Tale of Fools
Cider?! I am on a quest for holy cider! I can't tell anyone that! Are you taking the piss or what?
Priest of the Laughing Rogue
One year ago a merchant from a distant province brought to the Temple of Olidammara in Ptolus a perfect ruby red apple, claiming it had miraculous powers. This indeed proved true, and Malan, the High Priest of the Laughing Rogue, determined there and then to buy it. Spending a significant proportion of the money "collected" for the poor he bought the apple, and made from it a single small bottle of perfect sweet cider.
This cider appeared to have all the miraculous power of the fruit from which it was made and more – resembling in its concentrated liquid form a Heal spell. Thinking to grow an entire orchard of miracle trees he planted the four seeds from the apple in the temple kitchen garden. One night the sapling he had planted first disappeared. Furious, he decided to guard the others, setting a watchman in place day and night. Three mornings later the watchman turned up dead – torn to shreds. Next to his body was the mangled remains of one of the High Priest's precious apple trees. Of the remaining two saplings there was no sign.
Disappointed, and feeling somewhat guilty, Malan set about seeing what he could do to make good the situation. He managed to make of the sapling wood a wand. Miraculously, and to his great surprise, this wand possessed the ability to cure light wounds without needing enchantment. Now thoroughly obsessed with this mysterious plant he communed with his god to learn more about where they came from.
Two days later he called the most promising of his junior priests into his study. Skilled not only as a cleric of the Laughing Rogue, Ashendarius had proved himself a resourceful individual. Not only was he trained as a thief, but being an elf he had more experience of the world than some of the other priests. High Priest Malan gave Ashendarius a mission; to seek a place called Oakhurst in a far province of Ulek, and there to find out all he can about the apples, and where they came from. More importantly, he was under strict instructions to try and bring back the tree from which the fruit grew. Malan gave Ashendarius the wand made from the sapling wood to assist his quest.
The elf set out that very night. Marching away from the Great City, that he had come to love, he could still hear the words of High Priest Malan ringing in his pointed ears."Tear it out by the roots if you have to, but I want that tree!"