Forever (Varonian Nights, Chapter 2)
Author: Tom Bruno
Title: Forever (Varonian Nights, Chapter Two)
Genre: Fantasy/Crossbow Noir
The Omulian was late.
Mario could not see his water-clock in the darkened room, but he knew the time nevertheless by the chimes of the nearby shrine dedicated to the One True God. The bells rang eleven times a day at theologically determined hours to summon a congregation that did not exist, but the fact that the church remained devoid of parishioners did not deter its pastor – a young and impossibly faithful lad named Father Rondolo – from sounding the calls to prayer nevertheless.
Many of the residents here were incensed that the priest insisted on ringing his bells, but even the lordly damins of Hightown did not have sway over matters celestial, and both the Doge and the Council of Eleven knew better than to meddle with the clergy. The City may have a million souls apportioned between almost as many deities from pantheons all the world over, but it was the Church of the One True God and its myriad empty cathedrals that inspired the most reverence and fear from damin and Canalsider alike. In Varo, the only gods worth fearing were those that were dead.