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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

Church of Aielund, dedicated to bettering civilisation. It was a different chapter that was
responsible for certain unfortunate acts, long ago.”
“Times past?” Aiden prompted.
“Last century, the Church had great political power throughout the land, greater than
the K ing himself, and it was used... poorly.” Her voice was passionate - clearly this was
important to her. “Many suffered needlessly from accusations of impurity, heresy and
other such nonsense, as the more paranoid factions of the clergy took power. Specifically,
the Divine Templars, a chapter whose ethos was more focused on maintaining order and
strict adherence to the Codex Morium, our holy book and centuries-old treatise on proper
conduct, than any other concern.”
“The King was a weak man, so it fell to the people to rise up and stop the tyrant
Archieros and restore authority to the throne. The Divine Templars were disbanded, and
only three chapters of the church remain. Since then, the training doctrine for the
priesthood has been very strict, and places great emphasis on service, humility, and
repentance above all else.”
“Damn right they do,” Colt grunted. He was leaning up against the tree, keeping an
eye on their surroundings even as he ate. “They're tripping over themselves trying to help
people, and always taking the blame for things they didn't do. It's disgusting.” Nellise's
face revealed a long-suffering look, but Aiden wanted to know more.
“What do you mean exactly?” he asked.
“They've been humble and repentant for a long time, and that has become their
religion. They let just about anyone treat them like dirt. You people are pathetic. Don't
you have any pride in yourselves?”
“Pride is what led to our downfall,” Nellise reminded Colt quietly. “We seek now to
make amends and reassure people that our ways differ great ly from those of our
“That much is obvious,” Colt grunted. “I just think you take it too far is all. There's
gotta be a happy medium. I can't stand being around priests these days, they just ain't
men. Especially the women.”
“Are you even aware what words are coming out of your mouth? Because they're
very strange,” Aiden asked earnestly. Nellise smiled faintly at this and Pacian almost
choked on his food as he started laughing. Colt turned to face them with a scowl on his
unshaven face.
“You know what I mean. Look, all I'm saying is that they gotta start acting like real
people again. Fawning and kissing everyone's feet for stuff that happened a long time ago
by other people isn't helping. Get over it already.” This was said directly to Nellise, but
the young cleric was unshaken.
“Thank you Colt, I'll take that under advisement,” she replied coolly.
“I'm starting to think you're not as stupid as I thought,” Aiden remarked wryly to the
big ranger, which had the desired effect of making Nellise smile. Long moments passed
in a silence broken only by the rain, before Colt stood up straight and futilely wrung
water out of his heavy cloak.
“Enough chit-chat,” he said gruffly. “We keep moving.”
“What's the rush? I'm not done yet,” Pacian complained, still chewing on a large
hunk of cheese.