"Sir, I'm afraid we haven't heard a thing from Baron Lockhart, he hasn't been spotted amongst those fleeing and only small numbers of his personal guard made it out. From the few we have spoken to - it sounds like he left several days before the city was invaded." the aide was flustered, sweating profusely in the sweltering room that local nobles and high ranking merchants were gathered in - all of them sat at tables to form a large square that took up most of the room. At the head of table sat Baron Equinox. "We still have no idea how they managed to get in so easily, nor how they managed to take the city so quickly."
"Do you think they could have had help?" Tobias Nethir asked from one side of the room, sparking cries of outrage from some of the surrounding nobles and merchants. "Quiet! All I'm saying is, anything could have happened, you hear all the time how, in various other cities, these depraved cults show up and run roughshod over the good men and women of the towns."
"Tobias... be reasonable." replied a Baronet from across the table. "Are you seriously suggesting that our own people... Good and honest Mercian's would work against us - against the Seven - to help these heretics?"
Tobias Nethir shrugged "Who knows what goes on in the poorer areas of the city? Places like that are like warrens, with too many places for evil to hide."
"But... What could have done it? What could be so insidious that they helped to take the city so quickly? So fluidly?"
As if a cue the large double doors were kicked open, banging back against the walls - the noise crashing around the room. Crow and Gregory stalked in past Aylix - obviously the one who had thrown open the doors - as the guards stood around the room snapped alert from their stupour, drawing swords and raising crossbows.
"What is the meaning of this?!" the Baron's aide thundered as the group filed into the room, slamming the doors behind them.
"Ladies, Sir's, Baron..." Aylix stepped forward, ignoring the glares of the guards in the room and standing brazenly in front of the assembled men. "I am Captain Aylix Goth of the Mercia militia and I have the people here who can answer all of your questions and problems."
The uproar only grew louder and the guards rushed forward, grabbing Aylix and dragging him back to the wall forcefully. He swore loudly as Gregory shouted just as he was grabbed roughly. "It was followers of the Lord Seraklan!"
The name of the Dark God was like a death knell and the room froze, unsure what to do with itself. The companions used the distraction to pull away from the guards, Crow more concerned with getting them away from Addy than the two that were hanging on to him.
"What did you say?" Baron Equinox's voice was like a whisper.
"This whole thing has been a scheme of the followers of the Lord of Lies." Gregory's voice was louder than it needed to be, but carried over the entire room easily. "They infiltrated every corner of Mercia and when the time came, when all eyes were on the Communion in the north, they struck aided by their companions in the city."
"But..." the aide started, his voice breaking. He cleared his throat before starting again. "But it would take someone in a considerable position of power to be able to let things unravel for us as they did! Who could have organised all of that?"
"Commander Glynn Daniels."Aylix volunteered stepping forward, drawing a book out of his inside pocket, throwing it to the aide who caught it, dumbfounded.
"You... you can't be serious."
"You wouldn't believe how serious I am." Aylix shot back darkly.
"I'm sorry, but who on Arda are you all?" stormed a man sat several chairs away from Baron Equinox. "How do we know you're not all talking complete halfling piffle?"
Aylix sighed, glancing at Gregory. "Do you want me to do the full introduction again? I can remember most of it? I know I called you a miserable git." he murmered, with a grin.
Gregory let out a growl of a sigh before stepping forward. "My Lords and Ladies. I am High Father Gregory Chrace of Crowa, son of Steward Chrace of Mercia. I have been into Mercia and seen the devestation that has been in there, I have spoken to survivors there and seen what the heretics have done there. Why on Arda would we storm in here to make up a story about Seraklanites. Mercia is our home as well and we have no desire to see it held by the Kryganites for longer than needs to be."
The room again erupted in noise and it was several minutes before order was restored.
"Well then ladies, gentlemen - it appears you have a lot to tell us. Aide, find them seats, let's here what they have to say." the Baron said with a smile as the companions exchanged grins.