There were several moments of silence shared between the gathered souls and the Eunuch. Percival was a social person, but there was something discouraging about the current situation that made small talk less desirable than normal. The Eunuch buried his hands in the sleeves of his robes and patiently stood near the door, as if waiting for a signal. Percival felt himself growing a bit nervous, taking deeper breaths to calm down. Maybe it's the air up here, he told himself. As legitimate as that excuse was, it was only an excuse. Percival had no idea what to expect from the monks. Few mortals ever meet them, usually doing their business through emissaries or eunuchs. So to meet them was an honor.
"Ah, it is time my lords and lady. Come right this way. Do watch your step. All these stairs can be such a chore," the Eunuch said with a sheepish smile. Percival did not see or hear a signal. Odd. Perhaps it was magic of some sort. Despite it's growing rarity, it would not be unheard of it. The monks have had access to old magics for generations.
Percival entered through the door and climbed a brief staircase and entered the observatory. The group stood in the middle of the room, surrounded by the monks. They sat in what appeared to be small thrones on a stone platform that circled the outer edge of the room. There were seven in number, each of them cloaked in a grey-white robes with a hood hiding their faces. All except one who was not presently in his seat, instead gazing out the glass walls watching Aerion through the thin clouds.
As the group placed themselves in the middle of the room, the standing monk turned to face them, stepping down from his platform to meet them face to face. He stood taller with excellent posture than Percival and seemed to have a solid build. It was impressive considering the supposed age of the man, given that his hair had little color other than its full silver grey. His face was fairly youthful too with no disfiguring marks or facial hair. It was a bit disorienting really. Was this man old or young? The most unusual trait was his eyes however. They were a deep red and drew Percival in, as if they were attempting to hypnotize him.
The red eyed monk spoke with a strong voice: "Thank you for coming my Knights of Ekilore. You stand in the room of the monks of this grand tower on a day that could decide the fate of this very world." The monk looked at the "knights" with a discerning eye, analyzing them one by one. He then smiled, as if he was pleased with the collection of men and women he had gathered. "We monks are gifted with many abilities that have been developed over the course of many long years. These abilities allow us to see things that others can not. In these visions, my fellow monks and I have seen something that brings great hope for this world. Through deeper mediations and some readings of ancient texts, I believe that we have found the possibility of everlasting peace" the monk said with a deep pause.
"It is no secret that Aerion has encountered many difficulties its rather grand history. With such things as pestilence, war, and famine all leading to many untimely deaths. It is all such a grim tale that I dare not elaborate any further. But…" the monk continued waving to the eunuch that escorted them earlier. "This artifact, known as the Orb of Ardor in your common tongue was a recurring motif in our visions," the monk said showing them a rough sketch of the orb from one of the books that clearly based on the condition was one of the most ancient of the many books in the Grand Library. "If the myths surrounding this orb hold true, this may be able to fix all that and end the chaos that is sweeping the land."
"And what do you want us to do?" Percival asked.
"A fair question to ask," the monk replied. "This Orb was believed to be shattered long ago with its pieces becoming the desire of many because of its so called 'value' as a treasure with no owner being astute enough to realize its true purpose. This, in turn, caused the shards to be scattered across all of Aerion. For this prophecy to hold true, we must gather all these pieces to put the Orb of Ardor back together to unlock its power. Undoubtedly, you chosen few will become heroes."
"The quest will bestow its own rewards. Mountains of riches you shall receive," one of the monks said suddenly.
"The conclusion of this quest will fulfill all your ambitions, and thus you can finally revel in languor and indolence," said another.
"The pleasure of the flesh will be forever yours to partake."
"Others will look upon you with eyes of jealousy, at what you have accomplished, and at what they wish they had."
"Your cravings will eternally and everlastingly be fulfilled."
"Your thirst for battle will be seen, and in the end your enemies will fear your name. Your own might will be the last they see in your path of destructive power!"
"Your names and your legacies, that which binds you to this world, will be forever transformed on this quest. All shall know your names, and you will become more than what you are. You will become truly immortal," said the red eyed monk before them, being the final monk to speak allowing the other 6 to speak first.
"Do you accept this quest?"