Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ghoul’s Blossom

Arnivon, then Paladin of Ilmater, treasured the icy northlands for their solitude and their mystical nature that inspired self-discovery. All paladins under the Crying god in the North are required to live a nomadic life; visiting isolated communities where savage frontier life was embraced and endured. Those who prayed to Illmater would shortly receive a visit from the Paladin who would ease their suffering by taking a bit of it upon himself. Through his god, Arnivon was able to shoulder a measure of suffering away from the follower in an about based on his faith in Ilmater; it was a power granted to only a few by the Crying god.

In the first six months of Arnivon’s ten years of service, he was hastily overwhelmed with the immensity of his task. It was more torment and grief upon the lands than the paladin had ever dreamed could exist. Arnivon began to question himself and his calling. Was he up to the task? Could he relieve such burdens from these hardened ffolk? He did not think so. The North was brimming with hardships for hunters, barbarians, and farmers alike; not to mention the emotional suffering felt by the children of these frontiersmen who worried sleeplessly for their fathers, who after setting off to hunt, may one day never return.

Fueled by the desire to liberate the suffering or chronicle their death in the case of martyrdom; the paladin turned to an alchemist who told him of a pollen that would allow Arnivon to endure more pain… in the name of his god. Little did the paladin know that the pollen would lead to an addiction so powerful that it poisoned his soul and ultimately resulted in Arnivon falling from favor.

“The flower is commonly called the Ice Rose.” Garegamel explained to the paladin. “It only blooms in the winter and is so rare that one dose costs more than most of these humble folk of Uluvin will ever see in their life time.” The alchemist convulsed in giddy laughter at his own cleverness. “He-e-e-e-g!"
“Where may I find this white rose?” Arnivon asked, already skeptical of the evil little man.

Garegamel turned, hiding his nervous twitch gets when he tells untruths. “Ice Rose! You will find it near sacred or blighted grounds, yes- yes that’s where best to look. He-he-e-e-e-e-g!”

Producing a book Garegamel turned a well-worn page or two and showed Arnivon a drawing of the flower. The alchemist was careful to hide the script that infact described exactly where to find the undead plant: ‘upon grounds where an undead, typically a ghoul- was defeated and was buried within the earth.’

It was a month later when Arnivon finally found a medium sized (and oddly man-shaped) grove of wild Ice Roses. Harvesting them as the alchemist instructed, the paladin crushed the petals into a white powder so fine that even the slightest of breath threatened to ruin his weeks of searching.

When Arnivon first inhaled the powder, the paladin soon found that his capacity for enduring pain and easing ones suffering was increased manifold. Arnivon marveled; such a flower with properties such as like these must be a gift. Ilmater’s Respite Arnivon came to call it, and for over the next twenty-one months the paladin became addicted to the flowers’ properties. Arnivon preached vigorously the properties of Ilmater’s Respite, paying no heed to his own responsibilities for the easement of suffering; instead distributing Ilmater’s Respite to the faithful with the hopes that others received the same ‘blessing’.

There was no enlightenment for Arnivon; there was no self-discovery; and by the time the paladin arrived to Waterdeep and realized his sins, there was no Ilmater.


James Caruso said...

Possessions: +1 vicious greatsword, spiked gauntlets, +1 spiked spicked breastplate, boots of the winter lands and Malestorm, a devil-blooded stallion.

harrygoblin said...

also a +1 warhammer from the party treasury