Cleric Journal: Day One Hundred and Seventy One




I knelt next to the giant youth and realized, despite his size, he looked to be younger than I am. The fuzz on his cheeks could barely be considered a beard. He had his weapon still, a short sword nearly as long as I was tall. His breathing was shallow and his eyelids fluttered. He was near to death and the orcs would return any moment with reinforcements. I was angry at the loss of Thomas and annoyed at the giants for complicating things, but I could not allow this youth to die. I guess I’m just weak.

The spear was going to be tricky to extract. Imagine if someone stabbed you in the stomach with a garden trowel, that was the rough scale I was dealing with. Gut wounds are nasty and this youth was not long for the world unless I could be very precise. I took off my mail gloves and tucked them into my belt, hooked my mace next to them and lay my shield on the ground at my feet. I wanted to be ready if the orcs showed up.

Then I began to pray. Yes, I had been angry enough at the gods to nearly disavow them. Frankly, I would have cross words with Kithri if/when I saw her again. As for Semaunzilla (may she forgive my lack of calm and objectivity) I just have to assume that she ignored my tantrum and went about her business as usual. Honestly, I was willing to bet she had more frustration with me than I her. After all it has been more than two years since her people were captured by the frogs and I have not freed them yet. We’ll discuss debt and obligation at another time. I’d given my word to Liz and I was bound to fulfill that promise.

Was that why she appeared angry with me when we split up? She told me to go get Bob. I agreed. Why would that make her angry? The multi-colored, braided band she’d thrown to the ground at our parting was a clue that I could not decipher. I guess sometimes Brother Durham is correct, Father. Especially when he said I’m too dense to remember to breathe sometimes. I’m sure Liz had been clear in her communication, but I’ll be pickled if I understood what happened. Maybe Bob would know.

My examination finished, I cast two small heals on the giant to stabilize him. He still had color in his cheeks, but his lips were losing their normal blue pallor and were trending toward grey. I took that as a bad sign and threw caution to the wind.

I called the divine for all I was worth, and carefully worked the spear from his abdomen. Couple things to note. Giants bleed the same color as you and me. Not sure how he came by that pallid white and blue complexion with that much red blood in him, but then, not much of it was still in him.

Blood sprayed me, blinding me for a moment, so I thrust my hands into his open wound and staunched the bleeding artery. He thrashed weakly, poor boy, but I found the bleeder and cauterized it with the divine will of Kithri. Then I gently filled his abdomen with the light of my gods, pulling my hands from the wound inch by inch, sealing and healing as I went. When I finished, I fell to the ground beside the giant, exhausted and shaking. He was a big boy. There was a lot more muscle and tissue to bind, more blood to replace and honestly, more intricate organs to deal with. I had no idea giants had two stomachs. And don’t get me started on the length of intestines I had to repair. Writing this makes me want to throw up a little, but you cannot imagine the smell. I’m very glad it was as cold as it was. Even so, I may never get that stench out of my memory. My hands washed just fine. Beyond the different physiological aspects, I had never tried to repair so much damage on such a large scale. Perhaps I had overdone it with trying to bring Thomas back to life or maybe I was on the edge of my abilities with this stripling. Whatever the issue, my limbs felt like jelly and my chest hurt with each breath. It was almost like I’d run one length of the canyon after another, all the time having stones chucked at me.

After a breather I did the one thing I am positive I excel at. While the youth slept for a bit, recovering from the trauma, I used that very first bit of divine I had ever learned and repaired the youth’s clothing. Animal hide armor was simple, and the embroidered shirt underneath came together very nicely. Also explained the case of thread we had received as payment. The ice giants had an eye for color and intricate needle work. I would not have guessed that.

I debated leaving the giant to his own fate at that point, but orcs could slay him as he slumbered and that would most definitely wreck all my delicate work.

So I stood back, put my mail gloves back on and nudged the giant in the foot. He didn’t rise, so I tried a second time. The third time I kicked him with my armored boots as hard as I could and he grumbled a bit, shifting his foot away and rolling onto his side.

Was I ever this hard to wake up? Granted, he’d been nearly killed and the divine used to heal him would take its toll on him. Sleep is what he needed. But I wanted to get him on his way back to his people before the orcs returned in greater number.

I kicked him once more, this time in the shin, and he sat bolt upright, staring around wildly, grasping for his sword. I stepped back, ready to dodge around a tree. He looked at me, his eyes slightly unfocused and he started screaming and grabbed his stomach. I grimaced. Had I put everything back together correctly?

I debated on running, but couldn’t abandon him. Instead I crept toward him, speaking in soothing tones, hands up to as to look as non-threatening as possible. Once I was close to him, I reached out and touched his foot, attempting to calm him with my divine will. He stopped screaming, which was good. But he kicked me in the chest, sending me sprawling back. Some days it doesn’t pay to rescue people.

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