Muthuselan 8 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar) Part 1

Cats have pretty sharp ears in case you didn’t know.  This enhanced hearing is responsible for me knowing that Josta and the half-elf bard, Rubast, hooked up last night.  At least that’s my interpretation of hearing her voice repeatedly saying “Harder damn you!” and his recurrent reply of “I’m doing the best that I can!”  It was amusing at first but quickly became irritating – kind of like life itself.  Humorous fornication aside, the thing cats are even better at that hearing is not being heard – which is why I was caught by surprise when I came down into the common room this morning to see a large ginger moggie with bright green eyes sitting by the bar.  I actually found being in the presence of another cat much more intimidating than being around people, despite my fear of being stepped on.  I guess I think that with a person I can slip away if they really try to hurt me but another cat?  They’re just as quick and slippery.

“How did you get in here?”

I suppose being a talking cat myself I shouldn’t have been shocked by a response but I was.  The difference being that his mouth was moving so he was actually talking with his actual cat mouth.  His voice was friendly and welcoming but also one that was full of mischief. 

“I turn up all kinds of places from time to time.”

“Are you a person that got turned into a cat like me or are you something else?  Are you a shapeshifting demon?  Because you have to tell me if you are.”

“What am I?  You can call me Tom.”

“That’s a little on the nose isn’t it?”

“Most people aren’t very clever, you have to make it easy for them.  There’s no time to explain the details of this visit my dear, I need your help is the long and short of it, are you in or are you out?”

“I’m out.”

“Okay, maybe there’s a little time to explain.  A necromancer by the name of Grivodon managed to get himself trapped in the body of a cat.”

“And how did he manage that?”

“As you’re aware magic is a fickle and tricky thing, say one wrong word, move one finger in the wrong way, use a carrion crawler tentacle for a focus instead of a chuul tentacle, and you’ve been turned inside out and then you explode.  Magic is a harsh taskmaster, he’s lucky that all that happened is he turned into a cat.”

“This seems pretty decisively in the category of things that are not my problem, what’s the pitch?”

“I’m getting to that.  Grivodon isn’t the type to let the lack of opposable thumbs stop him from being a wet blanket.  He started out simply, catching rats – it’s what we do best after all, besides looking fabulous.  Killing enough rats allowed him rekindle a spark of the insidious powers of undeath that once he commanded so effortlessly.  There’s not much life-force in a rat, but you take enough rats and you’re back in business – necromancers are a strange and determined bunch, by hook and by crook he’s managed to regain some of his dark arcanicity.”

“That’s not a word.”

“It is now.”

“Get to the point.”

“Some more time as a cat would do you a world of good, you’re far too impatient, you need to relax and let things come as they will.”

“I’ll take that under advisement.”

“The point is that Grivodon is building an army of zombie-rats and other more foul and dire things from the depths and you need to stop him.”

“Why?”

“Have you seen what happens when people think cats spread disease?  It’s a nightmare.  Can you imagine the slaughter that would result if they find out that a cat is really building a zombie army to kill them?  It would be a massacre.  I need you to nip this in the bud.  For all of cat kind, which I am sort of in charge of.”

“No, I mean why do I need to stop him.”

 “You’re the only talking cat in the area.  I don’t know if you know this but it’s actually pretty rare.”

“Why does it need to be a cat at all?  Stopping a little kitty dark wizard seems like something that could easily be accomplished by a person.  Or a dog.  Or even a well-trained badger.”

“You can’t train badgers.”

“Maybe you can’t.”

“Badgers notwithstanding you’re the one that needs to do this because Grivodon has gone underground – and I mean that literally.  He’s operating out of a series of passageways under an old church and there’s no way for anyone bigger than a cat to get down there and move around where you’re going to need to go.  Not without a lot of excavating anyway, which would tip him off, not to mention there’s no time.”

“Couldn’t you find a mighty warrior and give them a potion of shrinking? Or a piece of magic shrink cake?  Then send the tiny warrior on an adorable tiny quest to save the world.  It’s like my grandma always said, if you need a cyclops don’t waste your time looking for a guy with one eye – find someone you like with two eyes and then gouge one of them out.”

“Is a potion of shrinking a real thing?”

“I mean , I assume so, what with magic and all.”

 “I’ll consider that for the future but right this moment I don’t happen to have a shrinking potion.”

“What’s in it for me?  Can you turn me back into a person?”

“No but I can do something even better, that’s the best part, if you do this thing for me I’ll grant you what you desire most in all the world.  I’ll give you back your virginity.”

Have you ever heard the expression rolling with laughter?  Probably you have.  Have you ever seen anyone actually roll on the ground because they were laughing so hard?  No, you have not.  Or if you did they were doing it as a joke, they weren’t really laughing so hard they couldn’t help by roll on the ground.  I tell you now, honestly and true, I laughed so hard that I lost control of my cat-climbs and collapsed to the ground.  And I rolled from side to side I did, gales of helpless laughter crashing over me like waves crashing down on a tiny rowboat in an angry sea.  My little cat body shook so hard with laughter I was sincerely worried I was going to hurt myself. 

Have you ever seen the look on a cat’s face when it gets wet when it doesn’t want to get wet?  I think that’s where the expression sourpuss comes from.  That’s what Tom looked like as I uncontrollably chortled and tittered.  He got a mean look on his face at one point as the laughter stretched out and I was worried that he might attack me, but I literally could not help myself – I was helpless with laughter.  Eventually I managed to get control of myself and managed to sit up, cat style.  If cats could cry my eyes would be watering like you wouldn’t believe.

“Oh man, if you’re some kind of trickster spirit you just nailed the joke of the millennium.”

“Okay, obviously I miscalculated a little there, what is your heart’s desire?”

“My heart’s desire is revenge, but I wouldn’t want someone else to do it for me, that wouldn’t be right.  That one I need to do myself, no one can give me that.  And you say that you can’t turn me back into a person?”  He shook his head. “Those are pretty much my heart’s desires right now.  I tell you what Tom, how about I do this for you in return for a heart’s desire to be named later?”

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Hair regrowth progress :  NA 

Funds: None

XP: 348,051

Inventory:  Animal Totem Tattoo (Lion), Enchanted Tattoo (Storm)

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler, Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander, Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee,  Helgan van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot Sheepskin, Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers, Hellerhad the Wizard, Forsaken Kin, Law Offices of Office of Glilcus and Stolo, Jey Rora, Colonel Tarl Ciarán, Mayor Baras Haldmeer, Rindol the Sage 

Behind the curtain: I stole this idea from Cats & Catacombs by Steamforged Games.  Check it out if you want.  Or don’t, I’m not the boss of you.