The Paladin of Virtue

There once was a Dwarf of noble bearing.  He served loyally as a Paladin of Moradin.  Many times, he was called upon to use his holy powers to heal others.

One day, the Dwarf came upon a magical staff while perusing a market stall.  It was clear that this staff would be perfect for channeling his holy powers to enhance his healing abilities. Unfortunately, it cost more money than he had. He managed to talk the shopkeeper (a Gnome) into giving it to him if he joined said shopkeeper for a private dinner.

The dinner ended up being very nice and the Paladin ended up posing for a portrait. You see, this Gnome had a hobby of painting and thought the Paladin would make an excellent subject. He painted the paladin without clothing but with a curtain bearing the Hammer and Anvil of Moradin draped over him preserving his modesty. He was posed with one foot planted atop a stool and a warhammer in hand raised to the sky.  Behind him, there was a high arched window through which the setting sun could be seen.

Despite the high-quality and tasteful painting, the Dwarf was somewhat embarrassed about this and did not tell his companions about the painting. They teased him about his date with the Gnome and joked about him selling himself for a magical staff, but it did not go past that at all. That is, however, until much later when one of the Dwarf’s companions happened across the painting in a shop. This Sorcerer recognized the Dwarf and immediately bought the painting. He then used this painting as a source of additional teasing.

Meanwhile, there was an Orc.  This Orc wasn’t incredibly bright, but he made up for his lack of smarts by being exceptionally lucky.  When given an opportunity to draw from the Deck of Many Things, he leapt at the chance.  This could have ended quite badly for him, but instead, his luck held true and he was granted one Wish. 

The problem was that this Orc wasn’t very bright, so he couldn’t think of something to Wish for.  He knew that the Wish was powerful and wanted to make sure that something grand was done with it, but felt as though they could not come up with something appropriate.

However, the Luck of this Orc prevailed as he was also friends with both the Dwarf and the Sorcerer.  They reached a deal where the Orc would sell his wish to the Sorcerer.  The Orc trusted that this man was both clever and devious and that something amusing would come of it.

This proved true.   The man Wished for the painting of the Dwarf to be affixed to the wall of every tavern with the plaque “The Paladin of Virtue” beneath it.  The Dwarf was not informed at the time.  He only learned of the wish later when he walked into a tavern and saw it on the wall to his great surprise.

However, that was not the end of it. The gods found this so amusing that they made a pact to spread the Wish throughout the multiverse, far further than a normal Wish could reach. The painting began appearing in every kind of world imaginable.  Wherever there was anything that could be called a tavern, the painting appeared.  This even extended to some worlds where Dwarves and magic did not exist, which led to some local confusion as to how the painting got there and what it depicted.

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