CruelSummerLord writes "Factions supporting Wilhelm and Moswen openly and loudly argued in the streets, nearly coming to blows more than once before city watchmen broke them up. Similar unrest was occurring in Flinthold’s smaller towns, and a palpable sense of tension was rife throughout the kingdom.
The Divine Right Of Kings
Coldeven 22 was
Airk’s birthday, but he was not in a festive mood. It had been a week since the
companions arrived in Flinthold, and the Regency Council was deadlocked both on
which of the councillors should be king and how Flinthold should respond to
Garnetholme. Factions supporting Wilhelm and Moswen openly and loudly argued in
the streets, nearly coming to blows more than once before city watchmen broke
them up. Similar unrest was occurring in Flinthold’s smaller towns, and a
palpable sense of tension was rife throughout the kingdom.
At the suggestion
of Arthur Cyruson, the one Regency Council member who refused to take sides in Wilhelm
and Moswen’s feud, the Council finally agreed to cast a divination asking Garl
Glittergold for guidance. Once again, many of Flinthold’s leading citizens
gathered, only this time they went to Flinthold’s large temple to Garl
Glittergold instead of the Council’s manor.
“I doubt this
is the birthday gift you were expecting, was it?” Weimar asked Airk as he
prepared to leave for the temple. Airk politely declined his friends’ offers of
gifts and celebration, not wanting to focus on anything besides Flinthold’s
Airk shook his head
at Weimar, not sure whether to feel disgust or despair. He didn’t know what he
could do about the disputes over Flinthold’s throne, and a part of him felt
like the tensions were all his fault for bringing the Crown of Arumdina back.
knew it wasn’t his fault.
the same voice that spoke to him when he was conversing with the Raballah youth
came back to him. It told him that this was all his fault, and if any
blood was spilled over the Crown it would be on his hands.
remained with Airk as he joined the crowd of gnomes filing into Garl
Glittergold’s temple. The temple walls were richly decorated with murals and
inlays of gold and mithril, representing the metals Garl and Arumdina were made
of. Large gem-studded crystal orbs enchanted with permanent light spells hung
from the ceiling, bathing the room in faintly multicolored hues. Finely crafted
bronzewood and oak benches served as pews. A large podium stood at the far end
of the main hall, flanked by an altar for offerings and personal prayers on one
side and a golden holy water font on the other. In the center of the podium
there was a raised lectern, where Flinthold’s chief cleric of Garl Glittergold would
Everyone in the
temple watched silently as the elderly gnome cleric placed the Crown of
Arumdina on the altar and put a diamond in front of it. He placed and lit two
incense candles, one on each side of the Crown, before he climbed to the
lectern and began to cast a divination spell. He chanted for several long
minutes, and the diamond in front of the Crown shattered, consumed by the
spell’s power. His eyes glowed a bright gold, and everyone present knew that
Garl Glittergold spoke through him.
power will come to life…” the cleric said, speaking out loud the message Garl
placed in his thoughts.
upon a worthy brow…”
“Of the champion
who faces the crisis…”
“And who may
choose to found a king’s line,” the cleric said, giving the final words of the
divination. He closed his eyes again, and they returned to normal when he
The gnomes all
murmured to themselves as Airk looked around. He held his breath, wondering how
Wilhelm or Moswen would react.
surprised when Wilhelm and several of his supporters stood up.
clearly referring to me,” he said, beaming proudly. “My ceremony should be-“
by your own illusions, Wilhelm!” Moswen shouted as he and his own supporters
stood up. “I’m clearly the one Garl Glittergold is referring to!”
suddenly burst into an uproar as gnomes argued and shouted at one another.
Accusations and insults flew wildly, but the temple fell silent when Arthur
Cyruson spoke up.
spell!” he shouted so that everyone could hear him. “Garl’s guidance will come
through a communing!”
Airk frowned as
he tried to remember what Luna once told him and the rest of their friends
about divination spells. Divinations were often cryptic and difficult to
interpret, but they were easier to cast than communing spells. Communing spells
allowed the caster to ask their deity direct questions, but those questions
could only provide ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. They also couldn’t be cast as
frequently, as they put a greater strain on the cleric than divinations.
quieted and the gnomes sat down, several of them muttering under their breaths.
The cleric climbed down from the lectern and anointed the Crown with holy
water, a necessary part of the communing, before he started casting the spell
itself. After several minutes, the cleric closed his eyes once more. They
glowed gold again when he reopened them, signifying that Garl could speak
Airk felt his
heart race as the cleric asked his first question.
“Are either of
the leaders who’ve put themselves forward as king worthy to wear the Crown?”
the cleric asked.
opened his mouth again almost immediately. This time, he spoke with an entirely
different voice, that of Garl Glittergold.
cleric said, as Garl’s voice spoke through him.
The temple nearly
burst into another uproar, but everyone fell silent when the cleric asked
of our leaders grow into becoming worthy?” the cleric asked.
said through the cleric.
“Are there any
others worthy of growing into the role of king?” the cleric asked.
Glittergold said through him.
suddenly erupted again, but this time in quiet murmuring rather than angry
shouting. No one else had put themselves forward as fit to wear the Crown, so the
gnomes had no idea who Garl Glittergold might be referring to.
voice rose above the murmuring.
“Is the crisis the
divination mentioned one we’re currently facing?” he asked.
“No,” Garl said
through the cleric.
Airk saw a
puzzled expression cross Arthur’s face, and he felt the same confusion. What menace
could Flinthold be facing besides the dispute with Garnetholme?
dispute with Garnetholme grow into that crisis?” Moswen asked, suddenly realizing
the gnomes didn’t need the cleric to ask the questions for them.
said through the cleric.
another danger coming, one outside our knowledge?” Arthur asked.
said through the cleric.
“Could a gnome
prove his worthiness to wear the Crown through this new danger?” Wilhelm asked,
not wanting to cede an advantage to Moswen.
said through the cleric.
Airk stood up
to ask a question. He wanted to know if the unknown danger had to do with the
mysterious jewelry the monsters he and his friends fought on the way to
Flinthold carried, but Moswen beat him to it.
need to act decisively to address this crisis?” he asked.
said through the cleric.
Airk scowled as
Moswen for asking such an obvious question. He opened his mouth again, but this
time Wilhelm beat him to it.
“Do we need
unity to address this crisis?” he asked.
said through the cleric. The cleric suddenly began to tremble, and he grasped
tightly to the lectern. He closed his eyes, and when he opened them again they
were back to their normal color.
Airk shook his
head at both of the would-be kings for wasting the communing spell on obvious
matters. As if Flinthold wouldn’t need decisive action and unity to address the
idiots, the both of them, Airk
thought as he left the temple. Trying to make themselves look decisive
instead of actually learning information they’d need!
straight for the Sign Of The Wolverine, the inn where he and his friends were
He needed a
Wilhelm both think that the crisis is the coming war with Garnetholme, and that
they can gain the throne by looking strong and decisive,” Airk said as he
finished his explanation. As the debates and questions in the temple were all
done in the gnomish language, Airk’s friends didn’t go with him and he had to summarize
it for them.
were eating supper in the Sign Of The Wolverine’s common room, surrounded by
Flinthold residents chattering in the gnomish tongue. As Airk explained to his
friends, the Flintholders were animatedly discussing who should be king and if
they should go to war with Garnetholme.
understand, though, Ma’non’go
said with a frown. Why would Garl Glittergold encourage his creations to go
to war against each other?
Flintholders would claim that Garnetholme’s lost the gods’ favor, and that
Urdlen’s granting any divine favors they receive,” Airk said. “War hawks like
Wilhelm are convinced Garl’s on their side.”
Garl could have been clearer in his spells,” Amyalla said. “Why didn’t he just
come out and say who should be king, and what this crisis is?”
spells don’t work that way,” Luna said, leaning forward and clasping her hands on
the table. “The goodly gods want their creations to make their own way in the
world, instead of relying on the gods to solve every problem and question for
“With the way
things are going, maybe Garl should intervene directly,” Airk said. “Wilhelm
and Moswen are both so determined to become king I doubt they care about the
cost. Blood might be spilled over this.”
there’s already the risk of war with Garnetholme?” Luna said.
makes them both fools,” Airk said, before he took a long drink of ale. “I
wonder whether the crisis Garl’s divination mentioned didn’t have more to do
with those bejewelled monsters we fought on the way here. Every single one of
the gems they wore had the exact same cut.”
“Can the priest
cast another spell?” Weimar asked.
another week,” Luna said. “Those spells put a strain on the caster and can’t be
used more often than that. It might not matter though.”
Airk looked at
Luna hopefully, as a slight smile crossed her face.
"If Garl Glittergold can't help us anymore, maybe Pelor can," she said."