Three days in the dark, avoiding the eyes of those that would see their lives ended. And still they struggle against their chains, to turn the prison upon its side before claiming it for their own.
With Callisa Ni, Ryu’ Ve-Ke’rehl and Adeya have made a partnership. With investments of 50,000 gold and 40,000 gold respectively the pair now control 50% of the profit of the trading expedition to the cities of the deep elves. But by necessity they have not met her in person, only delivered the residium surreptitiously.
Seeking to expose Teodil Ghol as a dragon Adeya attempted to dominate him, but succeeding in nothing more than alerting the council that they were still in grave danger, leading to a quick conviction (2 to 1) of those that were accused of creating the Gray Forest. And one of the items that could prove their innocence, the ritual book, was lost during the attack upon the Jade Plateau.
This has spread the guardians of the city thin as there has been a sharp escalation of violence between elves and humans, violence that seems to be driven wholly by race. Soldiers now patrol the streets in numbers unseen in years, and it is the clearing of the Gray Forest from the Jade Plateau that has suffered. At this rate it will take months to purge the infestation.
Attempting to fan the flames of unrest Adeya has used her powers to instigate acts of hate. Both the markets of the Merchant Rise and the dam have seen the fruits of her labors, both human and elf dying in equal measure. Though the city has yet to boil over, such actions push the situation towards such a conclusion.
As their eyes upon the streets, the Sun Sisters seek to discover what the others cannot. Walking in the circles of the social elite, learning the secrets of Hakon Sind, Sunishra has stayed mostly out of trouble. Her progress has been steady and it may be time for Marcus Vermithrax to assume the mantle. The longer he waits the more difficult it will be to explain his return from the dead. Sunassa watches the council and the government. She has managed to keep broad track of their efforts, but she is not as close as she would like.
Sunedea had the unenviable task of tracking the movements of Garnet. But ever since Deliana Lienne had placed all 50 of her agents on the street, actively gathering reconnaissance, learning anything about Garnet had been extremely difficult. But with the pressure placed upon those that seek to control the city, mistakes were bound to happen…
Sunedea had been playing spy games with the agents of Garnet for almost a week now. Ever since the information gathering organization had been pulled into the events surrounding the Obsidian Pillar and the others were arrested for treason Deliana had had her people hitting the streets hard. And though the Sun Sisters could play this game as well as anyone else, ‘Edea had been on the defensive almost continuously since then.
But today was turning out to be different. One of Sunedea’s sources, a waitress doing temporary work up and down the Merchant Rise, had accepted a job covering for an ill serving girl at one of the high end taverns in Xairus, an establishment squarely under Garnet’s control. And in a serendipitous turn of events, Deliana herself was scheduled to meet with a client there at the same time. Finally one step ahead of her quarry Sunedea had plenty of time to place the Messenger Doll somewhere it wouldn’t be found. At that point all she had to do was wait.
Sitting within the tavern, nursing a drink she wasn’t terribly interested in, Sunedea was surprised to see Sietten Dieu step into the establishment and make his way back to the meeting room the warlord knew Deliana would be using. She had little time to ponder what the upstanding captain wanted with the master of Garnet though as Deliana was only a minute behind him. With both of them locked away in the room in the back, confident in their own privacy, ‘Edea listened in through the doll she had secreted away.
“Good morning to you Deliana.” began Sietten.
“Save it. What was so damn important I had to meet you right away? You know I do not like to have these meetings without fully vetting the arrangements.” Deliana responded, doing nothing to hide the venom in her voice.
“Do we have to do this? This is ridiculous.” The captain protested.
“Yes, we do. Just because the rest of you seem to care little about keeping your secrets does not mean I am similarly afflicted.”
“Fine. The Silver Regent as need of your services.”
“And what does Anastas want that’s so damn important?”
“Have you been paying any attention at all to the city?”
“Of course I have, but we have weathered worse. You would think a dragon as long lived as Anastas would be able to keep at least a measure of perspective.”
“Enough Deliana. I’m not here to argue with you. Like it or not, your regent has a request of you.”
There was an exasperated sigh from Deliana, but then silence until Sietten began speaking again.
“What do you know of those that were recently convicted of treason for the raising for the Gray Forest?”
“Nothing, the same as when Larisa asked me.”
“I find it hard to believe you know nothing of something of this import.”
“And why is that? You know how I get my information. What makes you think they have come anywhere near my circles?”
“Because everyone does eventually. You have no blind spots in this city.”
“While I appreciate your confidence, that does not change the fact that I can not help you.”
“Very well. But if you do learn anything our regent must be told immediately. Just proceed with caution. Callisa has apparently met with them before and is making an effort to draw them out. Don’t foul her work.”
“Fine. What else?” Deliana pressed.
“Have you spoken with Petera Tene?”
“No, I don’t deal with her or the Verdant Mandate. Other than staying clear I have little interest in the machinations of tricksters pretending to be terrorists.”
“It would be wise to reconsider. Larisa believes that the recently unrest between the elves and humans is staged, a plan of the copper’s to force Anastas’ hand to put her rebellion down. The Anarus may also take advantage of the chaos to finally destroy the dam.”
“The Anarus are toothless old blacks. They have been trying to turn the Arien Taur into a swamp for more millennia than I can count. I do not expect them to have any more success than they have had.”
There was silence for a time, probably a gesture from Sietten that was lost. But a moment later he continued to talk.
“And what of Anelace?”
“Goncal is keeping a tight leash on his people at the moment. But I don’t doubt that they will take advantage of any openings that present themselves.”
“That’s as good as we can expect I guess.”
“Is there anything else?”
“No, that’s all I was asked to pursue.”
“Good, I have work to do.”
There was the sound of wood sliding across wood as chairs were moved around and their former occupants rose to their feet. But as Sunedea started to hear the sounds of footsteps Deliana called out, “One more thing Sietten. Rem Moana has hired Mikaere Ohe to kill you.”
The captain sighed before answering. “This was bound to happen sooner or later. I guess I’m not surprised he’s taking advantage of the situation to see me killed. I certainly have enough to focus on as it is to be sufficiently distracted. Thank you Zy… Deliana.”
“This makes us even Sietten.”
The captain chuckled briefly. “Of course it does. Have a good day Deliana.”
The master of Garnet said nothing in response as the captain stepped out of the room, past the still drinking Sunedea and out into the streets of Xairus. Ten minutes later Deliana followed in his steps, disappearing into the traffic of the Merchant Rise.
Ever the professional ‘Edea finished her drink and ordered another, not leaving for another half hour. But as she sat and waited she was having a rather intense conversation with her siblings. This was the mother lode and could turn the entire situation on its ear. But they couldn’t help but remember the last time they had struck such an impressive find.