Prelude: Fury of the Blood God
Baridon has made his disapproval known.
Over the City of Thelos...
Dark clouds roll through the skies, slowing down as they settle over the Holy City. Streaks of crimson lightning crackle between them, followed by the booming and anger filled sound of thunder. Rain follows... but it is not the expected crystal clear of water, but rather a deep crimson blood color. It falls for several minutes and then...
A bolt of red lightning strikes the ground in front of the Shrine of Baridon.
The rains slows down into nothingness, and the clouds slowly dissipate.
The earth under Torendaar starts to rattle and move, glasses shaking and lanterns swinging. It's short, brief, and causes no damage other than a few books tumbling from shelves and snow shaking off branches.
No one knows if it happened overnight, or if it was something that slowly began to take place over time. But it is apparent now that the Portal Guardians, once appointed by the leadership of each Kinship, have been influenced by something, or someone. Those elves who were assigned to guard the portals have changed over time. They no longer require food or water, and their daily conversations with passers by have all but stopped. They no longer respond to the commands of those who appointed them, standing like living statues who perform their duty without question. Single mindedly guarding the portals, allowing those who are worthy to step through and blocking those who are not.
Possibly the strangest thing about their transition is the look in their eyes.
High Priestess Catlith Nerea has been at the center of much of the activity surrounding the red lightning and rain of blood some weeks back. As the High Priestess of Baridon and as a member of the High Council of Thelos, she has made it her mission to both organize and inspire those around her during this trying time. Speeches given publicly, invitations to those who want to speak, and reaching out far beyond her usual sphere of influence to the other Kinships of Aarandor.
The Priesthood of Baridon and High Council both look highly upon her efforts and the five Kinships have all appreciated her willingness to communicate openly.
The Priesthood of Brundir has been actively preaching in Thelos. High Priestess Ayalith reminds those who are unsettled by these troubling times that embracing the teaching of Brundir. For through him, all things are reborn. All cycles see their full turn. Ceres Geminiel, an Initiate of the Priesthood, has also spent much time seeking out intellectuals for debate over the topic of Brundir and his hand in the great plan of life. In his very Duindarian way, the debate seems to go over very well, swaying others to come to the Shrine and even to give a little of their silver to ensure the success of the Priests there. It has even been said that Priest Agis has spent time offering individuals guidance as they try to understand the predicament all elf kind is currently facing.
Initiate Aerays tries his hand at wandering the Scorching Expanse, preaching to those he finds on the trail, they seem largely unimpressed and uninterested in hearing him out.
Regardless, the Priesthood of Brundir is seen favorably by those who visit Thelos and donations have started to trickle in to help them on their mission of easing the woes of the worried and anxious.
As the Lorandi expedition prepares to travel westward into the thick forest that borders Torendaar, hundreds of Golden Elves pour out in to the streets of the city to listen to the blessings being bestowed upon King Arminel and his group and to bid them good luck on their journey. Lord Zedmir has prepared not only a feast for those well wishers gathered in the Toreendar Courtyard, but packs of adventuring supplies and delicious foods to eat as the group travel on their way.
High Priest of Loran, Lord Rawlin Nalduine offered a Blessing of Dreams to each adventure before their departure. General wishes of good fortune and asking for guidance are given to the group about to depart. But more so, Rawlin reminds them to make great use of her most precious gift. Time.
Marquis Galeren prays over those gathered as well, asking for the blessings of Torth to grace them. To give them calm and steady as they head out on their westward journey. All in all, the group is feeling very inspired as they head out into the unknown.
The people of Torendaar, in general, are all hoping that King Arminiel makes it back safely and quickly. Unease over Princess Leda's temporary rule has begun to spread.
Rumors begin making their way back to Torendaar from the newly named Forest of Armanor on the western edge of the Lorandi territory. General Helene, Lord Talyn, Lady Ember and Lady Saga are being praised for their bravery in keeping the group safe. Lady Starling and Lord Escanor are rumored to have uncovered some pertinent information along the journey. And King Arminel is being praised by his exemplary calm and leadership under pressure. The rumors mention something about a stone entrance and a cave and a pair of stone hands. By the time it reaches the city though, the whole thing sounds like a fable. But, one thing is for certain, every member of the party has made it back alive. A few bumps and bruises but alive nonetheless. They have confirmed that whatever is causing the earthquakes in Torendaar is much more localized than previously suspected!
Elves from all the Kinships are very familiar with the Ritual of Forgiveness performed at Gala's shrine, after all, most elves have either needed to forgive or be forgiven by someone. So when the Priesthood of Gala makes a case encouraging the faithful to visit the shrine and perform the ritual, asking for Baridon's forgiveness, it is certainly well received by the people. Thanks in great part to the efforts of High Priestess Valeria Laenorin, Elder Asa Aenorr and Elder Starling Brixtien, many of the faithful from all walks of life find themselves at the shrine to participate in the ritual.
The presence of the likes of Lord Kenyon Keir at these services inspires many who also feel reassured to see the Templar Knight participate in trying to obtain forgiveness from the patron of the guardians of Thelos. Word also spread of groups of rowdy and very intoxicated sailors making their rounds to the shrine as well, asking for forgiveness, claiming they were "inspired" to this by the ship captain, Eros Marindur. Others speak of Agis Nerea, a priest of Brundir, who also encourages the faithful to participate in the rituals performed by the priesthood of Gala. While some are confused by Agis' talk of confessing sins, feeling such things are better left to Garwen's priesthood, there is a general approval in what is seen as an effort by the priesthoods to work together.
In the end, the efforts of those involved in this push to generate interest in the Ritual of Forgiveness are appreciated by priests of the goddess all across the kinships.
When a large group of fearsome and well armed Thalerith warriors led by Warlord Sylindra Filinnar herself approach the portal in Nasherat, those around it take the hint. It's time to scramble out of the way. Merchants that were in the process of traveling back and forth take their goods and just leave the area, and those that were waiting for their turn to walk in and be transported to the Holy City of Thelos also make a point of disappearing. Soon, the room where the portal from Nasherat to Thelos sits, holds only its guardians and the warriors. Sylindra leads the way, as the warriors approach the portal guardian. Their attempts to remove the guardian are met with no results at first. The portal guardian just remains there. As more warriors get involved, something changes...
Suddenly, the portal guardian lashes out with its sword at the group, forcing them to fall back, all but one. Sylindra's scimitar meets the guardian's sword with a loud clang, stopping it from beheading a nearby Thalerith warrior. Soon, she's forced to drop the weapon low to block an incoming attack. The portal guardian comes at her furiously, scoring a cut here and there, and fighting with a skill that goes beyond that of a non-divine creature. And while the warlord fights and defends herself with an impressive amount of skill, it's not enough to stop the flurry. Her scimitar soon flies off her hand, forcing her to reach for her two-handed axe, while taking a step back, lifting the weapon to try and block the whistling blade of the guardian that is coming down on her hard and fast!
Sylindra takes another step back, the large axe up high and just as the guardian's blade is about to clash against it, it stops. Just when the warlord made that move to put further distance from the portal guardian. Without a word, the portal guardian steps back, sheathing his blade and returns to his former position by the portal, offering no attacks even when approached, but making it very clear he is not budging from where he stands.
Green shoots start to spring forth from the stones blocking the entrance to Baridon's shrine. Long waxy leaves of deep green, soon become a pure white bud that bursts forth, blossoming into white tulips. The plants grow around one of the boulders, as if gently embracing it. A faint crackle of blood red lightning emanates from the boulder itself in response, creating a crack on the rock that sends a few small pieces into the streets. And through that one crack, some of the interior of the shrine can now be seen.
With each of the Gods weighing in on their thoughts about their divine sibling, the God of Oaths, it is now in the hands of the elves to decide what will be done about him. He has presented a price for forgiveness. The elves must give up their Immortality as pennance for their oath-breaking. Or, they must choose someone to replace him. The time to decide is now.
((The Crisis 'The Doomsayer's Throne' has been posted. The last day for @actions will be April 2nd.))
The rise in passion coming from the sermons in Aereth's Shrine have surely drawn attention. Crowds of people gather around as High Priest Tykalos speaks. "It is due to the actions of Lady Aereth that we survived the Host and were brought to this new land to prosper once more - and were given back our immortality in a deal brokered with Lady Garwen. What right does Baridon have to demand what was given back by Aereth and Garwen?" Those in the shine seem stirred by his boisterous claims and beginning to ask themselves why they would throw away the gifts of the Goddess of the Sea to appease the Doomsayer?
Wave Speaker Velandria of the Aeran Kinship speaks openly about her belief that there must be other options. She preaches fervently about choice, and the people around her begin to listen and begin telling their friends and family that they have a choice.
Lucrezia Reymar writes a song about Aereth, highlighting her compassion and igniting passion in her fierce defense and protection of the elves. The song catches on in Thelos and Lorawin and soon the taverns in both cities are filled with the catchy melody. Certainly the Aeran people are known for their tenacity and strength in all things, and this opinion on what is to be done about Baridon is no exception. The Priesthood of Aereth stands behind their High Priest and the Aeran people in general enjoy Tykalos, Velandria and Lucrezia's tenacity in making a stand, whether or not they agree.
At the Shrine of Baridon, everything is quiet. Under the command of Knight Lieutenant Rivaron Filinnar, a group of templars stand guard around the cave-in that blocks entrance to the shrine. Many of the knights look a little unsure of what they are expecting or supposed to be doing, so when a group of elves approaches, they all reach for their weapons.
That doesn't deter the group of elves, made mostly from Aeran and Duindar elves, but with smaller representation from some of the other kinships. They look angry and scared, and some have armed themselves. All of them seem intent on reaching the shrine. The Templars look confused, Rivaron tries to organize them, barking orders to arrest anyone that gets too close to the shrine, but his subordinates just appear lost.
And then there is the sound of thunder along red lightning crackling up in the skies, above the shrine. From among the rank of Templars a knight steps out, Lord Kenyon Keir, his eyes glowing a blood red.
"Enough!" He cries out, holding up up his sword, he brings it down on the ground, striking it hard just as thunder splits the skies again. The mob steps back, as do the Templars immediately around Kenyon. "This is a sacred shrine, you are better than this," Kenyon's voice is booming. "Return home." And with that, his eyes stop glowing, and he stumbles. A few Templars step forward to steady him, and the crowd wastes no time leaving the area.
As the time begins to draw near with a decision looming over the populace of Aarandor, a rather strange sound begins to fill the air towards the center of Thelos. Gentle harp music plays, serenading the streets with what was very likely intended to be a soothing, peaceful tone. What actually comes from the harp is an ill practiced Faenor Wedding song. Harpist Althea Reid is sat just outside of the Shrine of Baridon, playing the gentle cacophony as people begin to gather around.
High Lord Emyrion Morenin stands poised, put together and rather regal at the crumbled opening of the shrine. In his hands are two nearly perfect circlets, one silver and one gold, representing Torth and Garwen, the patrons of the couple. His brother and Heir, Lord Rigoth stands by his side and acts as honor guard for the ceremony. Offering his support and love for his elder brother and the union he is about to partake in.
High Priest Boros walks his sister up to the base of Baridon's shrine to be wed. In this rather emotional moment he is overcome and begins to sob openly. His pure white robes of Garwen's Priesthood become a little muddied on the trek from the portal rooms to the shrine. Eirianwen dutifully tries to help her brother up, but rips and flings mud on her own white dress in the process. Though cracks appear in her composure, she continues, still very much devoted to this union. She finally makes her way up to the base of the shrine to be married to High Lord Emyrion in a defiant ceremony that was intended to act as a beacon of hope in this time where Baridon's hold on the value of Oaths is in question.
The ceremony was so rushed and almost everything that could go wrong has. Those who bore witness are happy for the new couple, but begin to wonder if perhaps Baridon's influence is indeed slipping after all.
At the busy market squares of Thelos, Eros Marindur stops and gathers crowds to speak on the virtues of earning their immortality back and paying the debts owed to their abandoned allies. He gets a few murmurs of agreement. Lord Kenyon Keir stands beside him and offers a reminder of free will and the sacred value of what Baridon stands for. Word of his defense at the Shrine of Baridon circulates slowly through the crowd and adds more weight to his support.
Asa Aenorr sings songs of loyalty and love- reminding people of the bonds between Gala and Baridon and the gifts the Blood God gives. It's a fair enough tune that has the people tapping their toes in time.
Lastly, Agis Nerea reminds the people of Brundir's support and how this brings balance. Although things to come may be hard, Brundir knows the soul best and is trustworthy in his custodianship. These reassuring words are welcomed by the crowd.
The efforts go over well and are met with a welcomed agreement that their immortality is a gift they squandered, and they can trust there will be a chance to regain it in time.
The priesthood of Garwen, led by their High Priest Boros Ingith, starts to hand out pamphlets about a Faenor legend known as the Lean Times- where Rithor took their wolf bond as punishment for a transgression. Since everyone knows the Faenor can still bond with their wolves, this means it's likely that the surrender immortality can also be regained somehow. It's reassuring to many. The Faenor people appreciate hearing about the story and wonder more about the legend and how much truth there may be behind it.
After a rather passionate and rousing speech, calling out the Aeran Chief for bring indecisive and speaking without the Wave Speaker or Admiral being in accordance with him, Odissin decides to show his support for the Gods in a rather unusual way. But not picking sides, by embracing Aereth and Rithor with a training mission at sea. Being the hearty seafaring people that they are, the Aeran training and theological lesson at sea goes off without a hitch. Captain Egan Reymar lends his expertise to the training excursion, flying the colors of Rithor and Aereth throughout the day to show his houses dedication to those two deities, despite their differences.
The people are perhaps a little confused what sailing and military training in the name of Aereth and Rithor have to do with Baridon and choice. But the event was so successful no one seems to care.
As befits the High Priest of the Goddess of Time and Inspiration, Rawlin Naludine is quite busy with his preaching and sermons about community and the need to step up in the days ahead with the absence of immortality. The people are pleased to see him doing his duties and his message is generally met with agreement. And while he offers prayers to Loran and Baridon, there is no divine response indicating their reception of his words.
Lead by Priestess Asa of Gala, a group of elves come together for the Seeds of Promise event. She encourages everyone to write their oaths dedicating themselves to paying Baridon's price, wrap those oaths around a seed and then plant it. The Priesthood of Baridon looks at the gesture a little strangely at first, skeptical of the breaking apart of the natural order of their grounds by digging holes for plants. Eventually the gesture seems to be appreciated and with the support of so many showing up, they are allowed to continue their efforts.
Initiate of Baridon and Templar Kenyon Keir shows up to ensure all goes well. He takes time to listen to those who would share their oaths with him and encourage them to stay strong and remain loyal to the Blood God. Eros Marindur is quite sufficient at helping to organize all the people who show up to give their oaths. Under his leadership, everyone seems to be working together efficiently. Priest of Brundir, Agis Nerea, encourages those who worship at the shrine of his patron to come and join in the effort. And join they do! Worshipers of Brundir make up nearly half of those who attend.
The High Priestess of Gala, Valeria Laenorin stands by Asa every step of the way, supporting her efforts and acting as the prayerful guide. She plants roses into the cracked boulder, giving it a gentle push to allow it to open further in time. Lord Zedmir Nalduine arrived with an orchid and a rather lengthy oath to plant with it. A snippet of his oath is shared before the whole thing is planted. "Immortality is not our right, it is a privilege, and one that I pray we someday become worthy of. Today, my choice is my own. If immortality is the price set before us, then I, Lord Zedmir Nalduine of the Lorandi, am ready to pay it." His words are given praise by those passing by who hear them.
Luthien Reid is an incredible asset to this effort. He expert knowledge of agriculture and soil care ensures these plants will go on to take seed and thrive. It was reported not two days after the event the whole area seemed to be covered in flowers and beautiful growth.
High Lord Ellyn Reid sends along her flower and oath to be planted, reminding her attendants that ever seed, sprout and prayer, no matter how small, can grow to become many. High Priest Boros of Garwen's Priesthood arrives and sets up a secluded location for confessions, allowing those troubled by their guilty minds to release their thoughts and seek forgiveness from Baridon. High Priestess Iridessa encourages those from the Temple of Torth to come to the ceremony as well. She sets a good example for them by getting in to the dirt and planting seeds along with the rest. Under the encouragement of Lord Heir Relios Aenorr, many Faenor arrive to participate in the ceremony as well. It bodes well for houses Aenorr, Ingrith and Reid to be working so closely together in such a public setting.
Thorin Aenorr has been uncertain about his decision for quite some time now. His presence at the flower planting ceremony shows that he has indeed made his choice, but his words say otherwise. The struggle to commit to this in whole is very real for Thorin and the pain of that decision is evident on his expression at this event.
Cordelia Laenorin, a rather devout follower of Gala, does her best to help the event move along without a hitch. The only trouble is, she seems to be lacking in the proper focus to ensure that kind of worship is maintained. She becomes rather impatient with those who handle the plants incorrectly. It has been rumored that Cordelia has a rather eccentric way of worshiping, so most just shrug and assume she is doing her best despite the disastrous outcome of her actual efforts.
Although most of her Kin seem to be supporting their quest to replace Baridon, Selene Nerea has decided to honor him by immortalizing him in Living Fire. Many long nights she toils, carefully melding magic and flame and artistry. She even includes her own blood, as any craftsperson can tell you that is almost a necessity in any great work, and she feels it helps remind the Blood God that not all the Aeran Kin have forsaken him.
The artwork is masterfully made, with dark eyes that flicker gold on occasion hidden deep within a blood red hood. His armor flickers with the living flame as he stands, tall and imposing, reminding the elves of the serious nature of oathkeeping and honour. All who have seen her work are impressed by the quality and beauty of the magically bonded flame.
All that remains is the ceremony to dedicate it outside of Baridon's Shrine and it will remain a master-work for all elves to look upon with awe and respect. The Kinships which embraced Baridon's edict of giving up their immortality applaud her work and a few of her own Kinship seems to be impressed by it and have changed their minds about replacing him... but most of them remain unswayed.
In Nasherat, the Thalerith Warlord has spoken and her people listen. The words of Warlord Sylindra Filinnar in support of appeasing the Blood God is certainly well received by her people. To the Thalerith, struggle is strength, and strength is life, so in general they find the idea of proving themselves worthy of immortality, rather than have it just be given to them.
And while some wonder if her family stands with the warlord, the presence of her daughter Melindra Filinnar at her mother's side, and also speaking in favor of regaining Lord Baridon's favor is noticed, as it is the commanding way she handles herself in public.
Still, while the majority of the Thalerith people rally behind their Warlord, there are always voices of dissent. Whispers of threats against Sylindra are carried in the winds, yet no actual threats manage to reach her. This is certainly seen as a sign that the Warlord's Blade Sworn are doing their job. Those that might have at some point spoken against the Warlord's wishes find themselves giving the likes of Zymandi Devrien and the other Blade Sworn a very wide berth.
In response to Sylindra's words, many of her people step up to offer their immortality to the Blood God. Several offerings, prayers and rituals are performed not only by priests of Baridon, but involving the priesthood of Brundir, leaving many outside of the kinship curious as to the reason and wondering if the path to give up immortality begins with the god of Rebirth. Those still doubting this choice find sudden courage to embrace it in the words found in a sermon given by Sorgath Filinnar, former Blade Sworn and Elder of the Shrine of Rithor. Among the Thalerith, Sorgath and those joining him become known as The First to offer themselves for the Great Sacrifice.
Others involved in the offerings and joining the ranks of The First are Nadaron Aynarr and Vigar Aynarr, leading many to believe the Warlord has the support of their house, while some claim to have seen Azariah Devrien among those gathered as well.
Her brother Rivek Devrien was certainly spotted and not alone, with him are a good number of Thalerith known to have been against the Warlord's decision, now claiming to be present as the Warlord has spoken.
Vi achareth, thalien. Vi thalien, brunar. The words become a chant taken by those gathered to offer themselves, loud and strong. Fire Seers would later claim, the voices of the Thalerith were loud enough to be heard as far as the sands cover the land. The enthusiasm seems to infect everyone gathered, even those that might not have been all that thrilled at first.
Except for one elf. Narthic Sedriel stands by himself, almost an island in the sea of Thalerith euphoria. He watches, and does not stop them but does not join them either. Some look at him in confusion, thinking him apathetic rather than dissenting. The Iron Hand remains unbending and unbreaking, but it doesn't take long for his presence to be swallowed by the rest of the Thalerith voices speaking as one.
While many of the Thalerith support the Blood God with the chanting and devotions shown by The First, some offer their immortality up in their own way. Even though their immortality does not protect them from dying in violence, Melindra Fillinar organizes a small ritual hunt for several bands of the Thalerith warriors. They prepare for the task of a cold night in the sunless sands with all the supplies they might require. The warriors go into the desert, stars dancing above, and Melindra finds the tracks of a large pack of coyotes.
The sands swirl in the evening breeze as they wrap themselves in their desert garb to keep out the chill. There, they masterfully challenge the pack and emerge victorious. Rivek Devrien forgoes a sword or other long blade and attacks the packleader with naught but a small hand-knife, wrestling the beast to the ground and stabbing it fiercely. Azariah Devrien seems to be tagging along, mostly keeping an eye on the younger warriors, but she too proves herself when one of the snarling coyotes snaps at her leg and it is met with a fierce blow of her curved saber.
With the beasts dead, they build a bonfire and offer their fierceness to Rithor, praising Them for the hunt. With their patron first appeased, they then proclaim to Baridon that they accept his challenge, noting they will rise to any occasion and anything that may be put in their way. Each of the warriors offers up their own blood, cutting open their palms and letting the drops sizzle on the flames. The sacrifice made, they feast on the coyotes before making the trek back across the chilly sands to the warmth of the city with new pelts in hand.
The Duindar people, under the leadership of their Senate, engage in the democratic process of voting to decide if they support appeasing Lord Baridon or not. There is much debate and fierce rhetoric surrounding the choice, but the end result, while not unanimous, is a rejection by the Duindar kinship of the terms associated with regaining the favor of the Blood God.
The Duindar leadership makes a point to clarify that the vote is not an attack on the priesthood of Baridon and his shrine, but rather a sign that the kinship wishes to move forward, without being held back by the demands of an unjust god.
As the non-divine leader of the Aereth faith, High Priest Tykalos Alcadia has proved to be somewhat controversial among certain circles, in particular those supporting appeasing Lord Baridon. His latest speech given at the Shrine of Aereth is no exception, yet the heated language used by the High Priest comes across as a testament to the passion for not only his belief that giving up immortality is a mistake, but for the service to his goddess. Among many, in particular the Aereth faithful, Tykalos' strong words help awaken a sense of righteousness in the path they have chosen. That the High Priest loves Aereth has always been obvious, but many now come to belief in the love that the leader of the Aereth faith has for the elven kin, even when betrayed by some of them. The call to find a replacement for the Blood God by the High Priest rallies those believing in that choice, giving them hope that war against the injustice of the decision force upon them is not over yet.
While the High Priest becomes one of the central figures of this movements, many recognize that he's not there alone and his supporters look at this with approval. The efforts of Forwen Nerea to encourage others to pray to the gods in regards to replacing Baridon are noted and do not fall on deaf ears. Many, not only Aerans, are seen at the shrines praying after speaking with the explorer.
Erendir Alcadia is seen speaking in support of his brother, which is not very surprising considering they are family. It is perhaps that connection that makes him less effective as an advocate for his brother's position, yet a good number, in particular those that hold House Alcadia in good esteem find themselves listening to the sailor still, and agreeing with what he has to say.
The success found by the elder Alcadia brother is in great part also supported by the funds provided by Celenia Laenorin. The money helps Erendir gain the ears of some that were not as ready to listen. Some of it is also used for charity, which is seen as a sign that the High Priest and those in agreement with him do care about the people.
The Priesthood of Aereth is appreciative of the support provided by High Priest Belstrom Devrien, and they are touched by the care shown by the High Priest of Acharon for the High Priest of Aereth. The security provided by Belstrom is effective, and while there are not many whispers around about hurting Tykalos, the few that come up are put to rest.
Those that might be turned off by the more aggressive tone used by the High Priests, find themselves listening to the words of Volith Marindur. He offers a relatable case to many that were originally not convinced by the High Priest, by providing his own life as a way to connect with those willing to hear what he has to say. It is very obvious that while Irithiel Elexia might be gone, Volith keeps her alive in his heart. Many look at this with approval, and the movement spearheaded by Tykalos gains even more followers.
On the other hand, Selandria Marindur's efforts aren't as effectives at Volith's, and when she speaks of genocide not being acceptable for any race, it garners some confusion. Still her house and the Aeran people both are in agreement with her sentiments that her Aunt Elexia was not wrong to lead the elves to Aarandor, with House Marindur solidly supporting the High Priest of Aereth at this time.
The Council of Five might have made their will known, but the fact that High Priest Tykalos words manage to reach some of the Faenor is seen by many as an accomplishment in itself. Thorin Aenorr's admittance to broken oaths gets the attention of some of his people, but his argument regarding why Baridon is not worthy of his seat is not as successful, for in the end some feel, he is a god and as such above such questions. Alethia Reid's approach on the other hand, garners attention due to the way it is presented, and her removal of some of the more passionate aspects of the High Priest message helps garner a few elves willing to join the movement.
The efforts of High Priest Tykalos and his allies is seen as courageous, even by those that oppose his views. Even at the potential loss of immortality, their actions are a very marked reminder that a sizeable amount of elves find the actions of the God of Oaths to be unjust, and in this case, refuse to remain silent even as they face the ruling of the divine.
Within the graveyard of Thelos, High Lord Ellyn Reid and High Priest Deoca set up a vigil and memorial to be help for the fallen allied races. Human, hearthling and dwarves. The ceremony speaks to the importance of showing respect to those who have returned to the wheel. She points out also that there are no markers or memorials of those left behind and that their memories should not be forgotten. Deoca unveils a monument that has been commissioned in the likeness of a Human a dwarf and a hearthling to reside as a marker within the graveyard of the fallen allies. It is very well received.
Priestess Asa performs a few sentimental songs about the races that were left behind. The tunes evoke wonderful memories for those were were perhaps close to the allies, remembering their strengths and the way they enriched the lives of the elves. The turne goes on to be very popular around Thelos for a few weeks. High Priest Boros sets up a quiet secluded location within the graveyard and encourages those who are feeling guild to come and confess their transgressions and discuss the responsibility they have for the lost lives of their allies. The line gets fairly long but the High Priest of Garwen diligently stays and listens to and councils every single one. Alethia does her part by traveling deep into the woods and caverns outside Khelgar to collect chips of diamonds and sapphires. At the vigil itself, she arranges the gemstones like constellations of the other races in remembrance. She offers up the gemstones as a mark of a united effort to seek forgiveness.
Lord Heir Rigoth does his part at the vigil to make sure things go as smoothly as possible. Unfortunately, his charm falls a little short and his words of support for Baridon fall flat. When word of Lord Heir Relios' war stories begin to make the rounds, the crowd seems less than intrigued by them. His details and exquisite memory are appreciated, but without the Lord Heir there himself to deliver the message, it is not very well received. Someone mentions that Lady Ember of the Lorandi Kinship sends along some resources silver to see that the vigil goes off without a hitch. Though those in attendance murmur back and forth that perhaps the Golden Elves have gotten a little cheap when it comes to supporting another Kinship's efforts.
Lord Thorin takes an approach that appeals to the Faenor's empathy. Which, for those who know the Faenor intimately, know how disastrous such an approach might be. As he speaks to them about considering now Baridon must feel about the other races, the best they can do is look at him strangely.
All in all, the Vigil was a success. The Faenor are praised for their efforts in appeasing Baridon and especially in acknowledging and beginning to right the wrongs that put them in this position to begin with.
In Torendaar, King Arminel has made his stance plainly clear. Eloquently and with strength, he has offered support and counter views on nearly every proclamation on the subject of the Doomsayer. This kind of visible leadership has made it easy for his Kinship to support him and his decision.
Princess Leda has made herself available to talk to those who have questions and concerns. Her deeply calming presence and diplomatic approach are soothing to those she speaks with. Duchess Celestria has been using her silver tongue to persuade those who may be considering denouncing Baridon. Her words are so convincing, even those within the Kinship that have almost certainly decided to step out of line are drawn back in to step. Duke Rollant does his part to appease baridon. He takes a pious approach and prays publicly to the Goad of Oaths. His actions encourage others as he sets a good example for those who look up to him.
Marquis Galeren takes an approach to help people see this as an opportunity. Sadly, most he speaks to end up walking away feeling like this is simply a necessary sacrifice. Marquis Hatharal also takes a stand and does his best to give speeches in favor of Baridon. But he is nervous. Very nervous. And that uncertainty shows through in his speeches, leaving his people a bit uncertain. Lady Saga has also set up a nap tent outside of the city walls and invited people to come and slumber in the name of Loran. The people seem to enjoy a good name, but are left confused about what this might have to do with helping their decision with Baridon.
Lord Talyn is not usually a pious man, but he takes to three days of prayer and sincere concentration and sacrifice in an effort to appease and better understand Baridon's direction. He is left incredibly weary from the experience and with no direct answers or guidence, simply exhaustion and pain. During this same time, a man who is very much used to prayer puts his pious nature to work. Lord Zedmir invokes the spirit of Gala during this time of unity for the Lorandi, showing that she stands beside her husband Baridon. He even prepares a shared meal for the Kinship making sure to add in his magically enhances cookies, The Grin, The Giggle and the Guffaw. His efforts go a long way in helping to keep the spirits of those around him bright.
Lady Ember has been out hunting down individuals who are on the fence about the decision and identifying what is keeping them from falling in line with the Kinship's decision. She works rather effectively with Lady Kaelyn Serannar who has dedicated herself to providing answers to people in need. The pair of them root out a good hundred or so who were turning away from Baridon and have brought them back into the fold.
As the sun rises over Torendaar, the artist Lord Valatir, can be seen hard at work painting a rather large mural outside of the Brixtien Estate. Golden scales flowing with blood, dedicated to the lost things. Hearthlings fleeing from fires, dwarves elves and humans alike caught in battle with the Host. A broken contract signed in blood. The stars showing the various constellations with symbols of immortality. Among them all is the face of what can be assumed to be Baridon with the words "His Price is worth his Presence" written boldly over head. Some non believers are swayed by the sight of it and dedicate themselves to the Lordani purpose.
And when the sun sets on that very same day, Lady Amara is seen putting together a candlelight vigil in the castle courtyard. Her intent is to help soothe those who worry over the loss of their immortality. The vigil is seen as a sort of wake for that loss. Among those who attend is Lord Escanor. He had accepted the price already and helped to show the others through his fearlessness that there was nothing to worry over. Rumors of his time in meditation mingle their ways among the crowd and may find his words ring truer for his sacrifice.
In the dead of night after King Arminel's very public renouncing of High Priest Tykalos words, there came a disturbance in Serannar Castle. One household resident of the castle itself, rumored to be a devout follower of Aereth, was no doubt upset about the words shared between the King and his High Priest. Choosing his God over their King, he decided the best course of action would be to spread discorce by taking down the inspiring leader. The attack came swiftly and General Helene hardly had a moment to react in defense. It took her completely by surprise. The tussel ended up with one of her guards killed and herself greatly wounded. But the would-be assailant was stopped and the King was left startled, but unharmed. The loss of the guard and the attacker leaves a dark gloom over the castle. The price of speaking out is sometimes a heavy one to pay and no doubt Arminel and Helene both feel the weight of that on their shoulders.
The sound of steps echoes through the streets of Thelos. The steps come to a stop in front of the cave-in blocking the entrance to the shrine of Baridon. The end of a staff lightly hits the ground.
Thalion stands before the sealed shrine, a faint frown marking his elven features. "So they've made their choice." There is a touch of bitterness in his voice. He remains silent, staring at the shrine. "It is your turn to come through," Nothing happens at first. The Oracle's lips form a thin line.
Dark clouds roll through the skies, slowing down as they settle over the Holy City. Streaks of crimson lightning crackle between them, followed by booming thunder.
There is no rain this time. But rather a bolt of red lightning striking the rocks sealing the shrine of the Blood God. When the dust finally settles, the way into the shrine is finally open. Thalion watches and exhales, looking so very tired. Still, he smiles. He leans onto his staff using it to support himself, then lifts his right hand to look at it... as it slowly breaks down into blood red dust.
"Give them a chance. They will surprise you." There's a pause. "I'm ready to pay the price for my defiance," and with those words, the rest of the Oracle's body breaks down into a fine red dust that is swiftly blown away by the wind, ending the long journey of Thalion of the Tribunal.
The sound of silence can be deafening. The absence of a voice you become accustomed to hearing leaves a lasting impression. And in the wake of the crisis over the Doomsayer's Throne, the city of Isalspire can not help but notice a very strong absence of one of their most vocal residence. Archmage Nagestos Naevon has been missing since very shortly after the decision was made and the vision of the choice spread across all of Aarandor.
A search was made of his personal rooms and the Academy itself, but no trace of the Headmaster was found. Only a note, pinned to his cluttered office desk, was left behind. It reads, "I'm gone, not to be disturbed. Maltavius Egilion will watch over the Acadeum until my return." The note is signed in the handwriting of Nagestos Naevon. With no other clues left behind, both the members of the Acadeum and House Naevon are left scratching their heads.