Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Strange Tale Part 3


Solomon Strange was hurled, head first, into just another day in the City of Doors.  His palms and knees landed first, scratching across the cobbled stones.  A cutter stepped on Solomon, "Getout the way, Berk."

Stange painfully rose up into the throng of people, there was a hole in his pants over his left knee and blood flowed from where he'd scratched the sidwalk.  The palms of both hands were raw and red, he took a moment to step back to the door he'd been flung threw, tested it's handle and found it locked.
"Beatty, what have you gotten me into that has brought us both to Sigil?"

"Solo!  Isisit you?!" A voice like gravelly thunder burst at the Inspector.  It had been nearly a decade, but he recognized it immediately.

Strange turned and saw the monstrous greenskin, now well over nine feet tall and nearly half as wide, more importantly he spied the orc's companion and grinned, "Tater!  Is that Bebe with you?"

"Aye!  She has glasses now!!  Ms. Bebe spotted ya 'fore Tater did, no lie!!!" Said the giant standing next to what most would believe to a rhinoceros, but as most things in Sigil, she was hardly what she seemed.  The creature leading the orc was, in fact a rhiknow, a distant cousin of the unicorn and indeed she had a pair of pink glasses on her head.

"Hello again, Solomon Strange.  Old Tater did not fully believe me when I told him our day would welcome an old and dear friend into our midst.  You look well and I am pleased to see you."  Beamed Bebe the rhiknow.

Solomon closed the distance between his old friends and was nearly squeezed to death, twice, by Tater and gave Bebe a warm kiss on her forehead.

Bebe concerned, said, "You have seen better days my friend. Touch my horn and know health and peace."

Strange took a moment to look at himself, a thought turned the heavy woolen longcoat of bright blue into a light duster of the same hue.  But he knew he still looked exhausted, with fresh wounds on his palms and a tear of the left knee of his favorite black trousers.  He accepted Bebe's offer and touched her horn.  It was pleasantly warm and it made him feel the way he did as a child, when his mother would take him into her arms and make all the bad things in the world cease to exist.  His wounds were gone now, and he felt like he'd slept for a full day.

Solomon smiled, "Thank you very, very much."

Bebe inquired, "Did she call you here by your oath?"

Strange smiled, "Are you asking or confirming?"

Bebe returned a demure smile to him, "My Eyes saw the Slayer at the Memorial, I had wondered if you would be brought back here as well."

Solomon stepped in closer, inspecting the pink glasses on his old friend's face, "Yes, my oath and some meddling from an unexpected quarter brought me to her," he quickly steered the conversation in a different direction, "I'm surprised you still need your Eyes these days, those are truly marvelous glasses."  The rhiknow almost blushed.  "And you Tater, your still working with her?  I'll wager she sees better than you these days?"  The mock was friendly and with a wide grin.

But it was Bebe who answered, "As you well know, loyal friends are hard to come by and besides, I enjoy his...color commentary."  Tater beamed in pride, she continued, "Where were you at before being pulled to the Cage?"

Strange's demeanor grew more serious now, as if a storm cloud passed over his face, "Back home I was working on a case where my comrades were being murdered.  I need this business over with, so I can help."

"In Greyhawk?"  Bebe asked.

Tater added. "Crimson."  

Strange stared at the greenskin, and Bebe answered his look, "His color commentary."

Solomon laughed and before answering her, "No, Jarlsburg.  Greyhawk is no longer my home, hasn't been  in many years, in fact.  You should know that."

"Confirming.  I have to make sure my Eyes are accurate.  You should at least visit there, I will freely tell you that your family dearly misses you."  Bebe's word were filled with kindness and concern for the necromancer.

"Fuscia."  Tater added.

"I'd like to, truly, but the Circle of Eight made it clear I wasn't welcome there.  Ever."  Solomon's words poorly hid his pain and he looked away from both of his friends into the passing crowd.

The rhiknow asked, "In Grehyawk?"

It took Solomon a moment to answer, he looked skyward and held back tears, "On Oerth.  But enough of the past, and your "confirmations".  I'm to head to the Smoldering Corpse, will you accompany me?"

"Eggshell."  Tater answered.


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