He heard his name within their whispers, as he padded quietly up the Basilica’s handcarved stairs. Where congregants and sycophants grew too close, his personal guard was quick to intervene, interposing their loyal bodies between the divine and profane, striking out brutally, but without a word. Their words were saved for devotion. As were his, of course…though, his devotion was of a different sort.
None of them called his true name. The name that he had sacrificed, upon ascending to his rank, taking the Seat in accordance with their oldest rights, and fulfillment of his god-wrought fate. Now, with sibilant, pitiful voices, they called for the Kasha, their guide, their ever-seeing eye, to grant them their petitions, to hear their desires, to fulfill their every accord. They came to him, heads bowed, devotion offered for a chance at his blessing.
There would be none of that today. Too much work still to do. Too much blood yet to be spilled. Prayers would have to wait. Today, the storm broke...and under its cover, their people would climb to new glory.
Bare feet sliding over the smooth, warm stones, the Kasha passed them by, climbing ever higher towards the Basicilica’s Grand Promontory. Once he was through the audience chamber, the quantity of petitioners dropped, while the number of armed Devotees grew. The Basilica was, afterall, more fortress than temple; the center of Sufre, the beating heart of what would become their Sardinian state. Soon. Very soon. There were just a few more divine mysteries yet to solve.
Several of the militia officers peeled from their individual clusters as the room came to attention, hands crossed obediently over their chests. Sulta Kien was the official Marshal of the Devotees, the commanding officer of the Kasha’s regular forces, and the second highest brother in their religious order. He was tall, well muscled, his skin the color of warm, dark soil; a good, Sardinian color. The man to his left was shorter, wiry, with dark gray eyes that flashed with an internal, fanatical light. His head was shaved bald, the side of his head still pockmarked with recent scars; souvenirs from a recent attack, no doubt. His copper-toned complexion betrayed Selenian blood, but the man had risen above the unfortunate mongrelization. Mers Kowlen, was officially the captain of the Kasha’s personal guard. In reality, he was the de-facto leader of the Sardinian resistance, the thorn driving into the Shogunate’s side. It was not an easy title to claim. Co-opting the pirate gangs and Sardinian raiders that had initially began the drive had taken carefully calculated and cunningly applied brutality. But, Kowlen had managed it…with a large degree of input from Ilchard and the Kasha.
The Kasha forced himself to smother his smile as they fell into step with his guard, ascending the final stairs towards the Promontory. Sulta and Mers could not have looked more unalike. One was a mongrel, the other a full-bred Sardinian, one a leader, the other a servant. Ostensibly, his subordinates, vassals to his ecclesiastic control. Insofar as their watchers from Selen knew, that was all they were; members of his pujar, his attendant staff of highly-ranked ecclesiastes, their importance beautifully masked by Ilchard at every opportunity.
But they were so much more. And they would do so much more.
Read the rest of the house fiction here
GALERES! The time has come to commence our long-awaited house event! The tensions that have been rising for months on Eldar have finally boiled over into violent struggle, driving a full-on war between the Keadean Shogunate and the resurgent Sardinian faction. This event is both the culmination of a long-running fictional line centering around Galeres' reconquest of Eldar, and a prime way to prepare for the oncoming Great Jedi War. Your actions and participation will directly shape the fictional outcome of the event, and by proxy, mold the path that our House will take as we step forward, into the rising storm..,
You can find Operation Stormfront at this link. Good luck, Galeres, and hit 'em hard! I know you'll make me, and the new members of our summit, proud. :D
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