Father Gregely Orius appears in the first installment of The Trailokya Trilogy. When Maiel takes refuge on Earth she is pursued by the Baron Morgentus until she finds help at a small church in Hungary. That help is Father Orius, a middle aged man with peculiar attributes that draw her to him.
The father is a kind man, and loved by his congregation. It is not said how long he has been in service to them. Souls, guardians, danava, and marditavya fill the pews, suggesting that both sides of the conflict are aware of his presence and work. It is clear by the danava and marditavya reactions that the work does not benefit them. Yet, Maiel senses that he’s not much of a friend to Zion either. Still, the guardians of the monks in the cloister there give him their protection.
The physical appearance of the priest is unsettling to Maiel. His dark hair, though thoroughly strung with gray is a familiar shade, as are his pale blue eyes. Because of this, she is reminded of someone she cannot quite place, until they have some time to speak alone to together. The realization leaves her more wary than ever. The only thing holding her to this place is the curious presence of a warded room, in which they let her rest, as well as the strong and clear atman of the men around him. If this priest were actually a danava, the taint of his presence would have poisoned everything near him.
The congregation and church are located in Máriabesnyő, Hungary. They’re a Catholic parish that includes a cloister of monks. The brothers help the parish priest, Orius in this case, to develop and deliver sermons as well as keep up the grounds of the church proper. The monks also keep a garden and small vegetable farm to augment their food stipend. They are deeply faithful, none of them having a question about the validity of church teachings. Maiel’s arrival both confirms and challenges this faith for them in ways they never expected. Her gift to them is knowledge, which is dangerous once the veil is dropped.
Father Orius takes his role among these men very seriously. He cares for them as family. His parishioners are treated with love and respect. It is particularly disturbing to him when the arrival of Maiel cues the wrath of her nemesis. While he wishes to spread a protective wing over the seemingly fallen guardian, he is aware he doesn’t have the power to protect her at all.
Trusting is the best descriptor to categorize Father Orius by. He trusts his congregation to do right despite the influences over them. He also trusts the monks with which he works, implicitly. It takes very little for him to trust Maiel and trust his gut that understands how important she is. It should not be believed that he trusts the church for which he works. Though he calls on a higher priest at the Basilica in Esztergom, he is not convinced this man has been honest with him about the connections he implies he has to Maiel’s world. Indeed, he is still willing to give it a chance to save her from a terrible fate.
Below is an excerpt from The Shadow Soul:
“Maiel found the much sought-after resonance. It was cloistered inside a rather tall, thin man hiding in the pulpit behind an enormous old book. The human’s sattva was ensconced in a bio-vessel, and did not freely roam. His kindly face was swaddled in a beard going gray. Hair of the same hue was tied at the nape of his neck, not shorn like the other members of his order.
He wore heavy white robes, but no glinting finery like other vratin. Every finger was bare. An honest human vratin—let alone a soul—was a strange thing to find in Samsara. But as she already suspected, a church was the place to find it.
The vratin continued in the language of the people he served, barely audible through the glass and stone. The words were impure, but still annoyed the shadows, as they were spoken from a pure heart. Mudeaters lined the chancel steps, barred from his perch by some force. They snapped their teeth and hissed to badger him. She marveled at his patent resilience.
Determination kept him on task, as he faced these tormentors like one of her own. It was possible the radiance of his extraordinary atman alone held them back, but the addition of three lightwalkers behind him made the efforts of the mudeaters pitiable. None of this was visible to the humans watching on.
Maiel counted four humans presiding at the service as vratin. Her eyes swept their faces, wondering which was unguarded. Reaching with her mind, she was able pair them off. Her eyes widened when it became obvious the atman she sought was defenseless, but for the gracious assistance of his companions’ guardians. Maiel puzzled over this, wondering if one of the mudeaters had gotten lucky and stole his guide. Soldiers often attempted to usurp guardianship in an effort to break a soul, pushing it toward the dark with constant manipulations. This man resonated far too high to make such a case. The light he emitted, like a star on the surface of the planet, should have drawn every shade in the hemisphere, but only the guardians of the shadowborn dared to present themselves.
The danava would be quite piqued if she sought aid from this man. Her presence, even if brief, was certain to land him on an arduous path. She frowned. Her need didn’t warrant the cost, but where else was she to go? The vratin continued, still unaware of her surveillance. His energy lured her with a familiarity that flickered in his thread. There was no choice, and he appeared quite capable of handling the dark advance. The last question that remained was how to go to him with this many witnesses.
Maiel’s eyes shifted over the congregation again. A high mountaintop or clear ocean would have been better, but this was the highest and farthest she could hope to reach; she was too exhausted to slide away again so soon. The only mountains nearby were soaked in generations of blood and made a better sanctuary for the enemy than it did for her. The only seas close enough were just as tormented. Doorways to the Domdaniel provided another way to capture her, and would sink her into the waters and torture her in the caverns below, where none would think to look.
Spreading her great red wings, Maiel stepped back and floated gently to the ground. The dragon on her arm prickled and the hair stood on the back of her neck. She faced the buildings and yard. Monuments dotted the space inside the fence and a narrow path led to other buildings at the back of the church. The prickling warnings ran along every mark in her skin, pooling into her core with foreboding. This was no reaction to the small nuisances that filled the church. Morgentus either followed on her heels, refusing to give her up, or was led there by the damned imp in the wood.
Maiel hurried to the entrance, no longer having the time to debate where she would shelter. Either the congregation would see her and be terror-stricken or she would pass among them unseen. Either way, she must hide within the compass of this man’s resonance until Morgentus had left. She needed to find the right moment to address the man.
“You can’t hide, not even here,” Morgentus said.
Halting mid-stride, Maiel watched Morgentus step through the churchyard gate. His boots smoked each time they touched the ground, but he was little bothered. The vratin had managed to guard the grounds, but the barrier was weak.
Maiel backed up to the church door, keeping her eyes on her pursuer. Morgentus’s pace quickened and she ran. Falling against the heavy wood panels, she pushed hard, but they stubbornly resisted. Giving the rest of her strength to the effort, the panels gave way just as Morgentus stomped up the steps. The force of her push thrust her beyond the threshold and her enemy’s reach. Maiel rolled onto her backside and slid along the stone floor further into the interior, until her back pressed against a pew. Her strength was nearly gone and he saw it. A smile split the baron’s lips as he watched her, the smoke billowing around him. She was mistaken in her hope. The candle flames lengthened, tall and reedy. The heat of their blaze stressed the glass votives until they cracked with machine gun pops. He taunted her, standing beyond the door. The door was no barrier, just like the grounds. Morgentus was relishing the moment, for he would have her soon.”