The Shrine of St. Lark


Laurent Talen pressed his hand against the child’s forehead. She was burning with fever and barely conscious, and St. Alban’s monastery was still a day’s ride to the north. The cold wind cut through his winter cloak.

His granddaughter was Marielle and worth more to the old man than all the silver he’d earned as a craftsman. The monks of St. Alban could help her if time were on his side. But the sun was disappearing beyond the peaks of the Five Kings and the road would be even more dangerous.

Laurent eased down from his horse and gently laid the child at the base of a cherry tree, its branches bare and offering little shelter. Snow had fallen that morning and he brushed it away and placed his cloak down first. Marielle’s eyes fluttered open and she whispered, Papa, can we pick some wildflowers?

No, my love, you need to rest first and then we shall see.

Sing me a song then, she looked up into his eyes.

Laurent Talen sang the simple song that Marielle often heard while the old man worked in his shop. As he did so, he had a vision of St. Lark pulling a warm cloak over his granddaughter.

Laurent’s voice faltered and stopped. Sing, Papa! He looked down and Marielle was smiling back at him. Her eyes were clear and the fever was gone.

He began to sing again. This time with Marielle’s voice joining his. Cherry blossoms fell around them like snow.

[Game Notes for the Shrine of St. Lark]

The Shrine of St. Lark lies along the north road leading out of Bree. The road has grown wild in recent years, but cart tracks still mark the path.

Thirty years ago the north road was heavily traveled by merchants and pilgrims. Merchants were taking the north route through a mountain pass into Ren Cele. The pass led into the Five Kings and the dwarves of Irendall were open to trade at that time. The faithful made pilgrimages to the monastery of St. Alban to show their devotion to Eos.

No one uses this road any more. Warfare between the kingdoms of man weakened the security of the land, allowing orcs and gnoll raiders to sweep through the north kingdoms.

A small roadside shrine marks the site. St. Lark, the patron saint of music, is honored here with a stone statue. The statue is badly damaged and its left arm is nothing more than a stone stump. There is still power here for the wind dies down and birds gather to warble. It is said that the cherry trees surrounding it bloom longer than any others.

The faithful that come to petition St. Lark may (if they appear truly deserving) receive some blessing from Eos.

The DM could roll 2d6 as a secret saving throw for each petitioner. To this roll she could add a modifier of +1 or more to reflect the nature and sincerity of the petitioner. If the save is made, the petitioner is granted one temporary luck point (no time limit to use it). A luck point may be used to alter by one point (+/-) any die roll that affects them.

If the save results in an outstanding success of 12+ the petitioner may be given one of the following blessings in addition to the bonus luck point. (DM may choose or roll)

1. The petitioner gains the insight of Wisdom, gains Wisdom as an ability and also +1 to saves vs magic
2. One weapon upon the petitioner becomes blessed, functions as a +1 magical weapon
3. The petitioner gains blessed protection, adds +1 to their armor class regardless of wearing armor or not
4. All water or wine carried on their person becomes a healing draught restoring full hit points when drunk
5. The petitioner is protected from all disease
6. Every song they sing for others will be so beautiful that they will receive a +2 favorable reaction

Note that all of these blessings will last until the cherry blossoms at St. Lark’s Shrine have all fallen (mid summer).

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