Chapter 12: Nather Reynolt and the Temple of Tragedy
By Douglas E. Gogerty
The city was in bad shape, but it did have one thing going for it. All along the outer wall, there were powerful magical traps. I could not disarm them. These were likely traps set by Nebrion. If you triggered one, it could cut you into pieces. They were at least some protection for the townspeople.
Thus, we carefully made our way along the wall just outside of the range of the traps. We were looking for the statue that would allow us entry into the city. Otherwise, we would have to fight the guards to get in, and we did not wish to do this poor town any more harm.
We did have to duck some arrows fired by townspeople as we went along, but eventually we came to a statue. It was of a beautiful female warrior in full armor. At the base was the inscription, "Welcome to Monkalakaboomistan".
"That was the name of the city?" I thought to myself. "No wonder no one knew what it was..."
The trap by the statue, unlike the others, had a flaw in it. Anyone could disarm it, so I took the liberty. This allowed us to get close enough to the statue to read anything engraved upon it.
The inscription under the welcome banner described in great detail the enormous battle fought here by the founder Leela. She destroyed the orcish hoards and was protector of the city. In retrospect, it was a sad tale as the orcs were striking back.
After everyone was satisfied in reading the entire history of the city, the group climbed the back of the statue and followed me through the small breach in the wall. We were now in the city.
However, this city was constantly on the lookout for attacking creatures. If a citizen spotted us, they would attack. At the very least, they would sound the alarm and the city guards would come after us. We needed to be careful.
Near our entry point stood a large looming structure. It appeared to have withstood many attacks. Thorvald deduced from its position and architecture that it was the temple. He suggested we seek sanctuary within. We agreed and snuck our way into the temple.
Fortunately, no one saw the clumsy and obvious lizard people enter the temple. However, once inside a cleric spotted us and yelled, "Be gone reptilians! There is nothing here for you!"
"May peace be with you," replied Thorvald. "I am the most revered cleric Thorvald Larsenski of the Cygnus Clan. These are my compatriots. We mean no harm."
"Your response is surprising," he said with obvious astonishment in his voice.
"You will find us most surprising," I replied.
"We are adventures under a powerful spell," added Thorvald. "We seek a cure."
"It is powerful magic indeed; however, I do not believe this temple can be of any service."
"Why not?" implored Jean.
"Sorry milady," started the cleric with a slight bow. "I am Nather Reynolt, and I am the sworn protector of this temple. All of the clerics, apostates, healers, visiting pilgrims, and individuals of that sort have gone. I am all that is left. I have no power over such curses."
"What can you tell us of the wizard Nebrion?" enquired Glaf.
"Nebrion is the sworn protector of our fair city -- so he says."
"Do you not believe him?" asked Gudrid.
"My belief is of no import. I am the protector of the Temple of the Healing Waters and Chief Cleric of the Protecting Arts here. External politics is not my realm."
"What *can* you tell us of Nebrion?" I prodded.
"Adventurers have come from far and wide to aid our city. Not one has been successful, but Nebrion has grown wealthy. The town is in ruins and few visit the temple. Study in the temple has ceased as the town further decays. Yet, Nebrion does not do anything but grow fat."
"He has a protective shield around the town walls," defended Glaf.
"Yet you, a group of reptilian looking individuals managed to thwart his defenses without so much as a scratch. No, Nebrion's main concern are his own and not the town in general."
"Thank you for the information." Thorvald said. "Is there anything we can do for you to show our thanks?" I tried to shush Thorvald as those words came out of his mouth, but I was unsuccessful.
"The temple has been invaded by numerous unsavory types. If you could ask them to leave, I would greatly appreciate it."
"What *kind* of unsavory types?" I asked because these cleric types like to leave out lots of details.
"There is a large band of orcs in the front hall that are preparing for an assault on the town. I would like them to go back to their home peacefully."
"Is that all?" I muttered under my breath. "Anyone else?"
"We are often plagued with large numbers of curst beings. If you could explain to them that until the temple is back in order, there will be no help for them. If you could do that it would be most kind of you. Otherwise if you could get them to try another place, it would be of a great help to me."
"Is there anything *else* you would like from us? Perhaps the crown jewels of Maplevania..." I suggested without an ounce of sarcasm in my voice.
"I can think of nothing. Please help yourself to the healing waters from our fountain."
"Thank you for your kindness," replied Thorvald.
"Oh!" Nather added. "The fountain waters attract many Water Elementals, they do not like interlopers interrupting their baths, take care not to disturb them. The baths are right next to the fountain room."
"If we are attacked are we allowed to fight back?" asked Gudrid.
"By all means," replied Nather. "The entire flock has left the temple. I am the only true believer here, so everything and everyone else is fair game. There are rats in the kitchen and perhaps some spiders here and there. You may dispense of them at your whim. If anything attacks, you may defend yourselves and that includes the Elementals."
"And..." I muttered.
"Oh, and once you have cleared the temple and head out to Nebrion's tower, please take care not to harm our citizenry. They have suffered greatly and they may attack you on sight because of your reptilian attributes."
"Are you sure you are not forgetting anything?" I asked attempting to hide my distaste for his long windedness.
"Let me think. Healing waters... Beware of bathing elementals... Rats and spiders... Do not harm citizens outside of temple... Did I tell you to enjoy your stay in our fair city?"
"No," answered Thorvald.
"Well then," Nather replied. "Enjoy your stay in our fair city!"
After speaking with Nather, we gathered to discuss our next move. I suggested that we partake in the healing waters and leave. We did not owe Nather that much for his help, and cleaning out this large temple from all of the riff raff would be way overdoing it in giving him thanks.
Naturally, they decided not to take my advice. They wanted to help the town more and make sure they had a safe temple to visit. Further, if there were orcs here it would be part of our quest to eliminate them. Thus, it looked like we were going to spend the day cleaning out this temple of tragedy.