Omnipotent View: Follow the Money
Date: Wed, March 13, 2002
Topic: Stories & Fiction

A morning in the life of a monk of Zilchus.

Author: Richard Di Ioia

by Richard Di Ioia

Used with permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission.

The monk threw open the window shutters of his room. As he did so, the din of dozens of voices hawking their wares became audible. The monk smiled and let the noises surround him as he tried to make out the different voices and place a face to the voice. There was Pulin, the carpenter, trying to sell that brand new table he was working on last night. He could faintly make out the voice of Alkamabar, the jeweler, negotiating the sale of a ruby pendant. Shame on him, he was asking twice the going rate - probably trying to fleece a foreigner or an adventurer with some new funds in his pouch. The monk would have to talk to Alkamabar about that when he did his rounds this afternoon.

"No time for this musing." thought the monk. "I have a busy day planned. Now let's see what I should be wearing for this meeting". The monk walked across his opulent room and into his large walk-in closet. Mumbling to himself, the monk looked over his choices. "Hmm, let's pass over the commoner clothing, I want to make a good impression on these two. This one is too rich for them, they are only minor nobility and would be angered by a merchant outdressing them. Ah, here we go, this one is perfect." After getting dressed, the monk prepared his satchel. He filled the satchel with a few blank scrolls, some writing implements, his seal of Zilchus as well as some scrolls to be used for reference.

Looking at himself in the mirror, the monk's thoughts churned and tumbled back in time. For the past 32 years he had been a faithful servant of Zilchus. Today would be another day in a long list of successful agreements he has brokered between nobles and merchants. Although not the most important deal he had ever helped to put together, this one was nonetheless important. "Well, it took me a few months to put these two together but I am certain they will both be happy with the outcome. Just to make sure, I'll stop by the temple and ask the High Priest for a blessing to help me out with this deal. I also think it is the time for me to find myself a wife and start a family. I need to get out of this habit of talking to myself". With a final look around his room and making sure he had everything he would need, the monk picked up his satchel. "Now I am ready for a good meal". And with those words he left his room and descended into the inn's main room.

After a hearty breakfast, the monk walked over to the Temple of Zilchus for a quick prayer. The temple was opulent, but not overwhelmingly so. Several comfortable looking wooden pews were lined up in rows down the center of the temple facing a large altar. The rest of the temple was decorated with great taste with many small alcoves along the walls covered by curtains decorated with different themes. Standing behind the altar was the High Priest of Zilchus, busy preparing himself for another day. Turning at the sound of the monk entering the church, the High Priest broke into a youthful smile and walked over.

"Brother Edward, so good to see you. Are you looking for a blessing on a deal or did you come just to talk about old times?"

"Mostly the blessing Father. I would have thought you had enough of hearing my talking when I instructed you when you were an acolyte."

"I always enjoyed your lectures on Zilchus, Brother Edward. They were some of my most memorable moments of my training."

"I am certain they were. Just not enough to convince you to become a monk instead of a priest I see." Brother Edward smiled as he said these last words.

"The fear of competing against the great Brother Edward turned me away from service as a monk and forced me to become a priest. Even 15 years ago your reputation as a merchant was incredible. But come, we can boast about your successes some other time. Kneel and I will give you your blessing so that you can increase your reputation once again." Brother Edward kneeled in front of the priest and received the blessing of Zilchus.

After Brother Edward stood, the High Priest spoke again. "Would you like me to ask a paladin to join you for this deal?"

"Yes please Father. There will be a substantial amount of funds being entrusted to my care. I am certain the two parties will be bringing their own guardsmen, but having Brother Likmund of Zilchus guarding me would put me at ease."

An hour later we find Brother Edward and Brother Likmund seated in an expensive inn sharing a meal. Brother Likmund had already inspected the inn, while Brother Edward ordered their meal, and deemed it safe for the meeting. The other patrons are either known to Brother Edward or spoken for by the innkeeper. As both Brother Edward and Brother Likmund had used this same inn for several other meetings they were not too concerned about the security issue. Once the meeting time approached, Brother Likmund donned his chain mail armor, rested his morningstar on his shoulder and took his position standing behind Brother Edward.

The two parties involved in the negotiations entered a short time later and joined Brother Edward at the table. After a prayer to Zilchus, Brother Edward took out a parchment and began to outline what each party had originally agreed to.


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