The next two are nto directly in teh story, but they advance it some. I leave them in. Why the heck not.
Sure, it sounded like a good idea at the time. They all told me I was crazy, but did I listen? No! I was in love, and I couldn't let anything as simple and petty as logic and reason to spoil the mix.
Ah, the folly of emotion. It lays low the best of us. So grab a pint and a platter, and sit back as I recount my tale of woe.
it all started the last time I was in the bazaar. I was looking at the worn creaking handle of my well used blade Defiance, picking the griffon bits out of the nicks and dings, when she called to me.
The One blade.
Instantly, I was smitten. I knew I had to be with her. Every fiber of my being knew this fact. It was as if my need for breath had been supplanted by the longing I felt, and I knew then, come hell or high water, that she would be mine, somehow.
I rushed to the bank. Trembling, I asked the banker for my balance.
Heartbroken, I returned to the fore, to look at my love one last time. Along the way, I noticed a curious little wood elf. He was hawking his wares in that special sing song voice reserved for the auctioneers of the world. "Branches of Planar oak - I have branches!!!"
Instantly, the entire bazaar moved as a whole to mob the tiny elf. I don't think a single stick remained more than a few seconds. Once the press of the crowd had moved back to normal, I helped the woodelf to his feet.
"I say good sir, where did you acquire such wondrous pieces of wood, that make mere mortals loose all reason?"
He smiled a mad, feral smile up at me, the gleam of insanity dancing in his eyes.
"Oh, those? I find them up in the Plane of Growth. They lay on the ground, serving no purpose until I free them. yessss, they are precious to me. Though they pain my soul and wrack my brain to the point of breaking"
At that point, the madness took him fully and he went off shrieking into the night.
The Plane of Growth. Truly, every ranger has heard of that magical realm. With one last furtive glance at my one true love, I resolved then and there to head at once to the Plane of growth, not to return until I was worthy of her.
now mind you, I did not leave unprepared. I loaded my rucksacks with my foraging machete, fishing equipment of all sorts, and plenty of supplies, then headed up to the Great library to seek transport. After a brief wait, I came across a wizened gnomish wizard. In between mumbling to himself about some sort of wizard staff and drooling, he casually tossed out a word of power, and I found myself blasted to the wakening lands. I think he put a bit too much effort into it.
After I picked myself up out of the crater. I stood up, only to find myself face to face with the largest dragon I have seen in many a year. After a moment of me staring into its house sized eyes, it spoke:
"So, er, I hate to ask you to do this, but could you move? You're blocking my sun?"
"Cause yeah, you know, it gives my face a splotchy appearance if some silly adventurer stands there too long. and with all these trees around, it's not like I can go somewhere better. Oh sure, build the port in next to the dragon. it will be good for tourism. You aren't a land developer are you? I ate the last few. I hate land developers..."
I blinked again. And edged to the right.
"Um nope, I'm not a land developer. I'm a ranger. Way pro forest here! not like those stupid ice giants..."
The dragon seemed to react favorably to that for some reason. I took it as a good sign.
"Well, alright, you aint a land developer, and i just ate a nice juicy troll, so I'm in a good mood. Tell you what. how about I just let you go this time? But if anyone asks, I ate you ok?"
I blinked again.
"Eheheh, ok sure Mr. dragon, anything you say, bye, enjoy the sun"
I have such interesting relatives.
Anyways, a short time later, I found myself in the Plane of Growth. After a brief, unproductive conversation with Tunare (she was mad at me because I didn't notice her new haircut. I'm not sure that was entirely fair considering I had never seen her before, but who am I to argue with an omnipotent being), I got down to the serious work of fishing, swimming, spell casting and foraging.
A short while after I got there, I found my first piece of wood. I says to my self, "hey, this won't be so bad!"
Oh, the naivety of the uninformed...
The first week passed well, by that time, i was close to maxing my much neglected conjuration skill, and was a 200 level swimmer to boot. For my trouble I had a whopping 10 sticks. Still not enough. I resolved to stay longer.
Days passed. Maybe even weeks.
During this time, I fell into habit. Us rangers are accustomed to long stays in the wilderness, so I was not feeling too out of my depths even after such a long stay.
During this time, a group of ruffians came to visit the planes. They were a ragtag bunch, weakened by their encounter with my distant house-sized cousin. At first, I thought they were here to forage sticks as well, when the leader suddenly lashed out at one of the majestic rolling steeds that inhabit the planes. It fought back valiantly, but in the end, fell. To my horror, I realized that one of their party was a ranger, a despicable yet powerful varlet named Cyrous, who had been struck from the rolls after killing treeants. A man of ill repute. I rushed to tunare's tree to warn her, but to know avail. She scoffed at my tale, laughing at me for thinking it was something she couldn't handle. I begged to offer my assistance, but she just patted me on the head and turned me away, like a child meddling in the affairs of the adults.
When they were done with her, I gave her a decent burial. She wasn't truly destroyed of course, beings of such magnitude never are, but I figured she might appreciate the gesture. I must say the sticks started dropping faster for a while after that...
More weeks passed. The days faded into months. I now resembled the wild men of yore, spending more time in wolf form than was probably advisable. I foraged, and I foraged, until my hands were raw and bloody from the rocks and thorns of the cruel bushes.
Until one day, when I finally had enough to win my true love.
I ported back to civilization, got myself cleaned up, then went to see a local craftmistress I know. She makes the finest fishing poles around these parts, and she owes me a few favors.
Her eyes nearly popped out of ehr head when she saw the two full stacks of Planar oak I dropped on her workbench. We negotiated the price, and finally I left with the means to bring my love home.
I went to the bazaar, and headed for the spot I knew so well. There she was, right where I left her. Radiant in the sun, her long flowing curves giving tell to the elegance within. I moved forward, but stopped in horror at the scene that met my eyes. A Halfling ranger stood with his grubby paws resting on her hilt. That vulgar stench, that greasy black hair. No. It could only be...
"Kao me boy, come take a look at this trinket I just picked up" said Stegler, the drunken ranger. His parents forced him into the ranger guild as a means to get rid of him (they hail from the island of Ebay. I hear conditions are rough there) So never lacking for money, he buys all the latest gear while drinking himself into a stupor.
A worse fate for my love I could not imagine.
Stegler continued. "I've really taken a fancy to this one. I think I'll have it made into a coat rack or something. ha ha Ha"
I felt sick. After restraining my more immediately homicidal urges, I wandered off towards a nearby tavern, to drown my sorrows. Not an easy task for a half elf - half dragon, but I'll manage. Somehow. Someday. And who knows, maybe I'll see my love again.
I should have listened to the wood elf. For I too now know the madness of the forager.
Edited, Fri Mar 12 23:46:01 2004 by Kaolian
Edited, Apr 14th 2007 8:57pm by Kaolian