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Chapter Fifteen: The Wayward Wanderers Return to Highwind!

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
As with the others in her good-hearted party, Luna comes to the realization that she simply need more information - what the Wayward Wanderers have to go on right now simply is not enough. However, they have triumphed over greater mysteries before.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Oreleth looks at the others and muses, "We may never know exactly where the Giant called home, but that doesn't mean we can't find him a new home. The elves of my old home, for instance, may be willing to entertain the thought of having him live in the area, especially with the level of protection he would provide to the elves there from outside threats. It may be something to consider."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
"All I know," Bria offers with a shake of her furry head as she takes a drink from her waterskin, "is that I can't leave him here. It's just too cruel."

Mamapaw can't get the smile off of her face seeing all of you as Felane. "Is he Sharseyan or from some other plane of existence?"

Bria says, "It seems he's Sharseyan, but no one is certain."

Mamapaw smooths her whiskers. "Will someone do me the favor of catching me up? No one in Highwind has been able to locate you except to know that you came here to Pohjola, a great and ancient land perhaps the size of Averlund."

Does anyone volunteer?
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
Bren was rather enjoying Oscar's teamwork training session, but even he was nearly worn out when the little scholar finally called halt. He kitty-flopped down next to Powerpaw, panting but with a big grin on his Felane face as he shouted up at their "adversary," "It was indeed! Many thanks!"

He then turned to their healer. "Bria? Lady Melshaef? Might either of you have a spell to provide the requested dinner? Rations are all well and good, but I think we've earned something more, if possible."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
As Bren made this request, all of you heard a horrible crunching sound! It sounded like a boulder being eaten - and one look up to the grinning Mad Giant revealed exactly that! He had pulled a rock out of the side of the cavern and with those misshapen teeth, was happily gulping down solid rock and enjoying it!

Bria looked up to Bren, her voice full of heartfelt apology as she faintly pointed toward the Mad Giant who was now marching up to join you at his spot at the edge of the glade. "Um, um, Bren? I'm sorry! I... I... can't make rocks!" The peaceful healer seemed to be at a loss as to what to do.

Powerpaw leaned on his maul and gawked. "Well, dere's sumthin ya don't see every day!"

"Lord Brendoran?" It was Melshaef, looking fatigued after your training but as ready to serve as ever. She raised a paw and indicated all of you. "If it is food you wish, I have a welcome if unusual solution! You see, Master Shalin sent me here (well, I volunteered, really) and they are holding a vigil for the Wayward Wanderers even now as we speak at the magical shop belonging to the two big human (Misha and Ben, I think?). While Shalin has told me that he knows of your situation (that crystal ball of his is handy!), I was supposed to tell you - we can return to Highwind whenever you wish!"

Hearing this, Bria gasped and clapped her hands happily. Oscar grinned favorably. Powerpaw smiled, his every sharp tooth showing and even Sparkle came out from the safety of Luna's neck and shoulders, her eyes raised in interest and hope to return to that fabled city.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Luna lets out a long sigh. "I don't know about the rest of you, but I am quite happy with the thought of going home. Can we, please?"
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Oreleth places a friendly paw on the fire mage's shoulder. "Indeed, friend Luna. Let us go. As much as I have enjoyed the benefits of being a kitty-face, I think it is time to resume my normal form and get away from this thrice-cursed frozen wasteland."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
( Captain Hesperus Captain Hesperus Tag!)

He kitty-flopped down next to Powerpaw, panting but with a big grin on his Felane face as he shouted up at their "adversary," "It was indeed! Many thanks!"
Luna lets out a long sigh. "I don't know about the rest of you, but I am quite happy with the thought of going home."
Oreleth places a friendly paw on the fire mage's shoulder. "Indeed, friend Luna."
The air began to tremble. At least, that's what it sounded like. To everyone's ears, a faint murmuring from nearly all corners of the Wayward Wanderers rose.

"A Den of Purring Kittens" (turn this up... if you think you can stand the cuteness!)

Bria's ears turn about, as do Sparkle's and Oscar's, as these unusual yet very comforting sounds were something very new. Face it. In the grand continent of Averlund or in the dark and mysterious land of Pohjola, where could one hear a pride of Felane purring in near-unison? Powerpaw and Mamapaw hardly seemed to notice it, for they were too busy purring themselves, their happy thoughts on their very shoulders.

But the Mad Giant noticed...

His ears perk! He straightens to his full height of over 40 feet. Then he carefully leans over as if wanting to listen but unwilling to do anything that would cause the stopping of the warm, pleasurable, healing sounds. As he listened, a good thing happens. The Mad Giant silently opens his mouth... and let out a yawn! The purring was lulling the Mad Giant to sleep!

"OHHH!" he murmured quietly and excitedly. "THIS! THIS IS... THE SOUNDS OF... SLEEPIES!!"

Now, finally, was one of the mysteries of Bastet's blessing upon all of the Wayward Wanderers brought to light. For what other creature anywhere could produce a purr like a cat?

"OOOOOH..." The Mad Giant carefully sits down. He plucks forth the Starry Circlet and the air all about you became soft and dark and altogether peace-giving. "SLEEEEEPIEEEEES!!" He says quietly. The Mad Giant's face broke into a ghastly smile, his biggest smile yet!

Bria's clapping slows and then falters as she sees most of the party rejoicing, herself among them. Slowly, delicately, turns back toward the Mad Giant. One look and she knows for sure. "I... can't leave him here. I have the magical spell Plane Shift to get to Sharseya on my own now that he's helped us break our curse. I..." Bria looks lost. "But.. but... I have to stay with him."

Melshaef and Powerpaw exchange a look of mild surprise at each other. Then they look back and forth between the Ko monk and the Mad Giant who has apparently heard your conversation and seemed kind of pleased but also sad.

"YOU GO, GOOD KITTIES. IS OKAY! I CAN SURVIVE. HERE."

But Bria shakes her head causing her white fur to ruffle. "I don't think you understand me, Mister Giant," she replies. "I am a Healer by birth. I will never be anything else. Leaving you here? It violates my code. You..." Bria gulps down a wave of emotion, "...freed us by breaking a curse that I still don't understand how it was broken. Now, we're to go off and enjoy a happy vigil in Highwind knowing that without you, we would still be under that very curse? I am Ko! How am I supposed to be happy with any of this? Until now, you could hardly sleep! That's why you went crazy! Lack of sleep. After one of our own Wayward Wanderers stole the very thing that you literally cannot sleep without! And you're homeless! This isn't your home! It's... it's your dungeon! You shouldn't be here, Mister Giant. You should be free like us!

Bria stood firmly. "My party has wronged you, you need our help, and I am to... just walk away?!"

Her hands tremble as a steely resolve began to fill her. Long had the Ko monks been known to do things their own way and never had they any lack of spirit to make it happen. Today was no different.

Bria turns to all of you. "I'm sorry. Go if you must," she looked sadly at Otiorin, "but I just can't leave him here, nameless and hopeless! Please find a Cleric to aid you in your travels. I'm staying with him until I can find out how to help him home. At least we know purring helps bring him to sleep."

The Mad Giant recoiled. "WHAAAAT?!" He pointed toward Mamapaw and yelled at her to go, causing the leaves on the trees to fly back and the very clouds to seek shelter. But even the Mad Giant with all of his incredible might and magic could not push Bria's decision back one single iota.

Bria had decided to stay with him.

In case it is not clear, this is not a demonstration of dramatic acting but a serious decision on Bria's part - Bria will leave the Wayward Wanderers under these circumstances. It's what she would do and I have to play her true.

Mamapaw, Powerpaw, and Sparkle, all turn and look around at one another. But not Oscar. His furry black paw seems stuck to his tiny chin. Highwind's wisest sage appears deep in thought.

What do the Wayward Wanderers do?
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
Bren shook his feline head. "Bria, dear friend, no one has suggested we do leave him, except himself. We all want to help him find his home, and that's not here, nor do can any of us think of where it might be. That means we'll need to ask around and do some research, and how can we verify anything with him if we leave him here? As long as he is willing, I say we bring him home with us."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Luna wipes away a tear from her eye as she sees Bria offering up the most noble of sacrifice to help the giant. "Bria, you are . . . the best person I have ever met, and you make me wish to be a better person myself. I agree that we cannot just leave him here, alone and forgotten. If it is to be, let us bring him along with us and we can then either find his home, or find a new home for him! If anyone can do it, is the Wayward Wanderers!"
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
"Well, 'into' might be a problem," the paladin admitted. "At least before we have a chance to explain things. But nearby, into the forest, at least."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Oreleth looks at Bren. "I have a feeling that if we were to bring him to the elves, they would be willing to accept the giant as a new neighbor and friend once we explain what he has gone through in his life."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
"Oooh!" Bria smiles at the idea. "You really think they would let him in? I mean, the streets are wide and all for the wemics and centaurs and minotaurs, but..." Bria looks up at the Mad Giant who is scratching his head trying to make sense of all this. She calls up to him. "It looks like you're not staying here after all! We're trying to figure out a way to take you with us! Do you have everything you want to take with you?"

The Mad Giant gives out a loud "EH?!" and begins looking into the furs he is wearing. "YES! ALL I KEEP IS ALL WITH ME! YESSS!"

Melshaef waves a paw to get everyone's attention. "Master Shalin cast a spell upon me and I can communicate with him... most of the time," she adds sheepishly. "Shall I tell him to expect extremely large company at one of Highwind's two gates?"
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
Bren smiles wryly. "Yes, please do warn him about all our guests," he replies, glancing back at Count Barathus and his staff, and then up at the excited Mad Giant. "I think the fewer surprises the gate guards have, the better, and we are a substantially larger group than when we left."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
"In more wayz dan one!" Powerpaw points up at the Mad Giant.

Melshaef closes her eyes in concentration and when she opens them, she looks calmly to Bren and replies, "Your message is delivered and responded to. Master Shalin states that he was prepared for this outcome in case it would happen (something about knowing how you operate) and... they appear to be moving the vigil to the East Gate! 'Say the word and join us for dinner,' says he."

The Mad Giant turns about and gazes at the tunnel and the mountain that encompasses it. "NO MORE POHJOLA? NO MORE GOBBY-LINS? DRAGON-BRIDGIES? INSECTIES? WHO WILL GET THE BEATINGS?"
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
Bren can't help but smile at the "knowing how you operate" comment, and his smile grows at the Mad Giant's questions. "The dragon-bridge has already flown away, though perhaps one day we'll see her again. As for the beatings... Well, if you really want some proper targets, there's a whole army of not-very-nice people trying to destroy Highwind. Any help you want to offer there would be most appreciated -- though certainly not required, as you have done so much for us already."

He turns to the rest of the group. "Are we all ready, then?" When all indicate they are, he nods to Melshaef. "Let us be off!"
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Well, if you really want some proper targets, there's a whole army of not-very-nice people trying to destroy Highwind.
This sets off the Mad Giant. He has no idea what or where Highwind is. All he knows is that you like it and he doesn't want anyone harming anything you like. So Bren's statement get a flurry of, "WHAT?! WHAT?! ENEMIES? HIGHWIND? NEED BEATINGS?! I GIVE THEM SMACKIES INSTEAD! SQUOOSHIES AND SMACKIES AND TO-THE-STARS WHACKIES!!" He grabs his club with both hands and performs one clearly and very well-practiced 360-degree spin with the club creating such a whoosh of power that every leaf on every tree nearby shivers with the wind it creates along with any loose items on your clothes. The wind is so great, Luna has just enough time to reach out and grab Sparkle who is lifted from her shoulders as if by a sudden tornado.

Luna made her Reflex Saving Throw and caught Sparkle with a 10 on the Orange d20. =)

"My heroine!" Sparkle squeaks as she returns to her Luna-perch and cuddles against her affectionately.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Luna gives Sparkle's head ridges a loving rub as she says, "Well, he is certainly enthusiastic about giving out beatings, isn't he?" She smiles, and looks around at the rest of the party. "What say you all? Shall we leave here and go home? I for one am ready to say 'goodbye' to all this snow."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter

Location: Just outside Highwind's East Gate on Sharseya!
Time/Date: Uh, the sun's going down so it must be sunset! Now that you're back, perhaps it's time to ask someone the date?
Weather: Gone are the frosty grips of every wind that touches you. Here, the air is free and cool and the sky to the east tells of dark clouds heavy with the promise of rain and lightning. Where you are, things are fair for once! Fair and oh, so comfortable!

( Captain Hesperus Captain Hesperus Tag!)

"Ah," Melshaef frowns as she pulls her backpack off and rummages for a moment through its contents. "Master Shalin is... using his Elfish sorcery to inform me that it is best if we are all... touching when the item he provided me is activated, but how--"

The Mad Giant hears this and thrusts his club into a band on the back of his loincloth that works surprisingly well in keeping the huge stone near and yet out of the way. "WHAT?! WE MUST BE TOUCHING? EAAASSSY!" With terrific swoops of his arms, he gathers all of you up (unless you choose to dodge him - if this is so, let me know in Adventurers' Table!). Bren finds himself beside Bria and Otiorin beside her.

"Bren!" she exclaims. "I should have known you had some kind of plan regarding the Mad Giant. Why did I ever think I had to stay here with him? Sometimes, my lack of center gets the better of me," she explains in Ko monk terms. She gives Bren a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. "Thanks for helping me see that complicated, difficult problems sometimes have simple solutions!" Then she leans against Otiorin and cuddles against him. "Besides, I'd much rather be with you two than here in Pohjola! Oti and Bren - my favorite men!"

Powerpaw hears this and nods in agreement. He knows well of Bria's feelings for them. His mother, Melshaef, draws forth an item most of you recognize, for you had fought for it in Shandra's Evergreen in what probably felt like ages ago - it is the Mielikkian Pinnacle of Power you had helped Melshaef recover.

It glows softly. Its magic provides the sure smells of evergreen and oak which emanate from it along with a sense of purity and calm.
MelshaefsTree.abstract-walpapers.jpg
(Image credit: Wallpapercave.com)

"You won't have to worry about that," Melshaef adds, plucking a fine platinum ring with a fantastic engraving of a unicorn painstakingly carved into the band. "Because off we go!" Melshaef whispers a prayer to Bastet and Mielikki, but as she is praying, all of you hear a distant voice on the wind - an angry female voice with the hint of an Elfish accent commands you!

"No! Return him at once! I promise you great suffering and despair if you do not--"

"Peace be with you!" Melshaef calls out to the frosty, ill wind as the spell completes. All of you vanish, leaving the comfortable green glade empty before the yawning cavern that falls darkly into the Dungeons of Castle Anguish. You were leaving Pohjola behind you and returning to Sharseya!

* * *​

The next thing you know, you are sitting in the Mad Giant's overly-large hands, or on his shoulder, or even on his head if you desire. But there you are, some 40 feet from the rocky earth below. You are outside and the sky is golden as the sun begins its daily rest in the west. As dusk begins to settle, you see that you are facing a castle wall not twenty feet away from you. Highwind's East Gate castle wall! Small dragons with riders fly in the air in the distance above the city. You find yourselves gazing upon some twenty odd soldiers of many races, all wearing the proud green and white livery of Highwind along with its hippogriff standard upon their clean hauberks. Many crossbows, bows, and staves instantly rise toward you and the sudden surprise you now present. Until one golden voice halts them all.

"Gigas!"

The Maiden of the Forest stands atop the walls, her green gossamer gown blowing in the wind as summer songbirds sing joyously all about her. At her feet, four of the most monstrous wolves you have ever seen gaze directly at you. Something in you perhaps feels relieved when one by one, their tails begin to wag and they make happy faces, their pink tongues lolling. A small entourage of very powerful-looking people dressed in the finery of nobles stand beyond the ring of wolves, but the Goddess of the Hunt's incredibly-beautiful presence cannot not be denied. The sound of her voice fills you with goodness and spirit. In her every sentence is the heart of the finest symphony.

"Oh, Gigas! To see thee here and freed of Loviatar's vile clutches! What mine eyes see... makes my heart cry out in glee!"

The Mad Giant gazes back at Mielikki. He looks long at her and without recognition.. This is an easy thing to do given her natural grace and incomparable beauty, but it is not her loveliness that wracks his brain. "WHAT?!"

"Dearest Gigas, my bravest and wisest mountain?" she cups her mouth with her hands, then reaches out long fingers toward him. "What hath befallen thee?" Something in her demeanor changes, for even goddesses of the greatest good possess a woman's ego. "'Tis me!" she whispers and it carried through the wind past your ears to his. "Mielikki!"

Still, Gigas the Mad Giant, looks on in shock. "WHAT?" he repeats, too stunned to say anything else. The Mad Giant gazes and gazes all the while locked into the great mental violence that wages on in the battlefield of his long-cracked mind. "MY NAME? I AM... GIGAS?"

Troubled as only a deity can be, Mielikki looks to you, a touch of hurt in her incredible eyes, but along with that look there begins a growing green-eyed resolve of godlike proportions that no mortal could ever know. Any woman, goddess or otherwise, can sense when such matters of the mind and heart are not right and now is such a time. But as she clenches her fist, her songbirds become silent and her wolves cease to wag their tails. They look on grimly.

With the hint of a smile, the Lady of the Hunt turns to you. "Wayward Wanderers! I welcome thee home! Leave the cursed nightmares of Loviatar's dungeons behind thee and pray answer me - what hath become of my Gigas?"

Outside the castle walls, no figures stand. The portcullis, some 100 feet to your right, slowly rises to accept you. Once it does, you can be certain that your entrance into Highwind will commence.


Mielikki the Maiden of the Forest.jpg
Mielikki, the Maiden of the Forest
(Image credit: Liste des Dieux : par panthéon)
GAME DETAILS Location: Highwind!
Mode: Exploration
Click Blue Box for Ambiance =)
"Medieval Fantasy Music – Medieval Market" by Grimm Music World

 
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Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
Paladin Brendoran bows deeply to his chosen deity. "It is good to be back, lady. I'm afraid I don't know what happened to -- to Gigas. We met him in the caves of Pohjola, where he had been wandering sleepless for so long he was known only as the Mad Giant. So lost was he that thy enemy Loviatar placed an item of great power in his path, that it might be lost with him, for he does not know even his own name. We encountered him under, um, a scene of some confusion, and by the end of it, had become allies. He helped us remove our curse, and in return we wished to help him return to his own home. Though he could not describe his home in terms we recognized, we could not leave him in Pohjola, and decided to bring him here where others might be able to help us find it."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
"Brendoran, my stallion-hearted knight, of all the intrepid souls that Highwind calls adventurers, only thee could do this thing and in such a peaceful way. Thine axe is sharp, but the eyes of thy heart are e'er sharper!" Mielikki then simply smiles favorably at her devout and true paladin.

That single smile provides a +4 to all of Bren's Skill checks and Saving Throws for the next week, starting now.

"Now I see where Gigas hath been these long decades. He did not return home... because he could not. I know well the home of sweet Gigas, for it was my love Tapio and I who bestowed those lands to him. E'en now, no other creature calls that place home unless they were welcomed by my tale-telling wizard, Gigas."

She puts one hand to her cheek and frowns deeply. "But his comfortable homeland cannot restore him. I see inside his broken mind. He requires a realm containing such wisdom and clarity, such enlightenment, and so free of pain as to make him recall the great being that he once was. Loviatar so secretly despised him! Aye, in your doing this, thou hast made a long wrong right and stuck such a thorn into the Maiden of Pain's side that she will not easily be free of it. Live well knowing thou hast done this incredible deed." Mielikki grins a little at that.

"Wayward Wanderers? Speak to me if thou wish that which is on thine minds and then into Highwind with thee before the night falls. If there are mysteries thou would have brought to light, perhaps I can be of help, but do not dally too long, fine heroes!" She glances below, points to the ground level on her side of Highwind's wall as if something special is awaiting you there, and gives the most mischievous of winks at you!
 

Captain Hesperus

Harbinger of the End Times and Apostle of Ghan
Administrator
Supporter
Otiorin Taletreader

Everything seemed to be happening so fast. One minute they were in the frigid depths of Loviatar’s dungeon, the next they were in a pleasant grove, then they were in the company of blessed Melshaef, then they were entrapped in the giant’s arms and even then they were away and stood once more before the welcoming gates of Highwind.

But even that strange twist of events could not prepare him for the vision his Bast-given eyes beheld. A woman of true otherworldly beauty, a sight that would break the hearts of even the most stoic of warriors and set minstrels crafting sonnets a thousand verse long lauding her virtues. Mielikki!

Never having been in a deity’s presence, the Half-elf turned pantherman dropped to one knee and bowed his head reverently. He remained thus until it became clear that Bren was talking with the goddess in somewhat familiar terms. Still nervous, Otiorin rose to his feet and tried to appear respectfully aloof while not staring too intently at the incarnate divinity.

Instead, he sidled over to Melshaef and gently prodded her to gain her attention.
”With all due respect to your most spectacular and gracious goddess, Bast, when might be the best time to change myself back without causing offence? I rather upset Powerpaw when we were first blessed with these Felane forms and I’d rather not cause him further distress by doffing this form without showing proper respect and gratitude.”

His question asked, Otiorin’s hands come to rest upon the hilts of the paired swords on his belt. The feel of their finely formed pommels caused a shudder to pass through him. I have a decision to make, and the outcome will hurt me either way.
 
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Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Captain Hesperus Captain Hesperus

”With all due respect to your most spectacular and gracious goddess, Bast, when might be the best time to change myself back without causing offence? I rather upset Powerpaw when we were first blessed with these Felane forms and I’d rather not cause him further distress by doffing this form without showing proper respect and gratitude.”
"You what?"

Mamapaw glances up at Powerpaw who is sitting on Gigas's shoulder and watching the mini-dragons fly through the air above the city. Mamapaw reaches up, taps a toe, and when Powerpaw looks down to see what she want, Mamapaw releases such a commanding and inquisitive growl and mixture of body language and facial features as to convey in Felane-language a paragraph of words all in the span of about two heartbeats.

Powerpaw does not know fear, but he knows when his mother is about to get angry, especially at him. He doesn't want Otiorin to get into trouble with her, but he has to tell his mother the truth. "MoOOOom! I had ta say sumthin'! He called its a curse!"

This reply causes Mamapaw to gasp in surprise and then close her eyes in deep thought. She waves at her boy and he seems to understand that not only was he off the hook, but Otiorin was also not in any trouble. "How could an Averlundian know?" she asks aloud. She turns to Otiorin, her round red eyes looking even rounder as she speaks to him in apologetic tones. "Otiorin, I have learned that here in Averlund, the word 'curse' is a profane act or a vulgarity. Even a magical spell among the wise, but in Shamballah... in the capital city of Issmir... I daresay in all of Rhumia... to curse something or even to refer to something as a curse is much worse! It is to literally to call upon the gods, especially your own, to horribly punish someone who has wronged you or a loved one until either the cursed rights the wrong or dies a final death. 'There is no forgiveness when someone gives voice to a curse.'" She smooths a whisker between two claws. "It is.... something like stating... 'Corellon Larethian has the heart of an orc... and the manners and brains of a Hill Giant!' How would any elf react? But you could not possibly know any of this!

"I am certain my son felt honorbound to defend Brave Bastet in return. Any Felane would. And I am glad the two of you have... how do you say it here? 'Mended fences'?"

Then she clasps her paws and a pleased smile comes across her kitty-face. "Any of you may return to your birth-selves whenever you please! Beauteous Bastet is not a jealous goddess! A gift from Bountiful Bastet is just that - a gift to be enjoyed as long as you wish! And praising Beloved Bastet is simple! Just touch your head as if you were touching your head to the earth, whisper into your mind or aloud your heartfelt thanks, and... if you like... perhaps promise to slay the next evil serpent or perform the next good deed you do in her name!"

"Like planting two trees if you cause one to fall?" Mielikki cheerfully asked.

"Yes, yes! Exactly like-- AAACK!!"

For anyone who has ever seen the comic strip, Cathy, Mamapaw looks just like this right now!
Cathy-cartoon-fun-maxine.jpg
(Image credit: Pinterest)

Mamapaw nearly falls out of Gigas's huge hands. Thankfully, there is an Otiorin nearby to aid her. "Marvelous Mielikki! Forgive me! I did not mean to ignore you!" Mamapaw immediately drops to her knees and with open hands begins fervently bowing to the Patron of Shandra's Evergreen's Druids.

Seeing this, Powerpaw scrambles, paws everywhere, as only an excited cat can. "WHOOAAA!! If Mom's bowin', I'M BOWIN'!!" And the fearless fighter begins immediately doing precisely that.

"I see no need for you to genuflect to me!" Mielikki pauses in surprise at the Felane. Then she giggles and it is the sound of laughter in paradise. "Melshaef! Powerpaw! I am not a jealous goddess either!"

"Of course, you are not, Incomparable Queen of all that is green! Of course you are not!" Mamapaw's bowing continues.

"Whut Mom sez! Yeah! Whutever Mom sez!!"

Mielikki rolls her eyes. One of her wolves face-paws. Then slowly, the Goddess of the Hunt speaks a single command followed by what sounds like a modest request. The sound of her words seem to travel through you and into your very being. "Rise... and relax!"

Gingerly, Melshaef who is Mamapaw, ceases genuflecting and obeys with her son one step behind her. When they return to their sitting positions, they do indeed look more relaxed.

"Whilst the moment can be spared," Mielikki indicates all of you, "might I perhaps shine light upon thine mysteries? My counsel is thine if thy hearts are but brave enough to bring thine desires forth."

The Finnish Goddess of the Forest is offering you her experience and wisdom in matters most mortal - meaning yours. It's not every day you get to ask a deity to help you resolve a mystery or provide direction. This chance doesn't come very often at all, so use it wisely if you decide to use it at all.

"No man ever steps in the same river twice." - Heraclitus of Ephesus, Greek philosopher
 
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