When: Collis 4 8222 MR
Post made: Monday October 27th 2008
Post made by: Dennis
"Oh, Nasty!" says Caelum after accide, and then cringes hoping that none of his associates were woken by his outburst. Having ascertained that he was not heard above Hrash (or was it Hlang) snoring, he gets back to separating the dragon from its skin. After having cast comprehend languages, he was still confused by the chromatic runes on the dragon's shiny black scales. He had read something about the power of five and avenging a dead god and had noticed that some of the runes bore a resemblance to the ones on the scroll, but Nervosh had it, and it's not worth waking him up over.
He takes a mis-step inside the rib cage and accidentally steps in the partially digested face of what was once an owlbear (he thinks). After throwing up as quietly as possible he returns to the carcas to continue his grim task - what else did he have to do at 3:30 am anyways?
Suppressing a gag, he ponders the owlbear's fate and thinks to himself "what can be worse than that?" Nothing comes to mind, as he works his way towards the dragon's lower back. Death is bad, but Tolast's journal said that it's just the start of a whole new adventure, besides, he faces death every day. Pain is not fun, but the gods have given him the power to shrug it off. Being eaten like the owlbear is disgusting, but he's been almost eaten by everything from a giant squid-thingy to dragons of various hues to this continent's tarrasque, and dimension door helps - especially if he prepares it stilled.
"What then", Caelum thinks, "can be worse than death?" He casts his mind back to the times he felt at his lowest, and tries to distill his feelings into something potent. Being unjustly accused in Cormuk, being trapped in a dream with murderous parents, being forced to a strange land with no way to return. When it all gets put together, what Caelum fears most is to be without his freedom: imprisonment of body, mind, or spirit. He then thinks about the gems his adventures have been littered with.
Being trapped forever inside a gem, Caelum decides, is truly a fate worse than death.