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Devahammer by Allen Stover

For Roxanne, Kacie, Jeff

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6


The seven dwarven priests gathered in counsel, sitting at a large stone table that lay in the center of the dark room. The oldest of the dwarves, a snow white bearded cleric named Cole Ice-Cleaver, rubbed his stubby fingers along the bottom of his red robe. "The time has come to acknowledge the return of Reorx," he proclaimed in a thundering voice. "Almost forty years has passed since our world was stolen by the Dark Queen. During all of this, the gods had not known where their beloved Krynn had gone. Now, after finding their beloved world, Reorx and the other gods have returned to Krynn."

Many of the other dwarven clerics exchanged glances. They remembered when Chaos had roamed the land of Krynn and the gods left the world. Though the mighty Chaos was defeated, the gods had not returned, except Takhisis.

Back then, many of the dwarven clerics believed that the gods, Reorx included, had abandoned them again, as they done in the First Cataclysm. After the War of Souls, the gods had found their world and returned. It was said that Reorx himself had come to this very temple and spoke with the high priest Cole Ice-Cleaver about his return, and many other things as well.

As he listened to Cole speak about the return of the gods, the short and stout dwarf named Borowin Strakkengard ran his fingers though his black beard, then brushed back his thick black hair. Though he was dressed in the standard red robes that clerics wore, Borowin wasn't actually a priest of Reorx, but a mystic. When he grew into adulthood, he had left his home and trained at the Citadel of Light. He later returned to Thorbardin to train the mystics of the dwarven temple. Yet, with the return of the gods, many of the dwarves who had aspirations of becoming mystics like young Borowin Strakkengard, decided to become priests instead.

"I believe we should honor Reorx's return to the world," the high priest continued," with a gift."

"What gift shall we make for Reorx?" asked one of the younger priests.

"Should we forge him a powerful axe?" called out one of the blond bearded priests.

Some of the dwarves around the table began arguing back and forth; on what would be the appropriate give to make their god. Borowin kept to himself, feeling embarrassed that his fellow dwarves would argue over something as ridiculous as a present for a god. A god who they haven't acknowledged for years.

The mystic glanced his amber eyes over at the white bearded high priest, whose grey eyes seemed to be staring back at him.

Cole Ice-Cleaver stared at the mystic for just another minute, then held his hand to silence the babbling clerics.

It took the priests a moment to realize the head of their church was trying to get their attention. Cole took a deep breath once everyone's eyes fell upon him. "Last night, Reorx came to me in a dream. He said that there is a temple that lies in the Plains of Dust called the Hall of Angels. Hidden in this temple is the powerful and mighty weapon known as the Devahammer. He told me this hammer was forged by the Hammer of Kharas." Cole paused for a moment hearing the "awes" and gasps coming from the other dwarves, then continued," Itís design is beautiful, and the damage this weapon can deal is very powerful. If we are to honor Reorx, then one of us should journey to the Plains of Dust and find the Devahammer."

The dwarves were ready to argue over who was going to find the hammer, but Cole quickly climbed on top of the table and stared at all six of the clerics. His eyes then turned to Borowin once more, and the mystic took a nervous breath.

He realized that Cole had chosen him to retrieve the Devahammer.

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An hour later, the temple was empty, except for High Priest Cole Ice-Cleaver and the mystic Borowin. When Cole announced that Borowin would be the one who would retrieve the Devahammer, the priests were outraged.

"Why should Borowin get to find the Devahammer?" yelled a grey bearded priest named Durik Seldirk," He's not even a cleric. He's a mystic!"

Borowin knew the reason why he would be the one to find the Devahammer.

Throughout his life, Borowin had always listened to his mother's stories about his father, or his brother, or his great grandfather, and the other members and ancestors of his clan were priests of Reorx. Some of his fellow dwarves had labeled Borowin a black sheep, since he didn't acknowledge the gods. He was shunned even more once he decided to turn to mysticism instead of the clergy.

Cole slowly walked over to Borowin. He eyed the young dwarf, admiring the dark color of his beard and the youthfulness in his eyes. "I suppose you're curious as to why you were chosen for this mission?"

Borowin crossed his arms. "Not as curious as some of the priests," he answered in a quiet but gruff voice.

Cole stretched out his arms. "Well don't let the priests belittle you just because youíre a mystic. Over the years, this temple was filled with many mystics, as well as priests who were still devoted to finding what had happened to the gods. I cannot begin to understand what power mysticism holds, or where it comes from, but I've seen some of their powers that would rival my own."

Borowin nodded. Mystics were like sorcerers. Rather than praying for spells like clerics, mystics channeled the energy from within themselves. Borowin could cast many of the same spells that a priest could, which seemed to offend many of the clerics in the temple.

"When Reorx came to me in my dream," the priest continued," he told me that you would be the one to retrieve the Devahammer, a task that has taken the lives of many in your family."

The mystic sighed. Borowin's ancestor, Regulus Strakkengard had taken up the quest to retrieve the Devahammer from the red dragon Khandler. Regulus had vowed to Reorx that neither he, nor his kin would ever enter the Forge of Reorx until the Devahammer was retrieved. Many of Borowin's family had died trying to find the hammer. It was said that the hammer moved from Khandler's horde to a treasure mound of an ogre chieftain. Then years later, it moved to a treasure mound of a bronze dragon.

Many of Borowin's clansmen died trying to retrieve the Devahammer. When the day came for Borowin's father Ianeak and his brother Xavgold to take up the charge and the find the hammer, the two clerics left home without saying goodbye to Borowin. The mystic never saw his brother, or his father again.

Cole stared at Borowin. "One of the reasons you became a mystic instead of a cleric was because of your clansmenís promise to retrieve the Devahammer. Am I right?" asked the high priest.

"I just can't bring myself to believe in a god who would let his devoted followers stand outside the gates for eternity just because they didnít get some hammer for him," Borowin answered.

"It was your ancestor's promise, and I believe that your father and your brother knew what they were getting into." Cole stopped for a moment, scratching his beard, then added," Perhaps through you, Reorx is giving the Strakkengards one last chance to enter the Gates of the Forge. All they would need is for you to retrieve the Devahammer. Will you let them stand outside the gates for eternity?"

Borowin looked down, thinking about his family. He may not have been a believer in the gods, but he believed in the value of family. Despite turning on his clan's beliefs in the gods, Borowin wouldn't let his clansmen stand at the gates for eternity.

He then remembered the value of being a teacher. "What about my students? The ones who will be in training soon?"

The cleric nodded his head. "The number of mystics has gotten smaller, but worry not, they will be trained. I will send for another teacher from the Citadel of Light until you return."

Borowin smiled. "Then I'll do this, but I want you to know that I'm doing this for my father and my brother, and to bring honor to the temple. I have no interest in pleasing your god. Who knows, maybe I'll keep the hammer for myself." This brought a laugh from the high priest.

"All right so where do I find this blasted thing?" asked the mystic.

"In the Plains of Dust," answered Cole," You will leave in the morning with Vash and Brunhilda. Supplies and a map will be provided for you. I will pray for your success Borowin."

"Thank you," Borowin replied before he turned and walked out of the room.

He appreciated Cole's faith, but the mystic had a feeling that none of the high priest's prayers were going to help him succeed in his quest.

Chapter 1 --->

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Last Modified: Friday October 27, 2006

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