Muthuselan 8 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar) Part 3

I don’t love riding around town in Neddly’s backpack but its significantly better than being carried in someone’s arms like a damn baby or trying to navigate the city streets on foot, er paw I mean.  But what’s really interesting is seeing things from the perspective of a shireling.  There are two basic stereotypes about Halflings, one is that they’re clannish homebody gourmands that live in holes in the ground.  The other is that they’re sneaky little sticky fingered scalawags.  I can see why that second one might come to pass.  No one really looks at Neddly or pays him any mind – their eyes slide right over him.  I’m sure in their minds they don’t really even seen him and assume that he’s a human child.  If no one is ever looking at you I can see how the temptation to take a few things would take a hold of some portion of the Halfling population.  Add in top of that when anyone does pay attention to you it’s often either to treat you like a servant or to make a rude comment and then you have a reason to steal from them as well. 

Once we got back to the inn and I jumped out of his pack Neddly immediately went upstairs as if he had suffered some mental trauma.  I’m not one to judge, but he seems very finicky and high-strung for a vagabond killer.  Pesh was there at a table with Stella carrying on with some tall tale that had the normally stoic Josta, behind the bar as usual, laughing boisterously.  I jumped up on a chair with them and Stella nodded to me.

“Did you save the world?”

“Yes, but for how long?  There will be a new catastrophe coming down the trail soon enough.  It’s amazing that we’re all still here.”

“There are some people that believe that the world has been destroyed and remade many times, that it’s part of a natural cycle.  One world ends and another begins.  It would explain a few things.”

“Like what?  I wouldn’t put too much stock in what anyone says about that, people will believe anything if it’s presented to them in the right way.  Or if they want to believe it.”

“True enough.  The good news is that while you were out saving the world I think I have an angle on your feline fiasco.”

“Feline fiasco?

“It sounded better in my head.  It just so happens that the Five Torches have visited an old ruin in the woods that was once a stronghold of the Lords of Dust.”

“That doesn’t sound helpful.”

“The Lords of Dust were a sect of Baku that had obtained a shard of Storm King’s Mirror.  Are you familiar with the Storm King?”

“No, and it sounds like a long and boring story.  Can we just get to the point?”

Pesh snorted “You should hear Rubast go on about it for hours.  He acted like finding that mirror was better than a pile of gold.  You can’t spend history.”

Stella shook her head “Knowledge is more valuable than any coin.  The point is that the Baku worshippers turned that shard into an artifact that they called the Cordon Precious.”

“That’s a dumb name.”

“Hush.  The Cordon Precious is said to have many abilities, but the one that is always mentioned is its ability to reflect your true self and restore you to that image.  A man who’s lost an arm looks at himself in the mirror, sees himself with two arms, and is made whole.  A maiden cursed to be prematurely aged sees herself as her true age and is reverted to that appearance for real.”

Pesh nodded “I can attest to its powers.  I lost an eye to a grick years ago but now I got my two baby periwinkles right here for you to get lost in after a peek in that mirror.  And after that first visit we took a job where we led a man up there that had been turned into a goblin.  One look in that mirror fixed him right up.  Just, ah, don’t look it in too long.”

“Why not?”

Pesh looked uncomfortable “It’s just not a good idea.  It was a good monkey maker so we brought another guy up there to help him with an issue of a transformative nature and it didn’t end well.”

Stella gestured “The point is that this sounds like just the thing to get you back to normal.  And since the Five Torches have already cleared the place of traps and spells and ancient guardians it should be relatively safe.”

I cat snorted “Relatively safe for me usually ends up being pretty terrifying.  But this sounds like the most promising idea to date.”

Stella clapped her hands together “Wonderful, we can set out tomorrow.”

“Cladarielle you’re full of magic, have you ever heard of this thing?”

She looked thoughtful “I can’t say as that I have, but I’m certainly interested in seeing what it’s all about.  If it’s really that close it’s odd that I haven’t heard of it.  I’d love to accompany you if you don’t mind.”

“The more the merrier.”

After some additional conversation and a good deal of malingering Pesh rounded up the rest of the Five Torches to go out and get some supplies for the trip.   Cladarielle returned home to do the same and Stella retired to her room to do whatever it is she does – she seems like the type that might journal.  Josta poured me a bowl of sweet liqueur and I jumped up on the bar to lap it up.

“You certainly have an interesting life.”

“That’s one way to put it.”

“Should I envy you that?”

“No, it’s a real pain in the ass.  If you want to envy me you should envy me for my appearance, not my appearance now, but my real appearance.  You should definitely envy my singing voice as well, it’s really something.  You can envy my charisma and my never say die attitude.  You can envy my fashion sense and my wit, my nimble fingers and my fast hands, you can envy my way with animals – mostly horses and dogs – you can envy my grace and determination.  There’s a lot you can envy here, but the level of excitement I experience isn’t something that I would put on that list. “

“Can I envy your humility?”

“Oh yeah, don’t even get me started on how damn humble I am.”

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hair regrowth progress :  NA 

Funds: None

XP: 413,051

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 

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