Friday, November 25, 2011

Pilgrim's Booty

The remnants of the turkey had been hauled away and sharded. The table cleaned up. The candles burned low. Fulguralis sat next to his wife.  At the head of the table was Captain Melvin Brightrune, his father-in-law.  His mother-in-law was just returning from the kitchen, a room she'd completely taken over during their brief holiday stay.  Further down the long table (pulled out especially for the holiday, the one time of year it saw use) sat his sister and her date, cousin Abigora, and of course, some minions.

"Say what you're thankful for, Melvin," Minerva Brightrune shouted at her husband.

"You've got a tankful of what?" the Captain asked, cupping one decaying ear.

"Say thanks!" she hollered back.

Valentis mumbled, "Not sure what we've got to be thankful for.  Whole bloody world is coming apart at the seams, and Deathwing is still on the loose."

A fleshy knock sounded from under the table.

"Ow," Valentis said, glaring at Dece.

"You can be thankful you have me," Dece growled back.

"Right," he responded, then whispered, "Bloody fel."  He rubbed vigorously at his leg.

"Well, I'm just thankful that we could get everyone together, under one roof, more or less alive," Fuubaar said warmly.

"Blargh," Dusty grunted.

"What did he say?" Abigora asked.

"Less," Dece answered.  "He's just sore because he has to leave in a couple minutes."

"What are you thankful for, daddy?" Fuubaar asked. 

"Oh, thanks!  Of course," her father said, throwing up his arms.  "Why didn't you remind me, Minerva?"

The undead mage frowned at her husband.  She began to wave a hand in his direction, but apparently thought better of it and conjured a biscuit to munch on.  She smiled and nibbled at a corner, pretending that she wasn't secretly plotting some sort of revenge.

Fulguralis saw through the disguise though.  Can't trust mages.

The Captain stood.  "Well, as we all know, we are here today to celebrate Pilgrim's Booty."

"Bounty," Minerva corrected.

The Captain continued without pause, "This is the time when we commemorate the glorious victory of the combined might of the Alliance and Horde over the evil invading Turkish Empire.  The Turkeys."

Abigora giggled.  Minerva rolled her eyes.

"Since that day," the Captain explained, "it has been custom both to slay and - since they've been permanently reduced to mere fowl by the mages of old - eat the descendants of those people.  Also, we take this time to give thanks.  I'm not sure how that follows, but there you have.  So.  Where shall we begin?"  He looked around the table and focused on his son-in-law.  "How about you, son?  This is your house after all."

All eyes turned toward Fulguralis.  The warlock took in the cozy holiday scene.  A warmly decorated table, cleared down except for a few delicious-looking desserts.  A cornucopia of traditional harvest gourds spilled out as the centerpiece, something his wife and mother-in-law had worked on for hours to get just so.  The curtains had even been changed from mage blue, to a dusky orange color.

Fulguralis's stomach was full.  His palate sated.  His soul in its proper shard.  He wasn't hot or sweaty - a welcome change from recent forays into the firelands - and tonight he would finally get to sleep in his own bed.  His back was thanking him already.

But what was he thankful for? 

The warlock stood and lifted his mug.  "I'm thankful for..." he started.  He stared at the mug in his hand, unsure of how to proceed.  Then, it came to him.  "Ale."  He raised the mug a bit higher.  "For making the holidays tolerable," he announced.  "Cheers!"

There was a sort of shocked silence around the table.  Then, one by one, the other celebrants are shrugged and nodded, picking up their own cups.  Finally, the reluctant approval swept all the way back to the head of the table, and the Captain lifted his own sizable mug.

"To ale!" he echoed.

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