We Hunt the Keepers Epilogue: Trent Firewalker
Seraphina, my old friend, I am following your suggestion and keeping a journal both in case something happens to me, and to help me work through what I have discovered. I know not if you shall ever read this, but if you do, I beg of you, read it through to the end. It is indeed heresy, but it also verified truth, pursued relentlessly as only a Templar can, confirming it from multiple sources.
The Lords of the Church of the Two, Auran and Lunan, sent me on a quest to kill the heretic Gormakir, the First Keeper of the Keys and bring back his Key. I had pondered why they would send me on what they said was an important mission when I was only a recent Templar, having only just been initiated, with the scars from the Trials by Fire that Eranthal had created specifically for me still fresh on my feet and body. I still have nightmares about running on the coals, the smell of my flesh burning as they jabbed me with the red hot pokers, testing my resolve and faith. Eranthal will create no more such tests: I have now seen to that. He confirmed what I learned on my quest before he died. He did not expect the interrogation skills I had learned in my training would ever be used on him. Such sweet hot irony! But I digress.
When I applied these very skills on Gormakir, he divulged that our gods are false gods, that they do not care for us and that they are not, in fact, gods as we were trained to believe. In an act of brave folly, we finished the ritual Gormakir had planned in order to become the Oracle of this behemoth in the caves, the Key we were after, the Battrachian Nightmare. The ritual was supposed to give us the answers we were each seeking, but required a sacrifice. We of course chose the evil Gormakir as the sacrifice, both completing a goal of our quest and supplying us with much needed answers. Indeed, Gormakier was the key component, but the ritual was nothing if not gruesome: as Gormakir’s form shifted, flesh melting over his eyes, ears sloughing off, he started spouting gibberish in ecstasy. It is at this time the whispers began in my head.
This is the truth I learned, the truth for which the brave Mage Logan and clever Weary sacrificed their lives: our gods can be killed!
The very reason the Church is trying to collect the Keys is because they are literally the Keys to Death for the gods. And yes, our gods are false gods, the Oracle revealed that to me in visions,visions of events that I was then able to find confirmation for in the restricted archives of the Church once I had the passkey from Eranthal.
How can they be false gods, when their priests and saints, and even Templars wield magic of the gods? While it is possible the priests magic is a boon of some of the gods, it is also possible that it comes from within us. Not the magic of the mages, derived from learning and weaving of energies around us, but from within us, from our souls and our passions.
Why would they send me, a novice, on such a quest of great danger? Because they had tested me and found me strong and pure, not realizing that in so doing they had sown the very seeds of doubt about the righteousness of the Lords of the Church. Why send me on this quest with others not of the Church? Eranthal confirmed this much: because any higher in the Church wanted the Keys for themselves and could not be trusted to return them, since they knew they were of great value and threat. He hinted that they suspected a rebel in their midst, working against the Church Lords, so they would hire 3 people not of the Church, accompanied by one novice from the Church, for each quest. In most cases, the Church representatives did not return, by chance or plan, I know not.
They know not what I know or have done, and are sending me on another mission soon. Perhaps the next key is one that I will be able to use…