"Peace of the Divines." spoke the priest to the woman who stepped past him, leaving the Cathedral. It was a cloudy day but the breeze was warm, and the people of Daggerfall. for once, all seemed at total ease. The woman looked on him and smiled as she left. Her questions to him about her husband's troubles had been answered to her satisfaction. She was at ease, and so was he. It was common in this turbulent world for people to seek comfort in the divine, and he was happy to give it where he could. He was a quiet man in a big city, his white robes and hood all any noticed when out of the temple, and not even that within. His life had meaning that it had lacked for so long. Closing the door behind he returned to his work, the temple having seen foot traffic that day, was surely in need of cleaning. He was glad he had been welcomed by the other clergy. None save the head priest knew his history, and he would have it stay that way. The others were kind to him, and he to they, but he kept his distance where he could. Roland Barthel, was a man of quiet and he liked it that way.
The evening came soon and the warm breeze gave way to the cold air riding over the bay. Roland sat quietly reading when the doors of the Cathedral slowly opened, the night air rushing in, bringing a cold wind. Up upon the higher levels Roland stood and glanced down to see a knight of the Lion Guard panting, is speed and urgency plain to see. "Hello! Brothers or Sisters! Is anyone here!?" called out the white armored knight. As his voice echoed through the silence Roland descended the steps to meet him, "How can I be of help to you sir?" The knight stood and his look of worry changed to relief, "Roland? Is that you Roland? By Stendarr it is you!" Roland smiled, recognizing his friend from what seemed a lifetime ago, "Oliver, it is good to see you friend. What brings you here in such distress?" Oliver's joy washes from his face and a pale death-look overcomes him, "I have a son Roland, a bright boy. His mother, you remember her don't you? When I was in the Order, when I left and why..... We married and I became a member of the Lion Guard and we had our boy, Turpin." Roland smiled and led him to a sitting area as he told his tale. Setting water to boil for tea he listened. "And well you did it seems." he said to the knight, who smiled through his sadness. "Aye and I would trade nothing for it all. Even in my selfishness, Stendarr's mercy and blessings have flown over us.... until now." Roland crushed the leaves as he listened. Oliver continued, "There was a vampire, not far from here, more then one really, a nest. The Guard had been informed, but a panicked commoner startled by snapping twigs in the woods, that is the attitude. Divines forgive me, it became my attitude too. I should know better." Roland's brow furrowed but he kept his disappointment to himself as he poured the tea. "Stendarr punished me Roland. My new status, my new life, I forgot my oath, the oath that never ends." Roland looked up, "What happened Oliver?" Oliver seemed to go dead for a moment, "They were in the forest looking for herbs. We could have sent retainers but she loved going out herself with our boy. Miria died with mercy, they fed on her in mass, drained her beyond the point of raising in seconds by the looks of things. But Turpin, they left him to die, then live again. He is only eight Roland, must I smite my own boy? I can't, so I hid him. He is now in my home, bound. I sent away all my servants, and barred the house. I hoped someone here would...... do what I cannot."
Roland leaned back and listened as he heard the story. Ten years past when they had been brothers in arms they had been taught what to do. To never suffer an abomination to live as Stendarr willed it. But they were in all senses priest and soldiers in the throws of war with evil. Oliver in his time since had become more the soldier, but Roland had become more the priest. To smite and go forward was all they knew, a simple solution, but not the only one. True he had maintained a fit form, but his mind had been doubly trained. Roland had learned much from the other priests in the Cathedral. To marry a couple in love from Mara's chosen, to study entranced from a Priest of Julianos, to assert his will from a Brother of Akatosh, and so on. In his years there he had learned much, in particular a method from the devout of Arkay of warding the dead from necromancy, and to cleansing certain abominations of their curses, assuming the conditions were right. He sought to comfort his friend, but would not make promises. "I may be able to help him, but I must look deeper into this. What of the nest?" Oliver looked up stunned, "Still there I think. The Guard was not told. I was afraid if I told them that they would take Turpin." Roland stood and beckoned Oliver to follow. In his chamber Roland drew a chest from the small crawlspace storage afforded him. Opening it, light seemed to flicker out. High quality armor, weapons, and carefully folded tunic of fine silk laid within. Roland smiled to Oliver, who genuinely smiled back. "Let's see if we can help your boy Oliver."