(this turned into a story-thing…)
Back in Faemoore, the party encountered Gaussisstra Myn’Dar, the Drow Inquisitor and Governor Alusín got an update on the woeful lack of faith in the province. The governor expressed her confidence in Sapphos’ missionary skills, a sentiment the Inquisitor did not share. The Inquisitor also made an off-hand mention about a creature that had been skulking outside the camp, but an exhausted Shin’dra had no intention of inquiring further.
Taking Felicia with her, she met with Elrien, who — very excitedly — could tell them that the roof on the mansion had been completed and went on about how much better that would be for her books and scrolls. Muttering a few words of praise to Lolth, the governor led them into the common room. There they found that Bolga was already hard at work attacking the feast laid out for them.
Eager for the taste of proper kitchen-made food at last, everyone ate heartily long into the night. Tired from the long road, drowsy from overeating and heavy with food, they waddled upstairs to check out their new lodgings. Everyone, that is, except Bolga who had eaten and drunk until she passed out on the common room floor.
Her tunic close to bursting, Felicia was shocked to see her new room decorated meticulously in the likeness of a halfing nomad’s wagon. Everything from the colours to the halfling-sized furniture reminded her of home. The last part in particular she found most welcome as she rolled into the low bed, not relishing the thought of having to climb into a drow-sized bed after overindulging so greatly on drow-sized portions of food.
After a tipsy Shin’dra had patted “her little elf”‘s food-filled tummy and leaving no doubt as to its “cuteness”, a blushing Elrien opened the door to her room. There an exceedingly comfortble-looking stuffed chair sat next to an elegantly carved writing desk. Every available wall was covered in in empty bookshelves. Elrien vowed to fill them immediately with things from her tent — after letting her stomach settle a bit. Unfortunately the bed proved just as comfortable as the chair and she promptly fell asleep.
As befitting her status, Shin’dra’s room was much bigger and far more opulent than the others. The governor hardly noticed, however, seeing the huge matron-sized bed — complete with silk sheets and spidersilk canopy — and several wardrobes as simply adequate. Nothing could diminish her relief at being back in what passed for civilization, however. “I’ll never set foot outside this camp again…” she muttered before promptly falling asleep.
By the time she woke up, Elrien found the shelves around her filled with her research materials by Qual’axle, her unbidden “servant”. Even her pet skeleton had found its way into a cupboard in the room where it might stay without unnerving others. Too perplexed to be outraged at someone else touching her things, Elrien just sat on the bed, taking it all in and marvelling at how much more she would get done without having to dig through chests and bags for everything.
Rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, Felicia wondered how she could be hungry again after all she had eaten last night. Blaming it on her unbridled gluttony while staying with the sirens, she left it at that and padded downstairs to find some leftovers.
In the common room, she found that Bolga had already started where she left off — she had not even gotten up from the floor before resuming her feast.
Of the governor there was no sight. Claiming exhaustion from the long trip she kept to her bed.
Busy enjoying the luxuries of home, the days flew by for the party. Holed up in her room, Elrien wrote incessantly about everything they had seen on their travels. Every now and then she would cross-reference something from her earlier notes or one her many books, her pet skeleton standing ready to hand her anything she needed. With Qual’axle bringing her food, drink and whatever else she needed, the elven scholar hardly left her comfy seat. Even without the dutiful drow, she would hardly have starved, however: Eager for her company, Shin’dra was plying Elrien with every dessert known to elves and men. Obsessed with recording all she had seen, the elf would absently nibble at the treats — until the looming towers of growing piles of plates and platters started intruding on her work space.
Surrounded by all the food she could eat after days on the road (and surrounded only by the food she could kill) Bolga could not help but do just that — eat all the food she could! Assisted by the bevy of indentured servants and attracted believers at the mansion, that turned out to be a lot.
With the governor “too busy” for day-to-day meetings, Felicia would act as liasion to the various factions that had begun appearing in Faemoor. On the plus side, this allowed her to see some of the villages of the province and also practice her Dwarven. On the other hand, the Dwarves also served gut-busting feasts, something that was less than conducive to working off a few pounds by travelling about.
Having finally relented, Elrien went to see Shin’dra and found the governor idling in bed.
“Ah, that’s just what my poor, abused feet need, Veldrin!” the drow moaned as her lady-in-waiting gave her a foot massage. Her speech was mumbled and sluggish from having over a week lazing about and gorging herself on proper drow food.
“Ah! There you are little elf!” Shin’dra exclaimed. Patting the edge of the bed, she told Elrien to sit down. “You won’t believe how bored I am. Come on, tell me something fascinating — oh and I’ll have Scipio make us something to eat, I’m starving!”
Meanwhile, Felicia found herself meeting with S’amriss. The captain was quite furious with how casually the governor strolled about virtually unguarded in the wilderness. Felicia’s assurances that she was more than capable of looking after the governor fell on deaf ears.
“At least you’ve done a good job keeping her safe and sound these last days,” the halfling noted. “Not much that can happen to her cooped up in her mansion. Unless there’s an assassin hiding in one of those cakes she’s been stuffing her face with, of course!”
“Very amusing, halfling. She might send you in her stead, but at least the governor is safe.
“Though I’d prefer it if she’d advise me in the matter of this demon instead of dismissing all my concerns.”
Explaining how the guards had caught a weird creature skulking around the camp to a suddenly very curious Felicia, S’amriss eventually agreed to show Felicia where it was kept.
“I’d rather just kill it, but you know how angry the governor would get if it was something her pet high elf would want to study,” S’amriss sighed as they approached a pit with a chained Onii Knight.
“Oh, I think she would be pretty cross! That’s an Onii, the okay kind of Fey.”
Though she protested the existence of such a fey, the captain grudgingly accepted Felicia’s request that it be allowed to deliver a message to the governor.
“You know, being governor of this shithole might not be so bad after all,” Shin’dra smiled. Elrien only watched in uncertain disbelief as the governor downed her fifteenth cream tart. “Go on, have some more!” Dutifully, Elrien ate the pastry she was handed. “Only the best for my little elf,” Shin’dra smirked and patted the elf’s thigh.
Elrien breated a sigh of relief when there was a knock on the door and Felicia came in.
“Hey there, short stuff! Don’t tell me: The dwarves have found gold? A thousand barrels of cider is ready to be shipped south? The cattle tax has been settled?”
“More like there’s someone here to see you.”
“Ugh, can’t it wait?” Shin’dra groaned, adding through a mouthful of pie: “Cab’t ‘ou see I’b busy?”
“He’s kinda been waiting for almost a month,” Felicia grimaced.
“Oh all right! Show him in then…”
“That… might be a problem,” Felicia admitted.
Getting Shin’dra out of the house took some convinving, but that Felicia was prepared for. More curious was the fact that the governor could not stay away from her drownuts even for the short walk to the prisoner and was happily gobbling up honey-covered pastries the whole way. Felicia saw that Elrien had also noticed.
“Why would you lock this guy up?” an annoyed Shin’dra said as she licked honey glaze from her fingers. “He’s on our side.”
“I was not aware we were allied to the fey,” S’amriss said sourly.
“Step it up, captain!” Shin’dra shook her head. “You need to keep up with this stuff!”
Keeping her mouth shut, the captain had the Onii ungagged and the fey gave them an update on the Water King’s situation.
“When you say it’s urgent, you don’t mean urgent, do you?” Shin’dra said with little hope, lazily rubbing her belly.
“Very urgent,” the Onii nodded intently.
“Mistress Alusín, your instrument of conveyance is ready!” Coming out of nowhere, Aleksandra Jadebriar made the rest of the party jump with her sudden declaration. Behind them came a richly outfitted disk, complete with a silk canopy against the sun and curtains against the elements. Floating a few feet off the ground, it was pulled along by four wilders under the stern gaze of a fierce-looking orc woman.
“In that case…” Shin’dra said, verbally dragging her feet, “…I guess we might as well get this over with… I was getting bored anyway.”
“I wouldn’t mind that,” Felicia agreed and patted her increasingly stout midsection. “Civilized life is agreeing too much with me I think.”
Sighing, Shin’dra turned to her lady-in-waiting: “Get my gear and let us save ourselves a king. Oh, and get the half-orc too!”
“That… might be a problem,” Veldrin hesitated.
“We thought we should get her up here before she got too big to move,” the head maid explained, wringing her hands.
On her bed, Bolga was snoring loudly, but all the others could see from the hall was the wizard’s enormously stuffed gut heaving with every laboured breath.
Dressed and ready for adventure, Shin’dra snapped impatiently: “Just get her out of here and let Aleksa come up with a way to transport her.”
“As you wish, Governor. I… I’ll bring everyone…”
Woken by some determined poking and shaking, Bolga finally woke with a huge yawn. Seeing the whole household assembled, she smacked her lips: “Is it third pre-dinner snack already?” she smiled and rubbed her looming gut. To her surprised she was instead heaved out of her bed. With much grunting and cursing, the four servants managed to get the bloated half-orc out of bed, but even with a burly lizardman at their side could not get her off the floor. Only after calling upon the elves pulling Shin’dra’s floatdiskdid they manage to budge the unhelpful and confused half-orc.
“We’re going on a little trip,” Shin’dra explained as Bolga’s gut came into the hall. And then did not. Stuffed beyon reason for thirteen days, the wizard’s bloated belly was too wide to get through the doorway.
“Looks like we aren’t going anywhere,” Felicia remarked.
“So, uh, how about that snack…?” an embarassed Bolga could not help but blurt out.
When they finally got Bolga out of her room she was still too stuffed to waddle more than a few yards and Aleksa declared vehemently that the half-orc had gotten far too heavy for her poor walking chest to carry. Eyeing an opportunity to postpone the mission, Shin’dra nevertheless felt too comitted by now and declared that Bolga would have to catch up with them later. With a sigh, S’amriss said she would ready a cart or some other mode of conveyance for the half-orc.
Less one half-orc wizard, but gaining an orc overseer and her charges, the party set out. Weighed down by tents, supplies — and most importantly: Drow delicacies for their mistress, the captives fortunately did not require much strength left over to pull Shin’dra’s new floating disc.
They had not come far, however, when a skeletal monstrosity set upon them. A dragon-like construct of blood and sinew, the creature roared defiantly as Felicia and Elrien took to their battle stances. Dozing on her flying throne, Shin’dra stirred and licked powdered sugar off her fingers and lit them with psionic fire.
After a fierce battle, the creature finally collapsed in a heap of meat and viscera, leaving no clue as to where it came from and no loot.