Master Gouken made haste. Crumpled paper in his hand and a dire look on his face. The students knew that something had him on edge, but he would not speak on the matter. Along one of the many halls of the School of the South, Gouken looked for the sign. It had been almost a year since he had to find it, and his aging eyes were not helping. But at last, he found it. A small cut in the stone that looked like an eye.
Pressing the stone, a small part of the wall gave way. The master quickly stepped in and closed the way behind him. He then took a large steel bar that was hinged on the door and bound it shut. This room was not for anyone but the master of the school. Etched into the floor was a bizarre pattern of arcane symbols, but the central stone was out of place. Heading to the back of the chamber, Gouken looked in a chest and found the missing piece. The Grand Master had commissioned these “Scrying Circles” as a communication system between the schools, but only one school could be connected to another per circle. With the stone in place, the circle began to glow, and Gouken took his seat on a meditation pad.
The room was lit with a pale blue light. The torch Gouken had brought flickered violently in its sconce. When the air stood still, a ghostly image of Grand Master Shao sat across from him. Her features were clam and frozen, like a porcelain mask. “Master Gouken, I find it strange that you chose to speak with me this way. I recall your dislike for the arcane to be well documented.” With a sitting bow, Gouken looked back at the image and plainly spoke. “Forgive the sudden contact Grand Master, I have urgent news regarding your… investigation.”
The two spent hours peering over the letters that had been sent by Chiro and the information they contained. “Grand Master, does this match anything that the Pathfinder Society has shared with you?” Taking a moment to collect all this new information, the Grand Master opened her eyes and peered at Master Gouken. “I am not sure. For now, we should not make any rash decisions. Although, shouldn’t you be more concerned Master Gouken?” The Grand Master slowly pointed towards the old human and continued. “Though she is flourishing, your student has somehow managed to discover one of the secret techniques of Ansatsuken. The last time this happened, it was your brother.”
Gouken looked discouraged. This was true. Gouki was a natural at the style and was well on his way to being a master before the age of twenty.“I believe in my student, Grand Master. She has proven with time and trial that she is capable. She has also fallen into a group of good, although brash comrades. They are what Gouki lacked. I believe they will be there for each other no matter the challenge.”The Grand Masters expression remained neutral. “And if she does follow his path?”Gouken took a steely gaze and stared back at his superior. “If these letters are true, then they will overcome what my brother failed to do.”
With a nod, the Grand Master relented. “I believe you. Chiro has shown some amazing potential for both ability and curiosity. I will ask the Society what they have discovered. The last communication I received, their investigator Ivran was not well.” Gouken raised an eyebrow, “Is he sick Grand Master?”The image of the Grand Master sat silent for a moment and then replied. “It was far more serious. It seemed he was assaulted. His nephew came into the room after he heard him yell. Strangely, he was burned on his arm. Ivran was unable to identify his attacker, and they managed to escape the Society’s best security team without a single trace.”
The evening began to set and the two began to conclude the conversation. “For now, continue replying. I will send you a response to send to Chiro as well. Please inform me if she speaks further on this… other world.”With a bow, the circle went dark. Gouken stood from his pad and returned the key stone to its previous spot. Removing the steel bar from the door, the master listened carefully to make sure his exit would not be discovered and slipped back into the hallway. After dinner, he took to parchment and ink. Carefully thinking how to respond.