Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wer’s Parting Gift?

Through the oily smoke, the two one-armed Orcs creep forward. They are carrying superbly crafted Battle-axes and are wearing the skilfully made, black studded leather armour of the Huloms.
Everywhere they look they see the lifeless bodies of their brethren.
Finally they see some movement. Finally they see something to attack!
But before they can roar their defiance and charge, Thesis and Kruddo grip their shoulders from behind.
The movement they saw turns out to be the diminutive Wer searching for a wounded brown bear from the recent battle.
The reunion is warm but brief. Wer was uncomfortable with the killing of the bears and feels the need to travel far from the stench of death.
“Wot appened ere?” growls the Orc.
Wer bends the truth and tells the Orcs pacifying tales about a Hobgoblin army.
They look angry and upset, but thanks to Kruddo and Thesis’ presence, do not take it out on the Halfling.
When the torso-like Ortos spots Wer though, he shouts to get her attention.
“Little Druid, will you help me as you offered?”
Wer remembers her half promise and agrees to honour it. She searches through the camp until she finds the oils and unguents she needs.
Taking her small knife, Wer slits the throat of the defenceless Human. She cradles his head in her lap as he chokes and spasms until with a gasp, he dies.
Selmars and Gelless look horrified, but do nothing. Ortos had asked for this and even if the Druid fails, surely death is better than living like that?
Spreading the fragrant oils over the mutilated corpse, Wer begins to chant.
After a while, darkness crawls over the body and it shrinks before their eyes until it’s just a small sphere floating above the ground.
Then it begins to slowly expand. The amorphous shape getting bigger and bigger.
Soon it’s as big as a Kobold, but it continues to grow. Gnome? Elf? Human? Bigger still and suddenly claws and patches of fur erupt from it!
Wer looks concerned. Is the Human to be reborn as a Bear?
Then the spell is over.
Standing naked before them is a creature over seven feet tall. Its cruel claws and tusk like teeth make them all shy back.
“What am I?” it growls.
Wer, disturbed, wishes the creature luck and transforms herself into an eagle. Without a backward glance, she flies up into the sky and is gone.

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