Friday, December 7, 2012
The heroes had explored the area surrounding where the temple of had been. When they left they were confronted with a problem, there were pilgrims that had gathered. Most asked to accompany them on their journey to the Temple of Sanam, the Goddess of love and fertility. Her temple was the relatively close compared to the rest of the holy sites, at only a month’s travel. They allowed only the able bodied to travel with them. Alexander knew that those who accompanied them could face danger. It weighed heavy on him that they could be injured helping him on his quest for knowledge. He had to find a way to protect those under his care.
At the end of the days march Juniper and he trained the six pilgrims in self-defense. Without proper weapons they first practiced with stick as swords. This training was tested when on the seventh night a group of roaming thieves attacked what they thought would be an easy target. The fighting was fierce, only the heroes had proper weapons. The thieves matched their nine plus two. Alexander was protecting a badly hurt pilgrim from two thieves while Milo was fighting one to a standstill. Juniper had enchanted her sword to have the keenest of edges allowing her to slice through their armor with ease. The image of her was terrifying as she cut off a thieves arm and trailing blood in her blades wake. The thief fell to the ground screaming in agony holding the stump that was his arm. A quick jab through his heart ended his life. The cry of a pilgrim caught her attention. She saw a thief dragging away a female pilgrim trying to escape. His back was to her, as he was repositioned himself to hold her more securely. She took three steps to close the distance left a deep gash across his back. He let go of the woman and turned to her. His last sight was a glint of light from the fire off her blade as it separated his head from his shoulders. The thieves fled when their numbers were reduced by half. Her lust for blood was not quenched and she fell another thief that begged mercy. She had the misfortune of falling while she fled the camp with food. Juniper had severed and arm and leg before Alexander was able to stop her continuing to dismember the thief. The two heroes fought over her conduct as Milo attempted to save the girl. Ultimately the only merciful thing to do was to end her life. Alexander insisted on doing this feeling that this was his fault. That death weighted on his soul as much as the two pilgrims that perished during the night. All of the dead were giving a proper burial, somehow when the bodies were blessed the words seemed hollow and without meaning.
Now with the equipment from the thieves attack, Alexander was able to properly train the four remaining pilgrims. As heroes approached the holy site of Sanam they noticed that morality was weakening. Brothers were operating in the open and flaunting their talents in windows. The disturbing part was they all adorned the symbol of Sanam. Even though Sanam represented love she was never one for the strengthening of the emotional connection between lovers not open debauchery. People were paying homage to this false aspect the goddess. When the heroes reached the temple what they found was beyond anything. There were people in varying stages of undress and engaging in every sort of sexual act possible. Alexander was disgusted when he found the temple high priestess tangled in a pile of bodies. The only reason he knew it was her was because the only thing she wore was the torque of the high priestess.
“What has happened here” Alexander asked once she was untangles from the pile.
“This is the goddess will. We are to spread the joys that come from love.” She stepped close to Alexander placed one arm around his waist and the other was stroking his chest.
“Open lust has never been the goddess wishes. Why have her views changed so?” Alexander continued.
“Lust is a part of love. When you love someone you also lust for them. Her new message is nothing but a reflection of that.”
She was actively trying to free Alexander of his clothing. When he refused her she stepped back and held her arms out wide and twirled slowly in front of him. “Am I not desirable enough for you? I freely give myself to you, or do you desire something else? We can find you someone to love be they male or female. All are welcome to experience lust here. Everyone here is safe to explore what, and whoever they want.”
Juniper interposed herself between the priestess, and Alexander, “What if those explorations cause problems for people that are in love with each other”
The priestess moved to Juniper and placed her arms around Junipers neck and leaned to her ear and whispered into her ear. “My dear jealousy is not permitted here. It interferes with the free flow of passion. Please don’t make us have to discipline you for breaking our one rule.” As she moved away from Juniper she kissed her full on the mouth. The kiss caught her be surprise and overwhelmed her emotionally. Juniper was left transfixed by the freedom she felt.
Juniper snapped free from the spell the cast on her and stepped back weakly into Alexander, nearly falling. Alexander caught her before she was in fear of hitting the ground. The feeling of having his arms around her caused her to swoon. She turned to look into his eyes hoping to find the love she felt for him returned in his eyes. Instead want she felt was cold indifference.
“Why have you done this to me? What have we done to you and your flock?” Juniper said through clinched teeth.
“My child you’ve done nothing wrong all I’ve offered is to expand your mind. Please enjoy whoever you want. I need to return to my flock.” She gave each of the heroes a passionate kiss.
The heroes were left to wonder again what is going on in the heavens when the father and the protector of the gods is missing and the goddess of love is now the goddess of lust. They made their way out of the temple avoiding the piles of people blocking their way.
“We need to find the holy site of Aaryon. Maybe we can find some answers there. Everything is getting worse, when the gods change aspects things are in peril. I fear for what we’ll find there.” Alexander said once free of the temple. As they left the city Alexander took stock in the people with them. There were another nine pilgrims with them, one of them a halfling woman from the temple staff.