|Unit Class:|| Disciple Unit|
|Requires:|| The Order as State Religion|
|Starts With:|| Medic I|
|Info:|| 12 +4 Holy|
|Special:|| Will abandon civilization if state religion switches from The Order|
-3 to the Armageddon Counter
The room was perfectly formed: identical grey tiles covered the floor and fluted columns were evenly spaced throughout the hall. Angels knelt or were seated according to their rank, which was also reflected in their dress, although the differences were often too slight for mortal eyes to recognize. In fact, the perfection of the chamber, from the exact proportions down to each fold in every angels robe, was so off-putting to mortal eyes that even the most precise couldn't help feeling like he threw the room, or the entire heaven, out of balance by his very existence.
Junil stood in the center of the chamber unwavering. Words and reports were unnessesary, there was no outward sign of stress or panic, yet every angel's focus was on the same event: sacred ground was being desecrated. It was the Seven Pines, the place that the Compact was signed. It was sacred to many gods, but Junil had committed to keeping the area safe before the gods had agreed to the Compact, to ensure that the Gods and their emissaries could meet there safely, and now that oath wasn't being kept.
It was the Compact itself that caused the problem, it stated that the gods and angels couldn't intervene directly with the affairs of men, instead they had to work through them by various limited and archaic means, none of which helped in this situation. Those loyal to Junil had been killed, struck down quickly through a form of stealth that obscured even the sight of the angelic watchers.
In the Seven Pines, there were symbols for each of the gods that existed at the time of the Compact. The svartalfar were stealing the symbols, all those except the symbol of their own god, Esus. Junil's symbol was a sword and shield that hung from one of the trees in the glade. A svartalfar assssin went to claim the symbol as a personal trophy.
Sphener broke the perfection of the room and stood. The angel opposite him, who was supposed to mirror his movements in every ritualized action, seemed confused. Was he supposed to follow, was this some ritual he had forgotten or was Sphener breaking the laws of the chamber? Other angels in the chamber, including Sphener's own lord, allowed a brief crease of annoyance to cross their foreheads to show their extreme disapproval of Sphener's action. Junil showed no reaction.
Sphener crossed the perfect floor and kneeled before the god of law. He spoke, following the tradition of the few mortals that had come here to petition Junil, as an angel had never done so before.
"Great lord, allow me to keep your promise and protect the Seven Pines. Cast me from the vault, take from me the divine essence and have me reborn mortal such that my actions will not break the Compact and both oaths will remain fulfilled."
Junil turned his eyes to the prostrate lesser angel. His hesitation was not from concern, but from a consideration of the possible outcomes: would Sphener be able to defend the Pines, was Sphener more useful in creation than he was in heaven, was there another way to maintain both oaths, what would keep the same event from occurring again? Junil turned his focus on the svartalfar attackers and decided that Sphener could defeat them; the laws were clear, if an angel wished to fall, he could.
Junil responded with only one word, "Approved", and Sphener was gone from the chamber. The svartalfar assassin smiled as he considered his own reflection in the sword's gleaming blade. The sword was too heavy and long for him but it would sell for a lifetime's wages. Then the sword was yanked out of his hands, he spun expecting to see one of his companions and found himself staring into the breastplate of an 8-foot-tall angel instead.
The sword was functional as well as ornamental and Sphener cut him down. Like a scythe through grain, Sphener set on the rest, they were killed quickly, but it took longer for Sphener to replace all of the artifacts and remove any trace that they had been there from the Pines. When it was finally complete, he knelt and prayed.
When Sphener ended his prayer, the Pines were gone; Junil had removed it from creation to keep it safe. All that was left behind was the sword and shield. Sphener took them and headed into the woods. He had long been curious about creation and looked forward to serving Junil in this new role.