The door opened, and a tall woman entered, clad in a long green dress with a flowing mane of raven hair tied back. She walked around the table the others sat at, taking a seat at its head. The other eight watched as she did so.
“What news?” she asked.
“The Gateseer continues her search.” said a bald man, seated midways up the table. “Fruitless thus far, by our estimation.”
“Do we know what she seeks?” asked the raven-haired woman.
There was general murmurings of indistinct confusion around the table, before a red-haired woman spoke up. “I believe it to be a Lexum.”
The murmurings grew louder and more urgent, and the raven-haired woman frowned. “A Lexum? Which one? What source do you have for such a claim?”
“I am unsure,” said the red-haired woman, “but the information comes from a trusted contact. What’s more, I believe it, or the key to recovering it, lies far closer to the city than one might imagine.”
The murmurs hushed, and the raven-haired woman raised an eyebrow. “How much closer?”
“I believe it, or the answer to its whereabouts, to be held within the city itself.”
“Then we must act quickly,” said the bald man. “If the Oculans were to recover a Lexum, it could be disastrous.”
The raven-haired woman was silent, stroking her chin pensively. One of the other Nine, a blonde haired man, spoke up. “What would they do with it? They have aspirations beyond the city, perhaps they seek it to fuel those pursuits?”
“Perhaps. A risk we cannot take though. With the strength of a Lexum, they could put an end to this war.”
The raven-haired woman spoke up again. “Within the city is a good start, but is there any more actionable evidence? Do we know where to begin?”
The red-haired woman turned, her expression grim.