To Battle a God - Part 3

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To Battle a God - Part 3

Postby Akaver » Tue Apr 16, 2002 1:57 am

It was a somber and serious group which awaited myself and Meldru as we approached our comrades. Littering the ground were the remains of many great and powerful warriors, like so many blades of freshly cut grass. Here and there various members of our once mighty host lay recovering their strength and nursing their wounds. Amidst this carnage sat two powerful clerics deep in meditation and prayer. As I approached I could clearly see beads of perspiration pouring down their faces, as they sought the concentration needed to maintain their connection to the Divine. Meldru held out his arm to halt our progress, "Shhh," he cautioned, "Don't interrupt them lad. It takes a powerful force of will to contend with death and seek out a lost spirit." I almost laughed in spite of Meldru's well intentioned warning. Here was this halfling calling me "lad" when I was well over 400 years old! Yet he was clearly no stranger to such wild dangers as we now encountered and knew more than a little of the skills and arts required to succeed in them. <br> As I watched, a halo of light seemed to burst forth from the female elf near us and slowly envelope the corpse over which she prayed. The glowing nimbus began to spread and settle over the body investing it with a heavenly light. Then it slowly melted into the corpse and was gone. The cleric's body sagged and she took a ragged half-choking breath. I was sure that her attempt to revive this fallen warrior had failed, yet then I saw his chest begin to rise and fall and his eyes slowly opened. Meldru came forward and offered him a brief sip of water and began a spell to speed the healing process. Uttering a brief incantation he took leaves from some plant I could not name from a pouch at his belt. With his thick fingers he rapidly ground them to a fine powder which he blew into the air near the revived fighter. The effect of his work on his patient was instantaneous, the pallor faded from his face and new energy flowed into his limbs. As this man recovered his strength I tore my eyes from the wondrous awakening and looked back at the priestess who had wrought it. Her eyes were fighting to stay open and her arms shook with weariness. Rushing to her side I asked her what aid I could give her. <br> "I am spent," she almost sobbed. "But there are so many that could still be brought back. Had I the strength I would attempt to reclaim another, but this last required every ounce of my will."<br> "Then you must rest. Try again in an hour or so." I advised.<br> Defiantly she shook her head. "No, you misunderstand. Time for rest is a luxury I cannot afford. For the longer a spirit remains separated from it's body the harder it is to bring it back. If I were stronger I could call many more of our poor friends to return. But it seems we must be content with those we have managed to find thus far." Her voice seemed heavy with defeat and weary from her recent trials.<br> Smiling I sat down and brought out my spell book. I quickly found the cantrip I required and memorized a spell which I had often found useful in my travels. With a thought I summoned the magic and recited the mystic words. Staring into her eyes I stretched forth with my power and made a connection with her mind. Filling it with the energy from my spell I offered her a deep relaxation which though lasting only seconds would make her feel as if she had rested for an entire day and night. With the proper gesture I sealed the spell making the effects as lasting as I could. As I finished my work her eyes flew wide and her breathing came easier. <br> "My thanks friend," she said earnestly "I am Pikaa. I know not how you did so, but my mind feels rested and at ease. I feel as though I will be able to continue with my work in but a moment." Where sad resignation had touched her words before, now they bubbled over with hope and joy.<br> "I do only what I can lady." I replied. "Sadly I was unable to help our guide Fafner. He fell some ways behind us and it is only through his act of valor that I am able to offer my services to you now." <br> At this news she seemed grieved indeed but her grief faded instantly to resolve. "I know Fafner," she said evenly, "He is great of heart and noble in spirit. We must have his counsels and the power of his wild magic for this effort to succeed." Turning she called out to another Halfling nearby, "You there, quit loitering about in the shadows and put your stealth to good use! Seek out the corpse of Fafner and bring it to me quickly before the denizens of this realm befoul it beyond my skill to repair."<br> With a grunt the halfling drew his black cloak around his body and walked boldly back the way we had come. Within three strides his form seemed to disappear completely and he was gone. It seemed only minutes before he returned with Fafner's body in tow. And in that time many more of the bodies of the fallen were returned to consciousness through the diligent prayers of our priests and priestesses.<br> Seeing that our contest with Innoruk was not imminent I sat down and began a meditation to revive my magical powers, knowing that we would eventually engage our foe and that I would need ever ounce of my power if I hoped to survive the coming fight. My concentration was soon broken though by a hearty laugh and a firm grip on my shoulder.<br> "Glad to see you made it here in one piece Akaver."<br> Looking up I beheld Fafner, whole again and smiling as if we were sitting by a calm brook rather than preparing to do battle with a host of undead spirits and foul beasts.<br> "I see that Pikaa was successful." I smiled back.<br> " Aye, my body and spirit are mended. But I cannot say the same for my breastplate." Sighing he showed me his armor. Dented and rent open in many places by the attack of Innoruk's demon-rat it was clear that it could offer little if any protection from further assaults. "It was my uncle's you now." He stated simply.<br> I knew how important family was to the barbarian clans, but I also knew that to go forth into battle with an unprotected chest was sheerest folly. "Perhaps we can find you some new armor Fafner." I suggested. " I am sure that some of these warriors have something you can use."<br> A grim look came over Fafner's face then and he simply offered, "I have other plans." I knew then that however healed his body may have been, his spirit remembered the attack upon him and demanded a reckoning. He said nothing else but moved amongst the others arrayed there awaiting battle, offering encouragement and advice as he went. And I watched him pass until he was lost amidst the crowd.<br><br>To be continued... <p></p><i></i>

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