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Faith

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Allura has never had faith in gods. She acknowledges that there are powers in the world capable of wondrous and terrible things but she does not worship them and does not bind her strength to their purposes. Their might commands her respect, but her own power has taught her how weak is the barrier between commanding respect and compelling obedience, and so she remains wary.


But tonight she sinks to her knees and prays to the Great Platinum Dragon as she has seen Kima do so many times before. She begs, voice thick and sight blurred, that Bahamut might see fit to safeguard His loyal paladin, that Kima might be brought out of the Underdark whole in mind and body. She pledges anything she can give, if only Kima is kept safe.

 

She has begged many times in her life; all she wants is to protect her people, and sometimes the best way to do so has been to plead for them. She has stood before gilded thrones and raised her voice in passionate phrases, sat at lacquered tables bedecked with elegant silks and silvers and argued for clemency and compassion, knelt in the dust and bent her head and asked that her companions be spared. Allura does not measure honor in others' eyes but long ago learned to wield her reputation with the care its weight deserves; if it serves her purposes to allow her foes to think her overcome, she will not hesitate to give every appearance of being so.

 

Tonight there is no thought of appearances. Tonight her thoughts and words run together in a chaotic slurry of knife-edged syllables as she pleads with a god she had never had faith in to please, protect Kima. She has no calculation of artifice or sincerity, no balance of pretence and honesty, only the blind need for Kima to stay safe. She will do anything necessary to safeguard Kima’s life and liberty, and though she is sorry for the consequences she cannot regret them.


In the morning she will grieve that she sent Vox Machina to Kima’s rescue. They had been so young and eager, and in their eyes she had seen herself and Kima and Drake and Syldor and Sirrus and Dohla and Ghenn. She had hoped that that echo would make it easier to send them on her mission, to trust their strength and purpose, but the opposite will be true; she will be anxious and will wish bitterly that she had sent others who would have been less painful to lose. But even now it is too late to recall them. In the morning, she will think of praying for them.


But now, and ever more, she prays only for Kima. Kima has faith, in her god and in herself, and Allura has faith in Kima. She has always had faith in Kima. So she prays for Kima, only ever for Kima. Let her live. Let her live. Let her live.