Bear, Interrupted[24 Trandary 4262]
Prelude to the Afternoon of a Gormoror
The Gormoror was large and male and brown-furred and loinclothed. He wearing feathers in his fur which more or less took the place of armor, which were evidence that (a) he was a powerful hero, to be able to afford such things, and (b) whoever defeated him hadn't completely looted him. He was somewhat scratched up, which looked like perdithorne claw marks to me. (Tlurrrien wasn't scratched up, but he looked to be in much pain and he was all over Mutoc Corpador, so I presume Vae had healed him as part of rescuing him.)
He was also made entirely of leather, to start with.
Me:"Vae? I presume he didn't come this way?"
Vae:"Not at all! The way he came was down the Verticals, somehow or other, and then over by the Whilians' home, and ..."
Me:"I mean, all leather."
Vae:"Oh, that! Not that either. The protective cour bouilli, it is."
Me:"Well, is there some easy way for me to turn him back, or do you need to do it?"
A Hero's Welcome
Gormoror:"Surrender, foolish perdithorne! You and your monstrous companions shall never defeat the mighty Loukerax!"
Me:"Um ... hi?"
Loukerax:"What, a Zi Ri? Assist me with your mighty magics, and together we shall defeat these mere monsters!"
Me:"Vae? What did you do to him?"
Vae:"Nothing but turned him to leather. The thoughts and all, mind you."
Loukerax howled and leaped on Tlurrrien, his claws and teeth flashing (and covered with magic), and the two of them scuffled around for a moment. Vae lashed at them indiscriminantly with her tail, surrounding them with huge marshmallows.
Tlurrrien:"Hey! You're supposed to be my ally! Why are you bubbling me up in this sticky stuff?"
Vae:"The apologies! Not so sure who I was going to hit was I!"
Loukerax:"A nendrai? A nendrai is come? But ... I have a Zi Ri upon my side! Assault the nendrai with your mightiest enchantments, O Zi Ri, and together we shall win glory that shakes the World Tree!"
Me:"Um, OK. Sure." I helpfully flew over Vae and created fourteen gallons of water, using the mightest enchantment that I had made that I had on me at the time. Her defensive spells interpreted it as a gift rather than an attack, so she got splashed. She, herself, interpreted it as a gift rather than an attack, so she had a rather distracted not-quite-an-orgasm sort of thing.
(Important Tactical Note For Later: If you seek to distract a nendrai by giving her presents in the middle of a fight, she does get the same pleasure that she usually does, but it does not distract her in the slightest. Later on she may complain that she didn't get to enjoy it properly due to the circumstance, but she may also be irritated that she is required to enjoy water, and magically-created water at that. I debated giving her the talisman by way of apology, but I use it every day, so I didn't.)
Loukerax:"A clever riposte to this candy-covered stickiness of an assault, but I fear you aimed it wrong, Zi Ri!"
Me:"Well, it was an idea anyways. I'm not much of a battle-mage."
Tlurrrien:"Make him stop fighting, Zi Ri, or I shall insist that the nendrai do so instead."
Loukerax:"I have bravery and strategy enough for two! Follow my lead, and no collection of monsters shall ever defeat us!"
Me:"They already did. Loukerax? Could you stop fighting?"
Loukerax:"I shall not surrender!" He managed a rather impressive Destroc Herbador spont that shredded the marshmallow.
Me:"Vae? Could you cage him up or something?"
Vae:"The gladly!" She did, by means of tossing him into a vortex of hideously grinning Locador-charged skulls.
Loukerax:"You conspire with the nendrai to my detriment? Are you a traitor to your own civilization?"
Me:"We're more conspiring to your benefit."
Loukerax:(Assorted further ranting.)
Me:(Assorted further explanations.)
The Conversation You Do Not Want To Have When You Are Rescuing Someone
Loukerax:"I'm being rescued?"
Me:"I'm afraid so." This is not a condition that Gormoror heroes are reputed to be too fond of.
Loukerax:"I'm being ransomed?"
Me:"I'm afraid so." This is even worse.
Loukerax:"At what price?"
Me:"The price the nendrai demanded." Well, honestly, the Gormoror was pretty much a gift to me, and the trade just a formality. But of course no proud Gormoror wants to be ransomed for cheap.
Vae:"The loaf of mushroom-pumpernickle bread! Want some?"
Me:[In the Nice Language.]"Vae! Shush!"
Vae:[In Ketherian.]"But it's very good bread."
Me:[In the Nice Language.]"You handle the spellcraft. I'll handle the diplomacy."
Loukerax:"For bread? You ransomed me for bread?"
Me:"I'm afraid so."
Loukerax:"And the monster values it so little that he will share it with me?"
(Tactical Note: If you ever really need to insult a Gormoror hero for some reason, hold him for ransom, ask a trivial price, and then share it with him.)
Me:"There are secrets here which few primes know of."
(Tactical note: When all else fails, pretend to be Mysterious and Wise.)
Loukerax:"Secrets...? What sort of secrets?"
Me:"If I told you, they wouldn't be secrets any more. But I have been working on freeing you since before you were enchanted and taken prisoner." (Well, in the sense of, I've been trying to train Vae to be nice to captured adventurers since then, so it's sort of true.)
Me:"One does what one can do. Will you give your Word of Honor to come with me back to Vheshrame peacefully, and stay there for three days, so I can let you out?"
When Gormoror give their Word of Honor, they pretty much don't break it. It's really rude to ask a big or open-ended vow of them, but a three-day vow shouldn't be too troublesome.
Tlurrrien:"Three days? He nearly kills me, and his punishment is that he has to stay in the city for three days?"
Me:[with all available Mysteriosity, and as much Veiled Threat as I could acquire on short notice.]"To start with, perdithorne. To start with."
Tlurrrien and Loukerax:assorted simultaneous complaints
Me:"Be still! I must tend to the nendrai!"
So I spent a third of an hour explaining to Vae that she had already done her part in saving at least one of their lives, that I was very grateful for her efforts, that she was surely still attractive to other (male) nendrai despite being helpful to a Zi Ri now and then, and that cryptic threats and opaque prophecies are standard Zi Ri patter and generally don't mean anything, and that, yes, I'm still her friend despite her offering bread to bears.