Day 10 (later) — Dear Diary, In the rush of describing how I got the Whispering Cairn job, I forgot that the half-orc Vakka had claimed to be a cleric, too. Do we need two clerics, I ask you? Are not my skills enough? Although, truly Diary, how would these strangers know of my abilities?
After we’d gotten the mugshot and an advance on our pay, I found myself at a table with Vakka, the other half-elf Zuffy and two strangers. Well, more strangers than these people I’ve fallen in with. I had not and have not forgotten the cruel words that Zuffy spoke against Ehlonna. What sort of creature is she to mock the goddess so? Suddenly Vakka threw an arm over me and said, “Us clerics – we gotta stick together, right? Right?” I was shocked by her words — I had no idea she was a cleric — but glad to have an excuse to ignore the woman across from me. I deliberately turned a shoulder to Zuffy. Yes, I know! I was deliberately rude. No doubt my actions were clear enough to her. Oh Diary, how ever shall I heal her in battle? I pray that Ehlonna guides my hands to do their duty when the time comes.
Vakka was talking: “Did I ever tell you how I became a cleric? I was in a bar.” She glanced around. “I don’t think it was this bar. But hell, they all look alike, eh? Especially come last call, eh? Eh?!” She laughed.
“I think I stepped on this orc’s foot, yeah. And he was out of his chair so fast, a broken bottle in his hand. And I thought, ‘Well, Vakka, that’s life. At least you go to your god good and drunk.’ And then I thought (she leaned into me) or did Olidammara speak to me? Anyway, the thought came to my mind, as they say, You don’t have to die. Why not live and drink again tomorrow? Well, that was enough for me! True words, eh little lady? If I’m dead, I can’t drink! And that would be a gods damned shame.” She went to slam her glass on the table, for emphasis, and missed, sloshing liquid on my leg and hers.
She leaned back and grinned, showing long fangs. “It’s a living. Showing folks how wine (she gestured with her glass), women (she patted my leg) and song (her free hand waved vaguely towards the piano) do honor to Olidammara, and to all the old gods.” She seemed to lose her thought. “Live! Live and drink and honor god….. And that’s how I became a cleric.”
To be polite, I thought to share my own tale of how the Maiden of the Forest chose me. “My tale is more simple, I fear. But my calling as true. (I was being polite, Diary — as you well know! A drunken bar fight is a call to god? I think not!) My mother had sent me to the groves to look for fallen limbs of the Mahdrone tree — it is our sacred tree and the lifeblood of my village (I explained helpfully). They had to be of a certain length and width since she was going –”
From across the table a voice broke in. “It’s late. We should turn in.” Zuffy stood up and drained her glass. “Good little girls should be in bed.”
“Aye? Is it as late as all that?” Vakka stretched her arms over her head. “Very well. Sleep peacefully, little Ari. Our last fluffy beds for a while, yes?”
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