a court seer needs no magic to foresee a war her people can't possibly win…