Sep 29, 2020 9:15 AM
Raafi finds something strange
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There's been some murmurs - certainly some rumors - and some mild alarm.

Apparently, a farming couple found something... Bizarre. An aberration, maybe, strange and incoherent and taking up their root cellar when it's just about time for the harvest.

They'd like someone to deal with this, maybe, though at their children's insistence someone to maybe deal with this in a way that does not involve stabbing the aberration the couple's youngest daughter has taken to calling 'Squirmy.'

They don't have much coin, being subsistence farmers, but the village can scrape together something of a reward for any adventurers feeling up to the challenge.

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This traveling cleric isn't an adventurer, quite, but he can take a look; if he can't solve the problem himself he can at least learn some things for the next person.

The first step, of course, is to talk to the family. "What have you been seeing?"

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"Odd lights, at all hours. Colorful, mostly. Della glimpsed it. Said it was like a flower or a mushroom, kind of. Something smells like - I don't know, I guess salt? We haven't dared go down to check properly, though."

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"That might be some kind of fairy, actually. I'll have to go see, I guess. It hasn't come up to bother you?"

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He shakes his head. "Not at all."

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"All right. I'll just need a few minutes to get ready - I have a teleport spell; if I come back to the front door rather than coming back up the stairs that's not necessarily a trick."

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The farmer nods and wishes him good luck, and tells him to let them know if he needs anything of them.

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He prepares - spells to boost his chance of throwing off hostile magic, mostly, but also a casting of Tongues, just in case - and heads down. "Hello?"

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A sort of rustling, dry noise is his response - not really words, but curious, lonely.

Whatever that is - it's certainly reasonable someone might have described it as an aberration. It shifts through an array of warm colors, and smells like a forest after the rain, and gently wriggles in place, looking like it's made of leaves and light and feathers and glimpses of fur and wood.

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"Aren't you pretty. Can you understand me?" He approaches closer, cautiously, stopping a pace away and offering his hand as though for an animal to sniff.

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It shifts and trills. It doesn't really seem to understand the concept of expressive language, but it gloops out a leafy tendril towards his hand, hesitating just short of touching him.

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"It's all right," he reassures, keeping his hand still.

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The tendril wraps around his hand. The texture's like wet leaves.

The creature gives off a happy, multi-layered trill.

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He grins at that, and pets the tendril gently with a finger from his other hand. "Are you doing all right down here?"

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Sad trill.

(It's lonely, confused, and this reality feels weird, it seems to be saying.)

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"Aw." Pet pet. "Is there somewhere you're supposed to be instead?"

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Rippling shrug.

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He nods. "Would it be okay for me to try to find you somewhere? The people who live here are worried about having you so close."

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Agreeable trill, with a sad undertone.

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"It's all right, you haven't done anything wrong. They're just not sure you can be good neighbors to each other. Do you want that, neighbors? People to live near?"

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The aberration flutters, waving its tendrils.

There's a distinct sense of 'Yes.'

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"All right. I know lots of people, I bet I can find someone you'll get along with. I'm sure that's not the only important thing, though - do you have a way you like to use to talk to people, or should I explain what I usually do when I need to hear from someone who can't talk?"

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In his voice and intonation, though drier, more rustling - "someone who can't talk?"

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"Nice trick. All right. You said you weren't doing well down here, is it just that you're lonely, or is there something else wrong with it?"

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"lonely"

"something else"

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"Okay. I might have a hard time guessing if it's not something humans need, but I can start with those." He takes a little notebook out of his belt and flips it open, one handed, to refer to a list on the inside cover. 

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