Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Legend of the Bodak

I've been organizing my gaming stuff lately. I needed to weed through some of the papers that pile up when I'm not looking. I found this bit mixed in and thought I would share it with you. Like I've said in previous blogs my background is with fiction so I tend to put things into a story format. This is a bit I wrote about the legend of bodak. So this entry is more fiction than gaming. You have been warned.

"Among the shallows of the dark, among the ancient trees of the Arbiter Forest, a pair of eyes opened." Jannon paused for dramatic effect. A small crowd of children gathered on the temple steps and on the fringes the street people gathered to hear the priest's morning tale. One boy whispered to another and Jannon pointed to him and raised his voice. "And from the darkness the creature spoke. A whisper of such vileness it wilted the plants around it. The creature watched the sun, afraid to enter into the light. It waited for time to creep by and it moved as the shadows lengthened. It grew impatient and stretched its sleek black hand into the fading sunlight and howled in pain. The grass where it stood, the trees above it and the plants around it blackened and died.

When the sun slipped behind the Mourning Mountains the darkness spread from the horizon to the sea. The angry and wounded creature stalked across the countryside leaving a trail of death. " Jannon took a step toward the enthralled children and whispered to them. "And then it heard a sound." He stuck a finger in the air. "It was the sound of children laughing. Never had it heard such a sound." He stood and walked among the children and closer to those at the bottom of the stairs. "The creature crept closer. Two children, a brother and a sister, played near a stream next to their home. The mother shouted out the window, 'Come in children. Bed is waiting.' The little boy answered, 'But the light flies are out' as he hopped into the air to catch one in his hands.

The sister leapt across the stream to capture her own light fly. In the sallow light of the yellow moon the girl glimpsed at the glistening black skin of the creature. She tried to scream, but the girl looked into its eyes and she fell over dead without a sound.

The brother laughed thinking his sister had tripped, but fell silent when he saw the darkness move. His shrill scream rang out in the night. It lasted only a moment before he to fell dead like his sister. Soon the mother, the father all died as they looked upon the creature." Jannon nodded at a little girl who bit at her thumb.

"And the creature waited. One small dark form joined him. Then another. Two more joined. There stood five of the dark creatures silent in the night. Together they moved deeper into the village spreading the dark until they had claimed them all. Killing others to join their ranks. A legion of death that never sleeps. They wait for a chance to flood the kingdom with their dark plague."

Several of the children had tears rolling down dirt smudged cheeks and Jannon smiled. He pointed to the sun. "Fear not little ones. The sun is high. But never forget what waits in the darkness. So be vigilant and good. Say your prayers to Delaquain, lock your door a night and listen to your parents."

The crowd of children looked frightened, but pleased. As the people disperse Jannon noticed a slight man dressed in fine, but battered armor glaring at him. He exchanged waves and smiles with the others until they had gone when the armored man approached him. Jannon watched the mercenary kneel before him as was custom if someone wished to speak to a priest and waited for permission to do so.

Jannon did not wait. "Blessings of Delaquain upon you. Speak."

"My name is Goral of Vestige, I seek your council." His voice grated against the air.

Jannon heard the sarcasm laced with his words. This man did not bow out of respect, but to mock the custom. "Stand Goral. Don't think I am an idiot and I will not think you one."

"Fair enough," Goral stood and slapped the dust off his knee. "Your little horror stories scared the idiot offspring. I wonder if you believe any of it."

"What do you want Goral?"

"As I asked. Do you believe any of it?"

Jannon felt uncomfortable answering. As if he were giving something up. Allowing this arrogant mercenary a glimpse into his beliefs. He answered to be done with him. "Yes. Yes I do. Now if that will be all I have many more important things to do."

"I know. I am Goral of Vestige and you are requested to join me." He presented Jannon with a scroll. The scroll was sealed by the office of the high priest of Delaquain. "I have spoken to your superiors and I explained the important role you play in the defense of these lands. They offered your services after I donated ten gold crowns to your mistress." He chuckled. "I would have paid ten times that much."

So their adventure begins...

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