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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Monstrous Miscellanies 1) Aerial Servant



Monstrous Miscellanies

1) Aerial Servant

Gralax Mar gazed out from the window of his spartan room overlooking the Avenue of Temples and down the wide paved way toward where it crossed the Avenue of Bells and the churches and temples of the lesser Oerthly deities. The followers of Zilchus would have been shocked at the bare and functional room their High Priest dwelled in. He had a vestry for his fine cloth-of-gold garb and a locked and guarded vault for the relics and holy items that Zilchus bestowed upon his great cathedral in the City of Greyhawk.

The only sign of vanity in the room was its location; the top spire of the Cathedral of Zilchus sitting above the transept and the vaulting crystal dome that sheltered the altar and his throne. There were windows on each wall and only the Temple of Pelor could match the lofty height of Zilchus' dwelling place on Oerth.

The summer solstice approached and the evenings were light with a long dusk. This was Gralax's favorite part of the day and he would stand at the eastern window and watch the shadows lengthen in the time before true darkness fell and the lamps and torches sprang up like stars across the streets of the city.

"Lorel," Gralax said quietly.

From a small table a platter arose. A small pot steamed upon it with a delicate white bowl resting beside it. The platter floated toward the high priest and the pot tipped out a light brown liquid into the bowl. Gralax reached out his hand casual and the bowl now lifted from the platter and gently nestled against Gralax's hand.

With a small sip Gralax completed his ritual reached out with the bowl in his hand and whispered "Thank you, Lorel," as the bowl, pot and platter drifted across the room and settled upon the small table.

Gralax sighed as the lights began to appear among the darker side-streets of the city. He did not hear the door open behind him, or the grey-clad man slip soundlessly into his room. A dark knife glistened with venom in the figure's hand as it glided up behind the priest. The arm moved forward then suddenly it was pulled back, hard.

There was a small sound, a cry, a grunt of pain or surprise, no louder than the squeak of a mouse, but Gralax whipped around and stepped aside as the figure behind him was raised high and thrust forward with great strength. The glass window shattered, the figures leg caught the frame and splintered the wood. The body shot forward, slid across the knife-sharp edges of the enchanted crystal dome and came apart in pieces as it rained down upon the manicured lawn of the cathedral.


Gralax gasped then gave a laugh, "Very good Lorel," he said to his invisible servant. "We will need the workmen, but I will have them leave the wood and glass outside. Any but myself who enter here... Out the window, as I command."

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