A scarlet robed priest runs past you, stumbling in haste. His face is white, his mouth open in shock. “Father Counselor!”, he cries. “Revered One!” The rose-hued disc of Lathander, God of the Morning, bounces at his breast.

Down the street is an old man, grey-bearded and erect. He wears a robe of pale rose, denoting higher rank. He turns calmly. “What is it, brother?”, he asks. “Be calm—Lathander loves us all, remember.”

“But, Father! His Art has left us! Canon Mieskal prayed for the power to remove curses, and no power came! Canon Mieskal! Then the Old One, Patriarch Gurimn, came out of his hut and wept. He says his prayers, too, had gone unheard! Has the Great Morninglord forsaken us?”

The old man looks around at you and the other folk listening in the street, and puts an arm around the distraught younger priest. “Hush, brother,” he says gently, in lower tones. “Do not aid the Dark Ones by spreading panic and dark rumor. Calm thyself in the grace of Lathander. Does not our faith tell us that there is always a new beginning? Look for that new light, then and be cheerful, True, our greater prayers are not answered. But we are not alone. The brothers of Tymora were as upset as thou, early this morn. And as I came this way, I passed one of the whip-mistresses of Loviatar. She, too, was in tears and hurry. And what does it gain? If the gods do not hear us, ’tis because they are busy, mark ye. Come now, follow me back to the shrine and be once more a man. Lathander needs ye now, more than ever.”

* * *

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The Time of Troubles

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