Friday, March 12

Digging in the Trash (Original Fiction by Xan)

“Well boys…” Beasley trots over to the pile of junk in the middle of the pond of black water. “Let’s see what this Dragon has been holding onto down here.” Without a moments notice he begins digging through the tattered clothing and bones of adventurers past who had become the unfortunate dinner guests of the young dragon.
“There is nothing but junk and tattered clothing.” Solcloud scoffs. “Why waste your time digging around in such filth? Can we just continue? I feel evil radiating here. This place must be cleansed.”
“I couldn’t agree more, my somewhat dimmed knight.” Mayvn takes his damp sleeve and rubs a chunk of slimy filth off the paladin’s now grimy armor. “Besides, it’s dark in here, the smell is awful, my shoes are soaked clear through, and my lute is beginning to warp.”
Beasley barely pays them heed and continues to dig through the refuse. “By the smiling face of Olidammara!” He stops digging in a gasp and waves his hand beckoning to his large friend but never taking his eyes off his find. “Zander! Bring me a torch quick!”
The half-ogre quickly does as he is told and rips the torch from Mayvn’s hand and trudges through the muck towards the mound and his small friend. “What is it?” He leans in over the small halfling, completely engulfing the tiny man underneath his enormous body. The torchlight flickers as he holds it close to the halfling.
“Back up a bit, Zander!” The small bandit elbows the half-ogre in the chest. “You’re crowding me.” Zander moves back a small bit, but continues to hold the torch close to the tiny man in red.
“What is it?” Zander says curiously.
“It’s a small jackpot, my oversized associate, a small jackpot.” Beasley reaches into the small hole he made and begins to pull out items to be of some value.
“Did I hear 'JACKPOT?'?” Mayvn begins plodding through the muck towards the two treasure hounds. “I think I am only entitled to MY share!”
“Oh how quickly we disregard our silks when treasure is involved.” Beasley takes a stab at the lyricist as the murky water splashes on all three of them when he approaches them.
“Well, I did cause a distraction.” Mayvn’s eyes gleamed with anticipation. “What did you find?” He flops on the sullied mound of bones, tattered clothing and twinkling metal beside the halfling.
Beasley just rolls his eyes as he reaches into the hole he has dug. He pulls out a diamond bigger than his tiny fist. “I didn’t find much.” He turns to Zander and smiles. “But it should pay the bills.”
From across the cavern Solcloud’s voice echoes. “I hope you plan on giving some of that as a donation to the poor! The church always needs financial support.”
Beasley only huffs and buries his head back into the refuse.
“Our patrons also give us blessings to pay for the quests we must go on.” Zander harasses Solcloud. “Don’t you think they guided us to this trove to pay for a greater mission?”
Solcloud slinks in his armor as he folds his arms with a huff. “I doubt St. Cuthbert would appreciate us keeping this fortune to ourselves.” He skulks off down the passageway a bit to leave the raiders to their dirty work.
“DON’T MOVE!” Beasley spurts out to Mayvn with his arms straight out and his hands out. “Since when did you find silks to lie on?”
“What are you talking about my boy?” Mayvn looked at him quizzically. “I just dropped on top of some old rusty armor.” Mayvn pats his ‘bed’ he had been lying on while watching the small burglar work. To his amazement, he was not on rusty armor anymore, but on a bed of silky robes.
“My goodness!” Mayvn jumps to his feet, the silks disappear, and the rusty armor reappears.
“Touch it again.” Beasley prods the bard. “I have a thought.”
Mayvn slowly extends his hand to the armor and with one extended finger touches the armor. The armor again turns into silks before the three raiders as they all gasp.
“I have heard of this before,” barks Mayvn. “It is glammered! It appears to be whatever the host wants it to be. Zander, you try!”
Mayvn removes his hand and the rusty armor returns. Zander hesitantly does the same and touches the rusty armor and it turns to chain mail armor. Zander jumps back in astonishment and pushes the rusty armor away. “No Thank You! I do not want something like that; Othr likes things to be as they appear. Nothing to hide.”
“It is too heavy for me to be walking around in full plate armor.” Mayvn scoffs. “Besides, it wouldn’t feel like silk against my delicate skin.”
“Well,” Beasley shrugs. “I am too small for it, and it will make too much noise for my tastes. By the looks Mr. Shiny was giving us about keeping this stuff, I doubt he will want it. However, it will bring a good price at the market. Zander, can you boot it in your backpack please.”
Zander slings the giant chest off his back and loads up the armor that looks like chain mail as soon as he touched it. “I just can’t get used to armor doing that. Makes my skin crawl.” Zander shudders as he turns his head towards something flickering in the torchlight. “What’re those?” Zander points to a couple bottles with different colored liquids in them. Beasley hops up, runs nimbly across the loose treasure mound, and scoops the bottle up in his arms like firewood.
They look like potions or poisons or something.” He gently lays them down at Zander’s knees. “Can you tell what they are?”
Zander pops the stopper on the first one and takes a deep sniff, smacks his tongue to the roof of his mouth and makes several clicking noises, rolls his eyes back and then exhales.
“This one is a restorative brew…crude but not bad when we are in a pinch.” Zander smiles as he puts the stopper back in the bottle and does the same smelling technique on the other two, devising they are an anti-poison and a curative potion for disease victims.
“We aught to keep all of these.” Zander gently tucks them into his belt. “Feel free to take them if needed.” He winks at Beasley as he pats the belt. “What’s this?” Zander notices an intricate stick tucked in with the pile of bottle when Beasley brought it over.
“Looks to be a wand!” Mayvn’s eyes begin to sparkle. “I am schooled in the ways of magical items; shall I give it a wave?”
Zander and Beasley gather up their things and begin to back off.
“Maybe you should identify that one some other way than giving it a flick.” Beasley says with an edge in his voice. “You are not exactly followed by good luck or anything.”
“Oh, very well.” Mayvn begins to mumble under his breath and wave his hands about as if to weave the very air over the item. The wand glows a light bluish-white and then dims. “It is a wand that cures moderately damaging wounds. Definitely a keeper! Well, I think we aught to find old Mr. Grumpy and settle down for a bit of rest.”
“I agree,” Beasley stands up and stretches in a long cat stretch. “It feels as though it is to be late.”
“I will take last watch so I can pray for help from Othr in the morning.” Zander opens his toothy mouth in a large yawn. The low rumble echoing within his cavernous mouth nearly took the color out of Mayvn’s face.
“I am sure glad you are a man of the cloth,” Mayvn hesitantly smiles and pats Zander on his cold chain-mailed arm. “You could frighten even the biggest things in here.”

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