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Altars and Stones

Posted in: Play by Ariel on March 14, 2009

trouble-at-the-altar1After the first golem shattered and fell, there was a break in the battle. Off to my left I heard three voices. Kaurophon, Myntilly and I assumed, the new elf, Various. Kaurophon was saying “Don’t touch it.”
“Wait! Wait! Wait!” Myntilly’s voice.
“Oh, don’t be so childish. I know what I’m……” The voice trailed away.

I couldn’t spare time to wonder at the argument. The second golem was still up and swinging. The little guy and the bear were getting tired. I understood how they felt. This was the third battle of the day for us. Black dragon, fire giant and now golems.

I took a moment to check status on my friends. Everyone seemed OK so I rushed up to the golem, my mace in hand. I thought if I could crack one of its legs, we would gain great advantage over it. I could see it in my head. My mace swings out, connects and he lists to one side like a lame camel. My swing hit his leg and I heard a loud “boom” but nothing else. Except that my arm stung from the impact.

golem-2-batteredI forgot about the pain in my arm when the golem swung his hand at me like he was swatting a fly. He knocked me off my feet; I landed on my mace. My side was suddenly awash in pain. I wondered if I’d be able to move enough to heal myself.

From my new vantage point, I saw Kaurophon come up behind the golem. He was holding a piece of wood and he swung it. It was hard to tell if it did any damage. Acgar used her spear, which still had a piece of the other golem stuck to it, as a make-shift mace.

The gnome (I could see better from the ground) was still trying to dart in and out of the melee. His bear seemed to be pushing him away from the golem, herding him like he was a sheep. The gnome, now away from the battle, raised his hands like he was casting a spell. Spells, bear…. druid? I thought to myself. I closed my eyes to concentrate on my healing spell.

polymorph1I needed to be back on my feet and in the battle: my friends needed me. As I lay there, I felt a warmth spread down my side. The pain faded; breathing became easy again. “Thank you, Father, for the blessings you’ve shown me.”

I got to my feet just in time to see the golem shift into a caterpillar. It was astounding! One second I’m hefting my mace to take another swing at the 15 foot creature in front of me and in a blink, it’s a caterpillar! Acgar and I both let out a shout of triumph. She swung her spear-mace to smash the tiny creature. As her swing came around, the golem was back to his original shape. Damn!

I remembered what the strange elf had said — magic doesn’t work against these creatures. Sadi and Cinder had been firing arrows the whole time and it was an arrow that did the trick. An arrow landed on the side of the golems face and I saw cracks spread down its side.

afterwardsIt, like the other one, shattered into several large pieces. In the silence, I heard Myntilly behind me. “I’m just not sure you want to hold on to it. It does look evil.”

I turned around. Myntilly and Various were standing on the altar. Various had the black stone cradled in her arms.

“Oh, undoubtedly. Evil.” Various slowly sat down. The stone was as large as an infant in her small arms. “It is evil. One needn’t be a scholar to know that. I’ll just …… sit for a moment to catch my breath.”

I heard a clatter to my right. Kaurophon tossed his plank of wood to the side and walked quickly to the altar. ‘Give me the stone.” He held out his hand.
“Oh, no my dear. I should hold it.” Various rubbed a hand over the mat black surface.
Kaurophon grabbed it out of her arms. I went to my knees in shock. With status I knew that he’d just given himself a grievous wound. What was this stone that it could kill someone?!

“Kaurophon, my friend. Come here. You are badly wounded.” I managed to get the words out.
“The stone should stay with me. It will help me. I think my spells will be stronger if I possess it.” The words came out in a rush. He clutched the stone to his belly and sat down abruptly.
“Fine. Fine.” I said. “I’ll just come and heal you. OK?” I walked slowly towards him with my hands raised.

I knelt in front of him. His breathing was fast and shallow. “Pelor, shine your light on my friend, Kaurophon. He walks in dark places; fill him with the light of the sun.” I placed my hands on either side of his face. As I touched him, I felt a dark cloud race across my mind.

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