“Were missing an orb,” Jraedin announced, entering the meeting chamber.

“We sent some hunters to accompany Strohm, apparently.. They should be back anytime with it.” Manish replied.

“Do the others know?” Jraedin questioned, “What if Strohm got the drop on them?.. Any insurance?”

Manish smirked “Our insurance is his supreme arrogance; he will suspect nothing.”

Jraedin smirked back “Arrogance and power go hand in hand, Manish..”

Manish countered, “But a true mages hand wields his power wisely; Strohm’s power has clearly been allowed to define his intellect, to be so brazen.. Thinking he would just waltz out onto the surface, artifact in hand, raising no suspicion.”

Jraedin conceded “True.. Who does that fool think he is?”

Manish laughed “He thinks he is Strohm, of course.”

Jraedin shared in the laughter “Watch, we’ll be swimming to the bottom of the snapper hole, for that fuckin’ thing!”

Raising slowly, the ancient slab door began to reveal a similar blue and black robe, lacking the decorative designs Jraedin’s and Manish’s possessed. “Master’s.. The calling orb has been activated…”

The two master’s black gloves balled into fists simultaneously, Manish commanding through barred teeth “Go ready our mounts.. Now!”

Skittering in his black boots, across to the exist of the ruins, the apprentice triggered the ancient door that blocked the exit. “Do we alert the others?” Jraedin asked, still standing in the antechamber.

Manish sat still, his body slowly contorting from anger “We only tell them the orb is missing, Strohm will be the first suspect, no doubt.”

Standing up together, the two master’s exited the room, following the apprentice down the hallway, towards the exit. “Where are you.. Three.. Headed?’ They heard from behind them, turning to see Elder Grein, who continued “Don’t you have inventory to take stock of?”

The two grimaced, looking at each other. “Well?” The Elder commanded, his robe adorned with a gold trim and white apparel that would make any mage think twice, before slinging a spell his way.

“A calling orb has been activated.” Manish responded.

The Elder cursed “Well what the fuck are you two standing there for, GO!”

The two skittered across the hallway towards the door, but it slammed shut before they could reach the stairs to the surface, as the Elder commanded “FORGETTING SOMETHING?”

Jraedin immediately ran down the hallway, away from the two, towards the artifact room. Running back, the slab door slammed open as Jraedin approached, the calling orb in hand, with a slightly red hue about it, the Elder calling after them from below as they ascended the stairs “READY MY MOUNT!” Manish shot Jraedin a glance of fear, tempered with anger, as they made their way to the surface.

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