Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Disease




Bright Eye, Winter Night 2, 354 AC

            The cleric shook his head at the crazed dwarf and crept to a nearby corner. He peeked around the corner, holding his hand up. Gharad nodded and grabbed the dwarf’s shoulder. The cleric’s caution was rewarded as he spied two more hobgoblins harvesting mold from the walls. They had either not heard the fellows or they didn’t care. Chai held up two fingers for Gharad. Gharad once again nodded and with his free hand loosed his blade in its scabbard.

Gharad silently joined the cleric, a firm look from the two humans seemed to encourage Odren to stay silent and for that Chai gave a small prayer to Chemosh.

“What is it?” Gharad muttered as soft as the cave and his voice allowed.,

“Two more Hobgoblins,” Chai answered, “For some reason they did not leave with the others.”

“Perhaps we can encourage them like the others,” Gharad replied. Odren stuck his head around and looked as if he were about to say something but changed his mind with another withering glance form Chai.

Chai nodded at Gharad. “I shall at least try. Though it is kind of odd they didn’t hear us.”

Chai squeezed his medallion of faith and stepped around the corner.  

“Hobgoblins,” Chai began as he started to walk toward the pair of creatures. It was easy to forget how imposing these creatures could be until you felt yourself being stared down by them. A distant cousin of goblins, hobgoblins seem to excel in being the polar opposite of their kin. Hobgoblins were tall where goblins were short and strong where goblins were weak.

As the pair turned toward the cleric he could see they wore what had become the standard tattered red Dragonarmy uniforms. But these two were different. Their eyes were cloudy and their faces covered in boils many of which had burst open to reveal a black oozing puss.

With tools no longer scraping at the mold on the walls Chai could hear rasping. These creatures were not undead, but stuck in a living torment of disease.
             
The cleric swallowed and once more prayed to Chemosh, thankful he had covered his mouth earlier. The pair stared at the cleric, as if considering his existence and what it meant. Their heavy breathing echoed throughout the hall.

Chai looked each one in the eye, covering the fear he felt deep in the pit of his stomach. Some disease even a cleric cannot cure after a certain point. He cleared his throat to address the pair. "Step aside. I was told of free passage to your master."

The hobgoblins began to wail as they charged the cleric. The first to reach the cleric of Chemosh clumsily swung its great axe only to miss and gouge the stone floor. The second hobgoblin had slowed its charge as it dragged its axe on the floor, making its way to Chai.

“What did you say?” Gharad asked as he stepped around the corner with his blade drawn, Odren following close behind.

“Nothing you didn’t hear,” Chai snapped back as he focused his attention on his medallion of faith.


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