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“Knights of Order of Nicodemus Mounted Brigade don’t leave the order except through death.” Meg shivered, more from the coldness of her thoughts than from the chill in the air. She moved toward the fire, anyway. They’re more like warrior monks than actual soldiers. The Order can be bought off as a whole, but not the integrity of any individual member. How can he be one of their knights and a thief?”
“Because he was excommunicated.” She looked at Morgan, confused.
“How does one survive being excommunicated from a religious order dedicated to holy desecration of self?”
Morgan shrugged. “No one knows for sure. It’s speculated that because Nicodemus was a stickler for following the law to the letter, the Order would have allowed him to be heard before passing judgement. What he did to end up in that position is anyone’s guess.” Morgan sat down in his chair and invited her to sit in the smaller one across from him, an offer she took. “What is known for certain is that he first showed up not far from where the Western Gate of Hell is supposed to be on this plane and began selling his services as a mercenary. It wasn’t obvious at first that he was a Nicodemian.”
“It was probably the scars and tattoos that gave his origins away, wasn’t it?” Meg cut in.
Morgan nodded. “The Order of Nicodemus is well known for their rights of desecration of the mortal body in order to cleanse the immortal soul.”
“That many be what people are told, but those markings on his body are true necromantic magic. The tattoos were made by chiselling runes into his skin and then rubbing powdered dye into the open wounds. It’s an excruciating process meant to offer payment in pain and suffering for the gifts bestowed upon the bearer of the pain.”
“All magic has a price,” Morgan said.
“The price for death magic is unbearable suffering.” Meg shivered again. “Those who practice it usually use the suffering of others to fuel their spells. It’s usually fatal. And I doubt it was Jarod Black who received the benefits of the spells his death payed for.”
Both of them looked over at the huge cat still hiding in the shadows by the door. The cat was looking back at them, a false drowsy look upon his face. “You’re saying the rituals had to have killed him?” Morgan asked incredulously.
Meg nodded. “And the magic brought him back to life. He’s able to walk freely in the shadows between life and death now. Your new pet probably cannot be killed through normal methods.”