Things weren't moving nearly fast enough for his satisfaction. Omen Tailamont watched in consternation as an arc of blood ripped through the morning air, spraying the people nearest the doomed woman. Her body crumpled to the ground in an unceremonious thud as people began to scream in panic. "Anyone else," he heard the Hand of Terror ask rhetorically. It was hard to feel any sympathy for the stupid woman; when a group of men who were clearly armed and with dangerous intent showed up and demanded your loyalty the last thing you do is speak out in opposition to them. She had gotten what the weak and ignorant always deserved. No, it wasn't the dead body splayed out on the dirt road that vexed him. The Hand of Treachery's discomfort stemmed, instead, from a lack of information regarding the Governor of Yew, Gillian Gryphon. He knew she was the key- at least... for the moment. His informant had yet to return, a fact that irritated the mage to no end. That was a problem for another time, however, it left him with precious little understanding of the woman and her motivations; information that was crucial to him planning the next move. He thought of everything that had happened since their return- they had slaughtered a patrol of Rangers; to say nothing of a tavern full of patrons as retribution for actions taken at the Knights Rest Inn- an incident neither the Village of Aegis nor the Rangers of Skara Brae had really even acknowledged much to the mage's surprise. In addition to that, Mikael D'Amavir had slaughtered a man from the Knights Rest Inn as well as the man's wife, though, in the process letting a young girl slip through his fingers... The Hand of Treachery thought about the little girl. She was a regrettable loose end that certainly needed to be tied... His gaze shifted back to the clamor of the crowd over the dead woman's body. "And, now, this..." he whispered to himself silently. Mikael D'Amavir believed he could brute force the entire world into submission and, who knows; maybe he could. Maybe it would work. For a time. Omen Tailamont knew the truth, though. He had been there the last time they had played this particular hand of cards. He had watched as Mikael's tactics had galvanized the population against them, pushing Yew into a years long insurgency that had devastated the lands. Omen was attempting to prevent history from repeating itself and The Hand of Terror's tactics- while effective for their shock value- were a threat to that. If the population were going to raise up against them again, there was certainly no need to hurry that eventuality along. Right now, the forces arrayed against them were disorganized, fractured and weakened. They were exactly how they needed to be for The Hand to take control. But, Mikael would always be Mikael, to be sure; he loved his theatrics. All the Hand of Treachery could do was to be prepared once the house of cards began to crumple. As far as he could tell, there was really only one man remaining that could sound a loud enough rallying cry to bring people together. He was the only one with the institutional knowledge of The Hand to stop their plans. Aedon Durreah. If Gillian Gryphon was the short game, Aedon Durreah was easily the middle game. One way or another, Gillian Gryphon had to be brought to heel. Killing her wasn't an option; in fact, it served The Hand very little to have her removed. What little information he did have on the bartender turned political figure was that she certainly had a disreputable past and, while she may be the Governor, she wasn't very well liked. All he needed was the right leverage. If he could manipulate the Governor correctly, he would be able to neutralize Aedon Durreah and move Mikael D'Amavir closer to controlling Yew. Two birds, one stone. He pulled the small paper from beneath his robes and read the note again. "I have heard you have interest in Yew as well as it's Governor." It was time to make his way towards Jhelom. Omen Tailamont >H< The Hand of Treachery ICQ: 22265202 "The only way to make good is to be bad."