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While the sudden earthquake was devastating in magnitude, the guild was not unused to such occurrences. Macoto and the Anemone Circle managed to protect the guildhall and its vicinity, sparing the majority of the guild from the rampant cataclysm.
Emerging from the guildhall as the dust settled, Ruut found himself bathed in warm sunlight. The guildhall now sat within a forest of sharp stone spires, glittering menacingly like an earthen maw eager to reclaim what had been torn from it.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" Macoto asked, sitting on a nearby opalescent slab.
"The Euphorbia are going to have a headache, but I'm certain the Cosmos are equally excited," Ruut said, sitting beside her. Between two thin mottled granite spires, something in the distance caught his eye. "Is that…?"
"A neighboring civilization? Probably. There's another one over there." Ruut gestured beyond a cluster of crystalline quartz spires far to their right.
"I'll notify the Gazania and Aster Circles. There should be caravans ready to go by the time we get any visitors. Is there anything you need? It must have taken no modest effort to withstand that transition."
"I would appreciate your company." Macoto leaned on Ruut's shoulder, earning a warm chuckle.
The pair stayed until the sun touched the horizon, then moved to inform and prepare the guild for the coming days.
A few days later, Ruut stood in a quiet Protea Circle sanctum, idly experimenting with chrysoberyl harvested from the nearby spires. A slender figure garbed in soft red robes quietly entered. "Report," Ruut said, setting the quartz aside.
"The guild has entertained a number of guests since the shift. Among the first were two groups of missionaries: the anti-magic Zalgofarians and the followers of the 'True Gods' cult. The Zalgofarians are aggressive in their apparent hatred of magic, making it convenient that the guild does not use it. The cult's followers are equally zealous in their faith, and both groups incessantly preach in an effort to convert guild members."
"Continue to entertain their presence so long as they remain within the bounds of reason and decorum. Take care to not inflict physical or mental injury. The Aster certainly don't need reminding, but politeness is paramount. Don't offer what is not asked for outside the bounds of hospitality and business. There have been no outstanding issues as of yet?"
"None of note. The two groups seem greatly incompatible, so they have not been made aware of each other's presence. They may chance upon each other however, so we are undergoing efforts to maintain neutrality under all circumstances. Reports from Cosmos scouts indicate there will likely be other arrivals in the near future as well, and the Aster are preparing accordingly. Small Gazania caravans have been dispatched to each neighbor we are aware of, including those we have not received visitors from. Their compositions and wares have been customized to suit our neighbors' apparent preferences."
"Good. My thanks to the Euphorbia."
"It is our pleasure." The figure half-bowed, silently exiting the room.
Ruut stayed for a time, wondering what other surprises might arise in the coming days. I suppose I should find Macoto, he thought. The Cosmos should have plenty of interesting news to share with her, with their efforts to revitalize this fractured landscape.
Taking a piece of chrysoberyl with him, Ruut went about finding his partner, just another alchemist walking the guild's halls.
P.S. – @Tommia Quick question: Is it possible for the factions to find and/or enter Reya? (It doesn't seem like there's anything preventing it, but I wanted to make sure before I wrote about it.) If they can, the Apothecaria Salvia will likely prioritize Reya's restoration.