Serancha sat at one of the round gold-counting tables in her guild hall, looking at a package that her potion-girl Eva had brought to her. The logo on it was concerning, as it was the mark of Dragon's Gate. She rarely got correspondence from Oberin anymore, as she was deeply entrenched in the world of Arlor and currently dealing with an assault by a large and angry troll named Ursoth.
As she stared at the logo, memories flooded her mind. She still wore Casden's ring, and occasionally smiled for no reason when she looked at it. But then she would recall the ugliness, accusations, anger, disrespect and bitterness that had assaulted her, and caused her to leave without so much as a farewell. Shaking off those feelings, she wondered what they would think if they saw her in this world. Her guild was 300 members strong and had been acclaimed one of the best in Arlor consistently for the last year, even though at that size it was considered small. She had built it from nothing, and now adventurers far and wide sought to join. Citizens came to her for advice, respected her council, and her ideas were considered more than credible. She was not ridiculed or taunted, and no longer had to deal with the childish peckings of a small community gone sour.
So why did she even consider opening this parcel, rather than tossing it into the lava pits of Tinderin with the rest? Nostalga? Perhaps. Or was it because it had Mustafaa's name on it? She loved him like a brother, and they had been through wars together. She didn't know where Shayde had gone, or if Musti would be able to find the rogue. If Shay didn't want to be found, none but Cyric would be able to sniff her out. Or maybe Laricen. She always had an affinity for that odd boy. Last she had heard of Euchra, the cleric had let Musti lead her into the MR dungeon while it was under the effects of the full Bleeding Moon. The result of that was not pretty.
Shaking her head at thoughts of her sisters, Sera sighed and opened the box. Curiosity killed the cat.
On top were a handful of newsletters. She scanned them and noted both Amere's and Iceane's names. Something must be up, since the MV boys didn't bother to stir themselves unless there was something big happening. It always fascinated her how they always appeared out of the woodwork right when there was a serious situation, then disappeared shortly after things wrapped up. Perhaps they received parcels much like this, wherever they went between happenings.
The last newspaper contained a sketch of the entrance to Marali city. But it was wrong. There were large ice boulders blocking the gate, and the inside showed sketches of Ice golems and dragons. Scanning back up the article, she looked closer. Her eyes widened at the name she saw. Vandrovic. How was he still alive? There were rumours when she had left that he was planning something. She expected he would have been long vanquished by now. She had heard things were bad after she left, but really, something like this should have been taken care of moons ago.
At the bottom of the package was a hand-written note.
Please come back. Our numbers are too small and we need strong people so we can take care of things. We need you.
She looked across the table at her partner, Rav, and shook her head. There was no way she was leaving him, or her new life here. But maybe they could work out a way to modify those portals being used by the Elondrians, and patch them into Oberin's crystal network. She would have to talk to one of her sorcerers and see. First she had a decision to make. She had no love for Marali, but she did have a history with Vandrovic. She'd do a lot to see that one dead. Perhaps even face her old life. If Musti was still there, how bad could it be?