King Isaac paced impatiently in his throne room. The message had been sent to the Iron Dwarves almost a month ago and there was still no reply. The populous was getting impatient; he had promised them a grand expedition and so far not a single boot has set foot outside of Afacia! As if the gods themselves had heard his thoughts, the door was swung open by a red-faced messenger. “My Lord, they’ve replied!” he manages to blurt out while thrusting a rolled parchment in the kings direction. Ignoring the fact that the messenger had completely forgotten to knock, Isaac took the scroll.
King Isaac, ruler of the city of Afacia and lord of the plains,
We are gladdened that you have decided to send a diplomatic contingent to our mountain; this meeting is well overdue. Your envoys are most welcome to attend us in our home and we shall offer them every hospitality we can afford.
We apologise for the tardiness of this letter, however we wanted to ensure that we were able to offer you a place of relative safety inside the mists before extending this offer. We have been able to secure the blessing of the Mist Queen Etsuko, first amongst equals, to create a temporary zone of what you would call reality at the foot of our great mountain. We can assure you that the way will be safe and that your accommodations have been prepared with all due care. This arrangement will only be in place for one month; so we humbly suggest that you make all due haste to visit us.
We look forward to your attendance at your earliest convenience.
Isaac gave a wry smile. “Relay the order to ready our expeditionary forces; they leave immediately.” With a quick nod, the messenger retreats from the room. Within minutes, Isaac can hear the sounds of preparation for the journey ahead from the courtyard below. His mind recalls the meeting he had with the rest of the leaders of the new world council when he informed them of the path that the free people intended to take. The message was clear and resounding; do whatever is necessary to save the Dwarves. The Stone Dwarf, Lustre, made it clear what the problem was; the Iron Warlord was insane. Tainted by the mists into some unholy abomination, he couldn’t be both god and creature of the mists. It was tearing him apart and his people with him. The way forward was clear, the free people would find a way to save the Iron Warlord, and in the process save his people.
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