It was a long day reviving everyone. I haven’t performed that many surgeries in a long time. It reminds me of the time that I devoted a whole week in a temple of Ra to healing of the poor. Those were fun days. Maybe that was why Ra chose me or maybe it was because I am the most awesome person of all time! Chip I know you are reading this again some of this is personal so keep it on the down low you sneaky thief, you. I will be putting up traps to see how you get in my room so don’t be surprised if a bucket of seawater falls on your head when you sneak in at night. I hope to be getting one of the most fierce animal companions money can buy so you better watch out. I even got Cava to offer to help train him so he will be really fierce when he attacks with his ….. well you will have to wait and see won’t you.
The morning came soon and it seems like my patients will survive. Greldarr was quite helpful with his healing touch, but when it comes to surgery and removal of foreign objects, there is much to learn. After all I have been at this for a while. Which is what was about to be revealed in a few moments as Isis told Overkill we would have time to sit down and talk for a bit about each other, while she controlled the boat. With that we all sluggishly made our way up to the main deck to have a chat. No one wanted to do this and it felt like Isis was saying, “Now children you need to talk through your differences and get along.” Sounds like another deity I am all too familiar with. As we sat there, we looked down or away in awkward silence. We waited for a good half hour it seemed. Finally Chip broke the silence and said he would go first. He proceeded by talking for a few moments about how he had come from another planet and how his dedication to the mission is so much greater than our own. Here he goes again this pompous being stating that he is more devoted than us as if he could judge our hearts. Then he has the audacity to begin insulting Greldarr and I. He states that we are not devoted as well because we use our abilities given by the gods to protect ourselves and our party while doing missions for the gods instead of rushing into a battle blindly like him. Greldarr practically jumped across the table in rage at this remark. Greldarr overshadows by two men’s worth of height this being standing before him . I thought for sure Greldarr would finally devour someone like he always threatens to do. I was actually kind of excited to see it, but he withheld and I stand in wait to see if one day he will truly devour a man whole like he claims he can. “Explain yourself before I rip out your throat,” snarled Greldarr in a bestial tone. With this Chip casually got up took his knife off the end of his mountain destroying weapon, which I am beginning to doubt can actually destroy a mountain and he began cutting his chest open. A few of the party were grossed out by the site. Greldarr looked on in joy as the pompous alien stood before him killing himself. After a few moments Chip pulled out an organ and showed it to the group. It was one side of his lungs. He held this out gasping for air like a smoker of pipeweed. He stated this is why I am able to run into battle and not be harmed. This is what the gods have given me. He then offered for us to touch it. “Can I keep it?” I asked. He nodded his head and I quickly took it back and began playing with it and dissecting it. Chip continued his talks against us and Greldarr became more furious. Greldarr got to the point where he could no longer take it and stormed down below with Cava in suit. I then saw the perfect analogy for this arrogant bastard with his ale in hand. “Imagine that you go to battle in the state you are in, with your other lung exposed. This task would seem difficult to you would it not and you would not take this risk.” The fool sat there for a bit mulling over some way to counter this. “You are correct,” he finally replied. “Then the same it is with us. You rush in with no thought of harm due to your regeneration of organs, but you forget that people on our world are much more susceptible to injury than yourself. For us to go into battle unprotected, is to almost spell out certain disaster and would put the gods will in more danger than if we were to take a few moments and used the gifts allotted to us. Therefore you are asking us to be foolish in doing the gods’ will.” I sat there satisfied as I saw that he could not refute my reasoning, because he could feel useless in this state, he was able to understand our reasoning. At this point Greldarr returned to the group with Cava. It was at this point that we continued to discuss the topic. Chip made another statement saying that he is the most important one to the group. This set Greldarr off once more. So we decided to pray to see if this was true. Greldarr prayed to Isis and asked for her guidance. Isis appeared to the group and stated, “Chip you are one of the original members of the group.” Chip was furious that he was not the leader and Greldarr became furious because he thought this meant that Chip was the pack leader. They sat there and stewed in anger. We waited for a while while Cava explained the insult was more to Chip, than to Greldarr. Greldarr was much happier. I was bored so I was petting Skred. After this we talked about our arrangements with Rod Rambler and agreed upon a reasonable solution. We talked with Isis again on this to settle our debates. In all Chip agreed to not hold back and we would be more daring in battle with the exception that Greldarr and I will continue our self-preservation tactics.
Next Greldarr began to speak about his people. For the most part people listened intently. Chip said a few nice things for once about the wolfen being the most honorable race he has encountered here. This however was met with anger from the others, but that died down quickly. I stayed silent when he spoke of the races like this for fear of what the others will do when they know who I am. Finally Greldarrs turn had passed and it fell upon Cava. We had heard most of his story and I had observed him a bit when I healed him. His mind block was gone and I told the group earlier what had happened to him. It looks as though his parents had volunteered to be sacrificed for Set and his fiancee was murdered as well for a ritual. It turns out that Cava’s family had worshiped the dark gods but after these grisly murders he turned to a common friend and was reborn as a ranger. That friend is Nath Everall. Nath was the elf who crafted my bow and helped trained my druid archers. Without him our losses would have been great. I owe him a lot. Other than this Cava was completely forth coming with information and questions that we asked. He has regained my trust as it is not his fault. I gladly welcome him back to our hearth and home as do the others. Finally we get to Overkill. He starts off by saying he is still upset about the shaving of his head. I really wish I could remember who did it because I want to congratulate the person. For some reason I remember standing there and watching but I can’t picture who this person is. I hope I am not getting too old! We also got on Overkill about his lack of seamanship in battles. He claims that he has misread some old battle plans and assures us that he will create new strategies in which we can better rely upon him. I hope for all our sakes that this is true because I do not feel like swimming any time soon unless it gets any hotter. I mean I am from Timiro but this is freaking hot. I am sweating more than I have in my life. However, Overkill again assures us that he will study naval strategies and he will also work on his cowardice in battle. It is kind of funny to see a dwarf run and hide from battle I have never seen one give up so easily. Others have usually had to lose a limb or two before surrender, but this one gives up quite easily. He is my friend though and I shall assume he has his reasons, but it is really funny to see a bald dwarf running away. We then questioned him about Mary. He answered our questions about her treatment and we interviewed her. Everything checked out for now, but I have my eye on him.
Finally it came to the time I was dreading. Overkill looks at me dead in the eyes and says, “Gavin, its your turn. How old are you really?”
I sat there thinking of a way out of it. How can I lie though. They have not lied to me and they are to be considered companions.
“I am thirty years.” I replied sheepishly.
“30 years! ARE YOU A CHANGELING?” Overkill shouted across the table.
I must prepare my escape. If I protect myself I should have enough time to make it to the edge and jump overboard. I use my defensive power to protect myself.
“Yes,” I said in a soft whisper, half expecting the entire group to draw their weapons.
They sat there shocked, but Chip was the first to break the silence. “What the hell is a Changeling?”
“It is a humanoid creature that can become any other humanoid creature it desires.” said Rell.
Chip sat their with a huge grin. “So can you become a woman?”
Everyone sat there in silence starring at Chip pondering what he just said. Overkill broke the silence by asking, “Well can you?”
“Yes, I can become male or female, young or old.” I replied surprised that no one had attacked me especially not Overkill who has openly said he hates and fears changelings.
“I may have some use for you if you can be anatomically correct to the body of a woman.” Chip said. I could only fathom what dark twisted horrors he had in mind for my body down in his dungeon of a room.
“I can, but I see no point in the sexual interactions all of your kind have. My people only meet up to exchange traces of genetic information and experiences with each other, while both leave with a spawn of their own. We do it only to increase our numbers, however some like my parents tend to stay together in a strong bond. This is rare, but it does happen.”
The group was still shocked hanging on to my every word. Then came the racism that has plagued my people.
“So do you murder people and steal their identities?” Overkill asked.
“We do not do that, but some do. Because of the actions of a few our race has been hunted and killed throughout history. That is why we stay in hiding for many would kill us on stereotypes like that alone. We are the most persecuted race on this plane.” I say as I look at Chip.
After I answered a few more questions, they wished to see a demonstration. This is the first time I had demonstrated my powers in public aside from in front of my parents. I asked to change in my room and they agreed. The form they desired to see: a wolfen of all forms. However, I am obliged to do as they ask. I go down to my room and change. I soon come back to the deck half expecting them to attack me as I exit the main doorway to the deck, but to my surprise they have all remained seated. They had a bunch of beers in front of them and they took a big swig as soon as they saw me. Their jaws dropped and even Greldarr looked slightly impressed. There before them stood an anorexic wolfen.
“Where did you get those beers?” I asked. Chip didn’t hesitate at all,“They are from Tax.” Those f***ers opened our cash crop and were drinking it! This is not coming out of my portion. I was pissed off, but they were still amused.
I decided to head back down and change again before Mary saw me. I came back and answered any remaining questions while changing slight features in my face. I could tell it really messed with the dwarf. This would be fun. A place for the first time ever that I could be myself. Gavin has finally been outed.
Next the group talked about Rell for a bit. There wasn’t much to ask. We just asked if others were upset with him and how his life was before he met us. All in all it was very uneventful except for some covert affairs, which I guess he likes. With that our discussions had ended and we headed off to sleep.
I awoke in a pool of sweat in my locked chamber. I knew from the moment I woke up, that today was going to be hot. I crawled stair by stair to the main deck. I swear I almost passed out. I looked out to see others suffering as badly as I am. In the distance I could see the shore. I guess this is our destination. I walked over to the edge of the boat and used a bucket to continually draw cool water so that I might be cooler. It worked as long as I continued to do it. I wished I was swimming. Wait I take that back as I quickly found myself flying overboard towards the water. The sound of loud grinding and cracking could be heard in the air. I quickly catch myself with telekinesis and stand myself a foot above the deck. “I think we hit bottom!”, called Cava. Rell quickly began pulling up the suit of armor that he had been using for a depth gauge. I guess Chip won’t come through on that promise of letting me have it if Rell loses it. As soon as this thought came across my mind I saw several crab people climbing on board our ship. The rest I don’t remember much of. I think the heat got to me. I floated above the deck while a battle was laid out before me. People moved in slow motion like chess figurines taking ones place as the pawn falls before the queen. Chip took many of these crab people and others were getting swarmed as well. As soon as the battle had started, it had ended. There were twenty dead crab people on our boat. I was getting hungry at this point too. I heard something about surrender and fish and food. With that they were gone except for the crab bodies. My stomach takes over as I start hauling the bodies below. Looks like crab’s on the menu tonight.
Also Chip please don’t send anything to Rod Rambler about my race or my kind ever. We have been persecuted enough.
Posted by Gavin on the 12th day of Corg in the 8th Year of King Gedro.
Image from the Poverty Challenge.