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Damion walked briskly through the antechamber. No one stopped him, nor questioned. Guards, few obvious and most hidden, moved to let him pass. He nodded to them each but did not slow. He had bad news to deliver and he was not the type of man to sit on such things for long periods of time. It had been too long already.  Returning home was meant to be a happier occasion.  Calpene Peninsula was nice as always, though.


He found his master in his exercise chamber. He announced himself and bowed respectfully, as always, but not so much as to appear meek and subservient. Duram Laddel Cham, the Net Weaver, Be’lal; his Lord, was not one who demanded displays of servitude from his followers. But being polite was never a bad thing, especially to a man—if he could be called a man—that was one of the Chosen of The Great Lord. There was a chance that his bow was deeper and longer than necessary; this was easily blamed on his agitated state.


“My Lord, I—” Damion stopped and followed the direction his master was pointing. He knew without turning around: the weapons rack, as usual. Damion shook his head, smiled and wandered over.  He chose a training lathe that represented the basic form of a long sword. He preferred the stave, but Be’lal was quietly insistent about getting what he wanted and he always did—in the end.


Damion stepped onto the mat, and continued with his original statement. “I have bad news, my Lord. It is as we . . . I feared. I checked into the matter personally. The money lender is dead. His wealth has been provided for and secured, and his assistants are heading towards the Mountains of Mist. It was an unnecessary loss.


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