I nodded politely, or at least as well as I could manage to the temple guard to let me past him. He took one look at me, my dark coat, and my brown trousers more meant for keeping me camouflaged in the forests to the north than walking about the city. I didn’t really have a set of clothes for visiting the towns, letting one of the other rangers do that for me. Still, it was at least clean.
He moved silently out of the way, noting the insignia attached to my tunic, a silver-gold painted emblem of a tree under a guarding sun. I didn’t sigh, though it was a close thing. The less I had to talk to anyone the better.
I took in the temple, opulence evident even in the walls, which was to be expected given where I was. I moved briskly, abandoning my usual ability to remain hidden and calmly took it all in.
Milo, -my faithful companion- darted ahead of me, scouting ahead for any danger. The tracking dog was an excellent alarm for anything going wrong, though I needn’t have worried.
The instructions given to me were good, and I had soon found my destination, several others present. The priest gave off the vibes of a true believer in Regulus, which made perfect sense given he was his priest. Still, the amount of…emblems adorning him was high. Several of the other priests did not seem to be quite as covered in them. I pushed that to the side for the moment.
The other occupant was a woman, sitting quietly in one of the chairs sipping a drink. She wore something I was fairly sure the priests wouldn’t, and I dismissed her being part of the Church. Reminded me a bit of Ranger Jaina, our weaponsmith, and the marks around her eyes gave away her profession easily enough.
They looked up at me. The priest greeted me first.
“Praise be to Regulus” I touched my insignia briefly as a sign of respect and inclined my head slightly, even as the priest opened his arms wide to perform the customary ritual of praise “welcome Ranger Hill.”
I didn’t smile, but the priest definitely possessed a large amount of energy, and something about it made me nostalgic. I shook off the feeling.
“Thank you Father Drake.” I didn’t say more, uncertain of the situation. I knew I was to guide several people through the forest, but the creatures there had been getting restless, and I hoped that they could take care of themselves.
As I had been introducing myself, I noticed two city watchmen walk in behind a third man. I almost dismissed him out of hand, which had me instantly refocus on him. Even as my estimated threat of the man rose, some part of my mind insisted there wasn’t anything to witness with him. The two guards unlocked his shackles, and I could see his arms almost instantly go towards one of the watchmen’s pouches, before he visibly restrained himself, and looked at me, giving me a small smile.
I didn’t return it. I had little love for thieves and bandits.