Level 05 ~ Feanthar cont’d

Feanthar stood self-consciously in the library-like office of the Grand High Priest, behind the head paladin and the Northlander, facing the Grand High Priest and all six Archpriests. He felt like somehow this was his fault, like maybe he should say something to get everyone to calm down. Well, everyone except the Northlander. She seemed to be taking the ire of the Church as casually as a summer breeze, unflinching in the face of the most powerful miracle workers in Yore who were as angry as Feanthar had ever seen them.

“We explicitly asked for you to send your best mercenaries to protect the Staff! Do you understand that after the Fall of Kakarus, Heaven’s Staff is likely the only holy relic left in the world? Do you have any idea what the consequences would be if it were to fall into the wrong hands?!” Archpriest Reginald seemed to be voicing the Church’s concerns. Reginald had been promoted to Archpriest from the Mertion Order in Feanthar’s lifetime, and the head paladin was nodding in decisive agreement to his superior’s talking points.

“You asked for our best. That’s me.” Sheya, the Northlander, responded levelly as she had throughout the tense conversation that ensued when the Archpriests learned she had come alone. “You never specified how many mercenaries you wanted, so The Commander decided to only send such force as was necessary for the mission.”

The Grand High Priest let his hand drift wearily to his injury from the attack, Feanthar could feel the old-priest’s pain welling up as this confrontation went on. Feanthar wished he knew some way to make everyone happy again, to stop the pain of the man who had been almost like a father to him, but this was all so far out of his experience and, even holding Heaven’s Staff, he felt lost.

“Sir, it will be costly in terms of the Temple’s defense, but I feel I must volunteer my paladins to augment the inadequate forces sent by the Northlanders.” The head paladin saluted the Chronias Order, though did seem to be largely directing his statement to Archpriest Reginald.

It was brief and quickly contained, but Feanthar felt a dangerous flash of anger from the Northlander in response to the word ‘inadequate’. When she spoke to the Chroniasans again though, Sheya’s voice was still as cool and level as ever.

“Your objective is the protection of the Staff.” Feanthar could detect just the slightest softening in Sheya’s undertone, like she was explaining the obvious, “If you protect it with an army then when your enemy sends an army you will have to fight and thus risk the Staff. I can handle any threat against the Staff short of an army, and, with just the two of us, I can make sure we and the Staff disappear rather than engage any threat I can’t handle.”

The Grand High Priest nodded solemnly and Feanthar could feel the old man was about to end the discussion. “Given the circumstances, we cannot give you any pay up front. However you will receive the full sum and any costs upon your return to the temple. Sheya, I am trusting you to protect Feanthar and Heaven’s Staff. There is no more important mission in all of Niar, nor will there be.”

Then Feanthar felt the old man’s attention turn to him as Sheya nodded, satisfied with the situation which had left the others in the room in a disquieted silence. “Feanthar, take the Staff down into Landis and shine its light where it is needed. But do not venture into the darkest wilds yourself; we cannot afford to lose the Staff. Instead bear it as a symbol of Hope, and inspire the people to fight for themselves.”

Feanthar bowed to the Grand High Priest, thankful the tense negotiations were over, “I won’t disappoint you, Master.”

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3 Responses

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