Astelbania Chronicles

"Are you there?" the tubby man, draped in a red robe tip-toed into the alley-way. His hands were raised by his shoulders quaking as sweat beaded about his forehead, despite the cool Northern climes.  In his right chubby hand was clenched The Order.

"A dark alley is no place for an acolyte, methinx," came a whispery voice, heavy with dark intent and malice.

The red-robe jumped like a frightened mouse at the sound of Bahl's voice. "It is not, no," the acolyte's head bobbed on a twig.

"What do you want, cleric?" Bahl came out of the shadows pulling his cowl away from his face, and the acolyte's face split, wide-eyed,  in terror, his scent, rank with fear.

"By Pondera, what are you?"
"What i am is unimportant," Bahl's voice never rose from a dull whisper, as he dextrously swiped the parche from the acolyte's hand, "For me, I presume?"

"Y.. Yes, yes, of course, my master's Orders," said the quivering wretch.  Bahl's mouth twisted with disgust, and he sighed, as he tore the wax seal and let his eyes glance over the Demonic lettering scrawled over the vellum.  "Your master chooses interesting scriptures, acolyte.  Are you sure he serves the Red Mistress; or mayhaps he secretly prays to the Dark Lord himself?"

"Blashpemy!" the acolyte spat. 

This brought a smile to Bahl's thin lips.  With a short laugh, the rogue waved a greyish-skinned hand, "Peace, brother," he said, "I have no quarrel with you or your church!"  He flashed the note, "I mean only to say that he has written his missive in my own Mother-Tongue... coming from a follower of Pondera and not one of Pravusdeus is..." his smile widened, "Facinating," his voice knowingly dripped with sarcasm.

"His choice of scripture was obvious," The acolyte grimaced, "it was intended, only, to be read by he whom was to receive it.  No other is to know its contents,"

"That much is clear!" Bahl nodded, finishing the missive with a critical eye.  "What he asks of me will be expensive; and dangerous,"

The acolyte pulled another note from his red-robes and waved it in the air, "I am to give you this, should you choose to accept.  A promisary note for platinum should you be successful... "

"Ho!" Bahl's laugh was like sandpaper on steel, "I think he'll owe me more than that ... but.." Bahl fingered his lower lip and pulled close, his Tiefling demonic horns casting a dark shadow over the young priest, "I think I may have fun with this one and so I accept," he snatched the note the priest's mit, and stuffed it into his tunic.  In a split, he found shadows and slipped away into the darkness.

"Tell him, I will be in touch when I have assembled my team!"

"When will that be, might I ask?" the acolyte spun about aimlessly searching the darkness of the alley and was met with only silence.

The End

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