Anointed and the Heretic

The Lord High Anointed takes his seat gasping for air. The trek to arrive here must have been very taxing indeed. A long white beard covers much of his attire which doesn’t look too dissimilar from the robes you and your companions are currently wearing. He draws several deep breaths before speaking. His accent is striking and rich Sescheronian.

“First let me take the opportunity to apologize for waking you. Our civilization is all but destroyed, and the council didn’t know what else to do.”

You aren’t quite sure what he means by “waking you up.” Were you asleep? Dead? Worse? Also, what’s this about “destroyed civilization?”

The Lord High Anointed stops mid-sentence as if he knew your confusion.

“Let me start from the beginning then. I am The Lord High Anointed, Cornelius Sescheron. I am the last direct descendant of the great Kings of Sescheron. My father was Althelas IV, and I am the only surviving member of the Brothers of the Sun. You are in Babylon, the last city of man. Everything else in the world has succumbed to darkness and corruption. Come, let me show you.”

Cornelius takes the hands of his escorts, who help him to his feet. He beckons you to follow him back out to the adjoining room. “Close your eyes,” he says to you as you teleport away.

When you arrive at your destination, you find yourself in another adjoining room attached to a larger round room with a circular granite table at its center. There are several seats around the table with one noticeably larger chair. The room is encircled in clear glass save for the exit to the adjoining room. The ceiling is several feet high, and has a motion-painting of two dragons locked in aerial combat. As you look out of the glass, you realize that you are several hundred stories above sea level. Moreover you see nothing but ocean in every direction.

“This is where we live. All of us. It is the only location where we are safe from the darkness. Babylon is more than the jewel of humanity, it is humanity. If it were to fall, there would be nothing of us left. That is why we woke you. The corruption that we fear has found its way here.”

You hear a whooshing noise behind you as air breezes past. Without turning to face the adjoining room, Cornelius draws a deep breath and announces, “Arch Magus, please join us.”

The doors to the adjoining room are thrown open. You turn to face the Arch Magus and the woman from earlier. “Cornelius, can they help us? Do they know the location of the Gem of Arcadia?” The woman leans in and whispers to the Arch Magus. “WHAT? It speaks and tells me that they remember nothing. IS THIS TRUE? DID 10,000 OF MY BEST DIE FOR THIS?”

“We have just now awoken them. They have yet to visit the rest of the city. Patience, Magus. In time, they will become just as they once were. The sacrifice of your angels will not have been in vain.”

“We don’t have time for this. Had an experienced Magus performed the ritual, they might have enjoyed full recollection. Instead, your pathetic devotion to your God has blurred your vision. Pelor cannot save us, only heroes..which you have failed to deliver.”

“THIS IS HERESY!” Cornelius’s entire body errupts with light. His escorts pull back their hoods, revealing bald men with topaz eyes and tattoed heads also bursting with light. As if reacting to Cornelius, swords of pure light materialize into the escorts’ hands.

The Arch Magus raises his hand as if to apologize, but then grunts, tosses his robe behind him, and exits the room, teleporting away.

“That was the Arch Magus, and he is not a very faithful man. Come let us refresh ourselves in the hall of feasts and speak of your quest.”



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