It was shortly after the large gathering that Durston found himself approached with a message as he and his companions lingered. The order was simple, he was to stay in the temple and join the High Council for the more in-depth discussion on the situation in Cyphorica.
“A personal meeting with the High Council, Cleric Durston. It seems that they will be requiring your special talent for the situation up north.”
Durston made a slow turn around the crowd still standing near the tower, discussing the news that was shared with them all. There were two others besides himself with the mauve vestment also approached by the temple’s servants, he shouldn’t have found it surprising as few Clerics had the psionic abilities. “So it would seem.”
Timothy Durston wasn’t sure exactly how the temple handled unsanctioned casters within their borders, but he knew that it fell onto a very prestigious class of Clerics known as Abstractors that sought them out. They were specially trained to the sensitivity of magic, able to track any user down, and then enter their minds disengaging them from the power they wrongfully wielded.
“Now I know why it felt like Lady Au’Lira was talking to me. Not sure what help I’ll be though, I know next to nothing about Abstractors.”
“There, there Durston.” The man placed a comforting hand on Timothy’s shoulder while giving a soft chuckle. “Looks like the good life was short lived my friend. After today you may just find yourself out on the field again.”
“Oh, by the Great Circle, I hope not!” Durston blanched at his companion. Life wouldn’t be so cruel as to remove him just shortly after arriving back, would it? No, of course not. He was just being asked to help since the current situation required a larger than normal operation.
Where once he desired admittance into the tower now faced, Durston instead let out a heavy sigh. It was with a quick prayer that he returned to the interior of the building earlier packed to capacity; one in which he asked that his newly established residences wasn’t already being changed.
Raised, and centerfold sat a crescent table with seven unoccupied fauteuil in the forefront of Durston’s cushioned bench. The young man kept himself slightly to the side of any possible direct notice from those who summoned his presence. A continued prayer whispered from his lips as he watched only a handful of others complete the assembly.
An imposing, six-foot-tall figure roughly dressed in worn traveling clothes made way to the small group. Two servants struggled slightly behind him, each carrying an awkward load of packs and gear. Noticing that the commotion had everyone’s attention, the man indicated to have the items piled before them.
“These packs are to contain one additional set of clothing. If you don’t own anything deemed comfortable and sturdy for hard travel, speak to Priya Hachen with lodging and assignments.” The man’s eyes pierced through the confusion of his sudden appearance. “I told the council they didn’t need to waste time with another meeting. We will have several days of travel where we can discuss the situation and the plan of action.
“The stables will be preparing your horse and additional gear. If your horse isn’t made for distance, you will be assigned another. Pack only what can fit in these bags. Anything additional or unpractical will be left behind or tossed away when I discover it.”
Silence followed the man’s abrupt arrival and address. Durston himself wasn’t sure what to make of the situation, as the orderliness of the temple was completely ignored. A middle-age Cleric sitting closer to the stranger snapped out of her daze in irritation. “Now, you see here Abstractor Kireek, I wont be trampling out along the wilderness. I have obligations. More importantly, I did my field work, fourteen years worth. The position I carry now has assured me that the most I would travel is a day.”
Annoyance masked the man’s face as he eyeballed each of them in turn. “Note I do not care about the obligations you carry here within the temples as none are special enough that they require any one of you personally to attend them. Know this is not a request for volunteers, this is an order. I dismissed the High Council and they listened. If they are willing to follow my word, then so shall you.”
With a nod of his head, the man turned on his heel and proceeded to the exit. As an afterthought, he turned once more to them. “We will gather at the temple’s gate. You will be dressed properly and packed, ready to go and travel ready by dawn.”
Not waiting for any further arguments, Abstractor Kireek left his audience. Durston could feel the tension in the air as tempers pushed their way past the shock. Along with Timothy, and the middle-aged Cleric Estel Ell, three others shifted uneasily in the room.
“That man. To have such audacity. I can’t believe he told the High Council the meeting would be a waste of time.” The speaker was a pepper-gray hair man Timothy knew as a scholar who signed his work simply as Reevan.
“Do you think he means to give us the day to prepare? Or do you suppose we should get back to our normal schedule for the day?” Cleric Claire Waters looked to the other, unprotrude by the day’s events.
Durston stood then, drawing attention from his colleagues. “Well I for one am taking the remainder of the day off. If we are to do field work, even for a short time, then I want to be comfortable. And that means not having random gear assigned to me.”
Making his way out of the Tower of Clerics, Durston saw no evidence remained of the crowd-of-bodies from earlier. As he made his way further from the tower and into the main areas of the temple, acquaintances passed curious greetings, each wondering what the High Council would want from someone so young. Keeping his head high, and walking briskly as if a man on a mission, Durston brushed them off with an air of importance.
This was a game, one of social standing and political influence, and he knew how to play it well. Though his prayers went unanswered, Durston knew how to turn the situation into his favor. If he were to be sent out on field work, then he would make it more than that. After all, it was the High Council themselves who directly requested his personal assistance. He would turn this into a promotion, further advancing his career.