As chaos began to rain upon the cultists out in the streets, Bishop Abaris was attending to affairs inside the Cathedral. Addressing two cultists in regards to the ceremony to be performed tonight. Calmly speaking and instructing them in what to do and how to prepare the sacrifices. At the same time, a loud voice shouted at him from the entrance to the chamber.
Dismissing his fellow attendants with a quick gesture of his hand, Abaris turns his attention to the new problem before him, “Bishop Tae’Lyn. A welcome sight this night.”
Tae’Lyn stomped in his direction, “Why have my Cogs been told to mobilize?! I gave no such order, and yet you have the gall to summon me as well?!”
A grey, hooded robe covered Tae’Lyn from head to toe, but was surprisingly plain in comparison to the other cultists around her. As it shifted around her figure, the sound of ruffling cloth muffled the clinks and clanks of metal armor underneath. Each step she took was nearly powerful enough to leave cracks in the stone floor beneath her boots. And her hot head seemed to nearly leave a trail of steam wherever she went.
Behind her, another figure followed. Unlike Bishops Abaris and Tae’Lyn, this one held no apparent connection to the cult. Abaris greeted him the same as Tae’Lyn.
“And Bishop Korlos, it is good to see you as well tonight.”
“I was just about to exterminate the sewer rats when I too was summoned. You’d better have a good explanation for this.”
Korlos was more obviously armored, a combination of a breastplate, asymmetrical pauldrons, and chainmail that covered his joints and the lower half of body. Over his left shoulder was a thick, blue cape that covered half of his body. His hair was black and wavy, with thin eyebrows and a very slight goatee adorning his face. If not for being a cultist, he’d likely be mistaken for a wayward noble.
Abaris watched as the two approached him, Tae’Lyn quick to get in his face, before speaking, “My apologies for disturbing both of you, but my actions were done in accordance with the Archbishop’s wishes. It was by his order that the Cogs were ordered to ready themselves, as it was to also summon you here. His Holiness wishes for us to also be ready should we need to protect the Cathedral ourselves.”
Korlos stood there in silence for a moment, then raised an open hand out to Abaris in confusion, “Okay, but why though? Is there nothing else other than it was the ‘Archbishop’s wishes’?”
“My apologies, Bishop Korlos, but not even I fully understand. The only connection I could form between the Archbishop’s orders and possibly reasoning is in regards to a report from one of the Inquisitors. Said Inquisitor reported about a ‘half-elf’ and his companions. The Archbishop believes he knows who the half-elf is, and thus issued his orders personally.”
Tae’Lyn interjects, “Did he say who the half-elf is, or why he’s taking such drastic measures against this individual?”
“Unfortunately, he did not.”
Korlos crosses his arms, trying to make sense of the Archbishop’s actions, “Well, we can assume that the Archbishop is at least trying to prevent anyone from interfering with tonight’s ceremony. And if the aforementioned half-elf is as the Archbishop suspects, then he will be a threat to it.”
Abaris agrees, “Yes, it is likely as you say. However, his Holiness said that even the Cogs may not be enough and to have ourselves prepared. Hence your summoning.”
Tae’Lyn scoffs, pridefully putting a hand over her heart, “That old man must be going senile if he thinks my Cogs will be defeated so easily.”
Korlos snaps at Tae’Lyn, “Bite your tongue Tae’Lyn! To speak ill of the Archbishop is bordering on heresy! To question him is treason!”
Tae’Lyn shrugs, smiling and looking down on Korlos’s loyalty, “I’m merely joking, Korlos. But there shouldn’t be any noteworthy characters anywhere near Crimsonvale that could pose a threat to my Cogs or ourselves. Didn’t your spies and scouts confirm this?”
Korlos relaxes, but scowls at Tae’Lyn, “Yes, they haven’t reported the existence of any threats. Meaning that whoever this half-elf is, it’s someone from outside our observable range.”
Abaris speaks up, asking Korlos a question, “Could it be a Hero, or an Adventurer at the least?”
“No, definitely not a Hero. Those come and go with walking processions. As for an Adventurer, unlikely but possible. Any that have attempted to infiltrate have already been dealt with either by force or hypnosis. Even then, high-profile Adventurers tend to have their locations leaked by word of mouth. So none of them are nearby according to the reports from my spies.”
Abaris ponders, “Then who is it that poses a threat?”
As the three try to figure out the situation, the entrance to the chamber bursts in with a member of the cult running towards them. Repeatedly crying out to them as their arm drips blood with every footstep.
He staggered towards them from the entrance to the room, his legs weak from running nonstop from the city to the Cathedral, his face pale from exhaustion and blood loss, and a large hole through his left shoulder that he cradled with his right hand.
“B-Bishops, I...I report to you from our...our assault on the half-elf.”
The Inquisitor kneeled in front of the three bishops, forever loyal to their cause and god Nencog.
Tae’Lyn curtly addressed the underling, “Then speak up! Do not waste our time and spit the report out already.”
Nodding his head as he panted, recovering his breath, the Inquisitor gave his report, “The half-elf and his dwarf companion are currently engaging our brothers and sisters in combat. Alarmingly, the two of them alone are not only fending off our attacks but also actively pursuing anyone who attempts to flee from the fight to recover. Additionally, it seems that none of us have the ability to harm them as our spells do little to any damage while the half-elf alone tears those in melee combat to shreds.”
Tae’Lyn grew furious, about to raise a hand to the Inquisitor, “Why you useless piece of sh-!”
Abaris stayed her hand, lightly holding her wrist and putting himself between her and the messenger, “Please, continue your report. What our are losses so far?”
“I-it’s impossible to say for certain, as the half-elf seems to turn corpses to ash while the dwarf intentionally tears our bodies apart limb by limb at range. My best guess is ‘many’, and it is likely that come dawn the faucets will pour blood if they are not stopped. O-our apologies for our ineptitude at stopping them, Bishops.”
Tae’Lyn pulls her hand away from Abaris, turning away from the rest and biting her nail while quietly cursing through her teeth.
Abaris tries to handle the situation, “Was there not a human girl with the half-elf?”
“The girl...she fled the battle early, running off into the streets. Some did pursue her, but her location is unknown for now.”
Korlos chimes in, “If her location is unknown, and she fled the battle, then the rats must have come to her aid.”
“Then let’s focus on slowing down or stopping the half-elf and dwarf. They’re the biggest threat right now. Bishop Tae’Lyn, can we leave that matter to you and your Cogs?”
Tae’Lyn scoffs, “Should be simple enough, I’m getting tired of this stuffy room anyways.”
Leaving as quickly as she’d come, Tae’Lyn walks into the shadows of the Cathedral. Leaving Bishops Abaris and Korlos to their affairs with the Inquisitor. The two look at each other for a moment before Korlos starts to move as well. Heading for another section of Cathedral.
Korlos speaks over his shoulder to Abaris, “I’ll investigate the girl, Abaris. Hopefully Tae’Lyn can put a stop to the bloodbath in town.”
Abaris agrees, helping the Inquisitor to his feet, “As do I.”