|Unit Class:|| Mounted Unit|
|Requires:|| The Ashen Veil as State Religion|
Corruption of Spirit
|Starts With:|| Does Not Receive Defensive Bonuses|
+40% against Disciple Units
25% Withdrawal Rate
Immune to Disease
Religion: The Ashen Veil
|Info:|| 7 +1 Unholy|
|Special:|| Will abandon civilization if state religion switches from The Ashen Veil|
+2 to the Armageddon Counter
There were four in the chamber--tradition said there should only be three, and it wasn't like the Order to break tradition. The room was round with a domed ceiling and a mosaic of Lord Sabathiel on it. It was late, and the evening prayers could be heard echoing from the sanctuary. Rosier knelt on the floor; he was an Oath-taker here to report on an oath he had exacted. The Oath-takers served two roles: exacting oaths, and punishing those that broke them. As was typical, there was also a Confessor here. The Confessors extracted information, they were the eyes and the ears of the Order, and they served as a witness and record keeper for these trials. The last normal member of the trial was a Diviner. A Diviner was able to tell if any Oath made in Junil's name would be broken or not.
What had Rosier flush with anger was the Diviner's instances on having a fourth person at the meeting: a fellow Oath-taker, Valin Phanuel. Valin stood back by the door, unsure of what to do. The trial (like all things the Order did) had very precise steps. It was a ceremony for three people, and only the Diviner seemed comfortable breaking that. She started.
"Arise Rosier, Knight of the 2nd Heart, Oath-taker and Nonpareil."
Rosier stood and repeated the phrase, as he had many times before, "I am the shield till the sword comes free, I am a bearer of the law until my lord gives me rest, I am a keeper of peace until the oath is broken."
"What oath do you bring me, child?"
This Diviner was new, a woman, which was unusual. The former Diviner of the Abbey had been called back, the reason unknown. This was the first time Rosier had met the new Diviner, but he had heard that her unusual behavior had infuriated more than just the Abbey Confessor. Rosier pushed those thoughts back and focused on the reason he was here.
"At the Osul mountains, a small company of Twisted men were captured. They had served the Burnt Priest, but with him dead and his summoned legions gone, they were left unprovisioned and far from their homeland. I gave them the oath, that they should give up their violence and travel back to their homelands, understanding that the way would be difficult, but that they would be unhindered by the Order if they stayed true to their oath. Each one agreed."
The Confessor wrote the details in a tome; when the trial was finished, it would be packaged carefully and delivered to the Cynosure of Junil. When he was done writing he methodically intoned, "What we three decide shall become law, let no one break it. Ask the question."
He glared at Valin when he said three, unwilling to change his script to account for him, as if his conviction of the sanctity of the trial would keep Valin from being able to witness it.
Rosier continued, "Will the Twisted men keep their oath?"
The Diviner considered Rosier carefully. The old Diviner would pray here, maybe walk around the room, speak to Junil in angelic languages. But this Diviner, she only sat staring at Rosier. Then she spoke.
"What do you think?"
The Confessor just about exploded. He couldn't say anything, it wasn't his turn to speak, but he turned white, and then red, and then back to white again. In his horror, he even dripped ink on the tome, and took it to be a sure sign from Junil that everyone in the room was going to be destroyed.
"Yes, Rosier, what do you think?"
"The Osul can't support much life, and the twisted men aren't competent hunters. Many will starve before they get back to their home. After serving the Burnt Priest, they can't expect to receive any charity from what few people live in that area. Faced with death or the threat of death, most will choose the threat and break their Oath."
"What causes men to break oaths?"
Rosier was unprepared for the question, unaccustomed to being asked questions at all; that wasn't the nature of the Order. He thought about it.
"A lot of things, greed, anger, lust. Something as minor as a desire to act unlawfully to something as big as a belief that the person is greater than the oath he made. There are probably as many different reasons as there are men."
"Valin, what causes men to break oaths?"
It was either so clear in his mind--or he was attempting to keep the Confessor from passing out--either way, he answered in one word, "Weakness."
The Diviner considered again then seemed to come back to the trial.
"Most of the Twisted men will break their oath. They will attempt to attack a village called Hallowell in 3 nights. Take a company of Oath-takers and wait for them there. Some of the Twisted men won't join the raid and will continue on, do not hinder them."
Everyone in the room looked at the Confessor. He wasn't writing, he seemed confused on what to record and what to exclude as the Diviner's rambling. He hastily noted the Diviner's decision and intoned, "What we three decide shall become law, let no one break it."
Rosier kneeled again and said his line, "I will carry out this duty, and pledge my life to this task and to Junil. This is my oath."
The Diviner watched without expression. Rosier rose and left the room, Valin falling in behind him. Before Valin was out of the door, the Diviner called for him. Valin stepped back in and closed the door.
"We have another trial to perform," said the Diviner.
Valin looked at the Confessor, both equally confused. "I witnessed no oaths today."
"You just did, and we will need to perform a trial on it."