K is for Kyria Leodegar #AtoZChallenge

Kyria Leodegar was the second character I played in the Ptolus campaign. The first character was Brand Hammerlock, featured in I is for Intricate Backstories. (Because our gaming group is so small, we frequently play two characters each.)

Here’s her story:

Kyria Leodegar in prayer.

Kyria Leodegar in prayer.

The room wasn’t large enough to echo, but the Eldest’s dying words still rang in her ears as if he had pronounced them in some cavernous temple hall. “I have seen the up-thrust spire which the land rejected and I have seen the City at its base. It is there that the Blood of Adaljour will find its purpose. It is there…”  Kyria already had some thoughts about the meaning of his words, but now was not the time for speculation. She folded Childe Albert Erlicher’s icy hands on his bony breast and slipped to her knees, no great distance from the narrow cot on which he had slept as long as Kyria could remember. She prayed to Adaljour to receive the holy old man’s soul in the Hall of the Just.

Her prayers complete and the proper words said over the body, Kyria rose and wondered how she would bury him alone. She twitched the threadbare curtain aside and peered down into the little courtyard with its cracked pavement and amputated statuary. It was raining again. Frena and Hugo had been gone for two weeks now, with no word. Maybe Anselme would return in time to say farewell to Childe Albert’s mortal frame, but it didn’t seem likely. And Friederich… Kyria shook her head as she let the curtain fall and turned back to the Eldest’s frail form. After Friederich’s temper tantrum and his reaction to her remonstrance of his behavior, she didn’t think he was ever coming back. A sudden thought struck her.  He was raving about money he was owed. Did he take—

She crossed the worn wooden floor that gleamed with beeswax to Childe Albert’s old desk and pulled open the ornate brass box in which the small treasury of the Congregation of Adaljour resided. A handful of shields and pennies were all that remained. Kyria ground her teeth and leaned against the desk. Adaljour would have to provide for the burial. She carefully closed the box, resisting the urge to fling it across the room. Childe Albert’s words rose in her mind: “Righteous anger is a tool Adaljour can use. Unrighteous anger is the tool of the enemy.” Kyria replaced the box and began to sing her favorite hymn, “The Faithful are the Blest,” channeling her frustrations into useful activity, gathering up what she needed to wash and prepare Childe Albert for burial.

The sun stayed hidden the next two days behind thick clouds, although the rain had ceased. As she went through her routine, Kyria caught herself listening for Childe Albert’s call. She threw herself into scrubbing every available surface of the crumbling manse, although there was scarcely a speck of dirt to be found. It was easier than figuring out how to bury the Eldest of the Faith with bread money.

She was cleansing the stone entry hall when the sound of hooves outside in the courtyard froze her in mid-scrub. Anselme? Maybe Frena and Hugo? She scrambled to her feet and flung open the warped and cracked oak door. Alighting from a glossy chestnut steed was a sturdy man with waves of steel-gray hair. He was clad in a tunic dyed the rich color of springtime leaves beside a riverbank, trimmed in silver braid as thick as her thumb. His rough trousers were tucked into sturdy, well-crafted leather boots embossed with a leaf pattern.

“Is this the Congregation of Adaljour?” he asked when he saw her. His face was deeply scored, weathered from years outdoors in sun and wind and storm. His mouth was set in a grim line, but his dark eyes were kind.

Kyria remembered the manners Anselme had painstakingly taught her. “You won’t always need steel to fight for the True Law,” the woman had said. “The truth needs pretty words sometimes.” “Yes, sirrah,” she replied with a curtsey.

“I am Torin Fletcher,” the man said, looping the reins around a post beside the dry fountain. When he stepped closer, Kyria noticed the pattern of leaves subtly woven into the green fabric. “An old companion in adventure of Albert Erlicher. We had a grave pact, he and I. I’m here to bury him.”

Kyria stared at him for fully five seconds and then, to her shame, she burst into tears.

Torin paid for everything—a splendid coffin as befitted Childe Albert’s rank, a simple but elegant headstone marking his place in the burying ground with the other Eldest and Children of Adaljour overlooking the river, a pair of laborers to dig in the muddy earth. Kyria spoke the traditional words, wishing someone else were there with them. Afterwards she fed Childe Albert’s old adventuring companion and plied him with questions. She knew the man had been quite an adventurer in his day, and many of his friends stopped in from time to time, teaching her the ways of the sword that her mentor was no longer able to. Torin spoke of Ptolus, and an idea began forming in her mind.

When he was gone, Kyria spent the entire day in prayer and meditation and opened her heart to Adaljour. The answer was clear. She could do no further good here. She had served Childe Albert and ministered to the poor in the area around the old manse from childhood. But the city had changed and the time for action was now if the faith of Adaljour was to remain and grow strong as it once had. Followers, and money to minister to those followers and the needy. That was the key. She remembered hearing about a Shrine of Adaljour in Ptolus, home of a relic…The Cardumford Vestige, if her memory of her extensive studies of Adaljour served. She would gather her books and Childe Albert’s sword and the old leather armor she had painstakingly cleaned and mended, leave a note for her missing companions, and journey to Ptolus.

For the first time in many months, Kyria smiled and burst into song.

We come in the might of Adaljour,
With armor bright we meet the foe,
And put to flight the demon host,
To send them back below. 

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