Apprentice, Kybald Leomann, of the Guild of Shamian had it on good authority the king’s consort was now even more of an abomination than they had originally thought. According to his informant, Masa who resided within the royal household itself, Consort Brayden Macallister was now carrying a child. How that was even possible he did not know, but he knew without a doubt it was his sacred duty to inform the guild of this new piece of information. When he’d first been told he hadn’t believed it until he done his own investigation and over hear the healers speaking in hushed whispers.
Kybald had been so busy recruiting new members into the guild that at first he’d almost missed what the informant had been telling him. Apparently she’d been trying to get in touch with him for days, and as busy as he was he’d put her off, thinking new members were more important than some idle gossip. Guild Master Cristos would indeed be salivating over this news. If he could get his hands on one of the abominations then maybe they could experiment and find a way to complete eradicate the world of their existence—which in the guild’s view would be a good thing, and Kybald agreed with them whole heartedly.
The libraries of the guild were filled with everything one could want to know about the ancient ones. Generation after generation of guild members added everything they have ever found out about the hated breed of halflings, because they were half man—half beast. But to have something actually confirmed as truth was almost as exciting as it was disgusting. The sooner they put an end to the abominations in the form of Prince Javier and Consort Brayden, the sooner they could force King Quinlan to conform to the ways that should have always been. The guild should have taken over as rulers after King Rothwell had succumbed to the poison they had so carefully given him. Master Cristos had had the perfect bride for Quinlan picked out, but he had to go and ruin it by choosing Brayden Caldwell to rule at his side. If Master Cristos had known King Quinlan’s tastes ran in that direction he would have had a contingency plan in place. Instead Quinlan had blindsided them by choosing Brayden. Honestly, if Ormond had done what he was supposed to then none of this would be happening now. According to Master Cristos neither man deserved the titles given them. Master Cristos had informed the members of the guild that from now on they were just to think of them as Quinlan and Brayden, because sooner than anyone thought the two men were going to be replaced by people of the guilds choosing.
Kybald stopped at the side door of the stone structure, which contained the guild headquarters. He let his gaze drift around the near empty street making sure no one had followed him. Master Cristos would never forgive him or anyone else if they had let someone follow them to this secret guild sanctuary. The motto of the guild had always been: If no one except members knew the guild existed, then no one would be able to shut them down. Master Cristos had spent many generations setting up this house of rightness. His family had been among those who had hunted and destroyed the last generation of ancient ones. Through the teaching of Master Cristos a whole new generation of guild members were being prepared to cull all abominations from the known world. Master Cristos had informed them there were more abominations in the world then just the ancient ones at the castle, and it was their duty as guild members to put an end to them all. As guild members they had a sworn duty to kill anything that did not fall into the perimeters of what the guild deemed right. It was an honour to be chosen to become a guild member, even if it did mean all members must forsake their families. The guild was now the only family they needed. Nothing else mattered besides the guild.
“Kybald,” Master Cristos asked as Kybald entered the sanctuary and knelt before the man. In a show of respect he leant forward and touched his forehead to the Master Cristos’s feet. “What brings you here and away from your duty?”
“I have important news, Master Cristos.” Kybald trembled in anticipation. He knew with the telling he would be elevated to the next rung on the Apprentice ladder. Master Cristos always rewarded the ones who pleased him the most or showed they had the guild’s best interest at heart.
“I’m listening.” Master Cristos waved his hand gesturing that Kybald should rise from his prone position.
Kybald knew without a doubt that he was one of better recruits. He was loyal, and never questioned when given an order, which was why he knew he wasn’t going to be punished for abandoning his post. He knew what he had to tell his Master was going to shock the man right down to his handmade leather boots.
“My source within the inner workings of the castle has informed me Consort Brayden is with child.” Kybald was the one who was shocked. He wasn’t able to duck fast enough as Master Cristos’s hand slapped him with enough force to knock him back to his knees. Kybald tasted blood as he slowly rose back up into standing position.
“What have I told you about giving those abominations the formality of a title they do not deserve?” The man snapped in anger.
“I’m sorry,” Kybald said in shame, “It won’t happen again. I was at the castle, there it is prudent to remain unseen so using their titles is a way to blend in and not bring attention to one’s self.”
Master Cristos rolled his eyes, and Kybald knew it was in annoyance. “What did your informant tell you? I want every detail.”
“The healers have confirmed Brayden is carrying Quinlan’s child. I also went into the castle and confirmed what my informant had told me. If all our gathered information is true than the child will be born in five more months.” Kybald said after he did a quick calculation in his head. It was rumoured the ancient ones only had a gestations period of six months—that in itself was a sure sign of a freak.
Master Cristos began pacing around the confines of the room as he did when deep in thought. Kybald assumed the man was coming to realise things were becoming more complicated. He wanted to ask if the guild would have to move up their plans, but was afraid of Master Cristos’s reaction. Kybald wondered how long it would take for Master Cristos to tell him they would need to be in possession of Brayden before he gave birth to the next generation of ancient ones. Master Cristos had always preached how the needed to stop the re-insurgence of those evil creatures before they were allowed to breed and take over the known world. Also Kybald knew if Brayden was allowed to complete the carrying it would give others the belief these creatures were welcome among the true people of this existence. And as far as the Master Cristos and the rest f the guild were concerned—they were not.
Kybald knew that aster Cristos was a great man who had the best interest of the people of Panthea at heart. The man had given more than one sermon on how too many of the pure people had died because these creatures thought they had the right to exist, and live among the many. It was people like Master Cristos’s ancestors who took matters into their own hands and began ridding the populace of all of those abominations so long ago. Even after they had been eradicated new and even more twisted creatures came into being. It was the reason the guild was now once again building up its forces. According to Master Cristos there was going to be another war coming, and this time mot one of those deemed unfit to exist would make it through alive.
This time they all would die.