106 Chapel Days · Scene 24
The Chapel ~ Interior ~ Main Chapel
Early Autumn ~ Approaching Noon, Sunny
Early Autumn ~ Approaching Noon, Sunny
t's so crowded!”
Marveling at the turnout for an unprecedented event, Drop displayed the excitement that the scene elicited within Chain. Chain did not desire to express her excitement at the scene however as she knew the gathering of nuns was in relation to the ceremony that would transform Maye and Squawk into Sa·B·ers. She understood the reasoning they both had presented her but still did not like the thought of it and had hidden herself away in a corner prayer alcove on the wall opposite the altar.
“Praying for the success of the ceremony?”
Chain’s hidey-hole proved ineffective as Buck and his finery garbed greasy cohorts found her. Chain pouted but received a smile in return anyway from Buck.
“You should be happier. You passed my interview and are a member of the Soarmont Adventuring Company now and awaiting her companions. They may not have been interviewed but you can still list them as traveling companions, and every adventure is more enjoyable with company.”
“They aren’t the ones I’m supposed to be adventuring with.”
Grateful as Chain was that she had indeed been granted membership with the Soarmont Adventuring Company and was officially an adventurer, even her fractured memories and emotions could not deny a childhood promise. Closing her eyes, she could just make them out, a blond icaran boy of fifteen with green eyes as well as a girl with blue eyes and red hair. She knew from the bottom of her heart that they were the ones who were meant to see the world with her, and it bothered her that it was Maye and Squawk instead.
“Who says that they can’t join you as well though. One of the most legendary adventuring parties on Athecia was that of the Maiden Quartzmote and her Steadfast Companions. Though they belonged to no adventuring company, they numbered at least five and a monstrous silver wolf with antlers. I’m certain that these two will not hamper the experiences that you will have when you find your other companions.”
Opening her eyes, Chain turned an inquisitive look onto Buck who simply smiled again. Pouting deeper at his smile, Chain looked away huffily and drew a laugh from the one-time salvager turned merchant.
“I’ll admit, that though legendary, the Maiden Quartzmote and her Steadfast Companions are also perhaps the most infamous of adventurers. I have little doubt that you have been effected by that even if you are not aware.”
“This part of us thinks we’ll look at things from above.”
Suddenly interrupting with a forced smile and her hands clasped behind her back, Drop made Chain’s desire to see the ceremony from above as well as get away from Buck obvious. Swimming up into the towering space above, Drop left Chain alone with Buck and his cohorts. Chain’s pout deepened at her smaller self and she glanced out of the corner of her eyes at Buck who was watching the tiny mermaid swim upward leaving a trail of blue sea gem green sparkles in her wake.
“I must ask Chainmaid, can you use her eyes as though they were your own?”
“Hm? I don’t know. I guess I could if I tried really hard…”
Not waiting for an invitation from Buck to try, Chain closed her own eyes and concentrated. The effort left both Chain and Drop feeling off, but after blinking a few times, Drop found her vision shared for a moment with Chain before her larger self opened her eyes excitedly.
“I can! I actually ca– Eh⁈”
Excited as Chain was to share Drop’s sight, she failed to realize that her awareness of her own surroundings all but disappeared when doing so. It was not until she turned to inform Buck of her success did she realize as he and his cohorts had already walked away. He was obviously aware of Chain’s desire for solitude and exploited her trait of being in two places at once to silently grant her that wish. Chain wasn’t sure what to think but felt annoyed and pouted while clenching her fists at her sides as Buck winked at her from where he looked back at her. She might have said something to express her annoyance, but Buck pointed towards the alter and silenced her.
Her conversation with Buck over, Chain ducked deeper into the prayer alcove and again closed her eyes. Taking a deep breath, she again tried to see through Drop’s eyes and after another set of blinks shared her smaller self’s bird’s eye view of the chapel. The first thing she noticed were the white robes of Verdant and Mother Osprey entering the chapel from opposite doors behind the altar. Each were flanked by either priests or nuns dressed in cream colored robes or habits and all carrying ceremonial scepters. Lining up on opposite sides of the altar, the priests and the nuns looked out over the chapel. At last Verdant raised his voice and addressed those gathered within.
“Bothers and Sisters, and those yet to find the path or fallen from it, I thank you for coming together to witness the miracles of Her Eminence, Lady Cardinal’s Light. There are none who understand it better than those of us who follow Her teachings and travel to bring it to all mankind. There are many, though none as intricately as those tasked with reclaiming it, who are all too familiar with the horrors wrought by its misuse. And all too many are there those who have turned their backs in fear of her Light for the misrepresentation wrought by the Foreigners’ dark god. There are even those who have sought comfort in heretical Light, and those amongst our own number who have lost faith. One such person is here with us today, seeking to again be baptized in Her Eminence’s Light. Sister Maye of this very convent, come, join us and kneel respectfully before the symbol of Lady Cardinal’s unification.”
Beckoned forth by Verdant, Maye, garbed in baptismal robes entered through the chapel’s main doors and strode down the main aisle towards the altar. It was a moment of humility and shame for the proud centaur maid as she was left exposed to the stares of all of her fellow nuns and the guests of the Chapel. She did not falter though and made her way to the altar and knelt some feet before it directly beneath a skylight unnoticed by those present in the pews. Stepping up to flank the centaur but leaving room for a person to pass between them, the Mouser Brothers both rested their blades, a saber with rifle butt and grip for Pan and a massive bent blade with a jeweled pommel for Lute, on their shoulders. Maye did not glance in their directions but rather bowed her head and clasped her hands in prayer.
“Look with learning eyes upon this fair maid and know that even in her dwindling faith she knows the Light of Lady Cardinal is all encompassing and welcoming. She knows it will banish any Darkness and has joined those who control the elements that comprise our worlds. And she is ever compassionate. She believes fervently in the kindness of Her Eminence and would implore her to unify not just mankind with Father Icarus and the Sister Goddesses, but even our enemies the Foreigners, and the spirits of Ambrosia that would lead us from the path. She believes that all who live upon the Face of Icarus and under Father Icarus’ watchful Eyes can be shown to the path. It is a challenge worthy even of the Knight Prince who is so blessed by Her Eminence herself. But it is no trivial matter to Her Eminence to join those divided in Her Light. She foresaw this day would come and has blessed us with clear skies so that Vaerseal, the Light of those who seek Light elsewhere might even witness her Light and all that it can join.”
Cued by Verdant’s words, the skylight above Maye opened and a beam of light was cast down upon her by the midday sun so that she knelt in the center of the tri-cross as cast from a stained glass window. It was an impressive moment of symbolism meant to demonstrate that even Vaerseal acknowledged and was welcomed into the sanctuary of Cardinal.
“She did not just allow this moment to be witnessed by Vaerseal however, but also has brought into our company one who is possessed of the spirits of Ambrosia and a Darkness so great that it has even consumed a Lucifalz. But she is not so cursed as I once believed for as the Knight Prince once told me, she was saved by Her Eminence Lady Cardinal, and I have seen the Light that pierces even that Darkness. And so, I invite you Chainmaid. Join us and let this humble maid and servant of Her Eminence be baptized anew as a unifier in that Light which pierces even the greatest of Darkness. Let the Light that shines within you be as the Light of Hope for this Child of Light who seeks a dream shared with Her Eminence, Lady Cardinal.”
Copyright © 2019 Joshua D Tarwater