section 5

Ray and Senosha walked together in the marketplace. Often, you don’t see a half-orc monk and a dragonborn cleric sauntering around together, but there they were eyeing gear and comparing packs.

Senosha found a new monk outfit that better fit her half-orc form than the human monk robes back at the monastary. In that thought, she made herself feel sad. All this time, and she haven’t thought of Father.

“Ray, can I ask you something?”

“Hmm?” he looked up from a large leather water bottle. “What is it, fellow traveler?” He turned around from the store stall to Senosha.

She turned to him.

“I need to go back to the monastory to see if Father Oralndo is safe,” she said hastily. “I left before I could see if he was OK.”

“Sure, friend,” Ray boomed. He smiled again. “What monastory is it?”

He pointed behind him. “Is it that way?”

“Yes,” she answered. “It’s deep in the woods. By the cliffs.”

“Is that…The Araihaja?” Ray furrowed his eyebrows.

“Yes, why?”

“It was on fire when I pass-” Before Ray could finish, Senosha ran to the forest. Her heart beating with every step. Ray closed in behind her anxious to see what happened to the monks at the Araihaja.

The arrived at the smoldering piles of wood and stone. Senosha fell to her knees and for the first time since she saw Father, she began to weep.

Ray put a taloned hand on her shoulder.

“I will search,” he said and walked over the large gate door to the monastery building still smoldering from the recent fire.

Ray stepped slowly through the dirty building. Stones were covered with blackness from soot and smoke.

Ray coughed, “Brother?!”

Nothing. The faint echo of his voice bounced off the monastery walls like Ray was in a cave. There was nothing, but the clawing wind draping itself over the stony windows.