After a long night in the taverns, hoping for rumors of the strange happenings, I woke with a start...what was I suppose to do this morning? Something important. Dahlia! I had a meeting with her this morning.
Already late I rushed into the hall, finding a seat towards the back.
Seeing me Dahlia shook her head and returned to her conversation with Lady Thalia. "Are you sure you wouldn't like the job of spy mistress? You would be perfect."
Smiling, Lady Thalia shook her head. "No, thank, you would need to talk to Artemis." Thalia then pointed to me. "Maybe our bard, Tamais."
Dahlia laughed. "There is a Tavern precariously close to the castle. Now, I must report to the King. Wait here and one of the others should stumble in. " Bowing as she left.
Not long after I heard the door open. Turning around I saw a robed figure. She was scratching her head while reading some notes. "Hello, who are you?" I asked.
"Ah... good... good day Governor." she looked up. "I am Thistle...hello."
"Hi, apparently you are a spy," Catalyst observed.
She nodded her head "Governors? I think I'm in the wrong place...If you'll excuse... me..."
"Wait." I walked over to her. "Did you bring a message?"
Confused she looked around. "No, Yes...but you're a Governor?"
Yes, but I also work with Dahlia, Evidias and Captain Corian." I told her, "and I'm the King's Bard."
"Just come on in. " Sippin Coffee insisted. "We don't want to have to make you."
Thistle backed towards the door. " I didn't know Governor could be... *shakes her head* No matter." She looked back her notes. "This is out in Ocllo. You all have swords I assume?"
Several held up their swords. Others told her they were either mages or tamers. Reassured, she smiled at us. " Good! Okay, then I can take you." Going out the door, she tripped on her robe stumbling. I reached to steady her.
Outside she opened a gate for us. Seeing its red color, I hesitated, then followed the others through it. We arrived in the center of Ocllo. There Thistle took out map. I tried to get a glimpse over her shoulder.
She seemed to be having trouble reading the map. "Hum, this is poorly written." Thistle pulled off her robe. "This robe is too hot."
"Can I help? I'm pretty good with maps." I offered.
Ignoring my offer, she looked around. "Pretty sure this isn't the woods...which way was it..." She took off running. We were close behind.
Suddenly she fell into a hole.
"This really screams trap." Thalia observed. Agreeing, we ready ourselves for a battle.
"Are you okay?" I called down. "Where are you?"
"Some...dark...cave.." Thistle called back.
"A cave?" Thalia shouted to her. "Can you get out?"
"I'm looking for a ledge to grab..." she replied. "There is a drop at the bottom."
Well guess I might as well join her, I thought to myself as I looked for the hole. "Thistle, I'd come to help but I can't find the hole."
"It is under the false rug." she told me. "What is a false rug doing out there."
Carefully I used my foot to brush dirt and grass until I uncovered the rug. Pulling it aside, I took a deep breath and jump. "Its not far. Come on down." I informed the others.
Then I began to investigate the cave. Turning a corner, I ran into a dragon/Weld type creature.
It looked down at me and growled. "I am One Who is Without All Dreams. You cannot comprehend my power!"
Warning the others, I hurried from the cave to prepare for battle. With a roar, the creature followed. Outside it summoned glowing gold llamas, Twisted Natures,
I soon needed the services of a healer. I found Thistle the Spy close by.
She tilted her head listening. "Do you hear odd horse like sounds?" She asked me.
I could hear something. I followed the sound back to the cave. "Seems to be coming from in here." Carefully going inside, I found a Purple Unicorn.
"Hum, a unicorn can't be dangerous...can it." I slowly walked up to it.
"Careful." Thistle shook her head. "I'm not sure. Llamas aren't usually either. We should try to capture it."
I quickly found myself running for dear life. "It's Dangerous!" I shouted running out of the cave.
Thistle joining me. "Why is it attacking us, It looked so peaceful."
When the unicorn came out of the cave, its spell caused the world to go grey.
Resurrected. I found Thistle shivering in fear. "I have a bad feeling about all of this..." She ran off.
I hurried back to the battle to help. I found Dahlia looking at the carnage.
"What happened here?" she demanded. " I go off and you all get to adventuring on your own?"
"Just how did you find this place?" she asked with the "Look".
"Well..." I stammered. "You see, a spy, Thistle came to a get us. She needed help with a strange map...and well we fell into a hole and ended up here."
"What do you mean a spy led you here. All of the spies were busy." Dahlia picked up a strand of green hair, some of the dye rubbing off on her fingers."
"Like I said...trap." Thalia said joining us.
"I never sent anyone." Dahlia wiped the dye off her fingers.
"Wait...you were going to bring us here?" I asked.
"No, not here, to Ocllo." She shook here head. "I'm not even sure how you got here. Your trail was tough to follow."
"Strange, I wonder who did send her and why?" I mused.
"I'm not sure, but it appears to have something to do with Ocllo at least." Dahlia frowned. "This is the fourth city in as many weeks where something strange has happened...First Umbra, then Delucia, Papua, now Ocllo."
I bent down to pick up a parchment. "There doesn't seem to be a pattern." I handed Dahlia the parchment. "Look at this."
Dahlia studied it. "The note, while it appears to be on Royal parchment..." she opened a vial and dipped a corner in.
"Someone was trying to be clever." She put the parchment away.
"And we fell right into their trap." I sighed.
"I wouldn't say a trap...if feels more like a message. Dahalia replied "But what are they trying to say."
"That we are gullible?" Thalia said.
"No, Was it just a warning that Ocllo was following the rest?" Dahlia smiled at Thalia. "We didn't know about Ocllo before this note."
"That is possible." I agreed.
Dahlia turned to me. "Governor Tamias, could you send word to the other governors to keep an eye out for odd occurrences in their cities?"
"I will do that. " I started to make a list in my mind. "I'll also alert the elves in heartwood."
"That would be well. I'll have to send a letter to Ter-Mur." " Dahalia paused. "Today might have just been a message... but Marouk has discovered something."
"Oh? Is it about the strange events?" I asked hopefully.
"Possible. He found an old story, that spoke of cities falling to a madness. Followed by a strange old man, who wore grey. He looked old and haggard, a long beard and grey hair." Dahlia explained. "First the madness, then the old man who wanders..."
"That fits what has been happening." I said.
Dahlia agreed. "There's more he says but he's having trouble translating it. Says it is in an old language the Weld learned."
"But would Time Without Dreams or Evidias or maybe Agaris know?"
Thalia suggested. "or perhaps one of those other weld clans?"
"He had the same thought." Dahlia replied, "He's having the other older ones, Time Without Dreams, Agaris, help him. We're not quite sure how Agaris know the words." Dahlia sighed. "Evidias is no help, she's sequestered in the dark and refuses to let any light or candle in."
"Why is that? her nightmares?" I asked concerned.
"Could the nightmares have been a voice whispering in her mind?" Thalia added.
Dahlia shrugged, "We aren't sure. The nightmares stopped and now she refuses to be near light." She stopped looking around at the small battles that still continued. "Anyhow, if you all could clean up here. I'll see you soon. I need to go deal with this Ambassador.
She grinned," I'm waiting for him to be eating that hot soup he's cooking. I'm hoping he'll spill it on himself when I tell him his idea is preposterous, and that we're well aware he has a device that can listen in from close distances."
"Ah, so that is the little bird he spoke of." I remembered the times he had known what was happening."
Dahlia nodded, "I saw him using it one day and noted to the King of it's existence.
"Remain vigilant and if you see that fake spy..." Dahlia opened her spell book. "We'll need to be prepared for some fighting in the coming weeks. So keep your weapons sharp and ready.
I rubbed my hands in anticipation of catching her. "You can count on us detaining her."
After Dahlia left, I returned to the cave to help clean up any remaining mobs. To my surprise, golden unicorns had joined the battle...fighting the llamas.
Seeing that I was not needed. I hurried off to meet with the other Governors. I decided that after those meetings, I'd return again to the taverns. Now I knew what I was listening for.
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Thistle, The Fake Spy
After advising the other Governors for Dahlia, I began going to the taverns to listen for news. Staring into my goblet of wine, I reflected on...