Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Knights of Antiquity 3: A Brother's Grief

Genos Hawkwinter strode into the Helmite chamber with purpose. He had provided a small fortune to the church in hopes that Helm’s best diviners could determine what exactly had gone on at that guard post. All that his investigators could come up with was that several packs of wild dogs/wolves heralded the arrival of the fey creatures that had swarmed the stone structure. Genos didn’t need an investigator to figure out that none of the prisoner’s remains being found was highly suspicious. In fact the only things found at the site of the slaughter were the followers of Helm who had arrived to transport a prisoner to the castle prison. Exactly which prisoner was unclear. Due to an unfortunate circumstance, the paperwork involved in the transfer had either been lost or stolen. Nothing had been found on the bodies, which Genos had learned had been left in a horrible state, without any of their belongings, their skin apparently stripped by the fey.

The high priest of his brother’s order, a dwarf named Dackar Roaringstone, entered the chamber followed by a half dozen clergy. The high priest motioned for everyone to sit at the large conference table. Genos unlatched his sword belt and sat down, anxious to hear what had been discovered. Dackar wasted little time beyond introductions. The other six priests present had each worked on several divinations and all agreed they were quite confused by what they discovered. They explained that their initial questions went unanswered, for they had assumed facts that were not so. It was not until Dackar considered that Gerald could have been killed by something else that they started to get any answers. The high priest further explained the nature of divinations, that answers are rarely simple. The priests through ceremony are able to gain more than a simple casting but even so, some of the information gained is very confusing. He then slid across a scroll, explaining that they wrote down ever question and answer, once the priests began to receive information. They all hope the information they gleaned will mean more to Genos than it does to them.

Genos opened the scroll and began to read:

1st Question: Was Gerald’s death a result of the fey’s swarming of the guard keep? Answer: A swarm eats all, alive or dead, the living escaped the fey’s grasp.

2nd Question: Was Gerald killed by dogs or wolves? No

3rd Question: Did Gerald know his killer? Yes

4th Question: Was Gerald the target of the guard post attack? He was a victim of opportunity

5th Question: Did a prisoner kill Gerald? No

6th Question: Was Gerald’s death painful or quick? It was a violent death.

7th Question: Was Helm the only faith represented at the guard’s keep? Several faiths were present

8th Question: Did all the prisoners live? The real prisoners survive.

9th Question: Was the murderer alone? His company present, though not all, brothers in arms.

10th Question: Does the murderer of Gerald have a title? Champion or Mage-killer

As Genos finished looking at the scroll, Dackar removed another scroll from his vest pocket and handed it over to Genos explaining, “At the end of our Divinations, we received additional information. This type of occurrence is very rare and seems to indicate this matter is of much greater importance than originally thought.” Genos’ hands greedily snatched up the second scroll and quickly unfurled it. At the top of the scroll was a strange symbol that Genos did not recognize. Dackar noted Genos’ look of confusion and interjected that they were looking into the symbol but as yet had not discovered its origin or meaning. Beneath the symbol were these words:

Death, not by what he saw, but saw through

More than one plan or motivation, or even family

A successful venture on both ends of the candle

An opportunity for revenge, a perceived wrong, violent death

The highest corruption, polluting process, innocent criminal guilty anew.

A new start, escaping justice, a family saving face

Different rules for different castes, a belief in blood

Their birth a station, many faiths and many homes

Antiquities path crosses , royalty in uprising, enemies previously known

Genos sat back staring at the words. It was not until the last line he was sure it was meant for him. The priests of course would not know of his affiliation to the Knights of Antiquity, but it was clear that their god did. Genos shook off his thoughts and thanked Dackar and his men. While he still did not have the answer he sought, he knew he was much closer to the truth than the official investigation. Genos knew several resources that could help him with what he had uncovered so far. For some reason he couldn’t quite put a finger on, he was as yet , not ready to present his findings to the other Knights. Genos handed Dackar a bag of coin, thanking him for doing so well and left the chamber. Dackar turned to the other priests and thanked them for their silence. “Genos has a lot to worry about right now, we didn’t need to worry him regarding brother Carmichael’s condition.” The remaining priests, devout, did not question Dackar but their worry was obvious. “I assume he is still not eating” Dackar continued, to which they all nodded. A priest named Decarlo responded, “Since the divinations began he has not stopped writing, physically he is beginning to deteriorate.” Dackar responded, “Carmichael’s faith is true, he will not stop, even should it cost him his life.”

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