1st Rova, 4707:
Sandpoint at last! To have been on the road for so long and having been granted the rare blessing of literally traversing half of Golarion, I can say that I’m glad to have arrived at this new place that I will call home for the foreseeable future. Ah, but the stories and memories made! I will cherish them the rest of the days given to me. The different ways of life, the senses of community, the applications of religion…all priceless! Especially when analyzed from the points of view of the different races. I feel that these lessons will be invaluable while ministering to the good will and prosperity of the fine citizens of Sandpoint.
Back to the business at hand. I help the caravan hands unload the cargo and I can already feel the eyes upon me. A great many pairs of eyes. Analyzing. Scrutinizing. Watching. Judging. The one constant I’ve come to know and expect as a result of my heritage is that the typical first reaction inside the minds of new onlookers is one of trepidation and fear: They think that I’m a predator. An otherworldly fiend sent to snatch up their children in the night and do unspeakable things to them during unspeakable rituals. I’m used to it by now. It fortifies me. I smile in anticipation of the day, hopefully soon, that they will know that I am very much the opposite and I will have the privilege of sharing their joy with them. Of walking the Eastward Path with them. I heft my pack onto my shoulders, my shield onto my arm, and turn to look back. I see them all, the eyes. I look at all of them. The fathers. The mothers. The old. The young. My smile is genuine and welcoming. I am relieved, as I always am, by the courage of the children. Their reaction is typical. Fear leads to caution. Cautions leads to curiosity. Curiosity leads to wonder. It’s as if their souls sound clarion calls in their minds and they instinctively know that yes, this one is different, but certainly not the monster under their beds.
I take in all the sites. The architecture. The winding paths of her streets. The bustling merchants displaying their goods after filling their bellies with a good breakfast. The smell of fresh bread, of bacon, of the wharves, of the sea, and the colorful clothing of the fabled Varisians. I find it all to be familiar and comforting. The newness of it all reminds me of how different things are from home and how many new experiences I have to look forward to with my new family. “One day at a time,” I tell myself.
I continue walking north until arrive at the new temple grounds. It is here that I was told that I would find who would likely be one of the most important people in town and one that would aide me in finding my way. “Young man. I’m looking for Father Abstalar Zantus. I must needs speak with him about a matter of great import. Is he about?” I forgive him, of course, for staring at me with the wide-eyed look of adolescence before he comes to his senses and responds. “Ye-yes, m’lady. He’s just inside.”
I can say that our first meeting went very well, indeed. One might even say that was elated to have me here. He informed me that a cleric of My Lady was indeed present in Sandpoint, and that he also served as caretaker of the cemetery in the absence of one of Pharasma’s followers. “So much the better to keep the dead where they ought be.” He also told me that, while of course the few clerics about had a modicum of skill at arms, he was pleased that one with my skill would be about to aide in defending the temple and allow the people to worship in peace. “Yes, Father. In peace. Gods be good.”
“You have freedom to meander about the temple. There are shrines to the various deities that hold sway over over the hearts of Sandpoint’s people, the Dawnflower included, but the greatest, of course, is to the Song of the Spheres as this is her house. I bid you welcome and offer you a modest room should desire to stay here.” “Thank you, Father. I would like that very much. I belong here, if anywhere, awaiting Her followers. You have my word that I will pay all due respect to Lady Luck and to you during my stay.” “Of course you will, child. Of course you will.”
I visit them all. Every one of them. I bid them greeting and offer my genuine respect and offer them a promise to not offend any of their faithful while I help to spread the faith of The Healing Light. And at last I find her. Her shrine is well kept, polished, but far too lonely. Is it just me? Did it brighten as I approached? I fall to my knees and smile up to her as I have so many times before and will so many times in the future if it is her will. “I’ve found you at last, Evenlight, in this most distant place from the land of my birth. I will find your faithful priest here, my brother in arms, and we will show the people the value of the strength they have inside of themselves. To love and to live selflessly. To guide the weak so that they might one day be strong. I pray that you show me where to shine brightest.”
“Oh and child. Forgive my untimely interruption, but I thought it would be pertinent to tell you of a great festival honoring my lady Desna in 3 weeks time. I would see you attend. I think it would do well for the town to see you and for you to see them, not that you won’t be doing so in the time between then and now.” “Yes, Father, I think it would do well for all of us to enjoy some good natured frivolity. And I do love to dance.”