A little under the weather


Durak turned in his bed again. He was down in the basement of the church as he had asked, close to the stone, resting on the rock as fever raged through his body.

Well, not raged. Not yet, anyway. But dwarves are rarely ill and to tell the truth he was being a bit of a sook. But not without cause. Three or four ghouls had attacked him while he stood paralysed, only his will, his training, and his mystical bond with the earth keeping him conscious.

One of the wounds had become infected. Ghoul fever. Oh, he had a ways to go before death. The priest would certainly be able to cure him, but the priest could only manage one magical cure per day, and Durak was about fourth in the queue. Durak had treated his own wounds, replaced the dressings with his magical Vest of Surgery, but now was troubled with more than a little guilt. Zoran’s condition was about as bad as his own – he ought to have seen to his companion before himself.

So he lay in the church basement, close against the stone, sick as a dwarf is rarely sick in his life, determined to treat Zoran when the magic of his vest could be used again, and prayed to his god – as a paladin is wont to do.

Hamming it up maybe just a little.

“All father!”, he prayed, “Torag! I pray you – I beg you! Don’t let me die a ghoul!”

“Don’t let me die a ghoul!”

And Torag, as a DnD god is occasionally wont to do, answered. A presence assembled itself in the rock beneath Durak. An intelligence. A purpose. The stone … shifted, configured itself into a lump of rock and stones, shifted itself up from out of the floor. To those with an eye to see, a holy radiance came from it.

It spoke in the language of earth, and the language of the gods.

“I am sent for you, to be your companion”, it said. “You shall not die a ghoul. Rest. I shall guard.”

Durak’s mouth snapped shut. It is not unknown for Torag to answer prayers so directly, but still, you never expect it to happen to you. And he understood the implied threat/promise. It was, after all, what he had just been praying for. Be careful what you wish for, indeed.

“Wake me when the priest comes down to see me – I’ll need to explain you to him. Do you have a name?”. “Name?”, answered the elemental. “Never mind,” said Durak, “I imagine I’ll call you ‘Rocky’ when I need to. Wake me when the priest comes to see me.”

Rocky didn’t respond. Why would he it? Durak settled down to get some rest.

Yeah, we got ghoul fever. Big fight, some nasty moments. Durak would have gone down if not for the extra con that defensive stance gives – standing there paralysed, thinking “I am stone, I am stone, I am like totally immovable stone”. We should be ok. Hopefully. Zoran is a dex/mobility based fighter, and so is royally boned by paralysis.

Level 5, and Durak gets his celestial earth elemental companion – the stonelord’s substitute for the Paladin’s divine bond. And extra attacks, a ping to his stone strike, and various other goodies.

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