Philosophical Village [14 Hispis 4385]
A great deal of discussion was necessary.
|If I went to Doöaru, I would be in grave danger.||Muot the nycathath volunteered to be transformed into a harmless inanimate form by the nendrai, and stay on board of Strayway as a hostage.||He's gotta spleer-fexing trick up his wing.|
|Payment is not readily available.||Payment in cash is not essential.||You're gonna get cheated out the dunderplex, Sythyry.|
|It will use much cley, leaving little for other emergencies, such as a surprise attack by sky pirates.||Not that many.||You're gonna get your tail shecked like a turgid snail, Sythyry.|
|It's not our responsibility.||Plague is a generally bad thing to leave around. It's everyone's responsibility.||So's piracy! Besides, who cares if a bunch of durped sky pirates dies? They're the pozzy competition!|
|There's that giant inistella thing to worry about too. Even Vae would take a while to kill it.||It can't attack me while I'm on its back. And if it goes trying to smash Strayway, Vae -- with me -- will be in easy tailtouch range.||This whole situation is so sgoggered, it's like a vulture in a mortar 'n pestle.|
The Death Trap
So Vae turned Muot into a sheet of black paper cut in the shape of a bat, with a very goofy face drawn on in crayon. She handed him to Tingula, who is very quick, and set eleven tigers' heads of angry flame dancing around her ready to pounce on the paper. Tingula cast a scrying spell, and I let her watch me.
"I have rarely seen you so aggressive!" I noted.
"If I am leaping into a trap, I may die, but many others will die with me!" Vae said.
The Philosopher's Village
Us: Me, Vae, Yerenthax, Jyondre (who isn't that tough, but insisted on coming along), and Grinwipey.
Them: Two scared perdithorne, one scared mherobump, two scared Orren in water form, eight scared taptet, and one inistella whose face was too far from me to be able to see. Vae said he smelled worried. Oh, and presumably sixteen unconscious, dying Rassimel of all ages, but we couldn't see them, presumably because they were sleeping indoors and we had teleported onto the back of the inistella, outdoors.
"They don't sheep-skacking look so dangerous, Sythyry. But hey, if I'm making a trap for you, it wouldn't sheep-skacking look dangerous," said Grinwipey.
Oh, and a bristle-tailed Kazrie. "They've taken Muot hostage. I know none of you were going to do anything the least bit impolite, much less aggressive. But see that scrying spell watching us? Don't do anything that anyone could even vaguely think was dangerous, or Muot dies."
"Are they going to hurt us, Kazrie?" asked one of the Orren. I am officially allowed to ogle Orren who are not my clients, so I did, a bit. He was very cute and slinky. And it has been a long, long time...
"I don't think so. They're not anywhere's law... they might be sympathetic even. They've got that nendrai with them," said Kazrie.
"Not a bit of sympathy will you find in us!" snapped Vae.
"Except for plague victims and other unfortunates," said Jyondre.
"And, speaking of plague victims, where are they?" I asked.
Kazrie pointed to one of the huts. "My family are in there."
I started flying. Grinwipey waved his clubs. "You ain't going in first, boss. That is the job for the guy with too many eyestalks and too much tough, sure as the dashitzie." Which was hard to argue with.
While he was looking around inside for traps, I looked around outside. Doöaru's back is covered with heavy scales, each one big enough for my whole sky-yacht to land on. Gleaming scales like flagstones made of single huge gems, lit by some internal lights or flames. This scale had many fruit trees on it, growing in barrels of soil. That scale has a hut, a flimsy thing of leaves and a few sticks, tied together fairly casually, its main support beams anchored to some protrusions in the underlying scale.
Grinwipey drifted out. "I think it's clear, boss. I don't like it though. Get the perdithorne to bring them out.
One of the perdithorne said, "We have no hands, O Khtsoyis, and we have only so many cley for our spells."
"I'll carry the children," said Kazrie.
"You will not dacking carry the children. I dacking want the perdithorne to use their cley," said Grinwipey.
"I apologize for my subaltern," I said. "But he seems to have put himself in charge of my security."
"It's not your security I'm worried about," said Kazrie, eyeing Vae's lashing, flashing tail.
"Quite reasonably, neither of us really have much reason to trust the other," I said. "But we are here to do you a favor, and I feel obliged to endure Grinwipey's sense of suitable protections."
Kazrie crouched and scritched one of the perdithorne, ruffling her visible and her invisible ear. "Csessa, please do me this favor. I am worried about my family, and all the others."
Csessa bristled a bit. "You generally do not preach such a servile role!"
"We are getting service, if we provide suitable conditions to get it."
Csessa bared her teeth at Grinwipey once, but prowled into the hut, and emerged with a distinctly ill unconscious Rassimel boy of perhaps twelve or fifteen years. I cast Wake from Mircannis' Endless Slumber on him, and he sat up. "I'm really hungry. Can I have some dry fruit before dinner?"
Kazrie embraced her son. "I'm glad you're OK. Sure, you can have some ... actually I'm starving too." One of the water-form Orren went scampering off to a different hut to get some.
The annoyed perdithorne continued bringing sick Rassimel out of the huts. I continued healing them. They were all weak and hungry from being sick for days, and showed no sign of trying to slaughter us. Eventually most of us relaxed, except for Grinwipey (eyes everywhere!) and Vae (who looked upset rather than scared.)