The Quiver

posted Feb 10, 2009, 6:15 AM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak
It was one blustery, winter’s night as Luanes walked towards the temple of Visaria in a village where she was visiting. She spotted an old peddler woman sitting on the side of the road with a cart full of very old and battered goods. As she approached, Luanes could see this woman shivering, only a thin shawl to cover her shoulders from the icy wind; compassion overwhelmed her.

She came closer to the cart and began to poke around, intent on buying something to aid this poor soul. Suddenly, as she fished through the items, she found a rather tattered quiver which, other than looking very old and used, was in fair condition. When asked how much for the quiver, the old woman replied 5 copper pieces; however Luanes realized that 5 copper pieces would not be enough to get her a room for the night, not even at the shabbiest inn. Reluctantly, she paid the cost, knowing that the people of this village were proud and would not accept charity.

“With respect, my lady, it is a very cold night; perhaps I should walk you to your home?” Luanes suggested.

“No, thank you, kind miss,” the peddler woman replied, “This  place you see is my bed tonight.”

Luanes had feared that. She knew that she must think of a way to offer the woman shelter without making it sound like charity, but she wasn’t certain if that would be deceptive of her to lure the poor woman to shelter under false pretenses…even if it might save her life. Finally, she simply spoke the truth.

“My lady,” the young paladin began, carefully choosing her words, “ ‘Tis an extremely cold night, and I fear that the icy wind may prove fatal to one who does not possess the proper clothing to keep warm. I am praying that you will indulge my request.”

She paused, attempting to gauge the woman’s expression, “My temple has many warm beds, and it would be no trouble to have you sleep in one of them.” She finally said, hoping that the woman’s pride would not doom her.

“That is most kind of you, young miss,” the peddler woman said after a few agonizingly silent moments, “I would be very happy to indulge your request. May I bring my cart with me?”

Luanes’ heart leaped.

“Of course,” she replied, “Let me help you.”

The two of them made their way to the temple, and bedded down for the evening.

She felt herself being shaken awake and opened her eyes, seeing the one of the acolytes of the temple, his face alighted with excitement.

“Come, Luanes! You must see it! It is a miracle!” he exclaimed.

The young paladin rolled out of bed and followed the acolyte to the main hall, where she saw the old peddler woman’s cart. Old and rickety as it was, its contents had changed from the previous night. In the place of the old and battered items was a pile of gold pieces and a piece of parchment. Luanes snatched up the parchment, opening it up and reading it:

Dear kind miss,

Thank you ever so much for yours and your deity’s hospitality last evening. I enjoyed the comfort and warmth of not only the bed in which I slept but in all of your hearts. I am grateful that I met you and that you all took me in and sheltered me. It showed me what a fine example of your religion you are.

In return, I would like you to have the very special quiver that you purchased last evening. It is magical and holds much more than arrows. I would like your temple to have this gold. The compassion and sincerity I witnessed last evening is well worth the reward. Use this gold and show that same kindness and honesty to all.

And may your deity bless you always.

Signed,

The Peddler Woman

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