May 24, 1740 EQ, Temporary Salmonil Camp Just East of Cah Bel
i Nursing Home
entered the sanctum of his masterís tent. He had to wait a
moment to allow his eyes to become accustom to the darkness. He
could just make out the outline of his masterís throne turned away
from him. A pit five paces before the throne, the only source of
light, emitted a sickly green glow. At the periphery of the
lightís reach stood what could be called pillars. Their twisted
shapes looked like they grew up thickly out of the ground only to die
and wither into their present form, black, glossy supports of the tent
roof above. Consus, who frequented this chamber more than most,
dreaded every visit.
reverence, he began his approach to the throne.
master was growing quickly in power among the Salmonil tribes.
Consus had to admire the way he was usurping the authority of the
Counsel of Tribes, the old order that passed and enforced inter-tribal
laws. Soon his master, Araknik the Gray Wolf, would take their
place. He ruled with a heavy hand that some saw as oppressive, but
others saw long overdue. The old pride of the Salmonil was being
restored through conquest and to many, a glorious new age was about to
dawn. The entire world might someday owe allegiance to this
formerly backward nomadic herdsman, and Consus wanted to be at his side
when it happened.
something about Araknik bothered Consus. Do
I really owe allegiance to this man, he had to ask himself, if
man he truly is. Rumor had it that he had lived over a
thousand years. Consus doubted that, but could guess that the
as he liked to be called, was somewhere around ninety or a hundred, a
withered and wasted man. This did not mean that Consus considered
his lord weak or feeble. On the contrary, his master often chose
his own tent guards as his sparing partners.
On either side of the throne, now stood examples of his Tent Guard. These men were specially chosen at birth for this service, huge men with shoulders of great girth, trained for years in all forms of combat and other arts. They stood with arms crossed and eyes closed. In their training, they developed a heightened sense of hearing that almost allowed them to fight with their eyes closed. This is probably good, thought Consus, because in this tent the strange lights and deep flickering shadows might hinder more than guide a fight.
others were in the room with them. This was not a good sign for
stepped up to his usual spot and presented himself. The back side
of the throne faced him. It was made of the same glossy, black,
dehydrated look that characterized the twisted columns. The throne
did not turn around.