Greyhawk

The Book of Claire

Translated from Theocratian

Blessed Claire lived on an island alone. Her island was peaceful, and she gave thanks to St. Cuthbert. But she was not greedy, and did not wish the serenity and freedom of the island to be hers alone. She called out to the ocean “If you are lost, if you are suffering, if you are alone, come and find solace.” And the ocean carried her voice far and wide. The sick and the abandoned and the forsaken, once slaves and now discarded, all heard her call and followed. Blessed Claire treated their wounds and calmed their spirits. On the island they knew the freedom they had forgot. Blessed Claire called out to the ocean again, but no more heard her call. She called instead “If you follow St. Cuthbert, and hear my voice, come to me and spread my word.”

Caoimhe heard the call and came with her disciples. There was Theodore the Brave, Sam the Eager, Erwin the Crafty, Nina the Vain, and Shen the Sage. They saw the work that Blessed Claire had done and marvelled at her deeds. But Blessed Claire rebuked “It is not enough! Go forth and break the shackles of those who are enslaved. And let them know that there are no slaves, save those who believe they are slaves.” “But we are weak and the ocean is dangerous.” “Fear not. Those who fight to bring justice in St. Cuthbert’s name will know safety by His Cudgel in this world and His Divine Embrace in the next.”

And so Caoimhe and her disciples sailed forth. And though the sea was rough, they did not sink. And though the voyage was long, they did not hunger nor thirst. And though the winds were strong, they did not loose their way. And as Blessed Claire had promised, they came upon a ship of slaves. The slavers were a cowardly and spiteful lot, and began casting the slaves into the sea to drown. But Caoimhe and her disciples prayed to Blessed Claire and St. Cuthbert for courage, and slew the slavers. Hundred of slaves were found, weak and confused. “Fear not, I shall take you to a place of peace and freedom.” And the slaves were brought to Blessed Claire’s island. They fell upon the shore and wept of the beauty of the place.

And yet Blessed Claire was unsatisfied. “It is still not enough. Go, Priestess Caoimhe, take my word and go forth. Let the world know that there are no slaves, save those who believe they are slaves.” And Priestess Caoimhe took her disciples to spread the Good Word of Blessed Claire. Blessed Claire cared for her people, and they knew happiness and were bountiful for a time.

But the evil looked upon Blessed Claire’s works and was repulsed. For it was a loathsome creature, despairing of joy and jealous of it. He sent his agents to seize Blessed Claire and destroy her Good Works.

Blessed Claire saw what was coming and knew what she had to do. “Listen to me, my people. You have known peace here, but it will not last. Those of you who will not go back to the life you have lived, come with me.” And many loved Blessed Claire, and could never return to what they were, and so they held her close. But some refused, their eyes and minds were still closed and they still believed the lie that they belonged to another. And so they walked away and awaited their fate.

Standing among her people, Blessed Claire called forth “St. Cuthbert, take now your servants into your care.” And the skies parted and a beacon of light shown down. The people rose up, but Blessed Claire remained. They called out and reached out for her, but alone she stood. With a shaking of the earth, a black and massive hand rose up. Blessed Claire was but a speck in its palm, and yet it rose no further. Clawing and wriggling, it reached for the people, but they were out of its grasp. A flood of tears washed upon Blessed Claire as her people despaired. But she smiled, even as the vile claw crushed her in its grasp and drew her down under the earth.

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