Walking into the hall, I heard someone stumble behind me. Turning, I found only the strong smell of ale.
"Greetings Hiccup.?" I asked moving back from the smell.
Nervously Hiccup looked around the hall, surprised by the large numbers of people. "I came to find the Lady. Have you seen her?"
"Lady Evidias hasn't arrived yet." Lady Thalia told him.
Hiccup shook his head, "No, not her...the Lady...the master."
I saw the others were are confused as I was. "A lady who is the master?"
*Hic* "I must find her. I have important news." Swaying he sat down. *Hic* "I found something strange." He paused "Do you hear that?"
Listening, I heard a scrabbling rustling noise outside. The other Spies nodded. They had heard it also.
Hiccup grabbed my arm, "Don't open it! She sent the bugs to kill me!" he shouted.
Pushing Hiccup back, we attacked the strange bugs. I shivered, bugs...why bugs. I hate bugs.
Focused on healing , I didn't see a bug make for Hiccup. "Help!" he cried .
Moving to guard him, I asked, "Where did you find these?"
Keeping a wary eye on the bugs, Hiccup explained. "See, I didn't have an assignment. *hic* So I wandered over by Vesper...in the woods...north of the shrine.
Stumbling he paused to drink from his flask. "I heard someone chanting. Figuring I could sneak up, I went to investigate."
He took another drink. "Thought I was seeing things...not that I had that much to drink mind you." I nodded to encourage him. "She saw me and ordered them to attack. One tried to take a bite out of me."
I thought about what he told me. "Can you take us there?"
"Yes" Trying to get his rune book,Hiccup fumbled and dropped it. Picking it back up, he proposed a plan.
We agreed to the plan. Drunk, Hiccup wouldn't be much help. "We will go once these bugs are dealt with."
Soon we were ready...bugs dead...pets and warriors alive. "Open the gate please and we will go investigate."
Hiccup quickly opened it...stopping me before I could go through,
"I took this from her pocket. May be you can read it."
Putting it away to look at later, I stepped through the gate.
Arriving at the shrine, we found Hiccup's lady.
Seeing us she stopped her spell. "Ah, you have come to be...I mean make a sacrifice?" She said with an wicked smile.
"No," I shook my head. "We just wanted to met you and ask if this is yours."
I took out the parchment Hiccup gave to me. "A friend gave this to me.
She looked carefully at it. "Yes, it is.
Seeing the gleam in Alicia's eyes, Neptune nugged me. "I don't trust her. It's our only clue."
Returning it to my pocket, I smiled. "I love poetry. Could you recite some?"
Nervously her lips twitched. "If you give that back, I'll write a poem just for you." She raised her hands...long fingers and a fragile wrist.
Her words summoned Solen warriors and Corpse Reavers. We barely had time to prepare for battle.
Battle raging, I watch Alicia casting a spell, "Hasa'rum Iziteq" on the Reavers. Touching their bodies, she grew stronger. Then she gathered Solen blood and poured it on the pillars.
Fearing what she was summoning, Lady Thalia started pouring water on the pillars as fast as Alicia poured on the blood.
"Stop! Defiler!" Alicia franticaly tried to dry off the pillars. "Stay away you foul thing!"
Ignoring her, Lady Thalia continued..
I reached out to grab Alicia's hand. Twisting out away she ran to an open gate. "I've failed you...I can do better."
Lady Thalia glared at the Fiery Lady. I could almost read her thoughts, "How can things get worse."
"I'm sorry you missed the party but you are welcome to join us now." I assured the Fiery Lady.
Looking at Lady Thalia, the Fiery Lady laughed. "I was at the tavern when a strange little man came in talking about blood sacrifices. Though he was drunk, I decided to come." Walking to the pillars, she read the symbols.
"The lady didn't like me doing it." explained Lady Thalia.
The Fiery Lady smiled at her. "Quick thinking, you washed away the pillars power. Who knows what would have happened if you hadn't"
Turning pointed at me. "What is that falling out of your pocket?"
I handed it to her "Hiccup gave it to me after taking it from Alicia."
The Fiery Lady frowned. "Yes, It is Emporium, but aren't they all dead?
"Do you mean the Traversis Emporium? Lady Thalia asked.
"That could be what they called themselves. she nodded thoughtfully. "I knew a couple, but haven't heard from them in a while. Pehaps you did take care of them."
"My Lady, we have had trouble from a Traversis Rabbit. Could he be one?" I questioned.
She raised her eyebrows in surprise. "Yes, that is one. He is still around?" she began laughing. "Weird little guy, I wonder how he kept the polymorph spell on for so long...old magic."
"There is also a lady." Thalia added.
"Yes definitely Emporium. I knew one who could write this." She said thoughfully. "After they tried to seal me away, I killed them all. she began to count on her fingers...1...2...3...9 centuries ago.
But what does the parchment say? I asked.
"Are you sure you want to know?" The Fiery Lady looked at again.
I shivered, "not good."
The Fiery Lady glanced at me. "It says don't anger it as it will likely tear you in two."
"Why does that not surprised me." I muttered. "Something else that wants to eat me."
"Hum, there is more. They need a secure passage to here." The Fiery Lady looked puzzled. "From the other side? Where is that?"
"Could that be the other side of Skybark?" I suggested.
"No matter." Smiling she opened a gate. "Shall we go to another party?'
Reluctantly we stepped through the gate. Arriving, she pointed to a trail of magic. The trail is full of old magic."
We followed her through the forest. "Something is surpressing my magic." she said frowning. Then we saw him.
Looking up he glared at us. "And just what is the offer for safe passage this time? More trinkets?"
Carefully I approached him, "Hail mightly one. Who do you mean? No one sent us."
"The ones on the other side." he answered, his voice crackling like thunder.
With a growl, Tirest the Awoken stood up. "I don't want the riches you offer. I want what the Emporium took.
"What is it that Elder one?" Lady Thalia bravely asked. "We don't know what you are speaking of."
"Little rat, don't pretend." Tirest stepped closer. Give me what is mine and I might show you mercy."
Stepping back I tried to reasure him. "Great one, we aren't not being coy. We really don't know what was taken. Tell what it is and we will help get it back."
Tirest looked at me, his sharp teeth gleaming in the sun. "Our Obelisk, it has protected us from times long forgotten."
"I will help." Lady Thalia told him. "I am a friend of the Weld."
As soon as Lady Thalia said that, I knew it was a mistake.
Tirest the Awoken growled showing sharp teeth. "Weld, the betrayers! take this message back to your allies...masters." his voice crackling with thunder. With a roar, he summoned Corpse Reavers "Kill the followers of traitors!"
Seeing the Corpse Reavers quickly surrounded and killed, Tirest the Awoken began to crush them. "Useless creatures...a waste in bringing." he growled biting the head off another.
"Why attack us?" I asked from what I hoped was a safe distance. "We offered to help you."
In rage, Tirest roared. "To send them a message.
A long battle filled with many deaths. Slowly the warriors, dragons, and summons attacked until at last Tirest the Awoken's body was at our feet.
Battle won, the Fiery Lady reappeared.
After I explained what had happened, she shook her head in disbelief. "He accused the Weld of betrayal? What is this obelisk...made by the old ones he spoke of?"
"I don't know My Lady." I replied. "We are as puzzled as you are."
"But the little Blue one is trying to save them." The Fiery Lady frowned. "Is she in danger?"
"Possibly," I replied looking at the skeletons littering the ground. "This was a message...only the first I fear."
"Evidias is my friend." Lady Thalia declared firmly. "No one will harm her under my protection."
The Fiery Lady was quiet as she thought. "A person came to meet with this Ancient one...did he know who they were?"
"Someone seeking passage." I replied, "Those who took the Obelisk."
"Areum didn't lie then." the Fiery Lady muttered. Remembering us, she looked up. "He said he found away to cross the boundaries...I thought he was kidding. Until I saw how Minax was killing Skybark.
The Fiery Lady smiled, "I must report this to that handsome Captain Corian. Turning to Lady Thalia, "So we agree that the little Blue One must be protected."
Lady Thalia gave her a reluctant nod. "We are as long as you don't try to hurt my friends...otherwise."
"Good." the Fiery Lady poofed away.
"Poor Corian, who is going to protect him." I whispered.
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Traversis Emporium Returns?
I listened in disbelief as Hiccup told me of the strange lady. After all he had been in the ale...from the smell lots of ale. I soon found he...