“Are you sure you want to do this?” Nellens Ryo asks. The short rotund man sits across from you in this stuffy windowless room. Ryo reminds you of the thousands of mortal bureaucrats who make their way in the Imperial City instead of the vicious Anathema described by the Immaculate Texts. Ryo adjust his wireframe glasses with his ink stained fingers. He leans forward and waits for your response.
You say nothing, but hold your hand across the rickety wooden table. Now was not the time for doubt. Ryo places a small scroll of parchment, no larger than your pinky, in your hand. You take a moment of finger the fine grain of the paper and unroll the scroll. The oath is short, but artfully scribed in Ryo’s fine handwriting. “Am I the first?” you ask. No other names appear on the scroll.
“No,” Ryo grinds a stick of black ink on to the inkstone. “The other names will appear after you sign and the oath is sanctified.” He offers you the brush.
You hesitate. Up until this point, everything you have done could be undone. Now, after this oath, there will be no turning back.
When you hesitate, Ryo’s eyes dart at the door. “I have as much, if not more to lose by participating in this conspiracy.” Ryo reminds you. You did as much research as you could on this “mortal” Dynast. He has risen far in the past few years until he was appointed to the Imperial Court itself. He attends services at the local Immaculate Temple. Ryo is married and has two young daughters.
Before you could second guess yourself, you sign. You watch as your ink dries and disappears into the scroll. You make to hand back the scroll, but Ryo stops you. “You keep it. Everyone has their own copy. Do not lose it.”
Ryo takes a deep breath and steels himself for what comes next. He holds out his hand for you to take. His hand is cold despite the stuffy room. “Read the oath.”
We are bound by this oath until the Blood of the Dragons sits again upon the Scarlet Throne.
We are knowingly committing heresy by associating with allies forbidden by the Immaculate Order.
No conspirator shall call the Wyld Hunt on any member of the conspiracy.
For the Wyld Hunt’s days are numbered and one day we all shall walk free under Scarlet Skies.
This I swear by the Dragons of the Earth and the Incarnae in the Sky.
Ryo’s hand warms as you read the oath. When you finish the oath, the mark of the Deceiver, no Eclipse, glistens on his brow. Ryo sits taller; his unease burnt away like dew in the morning sun. You glance down at the scroll and see the names of your other conspirators.
Ledall Catala Akashan
The Oath gives you security, confidence in this group. Unless they wish to incur the wrath of Heaven, no one will break the conspiracy's trust.
Ryo squeeze your hand and gives you a warm smile. “Welcome to the Scarlet Sky Conspiracy.”