Friday 17 August 2012

Kysharok - Part 11

   "I have little doubt, personally, that this whole situation is swimming in demonic magic," Sancturist Arthalun continued, folding his arms across his chest. "Merrith is leading the investigation into what has happened here, which was why I brought her in here to hear what you had to say, and now I'm more certain than ever."
   Varai's dark eyebrows drew together tightly as he stared into the depths of the lead sancturist's eyes. There was indeed a certainty there, along with a burning urge for knowledge. He wanted to take a step back, feeling slightly overwhelmed by the grave aura surrounding the older man, but forced himself to stand his ground. "What do you mean?"
  "There have been rumours. Vicious rumours, every other man will tell you, that involve the head of our entire order, as Salori. The rumours suggest that High Acten Alleria - the unquestioned leader of our magical society, our Queen - has had a dark aura about her in the past months. She's always been troubled ever since the tragedy six years ago, but now it seems to have deepened.
   "The Salori working closely with her who are privy to knowledge of such magic had began noticing it about two months ago, but they had also said that they were not experts, and it could have just as easily been someone else in their vicinity, and that their aura had rubbed off on her.  Either way, from their reports, it's clear that whatever demonic magic is surrounding her, it's much further along than it should be for just two months.
   "We still can't say anything for certain, but just the fact that you have witnessed the High Acten do something as terrible as this is enough to investigate. If she herself isn't responsible for her actions - and knowing her, I expect that to be the case - then someone else near her has a hold of her senses, which is even more alarming."
   "What are we going to do?" Varai asked, folding his arms as the woman, Merrith, rose to her feet and walked behind him.
   Arthalun spread his hands, palm upwards. "I'm not entirely sure. I've suspected foul magic for a long while, but we've never had enough information to even really create plans for hypothetical situations..." he shook his head, "but I don't think anyone truly suspected the High Acten of anything directly."
   Varai felt contact on his back, and turned abruptly, startled. Merrith was stood behind him, and pushed him by his shoulder back to his previous position. "Did that possessed one do this?" She asked, slightly alarmed.
   Varai recalled the scratches on his back that had been inflicted not that long ago, and found that they were in fact painless. He frowned. "Yes...I'd forgotten..."
   "Well, you got of lucky, then. If it was close enough to do that you could have been dead in seconds if they'd had a firmer hold."
   His eyes widened in fear. "Even from behind?"
   She nodded and walked back around in front of him. "It's close enough to the heart. If he'd managed to get a good enough shot he could have sucked your soul clean out. Does it hurt?"
   He shook his head.
   Merrith frowned. "That's odd. But perhaps you just have a high tolerance for pain. You were a Velinil, weren't you? You are Varai Kural?"
   He nodded. "I am. Perhaps that's it..."
   "Were?" Arthalun asked. "What happened?"
   "An accident," he replied, turning to look at the Sancturist. "I lost a lot of my men because of some bad decisions, so I decided it might be best to change profession."
   Arthalun's eyes narrowed slightly, but he didn't say anything for a while. He seemed to study him for a moment instead, and Varai could see that he wasn't making judgements so much as deciding the truth behind his words.
   He nodded gently and blinked. "I understand. Well, Mister Kural, I think I have a task for you. Time is of the essence, and while we may not have an established plan, we need someone to go out and do something about the matter. No one who reports to us is strong enough to handle themselves should they need to, so having someone of your background investigate the High Acten's residence would be very helpful."
   Varai bowed his head. "I'd be glad to."



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