Within the heart of the Imperial capital is a Grand Cathedral, home to the Church of the Divinities. It stands as a testament to the architectural brilliance of the past, although it had been built after the first fall of civilization. Even in that time, such grand structures could be built.
Deep within, the Bishops and Archbishops reign and their power is on par with that of the Imperial government.
“It should all be over soon.” One Archbishop nervously said to a group of his peers.
“How long until we receive word of their success?”
“At least a few days, even magical messenger birds can only travel so fast.”
“I won’t be able to relax until we know for sure.”
They continued with their topic of discussion, most feeling anxious and impatient. If the source of the anomaly had been taken care of, they could finally rejoice, otherwise they could only despair.
Towards the back of the chamber was a raised dais, an altar, and on it was a large sphere with black energy pulsing within. A statue of a woman stood proudly before the sphere and while the Archbishops discussed anxiously, the statue slightly shook. What appeared as stone began to crumble to the floor as if the statue were shedding an outer skin.
As the sound became noticeable, the Archbishops turned their heads towards the source and fell to their knees in worship. They were startled by the sudden change in the statue of one of their beloved Divinities. As the outer shell was shed, the woman that was beneath it began to move, breathing her first in a long time.
“So, the chain has been broken? If not for the disturbance I would still be within my own dominion.” Her voice while beautiful to hear was filled with anger.
She turned to the Archbishops who were prostrating before her.
“What have you fools been doing? So much time has passed and yet you still have failed to complete your mission!”
Her anger frightened the Archbishops who could only quake in fear.
“Now that it has come to this, I will have to personally get involved. I can not be careless though. I will lend you one of my servants to aid you, he should be more than sufficient. It is difficult for me to manifest with this incomplete domain.”
On the raised dais, there was also an elaborate throne which was the most prominent feature of the altar. The Divinity walked over to the throne and sat in it, crossing one leg over the other. She raised her hand and a bright light stretched forth from her hand, blinding the Archbishops.
Once the Archbishops regained their vision, there was another figure standing upon the dais. It was a knight in a strange and magnificent armor. His hair was the color of the sun and on his back was an enormous sword of light.
The knight kneeled before the Divinity and put his fist to his chest, “I am here to fulfill your will, command me.”
“Find the one called Fayde, and kill him. These men will aid you. Use him wisely, he is all I can give you… for now.”
Hearing his orders, the knight stood and saluted while the Archbishops dared not move from their positions.
Returning from the old Imperial Capital was difficult.
“Fayde, I… know this is not something you want to hear, but it must be said. Despite their betrayal, you must not kill them. Allein is necessary in order to unite the clans. I am not telling you to forgive her, but make use of her. I will take her brother under my custody and imprison him with those I trust. We can say that he went missing, no one will be the wiser. I already have a group of Demonkin waiting for us nearby, they can take him with them so that no one will see he has returned.”
He could barely listen as Accadeus spoke with him and just nodded his head as if it had nothing to do with him.
“Fayde…” Said Reia sorrowfully.
Laila noticing Reia wanted to approach Fayde, stopped her.
“Let him be for now. These things wont be easy to deal with and will take time.”
Reia nodded and kept her distance, but she couldn’t help the pain she felt in her heart. She had trusted Allein too, and it was also affecting her.
While Nes and Allein had been properly subdued so that they couldn’t escape or use magic, Tris had not yet regained consciousness and so she was being carried by Accadeus.
They remained like this until they arrived at the Sacred Grounds, except of course for Nes who had been handed over to the Demonkin and hidden away.
With their return, they were welcomed by countless Demihumans who had been patiently waiting. None had any idea what had taken place, nor the horrors that plagued Fayde’s mind.
What am I…. Was everything an illusion? My daughter… My life on Earth… This world…
He struggled to keep himself together and even though there were in fact those who cared very much for him around him, they could do nothing. They couldn’t even think of what words they could say to him. Laila especially looked on at him with sorrow, because she understood what it meant to be a monster.
It was difficult pretending as if nothing had happened, as if he had not been betrayed.
And so Fayde put on a show for them, although his heart wasn’t truly in it. The Demihumans ignorant to this were ecstatic to see their return, feeling as if they were witnessing a new era for their people.
No one noticed the dark clouds forming in Fayde’s heart nor the unsteadiness of his mind.
Once they returned to the their tent, Tris was sent to where Shar was, to be watched over. She was no longer a Human, but that didn’t mean she could be trusted.
Fieral was instructed to keep Allein within the tent and Accadeas sent his own Demonkkin over to act as guards and keep other Demihumans away.
Fayde hadn’t yet removed the Mark from Allein’s body, not because he wanted it there, but he couldn’t bring himself to go near her. He could feel her torment through their connection, so he knew it must have been an overwhelming emotion, but it only mixed with his own and he could barely tell the difference.
Fayde was soon dressed in his official robes and headed towards the Grand Council tent with Reia and Laila to complete the ceremony.
The other Khans would still need to officially declare their fealty. All of the Khans were waiting within the tent and as Fayde entered, they all bowed their heads. Each congratulated him in turn and expressed their loyalty and fealty.
“Where is Allein?”
Rhaegnar noticed that Allein was missing. He was the closest to her out of the other Khans.
“She is feeling ill from the long journey, she couldn’t be here.”
“That is a shame, I was hoping to see her. Send her my regards.”
He smiled and made way for Fayde.
It continued like this until all the Khans had sworn fealty.
Rajal was the first to speak once the formalities were over.
“It is done. Then, Great Khan, what is it that you will have us do? Fight humans like what the Demonkin wished to do?” He scoffed, causing some to look at him with anger for his disrespect.
Noticing the glares, he bowed his head and offered an apology.
“I will not have you waste your lives fighting the Empire if that is what you were referring to. That would be a death wish. We are not strong enough to face them… yet.” My words caused some to relax.
It seemed that many of them feared I would do just that. The Demihumans were fearless warriors but that didn’t mean they relished throwing their lives away.
“No, there is something else that we will do.”
That got their attention. Their eyes turned to look at Fayde expectantly.
“We will go east and we will conquer the Northern Kingdoms, we are in a state of war!”
Their glances became looks of concern once again, they weren’t expecting this and they began to murmur amongst themselves.
“Of course I know it won’t be so simple as that. We can’t fight all of the Northern Kingdoms if they unite as one. However, if we act quickly, we can use the Kingdom’s attack on the Foxkin as justification for retaliating. We will move swiftly and we will conquer the Kingdom of La’gun before the other kingdoms can act. Once we secure control, they will be forced to recognize our might. Prepare yourselves… and your clans.”
His words no longer caused murmurs, the Khans and chieftains began shouting openly.
“Impossible! This is a fools mission!”
Their shouts grew angrier and their movements more violent, but Fayde stood there seemingly calm, but deep within was a deep rage.
Accadeas stepped forward and slammed his halberd into the ground and roared, silencing the Khans.
“How dare you show disrespect before the Great Khan!” His voice bellowed across the tent, shocking many.
“I have been declared Marshall of the tribal forces and we are in a state of war! Any who show dissent will meet my halberd!”
Accadeas glared at all of those around the room and no one spoke out of fear.
Rhaegnar stepped forward, “It is as Accadeas says. We have chosen our Great Khan and given fealty. If war is declared than the Marshall has the authority to silence dissenters as per tradition.” While his words were calm, anyone could see the uncertainty on his face.
This was enough for now, there would be plenty of time to change the clans in the future.
Accadeas stern voice filled the tent one last time, “Prepare your clans for war! We head east at dawn!”