Balance

Awakened

Hastur, the once proud God Dumatheon stared with eyes that life fled from. Miriel could feel power, unnamed power, she could feel several multiverses in her hand, with the still beating heart of an Old One.

“Thank you, my old friend” Dumatheon whispered as he staggered backwards… “See… to my… followers… until Gabriel… is ready for them… pleeaasssse” with that last word he fell backwards again, falling into the giant globe that was Argyle and plummeting towards the southern oceans. Miriel stared for a long moment, tears welling in her eyes, and still the possibility of great power before her. She took a steadying breath, knowing this would unlock her destiny. With a determined grunt she bit into the heart of Dumatheon chewed swallowed and repeated, each bite unlocking more power, more secrets, more of the multiverse.

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On Awakening Part 2

Miriel wasted no time.

“Old One,” Miriel said with respect in her voice. “I know not if your words are true or if this is an attempt to deceive me, but will ye, nil ye, I cannot chance allowing our enemies to gain in strength; we could not survive it – Argyle would not survive it. We can raise my Dwarven friend later, Yolo wills it, but we cannot risk losing your power. Know that you have my respect and my thanks for the sacrifice you make; I will make sure it is not in vain – I accept your power.”

With that Miriel’s claws sharpened even more, and she plunged her right hand deep into the Outer God, unerringly towards his heart. Her other arm circled his back, holding him close as she penetrated his ichored body; she ignored the tentacles that half raised towards her in response to her sudden attack but fell limp and accepting.

Holding his heart within her palm, it’s power beating hard into her grasp, she looked deep into his eyes, and asked for his final wisdom.

“With your dying breath, Old One, tell me – who is my sire? Who am I?”

<miriel>

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The Founding of Mirineth Pt 1

9th of Goodmonth 383 ONT, 9:13pm, Antilles Range, Honastica, Argyle

Hagnon wiped the thick sticky substance made of grim sweat and blood from his brow. It took much work to hoist the last of the knights up onto the pikes. There they would be stay, until the Goddesses winds has ripped the flesh from their bones and sent their souls to whatever torment she chose. The fighting had been thick that day, he had lost two dear friends from his original twenty and thirty more of his newer recruits. It was however his belief that his people fought well that day, they had taken over ninety of the Honasticans, and twelve of them had been knights. He calculated that many more knights would need to die now to make up for the loss of his thirty two men; but that was an issue for another day. Now, in the setting sun, he could see that Antilles Range now had a large white flag waving from its upper window. Hagnon lifted his helm from the ground and nodded for Cenon and Pelious to follow him. The three left their army, some two hundred rescued slaves and defected workers; and crossed the bloody battlefield walking up to the doors of Antilles Range. An older man answered the door he wore a stylised suit of leather armor, and his gnarled old hands held a sword. This was like to be the patriarch, every fighting man had been in the battle today, there would be very little resistance left in the keep.

“I am Hagnon, King of Mirineth, I have come to hear your surrender” Hagnon said to the man. The older man’s brows furrowed in anger and he looked to his sword. Pelious kicked him in the knee causing him to drop, with a quick slam of his spear the long sword was ripped from the man’s grip and send clattering on the floor a few feet away. The man weezed for a moment before looking up to Hagnon and his men.

“Why do you attack us? We did nothing to you…” the man asked

“You keep men as cattle, you prosper from their labour without a thought of their fate… you bow to a Lord who has wronged my Goddess… How dare you claim land as your own when you have no means or desire to protect it… I did not see you in battle this day, instead I fund you cowering behind walls of stone well your men die in your name… I name you coward! And by my Goddess I judge you for the evils you and your ilk have wrought on this land” Hagnon’s voice thundered at the feeble old man, as divine wrath filled his heart as he stared at one so unworthy of his Goddess.

“What will the cost be for you to leave me and what is left of my lands alone?” The man asked, his head bowed in respect

“Ha” Hagnon barked the single note of laughter, though no mirth carried with it “There is no lands for you… I claim this land now as part of the Kingdom of Mirineth! Everything here is mine to have. Should you surrender now fully I will grant you the following; a clean death and proper burial for you and any men or women of fighting age left, children under four year will be given to one of my people to raise as citizens of my kingdom. Children of noble blood between the ages of Five and Twelve will be given to one of my Phali to be fostered. Your employee’s will be given the opportunity to join me or die, your slaves will be freed. Should you fail to surrender the same will happen, but you and yours will feel great pain for each of my men who suffers in achieving the same end.” The man looked up hopelessly

“Be Merciful great king, my daughter is no warrior, she is a scholar… will you not spare her and those that did not fight?”

“Your daughter knew of the evils of slavery and she chose not only to do nothing, but to participate in using the slaves… I will not suffer a slaver to live… now what is your answer Lord Antilles?” the old man’s shoulders slumped as he sucked in a deep breath… then he looked Hagnon in the eye

“I will not surrender so my family can be slaughtered!” he said with defiance, for a moment Hagnon almost had an ounce of respect for him

“So be it… Cenon, take him back to our line… Pelious sound your horn, let us do this the hard way” the man looked shocked as Cenon grabbed him and pulled him roughly to his feet and out the door

“Will you not return to your line first? Have you no honour?” The man yelled as Cenon dragged him away

“Honour is for the Honourable… I do not bow or tip my helm to rats and vermin” Hagnon said, hefting his spear and entering Antilles Range.

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A Moment in the Darkness

She was too late, too late to save the Schooner from that heinous spell. It was little comfort that she freed his soul when she could not return it to his body. The others didn’t know but Hikari was often frustrated at how limited her magic really was. Sure, there were many amazing things and feats she could accomplish thanks to her magic but it was never enough. There was always something she couldn’t do or lacked the knowledge to accomplish. It made no sense to her that magic was so different between different types of casters. Even divine spells or druidic spells should be possible save for the source of the power. And yet they were anything but. So she did what she could and often found herself lacking and blaming herself for what happened to those around her.

Hikari pushed those thoughts aside as Tar Di and Valeira came in sight. She ran to them engulfing both in a tight hug. Losing Thorbil was difficult to take as Hikari had become accustomed to his silent and solid presence being nearby. But she couldn’t bear the thought of losing Valeira or Tar Di and knew how close she’d come to exactly that more than once. What had she been thinking agreeing to bring them along on what was turning into a suicide mission? This was no hero’s journey to be made into song and recounted around the cheery hearth of a tavern. This was a tale of horror that none needed to relive or know about and she’d dragged them all the way out here and put them in mortal peril.

Hikari reluctantly let them go and stepped back so she could look them over for anything that might be serious enough to need attention. With a sigh of relief she looked back and forth between the two of them and shook her head, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t… I should’ve…”

“Stop.” Valeira interrupted, “You’ve done nothing wrong.”

“But you and Tar Di almost died because of me.” Hikari shook her head, “You’re both here now, in this place, facing these horrors because of me… Because I wanted you here with me.”

“The ship isn’t any safer.” Tar Di spoke up and Valeira nodded. “Exactly, here or there the danger isn’t lessened.”

“I was caught up in the idea of a grand adventure to the moon of all places to think it through. I thought I could keep you both safe if I kept you close. But I can’t. I’ve been selfish wanting you here and insisting that you come along. And now…” Hikari took a ragged breath and blinked back tears, “And now we are trapped in this god forsaken place with Thorbil and Johno dead and Miriel gone with no sure way out and… and I don’t want to lose you, either of you.”

“Oh Hikari. My dear, sweet Oselia.” Valeira hugged Hikari tightly. “You speak as if you could’ve kept us away.”

“But…”

“Hush now, my love, and listen.” Valeira kissed her, “I wanted to come, I wanted to be here with you no matter where that here was. Tar Di as well.” Valeira looked to Tar Di who nodded in affirmation, “You couldn’t stop us, not if you truly loved us.”

“Keeping someone safe, away from harm, away from anything that could affect them and away from you is not love. They become possessions, objects to be looked at from afar. But love is more precious and fragile and yet stronger than anything we might face if we are together. We will never know when our time is up, when the last moment we have is done and over with. Better to be with ones we love and squeeze every last precious ounce of life out of the short time we do have together. All the good, all the bad, and everything in-between it is ours to share and experience together.”

“We’re not done yet and we are not going to give up. But there is not place on Argyle or the moon I’d rather be than here in this moment with you my love.” Valeira grinned, “And you are crazy if you think you can apologize for that.”

“I hate this place. It’s a horrible nightmare I want to wake up from but… but Valeira is right Hikari. If this is where you are then I want to be there too.” Tar Di tried to keep a brave face but Hikari could see the tremble of her lips and how afraid she was. Hikari pulled her into the hug and the youth cried into her shoulder having seen and experienced things no one that young should have to.

“I thank the gods every night that brought you both to me. I promise I won’t keep you away from me.”

“Does that mean I can come in when you and Val are in your room and…” Tar Di began before she was interrupted with a resounding, “No!” from both Valeira and Hikari before all three started laughing.

“Umm, not that this hasn’t be a wonderful moment and all but we are in the lair of ultimate evil and I’m paralyzed and floating on a disc behind you.” Felatheia interjected.

“Sorry about that. Ummm Aurellia? You had the regeneration potion right?” Aurellia nodded and Hikari moved the disc over to her grimalkin friend. Then with one last squeeze she extracted herself and moved to join Felatheia. “That spell you used to become a tree, it fairly glowed with Bendu weave magic. Can you tell me where you learned it and would you be willing to learn more?”
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On Awakening pt 1

She awoke, once again there she was, huddled staring over the moon which sat a few feet from the orb that represented Argyle. This time there was no sign of Pan, nor was there any of the other familiar gods or goddess she knew, instead lying near her feet, near the moon orb was Dumatheon, his magma beard roiled onto the ground as he shuddered with pain, every few moments a small beam of orange light left him and flew over towards to moon. Miriel was tempted to lean in and watch, but she knew that would cause her to leave this place and put her back in the ground digging once more.

“You do not seem well” she stated looking at the dwarven god, noticing her he rolled onto his stomach and climbed up to his knees breathing heavily with the exertion.

“You did not build the churches… if you had I would have more power now to help you, alas the short-sightedness of youth” he coughed and weezed. Miriel took a step forward despite herself. The God Dumathion had not impressed her at the council, whining and forcing her to build churches on his behalf, yet still to see anyone in such pain caused a level of remorse within her. “I can hold my form no longer… please… I have…” he coughed and hacked “… I must share information, do not flee or attack… I am still… me…” as he said the final words another bout of hacking came upon him one that wracked him to the core as a large glob or orange was pulled from him and flew over to the moon. Before her now sat a new form, one distinctly alien and not at all dwarven… one of an aberrant. He could not help it, her foot moved backwards in disgust and it took all of her will not to cry shame as his beard became a mess of hideous tentacles. At once he was known to her, some innate part of her goodly spark told her that this was not Dwarven God of Crafting, no member of Gabriel’s Pantheon, this creature was old, this was Hastur, the unspeakable, to even think his name incorrectly could cause planets to undo. What he was doing here, why he posed as a godling with a Pantheon of good, she could not fathom. Seeing the spark of recognition in her eyes he nodded.

“It is I, but I am not here to make war… quite the opposite” he coughed again “When your sire fell, it was I who snuck away so that the spark could live. When I arrived I tried to warn this world that the Weave itself was threatened, that Yog-Sothoth moved against the realms of the inner gods. Alas, the war with the abyss and hells reigned strongly at the time, the aberrants played a major role and the gods newly minted had not trust for anything that resembled their enemy. My aid and warning would have fallen upon deaf ears…” another glob of orange was ripped from him and pulled towards the moon.

“What is happening to you?” Miriel asked watching the pain the creature endured with each bit of energy stolen

“The Kabal of Yog-Sothoth, they have identified me and steal my divine energies, when they have the last of it, they will use my source to sunder the weave”

“Why do you not stop this from happening?” Miriel inquired, knowing if someone tried stealing her energy she would smite them and be done with it.

“My power to resist is not what I would like it to be” The Outter God said through gritted teeth of pain. “Despite that, time grows ever shorter and it appears, despite the irony of our situation, that this time it will be you going in and I making a sacrifice…” he groaned and coughed again, but this time through force of will forced himself to rise to his feet. “Help me to the orb of Argyle” he stated. She hesitated, looked at him skeptically… “by your Sire… PLEASE” he implored, and something in her gave, just enough to offer him an arm and let him lean heavily as they shakily walked the few steps to the orb that represented Argyle. “Years ago, The Everlast, not recognising me, crafted items to help my chosen on their quest… he, nor any never understood what the quest was and so the items of my five seemed weak and ineffectual… now that changes” gathering what was left of his willpower Hastur reached out and as he did a screen of ruby, silver and emerald appeared around the orb. With precision not thought possible with great slimy hands he expelled a great amount of energy and snipped a tiny little thread of ruby that had come unravelled and hung loose. He then staggered backwards the red thread grew to be about six feet long before them. From his pocket he fished out a sapphire, a fine jewel, but a common one none the less. His handed took on a reddish glow and the ruby melted and reformed, slowly but surely it took its now form as a mighty scimitar with a sapphire jewel in the pommel and a delicate little key engraved into it. As he finished he faltered and nearly fell were it not for Mirrel’s quick reactions. He looked to her passing her the blade. “What was broken is now forged a new… the Keymaster must have his blade if there is any hope of victory to be one this day” with that he passed her the blade, offering a simple nod as a bow she humbly took it, understanding what this blade would mean to Flitt.

“Will you not come with us, will you not fight?” she asked seeing the god weaken again under the moon assault

“I will fight to the bitter end, but should I come any closer it will merely increase the amount they can steal from me. Have you yet mastered time?” he asked. She stared at him for a long moment

“I am very prompt for my appointments” despite the stolen energy the Outter God offered a snort of laughter. But instead he reached towards the orb of the moon and spun it backwards several times, each time he did a strand of brown came free of it, when he finished he took the brown strands and pressed them between his hands reveling an hourglass.

“When you return to your companions break this hourglass immediately, it will give them what they most desire” he turned to her and sighed one of resignation. “Now my friend we come to a choice… one that will stir you to the core, and cause you to call upon all the divine wisdom you have mustered so far… I may be able to hide myself as Dumatheon again for a short time, if so I can go to Yolo and request he give his attention toe fallen healer Johno. That would aid your companions greatly in the coming strife. Doing this however would allow the Kabal to continue siphoning my power, and allow them to get stronger. The other option that stands, is that you slay me now. Kill me and eat my heart, taking my divine energies; it would make you stronger and increase your deific ranking; but if you did not slay the Kabal quickly they would in time follow my energies to you and begin siphoning the power. Either way too much of me has been expended and my time comes to an end; decide now young one, which path will lead you to success.” He coughed and staggered looking to her for her response.

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Awaken or Dig

Miriel tunneled with all her might, desperate to reach her companions and save them from the evils of the Mind Flayers. With each crunching of claw on gravel she seemed to hear soft words whisper in her ear.

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Creative Fiction: Once More, With Feeling!
The Great Argyllian Story Contest!

Aurelia woke suddenly under a puffy comforter in a strange bedroom, with what she realized was a time keeping device ringing beside her head with strange magical numbers showing 07:00. She glared at it for a moment before reaching over and picking the strange device up, looking at it while humming a song under her breath.

Seconds later Aurelia drops it as the world shifts and she is in a graveyard; she whirled around, crouching in a defensive posture while reaching for her guns – and found them missing. She slowly rose, looking down at the strange clothing she was wearing, a black leather jacket, and plain clothes underneath. Her light blue hair was clasped at the back of her head, with a cross hanging from her neck.

Sighing, she started walking. “Can’t this kind of thing stop happening, just this once?” she asked herself, then frowned as power swelled around her, and music filled the air. Her next words came out in song, something which she couldn’t stop:

“Every single night, the same arrangement, I go out and fight the fight. Still I always feel this strange estrangement.” A vampire ran out at her from behind a gravestone, rushing at her but it was almost as if she knew exactly how to meet each of his attacks, spinning him as if he was a kind of ….”nothing here is real, nothing here is right?” she wondered out loud, her voice giving way to the song, as natural as breathing.

Whatever spell this was, it wasn’t going to let her go; no surprise, there, so may as well just go along with it…for now.

“I’ve been making shows of trading blows,” she sang as she punched, “just hoping no one knows,” then kicking the vampire and throwing him behind her. She continued. “That I’ve been going through the motions, walking through the part,” pulled a stake that seemed to materialize out of thin air in an inner jacket pocket, sang, “Nothing seems to penetrate my heart!” And staked the vampire in the heart – which, yes, was a bonus.

Aurelia continued walking, determined now to find her friends; they could be stuck in the same spell. “I was always brave, and kind of righteous. Now I find I’m wavering…” She sucked in her breath as she spied a familiar figure tied to a tree, surrounded by two vampires and some goat-looking demon thing. She attacks immediately, punching the vamps while singing “crawl out of your grave, you’ll find this fight just doesn’t mean a thing.”

“She ain’t got that swing,” one of the vamps chirped as he punched Aurelia to the ground.

“Thanks for noticing,” Aurelia intoned, lying there in an attempt to catch her breath while the two vampires and the goat demon suddenly began dancing together.

“She does very well with fiends from hell, but lately we can tell, that she’s just going through the motions,” “Going through the motions,” the goat demon harmonized, ignoring as the sylph slew the other two, “Faking it somehow…”

“She’s not even half the girl she” …Aurelia stabbed the demon, and he sang out “Owww!”

Aurelia groaned. “Will I stay this way forever? Sleepwalk through my life’s endeavour?” She raised the sword, trying to ignore the song and failing, slicing through the captive’s bonds. Johno, dressed in black pants and a silken white top that looked to be open at the top (but was hard to tell from all the body hair sprouting from it) rolled suggestively from the tree and winked at her. With beard swaying in a dramatic wind, he wagged his eyebrows suggestively at her, singing “How ken aye repay – “

Aurelia crinkled her nose and took a step back. “Whatever,” and tosses the sword away, leaving the dwarf behind while she belted out “I don’t want to beeeeeeee….” Aurelia spots a taller grave marker, and she leapt up to get a better view of the terrain, using the motion of the song’s culmination to help her jump. “Going through the motions, losing all my drive. I can’t even see, if this is really me, and I just want to beeeeee….”

A last vampire jumps out at her, and she dusts him while raising her voice in the last words of the song, “AAAAALLLLLIIIIIIIIIIIVVE!!!!”

The music ended abruptly, and Aurelia found herself moving from one step to another through a door into what appeared to be a curios shop.

“Aurelia!” Thaden said a little too cheerfully from his spot on the counter, and Aurelia looked over to see the guard mouse behind a troubled Hikari and Valeria, their hands entwined. Flit sat at a table nearby holding onto some donuts, one in each hand, flicking a guilty tongue from between his lip to lick the pastries not in his hands, but in the nearby box.

Aurelia stuck her own tongue out in disgust before snapping it back; she was about to one her mouth to chastise him when Flit said, “Yeah, yeah, respect the donut, or tame it, or…this joke is getting crueler as we go.”

“Still not funny, frog,” Miriel said as she passed by to go behind the counter.

“So, uh, you guys remember how you go here? Fight any monsters or whatnot, on the way?” She swallowed her disappointment when Flit and Thaden shook their heads, and continued. “Good, I mean, not good…so…uh, did anybody, uh you know, just a moment ago, you know, did anybody, um…burst into song?”

“Merciful Bro…” Flit exclaims; everyone in the room stared at him, then directed their stares to Aurelia before exclaiming their own experiences, voices overlapping as they all spoke at once.

Hikari rushed over with Valeria close beside. “We thought it was just us!” the mage said, Valeria nodding her agreement. “We were talking and then it was like – “

“You were in one of Krieger’s strange musical plays?” Aurelia asked, with a chorus of agreement around the room; even Thaden looked a little stunned as he muttered “it would explain the huge orchestra I couldn’t see and the synchronized dancing from the rest of the Littles this morning…”

Valeria did a small dance in place as she squeezed Hikari’s arm in excitement. “We did a whole duet about dish washing, an entire verse about cous-cous – and even I don’t know what that is!”

“We were arguing,” Miriel said, throwing a look of suffering patience at Flit. “Everything rhymed and there were harmonies, and the dance with coconu –”

“Ahem! It was very disturbing!!” Flit agreed, loudly interrupting Miriel.

“You are the one who decided to fill them with your mighty jui-”

“I SAID IT WAS VERY DISTURBING!!!!” Flit shouted quickly, and the Goddess shrugged and wandered over to peruse the various curios in the shop, with an amused smirk on her lips.

“What did you sing about, Aurelia?” Thaden asked, and she reddened.

“I don’t remember,” she said quickly. “But it seemed perfectly natural,” she added.

“But disturbing,” Flit reminded her, with a glare to Miriel. “And not the natural order of things, and do you think it will it happen again??”

“I don’t know,” Thaden said. “I should look into it – a Master should be able to do that.”

“With the books?” Hikari asked, to which Valeira replied “Do we have any books on this?”

Flit jumped onto the table, breaking it instantly and sending him sprawling. Under everyone’s stares he blushed, heaving himself up and fisting his palm (Yeah, I said that). “Well, we just gotta break it down. Look at the factors before it happens again. Because I for one -”

Thaden jumped up, music swirling like magic around him, and sang “I’ve got a theory, that it’s a demon, a dancing demon! No, something isn’t right there…”

“I’ve got a theory, some kid is dreamin’ and we’re all stuck inside his wacky DonTon nightmare!” Hikari trilled in response, and Valeira put up her palms and shook them grandly.

Flit crossed his arms, annoyed. “I’ve got a theory we should work this out…”

They all joined in and chorused “It’s getting eerie, what’s this cheery singing all about??”

“It could be Elves! Some evil elves!” Flit sang back, but silence greeted him along with a hum of indignation through the bond he shared with Thalion. “Which is ridiculous, ‘cause Elves are being persecuted, wicked good, and love the earth, and trans power, and I’ll be over here…” Flit’s voice trailed off as he quickly sat out of the way.

Miriel stood up. “I’ve got a theory! It could be the trees…”

More silence from the group, and yet more stares. The sound of crickets chirping actually join in, but Miriel ignored them, rolling her hips and pantomiming playing a brazen lyre as she rocked, the music getting louder as she sang. “Trees aren’t just relaxing like everybody supposes! They’ve got them leaves and sap, and twitchy swaying poses! And what’s with all the roots? What do they need such grabby tentacles anyway???? Trees, trees, it must be treeeeeees…or maybe gnomes…”

Hikari put her face in her palm for a moment before singing quietly, “I’ve got a theory we should work this fast…because it clearly could get serious before it’s passed…”

Everyone nods and the group begins to disperse, but Aurelia stood up, her clear voice rising. “Iv’e got theory. It doesn’t matter.” Her words arresting their movements, she continues her song. “What can’t we face if we’re together? What’s in this place that we can’t weather? Apocalypse? We’ve all been there. The same old trips, why should we care?”

All together, moving as one dance unit, all but Thaden joined in a serenade: “What can’t we do if we get in it? We’ll work it through within a minute. We have to try. We’ll pay the price. It’d do or die.”

“Hikari’s died twice…” Aurelia crooned, then mouthed “sorry!!” to Hikari.

“There’s nothing we can’t face…”

“Except for the trees….” Miriel’s god-like voice adjourned the song; the room was quiet for just a moment before Flit added in a normal voice, “See, okay, that was disturbing…”

Music swells Stay tuned for more, Aurelia, the Vampire Slayer!! Music ends dramatically

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Blood of the Goddess pt 8

CRACK

SCULCH

CRUNCH

“oh gods… oh why… whhhhhhy” Zazz sniffled and cried as he swung the hatchet into the upper leg of his once mentor and friend Aranite. Thick hunks of coagulated blood splattered in every direction with each clumsy swing of the tool.

“Quit your crying Zazz” Arnold hissed, we have only hacked through two legs and we still have a lot to get through before morning. The gnome looked up at his friend, Zazz’s face had gone white and had an abject look of horror permanently plastered there. Arnold let out a sigh and left the bellows to come speak to his friend again

“Look Zazz, I told you, he was a worshiper of the Night Wind… and the guy who killed him… he said he was a Day Wind worshiper, so we have to burn him into smoke, and send him off before morning, else he’s gonna go to the evil Day Wind God… I worked it all out in my head” Arnold said patting the gnome on the shoulder

“But I don’t, I don’t see why I have to hack him apart” Zazz sniffled. Arnold let out a big sigh

“Because we can’t fit a centaur in the furnace whole silly… so we have to cut him into manageable sizes”

“Couldn’t we just have have a big bonfire on the grounds and burn him in one go…. it, it’s just so… so… I don’t know… let’s just burn him whole” Zazz stammered out

“And scorch the lawn Zazz?” Arnold asked with a tone of annoyance “Do you think that’s what he’d of wanted? a big black burn on the grass? that’s crazy Zazz” The gnome hung his head in shame at the rebuke from Arnold, but looked down at the blood soaked hatchet in his hand

“I’ll never get this done before dawn… not with this thing” he said. Arnold looked at him and nodded in cold agreement

“I concur, and from the almost nothing I know about this religion, getting him burnt before dawn is super important… hmmm” The Dactyl put his hand to his chin in concentration “grab a chisel and mallet, that should help us break through the bone more efficiently” Zazz nodded at him and stood walking shakily to the smithy to find the right tools.

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Colours of the Wind, pt 2

Lunar date unknown – Moon Bag World

The Goddess stretched out in griffin pose, wings outstretched to the sides while her chest brushed the ground and her bottom rose into the air. She remained in the pose for a long count, completely oblivious to the suddenly deep breathing of the Schooner of Yolo beside her until she brought herself back down to a resting stance.

“Speak of this exchange, Dwarf. My stretching should not distract you; indeed, you would be wise to memorize my movements to practice later.”

He coughed as if he was choking and she glanced at him in concern; his hand came up indicating to give him a moment, so she shrugged and returned to her previous position. A few moments later, Johno breathed in deeply. “No, not distractin’ in the least, Goddess. It might take us a long time to, er, hammer out the details; would it not be better, if ye are still interested o’ course, in speakin’ further about thet some place more comfortable? Perhaps as soon as when we get back to thet ship? I would not say no to ye invitin’ me in to yer chambers for a deep and exploratory exchange of our – ”

“Miriel!”

Johno growled in what Miriel could only surmise as a greeting to the Captain and their Mate ..which surprised Miriel as she hadn’t realized he could speak cat, so that would be helpful later should they need to speak to Aurelia in her other forms. She stood and flashed her approaching Champions a warm smile as they approached, but they did not look happy; as they reached her rock, both levelled a hard stare at Johno. While the two jealously guarded her private time, she felt there was a reason more for their glares at the Dwarf.

“Do not worry, my friends, Johno is here as a symbol of friendship from the great Yolo.”

“Really…I’m sure he is,” Aurelia said.

“See, my Captain? Even Aurelia agrees,” Miriel said. Without allowing Ser Thalion a response, the Goddess turned to the Schooner and continued. “I have thought on your offer, friend Johno, and it occurs to me that an exchange would be reasonable.”

“Thank ye, Goddess; ye won’t regret the thunder.” He grinned, eyes sweeping down her body.

Miriel smiled. “I am glad you think so, Schooner. I will inform my high priest of your intent, and he I’m sure will be eager to do me proud.”

Johno blinked…and blinked again. “Whut?”

“An exchange of this caliber would not be true if it was with my Divinity; you would not get a realistic gauge of my worship if you did not have the sex with one of my priests. If he is unwilling, would you be willing to wait once I have ordained another?”

Johno’s jaw dropped but before he could comment Ser Thalion stepped forward and pointed in the direction of the main camp. “Schooner, I was hoping you could go and speak with Mr. Fargazer in preparation of the camp defence. We have decided it would be wise to begin preparations for the defence of the camp and he would like to find out just what spells you have available or should make ready, go over tactics, what potions and magical items we have, that sort of thing.”

“But…”

Ser Thalion nodded, waving a hand. “Oh yes. Thank you, Schooner.” he added, his tone dismissive.

“Yes, Captain,” Johno replied and stomped down to the camp and the awaiting frog.

“Trouble, Captain?” Miriel asked, to which Ser Thalion nodded.

“Yes, my Goddess. Master Thaden was just visited by the ghost of his noble Master; the Champion’s Thrust was attacked and sunk, by Shepard.” The elf ground his lips together, and his eyes pooled a little, but otherwise his face betrayed nothing more.

Miriel nodded. “I’d wondered what vessel was destroyed.” At the odd looks, Miriel felt a surge of shame. “My apologies, I just found out that a Champion had been sunk, but I became distracted.”

“How did you find out?” Aurelia asked, puzzled, just as Ser Thalion shook his head and said “You but toy with the Schooner, my Goddess.”

“Hagnon has found the wreckage,” she explained. “I was listening to his prayers. He is a very attentive worshipper; he builds me altars wherever he goes, so I am able to hear him more clearly, I think. He will avenge our fallen comrades.” She hesitated before speaking again. “I miss Prancer. I thought, if I could distract myself with Johno’s request…but you are right, if I have the sex with him it will be because I desire him. He is not unworthy, which makes it unworthy of me to play.”

Instinctively Aurelia hugged her Goddess, and then their captain did something he rarely did – drew them both in for an embrace as well. “We all miss Prancer, my Goddess,” he murmured, and the three stood locked in comfort for a long while before separating.

“Miriel, it might be a good idea to warn Hagnon about Shepard; is there any way you could get through to him?”

Miriel nodded. “I will try; I thought I would attempt to listen in on Arinite as well, to check on his progress on my temple in Chistles Point.”

“In the meantime, can you also assist in building; we’ll be needing some some fortifications and whatnot around the camp, while we all discuss the best spells and defences to use while in bag world.”

“Of course, my Captain.”

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Blood of the Goddess pt 7

Zazz and Ave leaned over the dead body of poor Aranitie, Ave had tears streaming down her face as Zazz mumbled to himself

“no, no no no, no” the little Gnome cried. Arnold led the two warriors of Selwyn around the smithy showing them what happened and confirming their were no other malcontents in the area. The two warriors conduced a through search of the area, but at last concluded that their had only been the one attacker, and now that he was dead, this was no longer their issue. they bowed in respect to the Dactyl and two Gnomes before turning and leaving for their temple.

“What are we gonna do, what are we gonna do?” Ave cried, shaking back and forth

“no… no no no” Zazz continued to wimper over the body of his departed employer and friend.

“We’re gonna have to do something” Arnold said looking over at the smithy and the land beyond it. Zazz and Ave looked at him, the three were all apprentices and rather new apprentices at that, they knew nothing of the business of running a smithy. They knew little more than forging nails.

“What about Aranite?” Ave asked, Zazz and Arnold looked to her “Like, do we bury him? and if so… where? do we burn him? who do you even talk to about that?”

“Better question” Arnold said “How do we pay ourselves? or feed ourselves? can we still live here?”

“No No No, we’re in soooo much trouble, what are we gonna do?”

“We’ll think of something…” Arnold said “we have to”

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