A Comet over Ornthas
As the great comet passed slowly overhead, crowds of Ornthasians converged on the Temple of the Seven Divine in the center of Athol. The great chamber was filled with a chaotic cacophony as the numerous citizens called over each other, demanding answers from the Nemaran Priests. Was this a sign of impending doom? What had they done to offend their divine leaders and what should they do to assuage the Nemertingi’s wrath?
The priests did their best to calm the people, but they could offer no true explanations, for the Nemertingi had been silent since the comet appeared. Knowing that this chaos could consume the city if answers were not given soon, High Priest Eleazar decided to act. He alone could pass into the private Palace of the Nemertingi, where he could ask the Nemara himself what this sign meant for Ornthas.
Eleazar rushed through the streets and pressed through a smaller crowd that had gathered at the gates to the Palace grounds hoping to hear from the Divine themselves. The High Priest walked swiftly across the palace grounds and up to a pair of large golden doors, engraved with the entwined dragon of House Tedronai. The statuesque golems to either side showed no reaction as Eleazar passed into the Palace. As High Priest he was allowed to enter, but anyone else who attempted this would quickly learn that the imposing figures can be quite deadly.
Once inside, Eleazar proceeded up to the Nemara’s study, where the immortal leader of Ornthas liked to begin his day. Taking a steadying breath, he knocked thrice on the study door.
“Enter” came a strong voice from within.
Opening the door, Eleazar entered the room and immediately bowed to the Nemara, who was seated at his large wooden desk. The man appeared young, perhaps 17, with plain brown hair cut short and a clean shaven face. Only the eyes marked him as one of the Nemertingi, icy blue and unnaturally bright.
“And to what do we owe this pleasure?” the Nemara asked.
“Your Grace,” Eleazar said reverently, “There is a sign from the heavens, we must know what it means”
The Nemara sighed and stood up. Walking to the window and looked up to the comet passing overhead. Eleazar heard him mumble something about “a space rock in the atmosphere” but knew not what those words meant.
“I’m sorry your Grace, I did not catch that,” he said apologetically.
“It was not meant for you,” the Nemara said, half to himself. “I thought I told you to just call me Alric in private. You don’t have to call me your grace all the time.” he said, putting an emphasis on the title.
“As you say, your grace”
“You will come around, all my high priests do eventually. Now tell me, what are the people saying about the comet?”
“They believe we have angered the Nemertingi, that you will bring about a cataclysm like in the last age.” Eleazar paused for a moment, “Are the Nemertingi angry, your grace?” He asked cautiously.
“No, we had nothing to do with it,” Alric said dismissively. “Lets go with it being a sign of change.”
“What change your Grace?”
“I,” Alric paused for a moment, looking for the right word. “I sense,” he continued, “that the change is favorable. Ornthas will grow stronger and more prosperous in the coming years. This is the change foretold by the comet.”
“Of course my Grace. We should have realized that ourselves. I’m sorry for bothering you, I will go now, and tell the people of this good news”
“As you wish,” Alric said, heading back to his desk. “And call me Alric,” he added as the High Priest left.