Interlude: A Trip to Magnimar
Me? I was about to get my skull bashed in for the last one. All that stood between me and death by psychotic rage was a bedroom door. You see, I had made a mistake. It might seem minor in the grand scheme of things, but in context it makes sense. You see, I had fallen asleep.
I was awoken by the sound of a young man, perhaps barely a teenager, shouting down a hallway. “Dad! There’s a man in big sister’s room!” Well, he didn’t actually say ‘big sister’, but I want to keep her name out of it to avoid any shame this weird ass town might heap upon her if they learn of my exploits. I don’t mind if people judge me, but I’d rather no one else have to live with it. Most people aren’t as enlightened as I am about accepting themselves for who they are.
There are a few things I feel it’s important to note. I had been invited by the young woman and she was of legal age. I may be a man-slut, but dammit, I have rules. She also wasn’t married or betrothed. I won’t be a party to someone else’s adultery. I didn’t lie to her about my intentions. She knows I’m not interested in anything more than a bit of fun. Misrepresenting your intentions just doesn’t seem right to me.
I also won’t use magic to influence a girl’s decision to sleep with me. Wait, let me rephrase that. I’m not above using magic to impress a potential partner, but I also know a few spells that can actually physically alter someone’s mind in a way that makes them see things differently than they might otherwise. Using those to get sex strikes me as morally reprehensible. Special Hell kind of stuff.
Not that I needed to. I mean, this isn’t universally true, but there are some characteristics that tend to attract girls just old enough to be legal but still young enough not to know better. Girls like bad boys. Girls like musicians. Girls like their guys tall. Girls like exotic foreigners. Girls like men from noble families. Girls like poets. Heroes get girls.
I’m a tall man who plays violin. I’ve been adopted by a noble family since coming to Golarion. I recently told off the city’s leadership and while the content of my rant hasn’t become public knowledge, the very fact that I did so has become the talk of the town. You don’t get more exotic or foreign than “from halfway across the galaxy” and while I’m not much of a poet, I have a fairly decent knowledge base from back home to work from that no one here has ever heard, so I can pass as one. And recently, my friends and I had saved this town from imminent certain doom.
I’m not saying I’m perfect. Far from it, in fact. I’m just saying that on occasion, women’s panties have been known to burst into flame just because I walk into a room.
<Writing in the margin reads, “It worries me that you actually seem to believe that.”>
That isn’t to say, however, that I won’t use those spells to convince an angry father not to kill me. I have a keen sense of self preservation. I just didn’t have any of those prepared today. What I did have was a spell for temporarily locking a door, which I employed immediately upon realizing what was going on. I barely got it locked before someone started beating on the door. With the force they were using, the door was going to splinter inward within moments, lock or no.
My companion sat up in her bed and pulled the sheets up around herself as I looked frantically for my clothing. After a few moments I gave up and cast one of my two remaining spells. All my clothing flew towards me and I was dressed in seconds. The spell was designed for helping someone put on armor if a fight started while they were sleeping, but it worked well enough on clothes.
I grabbed my magical bag, then planted a quick kiss and grope on the young woman looking terrified at the door. “If we do this again, let’s get together at my place,” I said to her. I flung open the window and jumped out onto the roof outside just as the door broke open. “Run, run as fast as you can!” I shouted back at the enraged father. “You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!”
I prepared to leap to the ground below when I spotted the girl’s older brother waiting down there with an axe. Why is it that I always forget to take older brothers into account?
With my planned means of escape cut off, I looked around for options. There was only one and I didn’t like it. But I had learned the art of escaping from pursuit from Michael Westen. “In the end, sometimes making an escape is just about being willing to do what the guy chasing you won't”. So it was that I jumped from the roof of the farmhouse and grabbed onto the roof of the barn next to it. Don’t be surprised that this girl was a farmer’s daughter. You’ve all heard the stories.
I managed to pull myself up just in time to hear someone crash into the wall below me. I looked down over the edge to see that the farmer had leapt after me, but hadn’t quite reached the barn roof, which is why I’m glad I’m so tall. He looked to have survived, but his leg was at an odd angle. “You should get that leg taken care of,” I called down before throwing him a few coins to pay the healer. I then pulled out a rope and quickly rappelled down the other side of the building. It wasn’t pretty, but I was down quickly enough to be able to retrieve my rope and start running.
Behind me I heard hoofbeats. It seems that the older brother had saddled up the old plow horse. Escape by foot was no longer an option. I cast my only remaining spell and conjured a mount of my own, a swift Taldan charger that looked a bit like Aurora’s horse, Starbright. As we galloped away, I began singing at the top of my lungs.
“Get your motor running. Head out on the highway. Looking for adventure, or whatever comes my way. BORN TO BE WIIIIILLLLLDDDD!”
Back in town proper, I returned to the inn where we were staying. The others looked a little annoyed. It seems I had completely spaced on the fact that we were going to the city of Magnimar that day to try to sell the quasit’s dagger and that statue we had taken from the catacombs. I was only an hour late, but I felt bad, so on the way out of town I stopped by Venn Vinder’s general store and bought a few bottles of flammable beverages for everyone and was quickly forgiven.
Speaking of Venn Vinder, I think his daughter may be stalking me. In the few days since we got back from Thistletop, I haven’t been able to go anywhere in town without spotting Shayliss. Last time I had run into her, I’m pretty sure she had propositioned me for sex, but I had misinterpreted her intentions and thought she planned to take me to her basement and cut me into tiny pieces. Look, it’s been a weird couple of weeks.
I had planned to see if her offer was still open when I got back from Thistletop, but I had been so angry about how the town had treated Nualia that it slipped my mind. Then, while hanging out with my friends at the Rusty Dragon, a pretty girl asked me to dance. We didn’t end up in bed together until a couple days later, which is where this journal entry began.
With her father’s leg broken chasing me, I suspected that my buxom farm girl wasn’t going to be available, so perhaps when I get back into town I’ll take the time to look up Shayliss. Rumors say she’s pretty smart about avoiding getting caught, so I’d bet we can have weeks of fun with little risk of getting caught. And if we do, well I plan to have better spells prepared.
Magnimar is about a day-and-a-half away by land from Sandpoint. You can easily do the trip in a day on horseback, but we have yet to find one that can comfortably carry Lenn, so we’re forced to go a bit slower. Add in the fact that we had to rent a wagon to carry that creepy ass statue and it’s definitely not something to do in a single day.
Paulie’s been acting fairly strange. I swear, it’s been like talking to an amoral Billy Mays. So I’ve been talking with Geo and Aurora mostly. Geo still hadn’t caught on to the fact that I was trying to set him up with Shalelu, so we had a bit of a discussion about that. After talking he had warmed up to the idea. She is rather pretty, after all. Maybe not Aurora pretty, but pretty.
<”Flattery will get you nowhere.”>
<”Maybe you just haven’t been flattered enough.”>
For the rest of the day, he worked on a poem while riding on Shadowmist. The horse was looking a lot better than he had been. A few days rest and good food had done him a world of good. Magical aid hadn’t hurt either.
We decided to camp for the night near a Desnan wayshrine. While not her goddess, Aurora paid respect to the goddess of travel before we began setting up camp. Lenn gathered firewood while Geo and Paulie cleared the site of debris. Aurora and I set up our tent, which I feel I must remind you is large enough that while we sleep in the same tent we aren’t in any way sleeping together. I only feel I must lest Aurora hurt me for insinuating something that isn’t happening.
I set up magical alarms in several spots around the campsite, then retired to my tent to work on copying Lyrie’s spells into my spellbook. After a bit, I heard Lenn speak, not that it’s very difficult to hear when he talks since he has no concept of an indoor voice. “If I win, you have to put it in your mouth and swallow.”
I looked up from my work and stared in the direction of the voice. I couldn’t see who he was talking to through the tent, but I didn’t have to. Moments later I heard Aurora’s voice. “Deal.” I’m pretty sure there’s an indentation in the ground from where my jaw hit the floor.
I stared intently in that direction and heard some grunting. I’m sure you can’t blame me for thinking the worst. After a moment, I heard Lenn howl in victory. “I win! Now put it in your mouth.”
I saw Aurora’s shadow projected on the side of the tent by the fire. She seemed to be sitting…or even possibly kneeling. “I’m ready,” she said, sounding a bit trepidatious. From the shadow, I saw a large, long object near her face. “It’s so big! I’m not sure I can fit it in my mouth.”
“Then just lick it!”
I saw her do so. “Mmm,” she moaned. “That tastes so good!” The shadow entered her mouth. “It’s so gooey! It’s running down my chin.”
I managed to upend the tent as I leapt out to stop this atrocity. I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. “Stop! I can’t let you continue….eating that sausage?” Yes, you heard me. Apparently Lenn had cooked some homemade sausage for dinner and Aurora was a bit nervous about eating anything he had cooked. So he had bet her that if he beat her in arm wrestling, which was the source of the grunting earlier, she had to try his food.
I’m not sure why she had positioned herself in such a way as to cast those naughty shadows on the tent, nor talking in such horrible innuendo. Unless…she was doing it on purpose! I think she was screwing with my head! Evil! I used to think you were a nice person, Aurora.
<”That’s what you get for making me worry about you the night before. I spent the whole night worried that you had been jumped by goblins or bandits or something. How am I supposed to be your bodyguard if I don’t know where you are?”>
<”Oh. My apologies. I promise to let you know if I’m not coming home from now on. Though I wouldn’t have to if only it was your bed I was spending my nights in.”>
<There seems to be no response.>
Everyone had a good laugh at my expense and we sat down to dinner. Lenn’s cooking was actually rather good. The only thing the sausage was missing was a bit of mustard and relish. Oh well, you can’t have everything you want.
I slept fairly well that night, though I recall getting a bit chilly in the autumn air. When I awoke, I was covered in two blankets and Aurora was already awake, watching as the first rays of light broke on the horizon. Apparently she hadn’t woken me and had taken my shift at watch. Awww.
<”Don’t read too much into it. I just didn’t think I could sleep anymore.”>
Magnimar had a lot in common with the other major cities I’ve visited on this world. For one, they hadn’t quite figured out public sanitation yet, though things got a lot better as you got into the richer parts of town. Second, the docks were always active. Business operated at all hours it seemed.
Once in town, Paulie took off with the wagon towards the docks to try to sell our statue. I had a bad feeling about letting him go off alone, but I had too many other things to get done. Besides, he knew that we would all be staying at an inn in the Silver Shore district that had been recommended to us by one of the wealthier citizens of Sandpoint, so we all knew where to meet up.
Geo took Lenn off to find a brothel, as the big guy wouldn’t shut up about wanting to go to one. I wished him luck on finishing his poem then Aurora and I set out first to secure our rooms at the inn before looking around town.
The innkeeper was quick to notice my signet ring and more than happy to oblige my need for several rooms. He even gave Aurora and I the inn’s only two bedroom suite once she told him that she was my bodyguard. I didn’t want to know how much it was going to cost us, but I’d never gotten an upgrade at a hotel before, so I just went with it.
On the other hand, it seemed a lot less likely we were going to be accidentally put into a room with a single bed which we would simply have been forced to share, which would have just been a shame.
While we were there, I wanted to check out the Aquaretum, a combination aquarium and museum, but the proprietor seemed to be under the weather and it was closed until he got better. So instead I focused on finding the three things I had come to find in this town.
The first was a buyer for the dagger. I was expecting to find a large magic school like the Arcanamirium in Absalom or the Acadamae in Korvosa. Alas, this city had magic schools, but nothing on that scale. I could find no one who might use such a thing here. I ended up lucking out and found a merchant going to Korvosa. I convinced him that the dagger would sell for a great amount to the imp summoning wizards there.
The second was a paladin who could craft a wand for me. We started out at the temple of Sarenrae, where I dropped the name of my good friend Calais in order to try getting someone to assist us. They had no one who could help, but one of the clergy members recalled that there was a paladin at the church of Iomedae who could do such a thing. Aurora took some time at the altar to give her respect to the goddess and we headed off towards the temple of Iomedae.
The folks over at the temple of Iomedae were fairly helpful, but wary about why we might want to purchase a wand such as we wanted. Once I explained that I wanted a way to cure the heinous damage caused by poisons and ghosts after our encounter with the shadows while we were fighting to protect the town of Sandpoint, the tone of our interactions changed. Since they could detect no deception in my words, since indeed there was none, they decided that our intentions sounded noble enough and introduced us to the paladin/crafter we sought.
It’s said that paladins tend to die young and gloriously. This man was the exception that proved the rule. He was covered in more battle scars than I could count and had to be fairly ancient. By his silver hair - and I don’t mean it had greyed, I mean it was actually silver, as in metallic silver - I could tell he was an aasimar. He greeted us warmly and asked that we forgive him for not standing. Apparently he had once taken wounds so grievous that even the temple’s best healers could not restore his ability to walk.
I felt an instant respect for the man and could not imagine that anything short of a Balor or a Puragaus could have possibly stood against this man in his prime. He was, in my mind, worthy of his own webpage of facts like “When he smites evil, evil thanks him for it,” and “He once marched into Hell and punched Asmodeus in the face. Asmodeus apologized for getting in his fist’s way.”
Spending a full half of a day talking with the venerable paladin, we told him more about ourselves and he agreed to craft the wand we wanted, but said that it would take a few days. I paid him up front and the cleric who introduced us told us that they would deliver the wand to us at the inn where we were staying. The paladin offered us his blessing and wished both of us luck wherever our journey might take us.
Sometimes, it’s the little things in life that seem the most profound. There was something about meeting this man that I think changed us both, just a little. To see that much good in one man was inspiring. It’s an event that I’m glad both Aurora and I had been there for, and I get the feeling that it’s a good sign that no matter what happens, everything will turn out okay, even if we have to work for it.
We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering in silence. We visited the shore and stared out at the ocean for over an hour, neither of us saying anything. When we returned to the inn, we found our friends already waiting. Paulie announced happily that he had traded our statue for a wand. Upon inspection, it had some charges missing, but seemed to be a slow healing wand that used infernal power.
I’m just glad he hadn’t traded it for magic beans.
The next day was spent searching out wizards who might, in exchange for a small sack of gold coins, teach me a spell or two. I had a whole list of magical spells I had heard about back in Absalom that I felt ready to actually try casting, so we knew it would take us most of the day to hunt down what I was looking for. Add in the time to actually copy them and we were looking at two, maybe three days spent on this task alone. Add in the fact that I wanted to spend some time at the inn working on some magical craftwork for my companions and that could easily stretch out to taking the whole week.
I visited the Golemworks first. Since I wasn’t a customer or one of their approved suppliers, they wouldn’t even let me on the premises, citing “trade secrets” and the like. I did tail a few of their employees to a local tavern after work and managed to convince them that teaching me a few spells wouldn’t really be a violation of company protocol. I even threw in a round of drinks for good measure.
The next day I was in the marketplace looking for some materials I would need to make magic belts for Aurora, Paulie and Lenn when Aurora pointed out Paulie to me. It seems he was in the market trying to sell some of that sausage Lenn had made. I know I compared him earlier to an amoral version of Billy Mays, but he had gone past that. He was now that other guy. The one whose nuts you’re gonna love. You know who I’m talking about, even if I can’t recall his name.
First of all, he had taken to using magic to make customers of the other food stalls look like they were getting sick and confused from consuming the other foods. Second, I overheard one vendor telling another that Paulie had used some kind of power to steal his trade secrets right from his head. That one made me a bit nervous, as I had witnessed Samantha do the same thing once. The look on the face of the guy whose mind she had violated probably should have sent me running for the hills, but I wasn’t exactly thinking with the upper brain at the time. Aurora and I decided the less we knew about what Paulie was up to, the better off we’d be. It’s not like he was actually hurting anyone, and the fact that we’d be leaving after only a week or so in town should limit the amount of damage he could do.
Over the next couple days, I visited several of the smaller magic schools. These schools reminded me a lot of how martial arts dojos are depicted in several animes. Many of them you would likely have mistaken for nothing more than fancy houses hidden in nice neighborhoods if you didn’t know what you were looking for. I managed to cross off most of my list fairly quickly. It was only towards the end of the list that I started getting desperate and considered visiting the Stone of the Seers, the most respectable of all the schools in town.
I know what you’re thinking. Yes, it would have indeed shaved time off my search to start there. But you have to understand something. The school is focused on divinations and abjurations, and I’ve spent time around diviners before. Look, I have nothing against divination as a school of magic. It’s a highly useful tool and I employ it all the time. My problem is the kind of people it seems to attract.
The first subset, and probably the largest, is the paranoid. They want magic to allow them to prepare for any and all danger, both real and imagined. Combined with access to abjurations, and you get people who should be hiding in a room with coat hangers suspended from the ceiling, afraid that the government was going to find a way to penetrate their tinfoil hats and read their thoughts. Instead you get the same kind of people, only they can see the future, scry on the world around them and prepare dangerous magical traps to keep “the monsters” at bay.
The second subset I like to call the Trelawneys, after the Harry Potter character. You could also call them space cases, kooks or cloud cuckoo landers, as TVTropes might. They always seem lost in their own worlds and interpret signs and portents in the strangest things. They irritate the ever-loving crap out of me and are the primary reason I wanted to avoid the Stone of the Seers.
The third subset is what I call the “Magic Security Guy”. They’re a bit like the paranoid subset, but they’re in control. One of these is exactly what you want to hire when someone has made a magical threat on your life. These people I can get along with, even if they can be a might bit twitchy.
The fourth subset is the curious. When you’re in a world where magic knowledge far outpaces scientific knowledge, you have to use the tools available to you if you want to learn more about the world around you. These people use divination to look at the world around them from different perspectives, sometimes watching the behaviors of animals through crystal balls to see how they behave when no one’s around or perhaps using magic to see things normally beyond sight, such as the depths of a lake or something too tiny to see. As a general rule, I like these types of folks, but you have to wade through a ton of tinfoil hats and Trelawneys to find just one or two of these.
Sometimes, however, they find you.
With the permission of Master Nivlandis, I worked my way through the grounds of the Seerspring Gardens, seeking those who could teach me the spells I sought. It was nearly late afternoon and I was seriously considering stabbing myself in the leg as an excuse to escape a particular Trelawney who wouldn’t take the hint that I didn’t want to hear another word of his theory that black tea leaves were better for divination than green tea leaves when two beautiful young women, one blond and one brunette, if you’re curious, approached me. They told the Trelawney that I had promised to take them to dinner and I gave him a feigned look of apology and we quickly snuck away.
“Sorry to have intruded,” the blond said. “But we couldn’t stand to see you trapped by that idiot any longer.”
“Besides,” the brunette added, “one of the oracles told us that the answers to our questions would come in the form of a tall, mysterious stranger in a black coat.”
I smiled at them and said, “No need to apologize. I don’t think I could have taken another minute listening to that asinine theory. And let it be said that if your question is whether one man can satisfy two women in a single night, the answer is most emphatically yes.” The women laughed and Aurora rolled her eyes. I grinned at Aurora. “If you’re trying to say I should go for three, I’m game if you ladies are.”
“In your dreams,” Aurora said. I shot her a look that said that I indeed hoped my dreams would go in that direction and she chuckled in spite of herself.
“Actually,” the blond said, “we were hoping you might have knowledge of nature. We’ve been trying to find the answers to a number of questions that everyone thinks we’re crazy for looking into. Like why do things fall towards the ground, and why do children look like their parents? Everyone tells us that these things are just the way the world is, but we’re not satisfied with the answers. Since you told Master Nivlandis that you graduated from the Arcanamirium, we were hoping someone out in that part of the world had answered even one of these questions and you might have heard of it.”
These women had no idea how they had just hit the jackpot. People back home don’t seem to realize just how amazing the knowledge we take for granted is. Any middle of the bell curve seventh grader back home knows at least half a dozen concepts that would absolutely blow the minds of people here. I was never in the middle of the bell curve. I was on the high end and genuinely enjoyed learning new things, even if I got bored with concepts before I could study them to the point of mastery. Still, my shallow knowledge of most subjects dwarfed most people’s deeper understandings of topics.
I took the ladies back to the inn where we were staying and we talked for hours while sitting in the common room of the inn eating the supper I hadn’t promised them but paid for anyway. I taught them about gravity, genetics, the wavelengths of light and a number of other topics. These were all things I had already taught to Aurora, since it would be in her best interest to know them if she did end up going back to Earth with me when I finally found a way back home. Still, Aurora sat with us and joined in on the discussion, clarifying things she had been unsure about from our previous lessons.
Of course, eventually it got too late to continue discussion and the girls didn’t want to walk home on the deserted streets at this hour, so they stayed the night. In case you’re wondering, yes, I did prove my earlier boast truthful, though sadly Aurora declined joining us.
I awoke the next morning and left the two lovely and very naked women to sleep a bit longer while I headed downstairs to get some kind of breakfast in the common room. I found Geo working on his poem to Shalelu. I ordered something from the innkeeper and sat across from my friend. “Mind if I take a look?” I asked.
“Well, it’s not quite finished, but I don’t mind if you want to check it out,” he said, handing me the sheet of parchment he was working on.
It was, um, inventive. I’ll give it that. “Geo…I’m not so sure you should compare the color of her nose to a disinfectant unguent.”
“But the blood vessels in her nose make it that particularly fetching shade of pink.”
This was going to take a while. “Geo, that’s only scratching the surface. Girls don’t like to be told that they remind you of potions, salves and, my god I can’t believe I have to say this, the internal organs of wild pigs. They want more romantic comparisons, like autumn sunsets, flowers, butterflies wafting through a meadow on a summer’s day. Look, if you don’t believe me, ask Aurora. We have a couple more days before we go back. Go find the local bard’s college. There’s always one in towns like this. Get one of their students to help you. Please, before you send this poor girl fleeing for her life.”
He looked dubious. “Well, if you’re sure, I guess it can’t hurt to get a professional opinion.”
“Good. Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s the innkeeper with the tray of food I ordered. I’m off to go deliver it to some girls who I’m sure will be quite hungry after last night. With any luck, I won’t be leaving the room again until this afternoon.”
<”You really should have been more gentle about how you told him that his poem wasn’t very good.”>
<”Actually, in this case, you’re wrong. I couldn’t leave any room for him to justify leaving it how it was. If I tell him, it just stings a bit. If it had made it to Shalelu in that form and she had said it, well that would have broken his heart. Sometimes you have to be blunt to be kind.”>
<”I must have spent too much time around you. That actually sort of makes sense.”>
<”Just as planned. First, you’ll start seeing the wisdom in my words, next, you’ll find yourself unable to get my dashing good looks out of your head. It’s only a short step from there until you’re pole vaulting into my bed and are deliriously happy for having done so.”>
That afternoon, after I walked the girls out, the innkeeper told me that he had received two deliveries for me. The first was the wand I had commissioned, delivered by a courier from the Temple of Iomedae. The second was a letter bearing the seal of House Kaddren, one of the noble families that founded Magnimar. I tore it open and was amazed to find that a member of the household, Amanda Kaddren, cousin to the head of the household, Kimandi Kaddren, was a fan of mine from back in Absalom. She had seen a number of my weekly shows while she was studying at the Arcanamirium, even the orchestral performance. Since I was in town, she was hoping I’d perform for her and some of her friends.
The only snag was that the family was hosting some dignitaries and would be for several days. Since we’d be leaving town, there was no way I could perform for them there. So I talked to the innkeeper and he was fine with my request to bring a number of young nobles with more money than sense to his establishment. I told him to talk with Lenn to work on a menu and talked Aurora into working as a bouncer for the event, then headed over to the bard’s college to find myself a backup band and leaving the innkeeper to send a response to Amanda Kaddren, offering his establishment as the site of the concert.
At the bard’s college, I spotted Geo surrounded by several lovely young women, all discussing what I assumed was his poem. Good on him for taking my advice and not only getting the help of a professional, but several female inputs as well.
I put together a band, complete with several stringed instruments, a trumpet, percussion and backup female vocals. They were all pretty talented and learned the songs quickly. It only took a little over a day before they were ready.
Amanda Kaddren’s reply arrived with the same courier that the innkeeper had sent to deliver his offer. It was an emphatic yes. The concert was set for the evening after we received the letter, two days before we left to go back to Sandpoint.
First of all, let me say that the meal Lenn and the innkeeper prepared was sublime. There were four courses and the finest of ingredients in each of them. They even baked a cake. A cake! It had strawberries. If Lenn keeps cooking like that, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to hold onto my image of him as a dumb brute. A dumb brute with a heart of gold, mind you, but a dumb brute nonetheless.
The night of the performance, the inn was packed. Apparently word had gotten out in the upper social circles that this was the place to be tonight, so not only was this a large crowd, it was a large crowd composed of people from some of the richest families in Magnimar who were too young to be taken seriously by their families but old enough to be allowed outside without more than a bodyguard for supervision.
The first dozen songs went off pretty well, but as always there was a bit of a snag. Apparently the female vocalist I’d hired wasn’t much of a professional. As the night went on, she got more and more drunk until you could no longer understand her slurred words. I was left with three options. Either I could finish out the set with only songs that didn’t require a female vocalist, have her sing In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, or find a replacement female vocalist.
I rather liked the few songs we had left to perform and I hadn’t taught the band anything from the Iron Butterfly catalog, so I was left with the third option. There was only one woman who had been present during all our practicing who could possibly fill in, so I begged her to join us on stage.
Needless to say, Aurora didn’t like the idea. Like it or no, however, she agreed to do it. Aurora’s voice is untrained, but she has some pretty major raw talent. The two of us performed several duets and the crowd ate it up.
We finished the set and the crowd chanted for an encore. I told them that I wasn’t sure I could sing further, but that I had a special guest who might just perform one final song. I stepped into the back and used my magic to transform myself, bringing back my alternate form, Fleur-de-Lis. I slipped on some magical sleeves, changing my clothing into Fleur’s signature outfit and stepped out. I could hear several people break into emphatic applause, which spurred the rest of the crowd to do the same.
Aurora and I performed one final song and, after telling the crowd that I simply had to leave them wanting more, I snuck into the back to resume my normal form before it happened involuntarily and I tore my clothing.
The crowd had begun to make its way out the door to stumble home drunkenly when I returned. I thanked Aurora for her help and she simply told me that I’d owe her one before going to check on Starbrite and head to bed. I was cool with that.
I was approached by a young woman who looked familiar. “I’m impressed that you even brought back your alter ego,” she said. “You still put on one hell of a show.” She then tiptoed and planted one hell of a kiss on me.
I realized where I remembered her from. Amanda had done the exact same thing at one of my shows back in Absalom. She had also suggested we continue that discussion at length somewhere private. I had turned her down because at the time she had been around sixteen. It had been difficult as she was also very beautiful, but a man has to live up to his rules.
That was a few years ago, and this time when she made the same suggestion, I threw her over my shoulder and carried her upstairs as she laughed the whole way.
The next morning, after seeing Amanda off, I sat down with the innkeeper to figure out how much money we had made. It was substantial, but there had been quite a few costs to pay as well. After paying the band, supplies for the food and cleanup, our share was enough to cover the cost of our rooms for the week, buy some apples as a treat for Starbrite, Shadowmist and Paulie’s yak and have a little left over.
<”Thanks for thinking of Starbrite. I’m sure he enjoyed the treat.”>
I went to a tailor and spent the rest getting an apron made for Lenn. I considered getting him a “Kiss the Cook” apron in reference to Breaking Bad, but instead went with one that read “A’ Drippin’ That Sauce” in reference to Epic Meal Time, who I’m pretty sure will be the cause of the epic zombie apocalypse that will one day occur back home. It’s only a matter of time.
Tomorrow we head back to Sandpoint. Probably at an ungodly early hour, so I guess I should put this away and get some sleep. I’m sure things will go south on us again soon, so it was nice to have this break. I especially enjoyed singing with Aurora. I hope we can do it again sometime.
I mean, I read a study once that showed that people who sing together have their brainwaves sync up during the song, and that’s kind of cool, knowing that Aurora’s thinking like me when we sing.
<”And with that, we’re never singing together again.”>
<”Aww, I was just joking. Come on, you have a beautiful voice. You should share it with the world, or at least with me.”>
<”Perhaps we’ll discuss it some other time.”>
One thing I’ll say for my life, though. It’s never boring.
May at some point post the poem, but the other player keeps failing to work on it, so I got tired of waiting to post this since Friday's our next game.