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Belwar wanted to be angry, but he had to admit the illusion was clever. He didn't bother saying that he wouldn't have known what his mother had smelled like anyway.

The urge to cleave the little bastard was there, but not nearly as sharp as it would have been only a few short weeks ago.

I must be getting old, he mused to himself.

It occurred to Belwar then, that he ought to share his story with the group, if only so that they knew the kind of person they were up against.

...He decided he'd wait though, until Zurn was done (diplomatically) talking with Faznar.

“Hmm,” thought Faznar aloud.  “My folks moved around a lot when I was growing up.  I still keep moving around a lot now that they are gone.  Can’t really say I am from any one place… or headed to any place for that matter.”  Faznar’s attention was still focussed on his illusion.  A frying pan appeared under the Urguth-pike. “Ah! No!,” it cried as flames burst to life under the pan and the fish started to sizzle.  “Must. Save. Myself.” The Urguth-pike flopped about, flipped through the air, and landed right in the fire.  “Ahhhh!  Damn it," the dwarf-fish screamed.  "This is an even worse situation than I was previously in!”  Faznar snickered and ended the illusion in a puff of smoke that smelled of fish soup. “Crap, now I could really go for a nice hot bowl of fish chowder!”

Zurn shook his head a humming chuckled at the gnomes continued prestidigitation. No doubt that fate was one of a long list of things that Belwar would find to be an agreeable end for Urguth. Zurn measured Faznar as being the sort that survived by guile rather than raw tenacity. Both means had merit but neither were absolutes for every situation. Given that, this gnome could well make a strategic, and humorous, addition to The Forest Keepers. Zurn cinched another bandage on the slightly built gnome.

“So what’s yer plan from here? Ye got anoothah place to be goin’?” Zurn cast a look back to Belwar. “Suren’ we ain’t gonna kill ya it seems ta me tha’ the safest way of goin’ anywhere is with us.”

“Oh, I’ve always got some place to be going” replied Faznar, “and usually in haste and under pursuit!”  Faznar laughed at himself.  “Yeah, I think traveling with you folk is the best of my rather limited options.  If you’ll have me, that is.  Many folk won’t.  Or won’t for long.”  He turned to Belwar and flashed a meek smile.  “I’ve found my sense of humor clashes with that of most dwarves.  Well, honestly, with all dwarves that I have ever encountered … eventually.”  He sighed a sad little sigh before continuing, “I am, however, an absolute riot amongst other gnomes and also children of most every race!”  Faznar’s eyes absolutely twinkled with joy when he spoke of children, an effect that Zurn thought must have been magically enhanced.

“I have other talents, too. Aside from the obvious magical talents, that is. I happen to be an excellent cook. Also, I am a master at the gnomish squeezebox!”  Faznar moved his empty hands back and forth while wiggling his fingers.  The not-so-subtle sound of gnomish polka music drifted softly through the air as his hands imitated the motions of playing the unusual instrument.  “It’s been a while since I have actually played, though.  My squeezeboxes tend to get smashed to bits.”


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