I have the preliminary reports of the scouts we sent to the Bender Empire and Abua Shi's jungle.
The activity among the Benders is due to the Cloaks, as we suspected. It is disturbing to learn that the extent of their assassination is greater than we thought. Not only do they use specialized assassination tactics, they have developed a class of special Assassins whose training helps counteract the advanced skills of their important targets.
There is a new champion among the Cloaks. We don't know his real name because he is always called "Doc", for the simple reason that he has healing powers. He is not as good as Sera Eldwyn and her Priests, but he can do it without any summoning magic expenditure; perhaps he is a renegade Bender. This healing would be a welcome break from the usual disruption that the Cloaks specialize in, if we could be sure that he heals innocents as well as his fellow Cloaks.
We have troubling news from the jungle, beyond the animal attacks we have heard of. The Elves there have traditionally used poison darts to hunt for food, but now they have begun using it on people.
Fortunately, this poison does not slay large targets like Humans and Elves outright. But it does weaken them, and it is cumulative: the more darts hit you, the weaker you get. The scouts believe that several days in bed will allow you to recover fully, but that is no comfort to people hit in the middle of battle.
They have also heard tales of warriors, and even animals, attacking at times in ferocious bursts with a strength several times greater than you would expect.
This is another sign of more Summoner activity. They are now trying to get to the bottom of this.