The past few days have been rough for all of us. Thankfully none of my humanoid companions were killed but there has been much death here at the keep. Bagheera gave his life to protect us but we were forced to push on. It took a lot out of us, but we killed the leaders of the Ogre clan. We feared we would have to fight our way out of the keep, but by using the heads of their leaders as intimidation we frightened the other 40 ogres out of the keep. They may be gone but their destructiveness was not.
As we searched the keep we found many things of interest, one of which was love letters from the Captain of the keep and a lock of hair from a Nymph in the Shimmerglens, specifically the Whitewillow. He was gone during the attack visiting her apparently. That could be a lucky happen stance for him, or highly incriminating. We found a map room full of torn maps. What a waste! Combing through it we found a few useable maps, and clues to strong hold north of Fort Rannick in the mountains.
We had sent for reinforcements but it would still be days before they would return. We could not leave the Fort undefended. What if the ogres come back, what of the rumors of possible stone giants ? Between the strength of the animals I can summon and my own abilities to become creatures the heavy lifting and pulling has been achieved around the fort. If anything the front gate is closed so no outsiders can enter.
We were in the keep for a week tending to our wounds and rebuilding what we could. I was given a day to call forth my new companion. I both looked forward and dreaded the ceremony.
Meda was not pleased to see me. She didn’t say it but she seemed a little disappointed that I had lost Bagheera so quickly. Autumn had been with me for over a year before she was lost in battled, and then I had Bagheera for just three months before he perished. In speaking with her, she agreed that in my heart that I knew that Bagheera wouldn’t be with me for long. He had not been comfortable going to the city with me, and how many hunters near there eyed him as a possible trophy for their collection. Traveling north to Turtleback Ferry on the ship wasn’t too bad for him but it was cramped. Being as big as he was, he had trouble getting around the small spaces. That should have given me a clue to what was to come. The more we traveled and tried to work together the more we both found that he was not happy. I had planned to release him and find another companion who would find my work easier to handle, but death took him before that could be so.
Like before there were animals that wanted to be my companion but each time there was something about their nature that I felt didn’t fit with my life. I really enjoyed having Autumn in my life. She was small enough that she could go where ever I did. She was lithe enough to get into places that she needed. She didn’t do much damage when she attacked, but she didn’t get hit as often either.
Meda finally brought me to a nice forest full of animals. She suggested I have a contest of sorts. Whoever could pass my trials could be my companion. I proposed a race, that also tested their agility. Many animals could not go through tight spaces, or move quickly enough to keep up. The next test was to see if they could survive battle. I imaged up a mockup of Telchar. He is one of the toughest of us to hit, if he could hurt them, they would not fare well. The whole time I saw a large sun yellowed fire pelt yearning to take his turn. It has been cocky in the first trials that he could move well and run fast, but I noticed that because he was nearly as large as Bagerrah that he couldn’t get in the tight places Autumn could have. He stepped up to my faux Telchar and tried to attack him… and missed. Telchar’s hammar bashed into the side of his head knocking him nearly senseless. Again the cat tried to attack him, but the frying pan sized paws were too slow to land a hit on Telchar’s armor, that is not to say the claws weren’t leaveing dents. One more round from Telchar and the cat was unconscious. All I could do was shake my head no, he would not be my companion. One of the last to approach was another firepelt. She was smaller than many of the fire pelts. When she attacked Telchar she actually hit him, didn’t do much damage but still did some. When he swung to hit her, he missed, and missed again, and finally got a blow on her but she took it and kept going. The trouble the faux Telchar had hitting her was that she was moving all over the place, like, well like our friend Morfin. Just like him she would bounce around Telchar and get a good swipe at him, and then be out of his reach before he could bring his sword around. When time was called I could only smile. I could not say right then that she would be the one, but she put on one heck of showing.
When it was all said and done, I did choose the small fire pelt. She was the same age as Autum had been, but different pelt color, and personality. She was loving but she wanted to get out there and help. She wanted to be a partner not a rock in the way. I liked her, and she was going to be my friend. When I opened my eyes finally I found the cat, Mei, to be purring asleep in my lap. Given the dreary weather, having a small warm furry friend around will be nice.