by Barnaby

It was the first cool evening of the new Autumn, and Detective Thorpe was taking his time. He strolled along the top of the castle walls and reflected on what he knew, and what he must now explain to Jeffrey. The former second-in-command of the Royal Britannian Guards had been tasked by Sir Andrew and the King to work with Thorpe in his investigation of the legendary Benambra – a rogue who amassed a great fortune hundreds of years ago. While Thorpe and his Royal Investigators followed clues and retraced the path Benambra’s journeys followed, Jeffrey led armed adventurers into the more dangerous locations along that path. For most of the investigation all they knew was that Benambra sought out powerful magical relics, and that it was possible someone else now sought them, and was seemingly willing to kill for them. That was all they knew – until two weeks ago.

Thorpe’s investigators found a link between these relics and the Healer’s Guild. When questioned on the matter, one of the guildmasters, Vincent (a familiar figure from past events), agreed to explain that link. Five nights ago, Vincent met at the Conservatory in Britain with some of the investigators. Now Thorpe was on his way to brief Jeffrey on what they learned. He found him leaning on a wall overlooking the courtyard, looking irritated as always.

“Good evening, Jeffrey.” Thorpe greeted.

“Detective.” Jeffrey said, nodding his head. “I’m waitin’ to hear the news. What did your people learn from this healer?”

“He confirmed what we learned from the Menlis on in Terra Sanctum – Benambra was searching for five extremely powerful artifacts. The ‘Pentad of Power’ he called them. He says that they were once united and it brought Chaos into the world. Once broken, Chaos was imprisoned, though perhaps not adequately so.”

Jeffrey raised his eyebrows and asked, “Not adequately so? What does that mean?”

Thorpe simply shrugged before continuing, “Vincent says some of his brotherhood, the Healers, are guardians of ‘The Prophecy of the Pentad’ which says that someone who ‘once nobly led the great kingdom’ will return from the dead, and he will be the ‘Bringer of Chaos’. He will seek to reunite the Pentad, and wield its ultimate power.”

“Ultimate Power?” Jeffrey asked, “It sounds as though he is suggestin’ the King is this ‘Bringer of Chaos’.”

“Complete power over life and death, it would seem.” Thorpe paused to consider Jeffrey’s second statement. “It…may be. It is a plausible explanation, at least.”

It was quiet for a moment as both men considered the implication that King Blackthorn could be the ‘Bringer of Chaos’. Finally, Jeffrey spoke, “We need to tell Andrew.”

“Will he tell the King?” Thorpe asked.

Jeffrey shook his head before replying, “I don’t think so. At least, not until we’ve had more time ta figure this out. What else did tha Healer say?”

“Just that it was imperative that we retrieve the remaining artifacts before the ‘Bringer’ does. He DID suggest that it would eventually be important to find “the blood of Benambra”. I’m not sure what to make of that, though. The man must have been dead and gone for close to three hundred years now.”

Jeffrey gave a “harumph” but said nothing.

“Oh! He happened to mention where one of the artifacts is supposedly located. You’ll like this.”

Jeffrey perked up, and looked at the Detective inquisitively.

“Nox Tereg.”

“BAH!” Jeffrey exclaimed, “Nuthin’ but swamp and bugs and overgrown reptiles there. Next time, how ’bout I do the meetin’s and the clue searchin’ and YOU go to the swamp?”

Thorpe smiled as the Lieutenant stomped away.

This meeting followed THIS EVENT and preceded THIS ONE.


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