The Known Sword

The High Priest

Advertisements

The High Priest was not known as a man of action, and that was by design. A priest should be slow moving, approachable and above all else, unthreatening. It had taken him years to learn the discipline to stop himself acting on his every thought.

His childhood had been one of decadence. Loved by his parents, well educated and given everything he asked for the character he now played was who he should be. But he had always contained within him an evil core, a darkness he always knew he had to hide. It was also a thing he needed to vent.

As a younger man it had been easy to sneak off and do what needed to be done. Many small animals had died to keep his dark side sated. But as he aged and his responsibilities grew ever larger it was harder to disappear and murder small animals. Also, it had become obvious to him that small animals no longer kept him happy.

As High Priest he had feared he would never have time. In fact, the opposite has true. A High Priest, it seemed, was meant to have a secret vice. The trouble with power is those below you fear you will abuse it. Having a secret they can leverage if they need to makes the whole system work a lot smoother. Of course, everyone believed his vice was sex with young girls. Every week he would have one delivered to his secret rooms where he would leave them alone for a few hours. All he asked them to do was rough up their hair and tell anyone who asked that they did not have sex. There was nothing like a young girl saying there was no sex to make everyone believe sex had happened.

Using his vice as bait he would take on a priest he didn’t like and wait for them to confront them in his office. His target this time was a young priest named Jacob. Hailing from the Island Kingdoms he obviously had his sights on the High Priest role. Worse, he had a lot of people supporting him. It was time for the priests to once again fear their master. The High Priest’s campaign against the Paladins would take all of his effort and time, and he could not fear the knife from behind.

He had made the arguments he had with Jacob very public and very heated. He wanted the priests to know Jacob was his enemy. When Jacob ‘disappeared’ he wanted everybody to wonder if he was behind it. Off course he didn’t want them to be able to prove it.

Jacob had arrived at his office full of piss and vinegar. He was pissed off that he was getting the jail duties, late shifts and was seemingly always on call. He was angry that the High Priest was going out of his way to belittle him and seemingly doing all he could to make sure he raised no further in the ranks. He had then called the High Priest by his name. It was a lack of respect, a final betrayal.

Jacob had died quickly and quietly. His body now lay on the floor, blood staining his favourite rug. He should not have killed him here, but he most definitely felt better. Still, it would do him no good if someone walked in and found a dead body on the floor. Unless…

A few hours later his door was bashed open, royal guards rushing in. They discovered the body of Jacob, and found a cut and bloodied High Priest close to death on the floor next to him. As the guards knelt down and other priests went to work on healing the High Priest, they discovered the third body behind the desk. They all recognised the Paladin ambassador, saw the blood on his sword and saw the High Priest’s letter opener sticking out of his back. The story was obvious. The paladin had attacked the High Priest. Jacob had tried to help and died, and somehow the High Priest had managed to take him down. In one swift stroke the High Priest had vilified the Paladins and made himself the man strong enough to fight them.

From the shadows his daughter looked on and smiled. Her father was a clever bastard. But more importantly he had rolled the dice. Her mother had said how fun he was once the dice were rolled, and she was looking forward to working with this version of her father.

Advertisements