Thursday, September 06, 2007

The story of the Crook of Rao, part two

Part one.

A few days later, Canon Hazen, a portly, normally jovial, priest in the service of Rao, was having troubled dreams. He slept fitfully, waking twice in the night. The first time, he attributed his restlessness to indigestion, and stumbled sleepily toward the privies. The second time, his vision was so clear and unmistakable he shot up in his bed, his mind roiling with the image of a silvery metal rod studded with gemstones, and what he had to do.

Hours passed. Hazen had recovered the Crook from its resting place in his cathedral’s reliquary and readied himself for travel. He set out with a group of companions, journeying overland from Veluna to the only known outpost of the Cult of Tharizdun. A secret temple near the town of Hommlet. Adventurers, knights, and church soldiers had been here only days before, ridding the town and the region of Tharizdun’s influence. “At least temporarily,” thought Hazen. The group delved deep into the underground temple and the Crook grew white-hot in his hand as Hazen brought it near Tharizdun’s altar.

A swirling ball of black-purple mist coalesced atop the altar, crackling and arcing with purple energy. Hazen, frightened, took a step backward. His unfortunate companion, another cleric, was standing a few steps closer than Hazen now, and was engulfed by the purple-black orb. Hazen, horrified, brandished the Crook unthinkingly at the swirling ball of energy, which seemed to hesitate. Inspiration struck Hazen, and he spoke a powerful malediction, invoking the names of the six deities who created the Crook. The misty ball seemed to condense, then a white corona surrounded it, intensifying in brightness until it completely surrounded the purple-black orb. Six seals popped into existence, each with a deity’s symbol upon it. The seals slowly began circling the now-white orb, gaining speed as they completed each orbit of the sphere, which now seemed to shrink slowly.

Hazen sank back, exhausted. He still held the Crook aloft, and the sphere with its whirling seals dimmed and faded from view, slowly growing more transparent.

1 comment:

Aerin said...

you know, the last time I held my crook aloft, I got arrested for indecent exposure...