Does this mean we are heading to shame? has anyone checked out shame lately? Dawn entered the castle study quietly, finding Miles seated at a nearby table, who did not look up at her arrival, his eyes darting across the pages of a worn book that had likely not been read in decades. The entire study was a flurry of silent activity as both Heartwood's finest Scholars and Britain's Royal Mages hurried back and forth conducting their research. Scholar Crexus stood nearby, speaking in a hushed tone to Emissary Tagren. They also did not acknowledge her entry. Dawn walked up next to the table where Miles sat. The light sound of her footsteps was enough to distract him. "My Queen", Miles calmly said, looking up, as he rose to stand at attention. Crexus and Tagren parted from their conversation and joined him a moment later. Motioning for Miles to stand at ease, Dawn spared a glance of acknowledgment to each of the gargoyles that stood at his shoulder. They respectfully bowed their horns in return. "Too long I have squandered the time bought for us by the blood of the Guard and I can wait no longer, Brinn. What news?", she asked firmly, turning her brown eyes back to Miles. "Of the price we have paid thus far I have not forgotten, your Majesty. However our actions in the depths of the Shame dungeon have ultimately served to only make us aware of the larger problem", he said. "And what might that be, Investigator?", Dawn replied, thinking what could be a larger problem than an ever widening gate spilling forth armies capable of corrupting or consuming entire worlds. Nodding to Crexus, who walked off, Miles turned back to the book he had been reading, closing it. "The Void, though weak, has somehow spread beyond the confines of Shame and now blankets the whole of our realm, my Queen", he said, not a hint of emotion in his voice. "What? Impossible!" Dawn blurted in disbelief, her eyes widening. Shifting himself to the other end of the table, Miles seemed to bore his eyes into the finely crafted wood in a fit of hesitation. A tense silence endured before Miles looked back up at the Queen. "How such a thing has come to pass we do not yet know. But as we speak a great 'Shadow of the Void', so to speak, is casting itself slowly over us, that though invisible to the eye, is causing an unmistakable magical stirring in the air. And where the Shadow falls, we are not safe." Another silence endured as Dawn leaned her weight against the table across from Miles, already weighing her thoughts as to how proceed. "Emissary, what can you tell us?", she said, looking up at the red-skinned and armored gargoyle. Tagren shifted uneasily. "The forces that assault the realm of my Queen Zhah are predictable in nature. The Void corrupts particular areas and infects its inhabitants, much like a fast spreading disease. When these Void corrupted creatures become to numerous, they overfill and assault the Holy City in the manner which you Britannians have seen. However here does not seem to be the case. The creatures your army faced in Shame and the ones that may result from this 'Shadow of the Void' are composed of the raw stuff of the Void. We have very rarely seen energy manifest into destructive forms in such numbers as they did in Shame. Such a thing is almost wholly unknown to Scholar Crexus and myself. There is little more I can tell you, your Majesty." "Very well. Are there any steps we can take in our defense or otherwise, Investigator? What of our cities?", Dawn asked, turning back to Miles. "I have assigned most of the Royal Mages and their assistants to erecting wards that I believe should keep our cities safe. For now." Miles closed the book he had been looking at, a sparkle of resolve in his eyes. "But we need more time. Soon the Shadow will grow in strength and Void crystal formations will begin to appear in anticipation of a possible invasion. I recommend the Guard be as best equipped as they might and destroy the formations and their vile spawn where ever they find them. However such is only a delaying tactic." "Delay for what?", asked Dawn. Scholar Crexus returned, carrying a massive tome in both of his clawed hands. He gave it a short drop into the table in front of Miles, kicking up layers of dust that took a few moments to settle. "Our counterattack", Miles said, smiling.