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November 5, 2003

Chaos Theory

Drusilia's Journal

Godsday, Wealsun 4, 592 CY, continued

I have failed my comrades, and perhaps, indirectly, failed Pelor.

It took a while, but I have come to the realization that, while my friends respect Pelor and are willing to fight for a good cause, they do not necessarily share my fervent devotion to him; they do, after all, worship different deities, which colors how they see our world and relate to the creatures in it.

I had questions to ask about our anticipated journey to Redcastle, about Arkon’s story, the location of Valon, Aramis, Durll and the Void, and I feared communing with Pelor would not allow the full explanations of these questions that I wanted to share with my comrades. So instead, I asked them all to come to the temple with me while I requested the presence of a celestial being. I told them the being might request a service and that we could say “no,” though of course the being would then depart without answering our questions.

A tall, luminous guardinal with wings for arms, feathery hair and golden eyes appeared. The beautiful avoral (whose name I didn’t think to ask for) was quite willing to answer all of our questions for a price— he requested the Short Sword of Pelor, saying that it was urgently needed elsewhere. Ghelt and I, both of a similar belief structure, agreed immediately, Fafnir was very undecided, and Aramil and Pockets thought the sword more useful than any information a celestial creature would provide to us (Pockets also pointed out that since I wouldn’t let him sell it, that it must be too valuable to give away). The avoral was patient, and though he had to eventually leave without answering our questions, he did warn that the sword was not without limits, for it pulled its healing not from the Positive Material Plane (as I had assumed it must), but directly from Pelor himself. I mentally pictured my deity being weakened by Pockets’ and Aramil’s ministrations after one of their regular “spats” and shuddered.

Fafnir did finally decide we should give the avoral the sword, mere moments after the creature departed. Ghelt was extremely upset, as was I at the time, and Aramil and Pockets pointed out that I said we could say “no” (which, in essence, meant a group vote). Of course I had, never realizing that our moral views, while all basically good, could result in such a difference of opinions! I feel especially bad about that, because, while I promote Pelor’s causes over others, I rejoice that my comrades worship other good deities at all— it is these differences that have helped us get as far as we have.

Pockets, for all he’s willing to do for our party, does in fact worship Olidammara, the god of Trickery. I will therefore need to swallow my pride, and “trick” him into giving back the Short Sword of Pelor the next time it is asked of us. I may also have to point out that Nerull is considered a god of trickery as well, and the lich has had many lifetimes to perfect his craft. Nevertheless, I think this explains why Pockets is slow to develop trust— Ghelt and I must be constant sources of confusion for him!

While Ghelt and I were praying for a solution in Pelor’s temple, a bloodied paladin came stumbling in. I healed him quickly, and he told us a chilling story. The paladin, called Harconis, has been teleported from the Grand Duchy of Geoff, where they are having a plague of death coming down from the mountain. The plague infects the living, killing them, and healing magics have no effect. This all started about two days ago, while we were in the Temple of the Void. This of course, brings a few worries to mind: did throwing the Heart into the Void cause “Death” to somehow gain a better hold? Did the loss of the Temple’s Guardians unleash something? We knew there has been constant warfare raging in Geoff, for we long ago met up with a band of adventurers heading towards it through Dimwood. I am very fuzzy on the geography of the area, but I’ve just now remembered that Durll had agents in Hochoch, the temporary capitol of Geoff. I can only imagine how much worse the situation would be there had he been able to steal the Heart from us!

Soon after Harconis’ arrival, Pockets ran into the temple with a very savagely murdered human in his arms, hoping I, or someone there, could restore life to the body. Sadly, the only cleric of more skill than me is the mad Cornelius, and I was not prepared for the task, suggesting he try Heironeous’ Temple— being much bigger, there was a greater chance someone there could do the job. I could tell by his expression as he turned to leave that my lack of ability to do this for him was perceived as choosing not to help a “thief,” as it turned out that the dead man was a cleric of Olidammara.

While it’s flattering on some level that Pockets thinks I have the same abilities to resurrect someone as a divine creature does, I was not blessed with that ability at the time of his need— it is something I must pray for. I’ve only seen it done once and that was by Aramis. If he comes back tomorrow, I will try, though after what I’ve seen happen to Cornelius, I’m wondering if there isn’t something “intercepting” the prayers made here.

Ghelt eventually left either for the inn my friends were staying at, or Moradin’s temple. I was left alone with Cornelius, and I determined to try and figure out what his mental situation was by simply talking to him. This proved absolutely disastrous.

He started by telling me that “Rutsah” was “wisest of the wise” and could provide “clarity of sight”— I assume that this is the being that touched the mind of Cornelius instead of Pelor. I asked him, stupidly, if he knew how to call a celestial being to him, as I wondered if his divine magic had been effected as well. I did not ask him to call a creature, but I realized as I saw the mad glint in his eyes that it was exactly what he was going to do. Worse too, as the planar ally he called forth was not of Pelor, but some beast of a Chaotic bent.

I yelled for the temple guards and any clerics in the area to run and find my comrades as the amorphous mound in front of me began to ooze forward, ropey tendrils outstretched. Three guards came to assist me fighting it, in spite of my pleas for them to stay back. One guard was raked by a tendril and began to immediately melt into a formless, screaming blob of flesh. Cornelius stood behind it, cackling and capering the whole while. I finally killed the chaos beast, and yelled at the remaining guards to catch Cornelius, who was obviously too dangerous to leave unattended. While they pondered which of us to listen to, Cornelius ran out a back door and was gone. They did follow at that point. I turned to see that the fallen guard was now just a formless mass, and yelled again for a cleric to help— this time to see if they could restore him to his former self. A cleric named Tomas ran in to help, but as he did, we both realized that there was no help for the guard “Lenny,” as he was now a chaos beast himself. The creature tried to grapple with Tomas, leaving me sufficient time to dispatch it as well. Thankfully, Tomas did not turn into a spawn of the creature too!

The guards returned shortly to tell me that they’d lost Cornelius somewhere in the city. I then had to explain to the guards and Tomas that I was not in charge in the temple, and asked Tomas to take over Cornelius’ duties until things could be straightened out. He suggested that the actions of Cornelius pretty much made it clear that we needed a Sacred Exorcist, and Tomas thinks I am a candidate for that task— that is about the closet to a church blessing I’ll get on the subject right now! Moments later, Fafnir showed up, either on his own or from my frantic summons, I didn’t ask. He found me with the confused guards and clerics, looking at two big dark greasy blobs on the otherwise unmarred floor of the temple.

We went and found Aramil and Ghelt ourselves, and have yet to catch up with Pockets. No one has seen Valon. Too many terrible things are happening at once, and we need to figure out where Durll is, and if he is behind all of these horrible events.

Posted by Kristin at 16:51 | Drusilia’s Journal