(I wrote this at 0215 so if it seems a little odd, please bear in mind that I’m frigging tired.)
“Ok, that’s going to be a problem, you can’t just eat the dwarves.” Yelenya hadn’t expected this conversation to go well, but this was getting irritating.
“Sayd decided that we need all the help that we can get, and part of that help includes dwarves. You ever deal with a dwarf? They’re loud, grouchy, arrogant, and oblivious. They make great frontline soldiers, as long as the front line doesn’t move too fast, and they are good at defending territory. Basically they make great cannon fodder while sneaky people murder the attacking force.”
Chief Sootscale looked angry, fortunately Pirrak didn’t have much to say. Yelenya let go of Pirrak’s snout with one hand and held it up in a calming gesture.
“I know, I’m betting that you feel slighted that we aren’t willing to treat you as expendable assets and just get your people killed needlessly, It must really irritate you that I came here asking to borrow some of your boys, a half dozen or so to start so that I can keep an eye on the Brightlanders.”
She could see that she had his attention and lowered her right arm, letting the sleeve fall over her silver dagger. She knew that he wouldn’t forget about it, but if it gave him cause to put down the axe…
“We will talk.”
“So, how was your trip?” Yelenya looked up from where she was making faces at the baby. She was entertaining her… niece,,, while Svetlana was doing all the things that she had trouble with while taking care of the baby. In this case, taking a bath. Yelenya kept her gaze mostly averted.
“Not too bad, I think that I got the help that I’m going to need later. I am however going to have to start actively recruiting before things here get too hectic. Less work and more play, who was watching the little angel while I was away?”
“Wally volunteered, and did ok, until Ralla got the wrong idea. She thought that maybe Wally and I had… I explained that that was very unlikely to happen, I am happily married, and that if I had cheated on my husband you would probably be furious it wasn’t you.”
“How’d she take that?”
“It took her a moment, and then I had to point out you tendency to chase anything in a skirt. And why the workers that are showing up get very polite when you’re around.”
Yelenya giggled. Kids brought out her protective instincts, even if they’d never be hers.
With a few sniffs warning she changed Yellie’s diaper and went back to making funny faces at her.
“You’re pretty good with kids, how come you don’t have any of you’re own?”
“I have Sayd, and now a whole country, to help grow up.” She smiled happily, “The first time i changed a diaper I was kinda grossed out… that was… 95 years ago I think.” She grew slightly more serious, “For a while there I was far less picky about who I took to bed, or a carriage, haystack, barn, you get the idea. I’ve only preferred women exclusively for twenty or so years. In all that time I never once came close to having a baby. I heard that if, and it is extremely rare, I ever do get pregnant then the baby will be born human. Heh, can’t even perpetuate my own species. Doesn’t that just suck.”
Spring was coming on slowly. Way too slowly. Irritatingly slowly. The Stag Lord’s fort was crowded, although there was space to be had. No one wanted to go into the basement if they didn’t have to.
Sayd climbed down the ladder and carefully looked around. She had already snapped once and that was usually enough, but it had been a long mostly violence free winter. And that was never a good thing where a dhamipr was concerned. He cleared his throat, his Varisian was a little rusty but that was all she had spoken in the past few weeks.
“Are you still mad at me? I did what I thought was best…”
He had to admit, the glowing eyes in the dark would have been terrifying. Worse was actually being able to see her stalking him. And she was growling. The last person she had growled at like that was that kobald skank. He almost smiled at the memory. Almost.
“You knew this would happen to me. That I’d start thinking like this…” The whisper of a voice.
“I needed someone that I could count on. I didn’t think-”
“no, you didn’t. Leave me alone.”
Yelenya stood at the edge of the woods. It was a long shot, but she accepted that. There was a freshly slain deer resting on a tripod made of branches behind her. She was so focused on what was around her that she could hear the slow drip of blood into the waterskin she had placed beneath it’s neck over the wind. The smell was pretty strong, but there was an undercurrent of fur and old dried blood, barely perceptible. There was silver arrow on the bowstring but her cloak was covering that. If if was who she hoped it was then it may be necessary. Her heart beat was steady, her breathing easy, she stood on the balls of her feet. She could make out the shaggy muzzle and an angular shoulder in the twilight. Run, fight, hide, take a chance, she was dancing on the razor’s edge, completely relaxed, at peace. She didn’t try to hide her fangs as she smiled. Sayd wanted a completely loyal guardian. He was going to get an absolute monster.
“I brought dinner, sweetie.”
These were set in no particular timeframe although they are in chronological order. The last one is in the spring before we restart playing and obviously is Yelenya trying to recruit Jeva to her budding organization, and an hint of her mental changes. The first one is Yelenya going to visit King Sootscale to deliver the mushrooms that were collected from the sewers (she paid some people to do it, then bought them baths afterward.) and trying to recruit a few kobalds to help keep an eye on things. The second one follows the first immediately, and is the first time that Yelenya and Yellie get to spend time together. Even in Varisia dhampir are kinda rare, so even Svetlana doesn’t know everything that there is to know about them. The second to last one is my portrayal of how, according to what I’ve read, dhampir get obsessed with something, in this case it’s how Yelenya is rather upset with Sayd due to the fact that she’s feeling rather… maternal about the country that we are starting. This was a girl who, when she was rather young (considering her life expectancy) adopted a kid and did her best to raise him. While she doesn’t always agree with what Sayd says or does, she does feel the need to protect him when she thinks that he needs it. Once she becomes “locked in” on the country she’s likely to burn the rest of the world to ash to protect what she thinks is hers. Yep, that’s one way to ensure her loyalty. And to make sure that she doesn’t snack on too many of the inhabitants. (remember: it’s only cannibalism if you’re the same species.)
I also wanted to do a Wally/Yelenya thing, kinda a buddy cop thing starring Deter and Hannibal Lecter, with a lot more humor. But I fell asleep at the kitchen table, so I am going to bed now.