When the screaming began, Fiosa knew things were bad. She knew where, in the boarded-up abandoned shrinethe boards were far enough apart to allow someone to look out into the streets. It helped if that person were small, the humans usually didn’t think to block off areas below their own knees.
More the fools them, she thought, as she ran to the dusty main chapel. She looked out onto the street, and promptly wished she hadn’t. It was hard to see the shadows, but the effects were clear. Humans and halflings running in fear, and being swallowed up by the darkness.
Should she help? That’s what Viggo would do, to help fellow halflings. But she knew she was no warrior, and those…things…were deadly. Would Iomedae’s faith in her be enough to prevail? Would she remain in Iomedae’s good graces if she didn’t help? It was harder to feel confident my herself. How does Ulric do it? He was never afraid of anything, even the High Darkness himself. And, she had to admit, he was good looking for a human. You felt braver just looking at him, he was a real hero.
“He’s not here, Fiosa” she told herself. “You’ve got to do this yourself”. She looked back into the street, and froze. There was a halfling woman there, crouching behind the barrel, looking terrified. And she was looking directly at Fiosa. The woman’s lips moved “Please, let me inside” she mouthed silently. Nodding, Fiosa agreed.
Running back into the common room, she saw Amaya making more soup, and Andarie strumming a mournful tune as she stared into the distance. “She’s in trouble Amaya, and I’m going to help her”
“You can’t go out there, it’s not safe. What will you do if you’re spotted?”
“Iomedae will protect me from their evil” Fiosa said as she cast the spell, hoping that it was actually true. She pushed the heavy curtains aside and pushed open the secret door. Moving as quietly as she knew how, she went to look for the halfling woman. Creeping around the outside of the shrine, she realized she would have to cross the wide street. Gathering her courage, Fiosa started to move when suddenly, drifting out of the ground itself, came one of the shadows, its eyes glowing a dull red.
“The dead hunger” it rasped, reaching forward with a hand made of inky darkness. The next thing Fiosa knew, her world spun, and she hit the cobblestones, hard. “I hope you’re worth it” said the halfing woman who had pushed her out of the way. “My blade does nothing to these creatures”
Fiosa, realizing what had happened, reached out to touch the halfling woman. “Iomedae, blessed goddess, hide us from the creatures of darkness, and bring us to the light” The shadow froze for a moment, then drifted past, further down the street. Slackjawed, the halfling woman turned to Fiosa “How did…”
“Shh. Iomedae can hide us, for a time. Against the lesser shadows, the spell works well” Fiosa explained. “We should head back while we are still hidden.”
Nodding, the halfling woman agreed. “Thanks. Name’s Amroth. I, uh, work for Viggo.”