The Church of the Silver Flame takes a lot of criticism regarding its involvement in the purge of lycanthropes from Khorvaire. I’ve met many Church elders who carry the weight of the Church’s misdeeds heavily upon their shoulders. It’s so easy to look back on history and pass judgment. And for a long time I too felt some small amount of guilt for my association with any power that could deem it necessary to make it their mission to exterminate an entire race of intelligent beings. That changed today.
As we delved deeper into the caverns seeking to rescue the seven captives and recover the stolen items from Delver’s Dale I encountered actual lycanthropes for the first time. We entered a chamber and saw a man bound to a pillar. He was surrounded by three very large rats. In the centre of the room was a large creature, clearly demonic in nature. The demon seemed to be bound by some kind of enchantment, which was luck for our party and the captive. I quickly moved around the perimeter of the room to free the bound man. One of the giant rats attacked me and the other two swarmed the prisoner.
We quickly learned that the situation was not as it appeared. The captive was not a captive at all. He was deliberately playing a role to lure us in to the chamber. With a single command word he released the demon from his enchanted prison, freeing it to attack the party. I worked to destroy the filthy dire rat as it bit through my armor trying to overwhelm me. The rest of the party engaged the demon.
As I fought with the giant rat, I was shocked to see that the captive and the two other rats were in fact lycanthropes – wererats! They assumed a human-rat hybrid form and skulked around the room trying to ambush my companions and stop them from destroying the demon. Fortunately my companions were able to quickly and decisively defeat the demon and the wererats.
I regret that I was not able to fight the lycanthropes myself. But just seeing them up so close, attacking the party, and trying to do us harm caused a flame to ignite within me. I have lived my life under a cloud of prejudice and try very hard to accept everyone regardless of their differences, but the lycanthropes are clearly evil. As I reflect back to my teaching, now put in context with this battle, I see how Paladins of the Flame could want to destroy such filth. I have also come to realize why so many followers of the Flame carry silvered weapons, even though the likelihood of needing them is remote. I felt a sense of helplessness as the lycanthropes attacked my companions. When we complete this rescue mission and return to town I will be arming myself with a few silver weapons. I don’t want to be caught unequipped should I ever need to battle lycanthropes again. Flame take them.