Anlem Taegor-- Palaven
The passed three weeks had been... Interesting. It was hard to say eventful, since a lot of it was dull traveling. There had been some moments that were worth remembering. A few jokes, a few amusing people at bars, a few humorous arguments, and maybe a fight or two (fights which may or may not have involved themselves). Every worthy moment he had recorded. The story of the mercenaries seemed like it would have no problem growing.
The second chapter was destined to begin, albeit slowly. Their first stop was Palaven, a religious country far to the south of Aerion. It was no secret how devout the poor citizens of Palaven were. Anlem actually wasn't very excited to enter the place, though he didn't make a show of it. He'd already had his run with too much religion and wasn't quite excited to be meeting it again. It seemed as though he would have little to no choice in the matter and would have to grin and bare it. It probably wouldn't have been too bad if it were any other religion but they were headed for the One's brightest torch. The Church of One was of his least favorite religions of all the ones he knew. Luckily (if you could call it lucky) their travels would delay them long enough for him to reason with himself that this trip may not be as bad as he was making it.
That's what he hoped at least.
His hopes faltered a bit when they arrived on Palaven's port and was taken to the city of Garius. They were loaded into carriage which, though not a devil to the eye to look at, could have been bigger. Though he felt he was too close to Honest (whom he hadn't traded many words with for the time he'd known him) and too close to the wall it still wasn't that bad. It only got worse when, at nearly every stop (which were all very beautifully made religious houses run by spiritual leaders) a friar or maybe a poor soul would speak to one or all of them about the One. Their speeches, which were all laced with religious fervor, were either said with the purpose of converting them or to recount some sort of great awakening of some sort. By the fifth, Anlem was not paying attention at all. He only nodded and gave disconnected agreements to their points. The only time he felt violent was when a Palaven man on what he called a religious journey felt the need to ask him how it was possible he could survive "knowing he was destined for Infernum" and how he couldn't imagine a life where one was so instantly d*mned. However, Anlem was a survivor and particularly good at not letting others know how he felt about them. And so, exhausted, he'd made it to Garius.
Garius! It was a grand city indeed! Compared to the filth of Curlian and the decay in Yamcha, Garius was like Heaven itself. All of the roads marble, polished, beautiful. The city could be described as nothing but pure; the citizens dressed as though they were all in the hall of the One. The scene would have been better if it weren't for the fact that those same citizens were giving them odd looks. Their whispers were loud enough to be audible, but low enough to be incomprehensible and they all seemed to be waiting for something to happen. The soldier advised them not to speak to any of the citizens (which Anlem had no qualms over), but it seemed as if the citizens themselves had something to say. A man of noble birth approached the lead guard and asked casually and politely if the six of them would be burned later in the evening. As the guard confirmed the negative, Anlem smiled.
"Very polite of you all, but your efforts would have been futile if you tried. Aren't you aware that Anguin can't burn?" Anlem asked, referencing The Children of Anguis. The Children of Anguis, or just The Anguin, is a cult settled predominantly in the Hills of Fire. They are pious (maybe as much if not more than the Followers) in their belief that Aerion is a lost piece of Infernum and are adamant in returning it to their father, god, and king, the fire snake Anguis. Proof to their radical nature, the Anguin vowed to bring all other religions to Infernum starting with Palaven. In their declaration they claimed to one day invade Garius where they would steal the Voice and throw him into their sacred volcano in Ryuuse so he may be fed directly to Anguis himself. Though it was a decade ago, The Anguin continue to be the most at odds with the Followers in Palaven.