Chapter 11

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Broken Trust

Treading through the deep snow of the High Mountain, an elderly man rode up the path to Felgarth on his white stallion. His white cape that was attached to his robe moved with the wind as he pulled his hood back, getting a better look at the temple before him. With concern reflecting in his kind blue eyes, he stepped off his mount as he arrived by the stairway leading up to the sanctuary. He was met by quite the surprising reveal as a group of people came out the gate, carrying the wrapped body of Vazayus. Holding onto his staff, the old man rushed over to see the face of the man and shortly after asked with a sense of urgency, “what happened?”

One of the women who was helping out with the body shifted her attention towards him and stated in a low tone, “Grandmaster Ferongar, I’m afraid Lord Anarious got away. He escaped the barrier chamber and went after High Elder Uuthar. The temple was overrun by his unit within seconds, there wasn’t anything we could do.”

“How many were there?”

“Twenty to thirty men, and he also had his daughter with him.”

With a surprised glare in his eyes, the old man expressed unrest as he responded with a single word. “What?”

“It was Lady Errynaya, and from the looks of it, she is already a fighter. She’s but a child, but he’s twisted her mind.”

“What was she wearing?”

“What do you mean?”

Staring into her eyes with a fearful look as he placed both his hands onto her shoulders, continuing. “The colors, the armor?”

“Black and red, no plate or mail, just leather with a cloak.”

“The Sanguis unit, it has already been established then.”

“Ferongar, there is something else you should know. The Stormcaller boy seems to be involved somehow.”

Glancing over at young Archus who stood by the valley overlook, seemingly distraught, Ferongar spoke calmly. “So, they know… Leave the boy to me, I’ll send word to Aethos and find a solution for how to proceed. In the meantime, take care of the dead.”

“Of course, Grandmaster. We will take care of everything here.”

Ferongar gave her a gentle nod of acknowledgment before he approached the boy. Leaning against the railing next to him, the Grandmaster slightly turned his head towards him as spoke. “The time has come, Archus.”

“I’m so sorry, Ferongar. I thought Elder Uuthar was out of control.”

He saw it on the boy’s face, the pain and guilt, it was eating away at him. It became clear once Archus looked up into his eyes with remorse. With a deep sigh, Ferongar nodded and glanced over at Vazayus who was being brought into the Elders Mausoleum as he listened to Archus explain.

“I thought he was a High Elder of the Revelation order; I didn’t know he would go after Uuthar like that. He was just interested in the serpent object or something that Vazayus had.”

“You’re not entirely wrong. Lord Anarious was an Elder of the old order, but now … let’s just say he is no longer an ally of ours.”

Placing his hand onto his shoulder, Ferongar reassured him that he should not blame himself for any of this. Starting to move towards his horse with the boy by his side, he continued in a more unnerved tone of voice. “Listen to me carefully. You cannot under any circumstances tell anyone about this, do you understand? If the council of Elvanor learns of your involvement in this, they will see it as a betrayal.”

“Okay, I promise. I won’t tell anyone.”

Helping young Stormcaller up on the horse, the Grandmaster explained that he was taking him back to Stormhold. Mounting his stallion, Ferongar began riding with the boy away from the temple of Felgarth.

As the hooves of the horse cut through the deep snow of the mountain path a while after their departure, Ferongar addressed Archus with a firm expression on his face. “When we arrive at the city, remember what I told you, you cannot disclose anything, not even to your father about the events that transpired at Felgarth. He is obligated to inform the council, and when he does, it will stir up problems for all parties involved. I will personally address your father, and I will tell him only what he needs to know.”

“I understand. Can I ask you something, Ferongar? What is the artifact he was looking for? The ring of serpents and the letter ‘G’ engraved.”

Looking down while expressing sadness, the old man remained silent for a while before finally answering his question. “He is trying to bring back an old friend, someone who will turn the tide of this cold war. We can’t let him succeed, even though he has good reasons for what he is doing.”

“Can you tell me more about Lord Anarious, why he is doing this?” Archus asked curiously.

“No, this is not something a young scholar like yourself should need to worry about. You have a much greater task at hand. The young crown-prince is coming of age, he will need guidance. Your father and I have already discussed the matter, although it’s happening a lot sooner than expected, you have to do your part.”

Acknowledging what the Grandmaster was saying, Archus was listening carefully and agreed to do his duty. The road ahead was long, but from what they had recently experienced, nothing seemed further away in their minds.

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