“Inherited wisdom is that the Vexir are the tricky ones, but they I’ve mastered well enough I feel. It’s those damnable Ulriss and their machinations that trouble me. Always one step ahead, or one step behind, it’s never clear. Those knowing nods, those hidden meanings, it’s impossible to know where one stands with them.”— Dusty note found in the Karan Taul palatial library, 213 4E
“Just hang on! It’s alright, I’m on my way!”
A muffled voice responded from inside the chest, “Corassis?! Is that you?! Get me out of here!“
Corassis knelt down at the latch as the chest rocked back and forth. “Stop wriggling! I can’t get the latch with you shaking it like that.”
Annar stilled inside the trunk and Corassis flicked the latch open, easing the lid of the chest open. She reached down and gripped the elderly vak by the wrist to pull him up.
“Ah! Not that one. I think it’s broken.”
With the wizard’s aid Annar emerged shakily from the trunk.
“Are you alright?” asked Corassis, concern for the old vak on her face.
Annar scowled. “Do I look alright?! They cracked me one on the back of the head, bastards, then they must have stuffed me in there. Did you find them?!”
Corassis nodded. “…I did. It was me they were after, I’m afraid.” She put an arm around the librarian, leading him gently.
“You? What for? Who were they?! The big one, he looked like one of those separatists! They were using disguise magic – powerful disguise magic – but I put a stop to that I did! Didn’t get to the others, mind…”
Corassis shrugged. “I’m not sure. They made it as far as the upper floor, but they set off the glyph and bolted as soon as I found them. Straight out the window. Disappeared into the streets below.”
“Well that…that doesn’t make any gods-damned sense! Why go all that way just to freeze at the last moment?!” Annar touched the back of his head gingerly, where Corassis could see a bruise developing between the scales.
“Cowards, I suppose,” she offered.
“Damn right they’re cowards! Breaking into a library of all places, too! I swear, if they step foot within a mile of this place..!”
“It’s alright,” Corassis said placatively, “I don’t anticipate they’ll be back anytime soon. I think we proved more than they bargained for.”
Annar continued grumbling wordlessly as the pair proceeded towards the lower level. Rounding a corner, Corassis saw a figure further ahead, bluescaled and clad in finery, a pair of curling horns adorning their head, festooned with jewellery. They turned to look at Corassis, and the pair exchanged a glance.
The message was clear.