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Cleric Journal: Day Thirteen



I had a visitation last night. It was the same dream as I’ve had for many nights in a row. I was polling my raft through the fetid swamp when I came upon an encampment of lizard men. They greeted me joyously and we danced around their fire, roasted great fish from the deeper swamps and generally had a grand time. In the back of the crowd I could see Sister Edna, Sister Agnes and Sister Vera, each waving and smiling at me as I capered. It reminded me of those first lessons with Sister Edna, combined with the spring solstice celebrations and the contentment of a warm belly, a warm bed, and a long night of healing.

I woke suddenly, with a sharp pain in my side. I’d rolled over instinctively grabbing the mace. For some reason the gentle tingle I felt when I wielded it had increased a hundred fold, sparks shot out in all directions. The night was lanced with lightning, illuminating what had stabbed me.

Three giant spiders danced around me. One of them had stabbed me, the bastard. I looked around as more spiders came over the palisade walls, several with undead clinging to their bloated bodies. The sounds of merrymaking and dancing from my dream flowed into the sounds of battle. A wave of dizziness washed over me as I stumbled to my knees. Looking to my right I saw the fire I’d been keeping. I grabbed a burning brand (cold end, of course. I wasn’t making that same mistake a second time, believe you me) and staggered to my feet. My head felt like a nest of hornets had taken up residence. I was hot and wanted to puke.

I swung the brand and the mace about me, screaming like a fool, staggering toward the spider to my left. The one to my right would have to come over the fire, and the one behind me was tangled up with the two gnome undead. Old Leech Eye seemed to wave at me as it snapped off one of the giant spider’s legs and began stabbing it in its bulbous eyes with its own leg. Crude, but affective.

Spiders are scary, all those legs, clacking mandibles, stinger dripping some horrid poison and those eyes. I could see my reflection scattered in those eight shining orbs. The first one lunged at me, its mandibles clacking and I projectile vomited into its hairy face. Betcha she didn’t see that one coming. The spider skittered to the side, knocking into the fire and scrabbled away. I took that as my exit cue and turned to flee.

The new spider, anticipating me fleeing, leapt and would have landed on my back had I not bent over to vomit again. This day was not going well. All that good cheese gone to waste. As it was, the spider scrambled to turn for another attack. I lurched forward and swung the mace with all my might.

You know that sound Brother Durham makes when he cracks his knuckles? That’s what the spider sounded like when I squashed it. Killed it with a single blow. I was just thinking I could handle this little melee when I saw two dozen more spiders dropping off the wall.

I did the only rational thing I could think of. I threw the brand at the closest great furry eater and I ran for all I was worth toward the opening in the palisade. Three times I brushed aside a giant hairy limb with the mace, and each time the beast would fall away screaming, its many legs shriveling up around its pukey body.

They smelled worse than the undead, if you can believe it. I vomited twice more before I made it to my raft. Once there I yanked out the mooring peg and shoved off, a wave of furry, stabbing, biting, eight-leg dancing bodies hot on my heels.

I wasn’t sure I was going to get away when out of nowhere, Toothy surged out of the swamp, smashing into a mob of the spiders. While I admit to peeing myself as I ran from them, the spiders really did break pretty easily. Toothy smashed them, rolling over them as fast as he could roll and gnashing any who came within reach of his toothy maw.

Several of the smaller spiders jumped toward the raft, but I batted them away with the mace. Each time I struck one of them there was the most satisfying crunch and tingle that I thought about turning around and killing a few more.

But by the point I was out of jumping range, and was out from under the trees and onto open water, there were hundreds of spiders crawling all over the compound.

I bet those brigands were glad I killed them when I did. Imagine the horror of being killed by that lot.

Giant spiders. Yep, worse than leeches.

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What I'm Reading


D&D 5E Player’s Handbook


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The wild ox; strength and power.


Creativity; words, music, and art.


The troll cross; wealth and prosperity.


The sun; energy, honor, guidance.


Personally earned or lucky wealth and prosperity.


The harvest; patience and promise.


The chariot; journey and travel.

Note: This is not the real book cover.