Grope Finds a Mate

Post your Errant Story, Errant Road, Exploitation Now, and Babylon Jones fanfiction here. Please note that Poe is not allowed to read it.
User avatar
The Heretical Admin
Posts: 7177
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

Re: Grope Finds a Mate

Post by Graybeard »

[For more about the odd bit of clothing Grope is using here and its backstory, follow the link in the chapter title to the HKV. It's something that showed up in Errant Road, so I feel okay using it here even though there is no evidence of its existence in the canonical Poe-Verse. Anyway, one or maybe two chapters to go after this.]

Chapter Eight: The Robe

Despite (or maybe because of, who knows) all the time Grope had spent around humans, he was still highly observant of the main troll religion. Accordingly, as the BOOMMM from the fireball echoed from the hills and pieces of the night wyrm flew through the air, he reached into his traveling bag, which had been through much in the previous few weeks, and extracted an item of clothing that had clearly been through more -- many years' more.

This was his "Many-Fathers-God-Wisdom Robe," or simply "Robe" for short. It was worn by the mate of the Chieftess of a troll clan, as his mate Zhbrigeeul had been before they had moved into "Small One" (i.e., human) territory; and he continued to wear it after Zhbrigeeul's unfortunate death at Kiyoka. Grope knew that he should pass the Robe on to the mate of the new Chieftess, whoever that was, but there would be time for that. (Probably.)

He deftly snatched a falling piece of night wyrm out of the air just before it could land on Chippy, now settled in for a nap on his shoulder. The meat had been flying through the sky for long enough to have cooled down from the improbable fireball, but also long enough to have gained quite a bit of momentum. The recoil from grabbing it actually knocked Grope backward a small step, but no matter; it would still serve his purpose. Muttering a quick prayer to the Five Great Mothers, he wiped the gob of flesh on the Robe.

This woke Chippy for a brief moment, long enough to grunt "Pee-YOOO!! That thing stinks!" Well, of course the thing stank. It had on it small bits of animals -- and humans -- that had been treated in exactly the same way as the late night wyrm's flesh, and with the same purpose: to leave a record on the robe of the "wisdom" of the animal supplying the flesh. Thus equipped, the robe wearer would have a better sense of what was going on in the area where the animal died. At least that was true in theory; some of the younger trolls questioned the practicality of this "wisdom." Grope had no such doubts, and he thought he could feel, in some ineffable way, a greater harmony with the hills that lay before him.

"Not to worry," he reassured Chippy, unsure whether the munk had gone back to sleep, passed out from the stench, or whatever. "When I find a mate, she'll be able to cast a Hygiene spell that leaves the Wisdom intact but gets rid of the smell. I just haven't been able to do that myself..."

His voice tailed off, leaving it uncertain as to why he couldn't; after all, he had cast (and Chippy had seen him cast) magic that normally was completely inaccessible to a male troll. But Grope knew his limits, both magical and social. He might not have the skill to deodorize the Robe without removing much of its trapped Wisdom; and he was not going to take chances with the group that was now moving to rally around their rescuer. He was about to explain all that to Chippy, when help came from a most unexpected direction.

"May -- may I have the honor of cleansing your Robe?" asked a soft female voice.

Grope looked up to meet eyes with the female member of the party he'd just saved.

Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
Post Reply