In this omnipotent view, a priest returns home to find his temple ruined.
by Richard Di Ioia - aka Longetalos
The priest was quite pleased with his voyage. He was able to perform some good deeds in the service of his god and was able to find some new converts in this difficult land. But much like every voyage, you have to return home at some point. So he was heading to his latest abode reminiscing about when he first moved to this region. He was much younger then in his dedication to his god and he let his zeal overcome his good sense. His superiors did admit that he had good potential although they recommended that he temper his experiments a little more in the future. He took this advice to heart and for many years he progressed in the service of his god gaining in wisdom and experience. Eventually he decided to travel with his acolyte and return to the village that started his rise. He felt there was an opportunity there to do better and he show what experience had given him.
That was over two years ago and after having set things up he left his acolyte in charge while he went on this voyage. There just over the rise was his latest home. But something didn’t feel right. Normally his pets would be out to greet him as he arrived. He slowly dismounted and walked the path leading to his home. There should have been worshippers waiting at the entrance. A feeling of dread filled the priest.
Preparing himself for the worse, the priest ran an elongated jagged nail along a scabrous growth on his arm. His nail cut the skin and a yellow puss-like liquid seeped out of the wound. Catching the puss in his hand he whispered a prayer to his god. Slowly the puss grew and transformed into an Imp.
"Yes master, how may I serve you?" asked the Imp.
"Go to my cave and see what transpires within. And send my acolyte out to me." commanded the priest.
With those words the Imp scampered off, flying towards the cave above. The priest began to cast protective miracles around himself anticipating the worst. A minute later the Imp returned.
"Master, the cave is empty. But it has been befouled." cursed the Imp.
"Stay by my side, I will investigate this." With those words, the priest headed up towards the cave. Looking around he noticed symbols engraved in the stones around the entrance to the cave.
"Curse those Pelorites and worshippers of Berei. They have put their unholy mark upon my cave. I must see to my experiment!" the priest shuffled into the cave at a faster rate. Quickly glancing around as he progressed he noticed a room scalded and cleansed by fire. In the final room, what he saw appalled him.
"My beautiful mixture has been ruined!" exclaimed the priest going to his knees next to the pond of greenish liquid.
"Look at this, the Pelorites have poured their foul water into the liquid. My mixed breed creature has been killed or driven off. Years of investigation and months of work gone to waste! It took me months to collect enough disease wrought victims to be sacrificed into the pond. BRALSTRAG find my acolyte’s corpse! I want to question it about the ones that did this." With that command ringing in his ears, the Imp quickly left the cave to do his master’s bidding.
Mumbling to himself, the priest walked to the back of the cave. "They destroyed your altar oh Lord of Plagues. May their skin rot and leprosy infest their loins! And they destroyed my ledgers, notes and they robbed me of my possessions. Murderous, thieving, heathens!"
Looking down near the altar, the priest noticed something shiny. Bending over to pick it up he swore even louder. "Plus one of them broke my favorite knife." At this point Bralstrag returned and gave his report.
"Master, they desecrated and burned the body of your acolyte. There is nothing left to use."
"Fine. There is nothing left for me here and they are bound to return to check up on this site later on. It is time we moved north. Perhaps there are some blessed places north of the Flare line that I can tap into. But first I want to leave the nice people of Beron a gift."
The priest sat down and prayer to his god. Calling forth a holy name, a large sized demon appeared before the priest.
"You dare call me! I am the bringer of plagues, bow before me!" screamed the demon.
The priest arched an eyebrow and looked at the demon. "Do you wish to test your mettle against me?"
For a brief moment the demon glared at the priest, then knelt before him. "My apologies master, I mistook you."
"Of course you did. I give you leave to hunt. Go to the village to the south of here and spread as much havoc as you can until you must return home. You have a few hours, make them count."
As the demon ran off to the south with a shout of glee, the priest turned Bralstrag back into puss and put him back under his skin. Looking north, the priest grinned and looked forward to going into the wastelands that Iuz left behind.