4th Day of Harvest Season, 342 Years After Mourning
Today marks the second day Brother Trinn and I walked among the families of the sick. He pressed a crisp sheet of baked wheat mixed with bark into eager hands, while I followed behind and offered sips of weak ale from a ladle. The refugees know what is happening. Imorgan’s desire to ration the food for the priests was never a secret. They are starving though, so they hide their wounds and cover their heads with scarves to shield prying eyes from the sweat on their brows, the flush of their cheeks, and most of all, the fever burning in their eyes. The tricks didn’t fool Brother Trinn. He yanked off their head coverings and examined each of them closely before giving them food. If he found evidence of the plague, he yelled for the guards to seize them. With clenched jaws and a rage boiling inside, I watched them drag the victims away.
Sisters, what should be a haven of mercy has become something foul and greedy. The victims are herded together and starved while they await their death. I do not begrudge Imorgan her mission to keep the priests healthy, but to do so at the cost of innocent lives speaks against all that you have taught us.
I cannot sit idly by and do nothing. In a reckless attempt to counter the damage Imorgan has caused, I played with lives, too. Though each of them volunteered. Mouse proved as sneaky as his name suggested. During the night, he crept through the sick wards and distributed what food and water we could spare. Wohlrin has made a contact in the city, a merchant named Daris, and bartered an extra bag of wheat. He’s hidden it inside an old broken kettle in the cellar. If Imorgan won’t feed the people, we will.
She’ll catch us eventually, I do not doubt it, but I swore an oath to you, Sisters, not Imorgan.
Mouse volunteered for another task, one that will cost his life if he’s discovered. I did not ask how he sneaks into her chambers, or where he hides. I asked only what he hears.
“She talks. All the time.”
“To whom?” I asked.
Mouse shrugged and sipped the ale he received as his reward. “Other priests. A strange woman with green robes. Herself. The High Cardinal never shuts up.”
“What does she speak of?”
“Letters, the weather, the dead, orders, the priests. Something about a reckoning.”
I must teach the boy which conversations warrant his attention and which he can ignore.
“Did any of her visitors wear black armor?” I asked.
“Nah, no one wore black. Is he coming? The black-armored man?”
“Yes, he is coming,” I told the boy. It is only a matter of time.
Today, we lost sixteen. Ten men, four women and two children. Their names have been duly recorded in the death ledger. Blind Imorgan’s servants to our efforts, Sisters, that tomorrow the number of dead might be lower.