“What do you see?”
“Buildings … on a cliff … by the sea. There’s a lighthouse in the center of them. It’s putting out light, but not a white light. It’s multicolored.”
“That would be Windsong Abbey, probably. It’s the only one lighthouse I know of that has a multicolored light.”
“It’s in ruins.”
“Can you see the shard?”
“I’m falling, falling through layers of stone.”
“And now I’m in a dark place. There’s … there’s breathing. Something very large. It’s all I can hear.”
“Okay, that’s enough.”
Theodora put down the Shard of Gluttony and opened her eyes. The party was back in Magnimar, at the Pathfinder Lodge, sharing their findings with Sheila Heidmarch and her chief secretary, Andel Gesseran.
“That can’t be Windsong Abbey,” said Andel, “I was just there two months ago. It’s not it ruins at all.”
“There was a ship that came in two days ago.” Sheila answered, “The crew said they had passed it and seen smoke and flame rising above it.”
“What? How did you know that?”
“It’s a Pathfinder’s job to know things,” Sheila chided, “and not just what’s found in books.”
Milacent smiled at the verbal jab, then frowned. She knew what was coming next.
“The shards’ visions have always been of the present,” Theodora announced, “If that is the abbey, it’s in ruins now. We should go to it quickly to see what’s happened.”
Milacent sighed. She had hoped to spend some time in Magnimar relaxing, but if Windsong Abbey had been attacked and destroyed, they’d doubtlessly be heading out soon to investigate.
“Wait, what is this abbey?” Helanda enquired, then paused as everyone turned to stare at her. “What? I’m from Korvosa, not here,” she protested.
Windsong Abbey, everyone explained, was a cluster of religious buildings and the small town that had grown up around them, a few days’ walk north along the coastal road from Magnimar. It had been established as a place for members of different faiths to meet and discuss theological matters in a setting free of violence and political meddling, and as such there had been twenty priests living there, one for each of the major gods of the Inner Sea region, minus the followers of Rovagug the destroyer.
For over 500 years the abbey had existed in improbable harmony, then roughly a century ago the death of the human god Aroden had sent traumatizing shockwaves throughout the clerical world. The priests of Pharasma, Goddess of Prophecy, were particularly affected, for they had received no warning of such a momentous event. It is said that Ardathanatus, the elven priest of Pharasma living in Windsong Abbey, had gone mad at that time, killing several of the other priests there before fleeing to parts unknown. Since then the abbey’s occupancy had dwindled until only 5 priests remained. And if it was now in ruins, maybe not even that.
“Windsong Abbey has always been independent, not formally aligned with Magnimar or any other city-states of Varisia” Sheila informed everybody. “That said, if it has been destroyed sooner or later word will get here and someone will be sent to see what happened. It would benefit the Pathfinder Society greatly if we were the first to report.”
“You’re absolutely right,” agreed Theodora, “We’ll leave tomorrow.”
“Great,” Milacent said to no one in particular.