Part 17: The Church of Anama and Shayder SewersUpdate 15A The Church of the Anama and Shayder Sewers
This is the other half of the Shayder update. It's about 50% the length of the previous one, which itself was running up against the post size limits for Something Aweful. These Capital Cities may need to be broken down more in the future.
"Well, here goes nothing."
"Odd. I expected... well... more."
Same here. I distinctly remember the floors being the white tile, and not the grey stonework. Or perhaps I'm remembering the Anama-only sections of the temple.
No, let's not go bother a secretary. That would be rude.
This place certainly isn't that ostentatious. Ah well, perhaps they're spending their money on other things.
Welcome! You must be new! You meet a woman with dark skin, long black hair and an infectious grin. She wears an Anama ring, and healer's robes. "I am Meena, of the Anama Church. Greetings to you!"
Greetings. I am Delilah. I only arrived on the island a couple days ago, and this is my first opportunity to come here.
Well, welcome! I know the feeling of not being able to rest. I'm a travelling healer. It's tiring work, but there is too much to do for me to stop."
But you need to stop and rest yourself. Isn't one of the tenants of those who dedicate their lives to healing 'Heal thyself'? That if you are sick or injured, you cannot give it your all when it comes to others?
I know. I know. It's just that ... well ... I heal one person, and two more grow sick. I heal two and four become ill." She smiles sadly. "It's frustrating work, but I do save lives. Seeing one child who would not live but for me fills me with all the energy I need."
That's wonderful, Meena. But you should rest yourself so that you can bring smiles to those you save.
You're right. I will. Ahonar, up at the altar, agrees with you, that's why he's having me on light duty until I can recover.
Then perhaps I should talk to him next.
Say what you will about the philosophy of the Anama and believe me, there's a lot in the thread they are not shirking away from helping those affected by the roach plague. And when you're dealing with a plague of poison and disease spreading insects having a cult or church of dedicated to the healing arts of priesthood at your back is a good thing. It would certainly explain why so many people are members, even if they can't cast priestly magic themselves.
I really don't want to think about the situation on Bigail would be if the Anama weren't here. It's clearly portrayed that the resources of the church are stretched thin enough as it is on damage control. Any organization with less dedication would be overwhelmed.
And to add to that, you can't even levy the accusation that the Anama started the Roach Plague to their benefit. There are other plagues affecting Valorim, and that can be seen as proof that they're not responsible.
But before I do that, a bit of polite donations would be in order.
It's not like every donation box is attached to mystical empowerment. Sometimes a donation box is just that. A donation box.
Ah, hello there. I will be with you in a moment. If you wish to pray first, be my guest.
Thank you for your patience. This old man wears the elaborate robes of his office as if he was born in them. He looks at you serenely. He says simply, "I am Ahonar, spiritual guide of the Anama Church."
I am Delilah. I have only recently come from the mainland. But you are Ahonar? I was... I was not expecting you to be out here, tending the altar.
"What can I say? I founded the Anama church. I watch over it. I help people in their struggles."
Your struggles must be enormous. I mean, with the plagues and all.
"Those who follow me came to this harsh and unforgiving isle to take it. Unfortunately, just when we were starting to attain some comfort and safety, the plagues began. Fortunately, I have many loyal helpers."
It is so rare to see a religious leader admit to such things. Most of the cults I've heard of seem to be lead by a person who claims that it was all them, all the time.
I know of what you speak. But I would not be here without the efforts of all those around me. It would be wrong to ignore them. At my right hand is Lockhart. His office is nearby. And, of course, there are many other loyal members of the faith, and we always look for more to join."
And if I wanted to join?
And more than that, Exile, we know of whom you travel with. Be careful.
You're less interested in my affiliation than my companions?
Yes. We are an open and inclusive order, and ones home should not matter. Only adherence to our beliefs. You travel with two mages, and they must be watched carefully, even if they also practice safer powers. But that is all I should say. Your choices are your own. Go see Lockhart if you wish to know more.
Seriously? What's wrong with Ni'aurrl and Matthias? And he said... oh. That's funny. Oh! Hello there! I didn't see you.
A young boy, about ten years old, moves quickly about the temple, sweeping the corridors with a large broom. He bows. "I'm Deland."
Oh! Hello Deland. Pardon me, I was looking for Lockhart.
He's in his office, thataway. He gestures to the north.
Thank you. So, what do you do here?
"I work for the Anama! Someday I'm going to be a big Anama Priest!"
Oh really? That's amazing! You must really like the Anama to say that.
"Yeah! You should join. They do a lot of good!"
"Go talk to Ahonar! He's the high priest and he does all the good things. When the disease killed my parents, he took me in."
You have my sympathies. No one should have to lose their parents like that.
He turns very quiet. "I miss them. I don't wanna' talk about it."
Yeah, right in the feels.
If I recognize this right, I would need an Anama ring to pass by.
Not the office, but this would be nice to look over.
Um... this is a lot more... aggressive than the literature I've red previously. And his words here and his words when speaking to me are a little at odds with each other. Oh well. Let's see what he has to say to defend this position, or if he's playing for the lowest common denominator.
* * *
Well, that was very informative. Let's go talk to Lockhart.
Good afternoon, sir.
You meet an elder priest of the Anama church, wearing immaculate robes and taking notes in a thick journal. He seems pleased to see you. "I am Father Lockhart. Greetings to you."
I am Delilah, though knowing how well you communicate with each other, I suspect you already knew.
You could say that. I was out of my office when Delan informed me you were looking for me. I passed you by while you were reading our texts, so I left you to your study. I am High Priest Ahonar's chief assistant. I look after the daily affairs of the church. Plus, I look after our young charge."
What is Father Ahonar like? I met him, but he didn't seem like much of what was portrayed in the books.
Oh, those books. He had input on writing them, but they are not his strength. Others wrote them, and he and select others reviewed them. Nothing has honored me more that my days working with Ahonar. His energy and wisdom are infinitely inspiring. Be sure to speak with him ... it's a rare opportunity."
You mentioned the affairs of the church. Does that meant talking with the people or with more material things?
"Supplies. Healer movements. Running the hospital, that sort of thing. Don't get me wrong. I have strong beliefs about or faith. Would you like me to share them?"
Of course. What am I but to learn?
I can see your point.
Don't worry, there's plenty of discussion about this in the thread, which will be compiled into the later update. Enough so that I didn't want to repeat it here. Besides, I have a plan!
That was enlightening. But if you'll excuse me, I still have places to be, and it seems more people to talk to.
Thank you for your time.
Well, I could use a break.
Um... why does this remind me of the Vahnatai style?
Limited tiles available?
And another way blocked off to non-members. Well, I suppose it's time to return.
* * *
Yes, though I see I am the last. And why is Sass crying?
He met a Dervish who was insulting.
Yeah, if we see any more of them in towns, let me do the talking to them. Alright?
I have no interest in discussions with such cretins.
Well, now that that is out of the way, it's time for me to make everyone's day more miserable.
We're going into the sewers.
We're going into the sewers. And we've got a warrant of sorts to investigate the Roach Plague from the Mayor of Shayder, and effective governor of the Bigail Province.
And how does the sewage system fit into this?
We won't know until we get there, will we?
But this stinks!
Yes, it does. Which is part of the problem.
We are not trained Sanitation Engineers.
No, we're the exterminators.
I can't help but notice there are more over that way.
Curious. Why don't they enter the water?
Perhaps they can't swim?
This is more than just the occasional Roach.
Did they all enter through that one access point? Why? How?
Nice to know that not everything down here is a Roach.
It's actually the only non-roach enemy in this 'dungeon'. Shayder Sewers isn't a dungeon in the traditional sense, but rather it's a place to get some XP. And the reward is that wand mentioned last time.
Hey, there's someone back there!
Please don't start crying again. You only just stopped!
It's also hard to hear them coming, what with all the echoes.
And I'm surprised they're still using the basic rock to line the sewers.
Well, it is the non-porous kind.
I was wrong. There's another fungus! And they get promptly fireballed into oblivion.
There's another sign!
It just says the same thing as the other one.
But where does it come up?
Huh, right near the north entrance.
And look at this! Completely unacceptable!
You mean the boat on the other side?
Why are there so may ways that go nowhere?
I suspect they were following the natural curves of the water flow.
Or perhaps these directions correspond to buildings above ground?
If that's the case, I think we would be under the inn right now.
Weird. I can hear more roaches, but we haven't seen any in a while.
There they are!
I can still hear more.
At least there are multiple boats, given the other one is unaccessable.
Aww. But I wanted to see where the water was coming from!
I have no wish for that to happen.
I should tell you about the time I took the back route into Vahnatai lands. Nothing but black waters and blacker caves.
Oooh! Big one!
How did it get in there?!?!
Maybe it grew in there?
Or it's a nest for the damned thing, and there's some escape tunnel under there?
That did not happen.
Alright, we check out this last segment, then we get back up top to recover.
There are a lot of large Roachs down that way. Ni'aurrl?
And here we go. Let's get out of here. Even I'm losing my patience.
Wait. The only way to get to this boat is to have a boat? That's some poor planning.
Doesn't matter. Come on, I know the way to the inn. The rooms are pretty cheap.
Ho there! You meet a tall, thin man with dark hair. He carries a polished wood case and a portable stand. When you approach, he sets up the case, revealing an assortment of potions. "I am Bohman."
And we're on our way to clean up after getting rid of roaches in the sewers.
Ah! Well then, I'm certain you can appreciate my goods! I sell potions. No respectable Anama member should be without one."
Look, we're not with the Anama...
"We don't use magic, but that doesn't mean we're fools. We use all other resources we can find, including natural plants that come from the earth!"
We're not interested in potions!
"I make these potions using only natural ingredients and alchemical processes, without the use of single magical spell. You may purchase them if you wish." He suddenly starts to cough severely. When he straightens up, he says "Excuse me, I think I'm starting to become a touch ill. As I was about to say, you may purchase potions from me if you wish."
Just show me so I can turn you down.
Nice selection. Still pinching pennies. Anyways, I sell all the stuff I accumulated in the Sewers, and realize there's no one to give out training here in Shayder. That town is to the east!
Everyone rested? Good. Let's get going then.
I'm actually looking forward to it.