The Mouse and the Unicorn King
Hectic. That one word described the entire situation that was unfurling around a male halfling, as he stood in a small study area. There were fireballs flying and a wolf reading a book, among other strange things.
There had been nary a quiet moment since he’d accepted a mission assigned to him by the secret organisation, the Duskrunners. The mission was to accompany a task force, hired by the King of Varian. He was to help a band of adventurers deal with a Blight infestation in the Forest of Darthalz, which seemed like a simple task. It had been anything but simple, and now only three of the original party remained. Several other aspiring warriors had joined and left the group in that time, too. Perhaps they all didn’t have enough backbone. After all, Blights weren’t the loveliest of creatures.
However, numbers had recently picked up for the group, and right now there were seven members. That’s if you included the newcomer wolf girl and the brute of a paladin that had seemed to have disappeared to somewhere.
Mouse, as he was known to most people, was the only Halfling in the group and was dwarfed in comparison to the taller members. The group didn’t know much about his past, and honestly he wished to keep it that way. A thief didn’t need his personal details widely known, and Mouse wasn’t stupid.
A fireball whizzed past Mouse’s nose, waking him from his distracted mind. He turned his gaze towards the druidic nymph, Amber, who happened to be transformed into a dire wolf. Several fire balls had already been spat from her mouth.
The fireballs were not normal for the nymph, however after swallowing a random potion, it had resulted in this new experience. It hadn’t seemed to deter Amber from drinking yet another vial of liquid from a table in the centre of the room. The dire wolf began shrinking, becoming more youthful in appearance. She was transformed into the body of a dire wolf puppy. A giant puppy maybe, but a puppy none the less.
I wonder if that is permanent, and if it’s affected her nymph form, Mouse thought to himself. Because if she starts going through a puberty stage again, I’m out o’ here.
The other dire wolf in the room, was hardly even reacting to the chaos around her. She was instead quite pleasantly reading a book. A dire wolf reading a book, would have been a sight, had there not been a fire breathing, age defying wolf in the room. Mouse paused for a moment, with a frown.
Shay’d Wrae’th, I think that’s what she called herself.
Shay’d had arrived, just as they had begun a battle with an angry, colossal sized treant. Only then she’d been a hooded female Eladrin, wearing enough black that it looked like she’d just stepped out of a funeral procession. Enough had happened that day, that Mouse hadn’t been surprised when she’d transformed into a wolf and attacked the treant’s neck as if it were a tasty doggy treat.
The only other ‘normal’ person in the room at that moment was Thorin, the stoic dwarf. Thorin was currently trying to convince Amber not to drink any more of the potions. It wasn’t working, but it was worth a try.
Thorin had grey hair and a bushy beard, which was a classic facial feature for most of his kind. A heavy hammer was held in his large hand with ease. The hammer was being moved around a lot and it was becoming likely that it would go flying in a matter of seconds. Should that happen, it wouldn’t be hard to guess the direction the attack would be directed at.
It would be amusing to see Amber with a hammer lodged in her face, though perhaps an unhealthy addition for her, Mouse thought, a sly smile appearing.
Not that anyone could notice the smile, since a face mask covered his nose and the lower half of his face. The mask had a small amount of deep purple trim, but was made mostly out leather. The leather was coal black, like the majority of his clothing. A hood was a necessary accessory, to help complete his look and protect his identity as much as possible.
However, his smile soon disappeared as a fire ball rammed into Thorin, knocking him unconscious and leaving him slumped on the ground. Mouse looked once again to the offending dire wolf puppy, who was knocking over a swirling blue, green and yellow concoction.
“Really?” Mouse asked aloud. I guess, she is only a puppy, she doesn’t know any better.
Besides, Mouse was a little curious as to what would happen if she drank this potion. It would be interesting if it made her a potted plant or perhaps filled the air with butterflies and flower petals.
Now Mouse wasn’t a mean person, or at least not most of the time. However, a little amusement could always be added to the twenty-four hours that made up a day. Perhaps his lack of interfering wasn’t the right choice according to some, yet butting in on other people’s business wasn’t always a wise choice. That tended to get people into trouble, and Mouse wasn’t a troublemaker. This last thought made him grin.
Or at least they don’t realize that I’m the troublemaker, Mouse thought, leaning casually against a supporting beam.
Amber was lapping up the liquid with that small tongue of hers and Shay’d still had her nose in a book. John, the human cleric, was nowhere to be seen, probably staying clear of Amber and her childish ways. Dyl, the servant boy who was accompanying them on journey, was ducking under a table, obviously unsure as to what to do. With Thorin out cold, Mouse was the only one who seemed to be paying close attention to what was happening.
Amber sneezed suddenly, shaking her head and sending fur rippling around her neck. A single bubble shot out her mouth and drifted serenely across the room. Its surface was like a shiny rainbow and it didn’t pop as it made its way to a clear section of the office area.
The bubble began growing bigger, till it was roughly the size of Mouse’s body. Suddenly it popped, sending a shower of smaller bubbles upwards, which then popped on the ceiling. As every single bubble disappeared in a small shower of liquid, a figure was left in the middle of it.
Mouse stood straight on the stranger’s appearance and drew his scimitar slightly from its scabbard. If it was a threat, at least he was ready. However, as Mouse looked further into the showering bubble liquid, the figure was not that of a humanoid. It was way taller than Mouse and, to put it simply, it was the shape of a large war horse. The mist cleared and Mouse found himself face to face with this new creature.
It was a unicorn, or at least, Mouse assumed that was what it was. What other animal was fabled to be a horse with a piercing horn on its forehead? It was pure, snow white in colour and its fur shone as if freshly cleaned and brushed. Its mane and tail was continuously moving, as if a breeze where blowing across its body. It was sturdy and strong, well planted on its hooves and incredibly calm. Its eyes were like a swirling universe, with flecks of white blinking like stars. The mighty horn grew from the middle of its forehead and was pearlescent and shiny. It was like the inside of an oyster shell.
Mouse’s eyes met with the unicorns and it just stared, as if looking into his very soul. Its nostrils flared as it breathed in and its ears flickered around, listening to its new surroundings. The unicorn was obviously cautious, but then so would anyone who had been summoned to a strange place.
Mouse sheathed his scimitar and just watched the magnificent beast for a moment.
There are two options in this situation, Mouse thought seriously. I can just leave it be and hope to the heaven’s that it’s friendly. On the other hand… when’s the next time I’m gonna have a unicorn appear in front of me? Likely never, so… taming it and having it as a pet is really the only option that makes sense to me.
Shay’d had looked up from her book by now, her ears pricked and her head shifted sideways.
So… the new girl can take an interest in things other than books, Mouse thought distractedly.
Shay’d sat back on her haunches, and her eyes calmly glided from the unicorn to Mouse. She didn’t make any movement to approach the new creature, instead seemed to be waiting. Beside her, Amber had tired from her fire breathing and other adventures. She now sat watching with sleepy eyes, and yawning widely.
So neither of the druids are going to help me tame this creature by the looks of things, Mouse thought, moving his gaze back to the unicorn.
Food. The thought crossed Mouse’s mind almost immediately and he smiled. What creature on this earth, wouldn’t like having a good meal? Mouse reached into a red bag on his hip and shuffled through it. Luckily Mouse had sorted his ‘bag of holding’, a seemingly unlimited storage bag, so he knew where the food pocket was. He removed his hand from the bag, and he now clenched a handful of a dried fruit and nut mix.
Hopefully, he likes this. I just guessed that he is a herbivore. I mean he could be a carnivore, and a flesh eating unicorn sounds a lot scarier. Well, here goes nothing.
Mouse held the fruit and nut mix out on the palm of hand, his fingers straight. He then waited, as the unicorn watched him cautiously. The unicorn took a step forward, its hoof clapping on the stone floor. It then reached its neck downward, bringing its head within touching distance.
The unicorn’s nostrils widened and quivered as it took several sniffs of the food. Mouse felt the rush of air around his hand and then something smooth started slapping against his hand. The unicorn used it lips to move the fruit and nuts into it mouth, which almost made a clapping sound. The nuts crunched as the unicorn now retreated its head and chewed on the mix.
The unicorn must have enjoyed its handful of food, because he began searching for more. Mouse granted the unicorn another handful of the mix and then reached an empty hand toward the unicorn. He kept the back of his hand towards the unicorn and paused. The unicorn, sniffed his hand, the air once more rushing around it strongly. When the unicorn didn’t move back, Mouse patted his nose slowly and gently.
“Hello there,” Mouse whispered, as to not spook the unicorn. “How are you, buddy?”
The unicorn sniffed at his jacket in response, and Mouse reached back to pet his cheeks. Mouse moved up and scratched his forehead. The unicorn must have enjoyed this because when Mouse stopped, he nudged him gently with his nose. Mouse was almost knocked over by the movement and the unicorn blinked its long lashes innocently. Mouse laughed quietly, and patted the unicorn’s nose once again.
“A little too oblivious to your own strength there, bud,” Mouse said grinning.
The unicorn shook its mane playfully, and Mouse’s arms were flicked gently by the hair.
Suddenly, the unicorn burst into a shower of bubbles and Mouse took a step back. The bubbles drifted peacefully around, until they all popped. Mouse frown and sighed.
“Ah, come on. I was going to name him, Twilight Sparkle and have a ride,” Mouse said sulkily.
Shay’d, Amber and Dyl just blinked at him and shrugged sympathetically.
Well, now I have to find him again. He’s my buddy, Mouse thought, rolling his shoulders.
** Hey guys. So as some of you may know I play Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) a tabletop role-playing adventure game. Anyway in one of the games I’m playing, we had a really random event involving one of our players ‘Mouse’ and this story came from that. It’s just a bit of fun and gave us plenty of laughs and fun times. Thanks to ‘Mouse’ and the rest of the group of players for letting me use your characters!! Anyway hope you all enjoy 🙂 P.S. My character is Shay’d Wrae’th for those wondering **
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