Many devout followers of the Vigil converged at Sanctum, deemed the holiest of temples. However around the temple were smaller villages, some for commerce, others for residences. Just outside of Thedeor's Circle sat Avaliana on a bench. Holding a sizable crate on her lap, the High Elf tapped the box nervously.
â€œWhere are they? I have some work orders to fill...â€ she muttered impatiently.
â€œHere's a surprising sight,â€ said a female voice to Ava's right. â€œThe fire queen sitting still? The dark times must be upon us.â€
Avaliana laughed at her sister. â€œYou're late, Marmar! You said when the sun's highest in the sky! Look!â€ She pointed down to her shadow, which was distorting to one side. â€œIt's well into the afternoon now.â€
Marmar, who was also carrying a satchel, sat down beside her adopted sister. â€œSorry. There was a large invasion out in Iron Pine Peak while I was working on rings. You go on about me being late, but where is Shesa?â€
â€œRight behind you.â€
Both females turned to see the eldest sister, Shesa, calmly pressing several runes at a workstation. â€œI've been here a while wondering when one of you might notice.â€
Avaliana didn't look impressed. â€œYou always do that! Why can't you just say you're there? Prefer to have me waiting in this village bored to death...â€
The pale Shesa chuckled. â€œWhy can't you sit still long enough to notice Iâ€™m early? We do this every week and yet your temper never fails to amuse, Ava. Now then, I have my share. How about you two?â€
Shesa sat down on the bench, leaving Avaliana between herself and Marmar. â€œI have a surprise for you both so I'll be going last.â€
â€œI'll go first!â€ Marmar declared proudly, already digging into her satchel. The mage presented two rings to Avaliana and a box to Shesa. â€œThose rings are part of a imbued set, Ava. They should increase your ability to maneuver out of the messes you tend to enjoy so much. And elder sister, those are powerstones for your hammer. I heard you found a stronger one after that raid.â€
Shesa nods, holding up her glowing hammer for the others to inspect. â€œIt's magnificent, no? I made some runes to bring out more of its healing potential, but it remains a nightmare of the cultists. Thank you Mariam.â€
Avaliana had already taken off her gloves to try on the rings. â€œOh these are perfect! Shesa, spar with me! I wanna try them out.â€ Avaliana was already on her feet and promptly pulled the taller High Elf onto her own. Shesa didn't look too thrilled however.
â€œYou know I dislike sparing with rouges, Ava. All you ever do is vanish and impale me from behind.â€
â€œ...sounds like your last date.â€ Marmar coughed from her seat on the bench.
â€œI heard that!â€ Shesa snapped, unholstering her hammer. â€œFine then. Come at me whenever you're ready, Ava.â€
The fight was brief as Avaliana did exactly as Shesa claimed she would. The fight was made decidedly more difficult however when Shesa slipped out of the stun Ava placed on her and swung the hammer into Ava's side. The jolt knocked her back several feet, but rather than wait for Avaliana to get her grounding, Shesa charged at her with the hammer once more. For a moment, it appeared her sister would best Avaliana in combat. Then came a loud BOOM from Shesa's back. At some point during this sparing match, the clever rouge had planted a time bomb on her pale sister. The blast ignited several other charges which put a hefty dent in the cleric's chain armor. Her spine out of commission, Shesa promptly fell to the floor in a bloody mess.
â€œI win! Oh I love these new rings!â€ Avaliana cheered, dancing around her sister's body until she returned. â€œThank you! Thank you! Thank you, Mariam!â€
â€œ...ouch. Have you heard of restraint, Avaliana?â€ Shesa grumbled.
â€œNope.â€ Avaliana replied, tossing her sister a healing potion in the meantime to drink. â€œYou're one to talk, swinging that hammer around. I have several broken bones right now and probably inner bleeding in places I wasn't aware of until now.â€
Both females resumed their seated positions once revived fully. â€œSo Ava, what do you have?â€ Marmar asked. â€œNot more bombs I hope.â€
Avaliana shook her head. â€œBetter! I have healing bombs! And some explosives...but they make your party's attacks much more potent! Totally should make up for those explosives I gave you last week. Oh and I have the standard healing potions, mana pots, healing salves....and fish! I made a bunch of new lures to catch those big ones!â€
The rogue eagerly dispersed the goods between her sisters, who were rather impressed with the quantity and quality of the items. â€œWow, the fire queen was busy! What happened? Did you raid an entire legion of its supplies?â€ Marmar asked as she looked over the mana potions.
â€œAs a matter of fact, I did. There were a bunch of them in Ember Isle just asking to be blown up, but they had had a lot of good herbs on them for potion making. The waters were good for a lot of the food I made for you as well. Shesh, those are excellent for increased mana and those are for enduring those tough enemies when on the front lines. Marmar, those are good for your spells. Should make that nasty undead pirate of yours bring the pain too.â€
â€œBlades can't eat, Ava...â€ Marmar pointed out. Avaliana only rolled her eyes. â€œWhatever. You'll see an improvement anyway.â€
Eyes now fell on the cleric. â€œSo what about this surprise Shesa?â€ Marmar asked. â€œThe fire queen's looking fairly good right about now.â€
Shesa chuckled. â€œOh the best was saved for last, don't you worry.â€ Out of her bag, Shesa pulled prepared armor for both the mage and rogue. Both sets were folded neatly and had a smaller wooden box tied to the top. â€œTada! New armor sets for each of you, with new runes to match! I bartered some recipes from the Keepers, and the materials were an utter pain to get a hold of, but I made them! New gloves! New chest pieces! Oh and, Ava, I made a new helm for you.â€
The younger Maracken sisters were excited, happily chattering about how much the imbued items would help in their future fights with the planar armies. In the midst of it all, neither sister noticed the eldest of them had wandered off to make more runes. Shesa personally liked this regular trading they did. It made the reality of the fate the sisters shared that much more bearable.