Title: Terror of a Most Unnatural Kind
“Imoen!” Keldorn shouted to the thief turned mage. The anger apparent in his voice, and it was all she could do to stop from yelling back at the paladin as she rolled her eyes.
“What is it now, Keldorn?”
“He’s been doing it again.”
“Doing what again?”
“Using Holy Avenger to clean his teeth! That’s what! Do you have any idea how long it takes to polish a magical weapon?!”
“He’s just an animal. Give him a break, will you? Holy Avenger is the only thing that can clean the tartar off his teeth.” She walked over to the edge of the camp. “Sleigh! Come here, Sleigh!” she called out to the beast. The thundering footsteps of the monster were heard long before it came into view. The beast was easily as tall as three of Imoen, and it dwarfed her as she reached up to pet its head as it bowed it down to her.
“Have you been using Mr. Keldorn’s sword again?” Sleigh looked at her longingly. “How many times have I told you to leave it alone?” The huge beast continued his gazing at her with even sadder eyes, and the tentacles that streamed from his face turned down low as he snuggled his massive head below her chin. “Now, now. You won’t sucker me that easily. No Beastie Treats for you tonight. Now go lay down. Bad slayer, bad.”
Sleigh lumbered off into the bushes, his head hung low in sadness. He had been a naughty beast, and he knew it. Imoen looked back at Keldorn. “There, are you satisfied? You’ve hurt his feelings.”
“Dear lady, I shall never get used to traveling with that monstrosity for a companion. Why, he appears to have crawled from the very depths of Hell itself.”
“Looks aren’t everything, you know. He’s sweet, and wouldn’t harm a fly. Well, almost. Unless the fly really made him mad.”
Jaheira and Minsc appeared from behind another clump of bushes, dragging behind them the carcass of a moose. “Imoen, we shall have to do something soon,” Jaheira said looking at her. “We have to go farther and farther each day to find something to feed that pet of yours. If this keeps up, we’ll have to buy our own farm just to raise livestock to feed it.”
“Oh come now Jaheira. He doesn’t eat that much, and he always cleans up after battles for us. He likes the occasional brigand and salamander. Just think of the good he’s doing keeping pollution and disease down.”
Minsc was standing by, testing the wind and getting a worried look on his face. “Minsc not mean to change subject, but I sense the wind is shifting.” They all got worried looks on their faces as they waited to see what direction it would go. Apprehension grew until finally Minsc let out a howl, his supper sensitive smell being the first to suffer.
“AHG! Imoen, you must start taking him for walks further from here! My nose cannot handle the smell of his dung! And Boo is nearly unconscious!” But his words fell on deaf ears as Imoen and the others were too busy gagging and coughing to listen. They were all frantically searching for rags or pieces of clothing to cover their noses with until the wind changed once more. Little by little, it went back to its predominant course, and they all breathed a sigh of relief and relaxed.
“Imoen, you know you can’t keep him forever. Someday, your going to have to take him back to his home and release him.”
“Aw, but Jaheira. I can’t do that. How will he survive without me? You know he’s going through a tough time now too since Irenicus stole our souls. We’re all we have.”
“Yes, but his changes, they get more hideous each time. Sooner or later, he will change into his other form, and then who will be able to contain the carnage, then? You must think on these things.” Jaheira was doing her best to comfort Imoen, and help her to realize the prudent course.
“And he’ll be happier too, with others of his own kind,” Keldorn added.
“I know. I’ll think about it, but I’m not ready to do that yet.”
Just then, loud, thundering footsteps where heard and Sleigh came crashing into camp.
“Argghh Arhhhhhhhhfgggggas hhhshhhshhggggg” Imoen interpreted the beast for the others.
“What’s that, Sleigh! Aerie fell in the well?!”
“Aruggghhhghgggg ggghhhhgggg Arhhhrhgg”
“And she was attacked by five orcs! Oh my!”
“And you ate them all and saved her!”
“But she’s still out there! Minsc, you’d better go help her!”
“Aye, my lady. I must go and save my witch! And if any orc remains around, they shall feel the backhand of justice on their buttocks!” Minsc ran off into the woods to the well to rescue Aerie.
“There, there, Sleigh. That’s a good beastie.” Sleigh curled up on the ground next to Imoen and she rubbed his belly. The great beasts leg started shaking, as beasts’ legs are known to do when getting a good belly rub. “Now don’t you all feel bad? Talking about Sleigh that way. Where would Aerie be without him? I don’t care what you say. I’m not letting him free.”
“Very well, Imoen. We shall leave it open… for now.” Jaheira said.
“But would you please find a way to cover him up. Put a diaper on him, or something. That’s disgusting!” Keldorn added, noticing the great beasts private parts hanging out as Sleigh rolled on his back, enjoying the belly rub even more. [Ed note: No, Imoen is NOT doing anything disgusting, and shame on you for thinking so!]
Imoen continued playing with Sleigh, and Keldorn and Jaheira had gone to the other side of the camp to stay out of their way. The two were roughhousing and wrestling with each other, when all of a sudden Sleigh began to shake all over, and his growling became softer and quieter. Imoen stood up and backed away, a worried look crossed her face. “Keldorn. Jaheira. I think it’s happening again.” Imoen watched as Sleigh buckled over and slowly began to shrink, the many tentacles on its body slowly disappearing, its skin smoothing to the horrific smooth flesh of a normal person. “Keldorn! Jaheira!”
They both came running to see the visage of horror before them. Slowly, it rose, staring at them with the most evil smile any of them had ever beheld before. The shear terror that stood before them, made them want to shriek in fear, and run away to the first cave they could find, never to be seen again.
“Now what would you pay for a diet program that is simple… and easy to use!” Yes, Sleigh had completed his metamorphosis into… Richard Simons! RS ran up to Keldorn and took him by the hands. “Come on, you old grumpy puss! Let’s do some jumping jacks!”
“Jaheira! Please, kill me! I don’t think I can survive this!”
“Leave him be, oh spawn of Bhaal himself! You shall not train with him tonight!”
“Ooo… another one in dire need of some shaping! Come on, all together now, lets work those pounds off!” and he dragged Keldorn over to Jaheira and put the three of them in a line, arms and shoulders locked together. “Now, a one, and a two…” RS continued as he kicked one leg one way, then one the other. Jaheira and Keldorn followed along in suit, the agony of such a display clearly showing on their faces.
“Imoen, please help us!” Jaheira cried out, but Imoen was frozen in terror. Nothing in her life could have ever prepared her for sight before her.
“Ok, that’s enough of that. Everyone! Run in place!” RS began running around and spanking the three of them, encouraging them to run in place as he had shown them. “Come on, everyone! Knees high, and work those thighs! Come on… Come on…” Slowly, though, RS began to tire, and eventually doubled over, the pain of the foretold transformation showing on his face. The three of them stood before him, and watched as RS fell to the ground. Keldorn was crying with fear, Jaheira doing her best to calm him. Imoen walked up to RS as the transformation back to his natural form finished. She wrapped her arms around Sleighs neck, and began to cry.
“I’m sorry, Sleigh. But I just don’t think I can subject everyone to that again. You have to go back. Tomorrow, I’m taking you to the Athkatla beast pound.”
Teror of a Most Unnatural Kind
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