Read from part one or reread part three.

Elysia gazed into the hearth and stoked the fire of her own memory, recalling memories of her life at the temple, in particular, dwelling on the rigors and toil of her life before Ravena took her aside for special training. Elysia was stronger, tougher, faster, and smarter than many of the other foundlings, and it was decided when she was very young that she would be raised as a guardian of the temple. She was instructed in the ways of sword and shield (though she never really took to them) for many years, until Ravena became high priest and took interest in the younger Elysia.

Ravena revealed the truths behind many of the traditions at the temple, and gave Elysia access to the histories of the temple’s struggles. She presented Elysia with conundrums and quandaries and pushed her to think for herself rather than accept all things handed to her as truth. Through constant questioning and evaluation and contemplation and reevaluation, Elysia found a system of belief that worked for her — something she couldn’t articulate, couldn’t explain, but it burned brightly within her, gave her warmth and guidance, and spurred her to greater and greater heights.

Ravena encouraged her to share her fire with others — not merely those who came to the temple with offerings, but to any who would listen, and to those beyond the reach of the temple. And so Elysia began to host debates in the temple, and through them, she achieved fantastic mental and spiritual growth.