Thursday, September 06, 2007

Who Left the Portal to Hell Open?

              A Savage Tide Interlude, Told From the Perspective of KorShoth
by F.J. Kim

When Captain Harlis Tovel was gone, KorShoth turned to the others and spoke in pidgin Common, "We see that one again. Wild fever take her soon. Maybe not, but cursed is she."
"What do you mean?" Flit asked as she hovered six feet above the sandy cave floor. Her wings beat so fast that they formed a nimbus of blurred movement around her back. Earlier, in the morning sunlight outside the caves, he had seen that the wings distorted the air around them to such an extent they formed shimmering rainbows. A faint humming emanated from them.
KorShoth admired how she could weave her chirping melodies into the light bass of the humming wings to symphonic effect. The full sounds were unexpected from such a small creature. Perhaps that was why her songs filled him with equally unexpected prowess in battle.
Truly a magical creature, thought KorShoth. Aloud, he answered her query in sardonic Draconic, "After the black pearl shattered on the deck of her ship, she said it felt as if a dark presence occupied her mind. For a time she did not know herself. Hmph. A demonic being rode that one! And we are fools to let her walk out of here alive."
KorShoth sighed. For his race, that meant a sibilant expelling of breath through his large nostrils."My master Morkoth, who is no more, could have read the signs perhaps." The tall lizardman whipped his fearsome head from side to side in agitation. This peculiar reptilian gesture was his race's form of a nervous gesture. KorShoth did not like the idea of a demon loose on the earth one iota.
While the lizardman was distracted feeling sorry for himself, Mpata Mbata turned to Fundiani, "What'd he say?"
The elven druid translated.
"We don't know that it was a demon," Mpata Mbata rumbled in his deep voice that reminded KorShoth of the enchanted tumbling rocks in the Broken Country. "She might have been delusional. Did you hear how she went off at the mention of Vanthus' name? Hell, with all that rantin' and ravin' and swearin'...I'd say she suffered a con-cuss-ion. When it comes to Vanthus she's no fan—thus she'll never be on his side."
Something about the way Mpata Mbata spoke made KorShoth think the dark softskin intended other meanings. But what? If only he had more acumen with the Common tongue...
"Well standing around here yakking about it isn't going to solve anything," pointed out Tina to the whole party, "Let's get to the ship already. We need to warn Lavinia about Tovel's first mate."
Without waiting for assent from the rest, the young wizardess began walking towards the exit. Linus followed her out. As they left the cavern, he could be heard asking Tina, "So show me your spellbook, T. I bet you've acquired some sweeet spells since you left the Academy."
They quickly devolved into thaumaturgical jargon as they exited the caves.
"I'll be happy to just get away from this awful place," muttered
Fundiana. Kes gave an approving squawk and flapped her wings for emphasis.
KorShoth sang in Draconian as he strode to the waiting ship. It was
his favorite canticle from the BhalShaloth epic. Since the time he'd been an unsure youngling, struggling against everyone and everything with a primal anger and defiance that burned in his belly, the canticle had given him hope and a savage equilibrium. Without its balancing influence on KorShoth's nature, he would have destroyed himself long ago.

###Wide awake, sides scrape
over sand and sun-warmed rock
~through swarms of water moc~
to lose along the way, the spark that set the flame
to flicker and to fade, of this the longest day.
~The wind go through to my heart,
the wind blow through my soul.
~Give yourself to this, the longest day.
Give yourself, give it all away.###

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