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~o0o~ Chapter ~o0o~
The trio had found a village with a tavern named The Golden Rooster and settled down into the booth at the back to try to avoid attention, which was difficult to do, when your group consisted of a transvestite albino Elf with extra long hair, foot long pointy ears covered in gold hoops each hoop with a gold chain connected back to the gold ring in his nose, while wearing neon pink sequined sari and huge fluffy feather boas, travelling with an undead Faerie Horse, and a squid headed brain sucking alien. At some point they had misplaced the tiny green Goblin, but ZooLock was not overly concerned about his missing thrall, as Xanoodut often got lost and eventually would find his way back to them.
Quaraun had difficulty staying seated, with father made it difficult for them to not draw attention to themselves. The Elf talked with his hands more often then he realized and had a short temper. In between his constant arguing with Unicorn and ZooLock he was repeatedly jumping up from his seat to stamp around in circles, screaming at the ceiling and shaking his fists. Every time he did this every Human in the tavern stopped what they were doing to stare at the strange little pink robed Elf wizard. None of them could understand a word the odd little Elf was saying and they were uncertain if he was drunk or insane or both.
“Is that an Elf?”
“Looks like one.”
“Tiny little thing, ain't it?”
“What's wrong with it?”
“Must be drunk.”
“What is it wearing?”
“Have you ever seen so many pink feathers?”
“Have you ever even seen pink feathers before?”
“I always heard pure blooded Elves were crazy.”
“That one's crazier then those half-Elf wizards up in that tower.”
With Elves being as rare as they were now, none of the Humans knew if this was just how Elves acted normally or not. However there were a few half-Elves in the village and they certainly did not act normal by any Human standard, though they also did not act as crazed as this little pink wizard was doing, so the Humans concluded that this Elf was acting like an Elf should be acting
Unicorn, being originally from Alba, spoke with a thick Scottish accent. The dark skinned Phooka spoke to Quaraun in the Elf's native tongue, which Quaraun never thought strange, though he should have, given that the Moon Elves had died out three centuries ago, Quaraun being the last, and with them, their ancient Elven language had died out with them. All Elves were rare these days, and the Moon Elf language had been thought of as a dead language even when there were still Moon Elves alive.
Quaraun had had to learn the many varied languages of the Humans, the lesser Elf races, and other nonElven races in order to communicate with them. There was no one to speak his native tongue. The Moon Elf language was as dead to the Elves as Latin was to the Humans which was why the poor Moon Elf had taken up the bad habit of talking to himself, in order to keep from forgetting how to speak his native tongue. Unfortunately for Quaraun, what he did not realize is that he long ago had stopped speaking the ancient Moon Elf language and was in fact speaking the Thullid language to himself most days. The Thullid language was not an Earth language, the Thullids being aliens from a far distance galaxy who's ship had crash landed on Earth centuries ago.
The Thullid language was made up of a lot of 'L's, 'T's, 'X's, and 'I's and not many other letters, and consisted of very snake-like, slithering hissing sounds. The language was spoken very fast and often intermingled with screams, and shrieks, that actually were words, but sounded to Humans like screaming and shrieking, and so, Quaraun, in his eye-popping pink beaded gowns, walking in circles, screaming and shrieking to himself in a language that sounded nothing like a language at all, terrified most people.
Quaraun rarely spoke to anyone, as he was often too busy having conversations with himself to notice there was anyone around to talk to.
Most people who came across Quaraun, dressed as he dressed and talking to himself in the Thullid language, heard nothing but a lot of wild rambling gibberish that didn't sound anything like any Earth language they had ever encountered and so most people took Quaraun for a psychotically deranged, gibbering idiot and was very careful to avoid him.
Few realized that Quaraun was no longer an Elf at all, but rather was in fact a Thullid.
Quaraun was a Thullid Spawnling. The Thullid had killed the Elf. That's what Thullid do, they kill Elves and then take over their bodies. Even they're closet friends won't know they're dead, the Thullid larvae hollow out their skulls and live inside their heads, fusing their tentacles to the nerves.
Quaraun's icy white blue eyes were cold. Empty. Completely devoid of any emotion. They were not the kind eyes of an Elf, but the empty emotionless eyes of a Thullid. Quaraun was not an Elf, not any more. Unicorn had said it many times before, but most people didn't want to believe it. Quaraun was dead. He'd been dead a long time. A Thullid had taken up residence in his body, infesting him, infecting him, when he was just 3 years old, and eventually devouring his brain and replacing it with it's own brain. Quaraun the Elf had died centuries ago, at the young age of only 9 years old, and all that remained was the empty husk that was reanimated by the tiny pink jellyfish living in the dead Elf's hollowed out skull.
Looking into Quaraun's emotionless dead eyes, you knew something was wrong with him. Quaraun was nothing but the long dead corpse of an Elf whose body had become the home of an alien sea creature. Quaraun had become someone else. He had become a Thullid. Unicorn shuddered to think of the horrible agony Quaraun would had to have suffered through. To be captured by a Thullid, to have it hold him down and drill a hole into the back of his head, them implant a larvae into his brain. The weeks and months of agony that would have followed as the larvae feed off the poor Elf's brain, while rooting it's spidering tentacles throughout his body, replacing his nerves with it's own, hollowing out his muscles and refilling them with its own.
The poor Elf had suffered in agony for years while the creature slowly took over his body and learned to replicate his words and actions. In all the Realms there was no death more horrific or more feared, then to die by Thullid infestation. Unicorn had never known Quaraun the Elf, only Quaraun the Thullid, meaning the real Quaraun had suffered in agony, alone, with no one there to comfort him. The real Elf had died such a horrendous death.
Quaraun looked like an Elf, he had been born an Elf, but it was the Jellyfish living in his brain, that is who Quaraun really was. It was this reason, that Quaraun could often be seen, talking to himself, in a language that was filled with squishy, fish-like shrieks and screams that made little sense to the people who met him.
Quaraun spoke 84 common languages. In spite of this, the Phooka did not address Quaraun in any of the common Human languages, nor in any common Elven language, nor did he speak in Phookan, but rather spoke to Quaraun in the ancient Moon Elf dialect of the royal family. The fact that anyone even remembered the rare Moon Elf race at all was in itself an anomaly, and though the Phooka was messing up the language badly, it was clear he was familiar with it well enough to speak more or less fluid conversation using it.
Quaraun, being the highly educated High Elf that he was, spoke most of the known languages of the region, and thus immediately shifted his own speech to match whatever language was being spoken to him. His ability to speak most every language, could sometimes make talking to him difficult as he could, and often did, change languages mid-sentence and rarely realized he was doing it. Most of his conversation with the Phooka was thus a strange blend of his own native Moon Elf, mixed with Thullid in a bizarre language Quaraun had unknowingly created for himself in his last two hundred years of hermit like solitude. The Phooka, able to speak both Moon Elf and Thullid, was quick to pick up on this difficult self-language Quaraun had made for himself, but was having trouble verbally speaking it and ended up getting quite a bit of it wrong, which amused the Moon Elf, but at the same time was a relief to find someone willing to communicate with him on his level instead of forcing him to learn their language.
When Quaraun finished screaming at nothing, he went looking for a waitress that wasn't too terrified of him to take his order.
“I want melba toast, biscotti, apricot jelly, and chocolate sauce,” Quaraun repeated to the girl.
“And I already told you, this is the only toast we have, I have no idea what biscotti is and we don't have apricot anything or chocolate!”
Angry at not getting what he wanted to eat, Quaraun flung a pink feather boa over his shoulder and sulked back to the booth, where he found Unicorn and ZooLock, screaming at each other in the Thullid tongue.
The Phooka and the Thullid bickered the pros and cons of religion and Chaos Cults as they ate. ZooLock, a devote priest of Gluoxilick, Llearsii, Yog-Sothoth, Kaajh'Kaalbh, Cxaxukluth, Ycnàgnnisssz, Xexanoth, Baoht Z'uqqa-Mogg, and other Chaos Demon prophets, firmly believed, as did Unicorn, that Quaraun was the great pink Jellyfish, known as The Grand High Emperor of the Triple Planets. ZooLock had nothing but praise for his Lord and master, The Sacred Pink JellyFish and the Chaos Gods of the Under Realm. Unicorn on the other hand had no sympathy for priests and found the idea of religion detestable. Unicorn would have been perfectly happy to see religion vanish off the face of the Earth, while ZooLock thought there needed to be more and more religion.
“...especially now!” ZooLock said ending his monologue of all the reasons more churches were needed.
“What does ya me by especially now?” Unicorn asked.
“The fruition has come!”
“More like the frustration has come,” Quaraun grumbled.
“They does not have the fancy pants food ya wants, no?” Unicorn asked.
“No. Never heard of it. What kind of a back woods town is this?”
“The Sacred Jelly Elf must have the food she desires!” ZooLock declared.
“ZooLock, will you stop worshipping me? It's getting a little annoying.”
“But you are so worthy of worship.”
“No I'm not. And I'm not a sheElf, stop calling me a she.”
“Will you permit me to go in search of food for you?” ZooLock asked.
“You want me to unchain you and let you walk out of here?”
“Yes, your grace.”
“ZooLock, stop worshipping me.”
“I am most certain that I can find the food you have desire for.”
“In this hicksville town?”
“Yes. Most certain.”
Quaraun stared at the purple squid beast and contemplated the thought of letting the Thullid go free.
Quaraun waved his hand towards the door.
“Will you not remove my chains?”
“I'll think about it while you're gone. If you come back, maybe I will.”
The Thullid bowed and recited psalms of praise before leaving the tavern.
“Think he'll come back?” Unicorn asked.
“I think he's stupid enough, yes.”
“Will ya let him go free?”
“Maybe, if he comes back.”
“If he does nae come back?”
“I'll send my DracoLich to find him, like I always do.”
“Ya does nae really have a reason for keeping him, do ya?”
“Then why ya keep him?”
"He kept me prisoner for many years. I just want him to know what it feels like. To his credit, he never hurt me and he did take care of me on some level. He's a religious fanatic and having me was like having some sort of trophy sitting on a shelf. But I had no freedom.”
“That why ya travel so much now ain't it?”
“Kind of. Yeah. So many centuries of being locked in a tiny goldfish bowl, when I used to have an entire ocean to swim in.”
“ZooLock one what put ya in the Elf, did him not?”
“Yes. Now I'm trapped in an Elf's head.”
“Him always call ya a she. Is ya?”
“Yes. I'm a female Jelly trapped inside the body of a male Elf.”
“Can ya no change bodies?”
“I could have, decades ago. But not without killing the Elf, and now, there's little left of the Elf. I'm fully integrated into his body now.”
“Is the Elf still alive?”
“On some levels. His body lives on.”
“But his mind?”
“I try not to think about it. Thullid infestation is the worst possible death for an Elf. He suffered in agony for years, while I devoured his brain and absorbed his thoughts and learned to mimic his speech and habits. The poor Elf, he knew what was happening to him. He knew I was becoming him, taking over his life, so that I could live among the Elves without them knowing what I truly was. And there was nothing he could do to stop it, to save himself, to tell any one what was happening to him. Most Thullids, we forget. We don't like to think about what it is we have to do in order to survive. But I did not forget. I make sure never to forget. Our kind, we kill to live. The poor Elf. I refuse to implant Elves for that reason.”
“Can ya do that?”
“Implant my spawn into the brains of more Elves? Yes. Unfortunately.”
“I did nae know that.”
Further down the hall sliding doors revealed a well-kept and britly decorated dining area, blue willow china in white china cabinets, white walls, and dusty fake flowers sitting in a dark blue vase on the white table.
"It's quite nice," Quaraun said as he looked round. "I hadn't expected that."
Grey stone, around the door, red brick around the rest of the lower half, the upper half-timbered and white with a sloping room covered in brown roof tiles.
"It's a nice place you've got here," Quaraun said to the tavern keeper. "Have you got any peach melba?"
"I want Peach Melba."
"We don't have any. I don't even know what it is?"
"We just remodeled..."
"And you did an admirable job of that," the Elf said. "But people can't always get what they want. It's time to rid the world of your gentle lies, and give them back the truth that they need."
"Is ya feeling okay," Unicorn asked Quaraun."
"Yis seem unfine."
"I t'inks de drugs still aidling ya head."
"Looks it. Yis no conversing properly."
"Am I not?"
"Ah! Un now ya is just olde un stupid," he snarked back at Quaraun.
Quaraun was uncertain he had heard what Unicorn was saying. He looked around the room. The stairs were melting into the ceiling. The tables were dripping like candles, pooling on the floor.
"That's not right," Quaraun said. "I think I need to lay down."
A hovering server keeps interrupting their conversation. Quaraun pushed the waitress away, and muttered about Peach Melba. He was suspecting Unicorn was right, that he still wasn't seeing or hearing things properly and he couldn't be certain of anything going n around him.
Quaraun not getting the food he wanted from the tavern, started digging around in the tiny beaded heart shaped bag that hung from his belt, looking for a jar of apricot preserves, and a box of chocolate truffles. The tiny pink bag was about big enough to carry ten coins in it, however Quaraun was pulling out boxes and bottles and jars and books and scrolls and swords and knives and other assorted things, none of which should have fit in the tiny bag which was much bigger on the inside.
Quaraun had found the sugar cubes, the Gremlin had given him and placed them on the table with the rest of the items, then continued looking through his bag.
“Ah! My throne!”
Quaraun pushed aside the tavern chair, and pulled a giant gold throne with bright pink velvet cushions out of his bag and set it next to the table. After a few more minutes of search, he found the food he was looking for and set up a feast of sweets and candied for himself, put everything else back in his bag, then settled down in his throne, to eat candy and listen to his friends debate religion.
The hovering server continued interrupting their conversation during the meal.
"I wish I had natural born magic powers like you Gypsies do," she said to Quaraun. "I hate being Human."
"Like us Gypsies?" Quaraun asked.
The girl sat down beside Quaraun, propped her elbows on the table, plopped her chin on her hands and gazed dreamily into the Moon Elf's large crystal blue eyes.
"Did any one ever tell you, you have the most beautiful blue eyes?"
"All the time. My lover makes sure to tell me every day."
"Could you use another one?"
"I'm quite happy with the one I have."
"Wouldn't another one be nice?"
"Are you suggesting yourself?"
"You're a Human."
"And you're female."
"Aren't you male? I mean, you look like a woman in that get up and all, but every one says you're a man in a dress..."
"Man... in... a ... dress?" Quaraun repeated the words slowly, thinking on their meaning.
The young love sick girl continued to blabber on, but Quaraun was no longer listening and did not hear what she was saying.
"I AM NOT A MAN!" Quaraun suddenly yelled as he lept up from his seat and slmmed his hands palm down on the table. "HOW DARE YOU CALL ME A MAN!"
"Oh boy," Unicorn muttered, leaning back in his seat and watching the Elf have a public meltdown.
"But I thought..." the girl stammered looking confused.
"I'M AN ELF!"
"I didn't say y..."
"I AM NOT A HUMAN."
"I DON'T LOOK LIKE A HUMAN."
"I DON'T DRESS LIKE A HUMAN."
"I like the..."
"I DON'T ACT LIKE A HUMAN."
"I DON'T CONSORT WITH HUMANS."
"But you're in..."
"I DON'T WILLINGLY SPEND TIME IN HUMAN VILLAGES."
Tears welled up in the girl's eyes.
"AND I CERTAINLY DON'T FUCK HUMANS! I HATE HUMANS! GET AWAY FROM ME!"
Quaraun pulled out his wand and shook it in the girl's face nearly hitting her nose with it. Electric blue sparks jumped angrily from it's tip, some of them hitting the girl.
"Oww!" She cried, holding her hand over her nose. "That hurt!"
"Get away from me," Quaraun snarled.
"You don't have to be such a bully!"
The girl jumped up and ran out of the tavern crying. Quaraun pocketed the wand and sat back down.
"She right, ya know," Unicorn said.
"Ya does no has to be such a bully."
"You heard her."
"I did. She was screaming fan girl gushing with love for ya, just likes every other female what walks by ya un falls into ya lap, in love wid yas at first sight. Ya forgets how hypnotically beautiful ya be."
"I know how beautiful I am. I never forget that."
"Tis true," Zoolock butted in. "The beauty of this body is exactly why we chose it to be the abode of our ladyship."
"Stop calling me your ladyship. And this is a Human village. Why are we in a Human vilage?"
"Ya wanted to come here on account of dat tower speaking to yas, remember."
"She called me a Human."
"I does nae t'ink she meant too."
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