Unfortunately, the trail didn’t last for long, petering out in a side passage not far from the amulet’s former resting place. Almonihah growled in frustration as he looked about, though truth be told he was not surprised.
Just as he was about to speak, Archmage Ganver spoke up. “He must have gone through this door—see? It is ajar. Unfortunately I suspect this presages his esacpe,” he continued, opening the door into a small room lit by sunlight, “For this room has a balcony.”
Quickly Almonihah rushed past and to the balcony, his keen draconic eyes scanning the skies. Soon enough his eyes narrowed.
“There. Human flying, not a bird. Headed… to th’ docks?”
“Then we shall search for him there,” Illusin declared. “Your artifact has a powerful aura. It shall not be hard to pin down its precise location once we arrive in its general vicinity.”
Hurriedly the Archmagi formed a search party, consisting of themselves and a few others they trusted, as well as the two half-dragons and griffon. Not wanting to delay, the group swiftly trooped out of the tower and down to the bridge, where, Illusin informed them, they would be outside of the teleportation-exclusion enchantment upon the Mage’s Guild.
Zakhin’Dakh again returned to his true size once outside, making those wizards standing closest to him jump a bit in surprise. Ganver would not delay, however, and ushered the group together, getting them closer together so they would be ready for teleportation. Once he was satisfied they were all ready, he spoke his incantation, weaving his hands in the air…
And suddenly they were on the docks.
“You two, that way,” Archmage Ganver ordered two of the lower-ranking wizards. “You two, along there, and you two, to the right. I will take this direction, and Illusin…”
“I will maintain contact between the disparate groups here, with our guests, to be ready to aid whichever group finds the artifact,” Archmage Illusin interrupted, smoothly. “It is clear our thief knows he could be followed, so we should be prepared with a reserve, and for that reserve to arrive in time to aid, we will need one who can stay in contact with all of the groups simultaneously.”
Ganver looked like he wanted to argue, but finally just nodded. “Very well. Now, go!” He ordered the other mages, then left himself.
As soon as they were out of sight, Illusin worked a spell of his own, and soon Almonihah, Garkhen, and Zakhin’Dakh could hear the voices of the different mages speaking from thin air. The Archmage glanced over at them, looking a bit smug.
“No doubt we will soon locate our thief, and then I shall bring you in to aid in his capture. We are, as you no doubt know, authorized to make arrests within the city.”
“I see,” Garkhen said, voice neutral. He had not realized just how much power the Mage’s Guild wielded in Midport. “We are, of course, prepared to aid in the recovery of the Amulet and the apprehension of the thief by the proper authorities.”
Zakhin’Dakh added a piercing shriek of agreement, then the whole group fell silent, listening to the disembodied voices. For the most part they spoke in only quiet murmurs, confirming with one another that there was nothing in each location before moving on to the next.
Finally, after what felt like hours but was more likely minutes, one of the younger mages exclaimed, “I found something!”
“Where?” Archmage Illusin demanded immediately.
“It’s… there’s a chain hanging on a sign in front.”
“The Chainer’s Guild?” Illusin replied, incredulously, then shook his head and turned to the three friends. “Come, we must go there at once.”
Yep, Midport is pretty much a magocracy even if it’s officially not.