Frowning, she quickly regrouped the spies and gated them to Jhelom. Arriving we were greeted by regular brigands hired by Blood Flagoons. I couldn’t help but think some thing was very, very wrong. Then the world went grey. In the middle of battle, it never pay to stop and ponder events.
Though they were just brigands, they fought as fierce as the Blood Flagoons. Even our brave allies, Greater Dragons, died in numbers I’d rarely seen.
Even before the battle was won, Dahlia determine it was a decoy. Dividing our forces, a small group fought its way to the warehouse. To our shock, the gems were gone. How had the Blood Flagon pirates gotten through the shield.
We had been betrayed. But by whom, the only person I could think of was the person who had made the shield, Evidias! Knowing that she was waiting in the northern part of Jhelom, I made my way to her, gathering the spies as I went.
Seeing me, she ran towards me. Breathing heavly she greeted us strangely. ” I’m… so glad… *breathing* not all of you went with Merrick. He said you all were, going to find the woman who was trapped.” I stared at her in confusion. “Merrick? Go with him, we haven’t seen him.” When asked the spies all denied seeing Merrick. “But you had to see him. The Blood Flagon tried to get me to teach the barrier lift spell to the Juka. But they were already gone. Merrick said that you had taken the gems. I sent a letter to Dahlia telling her.” I had never seen Evidias so close to tears. Merrick, he said he had cleared moving the gems with Corian and Dahlia. He took all 6 of them.” Shaking my head, I told her that while Dahlia recieved her letter. She knew nothing about giving Merrick the gems. Dahlia was just at the warehouse. she was surprised the gems were gone. ” But Merrick said you have found that last of the missing gems. He took all of them, blue, green, purple, red, orange and yellow gems and the device. looking lost Evidias contiunued, ” But he said you all found them… and he said you were going to help him… So no one knew?
“My lady, it seems Merrick is acting on his own again. None of us knew that he was free, much less taking the gems. We were coming to see how the barrier had been lowered. I had not seen Evidias this upset. “I’m sorry… he brought the first ones and the device with him, with you all in tow. I thought… you knew he found more… He said he was taking them back to Britain with him.”
After brief discussion, it was decided that to leave for Britain at once. Hoping to catch him, Evidia lead us to a room in the Royal Barracks. Corian had me seal this up with him, to keep Merrick from escaping. When Merrick took the gems he told me he was going to use the same room to put the device together. Sighing Evidias looked at us. Don’t tell me…you didn’t know about that either.” She looked so defeated, I hated to tell her that we didn’t.
The room was empty where we arrived. Finding Merrick’s hat ands sash, she looked hopefully at us. “Maybe he is going to return.” Looking sadly at the hat, Evidias whispered ” He asked me, if I wanted to try it on… and if it would look good on Agaris. I should have… known.”
I found a book from Merrick on the table.Evidias read it aloud. The book explained his actions and reasons to Corian. The book told that by decoding Tavian’s messages and log books, he had discovered Tavian’s location. Guards were sent to bring him in. Refusing to give up, caused a fight. When I arrived Tavian wounded and in a corner with a body slumped over him lengthwise. To my sorrow the body was that of my sister, Illyia. Tavian refused to move when the guards demanded him to give himself up. I heard it then, a little cry. In his arms was their daughter. Tavian and Illyia had tried to shield the baby during the fight… but Illyia had thrown herself in front of the child. In my anger I killed the guards and threw their bodies into ocean. took Tavian and the baby away from there. And I lied to you about what happened. He went on blaming himself, saying that it was his fault. He had been distracted by both the treasure and the woman trapped inside. that if he had only not been distracted by the treasure and the woman trapped inside It was my fault, if only I had not been so distracted by the mysterious treasure, by the woman… I’d have paid more attention to what I was decoding. It seemed that Tolivar had been trying to warn Merrick by telling his story of his own daughter’s murder and the loss of his granddaughter at sea.
When Evidias finished the room was silent. Each of us lost in our thoughts. Had we misjudged Tavian, Merrick and Toliva. It was decided that finding Merrick was more important than before. But where to start. Merrick had hidden his tracks well. It was then that Evidais thought of a way to find him. She hesitated before she told us that the magic from the device was similar to one found before. It felt like the same magic from the “otherside. the same place where Spencer had sealed himself off. Looking around I saw that the gathering had the same feeling of dread. We would have to open the door and find Spencer Hallowel. Could that be why the Juka’s had been involved. The door to the void had been sealed by their village. Could it be that the “other side” is just another trap, a prison? Perhaps that was where Merrick’s woman was trapped. Seeing Evidias beginning to look exhausted, we decided it would be better to carry on planning the next day. I left feeling saddening by what we had learned. The ballad I would write would now be a epic tale of lost loves and betrayed, not the heroic one I had planned.