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Thread: The Trials of The Smoking Cleric

  1. #1
    DoubleBrew Guest Spider. Just visiting.

    Default The Trials of The Smoking Cleric

    After a long day of adventuring, the party has now taken rest in South Haven's bar called The Laughing Mug. Though his members sleep soundly, Thunderscream has been uncomfortable with his new role since their arrival.

    Thunderscream awoke before his fellow party members. Though the task was successful, a dwarf had fallen to a Grick. The feeling of defeat was strong. "First Dash and now another. I didn't even get the poor bastard's name", he thought to himself. He got out of bed and walked down the stairs, lighting his cigar in the process. The taste and smell of tobacco calmed him deeply.

    "Now, I'm the party leader," he mumbled bitterly. "Things just keep getting better and better." The first rays of sunlight hit the floor of The Laughing Mug, reminding the young cleric of how time always moved forward. He bowed his head and closed his eyes. It was time for his daily prayer.

    "Soul Forger, Dwarf Father, Moradin. As your guiding hammer, I need your help. My party has elected me to lead them to making the right decisions. Well, it wasn't really an election. It was more of them throwing me into the fire." He puffed at the cigar, embers glowing bright orange. "I don't know how to do this without over stepping my boundary. These are good people, All Father. I've bled with them, broke bread, and even healed their wounds. I'm no leader, I'm just a doctor. A simple doctor." The embers glowed more, giving off more heat. The burning smell of tobacco leaf filled the air, taking Thunderscream back to his days as a trainee in the local church. The memory was vivid:

    A foreman came running into the church, his body covered in soot and his beard half burnt. "Forge 2 has exploded!" The head cleric had gone off to another clan to do a wedding and Thunderscream was left in charge of the lower classmen. It was his 7th and last year, learning the finer points of healing.

    The lowerclassmen began to murmur with excitement and worry. Everyone had family working in the mines and this was no simple accident. Thunderscream, though in the middle of a lecture, slammed his book closed. The room fell silent. "Listen up!", he yelled with a slight tint of fear in his voice. "This is the day we've been training for. Don't bitch out on me now! Third year and below, move all the seats to the walls and get all the supplies from the back room to the pulpit. The rest of you, follow me!"

    He ran to the back and passed out triage kits to the remaining 10 students. "This is gonna be ugly, but stay calm. If you don't panic, they won't panic." He was only repeating what his teacher had told him. He really wanted to panic, but this was his life. This was his passion.

    As the scraping of pews filled the room, the only 7th year healer marched up to the foreman. "Stay here and get patched up. We know the way,"
    The foreman looked confused "But-"
    "I'm a doctor so shut it!" yelled Thunderscream. The walls echoed and a faint crack of lightning was heard. The foreman calmly sat down on the floor and waited for treatment.

    He couldn't remember the journey to the forge, but he remembered the sight. Fire was everywhere. Men were wailing in pain and agony. Bits and pieces of dwarven flesh were strewn about in the ground, cooking in the intense heat. The smell was atrocious. A pudgy looking dwarf with black eyes and orange hair came running up to him. "You made it in time! We're almost out of supplies." He turned to run to a small tent and they followed.
    The smell here was even worse. A 6th year student vomited outside the tent. "Man up, son. These people need you," said Thunderscream coldly. "Yes, sir" gagged the student. Inside the cleric, he was scared shitless. He wanted to run to his grandfather and listen to the stories he told. He wanted to be home with a big bowl of soup and listen to the sound of his cousins training in the back yard. He wanted to do a lot of things, but none of those could happen. Not now.

    "We've got some of them stable, but there are others that are really hurting." said the pudgy dwarf. "What's the plan?"
    Thunderscream paused for a moment. The world seemed to look at him for direction. Without thinking, his mouth raced with directions. "Get the ones that are stable to the church, I've got men waiting there to help. Dump the coal carts and use them to transport." He began to point wildly. "Start assessing people from least to worst when they start coming in. Least goes in the front, the worst go to the back. Once you've got them handled, take them to the church. Anyone who's critical has to stay here so we can treat them as best we can. Who's on fires?"
    Without missing a beat, Pudgy said "Fire brigade said they can get it under control within the next two hours. They've prepared for this a long time ago."
    "Last thing: What can we do about the smell? I don't want people vomiting into wounds and getting infected."
    Pudgy walked away for a moment and rifled through a bag. He produced a box of cigars. "Was saving them for later, but you can't smell anything when you're puffing on this." Thunderscream grabbed one and started puffing away. The man was right. The smell was gone.

    Without waiting, he marched into the tent and began to assess the situation. The other students assisted him the best they could with their limited knowledge. "Now you guys wished you studied more, huh?" he yelled constantly to the young clerics. As the hours passed, most of the workers began to stabilize. 175 wounded, 13 dead. The foreman said that if it wasn't for Thunderscream and his clerics, they would have lost a lot more.

    Sunlight hit him in the face, snapping him out of prayer. The embers were red hot and the room was almost filled with smoke. Thunderscream looked around and saw the bartender prepping for the day, saying nothing. "No," he thought to himself. "I'm not a simple doctor. I'm a preserver of life." The embers cooled down to their soft orange glow. "I'm the leader for a reason, All Father. They chose me because they thought I could do it. Well, that and they're assholes." He laughed, sending out puffs of smoke in the process. "But they're my assholes. My friends. And I'll do what it takes to make sure they stay alive, even if it means stepping on some toes." He puffed gently as he made his way up the stairs. "Thank you Soul Forger, Dwarf Father, Moradin. May the Ember of Life burn forever." He heard Dannoth groan as he arose from bed. "Quit you're bitchin, Dannoth."

    "Fuck you, Thunder," he replied groggily. Thunderscream simply smiled as he began to put on his armor.

    Author's Note: Forgot to mention this initially. Torderk Thunderscream is a dwarven cleric of Moradin. He is 4'2, 175 lbs and has a blue mohawk with a biker's sideburn connecting mustache. Though rough around the edges, he has a kind heart and is the party's "doctor". This series will mostly be about how a young cleric slowly turns himself from an ER doctor to a surgeon.
    Last edited by DoubleBrew; 09-24-2011 at 03:20 PM. Reason: A bit of background

  2. #2
    DoubleBrew Guest Spider. Just visiting.

    Default Into Darkness to See the Light

    A party untrusting, a monster escaping and darkness falls. Seeing his party members get sucked into a black hole with a gigantic demon coming out of in, Thunderscream jumps in in a last ditch effort to save them...if he can.

    I fell. I fell thinking of what fresh hell has been unleashed upon the world. I cannot see Xaveak or Allayn. I only see distortion in front of me. Distortion and Poppa.

    I see myself when I was a child. Poppa Thunderscream, the late patriarch of my clan, was telling me another one of his adventures before bed time. I lay there in my stone room, the blanket up to my eyes as his hands wave about in fantastic gestures. He tells me of the haunted graveyard he and his band of dwarves helped bring rest to. My mother walks in the room and sees how terrified I am. She scolds Poppa for telling me this story, but as soon as she leaves, he goes right back into telling it. I may have been frightened, but I loved every moment of it almost as much as I loved him.

    I fall in a new direction this time. It's inescapable grasp shows me another memory. The fight with Dannoth. I can only feel disgust as I see us screaming at each other. He's my friend, possibly my best friend. The party nearly shattered into nothingness, for what? Dwarven glory? My "rightful heritage" and "duty to the king"? It doesn't seem worth it for the price of friendship. I wonder if it's even worth fighting for at all now.

    I feel different now. I'm bending, twisting into oblong shapes. It doesn't hurt, it just feels odd. I see myself older now. Gone is the lighting blue spikes and similar mustache. It's replaced by low cut terrorhawk, back to my stone grey hair color. I'm exorcising a demon from a young child. Scars are running down my face in different directions. I recognize the damage done by the flying demons we just fought, but the rest are new to me. I puff away on a cigar while pulling this monster out of the boy. My party looks on in horror. It is a success and the family standing outside runs in, weeping and thanking us.

    I feel normal again, but am still falling. Another memory, one that I try to forget. Graduation day. I'm the only one in my class, but the whole clan shows up. As I gain the title of Dr. Tordek Thunderscream, MD, they erupt in cheers and applause. The first doctor of the clan. I cry though as I hear the sound of celebration. Poppa died before he could see this. His favorite grandson being the man he saw all those years ago. I begged Moradin for him to see this in the Eternal Forge, to be proud of me just one more time.

    The distortion fades into darkness. All I can hear are dozens of memories from my past and present slowly bending my mind. My head pounds in agony.
    "For the King Bror, king of the Dwarven lands!!"
    "May Moradin be praised."
    "I need a scalpel, now!"
    "Tell me again, Poppa. Please?"
    "Swing the hammer like this, cousin."
    "Are you saying I owe you?! IS THAT IT?!"

    I cannot take much more of this. I am going insane. All I want is for Poppa to be proud and for me to be happy with who I am. Who am I? What am I? Am I a doctor, a cleric or a proud dwarf? SOMEONE TELL ME!!!

    Then, in the midst of madness, I hear the voice of him. Poppa. "You're what you choose to be, Little Rock. Only you can define you. Be the man I've always seen inside your heart, not what these fools tell you to be. Be a Thunderscream."

    I feel his arms wrap around me, just like the day he pushed me into going into medical school. They are warm and comfortable. I begin to cry as I pull my warhammer close to my chest. The voices come back full force now, the pain now even worse.
    "I am Thunderscream," I choke out. My voice is soft and reminds me of when I was a child. The whispers push deeper, though.
    "I am Thunderscream," I say with more power. My hands grip the handle of my hammer tightly. I can feel power surging from it and through my body. The voices now push as hard as they can, whispering lies of defeat and despair.
    "I AM THUNDERSCREAM!!" I roar into the nothingness. The voices break off in midsentence. Power surges through my body and I feel a sense of connection to something old and powerful.

    I see Poppa, a young dwarf with coal black hair. His armor is in shambles and a daggar is in his hand. His party has been decimated by an Iron Golem. It's all on him. His breathing is heavy, his body shaking. He screams something familiar in Dwarven. I am in awe as I see lighting worthy of the Gods shoot out from his mouth and hit the Iron Golem in the chest. It explodes, leaving a pair of boots empty. The fight is over. A human ranger, holding his tattered left arm says "What did you say, man?!"
    My grandfather falls on his ass and pants "I am Thunderscream...". He never told me about the ranger.

    Three weeks ago, my friends and I started a physical quest that has now lead to the possible destruction of the world. But today, now, I start my spiritual quest. This is where I begin my real journey.

    The strange distortions come back and I am blinded by light. I do not hide my eyes. I put on my coal tinted glasses, light up a cigar and whisper "I am Thunderscream" as I plunge into the light. May Moradin help on what's on the other side.

    Author's Note: And then Guile's Theme from Street Fighter II plays.

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