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The Stone Mother

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She was ancient and time had not been kind to her, no. Time has eroded Her very Name from the record books as surely as the whisper of wind and water carved the stones to new shapes again and again. She had never been promised recognition, never sought it and so, as softly and as swiftly as a long shadow in the coming night Her Name had been forgotten. But She did not forget. She did not forget Her children and She did not abandon Her chosen even now when Her power waned with the ebb of time. She whispered gently to the silent ones, the outcast and the orphan and the lost. Crooned sweetly to the forgotten and embraced the broken abandoned ones.

As gently and as sweetly as Her mountain stone and landslide gravel mouthpiece could, She spoke. Sometimes they heard Her. Hers was a secret worship, a silent patronage. Words were pale things when presented to an avalanche and She no longer had a tongued mouthpiece in service to Her, those that heard Her Name did so on the very barest edge between the sound rock and the broken stone; a breath from stepping into Her halls and Hearing Her call them home-lost ones no more. She had a Priest in Nori Stonedancer. He forgot Her not, denied Her not, dismissed Her not. Whenever She spoke to him, He listed and he always thanked Her, even now with a hall and a hearth in the mountain of Erebor he knew Her voice. He was Hers, and when the time was right She would welcome him to get hearth; champion of the Whispering Lady, child of the Stone Mother