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Assension
rkinwhine adjusted quickly to his new surroundings. He started off doing small chores around the temple and, gradually, he was given more responsibilities. He went to work immediatly studying the local religion and the history of Varossa. After a while, people were saying that he new more about Varossa than most of her resi-dents. The memory of his surprise arrival and suspicions of his past began to fade. People no longer stared at
his inhumanly thin, pale body in the tattered, old robes he wore. They became used to the stench that didn't just follow him, but actually went before him and introduced him wherever he would go. Eventually, the day came when Erkinwhine was looked upon as just another resident of the amazon city.

Jasmine, High-Priestess of Arragoth, more than accepted him, she grew to love him. His welcomed reception
by the people of Varossa was as much her doing as his. With her guidance, he began to rise in the ranks of the church -- becoming the first foreigner to reach the rank of priest. All of this in just six years.

The love shared by Erkinwhine and Jasmine was never a secret. And as time passed and the love grew, the
inevitable day came when they would proclaim their undying love before everyone in a ceramony the likes the world had never before seen. There are perks that come with the position of High-Priestess, and there are perks when your best friend is Queen of the Amazons. When you are Jasmine, you get both. No expense was spared. Entertainers from all the isles competed in a tournament of sorts for the honor of performing. All of Varossa was decorated, a parade was held where the militia dis-played the new uniforms that had been tailored for just this event. All of Varossa was there as well as dignitaries from the eleven other cities of the Isles of Arragoth. Jasmine was stunning in her gown made of silk and Erkinwhine, for the first time, wore his priestly robes.

The cermeony went beautifully. The time had come when the couple would embrace and Queen Pandora, acting
High-Priestess, would proclaim them husband and wife. The two turned to face one another before the final tradition that would unite them when the groom removed the Dagger of Arragoth from within his robe. The crowd stared in shock as he showed her its black mithril blade. She didn't flinch; apperently believing (as many did) that this was just another of the ancient traditions forgotten over the years and discovered by Erkinwhine in his research. After silently display-ing the artifact to her and everyone looking on, he proceded to cut away at the gown that had taken a month to make.

Before long, the ebony skin of the High-Priestess of Arragoth stood bare before her congregation and the once-
beautiful gown lie in a crumpled heap at her feet. Her would-be husband wasted little time. He took the sacraficial in-strament and made a long incision in her abdomen. She offered no resistance. He continued to cut on her, cutting through one layer of muscle after another. Surely the pain was excruciating, yet her only response was the single tear that made a track down her right cheek, paused a moment, then plummeted onto the makeshift alter. When the loss of blood had made her too week to stand, she lie down upon the dais, trying not to disterb the vivisectionist at work. Upon completing the task of cutting his bride open, Erkinwhine set the knife down and began to remove her organs. As one might expect, there is only so much of this the human body can withstand. Feeling her life fading, the High-Priestes of Arragoth took her killer's arm and gasped her dying words, "I love you."

Seemingly undisterbed by this display of affection, the widower continued the process of removing the wo-
man's organs and placing them upon the dais. This task finally completed, he paused to examine them before turning to the Queen. "Your High-Priestess has given her life in this, her final act of sacrafice for the people of Varossa. Arragoth will awaken in twelve months to reclaim the world he once ruled. We must prepare for his arrival."

Erkinwhine was arrested, but released after only a day in confinement. A successor had to be chosen as High-
Priestess and, as a priest, he was required to participate in the selection process. Seven priestesses and one priest (Erkinwhine) cloistered themselves for three days and nights in the temple. When they emerged, the choice of Erkinwhine as High-Priest was as shocking to the Queen as the murder of his predecessor had been just four days prior.