“Plane shift!” cried Vaarsuvius.
“Are we there yet?”
“Of course we are, you vacuous Halfling; the spell is instantaneous. Now let go of my hand!”
“Didn’t know I could get you so excited,” Belkar said with a grin, giving the elf’s hand a squeeze before releasing it.
Vaarsuvius let out a grunt of pain and disgust, theatrically wiping the hand off on the opposite sleeve. “Sir Greenhilt, would you please remind me once more why we must embark on this utterly inane mission?”
Elan let out a contented sigh, squeezing Haley’s hand absent-mindedly; gotta love a smooth and credible transition into plot exposition.
Haley blushed and reluctantly pulled her hand away from Elan’s.
“I don’t like wacky side quests any more than you do,” Roy said with a sigh, letting go of Durkon’s hand, “But, once again, the dwarf at the forge told me that this is the only plane in existence that holds enough starmetal to reforge the Greenhilt sword.
“What plane is this, anyway?” said Haley, glancing around at oodles of decorative pillars and people in togas, some with laurel wreaths on their heads. “It looks like some cheesy, poorly-done, theme world, but I’ve never seen anything thing like this.”
“Some homebrew plane,” said Roy with a shrug, “Let’s just find this starmetal stuff. Apparently we’re supposed to ask some guy named Pygmalion about it.”
“That is all you know?” said Vaarsuvius, clearly exasperated.
“Pardon me,” said Roy, rolling his eyes, “It’s clearly all my fault that we’re on a wild goose chase.”
“Well it is your sword…” Haley pointed out.
“Let’s split up and ask around,” said Roy briskly, ignoring her, “We can meet up back here around sunset. In case there’s any trouble we should stay in pairs.”
“Dibs,” said Haley, grabbing Elan’s arm.
“Hey Ears,” said Belkar, waggling his eyebrows suggestively.
“I shall go with Sir Greenhilt,” Vaarsuvius said sharply, quickly stepping to Roy’s side.
Durkon shook his head disdainfully at Vaarsuvius as the rejected halfling allied himself with the dwarf instead.
“I am sorry,” Vaarsuvius told him honestly.
“Alright,” said Roy, “Let’s go get this over with.” The Order parted ways.
-One hour later…-
“This place is quite odd,” said Vaarsuvius.
“I noticed,” said Roy dryly, glancing around at market stalls selling the strangest things, “I just wish I knew why no one we’ve talked to so far has even heard of Pygmalion.”
“The situation is quite distressing,” Vaarsuvius agreed, “We must seize the first opportunity we get to find him or someone associated with him, or we will find no leads before sunset.”
“Agreed,” said Roy.
“New to the city, sir?!” a random citizen shouted at them from a stall that had no visible merchandise.
“Yes,” said Roy warily, wishing he had a sword.
“For a mere five gold pieces, I’ll give you directions to any one of the marvelous sights to see!”
“What?” Roy asked with a frown.
“I believe he thinks we are tourists,” Vaarsuvius whispered.
“Oh,” said Roy, “Thank you, but we’re not sight-seeing.”
“But you must be looking for something,” said the seller of information, “Tell me what it is. A good bathhouse? The best restaurant in town? A quality inn where you can spend some quality time with your lovely lady?” He winked at Vaarsuvius. Seeing their aghast expressions, he quickly added, “I’m so sorry, your fine gentleman, that is?”
“I—I am neither!” Vaarsuvius sputtered.
“Oh, wow, gee, what an awful condition, I should’ve been able to tell, I’m sorry, if I’d known I wouldn’t’ve said anyth—”
“I mean that I am not romantically involved with Sir Greenhilt!” Vaarsuvius shouted angrily, “Not that I have no gender, you blubbering idiot!”
“We’re not looking for any of those things,” said Roy firmly, “We’re looking for a man named Pygmalion, so unless you know anything about where he lives, we’ll be leaving now.”
“Pygmalion…” the man repeated, tapping his chin thoughtfully, “Sounds familiar, but I can’t say I have an address for him…”
“Thanks for nothing, then,” said Roy, starting to head away.
“But,” the man called to them, “I know where you can almost definitely find out anything you want to know about this Pygmalion person, or anyone else for that matter.”
Vaarsuvius and Roy stopped, met each other’s eyes, and sighed. Reluctantly Roy turned around and said, “Fine. How much?”
“That’ll be five gold pieces,” the merchant responded merrily.
“Alright,” said Roy, paying up with a scowl.
“Why thank you, good sir,” the man gushed, “Now. You want to head up to Olympus Hill; that’s where our gods live.”
“You keep your gods on a hill?” Vaarsuvius asked.
The man shrugged. “I’ve heard that they originally wanted a mountain, but could only fit a hill in since this is a finite plane.”
“That’s ridiculous,” said Roy frankly, “And why would we want to visit your gods?”
“Well,” said the man, “The goddess of love, Venus, has to keep a record book of everyone in the plane so she’ll know who to pair with who, right?”
“Who to pair with whom,” Vaarsuvius corrected him, “And that is rather ludicrous as well.”
“Really, now?” said the man, rolling his eyes, “I suppose that you would just put everyone’s name in a table and roll up every pairing to maximize efficiency? Anyway, my point is, I’m pretty sure she keeps addresses in that thing so she can send Cupid after them if she has to, so, all you have to do is have a peek at that book, and you’ll find your guy in no time.”
“A record book of everyone,” Roy repeated flatly.
“Considering the situation,” said Roy, “I think that sounds rather contrived.”
“Eh,” said the man, “You look like an adventurer; isn’t this kind of stuff supposed to cross your path?”
“Point taken,” said Roy, “Alright. Tell us how to get to Olympus.”
“Great going, Elan,” Haley said sarcastically, “I can’t believe you landed us in jail.