3.19 Beasties & Buddies

A few minutes before the planar rift opens the party is surveying their work looking down on the tarrasque savaging the Ludimarite ranks in the extreme distance it's like a vision of a vicious toddler swatting ants with impunity. Star feels eyes on her as the gnome soldier Mike approaches

"Heya," Star called, grinning at her strange new friend from ages past. "Hope our new 'pet' didn'ae scare ye too much. Though I cannae blame ye if he did.”

"It makes me feel cold" the gnome murmured gazing blankly out at the devastation before him, "You did this?"

Star's amusement faded at the expression on Mike's face. "Well… yes, and no. We was promised a weapon strong enough to defeat Ludimar… this ended up being it. Cannae say any of us saw it coming. I mean… a real pretty sword, sure, or some crazy magical wand, but… not this. Seems to be effective so far, but… I just hope we can go on controllin' the beastie."

"I've heard stories of such creatures" he murmured, "They say their hunger is insatiable and their bite can rend an ogre in twain"

"Ha—easy!" Star chuckled. "But li'l me… I damn near got stuck between the fella's teeth. T'were a miracle I didn'ae end up in its belly. The smell was bad enough just at the throat, I cannae imagine…."

Mike nods with a newfound respect for his rescuers, "You fought with it also then?"

"Ay, mercy—did we ever! Ye think a creature like tha's gonna obey anyone unless they show 'im who's boss? Lordy, that was a fight! T'was almost a shame we did'nae get to finish 'im off. What a trophy!"

The gnome glances back and forth between Star and her nearby compatriots and seems somewhat less shaken at the prospect that the beast isn't beyond mortal reckoning. "What else does your band take on?"

Star smiled wryly. "Oh, just yer run-of-the-mill giant bullies, nasty-wasty trolls, grabby-tentacled sea monsters, and god-liches with endless undead armies in process of takin' over the world. Haven't had a great piece of luck with that last one yet, but I've a feelin' our wee beastie might help."

"I heard that once the God's walked our realm like fathers, then the beast was spawned and drove them to the heavens" Mike mused, "perhaps it's the right weapon but in the wrong place to do what it was made for"

Star frowned. "Bah… everyone's got stories… stories of what was, what is, and what's to come, all real cryptic-like. But when the world's well-nigh 'bout to end, all that matters is what you can do to stop it. I aim to make sure me and me loved ones is goin' to go on livin' in a free world; ye can keep yer scary stories."

Mike seems saddened, "I suppose I don't have any loved ones left to fight for, I knew I could die on the battlefield but I don't think I was prepared for this"

Star hooked an arm around his narrow shoulders. "Loved ones ain't so tough to find, I think. Specially in some parts. Ye should visit the Deepinghome sometime. Ain't no better place to make a stranger feel like family."

"Deepinghome?" he asked

"That's me home. When me mum and dad was lost to Ludimar, the dwarves took me in like I was their own. I even got writ right into their family tree—s'how I became a Silverglint. Cause ye know… someone ruined me real family name." She offered a half-smile.

Mike tried to smile back but ended up just looking more distraught. "I hope there aren't any gnomes down there" he murmured.

"We did our best to clear em all out," Star assured him. "I think they're safe."

"So Dallan has fallen… I've gone from fighting a useless war in the interest of my homeland to fighting for barest survival after my homeland's demise… I'm glad to have company."

Star squeezed his shoulders and glanced over at her fellow adventurers. "I think we've all lost a home or a family or even both. Best you can have in this world is allies." A jealous Grimerald snuffled up between them, knocking both to the ground. Star laughed and tackled her incorrigible badger, squeezing her arms around his neck. "Specially the fuzzy kind."




"Mike"… by Tim

Categories: Posts, Posts by Star, Storyline

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