((The following occurred during the 6 seconds that MacDougal Wyth was dead while fighting the Plague Wraith in Session 23))
As the necrotic energy worked through his marrow, MacDougal felt darkness overcome his sight until he hit the dug up ground.
When his body should have made contact with earth, his eyes snapped open to an expansive but simple study carved out of a cave. MacDougal was physically unailed; scarless and miles and realms away from his cohorts Jareth and Sir Calaph in their battle with Amelia. He was in a cavern.
If words were appropriate, MacDougal might express confusion, exhiliration, and ease, but the location is post lingual. Sunrise is shining through the entrance to this cave-a-la-study which is lined with carved in bookshelves, a sturdy table, and a large portrait of the entire MacDougal family. Mac quietly looks over the the portrait with its long listing of names…and that a small accompanying portrait of Brunthiel Wyth rests beside it.
New. Wife. I’m dead already. He chuckles, smiling at the impressionistic image of his new bride. He wheels swiftly around to explore the table, illuminated by a floating, glowing mace. The table, once empty, is quite full.
A HUGE new batch of unorganized divine literature and book making supplies; a silver bowl filled with water; candles; a stein of beer; and simple roast fowl.
“This will take a fekin while…”
1 second later
If MacDougal could have slept, he wouldn’t have. Time had no meaning in the weeks that made had passed while Mac had spent a painstaking amount of time copying the prayers, stories, chants, and liturgy into a discernable script of dwarfish that MacDougal could understand. The older dwarfish writings on Marthammor and Moradin was so oft archaic, but Mac in his copying of this felt warmth. It was the sense of reading something intensely familiar and finding entire new depths. How the single proverb changes its power when the intonation is changed: how a healing word jumps to a Greater Restoration. Sleep had no meaning in this space.
Mac, taking a sip from the stein that seemed perpetually full, finished threading the binding to his new book and saunters over to a Sir Renfro, eyes hazed in a charm. Mac gently touches the face of a man with the flux, practicing the words over and over before saying aloud in a higher pitched, soft voice, “Your mettled be mended by Marthammor.” THe man’s cough ending abruptly and complexion coming to a natural coloring.
2 seconds later
In the deeper part of the cavern is a line of Hill Giant scarecrows.
And MacDougal is muttering precisely over and over
Columns of FIRE consuming each Giant
With occasional glitches
Not stopping till Mac has destroyed them all.
3 seconds later
MacDougal sits over a bowl of water, touching across the surface, eyes focused in concentration…seeing Lady Brunthiel Wyth as she paces their room, stroking her chin. She is pondering. Studying a map of Dauntless and it’s neighboring area. Where do we set up business?
4 seconds later
“10 day statute of limitations…” MacDougal ponders, holding expensive spell components over a series of mass graves. He mutters, watching dwarf hands pushing out of the dirt, exhausted.
“Well hot damn.”
5 seconds later
MacDougal investigates the bowl itself…and asks aloud “What is your story”
And the story comes to his mind. And the story behind that story. Mac’s eyes go wide as the knowledge seeps into his skull: who made the bowl, how they made it, the story of how the bowl saw witness to a murder and betrayal; its legend.
6 seconds later
MacDougal beams with satisfaction at the cavern. Had it been months? Years? Regardless the place was recharging and purposeful. The table was cleared of its contents. The book assembled; the spell components and movements long practiced and stored away in jars and bottles and boxes. All that’s left is the unemptying stein, which MacDougal happily sips away at. Taking a criss-cross stance by the cliff viewing the rising sun, MacDougal sits deeply and communes with The Pathfinder. His heart and eyes closed, His lips on the metal mug as the sweetest ale moves down his throat. The warmth of the sun on his closed eyes, as his mind asks The Finder-of-Trails:
“Marthammor..am I dead?”
MacDougal spit takes what was once ale and was now a healing tonic, his eyes clawing open to view a dark grey sky and the smelly and wounded elf Jareth. Mac’s body aches and bleeds as Sir Calaph behind his shield valiantly keeps Amelia at bay: valor and the struggle of quick thinking in his eyes. MacDougal, between a coughing fit, pulls himself to his feet and grabs Sojourner, knowing their only time to act: and the first action is the healing words of Marthammor and the heaviest swing of his maul he can muster. Reflection on the cavern will come soon enough: first, to put Amelia to rest.