It's a week later and everyone is relaxing in a meeting room at Andorra. Vibria has a new dress, Roberto sits with his wounds finally bandaged, and Rilcheaux has only just returned from his cleanup work in Paris. Lucas sits drinking a goblet of wine, while Arachne sits in a corner contemplating the situation. Santiago and Diego have traveled to Andorra to see Flavia, who is finally reunited with her familiar, an owl named Daedalus.
"Flavia," Santiago says, taking the woman into an embrace. "It's good to see you safe. We were all worried when you disappeared, and it seems for good reason. We had no idea that you'd been taken as far as Paris. I'm just glad that Roberto's team is as competent as they are to both rescue you and recover the scrolls."
"I'm sorry, old friend," he adds to Roberto, "that you had to suffer such injuries in the course of this mission. But you and your team have my thanks for a job well done."
"And if I may ask," he continues, turning his attention back to Flavia. "We've all had a long, and quite tense, wait to hear about your research. May we finally hear about what you discovered?"
Flavia returns the embrace. "I've thanked my rescuers already," she says. "Now I'll thank you as well. I owe you all a great debt. And I hope to repay it by the information I have to reveal." She looks around the room at the gathered magi and continues. "What I discovered may shake the foundations of the Order. These scrolls are but the culmination of years of research. They have the clues I needed, but are still cryptic to those without the fifteen years of foundational investigation that I have. That's why Forratus had trouble making heads or tails of them."
"What I have found," she continues, "is none other than the location of what I believe is a standing temple of the Cult of Mercury." She pauses a moment to let that sink in. "As you all know, the Order is built on the shoulders of the Cult of Mercury, though precious little of its original knowledge is left - just a few spells and rituals that have carried over. I've spent my entire career as a Seeker, searching for information about the lost Cult of Mercury, and now I think that research has paid off. If this is what I think it is, then who knows what treasures might yet remain. No standing temple of the ancient Cult of Mercury has ever been found before. This is a find of unprecedented value."
"The temple is in Northern Africa," Flavia explains. "Too many magi have been looking in the Roman and Theban tribunals. But those areas have been combed over for centuries. If something was there, it would have been uncovered ages ago. I looked farther afield in the Levant and Northern Africa. And it seems like my efforts have not gone unrewarded."
"These scrolls give hints of a location in the old Roman province of Mauretania Caesariensis that I believe is the site of a temple of the Cult of Mercury. Darius has apparently been following my research more closely than I thought. He got wind that I had made an important discovery and his people took me on the streets of Rome. The rest you know."
"Now, if there's one thing I learned in the past few weeks, it's that I'm not capable of standing up to Darius and his forces on my own. I fully intend to explore this temple. But I need help. I've trusted you with this information and I'm going to trust you with more than that. Will you, or the people you choose, come with me to Northern Africa to seek out the temple of the Cult of Mercury?"