Will of the Helm, Part V: The Silent Host
While calamity continued to wrack the Free City’s populace and Kull Ervenn’s search for the newborn Eld’akathi went on without apparent end, there seemed at least some hope to be found in the otherwise bleak, despondent atmosphere. Much of the sleeping sickness – striking some down with eternal sleepwalking, unable to wake, and plaguing others with unending insomnia – had been cured by the efforts of Enorian, an effort spearheaded by Nawan Karthi of the Ascendril and Myrnma of the Illuminai.
That hope, however, was not to last. While over three hundred patients found themselves convalescing in the field ward established in the Docklands, the scowling Titan known as Kurak returned along with Whirran, the Herald of Bamathis. Slipping past Enorian’s guard, the two proceeded to murder some two hundred and eleven of these recently cured patients before the rabble was roused and the group of ill people turned on any Sapient in sight. Fortunately, the plague has not returned, and it seems that Delve shall at least be spared a repeat of that horror.
The Council of Five issued a stern reprimand to the Sanguine Fist in response to this atrocity, demanding that the Hand of the Earth and his accomplice be brought to justice in Delve’s courts. When Tyrant Elene’s response did not satisfy the city’s desire for proper justice, the Five issued a scathing retort and demanded that the Fist retake Helba without compensation if the Empire wished to make amends.
At the urgings of Councilor Holgraid, High Priest Ibram Nasser sought to meet with the council of Duiran in hopes of ensuring a blessed afterlife for his fellow citizens. The old Caentoi first sought to speak with Ulo, Speaker of the Sentinel Pride, informing Dhar’s Executioner that the time had come for the council to learn the ways of Albedi funeral rites. Soon joined by a crowd of the Speaker’s kin, the High Priest explained that the Free City’s religious practices were myriad and, thusly, burial rites were a complicated and varied practice. He indicated the tablet upon the wall near the Gatekeeper’s altar and explained to the councilors gathered that its contents outlined the manner in which these faiths mandated burial practices.
To impress upon them the importance of following these traditions, Ibram claimed that failure to adhere would damn the deceased to an arduous afterlife. This fact sobered those Duirani in attendance and soon each of them laid eyes upon the wall and its sacred scripture in an effort to understand. Once the council had fully digested the wisdom writ upon the temple wall, High Priest Nasser led Duiran’s delegation to the ossuary to instruct them in the ancient ways of the Cult of the Dead and the innumerable techniques used to preserve and prepare bodies for burial. Before long, the cultists of Life and Death brought to bear their own expertise – utilising Dia’ruian prescience to predict imminent accidents and spare those otherwise damned to fatal calamity, and performing funerary rites for those whose deaths could not be avoided.
While the matter of Helba’s recapture remains unresolved and Duiran toils away at laying to rest the myriad dead amidst the Free City, Councillor Tirriki reads over a proposal from the North, hoping to resolve the famines leaving oh so many mouths hungry…
Penned by my hand on Kinsday, the 9th of Lanosian, in the year 506 MA.
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