Meleeka drops into a ready stance. Legs spread slightly more than shoulder-width apart, left knee touching the ground, the ball of her right foot raised and poised to launch her in any direction at a moment’s notice. She begins slowly sweeping her arms in broad, circular movements, fingers curled like grasping talons as she channels her rage and negative emotions out of her body, giving them shape as flickering flames shrouding her hands.
The soft clap from outside the training area is all the signal she needs. Meleeka launches herself off her right foot, throwing her body into a twisting spin to add momentum to her first blow, shattering a wooden training dummy into shards of smoking wood. Landing on her left foot, she kicks off the ground immediately, throwing herself into a backflip that takes her over the next nearest training dummy. Coiling her hands together into a hammer of fire, she reduces that target to shards as well. Eyeing the last target, a stone statue known to the initiated as One-Who-Waits, Meleeka charges forward, flames shrouding her feet and giving her extra momentum for her final leap. Arms outstretched, body turning from a vertical whirl to a horizontal spin, she latches onto the statue with her fingers, using her strength and momentum to sweep the heavy stone off the ground, overhead, and bringing it crashing back down in a fiery explosion.
Looking at the wreckage, Meleeka is surprised to find that, unlike a few months previously, the fires had not stoked the anger in her heart, but consumed it, leaving her with a relaxed sense of peace that was entirely unfamiliar to the young and very talented martial artist.
“You are ready.” The words come from one Rashmivati Melipdra, a jovial but imposing woman who had taken Meleeka under her wing, untwisting the young woman’s spirit while teaching her discipline and friendship. “You may not see it, but I do. I have no need for an apprentice who has learned all I have to teach.” Rashmivati says the words with an empathetic smile, her pride in her protégé plainly written on her face. “The rest of what you have to learn, you must learn for yourself.”
“Where shall I go?” Meleeka asks.
“Absalom first,” Rashmivati replies. “You should meet Ambrus, and Sorrina, and all the rest. In the Grand Lodge, you will encounter many people who see the world through eyes different from your own. Learn from them, and let their wisdom show you the next path in your journey.” Rashmivati pauses for a moment in pleasant reflection before continuing. “And tell my brother Shristi that it has been too long since he last visited home. Tell him he is missed, and that I trained you as a disciple. He may have more to teach you!” Rashmivati takes the young woman in a hug as she finishes. Meleeka’s body stiffens for a moment, still unused to Rashmivati’s displays of affection, before melting into the older woman’s arms.
“What shall I do?” Meleeka whispers into the silken scarves covering her mentor’s shoulders.
“Whatever you wish my child. Go, and make this world your own.”
Hey everyone, Michael Sayre here! It’s with a mixture of sadness and excitement that I announce my departure from the Organized Play team. I’ve accepted a new position here at Paizo that will take my career in a direction I’ve always wanted to go and I’m excited about this new opportunity. But I will miss planning, outlining, and developing these adventures that we’ve all shared over the last two years! I’ve learned a lot from Linda, Tonya, John, Thursty, James, Alex, and everyone else who’s been a part of the Organized Play family during my time in this department. But don’t worry! I’m leaving you all in excellent hands, and Linda will be following up in a bit to let you know about the rest of the changes to the team.
Thanks so much for allowing me to be part of this community, and hopefully I still have many more opportunities to join you all at a table in the years to come. You’re all awesome. And just in case this is the last time I get to say it…
Explore! Report! Cooperate!
Thursday, September 3, 2020