Read from part one or reread part seven.

One other thing — one choice, one course of action she might take — weighed heavily on her mind, and that was whether or not she would take an ember from the hearth of the eternal flame with her when she left, as was customary for high priests and other priests of distinction to do upon their departure from the temple. She intended to take a torch lit from the hearth, with or without the blessing of the temple.

Elysia wasn’t exactly afraid of the consequences for taking a torch and the ember, though she was aware of incidents in the past, and the likely results of the discovery of the theft. The arm of the temple, agents, imbued with a purpose: to track Elysia down, wherever she might go, recover the torch and flame, and deliver retribution. Yet, she knew there was an element of practicality to the ordeal, a given agent would only pursue her so far.

Elysia knew taking from the temple was unconscionable, but one nagging doubt made the simple truth … ambiguous. Were she to have made the request of a more reasonable high priest, her request for an ember from the hearth would stand a reasonable chance of being accepted. Then the torch and ember would be bestowed upon her with pomp and ceremony. The only difference, she thought, is that Ianice is anything but reasonable.