For Roxanne, Kacie, Jeff
The seven dwarven priests gathered in counsel, sitting at a large stone
table that lay in the center of the dark room. The oldest of the dwarves, a
snow white bearded cleric named Cole Ice-Cleaver, rubbed his stubby fingers
along the bottom of his red robe. "The time has come to acknowledge the
return of Reorx," he proclaimed in a thundering voice. "Almost forty years
has passed since our world was stolen by the Dark Queen. During all of this,
the gods had not known where their beloved Krynn had gone. Now, after
finding their beloved world, Reorx and the other gods have returned to
Many of the other dwarven clerics exchanged glances. They remembered when
Chaos had roamed the land of Krynn and the gods left the world. Though the
mighty Chaos was defeated, the gods had not returned, except Takhisis.
Back then, many of the dwarven clerics believed that the gods, Reorx
included, had abandoned them again, as they done in the First Cataclysm.
After the War of Souls, the gods had found their world and returned. It was
said that Reorx himself had come to this very temple and spoke with the high
priest Cole Ice-Cleaver about his return, and many other things as well.
As he listened to Cole speak about the return of the gods, the short and
stout dwarf named Borowin Strakkengard ran his fingers though his black
beard, then brushed back his thick black hair. Though he was dressed in the
standard red robes that clerics wore, Borowin wasn't actually a priest of
Reorx, but a mystic. When he grew into adulthood, he had left his home and
trained at the Citadel of Light. He later returned to Thorbardin to train
the mystics of the dwarven temple. Yet, with the return of the gods, many of
the dwarves who had aspirations of becoming mystics like young Borowin
Strakkengard, decided to become priests instead.
"I believe we should honor Reorx's return to the world," the high priest
continued," with a gift."
"What gift shall we make for Reorx?" asked one of the younger priests.
"Should we forge him a powerful axe?" called out one of the blond bearded
Some of the dwarves around the table began arguing back and forth; on what
would be the appropriate give to make their god. Borowin kept to himself,
feeling embarrassed that his fellow dwarves would argue over something as
ridiculous as a present for a god. A god who they haven't acknowledged for
The mystic glanced his amber eyes over at the white bearded high priest,
whose grey eyes seemed to be staring back at him.
Cole Ice-Cleaver stared at the mystic for just another minute, then held his
hand to silence the babbling clerics.
It took the priests a moment to realize the head of their church was trying
to get their attention. Cole took a deep breath once everyone's eyes fell
upon him. "Last night, Reorx came to me in a dream. He said that there is a
temple that lies in the Plains of Dust called the Hall of Angels. Hidden in
this temple is the powerful and mighty weapon known as the Devahammer. He
told me this hammer was forged by the Hammer of Kharas." Cole paused for a
moment hearing the "awes" and gasps coming from the other dwarves, then
continued," Itís design is beautiful, and the damage this weapon can deal is
very powerful. If we are to honor Reorx, then one of us should journey to
the Plains of Dust and find the Devahammer."
The dwarves were ready to argue over who was going to find the hammer, but
Cole quickly climbed on top of the table and stared at all six of the
clerics. His eyes then turned to Borowin once more, and the mystic took a
He realized that Cole had chosen him to retrieve the Devahammer.
)( )( )( )( )( )(
An hour later, the temple was empty, except for High Priest Cole Ice-Cleaver
and the mystic Borowin. When Cole announced that Borowin would be the one
who would retrieve the Devahammer, the priests were outraged.
"Why should Borowin get to find the Devahammer?" yelled a grey bearded
priest named Durik Seldirk," He's not even a cleric. He's a mystic!"
Borowin knew the reason why he would be the one to find the Devahammer.
Throughout his life, Borowin had always listened to his mother's stories
about his father, or his brother, or his great grandfather, and the other
members and ancestors of his clan were priests of Reorx. Some of his fellow
dwarves had labeled Borowin a black sheep, since he didn't acknowledge the
gods. He was shunned even more once he decided to turn to mysticism instead
of the clergy.
Cole slowly walked over to Borowin. He eyed the young dwarf, admiring the
dark color of his beard and the youthfulness in his eyes. "I suppose you're
curious as to why you were chosen for this mission?"
Borowin crossed his arms. "Not as curious as some of the priests," he
answered in a quiet but gruff voice.
Cole stretched out his arms. "Well don't let the priests belittle you just
because youíre a mystic. Over the years, this temple was filled with many
mystics, as well as priests who were still devoted to finding what had
happened to the gods. I cannot begin to understand what power mysticism
holds, or where it comes from, but I've seen some of their powers that would
rival my own."
Borowin nodded. Mystics were like sorcerers. Rather than praying for spells
like clerics, mystics channeled the energy from within themselves. Borowin
could cast many of the same spells that a priest could, which seemed to
offend many of the clerics in the temple.
"When Reorx came to me in my dream," the priest continued," he told me that
you would be the one to retrieve the Devahammer, a task that has taken the
lives of many in your family."
The mystic sighed. Borowin's ancestor, Regulus Strakkengard had taken up the
quest to retrieve the Devahammer from the red dragon Khandler. Regulus had
vowed to Reorx that neither he, nor his kin would ever enter the Forge of
Reorx until the Devahammer was retrieved. Many of Borowin's family had died
trying to find the hammer. It was said that the hammer moved from Khandler's
horde to a treasure mound of an ogre chieftain. Then years later, it moved
to a treasure mound of a bronze dragon.
Many of Borowin's clansmen died trying to retrieve the Devahammer. When the
day came for Borowin's father Ianeak and his brother Xavgold to take up the
charge and the find the hammer, the two clerics left home without saying
goodbye to Borowin. The mystic never saw his brother, or his father again.
Cole stared at Borowin. "One of the reasons you became a mystic instead of a
cleric was because of your clansmenís promise to retrieve the Devahammer. Am
I right?" asked the high priest.
"I just can't bring myself to believe in a god who would let his devoted
followers stand outside the gates for eternity just because they didnít get
some hammer for him," Borowin answered.
"It was your ancestor's promise, and I believe that your father and your
brother knew what they were getting into." Cole stopped for a moment,
scratching his beard, then added," Perhaps through you, Reorx is giving the
Strakkengards one last chance to enter the Gates of the Forge. All they
would need is for you to retrieve the Devahammer. Will you let them stand
outside the gates for eternity?"
Borowin looked down, thinking about his family. He may not have been a
believer in the gods, but he believed in the value of family. Despite
turning on his clan's beliefs in the gods, Borowin wouldn't let his clansmen
stand at the gates for eternity.
He then remembered the value of being a teacher. "What about my students?
The ones who will be in training soon?"
The cleric nodded his head. "The number of mystics has gotten smaller, but
worry not, they will be trained. I will send for another teacher from the
Citadel of Light until you return."
Borowin smiled. "Then I'll do this, but I want you to know that I'm doing
this for my father and my brother, and to bring honor to the temple. I have
no interest in pleasing your god. Who knows, maybe I'll keep the hammer for
myself." This brought a laugh from the high priest.
"All right so where do I find this blasted thing?" asked the mystic.
"In the Plains of Dust," answered Cole," You will leave in the morning with
Vash and Brunhilda. Supplies and a map will be provided for you. I will pray
for your success Borowin."
"Thank you," Borowin replied before he turned and walked out of the room.
He appreciated Cole's faith, but the mystic had a feeling that none of the
high priest's prayers were going to help him succeed in his quest.
Chapter 1 --->
Last Modified: Friday October 27, 2006
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