Chapter 5 : From the Beginning…
Scene 5 : A Choice without Choice
Denzred gazed at Gramstaf in disbelief for a few moments…then burst into gales of laughter. He took deep breaths as he tried to control himself and wiped a tear of mirth from his cheek.
“Ok, let me get this straight, priest. Satan, the Prince of Darkness, the Fallen One, the Great Deceiver, wants the holiest of holy relics, the Holy Grail, the cup that bore the blood of Christ?”
“Yes he does.”
Denzred looked at Gramstaf as if he had just grown a second head.
“And how, pray tell, will this possibly help him? I assume it would destroy the Adversary if he got near it.”
“My dear Denzred, you are correct that it would destroy him. But Lucifer has many servants willing to bear this holy burden for him.”
“Fine, but what use is an object that holy to a being of pure Evil?”
“Well now we get to the true purpose of this gathering, lad. You see, he will corrupt the Grail with the blood of an unrepentant sinner. A mortal that is beyond the pale. And then all the servants of Satan have to do is take the cup for a walk. And keep walking. If he can accomplish this then he can erase the connection between mortals and their Gods wherever the Cup travels. The only gods that would retain a connection to the World would be those as evil as Satan himself, and there are very few of those. The World would become as damned as Hell itself.”
As he spoke the music swelled even further, closer now. The three with Gramstaf were now looking around as they wondered at the source of the beautiful melody.
“But the Grail has been lost for centuries, priest. No one knows where its final resting place is, since it was lost during the final defeat of the original High King Arthur.”
“Yes, it took Satan this long to track it down. I did say immortals take the long view. If it wasn’t for EGL taking up residence inside my skull there would be no one to oppose his forces. We only have this one chance to stop the Evil One in his plans. The Gods have chosen us to be their saviours.”
“Pfft, I am no one’s saviour, mortal. I only wish to regain my place within the Unseelie Court and that means killing this bloodthirsty Man, not rush off on some fool quest with you.” Kilabra pointed her bronze blade menacingly at Denzred as she spoke.
“Grammy, I have to agree. I was swallowed and puked up by a big fish. No gods were involved in that.” Hindral spun her finger in a circle next to her head as she pointed at Gramstaf.
“And I am beyond redemption, priest. God would never choose one with so much blood on his hands to represent Him. I deserve the death this Fay wishes upon me.”
Gramstaf slammed the butt of his staff on the ground, sending a shower of sparks floating upwards from the fire. Then he pointed a bony finger at each of them in turn.
“Enough! Hindral Smik do you think you would have survived that kraken without the help of Aegir? Kilabra Dalsinien, the Trions did not send you here to slay this man. Your only hope of returning to the Court in honour is by saving the Tuatha de Danaan. And you, Denzred, you will do this or you will suffer in eternity in Hell for the crimes you have committed. This is your only chance at redemption! If you three do not help me then you have doomed the World for eternity!” Gramstaf scowled at them, EGL smirking inwardly knowing he had forced him to commit a single lie.
Before any of them could think of a response to this sudden outburst, the music suddenly ceased as an enormous eighteen-point pure white stag stepped from the trees at the edge of the forest. A slight red-haired girl astride it holding a dulcimer as she looked at them defiantly.
“Now what new happy crappy is this, Miss Smik?” Hindral muttered to herself as she looked on with amazement shared with Denzred and Kilabra.