Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saint Grenna of Merthis

"Saint Grenna of Merthis (Grenna Fingers, The Bread Sister, The Baker of Merthis)"

"In the days of the Crenel Wars, Evandra made assault upon the city-state of Merthis, bringing press-ganged crossbowmen and slave-mercenaries from Syr-Marad, and blockading the port of Merthis with a flotilla of refitted trade cogs and barges staffed with arbalests and alchemist’s fire. The siege dragged on for weeks and months, food in Merthis quickly running low, as many of its provisions had been sent with allied forces and lost in the disastrous Battle of Ormen’s Mouth."

"Amidst the despair and confusion pervading Merthis, a lowly Sister of the Vestry by the name of Grenna emerged from obscurity with the proclamation that, by the grace of the Father and the Mother, any person (slave, free, or noble) who brought to her a finger of an Evandran would receive a small roll in exchange the next day."

"At first, few payed the Saint any heed, and those who did either mocked in scorn or shook their heads in disgust and fear. Soon, however, it became evident that Saint Grenna’s word was good: a finger earned a coarse black roll, and a hand five, enough to stave off a day’s hunger for an entire family."

"Merthis’ defenders, formerly fearful and slothful in a war most did not believe was even theirs, became zealous in desperation, seeking the fingers and hands of Evandrans with grim vigor, knowing that taking the life of an Evandran preserved their own for at least a week."

"The siege lasted not another month: the Evandrans decamped in fear and wonderment at the sudden valor of the Merthians. At this, all Merthis sought to raise the beneficent Saint Grenna to a position of high nobility and veneration, but she was nowhere to be found. It was as if she had been taken bodily to the stars at the conclusion of her service in the time of need."

"The exact means of Saint Grenna’s Miracle remains a mystery of faith. In Evandra, of course, she is still vilified as a witch or even a chthonist practicing the blackest of arts (and her veneration strictly anathematized), though the obvious beauty and charity of her Miracle renders that opinion ridiculous."

"She is venerated to this day as a patron saint of bakers, Sisters of the Vestry, and all Merthians, and is often invoked in times of hunger and duress as a provider. Her auspices are the coarse black roll with five slits in the crust, and five outspread fingers."

- From the Hagiograph of The Hundred by the Venerable Viebalde

This post is the third in my The Hundred Saints series, updating Fridays! (Well, Saturday, in this case. Sorry for the lateness, but at the same time, I'm not sorry. I spent the time doing important things. The next saint should go up on time next week!)
Previous Saints:
Saint Be'lak the Bard
Saint Cryndwr Firebeard of Wealdvale


  1. Wow, this kind of thing would make for a really spooky quest-giver. "I've got what you need. Just bring me some Orc scalps. Doesn't matter whose." Granted, that would be a variation on the old MMORPG trope of "20 Bear Asses" (, but if the targets are sufficiently morally gray for pangs of conscience to possibly bother the players (or even outright innocent victims), or if the quest-giver is just sufficiently creepy, or if the sheer desperate need for the reward is extreme enough to make the players have to commit violence under time/resource constraints, then I don't think that's a problem.

    I also really like how this saint basically got the besieged people to step up their warfare game by essentially trading food for military success. That's a super weird and clever and creepy concept you've got there. "Want food? Get good, scrub."

    1. Haha, yes!

      I think my favorite part of this whole tale is the obvious question of "how in Hell did she manage to, essentially, feed an entire city?"
      And, I find it's best not to answer that question. Readers (or players, as the case may be) tend to come up with answers that are far more vivid in their minds than any explanation introduced from outside, haha.