There was a soft knock on the door and Nicodemus Darkwater, High Priest of Borean, head of the Church of the Griffin God looked up from his reading. He took a bookmark from the small side table next to the large, plush chair that he was relaxing in and placed it among the gilded pages. He carefully closed the large book, an illustrated copy of the holy book of the church, from which he had been seeking guidance. His wrinkled hands, skin the texture of thin parchment, shut the book reverently, and he grunted with the effort as he lifted the huge tome from his lap, setting it aside.
Liam paused outside the ornate door that marked the personal office of the High Priest. He had asked for this appointment and yet he found himself nervous. He hadn’t been like this since being summoned to meet with the Lord Commander of the Griffin Cavalry, when he had been but a green lieutenant. He knocked softly.
Liam Donal stepped into the magnificently appointed throne room of the High Church of Borean to the sound of a crashing fanfare. He walked forward confidently, presenting himself before the throne, bowing deeply. The throne was in the shape of a large griffin, its front feet forming the chair, while its head and wings flared above the head of the High Priest. It was carved from a single block of blue marble in stunning detail. Liam dropped to one knee before it.
Nicodemus Darkwater, High Priest of Borean, sat uneasily upon his ornate throne. Word had reached him that Commander Donal was approaching the palace. Nicodemus settled his ancient body more deeply into the cushions. The room was kept warm to ease the ache in his bones. He had been all but trapped in the palace during the winter months for the last several years because the weather was too harsh for his old frame.