Chapter One

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The Deep reaches out,

Ibenholt's temptation,

That much we can't resist,

But her reaching hands,

Are the loving embrace

Of death itself.

This is the virtue of The Deep,

All within belong to the trees,

From dust we are born

And to dust we return.

This is the essence,

The Nature of the Deep.

A single city, Aeternum

Forever enclosed in shades of dark.

That is the will of The Deep.

Temptation reaches out,

Be wary of it children.

The guiding hand lies,

The only path is the path we create.

We are of the Deep,

But we are not the same

As moss that grows on trees.

We shall ascend,

That is the Truth.

Books of the Scattered 2:1-24

Risi's crystalline lamp shown down on the hardwood table. He didn't visit the Guild of the Blessed very often, in fact, he didn't plan on making a habit of it. Other scouts his age didn't understand his curiosity about other guilds- and surely they thought his visits were more than just platonic. And to be fair, this was an honest assessment. He sighed, his dark brown cloak laid on the table next to him.Selva sat across from him, her robe's hood casting a shadow over her eyes. She was rather serious today, Risi thought. Her golden eyes pierced through him.

"Risi- look I know you did it"

"Did what?", Risi sat back, his eyes wide, feigning confusion.

"The Akerus. You put it in my room didn't you? It's been flying about"

"Selva, I swear I don't know what-"

"That's a load of bull if I've ever heard one", Selva tapped the table impatiently. She'd invited him over for dinner, but unfortunately not with the intentions of letting him eat.

Risi sat back. He was practically cornered into confessing, but she had no proof against him- simply the plate of food in front of him was enough to tempt him into confessing.

"You're Blessed, just toast it a little and-"

"And what? You know I can't use magic in my room! That is grounds for relic testing!" Selva looked absolutely furious.

"Relic testing? I thought the Consensus banned the Guild of the Blessed from doing that. And besides what would you expect me to do?", Risi smiled. He didn't dare say she was cute when she was angry, but he certainly believed it.

"Only major relics can't be tested. That was the only thing changed. You know how it is. If you are blessed," Selva held her hands up high, swaying sarcastically, "then you should know better. As Blessed you are resilient and quick to heal".

"Th-they seriously still test relics on apprentices?" Risi looked concerned.

"Only minor ones" Selva shrugged, "The last one left scorch marks on my arms for weeks. It's what I get for sneaking out on my own I guess", Selva leaned back in her chair, "It looks like dinner can wait. I'll just raise its internal temperature until it combusts and be right down. It shouldn't take too long and if I'm careful I won't raise the attention Blessed Sovine either"

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