The Oracle’s Dilemma, Vol.4, An Isles of Mist Short

Jan Erik Waider

I was drunk, completely and utterly drunk. I lost count how much ale I had long ago. Keyne had broken glass and empty tankards all around him. I knew he drank way more than I did but I didn’t consider how much he drank each night. Always holding myself a little above the others, I never really interacted with the rest of the pantheon. Maybe I should work on that, when I sober up, that is. I’m having a wonderful time. I haven’t laughed so much in ages. Just one more reason I am starting to feel a little bad about my task. Surprisingly enough, Keyne isn’t so bad when he tries. When he was good and drunk I climbed into his lap, wrapping my arms around his neck and leaning in “let’s go to bed Keyne”. Sober La’el would have rolled her eyes at the spectacle but drunk La’el was highly amused by the way his expression changed. He didn’t speak, he just hooked an arm around my waist and stood, scooping my legs up as he did. I have never been carried anywhere. I don’t remember having a childhood, I just was, so this is new to me. I liked it, a lot. I giggled as we headed through the great hall, hiding my head in his barrel of a chest when the cat calls started. They were all stupid drunk not two minutes ago, how did they notice this? He stumbled as he walked through the yard to his home, “put me down, I can walk better than you at this point”.

“I find I like my arms around you woman, I will not let you fall.”

I wasn’t able to do much about the situation so I decided to just enjoy the feeling of being cared for. Never mind it was just a drunken night with a man I was about to betray. As we entered his chamber he set me down so that he could remove his weapons belt and boots. He was having considerable trouble with this so I decided to help. Walking behind him, I removed Dragon-Breath and placed it on the hook beside his pallet. Wrapping my arms around him I unhooked his belt and put it away. I then gently pushed him down to his pallet and removed his boots myself. Climbing onto the pallet beside him, I snuggled into his arms and lay my head on his chest. Despite what I knew I had to do, being wrapped in his strong arms was a wonderful feeling. He was too drunk to take things further, I had no fear of that. He just held me in his arms, running his hands over my shoulder and arm as I ran my fingers through the hair peppering his chest. Soon he was snoring loud enough to wake the dead. I was nearly asleep myself before I remembered what I was supposed to be doing. When he finally shifted position, his arm loosened enough that I could get off the pallet. Placing my hand on Dragon-Breath, I closed my eyes and pictured a swamp, deep in the southernmost part of Georgia. The “land of trembling earth” I’ve heard it called. Once the image was firmly in my mind, I whispered a short incantation and with a small pop, the ax was gone.

Knowing he would be furious when he woke and more so when he finally realized I had tricked him, I decided to enjoy this one night of companionship. I didn’t realize when I hatched this plan how it would affect me. I only thought about how to fix this latest mess. Wiping the tears from my eyes, I climbed back onto the pallet and cuddled up to Keyne.