The Awakening - Act II: Part II Kai Schober The EM Team Intermission Fiction Stumbling, he grasps onto the railing leading out of the cellar as the distant sounds of unrest echo throughout the empty building around him. Taking another drink from the somewhat depleted bottle of wine in his hand he makes his way through the corridors to the balcony, until the bottle slips from his grasp. In his attempt to grab it he falls, and knocks aside a piece of fabric with a jingle. His eyes are drawn to the weathered and tattered hat. A memory long past is conjured before his eyes as he feels a profound sadness, noticing the missing bell upon a lone corner. His hand reaches for it, fingers almost grazing the fabric before he stops, instead grasping once more for the bottle of wine. With a grumble he rights himself and staggers away from the hat, leaving it as forgotten as he had been, and heads back to the wine cellar once more. Wislem stretched his wings once in agitation before running his talons along his horns, counting out the profits the smithy had made that week. The current state of affairs with the Juka was definitely troublesome. It was hard to predict how it’d affect them, but the recent bevy of adventurers that had shown up was proving to be a great boon to their economy. For Wislem, despite record amounts of profit, he couldn’t help but feel the adventurers were only the first wave of a new tide. He had little doubts that the city could weather any storm, whatever disturbance was occurring…Ver Lor Reg had stood as a bastion, a sanctum of safety for ages now. It was about time that it had drawn more attention and proved to be more profitable. Despite everything seemingly going their way, he’d heard talk of a few who were considering Zhah’s offer. Come, she had implored them, and together we can forge a future stronger than we can apart. Zhah’s plea was not one that was ignored, but it was also seen for that which it truly was as well. It was a play on her part to increase the strength of Ter Mur, but it would cause Ver Lor Reg to be weakened, and the Councilors had told her they appreciated her offer, but aside from the current trading would take no immediate action. In recent days it had almost become a bit of a running joke between the gargoyles of Ver Lor Reg; Had they taken her up on it, they’d have missed out on this sudden surge in activity. There had been a few who hadn’t done so well during this sudden influx, like poor Kharas Zhem of the golem factory, who was having a tough time acquiring the necessary parts for his mechanical monsters. Wislem heard the chime of a clock behind him, and frowned as he realized he’d wasted nearly an hour in his head like this. The only true fear he could muster with any grain of reality was that of harboring the wounded Jukan and their Shirron…He’d tried to speak with one of the Councilors about transferring them to Mistas, but had been ignored. Couldn’t win them all, he thought with a bit of a wistful smile as he packed away the profits of the day. Heading through the marbled streets of the city the sun shone down gloriously, and the sound of one of the fountains was soothing to his ears.