“Now, then,” the spokeswizard said, turning back to Almonihah and Garkhen. “While we’re waiting, why don’t you share a bit of what you’re here for?”
Almonihah growled a bit. “Not out in th’ open.”
The wizard raised an eyebrow. “That sensitive, is it? Well, then…”
He chanted for a few moments, and a shimmering, translucent dome popped into being around the group. “There! No one outside of our little group will see or hear us. So I ask again, what sort of business do you have here?”
Almonihah glowered around at nothing in particular, but Garkhen cut in before he could speak. “That should be sufficient. We carry with us an artifact of terrible power, closely aligned with the powers of Chaos and Madness. It has already lured many men to their deaths, and drawn in Madness-Touched to kill many others.”
“It must be destroyed, but we have not the means to do so, and thus we have come here, to the greatest center of magical learning on our world.”
The spokeswizard nodded thoughtfully. “We had, of course, detected a powerful magical aura with you as soon as you drew near our shores. That does explain why you have come here…”
He looked over the three thoughtfully. “If this is as you say, we will, of course, have an interest in seeing to the destruction of this item. However… you will need a way to pay for your stay here, will you not?”
“We have sufficient gold for our stay,” Garkhen stated, cautiously.
“But we are uninterested in gold, and you will wish to visit often to observe our progress, will you not?” The spokeswizard smiled, and Almonihah’s head-frill went stiff at the predatory look in his eyes. “A small deal, then? We would be interested in a few samples—nothing much, just a few scales, a few drops of blood, a couple feathers…”
Almonihah growled, but Garkhen put a hand on his arm and murmured, “Now is not the time, my friend.” The half-bronze dragon bared his teeth, but said nothing.
“Perhaps we might discuss this further once we are inside and you can examine the artifact,” the Warder said once he was certain his friend would not act rashly.
Just at that moment, the mage who had disappeared earlier reappeared, with another wizard alongside him. “Master Verithuss will work the griffon’s desired magic,” he stated.
The spokeswizard nodded, his eyes still glittering with desire as the transmutation Master began chanting.