The others are fast asleep. The inn is quiet. I think I finally have the mental and emotional distance to write it down.
Lefty is dead.
It’s not like I knew him…he was a Fighter in Hochcoch, and volunteered to accompany us here to Orlane. I don’t know why. Maybe all he wanted was the loot.
You see, while we were exploring the Temple of Merikka (lots of stone hallways and little rooms), we passed through a corridor lined on one side with huge golden statues…of vegetables.
Potato and carrot are the ones I remember. I don’t know what religious significance they had — maybe they were used to worship Merikka…maybe they were past donations in gratitude for bountiful harvests.
They are beautiful, intricate, and must be worth more than their weight in gold. But I don’t exactly have the best appraiser’s eye.
Lefty must have figured it that way, though. I think we were on the way out, but I could be wrong…Anyway, he grabbed one and started to walk off with it.
The things some people will do. But it gets worse.
He hadn’t taken two steps when he staggered. The way he grabbed it, you could tell it wasn’t too heavy for him – but now, he was tripping over his own feet.
He grunted, and the carrot sagged in his arms.
One of us should have warned him. We should have shouted at him to put it back. I think Ezekiel tried to, but he was at the wrong end of the group to do anything helpful.
Next thing we knew, Lefty was drooling out one side of his mouth. He tripped and bumped against the wall, clearly in trouble.
What he did next… He must have been brain-dead, or decided things couldn’t get worse.
He put the golden carrot on the floor and stomped on it.
I… Kelsier had to dodge to the side as Lefty fell.
Lancell and I got to his side at about the same time. He was dead. I don’t know how, but he was dead…instantly…boom.
Lancell was the first to think of something to do. He stepped forward – slowly and carefully – and picked up the carrot – muttering prayers to his patron, Pelor, the whole time.
Balancing the statue as far away from his body as possible, he set it back on its pedestal and stepped back.
We held a moment of silence…not by any organization on our parts, but just because we were all stunned.
When we finally moved on, we left Lefty’s body lying there. After all, to support the wounded Jill, and carry the treasure chest from the cellar, we couldn’t well take him with us.
And maybe we didn’t feel like touching a goddess’s victim…not yet.
I never thought of myself as particularly religious (I’m certainly not such a deep theological thinker as Ezekiel) but at least I know better than Lefty:
Leave a goddess’s stuff alone.
Especially given all the other stuff we found wrong in the temple (like, say, the evil priestess?!) these statues hadn’t been messed with at all.
And we should have done the same.
Still gives me goosebumps. I don’t know Merikka like I know Ehlonna, and Ehlonna my lady isn’t exactly the “rigid dictator” type, but I guess even the sweetest, generous-est deities have lines you don’t cross.
Lots of time while I’m on watch to do my rites to Ehlonna. Maybe she’ll forward some apologies to Merikka.
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