Chapter 1 Part 3
Ches 29, Year of The Solitary Cloister
Arthon prodded his horse to go slightly faster so that he could get ahead of Seaoth, dismount and be ready for the Staff Sergeant to hand him his reigns. As he steadied the mount allowing his mentor to slowly remove himself from his saddle, a voice called out from behind him,
“Arthon!” he did not need to turn to know it was his sister, but he did anyway with a broad smile on his face. His subconcious made him wait to make sure Seaoth was safetly on the ground before he sprinted across the courtyard to embrace his sister. There were many reasons from the retreat of the rest of their family, to the general feeling of fragility and rarity now common among The People, but for whatever reason Arthon and Ardinia were closer than the typical sibling and they both enjoyed seeing the other whenever they could.
“Where’s Siam?” Arthon asked, looking around and assuming his brother-in-law was near by.
“He had something to attend to and it is not normality that brings me here today.”
An hour later Ardinia had explained what was had happened, and that the priests were attending to the stricken elf. Arthon and Seaoth had rushed into the cathedral of the Eternal Bounty to offer their services to the priests of Rillifane attending to him and then were promptly sent back out, and the siblings had caught up while Ardinia helped Arthon carry provisions to the pack horse.
Soon after, a couple priests of Rillifane emerged from the temple with the elf and Ardinia was stunned to see him looking completely healthy and walking without concern or trouble. The priests spoke with the now much improved elf and pointed over to Ardinia. He promptly walked over to her and extended his hand,
“I am told that at the least I owe you my tanks and likely owe you my life.” He bowed his head seriously, “I am indebted to you.”
“Actually, you owe most of your gratitude to my husband but, thank you.”
Brother Lialk introduced himself and then began telling his story as the siblings, Seaoth and the two priests of Rillifane gathered around to listen,
“My name is Lialk and I am a monk from the monestary of Saint Herraie to the south.” every member of his small audience nodded, the monestary was not unknown, even to the less religious Ardinia, who was familiar with tales of a secret library, hidden for centuries within the walls of the monestary. Seeing they were familiar with his home, the cleric continued, “Last summer,” he thought for a moment, “either during Highsun or perhaps Eleint, we started spotting goblins at our spring and around the monestary grounds. At first, we found this to be a curiosity and little more. However, as autum went on, we began to see more and more of them, as well as signs that they were becoming braver and trespassing more regularly and flagrantly.”
He paused and they could see he was getting to the troubling part of his tale, “They even stole some of our crops and supplies as we were going through harvest. Over the winter, things were uneventful, but this spring it got worse. Much worse. We had to start gathering water in groups as the goblins were almost always at the spring and they began undertaking almost regular raids on our monestary at night. First, seeds, crops and supplies. But then they ventured far enough into the monestary grounds to make off with a couple goats. Then,” again he paused and gave a brief glance to the heavens, “last week Brother Brillyrd was cooking our lunch and needed more water. He was impatient and refused to wait for someone to go with him.” He was quiet for a very long time, “We found his body an hour or two later when we went to see why he had yet to return. He had been attacked, goblin darts riddled his body, and he was floating face down in the spring.” He began to choke up and fell silent.
In another hour, the plan was set. The temple of Rillifane was horrified at the tale and called upon Aerun’s Army, their charges, to assist the monestary. Arthon was given the order that he would escort the brother back to his monestary and then assist them with their goblinoid problem. Ardinia would go with, both to help…but also to see if she could find out anymore on this secret library…and so the three of them would wait a few days for Siam’s return before they would set out south.