Temple Welcome

“Welcome to the Temple of Ciala Sancta,” whispered the monk. He bowed low and offered his hand, palm up, as a greeting. Peter returned both gestures.

“I come with a petition to the Holy,” Peter lied. “My sister -” The monk raised his hand sharply.

“Your story is for the Holy alone,” the Monk said. “Do not allow this one’s impurity to corrupt  your prayer with his ears.”

Peter tried to hide his surprise. That wasn’t a common tradition. Usually the monks needed to hear the tale before they’d bother their leader with it. How could this place filter out the moochers and the liars? Not that Peter was going to complain. He simply bowed.

The monk nodded in approval and beckoned to Peter to follow him into the pillared hallway. The ceilings were tall here, but the passages very narrow. The walls looked like solid marble, all elaborately carved with dioramas. Peter’s best guess was that they represented scenes in the life of their patron Ciala. He pretended to be fascinated with them as he expected an actual devotee might be.

Progress was slow. The monk kept a measured, deliberate pace as if the act of navigating the halls was a sacrament in itself. Which was certainly possible. Peter had seen stranger things in his career of robbing temples.