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The Scales of Domaclese


Argonus had built himself quite a reputation during the next 23 years. Not only at Arreis but also in the region. In fact, Constantine the Great was so impressed with Argonus on a tour of Arreis that he wished to appoint him to a seat on the Sheminite council as an advisor. In the order of Domaclese only a Dom can be advisor to the Sheminites. The grand elder of the academy said they would prepare Argonus for the position and to return in 5 years. Argonus was quite taken aback at being bestowed such an honor. However he soon learned that it would be the longest 5 years of his life. Although the military training was exhausting and the intense prayer and religious study nearly drove him to madness; it was the study of law and history that caused him to storm out of the compound on 3 different occasions. You see, Argonus was a man of incredible strength, stamina and willpower but had no patience for book study. In the end Argonus was made to study with the grand elder for 3 hours each day. It finally worked. 4 years had passed. Argonus was ready for the commencement. The following night there was an attack on Arries by an army of Invois. The battle raged on through morning. The dead and dying were everywhere. The priests of Domaclese have always been a force only fools would challenge. Never fearing their own death and continuing to fight with wounds that would instantly kill any other man. Even with their superior skill and conviction, they were still out numbered 5 to 1. Late that bloody morning Argonus and a handful of other surviving priests surveyed the smoking ruins of the Arreis. By mid-day Constantine's troops arrived in a silent procession. Even Constantine was silent in awe of the countless Invois slain everywhere in the compound. They journeyed to the Sheminite capitol of Bremmen with the Domaculin priests in wagons having their wounds tended to. Even though Argonus' wounds were very serious, he could only weep for the loss of h is mentor, the grand elder.

It took a full moon cycle until Argonus could walk right. Constantine wasted no time once Argonus was healthy. In a ceremony to rival his own coronation Constantine proclaimed the priest "Grand Dom Argonus the First". The title, although unofficial, stayed with Argonus even unto today.

With Arries destroyed and his most of his friends dead Argonus had a difficult time keeping perspective on the past events. He neither ate nor spoke for three days. Constantine became quite concerned that the new leader of the Domaculin order was letting everything that was sacred to him whither away. Something had to be done. The next day Constantine burst into Argonus' room and ordered him out of his fortress. "I will not have an advisor that mourns for the dead like an old woman!". Constantine was hoping for a good fist fight with Argonus to snap him out of his depression. Much to Constantine's dismay Argonus did not even lift his eyes from the floor. He just stood, sheathed his sword and walked out into the street. It was accounted in several historical texts that Constantine splintered three rooms worth of furnishings in a rage over losing a valuable ally.

Argonus wandered the streets for days. Sleeping in doorways, stealing food from animal troughs, rarely sleeping for more than a few hours at a time. He was truly lost. Fortunately, Domaclese keeps a parental vigil over his children. As Argonus was stealing some food a voice echoed from his sword. "Look about Argonus, there is an evil that must be undone." Argonus drew his sword for the first time in a month. It still glimmered in the moonlight like the first night it was bestowed upon him. "I did not create you to dredge along the path of vermin! YOU WILL OBEY THE SACRED DOCTERINE AND REMAIN TRUE TO THE DESTINY I HAVE SET BEFORE YOU!" The last command from Domaclese shattered every window on that city block and made Argonus deaf for an hour. As Argonus stood back up from the bellowing godly rant he became quite enraged with himself. He stormed down the street toward the fortress remembering the insult from Constantine. As he approached the fortress a scream split the s ilence of the Bremmen evening. With out conscious thought Argonus bolted in the direction of the scream. Rounding a corner he saw a most disturbing sight. A gang of three Invois were forcing themselves on a young woman in an alley. Enraged, Argonus raised his sword and charged the Invois. The first was decapitated. The second was cleaved from its neck down to its heart. Argonus slowed as he approached the third. He suspected another party must be forcing the Invois into the city for a purpose and this defilement must be misplaced aggression by the Invois being kept out of their woodland environment. In any case Argonus let the last Invois have just enough room to dash down the alley. Argonus instantly gave chase cursing himself for not continuing his training over the last month. As Argonus ran after the Invois he saw it dive through a warehouse door adjacent to the fortress. Moving in close Argonus was able to spy into the building and observe a dark figure whip the retur ned Invois into a stable. Argonus grew so enraged he could hear his pulse pounding in his ears. He strode up to the doors of the warehouse and kicked one of the doors off of its hinges. Finally, he was face to face with the coward that caused the destruction of Arries and death of the Grand Elder. The Invois proved no threat. The violent entrance of Argonus and being couped up in a building was all they could bare. The Invois escaped through any window or hole they could squeeze through. This left the dark man and Argonus. As Argonus approached his foe the dark man drew a scimitar covered with a black stain. In one clean stroke Argonus broke the scimitar with his sword and followed through with a thundering volley of punches rendering his enemy disoriented and bleeding from several facial cuts. Even at Arries there was not a priest that wanted to confront Argonus with bare hands. Argonus was responsible for several broken noses and two broken jaws at the academy.

With his head still swimming with the fever of battle Argonus dragged the criminal to the fortress by his tied hands. After stomping through several mud puddles and a few rose bushes Argonus bellowed out his arrival at the great hall of the fortress. The guards did not feel compelled to bar Argonus' path when they met eye to eye. Constantine came striding into the hall with his advisors and guards close behind. He was rather red faced from being routed from bed. It was often an initiation of a new guard to have to awaken Constantine in the middle of the night. He was totally void of any humor if his sleep was interrupted. However he was shocked to see Argonus standing on a banquet table dangling a prisoner in black over the edge of the table. Constantine was going to inquire on the late hour but quickly deposed of that idea after laying eyes on the reborn Domaculin leader.

Argonus gave testimony to the crimes this dark man had committed. The dark man quickly denied any such allegations. Constantine commented, "By our own law it is his word against yours and I don't see you as being fit for a fair trial." Argonus could not argue the law of the land. He spied a scale for measuring dry goods across the room and was blessed with a vision. Argonus threw the criminal to the floor and commanded the guards to hold him. After the impact of the floor from two meters up there was not much guarding to do. Argonus grabbed the scales and dismantled the podium. He stepped in front of Constantine and plunged the Sword of Domaclese into the stone floor. Blue and violet sparks flew from the impact as the sword rested into the floor two hands deep. He then balanced the gold scales on the pommel of the sword and challenged the dark man to take hold of one measure pan and answer questions with him. "If you dare, let Domaclese decide who is telling the truth a nd who is dead." Constantine countered, "Or if you prefer I can keep you both in the same dungeon cell until the trial starts next week." The dark man blanched, swallowed hard and approached the scales. Each man placed a hand under a pan and answered questions asked by Constantine. The actual questions asked were not recorded and since the questioning lasted until morning no one remembered all of the inquiries. Since Argonus was the plaintiff in the trial he could only answer questions, leaving Constantine to stumble onto the important content. Argonus made a point to express what the charge was before the questions were asked from that day forward. As the questions became more specific to the Invois, Arries and the crimes in Bremmen the lies of the dark man were rewarded with a blue electrical discharge from the pommel of the sword. Finally, after five violent shocks the dark man was knocked to the floor and confessed to all of the crimes done. Constantine was not sure if th is was a trick of Argonus or a true trial under the eyes of Domaclese. Argonus still held his pan when Constantine asked him to name the reigning Lord of this region. As Argonus floundered and answered the first name that popped into his head; "Jeremy". A blue shock arched from the pommel to Argonus' arm. He swore and stepped back shaking his hand. Constantine had the dark man taken to the dungeon to await sentencing and retired back to his chambers pausing to give Argonus a smug grin as he left.

Argonus kept those scales and never faulted from his divine convictions again. In fact he built a new training academy just outside the Bremmen limits. If Argonus did not command so much respect from Constantine he would have had opposition to the academy from the city counsel. Argonus named the academy Bon Siros Viritos. In ancient Domaculin scriptures the name translates as: The Forge of Virtues.

In other Domaculin journals I have been privileged to read, there is credible evidence of other powers granted to Argonus through the Soul Scales.

  • Divining: A substance was placed in the pans of the Scales and balanced on the pommel of the Sword of Domaclese. A specific prayer was canted aloud while Argonus held the sword at chest level. If the prayer was answered the substance would evaporate and the Scales would turn like a compass toward the nearest supply of that substance. Very helpful in finding fresh water or a lost set of keys. Argonus was required to cant the prayer during the entire search. The prayer would never be answered for a personal gain or vain search.
  • Lie shock: As mentioned the Scales could be used to detect lies in a trial setting. As Argonus continued to serve Bremmen as a respected judge he used the Scales only in stalemated trials. It was recorded that a man was killed by not yielding to the truth.
  • True measure: If a silver piece worth of silk cloth was placed in a pan of the Scales and copper pieces were added to the other pan it would not balance out until equal values were represented on each side. This required a lengthy prayer for justice to Domaclese and witnesses to hold both parties liable for the findings. If Argonus devined the true value of an item he was obligated to stay out of the haggling and arguments that ensued. He was only there to find the equality, not govern the quality of business being conducted. Any transgression of this commandment resulted in a number of unanswered prayers until proper retribution could be performed. Domaclese is a gracious god but not very patient with his disobedient children.

In several long winded debates over the Soul Scales' properties and their enigmatic existence only one uncontested subject remained. If Argonus, or any other Domaculin priest, were tricked into giving false information as equitable; it would be the sworn duty of the priest to rectify any imbalance before pursuing any other task. This could be as simple as returning a sack of wheat to a cheated merchant or bringing a noble down off of his throne to meet the subjects he has wronged. As you can imagine, the Soul Scales must have been used quite discretely.

The only other power granted to Argonus was a surge of armour from a heavenly lightening bolt. Other than the occurrence on Argonus' Sanieto he was only bestowed the armour one other time; on the fateful journey into the Endless Mountains. I know this for a fact since I was a novice under Argonus when he was taken from us seven centuries ago. Never since then have my aged eyes seen anything so divinely powerful as the Sword and Armour of Domaclese serving Argonus in his pitched battle. If I had a talent to put my words to hymn I would still be composing volumes of that vision. I fear that will be the closest I will ever be to seeing my beloved god. I can only endeavor in my humble way to keep the spirit and practice of Domaclese alive in this strange new land. I am refreshed however by seeing so many of my own kind here. I had feared that I would be the only learned elf in this new land. Their customs vary from my own only in minor ways. Constantine has flourished since r ecovering from the journey. I am thankful that he appears to retain an influence of Domaculin equality. It will serve him well in this new land.

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