Ezekiel was a Biblical prophet and priest of ancient Israel who was the subject and in part the author of an Old Testament book that bears his name. Ezekiel’s ministry was conducted in Jerusalem and Babylon in the first three decades of the 6th century. Before the first surrender of Jerusalem, he was a functioning priest.
In chapter 37, God comes to Ezekiel in a vision showing him a valley full of dry bones. This is an interesting story as God has Ezekiel command the skeletons to live again and they are resurrected, and then made alive by God’s breath of life.
This is a great Bible story to jump off into several story and adventure hooks:
- First of all, Ezekiel had been taken away from his homeland and taken to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. This was a completely normal practice back then as the rulers of the land wanted the “brightest and best” selected from places they ruled and brought back to Babylon. Although Ezekiel didn’t make the first cut, he was selected during the second wave of captives. But how can you use this for D&D? Maybe there is a massively powerful nation like Babylon doing the same thing in your campaign world and that’s how the PCs meet … in a wagon (or whatever) being trafficked back to serve the King.
- Ezekiel was a prophet and experienced dreams. This is a great way to have higher powers communicate with playing characters.
- The Valley of Dry Bones was a vision, but in your D&D game you could make it a reality. Maybe the playing characters happen to stumble across this huge area where heaps and heaps of human bones are rotting and drying in the sun. Or maybe the PCs are hired to transport some recently executed corpses to the same location. They discover that the nearby kingdom uses this place to “busy” the dead of their enemies in a disrespectful way. This could be a moral dilemma, a simple side trek, or a step-up foreshadowing for #4 below.
- This valley of dry bones could serve as a resource for an army to crush a powerful foe. Maybe a higher power leads the playing character out to this place where the foe has been tossing away the corpses of his enemies for a long, long time. The higher power could use the playing character to raise an army from the bones to march on and defeat the foe.
How are you using Ezekiel’s story of the Dry Bones in your D&D campaign? Leave a message below and share the fun.