Sunday, September 10, 2006

Interlude: Gerard's Ascension

"The Shadowbane Inquisition Welcomes Another Crusader"
Aryth 6th-7th, 998 YK

At Gerard's request, four modest tickets on the Five Nations Express had been provided by the Church of the Silver Flame instead of one, so that his companions could come and witness his ascension to the rank of Shadowbane Inquisitor. While some of his comrades didn't agree with the dogma of the Silver Flame theocracy, they all held noble Gerard dearly enough that they were interested in seeing this transition through with him. Thus, they found themselves in Flamekeep on the evening of Aryth the 6th.

Before the ceremony (which was scheduled to take place the next evening), they met with the head of Gerard's order, Thedric Drosin. Gerard rarely spoke of his life before adventuring, but they did know that Thedric was a sort of mentor for the inquisitor. Thedric didn't seem nearly as zealous and self-righteous as the Flamers were often accused of being, which helped to explain Gerard's relatively relaxed demeanor. Thedric beckoned them all to his office, for he had a request that he felt must be asked in private. After arriving in the spacious-yet-plain room from which Thedric directed the Inquisition's activities, the older man first asked Gerard if he was sure his three companions could be trusted. After Gerard gave a cautious assent, Thedric made his situation plain.

There were demons in the Church, and they were slowly taking over every aspect of the Silver Flame's activities. There had been several assassination attempts made against him and his most trusted peers, and all evidence pointed to the involvement of shapeshifting fiends called rakshasas. He revealed his suspicions that the dreaded Lords of Dust were getting ready for a major assualt against the mortal world, weakening bastions of divine power such as the Church of the Silver Flame so that whatever they were planning was more likely to succeed. He, begged, that they be ready to act when the Lords of Dust finally moved, because the consequences of inaction were too terrible to comprehend. The Five Nations were weakened, and there was little that could be done to stop a new Age of Demons once it was underway. Esan didn't seem too interested in saving the world from this terrible fate, but the others were quick to acknowledge the threat, and pledge their conditional support when the time came.

The next day, Morgan, Esan and Nadia saw little of Gerard, who was following custom and spending the day in prayer. That evening, they were all granted access to one of the most extraordinary wonders of Khorvaire - the Chamber of the Silver Flame. Here, Gerard made his vows, and rose as a Shadowbane Inquisitor.