AR 1216-06-20 Wolf Gets a Big Suprise
Wolf was out in just a light tunic taking Inuki through his paces in the forest. He was so smart, they had moved on to more difficult commands for move, stop, sniff, communicate. Hearing something behind the tree, Wolf thought this might be a perfect chance to test what Inuki had been learning. So Wolf had him move closer to the tree.
They both were stunned when suddenly from behind the tree stepped Sparky smiling and looking even more beautiful than Wolf remembered. The extra year and a half had seen her come into full dwarf adulthood and now she carried herself with full confidence in who she was. The sun broke through the clouds and trees as if on cue and struck her. Sparky’s hair gleamed with red highlights Wolf had never noticed before. She had a new battle hammer that was a work of art and was wearing an intricately woven cape in the Dwarven Clan colors.
Inuki started growling at her but not attacking as was his training.
With joy in her voice she spoke “So! Is he cave trained yet?”
Not knowing if it was really Sparky or not, Wolf was hesitant to respond. Finally he said in a noncommittal voice, “Not any more than I am!”
Sparky paused, in her hurry to see Wolf again, she forgot he might think she was not really herself. Sad she could not just rush over and hug him, she composed herself and tried to think what she could say that would convince him it was her. Silly of them to never having come up with a word or phrase that would let them know this. When this was settled, they would have to fix that. But now she started reminiscing.
“Wolf, remember that slide we tried out without Yari. Ye fell and twisted yer ankle. Ye made some sarcastic comment about,” And here she switched to her best imitation of Wolf, “Tryin ta find a way ta make tha landin softer so we could turn that inta a real fun slide”.
“Then ye said somethin about conflicting feelins and then proceeded ta ask me what it was like bein a paladin.”
“Remember how I squeezed yer ankle hard…” Before she could complete her sentence, Wolf telepathically let Inuki know it was okay as he ran over and tackled her to the ground in a massive hug. After a few moments, he lifted himself on his elbows, looked deep into her eyes, and gave her a wide smile.
“Gods it’s good to see you again, but why are you here and how the hell did you find me? And tell me you didn’t meet up with Krunch first or else…Hey, Inuki, make sure Krunch ain’t around!” Inuki simply ran around excitedly, oblivious to the command.
Sparky laughed at the whole spectacle, it was so good to see him. “Slow down there, Krunch wasn’t tha first person I wanted ta see.”
“As for why I’m here, Krunch sent for Aldhis ta help protect Elsie when she is not with tha group. He asked Da ta release her from her commitment. He agreed and sent her but did not want her goin by herself, not even in Hidden Valley. Da has been wanting to send Tizzy and me to the rest o’ tha dwarven keeps, ta teach them what Tizzy found out about tha dwarven history. He has been reluctant ta send tha information usin a scroll fer fear it would fall inta tha wrong hands. And we did not want ta leave until we knew ye were back safely. We are here with 25 dwarves as escort just outside o’ town. We could not come ta town until after ye left so that no one but Tizzy and I knew we had seen ye. Krunch sent word about Inuki so I knew ye would take him for walks in tha forest. High Priestess Thorlina is with us. She did a divination spell ta know when ye came ta tha woods and where ye were. And so here I be.”
She lifted one of two identical amulets from her neck “Speaking of divination, ya need ta wear this all the time so the master can not use it to find ye. Da had me great grand ma elf have them made for the family and ye to help keep us safe.”
She set it back on her chest, “Speaking of being safe, Wolf, I don’t know how long I will be gone or if I will get back, so I had ta talk ta ye before I left.”
She gently touched Wolf’s face and looked into his eyes, “While ye were gone, I tried ta forget ye, tried ta move on with me life. But it has not worked. A year and a half and all I can do is think about ye. But I need ta know if…”
The unexpected suddenness of the movement froze her in a moment of panic, but Wolf’s response to her unfinished question was quite clear as she felt the warmth of his lips pressed against hers.
She returned the kiss enthusiastically so he would know that she never wanted it to stop. But Inuki had other plans! Being curious about what was going on, he put his wet nose in between their faces and tried to join in by licking their faces. They stopped kissing and laughed at his antics.
Wolf finally stood up, offering a hand to Sparky as he did. “He’s as bad at interrupting as you are!”
He continued so she would not have a chance to stop him by protesting. “You didn’t give me a chance to respond last time and I wasn’t about to let another chance go by. I know I haven’t had the year and a half that you did, but being stuck in that place for almost two months, knowing that so much was changing while I was there, and my thoughts always came back to you. I was so worried that by the time we got back, that the council would have forced your dad and his family out, gotten you betrothed to some fop, or the syndicate had managed to repeat their earthquake.” Inuki nuzzled his nose into Wolf’s free hand, breaking his concentration. “If Inuki hadn’t been there to help keep me in control, I probably would have done something stupid trying to get back faster.”
“I don’t know what comes next, and I know we’re both heading straight into danger for who knows how long, but I love you Sparky. I’ve loved you for a while now.”
Sparky looked deeply into his eyes. “I love ye too.” Then she kissed him again so he would have no doubts about how much she cared for him.
A sharp pain in her side made them stop. “Are you ok?” Wolf said with concern in his voice, thinking the worse that they were under attack.
“I think I’m ok.” As she dug into her money belt for the item that she thought had been the source. “Seems, I really was supposed ta give ye this right away as I was instructed. Priestess Dagmar called me ta her room about a month ago shortly after I returned home from the first tour of dwarven keeps. She gave this ta me.” Sparky held out her hand and in it was a stone carved with the holy symbol of Berronar. “She said since ye could not come ta her for yer graduation present, then she would make it so I could take it ta ye. I tried ta tell her that I was not going ta see you anytime soon, but she just patted my hand and told me just give it ta ye right away when I did.”
Then the joy went out of Sparky as she said, “Then she died a week later in her sleep. I know she was very, very old, but it still was the saddest funeral I have had ta ever go ta. She had helped me so much over the years.” Several tears crept out of Sparky’s eyes.
“Enough!” As she quickly wiped the tears from her face, “She would not want this.” Sparky held out the stone to Wolf, “She said to have ye put it on yer maul and that it would help ye fight undead and fiends.”
Sparky petted Inuki as Wolf walked over to his maul, “Ye know, I suspect that yer getting Inuki for your Paladin’s mount was Sif’s graduation present ta ye. Having ah winter wolf fer yer Paladin’s mount is so special, only ah god could arrange that. I have not needed ta call fer me mount yet. I wonder if I will get anything as fantastic as Inuki.”
Wolf picked up his maul and placed the stone on it where it would smash the monsters head. There was a flash of light, and the stone melted into the maul. Leaving only the holy symbol of Berronar etched into it. He swung it around to make sure it had not unbalanced it, but it felt the same. “Seems to not actually affected it other than the new symbol” as he walked back and showed Sparky.
“I guess ye will just have ta wait till ye hit something with it that be it fiend or non-living ta find out what it does.” She lightly caressed his face with her hand, “I just wish I could be there when ye do.” The next thing she knew his hand was behind her head instead of the maul and they were kissing.
Occupied as they were, Wolf and Sparky did not hear anything until, “Well, if you keep going at that, I might not be able to offer my services!”
They broke off their kiss and had their weapons in their hands in a flash.
There, not 10 feet from them, was a beautiful white female unicorn. The horn had distinct markings on it that Wolf knew immediately that it was Cynthia, the unicorn they had met in Alfheim. Inuki started dancing back and forth in her “let’s play” mode with her tongue hanging out. The unicorn and Inuki had gotten to know each other in Alfheim and were good friends.
“Well aren’t you going to introduce me Wolf?”
Wolf put his maul down, looked at Sparky, “Cynthia, this is Sparky, and this is the unicorn we met in Alfheim. Wife to the unicorn we helped in Brichtwood in Thunder Rift. What are you doing here Cynthia? And do you always sneak up on people?”
“Only when I am trying to surprise paladins! Neigh!” They were both taken back by seeing and hearing a unicorn actually laugh. Inuki laughed with her, knowing that he had failed many times to sneak up on Wolf and how amazing it was that Cynthia was able to accomplish it.
Sparky had been struck speechless. She finally got over seeing her first unicorn just as Cynthia stopped chuckling. Sparky put her battle hammer away and bowed low to the unicorn as she hesitantly said, “I am pleased to make yer acquaintance me lady!” Then looked at Wolf, “I can’t wait ta hear yer stories, I do believe they will beat mine hands down.”
Cynthia pawed at the ground in front of her, “Please, while I am on Midgard, call me ‘Runs through Shadows’. There is power in knowing a fey’s real name and I would not like it spread around if it is not necessary.”
“Of course, Cy… ‘Runs through Shadows’! What services were ye offering?”
“Ahh, someone who gets right to the point! Excellent. We should get along very well. If you don’t have a special paladin’s mount yet, I would like to offer my services to you. That is if you are not planning on bedding the fine Wolf here anytime soon?”
Sparky and Wolf both blushed deep red and looked at their feet. At the same time they stammered “No, we….” And “Not yet…” and they both laughed as they looked at each other and realized they may be in love with each other but they both agreed with wanting to take it slow.
“All I ask Sparky, is that you keep me posted what you learn things are happening, not only with any mission you go on, but also with Wolf and his gang. I have mourned my dear Arissa long enough and want some adventure.”
Sparky looked startled up at Wolf, “Rissa, died?”
The unicorn shook its head, “I’m sorry to scare you. I was not speaking about your Rissa. I was talking about the ancestor she was named after. Long ago, I paired with her until she died stopping Fenris cultists from freeing him. After meeting Rissa, I remembered how much fun it was to help a paladin on Midguard. Iriet told me much about you. I hoped you would be willing and able to pair with me. I am delighted you have not succumbed to youthful sex as so many of this world does. So will you agree to hold off with bedding this fine dwarf for a time, keep me up to date on the antics of you and Rissa’s group? I have many abilities that should help you in your quests, and I can hide what I am very easily.”
The unicorn’s horn disappeared.
Sparky looked at Wolf. “Can I trust her?”
“As far as I know you can.“ Wolf said, “And if it will help keep you safer until we can be together again, I am all for it.”
Sparky addressed ‘Runs Through Shadows’ formally, remembering the rules for dealing with fay, “I accept yer offer to accompany me on me journeys in the spots I deem appropriate. I promise to keep ye informed about what I find out, as well as what I hear about Wolf’s group. I promise to abide by yer request to not bed me one and only love until we decide to marry. At which time, all bets are off.”
‘Runs Through Shadows’ bowed low to Sparky, “You have made me very happy by agreeing to work with me. Thank you so much.”
“And now I have a gift for you Wolf. I place my trust in you that you will use the gift I am about to give you only for good. Please take out a clean handkerchief and lay it into a small bowl shape. What I give to you must never be touched by anyone or it will lose it magical properties.” The unicorn slowly approached and put her horn over the cupped cloth that Wolf had gotten out. A very small piece of the horn felt off onto the cloth. “Now close it up and keep it safe. If anyone dies, quickly mix the piece with clean water and pour it into their mouth within 5 minutes of their dying. This will be before their soul leaves for Nifleheim. It will bring them back to life, preventing their soul from leaving. Hopefully it will help your group in your mission and keep my ancestors family alive.
Wolf put it away carefully. “It is a great gift you have given to me. I assure you I will be very careful with it.”
Sparky took Wolf’s hand, “As much as I would love ta keep talking” and her eyes glinted with laughter “Could ye please get me brother and bring him ta this glen. I will take ‘Runs Through Shadows’ and get Tizzy. Oh, and she also wants ta surprise Krunch. So do na tell him we are here. Then ye can tell me all about yer adventures while they talk.” She took off the ‘amulet of proof against detection and location’ and put it around Wolf’s neck. She gave him a quick kiss good bye. “Come ‘Runs Through Shadows’, let’s go meet me crew.”
Runs Through Shadows nuzzled goodbye to Inuki. As she walked with Sparky out of the glen, the horn disappeared again.
Wolf called Inuki to his side, “Well boy, let’s go get Krunch and see about setting him up for a fun surprise.”
Inuki looked at Wolf “Laugh at Krunch. Good!” And the two walked off toward the town.