434 The Eye of Khione

    Nix examined the mudpie for a moment, remembering the ones Tai had made with the 'Earth Slow'.  "You'll have to teach me out to make those."

    Tai'Qui nodded slightly.  "With your perception, I could train you to the Nemesis level very quickly.  You have an outstanding elemental adaption."

    Nix took out a low-level rat puppet and handed it to Tai'Qui. "Any chance she could see us through that eye?"

    "She probably could if she focused specifically on it. She may have hundreds of these implanted into her people."

    Nix frowned at her words. "Could this be done without someone knowing?"

    Tai'Qui shook her head. "No."  The Earth dragon looked at the rat in her hands.  "This a present?"

    Nix shook his head.  "Whatever you did to that eye, I want the same thing done to this puppet."

    Instead of asking why Tai'Qui immediately formed a second mudpie around the rat puppet and then handed it to Nix.  "There it is."

    [Mud Encased Nether Rat]

    Nix took a seat on the grass and focused on the puppet.  A moment later he found himself in complete darkness.  Instead of being bound and unable to move, the earth spell created a small space void of light or sound. He scurried several steps in one direction before running into a barrier.  After following it around, he estimated the space to be about twenty meters in diameter.

    He uninhabited the puppet but stayed seated.  "That spell created a small space?"

    Tai'Qui's warm eyes showed her surprise.  "You were able to enter?"

    Nix nodded.  "No sound or light, perhaps twenty meters across."  He opened up his animator menu and set up a quick queue.

    [Mud Encased Nether Rat][Mud Encased Eye]

    During this process, one of the Earth enchantments will be removed. You may choose which one remains.  Nix selected the Enchantment surrounding the rat puppet and then finished the process.

    Tai'Qui watched as one of the mudpies vanished from sight.  Her curiosity piqued, Nix came at things from unexpected directions, his intentions were hardly ever clear.  "What did you do?"

    Nix held up the mudpie containing the Nether Rat.  "I've placed the eye in this puppet."

    [Mud Encased Rat Minion]

    Description: Unidentified.

    /Alpha: Ronnie: What's the play here, Nix?

    /Alpha: Nix: I'm going in.

    Nix focused on the puppet, immediately the world around him vanished and was immediately replaced by room made of ice.

    A tall woman clothed in white robes was seated on an ice throne.  Both her skin and hair was the color of snow, her crystal blue eyes shimmered in the torchlit room.  "Where is Seibel?"

    A Fir'Dhassi man shook his head.  "No word, your Eminence. There has been no sighting of him, his father has been searching for clues since his disappearance."

    The woman caressed the frozen arm of her throne with a pale, slender hand. "Let his father know that the person responsible for his son's disappearance is the Guild Leader of Inferno."

    The man who spoke turned slightly causing Nix to immediately recognize him, it was Tura Zen Dar.  He smiled malevolently at her words.  "I will do so immediately."

    Nix dropped the inhabitants and accepted Fajii's hand up.  "How's the Pathfinder team doing nowadays?"

    Gideon had already completely recovered and was watching Nix.  "Ready and willing."

    Nix handed the Assassin the mudpie.  "Long term mission for  you and your team."

    Gideon turned the pie over in his hands.  "What do I do?"

    "When you inhabit this puppet, you can see into Khione's throne room."  Nix's statement caused everyone to stare at him in shock.

    Tai'Qui seemed to be the most surprised.  "You saw her?  In her fortress?"

    Nix nodded and placed a hand on Gideon's shoulder.  "You will take this and monitor it regularly. Only for a short period of time each day, cycle the turns through the other members of your group."

    Gideon stowed the mudpie in his inventory.  "Anything else?"

    Nix nodded.  "I have a target for you.  Tura Zen Dar, the Leader of the Dar Clan."

    Wind grimaced at the name.  "I remember that idiot.  He ambushed us when we exited the Gemini Temple.  His idiot son wanted to take Rhy home."

    "That's him.  He's going to meet with Delyn Xai, he must be killed before he's had a chance to speak with him."

    Gideon slipped on his guise ring again and changed back into Mai. "And the parameters of the kill?"

    "He dies at all costs, even if you have to do it in Parliament."  Nix paused to let his words sink in. "He's going to implicate me in the disappearance of Seibel Xai, do not let that happen."

    Mai nodded slowly.  "Find him and kill him, before he talks to Delyn.  We got this."

    "Report in when it is done and we'll decide what your next task is. As a reward, I'll personally bring you and your team to Eidengal and have the Master Armorer equip Pathfinder."

    Tai'Qui's tanned face showed her concern.  "If you can see into the Throneroom, that means her minions are able to report in instantly.  Did the Assassin Guild Leader have time to contact Khione?"

    Mai shook her head.  "It took her completely by surprise.  She was about to offer me a position in the guild when I gave her Nix's message."

    /Alpha: Ron: Passing love letters to the Assassin Guild Leader?

    /Alpha: Nix: The message was that we expected her guild to remain neutral in the war against Khione.

    /Alpha: Wind: Probably not something one of Khione's people wanted to hear.

    /Alpha: Nix: That's a good theory.

    Nix opened a breach to Parliament for Gideon and then said goodbye to Fajii.  "We are headed to Dhou first, then we'll break for a few days."

    Fajii embraced him quickly.  "Contact me every night and I'll report about how my acolytes are doing on their mission."

    Nix nodded.  "Thanks for your help, Tai."


    "Looks great Deffon."  The slim woman smiled at the blacksmith and recovered her armor from him.  It was just basic leather armor, but her father had given her turtle shell enhancement to add.  "I appreciate your hard word."

    Deffon returned her smile.  He was the quintessential blacksmith, huge bulging muscles on a man who seemed twice as wide as a man should be.  "Your welcome Cadie."

    "Can we settle accounts after this trip? I can pay now, but that would leave me without travel credits."

    Deffon stared at the caravan guard, normally he would never give credit.  Although he knew Cadie, he hadn't spoken to her until a few weeks ago.  He found himself attracted to her friendly manner and decisive nature.  They had become good friends. "That's fine.  Just come back safe."

    Cadie nodded in agreement.  "Good plan.  Try not to blow up the Smithy while I'm gone."

    The Blacksmith's rumbling laugh echoed in her ears as she walked away.  The young man's eyes showed his interest.  She had a shotgun shoulder holster where a custom pump sawed-off peeked out.  The handle of a bludgeon was visible over the opposite shoulder and twin holstered handguns presented the picture of a pretty woman armed to the teeth.

    Cadie continued walking, her mood a reflection of the bright cloudless morning.  The caravan was lined up outside of town.  It took her nearly half an hour before it finally came into sight.  "Nearly a hundred wagons..."  The guard whistled softly while recalling their route.  They would hit three smaller cities within Dhou before heading into Vesper.  She would be part of the rearguard and would follow the caravan on horseback along with three others.  She packed enough rations for two weeks, but would definitely need to restock since the trip would last closer to a month.


    The guard looked up to see the familiar face of the Caravanmaster waving to her.  Suddenly, she was glad she took the time to memorize all the faces Cadie was supposed to know.  He was a thin dark man with close-cropped hair. He was Beugol, the man who had hired her.  "Good morning, Sir."

    Beugol smiled widely at the greeting.  Cadie was always respectful.  "Morning Cadie.  Got some bad news, the rest of our rearguard got caught up by the town guard."

    Cadie frowned slightly.  "Fighting again?"

    Beugol nodded.  "Fraid so.  You'll be on your own until we reach Vesper.  I'll hire some help there."

    "I understand."  Four mounts were tied to the last wagon in the caravan. The wagon contained various supplies and was assigned to the rear guard.  She tossed her pack in the back of it and walked toward the horses.  "I will work hard, Sir."

    Beugol nodded.  "You'll get a bonus when the trip is over."

    "Thank you, sir."  Cadie studied the mounts.  They were all mares, one black, and three browns.  They were typical caravan horses, not overly fast but made for the long haul.  She untied the black horse and swung easily into the saddle.

    After an hour, the long convoy slowly started moving.  Cadie sat motionless on her mount, watching the dust rise up from the dirt road.  Would she see Hara on this trip? Nix should be doing the Mid-Everspire quests by now. She kicked her horse into a slow walk and started following the caravan.
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