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."There are many who yet serve you in our time, my lady," Corran called to the air.Kestrel stared at him."You think that's actually Mystra's voice?"He shrugged."Perhaps.""Where are the followers of Mystra?"Kestrel didn't believe they heard a divine call.Wouldn't a goddess, of all people, know where her followers were? As it was, the voice held such melancholy that she didn't think she could listen to it much longer."Can we leave before whoever she is drives us mad?" She retrieved her weapons and went to clean them on the grass outside while Durwyn helped Jarial to his feet.When she returned, Corran still cast a searching gaze heavenward."She sounds so sorrowful," he said."We should try to help her."The sad voice stirred a response in Kestrel as well-not that she'd ever admit that fact to Corran.Unlike the quixotic paladin, she knew they couldn't afford any more tangential delays."Like we helped Nottle? Look what that cost us."The words came out more sharply than she intended.Corran turned his head away, but not before she saw a look of bitter regret cross his features.Apparently, the paladin felt the responsibility for Emmeric's death more keenly than she'd realized."All right, then," Corran said quietly, his back to them all."Let us go."Injured, tired, and nearly out of spells, the party voted to visit Beriand and Faeril before returning to the House of Gems.Though the elven shelter lay out of their way, there they could find healing and a safe place to restKestrel hadn't apologized to Corran for her earlier barb about Emmeric, though her conscience pricked her.The delight she'd expected to feel at having discovered a way to wound him hadn't materialized.She felt more hollow than anything else.There was no satisfaction, she realized, in causing a companion the chagrin his unguarded response had revealed.Faeril greeted them warmly upon their arrival."You have been busy!" she said as soon as she saw them."Already, we feel a change in the Mythal."Corran acknowledged her with a bow."For the better, I hope?""Oh, yes!" Faeril's face shone, some of the careworn lines having faded since they last saw her."Come inside.You must tell us of your deeds."Though eager to learn what the adventurers had accomplished, the clerics insisted on first tending to their injuries.The party was in sorry shape.While the blueglow moss and potions had relieved their immediate distress, Kestrel and Jarial yet moved stiffly.The wound Durwyn had received from Preybelish had not had time to heal of its own accord.Corran remained weakened from the cult sorcerer's life-draining spell-the paladin had refused to use his limited healing powers on himself lest a greater need arise before the day's end.They shed their armor, grateful to be in a place of relative safety where they could rest and renew their strength.The elves tended the four wounded humans and also checked how well Ghleanna had healed under Corran's care after Preybelish's near-fatal attack."I cannot even tell you were injured," Faeril declared.She turned to the paladin."Your faith must be strong indeed."Over a meal of roasted rabbit and hearty bread, Corran, Kestrel, and the others related their exploits in the dwarven undercity, ending with their ascent to the surface and their encounter at the shrine."When the pool evaporated, a ghostly image of the intact temple appeared," Corran concluded.Faeril gasped, her thick slice of bread dropping to her plate."By Our Lady, you have seen Anorrweyn's shrine!" Her eyes shone with reverence."The shrine is one of several ghost buildings in Myth Drannor," Beriand said."The wars destroyed many structures, but some were so sacred to the elves that they refuse to disappear completely.From time to time, under certain conditions, these buildings reappear intact.When you defeated the naga and destroyed the spawn pool, you must have triggered the temple's appearance." He paused to sip from his goblet."Did you ever see the crying woman you spoke of?""Just heard her," Kestrel said, nibbling the last few shreds of meat off a bone.She hadn't realized how hungry she was until she'd started to eat." 'Where are the followers of Mystra?' That's all she said-over and over.""How blessed you are-to have heard her voice!" Faeril exclaimed.She rose to pour more wine, beginning first with Durwyn's goblet and ending with Beriand's.Kestrel noted that she did not lift Beriand's cup to pour, as she had with the others, but brought the bottle to the sightless cleric's goblet"That was Anorrweyn Evensong, the founder of our sect," Beriand said."When evil magic destroyed the temple during the fall of Myth Drannor, its head priestess also perished.So strong was her devotion to Mystra that her spirit remained on this earth to continue her work.Whenever the ghost shrine appeared, so did she." Beriand reached for his wine, his practiced hand going straight to the goblet."For centuries after the temple's physical destruction, followers of Mystra would visit the site and use talismans to invoke the apparition and speak to Anorrweyn.But in the past two hundred years or so, Myth Drannor has become so dangerous that pilgrims stopped coming.I doubt anyone has invoked the shrine in over a century."Durwyn frowned thoughtfully as he chewed his food.Finally, he spoke."If the priestess shows up whenever the temple does, why couldn't we see her?""I suspect because there was no follower of Mystra among you.""Anorrweyn's cry must be answered!" Faeril said.She pushed aside her wooden plate, her supper forgotten in her zeal."Let me return with you and prove to the high priestess that Mystra still has followers in Myth Drannor.We cannot leave her spirit to think that the city has fallen entirely to the nagas who debased her sacred shine."Kestrel could tell by the expression on Corran's face that the paladin was about to take Faeril up on her offer.She shifted uncomfortably, pushing aside her own plate and drawing her knees up in front of her body.She had a feeling she was about to be labeled selfish again, but someone had to keep this mission on track."Not that I don't feel sorry for your priestess and all," she began, trying to use more tact than she had previously, "but we have more pressing matters."Corran turned toward her, his brows drawn in displeasure.Before he could speak, however, Faeril addressed her."Anorrweyn can help your cause, Kestrel.I know she will!"Beriand nodded his agreement."Anorrweyn Evensong would prove a powerful ally against those trying use the Mythal for their own wicked ends.In life she was dedicated to the causes of unity and peace, and was among the city leaders most in tune with the Mythal.She may know of ways to cleanse it that we do not.""In that case, we'd be honored to have you join us," Corran said to Faeril.Kestrel bristled.She'd been about to concede the point herself, but once again Corran had spoken for the whole party without consulting anyone.She began to feel less contrite about her earlier remark.The others were apparently tolerant of the paladin's high-handedness.Ghleanna, in fact, extended the invitation to Beriand [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]