Sister Sabine meets Eredwal the Goblinsbane.

The crops were planted in orderly rows so that priestesses could walk through the garden with ease.

In the middle of the garden was an apple tree whose many branches were filled with vibrant green leaves and plump, red apples. This tree looked much like the holy symbol that was displayed on the amulets, robes, or other adornments worn by Mirea's faithful.

High above the garden was a large, domed skylight. It wasn't quite dawn yet, so a blue-gray sky dimly lit by the sun's approach could be seen through the glass.

Dressed in a long, flowing robe of green and yellow, Sister Sabine was lead into the chamber by Sister Hestia and a handful of other priestesses. Kassus was there, too, following the procession. However, he did not go far past the entrance. He closed the large doors behind the priestesses, then stood near the statue of Inez, for he was there as a witness, not a participant.

The matron of the temple - Matron Loria - was already standing in the garden. "Approach, child," she said, her wrinkled hands outstretched. "You are welcome here in this sacred place." To Sabine, Loria appeared to be a healthy septuagenarian, which probably meant she was actually much older. Loria may have possibly been the oldest Mirean Sabine had ever met. At the very least, Sabine knew by reputation that the matron had received more visions from their goddess than nearly any other person alive.

Sabine took the matron's hands, immediately feeling the warmth of the high priestess's fingers. Loria asked her, "Are your heart and mind open so you may receive our Mother's message?"

Blinking back tears, Sabine could only nod and smile to convey her readiness. She did not trust herself to speak at that moment. Loria offered a small, knowing smile in return before leading her towards the apple tree at the center of the chamber.

Outside, the sun peeked over the horizon, casting its light upon the land for the first time today. A ray of Radain Brih's light touched the top of the temple's bell tower, and at that same instant the magic of the Fertile Chamber's skylight activated, bathing the entire garden with nourishing sunlight. No matter the sun's position, no matter the cloud coverage, that divine sunlight would continue throughout the entire day.

When Sabine saw the apple tree basking in holy light, she couldn't help but sob, just once. The fact that she was truly there, that the ceremony was truly going to happen and that she would receive a vision from Mirea felt more real, all of a sudden. It was overwhelming. She had to force herself to remain calm, to steady her breathing, as well as steady herself on her feet. Wiping her tears away with the tips of her fingers, she took her first steps onto the garden.

As Matron Loria lead Sister Sabine forward, Sister Hestia and the other priestesses approached the center of the garden from the sides. Now seven priestesses in total, they formed a semi-circle in front of the tree. They knelt as one, and Matron Loria lead them in a hymn that honored their goddess and her good works. The once quiet chamber was filled with a song of praise that sounded as though it were sung by angels.

The priestesses' singing continued for quite some time - enough time for the sun to rise completely above the horizon. When their song eventually ended, Sabine felt more calm than she had ever felt before. She felt serene. Knowing what she had to do next, she stood, approached the tree, then knelt down directly in front of it. If this were a normal tree, there would have been at least a few fallen apples on the ground. But there were no apples scattered on the grass upon which she now knelt.

Behind Sabine, Matron Loria spoke, her voice ringing throughout the chamber too clearly for magic not to be involved. "Mirea, Mother of All! Please, hear our prayer."

"Please, hear our prayer," the other priestesses repeat

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