Lord Banash stared at his screen. The murmurings were getting loud and no one seem to reach any conclusions. He knew that if he didn’t intervane, the murmurings would drag on and on. He stood from his large seat and picked up his Ura, the staff was now heavy considering the fact that he was not getting any younger. At ninety-five, Lord Banash had thought he would spend his days in the beautiful forest of Udi, where everything grows from the ground, or so he heard. Those who set journey for the forest across the seas never return. The things known about the forest of Udi were myths and stories that made men seek out dangerous adventure, one Lord Banash has always fantasized about.
But here he was and at ninety-five, he is the Lord Supreme of the Keepers, bounded to an oath he took seventy years ago. Then, in the days of his youth, his hands could swing the Ura to any direction and his strength was bubbling. But now, his once dark, long hair has aged and since turned grey and his strength that had been like that of an ox now failed him. He could hardly summon a meeting of Lords without grasping for breath. And all these had made him wonder why he was still the Lord Supreme. Maybe it was because of his wisdom and sense of reasoning, but he felt it was more than that. He was the oldest of the five Lords and evidently the weakest of them all, so why keep a weak Lord on the throne? ‘Maybe, it’s because they don’t trust each other,’ his other half told him. He smiled at the thought of that. The other Lords must have seen him as old and weak and uninterested in the power tussle that went on in their circle, so they made him Supreme. He was trusted but dispensable.
He got close to the large mirror screen and gently tapped his Ura on the hard ground. It made a loud sound that echoed throughout the Great Temple of Keepers. The other Lords suddenly kept quiet. He wondered how the Lords were living, each one of them were happy with a family. They had fields and they lived a normal life. But he was here, alone in the Great Temple of Keepers with no one except the few dedicates that took care of the Temple. Since the great War, it was difficult to get dedicates to work in the temple. Most of them feared the Nats, who hunt not only for Keepers, but for any one associated with them.
“My Lords,” Lord Banash voice was soft but still echoed down the Temple hall.
“An act of war has been declared against us, but before we decide to cause flames with our Uras, let us investigate this issue.” he was calm as he spoke.
“Who should we be investigating when it is clear that the Nats broke the peace treaty?” asked Lord Dorblot. He was the shortest of the Lords.
“I can’t believe the Nat king would allow his men kill one of ours. It was agreed that we wouldn’t step into the cities no matter what. That young man was killed in his home.” Lord Iserl added. The murmurings resumed but Lord Banash was quick to raise his right hand.
” Enough! ” his voice seem to shake the very foundation of the temple. He wondered why the men argued and talked a lot. Maybe it had something to do with them being free from the walls of the temple. He stroke his long white beards gently.
“His name was Gwen. And I have every reason to believe he wasn’t killed by the Nats.” He said slowly.
“How can you say that Lord Supreme?” asked Lord Quetnot. He had been quiet since Lord Banash stood from his seat. “Who else possesses the power to kill a Keeper except the Nats and their dangerous weapons.” he continued.
Lord Banash couldn’t help a smile. He turned and walked back to his seat. He still held the Ura in his hand and a dull light radiated from the golden ball at the top of it. That was his summoning power, and everyone could see how weak it was.
“Just before he died, the young keeper managed to summon my screen. His last word was… Signage.”
The Lords grasped silently when they heard the keeper’s last word.
“And we all know that only a Keeper of higher authority could conjure a Signage.” He eyed them suspiciously as he spoke.
“So are you saying that it’s one of us who conjured the Signage that attacked the young keeper?” Lord Ir asked.
“This is madness Lord Supreme,” Lord Dorblot rebuffed.
“Only a Lord can conjure a Signage and that is what we must investigate.” Lord Banash answered almost immediately. A silence fell on the hall as non of the men on the screen spoke.
“Then if non of us did it, who conjured the signage?” Lord Iserl asked.
“Maybe we have an answer to that.” Lord Ir answered.
“And who do you think did it?” Lord Dorblot interjected.
“Lord Hoblot. The intemperate fool we excommunicated from the Keepers.” Lord Ir answered. Another silence fell on the hall.