It’s rare that I get to showcase Bob on his own. War of Nytefall: Savagery gave me a few chances to let him shine, so I hope he earns a few fans from this adventure. I cut this one right before the big event of the chapter too.
Bob stirs the pot of bean soup that is sitting in the fire by gripping the spoon between his toes. The vampiric elf’s hands are busy polishing his riding shoes, which have a few stubborn scuffmarks that he is determined to buff out. His lance has been stuck into the ground and acts as a stand for his battered suit of leather armor, which still reeks of ale. A raven sits atop the weapon’s handle and bangs a snail against it, a collection of shells already gathered around its tapered perch. Smelling burning flesh, Bob pulls his singed foot out of the flames and tastes his dinner. A slow nod of his head causes his black and blonde hair to get into his eyes, so he grabs a nearby knife to casually slice off the ends. Retrieving the small pot from the fire, he licks his lips in anticipation of his first meal since breakfast the previous morning. Instead of gobbling down the bubbling soup, he tenderly places it on a cooler stone and gets to his feet. The Dawn Fang puts a napkin over the container and wags his finger at the raven, which shows no interest in the gesture or the food.
The Vengeance Hound hops across his little campsite to avoid getting any leaves and sticks stuck in the healing flesh of his foot. He makes kissing noises and smiles at the horse that is grazing at the edge of the light. Leaner and shorter than any natural breed, the steed has a faint sparkle to its ivory hide. Bob snickers to get the animal to look up and presents it with two apples that are gone in a single bite. He circles his creation and checks all of the expertly hidden seams to make sure there is no damage from a day of difficult traveling. Finding one that is coming loose, he runs his finger along the stitching and feels it tighten beneath his touch. Pressing on the stomach and sides, the Dawn Fang frowns at the resistance and how the horse whinnies in discomfort. Reaching up to stroke its crimson mane, he takes a slow breath and cuts a small hole in the abdomen before pressing against it with his shoulder. He immediately cups his hand over the incision to catch any organ pieces that may fall out while a blast of noxious gas passes through his fingers. The stench is enough to make his eyes water, but he refuses to blink until the pressure is relieved and he can seal the opening. Satisfied that the animal is no longer in danger of exploding, he gives it a kiss on its nose and walks back to the fire where he burns off the top few layers of skin from his foul-smelling hand.
“Stop looking at my dinner, Luther,” Bob says to the raven. Taking his seat, he puts the warm pot in his lap and takes a bite of food. “This soup tastes better than I expected. Told you that it was smart to trade all that salty meat for two pounds of beans. Speaking of problems, I need to do some work on Pumpkin. She’s building up too much gas from all of the riding. I think it’s the crystals in her skin that allow her to turn invisible when I do. They’re in about seventy-five percent of the pores, so there aren’t enough escape holes for waste. Need to sleep on a solution. Could enlarge the anus, but there are structural issues there. Maybe gills on the underbelly since that’s where the pressure is occurring. No, I’m not distracting myself from failing. We took care of the Scrumptious Siren and nobody had any information even after the barfight. Clyde said leaving the goblins in charge is fine. One of them has learned a few words, so he has to be intelligent. I don’t know where to go next. All I know is that we need to find out about some guy named Alastyre and can’t go home until we’re done. You’re the information gatherer, Luther, so you have to take the lead here. I’m only transportation and cooking. What do you mean it isn’t a good sign when the flames turns green?”
Facing the campfire, Bob scratches his head and tries to remember if he did anything to cause it to change color. Running through all of his preparations, he stops when he gets to the beans and gazes into his meal. He fishes one out and throws it into the emerald flames, but nothing happens. With a nod of realization, he looks at the raven and gestures to his foot, which still has a small burn on the big toe. He stretches his leg and cringes at the growing warmth on his skin before he is knocked back by a blast of wind that explodes from the fire. Twisting his body, Bob prevents his food from spilling onto the ground and rolls up on his knees.