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A Priest of the Dead Gods

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Rhys's picture

Gerg'klanwas sitting, knees folded atop the husk of the Dead God. He watched the astral current with a sad expression, the winds of the silver void whirling madly nearby.

The githyanki pushed open a flask of Ny'yrv. Remembering the old times, he gulped the strong spiced juice. He and his spirit-brother used to spend long moments on this desert and forgotten husk, watching the winds, drinking the juice brewed by the m'lar.

Gerg'klan and his brother Hydt'guer talked about freedom, their dreams; they were always thanking their queen and Gith for allowing them to be what they were. They were thankful to be free of the hated illithids; thankful to be safe from the perverted githzerai. They had cherished a dream: to be one of the Chosen. To prove their thanks and devotion they had started to train, trying to be worthy of the attention of their queen, hoping to become her knights.

This time was now gone, thought Gerg'klan, drinking another mouthful of Ny'yrv. He was not being reasonable, he knew it, but he wanted to forget. Hydt'guer had succeeded ... not him, and this was a cycle ago. He had then trained harder and harder, hoping to join his spirit-brother soon. And then Hydt'guer came back...

Gerg'klan drew his sword, holding the long leaf-blade in one, still holding the flask of Ny'yrv in the other. He drank again, and ran through the motions of his regular training. He flew through the forms, unifying mind and body.

"Freedom; we had devoted our lives to freedom,' thought Gerg'klan, thrusting his bladeforward. 'Nothing is more important than freedom'. He ducked, rolled and thrustagain, his blade singing its song of death. "To protect our people, to bewary of the chains' the blade whirled; he pushed his body to its limits, spinning, rolling and spinning again. "There are no chains that can hold a strong mind and body!'

His muscles were aching, pleading for a rest. The pain rolled like great waves over his brain, the Ny'yrv was taking its toll, although at the same time it heightened his perceptions, as well as the pain he felt.

"You were stronger than me, your mind was sharper than your blade and stronger than your armour.

"Andyet...

"You have changed, my spirit-brother. Your eyes were colder, much colder than when we swore the oath of spirit-brotherhood. "You spat on our bond, claiming it was an insult to our Queen!

"You were aggressive to anyone who didn't show proper respect to the Queen or didn't praise her name at any occasion.

"And when you told me of your meeting with our Queen, you almost drooled over...

"I do not understand, Hydt'guer, it seems you are not the same anymore.

HE IS NOT, boomed a voice.

"What? Who's here?" demanded Gerg'klan, taking at once a defensive stance, looking for who, or what had spoken.

YOUR RACE IS BOND IN CHAINS, said the voice, who was, Gerg'klan noticed, speaking in his head only.

"We are free!" he yelled back, moving for cover and erecting mind-shields as he had been taught.

CAN YOU SEE YOUR BONDS? asked the voice, bypassing his crude defences.

Gerg'klan looked down and gasped in revulsion; his neck was set in a steel collar, his wrists and heels were also locked with chains. "No! This can't be true; I'm free!" he replied, taking a step back, his sword slicing through the chains, making them vanish.

CAN YOU SEE THE BONDS OF YOUR SPIRIT-BROTHER? the voice continued.

Gerg'klan looked up and he could see the image of Hydt'guer his spirit-brother floating before him, heavily bound in chains, his whole body covered with them, his headset in a full and heavy helm without any opening.

"No, no, this is not… Never! No!" and yet despite his revulsion, despite his horror, he felt his resistance crumble; he could see the truth in the voice's words.

CAN YOU SEE HOW HE IS LEASHED TO YOUR QUEEN?

"...this is an illusion; you lie, you lie...” protested Gerg'klan.

DO YOU SEE THE LEASH AND THE CHAINS THAT YOUR QUEEN HAS SET ON YOUR PEOPLE?

Gerg'klan felt his world, his beliefs collapse about him. "You lie, you lie, we'd never have allowed it...' but he found himself beginning to accept theargument; he couldn't prevent it, no matter how hard he tried.

CAN YOU SEE HOW YOUR FIRST QUEEN WAS BETRAYED AND MURDERED?

"No, no,"

YOUR NEW MASTERS HAVE STOLEN YOU WHAT YOU HAD GAINED, AND BOUND YOU AGAIN IN CHAINS.

"I..."

FREEDOM HAS LEFT YOU, hammered the voice.

Gerg'klan felt something wet and hot on his cheeks. Yes, he was crying; crying from the pain of the realisation, crying from the shame he felt, crying for the desperation and the horror to be bound in chains. He felt cold and empty.

ITCAN BE YOURS AGAIN,

"How?'asked Gerg'klan, crushed.

ICAN TEACH YOU, BUT THE PATH IS DIFFICULT; CAN YOU FACE ITS HARDSHIPS?

Somehow Gerg'klan found his fire again, burning hot in his body. "Nothing is too difficult for freedom."

SUCH ARE THE TENETS OF MY FAITH, said the voice in a reassuring, oddly comforting tone, Gerg'klan could swear there were also a strange note of melancholia in it.

"Your faith?"

KNOW THAT YOUR DEVOTION TO FREEDOM HAS AWAKENED ME FROM MY SLUMBER,

"Your slumber? You mean you are a - a...?" the words stuck in Gerg'klan'sthroat.

WHAT YOU ARE UPON IS MY DYING BODY.

"...A Dead God" he said at last.

BE MY PRIEST AND I SHALL FREE YOU FROM THE CHAINS OF YOUR QUEEN, boomed the DeadGod.

A last spectre of loyalty to the Queen haunted Gerg'klan. "I... I..."

IF YOU WILL SAVE YOURSELF AND YOUR PEOPLE THERE IS NO OTHER CHOICE FOR YOU, insisted the God.

"I accept. I shall serve freedom in your name,' decided Gerg'klan. He knew that from then on he would be a pariah to his own people, that he would have to flee, and that his old spirit-brother would pursue him and try to kill him at any cost.

Gerg'klan was a heretic. A priest of a Dead God.

AntonioMichaelangeli's picture
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Namer
Joined: 2005-04-18
More, please!

I love dead deity lore. More, Please!

Loki De Carabas's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-14
Outstanding, I'm going to

Outstanding, I'm going to send this as a dream to the Githyanki in our party....

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Burning Spear's picture
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Factol
Joined: 2007-12-02
I usually end up playing

I usually end up playing similar concepts, nice writing though...

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