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Exit, Stage Left

Story Emits

These days, everyone is talking about - or knows someone who is talking about - some kind of ritual to cleanse something called primum. While many think this is some weird mumbo-jumbo that no one of any intellect should credit, others are saying it's an ancient ritual that is recently restored. Even some members of the Faith are speaking of it, and of course there are rumors that the changes to the Fourth Law of Limerance by then-Legate, now Dominus Orazio are part of the reason this has been released. Rumors abound.

But even as that happens, there are other rumors. Darker rumors. There are Things in the woods surrounding Arx. Old superstitions, long thought to be nothing more than stories to scare children into good behavior, are starting to seem a little too real. The things that go bump in the night may have names after all - names that should not be spoken, of course. But names nonetheless.

Soon though, new rumors come. Of a woman who glows in the night and fights back the darkness. Of another woman with a warm laugh and a thirst for adventure, who guards the people who venture a little too far into the woods. Of people with red cloaks who appear, drive off things that cannot be named in the darkness, and then disappear as mysteriously as they arrived.

And then one morning, the King's Own, the Iron Guard, the Knights of Solace, and the Templars all receive identical messages, left in their common areas for any to read, written on paper black as night in a flowing silver script. "Humanity needs more defenders than it has at present. From your ranks will come the next Protectors, sworn to serve the Gods and defend all of humanity. As Arx endures, I remember my vows - and I hold to them still."

The message is unsigned, but each paper is held down by a single silver coin.

And Dame Thena, Dame Esoka, Sir Calaudrin, and Dame Leona are gone from Arx.