First Steps Home

For once I decided to enjoy the cool air of altitude. I had no more that established my footing and began to enjoy the ride when it hit. The mother of the wyrms we had slew some weeks ago. Or at least that is what I have been told. My memory of the whole event is at best hazy.

When it attacked the ship it landed on me. I remember being pinned to the deck, the agony of my bones cracking augmented the chorus of the wooden members of the ship breaking from the assault. Recalling a moment of release, an instant of pain and then bliss is all I remember.

The smell of the hind was strong, fresh and inviting. I led the pack in the pursuit, strong, never tiring. As the hind bound up the hill I knew its slowing would be its end. Then the worm broke what had been absolute concentration, not more than a movement on the edge of my sight, but enough to disrupt the dream that wasn’t.

The hind stumbled at the base of a hill and regained her footing. The kill would be easy, or at least relatively so. The wyrm nearly filled the sky to my right, the hind inviting chase to my left, the Mother in between. She spoke in an echoing tone, a wolf, then my grandmother at her side.

“Clive my servant, the chase will be yours when you are ready. Join now, in a day or when you are ready. You attend to my business well, and some is left unfinished in this life but there is the next waiting.”

The Mother gave the slightest regard to the wyrm. I gave a glance to the nearest trail and bade her to finish the hind. I took after the wyrm, my friends needed me for the time being. The Mother and the spirit of my grandmother both smiled as I turned to pursue bigger prey than a she elk. Her blood filled my nostrils and for a moment beckoned me back.

The wyrm evaded me like a cloud or a sunbeam. Strange symbols filled the sky. I sensed the hunter was becoming the hunted, but much like her children she fell from the sky.

In the next moment an instant agony, the agony of a breath that felt like fire, and a second. My body collapsed to the wooden deck. Perhaps I had chosen wrongly but the beckoning of my companions had been too strong to resist.

I summoned enough strength to take my feet. Each breath still an absolute agony, so cold. Thorgar may have offered to assist me but I bade him to deal with the navigator Blind Jake and anyone else first. Adric soon proved to be a distraction.

Through the pain I may have helped, I do not recall. I somehow mustered the strength, or was helped to the top bunk I had claimed. Wrapping the Cloak of Taldia around me everything went dark, for an instant, for a day, perhaps more I do not know.

When my eyes opened again the eyes of the clock seemed particularly clear. The smell of the female that had occupied this berth before I was again evident, something I had not noted for several weeks even with the cloaks aide. There was another fresh “spice” of delvo in the air as well, mixed with a more familiar scent, Adric's.

The pain was gone, a little stiffness from a long slumber in its place. Perhaps Thorgar had called upon the Mother to heal me, but something felt different, yet familiar. If Thorgar had done something it was some time ago.

The difference was apparent when I stretched. Where my hands should have been were massive white paws. The body of my dreams seemed so out of place here. Was I dreaming?

As I flipped to my belly and attempted to rise the “thunk” of my head on the ceiling suggested I was not. All four legs were under me, like in my dreams, so familiar in some ways but so out of place. As I moved my tail pressed uncomfortably into the cabin wall, I was at least startled to feel it there. I grappled for my balance, gained it, and then leaped to the cabin floor.

The sound of my paws reaching the deck was a strange loud silence. I could feel my mass but the pads of my feet muffled the sound of my landing to a great degree. The thought of dressing and the latch to the door both perplexed me for an instant. I padded into the hallway and moved towards the scents of my companions.

The scent of Adric’s companion was fading. Jack’s scent had changed, something missing. He was the first I found, he was the Jack I knew from the village again. The Mother’s gift had passed to me. He was purely a man again, I was not. The look of horror on his face passed as I managed to growl “its me” as best I could. Speech was not easy in this form. But it was not the only change.

Why Adric’s companion had left became apparent. The spirit of the bow had melded with him, he was now a delvo. At my appearance he nearly reacted as he would but Jack’s intervention saved me an arrow or him the continued presence of his throat. Seeing his transformation seemed to put a piece of the “how” into place regarding the task at hand. Perhaps mine did too.

Adric and I were not quite used to our new forms, then again all of us were somehow changed. Blind Jake was no longer blind. If Thorgar was changed it was not evident, aside we were now in our stream of passing, not his. The air filling my nose told me so much.

Session: Right Turn Clive. - Wednesday, Aug 14 2013 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
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