"Plinker” the Kenku can't communicate except through mimicry. But if he could tell the tale of his recent adventures, it might go something like this.

So this is not exactly what I had in mind when I left Mother Hen's Flock. I mean, a bunch of crows underground seems counter-intuitive, right? Or is it just me? I mean, why not mole people? Could be called, I dunno, moru? Why doesn't someone lay a curse on some moles, tell them they have to restrict themselves to stereotypical mole-type behaviours but, oh yeah, they can't dig? And then put them in the Rootways to act as guides. It would add some pathos, some mute yearning to their tragic destiny. Whereas taking a bunch of crow people who are already lamenting their winglessness and stuffing them underground so that they can't even look at the sky… that's a few steps beyond pathos, you know? More cruel than poignant. Where's the Art in that? WHERE ARE THE FUCKING MOLE PEOPLE?

So yeah. Short version: I'm a miner now, because that plays right into my skill set.

It could be worse, I suppose. The mine is run by cloud giants and the tunnels aren't quite cloud giant sized, so that's gotta suck. Stoopy is kind of a dick but his dad seems alright. He let me keep my dreamwood dulcimer. And he plays a harp. And he's got a fancy magical golden elevator with like angel wings and shit all over it. Would be tempted to yoink that thing if I hadn't turned my back on that life to pursue my Muse. Where'er it may lead.

A pick hitting rock, each strike followed by a fart noise.

Stoopy almost squooshed the kobold though. Can't really call him Groveller anymore. The giant kicked over his cart and the kobold puffed himself up and was like, “I will not stand for such insolence, good sir!” and everyone was like, “oh shiiiiii-” Suicidal little dude but gotta hand it to him, he didn't even blink. Now he needs a new name. Ha! Fanfare. Toady. Because it's another name for a pufferfish and also… toady. Perfect.

I could just try to remember his real name, or write it down somewhere. Might actually be less effort. Inhalation, exhalation. Something needs to be done about my supply. The shortage thereof, specifically. Wait, what was I talking about?

Oh right! Wings! I've started composing an opus to keep myself sane in the mines. It started when Sparky pointed out the sound of woodwinds coming down from above, down this waterfall tunnel thingy, and as I looked up into the darkness, trying to find the source of the music, I was like, this is some real deal pathos right here. Deep underground, no sky, just a whisper of ghostly music. I've started work on the first movement which is about, you know, just the disorganized noise of existence in its raw state, right? And then, like, an ideal will begin threading through the noise, dredging scraps of a melody from its depths, and the melody will eventually become a mighty wheeling wind uplifting all who hear it. Like, more spiritual flight than literal flight, but maybe….

I feel like, if I get it right, if I can make it sound like it sounds in my head, Flowerfinger will maybe reward me with wings of my own? I'm afraid to ask, I feel like that would jinx it… but I feel like we have a sort of understanding. We're in sync. It gave me Rainbowmane, after all. And we both want the same thing: for me to be the best passionate thunderous caterwauling I can be.

Speaking of: Nudicorn tried to figure out my name which, I appreciate the effort, but it would help if I knew the word. That's kinda what got me in trouble with Hronoman, me poking through his books, trying to find the word that fit the concept in my head. My intentions were benign but he wasn't too interested in excuses when he caught me. Not that I'm great at explaining myself anyway. Disconsolate plunk. But anyway, Nudicorn gave me a list of replacements for Plinker to choose from and to be honest I wasn't really listening because while I do appreciate the thought, it's still a name that's being imposed on me, you know? It's not my name any more than Plinker is. In fact, I was so tuned out that when he asked which one I liked best I couldn't remember any of them to repeat back so I had to scour my memory for a voice to use and came up with Froetha saying, “the first one.” I hope the first one wasn't too stupid, whatever it was. Better not be Plunker or Ploonker. I can make up a stupider name than Nudicorn, Nudicorn! Don't test me!

Other than that, not a lot happened, other than a bunch of very casual nudity. Don't know where to look during bath time. Baldy made friends with a wolf man and Sparky made friends with an elfy elf – one of those ones like Sir Stentorian (RIP) – and Nudicorn made friends with a dark elf, and everyone was throwing up zones of silence and going off into secret corners to keep their friends to themselves. Twanger jumped into the river and acted like a crazy person, which is becoming par for the course. But it turned out that it was because she thought she saw Strangebrain standing in the river. And furthermore, Punchy said that Strangebrain appeared to him in his room and ate him with his eyes just before we first met the both of them. And then… I forget how it happened but suddenly we were all hugging. It was weird. I tried to maintain a stoic distance but Punchy was all like, “I love you, man,” and even Sparky was getting in on the action. Tears may or may not have been shed. I might have been too hasty in writing these guys off. Some of them, anyway.

You know, even if this opus comes to naught, I feel like my soul has grown some fledgling wings of its own. They may not be strong enough to bear me aloft quite yet, but someday. For you guys are the wind beneath my wings.


Riddlefist Riddlefist

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