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Neverwinter Moments - Wendersnaven Trap

Author: 
Hetaera
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
343

Wendersnaven Trap



Grobnar and Bishop



Elanee awkwardly patted Neeshka on the back. The tiefling tearfully sighed and stirred the water before her, not bothering to push away the druid’s hand. Elanee said, “Do not worry. She has only been missing a few hours. We will find her.”



Neeshka looked out a window briefly at the surroundings, but found that it was too rainy to see much. “There are a lot of things out in the land… kidnapping demons, man-eating spiders, gnomish werewolves… and she might have been captured by---”



From a corner of the room, a tattooed warlock snorted. “There is no reason for demons to kidnap the child. She is a young human female and her father, Daeghan, does not seem to have made a habit of demon-slaying or whatnot. Her only more obvious connection with other planes is that shard in her chest and the other shards she uses for making rainbows with the light.” Ammon broke off for a moment as the memory came back to him. He had not really appreciated the rainbow being directed on him. Seeing Neeshka and Elanee still focused on him, he continued, “I am sure she wandered off like the classic distrait bard and got lost.”



The elf frowned. “I thought you liked the girl,” remarked Elanee, her face showing disapproval.



“I do. However, she is a bard, so I doubt she has much common sense. Just look at her only possible career role model who she interacts with on a daily basis.”



All of them were silent for a moment, thinking about Grobnar and his proclivities.



“I,” began Elanee carefully, so as not to have her words misconstrued, “believe that you are quite unfair to the gnome.”



“And I,” imitated Ammon in a similar manner, “believe that you are quite unfair to me. I have lived more than a hundred years. While it may be easy for an elf such as yourself, it is no small feat for a human.” The feelings expressed in his face had been changing rapidly since he had begun, and he was now at a sort of emotional peak. At this point, he threw the thick tome he had been reading to the table, where it fell with a lively thump. He looked positively livid as he added vehemently, “I have not lived so long just to live a few years of my life keeping company with a gnome who constantly goes off on some obscure lore-related tangent of supposed history--- of which the history itself is disputable!”



Tears forgotten, Neeshka snickered behind a hand.



* * * * *



What Ammon, Elanee, and Neeshka did not know was that a few hours previously, Grobnar and Lianne had been discussing the Wendersnaven over a pot of tea and a pitcher of milk. Bishop had happened to walk in, so they had generously invited him over to partake of their drinks. He had graciously declined and obtained a bottle of alcoholic substance to imbibe. The original topic had gone on and eventually grown into a discussion about whether or not the Wendersnaven could be caught.



“I dreamed about one a long time ago,” said Lianne.



“I heard a story about it only the other day,” said Grobnar.



“I have never seen or heard of one,” said Bishop flatly. Apparently, the drink had loosened him enough to allow him to enter a conversation about the Wendersnaven.



“Well, I saw one,” replied Lianne, before she took the teacup before her and downed the milk within. “In my dream,” she added belatedly.



“What was it like?” asked Grobnar.



“Well, I believe that it was behaving normally… just Wendersnavening about. I do not think it saw me.”



“You do not often see them,” remarked Grobnar.



“Not nowadays,” answered Lianne.



“Or this time of the year.”



“And they rarely can be petted.”



“Not in this weather.”



“Their fur becomes wet.”



Although Bishop was drunk enough to get into a conversation about the Wendersnaven, he was not drunk enough to forget all he had heard before or loose all sense of logic. “I thought you said that the Wendersnaven cannot be seen or touched,” he reminded coldly.



Lianne nodded sagely while surreptitiously taking Grobnar’s teacup. “It cannot,” she confirmed. Then, she took a sip of tea from the stolen cup.



The ranger narrowed his eyes. He had caught the action, which had not been very difficult, considering how un-stealthy the child tended to be. On the other hand, the gnome did not seem to have noticed the loss of his teacup, but simply moved his hand along the table to Bishop’s mug of alcohol without looking. Bishop clung to the container protectively with both hands and glared at Grobnar, who was talking about the merits of something or another and did not notice the scathing look.



“We should build a cunning trap,” suggested Lianne as she poured herself some more tea into the teacup she had taken from Grobnar.



“I wonder what we could use it for,” mused the gnome to himself. His hands were still feeling around for a container of something, but his eyes were not bothering to look where he was reaching. If he had actually been looking, he might have noticed that it was a disliked alcoholic beverage he was seeking, and the next interesting, though also unfortunate, thing to happen might not have happened.



“To catch the Wendersnaven,” she explained, also not paying attention to Grobnar’s small search. Then, hesitantly, the young bard turned to Bishop and asked, “Could you help us?”



While Bishop contemplated his answer, he loosened his grip on his mug. Grobnar grabbed hold of it and took a hearty swig before coughing terribly and spluttering liquid in all directions. Whereas Lianne only looked mournfully at her ruined tea for a few moments before brightening up, the ranger’s mood turned even sourer as he realized that he had lost his drink and possibly his freedom for the night. The two bards had amazing persuasion skills, because of what they were. But who knew? Mayhap doing this small act of “kindness” would help in the future. Finally, he decided not to touch on the subject of trap-making just yet. “You stole my drink,” he growled.



Grobnar did not seem reluctant to hand back the mug, but Bishop eyed it with disgust before slamming it down on the table. The floating bits of clear saliva were not at all desirable. Lianne walked off and returned a few moments later with two demitasses. Bishop scowled, for his mood was as black as the coffee, but he accepted the cup. In his opinion, though, it was incomparable to his original choice of drink. He took a deep swallow.



“Will you help us, then?” she asked politely, though it was clear that she expected he would.



Bishop sneered for a moment before sighing despondently. “I suppose I shall.” He really had no choice in the matter, but he would rather keep his pride and dignity by pretending that he was somewhat willing.



* * * * *



“Casavir, have you seen Lianne?”



“Why, no.” There was a pause, and then more anxiously, “Is she missing?”



A glance was exchanged. “No.”



“Lying is a stone set for the path to evil,” proclaimed the paladin.



A mystical-sounding voice chimed in, “Know that what he speaks is often true, but know that a small evil can pave the way for a greater good.”



“Zhjaive! Have you seen Lianne?”



“Who?”



“Female human child.”



“Where?”



“About this tall.”



“What?”



“Shard in her chest?”



More enlightened, “Kalach-Cha?”



There was an exuberant “Yes!”



“No, I have not.”



“Khelgar, have you seen Lianne?”



“Nay, why do ye ask?”



* * * * *



“I believe that we ought dig a very deep pit. The Wendersnaven will be Wendersnavening along, looking up at the sky, and wondering whether or not it will rain. The Wendersnaven will not see the very deep pit and will fall in.”



“What if it is already raining?” asked Lianne curiously.



Grobnar looked pensive. He then said, “The Wendersnaven will be looking up at the sky and wondering whether or not it will clear up. The Wendersnaven will not see the very deep pit and will fall in.” He looked rather pleased with himself. “Of course, there is a possibility that---”



The child interrupted with, “That it might not be raining or clear.” She thought a bit and suggested, “Mayhap snowing.”



“Quite right,” said the gnome. “In fact…”



Bishop groaned and touched the bow behind him for comfort while ignoring Grobnar’s words. For a moment, the ranger considered the possibility of using an arrow to threaten them both back to the keep so that he could be out of the woods and back to drinking ale. At times, the forest was a good refuge from other people when he wanted to act like a recluse, but this time, civilization would be the refuge. It was truly difficult to endure people like these two.



“…which fails to meet the purpose,” ended Grobnar, who had not noticed the ranger’s silent detachment.



“What do you think, Bishop, sir?” asked Lianne respectfully.



He had no objections.



And so, the very deep pit was dug.



“We need some bait,” interjected Bishop, wondering how feasible the task of convincing one, if not both, of his companions to sit in the pit as lure would be.



“I think milk,” suggested Lianne. She nodded to herself serenely as though reassuring herself. “Yes, milk is the very thing.”



The ranger grunted. “Milk can spoil.”



“Oh, right.” She looked sad for a moment but then brightened up. “In that case, I think honey would be the best choice. And just a little milk.”



Grobnar chimed in his agreement. A pot of honey was placed into the deep pit, along with a pitcher of milk, as Lianne insisted it would certainly attract the Wendersnaven. They then left with the understanding that they would come the next day to check the trap again. Unfortunately, it began to hail, and they were sorely pressed to find some form of cover. The nearest place was Port Llast, so off they went to buy a room for the night before checking the trap the next day.



* * * * *



“It is now night, and she has still not been found,” moaned Neeshka as she scratched her horns.



Elanee wondered vaguely whether Neeshka’s horns were sensitive to touch before frowning and replying, “She is not the only one. Grobnar and Bishop disappeared as well.”



“Do you think they kidnapped her?”



The elf looked taken aback by the question and was slow to answer. “Bishop, maybe. But Grobnar would rather discuss the possible existence of the Wendersnaven over tea and milk than perform a kidnapping.”



“I think they were.”



“Pardon?”



Neeshka twitched. “Casavir found a table in the basement with a teapot, an empty milk pitcher, and a mug of alcohol. All of those containers were moist, so I think that means it was recent. It is not hot enough on this world to dry everything up fast enough or freeze things to ice.”



Elanee ignored the last part. “Neither Lianne nor Grobnar drinks,” she pointed out logically. It was true. Lianne was… well, a child. Grobnar preferred other liquids, and his rambling when sober was bad enough that none of the others wanted to hear him while he was drunk.



“I know,” answered the tiefling while drowsily shaking her head. Her eyes seemed to lighten suddenly. “So our best guess is that Lianne and Grobnar were discussing the Wendersnaven together before both getting kidnapped by Bishop.” She paused, and then squealed, “This is so exciting!”



* * * * *



Many miles away, a child crept out of the inn and ran into the back woods. She could vaguely hear people--- possibly guards--- shouting about something, so she cast an invisibility spell on herself to hide her presence. When she could no longer hear them, she continued running towards the Wendersnaven Trap.



She had been unable to fall asleep earlier on. So, she attempted to count sheep, which she had read about in a book. That did not work, so she tried counting Wendersnavens--- but that had been worse, for every Wendersnaven she counted had been coming by, carrying a pitcher of her milk, and drinking it all! For a while, she had lain there, miserably, listening to the sleeping sounds of her companions and the bouncing sounds of the rain outside, and not daring to speak. Yet when the ninety-seventh Wendersnaven had blown by in her imagination and thrown its empty pitcher to the ground and said in a delighted voice, “Delicious milk, this certainly is! I do not believe I have tasted better.” She could stand it no longer. At that moment, Lianne had known that she required the milk in the trap, and that it was possible Wendersnavens did not enjoy milk, anyways.



Through high grass and low branches, she stumbled until at last she had come to the Wendersnaven Trap and the milk and honey that had been placed lovingly within. Forgetting that it had, in fact, been a trap and reinforced with a few spells, she dived into the very deep pit and lunged for the milk and honey. As it would be, the night had been cold enough to keep the milk well; and the honey was all right, if a bit sticky. The hail had turned into a cold rain, but she did not care. Happily, she got rid of milk and honey, after which she walked around the very deep pit and wondered how she would get out.



Unfortunately, she could not.



So, tired but full, she curled up to go to sleep.



* * * * *



It was around midnight that several worried, concerned, or indifferent people got together at the keep for a meeting.



“Midnight now, and no sign of any of them.”



“This is serious.”



“It calls for a search party.”



“Aye.”



* * * * *



Early in the day, before the sun had gotten up, Grobnar awoke and decided that he must see the Wendersnaven. Bishop was still sleeping, and the gnome knew that the human would be in a terrible mood if forced to awake now. Using a similar strategy to his bardic companion, he escaped the town and hurried over to the Trap.



As he approached it, he was sure that there was something inside, because he could hear it Wendersnavening about like anything.



“The Wendersnaven!” he exclaimed happily, before tripping over something. He picked it up and realized that it was an invisible instrument. He could not believe his luck! Finally, he could partake of the legacy left behind by the Wendersnaven of lore. He picked it up and cautiously began to play it. It played very well, so he decided to sing to supplement the instrument’s music. That seemed to work extraordinarily well. The instrument was so perfect that it seemed to be a part of him. He could not even see it or feel it anymore, but he knew that it was there. In short, it was… perfect.



After he had gotten over the excitement of his discovery, he walked to the trap and peered over the edge of the very deep pit. Just as he had thought, there was the Wendersnaven! It was a muddy brown color and curled up in a sort of ball, like a fat worm on the pavement after a rain. His first thought was that it looked just as a Wendersnaven ought appear. Then, he thought that it looked like someone he knew, if that someone were muddied all over--- but whom? There was no time for him to continue on that thought, as a group of orcs seemingly jumped out of nowhere.



While trying to pull his invisible instrument back into position, he stumbled and fell into the very deep pit. Although one may argue that he would have first thought of how he had fallen in or how he would get out, his first thought that was this: to his amazement, he could feel the Wendersnaven! Not only could he see it, but he could also feel it! Then, the Wendersnaven made a sort of humming, singing sound, and his next thought was that he could hear it! This was truly miraculous!



Meanwhile, the orcs just came closer to the Wendersnaven Trap and its two occupants…



* * * * *



Bishop was a light sleeper. He found that trait necessary for his trade, especially when he was resting deep in a dangerous forest and the threat of monstrous creatures sneaking up on him was there. A soft padding of bare feet over the wooden floor had awoken him, but he had feigned sleep until she had left. Willing to oversee his charge’s safety to some degree, he had trailed her all the way to the cunning trap. His belief that she would not find herself in too much trouble, other than short-term illness from spending a night under cold rain, allowed him to effortlessly put aside any guilt or qualms he might have had about leaving her there. He returned to the inn and slept. A few hours later, feet over wood awoke him the second time. This time, it was much louder. It was the gnome, making his way to the same destination as his fellow bard had. Again, Bishop had trailed the departing party all the way to the Wendersnaven Trap.



This time, though, he noted that there were orcs waiting in choice positions. “Just right for an ambush,” he thought to himself. Now, his loyalty was put to the test… or rather, his selfishness. He bore no loyalties for anyone except himself. But the question remained: would he help the two fools currently out in the open? The sight of Grobnar grinning madly at something before tripping and falling into the very deep pit did not help the bards’ situation very much. Finally, after withdrawing into himself for a moment of deep thought, Bishop decided that he would help them. They had not outlived their usefulness just yet, and regardless of how things seemed, he did have some concept of comradeship. If nothing else, they were his comrades, though not precisely friends.



As he came to that conclusion, a search party consisting of Neeshka and Elanee arrived.



And, as he came to that conclusion, the orcs leapt out of their hiding places.



There was a rather short fight.



“Did you just leave them there to die?” demanded Neeshka in a mocking manner, after they had eliminated all the ambushers. She laughed after the question but frowned when she received no answer.



Bishop silently moved towards the very deep pit. He was annoyed to hear Grobnar talking to himself about how the Wendersnaven looked like a mud-covered someone-he-knew and how obviously, though the Wendersnaven could not be seen, touched, or heard, it could be covered by mud, and mud could be seen. Cautiously leaning over so that he would not fall in, he also noticed that Lianne was still sleeping. The care taken was wasted when Neeshka, who was not fond of being ignored, came over and casually pushed Bishop into the Wendersnaven Trap. The ranger was not at all pleased to find himself sprawled over the muddy ground of the trap.



While the matter of whether or not Bishop had been intentionally pushed in or not was being resolved by the participants, Elanee, and Grobnar, the child awoke. She cleaned herself off as well as she could (and it seemed quite bothersome, to wipe the mud off one hand and then get more mud on her other hand) and before speaking to show that she, too, was awake and ready for anything! Grobnar voiced his wonder of where the Wendersnaven had gone on such short notice. That sparked another argument over whether or not the Wendersnaven had been in the very deep pit at any point, which went on to how their charge had gotten in the trap suddenly.



Finally, Grobnar concluded “the Wendersnaven assisted us in finding her and placed her in its place in the very deep pit before leaving.”



The others just shook their heads and let it be.



There was much joy when the five weary adventurers returned to the keep, though more than one vowed not to let any resident of the area go Wendersnaven hunting ever again; it seemed a bit too much trouble to indulge in.



* * * * *



Author’s Note: Realize that part of this was inspired or drawn from the Heffalump chapter of “The Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh” by A. A. Milne, so this time, the plot is not quite completely mine… most notably, I borrowed the very deep pit concept and the prey eating the bait dream. Meanwhile, have any of you noticed that Zhjaive’s favorite phrase seems to be “Kalach-Cha” and that she starts almost every sentence with “Know…”? I admit the slight mockery, but it seemed to me that she only knew the Shard-Bearer primarily for bearing the shard, rather than any other characteristics.



Neverwinter Moments - Wendersnaven Trap © Hetaera

Migrate Wizard: 
First Release: 
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