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Aisha's Story

“Hi! Wanna hear a story?” The young feline girl says with excitement in her voice. She sits back and pulls out a small pouch, opening it up her eyes twinkle with mischievous glee. As she reaches in the worn pouch her tongue touches her upper lip, a sign of some kind of concentration.

“Ha! Here it is.” She pulls out a small stuffed cat toy and gently hugs it. You think you hear something like a soft purr, but then again you are talking to a cat folk. Figuring at best she’s about sixteen in age and gauging from the great sword next to her, she probably has a very large brother nearby.  When you blink again you notice that you are nose to nose with this toy and she is smiling at you. Her snow leopard features delicately play on her young face. She has spots that run down the sides of her neck and a few that move outward from her eyes. Being careful you remind yourself not to ask how far down those spots go. Her ears are in the same place had a humans but they have little tufts of fur coming out of them. Her hair is slightly wild, but you can tell that somehow she has learned to use a brush. Taking another quick blink you realize that her eyes are right in front of yours and her breath deeply smells of fish.

“So this is my kitty, Nip Nip! She was a gift from my brother. Now I grew up in a small village, somewhere between here and the edge of the world. My village was filled with arcane hunters. Do you know what an arcane hunter is?” For a moment you consider answering but then realize that she will probably just tell you anyway.

“Arcane hunters are those people who kill things that wiggle their fingers. Okay we kill ones who wiggle their fingers in the attempt to mind control you.” She does a quick zombie impersonation and it makes you chuckle for a second. “Now my family was especially good at it, after all it was my great great grandfather who freed the village the first time around. Umm, that doesn’t really have anything to do with Nip Nip.” She pokes her tongue out again letting it rest against her upper lip as she digs into her pouch again.

“Okay, now this trinket makes more sense.” She holds up a small rock of onyx and waves it happily in your face. This is a hunter’s stone; we get these when we survive our hunting trials. I got mine like two years ago and I’m so proud. Hmmm… Didn’t think it had been that long. Oh well, just wait till I talk about Elrond, then it will all make sense. I mean he’s such a goof, but don’t tell him I said that. He likes to be taken seriously. It’s kind of odd.” At this point you realize that the odds of her holding a single course of thought were not likely to happen, which kind of takes away her young appeal.

“Okay so back to the stone. No wait! I was talking about Nip Nip. My big brother was the coolest cat folk you would ever meet. He was big and strong and swung a great sword like you’ve never seen. He was also very gentle. He liked butterflies and birds. He meditated a lot and said that happiness comes from within. I miss my brother. All I know was one day I heard shouting and then when I looked he was walking away. I ran to him and grabbed his arm. He stopped looked at me, fumbled through his pouch and gave me Nip Nip. That was the last time I ever saw my brother. I never did find out what the shouting was all about.” She sighs for a moment and you catch a small glistening spot coming out form the corner of her left eye. She wipes it quickly and begins to laugh. “Well that was sad. Okay so now for my stone!”

Like all people of my tribe, when we reach a certain age, like ten I think. We are sent off for training. My grandfather runs the training camp, so I thought that this would be like easy. Yeah, right. My grandpa is a real jerk. Well no…no he isn’t, but boy did he feel like one when I was in training. Of course I couldn’t let my family down and since I took after my father, the strength was already well known.” She rolls up her sleeve and flexes a bicep for you. Looking at it you begin to wonder if that great sword is hers, but you just as quickly dismiss the thought. “So of course the first year of training isn’t about using my muscles, it’s about thinking. So we had to do all kinds of learning. I was really bored. My grandmother says that my attention span can rival a goldfish. Have you ever eaten goldfish? They are like little snacks and are good with melons.” You begin to agree with her grandmother and then realize that while in your thoughts she’s still talking about the different ways to serve a goldfish. In a minute she should be right back on topic, or so you think.

“Hey! Are you listening to me?! This is important.” She snaps her fingers in front of your face and started you almost lean a little too far back. She manages to grab your arm and pull you upright. Grateful you didn’t fall, you are also more grateful that she didn’t rip your arm off. So then you really consider the notion that she may be the owner and wielder of that great sword.

“So then the second year we got to learn tracking and fighting. Mostly tracking, it’s a very valuable skill. It helped me and my friend out of the Illithid prison. I’ll talk about that in a second. The third and fourth year was all about killing and studying the arcane finger wigglers of doom and destruction. Those are the bad guys; I mean honestly, they play with your brain like I play with Nip Nip. Afterwards, you get your stone. Now this stone is that same type of stone that my great great grandfather took from the evil wizard who held my tribe captive. It’s very important, without it, I can’t be considered a real hunter to those of my tribe. Heck maybe even other cat folk, though I haven’t seen many of them around. The best part was that after training I got my first sword, it was smaller than the one I carry now, but I loved it!” Your eyes widen for a moment as she just confirmed what you had suspected and dreaded. It’s the size difference that kills you; she’s very petite and cute like a kitten. Then you see the sword and try really hard not to think about how far she could throw your horse when upset. You smile politely and in the back of your mind you tell yourself to keep smiling and that you think you updated your will last moon cycle.

“So I was out hunting one day and I went deeper into the forest, than I normally do. I figured there had to be some really big deer or something the deeper into the forest you go. I was right; I leapt up in the air and severed the head off this big buck. I mean like clean off, just a very cool like story kind of moment. Triumphant I went home, dragging this deer all the way. I figured hey, if I’m lucky a bear will show up too. That’s when I froze and everything went black. I woke up in this horrible stinky cell. I thought I was done for. I think a few years...no more like days really, but it could have been years had gone by before I met another living person. In comes Elrond.” She digs through her pouch and pulls out what looks like a hair pin.

“Now Elrond is this elf, he’s a bit crafty and really determined. He’s like one of those angsty bards, sometimes pleasant and sometimes he could just kill you. I thought he needed a hug, but I wasn’t THAT brave. I could tell he was really upset so in my usual fashion I began to talk to him so that he would smile more. That didn’t work; instead he asked if I knew how to shut up. I was not happy that he said that and instead of crying I just broke my shackle. I think Elrond was impressed. He then smirked and pulled out a thin piece of metal and helped himself to the lock. When it opened the cell door squeaked. Of course that means that the guard came running. I pounced right on top of him and pounded his face in with my fist. Of course I don’t think his mother could recognize him after that. From there we ran and after a few more knock outs and some finding of stuff we left the prison.” She sits back and takes a quick swig of her water and pulls out the lock pick in her pouch.

“I saved his pick, getting out of there was a good memory. Of course, he didn’t have anywhere to go and for the first time outside the prison walls, he began to talk to me. Now he isn’t a great a talker as I am. I get that from my mom, she was a great talker. She held a good many debates with my dad and the village elders. I think sometimes she actually talks less than me but says more than I do. It’s kind of funny like that. Though I don’t’ get it. Okay so Elrond and I went back to my village. Only it was gone.” You catch another small tear coming out of her eye and before you reach for your handkerchief, she has wiped it away and begins to fumble through her pouch. This time she pulls out a small brush and quickly runs it through her hair. You’re fairly certain that it did no good as it still looks very wild.

“Elrond gave this to me. When we got our first commission as privateers, he bought me this brush as a way of saying that I needed better grooming styles. Which is odd, I mean I am a cat, I do keep clean.” She begins to mindlessly lick her left paw and then startled she puts her paw down and begins to speak again. “So Elrond, after much screaming and swearing get my hair brushed for me. Luckily he can be patient sometimes. Though in that case I think he just liked to hurt me. This is why he decides that for money we should be out on a boat. I mean really…WATER!” She begins to put her items back into her pouch and finishes her glass of water.

“So yeah that was like two years ago and since then we’ve still been hanging out and looking for this treasure thing. It’s some kind of Elven thing, but hey it’s been fun. Oh by the way I’m Aisha and you are?”

“So now she introduces herself?” You think to yourself as you shake her hand and she throws a couple copper on the table to pay for your drink. She begins to run away chasing after a thin blonde elf.