Sitting in his office in Connemara, Aedon went carefully over the reports still coming in. The attack in Red Skull Bay had evidently been thwarted by those who showed up in defense of the town. But there was something about the affair which did not sit well with Aedon. It gnawed at his waking thoughts and haunted his nights. Something was not right in all this. Sitting back Aedon picked up a cup of fae tea. He held it in front of his lips a moment, and inhaled the rich, soothing aroma. He had relished each cup of the brew given to his as a gift by Phaen on her last visit. It always seemed to open his mind to new thoughts, new visions of problems needing a solution. And this was one of them. From the time of the first attack by the demon Ix Tab the year before, Aedon had spent much time pondering the driving force behind her assault. It was clear that she wanted the crystal which rested at the heart of Aegis. But to what end? In stories of the time before he arrived in Aegis, Aedon recalled that the crystals were but receivers. Placed there and controlled through a master crystal in Ventryn's lab. If this was to be believed, then the crystal in Aegis had little to no value other then as a shiny bauble. But there was more. Year after year of bloody battles in the glade had left the ground saturated with the passing lives of those who attacked and defended Aegis. The crystal, which at one time glowed with a soft purple light had changed to a deep crimson following Ix's first attack. Aedon had always believed that as a receiver with nothing being sent, the crystal absorbed this passing energy of the fallen, and the color change was a result. But many who died in Aegis were of noble heart and spirit, what use would a daemon have for such a thing? Sipping his tea slowly Aedon pondered the past. He remembered the attacks of the past few weeks, and one thing kept leaping to the forefront of his mind. This is all a trick. One report stood out more glaring then the others. The daemon, trapped in a tent dropped a crystal shard, and those charged with apprehending Ix Tab released her, and went instead for a piece of glass. What would make intelligent folks do such a thing. They had the daemon, they should have smote her then and there rather then release her to bring more unrest to the lands. There was but one answer, and it concerned him more then the presence of any foul beast. They are all behind this. With the seating of Dawn in Brit, they would need to find a way to assure that the people of Sosaria came willingly under her control. For many years the people have been without a royal sitting on the throne. Villages, towns, kingdoms and empires dotted the world, and it would be hard to convince folks to give up all they had known, to follow this new “queen.” There would be many revolts if any Royal Guard attempted to take over the towns and villages. Wars would be launched from kingdoms and empires in defense of their long held lands. ….unless. A common threat. A great daemon that those leading the peoples now could not easily defeat. A royal adviser who seemed to always know when and where the next attack would take place. And finally, a royal guard who had the daemon trapped, and found a way to free her, lest the plan fall apart. Strike terror into the hearts of the people. Cause them to fear for their lives. To believe that in the dark of night their children would be carried off to be devoured in some dark cave by this daemon. Convince them that the only true protection now lay in the hands of the royal seat in Brit. Do all this, and they would then control the people of Sosaria. Setting his cup down Aedon stood up and walked out onto the porch of Connemara. The moonlight fell softly through the leaves, pouring like crystals into the murky waters left in the pond. The fires still burned, unquenchable, and the acrid smell of smoke mingled with the scent of heather. Aegis, for now still endured. Still lived free of any royal edicts or commands. But already he knew that the wheels were in motion. Those seeking power will bring about their coronation in any way they saw fit. If that way was the destruction of a few meaningless villages and hamlets, so be it. Few would long mark the passing of these places, as they would quickly be covered over with monuments to the new “queen.” Aegis would fade into the past. Silverwood would become more secluded. And what of the Fae? Would the march of these wood be saviors of Sosaria trample over and obliterate all that was magical in the world? Many would say, that is progress.