The normal buzz of energy that flowed through the Divine Hall of the Supreme Pontiff and Imperator of the Dominion was stronger than it usually was. Many things had been happening in the continent of Partum and those in attendance here had a front row seat to watching Callidus Magna pulling the strings that set entire nations on edge. Callidus Magna loved the spotlight and whenever possible he urged his most powerful underlings to make dramatic entrances to announce their victories regardless of how big or small they were, or even if they could be considered victories. The pomp and ceremony of it all was enthralling to those fortunate enough to be in attendance and it was a round-the-clock event broken up only by those times that Callidus Magna indulged himself to take on the mantle of Supreme Pontiff and address the masses of loyal zealots that gathered outside his palace in Gothartus for a chance to hear their divinely appointed high priest speak. But the majority of the showmanship was in the Divine Hall, privy only to the select, and away from the curious eyes of the commoners or foreign provocateurs that might seek to disrupt the control Callidus Magna enjoyed over the Fourth Imperium.
With this as a template the great doors of the Divine Hall were thrown open by the Imperator Guards and the entrancing and mildly terrifying persona of Archbishop Abattoir swept into the hall. His scarlet red and white robes flowed supernaturally around him as he clasped his red-gloved hands in front of him. His hooded face was covered by an alabaster mask that had a simple yet wickedly cruel carved face on it. The archbishop stopped at the foot of the stairs leading up to Callidus Magna’s throne, held out his arms to his sides, and bowed low.
Callidus Magna smiled his customarily creepy grin and said with a note of delight in his voice, “My esteemed Archbishop Abattoir! What news do you bring us from Fanolania?”
In a hollow, somewhat high-pitched voice the masked entity declared with a flourish, “We have struck a blow against those that would refuse your gracious offers and turn their backs to your benevolent leadership! A settlement of rogues and brigands was wiped out and the perpetrators of many crimes against your chosen people brought to their eternal justice. And what is more, we have struck a blow against the most vile and contemptible of elven races, the detestable dark elves! As you have commanded, the Scarlet Sect has begun closing off the ridiculous pilgrimage of dark elves to the angelic haven. We must drive these monsters back beneath the earth where they belong!”
Callidus Magna cackled with unsettling delight and looked around at the assembled courtiers and dignitaries in the Divine Hall. In a loud, booming voice he said, “Archbishop Abattoir has done well! Congratulations to the Scarlet Sect and their holy crusade against the dark elven blasphemers. May the archbishop be triumphant against all of our foes!”
As the gathered throng murmured approvingly, the Supreme Pontiff leaned forward on his throne and whispered to the masked person, “Did you perform these duties without being detected?”
The crimson-robed archbishop bowed again and replied softly, “Completely unseen by any that could stop us, my master. We didn’t even leave a note.”
Callidus Magna’s hideous laughter filled the Divine Hall.