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Thread: A Watched Pot

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Default A Watched Pot

    Warning: Mild language within this story. If you are underage or offended by language, please do not read further.


    “Well, that was certainly successful.? I smiled in private satisfaction.

    “Aye, you did well, my friend,? said a rumbling voice from behind me.

    Turning to the dragon, I raise an eyebrow and comment, “Celestial, you have a way with understatement.?

    “I know,? she says with a toothy grin. “However, I still feel you should have stayed with the druid, Katy.?

    “Why? The druid would only have slowed me down and you know I have to get to this guild meeting on time.? I smiled again at the memory of the handsome druid. “Besides, you know druids. They’re all wanderers. Footloose and fancy-free is their motto. He’d never have stuck around.?

    A waft of hot air blows past me as the silver dragoness sighs. “Katy, you should have asked him along for as long as he would be willing to travel with you. You know,? she gives back the same emphasis, “you can’t forage your dinner; not to mention your food supplies are low and there are no rivers or lakes for you to fish out of nearby.? Suspicion creeps into Celest’s bright eyes, “I bet you didn’t ask for anything in payment for helping that hapless bard, did you??

    “Well…? I scuff the ground with the tip of my boot making a small bruise in the ground. “I knew he wouldn’t have anything…?

    “You gave him money didn’t you!? Celestial roared. This was obviously a statement, not a question. She knows me so well. “You spend your time and energy saving him from slow death by rabies. You find the druid and beg him to track the wolf for you that gave the monk rabies so you can put the miserable creature out of its misery; and you give him money instead of asking for some in return? BAH!?

    Suddenly the small hole I’ve dug in the ground becomes fascinating as my cheeks flush hot -and not from the dragon’s breath, either. A soft draconic chuckle makes me look up defensively at the dragon. “Ah, well. No real damage done. You couldn’t have had that much to give him since you banked at the last town we were in and haven’t received too much in the way of monetary funds since then. This just means you won’t have much money until you go back to making your rounds after the meeting.?

    Cocking my head to the side, I stare at Celestial in wonder; she never is that easy going about money. “Stop it,? she remonstrates me. “You look like a bird doing that; now, where shall we camp for the evening??

    Glancing about, I realize the sky had turned dusky while we were having our little discussion. “Why not here?? I ask brightly and with great relief at the change of subject. “It’s a good clearing and we aren’t too terribly far from the next zone.?

    “Sounds good.? The dragon drops to her haunches and lets out a blustery sigh. Celestial watches me intently as I begin to set up camp.

    I start to dig around in my packs, searching to find what I had to make dinner with. The blasted dragon was right, my food supplies were low. “Ah…? came a delicate sound from the dragon. “You could always conjure your dinner. I’m sure Prexus would forgive you for the waste of the mana on so essential an item as food… especially if it saves you having to spend the mana curing yourself of poisoning.? A soft snicker could be heard issuing from the dragon as she moved her snoot rapidly out of the swatting range of my raised hand.

    “Very funny, Celest. Very funny.?

    “Who said I was joking?? This time, a very open grin spread across the dragon’s face, reminding me of a snarling dog. “Of course, I could go kill you a lioness and we could share a bit of cat meat.? I groaned at her old pun on my name.

    “The thought of watching you eat a fresh kill is just not my idea of enjoyable dinner theatre, dragon.? In my mind’s eye I could see the dripping blood from her maw, with bits of guts sliding down to the ground and I knew my face had turned a bit green by the look of amusement that was spreading across the dragon’s face. “I think I’ll just put a pot on and throw some veggies in.? Yeah, I thought, that way if I should happen to slop anything on my face no one will notice, since it’ll still be green with the thought of watching my darling dragon eat her dinner.

    Mischief dancing in her eyes, Celest laughingly remarks, “What? The cleric can handle all the blood and guts and gore of battle, but can’t stomach watching me eat??

    “Yes, but I’m not eating or about to eat my dinner when I’m working!? I retort.

    Turning my back on the dragon, I finish setting up my camp area and hunt about for some dry wood for a cooking fire. I was in luck, and with a whispered prayer of thanks to Prexus, I gathered up the wood I needed for the fire as the final bits of light left the sky. Then I realize what else I was out of -- flint to start the fire with.

    “Celest, darling? Would you mind getting this fire started for me??

    “What, and waste my precious inner fire on your cooking fire when I should be saving it for more important things?? she ribbed me. Tapping my foot, I glare at her until she lowers her head and I see tiny flickers of flame crackle around the base of the wood, jump starting my fire.

    I reach out and pat her on her scaly shoulder. “Thanks, love. You’re a doll.?

    “No,? she says proudly, “I am a dragon.?

    “Hmm,? I murmur under my breath and root through my backpack for food. “Vegetables, the last of the roots… Ah! Dried fish. Excellent.? Throwing them in the pot, I sit down and prop my chin in my hand to keep an eye on dinner.

    “A watched pot never boils,? Celestial says. “Isn’t that what your scholars say??

    “Bah! I’ve never heard such bunk in my-? A cry of terror rents the air!

    “Gnolls! Gnolls on my tail! Beware! Beware! Train of them hot on my heels!? The cries continue and draw closer to my little camp.

    Growling under my breath, and with a last despairing look at my non-cooking dinner, I snatch up my weapons and ready my spells as the sounds of battle drew closer. I look about me alertly, trying to determine where the sounds of battle were coming from. Suddenly a gnome pops through the underbrush, spies me and heads straight to me. Celest looms from behind and the gnome screeches to a halt several feet in front.

    “Down, lady dragon, this one means us no harm,? I announce in a clear voice so the gnome can hear me. Behind the gnome a small figure comes bouncing out of the woods and zooms to the gnome. An earth elemental! This gnome must be a mage! Respectfully, I lower my weapons and curtsy to the gnome. He kneels before me and begs, “Lady, please! If you can help me I’d be most grateful. There’s a pack of dogs I am trying to outrun. Can you help me??

    With a gesture behind my back to let Celestial know to stay on guard against betrayal, I stride over to where the mage knelt in the dirt. On closer inspection, I realize he lay near exhaustion; escape from the gnolls was beyond his current capabilities. Without a doubt, we’d need to band together against the gnolls if we were to escape with our lives. I, of course, could abandon camp and leave him to his fate, but this would be a denial of who and what I was, and was completely out of the question.

    “Up, mage. No time for kneeling.? With a prayer to Prexus, I let loose a spell of healing on the gnome, healing all of his injuries with a single thought. “Thank me after we live through the battle. Now, I am Katydydi – call me Katy, I am a cleric of Prexus, 30th level in my sphere.? Flipping my hand at my dragon in introduction I tell him, “And this is my dragon Celestial – Celest, for short. By the grace of the dragon beside me, I am a Dragon Lord and she is my companion. What may we call you? And keep it short, it’s hard to remember a long name in the heat of battle.? I drop to the ground to begin my meditation to get back the mana I had used in healing the little fellow, keeping an ear out for the gnolls.

    “I am called Gnarf. Your help would be most welcome, Katy.? Gnarf sketched a shaky bow to Celest. “This is my pet, it’s of the earth elemental variety.? I watch as he slipped into a similar meditation pose, a moment later the pet came forward saying, “Guarding you, Master.?

    Speaking quickly, Gnarf tells me his story. “I was out searching for the gems my little pet requires to live. I, also, am 30th level in my class. I accidentally wandered near the spires of the southern area of Karana, and the Tal Mesch Gnolls have been hot on my heels ever since. My pet and I have taken out quite a few, but as you can see, we are not too far ahead of them and I was nearly dead when I stumbled across your camp area. I’m not sure how many gnolls are behind me still. At last count I saw about five of them, which I rooted in place, but the spell will wear off soon.?

    I gesture him to stop speaking for a moment while I listen for the sounds of his pursuers. “We’ve only a few moments more before your root will wear off. Those gnolls are mighty close. When root goes, they’ll be right here, so I hope you have enough mana, cause we’re about to be invaded.? With that statement, I hopped to my feet and grabbed my club. “Up, Celest! I need you in the air to be my eyes up above. Look for the rooted gnolls and report back when they are on the move again.?

    Raising my hands in supplication to Prexus, I beg him to send me the ability to cast protections on Celest, the gnome, his pet, and myself. A soft mist and sparkling blue light spreads from my hands to encircle each of us in a protective coating. As the mana drains from my body, I feel my armor increase in strength and a surplus of health spreads throughout my body. I know the others feel the same. My dragon lifted into the air when the mist and light faded away. I settle back down into my meditation pose to await word from my dragon.

    Moments later, Gnarf says, “I felt my spell go; we must up and be ready to fight.? Celest returns and shouts down from above, “They’re about to break through the trees into the clearing! BEWARE!!?

    A gnoll popped out in front of me. Quickly I raised my club and swung it at its head. The battle had begun! Other gnolls crashed into the clearing. Two, three, four, five! It felt like an endless wave, but no, only the five to engage. Roots grew up over the feet of the gnoll I was clubbing. “Rooted!? I hear the mage call and I back out of reach of the gnoll I was attacking. Celest dived down and began to fire blasts of fire on it.

    “Careful, love! You’ll lose his root! It’s fraying. Save your fire for when we need it and have exhausted our mana!? I called up to my airborne companion. But the heat of battle had already roused my dragon’s blood to a fever pitch. Ignoring me she continued to blast and barbeque any gnolls who came near me, setting their filthy fur on fire.

    “Help!? The mage screamed. I looked over to see his pet battling two gnolls, while he was engaged hand to hand with a third. The fourth had roots tangling its feet, just as my own did. I call on Prexus for aid and send forth healing energy to Gnarf. The blood stopped dripping down his neck. Tears in his skin began to visibly nit together. “Thank you! Help the pet!?

    I look over to see the pet crumbling apart. Pieces of earth flying everywhere as the two gnolls break it apart. Again, I call on my god for strength. The little earth elemental began to grow back to its normal size as the healing energy enveloped it. I sit back down to gain strength from the earth when I feel a claw rake my back, causing me to jump to my feet once more.

    “Katy!? Celest screams. She dives in against the gnoll who had broken the root behind me. A wingtip brushes my body powerfully enough to knock me off my feet as Celest attacks the gnoll with her front claws. Bits of gnoll fly threw the air as she tears it to pieces. A howl of despair gurgles up through its throat just before she rips it out. The sounds of battle continue through the clearing.

    As always, the voice of my clerical teacher goes through my brain. “Now you all listen up! This ain’t that hard! Clerics, your job is a shampoo job.? Giggles of my classmates float through my head. “No! Don’t laugh. It’s true. Your job is to sit on your asses, gain strength from the earth for your mana, call on the god of your choice for your spells, cast them on those who fight around you, then sit back on your asses again. Rinse and repeat!? This voice is followed by my master of weapons teacher. “Do not engage the enemy forces hand to hand unless you absolutely must! Let the warriors handle that. If you’re alone and you have to fight hand to hand, then damn it, be sure you’re carrying a good weapon! A hammer! A club! Something blunt you can’t hurt yourself with too much, cause you ain’t trained to fight with an edged weapon! Knock the bastard senseless, step back and curse him with spells!?

    Keeping all the advice in mind, I try to follow most of it. Sometimes it’s just not as cut and dried as those two would have you think. It felt like hours later before all the gnolls were dispatched, but no more than a half hour had passed. I checked the mage over and bandaged him as well as I could. I never use my energies on mild cuts and scrapes that a good bandage could take care of. My dragon would need a good cleaning later. For now, she simply stood guard over us. I’d clean her scales in the morning. The earth elemental also stood guard near its maker.

    “Damn fine job you did, cleric! Damn fine! Haven’t seen such a good cleric in ages,? the mage rambled on, hiding hisses of pain as I bandaged his wounds. “Shall I conjure dinner for us? It seems yours is no longer edible.?

    I turned and looked in disgust at my pot. Completely boiled dry. Everything in it scorched and ruined in an unedible mass. Celest began to snort in laughter. “Damn it, Celest! It’s not funny! A watched pot may not boil, but an unwatched pot will boil dry!?
    "It gets my goat at least once a week... the folks that come to {gasp} a text-based site and REFUSE TO READ! -Denmother

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    83

    Default Re: A Watched Pot

    I wish I had the paitents to read all of that.
    http://www.magelo.com/eq_view_profile.html?num=1118514

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    4

    Default Re: A Watched Pot

    I thought it was dandy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: A Watched Pot

    i liked it.
    Hi there! Names Kirryinia. I don't care whether you love me or hate me, but never forget I am the one that keeps your @$$ alive!

    Kirryinia Luvintouch~~Temporarily Retired
    Future Vicar of Tunare
    42nd Season and Now a Temperance Giver

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: A Watched Pot

    Description of the fight was awesome and very detailed. Little bit long winded leading up to that though. Nice job!
    v/r,
    Canard
    Lvl 70 High Elf Cleric

    The Nameless (Innoruuk) Server

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    376

    Default Re: A Watched Pot

    Enjoyed it


    Tam's Stuff
    Lv 79 Cleric - Veeshan's Fury

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