*At the end of the second age, during the days of the Verge Wars, it was the decision of the cleric high council to step aside from the fighting, stay neutral and give the healer's aid when we could. All calls for military aid were ignored and should any of our number leave the city for such a purpose, they would quickly become residents of our deeper dungeons. This may have kept us alive but it took many years for the people and indeed a great many of our own number to forgive the lack of action. It should also be known that many of our Brethren in the magical arts have refused to ever absolve us, letting the old angers fester. It is for this reason that we must never show weakness lest our enemies take their opportunity, for it is unlikely that we will receive help from the wizards or the sorcerers. Should we ever need their aid, I shudder to think how we will cope.*
Tam Keellan, Cleric Traveller
Lenia Ivy sat on that same old bench in the center of the bright garden courtyard, praying before the statue of Haleni.
‘How you managed to get through times like this I'll never know. I have fear, Sister. I fear that our strength is failing, and I fear that everything we once were is fading away into the darkness of necessary evils.' She said her head bowed low.
Sister Haleni had lived through the worst days of the Verge Wars, as a Cleric Devoted, guiding the people in the ways and will of the gods, and during the Verge she had even fought against the encroaching armies. Such actions should have made her an outcast, like so many, but she had been pushed to act violently, an action she loathed. Her lover had even been killed in the final battle of the Verge, returning after, only to die of his wounds. It was his blade that had ended the wars, killed the Grand Duke in command of the enemy forces. He had left for that climactic battle already wounded and Haleni knew that he would soon leave her forever but still she kept to her post as a guide of the people. How the times did not tare her in two Lenia did not know.
Lenia lifted her eyes once more to the statue that she could not see and had never seen, and then a voice came.
‘Your sister Bronya has the right of it, you should listen to her and get off the nice wooden bench and hurry to your work.' The voice laughed then and Lenia turned to the woman who was her sister by blood.
‘You shouldn't make fun of another's beliefs.'
Bronya stifled her laughter. ‘I'm sorry, Lenia, I couldn't help myself. Cornellious has been waiting for over thirty minutes, you know?'
‘Oh, I must have lost track of time.'
Then Lenia stood, lifting her staff and walked from the courtyard arm in arm with her sister. The fallen autumn leaves crunched under her feet as they moved to the covered way surrounding the gardens and took the first open portal into the main building.
After a few minutes of silent journey, Lenia spoke. Her voice carried worry, were a normal person would have seemed been anxious, but when all you could see were dazed colours you had to train yourself to be calm.
‘Is this where you thought you'd be when we started down this road.'
‘Well, in all honesty, my travelling isn't done with yet.