There was a pause then his assistant spoke slowly. “The next High King is like to be Eioth’s child, since Lady Regent Halidan may now carry his child to term.”
Germancy placed his tea carefully to one side.
“This will not do. No. There is no time to delay.” Germancy frowned as he examined his memory for this elf’s name. “Farnam, this is not the place for us. Leave two of the junior archivists to record the doings of this Synod. We cannot leave their activities to silence but I shall no longer grant legitimacy to its doings by keeping the Archive within its authority. And, check if you will, for the list of the previous High King’s begats. Did we bring it?”
“Indeed we did.” A moment of silence. “It is a short list and they are all passed into Unity.”
“Then fetch it for me. I need to review it for secondary alliances and distant cousins.”
All of the gathered archivists turned to stare.
Germancy rose, folding his hands into his sleeves. Within seconds the room fell silent.
“Attend me, I have decided, I shall not remain under this roof. One of the oldest laws of our empire is being disregarded. High King Eioth told me himself…” he glanced toward one of the younger elves who busied himself taking up pen and paper. Germancy coughed, exercised his memory and continued. “Thus spoke Germancy, Chief Archivist, to Eioth, selected to be High King by Synod vote and Federan, heir to… grandson of Lady Senioa of the True South.” There were a few raised eyebrows at his manner of phrasing himself but by then Germancy was reciting the conversation verbatim, "I am convinced this current disaster would not have arisen except there was this current interregnums,” said Gemancy. “However, that is the purpose of the archives and the ongoing duty of the archivists. We of the Synod Archive keep the knowledge clean and pure so that it is available at need."
"How kind," said Eioth. "Please instruct me for I am eager to prove myself worthy of the great responsibility I have been granted.
"I must explain a law to you, High King,” said Germancy. “A law that predates the Empire itself, dating back to the first of our kings. Before we were overseen by High Kings.”
"Old, indeed," said Eioth. "I do not have books from that era. If you could have copies made..."
"Oh, no. Sadly, High King, I am forbidden from granting your request. By the command of our most ancient kings, only approved history texts are to be circulated related to that time."
“Say on,” said High King Eioth. “I await your instruction.”
"When our ancestors entered this land the mortals who resided here..."
"What is this?" interrupted High King Eioth, astonished. "When our ancestors what?"
"Arrived here," said Gemancy, calmly. "Surely you did not think we appeared full grown from the Air?"
"We were somewhere else?" demanded Federan, the half mortal, displaying improper manners. "Before the Empire? I know nothing of that time."
"Why, certainly. In those most early years we resided mostly to the north, in the area that is now called True North and North East. But those lands were not sufficient for our needs so we descended over the Hearthstone mountains and annexed the remainder of these lands to form the Empire."
"Astonishing," said Eioth. "I considered myself a scholar and have never heard of this.”
“Sadly, there has not be leisure for your education in all matters of the empire,” said Germancy. “Attend me now and I shall guide your understanding.”
“If you please.”
"Very well. On our arrival we were, of course, welcomed. Our magic vastly improved the lives of those who dwelled here and they gratefully offered our king their throne so he might rule over the combined lands."
"Wait," interrupted Federan, yet again. "Were these people elvan or mortals?"
"The peoples who resided here were mortals. This is what is most relevant to today’s events. At that time a command was entered into the archives that is not spoken of outside our walls. It is not seen for the very act of seeing it means that questions will arise in the minds of those against whom it is directed."
"Speak clearly," said Eioth. "What is this law?"
"It is an instruction that echoes down through the years,” declared Gemancy in the voice of Law which should not have been denied by a true High King! “A command to act if a certain aberration is observed."
Eioth frowned. "What instruction is this?"
"Mortals do not practice magic!”
"Nonsense," said Federan. "They do. You may not know of it but Master Silva of the True South is proof that they can!"
"I am not denying that they can," said Gemancy. "I was shocked beyond words when the High King began circulating that obscene book on the practice of Sex Magic. I had believed that practice entirely stamped out."
He paused to be certain those inscribing his words were keeping pace with his report.
"Wait," said Eioth. "You are saying that Sex Magic arose with the mortals?"
"Yes," said Gemancy, in sorrow. "You must hand your copy of that foul book to me for destruction."
"I did not know. That I have committed a crime against our laws is a deep, personal injury, and yet, at this time it is not expedient for me to hand the book it. I have used it to control the weather and fear the return of the rains."
"Give the book to me,” commanded Germancy. “The Empire would have survived. In its own time the rain would have ended and the Elements returned to our hands. That form of magic is a degradation to the practitioner. You must free yourself from its bonds."
“I shall not,” declared unyielding and intragient Eioth. Proud fool that he will be proved to be. “You cannot restrict its spread. I have given copies of the book to all in the Synod, at the instruction of my mortal lady, Halidan.”
"I shall gather them all," said Gemancy. "You must understand, High King, all mortal magic was destroyed at the command of our first King who eventually became the grandfather of our first High King. His orders have been preserved and protected in all the years that followed and it is the responsibility of those of us who serve the archive to teach the subsequent High Kings. Sadly there has been such a long interregnum and you did not have the opportunity to be taught. Do not worry, I shall correct the deficits in your education in due time."
"All mortal magic!" cried Federan. "All. You mean Light Magic, don't you! You know about Light Magic. You know about Silva!"
"Indeed, Lord Federan. The so called magic of Light was the other abomination being practiced by the mortals before our arrival. It was considered necessary, for our rule to be serene, that all practice of mortal magic be discouraged. Therefore, the message went out that mortals do not do magic. It was simpler than making it illegal. Mortal parents, puzzled by their children’s odd behavior, would bring children afflicted with Light to the Water Priests to be examined, and thus we dealt with the matter. Over the years the matter became less important as fewer mortals with the curse were born. We had thought the matter finally ended. The one you have brought up from the South is the first one seen for several generations."
"Dealt with?" repeated Federan as he went deathly pale. "How? What was done to the children? Where is Silva?"
"Be calm, my Lord," said Germancy. "All is as it should be. To maintain the Empire, mortals do no magic. - Then did High King Eioth demonstrate how far gone he was in addiction to the foul magic, by taking hold of the Chief Archivist and shaking him, demanding, ‘where is Halidan?’”
"Dead! By this time they are both dead! Sadly, High King, we were not able to act quickly enough to prevent the criminal Silva from spreading her knowledge to your consort, Halidan. The law defines the necessary action. By now both women have been executed, as required. If we had been fortunate enough to keep the knowledge from Halidan then she might have been spared.”
“You have murdered my Lady Halidan?” cried Eioth, and fell to weeping.
“A greater law is in action here, my King. I regret the necessity. Surely you realize they must die,” said Gemancy. “The Southerner mortal was teaching your lady the perverted magic. You, yourself, had exposed Halidan to Sex Magic. The rot had already begun. They were teaching each other. It had to be stopped.”
Germancy nodded to himself, at to his audience. “Yes, it was necessary for the rot to be stopped. Eioth, serving as High King, has encouraged activities sworn as illegal by this empire’s first King. He has surrendered his soul to what is expendient instead of what is Law, therefore do I, as Chief ARchivist, withdraw my presence and tactic consent from his rule and the Synod who serves him in this perversion.”
Stunned gasps came from throughout the chamber. Germancy sighed.
“I offered instruction, but it was rejected. Sadly I must acknowledge Eioth cannot be supported by us. No. Until he is removed, and I shall instruct the members of the synod of the procedure of the Vote of No Confidence before I depart, then it is impossible for me to remain. You all must draw lots for two to remain and record the activities of this synod. Even a morally corrupt synod must have its activities and instructions recorded if only to serve as instructor and warning to those who follow. I know these events are as shocking to you as they are to me but we must remember our greater duty to keeping the laws of our great empire pure. Therefore, we shall depart and take what we have managed to save with us. We shall keep ourselves separate and isolated from the synod and high king until Hub of Harmony is restored. Once we have access to the great archives again we shall have the proof we need that Eioth has acted against the law. The synod will act then, even if they do not act before. Farnam, go, arrange for horses and transport. We must be gone from this place as soon as possible.”