[Completed] Palacia Varius Savat [A Rama Empire short story]

“Ket Savat'Ilen Tekir, the saying went. The Goddess Ket Savat thirsts, and always for blood.”

Almost four centuries have passed since the Craft Plague, but in the underground palace of the Assassins' Goddess, magic still flourishes. The Blades of Ket Savat still exists deep below the streets of Ilianril, and carry out their work in the houses above.

Rohen is a Blade of the Goddess, and skilled at what he does. He is firmly devoted to his people and his home, but as the outside world changes, so does the one in the underground palace- How can you trust in a Goddess, when you no longer trust her people to do right?

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8. Part VII

“You were gone for two days!” Marissa shouted. “Where in mashkehen were you?”

“Working,” Rohen answered distractedly. He was wringing water out of his hair, and attempting not to get too much in his ears. “It got complicated. I was bit by a dog, and I fell in the river. And I never ever want to work a nobleman's wedding again. Those hairs on his-”

“Thank you, I don't need to know!” Marissa interrupted, holding up a hand to his face. “The council met while you were away. Alherius and the others decided that since you never showed, you meant it when you said you didn't want to be a part of it any longer.”

Rohen scowled at her.

“What did they decide this time?” he asked, dreading the answer.

“They're considering closing off the west wing of the Palacia. There's also some talk about forcing Werthius to retire from the upside work, but- He still won't go for it. He just went to do another job,” Marissa informed him dryly. “So for now they're cutting down on the craft use, by stopping the water and air spells in the west wing, and ordering Werthius not to light it up.”

A deep sigh worked its way through Rohen.

“You can't ask him to stop doing Ket Savat's work,” he said, fingertips going to the tattoo over his heart. The first spell they ever learned, the first tattoo, was always the mark of the Goddess. By summoning magic through the spell weave there, they would always know if the Goddess found their target unclean, making it so that they only killed those deserving. Making sure they did the will of Ket Savat.

Yes, they accepted coin for the murders, but they never killed the pure or the innocent.

The Blades was a large family. The underground palace was an entirely different world from the one above, filled with blue lighths and beauty. It was a haven, a magical place, that defied the yellow dust and sun of Cahl above it. There were no kings or queens down there. The Blade or the council might rule and make decisions, but at any time, the rest of the Blades had the right to veto their decisions in a public vote. Everyone had the right to equal respect down there, the slight discrimination between bladeborn and streetborn not withstanding.

But the Palacia Varius Savat could not exist without the mage craft needed to air out the tunnels, and light up the gardens and bring in fresh water.

His inner conflict must have shown, for Marissa spoke to comfort him.

“We'll open up the western wing again, as soon as some of the new trainees get the hang of the light spells,” she said.

“Good,” Rohen stated. “This- Marissa, we cannot let the Palacia go. It's too big a part of who we are. We'll scatter and diminish if we don't protect it.”

“You should return to the council,” Marissa said. “Before its too late.”

Rohen sighed again.

“I just can't stand it any more. The constant fight against the fear, and the whole streetborn debate- Alherius will never see my side of it.”

“When you left, you gave up your voice,” Marissa snapped. And then, as an afterthought, she added the sorrowful words that haunted him through the years to come.

“And I'm not sure Donharon and I speak loud enough on our own.”

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