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Veraka's Saga (Spoilers, BG:EE only)



  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    As they came nearer nigh him, the gnome nodded and nattered,
    Speaking to himself seemingly as much as to the seekers.
    "Mad Arcand am I, making more much ado,
    Talking to tricky travelers of what may be true
    (oh wertle, my wertle, oh dear wertle-woo)."
    Veraka smiled, "I find you in fine fettle my friend,
    For being so far from fine food and fine inns.
    Tell me, Mad Arcand, oh how might it be
    That a thoughtful thaumaturge be thrown down by the sea?"
    "Oh dear me, a damsel most dauntless and shrewd
    Asking questions she oughtn't, queries quite to delude
    (good wertle, nice wertle, oh no wertle-woo).
    A ship surely shall I be schlepped on past-tense,
    Misfortune befell it, for I become dense
    (future wertle, past wertle, present wertle-woowoo).
    So much now has been said of such sensible stuff,
    He went to the chimney and stuffed the tree up!
    (oh wertle the turtle, doctor wertle-woos)."
    Xzar cried, "We should keep him, he could come in handy
    When next we're in Beregost, stealing wine and brandy!"
    Mad Arcand winked, "My word, that would never wertle-do,
    I come crazy enough without quaffing cups too!
    (oh wertle, drunk wertle, go home wertle-wertle-woo).
    Instead there's a ring on a wreck you might reach,
    I wouldn't soon wear it or my wiles you'll teach
    (more wertles, more wertles, wertle-wertle-wertle-woo).
    Bring back my bright bauble, this boring task I beg you,
    For you sorts seem like heroes, seeking stuff's what you do
    (fetch wertles, kill wertles, rescue wertle-wertle-woos)."
    Veraka marked, "Mad Arcand, you make mention too true,
    We will help with your want for we've naught else to do.
    The ring we'll retrieve in a right timely way,
    Don't wander too far, for I'll fetch it this day."
    Garrick said, "All this rhyme seems a sport surely silly,
    Yet lyrics are read rightly as rough poems, really.
    I'm content to keep company with this crazy cad,
    We should camp the coast here til more cures can be had."
    Minsc said, "Don't be silly! Your songs stir success,
    And your crossbow be cranked even though you could miss.
    Be bold and brave bard, and play on despite beatings,
    For our blades to be sure and bring forth better biting!"
    Boo squeaked in solidarity, sitting on Minsc's broad
    They traveled down the coast,
    A shipwreck soon to see.
    Before they could approach,
    Fell foes came up the beach.

    (NOTES: "He went to the chimney and stuffed the tree up!" is a line lifted straight out of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!", and "wertle the turtle, doctor wertle-woos" is referencing "Yertle the Turtle" and Dr. Seuss, respectively. Mad Arcand also effectively references a meme, as if saying "Go home wertle, you're drunk." He also makes fun of traditional RPG quests exactly like the one he is giving: "fetch wertles, kill wertles, rescue wertle-wertle-woos." Also, you might notice Minsc doesn't quite rhyme...)

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited November 2016
    There came now carrion crawlers, cursed creepy creatures:
    Yellowish slug-centipedes, with slimy tentacles surrounding
    Their heads, and a putrid pungence palpable to smell
    Not unlike corpse and compost mixed with chemicals.
    Two such creatures slid slimy from a small seashore cave,
    But the first fell far before it could face the fierce fighters,
    Full of feathered shafts fired from bows found formidable.
    The second made melee against mighty Minsc,
    And slung some strikes towards the singer Veraka.
    It landed lucky blows, which locked up the limbs
    Of both brave defenders, brought low by paralysis.
    Held helpless, both heroes had no defense
    Against the bites brought to bear, Veraka's blood flowed.
    Xzar damaged the dire foe with Larloch's Minor Drain,
    And Imoen shot surely with shortbow and arrow,
    Yet the carrion crawler still kept biting their companion.
    Just as it seemed the jester might meet a jarring end,
    Xan came close enough to cast Color Spray in a cone,
    And the carrion crawler collapsed unconscious on
    the coast.
    The horrid beast was slain;
    They tended bard and ranger.
    Their strength they soon regained,
    Now more mindful of danger.

    A short way up the shore lay the Shimmering Sidhe,
    A wrecked vessel with some vestige of its former verve.
    Veraka had never seen a sailing ship so close before,
    And climbed aboard curious despite carrion crawler wounds.
    They found few things fit for salvage, most was foul and fractured,
    But in a small cabin came across a room clearly arcane
    Which held but one treasure within: a worn ring.
    Veraka reached for it, but Xan ran ahead and wrapped it
    Within a cloth rag, remarking, "This ring has raw magic,
    It could claim you with a curse, one cannot be too careful.
    While such relics are rare, I would rather not risk it."
    Veraka turned to him, touched by his concern,
    And simply smiled sweetly a moment before saying,
    "So be it, we will bear this bauble well-bundled
    Back to our barmy buffoon and this business
    be done."
    They came back up the coast,
    And found the gnome once more.
    Veraka came foremost
    With the bundle Xan once bore.

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,360
    Really, this is geniusly!

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited November 2016
    Retrieving the rare ring, they came rambling back
    And Veraka presented the peculiar package as promised.
    Mad Arcand burbled, "My bright bauble, where had it been buried?
    (Probably the last place I put it precisely, unvaried;
    oh wertle, ring of wertles, lasting wertle-wertle-woos)
    Now I know nasty notions of Mad Arcand's commotions,
    How he hassles for help yet has naught in return,
    So here, have this bottle, but hark, don't unstopple
    Or (wertle, blistered wertle) the bard will be burned."
    So saying, the small gnome selected a stout flask
    Pulled from his pocket, and presented as proud prize.
    Xzar whispered, "We should work together to see whether
    A potion could be produced with pixie blood and pig leather
    That could compact a whole corpse to the confines of a carafe;
    Those geezers'll be galled when I give out their gaffe!"
    Imoen piped, "Well, a potion is plain superior to nothin',
    But this better be worth it, and you best not be bluffin'!"
    Minsc cried, "Carrion crawlers are cruel creatures to cross,
    But we beat them back boldly! Our brave beguiler was the crux."
    Garrick leered, "Your last line would laud our lifeless Xan?
    Imoen merits more mention than that meager man."
    At this, Xan, who had held back his speech near the hermit,
    Began, "Some brash bards might brag of their deeds bold,
    Yet most amount to no more than hot air and mold.
    I believe your crossbow loosed not one bolt for biting,
    And your song stirred up nothing in soldiers sore fighting.
    Veraka risked all to preserve us, a real heroine she rates;
    Tell again how you helped her in hardships of late."
    Garrick gave a great gasp, ready to give grief to Xan,
    But Veraka interrupted, readily replying to the raving rover,
    "Oh Mad, Mad Arcand with your mouldering mind,
    Your dizzying ditties are more cryptic than kind.
    But thanks for this thingie, though unknown it be.
    Oh I'm tempted, too tempted to test it and see...
    But you've warned it works wounds, and your words I will follow:
    At the least I swear sure I won't swill it or
    Mad Arcand gave a grave nod,
    Then disappeared from sight.
    They thought the fellow odd;
    Xzar said to stay the night.

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    "Tis time, my tawdry temptresses, to take a rest,
    For this foray would fare more finely and fiercely
    With a new night's rest. Now get unknackered, nitwits!"
    Xzar commanded clearly, uncurling a clumped bedroll.
    "Um, Xzar, don't you see it's still daylight darling?"
    Veraka trilled; and truly, it was not yet 2 o'clock.
    "Most assuredly madam, but we are mostly murdered,
    The great garrulous lump Garrick is gravely ill, I grant,
    Minsc is still mincemeat from the ogre mage mauling,
    And you have been bitten bountifully as befits a banquet.
    The mana wells of Xan and Xzar have turned xerothermic:
    Where once the waters flowed, we are woefully withered,
    And few spells are stocked should any strife start.
    Despite the dreary daylight, I deem it wise to dream
    And refresh our raw reserves before we really get reamed,"
    Xzar said surreptitiously, stealing a sneaky glance sideways.
    "So now can we stop and sleep?" Garrick asked in some annoyance.
    "Yeah V'aka, y'don't want your friends yenched and yoked, do ya?"
    Imoen murmured, making moves toward unpacking a meal.
    Veraka sighed, seeing they were sore beset by strife,
    And said, "Set up here, strike a fire and set watches.
    We won't be caught unawares by wanderers in these woods,
    Nor claim no concern from creatures creeping along the coast.
    We will rest and recover 'til our reserves restore rightly,
    I hope."
    They set camp near the coast,
    Watching both land and sea.
    They set the guard shift posts,
    And slept beneath the trees.

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited December 2016
    Canto VI

    They found fitful rest, for few could yet sleep,
    Instead relaxing and reclining, or rubbing sore muscles.
    Some nodded off with naps, others nattered good-natured,
    But Veraka stalked over to Xan, seeking to study.
    At his questioning gaze, she requested, "May I query:
    I was wondering if you would mind walking me through
    More mysteries of magic? I'm most eager for mentoring."
    Xan studied her for a heartbeat, his words hesitating,
    Taking in the travel-worn jester, her troubling attractiveness:
    The riveting red hair that rode just past her shoulders,
    The red and blue harlequin of her outrageous pantaloons
    Peeking out from a pair of pretentious red boots
    And concealed somewhat by a strangely sober chain hauberk
    Which she wore unwearied while they wandered the wilds.
    Beneath hauberk and padding, she wore red-and-blue tights
    That matched the mad outfit made manifest from beneath;
    This showed her supple curves and no slight amount of skin
    When she was at rest, or while performing wacky wiles.
    His gaze followed her fair skin, flowing along her fetching neck
    To fall for a moment on her full, flirtatious lips
    Before being brought by her high cheekbones and long nose
    To eyes as green as any elf's, entrancing and alluring,
    Bright as the first buds of spring after a bleak bitter winter.
    He realized he was staring when her countenance grew wry,
    As he had not heard her follow-up question to him.
    Embarrassed, the blushing Greycloak blurted,
    "Um, what?"
    "I said, is that okay?"
    "Of course! Please, have a seat.
    Enchantments start today."
    Xan wished he could retreat.

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    "No doubt you know some necromancy from the nutjob Xzar,
    And I have helped you to have illusions since he has no access.
    Enchantment and charm, I fear, is a far more fickle art,
    Requiring subtlety rarely seen in rudimentary spells.
    While the wizardry required to work the symbols seems wieldy,
    You will find finer control a vexing feat fraught with failure.
    However hard and hopeless it seems though, take heart:
    I do not doubt you can develop adept control more directly
    Than most poor apprentices who bungle pitifully for power."
    "Why is that?" Veraka wondered, though she was well-pleased.
    "Despite the difficulties you'll endure delving deeper,
    One cannot mistake the merit of your magnificent magnetism.
    Not any churl can be an enchanter, the charm spells we cherish
    Are governed by our guile: gods-gifted charisma.
    Though true control takes talent and untold training,
    You may gain a rough grasp good enough for mental grapples
    Not unlike a new novice of mighty sinews and nimbleness
    Whose aptitude puts them plainly past parity with their peers."
    "Not unlike being a bard: our charisma is brought to bear
    In singing spellsongs, these are more than simple sounds.
    As a jester in particular, I pit my persuasion against willpower,
    Forcing my foes to feel fierce and confusing emotions,"
    Veraka noted, and noticed Xan nodded in agreement.
    "Truly, you may take to it in a more timely manner
    Than many students of spellcraft in solemn, silent study.
    I caution you, of course, not to get cocky,
    Practice patiently to avoid all the pertinent perils. Now, let's
    She studied spells with Xan
    For hours passing quiet.
    As nightfall then began,
    Xzar raised ruckus and riot.

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    "Thieves! Fire! Murder!" Xzar made most maleficent cry,
    Skittering screaming like a streak into the camp's silence.
    Eyes popped open and people piled out of bed,
    Dazed and confused at Xzar's calamitous consternation.
    "Xzar, what is it?!" Veraka commanded, clasping his cloak.
    "Terrible, too terrible! It was just... um, it was...
    Oh right! I report back from my range-roving watch
    To tell of two travelers talking not far to the east.
    I think they mean to murder us, these men seem most malevolent!"
    Quickly the questers took arms for quarrel,
    But before the bold heroes could bear arms east,
    There arrived a rare rover rapidly crossing the terrain,
    A well-muscled man covered in mystic tattoos
    And bald as could be, being shorn of all hair,
    Stood shirtless before them, seeming concerned.
    "From Hell's heart I stab at thee!" Xzar held high his dagger,
    And plunged pitching forward in pontificating peril.
    The stranger stepped aside, and Xzar sailed past
    To plant face-first in a clump of wildflowers.
    "I was worried when I heard screaming come from the wilds,
    Are you alright? I ran here ready for some raging battle,
    But there must be some mistake, you seem mostly safe
    Aside from the strange screaming man trying to stab me.
    Perhaps we need a new start, my name is Rasaad,"
    The tattooed man turned a sweeping bow to all of them,
    His words curiously clipped with a crisp accent.
    "Xzar, why did you think this dapper fellow a demon?"
    Veraka asked, taking in the taut tattoos of the traveler.
    "Those are symbols of Selune, Skulking Skank of the Moon,
    It can only mean murder and mayhem!" Xzar mumbled,
    His mouth full of flowers that fluttered out with each word.
    "Why do you speak these words when you must know otherwise?
    Selune is the moonmaiden, most magnanimous and full of mystery;
    You cannot mean your cruel words, is this some kind of joke?
    That would make more sense, I must admit," Rasaad mused.
    Clearing her throat, Veraka claimed clearly,
    "Well met, Rasaad, your moonmaiden is most welcome.
    I am Veraka Cursebringer, leader of this curious crew,
    This is Imoen, Xan, Xzar, and of course mighty Minsc,
    Oh, and Garrick," Veraka grinned, while Garrick
    With introductions made,
    A new man came in view.
    "This fellow in the shade:
    Rasaad, is he with you?"

    "A new acquaintance this very night, so no, miss Veraka.
    He may be helpful however, I think he can heal wounds,"
    Rasaad said simply, but Xzar scoffed then and said,
    "His name is The Surgeon, how cold and creepy can you get?
    I wish I'd thought of it. Anyway, we cannot trust his witchcraft!"
    An old man bundled in black was now brought into view,
    Who seemed to calmly catalog their calamitous wounds
    Before saying, "If you need my services, I am The Surgeon,
    I can provide this camp with cures and cleanse your ills."
    "So you're not just A surgeon, but THE surgeon?" Veraka said,
    "That certainly seems strange, especially on this secluded shore.
    Why do you wander here, and what price will your wares be?"
    "I have much to make up for, for my brother Davaeorn is a mage
    Wreaking ruin and ravaging nature with what he has wrought.
    Therefore this thaumaturgy I would not think to charge for,
    It is my penance I partake willingly, my plight for not stopping him."
    "Oh... well in that case, we would be willing
    To take what cures you would grant with gratitude,"
    Veraka said, and struck some companions as too trusting.
    However, the strange man seemed serious about succor,
    And had them all healed in hardly a few moments.
    He dipped in the dark woods and disappeared after,
    Leaving them to linger with the latent visitor
    "Tell me, what brings you here?"
    Veraka asked Rasaad.
    "I wander now, I fear,
    Through a maze of shadows odd."

    "Minsc is not meant for mazes, much too tricky for muscle,
    But Boo believes he could find the cheese you beseek!"
    Minsc bellowed brightly, and Boo squeaked beside him.
    "No my friend, not a literal maze meant for a mouse-"
    "Hamster!" Minsc harangued, holding out his pet Boo.
    "My apologies, but no maze meant for hamsters either.
    While I travel now to a temple, in truth I am troubled,
    In no hurry to arrive and release my regrets.
    But tonight is no time to trouble you with my tale,
    What brings you all wandering to this windswept wild?"
    "We're on a noble quest," Imoen cut in quite quickly,
    "To cure the iron crisis, and catch a cruel murderer!
    We're noble types like you too, tracking down evil truly.
    So, did your moonmaiden make you this muscle-y and mouthwatering?"
    Imoen sidled up and slid her hand over his tattooed stomach.
    "No, that took time, many years of intense training,"
    Rasaad chuckled and retreated from the cheeky girl's charms,
    "Though your task sounds truly worthy, if tough to complete.
    Perhaps we could speak more of the moonmaiden's mysteries,
    And discover indeed if our paths cross, or diverge,"
    Rasaad had returned readily to Veraka, and Imoen pouted.
    "D'you think if I dyed my hair pink, people would deign to notice me?"
    Imoen asked Garrick, growing dejected and green with envy.
    "Believe me Imoen, any man must surely notice you,
    You give a gorgeous glow, full of life and great beauty,"
    Garrick said, for once sounding completely sincere.
    "Go on..." Imoen said, grabbing Garrick and going off to
    the side.
    "Are you sure she won't mind?"
    Garrick asked with a frown.
    "My life's my own to find,
    And my kisses won't drown."

    The others had not noticed the young pair sneak away,
    Too curious of the newcomer to pay close attention.
    Minsc seemed mostly happy with meeting the monk,
    But Xzar seemed to stalk him, and whispered slanted insults.
    Xan, in particular, grew a ghastly shade of green
    As Veraka curiously questioned the calm, collected monk,
    And made no attempt to mask her admiration of his muscles.
    "So tell me more of this moonmaiden, Selune," Veraka murmured,
    "What does worshiping the moon have to do with punching mooks?"
    "The sun god Amaunator's power was split among many,
    And the ancient orders around him split, adhering to new allegiance:
    Some to Lathander, some to Selune, and a very few to Sune.
    Of the many monk orders, the moonmaiden offers mystery,
    Enlightenment achieved by reflection, just as the moon radiates solar rays.
    As for punching, our discipline is not predicated on pain;
    Instead, we seek peaceful solution through speech and meditation.
    We fight only when we must, but we stay in fine form,
    Always vigilant to the attacks of the traitorous Shar."
    Veraka pursed her lips, perturbed. "Peaceful solution?"
    "We cannot be cruel and kill our enemies in callous disregard,
    Always lending the moonmaiden's light for leniency
    And offering true atonement to save those who are lost."
    Veraka's face grew more chagrined as her girlish glow faded,
    And a pained look crossed her pate as she peered at him perplexed.
    "You don't believe in delivering justice, doling out dire deeds?"
    "Of course I do, but we can always seek kinder methods first.
    When all other options are exhausted, only then we opt for violence,"
    Rasaad said, not seeming to understand Veraka's strained look.
    Xan came to Veraka's side then, and coldly he claimed,
    "Many times we must make judgment to mete out justice
    And decide the doom of death-dealers who deny all diplomacy.
    Even when some may wheedle and whine for weak mercy,
    We can conclude in many cases they cannot be trusted
    And have no time to take them to task or trial.
    How many horrid hell-raisers would you release
    To wreak havoc, rape and ruin across the realms
    On the slender chance some few might stay their slaughter?
    We must do our duty and defend the law duly,
    Even when it must merit more harsh means for justice."
    Rasaad looked at Xan as if he'd said something in Sossic,
    But a smile spread across Veraka's lips at his
    "A coin flip, then," she said,
    Meaning the tattooed monk.
    "And if it comes up heads,
    You'll need to pack your trunk."

    "Thieves! Fire! Murder!" is a reference to Radagast the Brown from the recent Hobbit movies when he first meets the company of Thorin Oakenshield. Xzar then goes on to reference Captain Ahab from "Moby Dick": "From Hell's heart I stab at thee!"

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    "Truly, I travel light, no trunk will be necessary.
    But wait, why would you be willing to wager
    Our fates and our future upon a coin flip?"
    Rasaad asked suddenly, seeming shocked and bewildered.
    But the coin came casting and curling through the air,
    Landing at last lodged in a log, stuck on its edge.
    "Well, that's never happened," Veraka noted, now confused.
    Rasaad took a moment reconsidering the rovers:
    The conversation Minsc kept conspicuously with Boo,
    The green-robed Xzar who glared and gave him grief,
    Purple-robed Xan, possessively protecting the jester,
    And the two troublesome teenagers... now where had they tarried?
    "I... apologize profusely, but perhaps we are incompatible,
    I believe my fate falls along a different path, forgive me.
    It has been interesting to become acquainted with bold heroes,
    But I seek civilization now to reconsider my status.
    Farewell, perhaps fate will find us friends in the future,"
    Rasaad said with a smile and a sweeping bow,
    Then left before anyone could continue the conversation,
    "He's buggered off," she blinked,
    "I think I feel insulted."
    "No matter," Xzar then winked,
    "New conflicts still resulted."

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited December 2016
    "You say that as if strife should be something I sought,"
    Veraka replied wryly, returning to camp with Xan.
    "I do not doubt danger and doom dwell close to us,
    We have hardly a need to hope we happen across it,"
    Xan sighed in saturnine despair, stepping sadly.
    "Oh, no," Xzar cooed coyly, "conflict can come in many forms,
    Neither danger nor doom do I describe, doxy."
    "Then what wearisome wiles will we encounter, Xzar?"
    Veraka asked, hoping he had only sought to harass her.
    "Oh, nothing, nevermind. Now go learn new spells,
    I'm sure nothing strange or unseemly stirs the shadows,"
    Xzar lilted, lightly settling on a low tree limb.
    "Fine, we will find out any fell fates after food,
    Since THE surgeon healed us, there's no sense in staying,"
    Veraka said, but Xan stood studying the scene, scowling.
    "Where is Imoen?" Xan wondered, his words betraying worry.
    "Probably she had to pee, I wouldn't pester her privacy.
    If she's not back before long, I'll bring her to breakfast,
    Or whatever this meal is," Veraka muttered merrily,
    Though something nagged and gnawed at her now about the night.
    "This makes sense," Minsc said after many moments,
    "Minsc guesses Garrick has gone to go as well!
    Better to bring a buddy when your buttocks are bare,
    It would be just like Evil to jump you in your
    "Garrick is gone as well?"
    Veraka asked, incensed.
    "He ought to wear a bell,"
    Xan quipped in quick cadence.

    "Imoen wouldn't... I mean, he might be magnetic, but c'mon!
    Surely she sees she shouldn't... he kissed that shrew Shoal!"
    Veraka said sharply, nearly shouting as she paced.
    "My witch thinks those two took off to tangle in romance?
    Well done, romping rascals!" Minsc roared and chuckled.
    "That bard had better be doing something benign,
    Or he'll wish he was a woman when I'm through with him!"
    Veraka vowed, veering off in vehement search.
    "You would not wish happy wants for Imoen?" Minsc wondered,
    Who came confused after Veraka, seeking clarity.
    "Popcorn?" Xzar asked, handing a handful to Xan hastily
    As he too took off after the tour of trouble.
    "This may well be amusing," Xan mused to himself,
    None too fond of the frippery or fetching face of Garrick,
    And ran after the rowdy ramblers, soon reaching the remote
    Upon the shore below,
    They saw the two embraced:
    His shirt now just for show,
    Her bodice half-unlaced.

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    Veraka surveyed the scene, seething such it seemed to Xan
    She would punish Garrick from here, impaled by a harpoon throw
    Of her two-handed sword slung across some forty yards.
    But the bard beheld them longer, brash Imoen and beguiling Garrick,
    Making no move to climb down the cliff wall and murder
    The cad Garrick for kissing Imoen on the coast in clear moonlight.
    Veraka's posture, recently perturbed, presently pacified
    As her shoulders slumped slightly and a sigh escaped her lips.
    "Nevermind, Imoen is in no danger tonight,
    Let us come quietly back to camp, my comrades,"
    Veraka whispered as she turned away and walked wearily.
    "Minsc is confused, you came here with clear battle cries,
    Yet now you seem happy - or sad - for your sister."
    "If Imoen had meant to make a meal of the young man,
    They'd be further along by the time we bespied them,"
    Veraka said softly, as if that settled the whole story.
    "That vixen is a vampire?! I knew it!" Xzar voiced vehemently,
    "Now to study some spells so I can subjugate the undead!"
    "You two trot ahead, scout the trail for troubles,
    I will stay by Veraka's side in case some struggle strikes,"
    Xan said clearly, calm command oddly crisp in his voice.
    Shrugging, Minsc and Xzar made their way meetly back
    As Xan and Veraka slowly strode to a stop.
    "How can I hate her for being happy, however short-lived?
    It is not concern for her safety, my sworn sister can surely handle
    That blundering bard; indeed, he'd do better to be worried.
    When I watched them, I realized it was my own wicked jealousy,
    For having her heart's whims when I-" she halted hard,
    Glancing in the Greycloak's grey eyes, then gazing seaward.
    "Veraka, you must find folly in this 'funereal elf,'
    As you yourself put it in your story yesterday.
    While many of my fair folk find frolic and frippery fun,
    I would surely be the worst choice you would want in this world.
    I must harrow you horridly, you work so hard to bring happiness,
    And I smile but seldom, the Seldarine surely knows.
    Aside from the fact my fair folk are fast fading
    From the world of Abeir-Toril, we dwindle with each week,
    I will laugh but little at your most lively larks and lampoons;
    My unhappiness would break your heart and crush your highest hopes.
    If even this cannot convince you, then consider my cruel fate:
    I am bound to my moonblade, it must measure my deeds meetly,
    And when I die, my soul will seek no sanctuary as it should,
    But instead will be bound into this bright blade
    For an untold time, perhaps temporary, perhaps to eternity.
    If I ever do escape the dolent doom of dismal confinement,
    I will pass into Arvandor, or Arvanaith in some views and vernacular,
    While you will be whisked elsewhere, worlds away from me.
    You must see now how hopeless and heartbreaking
    This desire is, how doom and despair would drag you down
    And leave you to linger at last lachrymose and alone,
    Your soul in solitude to seek the afterlife estranged and
    Xan turned to her to find
    Her eyes brimmed with her heart.
    She held him close and kind,
    Ere they be torn apart.

    Xan marveled a moment at how much her touch mended
    His heart of hopelessness, his harrowed thoughts of helpless horror
    At being trapped many centuries in the cold metal of the moonblade.
    So too, some thoughts intruded of the scent of her silky hair,
    The smooth skin of her arms sliding around him so safely,
    Her hot breath on his neck, and the heat of her human form
    Radiating pleasant warmth in the cool wind of coastal wilds;
    And he found himself holding her, even hoping to help her.
    Her tears trickled for a time as he tried to be soothing,
    But before long she buried her face in his neck
    And laid the lightest of kisses on his lily-white skin,
    Sending a shiver up his spine and echoing shock in his extremities.
    "Xan, I didn't know how the bright moonblade burdened you,
    My heart is heavy for you, I hope you reach the hereafter
    Rather than being kept confined to a cold uncaring blade.
    If I must, my dear Greycloak, I'll unmake the sword myself
    If I linger to outlive you and it won't release your soul.
    Of course, I'll resurrect you if it can be kept an option,
    You won't be rid of me so readily, I reckon,"
    Veraka grinned, going on before Xan got a word in,
    "As for being 'funereal,' I find frolic in the fatal,
    I find frippery from fear, I find fantasy in the forlorn,
    And truly, the task of making you titter takes temerity,
    But I relish the raw challenge and the resulting wry grins
    So much it makes the task merit mirth and merriment.
    Far from feeling forlorn at fixing a smile to your face,
    It lingers with me long after, I love making you laugh."
    Despite himself, Xan smiled to be described so dearly,
    And held her harder a moment in heady bliss
    Before he heard her sigh, and heavily she said,
    "But of course I realize your long life outlasts mine,
    And I seem silly to you, some strumpet stalking satire.
    It would be callous cruelty to cage up your heart,
    Only to leave you lingering the long years without me;
    For I will die before you do, my dour Greycloak,
    Mauled in murderous melee, silenced by searing spells,
    Or at last in old age, as my luckless kind have limits.
    Nor can I help you repopulate the pristine pale moon elves
    Even if I were willing, which would require wise reflection.
    It is for your sake, not mine, I shall not strain you
    Or burden you during my brief existence to bear
    my love."
    She turned away to go,
    And Xan stood paralyzed:
    His heart screamed, "Let her know!"
    His mind rationalized.

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited December 2016
    It was indecision, doubt and his adamant duty
    That watched her walk away again without saying
    How happy his heart had hammered hearing her honor him,
    What fire he felt when her fine form came close,
    And the depths of dismal despair thoughts of her doom drew.
    Xan's mind mutinied in moody petulance,
    Reminding him she was human, how her kind had ruined
    Elven lands and elven lives over the long lingering ages,
    Yet his heart hammered back in hellbent insistence.
    Finding he could not focus, Xan fixated on fell failures,
    Taking him back to torments and torture from Mulahey
    And other cruel calamities crept back to commingle.
    How could he hope to help her? He was no hero,
    Just a Greycloak sent to suicide on a strange snowballing mission.
    Despite imminent doom drawing death from all directions,
    Somehow... somehow Veraka soothed and strengthened him, surely.
    While the jester jumped to justice just a bit jarringly,
    And at times her wisdom was worse than witlessness,
    In truth he took delight in her tricky turns of phrase
    And admired her keen mind which harmonized with magic.
    But no: she knew better, of course he couldn't be with her,
    It was hopeless, helpless, hapless and hilarious
    To believe there could be anything between them.
    Sending forth a sigh so forlorn it started raining,
    Xan came back to camp to continue misadventures down
    the coast.
    They could not be together,
    So much was in the way.
    There came in from the weather
    Two teens from out the bay.

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    "Heya! So, you guys must be guessing where I was gone,
    Or what happened to Garrick, well y'see what it wa-"
    "Nope," Veraka said, stowing away supplies.
    "Nope?" Garrick asked, growing guilty in countenance.
    "Nope, not curious. Now get ready for night travels,"
    Veraka said curtly, curling closed her bedroll.
    "Alright," Garrick said, most uncertain now it seemed,
    And as he made his way towards tent and tinderbox
    Minsc hailed him, "Ha-ha! Well done, hero!"
    Clapping Garrick on the back, nearly casting him to the clay,
    And wielding a wink towards Imoen he thought was subtle.
    Now the two teens realized everyone knew of their tryst,
    And brightened blushing beet-red as they began packing.
    Aside from a few snide sneers from Xzar,
    They squared away supplies and set out in silence.
    Before they traveled far, they found and fought ogres,
    A whole encampment of many types, mighty and murderous.
    Xzar whipped out a web spell anchored with tree and rock,
    While Xan coated the ground with a grease spell, giving ogres grief.
    Between the two, only one was able to wade across,
    And it fell before it landed any flattening blows.
    The remainder were mopped up meetly, made pincushions
    By arrows, bolts and sling stones, struck as a shooting gallery
    Since the brutes could not bring melee, all were
    brought low.
    This early victory fought
    Drew smiles and talk again.
    Imoen looted the lot,
    Xzar crowed about their win.

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited December 2016
    They traveled for a time across trackless wilds,
    Heading south to seek Bassilus, scouring the countryside.
    Xan seemed to stay some distance from Veraka's side,
    While Garrick and Imoen grew more gregarious,
    Especially to spend time together in story and song.
    Minsc scouted ahead while Xzar seemed to sulk,
    Leaving Veraka to brood upon various vexations.
    Finally Imoen found her in a foul, forlorn fitfulness,
    Fixated upon feelings with a frown on her face.
    "Heya heroine, hows-about we have a heart-to-heart?"
    Imoen said to her sworn sister, who simply grunted in response.
    "I'll take that as a yes. It's time to talk about Garrick,
    At first I found him kinda flaky and full of it,
    But Garrick grows on ya when you get to know him.
    Back in Candlekeep, I could always find entertainment,
    Ol' Puffguts would give me a story, an' now Garrick regales me."
    "Imoen, I'm sure the churl is charming, if cheeky,
    But you can't believe that bard will be good in the long run.
    He'll wander as bards will do, working wiles on other women,
    That can't be what you want, so why work yourself up?"
    "Gods, Veraka! You've gotten as glum and gloomy as Xan!
    What if I don't want him forever, or I'm willing for a fling?
    We're young, your whole life is ahead of you, bufflehead!
    It's fine you have feelings for Xan, I won't fault you,
    But let me live my life, act like you love me!"
    Imoen snapped, saying more than she meant with some sass.
    Veraka stood stunned, as if a brick struck her skull,
    And said, "Gods Imoen, you're right! I'm so sulky,
    When I could be behaving like a bawdy bar hopper!
    What has happened to me? Hadn't I wanted a harem?
    Delve into decadence and hedonism, didn't I dream big?
    All those plans for pleasure and partaking of the world;
    Here I am still a virgin, haplessly holding out for his heart.
    I don't know myself at all," Veraka deemed, disquieted.
    "Hey, what we giggled about as girls were just games,
    You're not beholden to some hierarchy of heavenly harlots.
    If waiting for one heart is what you want, well cool!
    It's not like I let Garrick get too far, I just like him,
    I'll be careful an' all that, nothing too carnal, you can trust me.
    For what it's worth, I think you're wearing Xan down,
    I see Xan stare at you when he thinks nobody sees,"
    Imoen said, trying to make amends and meet her halfway.
    "You really think so? I thought I felt a thrill run through him
    When I kis-" she stopped suddenly, starting to blush.
    "OMIGAWD, you kissed him?!?" Imoen came crashing to a halt.
    "It was just his neck!" Veraka began, then blushed even brighter.
    "Holy Hells, on his neck? How hot can you get?!
    And here I thought I was the harlot, well let's have it, spill the beans!"
    Imoen gave over so girlishly to grins and giggles,
    Veraka found it infectious and her foul mood lifted,
    And soon the sworn sisters were swapping stories,
    Hard feelings forgotten between fast friends.
    This continued until they came across craggy canyons,
    And there came fast fluttering and flapping a fowl:
    It seemed stricken with fear,
    And made straight for the party.
    Its clucking sounded queer;
    T'would make a meal most hearty.

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    Minsc was close enough to witness a wolf was chasing
    The chicken that charged towards them, so with ranger's charm
    He convinced the wolf to wander elsewhere in the wild.
    The chicken still approached, and suddenly spoke,
    "I thank *cluck* you, for keeping the wolf from killing me,
    Now perhaps I *cluck* can polymorph and put this past me!"
    "Egads!" Veraka giggled, "Gadzooks! Good grief!
    Forsooth, methinks this may be no mere mortal chicken!"
    The chicken sighed, "I hope *cluck* this is some silly snideness,
    I was a man until recently, a mage named Melicamp."
    "What foul fowl has fate found for me?" Veraka continued,
    "Tis truly a tasty chicken, or a transformed transmuter?
    Be you a chicken true, or a fair-feather friend?
    If you're egging me on, get wise: I don't give a cluck."
    "Mystra spare me!" Melicamp said, "How much misery must I take?
    Not chicken jokes! I *cluck* beg you, why this jest and jeering?"
    "She's a jester," Imoen laughed, and a look of lugubrious languish
    Crossed Melicamp's avian face, crestfallen and crushed.
    "But behold!" Veraka belted out, "this brings enlightenment to bear!
    The age-old question at last can be answered acceptably:
    Why did you cross the road? Curiosity? Carelessness?
    Existential crisis? Common-sense cause?
    Provincial pusillanimity placed peer-pressured pointless paths?
    Now we need not wonder, but know! Answer us, oh chicken."
    Melicamp merely gave a most mournful clucking,
    Covering his head with wings and hiding as best he could.
    "Perhaps we are not meant to know, no need to spoil the mystery,
    For what would philosophy fall to, if such facts were found out?
    Playing chicken with destiny is a doomed fate indeed.
    But let us not peck our beaks where they don't belong,
    We've been kept cooped too long, and the cock crows thrice.
    I've got to hen it to you, I wouldn't have nest this would happen;
    And I haven't even asked another ageless riddle after all:
    'Which came first, the chicken or the egg?' Well we wonder no more:
    It's clear you came from no egg, Melicamp,
    So we've solved that one surely! Seems anticlimactic,
    But it's what I get for winging it," Veraka winked.
    "Merciful Mystra, is the mockery *cluck* over?" Melicamp moaned.
    "One more, one more," Veraka was merry with mirth,
    "What do you call a wet chicken from Waterdeep?
    A Watered-Avian!" At this, the wanderers went wild with laughter,
    Minsc gave great guffaws, Imoen had gales of girlish giggles,
    Xzar cackled maniacally as he pointed cruelly at Melicamp,
    Garrick burst out with a snort, then gave in to grins and laughter,
    And even Xan could not help but have a laugh at her
    "I swear," Melicamp crowed,
    "If ever I turn back,
    I'll return what is owed,
    And keep my master's pact."

    Residents of the fictional city of Waterdeep, and things relating to Waterdeep, are known as Waterdhavian.

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    "Okay, okay, seriously... you're seriously a chicken!" Veraka shrieked,
    Letting loose laughter that was louder than clamor,
    "How perfect is that?! I me- hahaha, I mean, how hapless
    Do you have to be to have this curse heaped upon you,
    Then run into a jester just jauntily about her jokes
    In the middle of nowhere?! Misfortune, thy name is Melicamp.
    You ran right past unlucky, headed straight for wretched.
    I can pluck the jokes right out of the air, really ruffle your feathers,
    But help us hatch a plan for how to unscramble you.
    Please, someone stop me, I'm so cocky!" Veraka sallied.
    "So," Xan said, struggling to keep a straight face, "you swore
    To return some relic owed and make right your master's rules
    Just a moment ago. Who might your master be, Melicamp?"
    "No need to *cluck* nag him if any of you know Dispel Magic,
    I'll be free of this accursed form and *cluck* feel fit once more,"
    Melicamp mentioned, most mysterious on the matter.
    Veraka gazed at Xan and Xzar, sphinxlike as a xoanon,
    And Xzar said, "Not yet, but necromancy might renew
    His form from the fowl, if I'm free to... experiment."
    Xan rejoined, "I regret this rates beyond my paltry runecraft."
    Veraka punned, "You purport: beyond your poultry runecraft!"
    The heroes had a laugh at her humor once more,
    As Melicamp grew melancholy and even morose.
    "Blast! There is but *cluck* one boon, my most baleful option,
    To bear me back to High Hedge and beseech Thalantyr.
    He will help transform me from this hen... I *cluck* hope."
    "You sound somewhat uncertain," Veraka said, smiling.
    "Oh, tis *cluck* nothing, really! No need to worry,
    Sometimes the relationship of master and apprentice is strained,
    But he will *cluck* help, I am certain. He'll help."
    "Aw, c'mon then," Imoen cooed, "climb in my pack,
    We'll getcha all fixed up, Mr. Chicken." She
    The chicken was safely stowed;
    He peeked his beak out meekly.
    Unsure of where to go,
    They wandered on obliquely.

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited October 2017
    Veraka let Xan have his space; the heroes headed deeper
    Into a country of red craggy canyons and crevasses,
    And came across cruel wolves corrupted and cursed;
    But these were no match for the heroes' might and main.
    As evening approached and all advocated a rest,
    They spied a circle of standing stones where skeletons strode
    And zombies moaned and meandered, but more than most undead
    Puzzlingly preserved, parts intact and plainly less putrid.
    Ready to wreak riot and rampage around the ruin,
    Veraka signaled to stop when she saw something strange:
    At the center 'twas a table with trays of tempting treacle tarts,
    And an atrocious array of tableware, teacups, and teapots
    Made a mad mismatched maze, some mockery of teatime.
    They crept closer and heard crazed laughter come from
    The head of the hectic table, yet hidden from the heroes
    By the piled plates and platters, or the placement of the pillars.
    "Oh brother Thurm, thrill this throng through a tale
    Of the rousing old days! Relay it right quick, you rascal!"
    They heard a high hysterical male human voice hue out.
    They came around the corner and could see a cleric,
    Once arrayed in rich raiment now ruined with rough wear
    Whose holy symbol seemed strangely similar to Mulahey's,
    The keeper of kobolds they killed in caverns beneath Nashkel.
    Seated beside him was a skeleton in a silk summer dress,
    And to his right a zombie rocked its chair, arrayed in red scarves.
    The zombie replied, "Uuuunnnhhhhh," and reduced its rocking.
    "Come Thurm, don't be shy, share so all shall hear, you shyster!
    Don't deny the days in Zhentil Keep you'd rather die than be quiet!
    Rather... die... er, enough rambling, who can remember that, right?
    Let us linger no longer, some lighter conversation to lend levity,"
    Bassilus bespoke blithely, for 'twas indeed the bloke besought.
    "Oh my gods, this murderer is messed up," Imoen mouthed.
    "Minsc is ready to kick butt and take treacle tarts for tea!
    Wait... does my witch think these wares Evil?" Minsc worried.
    "The man is mad, but we mustn't underestimate his might,
    And the droves of undead displayed are dangerous indeed,"
    Xan cautioned, casting a look over the creepy cretin corpses.
    "Yeah, we could go anywhere else, like a greengrocer," Garrick gasped,
    "Some supplies would sure be nice for a satisfying supper!"
    "We'll be okay," Imoen said, gripping Garrick's hand grimly.
    "I'm *cluck* with him!" Melicamp clucked cowardly.
    "Dear friends, while I deem it dangerous, I mean to dare closer
    For few times will Fate lay such frolics at my feet.
    Despite danger and doom, I must do my due diligence
    Or I would be no jester," Veraka winked, walking toward
    "Oh, Christmas has come early!"
    Xzar cried, claiming a seat.
    Minsc gave a frown most surly,
    But all came forth to meet.

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,142
    I have no idea why, but tried reading this some time ago, couldn't really get a handle on it, then read this latest installment, thought it was brilliant, and have now almost caught up reading the whole thing.

    Just wow, so good.
    (I must have been drunk or something the first time, that's my excuse)

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited October 2017
    I have had a similar experience with certain books before; sometimes I get 10 to 50 pages in, set it down a while, come back and wonder why I ever stopped in the first place.

    Edit: Also, Boo thanks you for your kind words. ^_^

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
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