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Cathedral Nave <Lionsgate Cathedral, Lionsgate>

In contrast with the Narthex, there is a hushed and reverent feel to the Nave that inspires silence and awe. The floor is a beautiful marble tile patterned in white and blue checkerboard radiating outward from the 24 karat gold wildcat inlay at the center of the room. This symbol of House Kahar sits directly beneath the massive dome which rises nearly three hundred feet overhead, culminating in a breathtaking stained-glass mosaic of the sun comprised of thousands of pieces of crystal in every imaginable shade of orange and yellow. From this incredible work of art radiate the rays of the sun, laminated in gold and serving to not only complete the overall skyscape overhead but which also support and divide the dome into eight individual murals depicting the great Kahars throughout history, each basking in the glory of the light from above.
Those same eight ribs widen and divide as they come down from the dome to frame the white marble archways that lead to the Narthex to the rear of the room and to the Sanctuary bearing the altar to the front. Along the sides they frame six small chapels each holding exquisitely carved statues honoring the ancestral heroes of the realm - the founders of each of the six great houses, each facing inward towards the mighty feline as if paying homage. Curved oaken pews radiate into the back half of the room from the open circle beneath the dome and large gold sconces are set in the wall, each holding half a dozen candles to illuminate the room. To keep the smoke from marring the pristine walls, behind each sconce is a sculpture of beaten metals, gold and bronze and copper, like flames dancing upward towards the sky.


Ailith stands armorless today, though even without that there is little by which one could mistake the young Warpriestess for anything but a Templar. She walks about the Nave with a meditative and steady step, as one might use to count repetitions of a prayer.


Naoi enters, stained with the dirt of the road. The step of a soldier, long and swift, slow and even out into a somber pace as she comes into the heart of the Cathedral.


Ailith turns, and nods a greeting. "You come with good speed. How did you find Riverhold?"


"Quiet and unassuming, Warpriest." Naoi responds, pausing and turning to the voice. "Milora was as interesting as you claimed. She is also quite like Celeste in a few ways, even if she'll never admit it. A harder, edged version perhaps."


Ailith nods. "On occasion, similarities divide more thoroughly than differences," she says, and walks over to a chest. "There is not, so far as I am aware, any ceremony. To ring actions round with symbolism and words which may never be heeded or spoken again is not what this beginning is for. So...I will say only this. Be welcome; you have earned these symbols for which you have asked."


Naoi nods, faint amusement displayed through the twitch of her lips. It fails as she considers the statement, then exhales lowly, looking away for a second. "Oh. If you feel I am ready, Warpriest. I admit that I was hopeful." She looks back, chin tilting up, spine stiff. An ancient salute, taught at training in the Church, is given. It is what it is, and when no official ceremony has been created, it is up to the individual in question. Or so seems the obvious logic. Once a soldier, always a soldier. "Thank you, Warpriest. I'll stride to serve with distinction."


Ailith smiles slightly and opens the chest, wherein resides a suit of the Ordinator's armor, and the Ordinator's bookbelt. "These are yours, to wear or to put away, but I advise that the bookbelt at least be your constant companion. It provides you the right to speak and to act in matters of Shadow and Light. Only a canon or myself may order you in such matters now. Have you given thought to which temples you might wish to serve?"


Naoi is silent for a moment, considering quietly. "Permission to inquire into Warpriest's future decisions?"


Ailith blinks. "You may ask, certainly. I make no promises to answer."


"Of course, Warpriest." Naoi responds. "Do you plan on promoting Celeste as well? If so, I humbly request the Chapel at Pell's Gate. To keep in close tabs with each other. My concerns about leniency and too much has been stated in the past, and... well, it has been suggested that I am too hard and brusque. Between the two of us, we could perhaps reach out to a greater group and maintain a close balance on logic and the rightful pursuit instead of being solely driven by feelings."


Ailith nods, slowly. "Do you feel you can maintain more than one chapel?" she asks.


"Yes, I do, Warpriest." Naoi responds, gaze downcast and servient.


"Then...Southwatch, Pell's Gate, and Jade Gardens," says Ailith quietly. "They are not too far apart, and should afford you a chance to work with different people. Valoria lands, Driscol lands, and independent territory."


Naoi nods, a firm statement without words that she believes she can keep terms with the business there. "Understood, Warpriest. Is there anything in particular I should be wary of, stepping into caretakers of the chapels?"


Ailith smiles briefly. "Avoid politics. It is not our concern here. Investigate matters of light and shadow thoroughly before deciding, even if the decision is to involve the rest of the Cult or not. You do not have authority over other Ordinators, but you are not without authority. Be careful of it."


"Do you believe someone would attempt to influence me for political gain? For what gain? Despite the armor and responsibility, I am still a Freelander to most. Perhaps one with the right to be bolder and more directive then a Fastheld, but that is solely in a small spectrum of the Life." Naoi responds, brow furrowing.


Ailith shakes her head. "It was not unheard of in times past for a false accusation of magery to be made, to inconvenience or remove a political rival," she says. "There are mages among the nobility, and mages employed by the nobility. An accusation of having fallen to Shadow might be less than true."


Naoi leans back, considering the thought for a moment. "I... see. Politics. I fear I am stepping into something that will take some... adjusting too."


Ailith nods. "I would not give you this armor and belt did I not feel you were equal to the challenge," she says. "Such accusations are serious matters and must be investigated thoroughly, but it should not be forgotten that motives other than devotion to the Light may be in play."


Naoi exhales softly, nodding, kneeling to take the bookbelt out of the chest. She opens the book, flipping through the pages, then closes it. "Using the Light in such a way just feels.. Shaded to me, if that makes sense. I will be wary of slimy intentions. Any accusations of true falling will be brought to your attention."


"As it should be," Ailith agrees calmly. "As it would free you from accusations of bias. Hopefully you will find your three sites quiet and pleasant."


"Until I am comfortable with the position at least, conflict breeds improvement." Naoi says, bowing low. "Thank you again, Warpriest. I will head to my assignment immediatly."


"Light guard you and guide your steps," says Ailith. And then, with a smile, adds, "And congratulations. May it be what you wished for."


Return to Season 7 (2008)