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The New Priest

by Sean Meaney

Grod Tall-Trees was waved aside by the old cleric at the end of services as the other worshipers departed to attend the more enjoyable aspects of their daily lives.

"You are not from the Village." The Old cleric placed a hand on Grod's shoulder and smiled. "What is your name?"

"My name?" Grod felt awkward with the priest's hand on his shoulder but he sensed no threat. "Grod."

"Ah..." The old cleric waited for the last of his worshipers to depart before continuing, the candles illuminating the small chapel. "Welcome Grod."

"So Grod," The old cleric eventually removed his hand from Grod's shoulder causing Grod's face to relax. "What brings you to our village church this evening?"

"I like to listen to the good words," Grod felt concern about some of the words the priest had spoken that evening. Not all churches said the same words. "I like the light of the church in the darkness."

"Yes..." The priest nodded, aware that everyone was looking for a shelter from the Darkness. "That is what the church exists to provide Grod."

"Would you like to join the church Grod?" The priest walked to a small dark wooden altar in an alcove and lifted a purple cloth revealing cabinet doors from behind which he retrieved a small wooden cup and a bottle. "I can convert you to the church so you will always be welcome just like one of the villagers."

"Yes." Grod wanted to be a part of the Light of the Village. "I want to be a part of the village."

"All right Grod," the priest filled the small cup with the contents of the bottle and turned to face Grod. Let us Begin."

"Almighty one," The Priest placed his hand on Grod's shoulder. "Grod comes unto the church seeking the shelter of the light from the darkness."

"Kneel Grod." Grod got to his knees. "Do you accept your role as a member of this church and this village?"

"I do." Grod watched the priest smile and hand him the drink.

"Drink Grod." The Priest watched as Grod drank the contents of the wooden cup. "Well done Grod."

"Welcome Villager Grod." The priest retrieved the cup from the smiling Grod and set it aside. "May the light protect you from the darkness in the trials ahead."

Grod woke to the sounds of voices calling his name and spat out the mouth full of dirt. "Grod! Grod! Grod!"

"What?" Grod struggled to his feet. "What happened?"

"Villager Grod is awakened." Grod didnt recognize the voice. "Place your wagers."

"Where am I?" Grod shook off the effects of the poison and looked upward from the bottom of the pit at faces hidden by the darkness of the cave before recognizing the priest amongest their numbers. "What's going on?"

"These are your trials to become a villager Grod." The priest looked over Grod's head at someone above the other side of the pit. "Release it."

"Grod! Grod! Grod!" The chanting of his name changed as a small, green fanged beast devoid of skin and fur emerged from a hole in the wall of the pit. "Kill! Kill! Kill!"

The creature bared its fangs as it snarled and attacked.

"Fuck!" Grod narrowly evaded the bite noticing that it had no paws, but rather, hobbled on the sharp, bone ends. "What is that?"

"Damn it..." Grod, devoid of any weapons used his fist, striking hard on the undead hound which was staggered by the blow. "At least it takes damage."

"Its coming again Grod!" The old priest's warning alerted him to the rush of the small horror and Grod again evaded its bite. "Well done Grod."

"Damn it!" Grod struck a second blow ending the beast. "Yes."

"You!" Grod pointed at the old priest accusingly. "Why do you do this to me?"

"Why?" The crowd laughed pissing off Grod. "You wanted to be a Villager and join our church so this was your initiation."

"Welcome Grod!" The crowd continued laughing. "This is your place in our village."

"Okay." Grod mumbled, accepting the situation and then snatched up the hound's remains by a hind leg and stepping into a shadow, threw the carcass at the priest. "I accept."

"Damn you!" The priest evaded the carcass knocking another villager into the pit who died landing on his head. "What have you done Grog?"

"I didn't do anything other than throw that carcass out of my pit." Grod countered the priest's criticism. "You are the one who pushed him into the pit to avoid that carcass."

"Lets see if he is alive..." Grog rumaged the corpse of the dead villager extraditing a dagger which he immediatly threw at the priest. "No... he's dead all right."

"Fuck you Grod!" The priest narrowly evaded the blade that struck the villager next to him causing the villager to topple forward onto the previous corpse. "Kuro!"

"So this one is Kuro?" Grod checked the body of Kuro who was still alive and removed his thrown dagger from Kuro, and the dagger in Kuro's belt which he threw at the priest. "Kuro is still alive."

"Someone..." The priest was visibly upset as he evaded Grod's dagger. "kill that bastard!"

"Someone lower down the priest so he can heal Kuro." Grod's mocking suggestion enraged a villager. "Come now...Kuro needs help."

"How dare you mock us," Parvo stepped to the edge of the pit with his crossbow enough that Grod threw his second dagger. "You Animal!"

"Argh!" Parvo took the dagger in the chest and toppled forward screaming, his crossbow firing and shattering its bow in impact in the pit. "Help!"

"Thats three priest," Grod claimed the shattered crossbow and threw it at the holy man. "How many more will you sacrifice to escape punishment?"

"Fuck!" The crossbow stock took the priest in the knees tipping him forward to the edge of the pit. "Get some oil and torches!"

"Unrepentent?" Grod retrieved the dagger from Parvo and threw it at the Priest taking him in an eye socket, killing him. "Oops."

"Father!" A villager ran forward to check the dead priest while other villagers fled the cave. "He's killed Father Dante!"

"Are you sure?" Grod removed a scarf belt from Parvo and looped it over the priest's neck from below pulling him into the pit onto Parvo and Grod paused to examine the corpse for its belongings. "Yes."

"You are right," Grod pulled the dagger from the priest's eye socket and threw it at a fleeing villager too close to the pit. "It definatly looks like you need a new priest."

"Fortunately for the village," The villagers fled the monster in the pit as the sixth villager died from the thrown dagger. "I have time to punish the rest for your sins."

"Anyone?" Grod stripped the Priest of its belongings and dragged the body of the priest across the pit floor which he piled on Kuro eliciting moans from the wounded villager. "No?"

"Its all right Kuro," no longer naked, Grod walked over to Parvo tying the priest's black robes in place with the scarf as a belt. "I'm going to get help."

"Fuck..." Parvo moaned the insult as Grod dragged him back over to the bodies piled up against the cliff wall. ""

"That's no way to behave." Grod lifted Parvo atop the pile of bodies and bunched it into a ball achieving extra height. "Considering you are just helping out Kuro."

Grod climbed the pile of bodies and reaching the edge of the pit, pulled himself up out of the pit. From here Grod could see the pit was in a cellar cut from rock and a roof supported by a vaulted ceiling. A stairs led up.

"Fascinating." Grod examined the vaulted stone ceiling as he fetched the daggers from the two villagers left behind by their companions. "It looks like we are under the church."