It was quiet. A rare treat among this group of adventurers. Tessa rose earlier than the others for precisely that reason. She would use the time to prepare herself for the battle ahead.
Tessa spread a small rectangular cloth on the cold stone floor. She knelt on the cloth and set a great sword in front of it. Harziwan, her blade. The evil sword she had brought from darkness to light. It now shone with a new brightness. Although she had been the one to wield the sword, Tessa could not take credit for this accomplishment. Her god, Kelemvor, had simply used her as a vessel.
Now she prayed to this god for courage and strength during battle. Kelemvor was the god of death and he had saved Tessa from certain death all those years ago. She had vowed to serve him in return and had been a good and faithful servant. Her quest was complete. All that was left was to assist her companions on their quest to prevent the return of Tiamat.
As she sat in silent contemplation, a rough-looking man walked through the narrow stone arch. He made it halfway across the courtyard before noticing Tessa in a secluded corner. He turned and quietly began retracing his steps back out.
“There is no need to leave, Quinn,” Tessa said calmly. “Kelemvor will hear my prayers whether I am alone or in the company of others.”
“Didn’t mean to disturb you. Just looking for a little quiet.”
“You have found it.”
Quinn returned to his original path and stopped at a stone bench across from Tessa. He laid back and stretched out lazily, looking up at the open, magically produced “sky”. He pulled out a crystal dagger and began polishing it.
“Your new weapon,” she said. “Will it work as well as your poisoned arrows?”
“There’s not much that works as well as my poisoned arrows, but it is a pretty little dagger,” he said lightly.
“Would your poison work on a blade?”
“Not that blade,” he said, looking at Harziwan. “Wouldn’t like to try it on something sentient.”
“Kelemvor has told me my quest is complete. You and I have both achieved our missions in this world. It is something to be thankful for.”
Quinn mindlessly tossed the dagger from hand to hand. “Mission?”
“I understood your mission was to kill the half-dragon Resmir.”
He sat up abruptly, letting the crystal dagger fall to the ground with a clank. “No,” he said, his voice turning hard and serious. “That was not a mission. That was an honor. A great honor to avenge the deaths of my men. They were good and loyal men, all of them, and none deserved to die like that.”
“I understand. You have truly paid a fine tribute to their lives.”
“I did what I could, but they deserved more.”
“There is nothing more fitting than to serve. Your men served you well, as I have served Kelemvor. Like your men, I am prepared to make the final sacrifice if necessary.”
Quinn snorted derisively. “You may be, but I’m not. I’ve still got a lot of living left to do.” He picked up the dagger and began toying with it again. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m certainly happy to provide worthy sacrifices to the god of death, but I’ll be damned if one of them is me.”
Tessa smiled serenely.
“We shall see. Kelemvor gets what Kelemvor wants.”
She closed her eyes and held her arms out to the side, palms up.
“If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a little pre-battle ritual myself.” Quinn pulled a metal flask from his pocket. “And you might want to pray to Tymora while you’re at it. We sure could use the luck.”