[Note: As a result of his failure in the previous scene's conflict, Kaluvan has won a new Feature: "Can I ever be in control of my real self?" Kaluvan's Scene #1 is at this link: Kaluvan's Scene #1]
A few days have passed and Kaluvan has recovered from the last episode with the Bhesh.Not being able to shake off a strange feeling that lingers, weakly and nebulous, he is sitting in Neryion's Garden, long rumored to bring calm. It is a sunny morning, and Kaluvan is hoping that the beauty of the garden will, at least for a moment, allow him to put aside everything that is unsettling him.
[See conflict breakdown notes for the nitty gritty Mythic info on how Antagonist will push.]
Soft steps disturb the gravel, and Kaluvan is distracted from his thoughts. What he sees brings him unexpected joy: It is Ianego, his childhood friend, who he hasn't seen since their Callings took them in different directions back in their young adulthood. He looks the same to Kaluvan, except for his sun weathered face, and his now muscular frame.
He touches Kaluvan's forehead as they bless each other, and just as he would a child lifts Kaluvan in a bear hug. "Kaluvan! Blessed are the eyes that see your ugly face!"
If it had been anyone else, Kaluvan would have been offended."Ianego, put me down you big dolt! You're going to crush me.", he said laughing heartily.
For a moment, they just looked at each other, laughing incredulously. "What are you doing here?", they managed to say simultaneously, and began their merry laughter again, much like they used to do way back.
Catching his breath, "Very well, you go first Kaluvan."
"I can't believe our paths would cross like this again. I should guess you are here to serve."
"What other reason would there be?" Ianego smiled.
"Of course." A pause, and then Kaluvan became more subdued. "Your family?"
"I have not seen them for five years."
"For the last two years, I've been a permanent member of the monastery." Ianego says with a knowing smile.
"I understand," says Kaluvan, for he even if he wishes to, he cannot say I'm sorry. It would be wrong.
"They have helped me heal." says Ianego, as if reading Kaluvan's real thoughts. A pause, and then, "War takes its toll."
It is only then that Kaluvan notices the slight scar on the circumference of Kaluvan's left arm. It is only then that Kaluvan notices the slight scar on the circumference of Kaluvan's left arm. Unlike body parts, the soul is not easily regrown in vats.
"May God reward your sacrifce, dear brother." After a pause, "I feel that He has rewarded me with the gift of your presence. I am full of joy."
At this, Ianego's face turns subtly sad. "I am filled both with joy and sadness, Kaluvan, for I bear bittersweet news. You are to leave your old life behind forever. God has great plans for you in the monastery."
My family, Kaluvan thought, and as if reading his mind Ianego says, "God will provide for them. He is in control.Will you submit to His Divine Design, Kaluvan?"
[Given Kaluvan's characterization so far, while he is a believer, I do not believe he is in total submission to his God. He would only go so far in sacrificing for his God, and he would not go along with this.]
"I cannot Ianego. I'd...rather be punished."
With that Kaluvan takes his leave from Ianego. In the next few days, he asks for Sinamar's intercession. She readily agrees as she loves Kaluvan's dedication to his family. Kaluvan is nervously awaiting news at his quarters when Sinamar shows up. He notices right away she has been crying. She covers her mouth as if trying to control herself and then breaks down again:
"Oh Kaluvan...I am so sorry. I have doomed you and your family. I have doomed myself."
"No..." He already knows. He has been declared a danger to the Faith of his own family. Little Nok will be taken away from Erishti. Erishti, Sinamar and himself. will go through Repentance.
"I should have dissuaded you, Kaluvan." She falls at his knees. "I should have been a real friend. Forgive me for my weakness...I just could not refuse."
Kaluvan's world seems to spin. Seeing Sinamar, who has been his rock during his time here, kneel before him in such weakness scares him.Somehow he is able to steady himself enough to try something...anything.
"Sinamar, I have wronged you. I have wronged my family, through my sin...my selfishness. God is not to be denied. I will be righteous." He leaves to rectify things. Sinamar weakly tries to reach for him, to stop him, but he leaves her crying on the floor.
When Kaluvan arrives at the overseer's office, the attendants try to stop this insolent Initiate from entering. However, with an inner strength he hadn't felt before, Kaluvan manages to brush them aside and burst into the overseer's room.
Before the overseers present have the chance to say How dare you, Kaluvan is already prostrate on the floor, not daring to look at them. "I beg you yassat. I have seen my sin, and I am broken."
The room watches in silence and then, "You must be Kaluvan." The leader says, almost gloating.
"You turned one of the most loyal servants against God's will, to help you. You come here uninvited, and break all decorum. I ask you: How can we be sure that your insolence has not contaminated those closest to you?"
Kaluvan's voice breaking despite himself, "Please spare the ones I love. This sin I carry alone. I beg you."
"And if righteousness and duty to God dictates that we carry through with Repentance?"
"Then, it will be as He wills." Then Kaluvan's emotions get the best of him, and tears flow like those of a child.
At this, the overseer who has been questioning him, gives a slight smile of satisfaction to the others present. They have enjoyed seeing this worm of a man grovel before them and their power.
"My son, stand up." The overseer says magnanimously. "You may go in peace. We have seen true repentance from you. We have seen true submission to God's Divine Will. God is Merciful. You need not fear for your family or your friends. Go in peace."
Feeling grateful for at least being granted this, he obsequiously thanks those in the room and leaves their presence. An enormous weight has been lifted from Kaluvan's heart.