Friday, November 20

Putting it to better use… (Original Fiction by Xan)

“Very well.” Solcloud reaches for the ring with a false air of contempt. “But I think stealing from the dead isn’t right.”
“We’re not stealing,” Beasley looked up from his examinations. “We are putting them to better use.” He looked to the paladin and then over to the half-ogre who was trying not to smile.
Not doing a very good job of holding back his excitement for nice things, Mayvn jumps into the search. “What else did you find, my diminutive friend?”
“Stop crowding me!” Beasley tries his best to fight off the grabbing thin man. “Don’t worry, we’ll find you something pretty.”
Zander walks up, grabs Mayvn by the coattails, and pulls him back. “If you keep crowding him, he may not find the ‘good stuff,’ understand?”
“Y-y-yes, s-s-sorry.” Mayvn sits on the closest rock. “My apologies, friend. Just make sure you can find me something worth while.”
“DONE!” Beasley reaches up with a pendant in his hand. “By the looks of it, it seems to make you move a little faster. Might be good if you ever get close enough to someone to try and use the small sword you have hidden in that fiddle of yours.”
“Fiddle! How preposterous…”
“You want it or not? I am sure Zander could use it.”
“Oh, my apologies. I will certainly take such an endowment.”
“Thought you would.” Beasley smiled, winked, and went back to searching the next body. “And what do we have here?” Beasley pulled on the wizards’ gloves. “They will fit you well Mayvn.” As Beasley pulled the gloves off the wizard, he noticed the wizard’s complexion became a little more… geographical. “Hmmm, seems to me they make you better looking.”
“Don’t encourage him, small one.” Solcloud walked over with his arms folded. “He is already a peacock.”
With a smug look on his face, Mayvn fidgeted with the gloves and they slid on with a perfect fit. Everyone noticed Mayvn’s teeth got a bit whiter when he smiled at their fit. “Beautiful!” Mayvn shrieked as he picked up his lute and began to strum a happy little tune. The music seemed to be better than before. “It sounds like my playing has improved.” He smiled at the party once again.
“Put those away, your smile is almost blinding.” Solcloud shrugged, “Seems they make you more charismatic.” Beasley and Zander looked at him like a curious set of dogs looking at something making an odd noise. “It made him prettier and his music better.” The paladin just shook his head. “I am glad intelligence wasn’t wasted on everyone.”
“Oh! Perfect!” Beasley shrieked with glee as he held up a pack of playing cards that seemed to shimmer in the torchlight. “I have heard of these! They’re great for parties!” He eagerly stuffed the deck of cards back into one of his many hidden pockets and went back to pawing through the bodies like a hyena.
“What is this?” Beasley seemed as though he was pulling on something off one of the ogres, but nothing was in his grasp. “Zander, could you help me please, it seems to be stuck!”
“What is?” Zander observed Beasley standing very stiffly with one foot on the ogres face and the other on its chest pulling at thin air.
“Just come and help me!” Beasley demanded. He obviously was a bit frustrated at his small size and the need to ask for help.
With one large hand, Zander gripped the small halfling in his colossal hands and lifted him off the body. He was shocked that the halfling cleared the ground but his hands stayed in position, still gripping the invisible object. “Pull harder, but don’t pull my legs off!” Beasley hesitantly ordered. With a great pull, Beasley yelped as he barely budged when Zander pulled at him.
“It’s still under him.” Solcloud kicks the dead ogre body and as it rolls to the side, Zander and Beasley fall to the ground. Beasley was holding a black and white cowhide. Beasley shakes the cobwebs out of his head from the impact and his eyes went large.
“This is a vanishing hide!” Beasley looked at the enormous size of it and sighed. “It’s too big for me. Zander you can have it. It disappears when you put it on. It can be worn right over your chain mail.” Beasley rubbed his head and rear end as he stood up, examining the bodies.
“What else did you find on that assassin, thief?” Mayvn piped up greedily.
“I am not…er…I found this hood. Well on me it’s a cloak, I suppose.” Beasley twirled. “I found it quite by accident. I dropped the torch on the assassin’s body and he did not light up. I noticed the hood protected him a bit.”
“He took it,” Zander’s nose began to curl. “You can still smell the burnt remains after Beasley lit the body after he took the cloak.” The half-ogre rubbed his nose. “I would have preferred to haul the body back to that chasm we threw the ogres and the spider into. At least then the smell would have taken longer to reach us.”
“I saved you the trouble of hauling him back up here.” Beasley said with a grin. “Besides, you’d never find the body if you just find a pile of ash.”
“What is that token on your left hand, thief?” Solcloud stated his accusation while waiving towards Beasley.
“Oh yeah, and this ring.” Beasley gave the ring a twist and vanished. His voice seemed to come right from Mayvn’s shoulder, “Isn’t it great? I am like those disappearing lizards down south. I love it!” With a flash, Beasley appeared next to Mayvn with his hands crossed over the ring. “Zander found a ring lying on the ground on our hike back; it has a dog or something on it.”
“Give it a twist.” Mayvn said excitedly. Zander shrugged and twisted the dog towards his palm and he too vanished.
“What happened to you?!?” Zander’s voice echoed as if he were a ghost. “You are all blurry!”
“It is not us, my dear friend.” Solcloud chuckled, “You have found a ring of the blink dog. You go to an alternate plane that is parallel to this one.”
“I have heard of those!” Mayvn said ominously, “They are very rare! Good in a fight though, you blink in an out of this plane all the while you can attack and still not be seen. Amazing!”
Zander blinked back into their vision. “I feel sick.”
Beasley laughed. “Looks like you and I will need to practice with our new jewelry.”
“It’s getting late; we had better just stop here.” Solcloud sat down; putting his ring with the troll head on his left hand, he breathed a great sigh as his muscles relaxed from the effects. “I need to rest.”
“I think we all do!” Mayvn dusted off his rock with his hat, sat down and leaned against it. “That fight took a lot out of us all.”
“Agreed, besides I want to look around.” With a wink and a nod, Beasley twisted his ring and was gone. His voice echoed from a far distance in the cavern. “I will be back before my turn at watch!”
Zander shook his head while caressing his ‘dog ring.’ “I’ll take first watch,” he said. “I’m not tired.” With a twist of his ring, he too vanished. His voice echoed ethereally, “I got to get used to this feeling.”

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