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Clouds Gather

Before you can even think of answering the wizard's question, the warrior on the floor starts to speak.

"Milord and milady," he says. "I must warn you at once, even if it be the betrayal of my former comrades. The Temple Knight Obezalos, and his Assassins, Celia and Lede, were a mere hour behind my squadron as we traveled to this town. Even now they should be closing in."

"Obezalos? Temple Knight?" you frown. "Who's he?"

"A veteran of a hundred battles, and the second in command of the Temple Knights of Valmara." Hephast clarifies. "But what does this mean? Why are the Temple Knights riding under Prince Julius' command to slay you? Surely the Blight could not have outstretched it's claws this far so soon!"

"The orders for your deaths came from the highest authority in the Municipal Synod of Deashria." the Knight of the Fated Guild says. "But surely the Cardinal would not tolerate such wrongdoing if he knew about it!"

"What are you two talking about?" you demand.

The wizard frowns, pacing about the room, which still reeks of burning wood and andrenalin. "Till now we made our course to the protection of the Priests of Valmara. But now they seem to have thrown in their lot with Prince Julius - the Dark One."

"It cannot be!" the knight exclaims. "Surely it is but one corrupted bishop that butchers so the principles of justice!! If we went to the Cardinal he would certainly succour us!"

You find the total 180 degree turn this man's mind just performed fascinating. "What is your name, anyway?" you ask.

"Falcon Beoulve - forever at your service." he replies with a grin, kneeling to kiss your hand.

"In any case, only two options are left to us." Hephast says. "The first is to continue on our way to see the Cardinal - an option I see as fraught with danger, for he may have succumbed to the Blight, already losing his humanity. This would spell dark days for all the land indeed."

"But what is the other option?" you ask.

"We can travel west." Hephast says. "West into the endless woods of Nayemoth, where I was born. There stands my father's tower, where as a wee babe I was raised in the traditions of magic. But that too is a path fraught with danger." he says with a strange smile. "The woods are populated by the darkest monsters from the very depths of hell, and most who enter never return. Also, the last I saw my father, we had a falling out - a most severe falling out."

"Well!" Falcon laughs. "One path seems hardly better than the other! But I would still say that we see the Cardinal."

"Keep your mouth shut." Hephast commands. "It is the lady's decision."

You decide...

Written by Ryu

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