PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Dungeon Master
 GM, 129 posts
Thu 20 May 2021
at 01:56
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
PROLOGUE
Yesterday's Papers


Neria had not been searching for such a destination; perhaps it was a touch of prophecy that she had decided to travel to Athkatla. While spectacular, the temple was not nearly as well known as Tomas had boasted. While waiting by Dawn outside the western entrance Neria could peek inside.

The main temple hall was a large room, the circular floor paved in terracotta tiles was 60ft across. At the north and west edges passageways opened into public space, allowing access to the temple interior. Monks and clergy entered from the south and east, through gardens and orchards deeper within the temple grounds. The entrance archway of mosaic tiles depicted a rising sun over a lush green meadow. Stairs ran up either side of the arch to a second floor. While it was late afternoon there were still other parishoners and believers in worship in the hall.

The centrepiece of the hall was a gilded 12 foot high statue of a human male with chiseled features cradling a newborn babe. Cushions and rugs surrounded the statue where some worshipers sat in prayer. Bench seats were set around the hall facing towards the statue.

The dome was made of rose tinted glass and covered the entire floor. In the eastern wall, at around the second floor, was a large and very beautiful set of stained glass windows displaying various good deeds being done by a blonde haired human man. Planting crops, helping the sick and elderly, teaching children and participating in athletic challenges.

Two women dressed in robes of similiar color to Neria's clothing walked around the hall, softing speakng to visitors. One of them spotted Neria standing out the front and approached with a wide smile on her face. "Greetings child. I am Sister Moraeda Dawnduth." She was a portly human woman possibly in her late 60's. Her sun bleached hair was held up in a bun and her features were weathered and wrinkled. "You have the look of one recently arrived and I have not seen your face at the temple before. Where have you travelled from?"
Neria
 player, 28 posts
 Human Paladin
Thu 20 May 2021
at 22:57
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
"Greetings, Sister," Neria said, feeling suddenly tongue-tied.  Though the woman did not truly resemble Janissa, Neria's first thought was of the High Priestess, some combination of the Sister's demeanor and the temple inexorably reminding the paladin of what she had left behind.  "Yes, my name is Neria and I've come from Eveningstar.  It's a small village, I don't imagine you know it.  But we have quite a large temple there to the Morninglord -- not large compared to this, of course, but --"

There she decided it would be better to start again, at least to an extent, and took a deep breath.  "But yes, I've just arrived and I wanted to see your beautiful temple.  Would it be possible for someone to show me around?  Particularly the library -- I would very much like to speak with whoever is in charge of the library if possible, Sister."
Dungeon Master
 GM, 136 posts
Thu 20 May 2021
at 23:26
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
Sister Dawnduth smiled to Neria, "Our library, of course. Let me arrange a room for you first, members of distant temples are ever welcome in the Dome of the Rose." She motions for Neria to follow her but then stops, "Ah, your horse." Instead of going through the temple she walks to a gate and around to a stables around the other side of the temple. This area was off limits to the public and visitors, it seemed the Sister very quickly welcomed Neria's membership of the clergy.

Reaching the stables Neria noticed about a dozen horses already stabled, the building was able to fit many more. Sister Dawnduth waved over a middle aged human man, "Chandler here has been the stablehand of the Dome for some time, he will make sure your horse is taken care of."

The man doffs his cap and smiles, "Aye, I'll look after ye horse." He gives Dawn a quick look over, "What's the old girl's name?

Dawn stabled and being taken care of Sister Dawnduth escorts Neria to a long, wide stone builing not far from the stables. Many small rooms, similar to Neria's chambers back in Eveningstar, were in the building. Opening one door the Sister waved an arm in. "You may use these chambers as long as require during your stay." She frowned slightly, looking back towards the direction of the Dome, "Our library is fairly extensive however we do not have someone committed to maintaining it. I could call some of the more scholarly monks to assist in what you seek? Perhaps if you let me know what it is you are seeking I could find the most suitable acholar? You are able to study in the library rooms or bring cooks back to your chambers here, we only ask they do not leave the temple grounds."
Neria
 player, 29 posts
 Human Paladin
Fri 21 May 2021
at 00:15
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
Though strangely uneasy about the idea of entrusting Dawn to anyone else's care, Neria was quickly reassured by Chandler's behavior, for he was clearly fond of horses.  After telling him the mare's name, she was happy to follow after Sister Dawnduth, already looking forward to sleeping in an actual bed tonight -- or perhaps she should look forward to a bath first, for once they stepped into the dormitory she was keenly aware that she was thoroughly covered in travel dust.

"Thank you very much, Sister," she said, gratefully setting her pack down on the room's sole chair.  It was too bad she could not offer Tone a room here as well, aware that the Tiefling must now be quite low on coin, but that wouldn't be allowed.  And it was true that Tone might find the temple rather too sedate, she thought with a blush.

"Well, there's a prophecy, you see," she began, opening her pack and pulling out the book that Janissa had given her on the translation.  "I have some notes on it, but it's in an old language and no one is quite certain that it's been translated entirely correctly."  She tugged her amulet out from beneath her tunic, where the small silver disc was usually hidden, and offered it out for Sister Dawnduth to see.  "So if there's someone here who is good with either languages or prophecies, I'd be most grateful."
Dungeon Master
 GM, 141 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 00:53
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
"Ah prophecy." Sister Dawnduth smiled. "Such a tricky thing."

After a moment of thought her smile widened and she raised an eyebrow, 'I have just the man. He is young, only around your age, but came to us a year back after discovering that working as a scribe was not his calling. A man more masterful of language I have not met, all of the clergy seem to agree on this." She walked back to the door, "Meals are in the red building across the way," she pointed towards the north, "6.30am after dawn service, midday and at 5.00pm. Washing facilities are at the rear of this building, you'll need to draw your own water from the well out back. Not much privacy mind you. On the days you are within the temple you will be expected to spend some time in the Dome with our parishioners who attend seeking advise and comfort from the clergy."

She raised an eyebrow, "Any questions? Otherwise I will go see to finding Raphael and have him meet you in the library."
Neria
 player, 30 posts
 Human Paladin
Fri 21 May 2021
at 02:16
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
"Yes, quite tricky," Neria replied with a heartfelt sigh.  But she was glad to hear that the Sister had a possible helper in mind, and under the circumstances was equally glad to hear of washing facilities.  She would have to do without those for the time being, however, as nothing would have induced her to wait a moment longer than absolutely necessary to meet this Raphael.  It had only been a few weeks, really, but in a way she had also been waiting her entire life for what was now unfolding.

Possibly she would have to do without dinner as well, since she believed it must be nearly five o'clock now, but she could manage one more meal of rations.  "Thank you again, Sister," she said sincerely, clutching both book and amulet.  "If you could just direct me to the library, I'll be glad to wait there for Raphael."  Though even now she knew the feeling could not possibly last, she felt at this moment that she could be infinitely patient as long as she knew work on unraveling the prophecy was progressing.  And in the meantime, her life would fall back into something much like its old pattern -- with the happy difference of her new friend, and she took a moment to hope that all was going well for Tone.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 144 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 11:33
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
Sister Dawnduth smiled, "Take the stairs at the northern archway in the Dome of the Rose, the library is on the second floor." She took another step but stopped, "I will send for Raphael. You are welcome to take a look around once you are there, I will make sure he does not take long." With that she left.

The instructions were simple enough and returning to the Dome of the Rose Neria found the northern steps easy enough. Ascending she found the library; the Sister was not exagerrating about the library being extensive. The entire second floor, a ring above the ground floor, was filled with tomes and books. Floor to ceiling shelves twelve feet high ran around the ring, sticking out like spokes in a wheel, there would be thousands of books here. Neria approached the end of one shelf and noted a indexing system used by the temple. It was unusual but understandable, she should have no trouble finding whatever information she sought around the library.

Walking further around Neria found a small section that was without the shelves, instead desks and chairs were set up with neat stacks of unlit candles and loose parchment paper, inkpens and ink pots. A flame was burning bright from a small alcove in the wall. The library was well equipped for study.
Neria
 player, 31 posts
 Human Paladin
Fri 21 May 2021
at 11:48
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
The temple in Eveningstar was considered large for the area, and it possessed a library that often favorably impressed the locals.  That entire library, however, would likely fit neatly into a single spoke of the wheel with space left over, and the temple she was used to had nothing like the large study area.  For several moments, she simply wandered aimlessly, taking it all in.

Then, deciding she would prefer not to be caught gaping and overwhelmed when Raphael arrived, she set to work deciphering the indexing system and found the section pertaining to ancient languages.  Now she wished she had studied something more esoteric than Elven; she did not know nearly enough to attempt her own translation and would have to be dependent on others for help.  Had she known earlier, she would have insisted on such study, and for a moment, her initial anger towards Janissa flared again.  That choice had been taken from her, and again she feared that this would ruin everything -- if it was even possible to ruin things when a prophecy was involved.

Sighing, she found a book that looked as though it might be useful and began to page through it, quickly regaining her calm.  What was done was done; she could only move forward from here and do her best.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 146 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 12:22
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
Neria had only just gotten settled into reading a book comparing language scripts to the spoken word when a man rose from the stairs, a lit candle in a chamberstick candle holder in one hand. There was light in the late afternoon but the candlelight lit the stairwell and accentuated the mans features. He spotted Neria and as the only person in the library at the moment it was not difficult for the man to guess who needed his assistance. The man approached, smiling. As he stepped closer he appeared to be the splitting image of the statue downstairs. The man was young, barely more than a boy as Neria was barely more than a girl. His hair looked spun of gold and a fringe hung around his face down to his chin, it was pulled back into a short ponytail at the back of his head. His jaw was square and features looked chiselled from stone, bright blue eyes accompanied a wide smile revealing white teeth. He wore a tight cotton tunic and tighter cotton pants, he was lean but well toned in all the right places. He walked softly on the stone floor with bare feet.

Standing before Neria he bowed deep, "Miss Neria? My name is Raphael, Sister Dawnduth asked that I assist you in the library." He placed the candle holder down on the desk, "Something about translating a prophecy I believe?"

He looked down at the book Neria had on the desk in front of her. "Ah, a good beginning. The chirography studied by Devon Hallier was essential for understanding the first celestial manuscripts found by humankind." He sat down beside Neria, "If you don't mind Neria, would you mind explaining the prophecy for me. I could suggest some suitable texts if I was to know more."
Neria
 player, 32 posts
 Human Paladin
Fri 21 May 2021
at 22:37
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
Though Sister Dawnduth had said that Raphael was young, Neria was still faintly surprised to realize that he was this young.  She was still more surprised to realize that he appeared to have been the model for the statue of Lathander that she had just seen downstairs -- and perhaps the statue in Eveningstar as well, for that was quite similar.  No wonder he had felt drawn to the Morninglord, she thought, blinking deliberately just in case her eyes were deceiving her.

But they were not, and she cleared her throat, worried that he might have noticed she was staring.  "Was it?" she asked, glancing down at the book she held and back up at him, strangely pleased to hear that she had managed to stumble upon a volume that he approved of despite her knowing so little of languages.

"Oh, well, I have -- I have these notes that the High Priestess gave me.  The High Priestess in Eveningstar, that is," she added, remembering that here, that title would not make anyone think of Janissa.  Picking up the small book, she handed it to him.  "And the prophecy itself is written here."  Again she held out the amulet.  "It was with me when they found me.  When I was a baby, I mean."
Dungeon Master
 GM, 149 posts
Fri 21 May 2021
at 23:37
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
Sitting next to Neria Raphael spread out the notes she had across the desk in front of them. He took the amulet with a polite, "May I?"

He sat staring at the text on the amulet, silent for at least a minute. "Fascinating. The script seems to have characteristics from from the current day scripts of Infernal and Celestial." He shook his head, "While some aspects are alike to the both written languages that is where the similarities end. It is not unable to be read, however extensive study in both languages would be required to interpret it and even then there would be many incorrect translations without a greater body of work in the language to compare it to."

He leaned back and turned to Neria, "What is your purpose? Do you want to interpret it youself or just have the amulet interpreted by anyone?" He smiled and his eyes grew eager, "I would be more than happy to help. Sister Dawnduth may have mentioned but language is a real passion of mine and it is rare to discover such an ancient and unknown text."

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:44, Fri 21 May.

Neria
 player, 33 posts
 Human Paladin
Sat 22 May 2021
at 00:22
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
While Raphael stared at the amulet, Neria again found herself staring at him.  Later, she would have to take a closer look at the statue's face and make another comparison, but as far as she could recall the resemblance really was quite remarkable.  When he finally spoke, she nearly jumped visibly, having entirely forgotten that she was waiting for him say something.

"Infernal?" she echoed, slightly alarmed at the idea.  "Though I suppose that would explain why the translation was so difficult."  There must be scholars that knew both languages well, but none of them were likely to be found in a temple to the Morninglord.

"Oh, but I couldn't translate it myself," she said, with a faint blush.  "I don't know Infernal or Celestial, and -- "  She paused, then went on even more self-consciously, "I didn't even realize that it was a prophecy until a few weeks ago.  They always told me it was unreadable.  But... you can read it, can't you?  If you have enough time to study it, of course, and if you -- "  There she broke off, having been about to add 'if you don't mind', but he had just said that he didn't.  She was almost beginning to feel used to being tongue-tied, though it was also getting tiring.  "Have you really never seen anything like this before?" In a way it was exciting for the language to be so unknown, but it also might mean a long wait for any more definitive answers.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 151 posts
Sat 22 May 2021
at 00:45
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
Raphael stood, "Follow me." He began at the section Neria took the book from recently. "It may be another lost language, or indecipherable in its entirety. Then I'm afraid you may never know the purpose of the amulet or message of this prophecy." He took out two more books and with a, "Would you mind?" Placed them on top of Neria's outstretched arms. Nodding he motioned to keep following him.

The second area seemed to be relating to Celestial beings and their Planes of existence. "They weren't incorrect about it being unreadable. Not by anyone who writes current languages, even someone who knew both Celestial and Infernal would not likely pick up on the language at a casual glance of the amulet." One more book was placed in Neria's arms. "As for..."

The studious pair were interrupted by a monk coming up the stairs, "Ah. Paladin Neria. A message has come for you. The little scamps were demanding two copper for its delivery, claiming whoever sent the message said you would pay. I have paid them and sent them off with an evening meal." He hands a slip of paper to Neria who, with her arms full of books, was not able to take it. The monk instead placed the folded slip of paper on top of the books and bowed slightly as he retreated downstairs.

Raphael gave a small smirk and continued, "As for if I can read it. Some, maybe. But it would likely take years of study to fully interpret it, if it is possible at all." Another book was placed in Neria's arms as the blonde man led Neria to another section, this time books about Devils and the Nine Hells.

"This one, and... this should do it." Two more books were added to the pile and he started walking back to the desk. "I have studied ancient languages before, mostly in Elvish and Drarvish. Never anything like you have here."

Once the pile was secured onto a second desk Raphael had time to sort through them. Neria took the opportunity to read over the note.

'Friend Neria, have found bed at Bunkhouse. House has agreed to find me work, but only if you will join me.
Please meet me at the House at dawn? Please? I'll make it up to you somehow.
Have promised this child you will pay them two copper for delivery.'

Neria
 player, 35 posts
 Human Paladin
Sat 22 May 2021
at 01:16
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
It was a little like being back in school, Neria thought, as she followed along obediently and acted as a book cart while Raphael gave a brief lecture on linguistics... which unfortunately had never been her strong suit, though she had managed to learn Elven and Draconic.  At the monk's approach she blushed again, shrugging carefully as the man offered out the note, then ducked down a fraction so it would be easier for him to place the paper atop the books.  "Thank you," she said, a little breathlessly, eyeing the note.  It had to be from Tone, she knew no one else here who would send her a message, and was instantly both curious and worried that something had happened to disrupt their plans for meeting again later.

At last she was able to set the books down -- just barely managing to do so without tipping the pile over, though there was an unfortunately loud thump.  She claimed the scrap of paper when it reappeared as Raphael was sorting through the books, unfolding it carefully and reading it over.  Then she read it again, frowning in puzzlement.  Why would the adventurer's guild only give Tone work if she had a paladin with her?  Here in Athkatla it must be quite common to see Tieflings acting as adventurers or soldiers for hire, and without any sort of escort.  Perhaps because Tone was a stranger here, they simply wanted someone to vouch for her?  Well, of course Neria would go, so she would find out what it all meant soon enough.

Tucking the note into her belt pouch, she turned back to Raphael.  "Is there anything else I can do to help?  Not that I've been all that much help as yet, but --  Ahem."  You really have to stop overexplaining everything, she told herself firmly.  "I'll be glad to assist you if I can," she finished, biting her tongue in hopes of resisting the urge to keep talking for several moments longer than she really should.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 154 posts
Sat 22 May 2021
at 01:43
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
Raphael smiled kindly at Neria biting her tongue, "Miss Neria, if you have something to tell me then please do! I have not lately had the conversation I am used to, especially with others sharing my interest in language." He set two of the books on the desk Neria was using, placing them beside the tome from Eveningstar. "I could definitely use your help, you are the one most familiar with the prophecy and with your assistance we could certainly progress much quicker."

His smile widened, his eyes excited. "Shall we begin?"

Raphael was certainly very familiar with research. He picked out passages from different texts and quickly sorted through the books to determine what would help and what would not likely yield results. He spoke with Neria as he studied, explaining what he was seeking simply, and he was correct in that Neria's presence was definitely helpful. After what she had learned in Eveningstar previously she was able to get Raphael started on the translation. The first section the pair tackled together. 'Follow the path of gold.'

It was late evening when progress started to be made. Raphael, ink smudges over his face, pointed out some of his thoughts, "We are working with not only two languages which are diametrically opposed but also, and primarily, what could very well be the origin language of them both. There is much room for interpretation. This section," He pointed to the first line. "That you have been told is 'Follow the path of gold.' can have multiple translations depending on which language you use. It could be follow, but in its context I believe it is join, there is an implication of inclusion in the phrase. Also, path is likely correct, although it could be one path or simply one."

He rubbed an ink stained finger against his nose, again leaving a blot. Strangely though he had not stained a single sheet of parchment or book, he was extremely careful when handling them. "So that leads me to a few translations. You may have more knowledge of what fits. I believe it is either, 'Join the one golden path.' or 'Join the golden one.'" He looked up to Neria expectantly, "If it doesn't make sense to you do not worry, I believe if we work later into the night we may be able to unveil at least another few words."
Neria
 player, 38 posts
 Human Paladin
Sat 22 May 2021
at 02:15
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
Though Neria felt a little as though she ought to correct Raphael -- she was interested in languages not simply for the joy of them, as he was, but because they would lead her to the larger truth she sought -- she could no more risk dampening his enthusiasm for the task than she could imagine telling Tone not to ask questions.  And she had to admit, watching him work, and even participating in her much more limited way, was starting to change her opinion of languages in general.  Anything that sparked such eagerness had to be more interesting than she had ever realized.

"Join the golden one," she echoed, feeling a slight but definite thrill down her spine as she tried to organize her racing thoughts and explain herself clearly for once.  "Part of the reason I came to Athkatla was because of the stories about the city -- that its streets were literally paved with gold.  I thought that there had to be something in the prophecy to give a definite direction, you see, and since it referred to a path...  But then, just as I was setting out, something happened that made me wonder if gold meant something else."

She briefly described meeting Tone, and the idea that had occurred to her upon seeing the Tiefling's eyes.  If Raphael disapproved of her choice of traveling companions, she was not likely to notice, as wrapped up in the tale as she was.  "I started to think that perhaps the prophecy might have meant to follow her path, you see, and since she was going to Athkatla, well, that settled it and here I am.  She did say that gold eyes aren't particularly rare for Tieflings, and one of hers is silver now anyway, but on the other hand Tieflings in general aren't common in Eveningstar, so it was odd that I met her at all, really.  And it helped that I met her -- I think the journey here was a lot easier than it might have been, having someone to travel with."

Then she paused, awkwardly, staring at the smudge on his nose for a moment.  "Does that make any sense?  I feel as though I'm seeing omens and portents everywhere, but of course not everything can be significant."
Dungeon Master
 GM, 157 posts
Sat 22 May 2021
at 02:45
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
Raphael listened intently, nodding on occasion as Neria detailed her thoughts on the prophecy and her arrival in Athkatla with a tiefling. "Both perfectly sensible assumptions to make from what you know of the prophecy. Of the two I believe it is the tiefling which the prophecy refers to as the 'golden one', though the prophecy was not likely referring to her eye color." He made some quick notes and placed a finger on his chin, leaving a soft stain of ink once again, "It may be worth keeping track of this tiefling. If nothing eventuates from her then you are in Athkatla, the only other alternative we have to a golden path and we can reassess out knowledge."

"Shall we continue?" He asked, pulling a book towards him.

Only in the early morning hours, with the help of Raphael, Neria felt she had become more familiar with the language. She was still guessing but with Raphael's help it was starting to make a little sense. Over the evening, studying by candlelight late in the temple library Neria and Raphael believed they had interpreted another section of the amulet. The next section was loosely translated by Neria and Raphael felt it was fairly accurate to its intent. Both Neria and Raphael got fairly stuck on progressing much further, whether it was the late hour or the difficulty in the translation not much more would be done tonight.

Raphael stood, pacing in thought. The temple had long since closed to the public and it was only by the candlelight that the pair studied. "So this next section you wrote out. 'Together, meet the mother and two daughters.' Together. That almost confirms that it is the tiefling you need to keep an eye on. Together with the city? I am not so sure about that as a translation." He bent down over the passage Neria had written, pointing, "I am fairly certain of the translation of the words although I feel mother/daughter in this context is not familial."

The final part was the most interesting, but also the most confusing, Raphael read the text from Neria's notes. "'And destroy the black expanse.' Expanse was odd, in its context it could be rise, or life. Even the word destroy could be taken to have an opposite meaning, such is the problem with working with both Celestial and Infernal. Destroy could even mean save or promote if read in Infernal as opposed to Celestial. The context doesn't provide clues towards this." He sighed, "Perhaps a fresh mind after a rest would help. It would give me time to arrange my thoughts as well."

He smiled again, "Thank you Miss Neria for the opportunity to work on this. It is late and it may be in both of our interests to retire shortly."
Neria
 player, 39 posts
 Human Paladin
Sat 22 May 2021
at 03:20
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
"Well, she's my friend, of course I'll keep track of her," Neria said, absently, distracted by the pages before her.  "And she asked me to meet her tomorrow at dawn, that's what the note was about," she added, rousing herself a little.

"Yes, I wondered about the idea of an actual mother and two daughters," she admitted.  "It didn't seem quite right as an actual family, but perhaps a mentor and her two charges, something like that?  If it refers to people at all, perhaps it's even more metaphorical.  It certainly doesn't seem to mean anyone I've already met, at least, but perhaps soon," she added hopefully.

"Destroy the black life?" she echoed, frowning.  Somewhere along the way she had also collected a smudge of ink, on her cheek, though she had for the most part been a little afraid to touch any of the pages.  "Though that does make more sense than destroying an expanse.  I never did think of any logical ideas as to what that meant.  Or save the black life.  That doesn't sound -- well.  That doesn't quite sound like something Lathander would do, does it?"

Then Raphael mentioned the lateness of the hour, and she blinked.  "Oh, yes, it must be -- I don't know if I've ever stayed up this late," she admitted with a shy smile, given the importance in her life of greeting the dawn.  "Yes, of course, we both need some rest.  After all, I can't expect all the answers in one night... though thanks to you, I feel much closer now."  She stood and held out a hand, then gestured vaguely with the other.  "You have a smudge on your nose," she added quietly.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 158 posts
Sat 22 May 2021
at 03:32
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
Raphael nodded, "That is good, keep an eye on her and if it doesn't work out. Well, I'll be here and we can continue."

He scratched his nose regarding Neria's assumption about the origin of the amulet. "I do not think this amulet, or prophecy, is from Lathander." It was something for Neria to consider.

"You are most welcome for the help." He smiled and shook Neria's hand lightly, then pointed to his cheek, "Oh, you have a spot, ah, around here."

"I will put away the books and might even take one or two back to my chambers." He waved Neria away, "I'll take care of this, get some sleep and come see me again once your business is done with your friend."
Neria
 player, 40 posts
 Human Paladin
Sat 22 May 2021
at 15:19
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
"Oh, thank you," Neria said, rubbing futilely at her cheek, somehow less embarrassed at this then she had been about, well, nearly everything else.  "Thank you again, and good night.  I'll see you in the morning -- well, it might be later in the day, I'm not sure exactly what my friend and I will need to do.  But I'll find you," she promised, and took her leave for the night.

Still absently brushing her hand against her cheek, she walked slowly back to the dormitory and her room.  It had occurred to her that the prophecy might not be directly from Lathander, of course, but she had always assumed that it was at least something the Morninglord approved of, even if he hadn't set these events in motion himself.  But Raphael had implied that none of it might have anything to do with Lathander, and that was a very strange idea.  If it was not his prophecy in any way, why had she been taken in and raised by his followers in one of his temples?

She puzzled over this as she walked and while she prepared for bed, though in her sleepy state she got no further with the question.  Still, there was some reassurance in the fact -- even if there was nothing of Lathander's work in the amulet or the words after all, there surely couldn't be anything terrible in it, or the Morninglord would not have let her get even this far.

Her thoughts were still racing as she laid down, and it was a mark of her distraction that she hardly noticed the relative luxury of sleeping in a bed, something she'd not always had opportunity to do while traveling.  And what would happen in the morning, with Tone?  Glad as she was to help her friend, now Neria was worried.  Should she tell the Tiefling that she, too, might be part of the prophecy?  Probably Tone would be fascinated by the idea, but was it fair to risk subjecting her to all the same questions and doubts Neria had been plagued with?

Convinced that she would lie awake until it was time to leave, a few moments later Neria fell into an exhausted sleep.

***

Dungeon Master
 GM, 166 posts
Sun 23 May 2021
at 00:23
PROLOGUE - Neria, Athkatla
Prologue Complete