Fear Not The Night

"Butterers of Men"

Passage from the Book of Arivae, by Arivae

And lo, Arivae and his Disciples did slay the foul cultists of Asmodeus, though the Weave Made Flesh suffered greatly in the trial, for mortal life is filled with both victory and anguish, peace and persecution.

At the end of the battle one cultist was still alive, by the wisdom of the devil-blooded fiend-hunter, Brother Bottom. The group questioned the cultist, but the poor fool merely laughed. The good and just Arivae—He Who Is Most Merciful Even After Being Quite Badly Burned—offered the wretched man a chance to repent from his dark god, but when again he would not answer, Brother Fox sent him to his reward in the Nine Hells. That was when they discovered the cultist’s tongue had been removed.

The Disciples returned to Coldwell, their hearts heavy, and purses also perhaps a small bit heavy. Brother Piska chatted with the horses, for those who use the Weave to speak kindly to the beasts of the land and the birds of the air will be truly blessed, and will know secrets even wise men cannot see. They headed first to Stefan Morningstar’s room, and began a completely-morally-sound inquisition of the evil lordling’s possessions. There, a safe was discovered hidden behind a Painting Most Boring, and Brother Fox cracked it open with . . . troubling efficiency.

Inside was the proof the Disciples needed: letters incriminating not just Morningstar, but also his lord father, of manipulating Annmarie and exploiting her father the mayor. There was also a book showing various economical, if not ecumenical, misdeeds.

Then to a good night’s rest at the Red Hawk Inn. The following morning, as they discussed how best to reveal the plot to Annmarie over breakfast, Brother Crow, the noble savage, performed a miracle of dairy. Arivae had never seen such a well-buttered crescent of bread—it was as if Mystra herself had buttered his roll. Truly all who bask in the love of the Weave are gifted, no matter how barren the fount.

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On their way out, the Disciples met a man named Egor Mandrake, of the Coldwell guard, who revealed that Stefan Morningstar was alive—and had accused the Heroes Most Holy of ambushing him in the woods. Shocked that Morningstar might have been resurrected, or somehow magically replaced, the Disciples ministered the truth to Mandrake. He was a good man and he took their evidence, and left. When he returned some hours later, he admitted that his hands were officially tied. For the Morningstars were so powerful that even the letters could not condemn them. But Mandrake showed mercy on the group, and told the Disciples he would allow the team to escape.

And lo they departed, riding through the forest and following the path back to where they’d been attacked, then beyond. There on the path they met a knight of Asmodeus, who approached with evil intent. A battle broke out, and though Arivae and his Disciples were victorious, the Weave is both wise and whimsical, pattern and wildness. A squirrel was poisoned during the fight, through a flare of wild magic. As the team gathered their spoils, the poor creature’s retching did echo through the woods.

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