Strange World of Random Doom
Human Cleric of the Patient Arrow
She sits rigidly, out of the way of the sailors aboard the ship to this mysterious island, the destination not far now. This water is not at all like the rivers she swims in, she can’t wrap her mind around how utterly vast… She shakes her head to try to dispel the thought and instead tries to consider her mentor who set her upon this quest to explore. That elderly cleric had been long abed, incredibly aged and bundled in blankets. Her eyes though, sharp as ever, scrutinized her. Caela could still hear her words as clear as she’d spoken them. “You’ve been a good apprentice to an old woman, dear child. It is time you made your own way in the world. Explore. Hunt as would honor our Patron, and find some people to look after as well as you have looked out for me.” She shook her head as Caela had protested leaving her alone. “Never fear, Caela, The Huntress watches out for her own. Now, please, fetch me some fresh water.” Caela had nodded and left the small cottage to draw water from the nearby well. Upon returning, she found that her mentor had peacefully passed on to her reward while Caela was outdoors. Eyes watering, and throat clenched, she fell on her knees at the bedside and grasped the aged hands and kissed them in farewell. Caela blinked at the sound of crinkling paper. There was a scrap of parchment in her mentor’s hand with Caela’s name on it. Caela gently tugged it free. She swiped at the tears blurring her vision and unfolded the note. She nodded at the few words upon it, folded it and tucked it away in an inner pocket, and began the last rites as befitted her Cleric mentor before she set out on her own.
Caela sighs as she returns her focus to the here and now, and is grateful to see that the ship is nearing the great wooden walkway stretching out into the harbor where it is to unload. She watches in fascination the great maneuvering by the crew of the ropes and pulleys that somehow convey them safely docked. When it is her time to disembark, she is filled with anticipation to finally get off the rolling deck of this ship and to be on the island named in the note! Some of the sailors watch the passengers knowingly as they disembark, and good natured hoots of laughter ensue as money swaps hands at the sight of her and others stumbling on the dock as though still aboard ship. Their overseer shouts and they get back to unloading baggage for the passengers before setting about to unload the bigger items they had in the hold. Luckily, Caela has no reason to hang around the dock, she carries her belongings in a tidy pack on her back. Without a further backwards glance she makes her way off the dock and towards the city. She wanders for a bit, chatting with people who catch her eye, getting ideas of the lay of the land beyond this “Raven’s Bay” and what dwells therein, and a bit of idea of the working of the city. She watches her meager belongings carefully, what she has she needs, and she can’t rely on people noticing (or respecting) the symbol of The Huntress stitched onto her gauntlets to protect her from thieves that surely inhabit even this city. Finally, she reaches the outskirts and sees the forest beyond. She hitches up her backpack and sets forth to explore a bit of this new-to-her land.
Between tracking curious prints and stalking the animals who made them, hunting when needed and giving offerings to her goddess. She has a couple small pelts from the remains of her dinners and a small parcel of meat to trade when next she visits Raven’s Bay. She drops off a couple items to be mended and while waiting for them spends the day chatting with random people about animals, trading, or whatever is on their minds. Eventually though, with the coins she gets for the pelts she pays for her mending and rents a room with a hot bath for the night, along with a bowl of stew and a glass of honeyed milk in the common room below. The weather outside looked to have a storm brewing; a night indoors would certainly be nice this evening. Her stew finished, she pulls out one of the apples from the bundle of fruit she had traded her package of meat for and sinks her teeth in. This seems a good arrangement for now. Explore. Learn about the terrain and its creatures. Return to the city for an evening or two when the weather turns ill. Indeed, this suits her fine. She will be patient and wait for the Huntress to aim her where she needs to be, as it should be.
The cycle of hunting and living off the land, and then returning for a night or two in the city continues for a month or more. The conditions on the island have been becoming rather nasty. The rain sends her running for cover to wait it out and when the smoke shifts her way, her coughing scares what little game she manages to find. On her last trip into town she heard rumor of a large coal mine that had caught fire. What an inferno that must be to still be burning! She’s musing on what insane amounts of water or sand would have to be required to douse something like that when she spies her quarry she’d been tracking for the past couple hours. She carefully takes aim with her longbow and fires! It strikes with critical precision, slaying the bristly wild pig at 40 paces, what a hit! It was certainly one of her better shots. She was striding towards it when a hawk screeched and soared in to land upon the kill. Caela halts, fingers the talon scars on her cheek and grows still, observing. The hawk looks at her intently, cocks its head and looks at the kill, then looks toward the city. It screeches at her again and takes wing, lost to her sight as it clears the trees into the smog-laden sky beyond. Slightly breathless, she grins hugely at what she feels is the sign she’s been waiting for and sets about carving up the beast, offering the choice bits in ritual to the Goddess and packing up the rest to take with her to the city. Upon making her now usual rounds, she soon encounters a charismatic (and certainly easy to look upon) young man by the name of Tanner who tells her of a bold group of individuals whom she could assist. Feeling confident that this is where she’s being led, she agrees, and offers up her wild pig to their table this evening. A new avenue of her life is opening up before her, Caela desperately hopes she has what it takes to adapt and make The Huntress proud.
Caela is a young woman of about 24 years of age. As a young child of about 4 years of age, her caravan was raided as they made camp for the evening. She had been off playing in the woods when it happened, and upon hearing the noise tried to return and was about to call out for her mother and father. Out of nowhere a hawk struck her down, a burning sensation covering the left side of her face. It perched on a large rock nearby and looked at her knowingly as she lay crumpled on the ground stunned. A whistle in the distance. The hawk spread its majestic wings and launched itself in the air, circling her twice before soaring off away from camp. The elderly cleric of the Patient Arrow who’d been traveling with them and another family limped quietly into view from the trees separating them from the bandits. She looked grim as she observed the bleeding child, then, recognizing what had done the damage, she looked startled. “Child, come with me. Your parents-“ she broke off with a deeper frown, not wanting to startle the child out of her daze with the dire news (likely to prevent her from wailing and alerting the bandits to survivors). Caela sniffled and nodded, allowing the cleric to lift her on one hip and clinging tight and burying the side of her face that wasn’t hurting into the cleric’s shoulder. She smelled nice, of pine and leaves. She felt comforted as she was carried. Once the cleric judged herself and Caela to be far enough away and confident she’d left no tracks to be followed, she set the twig of a child down and tended her wounds. She then told her of the fate of the caravan. Knowing the child to have no other family from the fireside chats she’d shared with her parents, she decided to take the little one on as her last apprentice. They needed each other, and The Huntress would look after them both.