Academic Probation

The Case of the Innocuous Falcon: Part 1

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Chandle'er Bograt lifted his scarred mahogany pipe to his lips and muttered the fireword under his breath. It was a cheap dragon shaped artifact traded from a wood-elf for half a litre of creamed cheese--self-lighters were fashionable at the time, but this one gave the expelled smoke a flavour similar to what one might expect to be coming out a dragon's backside.

Bograt cringed as he inhaled the dragon's fart. The smoke hung in the air dirtily, romantically, defined by the light flitting through the slatted window. He smiled. It was a good effect.

In the distance, he spied the messenger eagle's silhouette against the blazing sunset. He hoped it was word from Rogmawr, who was tailing Anus the Troll down at the boondocks. He hoped it wasn't another flier from a Kluutian prince who didn't come into his immense fortune until his 21st birthday. Bograt had been burnt by Kluutian princes once before and Bograt made a point of not being burnt by the same ethnic group twice. Especially when it was by actual fire or fire-related magic.

He opened the window, allowing the eagle to land on his arm. He hurriedly unravelled the message:

Dir sir/madam...

He punched the eagle in the face, sending it spiraling out the window, cawing venomously.

"Damn spam eagle!" He shouted. "I hope a Kluutian makes a stew out of your... whatever your eagle business is called!"

The eagle cawed a curse at him in eagle as it flew away.

Damn it... Chandle'er thought. Damn it Rogmawr, where did yo' feline ass get to?

***

"HELLO!" said Rogmawr as Anus approached from the shadows.

"Damn, you got to be so loud, ya' mook?" Anus looked around cautiously.

"SORRY!" said Rogmawr. "I'M HALF FELTASH, HALF ORC. I CAN'T SPEAK IN ANYTHING BUT EXCLAMATIONS!"

"How about interrobangs?"

"WHAT'S THAT!?"

"It's a combination of an exclamation and a question. You just did one there."

"OH! NEAT!"

"Right. Look, sorry, I've got to kill you."

"OH! WHY'S THAT!?"

"Look at you go with the interrobangs. Anyway, I'm not sure, I just do. And you're kind of irritating. I think I'd probably want to in a couple minutes anyway."

"FAIR ENOUGH, I SUPPOSE!" said Rogmawr as a magic lightning bolt blasted his heart through his spine.

***

Three raps, a single knuckle against the frosted glass of the office door. Chandle'er wheeled.

"Come in," he said, blowing smoke out his nose. The door creaked open. A round faced female Halfling appeared, blonde, bouncy curls running down the sides of her face like a waterfall made of sunshine. Hair and sunshine. Her legs were long for a hobbit--too long. In fact, if Chandle'er were a betting Dwelf, he would have wagered they had been magically enhanced, as they were at least twice as long as her torso (he was, in fact, a betting Dwelf. Truthfully, he just wasn't sure what odds he could get).

"Sawry, my walkin' thing's ah havin' some trouble since the magickin',"she said, backing up to take another run at it. She stumbled into his office and onto the chair facing him.

"Are you Chandle'er Bograt?"

...to be continued...

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