The Death of a Paladin
A gaping mouth with teeth as sharp as razor blades was exposed when the demon curled back its lips as Doloh fought to escape the grasp of the demon. The smell of death was strong on the demons breath as Doloh struggled to breath against the acidic gasses that threatened to overwhelm him. The demon cord like arms grasped Doloh even tighter as it began to speak. “We meet again holy knight” the demon spat in disgust. The demon hisses, “Feel the power that you have given up by following the path of Torm. You have no clue how strong we have become, why fight the inner hatred?” The demons grip on Doloh tightened as he whispered into the face of the holy warrior, “You will again follow the dark path sir knight.” With a look of pure hatred the demon opened his mouth to devour Dolohs soul.
Doloh awoke in a cold sweat as he staggered to his feet. Another dream, the same ending. Doloh walked over to the window and gazed out to the moonlit streets of Waterdeep. A thousand thoughts were rushing through his head. How could it have come to this? Doloh had thought he had defeated the inner battle that raged on throughout most of his adult life. Six weeks ago with the coming of the winter Doloh had started to have these strange dreams once again. He dreamt back to his more youthful days of going to the peace loving sedawi villages and slaughtering the mothers and children as the sun dipped low into the valley. He cringed in horror as he remembered looting the beheaded corpses of the farmers for a few measly silvers. A trickle of sweat slowly made its way down the curve of his spine as he found he was gasping for breath. “How could I have done that?” a breathless Doloh asked himself. Doloh peered around the room and located a half-empty bottle of ale on the nightstand. He walked over to the bottle where his knees gave out and he collapsed into a pile of rubble. “I must forget that which I once was,” a dejected Doloh assured himself. With that he opened the bottle and drank himself into oblivion.
The ogre gripped the front of Doloh’s plate mail and with a grunt the ugly ogre threw Doloh from his black charger. He cackled in glee as Dolohs head bounced off a boulder knocking Doloh unconscious where he lay motionless. The ogre advanced steadily on his fallen enemy meaning to finish the flimsy human off quickly. A huge burst of light shown down from the heavens as a light beam of pure energy shown down on the fallen form of Doloh. “Awake Doloh I have need of you,” a voice whispered into the ear of Doloh. The light subsided and Doloh rose to his feet. The ogre grunted and moved to finish the job he had started. The burst of light re-appeared and enveloped the ogre in a blast of enery where the confused ogre staggered to stay on his feet. The beam of light nor the hand that guided it had no mercy for the evil soul of the filthy ogre. With a blinding burst of energy the ogre was turned to ashes. A wide-eyed Doloh look around to thank the being, which had saved him from certain death. “Thank you, whoever, or whatever you are,” Doloh yelled to the unseen force. “Seek out the paladin of Torm,” a voice that shook the cavern told Doloh. “I have need of you.”
Doloh awoke to find that the night had passed and the bottle that was clenched in his hand was now empty. His head felt like it was ready to explode. He arose from the floor and checked his equipment making sure that the essentials were in his backpack. Doloh descended the stairs of the inn to the tavern below where the bartender was busy whiping down the bar with a greasy rag. “Mornin sir knight,” the barkeep said “Interested in some grub?” Doloh nodded his groggy head and asked if the dwarf Darwok had stayed the night at this inn or had moved on to another. Doloh plopped himself down at the bar as a barmaid emerged from the kitchen with a heaping plate of eggs and potatoes. She gave Doloh a puzzled look and dropped the plate down in front of him.
“He unlike yourself was up before the sun moved high into the sky and reported the incident to Lord Pergerion. Unfortunately when Darwok returned to the tavern he muttered a few curses directed at Lord Pergerion. I caught the meaning of most of it and I am afraid to say that Lord Pergerion said that his hands were tied and he wasn’t worried about any cave unless that cave was in his town. Lord Pergerion said that he and his elite guards would stop any force if and only if it entered the city of Waterdeep. Darwok muttered a few more curses and then a little after noon he gathered up his belongings and left the inn,” the barmaid explained. “I worry about the safety of that dwarf, he mentioned his plight to a few others adventurers and they vowed to found out just what had happened to Nasen. This is your fault Doloh for if you would of helped him last night when he explained his situation he would not have went charging off this day with only the aid of inexperienced adventurers,” a now teary eyed barmaid explained.
A painful nod of his aching head sent the barmaid stomping back to her business where Doloh could concentrate on his breakfast.
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Anticipation of death is worse than death itself. - unknown-
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