The wolf was the chief. The beast who made short work of two villagers before our eyes was the very man sworn to protect this place.
What have we walked into.
He wanted us to protect this village, all the while he was hunting it? He needed us to stand up to a few dozen men, when he could turn into a fire breathing, ten foot tall, wolf?
Something is not right.
Most of our trade at the chapel in Vestygg was merchants barely getting through the door, tossing their coins into the basked my father had invented, and moving on. Our coffer basked took the time to ask the Lady’s favor from minutes to seconds, and the donations poured in.
But it wasn’t all a volume business. There were the confessors.
Inaction is the only sin in the worship of the Lady. Moral codes of absolute right and wrong rarely work in the real world.
Sure, one of Pelor’s sunnies can do ethical summersaults to prove that a woman is justified to steal bread to feed her starving children.
But ask the same summer priests what that same woman should do if she can only steal one loaf, but has two children and they freeze.
How can a god tell someone there is a right choice in this situation?
You tell her to break the loaf in half, and ask Tymora to be kind. Luck and chance sustain when goodness and mercy can not.
The penitent would come to our chapel and confess their indecision. The Abbott would listen, and nod, and tell them what to do. Sometimes it was his best judgement, sometimes it was what they wanted to hear so he could go back to the tavern.
And when someone was droning on for particularity long, and wasn’t keping the coppers dropping in the coffer, the Abbot would excuse himself come to my cell, and ask me to take over.
Perhaps this is why the first bit of wisdom he taught me was how to have the Lady transform me into someone else. It’s also why he taught me how to mimic voices.
I would ask the Lady to make me look like the Abbott, check the mirror and walk back in.
Far from a burden, these encounters were my only contact with the outside world. I would revel in the details. My aim was to ask the question that unlocked their indecision – like a key turning a bolt.
That’s how I knew something was wrong in this village. Why would only one specific hut, not on the edge of the village be attacked? Why one boy, but not another, why now? Who in the village could leave unseen when everyone shares their tent with others?
When I asked Shaba about that, she barely understood why. The chief is the only one that could come and go as he pleased, and apparently his pleasure was to hunt his kith.
I’m currently playing through a campaign DM’d by the indomitable Erik Maxwell. As a writing exercise I’m giving myself 30 minutes to recap our weekly adventures.