5 iii) Fassn rises from where he was bent over, retching

Fassn rises from where he was bent over, retching. “Wait, are you Orolio?”

“No,” the preacher screeches. “This temple is dedicated to Orolio, most holy, and you have acted against her, have blemished her face with your misdeeds, with your incredible willingness to let such a heinous beast escape and live.” He gestures to the grey princess, who pays him no heed.

“Well we’ve already got a divine protector,” Fassn says. “And thanks for that, Old Aj,” he adds.

“Old Ajralan? Really?” The preacher laughs once, a sharp, hard syllable. “You trust the sensuous old fool with your lives?”

“Perhaps not our lives,” Cang says, under his breath.

“Rise, friends,” the preacher says to the village folk huddled behind crates and shutters. “Rise and strike down this unbelievers, who bring their foreign religion to our shores. Act now, for the holiness of Orolio!”

The peasants are hesitant. The few the gang espies give one another questioning glances, until the preacher begins chanting methodically in an unusual language, at which their eyes begin to cloud.

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