Gladness Malach is called to an audience with King Aodhan and Commissar Magnus. As Magnus hovers protectively over the King’s shoulder, Aodhan tells him that Flint, Constable Walker and Commissar Shae are poking their noses where they shouldn’t. The King has – he relates – found the secret leaders of The Obscuriatii. All of them have personal Teleportation Circles, and are therefore vulnerable to a surgical strike through them by a team of Commissars. To this end, he has ordered The Commissariat to set up a secret warehouse facility containing a hundred teleportation circles.
Walker and Shae, he says, stumbled onto this facility. As a known associate of them, and moreover a highly-trusted member of state, he would like Gladness to assure them that everything is all right. To which end, he signs a piece of paper confirming Gladness’ security clearance.
After the paper is signed, Aodhan reveals the reason for the Commissars massing in Flint. The Obscuriatii, he says, are a creation of Danor, and after their leaders are decapitated, he intends to launch a full-on invasion of that country! To this end, he has formed an alliance with The Four Mages of the other major powers in the world.
Walker, Shae, and Felix are admitted to an audience with the King, Gladness and Magnus also present. They confront the King – why has he created these illicit teleportation circles without going through the proper process? By right, Aodhan says, what he does is the proper process.
But what of the Commissars? There are 300 of them on the streets of Flint right now, ten times as many as in any other Risuri city, and their penchant for brutal violence and detaining people without representation or cause – in many cases indefinitely – is doing nothing to help the people love their King. Their presence, says Aodhan, is only temporary – soon they’ll be gone. He does not reveal his plans to invade Danor.
Walker and Shae leave, more convinced than ever that the King is – at the least – ill-advised. And at the most, actively working against the people of Risur. There is one other person they should consult – Harkover Lee.
Arriving at Harkover’s tower, Walker aware that he and Shae do not have clearance, asks Gladness to update Lee about the teleportation circles and what the King has done. As Lee should – as First Minister – have the required clearance, Gladness does so while Walker, Shae, and Felix wait outside.
Gladness tells Lee about the teleportation circles and the Obscuriatii, but not about the proposed invasion of Danor. Lee should have been appraised of all of it, and is shocked.
The Four Mages have been seen conspiring before by the team. Once in Flint. And Walker and Shae saw two of them in the teleportation warehouse.
Resolving to find out more, Shae and Walker use Lee’s teleportation circle to teleport to Ber, where the rest of the party await.