It was an uncommonly quiet night in the Cat's Lair. The dozens of tables inside Britain's famous tavern are typically soaked with spilled ale and spirits, and their benches bent under the weight of the many patrons. Tonight, however, the tables were dry and the seats did not creak. This suited Thorpe just fine. The Detective scanned the tavern one last time before sitting down at a table where two men waited, drinks already in hand. "Lookin' fer somethin' are ye?" One of the men asked. Though somewhat short in height and obviously more than a little effected by the drink, he nonetheless had the look of someone dangerous as he lounged in one of the few soft chairs in the tavern, a small axe propped nearby. Thorpe shook his head before he replied, "Habit. How long have you two been here?" "I've only just arrived. Jeffrey, I think, has been here for some time from the looks of him," the second man replied, nodding to his inebriated companion. Thorpe snorted as he gave a slight smile - about as close as he ever came to a laugh. "You should have seen him last week. I'm glad you decided to join us, Sir Andrew." Andrew the Kind, Knight of Britain, chuckled as Jeffrey through a biscuit at Thorpe, missing by three feet. Though older than both other men by a number of years, his great red beard and and the laugh lines near his eyes gave the impression of someone still full of energy. "It was my pleasure. And just 'Andrew' please - at least while we are among ourselves. Besides, I will be retired again shortly." "Yes, so I hear. It seems as if you are the one who has taken all of the blame for dissapointing some of the Governors recently," Thorpe stated. "Gaah! He didn' want ta be sittin' in them meetin's any longer anyhow, did ye?" Jeffrey blurted before Andrew could respond. The Knight pursed his lips into a small frown before shaking his head and responding, "I was actually beginning to grow fond of being the King's Viceroy. Still, I DID disregard their counsel by risking the Artifacts to retrieve the King. I do still have a bit of work to do before I am retired again - it would seem I am being sent to Zento. We have not lived up to our promise of medical aid, so the King would like me to help the process along." Thorpe nodded. "At least it would seem the Empress is content with us keeping the Artifact we recovered in Tokuno." "Content. I'll tell ye what I'M content with - not havin' to chase down any more artifacts, or clues, or havin' to wade through any more swamps or snow!" Jeffrey exlaimed. "Still upset about having to go to Nox Tereg?" Thorpe asked, smiling. He ducked as another biscuit sailed over his head, this one hitting a patron three tables over. "Ow! Ohnicethrow, yastupididio..." the patron began, before realizing who he was rapidly insulting. Jeffrey shrugged before apologizing, "Sorry, Moody. Fer a smart investigator, he has a small head!" Rolling his eyes at Jeffrey, Andrew turned back to Thorpe and asked, "What of the Pentad of Power? Do you have any idea yet what it does, or what that imp could want with it?" The past year had been a difficult one, as Jeffrey and Thorpe, at Andrew's direction, sought five powerful items known as the "Artifacts of the Pentad of Power" which, when brought together, called forth the Pentad itself. In doing so, they continued the quest of an adventurer named Benambra, who lived over three hundred years prior. They were not alone in this endeavour, as the undead wizard and master of demons, Relvinian, also sought the Artifacts. In the end, the Artifacts were brought together, and the Pentad summoned. It was taken, however, by the enigmatic imp that has plagued the Kingdom with his tricks and riddles in recent years. Thorpe had no fresh answers - only new questions. "Not now," he stated with a slow shake of his head, "maybe not ever." The three men sat in silence for a moment, considering the implications of an unknown power being held by such an unpredictable being. Jeffrey broke the silence with a grunt, and signaled the barkeeper to bring another round. "Well, tha King is safe, tha Kingdom is sound, Relvinian has crawled back in ta tha dirt he came from, and Olivia is back in charge o' tha Guards. Oh, and Andrew is almost retired again! I can't complain, given I thought I was goin' ta rot in that hole I was stuck in." Thorpe grinned. Try as he might to hide it, Jeffrey was an optimist at heart. A server arrived, delivering three fresh pints to Britannia's stalwart defenders. Froth spilled from one as Jeffrey grasped his glass and raised it into the air. "Ta what do we drink, then?" he asked. "Kingdom?" Andrew nodded before adding, "And to the Virtues. And those who fell in their defense." Both men looked to Thorpe, whose face suddenly turned serious. "Here's to the next evil ******* we face, and the day he wishes he had never left the cover of the shadows." ~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is it! I'm going to die! "Peter! Peter where did you go!?" Bethany. "Run! Do you hear me? Get to the Abbey! RUN!" Peter gasped for breath, finding it difficult to continue running after having shouted to warn Bethany. Not difficult. Impossible. His run slowed to a stumble, until finally he slumped forward against a tree. He turned to face his pursuer...to find nothing. "Wh...what?" Bewildered, he looked around the woods, squinting in what little light could be found just before dawn. Suddenly, he felt the ground under him move. Not with a tremble did it shake, but with a squirm. Paralyzed with fear, he could only watch as a gaping maw opened in the forested floor beneath him. "Bethany!" ~~~~~~~~~~~~ WHAT: ??? WHERE: ??? WHEN: Sunday, June 29th, 5pm EST.