Into the Hands of the Smoke Priest

This entry is part 10 of 11 in the series Market of the Macabre

One of the merchants produces the sigil, wrapped in cloth, from an inner pocket of his robe, and sets it in the Priest’s waiting hand. The box follows immediately. Wisps of smoky vapor puff upward from the Priest’s fingertips as they do so, but the merchants pretend not to notice.

“It would be… prudent, Holiness, to destroy the sigil,” says one merchant with a shudder, “if such a thing can be managed safely.”

The Priest’s voice is cold and sharp, icy with contempt. “Your recommendation has been noted, Xalto, but I will keep my own counsel on this matter.” He turns away from the merchants, facing the stone pedestal behind him.

“As you wish,” Xalto responds, chastened, his voice barely audible.

“You both may leave now,” the Priest commands, not looking at them. “I will call upon you again when I have need of you.” The merchants say nothing but quickly scuttle out of the tent.

The Priest sets first the box then the wrapped sigil on the pedestal before him. “Now then,” he says, “what have you brought me?”

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