"My Lady are you okay?" I asked, worried to see her so tired.
"Yes Tamais, thank you for asking. Attending late night meetings, I must keep the King informed.
StinkyPinky handed her a cup of coffee.
"Ah." She smiled.
"Is there word of the problems in Umbra?" I asked.
"No, the spies I have there haven't seen anything suspicious. " She took a sip. "The King wants me to personally investigate and report before his next meeting."
I frowned, "Could Captain Corian go instead?"
Dahlia shook her head. "I wouldn't learn as much. His note taking is not meticulous enough."
"Perhaps a couple of days off?" Vyxen suggested.
"Only if we wish to see Britain attacked and over run." Dahlia sighed.
"With no Governor, I fear the problems that would arise.
"Been there, done that, Basara commented.
Merl winked at Vyxen. "I think you are the spy we are looking for...trying to get you a week off."
Vyxen glared at him.
"Merl, you could be right." Dhalia eyed Vyxen. "No, Vyxen is a loyal Governor."
"Have you seen anything strange brought in the city?" Dahlia asked.
"Huh? "Demoss asked puzzled. "Such as?"
Dhalia frowned. "Odd stones were dug up in the Minoc mine, but they have disappeared.
"Strange stones? I asked. "Any idea how they disappeared?"
"Yes, Dahlia turned to me. "My spies informed me that the miners sold them.
"Governor?" I asked in surprise. "Britain doesn't have a governor."
"Could the King have appointed some one to handle the administration of Britain?" Lady Thalia suggested.
Dahlia shook her head. " A miner reported that he had saw a sword forged from the stone. A woman had it. She warned him not to ask questions and to be silent."
We followed her to the shop. "I need to speak to Tressian the Smith." she told the woman at the shop's counter."
"I'm sorry, he isn't here." The woman replied.
Looking around, I noticed a pile of Darkmoore stone and vials containing ground Darkmoore stone. I pointed them out to Dahlia.
"Under the King's orders, don't let them out of your sight." Dahlia told the woman. Outside we discussed the vials. "Did you see how the stone was ground into a fine dust?" We nodded.
Dahlia frowned, "I don't know any smiths that can grind stone that fine. Perhaps a stone worker.
"Gargoyles use stone." Demoss suggested.
"Or an alchemist." Pufdamag Ikdragn added.
"True, a stone worker might have done it. " Dahlia replied.
"This says the stone was delivered three days ago. "She told us. "Seems miners found the stone four days ago...someone is in a hurry."
She stopped, "Wait, Pufdamag Ikdragn, an alchemist? You are on to something. I know just the alchemist....this way
We hurried to the shop and found more Darkmoore stone. Seeing us, the alchemist tried to hid the letter he was reading.
Seeing the King's seal, he reluctantly handed Dahlai the letter.
Skimming it, she looked up in surprise. "The stone was delivered four days ago to Britain's Governor Seles? There is no Governor Seles." She finished reading the letter. "It says to pick up the shipment at the docks."
Hurrying to the docks, I wondered who Governor Seles could be. At the dock, we found a parchment on top of a pier..
Dahlia read it aloud. "Have the crated weapons and bottles ready for delivery. But where?" Turning the note over, she read, "Delivered to Umbra."
"That would mean it was delivered yesterday?" Merl asked?
"Sounds right. " Dahlia scowled, "How could my spies miss this...weapons being shipped to Umbra...a fake Governor running the city."
"The guards have been busy with brigands attacking." Havoc pointed out. Dahlia nodded.
"Someone is asleep on the job." Sphinkter muttered. "Isn't the King in charge of the Governors?"
Dahlia frowned , "Yes, but he has been tied up with the two new ambassadors" Dahalia shook her head. "With no Governor, we have been buried in paperwork."
"Do you think it is the ambassadors?" I asked. "Could they
be working together?
"It is hard to believe that the Emporium and Weld would work together." Dahlia mused. "But one of them knows more than letting on."
"I think a it's a conspiracy." La Femme stated.
"The answers might be in Umbra." suggested Demoss. "We should go there and find who received the shipment."
"You are right Demoss." Dahlia opened a gate. "To Umbra then...careful we don't know what is waiting."
In Umbra, we questioned the citizens. Regrouping around Dahlia we compared notes.
"That is what several said." I confirmed.
At the west bridge we found hourglasses filled a magic dust and chimes.
Approaching the chime, they began to ring. It sounded like distant voices..
Walking around the chimes, Dahlia found dust sprinkled around them. "Is this the same dust as we found in Britain?" she picked up some. "I wonder." she reached out to touch the chimes.
I had a bad feeling when I saw some dust fall on the chimes. Boy was I right...as the dust fell on the chimes.
We found ourselves in a fierce battle. Chasing down the Sundust Wanderers, our forces were soon divided into small groups.
After the wanderers were defeated. I found a fracture of Elseem on the ground. Calling the others, we stepped through and found ourselves in a square with golden pillars at each corner.
A strange creature seemed surprised by our appearance.
"We are," I told it," eager disciples." The others following my lead nodded.
The creature tilted its head studying us. "No...you lie...you don't know the call, you haven't heard it."
It stamped its feet. "Still I can use you. Leave here and tell others he is coming for them."
Demoss stepped closer to it. "What are you trying to do here?
The creature looked curiously at Demoss. "You don't know? Can't you hear his words? Surely citizens of Umbra can hear."
Dahlia laughed, "We aren't citizens of Umbra, but we have come to stop you."
"You will never be one of us." The creature explained. Opening it's mouth wide a terrible sound summoning Torrid Wanderers.
Bodies soon covered the land. Even the brave healers joined the fight and death.
Finding a lone healer to resurrect me, I started back to the battle. On the way I found a new foe, a creature born of the void.
After the battle, we joined Dahlia, her armor pitted from the flamable goo sprayed by the Wanders. "What was that creature? I doubt that it is finished with Umbra and us."
"I am afraid you are right." I said wiping my armor. "What did it say just before disappearing?"
"That it wasn't time yet." Dahlia explained. "That has to mean it plans to return. What ever it's plans are they are happening here."
"But why Umbra instead of larger city?" I wondered, "the Necromancers?"
Dahlia nodded thoughtfully. "What do they need from the Necromancers?
I frowned. "Their powers...perhaps they need to bring someone back to life."
Dahlia frowned. "The Emporium representative...mentioned that we would be lead here. What is he up to?"
"I really don't trust that Emporium." I muttered. I noticed that Dahlia's hands were still covered with dust. "Don't touch the chimes." I whispered.
Surprised she looked at her hands wiping them off. "Good idea, Tamais. We need to make sure that none of the dust gets into Umbra. She looked around motioning for us to get rid of any dust.
"Yuck...it's every where." Havoc grumbled shaking the dust off her sandals and robe.
Demoss went over to study the pillars. "We need to tear these down!"
Dahlia laughed grimly and showed him her bent sword. "Be my guest, I tried whacking one of them."
Demoss carefully ran his hand down one. "Miners might know a way."
"That is a good idea." Dahlia agreed. "If anyone knows how to chip stone away, it's miners. Evidias should look at them also."
Dahlia moved back studying them. "They don't seem to be active...not like the chimes.
Dahlia informed us. "We will have to quarantine the Minoc mines until we learn more."
Dahlia frowned. "That's going to cause even more problems."
"Perhaps all four mines won't have to be." Do we know which mine the Darkmoore stone came from?" I asked. "The crown could hire the miners from the shut mines to work on these." I pointed to the pillars.
"That is a good idea, Tamais. Perhaps that might make it easier." Dahlai agreed. "Especially since Minoc one of the cities without a Governor."
"It seems the cities without Governors are at risk." I added.
"Very true." Dahlia agreed. "We must deal with that. For now I'll place guards here. We have to defend Umbra when this thing arrives." She looked at us. "I can count on you?"
"Yes!" the group shouted. "We will be at your call."
Dahlia smiled, "Good, sharpen your blades. For now, I have more meetings. Will you ensure none of these creatures have escaped?"
"We are already searching the area." I assured her.
"Be safe and get some sleep." I bowed to Dahlia.
"If only sleep was the worst of my problems." Dahlia sighed and disappeared into the shadows.
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Battle For Umbra
Tired, Dahlia leaned on the wall. Looking around she was relived to see so many of the Royal Spies had answered her call. Strange stones had...