Rise of the Runelords

How Rainbow met Donna

Daddy issues

In the old days waking up in Magnimar would have been a distressing event fallowed by a hasty retreat away from civilization. Now things have changed. I suddenly have new companions, maybe even friends, perhaps girlfriends.
Father never allowed that. All the different places we traveled too and all the different folk we helped. A person would think they’d have all kinds of friends but not me. Not like I ever had any time to really get to know some kid my age anyhow. We maybe stayed in the same location for a week, 2 weeks tops.
But these girls, I mean ladies or um maybe, she-devils? Well, they’re something special. For some reason they treat little old me as an equal. I wonder what my father would say about that? He’d probably change it to, “But do they treat goblins as equals?”
Not long ago I figured I’d be making it on my own, eating other beings trash and piously giving of myself until I secured a place in some backwater. Acting as the local witch doctor, slapping on leaches and rubbing on toxic smelling paste while I channeled a little energy to kept my patients healthy. I might have found safety in a place like that but nothing like what I’ve found with the Sisterhood of Steel.
Looking around my room it felt good to be in a bed. Father never let us sleep in big comfy beds. Even when they were offered he’d just stamp his foot and make us sleep in the wagon. “Don’t let the taint of comfort cloud your ideals girl!” he’d say. Maybe his ideals aren’t mine. What a strange thought.
With that I jumped out of bed and decided today was the day I’d get something nice for myself.
First thing I decided was to go out and have some of those tasty sounding pastries I over heard some of the tall folk talking about at the tavern last night. I checked my pouch and figured I probably had enough gold to get one for all my sisters. Besides Lucrezia was going to “divvy up the loot today”. Maybe, I’d have enough left over to purchase a drum. I always wanted one of those.
Mom use to play the pan flute and I’d usually find myself taping out a rhythm to her strange hunting melodies. I remember one time I had gotten a tambourine from a gypsy family we traveled with, a simple thing of wood and stretched leather. I must have bothered Father during his meditation cause next thing I know it was forbidden for me to drum, clap or even snap my fingers and the tambourine was in the fire.
“Today I’m getting a drum!” I shouted as I leapt out of bed. Only nobody heard me. The smelly dwarf was gone, and the rest of the girls had their own rooms. No bother, I’ll go make rounds and see what’s what, I thought.
Making my way to the common room I spotted Skalmold finishing up her meal. I asked her what the plan was and she told me “Earth Shaker!” as she got up to leave.
That’s when I noticed Zeyara heading out the door and she responded “wakizashi little one”
“Well I guess that’s what civilized people do, they buy things,” I said to no one in particular as I grabbed a discarded rotten apple off the floor. “Nothing like other’s garbage to start the day” I proclaimed as I purified it.
Biting into the now somewhat crisp apple I headed into the big city.
I walked about 5 blocks and looking around I saw a sad looking group of human children. Father always said, “A decent society takes care of it’s young”. Maybe Magnimar isn’t that nice of a place I thought, “or maybe these kids are just waiting to get into that pastry shop!” I squealed when I finally read the sign.
Well since my sisters were all off getting gear I might as well spend a little gold.
I opened up the door and a dirty old human man stood up to block my way. “Hold on now, you can’t be coming in here,” he said.
“And why not!” I protested. Mr. Fuzzy Whiskers fur went straight up and my cackles started to rise. “Who are you to deny me!? I came her to barter, I have gold, fairly obtained and I will not be denied one of your pastry items this day!” Oh dear spirits I sounded just like my Father.
The Shopkeeper’s disposition suddenly changed as he became apologetic. “Pardon me little miss, I did mistake you for one of those foul waifs the front of my shop is plagued with, do to the fine aroma my pastries do produce. What child could resist? They are such a nuisance. I truly must call the guard and see they are dispersed.” he said while fanning himself as he moved behind the counter.
I looked in my purse and pulled out 5 gold coins, would this be enough to buy each one of those kids a pastry? I thought. “Here, how many for this?” I asked.
He snatched the gold out of my hands and asked if I would be needing assistance.
“No, I just need one, the rest are for the children”
“Now they will never leave my store in peace”, he proclaimed but I noticed a gleam in his eye and soon he went out and gave each child pastries a plenty with a gentle pat on the head. “Spirits watch over you”, he said as I departed his store.
An hour later I found a drum. The shopkeeper proclaimed it was crafted by one of the finest drum makers in Astoria, used exclusively by the great bards of that kingdom and it only would only cost 12 gold. Somehow I ended up paying 15. This whole monetary system doesn’t make much sense to me but I think I got a good deal.
Unfortunately Mr. Fuzzy Whisker did not like the drum. He stayed hidden while the purchase was made but once I started taping it with my fingers on our way back to Foxglove Manor he bit me!
“Mr. Fuzzy Whiskers”, I scolded, “What has gotten into you?”
It happened again later that night. I wasn’t even conscious of playing the drum when I felt a sharp pain in my elbow. Mr. Fuzzy Whiskers was very upset with me and that’s when I suddenly noticed how much he looked like my Father.
“That’s weird, how have I never noticed that?” I asked him.
“I’ve always looked like this, your father was the one who looked like me” he snickered.
We’d only developed this linguistic communication over the last couple of weeks but or empathetic bound let us share feelings and impressions making for deep conversation. Or as deep as you can get with a rat, and I’d started noticing this rat had a very narrowly defined view of things. I guess growing up in a garbage heap didn’t expand his worldly outlook.
I looked hard at him and I just couldn’t shake the lingering image of my Father.
That night I slept n a bed, in a room, all by myself! It might have been the first time, I wasn’t sure.
Ever since my Mother’s death I’ve been having vivid dreams of the incident. The death and destruction my Father bestowed to the goblins that killed her was the most horrifying thing I’ve ever experienced. Only this night it wasn’t my father, the great Druid Cottonwood, causing all the damage but right in the middle of all that burning and death was Mr. Fuzzy Whiskers!
I awoke to sounds of chewing and wouldn’t you know it, that little rat was busy gnawing up my brand new drum, “Stop that!” I yelled as I brushed him away. I grabbed the drum and secured it in a dresser,” You leave that be” I scolded.
Mr. Fuzzy Whiskers mumbled “I’m hungry.” and started chewing on the sheets.
The next day we met with the mayor of Magnimar. Right away Mr. Fuzzy Whiskers let me know his residence was much too grandiose for any public servant but I kept those thoughts to myself. It ended up some rangers where in trouble and the Sisterhood of Steel was needed in Turtleback Ferry plus they would pay us in advance, whatever that meant.
Since it was on the way we headed back to Sandpoint and I decided then and there I was going to get my own room in our secret base and put a bed in it. Sleeping under the stars is nice but a bed is a better.
To my surprise the exotic Ranger Shalelu joined us the next morning. She had a vested interest in Turtleback Ferry and I was happy to have her along. Not that I missed Rakonia all that much, well maybe a little. There’s something about that earthy smell I find comforting.
Thankfully we were able to survive our encounters in the wild without her. I’d never seen Swap Giants before and I really don’t care if I ever do again. The ghouls we fought were just the worst.
I hate undead.
From talking with the spirits I’ve learned I could have the power to control the Undead. I could raise them up or take control of those already risen and have them do my bidding. That is if I really wanted too. No thank you. I’ll use my energy to fry the fuckers, every time.
They were pretty tough undead and the next morning I could feel the blessing of the spirits for aiding in their destruction. It made me want to beat my drum but poor little Fuzzy Whiskers was having none of that. I had to trap him in a bag, which he quickly chewed threw, just to practice.
“You know your Father would never let you play that thing,” he sneered.
“My Father would never let me do anything!” I shot back.
That morning I had communed with the Nature Spirit and using it’s newly available spirit magic I was able to conjure a Grove of Respite. “Why not pamper ourselves a little,” I said as the magic took shape. What a wonderful thing I thought and decided tonight I’d play my drum.
I quickly made a little cage and trapped Mr. Fuzzy Whiskers in it. “You’re not stopping me from practicing,” I told him.
Finally I had a chance to really play and I think I sounded pretty good.
I had just noticed the little dragon that was wrapped around Vega’s shoulders when I heard the delicate sound of a Pan Flute. Stopping my drum I tried to find the sound.
“Don’t stop playing” came a sweet voice above my head.
I looked up and suddenly my whole being changed.
“What or a Who are you?” I asked the tiny winged creature hovering in the air.
“Donazata Lyracta Shymoonsa, but all my friends call me Donna.” She said. “Go on, keep tapping that drum and I’ll play the melody”
We played for what seemed like minutes only it must have been hours. Some of the sisters even got up to dance. It was like something straight out of a dream. My heart had never experienced joy like that, my mind was everywhere and nowhere as my body and soul melded with my drum. The musical energy was a living thing and the spirits, oh the blessed spirits, passed in and around us as we played.
When it was over I caught my breath and told Donna there was someone I wanted her to meet. I went over and let Mr. Fuzzy Whiskers out of his cage.
Donna flew down to great him and he attacked her!
“Mr. Fuzzy Whisker!” I yelled.
“It’s okay, he didn’t get me” giggle Donna.
I checked myself; there was a strange feeling. No longer did I feel a connection with the rat. Donna flew up and perched on my shoulder.
“We’re bounded now,” she said.
Sure enough, what ever had passed between Mr. Fuzzy Whiskers and myself was like a faded memory. This new bound was more, much more.
“But Mr. Fuzzy Whiskers,” I stammered, reaching out to hold him one more time.
He wiggled in my hands and suddenly shot off into the woods.
He really did look like my Father.

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