Wrath of the Righteous

Years later, Sturn retells the tail...again

...for the grandkids...

“Well, after we handled those troops on the bridge, Jaroo lifted off to blow the catapults off the towers – literally, blow,” the wizened old knight told the children gathered around at his feet.

“That druid was a good one – went on to do a great much good for the goddess. Never forget that!” he added.

“Where was I…oh yeah…the front door. Smashed it in! It was one of the dwarfs…Gargle or…no, wait…Unktre…well, it was one of them…” he chuckled, a sly smile drawing across his face as the children drew closer.

“Gnarl – you know, Regent of the West? That Gnarl…smashed his boot right through the door and in we went. It was a beautiful thing, my friends,” he continued.

“Grandfather, what happened next?” asked young Gulow, his great-grandson, too excited to wait.
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The old knight looked at the boy and smiled. “Stuck, we were, or so they thought, in a killbox many lengths long and not very wide, a great portcullis cutting off our movement forward and crossbow slots in every wall. Atiasi used his magic to fly and helped us over the wall and forward. To be honest, I was so focused on the fight that I barely remember the details of it now.”

“In the next chamber we faced a group of demons! Vrocks! Mighty , nasty beak-faced brutes from the Abyss…turned out that some were illusions, but one wasn’t! We smote it…sent it back to its masters in pieces, we did.”

The children ooh-d and aah-d as the old man talked through the rest of the fights, describing in great detail how Gnarl fell, almost dead; and how the Witchfinder General, then known only as Utenar, used his divine blessings to revive his kin and send him back into battle.

When the housekeeper arrived to announce dinner, Sturn had just reached the point where their team had recovered a few magic warhammers and were about to press on to find the castle’s banner. The old knight stopped his story just as he and he mates were about to turn another corner, leaving the children wanting more, but sending them off to eat, instead.

Sitting by the fire for a few moments, Sturn considered the events of that day, so long ago, and what they led to in turn. Minutes must have gone by, because it took the housekeeper’s return and repeated reminder to shake him back to the present, and the smell of food a few rooms over.

Walking slowly from the room, his limbs sore from so many campaigns, he scanned the many trophy cases, mounted weapons, pieces of armor, and other mementos that decorated the room, each one evoking a memory of a great victory, or setback, or loss of a friend. He paused at the door and thought, his eyes stopped on the portrait of the World Class Wrecking Crew, as they’d become known. The original had been signed by Jaroo, Untenar, Gnarl, Atiasi, and Sturn, and bore a short message from each, to one another.

‘Such brothers most only imagine…it’s a good life,’ he thought, smiling both within and without.

Comments

I figured out a new and interesting way to use Jaroo’s dragon scale. It provides levitate of up to 20th caster level. We can lift a person or OBJECT of up to 100 lbs per level. Like a portcullis if one presents itself again in the future. That would be 2000 lbs of lifting ability gents. Again, for next time.

 

Gnarl, Regent of the West, hammered away at a forge within the dwarven home of Kurtzimmervonvestern, which means dwarf home of the west, wondering why in Torag’s realm was he in the forges? He had never been good at creating anything – only good at breaking things like demons (and even himself many times!).
The grizzled smith accepted the hammer with a warm and knowing smile and slyly slid the misshapen lump of metal from the anvil back into the furnace as the ancient and venerated dwarf exited the sweltering cavern.
Recently, his exploits were beginning to weigh upon him quite heavily. He had been good in battle before the wardstone had exploded, but after he recalled performing marvelous and truly mythic feats. However, of late, he was feeling the toll of so many battles, so many expeditions into the bowels of Demonsdwell. He ached continually and he was becoming the literal embodiment of his very name.
He passed a lean and fiery-bearded dwarf in the hallway. As they passed the eyes followed his passage with concern. Turning several corners, he became aware of footfalls directly behind him. He turned swiftly, his corded muscles bunching. His old joints protested wickedly, but they knew the move with deadly precision. Within the blink of an eye, he crouched, gnarled fists of iron poised for destruction and…
“Gnarl, my brother, you’ve grown predictable in your old age, still deadly, I see. Torag has blessed you with mythic strength, but while the axe dulls, the spell is ever sharp. Let me teach you the basics. It will do wonders for you.”
“I will release you if you promise not to attack me for binding you in magic. Under his breath, for he knew Gnarl had lost much of his hearing, he muttered, ‘for the third time this week.’ There is much to discuss…”

 

Good story telling all around.

Lyle

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