The Realm of Atlos

Interlude - Meanwhile, Back in Tumbledale... (Part 2)

The Cleric

One should be bold, for to be bold is to live.

A brave heart and willingness to take risks beat out carefully wrought plans nine times out of ten.

Place yourself in the hands of fate and trust to your own luck.

Bear and conduct yourselves as your own masters, showing your good or bad fortune as confidence in the Lady.

Chase your own unique goals, and the Lady aids the chase.

Without direction or goals, you soon know the embrace of Beshaba, for those on no set course are at the mercy of misfortune, which has no mercy at all.

-Dogma of Tymora

The Luck of Sister Lia
As Torbjorn pulled Gremmer away from her doorstep by his elbow, Sister Lia shut the door and peered out the window after them. She watched them head in the direction of Qelline Alderleaf’s farm before they turned a corner and disappeared from sight.

Tensions in town had been growing every day for the last two months, ever since the Redbrands showed up and started harassing local businesses. Things got worse a week ago, after they cut down Thel Dendrar in the street, but since Rask’s funeral this morning it seemed like the situation had reached a breaking point.

She rushed from the foyer to the room that served as her personal shrine. It was little more than a walk-in closet used to store her armor and religious effects, but it was her favorite room in the house. She knelt on a pillow placed on the floor in front of a small bench and muttered quietly, “Place yourself in the hands of fate and trust to your own luck.”

Sister Lia reached for the golden coin she kept on a necklace and found it dangling between her collarbones. She clutched it tight and began to cast her spell, when she paused.

Her eyes landed on the two copper pieces Rask had left at her shrine the previous two mornings. The halfling hadn’t struck her as a truly religious person, and on first appearances she had been willing to wager he was more interested in drumming up some good luck in any way possible than paying tribute to the actual deity behind the shrine. However, she knew from one of her contacts in Silverwilde that Rask had grown up very poor, and even these meager offerings were likely difficult for him to part with.

“One should be bold…” she muttered to herself.

Sister Lia let go of her golden coin and reached out to grasp the two copper pieces instead, one in each hand. Normally she had to be holding her arcane focus to cast spells properly, but something told her that these artifacts would get the job done nonetheless.

Sure enough, as she focused on the spell, the palms of her hand began to grow warm. She let her mind open, thinking about the questions she had and the course of action she was planning to take, and then letting go of her consciousness.

I should follow the adventurers into the Redbrand base, she thought. I will go with them. Help them. Heal them. And drive the criminals from this town.

She gasped sharply as the divine presence of Tymora touched her mind.

She was no longer kneeling on the floor within her home in Tumbledale; she was floating. She could feel no sensations, and had no corporeal body to move. She had become a disembodied consciousness, pulled from her body and given a glimpse of the future. However, nothing she saw was certain. This was just one of many potential futures, centered around one of the many potential courses of action she could take.

Of course, she couldn’t actually see anything. Augury doesn’t give you a literal interpretation of the outcome of your decision, it merely gives you omens, visions, and metaphors.

In this case, Sister Lia felt a cold wave of dismay wash over her; she heard fighting and killing, but the victims were merely commonfolk, not adventurers; she smelt smoke, and felt the heat of a raging inferno; and she saw the destroyed remains of Tumbledale sink into the ruins of the ancient town it was built upon, growing unused and forgotten with the passing of years.

She snapped back to her body, and was thankful to be seeing through her own eyes once more. However, she was a little surprised to find herself crying.

She unfurled her clenched fists and stared down at the two copper pieces radiating inside them. Visibly, they were exactly the same as the day Rask left them on her shrine, but anyone sensitive to divine energy could probably locate these two coins in a pitch black room. Residual radiant energy was coursing through the very fiber of these coins, imbued with the power of Tymora after being used as an arcane conduit by one of her clerics.

Sister Lia placed the coins down upon her alter and wiped the tears from the corners of her eyes. She reached up to touch the gold coin around her neck once more, hoping to be reassured by it. However, she was more confused now than before she had cast the spell. It was not her place to question the way of Tymora, but Sister Lia hated when her guidance was so vague and unsettling.

Despite her hesitation, she believed she knew what was required of her. She nodded curtly to herself and stood, already reaching for her armor.

She was out the door as soon as her armor was donned. She carried her mace, but had left the shield back in her house. She wanted to make sure she always had a free casting hand, just in case.

No sooner had she started across the town square than a large boom echoed from the Stonehill Inn. As she hurried in that direction she passed the Townmaster’s Hall, and was surprised to her the clash of steel on steel emanating from within.

SIster Lia bounded up the steps and pushed her way through the entrance, only to be greeted by the sight of three Redbrands locked in combat with an outnumbered Sildar Hallwinter. The old warrior was holding them at bay, but was clearly doing no more than buying himself time.

She closed her eyes and bowed her head, using her free hand to grasp the coin around her neck once more. She felt a surge of power assault her mind, but she focused and channeled it, concentrating on the Redbrand currently nearest to Sildar.

As the goon raised his sword to bring it crashing down on Sildar again, he froze. His arms were locked in place above his head, and his face was contorted into a ferocious expression. He was entirely under the influence of Sister Lia’s hold person spell.

Sildar seized the opportunity and drove his sword into the gut of one of his other attackers, and as the third Redbrand moved forward in an attempt to flank Sildar, Lia came up from behind and smashed her mace into the side of his skull. Blindsided by being attacked from the rear, he crumpled with the impact.

Sildar and Sister Lia were able to restrain the remaining Redbrand and lock him in the jail cell located in the basement of the building.

“Thank the gods you came along when you did, Sister,” Sildar said once they were alone. “I’m not sure how much longer I would have lasted.”

“Well, I fear that you are far from finished fighting tonight, Mr. Hallwinter,” Sister Lia replied.

“Please, call me Sildar,” he said. He had already begun to don his armor as well. “I’m inclined to believe you, Sister. But tell me how you know.”

“Because of my god, Sildar. She has shown me a future where this town is destroyed. But I believe we can prevent it, if we make the right choices.”

Sildar nodded and picked up his sword once more. Without another word, he headed for the door.

As the two of them entered the Stonehill Inn, they saw bodies and debris strewn about the room. They found the owner, Toblen, injured and bleeding on the floor behind the bar, being tended to by Dominique. She rushed to Toblen’s side and began asking Dominique what happened while Sildar stood guard in the doorway.

Toblen was in rough shape, but stable. His stab wounds were deep, but they seemed to miss all of his vital internal organs. Regardless, Dominique’s cure wounds spell had stitched up the worst of the lacerations, and Sister Lia could detect a faint trace of arcane energy in the blood around the wounds.

“We’ve got company,” Sildar called from the porch of the inn. Lia hurried to his side and saw two more figures in dirty scarlet cloaks making their way from house to house, and they would soon come upon the inn. She listened for a moment, and heard the sounds of fighting nearby. She could smell the acrid stench of smoke, and knew that, somewhere, a building was on fire.

She was struck by a moment of helplessness. Her original plan was to go into the Redbrand hideout after the adventurers, but when her augury spell showed the town burning as a consequence she knew that she must stay here to protect it. Now she was here, and ready to defend Tumbledale, but her visions were coming to pass anyways.

“Hold on a minute,” Sildar said. “What wagon is still driving this late at night?”

Confused by this, Sister Lia followed Sildar’s gaze. Indeed, there was a lone wagon coming in from the Duskendown Trail. At first, nothing about this was remarkable. But then she felt the divine presence of Tymora’s guiding hand, and a smile spread across her face.

Like the two copper pieces earlier, a being in the back of that wagon was radiating divine energy. Sister Lia could tell right away that the being was not a follower of her own god, but whichever god it was, she could feel the inherent goodness in the energy that had been bestowed upon this person. She had no way of knowing whether these people would help them or not, but she had no doubt that they had been guided here by the luck of Tymora.

Sildar looked at her smiling face disapprovingly.

“Why don’t you get back inside and help the bard with Toblen, he looked to be in rough shape. I’ll take care of these two scoundrels once they wander close enough.”

Sister Lia stepped into him and placed a gentle hand on the small of his back. She cast bless, and said, “Place yourself in the hands of fate, Sildar, and trust to your own luck.”

She gave him a quick peck on the cheek and hurried back inside the inn, while a very confused Sildar set about preparing his ambush.



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