Rhiallis: Grace

      Today’s snippet, titled “Grace”, is a piece I wrote about my PC in Mark’s new (Good) Pathfinder Campaign.
      Be forewarned, there may be mature themes and naughty language below.
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      She wiped the tears from her cheeks, parting her softly golden wings a little sheepishly.
      “Sorry,” Rhiallis said, “What was that?”
      “I asked if you wanted to put this on. Aimsley cleaned off the uh, demon funk.” Korael handed her a gleaming bandeau of opals framed with aquamarines and peridots. “Should be good to go.”
      Rhiallis accepted the delicate piece with a wan smile. She held it before her, letting the gems catch the eerie light of the ‘Wound’s sun. The power within it fairly vibrated between her palms. Mira died… for this?
      Plucking her old circlet from her head carefully, she shook out her braids. No, that’s not true – nor fair to her. She died trying to save us – to save the world. This bauble is just… collateral. The new bandeau fit her head perfectly and as she secured it with the hairpins she had used for her previous one, a new warmth flooded through her body.
      An image swam through her mind and she dropped to knees, overwhelmed by the grace she felt. A beautiful, powerful woman with gleaming armor, a billowing white cloak, and thick brown hair woven into a single braid, stood over her. A halo of golden light shone behind her head and she reached a hand out. Wake her, Rhiallis Ondrash-Corweir. Awaken your friend for her time has not yet come. Raise her body from the ground, for my power is upon you, and push on. The time grows ever shorter and the Valorous Order is needed yet.
      In her vision, Rhiallis tried to speak, to reach for the woman, to move at all – and failed. A brief smile appeared on the stern face and she shook her head slightly. Though her lips did not move, she spoke again. Your time has not yet come either, my friend. Now, rise and waken your friend. Consider that an order.
      When her eyes opened, Rhiallis was kneeling on the dry, gritty ground. She said not a word as she stood, moved across the campsite to where Mira lay. Her hair had been smoothed down with a comb and a few droplets of water, her arms laid across her chest, her eyes were closed. With a blanket concealing the hideous wounds the glabrezu had inflicted, Rhiallis could almost imagine she was just sleeping. Mira was never so peaceful in sleep, she thought fondly, sitting beside her little friend. Always animated, moving, dreaming.
      She pulled Mira into her lap and stroked her hair. Across the way, Sadie stood up, her mouth opening to speak. Cole too, and Korael, seemed as if they might object or question her. Celeste merely watched, a sad resigned look upon her face. Aimsley alone seemed to understand and when the elf nodded, Rhiallis closed her eyes.
      A cool white glow around her hands seemed to be absorbed by Mira’s pale flesh and as the seconds ticked by, the color began to return to her body.
      The hin’s eyes flickered a few times.
      “You’re alive…”
      Mira gave her a drunken smile and plucked a feather from her wings. Rhiallis winced.
      “Yup,” she thrust that feather into her hair.
      She grinned and hugged her friend, but despite her joy – Rhiallis could not ever remember being as thoroughly exhausted as she felt in that minute.
      “We need some sleep,” Celeste said, as if reading her mind. “Rhiallis is barely on her feet, I’ve expended all my energies today, and Mira – welcome back, Mira – is hardly conscious.”
      “You guys lay down. You only need an hour,” Sadie sat back down, resuming her interrupted task. “We’ll sit watch.”
      Aimsley, Cole, and Korael nodded their agreement.
      Rhiallis helped Mira to her feet and moved closer to the group. She squinted down at Sadie’s project and frowned. The girl was carefully cleaning the disembodied head of Glabrezu.
      “…that’s gross,” she said, and then curled up on her bedroll, closed her eyes, and went to sleep.


Note: Image appears to belong to WOTC & be by Artist Anna Steinbauer. I have sent an email requesting permission to use it here (no-money generation on this website) but haven’t heard back yet. It just beautifully illustrated the moment in my mind – when Rhiallis hears Iomedae’s command and gets to use her Ultimate Mercy ability on her dear friend Mira.
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Signed, Josie
Note: Image is “King Jagiello Statue Central” by (Mulligand) from SXC.hu; edited by me

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