D&D Friday - Kosta & Thason

3 May 2024 • PersonalD&DWeblogPoMo

I’ve been playing in a D&D campaign with some friends online for almost 3 years now. My character is a dwarf cleric named Kosta Dragonstone. Occasionally, I get an urge to write out some more backstory, and I’ve decided that I’ll use the 4 Fridays of WeblogPoMo to do that. Welcome to D&D Friday.

Kosta’s hammer thudded into the final zombie, dropping it to the floor with a raspy gurgle. With a sigh, Kosta lowered the hammer and his shield, looking at the swath of undead littering the crypt. “You’re good, Father. Come on in.”

A middle aged half-elf cautiously peers through the doorway, before shuffling inside. He smiles ruefully while shaking his head. “Ah, Kosta. One of these days, you’ll lean in to your teachings and channel your divinity.”

“‘Divinity’ sounds like a good name for my hammer. Good one, Yve.” Kosta chuckles, wiping gore from his weapon. “You’re the Father. I’m…”

“‘Just an initiate.’ How many years are you going to try and keep using that excuse, K? You’ve been ordained. You’ve been chosen. You have Pelor’s favor. Why do you spurn your calling?”

Kosta shrugs. “If I start using spells, I wouldn’t need to bring you along with me on adventures. And we both know you’d drive the nuns crazy if you were left behind. Besides,” he says with a grin, “I gotta show the youngsters how it’s done.”

“I heard that.” With a grunt, a tall, lanky human entered the room, his titanic mace scraping the stone archway. “The only way you keep up is by making me do rear guard. Father Thason, please, sir, let me lead the exploration. I promise I’m ready.”

Thason’s mouth curls in a slight smile. “Of course, Anders. Your protection has been admirable and appreciated. By all means, lead the way.” He and Kosta step aside as Anders trudges ahead, mace at the ready. After a few seconds, the sounds of his armor clanking diminishes, and Thason lets out a laugh. “Remember yesterday when he was terrified of even stepping foot in this place? You know how to get them out of their shell, my friend.”

Kosta hefts his warhammer and shield again, giving the room a final look before following Anders’ path. “I’m the only dwarf at the temple. You think any of them could stand letting me get the best of them?” He helps Thason down a tricky set of boulders, taking care to avoid water pooling from the dripping stalactites. “But really… are we going to talk about your refusal to carry a weapon? It’s been what, 6 months? 7? What’s going on, Yve?”

“If I pick up a weapon, I wouldn’t need to bring you along with me on adventures,” Thason says with a twinkle in his eye.

Kosta barks a laugh, echoing through the caves. “Don’t deflect. Not even a shield. No one faults you for what happened. The parents made their choice. How were you to know the boy would try to attack you?”

Thason sighs. “Must we go over this now? You know this. Pelor is the god of light and life. I don’t bemoan you lifting your hammer to eradicate the darkness, but I just choose to shine brighter.” He puts his hand on Thason’s shoulder. “Besides, I do quite enjoy the excuse to bring you with me on all of my excursions. ‘Oh he can protect me’ and ‘oh I can help him with his channeling’. Being in leadership has its perks sometimes.”

A cry rings out from the path ahead, before being rapidly choked off. Thason’s hands shoot to his amulet, and he holds it out in front of him. “Anders?” he calls into the darkness.

With a whoosh, a creature shoots down the tunnel towards them, sending Kosta sprawling, his hammer clattering away. He rolls onto his back, shield raised in defense, but the tunnel is empty. “Thason?!?”

A deep cackle comes from the room they left behind, and Kosta can hear sounds of a struggle. “Yve!! Hang on!” Kosta scrambles up the rocks they had climbed down, charging back into the room. The lights from the torches seems dim, swallowed by the presence of… “Anders?”

The tall man turns his head towards Kosta. “Ahh, Thason. Is this your newest project?” His eyes glow with an angry red light, and he holds Thason off the ground with a single hand. “A pity. This one is so… small.”

“Well, be thankful he didn’t fall into your traps then. Belvadar, meet Kosta. Kosta, meet the reason why we came here.” Thason struggles, trying to break free, but the grip on his cloak is like a vice. “Anders, if you can still hear me, don’t worry. We’ll get you out of there.”

Anders/Belvadar laughs. “Don’t be so sure about that, my friend. Three of you this time, and you’re already on the back foot.” With a grunt, he hurls Thason across the room, where he slams into the wall and crumples to the floor, unconscious. Anders/Belvadar turns towards Kosta, lifting the huge mace. “Now let’s see. Another initiate to squash? Fabulous… I always appreciate the fresh meat Thason brings me.” He lunges, swinging the mace.

Kosta raises his shield, absorbing the full force of the strike, and cries out as it is ripped from his fingers. He dives to the floor, narrowly missing another swing. He scrambles for fallen weapons from the felled undead, but can’t gather one before more mace strikes force him to dodge out of the way. “THASON!!!” he screams.

With a sickening crunch, Kosta finds himself flying across the room, landing in a heap. His chainmail had absorbed some of the blow, but his breath is raspy and ragged and pain shoots through his ribs. He groans as he rolls to his back, staring at the ceiling. “Thason…” he calls weakly.

The tall man looms over Kosta. his mace on his shoulder. “Pity. Normally they put up more of a fight. This one just let me take over, and now you don’t even lift a finger against me? His Lightness must be struggling to find new recruits.” Kosta watches in horror as demonic looking horns slowly grow from Anders’ head, and his fingers elongate and sharpen into points. “Ah well,” he says, his teeth sharpening into points, “it was always meant to end this way. You can watch… I’ll come back for you.” The man turns and stomps towards Thason’s body.

Kosta coughs, blood pooling in his mouth. “No,” he manages to whisper. “No. You will not. You cannot.” He struggles to get his elbows under him, propping himself up slightly. Wheezing, he manages to pull his amulet from beneath his robes, and holds it towards the man. “You will not. We are servants of Pelor, and you… will… not…”

The amulet glows slightly, and the man turns back to Kosta. “Oh ho hoooo, what is this?” He has further transformed, looking even more terrible and less like Anders. “Puny dwarf. You have no power over me. You can’t possibly fathom my power.” He strides back to Kosta, and stomps on his wrist, pinning his arm and the amulet to the floor. Kosta cries out as he hears something snap in his arm.

The demon lowers his head to Kosta’s, and Kosta can watch as bones shift and stretch underneath the already-greying skin. “Fool,” it says, “you think you can stop me?”

“No,” Kosta coughs, “but he can.”

Light swells in the room, and the demon spins around, only to be thrown back by a surging golden wave. It howls, thrashing, as Thason slowly climbs to his feet, his wounds closing. He strides towards the demon, his amulet of Pelor held outstretched. The light tears at the demon’s features, its horns ripping from its skull and the light seeming to pass right through its body.

“Begone, Belvadar. Your end is not today, but neither is ours. Begone from this land, and do not return, or by Pelor’s light, I will ensure your demise. BEGONE!” With a shout, a final wave pulses across the room, and Kosta averts his eyes, blinded.

The demonic howling fades, and the light recedes. Kosta looks back, and is surprised to see Anders standing there, looking perplexed. The man looks at Kosta, then at Thason. “Father? What’s going on? What happened?”

Thason walks to Anders and places his amulet on his chest, holding it there for a few seconds, before lowering it and stepping back. “No worries, son. Come, we’re done here. Let’s get back to the temple, and I will explain.” He turns and walks over to Kosta, kneeling beside him. “Good work. I thought for sure you were going to try and go toe to toe with Bel on your own. Healing me was a nice touch.”

Kosta’s eyes go wide. “Wait. ‘Bel’? That sounds awfully chummy. You knew they would be here?”

Thason smirks again. “Something had to get you out of your shell. I figured, what better way for you to get used to wielding your powers than to force you to?” He shrugs. “I assumed it was Bel. He makes his rounds every few months, so we were due. A thorn in my side, but nothing we couldn’t handle.” He reaches out and squeezes Kosta on the shoulder. “Come on. Let’s get Anders back to the temple.”

Kosta struggles to rise, but cries out in pain and collapses. “A little help?”

Thason reaches out and takes Kosta’s hand, but instead of pulling him to his feet, Thason presses his amulet into Kosta’s hand. “You’ve got that covered now, don’t you?” Thason grins, then turns to help Anders stagger out of the room.

Kosta watches them leave in bewilderment, and then smiles, blood trickling from his mouth. “Fuck you, Yve,” he chuckles, as the amulet begins to glow softly. “You bastard.”