“Dawnflower, blessed angel of morning and light, I give thanks to you for your many blessings and for the warning you have sent to us. May we prove worthy of your trust and of the trust of the people of Ursundova. Bright Lady, I pray that you watch over Ursundova as we go forth to bring light into dark places. Bless her rulers with wisdom and her defenders with strength. Help Dibran to find the will to pour forth the wisdom and goodness in his heart, touching the souls of your flock and drawing them in joy to the dawn that is to come.”
Gideon looked at the items arrayed before him and, one by one, began to insert them into the well-used backpack on the table. Rations and a waterskin disappear alongside a small tent and even a folding chair into the central pocket of a bag that appears too small to hold so many items.
“Light of the World, I pray now for Leilania Syphaisoma. Even as I work to understand more of the many faiths that nurture the souls of my new home, Leilania’s faith still seems very strange to me. I cannot yet tell whether she will turn left or right, or what would draw her to a cause or make her turn her back. But she seems determined to raise the Way Watchers into a true shield for our nation. Please illuminate her way, even as your reflected light comes down from her chosen guide.”
The map case was new and folded the leather of the journal uncomfortably as Gideon tries to arrange it with the vials of ink, the pens, and the drying powder. It seemed they would never sit properly and he’d end up with a journal full of inkblots, rather than a record to draw upon when he returned.
“Blessed Sarenrae, I pray now for Ulgar Ironbeard. Let him be the wall that stands between our people and those who would do them harm. Guide his hammer and his vision to those threats that would come upon this nation in our absence and warm his heart that his strength never shall become brittle.”
The second case was packed much more easily. Gideon paused to review each scroll before he rolled it, placing them gently into the case and sealing it tightly. His hand rested on the case for a long moment, considering the many dire circumstances that may call upon him to use any one of the spells therein. Finally, he slid the case into one of the side pockets of the haversack.
“Everlight, I pray now for Daargan Vul. My lady, Daargan is an intelligent and driven man. I ask for your guidance in the key to unlocking a heart that would use the power he craves for the betterment of his fellow man. Humble my over-enthusiastic mouth and help me to be an example, rather than a lecturer. I believe Daargan can be a good man; I beg you to help me help him find the road to the light of truth and away from the darkness that would consume him through his ambition.”
Gideon laid out his armor on a broad table and set a small collection of tools in front of him. With file and brush he cleaned the edges of the breastplate, revealing etchings that, in images, told the tale of Sarenrae’s light revealing the malignant darkness hidden on Golarion by Asmodeus. His movements were short and precise, periodically broken by a cloth that wiped away collected dirt.
“Beloved goddess, I ask for your healing light to descend on Lem Berrybrook. Lem has walked a harder road than any of us to come to this point, only to be asked to do more. Lem finds himself at a crossroads of belief and endeavoring to persevere as a symbol, even when he is unsure what it is he wishes to symbolize. I pray that your light touches upon the honesty in his soul, and ignites that into the fire that can raise him up to be the man he wishes to be.”
The short kite shield was made of mithral, and, therefore, did not require much polishing. Nevertheless, Gideon methodically cleaned it with a soft cloth, its luster brilliant even in the evening lamplight.
“Dawnflower, I pray that you watch over my family as I travel. Brighten their days and make swift their nights in this challenging time, until we are together once more. I need not pray for strength for my wife, but give her peace to enjoy as well. Cast your warming light on my children and bring them laughter in the knowledge that their father loves them. Just don’t let them stay up too late.”
The sword was the last item. The keen Kelish steel sang as he drew the edge across his whetstone. His expression changed slowly as he worked with the scimitar, from the concentration of ensuring that the necessary things were organized and arranged to a harder determination that evil would not stand.
“Last and least, my blessed Lady, I pray for myself. You would not give me a burden that I could not bear, so I thank you for your faith in sending this omen of ancient evil. All I ask for myself is the will to see the evil thrown down and the innocent preserved. As on every day from now until I stand at Pharasma’s throne, I offer up all that I am unto your will. If I live to be 100, I shall thank you for every day. If the destruction of this darkness demands my life, I go willingly and without regret. Let my sword be your instrument and let thy will be done.”
“For all these things I pray. May your light watch over us all.”