Thursday, November 26, 2015

Turkey Day!



May your pilgrimage to the shrine of poultry and baked goods be fruitful, traveler.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Balor's Favor




Brewna took a step onto the narrow bridge leading to Fort Blackgoat. The old stone structure stood atop Mount Whisper, a failed attempt to prevent the native yeti population from raiding the villages below. The fort should have been dead and cold as the mountain itself, but a baleful light shown through the cracks and portals. Brewna could feel the heat from within, warming her face even through the thick steel of her helmet.

She shook free the loose snow that had collected between the plates of her armor, adjusted her grip on the handle of her greatsword, and marched. Dull clanking footfalls were her only company in the silent night, sounding in time with the beating of her own dwarven heart. As the great wooden doors drew near, both her footfalls and her heart beat a faster tune. Adrenaline got the best of her as she anticipated what was to come.

She had been hired by the villagers of Barrelhead. The FORMER villagers of Barrelhead.The town had been attacked the night before Brewna arrived, and nothing was left but charred timbers. The elder claimed it was no yeti, but a terrible Balor demon that had come in the night. It seemed far fetched that a greater demon would attack a humble fishing village, but the fiery fortress before her left little doubt.

Brewna raised her greatsword, prepared to burst through the double doors and lay waste to any fel beast that crossed her path...when the door opened itself, and she was met by a young human girl in a servants gown.

"Greetings, lady dwarf. Mistress Agunimnok Prostrum Karnok welcomes you to her home, and has been expecting you."

"I...what?"

The young girl's polite curtsy only confused Brewna further. Before she could protest, the servant girl took her hand and pulled Brewna over the threshold, whisking off her snow laden cloak and hanging it neatly on a waiting hook.

The hall was surprisingly warm and cozy for an abandoned fort, and she noticed a distinct lack of bloodied skulls or corpses on hooks. In fact, you wouldn't think this was a demon's lair at all, if not for the hulking form looming over the center of the room.

"Oh please, Glenda, with the formal titles," The demon's voice boomed, as it's lips curled into a mock pout,"She'll think me such a bore. Call me Aguni, please."






If Brewna wasn't confused before, she certainly was now. The creature standing before her was definitely a balor demon: massive black horns, fiery red skin, and leathery wings. But that muscular package of death-given-form came wrapped in violet lace and studded leather.Thigh high stockings covered cloven hooves, and lacquered lips accompanied dagger like teeth. Brewna couldn't help but feel a bit jealous. It was hard enough finding a decent brassiere in dwarven sizes, where the hell had this thing found a size 10-xl corset?

Brewna shook herself. Demon, sword, battle. Right.

"I've come to avenge the people of Barrelhead, demon!"

"Avenge them for what, dear?"

"You burned their homes, ate their children-!"

Aguni delicately placed a palm on his clavicle, looking hurt.

"I would never! I admit I might have been a little rough, and things might have gotten out of hand. That tends to happen when you play with fire." The demon giggled to himself, gently shaking the lilac bows tied to his horns.

 "But I would never hurt my playthings." A leather gloved red claw stroked the young servant girl's face, who flushed timidly in return. "They're much too precious to me..."

Brewna had to admit, the towns people had never really said anything about missing children, or any cassualties for that matter. Perhaps she had let her imagination get the best of her. But c'mon! It's a balor demon, wrath and hatred in physical form! It must have done something to deserve slaying.

"I will send you ba-!"

The demon was on her before she could finish, wrapping Brewna's stocky form in a crushing embrace.He (she? probably she) plucked Brewna's helmet off and tossed it aside, revealing green eyes and red tresses.

"There, much better. you shouldn't hide such a lovely face. You won't need a hat in my house any way, nothing stays chilly around me for long." Aguni punctuated her statement with a sly wink. Brewna was much too terrified to appreciate the demons bawdy wit.

"It was quite rude of you to come into my home and say such horrible things, BUT" Aguni lightly tapped Brewna's round nose "I forgive you.You are just dwarven after all, it's in your blood.Now that this unpleasantness is put aside, I INSIST you stay the night. Glenda, would you be so kind as to fetch the wine and bread?"

"I'm not-" Brewna's grumbling stomach cut her off mid protest. It was a treacherous climb up the mountain, and her armor weighed enough without
the extra load of rations.

"Oh ho, dear. I promise I'll fill your belly with something delicious," Aguni leaned in close, lightly kissed brewna's cheek, and finished in
a whisper "all you have to do...is call me mistress."

She didn't really have a choice. The Balor had her at a disadvantage, and provoking her would be certain death.

"M-mistress..."

Aguni ran a clawed hand through Brewna's ginger mop affectionately. "Delightful."

---
---

The bells in the eyes of Brewna's owlbear costume jangled softly as Aguni bounced her on one knee. The bedroom of Fort Black goat was filled with all sorts of textiles, from similar cutesy costumes to extravagant gowns all spilling out of ornate wooden furniture. Aguni was obviously a lady of fine taste. Unfortunately Brewna didn't approve of her choice of evening wear.

"This is humiliating. I'm among the greatest warriors of my time, you know?"

"That's not what sound an owlbear makes."

"...Grrr-Hoot."

"Much better. Now my little owlbear, guess where I've hidden the honey and I'll let you have a taste..."

---
---

As The morning sun rose, Brewna met it with a great yawn. Fully armored and standing on the stone bridge once more, she reflected on what had transpired atop this mountain, and struggled with what to tell the villagers of Barrelhead. Aguni had kept her up half the night
playing ridiculous games and running about the fort's halls. When she woke, her armor was polished and waiting, along with a sack full of enough gems to build twice the town Barrelhead had been. Aguni had said it was only fair she pay for the repairs, just as it was only fair they rename the village Flaming Valley. What a mess, and the sooner it was over and forgotten the better.

She hadn't taken a single step before she heard the balor's voice crooning from the doorway "Breeewna. Do come visit again? It'll be a grr-hoot!" And with one last wink, the door slammed shut, leaving Brewna alone on Mt. Whisper once more.

Brewna really wished she didn't want to come back.