The Church of Luminosita in Clovius

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The Church of Luminosita in Clovius

Postby Graybeard » January 6th, 2018, 1:37 pm

[OOC: OK, as promised, getting this going now that the holidays are done. It's obviously set up for Alberich and Tim, but if anyone else wants to join, this would be a great time for it. Note that several things in the following are left vague so that we can develop them jointly. Just a few obvious words in Tim's mouth here:]

The worship service (such as it was) was breaking up, and the worshipers leaving the temple (such as it was), when a fit-looking Clovian approached Tim. He recognized this man as Yehuda, the "lay brother" who had been meeting the needs of the faithful to the best of his ability before Tim arrived, and who also continued to serve as Tovah Dragonslayer's gate guard. He was wearing the sort-of-uniform of the latter function now, rather than the tattered Luminositan vestments, which had long since been consigned to an unused place of honor. Whether this was a euphemism for "trash can" is left to the reader.

"Bro -- Father Timothy?" Yehuda said, still unsure of roles and titles here.

"Yes, Bro -- my friend, what can I do for you?" Tim answered; neither the formal "Brother Yehuda" nor the patronizing "my son" felt quite right, and besides, Yehuda was doing his best to become a real friend.

Yehuda seemed to gain confidence from this question, but it didn't last long. "I have been asked to tell you that Lady Dragonslayer requi -- requests your attendance at dinner tomorrow night. She says there will be another -- guest that it would be a good idea for you to meet." He couldn't disguise the shudder in both his voice and his demeanor as he spoke that last sentence.
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Re: The Church of Luminosita in Clovius

Postby Alberich » January 8th, 2018, 12:37 am

The Bishop's letter promoting Tim to "Father" was a recent arrival--small wonder the local community was still getting used to it. It was a convenience for Tim, too. In a small community, the faithful had a tendency to call each other "brothers and sisters"--in faith if not in Church rank--and Tim had adopted that style himself, at least most of the time. Now no one would be confused about "which kind of brother?"

Tim had had a few bad experiences on his first arrival in Clovius, partly because this Tovah had decided to contact him with a cryptic message instead of sending help or plain advice. He'd made himself a promise to be more freehanded with the information if other Churchmen arrived here on his watch. Step one in that policy was getting better informed himself. At least he'd been given some time.

Had he heard this in the evening on a workday, he'd've invited the good brother out for a friendly jar or an honest pint (Tim's personal budget was far from copious, and he avoided all luxury in shack and shift, but he could manage the occasional drink. Always in the singular.) As it was, he simply led the lay brother to one side of the "church," where his own small but well maintained shack lay. Tim had gotten out of Tovah's house as soon as possible--it being important to maintain his independence, his virtue, and his closeness to the community.

"Brother, you've done well to tell me of this, but I think you may know more about this guest, and what it's all about." He spoke gently, as he preferred, but his intent was not to let go until he knew what Yehuda knew, or else who could tell him more. There would be a time to approach Sister-in-Faith Tovah, but Tim meant to be armed with all the information he could get from others first. The more he could learn about this "guest" the better.
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Re: The Church of Luminosita in Clovius

Postby Graybeard » January 8th, 2018, 2:56 pm

"Brother, you've done well to tell me of this, but I think you may know more about this guest, and what it's all about.

Yehuda looked more uncomfortable at this accusation. "I -- do not -- Father. I have only seen the man once, and that at a distance. He was with the Lady, and she waved me away from my post so they could pass. That was very -- unusual. But the other times he has come to pay his respects, he didn't come through the gate at all." He shuddered. "I don't know how he got into the house; rumor has it that he used powerful magic." He shuddered again. "But Lady Dragonslayer says he is welcome in her house. Otherwise, all I know of him is that he is very tall, has a commanding presence -- at least that's what the maid said -- uses mighty magic, and is an important man to the hill people."

[OOC: Putting one question in Tim's mouth that he would surely ask in response to that last part:] "The hill people? You mean followers of the Mountain King?" He'd heard some of the townsfolk describe themselves with the "hill people" phrase, and none of them had ever appeared at a Luminositan service or event.

Yehuda was a mass of fear and trembling wrapped in a tunic and pants. "Yes, Father. Rumor among the Lady's servants is that he is the high prophet of the Mountain King. Some even say that he is the Mountain King himself." He shuddered violently and made the Sign of Luminosita, as though warding off an evil spirit.
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Re: The Church of Luminosita in Clovius

Postby Alberich » January 14th, 2018, 7:20 am

Tim smiled his most comforting smile. "Many thanks, brother," he said, "You're doing just what you should by telling me this. I've noticed that newcomers of the Faith to this city are at their greatest risk when they first arrive--because of how little they know of the heathens and their ways."

For Tim, and his congregation knew this by now, "heathen" was not a word of hate, simply a fact--the fact that someone didn't worship, and never had worshipped, the Good Lord Luminosita. As His community grew stronger and showed its best face to the heathen, the latter might learn a better way in time.

He went on. "Part of my intent is that I myself, and any other Churchmen and believers who come to our community, shall learn what they need to know about this place, and so avoid mischief. For themselves or for us."

He remembered his own first arrival, how he'd been summoned with a suspiciously cryptic message, and walked into a needless social-religious gaffe based on knowledge he didn't have. He wasn't in any kind of open struggle with Sister-in-Faith Tovah, nor did he intend to be if he didn't have to, but the first step out of her shadow was to get himself better informed. And as he had tried to warn his prior companions, there was a community to think about--what he did here could redound upon them.

"So please pass the message that I will be delighted to attend this dinner, and to learn more about these people we live among. And thank you, brother, for letting me know, and so speedily."

Tim's intent was not to be idle in the intervening time. He had his good works around the community to perform, but a day and a half was a long time, and he intended to make use of it. Step one was to find out, not from the nervous Yehuda, where a foreign sojourner might learn more about these "hill people" and their most notorious prophets. Perhaps a local library, or a brother-in-faith who worked with them more closely. Step two would be an early visit to Sister Tovah, this very evening, to see what she'd be ready to share a day in advance. Then there'd be time for more research before the next night's dinner.

[OOC: It's perfectly fine by me if you want to move forward in time, and summarize what Tim was able to learn about "high prophets," where they come from, whether they're often seen in town, what you don't do in their presence, etc. His idea is not to be "ignorant country cousin" at the dinner, but to avoid the easier sort of slip-ups.]
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Re: The Church of Luminosita in Clovius

Postby Graybeard » January 14th, 2018, 2:09 pm

[OOC: Again, putting some obvious words in Tim's mouth, for purposes of pushing the narrative a little; you can do the more consequential words yourself...]

What Tim learned, in short order, was that nobody had ever dealt with a "high prophet" of the Mountain King except Tovah Dragonslayer; nobody who would admit it, anyway. There were several shrines to the Mountain King around Clovius, similar in concept, if not details, to what Sister Rose and Therese had unknowingly "visited" earlier. Worshipers would sometimes leave offerings at these, nothing too elaborate but not valueless either, after sunset. In the morning, they would be gone. But no "prophet" was known to the townspeople; rumored, yes, indeed believed to be part of the Mountain King's pantheon by some (not just Yehuda), but never seen.

About the closest he could come to a first-hand experience bearing on the alleged "prophets" was with a rather ordinary middle-aged woman who'd brought a child to the sort-of-temple for Healing spells on a broken finger. This was done, and she explained sheepishly, amid many expressions of thanks, that she was Luminositan but was married to a miner. By now it didn't require any elaboration to get from that to her being married to a follower of the Mountain King; all the miners were followers of the Mountain King, apparently.

"Yes, Holy Father, I saw an offering once -- went with my husband to make it, in fact. Oh, I didn't go into the grove myself!" she added quickly, making the Sign of Luminosita. "I just waited outside while Lev led it in."

"'Led' an offering in?" Tim wondered.

"A lamb," the woman, who went by the name of "Maggie" -- it was short for something long and unpronounceable -- said offhandedly. She got a wistful look for a moment. "Nice one, too. Just a tiny little thing, he could have carried it if he didn't have a bad shoulder from working the mine. It gets all sore and cranky at night, you see."

Tim didn't like the sound of that. "And it was -- sacrificed there? Slaughtered? Er, the lamb, I mean, not your husband's shoulder." Although I do wonder why she's never brought him to me for Healing; I might be able to help with that.

Maggie looked at him as though he was a slow child. "Of course not, Father. The ghosts came and took it." This was said in the same tones as one might use to point out that the sun was rising in the east.
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