After our adult session of D&D Saturday I drove the hour drive home knowing that there was going to be a Sunday session going on, starting at 10. My tricksey DM had given me her fold out table to take home so she wouldn’t have to travel with it and I knew I would have to get up very early to prepare for the day ahead.
It is a different mindset I have to get into from playing Grace, who you all know by now, is very flexible. Ana is very different, almost a polar opposite. Where Grace is flexible and the center of attention, Ana is rigid and prefers to stay in the background. She is a cleric, from someplace (I don’t have a name yet) that is very reminiscent of Russia. She has an accent as if she were from Russia(really it’s a hybrid of what I think a Russian accent sounds like). She doesn’t like tomfoolery and much prefers to keep things in line.
She joined the duo of Dirge and Melodie after Melodie’s sister was married and could no longer travel (ie no one else was going to play heals). She was tasked with keeping a careful eye on the young bard girl and to try to keep her out of harms way. Anastasia had become friends with Janella’s new husband, Caro, and since she was about to set out to spread the words of her deity she was agreeable to tag along. Oh, if she only knew.
They trio soon became 6, as they met with a pair of elves and a gnome, all who seemed to have nothing to do. There was a request in the town to investigate a moat house, so off they went. I can’t say Ana did smashingly well that first day. They were approached by a yeth hound whose cry sent Ana running far, far, away. She has a childhood fear of dogs. Later that evening the gnome disappeared while everyone was sleeping and has never been seen since.
The now 5 group made it to the moat house and fought many things, discovered many things. Great evil was built into the walls and a scroll was found that gave directions on how to open a portal for the Elemental Eye. Ana could feel the evil seeping in, but what the rest of the group didn’t know was that she was not a stranger to the evil.
Just once was Ana ever asked about her background, during a share session around a camp fire. By this time, we were joined by a human barbarian, a dwarf fighter, and a descendant of a dragon. One of the elves has since left, wanting to be out in nature more than in a dungeon. No one could blame him for going, being that this is not an easy life. Ana stared at the group as they all took turns, speaking of their past experiences and dreaded when it would come to be her turn. What would they say if they knew? Would they trust her? She was coming to care about those she had just had her adventure with, and didn’t want them to see her as less. They had even determined her to be a leader among them, and now she feared them seeing her for what she was and not what she has become.
She can still hear the screams at night, when everything is still. The fire shines like a reminder of deeds done and punishment earned. She sees the faces, the frightened faces of the children. She sees the evil in men when they would sacrifice those weaker to save themselves. In those moments she tries to remember the beauty of those who would put themselves first, thinking that their actions would save someone else; give them just enough time. It never mattered in the end; her job was one that time mattered little.
She is afraid to get to close to the fire, afraid that the ghosts will find ways to obtain their retribution. She will endure the cold without using a spell to make it subside as her penance. One who has danced with fire should be made to sleep in cold.