Trindlewin Stringspin was the best bard this side of
Whistledown, or in Lini’s opinion, all of Varisia. Or the entire world. She
settled down in the corner of his house, more so a workshop, on a plush chair
in the corner and picked up a book on arcane spellcasting. Trindlewin was meticulously
polishing and tuning his instruments.

“Lini! Are you almost ready for the concert?” Trindlewin
tapped his foot impatiently and loaded his arms with instruments: a piccolo, a
flute, and a small guitar thrown across his back. “The drums should be
waiting!”

Lini looked up from her book and glanced to the ticking
clock on the wall. It was almost evening. Trindlewin was up after the chimes.
She leaped from her seat and promptly frowned. “Trindlewin! You’ve got your
bowtie on backwards!”

“Do I?!” Trindlewin ruffled his fiery orange hair and patted
the top of his head. “MY HAT! Lini! My hat is gone, too! Oh what would I do
without you?”

Lini adjusted the bowtie which was facing towards the back,
it was a bright turquoise blue that stood out sharply against his suit. The top
hat was absent, somehow sitting atop one of the rafters. “Uh…Trindle…it’s…up…there.”

He swung around, blinking. “OH DEAR! However did it get up
there?”

“Never mind, never mind that!  The chimes are going! It’s time to go…go…go…!”
She pushed him towards the entrance and found another hat, jamming it onto his
head. It was more of a cap, but it would do.

“Well, this isn’t nearly so dapper. My aunt on my father’s
side sent me this and I’m pretty sure she’s got some goblin blood in her…or
something nasty…I really shouldn’t be caught dead without my ha—OH WE’RE
LATE!” Trindlewin wailed as the chimes began and took off running across the
yard, tripping over his guitar as it fell from his hands.

Lini, as always, followed behind, picking up what he
dropped. Trindlewin wasn’t the most focused of gnomes. But he was brilliant.

Eerie to some, mostly the humans, or anyone not a gnome.
Lini couldn’t figure out why, the chimes were a centerpiece of the town. In
spite of the other inhabitants thinking they were creepy. Trindlewin had even
made some of them.

Trindlewin reached the set by the lake just on time, the
chimes were tolling their last and he began to play his guitar, a cheery tune.
Lini sat nearby, grinning at the glowing stage.

__

Lini didn’t notice the birds go silent and the air beginning
to thrash as if a storm were on the horizon. Lini’s first indication anything
was wrong were the flames. The fields caught and blazed, Lini leapt to her feet.
Her eyes went wide as a mountain of red scales descended towards them. A
dragon. She couldn’t summon anything or use any spells to fight that.

Trindlewin grabbed her arm, and swung her towards a fleeing
group of villagers. “Summon one of those animals and protect them! GO!”

Lini gaped. “Which one?!” Was all she could think to say.

Her friend laughed heartily. She barely noticed the fear in
his eyes. “Why! I like the snake!” She turned and ran. She forgot how to use
magic. She forgot anything but fear and Trindlewin. Of course he would be right
behind. She heard his voice sing out. And the twang of his guitar strings.

“Ooooooh! There was a
big fat wyrm!

But even he! Can’t
make Trindlewin squirm…

Oh, his breathe may be
hot!

But it all smells of
rot!”

The dragon swung his great big head around. Horned and
ferocious, reminding Lini much more of a demon than a lizard.

“Yes, that’s it! You
great big bastard!

You’ll find I’m not
afraid of a dastard!

I’ll protect my best
friend Lini!

Though you think I may
be meek…”

The dragon landed before Trindlewin, the song drawing his
ire.

“My will is strong as
your violence weak…

Here I dwell, it is my
home…

I hope you fear this dapper
gnome..

OVER HERE YOU GREAT
UGLY SNAKE!

Trindlewin will make
you into a lovely STEAK!”

Lini ran until she couldn’t hear his voice. The final time
she would ever hear Trindlewin. The fire raged and the monster roared. Lini hid
and covered her ears.

The village was in shambles, only a few houses standing. Lini
stood in Trindlewin’s home, she’d gotten his top hat from the rafters. The room
was oddly silent. She gripped the piccolo her friend had been holding, it was
buried beneath his smashed guitar. His name painted on the side in gold ink,
barely legible, his writing always looked like squiggles. Lini sniffed and
rubbed her eyes.

She hadn’t been bold. She hadn’t been brave. Trindlewin the
real hero was just a bloodstain on the ground and the piccolo in her hand. Lini
set the top hat in the center of the room. She focused her will, her heart,
channeling the arcane.

An orange glowing snake, slithered from the floor, its eyes
covered by the hat. Lini stood and watched, her breath caught in her throat.
She finally performed a summoning of her eidolon.

The snake flicked out its tongue and wiggled. “Oh, dear! Are
you invisible? It’s so dark.” His voice was strong and sweet. The snake flailed
like a lost kitten.

“Oh, it’s your hat. It’s over your eyes.” Lini stood on
tip-toes to adjust it.

The snake blinked and smiled goofily in thanks, his face
oddly stretched. “Oh, thank you! Hrm. I’m…oh, what’s my name again? I forget?
Who is this Trindlewin you keep thinking of?

Lini winced and stepped forward, patting the creature on the
nose. “I think you look like a Squiggles. And he’s…a lost friend.”

“Lost, let’s find him then! Where is he? Where did he go?”

Lini looked around and saw a map, saying the first point
that came to her sight. “Sothis.”

“Oh! That sounds fun. It’s not so far. How did he get so
small?” Squiggles peered at the dot on the map as if looking for a way to
squeeze in.

She smiled some. “Oh, no, it’s just a map. We have to travel
far to get there. Do you…do you want to come?”

Squiggles grinned, showing both is serpentine teeth, and
slithered around Lini. “Yes, if you need me. I’ll always come.”

“Good. Let’s go. It’s a long way.” Lini grabbed her pack and
put away Trindelwin’s piccolo. She shut the door and set the lock, heading for
Sothis.  

 

(Lini’s name, and towns and pathfinder stuff from Pathfinder Core Rulebook (or other pathfinder material) by Paizo: Bulmahn, Jason, et al. Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook. Paizo Pub., 2011).

(Dragon idea from Vendon)

Author Robin
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Comments (1)

  • cael
    May 29, 2018 at 10:35 pm
    WHAT EVEN SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE CUTE NOT ACHEY BREAKY MY HEART

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