NexLord: Dark Prophecies
Guardsman.
    Lor slipped below the top of the wall, turned
his back and sat down.  "I did my part, now what's our
plan?"
    The others sat down as well and they all grew
thoughtful for a time.
    Aerin finally spoke, "It's the symbol, all
right, but that doesn't prove anything.  We need to get
inside and have a look around."
    Dono rolled his eyes and leaned his head
back, smacking it slightly on the stone of the wall.  He
winced and said, "I just knew someone was going to say
that.  Whoever this is we're after KILLED a Guardsman,
they won't even blink about skewering the whole lot of us!"
    Lor smiled slyly.  "Then we'll just
have to make sure we aren't caught.  I'll go in, anyone
here brave enough to go with me?"
    Darel scowled.  "I will go anywhere
you will go."
    Lor raised an inquisitive
eyebrow.  "I'll remember you said that someday."
    Aerin took a quick look over the wall at the
large dark gray church.  "We'll need someone to stay
outside and alert the Guard if something seems to be going
wrong."
    Dono looked at Aerin with his head tilted to
the side.  "I suppose you are 'volunteering' to
wait?"
    Aerin sat back down.  "No, actually
I was thinking that you would be best for that job.  You
know the city well and could get to the Guardsman faster than I
could.  On the other hand, none of us know the inside of
that Church, so I will be as good as you in there."
    Darel twisted the edge of his tunic
nervously. "So what's our plan?  Walk up to a priest and
say, "Excuse me, but did you kill a Guardsman
yesterday?  We were just kinda curious because we might
want to join your church."
    Lor glanced at Darel with half-lowered eyelids.  "Funny
boy."
    Aerin nodded slowly, he hadn't even heard
Lor's reply.  "That's not a bad idea..."
    Darel swiveled his incredulous expression to
face Aerin.  "What are you, two hoops short of a full
barrel?"
    "No… I mean, we won’t talk about the
Guardsman, but the part about wishing to join their church is the
ticket.  We could say we're interested, that way we have
a reason for being there and for asking some
questions.  Other than that we just keep our eyes peeled
and look for anything that seems out of the ordinary.  If
we find something, then we go to the Guardsman.  What do
you think?"
    Lor nodded.  "That's a good
plan.  They're always looking for new converts at these
places, but be warned, I don't know about this church, but some of
them don't let their hooks out of fresh meat if you know what I mean."
    "We'll give them false names and we won't
tell them where we live," Aerin improvised.
    Dono laughed.  "That is easy since Lor and I live all over the
city."
    "How about you, Darel?" Aerin asked, "Got a
good place you can say is your home?"
    "I can come up with a story, no problem,"
Darel agreed.
    Lor looked at his fine
clothing.  "No doubt, you haven't even told us the truth,
I'd wager."
    Darel's look of chagrin made all three of the
other boy’s chuckle.
    Aerin patted Darel on the
back.  "It's ok, Darel; you'll tell us when you're
ready."  To the other two boys, Aerin added, "He's probably the Guardmaster's own son."
    Lor's eyes narrowed a little, but then he
laughed.  "T'would serve me right if he was for throw'in in with a stranger on
something as crazy as this little adventure."
    Darel was quiet, the truth was worse than
their fanciful idea.
    Aerin was considering his plan for sneaking
into the church when something his father had warned him about came
to mind.  "There is another danger we may face if we step
into that church."
    Darel frowned, "What is worse than being
killed and tossed down a sewer?"
    Aerin shrugged, "I didn't say worse, just
another danger.  My father taught me about beliefs, and
the power within them to control a person.  If we enter
that church we may come under the sway of their beliefs, and if we
do believe, we give them power."
    "They aren't going to convince me of
nothing!" Lor said in a scoffing

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