Kanon pulled on Pettilaen's heartstrings. Darviit, Zina..."Ginger-human, we'll be happy to have you with us! Don't mind her. She's just not very charismatic." Spotting the various musical instruments, he smiles. "Plus, he's like Ishkar! Just without the tail and horns." He chuckles, still confused why their last bard left. Unknowing of Kanon's linguistic skills, he mentions to Zina in easy earshot of Kanon, in Gnommish, "It's okay. If he turns out to be a weirdo, we'll just prank him until he leaves!" He smiles innocently as Kanon, suddenly startled by Gaia's banshee scream. "Gaia. We gotta work on your noises." Her accompanying shriek softens slightly.
"Pettilaen," Kanon says, "It is a pleasure to meet you. And a pleasure to meet Gaia as well." He is contempt with admiring the fantastic creature from afar, but even then he feels compelled to explain the origin of the celestial animal.
"Celestial animals originate from the upper plane's of existence, typically from Elysium. It is a wonder she has decided to join us as a being who's intelligence far outweighs those of our plane. You know, it is said that at times Oghma, the god of knowledge, sends celestial owls out on errands and adventures such as this. It makes me wonder if this is fate that I have found this group rather than happenstance." Kanon takes a breath, "She is a wonder to behold, master Pettilaen."
"Pettilaen," Kanon says, "It is a pleasure to meet you. And a pleasure to meet Gaia as well." Heh... He's polite. That's always a nice change of pace.
"Celestial animals originate from the upper plane's of existence, typically from Elysium. It is a wonder she has decided to join us as a being who's intelligence far outweighs those of our plane. You know, it is said that at times Oghma, the god of knowledge, sends celestial owls out on errands and adventures such as this. It makes me wonder if this is fate that I have found this group rather than happenstance." "Huh. Are you an agent of Oghma, Gaia?" he says to her telepathically. "She is a wonder to behold, master Pettilaen." And he called me a master! "I'm just glad someone finally appreciated me in this group! And looks at that Gaia! He thinks your smart too!" She lets out another banshee's wail in approval, albeit progressively softer. "I think we're going to get along just fine."
"We'll see," the gnome muttered in response to the bard's repeated assurances. Zina was not happy that the human was staying, so she remained surly as she sat right next to Kanon, glaring at him. She sent a quick message spell to Pettilaen, asking if he could do the pants trick to their new companion. The illusionist would have to learn that spell as soon as she possibly could.
"Pfft, everyone knows that," the gnome rolled her eyes at his textbook recitation on celestials. "Next you're going to tell us that the spell he used to find his majestic bird was developed by the great Netherese arcanist Zahn, or that dragons are actually more closely related to birds than they are to common lizards. Come on, tell us something interesting."
The sun shines especially bright as the afternoon crests, then passes, fading into evening. The western horizon fades from blue to a vibrant violet as twilight sets in over the Sea of Swords and Orst pulls the cart over to camp once again. He's been hard at the whiskey today, so Orst crashes out on the driver's bench while Rorn and Roe struggle to erect the wagon's built-in tent. When finished, they set out with slings to hunt fresh jackrabbit for supper, leaving the group alone to prepare for the night and further acquaint themselves with Kanon.
Kanon smirks at Zina's assertion, "Dragons were created from an ice moon that fell from the sky, destroying much of Abeir-Toril in the process. Most scholars refer to this event as tearfall. The four Inner Seas merged together to form the body of water known today as the Sea of Fallen Stars. Tens of thousands of dragon eggs hatched across Toril, born from the moon. Born from the goddess Selune."
As the cart slows to a stop, Kanon helps set camp in any way he can.
"Alright," Zina nodded her head slowly, not wanting to show that she was at least a little impressed with his knowledge. "You know your Moonmaiden trivia." An idea sprung into the illusionists head, a mischevious smile spreading across her face. Perhaps she could stump him. "So far, it's all been god-talk. No offense Portia, but that stuff is just holy fluff. Tell me some information that doesn't involve a single god, or goddess', name."
The conversation is extremely intriguing to Pettilaen. Dragons? Abeir-Toril? Birds? So much knowledge! Why would people ever go to school, when they could just listen to two know-it-alls bicker between each other?He chuckled to himself at the thought, taking meticulous notes. A thought dawns on him. He could answer the question and show how smart he is! He raises his hand, quick to intercede. "The human head weighs eight pounds!" His smile beams from ear to ear. "And! Did you know that bees and dogs can smell fear?"
Kanon laughs as Pettilaen lays down his knowledge, "I think we have a winner!"
After he finishes helping Rorn and Roe set up, he lays his bedroll out and gathers dry sticks and sizable stones for a fire. As the darkness begins to approach he casts light upon a stone and uses it to navigate around the camp. The stone glows a soft blue light that adds to the soothing atmosphere of the night. He hopes that Rorn and Roe were successful in their hunt, as his stomach growls from lack of food.
Once the fire is up, Kanon pulls his lute from his pack and begins to tune it. Each time he strums the lute, the sound fills the night air with a soft sound that compliments the bird's and cricket's chirps. After it is tuned, he begins the play a somber ballad - one meant to calm and relax. Eventually his fingers begin moving without his concentration and the song flows naturally, complimenting the natural sounds around the camp. He doesn't seem to mind Zina's stares as he plays, almost as if he were in a different place. He begins to hum as the song continues until eventually the hums turn to whispers and whispers into words.
Upon her perch my fair lady sings, Fa, la, la, la - la, la - la, la Only upon this evening's night, She sings of the sight of her lovers delight. Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm - Hmmm - Hmmmmm As silent as shadows that cut through the light, My fair lady sings on her perch tonight.
As the song ends you note that Kanon was watching a small sparrow on a nearby tree. He continues the soothing music until the two return from their hunt, happy to help them in preparing the meal.
Sometime during the ginger's song, Zina stopped watching him intently. Instead, she made her way over to Pettilaen, speaking freely in gnommish. No one else could understand their language, so it wasn't as if it was necessary for her to whisper. "Why did you trust him so quickly?" The illusionist had clearly not been won over yet. "I think he's hiding something from us, and I don't like that everyone else just decided to trust this man we don't know."
The gnome shot another glare at the singer, placing her hands on her hips. Zina finally acknowledged a thought that had been gnawing at her all day. "Hey Pettilaen, why do you know how much a human head weighs?"
"Why did you trust him so quickly?" Hmmm... She still doesn't like him. "I think he's hiding something from us, and I don't like that everyone else just decided to trust this man we don't know." In Gnommish, Pettilaen happily responds. "Did you hear him, Zina? He called me master! Clearly he's a man of refinement, if he recognizes me as such." Seeing her glare, he clarifies. "Now... I might be an easy pushover when it comes to compliments, but Gaia isn't! She's a celestial owl, and that means she can easily see evil. And her shrieks and screams were ones of approval, not disdain! ... I think. That's the feeling I got from her, anyway. Maybe I'm just naturally trusting. Though... I heard from a relative that people with red hair don't have any souls. That's an issue, since I don't know how Kelemvor plans on judging them. So that's a serious cause for concern. Maybe we could help him get it back?"
He responds, and he can tell she still doesn't like him. "Hey Pettilaen, why do you know how much a human head weighs?" The question caught Pettilaen by surprise. "Oh? Ummm..." He laughs, nervously. "I was a different gnome, a long time ago." Seeing the inquisitive look, he sighs and continues. "For a small part of my life, I worked underground in Baldur's Gate... as a bounty hunter. Sometimes, the contractor didn't care whether the target was dead or alive, and it's hard for a gnome such as myself to drag a body all the way to the drop-off location... heads were much lighter." He grimaces from some unknown memory, before turning away in embarassment. "I.... I have a lot to atone for, by Illmater's mercy. Maybe that's why I choose to trust and forgive people, since I believe everyone has a spark of good in them."
Rorn and Roe have been gone for a little over an hour when you hear a cry from the distance. It's difficult to tell what the cry was about, or even if it came from one of the young dwarven lads, but all is made clear when Rorn and Roe crest a small berm into view. Roe's a bit scratched up and has a bleeding wound on his right arm around which he has an old rag wrapped. Despite his appearance, his grin stretches from one side of his head to the other.
Rorn is heavy laden with a wild boar, its yellowed tusks long with age, it's head smashed and jaw broken free from its skull, hanging by a scrap of fur.
"Woooooooooo!" Roe cries out to the group at camp. "The sling did no good, so I had to kill it with me hands! Start a fire and sharpen the knives!"
Kanon's stomach growls at the site of the boar, and with a sharp strum of his lute he stands from beside the fire. He places the lute near his bedroll and pack and goes over to help the dwarves. He helps pull the boar into the camp, and as he does he notes Roe's wounds, "From travelling alone I've learned you need to act quick when wounded. At the very least it will allow you to better help prepare the boar." He whispers under his breath and his fingers move in arcane gestures. One hand begins to glow a soft blue light as he places it upon Roe's wound. "That should help," he says.
Not extremely familiar with survival in the wilderness, Kanon is little help in the preparations. He does offer assistance with any disposal or cleaning though, as he's eager to get the boar up on a spit.
As the action calms Kanon looks over at the two gnomes, "I feel you both should know that some of the most amazing texts I have read have been in gnomish. They have a knack for writing everything down, and I commend them on that. I don't want you to think I'm spying on you when you speak, but it is customary to whisper in hushed tones when talking about someone... unless you wanted me to hear. And I guess that's another matter entirely."
Pettilaen doesn't know much about survival and preparing food. But he does pull out a dozen elven knives from various places... How did he fit all of those knives on him? "Feel free to use these. They're of elven craft, and I'd like them back."
Pettilaen audibly gulps, following with a forced laugh. "Heh... uhh.... You speak Gnommish? Now this is a story we'll be telling for years to come! Right?" He attempts to blow off the topics Zina and him have been discussing as nothing. "But in all seriousness... surely you've heard the possibilities of yourself lacking a soul? I heard it's due to an ancient pact made from a long ago ancestor that caused redheads to be born. Then again... it was from a street urchin. But he swore he heard it from a powerful mage who was visiting the Gate!"
"I believe it was something Minsc would yell in the heat of battle," Kanon grins, "I'm guessing it was his space hamster that revealed that knowledge to him. Not to worry though, I was able to reunite with my soul in Candlekeep." Kanon chuckles.
"Pettilaen!" somehow the other gnome's word vomiting had helped shock her out of her surprised stupor. "And you said I'm uncharismatic."
The illusionist turned back to Kanon, trying to come to terms with this new information. "How much did you hear?" She asked. "I'm not as trusting as the rest of this group, so if you turn on us and murder Portia so you can wear her skin, I will burn you alive. Understood?"
Kanon's eyes go wide and he looks over at Portia, "Wear her... what??" Kanon pales. You can tell the mere thought of something like that makes him queasy. He turns his eyes from Portia right into the skinned hide of the boar. "I'm..." He gags, "I think I'm going to be sick." He turns and goes into the forest quickly. You can hear dry heaving as he attempts to empty an already empty stomach.
Bullden assists with setting up camp and finally when things calm down he introduces himself to Kanon.
"Me name is Bullden Hammerfolk and I be the heavy for this here bunch. I aint much for small talk or another prankster. Seems that Orst took a liking to ya though it could be the whisky talking. Know that if your a freind I got your back but anything else and yer learn the true nature of my last name."
Bullden shares a brew with Kanon and the group over dinner and says "We best setup a watch to avoid any surprises like what happened the other night. I will take first watch."