Three men sat in the council chamber, dumbfounded. Lord Commander Erebus had no words. Nor did Mew. Even Aberion, force and action given form, couldn't think of anything to do other than sit still.
Lord Baelish was gone.
Finally, Erebus spoke up. "This development... has been unfortunate. It is a... setback."
You looked at the report. Arch-Cyurate Baelish had left the council, his displeasure suddenly all too apparent. With him, all of the Jittarian and Bask auxiliaries and Genesis Conscripts. Before he left, he launched an attack on the Overseers at Solace's Gate, freeing Lucca and the Avarrach Aleta. Unconfirmed reports indicate that he whisked away the Untamed World's Aleta before departing for Jittaria and declaring its independence from the Dawn. Assistant-Cyurate Aleta (Talich) and Kali, the Purifier, have also joined him. The Firmament Foundation is now a belligerent faction.
The Overseers, incensed at being attacked by forces wearing the colors of the Flame Dawn, have withdrawn all auxiliary forces. Relations have become strained to the point of war. Diplomatic ties to the Warpath have also degenerated, with the beasts claiming that the Dawn kidnapped their treasured leader. In addition, the council received the following letter from the Descendants of the Dragon:
Knights of the Flame Dawn,
Your last letter has only proved your arrogance and barbarity. We will deal with the Cult and the Exiles ourselves, in alliance with the Overseers of Solace. Any help you could offer is clearly inferior and suspect. If you want to make it to Reish, you'll have to fight your way through us, you uncultured swine.
Yuanshi, Sage of Ferocity
500 additional Aspirants were promoted to knighthood.
Before the Arch-Cyurate's betrayal, his research teams were able to crack the Omnimind data core, revealing information that has allowed us to upgrade all of our knights' weapons. However, Baelish and Aleta took the core with them to the Firmament Foundation. If it can be retrieved, it will yield a great deal of information. The Lord Commander's Project GOLIATH has begun work since Baelish's betrayal and is currently 40% complete.
Occupying Neon: 2000 Aspirants
Occupying Lanstead: 2000 Aspirants
At the Talich-Untamed Rift: 1000 Morningstar Knights, 1000 Knights
"I think we can describe this turn as an unqualified disaster," Mew groaned. "And we put so much effort into diplomacy!"
"Indeed," Erebus replied, "but Baelish was in charge of the diplomatic efforts. His treachery has wrought havoc upon the Empire."
"At least he didn't take the Morningstar knights," Mew pointed out.
"No, he didn't, but he left a message saying that if we attacked him with the Morningstar Knights he would shut off their armor."
"Can he do that?"
"I have no idea, but I wouldn't doubt it. It's too much to risk."
The chamber falls into silence. Finally, Aberion shifts in his chair. "I don't get it," he said.
"How'd he do it? How'd Baelish manage it? Puffy, I'm too impressed to even be mad!"
You looked at each other. "Let's get in our budgets by... I suppose the 17th will have to do," Erebus said, sighing.