"As you wish," Randle said, then turned to the tables where the ambassadors were
waiting. "Everyone else is invited to stay as well." He gestured them toward the table. "Please
join us." He turned to Elison. "Move chairs around to the other side of the table so we aren't
spread out so far. It's fine when facing the lesser tribunals, but it makes my neck hurt to keep
looking back and forth."
Judge Geshiann moved up to Randle. "If the church is to have additional representatives,"
he said with a sour look toward Elder Zanandrei, "then I would like one of my Chief Judges to be
allowed to stay as well."
Randle waved his hand irritably. "Fine," he said curtly, then turned to one of the warders.
"Go fetch Judge Zeesrom and invite him to return." The warder left at a trot, and Judge Geshiann
returned to his seat with a smug smile on his face. Gideon watched him for a moment, then
dismissed him from his thoughts. The man was as childish as the rest of his family.
When the chairs were in place and everyone had settled in, Randle nodded in satisfaction.
"Gideon Dymas will take things from here," he said.
Gideon looked around at those who remained. The four Communicator Stones still in use
had been placed directly across from him, and the glowing images of General Crompton and
Kings Marik, Agisthas, and Tetrica watched him and the others without speaking. Even knowing
how the stones worked, they were a marvel to behold.
He let his eyes travel the table. Seth, Elison, and Croneam sat to the left of the stones, and
Elders Nesthius and Zanandrei and Judges Zeesrom and Geshiann sat to the right. He, the
Fairimors, and the Chellums had remained where they were. Thorac and the ambassadors from
Elva and Zeka had moved to the seats next to Jase.
Seeing that everyone was present, he opened himself more fully to the Power and created
a ward against eavesdropping. A thick invisible shield of Spirit and Air settled around the table
like a bubble.
"Before I discuss the issues at hand," he said, "I need to explain a few things about the
stones for the benefit of those who've never seen them used. I have warded our end against those
who might seek to hear what we discuss, but I can do nothing about the other ends of the four
links. It's highly unlikely our enemies are aware of the links yet, but continued use of Ta'shaen to
communicate over such a distance will eventually be discovered. I will give you what
information I can today. After that, you'll have to rely on written communications until you have
someone who can ward your end as well."
The four blue images nodded, so he continued. "I want a full call to arms issued in each
of your cities," he told them. "Lord Marik, Lord Tetrica, I want you to send every soldier not
directly responsible for peace-keeping in your cities to Capena. General Crompton, I want you to
solidify the front lines between Kelsa and Riak. You know better than I do what is needed, so I
leave our southern border in your hands. King Agisthas," he said, turning to regard the portly
image, "send half your troops to Fulrath and the other half to Crescent Gap. Defending Fulrath
does little good if the enemy sneaks in from the south."
"Yes, Dymas," the King said.
"The enemy we face," he continued, "is more than sword-bearing soldiers. There will be
shadowspawn and Agla'Con. There will also be K'rrosha. We will need Power-wielders trained
for battle if we are to stand against those. Some have answered the call sent by Lord Fairimor to
come forward and be trained, but they are not nearly enough. And what is worse, we have none
but myself to train them." He let his eyes move along the table. "I refuse to believe I am the last
of my kind. The Dymas are out there, gentlemen. Find them. Do whatever is necessary. Go door
to door if you have to. Tell them Gideon Dymas has need of their services once more. Post
notices in every village and neighborhood detailing the nature of the threat we face. Tell them of
the Agla'Con. You can even tell them Shadan has returned, I don't care. But find them."