Saeth had just opened her mouth to speak her plan, when the discussion of the situation turned to the former guardian of the temple. She looked on, rapt, waiting for Rahasia’s explanation.
Feldard who had been silently scowling throughout the priests musing aloud, now looked to Rahasia. “Guardian, you say. What manner of guardian? It is possible that the Rahib has some how managed to ensorcel it as well. What can you tell us of it?”
“Years ago, Elyas, the founder of the Quiet Way and leader of the Siswa, created the guardian to protect the treasures of his people.” answered the elven beauty. “I cannot tell you the nature of the guardian, for only the leader of the clan, my father, may speak with it. And, in keeping with custom, he does not reveal its nature to anyone, even myself.”
“To save us some time in our dealings here, I will be frank with you. To our knowledge the Rahib is here to retrieve the Black Opal Eye that is rumoured to be somewhere within the village. Possibly the temple. What do you know of it?”
“Black Opal? After all these years, could that be the cause of our tragedy once again?” she asked rhetorically. She collected her thoughts and then continued. “Generations ago, Elyas, a great elven wizard led our clan to confront an evil wizard who had built a tower in the vicinity of their home. This wizard, named Landryn Teriak, was a necromancer of great power, and an enemy to the elves. He was master to a small cult of evil mages. In the end, it took all the elves of our clan to overcome them. All the necromancers were killed save for Teriak, who used his magicks to teleport away. He was never heard from again.”
“The elves of our clan took over Teriak’s tower and cleansed it and the surrounding forest of the dark enchantments and settled here to protect against evil’s return. However, one artifact of the vile cabal remained. The Black Opal Eye. The eye enhanced Elyas’s power, and he was inclined to keep it for its powers of seduction were great. Among Elyas’ apprentices were three sisters. Among the clan, they were the most gifted in the arcane. Over time, The Black Opal Eye warped their minds to evil. Eventually, they turned on Elyas and attacked him. Elyas’ last act was to bind their spirits. He was determined to destroy the eye, but the tower collapsed before he could do so, burying him and the eye in Grey Mountain.”
“The guardian’s task is twofold. To protect the treasure of the Elyan buried in the ruins, and to prevent any from obtaining the Eye. The temple was built on top of the tower ruins to honor Elyas. In the ages since, we have returned to Elyas’ original teachings of the Quiet Way, and have vowed not to seek power, but to live in peace and harmony with the forest.”
Finally, as Rahasia finished, Saeth spoke, outlining the thoughts that bubbled within her. “It would, perhaps, not be impossible that I could pass for a hooded Rahasia at dusk.” Her mouth twisted in sly amusement at the comparison between her own shattered visage and the elfling’s innocent beauty. “I imagine some sort of an ambush could be made, particularly,” her voice suddenly changed to match the villager’s, “if this Rahib knows her personally.” She paused, thinking about how to finish the plan. “Do you suppose I could lure him out? Or would it be better to distract him long enough for you to sneak inside unseen?” Before anyone had a chance to respond, Saeth had a final thought, and turned to Nicolai. “I won’t have my blade, of course. Any chance you have something lethal to coat my daggers?” The swordswoman glanced around, her eye seeking opinions on her scheme in the faces of her companions.