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A Tearful Summons (Rik, Abbie)

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1 A Tearful Summons (Rik, Abbie) on Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:05 am

A week before Eleint, this letter is dropped off with Sister Abbie, addressed to Father Rik Templeborn:

Rik,

I do not know if you remember me. Eighteen years is the blink of an eye to elves, and you were so young when I came to you for help in the wake of my husband's death. But you were sweet enough to tell me I was your first, and I flatter myself with the hope that you may remember me for that reason alone.

My daughter, the gift you so generously gave me, is missing. Gwynnestri is the most precious thing in my world and I would do anything to get her back. Yet all my magic and money--every resource I can draw on at my disposal from the Feytower--has so far been powerless to bring her home safely.

I beg you to come see me at the Feytower on the 7th of Eleint, and there to speak with a group I am assembling in the hopes that they can succeed where I have failed. If this must needs be a holy quest in charity, I will make whatever arrangements your temple high priestess demands. But, please, take pity on us.

Laerdya Siannodel
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2 Re: A Tearful Summons (Rik, Abbie) on Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:04 pm

Sister Abbie has been with the temple since before Rik started his calling at 18. She remembers very well his first petitioner, 18 years ago, was a beautiful widow by the name Laerdya Siannodel.

Laerdya, an elven wizard, was beautiful and deeply bereaved almost to the point of desperate self harm when she came to the temple; Abbie feared the young widow might try to kill herself. She and her human husband had tried and failed for years to make a child, then he took ill and died. She tried to raise him from the dead but he was already well past human middle age and his spirit felt she was just postponing the inevitable. He refused to come back to life at her call.

Turning to the temple, Laerdya asked Yondalla for a half-human, half-elf child that would look just like what he and she would have made together given the chance. Yondalla saw no reason not to give her what she asked and Rik was assigned to help the young widow.

Laerdya was fond of Rik and worked well with him; there were no problems with his youth nor with his orcishness. A good first case for him, really, and successful: she became pregnant and every account Abbie or Rik has heard of her since was about her shining career as a wizard who protects and serves the city. She is one of Yondalla's secret success stories.

Per the promise of secrecy which was imposed on her by Yondalla, she hasn't exactly kept in touch, but she donates every year to the temple--and the high priestess would like to keep one of their most important donors happy. Her daughter, the child Rik helped create, sometimes comes to the temple garden to stare at the paladin with wide, curious eyes while he practices his swordplay.

---

Abbie reads the letter a second time, troubled, then leans back. Of course. On top of everything else, of course one of his children goes missing. Sweet Lady, he does not need this right now!

Then, sighing, she goes to reseal the letter and bring it to him.

She knocks carefully on the door to the room where he's been holed up ever since the... the incident. "Father Rik?" she calls softly, then eases the door open a moment later. She looks him over, her gaze both appraising and sympathetic. "How're you feeling, dear one?"

---

He finishes his silent prayer and raises his head as the cleric enters. From his position, seated on his heels kneeling before the hearth his head is about level with hers. He stares at the embers and replies.

"I feel as though the trial has just begun. I have been born anew and must once again prove myself worthy of the goddess's blessing."

---

"Oh, honey." Stepping into the room, she lays a calloused hand on his shoulder, rubbing it comfortingly. "You know you've long since proven yourself to her."

She sighs. "But I know this hasn't been easy for you. If it helps... I might have a way for you to get out and about again. Safely, I mean."

---

"That is up to the goddess my dear cleric, unless I am mistaken. "

He stands smoothly and welcomes her into his rooms. An outstretched hand offering the only chair.

---

She sinks gratefully into the chair and snorts. "Well. A paladin's job is to do the goddess's will but a cleric's job is to interpret it. So as your cleric, I'm telling you that you've already proven yourself many times over."

Sighing, she pulls out the letter, but doesn't offer it yet. "You... you remember Laerdya, yes? The first woman you helped?"

---

He smiles, "I remember them all dear cleric. Each one who joined me to entreat the goddess for her greatest blessing. Each one that allowed me to serve Yondalla's will and feel her presence within us. How does the family fair these days?"

---

She hesitates. "She needs help," she says after a moment. "She asked for you. Rik... it's about the girl." She holds the letter out to him.

---

He reads and his eyes fill with rage. He doesn't even register that he is methodically putting on his full plate as he interrogates the cleric.

"How long has she been missing? Where was she last seen. Who are her closest friends? What demands have they sent?  What idiot dares touch one of the goddess's children?!"

---

"I don't know, I don't know, I don't know, I don't know, and I don't know," she says calmly, watching him armor up. "I know what was in the letter, same as you. Rik, she asked you to arrive two weeks from now. Clearly she didn't think the girl was in immediate danger."

---

"Not in immediate danger?! How can someone be missing and in need of a search party not be in immediate danger?" He roars this response a bit more loudly than necessary. He catches up his sword and takes one long stride and is at the door. Hand on the knob.

---

"RIK!"

The word comes out harsher than she intends, and Abbie winces at her own tone but continues. "Laerdya obviously knows something, or she wouldn't be asking you to meet with her. And she's asking you to meet her on that date. You need to trust that she has a reason. Right now, you don't have any information at all. You don't even know where to start looking! Running off half-cocked right now isn't going to accomplish anything except alert the people who killed you that you're still alive."
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3 Re: A Tearful Summons (Rik, Abbie) on Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:11 pm

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