By Brian Flood
Chapter 31 - In the Infirmary
The House of the Suffering God
Asbravn, The Sunset Vale
Late Afternoon, 30th Day of Eleint; Year of the Tankard (1370 DR)
With a groan, Lucas and Kjira begin to awake. Lucas finds himself lying on his stomach on a straw-filled mattress. Kjira finds herself on her back on a similar pallet. Both mages glance down slowly at themselves to find that they are clad in gray, cotton robes.
Carefully, conscious of their sudden physical limitations, both mages begin to move their eyes about their beds. They find that they are in a stone chamber, some twenty feet by twenty-five feet. Three more beds, similar to the ones in which they lay, are lined up neatly with their heads against the stone wall.
Moving their eyes further, the mages discover that they are not alone in the chamber. The other members of the party – Alani, Cyzicus, Darius, Dolak (still shrunk to 4 inches tall), Kryian, Slyvia, and Soft Fang – are also in the room. All of these standing adventurers have their eyes fixed on the two prone mages; looks of concern are evident on every face.
Looking down at their selves, each mage can see that he or she is partially wrapped in cool, wet bandages. For Lucas, these bandages cover the back of his head. In Kjira’s case, her entire face – save her mouth and eyes – and both of her hands are covered in bandages. A peculiar stiffness implies that there are more bandages under the robes.
“Lie still,” Darius advises, “you were burned in the fight with that blob creature. The priests here are of Ilmater, and will finish healing you in the morning,” the druid says to the waking mages.
Kjira groans miserably and tries to
lift her head to look around the room. Her hands move slowly, gingerly
feeling out the bandages along her face. Noticing the micro Dolak,
concerns washes over what little of her face is visible.
Alani drops her equipment on the floor and walks over to Lucas’ bed. Gingerly, not wanting to bump the young man, she sits on down on the very edge of the bed. “Hey, friends,” she says to both, “I thought for a moment there we had lost both of you. The blob blew the old house away in a terrible fireball. You were caught in the blast. Everyone but Dolak is unharmed,” she finishes softly.
Seeing the concerned look in Kjira's eyes, she says, “I believe our good dwarf here has been ensorcelled by the reverse of a spell of Enlarging. If, I am correct, then he should be back to his normal size when the spells effects wear off.... which shouldn’t be long now.”
Turning back to the two mages, she
asks, “Are you both comfortable? Can
we get you anything?”
Lucas winces and groans as he tries to push himself upright. Settling back down on the straw, Lucas turns his head towards Alani, “Could I have some water?” he asks. “I am parched as well as scorched it seems.”
Weakly scanning about the room, Lucas
turns towards the others and asks, “So where are we?
blob thing dead?”
Then, noticing that Dolak is still alive – despite being still much smaller than normal – Lucas addresses the dwarf. “Yes, Alani is right,” the mage explains. “The enchantment should wear off soon I believe.” Lucas winces again as he shifts on his mattress and mumbles something that the others make out to be something about stubborn dwarves not getting in the bag quick enough.
Kryian pushes off from the wall where he has been casually leaning during the ongoing interchanges. His shirt hangs in tattered strips from his lean torso. No visible wounds, however, are evident. “I’ll get ye yer water,” he says in answer to Lucas’ request.
The mariner dips a ladle into one of the water basins that stand against the southern wall. He walks it over to the mage and lets the injured adventurer sip from the serving utensil.
“Yer in the temple ‘o Ilmater,” Kryian tells Lucas as the parched mage drinks the water. “They told us ta stay ‘ere until the Red Cloaks git ‘ere ta give us a hearin’.”
Time in the infirmary passes slowly, the minutes stretching on like hours. The companions pass the time by reviewing with each other every detail concerning the event in the marketplace. From the time the stranger stepped out of the Goldcoin House to the point at which the old shrine was consumed by a sheet of flames, every minute of the strenuous incident is recounted.
During the course of the discussion, Dolak suddenly and spontaneously returns to his normal size. His dour mood, however, remains unchanged. Some of those in the room silently wish that he were still his Lilliputian version – at least then his ranting and raving were somewhat less thunderous.
A little more than an hour passes and then the door to the room opens. The party is surprised to see Alric, the paladin of Tyr, and a handful of the temple’s junior priests. Alric looks at Dolak and then blinks a few times to cover his surprise.
“I was told…. well, no matter. His Most Abject Supplicant Asgar has sent me to summon you to the main chapel. The Red Cloak contingent has arrived and Captain Commander Crassius is already impatient.”
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