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Cleric Journal: Day Thirty-Three

DearFatherMulcahy

 

Hunger had become an old friend by this point, but as luck would have it while searching the village I found a broken pot containing some edible roots. They were rather bland, but filled the belly. There was no clean water to be found, but there was ample wood for a fire. I could boil water to kill any disease and refill my wine cask and the two flasks I carried.

I found an overturned cook pot of thick blackened iron, which was quite extraordinary for these types of folks. I had no idea they traded for iron. The amazing things you learn. I assume they traded since I found no forge. Hate to presuppose a culture’s skill level, but I doubted this swamp bound people did much metal working. Just a hunch.

Once I got the fire going and set the water to boil, I explored the village a little more thoroughly. There was better light today, not great under the thick canopy of trees, but enough to see that there had been a mighty struggle here. I saw evidence of fighting beyond the over turned tables, broken pottery and burned huts. There were tracks here of creatures I hadn’t encountered before. The tracks were of feet several hand spans wide, with webbing between each of the elongated and taloned toes.

In one part of the village, the villagers seemed to have made a stand against great odds. Here among the intermingled foot prints and scuffling of battle I found an abandoned spear. It was awkward in my hands, not really something I ever conceived of using. I much preferred my trusty mace. Thanks again for the gift. It’s proven quite handy.

The spear, now. It was much too crudely built for the original inhabitants of this village. The buildings and items spoke of a people adept at working wood. The head of the spear was made of a jagged shard of metal that may have been the end of a broken sword. It was poorly secured to the long, carved walking staff. Crude, but affective. For a moment my mind went to the wielder of that broken sword and his compatriot who used the staff. Had they fallen to the wielder of this spear, or was these just parts scavenged from a long forgotten battle?

Whatever the case, the world is more violent than I first thought. I appreciate much more why our order is secluded in a complex hidden along the edge of a forbidden swamp. It’s dangerous out here.

Of course, I found my mind wandering as I squatted down, trying to comprehend the battle that had been fought here. I was counting the number of distinct tracks when I heard a soft bloop.

Yes, saying bloop still made my lips tingle. I may have said bloop out loud a few times then, which caused the next part to almost be comical.

I glanced up, thinking I heard the water beginning to boil and instead found I was looking across at a pair of eyes which rose only a few inches above the muck. You can imagine how startled one can become when faced with eyes the size of fists rising out of the swamp. I gave a yelp and fell backward on my rear end. I had the mace in one hand and the spear in the other when the most giantest toad you ever saw sprang from the water and muck and sailed through the air toward me. It was beautiful and disgusting all at the same time.

In hind sight I should’ve just held onto the spear and let the frog impale itself. That would’ve been a trick worthy of a tale. Unfortunately before it landed, the frog lashed out with its amazingly long tongue and snatched the spear right out of my hand.

Two things immediately came to my mind: first was Sister Vera may very well have been part toad. While I had not seen her take away a spear with her tongue, she had some fairly creative ways to use it during worship. I got a bit of a chill just thinking about it. My second thought, and I’m happy to say the two did not interfere with one another, was that this toad had to weigh more than a few stones.

I may not be as quick as Brother Reginald, but I knew a full measure of pain coming when I saw it. I rolled out of the way and onto my feet as that toad smashed to the ground with a force that nearly knocked me back to my backside. Luckily for me, the toad landed to my right allowing me plenty of room to swing the mace from my left hand and brain the silly beast before it could recover for a second jump.

It was a mighty blow that addled the beast. I got my feet under me while it was stunned and drew back for another blow. It dropped the spear as my second blow caught it just below the bulbous eye.

This was the exact moment when Brother Charles returned in a screaming blur of blue. I did cheer then, especially when Charles took out the frog’s right eye. Have you ever heard a frog shriek. Let me tell you it’s not something you want to hear twice.

With the frog diverted, I darted in and snatched up the spear just as the frog managed to yank Brother Charles out of the air with its great dripping tongue and swallowed him whole.

That was shock. I mean, seriously, I was missing the stupid bird, and he shows up out of nowhere to distract the frog only to be swallowed whole. I just couldn’t take it. I lunged forward with the spear and skewered the frog, pinning it to the ground. Then I grabbed my mace and beat it in the head three or four good solid swings while it thrashed about.

I didn’t stop there, however. Sister Edna and I had spoken of how some people and creatures could swallow very large things without gagging or choking, a feat she was more than willing to demonstrated on several occasions.

With this image in my mind, I grabbed the now dead frog in both of my hands and yanked its mouth open, pulled aside the great tongue and plunged my hand into its gullet. Brother Charles was squirming so much it took me three tries to get a hold of him and pull him free.

Besides the bedraggled state of his feathers (three of which I may have pulled out on my first failed attempt, he was fine.

Angry, indignant, a little terrified and definitely defiant, but alive.

I wanted to hug the feathered warrior, but, you know, frog sputum. No thank you.

Suffice to say by the end of the day I had a fresh supply of water, three bright blue feathers woven into my growing tangle of hair, and an amazing bounty of frog legs.

It was a glorious feast.

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What I'm Reading

 

D&D 5E Player’s Handbook

 

Recent Comments

Uruz

The wild ox; strength and power.

Ansuz

Creativity; words, music, and art.

Othala

The troll cross; wealth and prosperity.

Sowilo

The sun; energy, honor, guidance.

Fehu

Personally earned or lucky wealth and prosperity.

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The harvest; patience and promise.

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Note: This is not the real book cover.