Aoifa studied the letter again, her quill hovering idly over the page. It was many years since the fall of Alowca and the events of which she wrote yet she still felt a tinge of regret that she had not trusted even so close a friend as Lady Allyah with the truth she now confided to ink and vellum. Dark indeed were the days of prophecy and the service to which the faithful had been called in exile.
Reading your recent letter to the realm I find myself filled with anguish regarding an event of which you should have been made known during the time of your stewardship in Alowca, for without malice you have been deceived these many long years that the work of the Trinity be continued in secret.
The mace you bear is not the true Mace of Denariel but rather a cunning simulacrum created long ago to serve in ritual celebration, substituted during the period of Denarien Squeaks' heresy to prevent the true mace from falling into the hands of apostates. How this came to be is something I feel I must now share for only one other knows the resting place of the true mace and we are both bound to keep this and other secrets of Alowca until the Doom of Alluran is issued.
When Lord Gravitas rode to Irdalni to meet Denarien in single combat he carried with him the mace and there the two strove until at the last Denarien used sorcery to overcome our good Lord's greater skill and just purpose.
Coming upon the battle as Denarien mocked our fallen Lord's dying breaths I caught the traitor off guard and we fought too and fro across the abandoned shell of Lord Gravitas, but even with the advantage of youth my skill in arms was still no match for the arch-traitor's enchantments and at the last he had me at his mercy.
"You were always a fool Aoifa," Denarien stood over the young marshal, his booted foot pressing her sword into the blood-drenched dirt.
"It's you who's the fool Squeaks," the former Alowcan minster visibly bristled to be called by his old name, "for only death and worse awaits your black soul."
"Your puny weapons are no match for my arts, but it amuses me to watch you die slice by slender slice," he shifted his weight and with a wry smirk purposefully released her blade, "now let me show you the true horror that awaits you in death."
Aoifa staggered to her feet, but even as she did so her mind was overcome with nausea and a black, icy chill seemed to flow from the earth into her legs and upwards unrelentingly to her hammering heart.
"Now you will die Aoifa Dubhaine, and then you will serve my will until your bones are bleached and polished and all the time you will remember that it is I Denarien Beyaku, Lord of All Justice and Mercy, who is your true master."
In that moment I offered up my life to Lord Alluran if He would but use me as the instrument of His merciful justice, knowing that my death would be a small price to pay for the end of such blasphemy. I steeled myself and it seemed as if a skill beyond my ken guided arm and blade with surety through Denarien's feints and parries to his rotten black heart, undoing the evil he had woven about his corrupted flesh and spirit during his long years of secret study.
I will not dwell upon the corruption his death revealed in his failing flesh, but it shall haunt me to my dying day.
Catching my breath I sought to comfort Lord Gravitas but the wounds upon his flesh were mortal and his spirit already departed to the care of one greater than I. There I waited several long hours for my bodyguard to arrive and arrange for the return of his blessed remains to his family, during which time I pondered many things - not least the impending doom which by then we all knew must soon fall on Alowca.
Thus it was that upon my return to the city I conferred with the other Templars and we agreed that the true Mace of Denariel should pass into the shadows and a replica - of which there were several for ceremonial purposes - should be presented in its stead to the successor of Lord Gravitas. Blessings were placed upon the substitute to strengthen the resolve of its bearer and blind all to the deceit which we had performed.
From that day on I bore the true Mace in secret, keeping it always about my person and only revealing its existence when the city had finally fallen.
The tale of my meeting with Igna the Drake is recorded elsewhere, though the account glosses over many details such as the path by which we reached the Champion's Walk and the full deeds we performed there. Suffice to say that the Mace of Denariel now sleeps within Alowca's true heart, awaiting the champion who will bear it in the Final War.