Bad Gnome Rising

I stepped outside Greminor’s shop, and let the exhaustion wash over me. Our desperate bid to release Tyvernos from the effects of his accursed headdress had been successful, but the last few months had been very hard on me.

On us all.

I was too far away from the action to see exactly what happened, but somehow Karma and Gavin (or was it Overkill?) got that disgusting lion headdress off Tyvernos’ head. I was all for burning it immediately, but Greminor insisted it was far too valuable to destroy so the others gave it to him as payment for his assistance.

Images of the last few weeks raced unbidden through my mind, burning me again and again with raw emotion.

The frustrations of Cassandra, and our triumphant return at the side of Thoth.

The pain of my death at the hands of the necromancer Chandar.

The intense satisfaction at the defeat of the circle mage Illinar, followed by the unbearable realization that there was something wrong with the gnome, and the agonizing loss that accompanied the surety of his corruption.

The desperate prayers for Divine intervention, the overwhelming sense of Divine presence when Thoth manifested Himself. The joy of my reunion with Thor-ak.

I shook my head to clear it of all memory, but that only served to remind me of how the Ice Dragon shook its head before fleeing from Thoth’s presence, and how I threw my torch after it in an oh-so-brave-in-the-face-of-safety act of defiance.

The sharp crackle of fire and the acrid stench of smoke as I burned the manor house to the ground hoping to cleanse the earth of the evil its occupants had wrought.

The coronation of Raf, and my judgement of Ferra. Had I been too lenient? Would she be able to accept her new reality, or would she rebel, refusing to accept the full Light of Truth because it came from Thoth instead of the Lady Herself?

Gavin, Morgan, and Overkill joined me on the porch, breaking me from my reverie. We smiled at each other: idiotic leers of relief and exhaustion.

In the distance, I overheard a group of minstrels playing a familiar tune.

I hummed along for a moment, thinking, then sang softly, horribly out of tune, but in time to the music:

I see a bad gnome rising/
He’s going to be trouble today/
He lied to the ice dragon/
He’ll try to kill us all today./

Don’t go out tonight/
He’ll try to take your life/
There’s a bad gnome on the rise/

I noticed Overkill, Gavin and Morgan giving me looks of startled apprehension, so I quit singing but hummed softly to myself as the others joined us outside and we walked off into the night.

Posted by Cava on the 13th of Thoth in the 341st year of the Dominion.

Picture by charred

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