Brother Joshua was disturbed from his evening prayers on Winter Solstice by the cries of an infant outside the cathedral doors; he was the closest and only one to hear it during the midnight service. He tried to block it out at first, figuring it was merely a weary mother on her way to a cozy hearth in a nearby house, but it was not meant to be. Heaving a sigh, Joshua raised himself from his kneeling position and exited the cathedral, unprepared for what he would find, nor how it would change his fate forever.
There was a squirming bundle on the steps of the cathedral! Picking up the wailing infant, he glanced at the note pinned to her swaddling; “Ilmarë Valanya,” it said. The infant quieted a little, but was obviously hungry, and most certainly cold on this freezing night, and continued to make its needs known. Joshua walked into the cathedral.
The other monks, as well as the head priestess, stopped midprayer and looked at their Brother for an explanation of the disturbance he was causing. He coughed nervously.
“I found this infant lying on the steps of the cathedral. The note pinned to the swaddling merely says ‘Ilmarë’,” Joshua explained, shifting the squirming bundle carefully.
“Why did you not take it to the orphanage across the way, then, Brother?” the head priestess queried, raising a brow.
“I…I’m not sure…” he replied, a confused look on his face.
“Bring the child forward, Joshua,” she said. He hesitantly handed the infant over to the priestess, a worried look on his face as the priestess looked the baby over. “Ah, it is clear to me why you did not, even if you were unaware, Joshua! This child is not destined for an orphanage; even now, she emanates peace, serenity, and Light. She is meant for much more; the question is, what? And how?”
“Per- perhaps there is a reason I was chosen to find the child, my lady. What if I were to teach her the ways of the Light, in Northshire Abbey?” Joshua said, almost as shocked as his brethren over what he had just said.
“Ah, yes. It feels right to me, Brother; one of our most skilled and pure monks to raise this child. On the morrow, you will leave for the Abbey with my blessing to raise the child; however, you are to return when the task is done,” the high priestess said. “For tonight, take the child to the wetnurse at the orphanage; infants need milk, and that is one thing you are unable to provide, Brother,” the priestess smirked.
Joshua blushed, bowed, and headed out the doors of the Cathedral with the infant, each step leading closer to his destiny.