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[[ChronPavis Pavis]] & [[ChronP41 Also happening]]
====Lessons of Various Sorts====

Having left the mysterious swordsman called Dissolution Khan in the hands of the skillful Graylor and the more direct Egil, Abul leads Yenda to the temple of Lankhor Mhy. They meet there Sarger the young Hevduran initiate, who isn't really on duty but is just hoping for some event to break his boring routine: "Hello, Abul from the most civilized lands of Carmania!" greets the young guard with a sincere but also quite mocking smile when he sees them, "I see that you brought a new barbarian girl with you, you should let me deal with her, as a crude barbarian myself, I'm more used to the direct style of the lesser civilizations than you, my small friend..!"

Abul answers with his new deep voice, apparently without any trace of a sense of humour in it: "I warn you, fiendish book-worm, be nice and polite with her or you may take your sword lesson faster than you wish. Sarger, let me present you to Yenda from the Pol-Joni. She knows many secrets, one among them is the worship of the Great Sword, so keep your distance if you don't want anything to be cut off from you..."

This time, the "Ever-Knowing" Sarger seems really impressed and surprised: "Yeee... What is this Tomb-Voice? Are you sick or bewitched? How can such a small body emit such a terrible sound?"

"The Godsplane took my child voice," answers Abul without any further details, "this is my adult voice, I'm an initiate now!"

"The Godsplane!" Sarger turns to Yenda and takes her as a witness. "Do you hear him like I hear him?" (here he tries to imitate with a poor success the unusual deep voice of Abul)... " he said: I'M AN INITIATE NOW!!!"

On this, unable to torture his throat any longer, he coughs but laughs from his joke. Abul seems half vexed half amused. His answer sounds commanding but his face smiles as he says: "By the Sacred Bull, are we at the Pavistic Eurmal's Shrine or at the Great Temple of the Lord of Knowledge? You, verbose and insolent guard, lead us to the Sage in charge of the trollish customs. I have a good news for him: we have the money to pay him for his lessons at the cost we have bargained... or is your breath too diminished to go to real sword training as you promised me?"

"All right, all right..." admits Sarger smiling widely, "I'll guide you both..."


After the conditions for the Dark Tongue lessons have been set and after the first official lesson, Sarger takes his friend Abul apart and mutters in his ear: "Abul, I have watched you with the Pol-Joni girl during the lesson and I guess now which little secret you seek from 'Yenda Holder-Of-Many-Secrets'. I think that you need some help in your quest for knowledge..." then he adds with a confident smile: "You're perhaps an initiate now, but I'm the bearded man here..."

Superstitiously, Abul covers his eyes with the shadow of his right hand and protests: "Sarger, how can you spell out such thoughts during day time! Perhaps I may need some advices, but I'm not very sure that I will seek them from a barbarian sinner like you..."

Sarger laughs at Abul's prejudices: "Well perhaps, but as you perfectly understand my thoughts, it certainly also makes you a sinner too in your frigid lands of the North, while here, in the warmer South, I'm the experienced man and you are the tomb-voiced boy..."

Abul's frowns but answers nothing at first: "My father already told me much about this topic, but come with us back to the camp this evening. You will meet our drill sergeant and I really hope for you that you will be able to keep this mouth shut then... then, perhaps, when the night comes I will listen to your advice... Now I have to go to Duke
Raus' Mansion, you may also come if you wish..."

Intrigued and curious, Sarger accepts smiling: "A meeting with more crazy Carmanians? I wouldn't miss the occasion... and don't worry I know when I should keep my mouth shut!"


After a first afternoon within the Lankhor Mhy temple, Sarger, Yenda and Abul leave late with their heads full for weird notions about the trollish customs and languages looking for Duke Raus's mansion in Pavis. There, servants offer them a light diner while Lady Jakkanna is requested. When Abul greets her, she has an horrified expression and orders him to follow her. Leaving his two companions in the great kitchen, Abul obediently walks behind Lady Jakkanna who go directly to the Sword's apartments.

After having being invited inside by Daine, Lady Jakkanna requests Abul to tell them the result of the Heroquest on the Godsplane. Abul tells them at first reluctantly but more and more fiercely the exploits of Illig the mortal incarnation of Humakt.

Daine seems very impressed but remains silent while Lady Jakkanna becomes more vocal: "Abul, you're on a very bad road, she states. No one goes on the Godsplane to be initiated. This is pure folly!"

"But it was a full success!" reminds her the young man quite defiantly.

"Perhaps... we will see this point later, but have you imagined what could have happened to you in case of failure? Your sacred souls would have been trapped on the Godsplane among heathen divinities... ready to be picked there by the Enemy..."

Retrospectively, Abul is suddenly afraid until Daine speak up: "We can discuss all the night about the sanctity of the southern barbarian worship of Death, but as I understand it, this Illig being so near of his god can not be so far from Truth that he would have become a tool of the Enemy. At such a level of proximity with Death I would believe that his acts and intentions were true. This quest was perhaps a folly, but it was a success and it is now a fact and a truth of our world."

"But look on how Abul has been changed, his voice, his way of thinking..." objects the priestess.

"Right, he is now initiated. For good or bad, now he is walking in the divine path. By luck, Herw'Ard is on the white list, even if it is a difficult path than this one, the Magi didn't reject it. Why did you choose Herw'Ard as your guide in Life, young Abul?"

Abul answers slowly: "At first I was thinking that it was to be allowed to stay within the Legion, but during the initiation I understood something which isn't so clear now."

"Tell us!' insists Daine.

"During the Quest, I got the feeling that I was tired of truths hidden in the Darkness, I needed a light there. I accepted then to be Herw'Ard."

"Carmanos saves us!" exclaims Lady Jakkanna. "There is no truth in the Darkness, only traps from the Enemy!"

"This is inexact woman, Hum'Akt watchtowers are in Hell guarding us against the Lie, but you're right when you say that Abul is really waking on a dangerous path... no one should sanely be rummaging in the Darkness' secrets."

On this, Daine looks in Abul's eyes, apparently assessing what he sees there: "I never met someone initiated directly on the Godsplane. It is perhaps an Error sent by the Enemy or a Sign sent by the Idovanus. I don't know... but it is my duty to study this point."

Daine remains silent for a while until he declares: "Abul, I will advice you and help you on your path for Truth hidden in Darkness, but if I discover that your way leads us to Error and Lie, then I will do my best to ban the effort of the Enemy even if this means to simply kill you. Do you you understand?"

Actually Abul doesn't really understand the stakes that Lady Jakkanna and the Sword Daine are talking about, but the threat is clear enough anyway.By a movement of his head, Abul agrees.

"Now let's speak about the consequences of the Heroquest. Lady Jakkanna is right when she says that questing on the Godsplane has implications. Arkat lost his soul there, the cursed Godlearners were destroyed by their own experimentations there and well... some sages say that the Lunars will fall from this too..."

"Abul..." complains Lady Jakkanna. "You have to understand that changing the Godsplane is changing our reality. You can't remove a god so simply than that. What about the void place he left behind? Perhaps a worst thing will take it. What about his role on the mundane word? On what kind of divinity will turn his followers? What process, that he was commanding, did your plot suppressed?"

"We destroyed Oilamey, a Hero who betrayed the Herewardi Legion to turn on Vivamort and was then mocking Yelmalio. Who would ever regret such an abomination?"

"Who knows? answers Daine gloomily. On thing is sure your team have changed the fabric of the world, something in the world will change by reaction to your actions... be ready, young man, because all the heroquesters are doomed to meet the changes they introduced to the world."

INTERLUDE

While, somewhere in Carmania, probably in Spol, in a closed and dark chamber full of luxurious comfort.

A small feminine silhouette completely wrapped with a heavy and somber veil walks with small careful steps because her ankles are hindered by a fine silver chain. She is obviously the slave of a rich spolite noble house: "Noble Mistress, Devshira has just come because Devshira has news..."

The slave's mistress is an old crone. All the circumference around her eyes is made up with black giving to the emaciated face the unpleasant impression to be a contorted skull. Her voice is acrid and full of secret threats: "Devshria, Devshira... she says annoyingly, Devshira has always news. I reward her well for that!"

The slave let dissipate the waves of anger emanating from her mistress and then adds with a soft voice: "Yes, Noble Mistress, but she has news from... the boy."

At these words, with a certain haste, the old woman gathers her close attention: "The boy? It is such on old story, he was supposed to be dead by now."

Visibly, the slave is well introduced in her mistress's plots and secrets: "He must be sixteen by now, Noble Mistress..."

The old noblewoman make a visible effort to recall all the details: "Devshira's witches told me eight years ago that he must have finally died, when their demons stormed his refuge in the city of Kendesos."

With a quiet voice the slave helps her mistress to recovers more details: "Yes, Noble Mistress, they told us that he was probably dead, but with the medallion it is certainly difficult to be absolutely sure..."

The crone puts a hand on her dry chest to touch there an hidden item and agrees with a sign of her head: "Yes, of course... the medallion... My daughter has always been soft..."

"She is dead now..." the slave reminds quietly.

But her voice isn't perhaps quiet enough, because on these words the noblewoman finds her anger back: "I know she's dead! She killed herself! She sacrificed herself for her bastard! Stupid witches and stupid demons! Stupid daughter!"

For the slave, it is now obviously urgent to manage her mistress' emotions in any other direction than hers: "Yes and stupid bastard too, he ran once again and escaped! But you remember that after the attack, Devshira also sent agents, humans and spirits alike to inquire and make sure the boy was dead..."

"And I remember now that she didn't tell me the final result..." the old woman barks. "We had many plots during this period, but this one wasn't concluded..."

"Because she didn't wanted to disappoint you a third time..." the slave assures. "She just said that there was no obvious proof of the bastard's death, but then she looked for tracks and continued her researches..."

Finally the old woman gets a cunning glance, understanding that her slave was preparing her for some important revelations: "And? What can Devshira says after eight years? I wonder!"

With her quiet voice voice, the slave delivers finally a message that only the main family witch could have affirmed: " The bastard wasn't dead, the demons mistaken him with another boy..."

"By the infernal guts of..." the crone begins to swear.

"But Devshira found some witnesses and they finally admitted that the boy was taken by a passing woriani hazar..."

"Is this really sure?" the old woman wants to know.

"As sure as the souls of these witnesses can swear it true under Devshira's scrutiny..."

The old woman shivers, she was ambitious when she was young and is still cruel, but she isn't so fully devoted to the Evil One than her personal witch Devshira: "Where is the bastard by now?!"

"No one knows exactly, you remember... the medallion..."

"Yes this bloody medallion, the old woman spits. I made it myself to protect my descent, yes I remember, of course I remember!"

"Devshira worked hard to make sure that the woriani would get no comfort with the boy. Two years later, she found him and she allied with the lunars..."

"These upstarts..!"

"Yes Noble Mistress, these upstarts, but powerful and useful, the woriani was plotting against them, so Devshira find it easy to..."

"But Devshira didn't caught the boy, otherwise she would have presented his head to me by now..."

"Exact, Noble Mistress, she would have delivered this pleasure to you... They escaped and vanished in the barbaric south and Devshira lost them, they were very far from here at this time... that's why Devshira kept silent on this topic during all the last six years..."

"But now Devshira has news..." grins the old woman with an anticipated pleasure.

"She was told that the boy has been felt by her emissaries..."

"Felt?"

"Yes 'felt', Noble Mistress. She was even told 'heard'. Yes they have heard his voice, they know him well, you know, Devshira made sure that none of his... emissaries... would disappoint her... again."

"Where? Where was he? We have to kill him and dispatch his souls to the thirteen hells of Darshadath! The old blood of the spolite queens in my veins won't tolerate this bastard any longer, not now that we know he is alive, not now that I'm old with a family plotting against me, looking for an heir to manipulate.... Devshira has to go there with all her daughters and all her... emissaries, to make sure he will be put to death and his body desecrated, his souls lost to the Devil and his memory erased for ever!"

The slave looks embarrassed as if all this long discussion was only a preparation for these final words : "She can't do that, Noble Mistress..."

"She... can't?!?" the old woman seems almost hysteric.

"No Noble Mistress, she can't. The boy was heard singing..."

"Like his miserable father!" the crone interrupts.

"Yes, like his father, confirms the slave with an exemplary patience. He was heard singing... but not in a place where Devshira can go easily. He was heard on the Godsplane where a champion of the Dark Lord just died. All the Sabbat is mourning by now..."

Suddenly the old noblewoman looks threatened, her hands tremble and her face is blank and livid, really much like the skull, it was supposed to represent: "On the Godsplane... he sang... and one of His champions died..."

"Yes Noble Mistress, as I said: Devshira has news..."

For the first time, the old woman looks directly in the eyes of her veiled slave. Her voice is full of anguish, near to panic: "Devshira, you should do something!"

"Yes, Noble Mistress, I will do... things..."

END OF INTERLUDE
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