Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Flashback: Divine Truth

The night brought on tremors and haunting dreams of Meaghan’s last night of humanity until she was given a reprieve, a new direction, and a new chance at life. The weeks and months spent lost in Cormanthor gave her time to reflect on her new purpose. She was blessed, reincarnated into a new human body; gone was the monstrosity and a life of slavery replaced with enlightenment and a divine truth.

Shar was similar to her in regards to her disorientations but at the same time her counterpart. He was naturally sensitive to the light and she limited at night. Together Meaghan and Shar took it upon themselves to partner up; taking care to always pair up whenever possible- neither of them by themselves or alone. She had no problems during the day, but the blinding light all but crippled the drow and at night he would make sure Meaghan did not hurt herself or anyone else.

It had been a long time in finding Tragidore since the wild magic surge. The advent of Midsummer’s Eve brought merchants and trade companies from all corners of the Dalelands allowing Meaghan and her friends to spend the day acquiring much needed supplies but as they soon discovered, they remained woefully short on funds.

The bounty collected on the Nhar-del and his ‘assassins’ were enough to satisfy their basic needs, but it was not enough for their long term goals that required procuring mounts. That was when Dale Slade suggested the REWARD message…

REWARD: Adventurers needed to undertake a perilous investigation. The danger is unknown, but the reward for success is VERY generous.  Interested companies should go to the Cawing Crow and ask for Marta.

Wild Silver trees were alit with magical lights as clerics of Eldath cast blessings of protection, community, and hearth on everyone as was custom during Midsummer’s Eve in Tragidore. Local Tall-fellow Halflings demonstrate their culinary skills by filling the night air with delectable aromas while traveling merchants from across the Dalelands sell all manner of exotic spices, rare textiles, and an occasional item of magic. Little did the folk of the small town know the Time of Troubles was coming to an end.

Maghan and her companions found the Cawing Crow as a conspicuous building, impossible to ignore because of the considerable populations of crows, owls, falcons, bats, but mostly crows, roosted in its many slender, fluted towers. It was the house of a Tragidore highborn family tasked with providing sanctuary for the various message familiars on their various overland flights. Guarding the estate, Meaghan noticed were several austere warrior-women of devout purpose, stern countenance, each sufficiently armed.

Presenting the message to a guard, they were led into a sheltered deck that over looked Tragidore to the west where a dark skinned woman waited audience with her familiar and two warrior-women standing guard, the woman was Marta Vistani.

“Many folk went missing early, gone for almost a year now, right after the Time of Troubles began.” Marta was explaining after introductions were formally exchanged along with titles and achievements. Meaghan could see how strangely Marta was regarding her, speaking as if Meaghan was Marta’s only caller. 

“As the months passed many more men began to go missing while looking for the others until, as you can see all that remains are those men who are too old or too young to be any use to the community. None are capable to do a day’s full work; in fact most of them require supervision else they pose harm to themselves or others. Tragidore is desperate; rumors have reached me hinting that mothers and wives hide their men claiming a malevolent avatar at work.”

Meaghan considered this and thought how afraid these people must be. Outside, she could hear Tragidore celebrating the waning hours of the evening; inspiring she thought despite the unknown danger just outside their walls. Inside, Meaghan and her companions Sanford, Claudia, Shar, Tyrus, Blain, and Dale Slade all sat in the open gazebo as Marta continued to argue her case for heroes. Meaghan reflected on the divine truth revealed to her in her turbulent dreams and with that knowledge she could sense no misgivings from the Vistani woman.

“With the inclusion of the three missing Gundwynd sons, and the highwaymen your Claudia informed us about the total missing stands near fifty.” Marta finished and as she did she looked up from a ledger toward Meaghan with a regard that now bespoke recognition; Marta knew her Meaghan thought… or rather the physical body she now possessed.

“Morgan Gundwynd said he and his brothers consulted a seer before they set out, I guess they found what they were looking for.” Dale Slade said with a dry, amusing tone.
“My husband was among the second team to vanish looking for the original group of lumberjacks near the end of Full Earth,” she said flatly. “Furthermore, we've sent ravens to Cormyr but neither word nor aid has come in response.” Marta conceded. Again, Meaghan could sense no falsehood from the woman.

“Sounds like this seer is where we begin.” Shar said from the deep shadows.

“That sounds like you agree to investigate?” Marta asked in a hopeful tone addressing the adventurers. Meaghan felt a rush of warmth fill her; she rose to her feet feeling an invisible weight press upon her like an iron cloak.

“That sounds like you approve of our company?” Claudia asked in a curious tone.

“I know a con when I see it.” Marta answered, as she did this she brought out an exquisitely made slender wooden box. For Meaghan the container buzzed with magical energy.

Overhead clouds parted and the heavens opened above the world, Meaghan felt like all eyes were upon her like the stern gazes of hundreds of stars and faces in the sky. She began to tremble again- it was late and the night tremors were beginning. Maybe her body was rejecting her consciousness.

At once Meaghan focused on the divine truth that was revealed to her and saw the gates to the heavens and lower planes reopened to the gods; it was like an astral staircase made of stars and the constellations of the heavens. Every step made of a different element of creation and invention; on these steps Meaghan could see individuals ascending the stairs…

“As for the reward,” Marta was saying. “I and the Highborn Houses of Tragidore offer these…” Oblivious to Meaghan’s tremors and change in demeanor, Marta opened the ornate box revealing three gemstones, Tears of Selune, fragments from heavens when the Time of Troubles shattered the pane that overlooked the Realms.

Suddenly all three gemstones lit up, rose up from the box, shot out, and collided with Meaghan who thought, as darkness took her, not again…

But this was different, the gemstones… the divine truth… it was nothing she could easily explain but knew without question. What she saw in the sky was the positions of divine office in the heavens and lower hells were being rewarded. Dozens of powerful beings and supernatural entities were restoring old gods while other powers established new faiths.

One of these powerful beings, a woman, turned and cast her resplendent gaze at Meaghan. It was the goddess Mystra reaching out… reaching out again! Now, so close to her god that Meaghan knew in her heart that it was Mystra who blessed her with a new form and a new purpose.

Meaghan Gundwynd,” Mystra said, it was Syndra’s first words as the goddess of magic. The voice of Meaghan’s god touched only her ears, the quality by which Mystra spoke brought Meaghan to tears.

“You will hereby be my first Inquisitor Meaghan. Go forth to reveal the hidden enemies within my new church, I grant you divine authority to have them answer for their vile actions, and bestow my justice. Furthermore you are to instruct your companion Shar Auvryndar in the tenants of my philosophies and imperatives in my church… to prepare him later in life as my personal Monitor of Magic; my chosen with the divine authority to deny any individual or being the use of any spell or item of magic that violates my tenants or who is judged unworthy.”

With these words came a mental image of the grimoire Tyrusacquired after murdering Belathein, the tome's former owner, the night before. 

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