3.20 Tea And Liches
Location: Meridian

Nithalus's study is a generous room suited to seat a small delegation of men. Or in this case one inquisitive ettin. The archmage, dressed in a tunic brings in a pot of tea and offers a glass to both brothers, "I imagine you'll be off to the war shortly, rumblings in Dallaros point to a renewed ludimarite offensive in days."

Hläng nods. "They haven't stopped being offensive," Hräsh comments.

"Well your little pet certianly slowed the down somewhat" the mage respondes wryly, running a bronzed hand through his raven black hair, "things are quieter now, I fear they may have managed to subdue your beast"

Hläng carefuly sips the hot tea while Hräsh continues, "Subdue, or delay maybe. Let's hope that's the best they can do."

"Indeed…" the mage replies casting a glance out the window toward the south.
"So what is the matter that brings you to me? We've already broached the business with Ashaneron with the group most of whom are now far too busy resupplying in town to intrude upon my studies." he comments with a disarming smile.

"I have a question."
"Me too," adds Hläng, finishing his glass and gently reaching for Hräsh's.

"Hräsh, you may begin" suggests Nithalus diplomatically.

"What do you know of Saint Kora?"

"What the scriptures teach of of the early years, of the founding of Donlin and the banishing of the dragon Tusk to the Abyss."

Hräsh nods. "Do you know any more about what happenned when Donlin was destroyed?"

"The tome your cadre discovered in Jotenar casts some very considerable light on the matter of those affected by the fall of Donlin but little with regard to Kora herself."

"You don't know where she went, then?"

"No I don't, but it's not even just a matter of where, it's also when"

"Would Ashaneron know?"

"It's hard to say, wiser men than I have spent lifetimes trying to discern the secrets of the phoenix, If he knows he's apt to divulge it at exactly the right time."

"But you've been thinking about this too, haven't you?"

"I must confess the finer points of theology haven't been close at hand for me while the world as we know it is unraveling, but had I the liberty it would make a fantastic subject for further research."

"So where would you start?"

"I would start by saving the world, then sally forth to more fanciful pursuits." replies the Archmage somewhat sternly, "It's important but everything has a time, Kora has been lost for over a century, before that she was absent for three, it could be well beyond our lifetimes before she graces this world once again even if one were looking in the right place."

"Hläng, you had a question for me also?"

Hläng puts the second glass back down, but doesn't look up.

"Don't bother, Hläng. It sounds like war is more important than the reasons we're fighting it in the first place." HräshHläng stands up, not quite straight up, given the ceiling. "Thanks for the tea; though it was a little cold, not too unlike the company." They turn to leave.

The door to the room is closed, though it hadn't been a moment ago. "My apologies about the tea," the archmage said reflectively, "and my tone, but if you want the right answers you had better ask the right questions, not all fates are as muddied as Kora's and some may prove salient to the matters at hand."

Hräsh and Hläng turn back around. "Who are you talking about?" asks Hläng.

"The other handmaiden," replies Nithalus quietly waiting for the ettin's reaction.

"What do you know about Anastal?" Asks Hläng, hesitantly excited.

"Her fate is closely tied to that of Ludimar, perhaps you're aware"

"How so?"

"Ludimar's rise to prominence occured mere days after the end of the Athalish Exilic war in which Anastal disappeared"

"In Karalon?" Hläng ventured.

"No, in Athalin, in the war room of Tirgilliath,"

"Is that in Athal city?"

"Yes, the spire of the Empress, though at the time it was an emperor. She fell at the hands of Ludimar, who at the time had taken the alias Voxaminer."

"She was killed? Where is she buried?"

"She wasn't buried, her body and soul were captured by Ludimar. Were this not so skiled clerics like Caelum could have long since brought her back to life"

"So what hope is there?"

"There is great hope, I suspect that Ludimar borrowed power from Anastal in order to Ascend to Godhood, if Anastal were to be freed and resurected…"

"How might this be done?" Asks Hräsh, stepping back into the conversation.

"There lies the true quandry, and it's a lore I'm not as knowledgable as others. I suspect that there is only one in the mortal world with such knowledge, a former apprentice of Ludimar, a founding father of the church of the God-Lich who has turned and I now hear holds the council of Shimin."

"Solstice", Hräsh spits out.

"Aye," replies the Nithalus, "At the time he was known as Rook, I know little of the reasons for his betrayal of Ludimar, though I doubt very much it was on moral grounds."

"He spoke of Ludimar more as a rival… or one who had wronged him grievously. We're surprised to hear you call him an apprentice."

"Rook was a worshiper of Ludimar for years prior to the accension. In those days it was beleived Ludimar was a minor, distant deity of natural demise; not a terror but rather patron of a natural inevitability. All the while the whole church had been a lie, a precursor to Ludimar's accension. Perhaps this is the betrayal you speak of."

"Perhaps… maybe in part at least. But there must be something more.
—In any event, our last meeting was not so pleasant as a cup of tea, and ended in disaster for Echer."

"You burden yourselves heavily. Who is to say that you could have saved Echer? You may well have perished in the fighting there."

Hräsh smirks. "And you would credit one devoted to death with saving our lives."

"History is filled with stranger things."

HräshHläng: Chris
Nithalus: Tim

Categories: Posts, Posts by HrashHlang, Storyline

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