Using her training as a spy, Dahlia entered the hall unnoticed. "Greeting friends, I hope all is good."
Surprised at her voice, Lady Thalia quickly turned around. "Hail my Lady," she answered. "What news of the realm?"
Studying the parchments in her hand, Dahlia paused. "Things have been quiet, much to quiet. All we have are rumors of Minax's schemes."
"I've also heard those rumors." Tamais said. The spies nodded in agreement.
"Good news travels fast." Dahlia sighed, "But rumors travel faster."
"Aye, that sounds right." Drakmor replied. "Has the Fiery Lady found any truth behind the rumors?"
"I don't trust that lady. She is much too interested in Lady Evidias." Lady Thalia added. "She is as slippery as Minax."
Dahlia looked at the parchments. "I still don't see the Fiery Lady as a threat. I've been told that she has been seen in Felucca...attacking Minax's followers...then returning to Trammel."
"That is good news." Hilnus said.
"Not really," Dahlia responded. "Her attacks set several Felucca cities on fire."
Lady Thalia shook her head. "The killing of her friend strongly affected her. I fear that she is out for blood now. "
"But that is a worry for another time," Lady Dahlia began smiling. "I have found Merrick's hidden workshop. It was hidden by layers of protective magic."
"What was in the workshop?" Lady Thalia coaxed. "Was it his treasure or the prizes for the archery contest?"
Dahlia laughed. "Not the prizes, though I still think he kept them for himself and adding them to his pile of treasure."
"By now his treasure must be as large as dragon's hoard," Vyxen jested. "Surely as tall as a mountain."
"Now where was I...ah the workshop and Merrick's secret. It wasn't what I expected." Dahlia continued, "He was making....perhaps it would be better if I showed you." Dahlia lead the way out of the hall. "Go through the gate and follow the lanterns. I'll meet you there. Don't touch anything!"
Lady Thalia and her dragon friend, Artemis, stepped through the gate. Following the lanterns, she stopped in surprise. In front of her was a circle of weld statues, each made in honor of Evidias the Blue Weld. Carefully Thaila picked one up. "Merrick made these? Thalia asked puzzled. "But for what purpose?
Dahlia shrugged. "I think he carved them from memory. He seem to be trying to get them just right."
As Thalia replaced the statue, a cry rose from the cave. Looking at Dahlia, they rushed in. There they found the gathering surrounded by frozen elemental guardians. "I told you don't touch any thing!" Dahlia scolded as she joined the fight.
While there were few guardians, each struck with the power of a ancient wyrm. Slowly they were forced from the cave. Outside in the sun, the guardians began to lose strength, giving hope that the battle was won. Suddenly the ground shook as it tore apart.
The Alchemist's Nightmare, a giant Wyrm, rose from the ground. Lead by Lady Thalia, the attack was quickly organized. Tamers commanded their dragons to attack. Summons casted by mages, taking the brunt, aiding the warriors and dragons.
At last it fell...fading away till just a memory. A crate appeared where it had fallen.
"Typical of Merrick leaving traps for us." Lady Thalia said as she helped heal the dragons."
"No, I cleared away Merrick's traps. Those were left by Evidias to guard this crate." Dahlia carefully opened it and took a small Weld Stuffy out. She handed it to Lady Thalia, "This is why Merrick made the statues...a memory for those who fought and protected Evidias and the Weld.
Lady Thalia examined it. It was sewn with thread as fine as spider's silk. Each detail a perfect reflection of the Weld.
Dahlia opened a gate. "Come I have one more thing to show you." The gate lead to the Mongbat village. Seeing the Weld, people paused in wonder.
Dahlia lead them to a small clearing. There in a sea of blue fish was an illusion of Merrick.
Sadly Dahlia touched the small stuffy Evidias had placed. "I know people wanted a statue of Merrick in Britain. But The King agreed that this was more fitting. Here we can remember the good Merrick did...not his madness."
Wiping a tear away, Dahlia turned to leave. Lady Thalia stopping her with a hug. " Always remember Dahlia how much he loved you. Find comfort in his returning your mother to you."
Slowly the gathering left the village until Lady Thalia was alone.
Silently she watched the illusion of Merrick the Alchemist. The likeness that Evidias created was unnerving just as Merrick had been. As long as Thalia had known Merrick, she was never quite sure who Merrick really was. As the Royal Spy master, he had helped save the Weld. Yet Merrick had also been a pirate and a mad man who summoned a Djinn. Lady Thalia sighed, above all Merrick was loyal to his family. After his sister had been killed, Merrick protected Dahila, not revealing that he was her uncle. It was for Dahlila that he treated with a Djinn. Trading his life to bring Dahlila's mom back from the dead. Nodding to herself, Lady Thalia turned to leave, that was how she would remember Merrick. A man who loved his family above his own life.
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A Last Goodbye For Merrick The Alchemist
Silently we stood in front of the illusion of Merrick. Goodbye old friend.