Anlem Taeger-- Tower of Absolution
Very quickly it seemed, Anlem would learn just exactly how great the reflexes of Palaven nobles were. He seemed as though his face went from white to read in an instant and just as quickly he was able to reveal his formidable (and beautifully made) sword. After receiving some very direct insults, which referred to his poisonous and pestilent body, the noble Follower came to attack him! Anlem may have made a move to defend himself if he didn't rely so heavily on his trust of the fabled piousness of these very people. And, with no enthusiasm to betray him, the guardsmen did exactly as he suspected they would and he was left even without dust on his skin. As the nobleman struggled with what could easily be said was complete disagreement with Anlem's ability to breathe, he took in the moment completely. He was unable to write the moment down since he had no surface to place his ink and dip his pen and it was obvious now he would be forced to recount the events later.
Finally calmed, the nobleman turned to leave them, but before he departed he gave Anlem his final words. "My name is Arnold of House Tyrann," he said. "Remember that name, and me, for they will eclipse your final thoughts before your demise in this world, and your eternal damnation in Infernum shall begin."
Anlem smiled at Arnold's parting words and with the enthusiasm of a friend parting friends he gave his own. "May you burn in Infernum!" He called back. An insult anywhere, but the Anguin culture where it was instead polite words of departure.
"Looks like you're making friends," Varian said to Anlem and he nodded in wholehearted agreement. "I'd say we best watch what we say here." Varian declared to the other mercenaries as they followed the guards.
"Oh please," Anlem said. "Don't you see these fine streets? The One walks with us here!" Now, onward! Their walk through the rest of Garius was indeed beautiful but much less fun than the previous moments had been. The citizens looked at them with the same shock as they had before. In time they all came to a halt at their destination. Anlem did not even need to be told what this building was, he already know. He could recall descriptions of the tower, the tall, silver gates, it's intricate carvings, the ivory and marble statues, and of course, the legions of guards. The Tower of Absolution, home of the Voice. They were finally here. Inside, they were greeted by the smell of incense, a smell which made Anlem smile. As they did outside, the members of the Tower stared at the group and whispered amongst themselves, flashing their critical eyes. The church-like building was more than Anlem expected, and as he looked at it, he could not understand why he would expect anything less. The followers of the One may have tended to be extreme, but they were superb architects and artists. Each picture of passed Voices were made with extreme detail. It showed them all as one of the true divine and it was hard to question their holiness from the portrait, even by the eyes of a hard critic. As well as portraits, the Tower's interior was decorated with stunning murals, all of which displayed rich honor to the power of the One and his gracious power as well as the powers of the Voice himself. Yet, it made no hesitation to show also the consequences of any action against these two entities. It made Anlem wonder for a moment how closely the One was really walking with him and if it were even in the same direction. His thoughts, however, were interrupted by a greeting from behind them.
"Welcome!" The voice echoed, its greeting sounding more like a bellow as the noise bounced on the holy walls. The owner voice was an older man who looked to be possibly in his sixties. His hair was gray and thinned and his face was wrinkled from his age. His bright green eyes showed gentleness and the pureness of his greeting, but also the capability of a stern hand. He was clad in white robes adorned embedded jewels, gold, and silver. He stopped a few paces from them and dismissed the guards before addressing them further. "Merek Culliver," The decorated man said in introduction. "I am Head of the Palvanese Senate, the Will of the Voice of the One. Welcome to the Tower of Absolution!" He said merrily. The Senator Merek spoke more to Varian (as he was at the head of the group) and being the receiver of these greetings, Varian nodded his head and introduced himself in place of the others. "I must apologize ahead of time," the Senator continued. "Unfortunately, the Voice, blessed be He, shall be unable to meet with you today as was previously scheduled. He has asked that you spend the remainder of the day in the Tower of Absolution, where you will dine and sleep. It must be quite an honor for you. Infidels have not ever stayed inside the Tower." He placed an arm on his chin, looking over at the side of the wall as he thought. "In fact, I do believe this is the first that infidels have been allowed free passage throughout the city. Most unusual."
Anlem thought he'd feel honored with information like that, and he was! If only he had arrived in this place with a better view of it, maybe the start would have begun as nicely as the end seemed to be. The Senator looked over the each other them and when his eyes landed on Alys (twice, actually). Instead of calling her by the name they all knew her as, he called her Victoria, Victoria Taimor to be exact. Anlem recognized that name, as most would, and didn't leave Varian as the only one to take a look at her. If what the Senator said was true, then she was much more important than originally thought. Anlem turned his head back to the Senator as he went on about how odd it was to see Aly-- Victoria here (and with them of all people). He was cut off when a young man whispered in his ear and informed them that it was time for him to depart.
"Your chambers are through the doors to the right." He said after calling for a guard and motioning to an adjacent door. "Dinner will be served in the Grand Ballroom one the second level. You shall be allowed free reign throughout the tower to anywhere that does not have a guard stationed at the door. I...highly recommend that you remain inside the Tower for the duration of your stay tonight. The people of Garius are not quite used to infidels such as yourselves. However, should you decided to venture out, I insist that an armed escort shall accompany you to...protect you. I shall see you hopefully at dinner, though my schedule may turn out to be busier than I imagine. In such a case, I shall see you before your trip to the Gracious Voice in the Grand Cathedral tomorrow. The One light your path." When he finished the Senator turned away and began to leave, but before he could properly get away he stopped and turned back to Varian. "You travel with very peculiar companions, Ser Varian." He smiled, gazing first upon Victoria, then turning his gaze towards Anlem, to which his smile turned into a frown. Without another word, Merek went about his duties, leaving the mercenaries to be led by the guard to their quarters.
"News travels fast around here, doesn't it?" Anlem commented with a smile as they followed the guards. He was eager to know if their rooms had a desk so he could get to writing, but the idea of being able to wander the halls of the Tower was just, if not more, exciting. "I'm not sure whether I should end my day now in our quarters, or travel these magnificent hallways and see more. I won't doubt it's worthwhile. Why, we've only been here a few short moments and it seems we've already learned so much." He turned his head to Victoria, an enthusiastic smile played on his face. "Wouldn't you agree?"