The Kael and the Silver Flame - Part 5

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The Kael and the Silver Flame – Part 4

Far, Aryth 13th 998 YK
Friday, November 13th 998 YK

In the morning the weather has warmed a bit, but the snow continues to fall heavily making it impossible to travel. Taveah suggests to wait until the weather clears, Kohl and Oggrim do not disagree. By late morning, they receive a welcomed break from the snow.

Oggrim takes a crack at the portcullis and with the aid of both of Taveah and Kohl. They are able to lift it up enough to leave Sternkeep

By dusk they arrive back at ir’Lumm’s estate. They are exhausted from the trek. As they approach the villa, Lord ir’Lumm is on the steps accompanied by Luminel.

“Welcome back friends! Please, tell me you were successful. We’ve gambled on your success.”

“We were Lord ir’Luum.” Kohl grins ”There is grave news in regards to this as well, we may wish to adjourn inside, it has been a long journey for us."

“Wonderful! I knew you would be successful.” Lenorf says clapping his hands. ”The angels will be so pleased! I have taken the liberty of inviting Bishop at’Rox to my estate. he will be arriving shortly. I cannot wait to show the bishop firsthand the terror his arrogance has wrought and the good you have done for the region while he does nothing."

Just then Taveah turns around. She hears a group of men approaching the villa on horseback. She makes out eight of them, bundled against the cold weather. Two men wear the cloth of the Silver Flame and the others are their well armed escort. As they ride closer, Taveah recognizes one of the holy men as Danbren Xeq from Lessyk.

”It appears we have company.” she says grimly.

Lenorf speaks, “Sir Oggrim, why don’t you take our evidence into the dining room and wait for me there.”

Luminel takes his queue and escorts the three into the dining room. Kohl begins to lay out their “proof” of the runehounds onto the table.

He looks to Oggrim, “Sir Oggrim, the Silver Flame has Angelic hosts? I was under the assumption it was simply the Flame, and the Voice. It would appear our religions are closer than I had thought."

“No, the Flame does not have ‘angels’. Saints though, yes.” Oggrim says. He is both concerned and puzzled by the thought.

Luminel interrupts, assisting Kohl with the beast heads on the dining table, desperately trying not to stain the beautiful wood. “Excuse me, Sir Oggrim. As I mentioned when you first arrived, I believe Lord ir’Lumm uses the term ‘angel’ metaphorically. He ‘communes’ with them regularly these days in his gallery. I would not put much thought in it.”

“I mean no disrespect Luminel, for my questions about your faith or of course Lord ir’Luum. I am still learning. We are overjoyed to have succeeded in our mission to aide Lord ir’Luum. We have much to discuss.”

Luminel quickly responds, “Well the Lord and the Bishop will be here momentarily for sure. Hopefully you can discuss it then.”

Luminel then waits by the door for his master’s return.

Kohl nods and waits quietly for the Lord and Bishop. Oggrim and Taveah stand nearby.

Kohl breaks the silence. “Oggrim, did the Lord give you a sending stone? How did Lord ir’Luum know of our return to invite the bishop?”

Luminel interrupts again. “If I may, the Lord believed you would return successful and arranged to have the Bishop meet here to see your success. We assumed you would be back earlier today, however, I am sure the weather complicated matters.”

Kohl changes the subject, “Luminel, we discovered an old journal entry, torn from a journal about the events that led to this hound problem in this area, starting when Lord ir’Luum’s ancestor first hunted the beasts down.”_

“An old journal entry of Lord ir’Lumm’s?” Luminel raises a brow. ”How can you be sure? Interesting. I am sure he would be most interested in seeing it."

“Not of ir’Luum’s, but of his ancestor.”

As they wait inside the dining room with the dead carcasses lying triumphantly on the massive table, they hear the two men ply each other with faux pleasantries in the foyer as they approach it is obvious these two men honestly hate one another. As Luminel opens the doors, their veiled threats are replaced with open hostility.

“I already tire of these stupid games, Lenorf." the Bishop sneers, "With what scandalous object do you wish to off end my eyes with this time?”

He is a thin, middle-aged man with sullen eyes, an imperious nose and a self-aggrandizing gait. Six men-at-arms and Danbren Xeq follow. Danbren leers at Kohl.

Lord ir’Lumm proudly responds, “Here are the Harrowcrowns Hounds! I, blinded and disgraced, was able to launch a mission against a corruption you willfully ignored. It seems to be a habit for your holiness.”

Bishop at’Rox gazes upon the carnage then spurns the accusation with a flick of his bejeweled fingers.

“I’ll admit that I underestimated your warnings and your resources, but you’re hardly in a position to scold me in the presence of your foreign mercenaries.” An evil grin stretches across his vulture like face; “If am guilty of ignoring corruption that skulks among my flock, maybe I should make amends by searching your estate for heretical work. I’ve heard you are up to your old heresies, Lenorf. Maybe this time I will not stop at paintings. Maybe this entire den of sin needs a cleansing with sacred fire.”

“Hm,” Taveah says, stepping forward. “Will you then sell those ‘heresies’ as you did the others? I’m sure they fetched a tidy profit.”

As she steps forward, three of the bishop’s guard step in front of him hands on their hilts. They look at her cautiously.

The Bishop is almost startled by her response and stammers, “Excuse me? Are you accusing a Bishop of the Flame of wrongdoing? Who are you? Lenorf, stay your dog mercenaries before I have them incarcerated for treason!”

Kohl smiles. “We are no mercenaries, we found proof of your art dealings. A receipt addressed to you from your buyer in Sharn.”

“And we accuse you of nothing. A dead man does.”

Taveah hands the note to Lord ir’Lumm. “Lord, this was found with the hounds.”

Luminel intercedes and takes the note on behalf of Lenorf. He reads it carefully and whispers into Lord ir’Lumm’s ear. Ir’Lumm is visibly shaken and can barely contain himself.

Lenorf speaks, “I’m sure you would like nothing more than to fill your coffers by stealing more of my beautiful art,” Lenorf spits. “But my fate will not be ruled by your whim alone. I have called upon the Cardinal of Sigilstar to mediate this matter. He should be here in the next day or so, so let’s you and I wait for the arrival of your superior.”

Kohl looks at the Bishop. “Your runner was killed by these runehounds, inhabitants of Xoriat. These hounds have been breeding, but the real danger is looming in a cave near by within the forest.”

The Bishop completely ignores Kohl, distracted by Lenorf’s comments. “You have requested the Cardinal? I see. Very well Lenorf. I will play your game. Your note, means nothing… as do the words of your heathen mercenaries. I trust you have suitable quarters for me and my men? I will not be put out any further.”

Oggrim speaks, “My bishop, I am no heathen. I am a knight of the Chalice of Blood. Loyal servant to the Flame.”

The Bishop looks Oggrim up and down with smug disdain, “Yes, you are indeed a token half-orc at best. Were it my choice, your kind would not be meant for Thrane.”

Oggrim is unnerved but contains himself, “Fortunately for me and my kind, it is not your choice.”

Lenorf interrupts, “You may stay in my artist quarters. It is aptly prepared, and quite comfortable. Your men may stay in the adjacent studio. Luminel, will escort you there now.”

“Very well Lenorf. I will wait for the Cardinals arrival tomorrow night.” Luminel leaves with the Bishop and his men. Danbren gives you each a smug smile as he exits.

Luminel escorts the Bishop and his men out.

Once they have all left, Lord ir’Lumm whispers to Oggrim, “I don’t trust the bishop,” he says, his demeanor stern and serious. “I think he will try to escape in the night to force the cardinal’s mediation on more advantageous ground. I would rather avoid alerting the Pure Flame seminary, as those people are no better than rabid dogs when riled by the bishop. My blindness is testimony to that. If you could do me this one last favor, we would be eternally grateful."

Oggrim pauses, deciding what to say next.

“Lord ir’Luum, what may we do to assist?” Kohl interrupts.

“Watch for any attempt by the Bishop or his men to leave tonight.” Lenorf says plainly.

Oggrim looks concerned, “Lord, I am unable to interfere with the will of the Bishop.”

“I have no problems interfering Oggrim.” Kohl remarks, “We do not want you to be punished. Allow me, and should my cousin be willing, her and Skarn. We are mere heathens and dogs in these lands." Kohl bows deep.

Taveah grins. “Skarn and I could track that odorous old man from 10 leagues. He shall not leave the manor without our permission, Lord. I promise you. However, if he does try to stray, do we have your permission to use physical force to restrain him?”

Lenorf looks at Oggrim, “As much as I would like to see that, no. Just bring him or his men back to the villa.”

“My Lord,” Oggrim interrupts, “I would advise caution in this matter. There is no need to involve my companions. Their actions could place them in great jeopardy.”

“In certain aspects, Oggrim is correct. We should be very careful in dealing with not only the Bishop, but his men and lapdog priest. I also do not wish to harm Oggrim’s status with in the church or his Order. Perhaps we don’t need to escort them at all, should they make any attempts to leave.”

Kohl looks at Taveah and then to Skarn and continues, “The Bishop’s men have already witnessed the horrors of the runehounds. Should any leave, perhaps Taveah and Skarn can ‘convince’ those that leave to return to the villa.”

Taveah nods. “A good idea, cousin. Skarn, would you be up to playing fearsome?”

Skarn growls excitedly. “Good boy,” she says petting him on his head.

Luminel reenters the room, a worried expression on his face and stands next to Lenorf.

Kohl watches Luminel and turns ir’Lumm, “Lord ir’Luum, I have a request, could we see a diary from your library? My cousin knows the one.“

“Why do you wish to read one of my diaries? And why would Taveah know it?”

Taveah steps forward with a guilty expression on her face. “Forgive me, Lord. I found your family history so interesting from our brief discussion that I could not help but read from one of your grandfather’s journals. I am sorry if I overstepped your generous bounds.”

“I see” Lenorf quietly speaks, then pauses. ”No you have not overstepped. I welcome your interest in the great deeds of my family. Do you have the letter in question? I should like to have Luminel see it."

Kohl produces the letter. “Lord ir’Luum, your Grandfather was a very honorable man. He saw good in those he was told his enemy and made a choice to try to save him.”

Taveah nods. “Quite remarkable, really.”

Luminel reads the letter and conveys it to Lord Lenorf. Lenorf sighs. _”My family has suffered long enough. We shall have justice soon enough.”

Lenorf takes Luminel’s hand, “I am tired and need my rest. If you will excuse me, I must commune with the angels in my gallery and then turn in for the evening. Please find your way back to the guest house. If you need anything, Luminel will provide. Good night and may the Flame keep you."

The Lord and Luminel take their leave to the gallery.

Kohl looks at Taveah, “I will remain awake to assist you and Skarn if you need. My thought on this plan, only harass and scare those that leave tonight, should any leave.”

“Sir Oggrim,” he continues, ”I want to thank you for bringing us on this adventure. In doing so, you have helped Taveah and I confirm that there is a definite link between your world and in a most disdainful, horrific way, our world. Knowing there is potentially an ‘eye tyrant’ near, held in a cave could mean a portal within. That cave will need to be cleansed. I have been honored to do battle along side you and am glad to call you friend. I want you to do nothing to endanger your station with the church."

“I shall not.. nor will I allow you to put yourself in unnecessary harm.” Oggrim replies.

As the three leave for the guesthouse he continues, “Lenorf has changed much since last I met him. He speaks in a manner not to my liking. While I may not like the Bishop or his practices here in Lessyk, he is nevertheless Bishop. Come let us sleep. If the Bishop sends his men in the night, let him. Lenorf asks too much of you both.”

Kohl thinks for a moment. “Taveah, Oggrim may be right. Allow Skarn to keep a watchful eye, if any leave, he can wake you and we can make a decision then.”

Kohl ponders for another moment. “Lord ir’Luum has suffered, his family has suffered for generations, I could hear it in his voice tonight. Perhaps we should speak to Luminel. The man spends his life with the Lord, he has to have suspicions. We are here to help him, let us make sure he does not doom the name ir’Luum.”

Taveah nods. “Very well. I do find now that we are in a warm house that I do not wish to leave it so quickly.” She smiles. “It is an unfamiliar feeling! Skarn: See to the grounds.”

Skarns pads off as Taveah opens the door for him.

The Kael and the Silver Flame – Part 6

The Kael and the Silver Flame - Part 5

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