The littlest Bhaalspawn: part 4? 5?
Karnat sat on the edge of the bed in Lady Delcia’s room, humming.
“Would little Karnat like to play with Boo while we are waiting?” Minsc asked.
“Cans I?” the kobold asked, grinning. The huge Rashemite handed over the hamster. Boo scurried up onto Karnat’s shoulder and began to squeak into the kobold’s ear.
“What is that RODENT doing in my room?!” Lady Delcia screeched. She reached over to fling away the hamster. Karnat scooped Boo into his paws and dove under the bed.
Minsc picked the noblewoman up by her shoulders, “Boo wishes that you not touch him, lest he become squirrely.”
“Minsc,” Jaheira said, offhandedly, “Will you please put her down?”
The Rashemite did. Lady Delcia’s guard was chuckling helplessly.
“Is safe?” Karnat asked, “Can come out now?”
“Yes,” the druid stated. The little kobold shuffled out and handed the hamster to Minsc. Boo looked at Delcia and squeaked indignantly, while Karnat dusted himself off. The kobold hopped up and moved toward the fireplace.
Jaheira continued her conversation with Lady Delcia and Nalia. After a few minutes, she turned back to the kobold, “What are you doing, Karnat?”
“Karnat be making toast for be making bad tings happen to da trolls.”
The druid smiled and ruffled the kobold’s ears fondly. By the time the party was ready, Karnat had a plate of toast stuck in his backpack.
“Come on,” Jaheira beckoned. The party moved into the cellars, Karnat going ahead to scout. Minutes passed and the kobold didn’t return.
“T-t-that’s it, I’m g-g-going after h-him,” Khalid stated.
“Not by yourself,” Jaheira replied.
“I’ll go,” Viconia put in, “You mongrels would just make a mess of the whole matter.”
The drow smirked and vanished into the shadows.
“Why do you allow such a creature to call you mongrels?” Anomen asked.
“C-creature?” Khalid queried, “Viconia c-c-calls us m-mongrels because w-we a-a-are half-elves. I-I t-t-think p-part of it is th-that she c-cares for u-us s-somewhat. S-she is o-our fr-friend Anomen, it d-d-doesn’t matter. Why do y-y-you c-call her creature constantly?”
Jaheira smiled. Her husband was right. Deep down Viconia did care. Anomen sighed and remained silent.
Viconia stalked the darkness, keen elven eyes following Karnat’s paw-prints. She followed the tracks to a room, what she saw there amazed her. An Umber Hulk lay dead on the floor. Karnat was picking his way towards her, deliberately avoiding bits of toast.
“What happened, small abbil?” the drow asked.
“Big green be going squash Karnat!” the kobold exclaimed, “So Karnat gived it toast. Big ting flop onna ground n’ die. Toast be killing it! Might be dat it swallowed plate, though.”
“That just might have been it,” Viconia smirked, “Come, they’re waiting for us.”
“Oh,” Karnat remarked, “Is sorry be making wait n’ thanks for be comin’ after Karnat. He ‘preciates it much.”
“You’re welcome,” the drow replied. They headed back.
“Where was he?” Jaheira asked.
“Killing an Umber Hulk,” Viconia stated. The druid arched an eyebrow.
“He choked onna toast n’ a plate,” Karnat explained.
“Let me guess,” Jaheira chuckled, “Toast be evil?”
The kobold nodded enthusiastically. The party headed on and was soon doing battle with an enormous troll called Torgal and two regular trolls. Khalid and Jaheira focused their attention on the leader, the others on the remaining monsters.
Karnat darted in and out of battle, lashing out with his short-spear when he could. Of a sudden, Torgal slammed Khalid out of the way and bore down on Jaheira. Karnat leapt at the troll, muzzle twisted in a fierce snarl, and leapt up on its back, driving his spear threw it’s shoulder-blades. Torgal collapsed and Nalia flamed him. The other two trolls soon fell.
Suddenly, Karnat gasped and sprinted across the room. Jaheira found him shaking the shoulders of a dead nobleman.
“Wake up…wake up,” the kobold urged. Finally, realizing that the man was dead, he turned to Jaheira, his green eyes full of tears, “Dis…dis one be like papa, he never be waking up.”
The druid nodded, then hugged Karnat as he began to sob. Nalia began to weep and Anomen and Minsc tried in vain to comfort her. Lord De’Arnise was no longer in the realm of the living.
After a few days, Karnat was slightly more cheerful. Nalia had given control of the Keep to Khalid and Jaheira, in order to stave of the delusions of a bratty nobleman by the name of Isaea. Then, the mage had locked herself in her room and refused to come out.
Jaheira, deciding that it was in their best interests to stay at the keep for a while, had begun some house-cleaning. She and Khalid had moved into a large room and she had helped Karnat arrange his numerous mementos in the room next to theirs.
The kobold was currently painting on the stone walls. He had various vividly bright colors of paint and had had each party-member put a set of his or her handprints on the wall. The kobold hummed to himself as he painted the correct name next to each set of prints.
“Karnat?” Jaheira stuck her head around the corner, to see a rather paint-covered kobold.
“Karnat like his room, is much bright colorful, the kobold remarked. Jaheira nodded.
“Not like red-hair’s aunt though,” he added, “think she need go eat toast.”
Jaheira chuckled, “Come on, Karnat…”
“Karnat knowses, needs to take bath, right?” he replied, wrinkling his muzzle.
“Yes, and after you take a bath, supper is ready,” she stated.
“Tank you,” the kobold put his paints neatly in the corner and took her hand.
After taking a bath, Karnat sat down at the table, somehow ending across from Lady Delcia.
He grinned and waved. She ignored him. Karnat grinned again as his panther companion sidled up beside his chair.
“Is hungry, big kitty?” the kobold asked, “Karnat will share.”
The two friends managed to put a significant dent in their dinner.
“Red-hair be eating yet?” Karnat asked Jaheira.
“No, she hasn’t,” the druid replied.
“Karnat be taking her some den,” Karnat stated. The kobold got a plate of food, a small pitcher of lemonade, and a jar of cookies, then stumbled off towards the stairs, Darkstar in tow.
Jaheira and Khalid smiled. Lady Delcia, on the other hand, muttered something along the lines of ‘freakish little vermin’. Karnat heard her and winced, continuing up the stairs. That was enough to set Jaheira off.
The druid slammed her fist down onto the table, succeeding in getting the noblewoman’s attention.
“Now you listen to me, you foppish noble bitch,” Jaheira said calmly, making her seem even more dangerous, “You may not like him because of what he is, but he has feelings and if you hurt them again, you’re going to need a new set of teeth, am I understood?”
With that, the druid stalked off, leaving the noblewoman noticeably paler than usual.
Karnat knocked on Nalia’s door.
“What?” the mage rasped, her voice harsh from hours of crying. The kobold picked the lock on the door with his claws and walked in.
“Karnat brought something for red-hair to be eating,” Karnat said.
“Thanks,” she managed. He set the tray on a chair and hopped up onto the bed, sitting next to her.
He patted her hand comfortingly, “Karnat…he know how red-hair be feeling. Lost papa too, now have find Pink. What means be saying is might be hard, might hurt lots, but what would gone want? Karnat not thing gone want red-hair sit in dark for long time n’ feel bad n’ starve. Karnat things gone be wanting red-hair remember good times, happy mem’ries, want red-hair be happy ‘gain. Takes time n’ good friend, Karnat knowses. Ever want talk, Karnat be here.”
She hugged him, “Thank you, Karnat.”
“Hope red-hair be back wid us soon, now Karnat have to be going talks with pretty lady, she much angry,” he hopped down.
“Did my aunt make her angry?” Nalia asked, a smile tugging at the edges of her mouth.
The kobold nodded, “She call Karnat likkle vermin, pretty lady say some bad tings to her, mouth like sailor when angry.”
Karnat headed off. Darkstar remained and Nalia stroked the panther’s ebony fur as she ate her first meal in three days.
Karnat caught up with Jaheira a few hours later. She was outside, enjoying the nice weather.
“Pretty lady not be much mad anymore?” Karnat asked, coming up beside her.
“You heard that?” Jaheira asked.
“Yes, S’kay though, Karnat think it nice that pretty lady stick up for him,” the kobold said.
She smiled and ruffled his ears. Just then, a group of men on horseback trotted up, the man leading them dressed in noble’s clothes of a rather ugly shade of magenta.
“Can I help you?” Jaheira asked suspiciously.
“I am Sir Isaea Roenall, and I have come to speak to my fiancé, Nalia De’Arnise,” the man said haughtily, “I have no more time to waste, peasant, go fetch your master if you will and take your dog with you.”
“Peasant?” Jaheira queried, “I don’t believe young Nalia wishes to speak to you Isaea.”
“And Karnat is not a dog, is a kobold, is stupid pink man blind?” Karnat said indignantly. Nothing got the kobold more frustrated than being called a dog.
“It speaks,” Isaea wondered, “How marvelous, look peasant, I’ll give you a thousand gold for the talking dog.”
Khalid walked out towards them, followed closely by the rest of the party.
“He speaks,” Jaheira corrected, “and he is a kobold.”
“Very well,” the nobleman sighed, “Say you’re awfully good looking for a peasant. Are you the deceased Lord’s mistress? Forgive me if I mistook you for someone else, must have gotten some dust in my eye. How would you like to come work for me?” Isaea waggled his eyebrows appreciatively.
Jaheira was shaking with anger and Karnat’s jaw dropped. Khalid went berserk, Minsc and Anomen had to hold him back.
“Nalia,” Isaea greeted as she walked up, “How are you faring, I know this must be a terrible ordeal. Do you seek to return to my land with me until the times come that we be married? My father will take care of his new keep.”
“Not really,” Nalia said, smirking, “My dear friends, Khalid and Jaheira have taken over the keep and I’m not marrying you, you pig-faced, lecherous pain in the ass. By the way, are you colorblind? You wear the most hideous colors I’ve ever seen.”
The nobleman looked incredibly insulted, “Why I never.”
Nalia grinned wickedly, “And that’s not all, Isaea,” she turned to Minsc and Anomen, “You can let him go.”
As Khalid thoroughly thrashed Isaea, who kept screaming ‘You can’t do this, I’m the son of Lord Roenall’, Nalia paid Isaea’s guards to leave and walked back into the keep, a satisfied smile plastered on her face. Karnat and Minsc played fetch with Darkstar and Boo, the hamster bringing back a piece of wheat and the panther a bone.
As her husband walked back over to her, Jaheira smiled.
“You are so sweet to stand up for me like that, my Khalid,” she whispered.
“I love you, Jaheira,” Khalid murmured. Then he kissed her.
Karnat made a face, “Dey not have anything better do than slobber on ‘chother’s faces.”
“Apparently not,” Viconia snickered.
H'kira the Wolf
The Littlest Bhaalspawn 4
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