High above among sharply angled branches of a tall oak tree leaves rustle in a soft breeze. A child runs through the square pulling through the breeze a crimson streamer. Other children giggle as they chase trying to catch the boy and streamer. A costermonger arranges sweet fruits on his cart in expectation of the midday rush.
Beneath the cool shade of the oak, the tall and gaunt priest returns to speak to those who will listen. Stretching his long arms outwards, he calls out, “We are nothing!”
The priest waits for a moment as those around him turn their attention before repeating, “Yes, I said, we are nothing.”
Some in the crowd perk up to see what this newcomer might say next, others simply shake their heads and continue about their business.
The priest continues, “We are nothing, if we are alone.”
“The elves have a saying. I won’t try to say it in their tongue but roughly translated, they say: an elf alone is not really an elf. It means we are fully a person only in relationship.”
The priest motions to everyone around him and bringing his hands together he clasps his fingers together.
“The first lesson is of a unified community that seeks to build a great tower to reach the skies. The gods came to look upon this tower in the sky and, in their mysterious wisdom, they destroyed it and watched the community scatter. The people no longer had one language or the same words. They were divided and the family is no longer one.”
“The second lesson, we are living now. The gods look upon us now as we are gathered from many nations of many nations that came before. We speak many languages, have a wide variety of customs, and many even pray to different gods. Where this separates us, there is something yet more powerful that brings us together. We are brothers and sisters of one another in spirit and in our desire to live a life worthy of each other’s grace. No one is excluded in this grace.”
The priest holds up a long, gaunt finger, “However, I wish it were this simple. It saddens my heart to share that there are those that deny this grace. They deny the grace where we as a family seek to rebuild. There are those that wish to prey upon the family.”
People in the crowd begin to look around at each other accusingly or not sure what to think.
The priest holds up his right hand, fingers spread to silence the crowd, “By now, perhaps some of you have heard stories of goblins to the south. The same goblins that laid an ambush and attacked myself and my companions only yesterday.”
Murmers of disbelief, fear, and wonder circulate through the crowd.
Again the priest speaks, “Rest assured. By my presence here, you must know that the gods favored me and my companions. The gods still favor the family that desires to live a life worthy of each other’s grace.”
“If you have the same desire, as I do, to build something which unites us as family and welcome any of those who accept this grace, then we are to call all people to spread this desire. No one is excluded from this grace be them human, elf, dwarf, halfling or any other race. Man or woman. Rich or poor. Everyone who accepts this grace will be family and we will be strong together to face the dangers of this unforgiving land.”
“We speak one language of desire. We will stand together in this unforgiving frontier and once again we will build something worthy of each other and our ancestors. Everyone who calls upon this grace and of each other will be redeemed and enlightened.”
The priest brings his hands together, lowers his head, and whispers a closing prayer that only he and the gods can hear.