It happened 'round about my 17th year... I was visiting a Tavern in Hausson, enjoying a few rounds with the local fishermen and a few out-of-towners like myself... when a crabby old Witch wandered down from her room upstairs.
She was obviously already quite inebriated, but that didn't stop her from ordering a pitcher of Ogre drought to share with the voices in her head. Unfortunately, my pals for the evening and I had just paid for the last pitcher of that beverage, and she wasn't able to buy what she wanted. She turned to me with her drunken Nangen drawl, and managed to slur out some nasty comment about little girls who drink with fishermen, but I just laughed it off and returned to my game of dice.
I suppose the lack of attention must have angered her, because she reached behind her for her staff... an especially disgusting thing with little shrunken heads hanging off in various places... and began to utter a curse.
I will admit there was a moment of uncertainty for me, while I wondered what she had in store for me. Magic is a powerful force which I can not pretend to understand, and I realized only as she held that staff that this was a Shaman who I had unwittingly insulted.
Fortunately, she was in such a state of drunkenness that she couldn't speak properly... and in slurring her words so badly, she garbled her curse... taking only my tongue, rather than my entire head. In a fit of rage, she stormed out the door... or as near as she could manage. I think she made it all the way to the entrance before falling in a heap on the floor.
For months I lived my life without the power of speech, and with each passing day my rage grew. Oh yes... it grew.
With each stone thrown by an ignorant child, it grew.
With each each pitying smile from a well-meaning fool, it grew.
It grew until it became a living, breathing being inside me, fighting to get out - feeding on itself and growing stronger by the day.
The fight to contain it became my sole concern.. I guess I'm just stubborn. I didn't want it to get the best of me, because if wasn't in control, then someone else would be...
It was during this time that I met the Shaman Warmth. He saw the fire burning within me, and helped me to feed it, to contain the flames of my rage so that they burned stronger, hotter with each passing day - yet did not spread themselves willy-nilly around... building up their power for what was to come. For months we worked together, as he taught me to focus my rage into quick, unexpected attacks.... taught me how to use this power that I had been simply stifling.
Finally, the time came to use what I had gained. We traveled to Nagnang together, and sought out the Witch who had stolen my tongue. Striding into her hut, I smiled at the surprised look on her face. I did not slow as comprehension dawned on her face.
She reached behind her for her rotten flesh-draped staff, then looked down in surprise to find my sword buried to the hilt in her midsection. My rage was free.
I don't remember whether I was laughing or growling.... it's all the same anyway. I tore the sword from her body, and before she could fall I replaced it with my hand. Holding her up with one hand, I used the other to take hold of her screaming tongue and yank it from her head by the root.
Ah, much quieter now.
With one last burst of rage, I put the wench out of her misery, crushing her skull with the butt of her own disgusting staff. And as I did, I saw the heads and bits of flesh draped from it begin to disappear one by one.. one by one.. until all were gone.
Turning to Warmth, I embraced him, kissed him, and laughed with joy when the whiskers on his cheek tickled my tongue.
-Who laughs again