Writer's comment : The successful pairing of Viconia and Jan as a comical duo left me with enough ideas for a sequel, which was born here. Sirens and lobsters, griffins and orcs are just a few of the odd pairings in this tale.
"Ssinsrigg... Wake up." Viconia whispered softly into her lover's ear.
Karis woke with a start. He stared outside the private tent he and Viconia shared and noticed it was still night. "What is it, Viconia? Can't you sleep?" he asked softly.
"Oh, I slept just fine. I just wanted to talk to you for a while."
He wondered what she was up to.
Viconia smiled a wicked grin. "You know, I had a little chat with your sister last evening."
Normally, such a bonding between his sister and his love would please Karis infinately, but Viconia's wicked smile made him very nervous. Something bad was going to happen, something VERY bad.
"She told me such adorable stories about your childhood in Candlekeep." Viconia said, still smiling.
'Oh oh' was all Karis could think. The spider stalked the fly in her web.
"There was one about...What was it again ?" She paused, obviously to extend her torture. "Oh yes..You snuck into the guardhouse to swipe two swords to play with. And you were chased around the courtyard by two guarddogs for about an hour." She chuckled.
'Whew. That one wasn't THAT bad!' Karis thought.
"And then..." Viconia continued "...There was that time when you and Imoen climbed one of the walls of the keep. You reached the top first and then when you wanted to gloat, you tripped and fell. You then caught your shirt on a flagpole and hung there for all of Candlekeep to see..." She chuckled, obviously pleased with the mental picture. "What was it you shouted when you stood on top of that wall, Karis? Could it be...'King of the World'?". She was laughing now.
Karis grimaced. 'Imoen...you didn't...' he thought wryly.
"And what about..." Viconia said, still laughing "...the time your friend Winthrop gave you your first mug of ale? I don't think Gorion was pleased when you threw up all over his robe an hour later. It is a good thing you've learned to handle your liquor better, isn't it Karis?"
Karis groaned, and tried to cover up his face in embarrassment. 'Imoen...You are SO...DEAD!!' he promised to himself.
Viconia chuckled over Karis' discomfort and decided to move in for the kill. "Imoen had another story, Karis. She said she was always able to wrestle you to the ground, when you challenged her." Viconia crept a little closer to him. "Now that surprised me, seeing as you are much stronger than she is..." Viconia seductively raked her fingers over his chest.
Karis knew what was coming. 'Oh no...gods please no...anything but that...'
"Then Imoen told me one of your biggest secrets. About that spot..." She moved her hand to Karis' shoulder. The spider was about to strike the hapless fly."...right over here, where your neck and shoulder meet."
Before Karis could protest, she moved her hand to tickle the sensitive spot.
"No...Vico...plea....STOP...don't...NO!" Karis managed to shout during a fit a laughter and giggles. Viconia was clearly enjoying herself, torturing him with her tickles. The spider captured the hapless fly, as Viconia gently pushed Karis on his back and softly bit the sensitive spot on his neck.
It was Minsc and Boo's turn to guard the camp that night. And Minsc and Boo wouldn't be Minsc and Boo if they didn't take their job very seriously. Unfortunately, taking your job seriously wasn't always an effective weapon against drowsiness. The huge ranger stifled a yawn, wishing a ne'er do-well would show up to break the boredom. Suddenly, they heard a series of laughter and giggles from Karis and Viconia's tent. "Ah. Young love...A wonderful thing, right Boo?" Minsc said. A loud squeek of approval sounded from the inside of one of Minsc's pockets.
Suddenly Minsc felt a brush along the back of his head. Minsc wondered if it was another bee. But it was way to early for bees to be out and about. Another 'bee' passed one of his arms. "Boo, don't those bees know, they should be sleeping if they are going to work hard all day making delicious gold honey?" Boo squeeked in approval again. This time, one of the 'bees', landed on the treestump he was sitting on. "Boo, doesn't this bee look rather long and round and wooden and sharp. Bees normally have yellow-black shirts, don't they?" Boo squeeked loudly, trying to alert Minsc to the trouble approaching him.
"ORCS EVERYONE....ORCS. ALL KINDLY HEROES JOIN INTO THE RIGHTEOUS BUTT-KICKING!!!"
Some people, scientists mostly, say there is no greater force in the universe than an exploding sun. Heat, fury, ionized gasses obliterating all it passes. Others claim this greatest force is black hole, which gravitational forces drag everything to its doom. Well, let me tell you, those people have never encountered a sexually frustrated Drow female....
After putting on her clothes and armor in record time, the Flail of Ages in her hands sang a song of sweet death, dispatching many of the foul Orcs in her sight. Several necromantic cleric spells took out several others. Karis, Namarra in one hand, the Equalizer in the other, was holding his own against the war party and valiantly waded through the Orcish horde. Jan and Imoen were vigorously firing arrows and bolts into the air, plus the occasional spell. Minsc was clearly enjoying the slaughter-fest, waving his warblade around him. Nalia, who was groggily walking out of the tent, wondering what the hell was going on, awoke from her sleep induced haze just in time to dodge a blow from an Orc's battleaxe. She yelped in surpise and hurridly cast a 'disintegration' spell. The Orc would never bother anyone else again.
Eventually the surviving Orcs decided to retreat and ran away from the battle-ready adventurers. Viconia, still filled with fury, blocked an arrow with her shield and turned to face the offending archer. Noticing the fury in the Drow's eyes, the orcish archer decided to turn tail and make a break for the forest.
"OH NO YOU DON'T." Viconia shouted to the Orc and ran after him.
"Viconia, Stay here!" Karis shouted to her. Just then Minsc entered his berserker state and slashed into the remaining Orcs with fury. Karis and the others were forced to fall back, keeping him from following her into the woods.
Viconia ran and ran after her prey, deeper and deeper into the forest. Eventually she caught up with the fast running Orc and dispatched him with a swing of her flail. Finally released of her fury, she began to pant with exhaution. She looked around her, into the darkness of the woods. Now, just what direction did she come from?
"Damnation, I am not lost !" Viconia muttered to herself as she walked through the woods. It was morning by now and Viconia realized she must have been running after that orcish naubol for a very long time. She walked over to a large stone on the forest floor and sat on it to rest her tired legs. 'Just sit here for a moment, Viconia.' She thought to herself. 'Camp can't be far away.'
After a few moments the rustling of leaves alerted her to the presence of another. She jumped to her feet, taking a defensive stance, all the while scanning her surroundings. She heard a familiar voice from her side.
"Ah, there you are. Ole Kary is very worried about you, you know, running off like that."
'Oh no, not him again. Anyone but him.'
"Gnome...How did you find me?" she asked carefully.
"You know, I could spot you from a mile away in that shiny red dragon plate. It shimmers quite nicely in the sun. Will attract any griffin in a five-mile radius, you know. Did I ever tell you about my Grandmother Kadrenna. She once had a gigantic red dragon for a neighbor."
"Telling you to shut up won't stop you from telling this story, would it ?"
"Now this wasn't your normal, 'I'll burn you to a crisp, and gobble you up' ancient wyrm, you know. Ole Graxythilae'nagherratal, or Tilly for friends, was a crusty old bastard if you ever saw one. Quite the party animal too."
"Great. Here he goes again."
"Tilly attended many of Grandma Kadrenna houseparties. Used to scare the griffins away from the house as well. Now, did I mention Tilly was stupendously huge, Vicky?"
"Yes..." She groaned impatiently. "And stop calling me Vicky!"
"Well, Vicky, Tilly normally didn't dance since his feet took up the entire backyard, unless of course he got really really excited. Problem was he got excited pretty quickly once the big drake got a whiff of all that turnip-punch in the foodcourt. One day, he accidentally crushed the old Jansen home with his tail. A big incentive to pack-up and move to Athkatla, you know. Tilly was kind enough to offer some of his hoard to pay for the trip, but Ma Jansen never invites him to our family parties unless he takes a gnomish form, though."
"Yeah, yeah...great. Can we just head back to camp?" She was too proud to ask for directions.
"Sure Vicky. I've got some turnip-beer in a flask to drink on the way back...Vicky, you know any travelling-songs? We'll sing merry tunes on the way back!"
She had to (begudgedly as it was) admit she liked the gnome and even enjoyed the verbal sparring with him, but this wasn't fun anymore. Jan has crossed the line
"I SAID...DON'T CALL ME, VICKY...." She shouted at the top of her lungs. "My name is VICONIA...VI...CO...NI...A...". She took a few breaths to regain her calmth and walked over to Jan to look him in the eye. "Is it really so difficult to understand. If you simply have to use my name at all, use my own given name, not some weak faunish-sounding substitute!"
"Ummm...Vicky?" Jan said quietly.
Exasperated, Viconia let out a disgusted sigh. "Did you just hear a word I said?"
"I did at that, Vicky." Jan pointed behind Viconia. "But so did they..."
Viconia slowly turned around and stared at ten Orcs aiming their bows at them.
"Oh, vith..." She muttered to herself.
What does an Orcish bandit-camp look like? Or more to the point; what does an Orcish bandit-camp smell like? Viconia and Jan, both their legs and wrists bound together, hung from a tree by a thick rope under their shoulders, suspended above a bed of sharpened sticks. The camp itself was rather small. Only five tents surrounded a raging camp-fire. Animal skins and knawed bones were scattered around the camp. All the foul smelly Orcs sat around the fire, talking and boasting to eachother.
"Well, this is just grand." Viconia said.
She saw a large Orc, probably the chieftan, parading around in HER red dragon plate. It would take her weeks to get the smell out, at least. That is, if she was still alive after tonight.
"Ah Vicky, It could be worse. At least they didn't hang us upside-down."
"Be silent, fool! Don't give them any ideas!"
"Like my cousin Burlap, the used-cart salesman. Now he was a scoundrel true and true. Could sell water to a fish and used every dirty trick in the book. Used to reattach broken wheels with cheap balsawood, to make it look like the wheel would last forever, while it usually came apart a few hundred yards from his lot. Then, when the customers returned to complain, offered to repair the cart for a 'minimal' fee. It used to work too, until he sold a cart to the wrong Half-Orc. He held poor cousin Burlap upside down for hours, to shake all the money from his pockets. Ended up with two black eyes as well. Last time I heard, he was a Polarworm wrangler in Icewind Dale."
"The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife." Viconia said.
"What was that ?"
"A Drow proverb. If someone offers you slaves, riches or power and shows interest in your continued well-being, you should watch your back carefully, or you'll end up dead when that someone has what she wants from you. That Elg'caress Phaere was a fine example of the truth of that proverb."
"Jealous, eh missy?"
"Of HER?! Not bloody likely."
"Fall for one Drow filly, fall for another? Karis isn't like that, you know. He really loves you."
"I know that... And I am NOT jealous of Phaere!!"
"Tsk, tsk, blaming Karis for your own insecurities. That's not very nice, Vi..."
"The only thing I hope...!" She spat. "Is that the orcs do me the favor of killing YOU first, so I can watch them cut you to PIECES."
"Well, that just proves my point."
Viconia's snarl convinced Jan he'd gone to far. Meanwhile, the Orcs were fighting over the rest of their equipment. One of the Orcs, unsure what Jan's flasher launcher actually was, tried to wear it on his head like a hat. Unfortunately, he didn't know it was still loaded. The unfortunate orc let out a cry of pain as he shot himself in the nose, drawing laughs from his comrades. Then the chieftan grabbed all the equipment and dropped in the the chest in front of his tent.
"And these Ibliths captured us? What an embarrassment..."
The Orc chieftan walked over to Viconia and Jan, who could smell his breath across the other side of camp. "Youse prisonorses, No talkees."
"Orc...learn...speak...common." Viconia retorted
"Orc knowses speak commun." The chieftain said and pounded his chest proudly.
"No..." Viconia said again. "Orc...THINKS...knowses speak commun."
The chieftan, who clearly didn't know an insult when he heard one, walked to his tent to mull over her statement for a couple of hours.
"Hey Vicky, did you notice the smell coming from the pot above the campfire?"
"You mean the boiling vegetables...the herbs...the seasonings?"
"Well, yeah. Reminds me of the turnip-soup Ma used to make, minus the turnips though. Maybe if we ask nicely they'll give us some."
"Are you truly so dense, gnome? That's the stew they're going to COOK us in!"
"Ah. So that's why that chieftan guy was looking so hungrily at you. He must be wondering what Drow-steak must taste like."
"You know, I've heard that Drow-steak has less fat...But you eat more of it." Jan said, thinking to himself.
"Oh, just be quiet, fool!"
A few minutes of silence passed, until Jan couldn't stand it anymore and piped up again.
"DON'T CALL...." She let her anger slip when she saw she was attracting the attention of the Orcs.
Viconia sighed. "Oh...just call me Vicky, I don't care anymore."
"Hah...I knew you'd like my little nickname for you. Anyway, could I ask you a personal question, Vicky?"
"If we were in any other situation I'd say no and walk as far away from you as possible, but it seems I don't have that luxury right now."
"If our party got into a situation, where we had to eat one of our own, who'd you eat ?"
"And here I thought I was your friend! Even gave you a cute nickname, there's gratitude for ya. I would eat you, you know."
"Reminds me of my uncle Rufus. While travelling the sword coast, he came upon a nest of these large delicious looking eggs. He made a wonderful meal out of them and fall asleep next to the next. Unfortunately, the eggs' legal guardian, a rather large griffin...."
"Let me guess. The Griffin ate him. That's how ALL your damnable stories end!"
"Not at all. Don't be so presumtive, missy. The griffin smelled the eggs and decided they tasted very good. The griffin mobilized some of his relatives and, together, with uncle Rufus formed a business. 'Jansen-Griff Rootin' Tootin' Turnip-Ovum' it was called. This the first Jansen-Griffin Business-alliance, you know. And sadly the last. There was this nasty wage dispute you see, and griffins don't like scabs much."
"So he was eaten?"
"And I was right the first time?"
"You're really not worried about ending up on their dinner-plates, aren't you ?"
"Nah...It seems whenever you are in dire-straights, Vicky, Ole Karis always jumps to your rescue."
She remembered when Karis had first rescued her from that idiot enforcer. Karis was just a boy, wide-eyed and inexperienced, barely a day away from his home. He was handsome, but far beneath her notice. How he had grown and matured. How far he had come, how far both of them had come, since that day. It would not end here today...She would NOT be killed by this surface scum.
"What if I told you I have an escape plan of my own? During our pointless drivel, I've managed to loosen the bonds of my wrists."
"Aaaw. People do the damndest things for love. My cousin Drimple was a rugged fisherman who'd cast this nets on the high Sea of Swords..."
"You didn't even hear what I said, did you gnome..?" She sighed.
"Once he came back from one of his fishing voyages and brought home a bride..."
Viconia sighed and spun her agile body. She pushed her legs over her bound arms and wriggled her hands free.
"...she was the loveliest little Siren anyone had ever seen. Such a lovely lot of new in-laws too."
Viconia used her body to swing herself to the trunk of the tree. After grabbing it with her hands, she untied her legs. She managed to wriggle free of the rope under her shoulders, jumped down from the tree and landed safely on the ground.
Oblivious to Viconia's escape, Jan continued his tale. "The lovebirds were together for many years, until one day, cousin Drimple fell in love again, and left the lovely Siren for a lobster. Sad day, that was. Poor little Siren, crying in Ma's lap. Sad day for Drimple too, when our ex-in-laws caught up with him during another fishing-trip. Hey...HEY...Vicky, where are you?!"
"Keep it down, you fool..." She whispered harshly. "I'm right here."
"Well, it seems that we're outta here. Let's go Vicky!"
"We...?" Viconia teased. "No."
"Come on, Vicky. I'll entertain you with more stories if you do..."
"An extra incentive to leave you hanging dry." Viconia carefully removed the sharpened sticks from under the suspended gnome. "But I still need you to pick the lock on that chest over there."
The gnome dropped to the ground with a small thud. Together, they snuck past the Orcs to the large chest in front of the chieftan's tent. With their equipment recovered, Viconia and Jan snuck to the edge of camp.
"Wait..." she whispered. "I'm not leaving without my Red Dragon Plate."
"Leave it Vicky. Karis'll buy you a nice new armor. One less attractive to Griffins, I hope."
"Damn it gnome, I struck the killing blow, I keep the scales." That said, she snuck into the chieftan's tent. The Orcish stench was almost overwhelming, as was the loud snoring of the chieftan, but she managed to silently grab the plate. 'Bent all out of shape...Orc Iblith.' she thought. For a moment she considered slitting his troat in his sleep. Strike swiftly and silently... Another Drow motto. She decided against it, as she would have to get very close to the smelly hulk...to big a risk. She prepared to sneak out the tent again, when she heard a familiar voice shouting from the edge of the Orcish camp.
"HE WHO CAPTURES THE FRIENDS OF MINSC AND BOO, DEALS WITH MINSC AND BOO!!!"
The hulking Orc woke with a start, grabbing the axe beside his cot.
"Oh, vith." She muttered to herself, and grabbed her flail to defend herself.
The remaining Orcs in the camp were dispatched rather quickly. An 'Acid Cloud' spell from Nalia and a few swings from Minsc's sword took them all out. Karis looked around the camp and saw Viconia emerge from the largest tent. Karis ran over and embraced her. It was one of his male weaknesses, but Viconia allowed it anyway.
"I was so worried about you." She was glad he had missed her, it made her feel welcome and wanted.
"Hey, Vicky..." Jan interrupted. "What happened to chiefy-poo?"
Viconia chuckled. "The idiot caught his legs into the covers and fell on his own axe."
"Come on..." Karis said, still holding Viconia. "Let's get back to camp."
It was evening. Karis entered his tent, looking a bit dismayed. Viconia lay on the bedroll, a cloak wrapped around her. He removed his armor and lay down beside her.
"So..." She purred. "Had a nice chat with Imoen?"
Karis sighed. "She's hiding behind some unwritten law of siblings...Again..." Karis sighed again. "She wanted me to tell you...she has some more stories to tell you tomorrow...all about me..."
Viconia chuckled. "No anger...no fury...no threats?" She began her game. "Karis...you are soft at heart."
"Perhaps..." He smiled at her. "Does it matter?"
"Hmmm...." Viconia mocked. "Let's see."
She pushed Karis on his back with incredible strength. She removed her cloak and Karis saw the Girdle of Forst Giant Strength around her bare waist.
Viconia mock-sneered at Karis."Prove your strength to me again... Lowly Male..." She smiled. "Prove again, that you are worthy of my attention."
Karis took her in his arms, hoping there wouldn't be any interruptions this night.
4. Verbal Abuse
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