1867-10-31: A Sober Celebration
A sober celebration
Summary: Spirit Day takes on new meaning in light of the Plague
Date: 10/31/1867
Related: Has it been a Full Year?

Prayer. Prayer and hymns. That has been her day as of late - not as if that was unusual for her; Tiadora was quite accustomed to spending days and even weeks offering prayers to the Divine Father. But she was not alone for once.

The Cathedral in Sunsreach was constantly full of those in prayer; for their loved ones, for the Archbishop, for themselves - hoping they don't contract the deadly plague which had yet to fully reach their lands. Tiadora had heard about Dora and mourned for the loss. She knew how excited the pair was. She knew how essential an heir was. She had that to add to her list of prayers.

Clara was sick; that worried her. Perhaps her choice of costume lent to it, perhaps not. But she would sit in on her friend and read- sometimes holy books from her collection, sometimes more secular ones from Clara's own. She prayed for the princess along with her goodsister. That was about all she could do. The Vigilant gave her the brush-off; dumb nosy noble kid brat they no doubt thought. She wrote to some of the others she had heard were organizing imports and offered to help, but they'd likely ignore her too. She was used to that…

Spirit Day held new meaning today.

Another form of penance; sitting on the steps of the great holy building and offering her services as a scribe and artist to those who needed loved ones remembered. Writing kind words about them, making quick sketches for shrines. That - that she could do. Whatever comfort she could give, whatever powers she possessed; Tiadora could do SOMETHING to help.

She left the Cathedral before sundown, expecting the house to be dark. She had given all the servants the day to themselves; to pray, to be with their loved ones, to host their own remembrances. She fully expected to carry her family altar into the banquet hall and host a quiet dinner with herself and the ancestors. All but her parents.

But there was light coming from the windows of the dining hall. The altar had been moved back inside. There was the scent of incense and burning paper in the foyer. There were voices.

They stayed; the ones from Normont who came with her. There was fermented milk with pungent herbs, offerings of hair (and blood in some cases), kind words burned, incense rising in the air, bread and meat on the plates, and liquor in the cups. Tia personally laid out every plate in the house on every table they had, borrowing from the staff's own simple ones. They welcomed all the dead to their table; ancestor and stranger alike. They opened all the doors and windows to allow them in. They sang hymns, recited scripture, ate and drank nothing.

The family altar had been set on display, and candles burned brightly. While there were Gerrell paintings of their forefathers and Paul and Patience, the servants own had scraps of cloth and hair or leather braids- remembrances of their families. As with the strangers in the street, Tiadora wrote out memories and loving words. The altar had a new name on it. Harvich, the guardsman killed in Ostovor. He warranted a sketch.

Normally Spirit Night was as joyful celebration to remember the beloved dead. Tonight it was far more serious; pleading the Ancestors to have mercy and protect the living.

Perhaps it was the herbs. Perhaps it was hunger hallucinations from her fast. Perhaps just a trick of the light. Tiadora could swear she saw faces curling upward in the smoke. To her relief, none of them looked like her mother or father.

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