Our journey back to the keep was uneventful, if somewhat smelly. I tried at times to drown it out with a purify air spell, but it stank. The guts of the hydra were being kept in barrels of this noxious fluid that was unfortunately able to penetrate it's container. But, having re-entered Illandia, it was nice to see a familiar forest or two.
I had time to think. I, of course, spent time thinking about the curse. Devising my own possible methods of curing the ailment should the hydra's organs not work as intended. I didn't doubt the Professor's capability of skill, but it didn't hurt to prepare for such an occurrence. However, my thoughts tended towards the pass. It irked me. Dragons who didn't attack on sight, but were friendly. I still remember the two that I had seen. Or was it really two different dragons? Perhaps it was an illusion of a grand scale. I chuckled at my own pun.
Having arrived back at the keep I was exhausted from such an extended trip. We filed silently into the main living room from down a hallway. But, standing inside was a dark hooded figure wielding a scythe, facing away from us. I immediately flitted behind the first person nearby and peered over their shoulder. Wary, suspicious, and quite frankly I was scared. How'd they get in here!?
The individual turned around, his pasty white face and amused expression belied the true purpose of his appearance. He said his name was, Dod. It took me a moment, but this was the human's version of Death incarnate. The robes, the scythe. I made my best effort to stay distant from him for this reason as well as the curse's sudden "friend feeling." I sighed to myself from a standpoint of ghastly horror. I was friends, with Death himself. I was even more sure of it now that he had his personage briefly transform into the visage of a Leprechaun's Gravewarren.
Dod said that he had forgotten a lot from the past six months, which was odd, because our memory loss was close to a year. He swung his scythe in the air slowly making a small whooshing noise with his voice. A crow alighted on his shoulder after a shadowy sand-like burst. In it's beak was a scroll. Dod, as he wished to be called, explained that his duties involved, as luck would have it, killing those on the lists he received from this bird. He couldn't remember why, but he related that he had no desire to find out what would happen if he "didn't" cross off the names.
I was lost. I could hardly etch a mildly coherent statement, even though I heard everyone clearly. I was grinding my gears over how in Melora's name I and my companions had managed to befriend Death himself.
After this short explanation, we asked him why he was here.
"Well, isn't it obvious? I need your help."
Dod showed us the paper with the names listed. Each one of them had been crossed off, but one remained. Lord Bast. Dod had plenty of information on him, his province, and even the fact that his home was teleport shielded. That last part was the reason he couldn't end Lord Bast's life. It was a surprising level of detail. He even drew us a small map. I didn't understand why or how any of us would need to assist Death in his duties. Honestly, I was too shocked, still, to be comprehensive in this. All I knew was Dod had the curse. And that meant we needed to be there, and help each other.
I tried this before. But, the curse was like an elastic band. The harder I struggled against it, the further back I was thrown. Dod would also feel this, and there was no doubt he'd be with us for a while yet. The Professor stated that he'd have to devote his entire attentions for what could be up to an entire year of research and study. The elixir to purge the spell might take such amount of time or even longer.
The Professor provided a horseless carriage to carry us all toward Lord Bast's province. The trip took most of the day, but it was just as Dod had said. The transport was left outside the small town's limits. Everyone went over the plans that were discussed. I believed that it would be beneficial to get more information on drawing Lord Bast out from the safety of his mansion. We entered the only local tavern, empty except for the man cleaning tables and glassware.
I was in the rafters attempting to sneak around a third eye view of this gathering of information. Murph however. . . thought to reveal my presence. I then realized the ignorance of both this man, and Dod. Well, maybe not Death himself. He's likely been around long enough and was merely toying with me. But, the man himself was naming me a wretched pixie. I attempted to douse him with water from above, but Dod continued to deflect it for each usage. I wouldn't have needed to do this at all if it weren't for Murph. The anger built up quickly. I flew down with water raging around me. My eyes aglow with venomous passion. I spit like a viper, shouting, "I am not one of those hideous creatures!"
I splashed the water down in my rage, and cast it across his floor, drenching everyone's boots. As I made my way to the door, I heard him ask, "What are you then?" I yelled over my shoulder with a cold stare, "An ellyl!"
I returned to the carriage. It still bothered me that small pockets of humanity still remained that called us such a vile class of ugly fey. It made no sense! Pixies were half my size! They even glow! I softly pounded my head against the wall of the carriage for a moment. My father's ambassadorship was meant to improve relations between humans and ellyllon. One of those edicts being, "teach them to not call us pixies." It was simple really. If that man ever happens upon a less restrained male, he'll lose his life. Well… he might just anyway with those weakened floorboards.
I find myself being very complicated about the whole scenario. Except. . . Murph. She complicates things. I'm going to have to be careful using the communication ring around her.
Later, I was woken up as the others piled into the carriage. The look on Airelinna's face was a bit grim, and everyone was mostly silent. I suppose they were… successful. . .