A Half Moon
Meredith wondered what magic they used to cause such a sensation and as she walked with the throng of people walking into the temple for the Lunar Mass. No apparent runes were present and her mind wondered if it was the architecture that helped the breeze into the building.
Meredith wore here explorer clothes which she bought to a sparkle with some rudimentary spells. She had put on her good cloak over them, to at least look to anyone else as someone simply going to enjoy the proceedings.
No matter the reason the procession began to quiet as the entered the second gate. People became somber and calm as they came in and had small hints of smiles on their face. Even Meredith noticed a pleasing smirk on her face. Enchanted she looked up at the tapestries that lined the walls leading to the open courtyard where they held the ceremony. Long woven think clothes they were, forty hands high to the roof and fifty to eighty hands long across. Each told talesof valiant and peaceful resolutions. Some told of war and others told of peace, all held within some lesson or another. One told of the great hunger that struck the southern land ofGrome and how a priestess of Pirsig helped the dwarves their learn to cultivate another type of crop. Yet another told of a small kingdom under siege by a mighty barbarian horde being defended by a small retinue of Paladins, who purged the land of the great threat. One thing was constant in all these pictographs: the heroes were anonymous. Many of their faces were covered in helmet or in shadows of cloak or just blurred. Anonymity was one of the key tenants of the Clerics of Pirsig, and this was shown even within their own church.
To each side of the Tapestries, one could see priestesses of Pirsig, nodding and smiling at the passersby. Many were dressed like the heroes of the Tapestry in simple clothes of white with silver trimmings. Each nodded and helped in the procession to the courtyard, all the while seemingly spreading and intensifying the cool clam that had befallen the church to all that entered.
Meredith had stopped for a second to look at one tapestry of a small halfling women fighting some large wolfish creatures with a stick. Again the fact was lost here, but the expertly woven cloth captured the sinister and ghoulish look of the large beasts, as they surrounded the small women, who only stood with a staff at the ready. Meredith’s mouth visibly gaped at the scene that followed as the wolves tore into the poor little halfling who could only batten them off with her little stick.
“Not to worry, she lives” came a hard voice behind her. Meredith turned, annoyed that someone would ruin the story for her in mid stream. (She know it had to have a good ending if not, why would you put it up in the middle of a temple of HOPE!) she looked over and soon match such a hard and beaten voice to a hard and beaten dwarf.
Terris stood there, a small pine box of ale under arm, a gappy toothed grin on his face.
“I hadn’t finished reading it, ya jerk!” Meredith said in whispered tones, eyes darting side by side to make sure she wasn’t causing a scene
“You could had left me to finish! And are you drunk already?”
Terris stared at her cross-eyed for a bit and just laughed, screwing the top off of a metal canteen he had to his side and swigging it back, looking around to make sure he wasn’t seen. (Which he was)
“Aw, come on now, how ken ye’ neh drinks on a nigh’ o’ fez-tee-veetays as too-day?” he asked, Terris’s movements swaggered back and forth.
Meredith had befriended the odd dwarf on her train ride in and since that day wondered if it was the right move. He was an incredible tour guide to the city and had helped her get a job proofing scrolls in a small Mage Wright shop in the lower Green Door District. He was her only friend in this huge city, but proved to be a bit of troublemaker too.
There wasn’t a night where a bar fight didn’t break out, or someone was flinging daggers or balls of magical fire at him ( or them!) so just tog t a breather from him tonight to enjoy the ceremony would have been nice. The Meredith heard Terris sigh a bit.
“She is a brave one” Terris said, now studying the tapestry alongside Meredith.
“You knew her?” Meredith said, cockeyed at the sudden sincerity of Terris.
“Aye, I KNOW her, she’s still around, ya know?” Terris said with a crooked smile.
“She is” Meredith didn’t think it was possible since so any of these warriors seemed ancient and mythical, form some time long ago. To think one of them walked among the people here tonight, Meredith gaped.
“Here” Terris pointed to of the panels at the end of the scene where the badly bleeding halfling had triumphed over the wolf things, and light had shined all around her. The monster were burned and scared, open maws hung wide in terror atthier burning stinking death. Meredith looked in wonder at the scene and wondered how it could have happened.
“Dat was when she first called for da’ power of the Goddess. She was a’loon in the wood, part of hunting party dat was trying ta get rid of the creature that were killing the local villa’jeers. Young and inexperienced, she was also da’ only survivor of da’ ga’roop. When da’ beeasts were upon he, she called to the Goddess for acceptance of her situation. Dah, Goddess said nay, and told her she must fight if she were to be accepted. She did. And she won. Since then she had become a stong leader for da church both in peace and in war”
“So how do you know her”
“As much as the Royal Knives were an ex-cloosive ga-roop, we had our honorary membas. She healed me more times than I can remember, stopping me form death in so many ways.”
“Forty Seven” a small voice came from behind them
Meredith turned, surprised at the voice coming from her hips were and small halfling women standing behind her. She the silver and purple of the follower of Pirsig, but was different in pattern than the rest; she had a mix of heavy, decorative armor, worn and dented form years of warfare. She seemed like a hard bitten warrior,but within her face was a kindness Meredith had never seen.
Terris gave out a big laugh that echoed in the halls, causing some passersby to look over as she grabbed the little women and raised in both arms in a huge hug.
“Camaroo, how are ya girl!” Terris said, raising the small halfling off the floor with huge hug. Meredith saw that some of the Priestesses looked don in surprise that anyone would greet an All-Mother in such a way, but were quickly dissuaded when they heard Camaroo laugh back at the greeting.
“I was fine before you came in here to crush my bones , you stinky dwarf!” she said, ending her sentence in cough and a laugh. Terris introduced Meredith to her and Camaroo greeted back the traditional hand covering half the face greeting of the Pirsig Templar’s. She raised her hand to Meredith, and in turn she had to bow a bit for Camaroo to touch her face.
“Life is Adversity, and may Pirsig give you Strength, girl” the halfling said, and now Meredith felt strength coming into her body she never expected. it was subtle, but she had a picture in her mind of silver strings of liquid coming into her blood, renewing her, and cleansing her at the same time. Looking down, she was surprised that someone of such small stature held such power.
“Ye was always good at that, Cam”
“Bringing good to all”
“Heh, well then…” Camaroo said, now folding he arms under cloak, and magically produced a staff twice as tall as her “what then, do you bring, Terris?”
“News. Sometimes good and sometimes bad” Terris said, glancing at Meredith who gave him a curious stare back. Camaroo looked at the dwarf for a long time, studying him and what he had just said. She turned to Meredith, extended her hand with something inside.
“Wear this, Meredith” Camaroo said, the young girl now held a small trinket in her hand, “It will give you access to all the festivities and free eats tonight, for the whole night”
Meredith gasped at such a surprise “I couldn’t All-Mother, I mean I just…”
“Now don’t worry darling, I have much business to discuss with Terris, and it would boring for you” Camaroo began to push her along to get her back into the long procession. Meredith was surprised at the strength the women had, and more surprised when some priestesses took her hand as if on cue to take her along the way.
“uhm….thank you, All-Mother” was all Meredith good blurt out before the Priestesses began to speak and tell her all the traditions and stories this night and the hall held.
“That was kind of you, Camaroo” Terris said, as the halfling turned to him with a stern face
“Ya shouldn’t be mixing this girl up in things, Terris. Ya know we live unhealthy lives of blade and blood, and you never know when the fires that chase us will burn other around us!”
“Ye right, Cam, as always, but you know who that girl is?”
“What?” Camaroo gasped at this, as she led Terris into a private side hall that wardened off with two large Paladins standing guard. She waved them to one side as she passed them.
“How can that be? I thought….well, I thought what we had all thought, Terris!”
“I know, but after I spoke with our friend in the mountains…” Camaroo stopped as Terris spoke
“you what?” she said, eyes wide in anger, Terris rolled his eyes at her
“Oh come now, Cam, what did ye think I was to do? Ya told me where he was and I went to speak with him”
“By all that the Moon holds dear Terris, di ya know how dangerous that was!?!”
“More dangerous to be ignorant about it! He was the only one who knew for sure!”
a long silence filed the hall as they both stood under burning torches, Camaroo broke the silence “So then?”
“He was mad as a bat, fer sure, his powers were preserving his body but not his mind. He still would not budge form where he was but he did tell me that after this years, Gillian did have a daughter, and that daughter is Meredith”
Camaroo paced a bit at this, staring at the floor. She stopped or a moment and glanced at Terris
“So what? We can leave things well enough alone Terris, we can just…”
“You know we can’t do that, Cam. you know we have to go back, we have to….”
“YES! I KNOW!” Cam yelled, suddenly her warrior side could be seen, showing how she can become so fierce. “There is not a day that goes by I don’t about it, Terris, and not a day goes by that I don’t worry about you..”
Terris gave her heart broken smile through his grimy grin “I know, Cam” A long silence came again, with Cam giving a chuckle
“How did you find the old lich son of a bitch?”
“Hehe angrier than ever, sent some dead ones at me and black liquid stabby things too”
They both laughed for a bit at this, and gave each other a hug
“Keep that girl safe Terris whatever you do. If need be, come and get me whenever you need to, but you know i’ll have to distance myself a bit form you or any of the Knives running around out there.”
“I know Cam, I’ll o my best. I just need one favor from ye..”
“oh here it comes….”
” I need the Map of Tora, it’s one of the only things that I…”
“Are you Mad? You think I have the authority to just hand out religious artifacts to people just cause they need it? Your talking about the map that was held byTora the Wall that led to the battle of the Grass spear!?! It’ snot only a treasure to the church but a a huge symbol to a whole country of asshole gnomes!”
“I know I just to look at it for five minutes that’s all!”
Cam looked at him suspiciously for a second…
“I’ll get you access Terris…”
“Oh thank ye, Cam, I’ll…”
“But if anything happens to it, I will send the Agony Sisters after you to bring it in”
“Oh geez, Cam ya don’t haf ta be so mean”
“Sorry, take it or leave it”
Terris scratched his beard for a bit, flecks of dandruff spiking off here and there
“Aight then” they shook hands “when did you turn into such a hardass? It only mentions how good you were in tapestry, not how cunty!”
Cam grip tightened on Terris hand and one could hear an audible pop
“I don’t recall that, maybe the tapestry’s wrong then, eh, Terris?”
More popping and crunching could be heard from Cam grip tightening on Terris’s Hand, as she used her divine strength on him
“Oh come now, Cam don’t be a so mean!”
Their laughs echoed down the hall, reflecting that past they shared as adventurers and covering the dark quest to come for them….”
The Temple of Pirsig stand in the middle of the religious square in Borel and is the most visited. The Patron Deity of compassion and Adversity, she i worshipped by many race,s but mostly human and halfling. Her temple liketheir traditions and festivities are open to all, and believe in the pursuit of compassionate actions and while keeping anonymity.
All-Mother Camaroo is a high official of the Church of Pirsig. Even though not political head like some of the other All-Mothers, she is considered a type of general within the Church, having been an adventurers for many years. She now heads the sect of the Open Hand, helping in war-torn regions of the known world by defending the bystanders.
Many know the Camaroo had leads a hard life, and in essence is picture of the adversity the church talks about, but others are suspicious of her, as she is seen with many of the infamous heroes of the former Royal Knives. There are rumors that was an honorary member but nothing could be substantiated.
Camaroo can be a source for many an adventure not only as the authority for the Church but also as a local resident of Borel who may need to have things done outside the temple that could not be done by them. She never hides the fact that hires mercenaries to do the Church’s will, but this could range from anything like collecting components for a spell or a magic item, to guarding a caravan of worshippers or even the exploration of a dungeon. If one of the PCs happen to be a Cleric or Paladin of Pirsig, she can easily come to play as a mentor and taskmaster for the character.
HIGH PRIESTIESS CAMAROO DE LORTHAN
OF THE CHURCH OF PIRSIG,
GODDESS OF SERENITY THROUGH ADVERSITY, LUNAR MADRE, FANG HEALER
female halfling Clr13; CR 13;
HD 13d8+26; hp 101
Init +0; Spd 20 ft;
AC 29/26, touch 13, flat-footed 29/26
(+1 size,+2 nat,+8 armor,+3 armor enh.,+2 shield,+1 shield enh.,+2 defl.);
BAB +9; Melee sickle +12/+7 (1d6+2),
or spiked gauntlet +11/+6 light (1d4+1+1d6 shock);
Ranged sling +14/+9 (1d4+4);
SA turn undead 6/day, +1 thrown attack;
SQ +13 strength 1/day, +2 save vs fear, protective ward (+13) 1/day;
AL CG; SV Fort +11, Ref +5, Will +16;
Str 11(+0), Dex 11(+0), Con 14(+2), Int 10(+0), Wis 24(+7), Cha 17(+3).
SKILLS: HIDE-2, SPOT+7, LISTEN+9, MOVE SILENTLY+6, appraise+1(1), balance-6, climb-4, concentration+15(13), diplomacy+4(1), escape artist-6, jump-4, knowledge(religion)+13(13), spellcraft+3(3);
FEATS: extra turning, heighten spell, leadership, maximize spell, spell focus(Conjuration).
Equipment: +2 sling, +1 spiked gauntlet (`shock), 35 +2 sling bullet(s), +2 sickle (mighty cleaving), +1 adamantine full plate (`silent moves), +1 large steel shield (light fortification), Bracelet of Friends, Hand of Glory, Necklace of Prayer Beads (karma), Scarab Golembane (clay), Stone of Alarm, Wand – Summon Monster III (13 charges), `Amulet of Natural Armor (+2), `Periapt of Wisdom +2, `Ring – Protection +2, Potion of Cat’s Grace, Potion of Cure Serious Wounds, Potion of Love (2), Potion of Speak with Animals, Scroll of Detect Good (CL1), Scroll of Dispel Magic (CL7), Scroll of Inflict Moderate Wounds (CL3), Scroll of Magic Weapon (CL1) (2), 42 gp.
Clr Spells Prepared: (6/7+1/7+1/6+1/5+1/4+1/3+1/2+1) (DC = 17 + spell level) 0–Cure Minor Wounds, Detect Magic, Inflict Minor Wounds, Light, Mending, Read Magic; 1–Command, Detect Chaos, Detect Good, Inflict Light Wounds, Invisibility to Undead, Magic Weapon, Remove Fear, `Sanctuary; 2–Augury, Calm Emotions, Cure Moderate Wounds, Darkness, Make Whole, Remove Paralysis, Spiritual Weapon, `Shield Other; 3–Contagion, Cure Serious Wounds, Deeper Darkness, Magic Circle Against Chaos, Remove Curse, Remove Disease, `Protection from Elements; 4–Air Walk, Divination, Divine Power, Lesser Planar Ally, Restoration, `Spell Immunity; 5–Dispel Chaos (2), Raise Dead, Righteous Might, `Righteous Might; 6–Animate Objects, Blade Barrier,Geas/Quest, `Stoneskin; 7–Blasphemy, Refuge, `Repulsion.
Domain Spells: (protection, strength): 1–Sanctuary, Endure Elements; 2–Shield Other, Bull’s Strength; 3–Protection from Elements, Magic Vestment; 4–Spell Immunity, Spell Immunity; 5–Spell Resistance, Righteous Might; 6–Antimagic Field, Stoneskin; 7–Repulsion, Bigby’s Grasping Hand.
Languages: halfling, common.