Faithseeker 9: Before the Shieldmeet
Essembra, first days of the month of Flamerule 1372 DR
Selia Amberthil and her friends arrive to Essembra without much trouble. They are in splendid moods, as they passed their time telling ghost stories – a subject that started with Eghlen recalling the tale of the Aencar’s Manor while they were walking by that menacing building. Hervor was especially prolific and he used all his bardic powers to entertain others without scaring them too much. Thanks to that, Selia’s opinion about him improved a little.
The first thing the party does when arriving to the capital of Battledale is to rent a room in an inn for a whole month. They plan to stay this long to participate in the Shieldmeet celebrations. Eghlen hopes to use the weeks preceding the festival to gather information from folks coming to Essembra from all around the Dales. Selia decides to explore the city and learn local customs on her own.
First place Selia visits is the House of Gond. One of the artisan-priests gives her a tour around the exhibits and explains the dogma. Selia, while appreciative of the inventions and hard work of the artisans that make them, feels a bit out of place in the overwhelming hall filled with complicated machinery and crafts, but devoid of decorations or perhaps taste as far as miss Amberthil is concerned. On top of that, the noise coming from the workshops at the back of the temple gives her a headache. She excuses herself and leaves, deciding Gond is definitely not a Power for her.
While wandering around the city Selia finds herself in the woodland district, where local elves welcome her and invite to participate in their never-ending festivities. Selia dances and sings for hours, completely immersing herself in the community. The elves even manage to convince her to play a harp for them. Inspired by their friendliness, Selia improvises a piece so lovely that some of the listeners shed a tear. At the end of the day, Selia leaves the elven woodland district but promises to return soon. She’s happy she will have the opportunity to spend a few more weeks in company of elves and considers this day one of the best in her entire life.
During her visits in the woodland district, Selia is acquainted with Arstag Autumnfire, a half-elven hunter. He wants to learn more about his father who traveled to the Abbey of the Just Hammer some time ago. Neither Selia nor Keldoth are able to answer the hunter’s questions, so Arstag decides to follow in his father's footsteps, and leaves for the Abbey the next day. He'll figure out that his father was the elf murdered by Rurik the Rat and learn that Selia brought the murderer to justice. Next time Arstag will meet her, he'll owe her a debt of gratitude in his mind.