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Snippet: Widow's Walk
The Question
In the lowlands, the title of Widow carries weight in every town, village and hamlet from shore to field. It is not easily earned, though there is no shortage of dead spouses and grief in these harsh territories. In highland cities, weeping lords and ladies are brought by carriage to the nearest grand temple, where they pluck a hothouse-grown flower, place it before an altar, and are labeled bereaved while still having time to make a lunch date. Not so for those in the lowlands who chose to take up the Widow's Walk.

To seek the Widow's mantle is no small task. It means one may never wed again, or even seek comfort in another's arms. One may keep their profession, but the call of a Widow's duty must always take precedence. Widows are forbidden from attending births, from holding public office and from lighting candles in the temple. There are innumerable small things in a Widow's world that isolates and makes strange, all in the name of honoring a fallen love. That alone is enough to make many turn down the offer to travel the Walk.

Then it is the Walk itself. Every region is known to have a Widow's Garden, where the sad, simple white flower known as the Moontear grows. These Gardens are kept by a Grand Widow and by the grace of the Sorrowful Goddess, and are never grown within a days travel of a village. The Walk is a simple imperative - to travel to a Widow's Garden unattended, pluck a Moontear at night, and return to lay it on the gravestone of your lost spouse. But in the dangerous lowlands, it is a true trial.

The Walk must be made alone, but there are rules placed on those who encounter a Widow on the Walk. You may offer a kindness but may not delay them. You must answer truthfully to any question asked, up to three. You may not try to dissuade them from giving up the Walk. And you may never do harm unto them. To break any of the rules is to invite the wrath of those souls who went on the Walk but did not complete it. They are a special type of ghost, kept by the Sorrowful Goddess, and very vengeful against those who would harm a Widow on the Walk.
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