On the night of a fierce blizzard some years ago, a procession of worshippers of the Coming Storm heard cries between the howls of the whirling snow. Upon investigation, the religious group stumbled onto a collapsed mother and her newborn child. This sparked a heated debate between the group; one half convinced the child was fated here to be sacrificed, and the other half sure that the appearance of an infant during the Coming Storm was a great boon. While the priests argued on whether to kill or rear the child, a priest by the name of Ebrias stepped forward and pried the wailing creature from their mother’s stiff, lifeless grip. He then turned to the group and settled the feud, concluding that if the infant were to survive in the blizzard for this long, it was certainly special and should be saved. Ebrias took on the responsibility of caring for the tiefling child. The nameless parent was left for the wolves, as such is nature.
Three moons passed before Ebrias was convinced the child would not perish. He named the girl Valentine, something that meant “strong and healthy.” Still, some of the clergy members did not agree with Ebrias’ decision to rear the abandoned child. On Valentine’s fourteenth night, Priestess Ekxus snuck into Ebrias’ quarters with intention to sacrifice the infant, a deed she believed was overdue. While Ekxus wished to do this quickly, she was bound by her faith to conduct the sacrifice correctly. This ritual started with removing the eyes to ensure the spirits could not seek out their murderers after death. She was certain that once she began the process, Ebrias would agree with her as he should have done before.
A scream ripped through the temple’s high walls.
The next morning, Priestess Ekxus had gone missing, as had Valentine’s right eye.
Father Ebrias seemed to recall the memory fondly when I asked him about it. He described the scene in grisly detail, always ending on the lighter note of, “ — and yet, Sister Valentine persevered and didn’t lose anything from it!” While I suppose he was right, I still wished he had securely locked his doors that night.
Ebrias passed away in his sleep on my twenty-first birthday. I was given his few possessions, and while I still pledged my life to The Frostmaiden, I did not feel the temple had anything to offer me anymore. I set out from the tundra temple the morning after he passed, and I haven’t been back since. From time to time, I miss Ebrias and all he did for me growing up. Having his prized necklace gives me some comfort; a small enchanted vial containing my preserved right eye.