Here is the basic premise of the story. I have some very specific ideas on where to take this, but it will involve my playing both the Cleric and the Empress. I need someone to play the Emperor and one other who will be open to some scheming and plotting to create a unique story.
Cleric of the All Father-God of Light
Living in the city of Hutengur
It was time for her prayers, the evening was late and Eliora was off duty. Though as far as she was concerned, she was always a cleric of the All Father. No matter the time of day or night. Her Faith sustained her, gave her purpose, strength and life. She was not meant to be a laid back servant of the Temple. Her skills with a sword and bow were exemplary. Though she herself was modest. It was not seemly for a cleric to boast.
She always ended her day in prayer and meditation. Walking through the empty Temple she came to the far left of the center altar and knelt in front of the shrine to Saint Tunesia, her patron.
Eliora was silent, her head bowed and her mind on the All Father. Steady even breaths that would make most people fall asleep. Outside the wind made the pennants flap and snap with vigor. A storm was moving in and soon the torrential rain would nearly flood the city. But the Temple was silent, the priest had long since left for his residence and would not come back until dawn.
The door to the Temple creaked open and Eliora flinched slightly, but remained with her head bowed in prayer. Whoever disturbed the sanctity of the Temple was probably meant to be here.
She heard soft footsteps, a man’s stride by the sound of it. He made his way down the aisle and stopped in front of the altar. He looked neither left or right.
Eliora opened her eyes to glance to him, out of curiousity. To her great surprise it was the Emperor Kambert himself! She debated a moment, should she let him know she was here? Perhaps he had a problem?
Before she could even move, the door to the Sanctum opened and the Holy Father himself, Bishop Morgaine stepped to the side of the Emperor and laid a hand on his shoulder. “You are not alone. The All Father is with you.”
The Emperor was at first startled when the Bishop began, thinking there was someone else in the Temple. His glance did not spot Eliora however, as he spun away from her location to the empty pews and frowned. “Do not give my your drivel, Bishop. I am always alone. And when I am not, I am with enemies. They seek to grovel at my feet to garner my favor, or slit my throat.” he sounded disgruntled.
The Bishop actually chuckled. “So it is with men in power, Emperor. They fear you, they do not see you as a human being. All they see is the Conqueror and the pomp and ceremony. They do not see the man. The All Father sees you as you are. You must accept the will of the All Father and submit your confessions. Repent and have your sins absolved.”
Kambert was not impressed. “I am above the people because I choose to be, Bishop. Just as you are above the Clerics, Paladins and Priests. You have power and you seek to own me as you do them. It won’t work. I know too well how you operate. I have a problem, and I think I will give it to you. For ten years now the Empress has failed to give me an heir. The Council demands I produce one. But she remains barren. All the prayers and efforts by the clerics have produced nothing.”
“What do you suggest, Emperor? I cannot give you a child. You cannot set aside the Empress, she is the reason the Kingdom of Glosarra does not invade. They too wish an heir. “ The Bishop frowned. Then his wandering eyes caught the glance of Eliora.
“Forgive me, Emperor, there is another here, perhaps she can offer a suggestion? She is one of our faithful clerics.” He beckoned to Eliora who reluctantly got to her feet.
The Emperor turned and regarded Eliora with suspicion. “Who are you and why have you not announced yourself?” He was irritated and Eliora blushed.
“I apologise, My Liege. I was amiss and should have let you both know. I am Eliora Findragon, Cleric of the All Father. How may I serve you?” she bowed low to both men. Truth be told she had no clue what they had in mind.
The Emperor regarded her with a discerning eye. She appeared to be calm and sure of herself and her Faith. Perhaps they could use her. He turned back to the Bishop. “The Realm needs an heir, the Empress is barren and I cannot put her aside. Truth be told we have tried many times, but it is not going to work if she is barren. I need a new wife or a concubine who will give me an heir. Are you suggesting this cleric for the role?” He was grasping at straws.
The Bishop frowned, “No, of course not, Clerics are bound by celibacy. They are not allowed to have children. Not only that they are bound to truth. They cannot lie.” he gave Eliora an apologetic look as she stood there stunned for a moment.
Eliora opened her mouth to speak and cleared her throat a few times before she began.
“Your Grace, if I may suggest? I am not a suitable candidate for the role, for the reasons stated. But the Emperor is the Law, is he not? Sire, I respectfully suggest you take a second wife who will give you an heir. If the Empress’ people object, they can be given leave to give you a second wife, one who is not barren.” she was matter of fact and calm.
The thought occurred to her that perhaps it was the Emperor who was infertile, but such a suggestion might cost her dearly. It would not be the first time an Emperor killed someone on the spot for insulting him.
She glanced at the Bishop, who seemed to have the same thought, not willing to voice it. The Bishop cleared his throat and tried to sound very pious and humble, if for no other reason, to calm the obviously distraught monarch.
“My Liege, allow me to work on this problem for you. The Temple devotes itself to serving the Will of the All Father. But it is the Will of the All Father we serve the Empire as well and its welfare. Please return to your rest and allow us to come up with a solution.” The Bishop smiled and bowed to the Emperor in all humility.
Emperor Kambert was still unsure of their motives, but he had no way of proving they were against him. “The Council will convene on the morrow. I will have them send a delegation to the Kingdom of Glossara and seek their aid. I will send this Cleric with them and she will either find me a wife or get dispensation to rid me of the current Empress. I do not care which! I only want to continue my campaign against the Horde who is even now badgering the Western plains. I will hold you responsible, Bishop Morgaine!”
With that he turned and strode out of the Temple. Eliora blinked and stared at the Bishop. “What are we to do? Your Grace. I suspect the issue does not lie with the Empress. I have seen the records of the clerics who monitor her health. She is fertile as far as they can tell. The Emperor will not allow anyone to examine him that closely unless he is injured.”
The Bishop frowned. “I also suspect the problem lies with the Emperor, but never let that knowledge pass your lips outside of our privacy. It could cost both of us our lives.”
He paced the aisles nervously for a time. “I have an idea. But it is risky beyond all reason. But if what you say is true, then the only solution is to…” he glanced around and made sure they were alone. “I cannot say this...but I will send you to the Kingdom of Glossara with a very special mission. When I have arranged for the caravan I will send it to you in writing and you will commit it to your memory and then destroy the note. Am I clear?” he studied her face a moment, expecting objections.
Eliora blinked and nodded. “Of course, Your Grace. I will not lie or steal or disgrace you. On my honor…” she began and he stopped her.
“Eliora, this mission will require you to do many things. How you do them is up to your discretion. There may be certain elements that will require you to hide the Truth. I will not ask you to lie. But I expect the task to save the Kingdom and the lives of many people will be spared. I want your Oath that you will do as I ask and not divulge the secrets of its inception. Swear it on the altar of the All Father!” He grabbed her hand and led her to the ornate altar in the center of the Temple.
Eliora was stunned to say the least. What was the Bishop going to ask her to do? She had no clue and was almost afraid to ask. That it involved secrecy and hiding the Truth went against her moral code.
“Your Grace! I am but a humble Cleric. I seek to uphold the Laws of the All Father, to speak only Truth and to defend the weak and helpless at all costs including my very life. Do not ask me to deceive the Realm or to compromise my Faith.” she was indignant and afraid.
“Eliora FIndragon! I am the Voice of the All Father and I am not ordering you to lie! I will hold you to your vows, every one of them. You will speak only the Truth. As for helping the Realm, which we are all bound to do by Oath, nothing is more Sacred than to defend the helpless. Think about it.” he was adamant and held her hand to the Altar.
She swallowed her pride and nodded. “Forgive me, Your Grace. I will do as you say. I will pray for guidance on this Quest and may the All Father give me strength.” She knelt at the altar and her heart pounded in her chest.
The Bishop relented and released his iron grip on her hand. “I have a plan, and I expect you to carry it out to the best of your ability. If you fail, lives may be lost. Innocent lives, including that of the Empress. I will suggest she accompany you as a way to smooth things over in the Kingdom of Glossara. I am sure she would welcome a chance to visit her parents and her home kingdom. Now do I have your Oath that you will take this task and do your best to bring it to fruition?”
He deliberately did not give her any details. What he was about to suggest would be a scandal of the worst kind if it was discovered. He turned to the gleaming symbol of the Eternal Flame, that represented the All Father. His eyes never left it as he waited for her to vow.
Eliora swallowed the lump in her throat. Politics by their very nature were made up of misconceptions and half truths. What went on behind the public’s eyes would stun them all.
“By the Grace of the All Father, I vow to do my best to bring a solution to the Emperor’s dilemma. All Father, give me strength and wisdom, courage and fortitude. May it be so.” She bowed her head and kissed the altar.
Bishop Morgaine frowned. It was not exactly what he had in mind. But demanding her to obey him and not consider the implications to her own Faith would be counter productive. “May the All Father guide you.” he intoned.
Eliora rose and stood gazing at the Eternal Flame for a moment, almost wishing for a sign of some kind.
-----------PM me with your character ideas
. I think a rogue who resembles the Emperor or the Empress would be good. Personality and quirks are up to you. A knight who can be torn with indecision and duty combined with an eagerness to serve the Empire would work as well. This could go many ways.
It will take place in my world of Tierra, seen here:https://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=221640.0