Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Story of the Crook of Rao, part one

“Only something like this could have brought us all together,” the kindly, white-robed figure thought. He shook his sleeves back from his wrists to reveal a curious sigil, its gold and white ink somewhat faded. The mark began to shine brightly as the other figures gathered together.

“Are you sure this is necessary, Rao?” a gravelly voice grated. A cadaverous looking man in an orange-trimmed black robe leered, dead-eyed at him.

“I’m afraid so, brother Incabulos.” The cadaverous man sneered at the friendly term. “We must put a stop to this plague of chaos. They have no care for our worshippers, or for any living thing. Tharizdun, the eldest of us all, must be stopped. Everything we have worked for would be ash. We cannot directly intervene, so we must give Men the tools.”

Incabulos nodded, already knowing the argument for creating the artifact. His blue-tinged face looked newly dead in the morning light. Rao placed a shining metal crook on a pillar in the middle of the circle and stepped back into the circle. He nodded at Nerull.

“It is time. Brothers, and sister. Please…” Nerull bade them to join hands.

Pelor, radiant in golden-trimmed white joined his warm, strong hand with Nerull’s skeletal claw. Nerull extended his other hand, cold in death, to Rao. Rao smiled as he took Incabulos’ withered hand in his own. Boccob grasped Incabulos’ other dead limb. And Beory, beautiful in earthen toned robes, reached out her small, dirt-caked hands to Pelor and Boccob, completing the circle.

Auras of light emanated from each of the deities. Gold, black, white, orange, purple and green. These nimbi left their owners and floated out to the middle of the circle, each leaving a ghostly trail of light. As the gold aura filled the crook, golden sparks shot out, filling the air above the crook with bursts of magical energy. Pelor’s face grew wan and grey. He seemed to shake, and only the grasp of Boccob and Nerull stopped him from sinking to the floor. As each of the auras was absorbed, the other deities showed similar signs of strain until finally, Beory, sweat beading her normally good-humored face, nodded at Rao.

“We have done it,” Rao breathed, his voice sounding tired.
“Let us hope we’ll never need the Crook of Rao again,” said Boccob. “Though I would like to study it after your Hazen has finished, Rao.”


Degolar said...

We are but pawns in the battlefield of the gods . . .

Leelu said...

Is the Lady throwing dice at a card game, again?