A Unanimous Decision
You may or may not remember my last BGII story (my last BGII story, that is; my brother's writing the one about Anomen), "Irenicus' Worst Nightmare", and you may want to hit me for either
A: never finishing it; or
B: because it's terrible.
Well, this is something different. Different Bhaalspawn. But my apologies for having a very flighty mind that does not finish things easily. This is loosely based on the characterization found in the BG1 NPC Project, which, if you have never seen it before, can be found on the Gibberlings Three website and is frickin' amazing. This story is also complete silliness, so don't take it too seriously. And I'm sorry if you love Shar-Teel, because even though I am female I still hate her.
As for your daily dose of SPAM, if you are a member of Facebook, I made a Facebook group called The Most Noble Order of the Radiant Heart, and it is very sad with only sixteen members, so you should totally join. If you don't have Facebook, you should make one and join the group anyway. For the good!
They had put up with Shar-Teel joining the team based solely on the premise that she could kill some men. They had put up with the threats, the insults and the obscure sexual innuendos that turned out to actually be even more threats. They had put up with her actively trying to kill Kivan, as the elf in question was slow to boil.
The thought was placed into their heads when Shar-Teel laughed and smacked Ajantis – poor, sweet, naïve Ajantis – on the rear and declared she would kill him last. The paladin in question looked appalled, as if he would gladly smite her but knew full well she would destroy him in an instant.
But when Shar-Teel went hunting for food – despite Kivan's ranger status – and brought back only male squirrels and then insisted that Coran eat the testicles under penalty of a live skinning, the men decided that something had to be done.
The lady in question, laughing heartily at the fact that Coran had just vomited in some bushes, ventured off to go "kill some more stuff." Viviane, the team's leader, had long ago left to go take a bath in some nearby hot springs. This left the team's men with the perfect opportunity to discuss what needed to be done.
"Shar-Teel must die," Kivan practically growled, his fingers tensing on his bow.
"Long have I suspected that Death must be a woman, but I absolutely refuse to allow her to be Shar-Teel," Xan agreed, coming to stand next to his fellow elf in a show of support. "I say we kill her before she kills us."
"What did the squirrels ever do to her?" Coran gasped after the last of the bile exited his stomach. He stood up and wiped his mouth with the back of his sleeve. "I mean, I like a feisty girl as much as the next guy, but… the squirrels!"
The three elves looked at Ajantis.
"We owe her," the paladin said lamely, unsure of how he should feel. "She did, after all, smite Eldoth for us."
"I don't think what she did to Eldoth can really be described as 'smiting,'" Xan pointed out. "More like a 'splorking'."
"I challenge a male of your team to a duel! If I win, I get 20 gold, and if he wins, I join your party!" the crazy barbarian lady declared after running up to the traveling party.
Under normal circumstances Coran, Ajantis and Kivan at least never shied away from battle, but the fact of the matter was that this woman was as tall as Ajantis and even more muscular, meaning that she had a good foot in height on the male elves, much more so on Viviane. "So Eldoth," Xan said upon seeing his fellow party members' lack of desire and the fact that Eldoth clearly wasn't paying attention, "this woman needs to be put in her place, am I correct?"
"Of course," the evil bard scoffed. "Women should not speak until spoken-"
"Ew," Viviane said, gazing at the hem of her mage robes, "I got Eldoth goo on me!"
"Ha ha ha! Once again a hated man has fallen to my might!" Shar-Teel exclaimed.
"Wow, you scare me but I admire you at the same time," Viviane admitted, looking up at the taller woman. "Thanks for killing Eldoth."
"If you wanted him dead, why did you keep him around?" Xan asked in dismay, "We could have been rid of him long ago!"
"I wanted him to die painfully and away from civilization so that no one would bother dragging his corpse to a nearby temple and resurrecting him. Seeing as we're in the middle of basilisk territory, I got my wishes!" the sun elf said cheerfully.
"Fair enough," Coran said with a shrug.
"Do you kill men often?" Shar-Teel asked her.
"Sure. The bandits and the Black whosawhatsits all seem to be men."
"You mean the Black Talons?" Kivan supplied.
"Excellent! I will join your party and together many men will fall before us! Including the men that are before me right now!" At their nervous expressions, Shar-Teel continued, "Ha ha ha, I'm just kidding! You won't fall before me, you'll all die horribly and painfully at my hand!"
The beautiful thing about Ajantis was that he could be very easily manipulated. "But Shar-Teel is evil," Coran pointed out, "And unorderly, so-"
"So you should want to-" Kivan continued.
"If not feel obligated to-" Xan added.
"- smite her in the name of all that is good and righteous," the three finished together.
Ajantis was clearly empowered by their words. "You are right, my allies! In the name of Helm, Shar-Teel and her evil ways shall not survive this day!" Then he grew pale. "With your aid, I hope?"
Kivan nodded gravely. "Aye, it will take all four of us to bring the beast down. We shall have to use all of our combined talents in order to see this task through to the end, and we will have to stand together should Viviane decide to remove us from the party for this treachery. No man here can waver, lest we all not survive the day. Agreed?"
Three identical expressions of resolve greeted him.
"All right then, here's the plan," Coran said, his eyes twinkling with the thrill, "Ajantis, you distract her with your paladin charisma. Kivan, you shoot her with arrows. Xan, you hit her with Magic Missile. I will backstab."
"I can't cast that spell," Xan deadpanned.
"You can't cast Magic Missile?" Coran asked him, incredulous. "I thought every mage can cast that spell!"
"I am an Enchanter, you infantile manwhore," Xan snapped back.
"Well gee, excuse me for thinking you had some use!"
"I do have some use in this particular situation," Xan continued airily, reaching into his bag, "Something that I think will make our victory all the more sweet." He pulled out a belt.
"If, perchance, Shar-Teel's pants are falling down, does that not serve to our advantage?" Ajantis asked.
Xan scowled. "This is called the Girdle of Masculinity/Femininity. It will turn Shar-Teel into that which she hates most."
"Squirrel testicles?" Coran guessed.
Kivan smirked. "Well thought out, mellonamin. Ajantis shall convince her to put on the belt, and thus she will become a man before she dies. Or, he dies. It is, as you said, something to make this task more palatable. But to your stations, men; she comes." He blended into the woods and Coran blended into the shadows cast by the trees. Xan ran like his life depended on it; which, of course, it did.
Ajantis stood in the empty campsite with the girdle in his hands. "I never agreed to this," he whispered harshly.
"Helm did!" Coran whispered back from the shadows.
"Don't you dare speak for Helm!"
Shar-Teel was hardly stealthy as she walked back to camp, the scalps of six bandits stretched out on a stick in her hand. "Where did the elves go?" she asked.
"Around," Ajantis replied lamely, his legs starting to feel weak.
"Bah! The only thing worse than a male is a male elf, that much is true. You, at least, are of a respectable size!"
"You know, Lady Shar-Teel, that Lady Viviane is an elf as well as she is smaller than all of her compatriots, so-"
"Does she have a penis?"
"N-n-n-not as such, no, but-"
"Then she is better. Now, did that one elf leave any squirrely bits for me? I'm still hungry!"
Coran's gagging was audible.
It was time.
"Lady Shar-Teel," Ajantis said, willing his mind to be charismatic, "We-we-we found th-this belt, and, all thought that, it would look best on you!" He thrust the belt out to her.
She grabbed it and looked at it thoughtfully. "Well, compared to how it would look on you, yes, it would look better on me. Is it magically enchanted?"
"Yes, to, er, aid you in combat." Helm, forgive me for this lie, but it's for the greater good! "Not that you need aid, of course!" Ajantis stammered as Shar-Teel glared at him, "But… but… it cannot hurt, correct?"
"True," she agreed, "Any help in killing is good help. I'll try it on now!"
Ajantis desperately wished he could grab his shield, but that would clearly give away the plan. He hoped the other men were preparing themselves…
As she buckled the belt, he let out a growl of rage. "You must die!" he declared.
Is it just me or did nothing change? Ajantis thought, backing up slowly. I guess that makes perfect sense, she -
"I WILL KILL YOU ALL!" Shar-Teel screamed in rage before launching "him"self at Ajantis. The paladin dodged out of the way by throwing himself to the ground. He grabbed his shield and held on tightly.
The repetitive twang of arrows being fired sailed through the air, and arrow after arrow plunged into Shar-Teel's armor. He didn't seem to notice. Coran appeared behind him, stabbing him in the back with a short-sword, but again he didn't seem to notice. Rather, he turned around and backhanded Coran into a tree with an indecipherable roar. Returning his attention to Ajantis, he swung his weapon down and it made contact with Ajantis' shield, sending up sparks.
There was a soft chant and suddenly Shar-Teel backed up, covering his eyes. "I've blinded it!" Xan called out, "So finish it off!"
"It's a man now, not an it!" Coran corrected him, pulling out his broadsword.
"By the Seldarine I hate you Coran!"
Shar-Teel started swinging his sword around blindly, hoping to hit someone. Meanwhile, Kivan was still firing arrows; indeed, Shar-Teel now looked like a giant porcupine. Purely by accident Shar-Teel rammed into Coran, knocking them over and pinning the smaller elf to the ground. This brought them dangerously close to Xan, who backed up and hid behind a tree.
"Finish it off; bring it down!" Kivan said tersely as Coran started struggling and calling for help.
Ajantis gripped his sword tightly and charged forward, slamming the blade into the exposed back of Shar-Teel's neck. The former woman collapsed, and Coran slipped out from underneath.
"That was unpleasant," Kivan said, a haunted look in his eyes. "Never have I used so many arrows on a single target. I would be impressed if I did not hate her so much."
"If Shar-Teel were any other woman – er, a woman in general, I suppose – that last part would have been pleasant," Coran admitted.
"Thank you Helm!" Ajantis gushed, looking at the skies with a light in his eyes.
"I don't believe I soiled my robes," Xan said, sounding downright proud of himself.
The body twitched.
Someone screamed. Kivan released another six arrows into the corpse's head.
Everyone looked at Xan.
"What?" the elfin mage asked, looking embarrassed. He then fainted.
Viviane approached the camp, a towel wrapped around her torso and her mage robes in her hands. She gave a great sigh upon seeing Shar-Teel's corpse. "Who killed her?"
"Gibberlings," all three conscious men answered at once.
"Whatever. Well, I'm not dragging her all the way back to Nashkel. Besides, we really need a healer on this team anyhow." The elf gave another sigh. "Oh, and Xan fainted again? Could someone at least get a pillow underneath his head or something? My feet hurt and I'm going to bed."
"I could massage your feet…" Coran suggested.
"Coran, for the last time, I am not having sex with you."
"Right now!" Coran agreed, "But later-"
She threw a boot at him.
Kivan sighed. "And it seems that business as usual has resumed."
A week of traveling later:
"Sure, you can join our party!" Viviane said cheerfully to the rescued drow.
"What?" Ajantis practically screamed in disgust.
"Oh hush, just because she's clearly an evil drow doesn't mean she's… evil… okay, well, maybe it does, but she's also a cleric and we need one!" Viviane reminded him.
Viconia eyed the four men up. "It seems you have a nice collection of eye-candy in this group. I shall enjoy breaking them. Shall we be off?"
The two women walked off, leaving the four flabbergasted men behind.
"Did we just trade a sexist, evil warrior for a sexist, evil drow?" Xan asked, aghast.
"She's better than Shar-Teel?" Coran guessed, sounding unconvinced.
"Normally I would say a foul drow is worse, but that one is so frail a good poke might kill her," Kivan admitted, beginning to walk. "I do not want to have to go through such an experience as it took to kill Shar-Teel again."
"Kivan has an excellent point. When Death comes for us, it will likely finish her off first," Xan added, beginning to walk as well.
"Except that you're still here," Coran practically purred.
That prompted a three-way insult match between Ajantis, Coran and Xan that had become more and more common in the last few weeks. "Business as usual indeed," Kivan muttered.