/A letter on plain paper crosses Artanis’ desk in Quantium some time after her own letter to Carrock/
“The witch returned late in Abadius after an overlong absence with news of an event at the World’s Crown involving terraforming magic and ancient ruins, so she is once more available to aid. I will pass along the report and request intervention forthwith, as well as pass along the option of relocation at the next meeting. Any who wish to do so will arrive with the witch if she elects to help. If not, they will arrive by boat eventually.’
‘Signs point to a necessary confrontation with more senior members of the Hands in order to determine the sohei’s fate; they are being strangely reserved with her movements. Because of this, we will have to arrange such a meeting, and must be sure to send our best and brightest to it. It was inevitable we were struck against, and now we must decide a proper response. On that note, I have requested the aid of an assassin’s guild with which I am acquainted to provide some protection for our people and headquarters wherever we have a presence; such allies will be useful in deflecting future attacks by our enemies. Word has passed among their kind to your location; they apparently have a presence in most cities. You will be approached by an agent of theirs who will liaise with you in an ongoing capacity. Please be polite: their interest in taking down the Hands is to our benefit, methods notwithstanding.’
‘The so-called “Moonscar Incident” bore unexpected fruit, so we cannot lean on the reaver too strongly. Besides, he followed guild protocol re: protecting our own. I see it as a win. As for your people, let them rest. We don’t have much to work with at the moment, and will need to put the squeeze directly on our enemies if we want more information. We must realign ourselves and direct our focus to countering future efforts against us. We can only hope she isn’t giving them much information, if indeed they are torturing her (or worse). I feel bad about it, I truly do, but our hands are tied: while we could investigate the abduction, work has been… resisted by the Oregent government. Analysis of the dweomer is incomplete, and any leftover magical residue has long dissipated. Bureaucracy has harmed our efforts here, sadly.’
‘Ustalav reports came up negative, despite immediate redirection of local assets to an investigation. Possibly a false trail, but also possibly a carefully coordinated cover-up. I am concerned that the true intent with such actions is to expend our effort on distractions? That, or they are far beyond our ability to oppose right now… and I don’t know which possibility concerns me more. Either way, this highlights the need for a stronger information network, if nothing else."
/A symbol which looks like a nosoi’s mask is signed at the bottom of the page, as if a signature, along with a phrase in Tien which translates as “watch your back”/