This will be a short story or two, inspired by the tradeskill line in the upcoming Blood of Luclin expansion, which will be released to live servers on December 17, 2019.
When Mum had helped Head Scholar Nabihan of the Deepwater Circle with the creation of some luclinite propylons, she had know that it would take the Duality and the scholars a bit of work to get the portal to Luclin stabilized and protected enough for use. It then sort of slipped her mind for a bit, due to so many other things going on that fall, but eventually she remembered to head back to Teren's Grasp to check in again with Taith McJarun.
Apparently her accidental sense of timing was spot-on, as they were just getting ready to send the first Norrathians through the portal. Since she was a well-known tradeswoman, though, he asked her to check in with the nearby D.I.R.T.Y. representatives regarding a missing crafter.
Gmomes. Why did it always have to be gnomes?
It seems one of their most brilliant inventors, a gnome by the name of Benosch Ironsprocket, didn't think people were taking the possiblity of a shissar offensive through the portal seriously. So, he left a note, hopped through the new portal and took off to find evidence. Alone. With no real combat abilities. Just some doohickey he'd made that supposedly would create recipes for what he needed, based on local ingredients ... or something like that.
"So ye're saying this magic-thingy is all he had wi' him?" Mum peered up at the robed erudite lady bemusedly.
Alyse responded patiently, "Not magic, M.A.G.I.C. -- a Mechanized Azoic Geologic Identifier Contraption. He really is quite a brilliant inventor, you know."
"Right, magic-thingy. Got it." She thought she heard the sound of teeth grinding, and gave an impish grin to the woman. She'd never understood the gnomish need for acronyms, and didn't fret herself much over the names so much as the function."
At Alyse's insistence, she made herself a M.A.G.I.C. before she headed into Luclin. She wasn't sure it would work as advertised (since gnomes were infamous for things that sometimes worked, sometimes exploded), but best to be prepared, just in case.
Once she had traveled through the portal, she found a likely-looking barbarian nearby and stopped to ask him if he'd seen Benosch.
She chose poorly. The man acted like she'd almost stepped on him (she hadn't), when the simple fact of the matter is that he'd been too busy regaling a pair of women with tales of his prowess that he'd not noticed her diminutive self until she cleared her throat several times.
He'd just been lazing around, shooting the breeze, as it were, but apparently that didn't prevent him from taking advantage of her worried desire for information regarding the missing genius.
She found herself collecting fresh rockhopper eggs (and breaking more than she collected, as she got used to the strength of her grip in the lunar environment, and making the big lummox a hearty omelette to jog his memory.
He had the gall to try to gobble it up before he would give her the information she needed, even though it was clear that he knew exactly where the gnome went all along. Apparently this Nuniun had had decided that a frantic gnome with a desperate need was "rude" because he was too lazy to bestir himself. So he played a "joke" on Benosch and sent him to some deadly "shiknerd" place as a prank.
All right, all right, shik-nar. They still sounded like nasty bugs, and why would it be considered to be a joke to send a defenseless person into there unawares? Mum muttered and grumbled as she made her way down to the ground below. "Frissen frassen lazy lummox. That's nae e'en close tae a joke! Ye do nae play jokes that endanger lives. Period! It is jus' maliciousness."
Still muttering when she arrived at the entrance to the shik'nar caves, she backpedaled quickly at the sight of the armored bugs. "Och! This looks e'en worse than feared."
With no other clues to be seen, and no other ideas of how to progress from there, Mum remembered the M.A.G.I.C. "Well, thingamabobby. If Benosch was as much o' a genius as folks said, mayhaps if I feed ye some o' th' local materials, some inspiration will come?"
Sure enough, after a bit of harvesting, she had an idea, and a recipe, for some sort of jamming device that seemed to calm down the bigger and nastier shik'nar, even if the smaller ones outside were still a bit ... bitey. After a few misadventures inside due to not watching for the jammer to wear off, and another M.A.G.I.C. mini-miracle, she came to the final room in the cave, and found her worst fears realized. There were the remains of poor Benosch, well beyond her abilities to resurrect him. There wasn't much else she could do for him, as he was too heavy for her to lug out of there, but at least she retrieved a strange-looking journal in case there was anything important in it.
By the time she'd returned to Nuniun, only the greatest of restraint kept her from going after him with her rolling pin held high. After all, being a halfling against a barbarian meant that if she took a swing, she'd hit just a bit higher than his kneecaps. Yeah, she was in a temper all right.
Nuniun only gave a half-baked apology when he learned that his joke had cost Benosch his life. She restrained herself, bit the inside of her lip bloody, and asked about the journal.
Silly Mum. Of COURSE he was whining about wanting more food, and of COURSE he would just blow off the journal because book equaled "spell" somehow in his thick skull. And of COURSE if she wasn't going to feed him more, he'd just send her of to "the city". He wanted her gone if she wasn't going to feed him.
She had sort of learned her lesson, though, and before she simply trundled off to "the city", she decided to try asking a scholarly-looking sort in the cave underneath the spire about the journal. He was also quite rude, at least by her standards, but he did give her proper directions to Sanctus Seru, at least.
... And if someone asked, in the weeks that followed, why she was telling people to be safe and "don't get Benosched" as they explored the surface of Luclin, she was more than happy to recite to them the sad tale of Benosch Ironsprocket.
The Return of the Tickle-Rez
Winter was beginning to blanket Norrath, and the young and old alike were enthusiastically embracing the festive Frostfell spirit. Most of them were, at least.
Niami DenMother had a different sort of spirit on her mind.
After The Duality and his scholars re-opened the way to reach Luclin, "Mum" decided it was time for a closer look at the moon's surface. So many new resources and recipes had been found in the past with every new region that had been tied into the portal network, and she was really looking forward to yet more new discoveries.
While she stood on the platform at Grieg's Spire and tried to get herself used to being a different weight, she decided she wanted to hover a bit above the ground to get a better view of the surrounding area. Her mount refused to lift off the ground, even when she tried jumping while sitting in the saddle to give it a stronger hint. She was about to call it all sorts of unflattering names as she overheard a bit of a stray comment.
She turned to peer at the earnest dwarf who had spoken (apparently a Luclin resident) and raised a red eyebrow. "Och, lad, I o'erheard only a part o' what ye just said tae another. Might ye be willing tae repeat what ye jus' said about our mounts, please?"
"Certainly, ma'am. Your mounts aren't used to this atmosphere or environment, so they may take a bit of time to get acclimated before they are willing or able to fly here."
"Ooh, thankee frae th' warning. That's a mighty long drop dow-- Kuu! Nae!
Wide-eyed, she watched her friend Kuu leap off the platform ... and plummet like a lead balloon.
Since she'd not had time to dig out a featherfall item, she ran her mount to the ramp leading from the platform to the ground, muttering to herself as she went.
Once she reached the ground, she eyed the fresh halfling-shaped crater, and the fresh corpse facedown within it. "Och. Kuu-lass. Jus' a moment an' we'll have ye upright again."
With a bit of huffing and puffing, she managed to roll Kuu onto her back. (After all, who really wants to have a faceful of stone when they are ressurected?) Smirking a bit at the gathering crowd, she then pulled Kuu's boots off, fanning away the ripe aroma.
While the confused onlookers watched, she rolled up her sleeves and pulled a bedraggled feather from her packs. Then, she began a traditional ceremony that her ancestress had made infamous in Norrath in the time before the Shattering.
Tickling Kuu's bare feet with the feather, she cavorted and capered around the corpse like a halfling a quarter of her age, randomly interspersing a giggle or a cackle into her short speech.
"Kuu, ye silly lass, gravity may be less here, but it still was enough tae work on ye, eh? Stop being such a layabout an' dirtnapping! There's mischief afoot!" Her foot-tickling became more vigorous at this point as she performed a certain mental twist to invoke her god. "In th' name o' Bristlebane, god o' mischief an' merriment, get up, Kuu! Go forth an' laugh some more!"
Mum grinned tiredly and wiped a bit of sweat from her forehead as Kuu suddenly took a breath and immediately curled into fetal position, giggling madly. "There ye go, lass. Do nae forget tae put on yuir boots again. While ye've got a lovely batch o' foot fur there, th' rocks here are sharp an' unforgiving."
Created: 2019-12-04 07:04:03
Last Modified By: Niami Denmother
Last Modified on: 2019-12-10 06:50:27
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