I am finally well enough to continue on towards the Akari Grasslands. I am not at full strength, but my recovery is inevitable now. As much as I hate marching, I believe that returning to it will do me good.
The priestesses are not able to refit us as well as Bantish was, but they have made a good effort and we are grateful for what little they have to give. I think Bolton may actually be dreading our departure; he seems to enjoy life here. I have seen him working in different huts, repairing damage to the roofs of some and making himself useful in whatever ways present themselves.
He has actually made friends here. I never thought Bolton capable of friendship.
We have been here for over a week and I believe we are well refreshed for it. In a way I can understand any hesitance to leave. I have asked the others about it and though their dedication to our cause has not wavered, there is a tiredness that hides behind their hardened exteriors.
I don’t believe we will find comfort like this again for some time, if ever within the borders of the Nanten. If nothing else, that is a true testament to the power of Infiri, and Inifra, her priestess.
We have yet to see Inifra again. Within the span of time that we have been here there has been no visit, not even a sighting from afar. I’m disappointed I did not get to meet her while in a lucid state. Talita told me that the chief priestess often meditates and prays for days after a battle.
She also said that Inifra is not as quick to overlook our origins as the other priestesses might be.
The chief priestess, she said, always harbors more of the old goddess’ anger and bitterness towards Imperials than the rest. Those memories and emotions, she said, are the result of Infiri’s incarnation. Every iteration of the incarnation Talita has seen has been the same.
The whole concept of an incarnate goddess in the host of one of her priestesses is something that intrigues me. It is certainly something the Temple would frown upon, and makes me wonder if the Red Priests are aware of such occurrences. I’m just curious how it works.
Talita said that whenever one chief priestess dies, her body is laid in the river and Infiri chooses her successor. That’s it, she said. The new chief priestess becomes Infiri incarnate, and takes the name Inifra.
How the power comes upon the priestess, why she chooses who she does, all of it remains a mystery. Occasionally, she said, the goddess will restore life to the priestess – but only if she has been exceptional in her service. That’s incredibly rare, she said, and usually a new one is chosen. She has never seen it happen any other way.
I can’t imagine serving a person who laid claim to godhood. These women are unaware of Dread Gods or Swift Gods, they seem oblivious to the world outside their own. They simply live in the peace of knowing their only god, and dedicate the rest of their time to making a wholesome existence out of their otherwise miserable lives.
It’s easy to understand the draw I feel to this life they lead. In spite of what may lack, it feels as though we were made for it.