Prayers after the Darkest Night:
With the dawn of the new day, Sarena dons a crisp white robe with a golden sash. The sleeves are long and flowing, and lined with golden metallic threads, the color of which mimics the radiance of her golden hair. Care was taken to wash and brush her golden locks out to an other-worldly metallic gleam. It lays loose across her shoulders, draping long and free, an uncommon style for her. Even her skin looks like it has a golden shimmer that is often muted in the day to day. From afar she looks radient but anyone who got close could see the grief and exhaustion in her eyes. Her face is stoic and muted, but the ruddiness of the skin under her eyes betray a long period of active mourning.
She walked up the tower stairs, only briefly pausing in front of Avashniel’s room. Her movement was graceful and uncommonly quiet. Devoid of her armor and in her formal robes of worship she casts a much more delicate and fragile figure. Her bare feet feel the chill of the tower’s staircase as she reaches the rooftop. She glances at the Sword of Valor for a brief moment, her emotionless face unchanged, before she climbs the stone edging of the tower’s crenellation. She looks over the edge, her footing on the narrow edge of the stone less than stable, with seeming thoughtfulness. With the moment considered, she jumps fully and forcefully from the top of the tower. She drops several feet before her wings spring out with golden and white light. They beat only for a moment before catching her weight. The flight down to the graveyard is slow, her wings only beating occasionally to keep up a slow glide.
Her flight brought her to Halldron’s grave, where she knelt and lit candles. She pressed her fingers into the recently disturbed earth, feeling the sharp corruption of undeath and the ooze it had created here. In the divets left by her fingers she planted the ends of the candles, a purity against the foulness. She spoke her prayer to Sarenrae aloud without concern for being overheard.
The sun is coming up now, the dawn is breaking, but I have not slept. All the temples to You like to say “after the darkness comes dawn.” Dawn never comes here in Drezen. I kneel upon the spoiled soil of this cemetery and I am afraid that though the light illuminates the land, Dawn never comes. Truely, my heart is in the darkest place it has ever been after tonight. I know I have said those words before, Goddess, but no light ever shines here, the world just gets darker and more inky. It is only by your grace that I am still living. It must be of your grace that I live, because it certainly is not born of your charity.
I do not have to tell you of the bitterness I feel in my heart. I know that you know it, and you know that I would never lie to you. The night’s darkest hours have taken from me one of my dearest friends and your faithful servant. Halldron Iddris was more than a friend to me. He was a fellow worshiper – he was a companion in faith when there were no others. Are, no others. He was born out of your blessed wisdom and goodness, and trust me that he was faithful to those qualities. Out of a cursed life he created the most blessed of afterlives. Of all of us, he most deserved your protection.
Goddess, he was taken from me. His unique goodness sustained me in a way that no one else could. He never lied to me. He never tried to hide truth from me. He believed in me, he had FAITH in me. I never had to wonder if his true purpose was hidden or if he was holding back to save me from truths, like a child. He believed in me. He thought I was worthy, and he made me want to be worthy. But now he is gone, and I need him. The night is dark, and the day that follows is cast in shadows.
Please, blessed Dawnflower, if you will not return him to me, then please let me know that he is finally with You and at peace. Though his absence has left me raw and wounded I would find solace in knowing that he has found a place with you. If ever there was one living who deserved to Herald your light, it is Halldron Iddris. I want to beg, and plead with you to return him to me, I know you can feel my soul ache for him, so please know it takes all of my willpower to not scream your name and demand his return. Instead I beg only to know that he has found a better afterlife than the life he was born to.
Bless this place, holy Sarenrae, where Halldron Iddris had died three times – once as a man, valorous and brave, once as a creature of undeath – still faithful to you, and once again as your blessed servant still devoted to defending this place, even in his afterlife.
Though silent tears had been streaming down her face during all the words she spoke, the tears now pour down her face in an exhausted and grief-ridden torrent. She draws the symbols of Sarenrae in the wet earth of Halldron’s freshly filled grave mindless of the remnants of the black ooze that plagued her the night before.
After the prayer was spoken and symbols drawn, she folded in upon herself and wept for minutes or hours uncounted.