Terhali's Tale (Part 3)

Terhali was in Gloomwraught, on a balcony of a townhouse overlooking the Hanging Wall. 

She could see the pale moon overhead, and the shadows lengthening at the base of the wall where an uncounted number had met their ends. She and Arjhun Medrash, he the last of the original Red Scales, stood, watching. A crowd had formed below. Hawkers moved through the crowd, selling sizzling bits of unidentifiable meat and filling held flagons with wine and stronger drink. The inhabitants of Gloomwraught always appreciated a spectacle, especially when one of the great was brought low in such a public fashion. She could see the horned head of a tiefling working his way through the crowd, slitting purses as the crowd's attention was drawn to the party mounting the scaffold. 

He of the Golden Eyes and Red Scales had finally been brought to the scaffold to face the headsman's blade. At least they'd granted him the grace of blade rather than the noose. 

Terhali looked at Medrash. "You and I need to keep his memory alive, his purpose." Medrash didn't say anything as he watched his clutchmate, the dragonborn who had given up his very name and who had founded the Order of the Red Scales centuries ago, calmly mounted the scaffold to meet his end. 

She could see robed figures on the dais. The raucous crowed fell silent and even the tiefling pickpocket stood to watch, the purse of a noble fop half-cut as his attention was taken by the scene before him. The gravity of the moment hit even the normally foolish and dissolute citizens of Gloomwraught, who ordinarily needed to be disciplined by the Deathless Watch. 

The ancient High Priestess of the Raven Queen, dressed in the obsidian feathered robes pronounced the sentence in a hoarse whisper. "Judgement "You shall have your head removed at the neck by blade and be returned to the Queen for Her judgment." 

Other clergy watched impassively, and Terhali swore that He of the Golden Eyes and Red Scales looked through to one in the back. He calmly knelt and held his head high, choosing to face the looming blade held by the shadar kai executioner, known for her artistry and expertise with all of the ritual weapons of execution. He nodded respectfully to her and held his head high. 

She reached her hand out to Medrash. "Love, we need to keep his purpose alive… don't you see? We can keep the Scales alive. Our cause is just. You can lead and I will be your second knife." 

Medrash stood impassively as the great blade came down with a meaty thunk, turned and walked away. 

* * *

Kallia watched Terhali on the balcony. She had no idea what the elf was seeing, or even if she was seeing anything at all. She didn't know what was happening but she sensed a… presence, something horribly malign. All the hairs on her body stood straight. She knew that whatever this was it was her moment. She reached out and touched her friend, finding Terhali's skin ice cold to the touch. Nonetheless, she pulled her in under the blanket, back into the house and away from the mists, back towards the heat-giving brazier. 



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