Post by DM Hawk on Feb 22, 2018 17:41:08 GMT -5
The sheets of cold winter rain fell in Marsember making the swamp city even more soggy. The frogs and the crickets hid away waiting for the rain to cease so that they could resume their song to the cloudy night sky overhead.
The streets were mostly empty, allowing only for the foolish, the dutiful, or the desperate to walk through the ankle deep puddles. The ladies of the night would be plying their trade indoors, as the unlucky Purple Dragons on watch marched their lonely paths through the bog city. A few deals were done in dark corners but there wasn't much gold to be made this night except...
A wizened crone attended the Bitch Queen's shrine. The wrath of the goddess of the sea was her pleasure and she welcome the storm as it blew in. Flashes of lightening revealed a gnarled visage, including a nose once broken and healed crooked, and excited eyes, touched perhaps by a rain drop's worth of madness.
There was another flash of lightening and the outline of a figure was burned into the gaze of those wild eyes. When the light faded to darkness and the rain continued to pour she could still see his image amidst the spots as she blinked. Quite thin, hooded and cloaked, and hunched against the rain. He came alone. Still seeing spots, she heard rather than saw the man step closer to the shrine and take a knee.
"Tis too late to stay Queen Umberlee's wrath this night, sir. You should love her more and fear her less, accept her embrace." With this the crone raised her scrawny arms. Lightening flashed again, illuminating the length of her jagged finger nails and the seaweed twisted through the wet hair that clung to her old skull.
"I will give the Bitch Queen her due" the man said, "whether I love her or no." A hand, gloved in wet leather, reached from the confines of his windblown cloak and dropped a weighty pouch into the shrine's offering tray. The jingle of gold lions pierced the drone of falling rain for a second or two.
The lightening flashed and the crone saw the man's face. He was looking up at the mark of the Queen of the Depths in supplication. She had seen his face before when he spoke to the people. Standing above them, always above them, as if he were the divine one...
But now he was bent on one knee, humbled before the goddess as the rain lashed down at him. Perhaps he might catch his death of cold this night. Perhaps the lightening might find him. He wouldn't be the first humbled so within a domain he believed to preside over.
"Surely there is more that you might give than mere gold, my lord, to earn the favor of the Queen."
The priestess heard the hiss of steel across leather and the next bolt of lightening revealed a dagger in the man's hand. His left hand was held above the altar then and the blade was drawn across the palm of his hand, cutting through leather and flesh deeply. There was a stifled sound, an expression of pain.
Drops of Cormyrian blood fell upon Umberlee's altar and mingled with the rain.