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December 4, 2015 at 9:41 am #1600

Grey takes only enough time to claim his bed and sort through a few things before leaving. He briefly speaks to Stern, presumably to let him know his general plans. There is no hint of vitriol or anger in his bearing, but there is something focused, perhaps too focused, perhaps his version of nervous…it’s hard to say. The unreadable grey elf wields tremendous power, which he has used to blast your enemies, zap you across the battlefield, either in or out of danger, and he has even healed some of you, apparently able to take the wounds of others on to himself and then purge them from his body…he is a problem solver, perhaps troubled by some problem he does not know how to solve. Or perhaps this is just his bearing. Some of you wonder what troubles him, other’s merely write it off as his way. He acts as if nothing is wrong, and slips away to seek his cousin.

That night you share a simple vegetarian meal with the Shrine’s Keeper. Those of you expecting a more hardy feast are a little disappointed…but the man is very gracious. He avoids further praise of your actions, instead showing his gratitude through his mannerisms. He is obviously a deeply religious man, but he also seems to be a student of history. Over dinner he speaks much of Shen Ling and Yun Shan’s history, asks many questions about what you’ve seen in your adventures, and wonders aloud at what various events might mean. Those of you with a taste for philosophy, talk of the gods, or history, find the night fascinating, those of you who do not, hear the distant firecrackers, drums, and occasionally catch a whiff of roasted meat….it seems a small number that live upon the lake are starting the celebration a night early…and you find yourself wishing you were out there.

Caris, for the longest time you have been alone in your bond of faith, but in the past days you have heard praises to Ehlonna on the lips of so many. It’s strange, and now you are with this scion of your faith. You don’t know if he is your equal in divine power, but he is certainly superior in his knowledge of the faith and wisdom. He speaks to you in fatherly tones that feel you with a peace you can’t deny. He is charming, smart, strong in faith, charitable, and all in all the kind of man you imagined your father was. After dinner wraps up you move to a room before a great crackling hearth, with mismatched, oversized comfy chairs for all of you. A rare sweet wine is brought out and you all speak with the shrines’ keeper for as late as you wish. At some point, while you are all still up, he speaks:

“I must confess, I offer you all more than I led on when I invited you to stay the night. I imagined….That is to say, I had hoped you might stay here a while…take some time to reflect on the deeds you have done, take time to enjoy the hospitality of a grateful land, that sort of thing…and it would be my honor to house you here for however long that time might be. This is a peaceful place, a shrine to the honorable dead, and to the ever living goddess…it is a peaceful place where few will dare come to bother you. You may take a hard earned rest, or go and roust about if you wish, but at least know you have a quiet place to come home to when you need it. I am sure there are perhaps things here for you, loose ends, unanswered questions…perhaps something in need of study before you make your next move, or do you intend to leave soon?