*The breeze slipped into the room through the open door. The hall chilled as it swirled around. Brushing past Tamais, it circled almost landing on her shoulder. When she shivered, it slipped around the room...a small whisper dancing in a corner. Falling to the ground near Promathia, it rose again hovering over Flapps until falling behind Hydra to drift out the door.*
Shivering, I looked around to see who had brushed my shoulders. Why was the room now cold, a minute before it was filled with the summer heat. Turning around to continue my conversation with Lady Thalia, I saw a ghostly Weld.
The vision didn't seem to be aware of our presence, only the small Weld Stuffy.
Carefully Lady Thalia approached it. "Hail Dakraham."
The vision ignored her as it nudged the toy...circling the room anxiously when the toy didn't respond.
"It is a toy not a real creature." I explained trying to calm the vision. "How can we help you?"
Lady Thalia picked up the toy...hugging it close...as the Vision moved to nudge it again.
Puzzled, Lady Thalia studied the Weld doll. "Could it be looking for a blue Weld...a real blue Weld...Evidias?"
"That would make sense, " I replied.
As we discussed the visitation, Dahlia came in. "I hurried over to tell you that Evidias will be join you shortly...she was trying to find something."
"Hail Dahlia, you missed our visitor." Lord Demoss informed her.
"Yes, a very angry Vision, "Sebben HIlaron added.
"A Visitor...a vision?" Dahlia looked around .
"Yes, a large dragon." Demoss told her. "A vision of Dukrham...the toy weld seemed to upset it."
I nodded, "It nudged the stuffy....crying and flying around the room when it didn't respond."
"I think it was looking for a blue Weld. " Lady Thalia placed the blue weld stuffy back. "It nudged it twice before I went up to hug the doll.
"Strange..." Dahlia rifled through a list of names. "I don't find that name here. It was only interested in the stuffed Weld?
"I think it may be looking for a blue Weld." Lady Thalia paused, "Which the only one I know is Evidias."
Dahlia nodded. "I did notice Evidias seemed to be the only blue one. Even among the new comers...speaking of which...there are a lot of them."
"Oh?" I asked surprised. "I though only a few had come from the other side."
"So did I," Lady Dahlia replied. "But when King Blackthorn had the Ambassador assemble them, we count 97 including the Ambassador."
"Wow!" I gasped. "That would have been a sight."
"Were Marouk or other weld present?" Lady Thalia asked.
"No, the King thought it better to keep them apart." Dahlia frowned. "Even if the two enemies tried to remain peaceful...at the very least, it could cause a bit of a riot in town."
The room was silent as we pictured what would happen. The Britain guards were well trained to protect the citizens and city...war at the least would be the result.
Dahlia sighed, "Anyhow... I should be on my way, the King still has to meet with the Emporium Ambassador and work out some business deal."
"What do you want us to do?" Demoss asked.
"Wait for Evidias." Dahlia paused. "She will help you check out the Papua situation."
"Has there been any change?" I asked.
"It hasn't spiraled out of control but... travelers have been noticing odd things going on there." Dahlia sighed again. "I wanted to go, but the King insisted I stay."
"And when the King insists, you do. "I finished her sentence. "I'll send you word of what we find."
"Thank you, I'll need something amusing to read while bored by state affairs. " Dahlia disappeared into the shadows.
Evidias didn't keep us waiting long.
"Ahem, sorry for being late." Evidias rubbed her arms. "Agrias was out searching for signs of the Fiery Lady, and he slept in some underbrush, ended up catching a cold."
""I think a Vision was searching for you." Lady Thalia bowed respectfully.
Demoss nodded, "A Vision of Dukrham."
Evidias looked over at him. "A Vision? looking for me?" She shivered again. "We should chat outside. It's too cold in here."
Outside we continued explaining. She was as puzzled as we were at its reaction to the toy Weld.
"The cold came with the Vision." I told her.
"It brought the cold...how can a vision.." Evidias shook her head. "Why do you think it was looking for me?"
"Sometimes ghost seem to cause a chill." Lady Thalia said thoughfully, "But it was able to move the stuffy doll."
"Odd, why me?" Evidias puzzled. "Maybe I should tell Agarias, he loves strange things..." She help up a small orb then put it back into her pocket.
"Since the weld doll is a toy, and you are the only blue Weld I know." Thalia explain. "we assume it was seeking you."
Evidias looked at Thalia. "Everyone seems to be looking for me lately. We can keep talking once we get to Papua."
"Just as long as there are no strange puddle portals. "I muttered.
"No just...creepy presences." Evidias tried to reassure me. "He didn't notice any ill intent."
Reluctantly I followed her through the gate. "Creepy presences, just like that vision."
Arriving in Papua, I watched Lady Thalia move to guard Evidias as she always did. Looking around I found a strange white harpy. Walking around it, I could see no sign of life...a statue? Seeing the others had moved up the road, I ran to catch up, passing several more of the strange statues...creatures.
"Anyone else notice the strange creatures?" I asked when I caught up.
When Evidias looked at me puzzled, I was relieved to see others nodding their heads. It wasn't the wine.
"What's that...singing sound..." Evidias cocked her head listening. "Where is that sound coming from...It's really loud..."
"This can't be good." concerned Serephoyle looked at Evidias.
Evidias began to walk down the road stopping at the stables.
"There is another on of those strange creatures." I pointed to one standing by the building.
Evidias looked where I was pointing and scratched her head. "What creature?"
Concerned Lady Thalia looked at her. "There to your left near the stairs."
Evidias looked at the thatched wall and stairs. She turned and frowned at us. "Are you all pulling a fast one on me...Merrick did say humans like to be funny."
"No." I quickly told her.
"We would not do that." Demoss agreed.
Evidias studied us. "Tavian once kept telling me I had a rabbit on my head."
Exchanging looks with the others, I could see they were as worried as I was. Had Evidias gone mad? or was something affecting her.
"Maybe its because we were touched by the Vision?" Sebben Hilaron suggested.
"What's that sound? Evidias asked.
"I see a white creature out of the corner of my eye." Evidias turned to look where the sound came from. "But it is gone when I turn to look."
"That is the creature we are trying to tell you about." I told her.
To my surprise, she began running down the road as if chasing something all the while shouting for it to come back.
Fearing for her safety we rushed after her. It was a good thing we had... she was under attack by a strange harbinger.
The battle over, I found Evidias staring and muttering, "What's with the odd moon gate."
As I watched, she drew a moon gate shape space around it...revealing a moon gate.
"Hey come back here!" she shouted running into the gate.
We looked at each other in confusion. Who was she following. We hurried after her. arriving at the Lyceaeum.
Evidias was having a conversation with someone...someone we couldn't see.
"What do you mean, there's a field of weird things?" She stopped to listen "Which way is it? Follow you? I...gues.." She nodded her head and began to walk down the road. "We'll go this way then...into the city?"
We had no choice but to follow closely behind her...ready for an ambush.
I watched as it seemed something grabbed her hand. To my horror, Evidias disappeared.
"Where did she go?" surprised and worried, Lady Thalia looked around for her. "She was right beside me."
We spread out searching for her. While we didn't find Evidias we did run into strange and deadly disruptive rifts. Soon we were too busy to continue our search.
The small number of the rifts allowed us to easily clear them up. No sooner where the rifts gone, Evidias reappeared.
She was still talking to an unseen person. "It's on the roof of the bank? Okay we'll come.
We were greeted by a large group of Rifts...joined by a by Servant of Traccor.
I was healing those fighting behind the bank when I spied Evidias. Moving closer to her, I could hear her talking to the invisible creature.
"Were you trying to protect me from that creature?" She asked it. "Wait, don't go, We won't hurt you." she reached out to grab it. Dropping her hands, she turned to us, "It left..." she told us sadly. "It kept telling me to stay away from Papua."
Lady Thalia moved over to her, "What was it?"
"A bird?" I asked.
Evidias nodded her head. "Bright pink with little black wing tips. Didn't you see it?"
All of us shook our heads. "No," Lady Thalia told her. "We just saw you talking to thin air and running around chasing something."
Evidias wrinkled her head in worry. "Hmm...strange indeed."
Lady Thalia held out a pair of gloves "I found these. I think they came from the servant."
Evidias looked at the carefully. That insignia isn't it the same that was one the chest armor? I've not seen it before."
Lady Thalia nodded her head. "Would Time Without Dreams know?"
Evidias sighed. I thought he would when I showed him the chest piece. He didn't recognize it either nor did he find anything concrete in Papua."
She paused, "All of you really did see strange creatures there?"
We all nodded yes, "They looked like strange white harpies." I told her.
Evidias shook her head, " Maybe Dahlia or Captain Corian should go."
Lady Thalia frowned. "I worry that someone is settting a trap for you."
"But who, the only ones who don't seem to like us are the other weld." Evidias said puzzled. "I can't see them doing this."
Lady Thalia scowled, "I don't know, the Fiery Lady? but then I don't like her either."
Evidias turned to Lady Thalia, "Odd you mention her."
Evidias started at the odd yellow bone gloves that Lady Thalia had. "Ick they look like human fingers. I should show the King, the chest and gloves, if you know anyone who has a pair."
"I don't." I told her. "But I'll ask around and see if I can't find the chest to go with Thalia's gloves."
Evidias smiled at me. "With your connections, I'm sure you can find them."
"You know those look like armor a Necromancer would wear." Lady Thalia said thoughtfully. "There were some who wanted Weld power."
"True...Necromancers.."Evidias nodded. "I wish I could help, but it seem i'm being kept for helping. " Evidias wrinkled her forehead. "I could hear something in Papua. You really saw bird like creatures?"
"Yes and they seemed to be luring you." Lady Thalia said worried. "That's why I stick close to you."
"I have to go tell Dahlia what happened." Evidias said "Perhaps you all could come by the Mongbat Village next week?"
"Of course." We all nodded in agreement.
"Could you describe what you saw to Marouk?" Evidias asked. "He was historian and might know more...maybe in the writings and books he brought."
"I can make a drawing of the creatures for him." I told her.
Tired, Evidias smiled at us. "Farewell for now." She disappeared.
I returned home. Something kept bothering me...little bird...where had I heard that before. I took another sip of mulled wine. A little bird told me...who had said that. I pulled out my ballads. The answer was in one of these. Now to find it.
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A day that had begun strangely, soon became worse. It started in the hall by the appearance of strange ghostly Weld Vision. Now Evidias was...