[pnpgm] The Claw and other things

Robert A. Maxwell rmax at mindspring.com
Tue Aug 22 05:28:46 CEST 2006

Strie'bog greets Bodyzar warmly when he returns to the village.  As for loot, he seems rather uninterested.

To the those gathered to talk about the claw, "I am still weak of mana, but when I have recovered some, I will ask the Court of Life to bless me with knowledge of the claw.  I may not be strong if we go against the castle, but I will have enough to aid those who attack.  It may be best though for me to expend my energy to better understand the claw.  That way we can know how best to be rid of the item."  He stops and considers for a moment.

"I know very little of the spirit world of animals and ancestors, save for the stories I have learned from the Zen'da.  My experience lies with the Great Forests of the North and from my father's people.  There is a story he told me though of a pure soul who was corrupted by a great evil."  He closes his eyes for a minute.  "I am not sure how well it will translate."

"On the great holy mountain lived the daughter of a great holy man, one dedicated to the universal balance of all things.  The holy man taught his fair daughter to respect the uniqueness of all life, and the special qualities brought by all being, but all of his teaching was done in the isolation of a secluded village of worship.  Never had the girl seen ture goodness nor utter depravity.  She was only taught that to trust in the Lords of Balance for all things needed.  One day she left her home."  Strie'bog stops for a minute, "My father's language is not mine, so I am at a loss to explain the quest that led her from home.  I do not know if you have heard of the Cursed Goddess of Lust?  She who curses with unquenched longing?"  He waves his hand, "my father mentioned her in this story, but never again."  He then closes his eyes, concentrating, "The young woman travelled far from home, seeking her center, the place from which she could see the balance of all.  As she journeyed, she was approached by four boys bearing barrels of water.  She asked the youths, 'to whom do you carry this water?'  The boys answered, 'we carry this water to wash the feet of our mother and quench her thirst.'  The young woman answered, 'I have travelled far, and my thirst is great.  Would you grant me a drink of your water?'  The eldest boy smiled, and laid down his barrel, and drew forth a silver cup.  He brought water to the young woman, 'drink mistress,' said the boy.  He stroked her face as she drank, and as she drank, a need arose within her to possess this youth, and to drink.  Thus did she fall to the powers of the Cursed Goddess, for she looked to another to quench her thirst, and in this action, she fell to all the powers of lust and wanting.  For a hundred life times she lived in lust, seeking to satisfy her cravings with youthful flesh, until one day a man came to her cave seeking to end her wreched life."  Strie'bog looks at those gathered, "I see in your faces that you have fought evil.  I remember the fight with the snake women, and saw the contempt for life held by these children of the great serpent.  But have you ever wondered what would bring one to such a contempt for life, especially one not breed to that life?  What brings one to serve a force of control, a force of decay?  The man who came to kill the fall fair maiden was her opposite in all things.  Where she gave into her lust, he denied himself even to pain.  Where he denied his flesh, she embraced the flesh.  She had before fought many warriors, defeating them with physical force or magic, in the end taking them to feed her lust for blood, for flesh.  But in the eyes of this warrior, who claimed service to the light, she saw herself reflected.  In that instance she knew what her father tried to tell her all those lifetimes ago.  That in all things there is balance.  In that moment of awakening, the warrior struck, slaying the fallen flesh before him.  But unseen by his blind eyes, the pure spirit of the girl was released."

Strie'bog again closes his eyes as he strokes Bodyzars neck.  "The spirit of the claw may not be evil by nature, but by action.  How long can a spirit remain pure if it is forced to enact evil?  Give me time to seek the wisdom of the Court of Life before we try to destory or move this claw."

When able, Strie'bog will cast Wisdom.  He will then try to recover what Mana he can prior to going to the Castle.

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