15 Grand Inquisitor
(City of Austriale – Eternia Kingdom)
The king was in a terrible state of rage since the royal assembly, broken sculptures and paintings lay scattered across the room. That stupid woman messed up his whole plan for the kingdom!
A maid was seen quietly exiting the room with her clothes in disarray and tears in her eyes, when the king became upset, he would often vent on the female servants working in the castle, so all the married ladies and senior maids knew to avoid him.
"My lord the archbishop has arrived to speak to you," a manservant entered the room and bowed carefully.
A strange light shone in the king's eyes and a broad smile stretched across his face in happiness, he hurriedly got up from the bed and headed towards the door.
"Yes! Bring me to him immediately", he quickly exited the room and arrived at a small audience chamber where the archbishop was seated quietly, flanked by two holy knights.
"May God shine his light upon us", the archbishop rose up slowly and gave a polite nod to the king.
The king was very impatient and ordered all the servants to leave the room to speak to the archbishop alone as he was hoping for a solution to the problem.
He was very worried, the northern dukedom was surrounded by the 'Forgotten forest' and no armies could pass unhindered without being ravaged by the beasts within and even if they somehow made it through, there was no one capable of facing the Valkyries and duchess Elise in battle.
The archbishop observed the king before him, he was simply another one of the many men he dealt with who were lost in the lust for power and wealth. His eyes were weak and unfocused, his thick build and sweaty frame resembled more pig than man.
He was the perfect tool for the church to expand their influence throughout the lower kingdoms of the continent. No one knows what conversation happened between the two most powerful men in the kingdom that afternoon, but the king exited the audience chamber in a visibly better mood than before.
The archbishop had simply said six words and he knew that all his problems would be solved swiftly.
"The grand inquisitor will be sent"
(Altar of Saints – Fernatea Empire)
"Monster in human skin. Get away from me!"
"No... no... please stop"
"Ahhhh! Kill me! Kill me!"
A holy knight slowly approached the sacrifice chamber beneath the altar of saints, horrific screams echoed throughout the corridor leading to the chamber and a filthy smell surrounded him. He knocked politely on the iron door which was swung open by the attending guardsman.
He walked in the room and fought back the urge the vomit, the walls were caked with blood and body parts and there was a man covered in a robe holding a knife lovingly at something chained to the floor in front of him. The man was slender and pale with a tall lanky build, his arms seemed almost sickly with runes of light pulsating beneath his skin.
He wore a silver mask that covered his entire face except for his eyes which were silvery grey in colour. The man was silent with almost no presence in the room, it was like he was invisible and present at the same time.
"My lord, the Archbishop Belmont has discovered a place with new dark races to hunt," the knight knelt and presented a letter to the man.
The man seemingly did not hear him and continued to slice his knife across the skin of the creature below him in a calm manner. The knight unknowingly glanced at the thing and trembled with fear, it was a male dark elf or rather what was left of him.
The dark elf's arms and legs were cut off and the stumps were bolted to the floor with iron spikes, his mouth opened hoarsely as he kept begging over and over for death. Shivers ran down the spine of the holy knight, this was the reason many feared the man holding the knife.
The man known as the church's 'Grand Inquisitor.'
The grand inquisitor was trained by the pope himself as one of the potential successors to the church's highest authority. A few years ago, his position as the next pope seemed all but certain, until he joined a crusade to oversee the extermination of a mermen village.
Something vicious woke up in the man as he saw the men, women and children being slaughtered. The grand inquisitor began to join campaign after campaign killing from tens to hundreds to thousands. Whispers grew in the upper echelons of the church that he was too bloodthirsty and brutal to ever become the next pope.
Those whispers were never muttered in front of the grand inquisitor as he was blessed with an incredible talent for holy magic. His spells were once used to purify and heal the sick, but instead thousands of people were incinerated under his holy flame.
After the pope withdrew him as a possible candidate, he immediately joined the knight order of the church and founded a black organization called 'The Salvation.' He started to wear a mask which his followers also wore when doing the church's bidding. There was not a single mission nor enemy that they failed to eliminate.
"God shows infinite mercy and wisdom towards his believers," the grand inquisitor suddenly spoke.
"Yes, my lord, god has blessed us deeply" the knight hesitantly replied.
The grand inquisitor turned to the dark elf gasping for air on the floor and slid the knife across his throat in one fluid slash. A blood red line appeared on the elf's neck and his head quickly slid down to the floor.
The eyes were still hauntingly open in an expression of pain and a small sense of relief.
"Hand me the letter please my dear believer," the inquisitor spoke in a calm nonchalant tone as if the killing had never occurred.
The knight dared not be disobedient and hastily placed the letter in his hands. The inquisitor held open the letter in his hands carefully and ran his fingers gently over the seal. He tore open the envelope and began to read the contents within.
A dark laughter ran almost involuntarily from his throat as his eyes lit up in almost unrestrained joy. It had been far too long since his last hunt but according to Archbishop Belmont there was a dukedom hiding demons, dark elves, mermen and many other dark races.
It was in some backwater kingdom on the eastern side of the continent so the expedition would take a few months to arrive.
"Mermaids…I have not enjoyed the taste of one for a few years now," a dark flush of arousal spread through his face hidden behind the silver mask. All of the dark races were to be exposed to the forgiveness of God's light.
God in his infinite wisdom granted his followers pleasures of the flesh so they may grant peace to the unholy races before they were sent to him in the eternal kingdom.
Mermaids were delicate beautiful creatures and certain memories of times spent playing with them flashed across his mind. He quickly clenched his hand tightly to get his raging emotions under control, it took him a few moments, but he started to calm down.
"Pass on this letter to my apprentice, tell her this will be her first mission as the commander" he said abruptly.
"Give her two teams of roughly fifty men each and make sure they are paladins or grand knights"
The knight took the letter from his pale hands and quickly left the room to find the first apprentice of the Salvation Order. The grand inquisitor was now alone in the room with a corpse, he sighed deeply but knew he had made the right choice.
He longed to go personally but if he went on every mission then there would be no room for growth from his apprentice. There was a diplomatically tricky situation when operating in foreign kingdoms, but the letter mentioned the king would turn a blind eye if the church wiped out the head of the dukedom.
The grand inquisitor was not happy that the church was being used as a tool but if it was the archbishop's orders then he would obey unquestioningly. Besides if there was the smallest chance of the report being true then it would be his chosen duty from God to save the people of the dukedom.
"But still, they call the duchess who rules the north a 'devil'," he muttered cheerfully to himself.
"I wonder what her beautiful face would look like when she lies broken on the floor."