Rumors are Rife … and Visions Abound
(Crossing, Zoluren: 269 Moliko 359)
Faelkal darts into the taproom, his mind obviously elsewhere, and pants for a moment. "I’m about to be late Baresh. It’s got to be somewhere around Asketi’s Hunt and I’ve yet to catch up with those I seek. You’d think they were leading me on a wild mous.. er I mean hog chase."
Fiddling with what could be a coin of some kind except for it’s lack of sparkle and roundness, the prydaen lashes his tail through the air to punctuate his words.
"Rumors abound, gossip spreads far and wide … I couldn’t pass by without letting you know what the scuttlebutt is."
Shaking his head at the offer of a glass of milk from the barkeep, Fae points to the water bucket and dipper. "One of those please."
"Mark you Baresh, I’m hoping to meet a cleric here. I nearly ran her down in my attempt to get to my favorite napping place in Leth. I’m lucky I didn’t inadvertantly knock her into the burl!"
Seeing the look of confusion on the tavern keeper’s face Fae chortles, collecting his breath.
"All right .. let me see if I can put this in some kind of order for you. Much earlier this day … just before the first rays of the sun could bear down upon one’s weary paws, I chanced upon the cleric."
"Her scent was familiar, but that of passing not of knowing. So I stopped, fortunately before we collided." The Prydaen’s nose twickered, sending the vibrissae along his muzzle into a series of quivers, as he cocked what served as a brow in contemplation.
"She’s an elf. Young for an elf if I’m any judge of it, with silver eyes, shoulder length fine and loose amber and fair skin … but it was just near dawn … the light could have tricked my eyes. Perhaps part of what I smelled was the faintest trace of hot cider on her breath … but again … I was tired."
"I do know she had on a bright red bandana." He paused to think for a moment. "Ah yes … she’s the one who told you about the visitation of the Panther lord — a warning for those having gods in the eastern cities to collect favor from them." He grins and peers at the barkeep, winking.
"I rather like the idea of a Panther lord … it would have a lovely tail, don’t you think? But alas and alack, not Eu, Tenemlor, nor Demrris are included in that pantheon. Leaves one a bit bereft, don’t you think?" Shaking his head the kit makes a wry face. "But that’s another tale."
Thoughtfully he continued, "the Elf cleric, told me about a vision she’d had, along with her concern. I had been thwumped upside the head rather hard by a Trollkin’s halberd not much earlier … so I was a bit hazy. I spent some time seeking out other clerics and listening to these blarmed mind jewels Something’s happening…."
"But first … I promised the lady I would share her thoughts about the unicorn vision. Now I did meet an Elothean trader of reknown on the ferry to Leth and asked him to pass on the word. But I don’t think that will be fast enough, and I gave her my word … you have many come in here, so this is the lady’s tale."
"She felt the look in the unicorn’s eyes of extreme importance. To quote her, ‘… what after all, can hurt or burden an immortal?’ When I asked her about the look she said it was an accusing one. It seems she felt that perhaps she, or other clerics had somehow failed the unicorn."
"In her vision someone or something’s head was bowed, as if she were moving under some weight, possibly wounded. The lady seems to think that making an offering of herbs .. that the unicorn or Hodierna would welcome the offering."
Fae tilts his head to the left and peers up at a spot on the ceiling. "For a moment I thought she was talking about some kind of sacrifice like I’ve seen at some of the temples … thank Eu she was only talking about herbs. Anyway, she thinks the unicorn or Hodierna could begin to heal if the herbs were offered."
"Although she did say her idea was fairly insane."
"She said something about Wood violets, like the kind sold in the clerical shop in Haven. But I have to tell you Baresh, I didn’t understand that one bit. Fortunately, I offered to help by telling as many people as I could, not by collecting herbs — or I’d be sneezing from here to Shard and back."
Fae leans forward, his mane falling across his face, a shock of the fur dangling into his eyes. "This is not one isolated incident Baresh. I checked with other clerics … there’s been visions seen by many .. including the paladins … at least one trader … moon mages …"
Fae appears to be pondering. "You know .. I am unable to seek favor from my gods. Neither Eu, Tenemlor, nor Demrris are shown esteem in the temples here …" He doesn’t finish the thought, instead cocking his head rakishly to the right, he shrugs.
"Let me leave you with the descriptions I received from a male Human cleric, whose parents had the good taste to bestow hazel eyes upon; and a male Dwarven cleric, who had green eyes."
"A flash of light blinded one of the men for a moment as he beheld a vision of a brilliant white unicorn. Standing proudly before him, it regarded him with soulful eyes, as if with a question. Its horn gleaming, it galloped off into the distance, stopping only once to look back at him before entering a deep wilderness."
"I do not know if this is the one the elf saw .. after all she did mention Hodierna. Yet, I did receive a blow on the head, I may have confused what she saw. It’s still rather striking don’t you think?"
"And as we were talking his mind was suddenly filled with another vision. A small boy wearing simple tattered robes stands alone along the edge of a wilderness path. The boy’s eyes were sunken and full of fear, his face dirty as he stared at the cleric, his hands cupping some object that the human was unable to discern in the shadows of the darkened woods. As the vision began to fade it became more troubling. The cleric realized the child was urgently trying to tell him something. The boy’s lips moved but the cleric could not hear the words."
"I’m a westerner Baresh .. or will be when I can figure out a way to finally vanquish the undead that have taken my lands as their stronghold. But even so, it sounds like the hubs here are in for a bit of something. Could it hurt to gather a few herbs and offer them up?"
The kit whispers to the barkeep, sotto voce, "for those that are not allergic to them anyway."
"I had hoped to see the lady herself here … we had agreed to possibly meet .. but perhaps she is on her way to Haven? To get those little violet things?"
"I have to make a delivery to the bard guild .. found some more gweths on the path … and a piece of armor or three. Tell her I’ll check back if you see her Baresh."
Fae finishes his water. "And that I’m keeping my word to her …" He grins, tail brushing the air proudly behind him as he heads out the door.