((Before you start reading, know that I wrote this for fun and to give you a better idea of who Neherus really is - but there is no way you could know IC what is written here. It is merely for you folks to enjoy, but your characters are not supposed to know what's written here.))
The planet Athra, even though heavily populated and boasting several great cities, including the legendary Dam-Torsad, still had pockets of barely habitable areas filled with sand and heat where people were very different from those living among the tall and golden spires of the planet's metropolises.
Those people considered themselves, and were considered by others, more devout than the rest of the Athra’s populace – and from their ranks, across the eons of time, countless Apostles, priests and religious scholars rose.
There were many unique customs to the sand people of Amarr that have long ago disappeared elsewhere as the people of Amarrian blood escaped the hot and inhospitable cradle the God gave them to start with. Among those were very strong ties these people had to their religious teachers – no matter where would their steps lead them after they left their homeland, they would always return home when they needed guidance and counsel.
There was a lot of sand in the wind.
There has always been a lot of sand in the wind here - it was very often difficult to distinguish where the dunes ended and the skies begun - partly for the winds themselves, partly for the hot air that very often made things to look different than they really were.
A lone wanderer, hooded and cloaked, walked the dunes on that day heading for a small rock formation rising above the sea of yellow and golden that was the desert. He staggered as the winds went stronger, and as his age made itself known. Despite the difficulties, he continued onwards and after many more steps he finally reached a small cave entrance, and entered.
Inside the cave both the temperature and humidity were surprisingly pleasant – the cave itself was illuminated by countless candles and many golden pieces of art spread around the space gave the humble chamber a sacral flavour. Neherus Koram removed his hood, sighed in relief, and set his eyes on an elderly man sitting at the opposite side of the cave eating a humble meal that had undoubtedly been brought here by his students earlier that day.
“Neherus Koram...” spoke the man in a silent voice “I thought you would never need to seek my counsel gain...”
“Your Excellency, a moment has come in my life where I am no longer able to find the answer myself – and I was once told, by a very wise man, that there is no shame in seeking the wisdom of the old and venerable.” Replied the son of Koram, lowering his head in a bow.
“Your father, Neherus, indeed was a wise man.” The priest paused for a short moment. “Do tell me, Neherus, what trouble made you descend from the skies and seek the counsel of an old priest?”
There was something strange to the meeting – the two man had not seen each other for twenty years, yet they acted as if the met each and every day.
Neherus came closer to the elderly man, and sat down on a surface that was obviously meant as a seat.
“Recently, just after I left the Ministry, I became a Novice member of an organization called Ordo Quaesitoris... When a moment came, however, when I was supposed to rise in the ranks, I hesitated, and stepped back saying that I needed more time to ponder the consequences.”
“I see, Ordo Quaesitoris. And why did you hesitate?”
“Several reasons, your Excellency. They seem to be obsessed with rites and terms that are unheard of in the Scriptures yet seem to have a spiritual, not merely functional, significance. And, in addition to that, I was offended by Ordo’s head.”
“By the Keter? What did he say that offended you?”
“He said, your Excellency, that when the situation is dire and bleak, I would use some lowly words to drive the fears away. I need no such word, sire, as my faith has always been strong enough to withstand anything. Anything.”
The old priest thought of Neherus’ words for a moment and then started talking.
“There is no reason for you to be offended. Faith, my brother, is a matter of your mind and your heart – no-one but you and the God can judge how strong it really is. The Keter, no matter how wise he is, has no way of knowing whether you would need words or not – and therefore, it was not an offence. He might have wanted to test you and your resolve, or his faith is not strong enough and suspects the same of the others.”
“Sire... I... Have not considered it from this... Viewpoint...” mumbled Neherus, as he was trying to fully understand the priest’s words.
“And about the Ordo’s rites... The Ordo was commissioned by the Emperor Family, and that by itself is a sufficient proof that there is nothing heretical about what they do.”
Neherus nodded in answer: “Yes, I suspected as much, but it means a lot to me to hear those words from you.”
The priest nodded slowly. “So, Neherus, do you now have the answer you came for?”
“Yes, sire. I believe there is no reason for me to be worried about what the Kether said, but there might be a reason for him to be worried.”
“How so, Neherus, son of Koram.?”
“If he indeed is weak in his faith – or anyone in the Ordo for that matter, I *will* find out, and I *will* make them repent.” Neherus nodded firmly.
“That is a worthy cause, my brother, but be careful not to make any mistakes and to keep your mind clear at all times. Remember that each person’s faith is slightly different, and do not seek heresy where there really is none.”
“I understand, and I thank you for your guidance, your Excellency.”
The old priest smiled and nodded in response. Neherus stood up and bowed, and as he was leaving the cave with a newfound purpose, he did not pay attention to the old priest’s last word: “Be careful, brother not to get blinded by your fervour...”
There was a lot of sand in the wind, as the hooded figure left the cave heading for his shuttle... It is amazing how several moments, say a minute or two, can change things, is it not?