New setting? Might be in the same world as the oracle whose god got irritated. (here)
This REALLY feels like a draft of a novel beginning to me.
There were a few blind nay-sayers who took it as an ill omen when the temple of Orestin flooded.
Since most of the rest of the city and the surrounding land were also flooded, the majority of citizens were far less concerned. Their temple held a decent piece of land on a well-known street; the place was well-lit of the night time (when the city was less flooded) and well-trafficked during the day. But it was not on the city’s one hilltop
A few scholars and that sort suggested that it could be a sign that the temples themselves were places of worship, not the homes of the gods. Thus had been suggested since time immemorial, but there was still no agreement on the matter.
The acolytes of Orestin had no time for that debate. They were wading through ankle-deep water to prepare for the morning devotions; they were cleaning out unused space (from a time of greater prosperity; the acolytes of Orestin saved everything, including real estate) for those whose homes were unlivable, they were baking flatbread and pressing cheese, running the ovens full of whatever they could roast just to combat the damp.
An Acolyte of the Mulberry Ring, Tremmin, was currently knee-deep in water at the base of the temple stairs, herding the faithful (or those willing to pretend, at the moment, for a dry place to perch) up the stairs and through one of the three entrances. A citizen caught her eye and smirked, looking as exhausted as she felt. “You’d think it was a Quarterly Festival, wouldn’t you? You’ve even got the back door open.”
She wanted to say something clever, but Tremmin had been awake for, to her count, three days and four bells, although it could have been four days and three bells. The speaker rescued her with a tired smirk and an irreverent thump of the marble. “Orestin, I suspect, does not mind. Nor his is holy place less holy for the work you are doing today. Blessings, Acolyte, and may you find the place you are most proper in.”
“Blessings, Citizen.” The words came out of her mouth without bidding. “May your proper place be waiting for you.”
“I have already found it.” He breezed past, leaving Tremmin, still knee-deep in water, with the uncomfortable feeling that she’d just missed something very important.
She had no time for ill omens, however, so she turned to the next citizen. “Welcome, and may Orestin comfort you in this time of trial.”
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