I know, I know. It’s been forever since I’ve added a new chapter to this story. Fear not, my friends. I’ve finally started writing it again. I’ve also had some new ideas for things I can do in the Sceptre of Chaos universe, as well. I will be discussing them with a few fellow bloggers, to get their opinions, before deciding whether or not to move forward with them, though. For now, please enjoy the next chapter in the story.
They walked towards the gate with purpose. Without turning his head, Fragiel ordered, “Don’t open your mouth for any reason, Parshal.” When no response came back to him, he continued, “I mean it. Let me do all the talking.”
Parshal grunted to acknowledge the orders. He guessed that if he continued to stay silent, Fragiel would’ve kept talking. Instead, he turned his attention to the gates of Kanasa City. He was no expert on dwarven culture, but he found the entry to be very odd. Dwarves were short, yet the entrance to the city was easily twice as tall as he was. It didn’t make much sense to him.
If the guards were surprised by the sudden appearance of two humans, they didn’t show it. They looked the duo over without moving. It wasn’t until the High Priest came within five paces that they crossed the spears that they were holding, blocking the entrance with them.
“State your name and business, human,” the first guard demanded.
“I am Fragiel, High Priest of Accura from Qyoond. I am here to speak with your paragon.”
The guards looked at each other and smirked, a gesture which Parshal found to be very unnerving. “Paragon has been expecting you,” the guard stated. “Follow me.”
Abruptly turning, the guard started walking away. The two men fell into step behind him as another dwarf took his place on the gate. They were led through a dizzying series of tunnels. Parshal marveled at the complexity of the caverns. Anyone trying to come through here without knowing the way would be lost within minutes.
Fragiel spent a few moments questioning the guard. “What do I call your Paragon,” he asked.
“Paragon,” the dwarf answered, his eyes forward.
“I know he’s your leader, your Paragon, but what is his name,” the High Priest clarified.
This time, the guard stopped. Looking Fragiel in the eyes, he responded flatly, “His name is Paragon.”
Fragiel, even though he didn’t understand it, decided to let it go. After all, it wasn’t that important. He didn’t need to know the Paragon’s name to complete Accura’s command. As soon as he stepped through the next doorway, all thoughts of the Paragon vanished anyways.
They had finally reached the city itself. Parshal found himself holding his breath in awe of the sight before him. First, the room was humongous. The acolyte had seen large towns on the surface that were smaller than the cavern they were in. Their destination, Paragon’s throne room, was so far away from them that it appeared as just a speck to their eyes.
Secondly, the cavern was filled with columns supporting the mountain overhead. Each of the columns was carved, from ceiling to floor, with depictions of every time of plant and animal that he had ever heard of. Apparently that particular stereotype is true, Parshal thought. Dwarves are master stoneworkers.
The street they walked up ran the entire length of the city, leading right to where they needed to be. It was lined with nothing but shops and bars. Looking over the wares as he walked past, Parshal noted that most of the merchandise was probably stolen. What else would one expect in a city ran by mercenaries, he thought to himself. Still, he couldn’t help himself from wanting to buy a few of the weapons.
One sword, in particular, caught his eye. He stopped for just a second to admire the weapon and he received a slap to the back of the head from the High Priest because of it. With a sigh, he put the sword back down and fell into line behind Fragiel. Deciding not to tempt himself, Parshal kept his eyes forward, and off of the stores, until they reached the Paragon’s throne room.
A massive staircase led to their destination. By the time they were halfway to the top of it, Fragiel had to stop for a few moments until was able to catch his breath. His years of serving Accura back in Qyoond had left him unused to the rigors of travel. He would’ve cursed how his station had left him with no time to venture out of the city, but he didn’t want to anger his goddess.
When they reached the top, they found that the doors were already opened for them. Stepping inside, they saw that the throne room was decorated with intricate carvings, just like the columns out in the city. One section of the wall was still being worked on. The dwarf who was working on the stone paid no attention to the two humans who had just answered. Parshal wanted to ask the stoneworker what he was making, because he had never seen creatures like that before, but he knew that this was not the time.
The guard who was escorting them bowed to the Paragon, who was sitting in a chair that seemed tiny compared to the rest of the room’s furnishings, and quickly walked back out of the door. Fragiel was angered that the guard didn’t announce them, so he took it upon himself. “I am Fragiel,” he began. “High Priest…”
“I know who you are,” the Paragon interrupted.
Paragon made a gesture with his hand. Guards erupted from doors that neither of the men had seen and quickly surrounded the duo. Before Fragiel could protest that they meant no harm, one of the guards hit him on the head, knocking him out.
“You are the one who is going to help me use this,” Paragon finished, pulling out the Sceptre of Chaos.