• Member Since 18th Jan, 2012
  • offline last seen March 26th

Fuzzyfurvert


I write pony words that people seem to like. I also review fics and draw purty pictures, apperently. I'm an older fan of MLP, so expect a lot of 80's references.

More Blog Posts512

  • 125 weeks
    Welp, it's been a YEAR, down to the DAY, since my last blog post.

    This means nothing, I was just noticing the dates.

    But while I got you here, I'm gonna throw up some SFW art I've done recently.

    Read More

    2 comments · 1,444 views
  • 179 weeks
    It's 2am on Thursday, and I have an idea for NEW Pinkie Pie Loves Bacon Bits content. (plus ARTPOSTING#3)

    I woke up with a fully formed idea for a new chapter in my silly anthology of scenes where Sunset Shimmer is haunted by pony!Pinkie lodged DEEPLY in my mind and I think I'm going to write it. I'm in a writerly mood. Apparently.

    Read More

    1 comments · 430 views
  • 193 weeks
    Are you still in a Spooky mood?

    This flew under my radar yesterday, so I just woke up to find it and it is just as sweet as all that discounted candy! Give it a listen and pop over to Lostus's page and drop a like or a comment or something. This is top tier work!

    0 comments · 366 views
  • 195 weeks
    Wordposting (Really a 6K word long 'scene' and a half from the OF I'm working on)

    I posted a little section of this last blog, but I think I'm happy where this is at right now. Obviously this takes place in the midst of a larger narrative, so there might be some/a lot of context that's lost here, but the gist is a couple of priests and a warlock form up an adventuring party and before they even have their first outing, some shit goes down at the tavern.

    Read More

    4 comments · 388 views
  • 196 weeks
    10 years of this.

    Happy birthday to the version of Pony that made my life more than a little brighter.

    These hoofed ruminates (and their humanoid counterparts) will always have a special place in my heart.

    3 comments · 336 views
Oct
15th
2020

Wordposting (Really a 6K word long 'scene' and a half from the OF I'm working on) · 3:22am Oct 15th, 2020

I posted a little section of this last blog, but I think I'm happy where this is at right now. Obviously this takes place in the midst of a larger narrative, so there might be some/a lot of context that's lost here, but the gist is a couple of priests and a warlock form up an adventuring party and before they even have their first outing, some shit goes down at the tavern.

“I never realized there was quite so much shopping involved in being an adventurer.”

Buer, the tiefling warlock that had recently joined the party, stopped in the middle of the street a few steps ahead of Thomas and looked back over their shoulder with a dazzling smile.  It was near midday, not a cloud in the sky, and yet the market felt all the brighter suddenly.  Several of the other folk in the market—commoners and merchants alike—paused what they were doing mid-transaction to stare at the warlock.  Buer was stunning in every way imaginable, colored in soft reds and vibrant turquoise with sweeping upward curled horns, clothed in an exotic dress with a brilliantly white apron, and a tail that looked like a suckered tentacle reaching out from under a short skirt and incredibly long hair that trailed down their back.  They stood there in an effortlessly regal pose that screamed for attention and got it.

“Tommy, unless you possess the skills to craft tools and arms from scratch, or braid ropes from weeds in a field, how else do you suppose adventurers get the gear they depend on to survive?”  Buer held out their hands, gesturing at the stalls around them.  Each one held a near endless collection of bricbrak.  There was clothing for sale, mason’s tools for construction and leveling, jewelry, and spare horse bridles and saddles enough to equip a herd of the creatures.  There were tools for cartography, paper, ink, and even detailed children’s dolls stitched to order.  And that was just on the street.  Behind the stalls were shops galore, some of which Thomas could only guess at the purpose of.  Standing here surrounded by goods and shop goers, it was a wonder to him to think that they were still in his home town of Highfield.

Buer glided back over to Thomas, tail and hair swinging gracefully.  They reached up and patted the tall human on the shoulder.  “Oda wanted me to show you the ropes on being an adventurer and that means, to me, that we start at the bottom.  She’s taking care of the paperwork for the party charter, so that means we get to take care of the shopping.”

Thomas grunted, biting the inside of his cheek.  “I get that, but do we need two crowbars?”

“Better to have and not need than the other way ‘round.”  Buer flashed another blinding smile.  “Now follow me!  I need to show you how to deal with a shopkeep that knows you.  Once word gets around about you being a successful adventurer, the shopkeepers will treat you like royalty and expect you to pay like one as if you don’t know the actual value of their goods and services!”  With that, the warlock spun on their heel and marched off deeper into the market, every eye glued to them.

Thomas’s eyes squinted and he grunted again before readjusting the dozen satchels loaded to bursting hanging from his wrists, elbows, and neck.  This was going to be a long training session, he just knew it.

The shop he found himself dragged to wasn’t on the street, but tucked down a much less crowded side alley where the dirt and hay underfoot was in perpetual shadow of the city walls and therefore more muck than not.  Buer somehow managed to find the solid, drier, spots leaving not a footprint behind nor getting anything that could stain onto the stockings covering their legs.  Thomas, swinging armfulls of gear with every step just to keep his balance, fared less stainlessly.  While he stomped out his shoes at the door, he glanced up at the sign that swung above him proudly proclaiming in cracked and faded lettering the establishment as an ‘Arcanosity’.  Through the foggy glass of the single window he could make out shelves covered in colorful shapes, and if the smell wafting out after Buer vanished inside was any indication, he’d wager potions were the shop’s true bread and butter.  By the time he entered, Buer was already in an animated conversation with a squirrely, older man with more mustache and eyebrow than face.   

“Of course I’m getting back into the business!  You think running a food cart would keep me occupied forever, Gus?”  Buer slapped their hands down on the narrow wooden counter between them, setting a row of empty glass beakers rattling.  The apparent Gus reached out a gnarled hand, pinching the cork in the nearest bottle to stop the noise, dark eyes glittering and never off the tiefling for a moment.  Buer waved back at Thomas, leaning in toward the owner.  “See?  I even have a trainee.  A priest of all things!  I’m showing him around this side of the market, where to find the really good stuff.  Which of course is what leads me here.”

They turned, looking back at Thomas with a flat expression that didn’t match the jovial tone.  “The very best potion broker in Highfield!”  Buer’s nose twitched like fighting off a sneeze, their face brightening as they swung back around to Gus, the potionmeister.  “So what’s hot, Gus?  Anything special in the cauldron?  I really got a lot of use out of that last one you sold me.”

Gus wrinkled his mustache, looking back and forth between Buer and Thomas for a long moment.  When he spoke, his voice croaked and sounded wet.  “I got a fresh batch of frog’s bladder boiling now.  It’ll make you jump like nothing you ever see.  Swim faster too!”

“How much?”  Buer practically purred, grabbing the counter with both hands and leaning in to give Gus a point blank blast of flawless smile.

“Thirty coins.  Silver.”

Buer gestured for Thomas to join them and glanced his way.  “Tommy, can you swim?”

“Er...yeah?”

“And Oda is from a fishing village, right?”

“Yeah.”

Buer’s winning smile inverted itself.  “Okay, hard pass, Gus.”

“Let me cook it for an hour more and I’ll toss in siren blood.”  Gus laughed like a man choking on his lunch.  “That’ll have you breathing like a fish, it will.  Can’t pass up on a tasty drink o’ not-drowning!”

“I can and you can watch me do it.”  Buer smirked and reached out of sight into some hidden recess of their dress and pulled out a small burlap pouch.  It hit the counter with the unmistakable jingle of coins.  The potion seller locked eyes on it for a moment, massive eyebrows shifting.

“I can cut you a deal, Miss.  Make it twenty silver and I’ll cut it inta thirds.  One swallow for each of you.”

“And cut down the potency, no doubt.”  Buer rolled their shoulder, glancing back at Thomas to make sure he was paying attention.  “Skip the frog sauce.  What else do you have on tap?”

Gus’ eyes sparkled, still dark pits under dark brows as he watched them both.  His lips twisted then he turned and grabbed an amber bottle off the shelf behind him.  It joined the pouch of coins on the counter between them along with another, smaller metal flask.  Gus dropped his elbows down on either side and nudged the bottle.  “This one keeps bugs off you with a splash behind the ears.  Or drink it down and you can out run the pests.  Or even a horse.”  Then he tapped the flask.  “Only drink this if you want to die sick, coughing out your own innards.  Crack the top, give it a shake and throw it far.  Probably should dive for cover too, if you’re smart.  Twenty each.”

Buer sneered.  “Oh come on, Gus!  I’m trying to show Brother Tommy here where he can find good stuff, not where he can expect to get swindled!  This is just beer mixed with root that’ll have him running back here fast as a horse to buy more until he’s all out of money, and this isn’t even magical!  It’s just a can of slime that catches on fire.  You’re better than this.”  They rolled their yellow eyes.  “Do you at least have any of those potions you sold me last time?  The ones that taste like honey and numb pain?”

“I call ‘em ‘healing potions’.”  Gus returned Buer’s sneer.

“Those, at least, are actually worth twenty.”  Buer palmed the burlap coin pouch and turned it over, spilling a stream of octagonal silver coins on the counter.  Buer pushed the pile forward, smile firmly back in place, lighting up the entire shop.  “I’ll take three!”

A few minutes of counting later, Thomas continued to stand awkwardly in the middle of the room loaded down with the fruits, so far, of Buer’s lesson in commerce.  The tiefling picked through the satchels for a place to add in the wrapped glass vials Gus begrudgingly passed to them until simply yanking Thomas’ belt and stuffing them in his trousers for safe keeping.  Once they were back out on the street, Thomas snorted.  “Is that how merchants treat royalty?”

“Selling overpriced shit because they assume you’re too disconnected to realize anything until it’s too late?”  Buer chuckled mirthlessly.  “Yeah, pretty much.  Count that as a bonus lesson in haggling, my young ward.” 

“Noted.” 

“The next place will be better.”  Buer skipped ahead, bouncing from dry spot to dry spot on the balls of their feet.  “I know a guy that raises birds with extraordinary senses.  I traveled with a group once that used these plump little pheasants to sniff out treasure.  They have other uses too.  Keeping watch while you sleep, or noticing bad air when you’re down deep in some underground ruin.  They’re really quite useful!  You’ll learn all sorts of things from these birds.”

*Later back at the inn…*

“A pigeon did all this?”  Oda Button, blessed cleric of Kord, bunched her brow, looking Tommy’s dirty and disheveled appearance up and down from the human-sized bed.  She had a slim stack of papers semi-rolled in her lap, quill and ink on the bedside table.

“An attack pigeon.”  Thomas ran a hand back over his hair, checking for any bald spots while he leaned against the wall in their shared private room.  “Buer talked up this animal trainer a bunch, but I guess it’s not a perfect thing, ‘cuz I wasn’t the only one that got roughed up by the bird.  Buer got it bad too.  Zapped the pigeon right out of the air with one of those magical blasts.”  He cleared his throat.  “So we had to pay for that.  The man running the place said the bird was being trained for some wizard in {Juimons}.”  Thomas flinched as his fingers grazed over a particularly long, but thankfully shallow, talon scratch on his temple.

Oda shook her head and sighed.  She nodded toward the stack of equipment by Tommy’s feet.  “Don’t worry about paying for that bird.  We’ll likely recuperate that easily enough once we’re out and getting job requests.  At least it didn’t harm the other gear you bought.”

“No, but Buer seemed sort of upset about the whole thing.”  Thomas patted tenderly at another cut on the back of his neck.  “I should probably go wash up, there might be bits of pigeon in my hair.”

Oda stuck out her tongue in mild disgust.  She settled back against the pillows, her halfling body making them seem like clouds by comparison.  “Yeah, please.  Check in on Buer, would you?  This paperwork is all filled out for the charter and I need both of your signatures to complete it.”

Thomas nodded, his shoulders sagging in relief as he stepped out the door.  Buer, it turned out, was not in the other rented room next door when he checked.  The common room on the ground floor was filled with travelers and locals alike, one of the tables of grizzled farmfolk raising cups when they noticed him scanning the room, but it contained no warlocks.  One of men spied Kord’s holy symbol dangling from a chain around his arm and gestured for him to join in, but Thomas waved them off awkwardly.  He wasn’t even a week past promotion from acolyte to a junior priest position at the abbey and already the townspeople treated him differently than before.  It made his heart swell to meet so many people that seemed happy to have a Kordite priest around, but right now he was busy and probably filthier than he wanted to know.  Out of other places to look in the building, he headed back to the inn’s bathing room at the opposite end of the floor.   It was a large, simple dugout room in the cellar with a low ceiling, a long bench to sit, and a hand pump that drew water up from a well.  The floor and walls were tiled and there was a drain to keep the water from pooling but that was the extent of the amenities.  

The walk took him away from the noise of dinner and gossip, down a short flight of steps into a dimly lit storage area.  As soon as his feet hit the floor, Thomas could sense something was off.  It ran across his scalp like a tingling wave, ants marching up from his neck and through his hair.  Off to one side of the stairs was a wall covered in shelves laden with the materials to run a tavern and feed a small army.  The stacked crates and dusty barrels made a narrow hallway out of the rest of the cellar, funneling back to the wash and lit by a weak oil lamp.

In the wane lighting, he could see the door to the wash was closed, but he could hear someone talking.  Thomas couldn’t make out the words, but the tone sent its own kind of shiver down his spine.  It reminded him of some of the elder priests at the abbey, people used to being obeyed the moment they opened their mouth.  You ran a faster lap, or lifted a bigger stone.  Hesitation brought reprimands and backtalk got you sent to your cot without meals and a busted lip.  Thomas reached up and rubbed at the stand of beads wrapped around his left arm, where the holy symbol of Kord hung—a silver lightning bolt—without thinking.  The muffled voice set him on edge.  But he wasn’t some scrawny acolyte anymore.  Thomas took a deep breath in through his nose and walked down the crate-lined hallway.  Hopefully, whoever was already there wouldn’t mind another bather too much.  He’d just splash some water on his head, give his hair a quick comb and get out.  

Once he reached the door a moment later, he could make out part of a sentence.  “...Gods Above, you think you can get away with this?”  The voice was harsh, deep throated and the words crackled at the ends.  There was a gurgle, then the sound of the back of someone’s hand meeting flesh.

Thomas continued forward, his own hand flying out to shove the door open barely ahead of his shoulder, his stride lengthening to carry him into the bathing room like a gale.  Two more lamps set on high beams provided slightly better lighting, throwing wide shadows across the tilework.  In the middle of the room a tall, burly, man dressed like any common farmer in Highfield, stood with his knees partially buckled and leaning as far back as he could from the nude tiefling that held the collar of his shirt in one hand.  The man’s face was a mix of fear and fury locked on the tiefling’s other hand which was raised back and poised to swing.

“B-Buer?” Thomas coughed, slamming to a halt a half-step away.  “What?”

“Thank the Gods!  A priest!”  The farmer yanked himself away from the smaller tiefling, stumbling as his shirt tore and frayed a little.  “This bastard blood...thing...was laying hands on me!  It’s stronger than it looks too.”  He backpedaled over to Thomas.  “Don’t be fooled.”

Buer remained motionless save for a jitter twitch from the tip of their tail in the center of the room, one arm still raised and face and tone carefully neutral.  “You grabbed me.”

“I thought I was helping.”  The man sneered.  “Looked like a pretty lady was about to slip and fall, so I stepped in to catch you.  Then you turn out to be this?!”  He waved his hands at Buer, looking back over at Thomas.  “I swear it was just a mistake on my part.  Then this thing starts looking at me all funny and next thing I know, I feel weak.  It’s some sort of witch on top of being some fiendspawned thing!”

“Warlock,” Buer interjected, “actually.”

“Point being it’s a good thing a holy man showed up when he did.  The Gods Above smile on me tonight!”

Thomas looked back and forth between the two, brows knit in confusion.  The farmer looked old enough to be his father, bulky and built by a life of labor, tough as the soil he tilled.  And to see someone like that come to him for aid against an unknown just because of his position was as jarring as Oda told him it was for her.  He cleared his throat and dropped a hand on the man’s shoulder.  “Leave.”

“What?”

Up close the man was a few inches taller than Thomas.  He squeezed hard on the shoulder.  “I said to leave.”  The farmer blinked at Thomas, his lips going from sneer to slack when Thomas looked past him to Buer.  “Are you alright?”

“I don’t need your help, Tommy.”

“I know, but that doesn’t make me any less angry seeing someone act like an ass and think they have an ally in me while they do it.”  The man might be as tough as the soil, but Thomas’ eyes and hands were the plow and the farmer shrank back from him.  “Now get out of here.  You don’t belong in the presence of my friend.”

“You’re with...that?”  The farmer’s teeth grit hard enough Thomas could hear it.  “What kind of freak does that make you then?”

“One with friends.”  Thomas pushed the man back toward the door and the rest of the tavern.  He set his shoulders, ready to move if the guy tried anything, but the point must have gotten across, because they were alone a moment later after another withering look.

“Physically, I’m fine.”

Thomas startled, his eyes still on the door as it swung shut.  “Excuse me?”

Buer sighed.  “You asked if I was alright.  Physically, I am.”

Thomas’s shoulders sagged, all the air in him escaping in a weeze.  “Good.”  He glanced back toward Buer and then away again, seeing them still standing there naked.  “Um...what about other ways?”

“This plus that gods damned bird, Hells Below, Tommy!  I’m doing just peachy!”  Buer spun on their heels, long hair sweeping out behind them like a fan as they stalked over to the bench by the wall and sat hard enough to make it groan.  Buer hissed some sound, like a word in a tongue Thomas was unfamiliar with, and a pair of ghostly see-through hands materialized in front of them.  One went over to the water pump and started working the lever while the other swooped behind Buer, scooping together their long hair and drew it out from between Buer and the wall.

“Do you know that guy?”  Thomas folded his arms, head back while he looked at the ceiling timbers.

“Fuck no.”  Buer shivered, slumping back while the hands went to work gathering the water that gushed from the spout into a pail.  “He followed me down here.  I was too caught up in getting undressed that he got close without me noticing.  Next thing I know his arms are around me and I’m falling backwards into him.  I’m sure he thought it all very romantic.”  Buer’s voice dripped with sarcasm.  Then softly, Buer added, “Thank you for saving him, Tommy.”

“Did I?”

“You saw what I did to that pigeon earlier.”

Thomas nodded awkwardly.  Hardly more than an hour ago he’d been in close proximity to a display of the mystical forces Buer could summon at whim.  Close enough to be in the feathery splash zone.  Seeing what that could do to a human skull was not something he was in any rush to experience.

“Actually,” Buer’s tone perked up, “why are you here?”

Thomas scoffed at the ceiling.  “I was looking for you, honestly.  Oda is done with the charter paperwork, but it needs our signatures.  I didn’t see you upstairs, so I thought I’d come take a quick wash up and get any left over pigeon out of my hair before dinner.”

“Ah.”  Buer was quiet for a moment.  “So are you going to continue to talk at the ceiling or come sit down like a normal person?”

“I...uh...don’t want to impose.”

“You aren’t, Tommy.  Come wash up.  I’m pretty sure your girlfriend would appreciate it.”  Buer chuckled gently and inched over unnecessarily.  The magical disembodied hand hauled the water pail over and settled it at Buer’s slender feet.  A snap of their fingers and the hands vanished with a pop.  The tiefling snapped again and a bar of soap shot from their clothes, hung casually on a peg in the wall, and landed inside the pail.  “I’ll help you with your hair, if you’ll answer a question for me.  Answer honestly, I mean.”

Thomas lowered his head, careful to keep his eyes above Buer’s curving horns.  “Sure.”  He crossed the room, suddenly awkward and gangly again, and took a seat on the bench.  He sat there mutely for a long moment before he hastily pulled his vestment and shirt off.  “What do you want to know?”

Buer didn’t speak immediately.  They took the soap and water, leaning over the stir it around and built up a head of foam.  Then they held up a hand, tracing a circle in the air until Thomas took the hint and turned his back toward them.  “Tommy, I’ve had stuff like this happen to me before.  It broke up the last group I traveled with.  We’re just getting started and already I’m right back here where I am most uncomfortable.”

“I’m sor—”  A cold, wet, hand touched him on the nape of his neck, silencing Thomas.

“You don’t have to apologize, Tommy.”  Buer sighed again.  “But I need to know if this changes things between us?”

“What, getting harassed like that by some asshole?”  Thomas shrugged.  “Why would it?”

“Not that, Tommy.”  Buer stood and leaned forward, both hands braced on Thomas’s back, so they could look him in the face.  “You know what I’m talking about!  That guy came in here because he assumed, incorrectly, that he was big enough to get his way.  When he grabbed me, I could hear his thoughts so I’m crystal clear on his other incorrect assumptions about me too.  It wasn’t some spell that made him go weak and hesitate, it was the fact that he assumed I was fully the woman I appeared to be.”  Buer clicked their teeth together for emphasis.  “Which is the same assumption you and Oda have.”

Thomas grimaced, watching Buer slide back out of the corner of his eye, as the tiefling sat back down.  In the short time he’d known Buer, the powers the warlock possessed—or was cursed with, depending on your outlook—were strange and varied.  Not only was Buer completely capable of summoning blasts of mystical force, but they could also ‘hear’ the thoughts of others sometimes and ‘taste’ emotions.  He’d seen ample evidence of it.  Plus the accusation was true.  Had anyone asked him, he would have confidently confirmed Buer as female as Oda or any other woman in Highfield.  

“So is this going to change anything between us?”

Thomas took a deep breath, opening his mouth to speak, but paused and thought about it.  After a moment, he shook his head and looked back at Buer.  “No.  It doesn’t change anything.”  Buer’s expression was tired and reserved, but they nodded back.

“Turn around.  Let me get at that mess you call hair.”

No sooner did he look away then fingers started picking quickly through his short tuff of hair.  “Careful!  I got scratched up earlier.”

“Why do you think I blew that pigeon out of the air?”  Buer huffed, getting up on their knees behind Thomas to get a better look at his head.  Buer moved in neat, orderly rows, checking for tiny pieces of avian remains.  “Is Oda going to have a problem with this?”

“No.  I can guarantee—I can practically guarantee that she won’t have any issue with this.” he admended himself.  “I don’t see how she’d find out about it.”

Buer stopped cleaning Thomas’s hair and leaned forward again with a shocked look.  “You wouldn’t tell her?”

“Why would I?”

Buer cocked an eyebrow at Thomas.  “You sleep with this woman.”

“I mean,” Thomas shrugged, conflict pulling the corners of his mouth in different directions, “if she asked me directly.  Then I’d tell her, sure.  But when would it ever come up in conversation?  I can read the room well enough to know it’s not something you want spread around.  I can keep a secret, Buer.”

The tiefling snorted, eyebrow still raised, but leaned back and went back to task.  “Thank you.”

“No problem.”  Thomas closed his eyes and let Buer keep at it.  It took only a minute or two, but he was pronounced clean after a final brush through of his bangs.  Then they traded places and Thomas dipped his hands into the cold soapy water and started to help with Buer’s considerably greater amount of locks.  He was just starting, right behind the horns, when he was hit with a wave of nostalgia.  “Oh shit.”

“What now?”

“I was just thinking, this isn’t the first time I’ve had an encounter with someone very attractive in a bathroom where I washed their hair and we talked about vaguely penis related topics.”  Thomas clicked his tongue.  “Though that time, it was my dick we were discussing.”

Buer looked back at him.  “That seems oddly specific.”

Thomas’ brows shot up with a flashed smirk, running his fingers through Buer’s long, silky, hair.  It was heavier and softer by far than either his or Oda’s dreads.  With it soaked, it felt like a blanket.  I wonder how Buer sleeps with this?  I’d constantly get it caught under my own ass if my hair was this long.  He glanced down at the bench space between them, where Buer’s suckered tail sat, just the tip moving in a slow swaying motion.

“Yes, I sleep on my front,” Buer’s tail slithered back to brush Thomas’ pants, the tiefling smirking.

Thomas froze, hair in his hands.  “Er...sorry, was I thinking too loud?”  He cleared his throat and looked up at Buer.  “How is it I keep forgetting you can do that?”

“You are a trusting soul, Tommy.”  Buer twisted, turning back enough to pat Thomas on the arm.  “Also you have the worst poker face in history.  I wouldn’t need to hear your thoughts to know what you’re thinking.  It’s plain as day, the way your forehead bunches and your eyes twinkle.”  They chuckled.  “You’ll have to tell me about this other time you’ve had something like this happen to you.  I bet it’s quite the tale.”

Thomas shook his head, moving up to the back of Buer’s scalp where he plucked out a bit of red tinged fluff that didn’t quite match the dark magenta tint of the hair it was caught in.  “Not really.  It was the night Oda and I...well...the first time we,” Thomas opened and closed his mouth, searching for an appropriate phrase.

Buer cut him off.  “Ah, I see.”  They turned back toward the wall and laughed.  “My!  That is awkward!  You poor boy…”  Buer faded out and snagged the water pail and suds with one foot, drawing it up to the bench and fishing out the soap bar to start washing their face.

Thomas wrinkled his nose.  “Can you see memories too?”

“No,” Buer slapped their cheeks with the flat of their palms, “your secrets are safe from me.  But I can taste the embarrassment wafting off you on my tongue, young priest.  Plus, you know, I have an imagination.  You can tell me later, whenever you feel comfortable enough.”

“Thank you.”  

They both fell into silence then.  Grooming Buer’s hair took several minutes, the tiefling taking care of the rest of the bathing while Thomas finished up.  After they were finished, once Thomas had his shirt back on and hair still drying, he frowned when a thought occurred to him.

“Hmm, “ he tapped his chin and looked over at Buer who was flexing their fingers as little waves of magic forced the water beading on their skin to evaporate.  “You know, when I came down here, I passed a table of men.  All of them farmers or laborers that looked a lot like the guy that followed you in here.  They had an open space.  You don’t think those were his friends, do you?”

Buer turned their dress over in their hands while their tail tugged one loose legging up pass the knee.  They frowned.  “Shit.”

Thomas nodded.  “I’ll walk with you back upstairs.  There were a half dozen of them, but they’d have to be pretty bold to come at us together.”

“Or pretty drunk.  If they are his friends, I’d bet gold he sold them some story that paints both of us as the villains.”  Buer sighed, slipping the dress over their head and letting it fall into place.  “And if it’s not tonight, they’ll be back here tomorrow and the next day.”  The ghostly hands materialized again, pulling Buer’s hair out of the next and trying the cords that kept the waist cinched.  “It’s too bad we can’t reach the back door without going through the main room.”  

They looked up sharply when Thomas’ large hand landed heavily on one shoulder.  Thomas smiled, inclining his head toward Buer.  “Maybe there’s another way we can handle this without you needing to worry about them later.”

*Later*

“First of all,”  Buer held up a hand, “I want to apologize for forcing you into a corner and making you act like the adult in the room.  No one deserves to be elected Party Mom before we’ve even had our first official job.”

Oda groaned, pinching the bridge of her nose and glared tiredly up at the sitting warlock and junior priest.  Tommy had a huge bruise on the side of his face and over one eye that was already starting to turn sallow.  She could count the individual fingers from where a fist had cracked him across the skull.  Buer has a bloody nose that was still oozing and a split—rapidly swelling—lower lip.

“I can’t be ‘Party Mom’ if we aren’t even an officially recognized party yet!”  She spun on her heel and stamped over to the bedside table in hers and Tommy’s room and grabbed a rolled sheet of parchment.  Oda also snagged a pin from the ink bottle before walking back to them and tossing it in Buer’s lap.  “Sign that before I start calling Kord’s own lightning in here to prove a point!  Aaarrrggg!”

“At least they didn’t call the guards.”  Thomas chimed in, smiling weakly.  “The innkeep said those guys had harassed other customers in the past too.  So in a roundabout way, this is what Kord would want us to do, right?” 

Oda balled up her fists, pursing her lips together in a thin line for a moment before sagging and letting out all the breath in her.  She was already dressed for bed, barefoot and wearing a simple chemise that hung to her thighs, her thick dreadlocks were pulled back and wrapped in a blue bandana.  She’d been on the edge of sleep when the commotion down in the inn’s common room reached her and she came out to find a crowd of people surrounding her adventuring partners while they laughed breathlessly and some other men were being dragged out of the inn’s front door.

“Yeah…” Oda begrudgingly nodded, “Kord would want that.  Probably.  It’s just between the gear, that incident with the pigeon—”

“Attack pigeon.”

Oda shot Tommy a look but it did nothing to the strengthening grin on his face.  “Attack pigeon.  And now broken furniture?  We’re going to be living leaner than I thought we would.  We're going to need a job, one that pays well, and we’re going to need it fast.”

Buer rolled their yellow eyes, taking the pen and signing the charter with a flowy, swooping, series of letters twice the size of Oda’s scratchy runes.  Then passed both to Tommy who proceeded to unfurl the whole thing and start reading.  Buer shrugged and wiped the back of one hand gently under their nose.  It came away with a trail of crimson against the pastel pink of their skin.  “Don’t worry about it.  Once word gets around that Sister Oda is teaming up with me, and that I’m out of retirement, the offers will come pouring in.  We’re a hot commodity, you and I.  Who wouldn’t want the magics we command on the case of whatever it is they want?”

“The ones that also hear rumors going around about how you two attacked some guys unprovoked?”  This time it was Oda that held up a hand to stall Buer’s retort.  “Look, I know you had a good reason, and some of the other folks in there do too.  But you know how the rumor mill works.  We’ll be lucky to get anything reputable.”  She sighed again.  “I’m not mad at either of you for performing your own brand of justice.  Especially not after what you told me happened to you.  Gods Above, I’d have helped you hand those rubes their own asses if I was there!  I’m just surprised is all.  Just sort of shocked by everything.”

Thomas set the pen down on the table next to the pile of things they’d purchased earlier and fanned the ink on the charter, hastening it to dry out his precise signature.  They’d quickly given Oda a run down of the situation after she’d dragged them back to their rooms while the remaining people downstairs had cheered them on.  His face felt numb, pain tingling at the edges of where one of the farmers had caught him with a wild haymaker.  The blow had almost taken him off his feet and left him seeing stars and doubles for a moment before the warlock had bodily tackled the man.  The fight had lasted barely a minute and now he felt even more alive than before it.

He grinned again at Oda, passing the charter back to her.  “Well, now it’s all official right?  We’re an adventuring party for hire.  Things will come through, Oda.”

“I know.”  Oda flipped the paper around in her hands, gazing at all three of their names next to each other at the bottom.  “Money woes aside, it fills me with excitement to see this done and finalized.  I’ll take this to get copied in the morning.”  She looked up at Buer.  “You handled taking him shopping, think you can show him how to advertise for us too?”  Buer gave Oda thumbs up and the halfling woman smiled, popping up to sit in Tommy’s lap and letting herself relax.

She put a hand on Tommy’s chest and flashed him a warmer smile.  “I am, legitimately, proud of you for taking the fight to those assholes.  We’ll make a proper hero out of you yet.”

Buer cleared their throat and stood up, running their hands down the front of their dress.  “And that would be my que to exit, stage left.  I’ll see you two in the morning.”  They waved, stepping around the couple.  Buer got a pair of waves in return, the mouths of the other two thirds of the party already busy with other things than farewells.

Buer slipped out into the hall, closing the door, their magical hands racing forward to open the door to the warlock’s personal room.  Buer closed that one behind them just as whisper quiet and leaned back against it.  A hallway and a few walls between them, the thoughts of Buer’s companions were completely muted, but the passion coming off them was rich, like sugar and cinnamon coating the inside of the tiefling’s mouth.

“Hells Below.”  Buer stood there, thumbing at their nose where the blood had grown thick and slow.  Their tail flicked out, swatting at the wall.  Buer spared it a glance.

FUCK

“What?”

The tail whipped around and beat the wall on the other side of the door, the voice of the thing on the other side of reality repeating itself inside their head.  Buer frowned and pushed themselves away from the wall and towards the bed, adjusting their skirt mid-step to accommodate the stiffness growing underneath.  “Are you expressing consternation?  Or issuing a command?”

FUCK

“Heard you the first time.”  Buer grumbled, under their breath and taking a seat.  Their tail trashed around behind them, gripping at the bedsheets with its suckers in agitation.  Buer ignored it.  The sweet taste got stronger, making their ears warm with a flush and their skirt tent a little more.  “Gods damn me, why do I have to be attracted to both of them?”

And now I'm gonna go draw these characters doing stuff for Halloween!
-Fuzzy

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Comments ( 4 )

So, a Great Old One Warlock and two Tempest Clerics. Well, you certainly have my attention.

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Two Priest and a Warlock Walk into a Bar: the Novel

Nice to get further context on the exploded pigeon. The character dynamics are great throughout, even the brief interlude with Buer and their patron. You definitely have my interest.

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