Authors note: I can't tell you all how much it means to me to see everyone reading my story. I keep writing because you keep reading. Let me know if I can improve or anything else you would like to see.
Sarid had leaned up on the edge of the tub during Rishk's tale. She was shaking her head at it all. Rishk was a liar, a conman, and a thief. This was only the parts he was telling her about. Every now and again he would pause while talking and she felt it was to sanitize or fabricate the account. What he told her was enough. When she went to back to the temple and prayed to Tymora tonight she was going to mention Rishk's need for Luck and Good Fortune. Sarid felt cold and looked around and for the first time noticed the twins were not standing around.
"I asked them to give us a few moments of privacy," Rishk said reading her mind.
Rishk stood up and walked to the shelves and pulled a robe down. Walking back to the tub he grabbed the towel Trina had set out. He handed the towel to her and turned and walked around the screen.
Sarid stood in the tub and stepped over the edge onto the floor. The water pooled around her feet as she dried herself. She looked up from her feet and jumped. Trina had quietly come around the screen with the robe lying across her bent left arm and in her right hand she held an uncorked bottle.
"I am sorry," Trina said. She quickly turned around.
"No, Trina, it is alright. You simply startled me." Sarid said as she wrapped the towel around her wet hair.
Trina held the robe up and Sarid shrugged. Trina set the bottle down and opened the robe. Sarid turned around and backed into it sliding her arms into the sleeves. Trina moved around front and pulled the robe tight and tied the sash in the front. Trina walked to the chair Rishk had been sitting in earlier and motioned for Sarid to sit down. As Sarid sat down Trina lifted the bottle from the tub's ledge and opened it. A smell of roses and cinnamon immediately filled the space between Trina and Sarid. Trina came up behind Sarid and shook the thick liquid out into her hand.
"May I rub your neck and shoulders with a perfumed skin softener?"
"Yes, please." Sarid answered as she pulled the robe down off of her shoulders.
"You have the most beautiful dark brown skin." Trina said as she began to knead and press into Sarid's upper back and shoulders.
"I would say skin of smooth, polished, dark, mahogany." Rishk interjected as he leaned around the screen. He had a grin on his face.
"I would say that sounds like a tired pick up line." Sarid smirked. "Save your charms for those who don't know you." Her face twisted as Trina had obviously hit a spot in her neck. "Right there, Trina. That spot hurts."
Trina worked around with delicate fingers pushing into the muscle tissue. She then started working the overall area again. The smell of the roses and cinnamon was lovely. Sarid smiled and then looked over to Rishk again.
"I am sure this is not free. I would like to believe you feel so bad about me getting jumped in the alley that you would spare no expense but I feel there is an ulterior motive to this all." Sarid said to Rishk.
"Then you listened to my story and gained some insight. I need your help. Specifically, I need a cleric's help. I have a project in the works."
"A scam?" Sarid interrupted. Trina snickered.
Rishk retorted, emphasizing "A project."
"There are many moving pieces and now a guild here is looking for me as, Renan."
Sarid tensed up. It caught Trina off guard and she removed her hands.
"Are you alright, Sarid?" Trina asked.
Rishk had been rubbing his chin and looking down while talking. Realizing what he just did, he slowly lifted his head and locked eyes with Sarid.
"I didn't remember the name and I never said it. Explain."
"I used the name in Luskan and IF they are looking for me it is the name I would assume they would use."
"You were in the alley?"
Sarid's question hung with no response. Rishk's mind was working the angles, Sarid realized. Trina had walked over to a small basin in the corner. She poured water from a pitcher into the basin and then washed and dried her hands. Rishk had not stopped looking into Sarid's eyes. Sarid pulled the robe up onto her shoulders and stood up. She quickly closed the distance between her and Rishk.
Sarid looked Rishk's face over. She did not believe an answer was coming. Sarid reached up and, putting her arms around Rishk, gave him a tight embrace.
"Thank you, Rishk. You saved my life."
Rishk returned the hug and then released her and stepped back.
"I, unknowingly, put you in a bad situation. I know I do some questionable things but I never want a blameless individual to be hurt." Rishk stopped. He tilted his head and said, "If you are that appreciative say you will help me."
Sarid looked past Rishk at the stairs. Tiran was talking to a dwarf and showing him the racks of lotions, herbs, and mixtures. She turned and looked at Trina who was busy cleaning the tub. She scanned around the room.
"Sarid?" Rishk asked.
"I want some details, first, but not here." Sarid said while Rishk was nodding. "Trina, I don't see my clothes."
Trina was wiping down the ledge around the tub and did not bother to look up when she said, "They were sent off to be laundered. Rishk asked for a runner to bring a clean set of clothes for you from the temple."
"Let me go upstairs and look," Rishk said as he turned and jogged upstairs.
"Thank you, Trina. You and your brother were wonderful. I appreciate all the time you spent with me."
Trina turned and looked up. She moved so she could see around the screen and saw her brother opening the bottles and letting the dwarf smell each one. Trina then moved so she could face Sarid but see the stairs.
"You do not know me but I heard you talking about working for Rishk. The only truth I heard from him is that he is not who you think. I think he has a good heart but he has his own plans. I can only say be careful."
Sarid looked at Trina with bewilderment. She was about to say something when Trina took a knee in front of her and bowed her head. Sarid was hit with a tingling in her spine. Without conscious thought she felt knew her Goddess' touch, stepped forward, and held her hand over Trina's head. The prayer for Luck and Good Fortune flowed from Sarid's mouth without effort. Sarid felt power flow through her and touch Trina. She lifted her hand from Trina, thanked Tymora, and stepped back.
Rishk was standing there with a package wrapped in paper. He held it out for her. She looked back to where Trina had knelt but she had already moved away. She was moving a screen to open it between the tubs for the dwarf.
"Thank you, Rishk or do I call you Renan?" Sarid said taking her change of clothes.
"I have gone by many names, Sarid, but I need you to call me by my name, Rishk."
Sarid pulled the string on the package and unwrapped her Cleric vestments. Sarid took off the robe and towel, folded them, and set them in the chair. She slipped on the clean under clothes and her camel hair robes. Astounding that my simple robes feel like the protection of plate mail to me.
Sarid came from behind the screen. Tiran was taking pots from the grate for the dwarf's bath. Trina was fingering through a small pouch in front of Rishk at the stairway. Rishk saw Sarid and motioned for her to come over. Trina bowed to Rishk and moved to a cabinet and placed the pouch inside. As Sarid moved to the stairs Trina bowed to her as well. Rishk had already disappeared up the stairs. Sarid gave a quick wave and followed up to the tavern.
Rishk was waiting in the tavern when Sarid exited the door leading to the baths. When she looked into the corner she did not see Farit or Akara. One of the long tables had a raucous party of about ten people eating and drinking. Both waitresses were handling refills and requests.
"When the waitress passed me said they went upstairs to the room to get some rest. I think we should do the same. We can get all back together for dinner here."
"Well then I will see you then. Do you think I will have anymore problems with the guild?"
"No," Rishk remarked. "I believe their two dead assassins in the alley should keep them away for a bit, but I have preparations in the works for that as well. Remember, tonight, the others do not know my other … activities."
"I can keep a secret," Sarid said as she shook her head and turned to leave.
As she began to walk for the front entrance she heard Rishk sing song her name. Sarid turned back around to look at him. He was holding the bag with her part of the money. She had forgotten all about it. Shaking her head she walked back over to him, snatched it, and quickly deposited it into a pocket inside her robe. She heard Rishk laugh as she walked to the front door and he walked upstairs. Pushing the door open she hit the street and started walking to the temple.
Sarid's thoughts drifted as she walked. Her legs plodded along, automatically taking her home to the temple. Wurgym was small enough for Sarid to have comfortably traveled most of its well-used streets. This was the case now as she moved along. She heard her name called by passing citizens who knew her but she did not acknowledge them. Her mind rushed over the luck Tymora had bestowed upon her. "Fortune begets Fortune. Misfortune begets Fortune," was a blessing of Tymora. Even that evil temptress Beshaba's bad luck can be turned around with Tymora.
Sarid's stomach growled. She almost wished she would have stayed at the inn and had lunch. She was close to the temple though and she would eat after she dealt with Dramin. Sarid needed to pay the tithe to make right with the temple and get Dramin to back off. It would be great to get to her room and rest. The last several days had been taxing and a short rest would be wonderful. It wasn't long and Sarid stood at the foot of the temple. People were coming and going through the large double doors.
"Excuse me," a voice said to the left of Sarid.
She turned and saw a halfling male in a green shirt and brown shorts.
"Can I help you?" Sarid asked.
"I hope so. I am looking for the Lady's Providence. I hope to ask for Tymora's favor."
Sarid's face beamed with a smile.
"You are standing in front it now. I can show you inside and provide you any of our Lady Tymora's services. If you don't mind me saying, I thought I had learned in my studies that most halflings worship Yondalla or her children."
The hafling giggled. "When was the last time you saw a temple of Yondalla?" His small fingers touched the broach pinned to the breast of his green shirt. The four-sided broach was a similar soft green color of his shirt and she did not pay it much attention at first. Made of wood, it had a carving of a horn filled with food in the center. Simple and subdued it was beautiful symbol of the Nurturing Matriarch of halflings. Sarid nodded her realization that the taller folk of Faerun did not make temples to Yondalla.
"I understand. Welcome to The Lady's Providence, good sir" Sarid made a slight bow and swept her right hand out to the door.
The halfling walked forward up the steps and they both entered the temple. Sarid saw Wyllim as they walked in the door. He had his face down in a book and was leaning against the wall near the hall.
"Wyllim, Are you able to provide blessings for a traveler? I have to go rest and recite my prayers and spells." Sarid said.
"Of course! I was going over a tome describing an encounter with a priest of Selune and his party. They were over run four to one by Kobolds and he used a trap enspelled with what the book described as End of Strife. It caught the…"
Sarid interrupted "Wyllim!"
"Sorry, Sarid. I got wrapped up in the story." He closed the book and made eye contact with the halfling. "Come with me, sir."
Wyllim started down the hall. The halfling touched his broach then put his fingers to his mouth, blew Sarid a kiss and hurried off after Wyllim.
I look forward to one day having stories about my adventures written Sarid thought to herself and snickered.
Sarid found her way to Tryston's door. She took a deep breath and held it for a moment then exhaled it heavily. Sarid reached into her robes and pulled the pouch with the gold coins out. She loosened the stings and looked inside. Ten gold coins shined from within the bag. Sarid shifted them in her hand hearing the clink the metal made. Sarid took two coins from the bag and pushed them into the pocket where she kept her dice. Sarid pulled the pouch strings tight again. Moving the pouch to her left hand she smoothed her robes nervously with her right hand. Standing up tall Sarid knocked on the door.
"Come in" Tryston answered.
Sarid pulled the latch to the side and pushed the door in.
Tryston's room was simply decorated as much of the clerics were. She had a bed, a dresser, and a desk as Sarid did. They were newer and larger but were still mismatched. The biggest difference was the massive stacks of books and scrolls all over the room. Tryston was sitting in a chair looking over a scroll. She had the chair propped on two legs as she leaned it back against the wall. Her feet were propped up on a small stool. She looked over the scroll and saw Sarid and smiled. The chair came to the ground and Tryston stood up setting the scroll in the chair. Tryston was wearing a thin, blue pair of pants with an equally thin, white, silk shirt. Tryston brushed her long brown hair from her face with both hands and pulled it over her shoulders.
"Good afternoon, my favorite student" Tryston said as she drew Sarid in for a hug. Sarid had not said anything since entering and only half heartedly returned Tryston's embrace.
"What is troubling you?" Tryston asked sensing Sarid had something on her mind.
Sarid looked down at the pouch in her left hand and held it forward for inspection. Tryston gently plucked the pouch from the open palm and pulled the ties loose. Tryston's face relaxed as she looked inside.
"Child, is this Tymora's tithe you have found?"
"It is the tithe I denied her and lied about." Sarid said not having looked up since she presented the pouch.
Tryston extended her hand and with a tender motion touching Sarid's chin lifted her face to look at Tryston.
"You do Tymora's will bringing luck to those who take risks. Do you not think she smiled upon your escapade? You were in the house of the Lady Luck, gambling on a motley bunch to bring them good fortune and you think she did not see what you did and smile? You return with eight gold coins to pay back the temple. I am proud of you Sarid. You have learned well what we teach."
"I had ten coins. I kept two of them." Sarid said feeling guilty as she said it.
"You have tithed eighty percent of your take, which is extremely equitable. You will need money as you venture out and travel from the temple bringing Tymora's word and blessing to those who quest."
Sarid relaxed, feeling a great weight lifted from her.
"Have you practiced and memorized your daily prayers yet?" Tryston asked. Sarid shook her head no. "Let me share a scroll with you. I believe you are prepared for something new. It is a prayer to Tyche before she was split into our Lady Tymora. What is fascinating from the scroll is it now appeals to both Tymora and Beshaba. With only a slight change of words the prayer can be used for protection or a curse."
Tryston walked over to the bed and pulled two pillows off it and threw them to the floor. She pointed Sarid to the pillow. She then walked to the chair and lifted the scroll from the seat. Sarid was already seated when Tryston sat on the other pillow crossing her legs.
"Alright, read these passages and repeat after me. Lets get you prepared for your next expedition."
Sarid took the scroll and started to read.