So what happened? Well let me see. There was a blue sky and then a white flash and a ripping sound and a black hole opened up in the sky.The dimension door had seemed to work. I had jumped just over 15 feet directly upwards, escaping the clash of metal on metal, I intended to contribute in a more sensible fashion from a safe distance. I uttered a quick incantation and teleported out of danger.
I had a moment to catch my bearings. Durgoth was roaring as usual and laying about himself with his greatsword. Mish’ra was dodging and ducking and weaving as only a Halfling can. Silveril was unhurriedly loosing arrows into the crowd of soldiers. Hitting with each shot and dropping with each hit. Parasim and Darian I could not see, but I could clearly hear Parasim’s battlesong – high and trill and stirring.
Then the white light, the tearing sound and an immense rushing wind sucked me into the blackness. I held onto Tiddalik tightly, and the two of us fell spinning down a swirly black and blue thing. With a thump my toad and I found ourselves sitting on a carpeted floor in a firelit parlour.
“Good morning” said a gnome from an armchair near the fire, looking up from a book.
I and my familiar looked at one another somewhat bemusedly. Tiddalik shrugged.
“Um, good morning” I stammered, “Where?.. Who?.. Are we dead?.. How did?.”
The gnome closed his book and sighed. “Hurtling through the space in between two momentarily proximate material worlds (and narrowly missing a dirty big moon I might add); Garl; No but you are in a spot of bother; and well because you made a right mess of the dimension door spell” He said. “Anything else?”
Understanding dawned on my amphibian’s face and he raised a forefinger “Many thanks for bringing me back to life when those thugs smeared me across that wall” “You’re very welcome” said The Gnome.
“So we’re not really sitting in a parlour?” I asked
“Well you are, but it’s really more like a dream sequence” He answered.
His voice was rich and warm and his eyes kind. “I wanted to have a word and this seemed like as good a time as any” said The Gnome.
“And you’re God?” I asked incredulously.
“I’m one of them” said Garl.
Doubt left me. Knowledge, acceptance, and love filled my heart and I smiled.
“What would you like to talk about?” I asked.
“In a few moments” Garl replied “you are going to enter the atmosphere of a planet about 2 trillion miles from home, falling at a truly bone splintering pace. But that’s the least of your worries. The fact is Grimble – you’re in danger of becoming a bad gnome, and I do not mean for you to be.”
“This is about the kobold?” I asked.
“This is about the kobold.” He affirmed
“I shouldn’t have killed the kobold?” I asked with growing certainty.
“You shouldn’t have killed the kobold” He said.
“You most certainly shouldn’t have killed the kobold before he had a chance to prove himself” He added.
“And without any question at all, you shouldn’t have killed the kobold whilst he was asleep” said Garl.
A guilty tear sprang to my eye and I said “were my elders wrong then, when they taught me that kobolds are ever treacherous and the enemy of my people and that their clerics line their temples with gnomeskulls?”
“Alas” said Garl “your elders were entirely correct. But that’s not the point. That kobold never had a chance to prove treacherous did he? The question I’m interested in is not are kobolds treacherous but are gnomes merciful”.
My eyes downcast and I was ashamed.
“Do not be too disheartened dear Grimble” He said. “You have done much that is just, and courageous and much that has brought me joy to see. But when you go forth into this new world – try to prejudge people a little less” said The Priceless Gem. I nodded earnestly.
“And the kobold” I said, “can I be forgiven?”
Without speaking The Gnome spread the fingers of his left hand and six bolts of blinding light struck me in the chest, knocking me flat, and winding me.
I was dazed, drained, ennervated.
“One level, for each missile you struck him with” said Garl, when I had my breath back.
I nodded weakly.
The carpet beneath me began to change colour, and swirl,blue and black.
Garl spoke “you liked casting ‘fly’ didn’t you?”
“Loved it” I said in a gloomy voice.
The room began to spin.
“Cheer up little one” said Garl “you may yet cast it again. In the meantime, you may want to think about a career as a pilot. I think you may like it.”
“Whats a pi-lot?” I asked.
“I imagine you’ll find out” said Garl patiently.
The walls around us dissolved and I noticed stars rushing past.
The Glittergold began to fade in front of me and I felt a great sadness at His going. He reached into the pocket of his purple waistcoat and threw something small and shiny to me.
“Ring of featherfall” He said. “Caster level 2. One charge left. It might be a good idea to hold onto that for the next little while. Happy landings boys.”
And with that He was gone.
A shrieking wind smacked me in the face and Tiddalik and I began hurtling towards the Urth…