20th of Mesa, 4th year of King Guy
Your Eminence, Keegan Seárlas Cardinal Rearden, Archbishop of Khonsu
Please consider this an unofficial correspondence, as I need some advice concerning Khonsu’s Revenant and I really don’t have anyone else to talk to that knows him any better or understands why he does what he does or how he is influenced by The Patron of Travelers.
The evening after the Warriors of Isis appeared just outside of the Obelisk, I went out to the statue of the Revenant to prepare for my nightly worship ceremony to Khonsu. When I approached the statue a very tall cloaked figure was standing face to face with the statue (it was currently in his human form). I became weary, thinking it was another Zealot of the Frozen One. I dropped the sacraments I was carrying and drew my mace, prepared to dispatched this unclean one from the holy grounds that the statues rest upon. As soon as he heard the sacraments crash to the ground, he spun with amazing speed, threw off his cloak and pulled two weapons. My eyes went to the weapons and I immediately recognized them as The Revenant’s Dagger and his Hunting Axe. Upon this realization, I looked the man directly in the face and realized that it was the owner of said weapons. I dropped my mace, fell to my knees and begged him to forgive me for interrupting his solace. He relaxed and put his weapons away, demanding, very gruffly, to get off my knees. His use of foul language was appalling, He even used words that would make an arena fighter blush, trust me I used to be one, and I did. [One note: he was carry the weapon in the opposite hand as described in all the books and letters I have read concerning Ursus]
I digress. Once I was up, he recognized me for being a priest of Khonsu. He asked of me a strange request; He wished to be blessed by me. I was aghast as I thought all the Warriors were constantly, fully blessed. Why else would they be chosen as the Warriors. I didn’t bother to question his request, was just pleased to be asked such a great honor. I gathered my sacraments and led him back to his own statue. He knelt before it and me. I proceeded with a proper blessing. When I sprayed him with the blessed water, he winced, as though in pain. I have read every iota of information concerning Ursus and have never once heard or read about him feeling any physical pain. The pain he feels from his heart is another subject for a later discussion. I finished the ritual and he rose, thanking me for the honor. I tried to thank him again, but he just shut me down with more foul language and angry stares. Once I shut my mouth, he asked about my response to his presence and I explained. His interest piqued when I mentioned the zealots. He inquired about the massacre that had occurred recently; I filled him in on all the details, as I was present that day and helped fight back the interlopers; but not before the massacre of many innocents. He asked if there were to be a lot of worshipers tonight. I said that there may be more than usual because CrIsis has graced us and many wish to thank the Gods. He said he would like to join tonight’s worship but wished to be, as he said it, “any-no-one-of-us”. I agreed; I did not want to anger him or Khonsu. Worship went as planned. I did notice him in the small group, keeping his cloak on, while I preached and performed the rites and ceremonies. He moved from person to person, stopping to whisper in their ear.
After the worship ended (it was a pleasing ceremony as the amount of followers had increased to 6, praise be to Khonsu) the parishioners left. I cleaned up the sacraments and the area around His statue. After about an hour I was done and ready to head back inside when I saw a few small throngs of people moving towards the statues. A good score and a half had moved towards the edge of the circle of statues, mulling around waiting. I stowed the sacraments and approached the group. There were those of the Monster and many of hulking proportions amongst the group. Nary a one was smaller than Ursus in human form. When I got to them I realized they were standing semi-circle around Ursus. Upon recognizing me, He asked me to join him at the front, I obliged. He began to speak, so very elegantly. He was charismatic and captivating. He was discussing the atrocities that had been felled upon those that wished to worship the Great ones in peace and the evil they professed and how CrIsis would eventually end them all and their false God. All, including myself, were enraptured, hanging on every word. He had us all. Once he was done, he said he wanted to start a group of hunters; the prey was the zealots; the purpose was to expel them from Nisi and Timiro forever. We would be known as Ursunites, deputized honorary Warriors of Khonsu. He instructed us that we would have to keep our Band of Hunters close to the chest, so the prey would be surprised by our actions. My thoughts were that we would gather up any “prey” and ship them off back where they came from, I was slightly mistaken.
The next morning, we gathered as he requested, in front of the old Arena training grounds. I was weary, I had not been back since I was released, it made me anxious. Once all were there, he proceeded to assess and test our fighting skills; no holds barred, full contact, full threat of death. [another note: he fought as human only, never changed to his bear form. I guess there would be a lot less of us if he did.] I was first; he said that the group’s priest should be able to hold his own, because I was the healer of the physical body and the spirit. I was rusty at first, but the skill came back quickly. I was able to land some blows on him, before he lunged and landed what I thought were lethal blows. He started to finish, but stopped. he helped me up and said to use my priestly powers to quickly heal. The fighting went on; every one went through the same process. He was an absolute beast, never holding back. Several were very close to death when he finished with them. I was able to save them all from that fate. He dismissed a few that didn’t meet his expectations, mostly those that nearly died and a few others that were more talk than action; he could somehow tell. For the next few days he taught us all much more ferocious ways to fight. Many among us were former Arena slave fighters and had been taught a more flourished fighting style, to please the crowds.
After several days of training (and endless healing, we always fought full force) we set out upon our hunt. He had been questioning us all while training and fighting, trying to determine where to look first. We Ursunites had heard rumors of a camp just to the north of Nisi. We sent out a very small scouting party led by him. The rest of us were to prepare the training grounds for captives. This was strange for me, being a former slave. Upon the scouting party’s return, He formulated a tactic for taking the camp, it was crude, but it seemed to be effective. encircle the camp, just before dawn, then quickly and quietly raid and capture one prey each and return to the training grounds. Simple. Well it seemed simple. We all approached and were in place, waiting for the signal, a bird call from Ursus. Well I guess one of the believers was an early riser, he spotted one of the Band and hollered out. Ursus yelled, very very loudly, to take what prey we could. He rushed in, as did almost all of the Band. I was hesitant, but I realized some of our Band were being attacked and needed assistance, I engaged. When it was all said and done, the camp was a ruinous heap, several were captured, with a few of the prey dead or dying. or fled from camp. I recall Ursus used his mighty bow to fell one trying to escape, from what seemed like an impossible distance. A few of our own Band were in similar shape. I rushed to aid ours first. As I approached some of the prey to help them, Ursus stopped me. He said they were not worthy of the blessings of Khonsu. He then did something very disturbing. Using his Dagger, he carved a large “T” into the forehead of those that were severely injured or dying. Saying something about IF they survived, they would be marked forever as servants of evil and false worshipers and would never be able to show their faces around here without being identified as such.
We returned to our own make shift jail/camp and caged those we had captured. The Revenant asked us all to join him at the center of camp. He proceeded to talk about the raid, giving accolades to those that did well. I myself was singled out for my actions in aiding the Band and fighting off the prey. There was one he saved for last. Once he was in front of everyone, Ursus’ mood changed quickly. He chided him very harshly. More of his extremely vulgar language again. He even used words I had never heard before. The rest of the Band were unsettled. He said inaction in the face of the enemy was tantamount to disloyalty and it was to be considered treasonous to us all. Then he did the most unthinkably act. He pulled his dagger and sliced the throat of the man standing before us. He was so fast, and the blade so sharp, he stood there for a few moments before the blood came gushing out of his neck. I moved to help him, but Ursus stayed me with an angry stare. As the poor soul realized his fate, his face went white from fear and the lack of life sustaining blood. He fell like a lumbered tree. Once the man hit the ground, He turned back to us, asking if he should be saved. There was stammering and gibbering from us all. He yelled loudly to vote, raise hands if he should be saved. Some of us raised our hands quickly, some not so quickly. He quickly counted, I think, He said some weird words after getting to “three”. Then yelled at me to save the one he thought how the majority had voted. He was wrong, but I wasn’t going to argue. I quickly moved to save the man. Once the former dead man came to, Ursus told him that he was luckily blessed by Khonsu but still didn’t deserve to be part of this Holy Band of Khonsunites. He was instructed to pack his gear and leave and never talk about our Band or face the consequences. His face went white again upon hearing this last statement. Once he was gone, Ursus turned back to the rest of us. He talked about this group being a very special group, hand picked by the Revenant, worthy of Khonsu’s Blessings. We were supposed to pledge our lives and deaths to Khonsu. He had us enthralled and we were all fever pitched again. Ready to do his bidding. When he was done speaking, we all, including him, pledge a blood oath to the Unyielding Strength of Osiris and to Khonsu. We all sliced our palms and dripped blood into the campfire vowing to rid Nisi and Timiro of all Teroshians.
We spent many days scouting, gathering intelligence, intterogating our captives, hunting every single known and rumored Ice Zealot hiding place in and around Nisi. Capturing most, killing those that fought back, or attacked us. We used the argument that we were defending ourselves and that we were on a holy mission. All that we captured were branded by the tell-tale “T”, carved upon their foreheads by Ursus and Ursus alone, always using the dagger. He was also the prime interrogator. He used many different gruesome techniques. I won’t describe them. I nearly lost the contents of my belly several times, and I have seen very gruesome acts in the arena. He even changed in front of a few that were hard to break, that tactic made almost all of them all tremble in utter fear. If they didn’t fear him after that, he threatened to eat their head, then have me resurrect them, and repeat until they talked. He almost did it once, but the moment the man’s head was in Ursus’ mouth he relented, urinating and excreting all over himself. Once we captured, interrogated and branded the prey, we walked them down to the harbor, used their coins to ship them back to where they purported to hail from. Any left over coins we kept and donated to the Church in the name of Khonsu.
All this seemed to be the work and bidding of Khonsu. I felt nary a hint of remorse, even for the poor soul Ursus almost killed after our first raid. He had after all shown cowardice in the face of a dire threat to us all. My first misgivings came just a few days ago. We had shipped off the latest round up. We were headed back to our camp. Someone came rushing out of an alley, Ursus quickly drew both of his weapons, again opposite handed. Turned out it was some kids playing rough. I noticed something very strange though. His hunting knife, which is a Holy Lightbringer, glowed a very light blue when he had it out. He quickly sheathed the weapons, presumably to not scare the children. He also seemed to have a bad burn on his hand after using the knife, which healed rather quickly. But it was all so very strange. I guess I was in such awe at our first meeting that i didn’t notice it, nor paid attention during our raids and fights, this was the first time I had seen him draw his Holy Weapon. So, I think Ursus has changed, but I don’t know how or why. Please I beg of you Eminence, give me guidance in this matter or suggest someone who can assist. His behavior so far has not been too much different than what I have read. I just presumed the most gruesome details were kept censored as to not offend those of lesser constitutions. I will continue with my pledge to Him, The Unyielding One and to Khonsu, for those of the Iceborn deserve to be expelled and extinguished for the atrocities they have committed against innocents of the Light.
One final note: On one of the nights, as we sat around the camp fire, resting and feeding, the topic of lovers and sexual exploits arose. One of the Band mentioned to Ursus about his well known betrothed. Ursus instantly went into a tirade, railing against those of the kinder persuasion in such a vile and vulgar fashion. Using language that caused almost everyone in the Band to cringe. It lasted several moments. When he calmed down, he turned towards us and threatened all, saying: “Never…utter…her…name…ever!”
May the blessings of KHONSU be upon you,
your Humble Servant of Light, Father Titus
Priest of Khonsu
Cardinal Keegan picture from Wikipedia
Head Carving picture from Wikipedia
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