Ordination (short protocol) – Chapter 7, Act 4, Strip 17

With K’ip being clean and fluffy, but the latter only to a reasonable degree, it’s high time to address the matter of the Elder’s demonic possession as such…and Gregory knows exactly what needs to be done!

Or he thinks he does, because he’s read that bit about the Exorcist movies being “based on a true story” – and thus feels that having seen those movies taught him everything there is to know about getting rid of demons. I guess he doesn’t fully realize what ‘based on’ means in Hollywood… If you want to base your script on a true story, the SOP is like this: You write down the true story in great detail and with all of the necessary sources and references. You then send an assistant down to the next street corner, where they’ll hold up the true story as the scriptwriter passes by in a car at 80 mph…on their way to the motel where they’ll lock themselves up for three days to hammer out the script.

Ill-advised or not, Gregory follows the instructions from the movies, and tries his best to fulfill the “old priest, young priest” stipulation. No priests being present, the first substitution is pretty obvious: Snuka is a Paladin, which is kind of a mixture of fighter and cleric, so he’s pretty close to being something not totally unlike a concept that could be considered a vague parallel to a priest. Good enough.

The second substitution is less straight-forward, but still doesn’t take too much time: The Barbarian is definitely young enough for a young priest…exceptionally young for a priest, even…and, well, he kind of qualifies as a priest, if you’re as generous as Gregory, because fantasy Barbarian theology is so elegantly simple that it hardly requires years of scholarship. Fortunately, the Professorian knows what’s expected of him, and professes believe in Crom, the fantasy deity popularized by Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories. It is a commendably uncluttered creed that keeps interaction between deity and believers to the minimum required to achieve classification as a religion…ideal for stern-faced barbarians from frigid northern lands. The Barbessor even tries his hand (or rather, his face) at the stern-faced thing, although his age somewhat limits the impact. It still has enough impact to cause the backdrop to change to a sufficiently frigid one, and Gregory is completely satisfied with the whole thing – not that he’d have much alternatives.

More on Mo…uh, Thursday

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