Pulp won’t ever read this journal, so I am not going to apologize for this afternoon’s rant.
Also, I meant every word of it.
Dinner is finished, and the flames of our campfire have sunk into embers. The fire is for light alone; we had more than enough heat today and the night’s cool darkness is crawling up from the river’s edge. For the first time since morning, I think we are all comfortable and in agreeable moods. Those signs which Xel’Xaran finds in the evening sky, suggests cooler temperatures tomorrow. Not rain, but not an unbroken blue shell.
There is excited talk among the group tonight. We have been through a lot these past few days, and the feeling is that we are close to ascending to a new level of skill and experience. It is hard to indicate just how or why we feel this is so; but certainly the anticipation is a common feeling. What exactly will trigger this change, we cannot say. Perhaps when we get back to the Guild-house and rest, an answer will come to us. Funny I should be eager to return to our stale dormitory. It is noisy and dusty and warm and uncomfortable, but it is the closest I have to a home here.
Much excitement about this level-up (as it were) comes because it bring us new Feats of ability. Fighters frequently acquire new Feats. A Feat may be defined as a certain physical skill, or a change to a physical ability or characteristic, or even a new ability of intellect or spell prowess. For a Cleric such as myself, Feats are rare to come by. On first following the path of my Order, I found myself in possession of two new abilities.
One was the ability to perform extra Turning checks. Normally, a Cleric has the ability to repel or even destroy Undead with the power of his faith and the magnitude of his charismatic aura. Those of the Order of St-Jude were taught the very basics of this ability, but it was more a peripheral mention than a close and dedicated study. More important was the conversion of these Turnings into metaphysical boosts to healing skills. While I cannot make such boosts yet, it is certainly along the career path I have established for myself at the Academy, and will some day come to be.
The other Feat is that of augmented healing. My healing spells are much more potent than those of others not possessed of this ability, and this potency increases with the level of the healing spell.
When we do come to have this moment of personal accomplishment and growth, and find ourselves free to take on a new Feat, I believe I know what I wish to do. Some do not know their personal progression in advance. At St-Jude’s, we have learned about and developed our personal path well in advance. It is not a rigid plan, but it is certainly calculated and planned with care and precision, and represents a direction and intent many do not understand. I take a moment to stare hard at Pulp and see if I can telepathically imprint this on his one-track mind.
Much of my training over the years at St-Jude’s concerned such planning for the future. Spells, in particular. It would surprise many wizards and sorcerers to learn that we at the Academy, even as bumbling, hard-worked underclassmen and Interns, have learned all relevant Cleric spells up to and including the impossibly-powerful 9th Level of Divine Spells.
Practised them, even. Though in our case, it was to no effect. Day after day, hour after hour, we practised the entire catalog, from Cantrip to 9th Level. Our spell components were mock-ups or placebos, but our somatic gesturing and verbal component were all real, and believe me, subject to harsh critique and constant demands for improvement, by the Attending Clerics.
I have personally cast True Resurrection more times than I can remember. Of course, I did not actually CAST the spell, as I am of nowhere near the required level of experience. We went through the motions, said the words, expended the components, and were judged to have succeeded or failed by experts of the Order. When my time comes, and I am blessed by Pelor to reach a level where I have access to the spell, I will be able to cast it without hesitation, and with impeccable skill and accuracy.
There were many spells we did not learn. Evil spells are forbidden us; spells of offensive capability were possible to learn but eschewed; spells of non-restorative use were taught but not heavily emphasized. But there were lots of spells we did learn, and memorize, and know inside and out, and could cast under a myriad of circumstances both unfortunate and stressful and dangerous. And all this in addition to conventional medical knowledge, diagnostic observances, surgical and paramedical technique, and disease pathology.
I am due for a night watch. More tomorrow.
Journal of Dr. Marcus Grant
Healing Cleric of Pelor, Order of St-Jude Academy (Silabrek)
18th Day, travelling by river from Mid-Plain to Callia, territory of Ælim.