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    Pilgrimage and slave trade in the mountains

    by , 02-09-2015 at 09:50 PM (348 Views)
    I'm traveling with a woman who most recently has been climbing these giant stairs cut into the mountains, leading a very large group of people, guided by her visions and signs. Now she's reached an old shrine that's of great personal importance to her. But that's not what she was looking for - she thought her visions were guiding her to a place where all these people could be safe. Now it seems it was just something personal. She believes she's led them all this way for nothing.

    I'm extremely frustrated by all this, because the place I've been trying to guide her to with those visions I've sent her is still further on - I wanted her to see this shrine first for personal reasons, because I like her and I thought she deserved to know this part of her past, but it's not our final destination. Unfortunately, the stairs end here; there's no easy path after this point. How am I going to convince her to keep going now that she's doubting the visions? I'm almost tempted to just suggest scouting ahead myself and then conveniently 'finding' the place - but I need her to be the one to discover it, not me. I'll think of something, but I need to talk to her privately, and there haven't been many opportunities for that on this pilgrimage.

    Right now she's busy talking with a priest I dislike - I'm not fond of priests on general principle, but this one in particular irritates me. She's apologizing. She's saying she shouldn't have rejected the idea of divine guidance - maybe if she'd believed, she wouldn't have gotten them lost like this. The priest reassures her, saying, "You delivered what would not be prayerful."

    (Woke up. Back to sleep.)

    Still in that same mountain range, but this time I'm working separately from the main group, it's just me and a couple of her soldiers. I'm talking with a slave trader - he's got a group of people I've been looking for and I need him to release them. He says he can't possibly do that, they're an extremely sought-after species. He shows me a cage with a human man and woman instead, and a falcon that comes with the woman, and says that he'll give me one of them as a sign of good faith - he'll even trade me all three, the two humans and the falcon, if I'd be willing to give him one of my soldiers. He has a buyer who likes that specific shade of skin. Incredulous, I tell him this isn't a negotiation. He's going to release the people I came for, I'm not going to give him anything, and I don't care about his humans or whatever else he's selling.

    But then he takes the hood off the human woman - white hair and a young face. I know her. I'm shocked, and she looks just as shocked to see me - I'd thought she was dead. Last time I saw her, she'd sacrificed me to her people's gods. It didn't work obviously, I can't die that way, but there was no way she could have known that. When my 'death' didn't stick, her people reacted very badly. I'd seen them holding a funeral for her later, but I'd been watching from a distance - they must have held the ceremony without a body. I'd just assumed they'd killed her. I'd liked her a great deal, sacrifice aside.

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