There is a certain majesty to a living volcano. I’ve never had the opportunity in the past, but getting zapped up to the top of Y by forces unknown brought me directly to the understanding of what a force is this planet that allows us to scurry across the surface of her.
There is no other option for me but to assume, seeing that lava bubble and flow, that it is the life’s blood of this planet. The size of this planet makes a fairy of even the largest of the members of CrIsis. Even the size of the mountain makes a firth of even the Ice Giants that Ursus and I ran into on this mountain.
Ice Giants…more about them later.
If only the rest of the world could have seen the view from the top of that mountain, if only the leaders of the nations of this world had stood up there. They might have realized that their concerns are pointless. Their squabbling over land that, in the end, doesn’t belong to any of them, would be put into perspective.
It might not make us less quick to take offense, but at least it might help us from overreacting. After all, unless some idiot awakens the Old Ones this world will outlast us all.
Ja’deir took offense at Haladriel for something, I’m still not even fully aware of what exactly it was. That offense took the form of a direct attack on the man himself. What happened next was a premature over-reaction by Xer’xses. He sent us all into a sleep cloud and stopped the incipient fight.
Apparently, Haladriel has a spectral protector of some sort that attacked both Xer’xses and Ja’deir. Both their actions could be construed as inimical to the dirty old elf. When we were all awake, and less damaged, I realized that the shiny lance was missing.
Ok, so my story is a little out of order. I’m a fairy. We tend to be scattered a bit, but I’ll try to organize my thoughts just for you.
When we first arrived on the mountaintop, before Ja’deir launched himself at the poor monk, there were a pile of weapons lying there on the ground. One, while likely a dagger in overall design, was quite clearly a lance of fairy proportions.
It called to me, while not literally, but through its aesthetics. When it was missing, being a fairy, I decided that it was the single most distressing thing that had ever happened, and I was a complete princess about it: Spoiled and self interested.
After tormenting Xer’xses about it, and stealing his back of holding…or whatever he calls it, and not getting it, I went hunting with Ursus. For a giant bear/person/thing he isn’t so bad. We hadn’t gone too far when I started noticing a clear cut game trail. We followed it directly to the beasts that crafted it: a quartet of frost giants.
Being the sensible fae that I am, I slipped immediately into a hole in the rocks and made use of a loophole. Ursus being the simple bear that he is stayed out in the open and engaged in fisticuffs with the tree sized brutes. Spell after spell, and arrow after arrow I flung in the direction of the ham-fisted bear-smashers to no avail. They succeeded in reducing Ursus to a roughly bear shaped slab of over-tenderized meat.
Well, being the resourceful fae that I am, I had my new-found pets carry the bear-tartar up the hill to the camp. On the way, he woke up. Now, I’m a fairly worldly fairy, but even I never assumed that my companion would be able to raise himself from the dead. I’d been thinking more that he would need to be brought back by our very own Itinerant Priest, complete with chop action Rune Flail(™). Get yours today at your local Temple of light…
The estimable Indaris was not needed, however, and we made our way, over the course of another day, back to Malkin’s home…which resembled the hovel of a mad Arcanologist more than it did the home of a revered individual like Malkin. The entire way one of the two Ice giants, who was still following us, was throwing puppy dog eyes my direction. I’m not sure whether that was some sort of mating ritual in his culture, but I’ve never found anything romantic in bits of meat being tossed at me. He was also looking at me like I was the last woman on the planet and it was his job to repopulate Palladium.
Amongst the detritus of numerous experiments, Malkin had hidden, well hidden isn’t exactly accurate since it was approximately the size of Rogtilda, a giant metal fish. Not only was this fish not just a huge piece of installment art, but it was functional as well, as…well..a fish. The ice giant was crowding me, making it hard to see everything in the place so I gently broke it to him that we just weren’t compatible, and that he should go find himself a nice ice giantess.
He wasn’t taking it so well. Just when things were about to get interesting again Xer’xses put us all back to sleep. It’s getting really old, him doing this. I get that he wants to avoid unnecessary conflict, but sometimes he’s avoiding necessary conflict when he does this.
So, when the rest of us finally woke and noticed that Malkin’s home had gone from resembling a mad Arcanologist’s hovel to becoming just a hovel, and Malkin realized all his trinkets and doodads were bear/ice giant/fairy squished, he sort of guilted everyone into helping him test out his fish.
Did I mention that it was a vessel powered by muscles and positive thinking? Well, maybe more positive thinking than muscles. After Xer’xses finished dealing with the head librarian over some trouble he got himself into while we were sleeping, we all retired back to the Rogtilda, where we rested up pending the test of the YSS Fish Stick. Let me tell you, laughing yourself silly is hard work…and peddling is hard work too. I’m sure pedaling is difficult too, but I didn’t even venture into the coffin, so I couldn’t tell you.
Before they even began, they sank the ship, so I figured that they were already off to a rocky start when the thing began to shimmy left and right and try to…well…swim through the water. I don’t think they had the people balanced inside because it began to tip over even as it began to pick up speed.
As a side note, have you ever wondered why sailors call it ‘listing’ instead of tilting? I mean, lists are collections of words representing an abstract concept in some sort of order whereas tilting is either referring to a joust or falling over…
Nevermind. That’s the last time I try to examine etymology in Dragonese.
So, after they grounded the Fish Stick at the bottom of the bay, something I have to assume was intended due to how quickly they did it, they all swam to the surface, sodden but none the worse for wear.
The big people in CrIsis decided that it would be a good idea to keep the Fish Stick, something that Malkin would have to repair to get it back to the shape it was in when we started. Personally I think he needs to get it into better shape than that since it isn’t very useful in it’s current one.
It only took us another couple of days to get to Haven. Those were some of the more uneventful days we’ve spent aboard ship, and they were fair winds and following seas the entire way. Unfortunately, because they are focused on their petty squabbles and not on what’s important, we aren’t welcome in Haven any more. It is foolish, since we made this the only city on Palladium with two pieces of Osiris, but then what matters a couple of pieces of a God when you’re trying to grab more land from your neighbor.
We snuck in like thieves in the night and met Tiny on the docks. The dwarf seems to have been misrepresented in the books. He is one of your followers, after all, so how could he be all bad.
He gave us space to rest and prepare for our visit to the College of Navigation, and even made it so that Ley-rhy was able to visit with us. I would think that the other members of the group would accept him more, seeing as we are a truly motley crew, and have always been.
We snuck through the city under the cover of night. There were no real incidents of note as we went across the city and got to the College, and its hidden library, where we collected yet more words we’re going to have to puzzle out later.
This was one of the more uneventful trips we’d ever taken to Haven. Maybe we should have gotten in their bad graces long ago. So, as you no doubt know, we decided to leave the ship in the capable hands of the crew and strike out cross country with the third wheel on our way to glade.
This brings me to the present, and my real reason for praying. I know, it was a travelogue, and you prefer ‘meaningful prayers,’ and so forth, but this time, I think it was necessary.
You see, Bennu, I’m too scattered. I spend more time distracting CrIsis from our mission than actually helping them with it. This past week I’ve gotten a member of CrIsis killed, destroyed Malkin’s lab, and done my level best to sabotage us more than ReSet ever did.
I’m a fairy, I know that. But Xer’xses is a Minotaur, and nap-times aside, he has grown beyond just being a Minotaur. So, not that I’m expecting a whole lot, what with the Agreement in place, but if you could send at least some inspiration my way, that would be great.
I mean, I’ve been worshiping you for well over half my life. I figure I’m just about due for a complete rebirth about now, what do you think?
Written by Hannah on or about Ra 1.
Picture from Marvel.