For the first time in nearly a decade, The Hand of Treachery imagined, Empathy Abbey was the center of a swirling vortex of conflict and political change. He wondered briefly how the monks and pilgrims within it's walls felt about that. The answer didn't actually matter. Like so many things, it was a tool to be used as needed and discarded when no longer useful. Omen Tailamont rode- as he had so many times before- past it's high stone walls, the Hand of Guile, Rojhan D'Amavir close in tow. They were rapidly approaching the area where, just hours before, he had finally run into Dramora, the Mistress of Virtues confirming that she was- in fact- back in Yew. The altercation between the two had eventually escalated into a fight. He thought for a second he could still see some of her blood from where he had left her unconscious body laying in the grass. "Does the name Dramora mean anything to you?" he asked as they rode along. Rojhan thought for a moment before answering. "Vaguely," the younger man shrugged as he continued. "I've heard it some time over the years.' Omen only nodded as they continued along the road. His gaze swept against the wood-line as they rode and he knew that out there, somewhere in the shadows also rode the Hands of Retaliation, Blood and Slaughter. The three would be careful to remain out of sight, however, should the need arise, he knew they would be ready. A flash of white through an otherwise sea of dull colored robes towards the Abbey caught his gaze. "It couldn't be..." he muttered to himself. Gillian Gryphon and her white dress were headed towards the Abbey. "Not twice in one day..." The two men heeled their mounts into a quicker pace and veered towards the Governor of Yew. They slowed again and finally came to a halt in front of her. Omen watched as her eyes closed briefly and she seemed to mutter a curse under her breath. "Twice in one day?" she asked the Hand of Treachery. "Rojhan," Omen motioned to the dangerous man. "May I introduce Gillian Gryphon. She's the one responsible for the brutal attack we suffered in the Abbey the other night. She sent her foreign army of blood-thirsty mongrels to do her dirty work." The Hand of Guile considered the woman. "Do you often send people to attack innocent citizens and disregard Yew law not to shed blood within the Abbey walls?" Gillian regarded to duo coldly. "I didn't send anyone to do anything," she spat, "You've been misinformed, I'm afraid." There was another brief pause. "Since you bring it up, however, you claim to be from Yew, do you not?" Omen nodded. "I've considered this place my home for many years, that's true. As has Mikael." "Then, I wonder, how can you be so accepting of The Hand's attacks on innocent Yew citizens?" He waved her words away. "MIkael D'Amavir has always stood as a protector of Yew. At no time have any innocent people ever been harmed under his watch. He would never stand by and allow that to happen." "Not like Aedon did," Rojhan offered, adjusting in his saddle. "He didn't lift a finger to help as unarmed citizens were brutally attacked... within the Abbey, no less. What do you call that?" Again Gillian regarded the two men. "Aedon has only ever protected Yew. He's a good man." Omen laughed. "Aedon has only ever cared about one thing: seeing his precious Glade prosper. He'd gladly throw the entire city to the wolves if it meant the Village of Aegis would survive," The Hand of Treachery shrugged, "He's a tyrant." "That's not true," she stated flatly. "Aedon has stayed while so many others have come and gone- including yourselves." "That's what tyrants do- they stay and suck the land dry of everything that is good and decent. And now, the two of you invite armed foreigners with no regard for Yew law or customs... You both show your true colors." "I didn't invite them," she insisted once again. "You need to talk to Aedon and your husband about that," Omen shrugged. "They both readily admitted to me that they were here at your invitation- and given your ties to Skara, you can see how that paints a very damning picture." Gillian only shrugged. "My ties to Skara Brae don't run as deeply as you've been led to believe. I'm from Britain," she glared at the Hand of Treachery "and, I didn't invite them here. I don't want them here." "Then send them home," Rojhan chimed in, shrugging his shoulders. "Send them back to Skara." Her icy gaze shifted to The Hand of Guile. "You send them home if you want them gone so badly." "You are offering to concede the enforcement of the law in Yew to The Hand?" Rojhan asked. "I haven't decided yet," she answered. The Hand of Treachery was actually having trouble believing what he was hearing. "What would it take to sway that decision?" All of the time he had spent maneuvering and plotting, weeks of careful preparation and information gathering had all come down to this moment. It was sooner than he had anticipated, to be sure, and, he had thought they were weeks, if not months away from this point; yet, here it was- unceremoniously thrust upon him due to a seemingly random ride near the Abbey! The Abbey that had seen so much history over the years was about to be witness to yet more. The Governor of Yew considered Omen's words for a moment before answering. "You would have to promise that the innocent families of Yew would not be harmed in any way." Omen absorbed the not unexpected words. Who was to say who was innocent and who was guilty of anything? Especially considering that Mikael D'Amavir's Hand was about to be appointed the enforcement of the law in Yew! "I promise," he said almost immediatly. "No innocent citizen of Yew will be harmed," he watched the young woman closely as he spoke the next few words. "In exchange, you will reaffirm Mikael D'Amavir as the Protector of Yew, as is his rightful title. You will declare it to be inviolate, now and forever." Gillian only nodded. "We would need the decree delivered in person as well as in writing," Rojhan added. "Do that and we will take over the protection of Yew." Gillian nodded again. "Give me forty-eight hours to make my decision and make arrangements." Omen Tailamont nodded. "As you say, Govenor," he offered with a smile. "We'll be in touch, m'lady." As Gillian Gryphon made her way away from the men and towards the Abbey, Rojhan turned to The Hand of Treachery a final time. "I don't know what you are talking about, my friend," he said with a slight smile. "I find her to be quite reasonable." The Hand members departed, heading back towards Dread Keep. For Omen Tailamont, his bad day had just gotten slightly better; at least he could soften the blow of his attack on Dramora with the news they had finally secured The Hand of Terror the City of Yew. Omen Tailamont >H< The Hand of Treachery ICQ: 22265202 "The only way to make good is to be bad."