Ufgard was normally not worried about the various festivals and rituals that the Church of the Ever Rising Sun performed for the people of Nexus. From time to time he would wonder if that was really what their job was – to entertain the common folk of Nexus. He knew that there had to be more to serving Pelor and the church than this.
He had read the tomes that sat collecting dust in the cellars of the temple. Tales of grand heroes and minions of the church. Men and women that would travel out among the people of the land, bringing them the word of Pelor. They would wield the power of Pelor to aid and protect his followers. The healing powers that he himself had only heard of in myth and legend were said to once be the staple of every member of the church.
Ufgard sat in the cellars reading the books and performing various experiments, hoping for the return of the Golden Age of the Church. It was written in the journals that in the time before the Shield that the Church was a mighty power in the lands. When the war came that brought them to the point of erecting the Shield, people swarmed the town looking for the protection of the church and their minions.
But that was many generations ago. That was then and this was not that time. This was the time of the rituals and parties that the Church would plan for the people. Even the mass that they ran every week was more about the show than about the content.
Discontent welled within him for the lack of faith that he was finding within his own church – the place he had lived since he was a child left on the doorstep of the main temple doors. He could feel Pelor’s presence in the building, but he wanted to hear his words ringing in his ears as the priests of old used to.
From a small window at the top of the cellar wall Ufgard saw the light streaming in. It did not seem to possess the bluish purple tint of the light that normally strewn through the Shield. It was the bright orange light of the sun not filtering through the Shield – the sun from the Golden Age of the Church. It was the pure sunlight of Pelor.
“You wish for more, young cleric?” he heard from within the walls of his own mind.
“Don’t we all?” he answered, looking more for the prankster hiding among the stacks of papers than the divine presence that he was seemingly faced with. He wanted to believe, but his instinct was also to attempt to disprove the obvious. Once he had eliminated the possibility of a rational answer, whatever was left was the supernatural, the divine.
“The only thing I wish for is to bring those outside of my protection back into it, Ufgard.”
The young priest stood and walked around the cellar. The library he had set up his experiments in was closed off from the common areas of the cellar. He preferred his privacy when doing his work. He was determined to prove the rituals of old did, in fact, hold power to them. That meant there were no hidden pranksters throwing their voice.
Looking out the small window, standing on a small stool to peer out, he watched as solid rays of sunlight pierced through the Shield directly down to the side of the Church where he was. Directly into the window from where he looked out.
“Will you act as my minion, young Ufgard?” he heard in his mind, “Will you go out into the Wilder and act as a focus for my power? Will you heal using the light and love of my power and bring our family back into our fold?”
The reality of what he was seeing and hearing was a bit much for his logical mind to accept. He could not believe what it was he was experiencing. So much was he thrown off, he stumbled off of the stool. He fell down and twisted his ankle at an awkward angle, causing him to cry out in pain.
“That is really you my Father?” he said through the tears that formed in his eyes. It was less the pain of the injury and more the realization that his god was really with him than just the faith that he was working his plans in the world without a direct line to him.
“It is, my son. Can you accept my power and my love?”
“I can, my Father,” he said, grabbing down to his ankle and feeling the injured bones, “I will walk wherever you ask me to. I will do your work and bring the family back.”
The light from the window washed down at an awkward angle to flow over the fallen priest. He could feel the warmth unlike any sunlight he had ever felt before. “Then open yourself to my power and focus it down to your foot.”
Reaching down to his leg, he felt the warmth spreading out towards his hand. He watched as the light streamed from his fingertips and covered the foot. He felt as the bones knit back into place and the muscles healed. He felt the healing touch of his god for the first time. He had also finally witnessed that the power of the Church was not simply a myth – it was just something that they had fallen out of need for.
The truth came to him in the cellar of the church. In six or seven generations they had become complacent. They had grown lazy, but now Pelor wanted his faithful to travel out and return his people to his protection. He wanted to collect his lost followers.
“This is only the most minor of your new abilities young cleric,” he heard in the cellar, “With your logical mind you will find more information out there than you ever could have imagined. Rituals lost to time that allow you to focus my power for greater effect than most of the powers you will learn to wield through your faith and closeness to me.”
“I will do as you ask, my Father,” he called out.
“There are others out there with a similar calling. Some are people of Pelor, some are not. All are good people. Collect them to you and head out into the Wilder. Find them, heal them, protect them from our enemies. Make our family whole.”