Quick Disclaimer: I do not own these characters or the world they inhabit. They were created by the fabulous people at Zombie Orpheus for their equally fabulous RPG, Masters of the Metaverse! Be sure to tune in to Twitch.TV/zombieorpheus every Monday at 6PM PST to see more!
Dusting off her hands, Sister Opal exited the cavern leaving a sleeping rabbit behind. The sounds of the cutest snoring ever at her back, she walked careful down the tunnel and into the nearest opening, sitting down at the fire. Most of the party were finishing off the rest of their meals while Alice scribbled on a piece of parchment. Opal looked around for a moment before clearing her throat.
“Well, the beast is sleeping at last.”
“Oh, that’s a relief”, smiled Alice.
Zelle shrugged and went back to eating, and Harzoul just gazed at Alice while gently rubbing his orcish tattoo. Opal folded her arms and came to a decision. She hadn’t wanted to do it but someone needed to take control of things or they’d never get anywhere at all.
“Now listen up everyone”, she said, “I think that we need to get a few things clear here. We need to talk about Snowball.”
She paused and glanced at the necromancer, “Do you think we could have this discussion in private?”
Harzoul glanced over his shoulder to Chip, who groaned in response.
“I don’t see why Chip has to go. He’s being perfectly well behaved. He hasn’t tried to murder any of us today, and you certainly didn’t see him going up to complete strangers and licking them in a fairly undignified manner.” replied Harzoul, indignantly.
Umbra made a noise and looked pointedly at Zelle, who shrugged in return, “Don’t look at me. You did spend most of the day begging people to throw a stick for you.”
“Be that as it may”, said Opal, “He’s creepy. He freaks me out…on a spiritual level.”
“Oh! Well, that’s easily fixed! Chip! Sit down, be less creepy.”
The animated skeleton came forward and took a seat next to Harzoul. Crossing its legs, it positioned its arms in a position of casual recline. The head tilted and Opal could have sworn that the jaw bone twisted slightly into an approximation of a smile.
The necromancer turned to her with a look a triumph, “See? Not creepy at all.”
Opal shuddered, “Fine. Let’s just get this over with shall we?”
Alice tucked her papers away and leant forward, while Harzoul surreptitiously plucked a few small feathers from her quill and tucked them into his spellbook. Zelle looked around, realized that there was literally nothing else to do aside from participate, and sighed heavily before folding her arms and slumping back in her seat. Umbra glanced over at his charge and then slid down, laying his head on his front paws.
“Thank you.” said Opal, “Now, as the only member of the party with any real adventuring experience, I feel that it is my duty to point out that we are doing a pretty awful job so far. We have been charged with retrieving several holy items of which we have recovered exactly nil. Not to mention being tasked with finding Amalia and returning her to the heavens. As someone who’s remaining lifespan is not as long as the rest of you, except maybe Harzoul, I would like to get back on track as soon as possible.”
There was silence and Opal took this as a sign to continue.
“We’ve been traveling for what feels like weeks. It’s been what, three days or so? And what have we accomplished? Aside from the genocide and diplomatic incidents, not much!”
“Well, I wouldn’t say that.” Harzoul interjected, “We managed to get through the majority of this dungeon unscathed, a pattern I’m fairly confident will continue. And you got to meet up with your old boyfriend.”
“I would thank you to kindly leave Olney out of this.”
“You better do what she says”, Zelle piped up, “She might sit on you if you don’t.”
“Oh, that’s not fair!” interrupted Alice, “How was she to know that his spinal column was so spongy? Besides he offered to carry her things!”
“Yes, like her armor. Although he probably expected her to not be wearing it at the time.” said Zelle, who was now cleaning under her fingernails with a knife.
“Well, listen. Who’s to judge really?” said Harzoul, “I mean, when some people meet an old flame they want to catch up, reminisce over old times, try to rekindle the romance. For some that means chatting, sharing a meal, taking a walk. To Opal, that means crushing a man to death. Who are we to say that’s wrong? I personally find it quite admirable.”
“Now, look.” Opal glowered at Harzoul, “You are not as evil as you think.”
She turned to Zelle, “And you are exactly as evil as I think. We have to return with all the items not with all the party members. I will smite the two of you the sod out of here, so help me.”
“Oh would you please!” Harzoul sat forward excitedly, “That would get me so many points at the necrocademy.”
Opal rolled her eyes, “Getting back to what I was saying, it appears that we have been saddled with a murderous, raging lapin. If we are to make any headway on our quest, we all need to agree right here and right now that we will watch what we say. Specifically, the B word. It’s off, got it? Completely off. If you want to call him a psychotic rabbit, fine. If you prefer to say that he’s an overly sensitive lagomorph, perfect. If you decide that he is idiotic cottontail, that’s lovely. But no one, NO ONE, is to use the B word. Ever. Are we clear?”
Harzoul and Alice nodded, while Umbra snorted and wagged his tail. Zelle raised an eyebrow and shrugged.
“And while we’re on the subject”, continued Opal, “I think we need to just cut out any word that might be misinterpreted. So, I don’t want to hear about your bunches of bunions in bunting. Keep the B words to a minimum and we might actually be able to get through this quest before the end of the world, which admittedly might be a lot sooner if we don’t find Amalia.”
“I think that’s a great idea, Opal.” said Alice, earnestly.
“I do too!” Harzoul cried.
“Shocking.” muttered Zelle.
Alice didn’t appear to hear this as she had risen to go and retrieve her lyre. Harzoul however, shot a dark look over at the rogue.
“Yes and speaking of that”, Opal leant towards him, “We all know what you did with the tattoo and…creepy. Very creepy.”
“I like that very much! How is it creepy?” Harzoul demanded, “Tell me! I don’t see it, I really don’t. I don’t see how my tattooing the life blood of The Alpine Rose into my face is any creepier than Zelle’s see-through wolf or you accidentally crushing your…crush.”
Zelle snorted, and Opal was about to follow through on her smiting threat when Alice returned, lyre in hand. The music that soon followed helped to improve the mood of everyone and even Chip began to tap his foot in time. Opal decided to let them all remain alive and intact, at least for now.
After a few songs, Opal excused herself and retired to the corner of the cave designated for sleeping. She claimed that she was tired which was only partially true. What she didn’t tell anyone was that the potion of clarity had continued working ever since she had taken it hours before. Her mind was sharp and focused, and her memories were as well. As she settled down into her bedroll her mind’s eye showed her a young man with fiery red hair. His mighty warhammer was dwarfed by his wide smile. His eyes sparkled as he helped her up onto her horse. She remembered thinking, as she rode away on another adventure, that he seemed like someone she would like to know better.