Along Came a Cleric

This is a story I wrote for my Brother in-law, to include his character in a little adventure.. It's far from the best thing you'll read but most seem to like it, once again I have to give a Grammar and punctuation warning..
I'm a warrior.. my Int is low..

lemme know what you think..


And Along Came A Cleric

Chapter 1*

The hearth fire was blazing, the occasional pop and crackle of the wood was soothing. Xandare sat with his bare feet resting on the warm hearthstones, lost in this simple pleasure he had not enjoyed in some time. Maharet walked into the room bearing a steaming mug filled to the brim, and offered it to the young man. Careful not to spill any Xandare took the mug and sipped the hot potent drink "Buttered Rum must be what they serve you in paradise" he muttered between sips.

Upon finishing the Rum he glanced over at his GrandMatron, she possessed a strength and skill he doubted he ever could, despite her assurances. She was a powerful woman, with timeless features and a strength that seem to glow from within, her long auburn hair was tied back in its usual way, so she could keep it out of her face. She didn't seem to notice, Xandare looking at her or perhaps she just didn't acknowledge it. Slowly she dragged the polish cloth over the surface of the immense axeblade, Xandares newest acquisition in his travels, managing to get it to shine in a way he had been unable to "Its a fine prize you've won here and it will be a real beauty too, once it's completely cleaned up". She said while studying the broad blade, "this was the work of a truly talented smith, pity it had to suffer the hands of such a creature as you described" she said, still not looking at him.

"Tell me a tale of your travels, of your adventures, It's been too long since I felt the thrill of battle" she smiled at her grandson. "Gladly" he smiled, "I'll tell you of my journey to the home of our Froglok allies" he said, his eyes already turning inward, deep in thought. The he began to speak, slowly at first, but speeding up as he went, his eyes closed.

I had been travelling for many days through the vast deserts of Ro, the scorched land seemed to stretch on forever and I was exhausted when I finally came to the place where the desert ceased and life once again seemed to begin to flourish. I had never been so happy to see a tree before, I had heard that this was the way to the swamp of Innothule, where our Froglok allies made their home, but at this point I could hardly believe a swamp could exist so close that the burning desert. I was exhausted, but according to the map I'd bought I was very close, so up I went and headed deeper into the forest. It wasn't long until I found myself inside the swamp, the humidity clung to me and breathing was a chore, in I wandered, the water at some points was shoulder deep. Further in I went determined to reach the Froglok City before nightfall. Had I known what dangers the swap hides I would have chosen my path with much more care.

I made my way up to a high spot in the wetlands and stopped to get my bearings, I felt more than heard the attack as it came, and was able to avoid it. Spinning about I came face to face with a horrific creature; a floating skeleton swathed in black a Spectre. It was at that moment I could see another of its ilk standing guard next to a black robed dark elf, who seemed to b guiding their movements. The spectre was reading another swipe with its great scythe, and I had not even drawn my sword. But before the blow could be delivered the creature stopped, scythe in mid swing. Then it began to laugh an otherworldly cackle you might hear in Tartarus itself.

The next thing I knew a green fog had settled around me, the putrid gas burned my lungs, my eyes and even my skin. It was fell magic, the worst kind. The dark elf smiled and started to get closer, obviously wanting to gloat as I gagged on the foul magics he surrounded me with. He stopped well out of my reach and smirked, "I do so love to watch barbarians die" he said, his voice like a snakes, the Spectres, both of them this time began to advance on me, it was all I could do to keep my footing, that's when I could see something rising up from the water just off the shore of this rise, if another enemy was joining the fray this could very well be my last stand.

What happened next is burned in my mind forever, the thing from the water raised its moss and slime covered arm revealing the most beautiful glowing hammer I had ever seen, it seemed to glow from within. The creature aimed the hammerhead at the Spectre. With a roar worthy of a Northern wolf let fly a beam of the purest white light I had ever seen, it struck the Spectre squarely in the back .The light seemed to consume the creature, there was a brilliant flash and then only tattered rags and the scythe remained. The robed Tier'dal spun about in a rage to see who had involved themselves in his affairs. He screamed in his native tongue and the remaining spectre charged the slimy figure.

The Necromancer obviously thought I was done for, so he let the poison air he had summoned fade away and focused his attention on the interloper. That would prove to be his final mistake. His hands began to dance in a spell pattern; I regained my feet and retrieved my fallen sword. I close the few steps that separated us and reared back, at that moment he spun about and his eyes met mine, he knew he suddenly had a much worse problem on his hands. I thrusted the sword forward and scored a direct hit, the blade easily penetrated the robes he wore and pushed through his all the way to the hilt. He let out a breath and his eyes filled with rage. His hands, now glowing with the spell he had been weaving shot out and grabbed the sides of my head, and as his final act he released the spell he had been weaving.
I cannot describe the pain that spell unleashed in me, it was so intense and so shocking I have trouble recalling it, my mind wont permit me to re-live it again.

Chapter 2*

When I awoke I was lying beside a low crackling fire; the smell of pungent herbs was emanating from the small pot hanging over the flames, across the fire. I tried to sit up but found I had very little strength and couldn't manage the feat, an even toned voice from across the fire scolded me "If you get up now the spell wont run its course and you'll be dead before daybreak" the speaker was a young man, despite the head of grey white hair he possessed and he was covered in what appeared to be green plate armor, "What happened?" I asked. "You killed the swamp lich, a remarkable feat for someone not versed in the mystic arts" he said, once again sounding rather apathetic. "What is a swamp lich? And who are you kind sir?" I replied, remembering my manners since the man had obviously saved my life. "My name is Niklionii, and the swamp lich is a fancy name that necromancer you killed went by. Had he really been a Lich, both of us would be dead right now." he said, sounding disinterested.

"Many thanks Niklionii, surely I owe you my life" I said, feeling happy to be alive. "Yeah, probably, who knows your type are tough, you might have lived" he shrugged. It wasn't what I expected, all of the other healers I had ever dealt with were usually soft-eyed caretakers, this one had a fire in his eyes that contradicted his aloof behavior. I laid my head back down suddenly feeling very tired.

When I awoke the sun was filtering though the thick canopy setting the swamp aflame with the mornings golden light. I could hear the croaks of the frogs, the calls of the birds and the buzzing of the dragonflies all around me. I began to understand how some people could find real beauty here, the swamp was alive, everywhere you looked there was something to be seen, crawling, hopping or dead still, in mid stride in some cases. Niklionii was asleep on the opposite side of the fire, in the morning light I could see his armor wasn't green at all, but covered with swamp slime. "How long has he been here?" I wondered.

It wasn't long before I found my legs again and was up searching the immediate area My sword was missing, and I wasn't too pleased about being separated from my sword, it had saved my life more times than I cared to imagine. I was searching the area near where I fought the necromancer, when I found it, the necromancer's body was lying in the dirt in a circle of strange looking powder. My sword was still buried to the hilt in his chest, his body seemed like it had been here much longer than just one night, and he had already sunken in and almost looked like a skeleton. "Good" I heard behind me, Niklionii had risen and walked over, he seemed to study the setup and nodded his approval. "Necro's cant be trusted dead, they have a tendency to reanimate themselves and come after you" he said seeming satisfied. Before I could go in after my sword he stepped into the circle and produced a claw like tool and began to work it into the corpse's chest "What are you doing?" I asked, he sighed in annoyance "Digging" he said curtly. He carefully worked the tool into the corpses chest and moved it around a bit, then with a mighty heave he ripped the claw free, a pulsing heart now held in the claws grip "Its not destroyed!" his spirits seem to lift.

I looked at the madman holding the instrument, which contained the still beating heart, then, eyed my sword. "What do you need with that?" I asked him "This was my Quest! Return with the heart of a fallen Necromancer of great power, and here it is!" he said excitedly then continued "I had thought you destroyed it when you shoved that sword through his chest! Good thing you missed!" he seemed in much better spirits now. Holding the tool at arms length he started back to the camp, smiling and grinning at the lump of gore. Intent on retrieving my sword walked into the circle and took a second to study the body, making sure it didn't move, after what he'd just told me I wasn't taking any chances with anything that could rise from the dead.

I noticed a slight problem when I removed the sword; the blade was scarred and cracked, like it had been dipped in some foul acid. The sword was ruined "What am I supposed to do now?!" was all I could think that's when I saw one of the fallen spectre's scythes lying on the ground a few feet away. "In a pinch you use whatever's available" I remember muttered to myself. I made his way back to the camp to find the cleric gathering up his goods and banking the fire. "Nice sword" the cleric said giving me a sideways glance. Annoyed I just tossed the ruined sword into the muck.

The scythe was not as unwieldy as I expected it to be, not my first choice, but my only choice. "How long were you stalking the necromancer?" I asked Niklionii plainly, his face shifted from its easy neutrality to something resembling the taste of bad cooking. "8 days crawling around in that" he pointed to the murky swamp water. "I was biding my time choosing my moment carefully, then you blundered along and forced my hand" he said coldly. Then his demeanor seemed to lighten up a little and he said "But I think its for the best, I'm not sure I could have taken him and his minions alone" "well I'm glad to be of assistance, I think" I replied.

It turns out we were both headed to Gukta, the newly won home city of the Frogloks. "There's strength in numbers, best we travel together" he said while tossing what looked like immense saddlebags over his shoulder. I passed this off as possibly a bad choice in luggage, but then he produced a small dark colored drum and began to tap on it, "Do you intend to become a bard cleric?" I asked sarcastically, he just passed me a tired expression. A mist began to form, and then within the mist sparkles of white light appeared, pulsing in time to the beat on the small drum. There was a brief flash and standing before us both was a giant lizard-dog looking creature, Its sloping back fitted with a saddle.

He approached the beast and ran his hand along its smooth neck, it turned and bumped him the chest with its head, he smiled and patted the creature lovingly. The creature seemed gently and not fierce in the least. It soon became obvious why he carried the saddlebags as he draped them over the back of the creature "Its called a Drogmor" he directed to me. "You learn something new everyday" I said with a shrug.

Chapter 3*

Deeper into the primordial swamp we headed intent on finding Gukta, the outpost of Marr. The deity, which both the Frogloks and my traveling companion followed. The journey wasn't a pleasant one, the mud sucked at my boots and the insects who's buzzing I had admired earlier had decided to see if they could drive me mad, they had almost succeed when I sensed something. The birds in the area had stopped calling, everything seemed still. I raised the Scythe and spun about scanning for trouble. That's when I heard it.

"For Grobb!" a chorus of raspy voices called. I spun to face the direction the call had originated from and saw them. Five Trolls, well armed and armored were charging us. I had heard there were still pockets of Troll soldiers hiding in the swamp bitter over their defeat at the hands of the Frogloks. They ran hard, their crude armor clanking and quickly closed the gap between us. I swung the scythe at the first of the advancing Trolls, the dumb creature put up its arm to deflect the blow, the scythe blade cut cleanly through the foolish trolls arm, and then through the side of its neck. Its lifeless body fell with a surprised look on its face. I turned to the next nearest Troll and swung from a lower position at an upward angle, the blade cut a swath across the creatures stomach and side, slicing it cleanly in half. I barely had time to duck before the mace of the third Troll and missed crushing my skull by inches. I spun on my heel and brought the scythe down in an overhead arc at the mace weilder, his eyes went wide. I scored a hit directly on the Trolls plated shoulder. The blade split the armor and dug into the flesh beneath. The injured Troll screamed and fell pulling the scythe out of my grasp. The largest of the Trolls charged me and rammed his shoulder into me hard, sending us both falling and rolling into the stagnant water off to the side of the path. I rolled and wrestled with the much bigger creature, its foul breath far too close for comfort Trying to get into a position to strike while preventing him from doing so. I could hear the moaning of the injured troll to my left, but the last one I could not place, the cleric must be in trouble.

The Troll was bigger than I but not my equal in strength, I managed to push him off of me and off to the right. I scrambled to my feet and saw the last troll jabbing at the Drogmor with its crude spear the drogmor was reared onto its hind legs swatting at the offending creature. I had no time; the second troll was on its feet now and coming for me. I don't know where he got it but he had found a huge rock, which he now held over its head, intent on crushing me with it. The troll reared back its arms to throw the huge rock, but I had been attacked in this manner before and charged it before it could release the missile. I struck the Troll with a dizzying smack and landed down on top of the foul beasts chest, it's was stunned from the attack. I had little time to act, I swung my guantleted fists down hard connecting with the creatures face, I lost count of how many times my fists smashed the Trolls face, but it was enough to remove any threat it could pose. I glanced up just in time to see Niklionii swing his glowing hammer and score a direct hit on the side of the trolls head, there was a flash of light from the impact point and the troll was blown back several feet where it slumped, defeated.

The Drogmor had been pierced in the flank with the crude spear and was now lying on its side. I feared the worst. "A little rest and he shall be fine, these creatures have remarkable healing abilities" he removed the saddlebags and dismissed the creature, it vanished into a puff of mist. I turned and approached the first troll attacker, now busy trying to get to its feet and stagger away. "Where do you think your going?" I called after it, the creature spun to face me and staggered a little, it had torn the scythe from its shoulder and blood ran freely down the side of its chest and arm. The other arm held a widebladed sword, but it was shaking in the creature's grasp, the creature charged and swung the sword at me with its good arm. I dodged the attack easily and countered with a hard punch to the creatures Jaw, I heard a snapping noise and the Troll fell over unconscence.

We removed the weapons from the three defeated trolls and I chose two to carry, The widebladed sword and a mace of Dwarven design, the Troll must have taken from someone else. Tired but feeling better now being armed again we began our trek north through the marsh.

We almost missed the entrance to the city. We were walking along a nice dry patch when we sensed something moving nearby. We peered around the tangle of trees and saw a young Frogloks in the midst of a pitched battle with a snake, the Froglok had a long staff he was busy jabbing at the snake, It was apparent the snake had yet to notice the clumsy attack. We both grinned remembering our own first foray's into the wilds and the creatures we chose to test our skills upon. Just then the Froglok looked up and caught sight of us, then turned and started hop running between two trees, the snake now hot on his heels.

Following the Froglok we found the entrance to the city, two Guards posted at the gates gave us a suspicious look but didn't try to stop us, one was busy eating a snake.

I wouldn't call Gukta a city, more like a village. The swamp seems to pervade everything here, moss and fungus grows on almost every surface and the buildings are all of simple design. The Frogloks were doing an admirable job of repairing and upgrading the city they so recently won from the trolls, there seemed to be a tired but jovial atmosphere here, the celebrations had only recently ended and now the business of making the city theirs was first priority.

I walked along the trails through the city. First to accompany Niklionii to the local temple, then onto the warrior's guildhall, where I delivered the package I had been bid to and took advantage of the Frogloks hospitality for the night.

Th mug was now empty and Maharet had set the axe aside and was now polishing one of her many swords. "It's a good tale, but you need to learn the fine art of embellishment" she chided him. Xandare smirked and started into the fire.

Temprah 18 years ago
I really like this story, lots of action and you did nail Nik to a tee =) Now the other one was better, with that cool chick Crymsyn in it