An awkward, extended silence developed. No one moved, nor spoke.
Finally, Corumet cleared her throat at Arethkayn. “Priest, I think we’re counting on you for this part.”
“Right,” Arethkayn said. “Apologies. We’ll need to circle the ruin nine times.”
“Sinister? Or dexter?” Corumet asked.
Corumet was invoking old shield terminology for left and right. If sinister, they would turn right to circle the ruins, keeping the ruins always at their left. If dexter, they’d go the other way.
“Dexter,” Arethkayn lied.
“Sinister,” Malecibe corrected.
Rhurrinore shot Malecibe a nasty look. He shook his head almost imperceptibly.
Hah! Got you both, Arethkayn thought.
So at least two of her companions knew something of magic…
Back in October, I started a series of articles exploring alternative takes on the cleric. In each of the articles, I’ve described characters who use the same game rules and game mechanics as regular clerics, and who retain the usual cleric’s focus on divine power. However, their relationships with gods aren’t the ones we’re used to seeing:
- Galatherina has been drafted into service of a god she never sought.
- Bettelfegne is a semidivine being in alliance with a god.
- Mitra is a demigod.
- Raicho is a mercenary to the gods.
This article concerns the fifth and final cleric in the series: Arethkayn.
Arethkayn’s twist on clerichood is that her family has a long-standing arrangement with a handful of gods, rather than with a single deity. That by itself may not seem to push the envelope. However, in her case, times have changed since her family’s pact was forged: Her gods don’t necessarily get along with each other anymore. They continue to honor their covenant with her family for the same metaphysical reasons that devils might stick with the terms of a contract.
And these sorts of details inevitably change the clerical relationship a little bit from the usual. Although Arethkayn might seem to serve the four gods of her covenant as a priest at times, it’s far more accurate to say that she is honoring her ends of an agreement and that they are doing the same. The parties don’t, in this configuration, have to like each other all that much or even agree with each other.