For the next week, Nestor and Gwendolyn watched Parazoa in shifts. Gwendolyn took the mornings, because Luminous met in the evening and Odd & Ends closed around the same time. Because of the devil’s proclivity for manipulation, they agreed that the fewer people who knew about this, the better. At the same time, seven days in, Gwendolyn expressed her frustrations about the fact that she didn’t know when Linda was returning.
“It’s bad enough my girlfriend walked out on me,” she grumbled, “but now I’ve got to waste all my bloody days watching this cretin for who knows how long!”
“Cretin?” Parazoa had asked. “I thought we were having a lovely conversation!”
Continue reading “Housesitting with Nestor, Part Three”
When hunting ghosts, there were a few things Nestor Pinkly liked to keep in mind.
First of all, ghosts were people, too, you know, and ‘hunting’ was a rather distasteful term, which is why he preferred to use the phrase ‘removing.’ Though make no mistake, the process did very much kill the ghost and rid the universe of its presence for all of time. No joining Sol, no going to the Infinite Hells, just gone. It was very brutal stuff.
Secondly, most ghosts were nice and just trying to have a conversation. Unfortunately, the ghost word for “hello” was similar to the corporeal action of throwing a vase or a valuable plate across the room, and it was easy to confuse the two. One time a ghost sank one of the great waterborne cities of the ancient minotaur empire of Grothal because it couldn’t remember the ethereal words for “excuse me, sir, which way to the nearest library?”
(Sometimes Nestor worried he may have confused the book “Clearly Communicating” with the book “Ethereally Communicating” since he read them on the same day, but he was pretty sure he had it right.)
Lastly, ghosts were just as afraid of you as you were of them – or did ghosts not know fear? As he stood outside of Linda Arterford’s house, preparing to remove a ghost, Nestor realized he knew very little about ghosts and was almost certainly the wrong man for the job. But he liked trying new things, so when Linda stood in the doorway, looking down at his ghost removal gear skeptically, Nestor flashed her a smile of confident reassurance.
Continue reading “Housesitting with Nestor, Part One”
It couldn’t have been fifteen minutes later that Donovan Allman awakened with a start. How could he have fallen asleep with the Cabal about to invade Odd & Ends? Donovan hadn’t quite assessed how time worked in the Soul, but it was still an awfully foolish thing to do.
The train was now in a tunnel, but it didn’t look like the part of the Soul he knew. The cave was too natural. When it pulled into a station, which seemed to lead further into this tunnel system, Donovan got out for a moment to assess the map of all the stops. A lot of them had meaningless smudges where the names ought to be, and empty space where the map ought to be, but it was still shaped approximately like Skymoore. The next stop would take him closer to Odd & Ends.
While he waited for his destination, Donovan took a quick stroll about the train. Like much of the Soul, it was a work in progress, but the basic shape of the thing was there. Naturally, a large entertainment car was the centerpiece, with a glittering silver stage in the center. Attached to that was a car full of unlocked dressing rooms. Feeling a little chilly after his swamp water mishap, Donovan pulled a green satin cloak around himself. It was one of the first new items of clothing he’d acquired in Skymoore, and the first new cloak he’d worn since Asylum gave him his old traveling cloak two decades ago. Continue reading “Heart’s Desire, Part Seven”
As panic properly took hold of Odd & Ends’ unaffected patrons, Malleus Silverscale positioned himself to protect those hiding in the Wonders of Solkin exhibit and ensure nobody got in or out of the back room. With Linda using her similarly powerful stature to block the front door, this left the exhausted Nestor Pinkly to jump into the fray to retrieve the brooch that was causing all the mayhem.
All around him noses were bloodied, customers were shoved, and merchandise was destroyed. Nestor blocked out all the horror and focused on the brooch as best he could – if only he could get that, he could end this. The troll at the center of the brawl was no match for the enchanted Karessa’s practiced second story work, and she claimed the brooch after a brief struggle. Now if Nestor could just manage a containment spell… Continue reading “Heart’s Desire, Part Three”
Nestor’s Magifts functioned like so: people in line could fill out a form describing what they would like constructed or what problem they would like solved – ideally limited to common household tools and situations – and then Nestor would work and field questions as the line progressed. For a discount, people could also bring their own goods from home. He was envisioning a more relaxed environment, maybe half a dozen people gathered around, talking about his creations as he worked. Instead, he was about to be a one-man assembly line
As the halfling in front explained their vision for a wrench that adjusted its size as necessary, Nestor reached into the box of components under the counter, crushing a tigerfalcon feather in his fist to cast a spell of quickening. The result was a peculiar mix of exhaustion and revitalization, like a shot of caffeine to an insomniac. Continue reading “Heart’s Desire, Part Two”
On the morning of Odd & Ends’ Heart’s Desire sale, with just an hour until sunrise, Donovan Allman was wiping down the glass display for candles that flickered on and off in time with music. For the twelfth time. He was certain he saw a smudge, but he realized now it was only a bug crawling on the wall behind it.
He smashed the insect. Not even a steakfly was going to ruin this day. Continue reading “Heart’s Desire, Part One”
Nestor Pinkly loved Odd & Ends almost as much as he loved Dovetail and Regibald (his automaton companions), watermelon pie (his favorite desert), and giving to others who need it (a thing kind people do because it’s the right thing, rich people do because it looks good, and other people do when they’re feeling existential guilt). So of course, with the Heart’s Desire sale on the horizon, Nestor was pouring all of his energy into ensuring it was the greatest shopping event anyone in Skymoore had ever seen.
To that end, he was working tirelessly on acquiring materials and mundane objects for crafting and enchanting for the sale. He had to make sure his magic, self-setting alarm clocks was made from just the right clock, so his customers were getting products that looked great and worked great. He’d been meeting with merchants, flipping through catalogues from the surface, tinkering at home, and refurbishing things he found at one of Skymoore’s many Unwanted Item Storage Basins (colloquially referred to as “dumpsters”). Nestor was in the home stretch for preparations just a few days before the sale, but there was one major acquisition he needed to ensure things went according to plan: Majicite. Continue reading “Come One, Come All, Part Two”
Nestor Pinkly was not much for regret, nor for thinking ahead, but if he had thought ahead when attempting to save the prisoners trapped in the coffins, he might almost have regretted it, because his instinctual plan involved two spells that he had never used before, and the power involved in casting them might literally kill him.
But when it came to helping others, Nestor Pinkly did not think, he did. Continue reading “Nestor the Incomparable, Part Three”
Fifty years ago, a dozen gnomes left their homes in the dwarven nation of Barlagtelen, having grown tired of their neighbors disrespecting their careers as entertainers. They made their way to the neighboring woods of the Dol elves, who for a long time hated dwarves and were considered their opposite. The idea of a variety theater troupe was more palatable here, but they were unimpressed by the gnomes’ complete lack of magic in any of their shows.
These gnomes were a statistical impossibility, for it is just as uncommon for gnomes to lack magic as it is for dwarves to possess it, and yet there was not an ounce of magical blood among the twelve. But they didn’t allow this to deter them; what they lacked in arcana they made up for with talent, passion, and showmanship. Whether it be dancing, singing, acting, or acrobatics, these gnomes did it, and they did it well. Continue reading “Nestor the Incomparable, Part Two”
“And that,” Nestor Pinkly said, “is why friendship and joy are the most valuable resources even in a capitalist economy.”
“I think you misunderstood,” the golem replied. “I said gold is the most important thing to me because my body is actually made of it.”
“That was a lovely speech, though,” the golem’s boyfriend added. “Even if it did last a quarter of an hour. So, thank you for that.”
“My pleasure!” Nestor said, saluting the pair. “I hope you two have a wonderful day.”
“Can we get to the bank now, Nestor?” Karessa Plunderton asked. “People are staring.” Continue reading “Nestor the Incomparable, Part One”