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Minsc and the Beanstalk


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Warning: Serious humor will be contained in this tale.



Part I


Once upon a time, in the land of Faerûn, there lived a young Rashemi by the name of Minsc. As all young Rashemi do, Minsc began his dajemma, a journey to see the world. A young witch by the name of Dynaheir, as a future ruler of Rashemen, commanded Minsc escort her so that she, too, could see the world.


Minsc was a force of righteous good and a fierce protector of the fair Dynaheir. So brave and fierce in fact, he took no note of the fact that he sustained several blows to the head.


After one such battle, a grateful farmer gave the pair a cow as payment for their heroic deeds. That evening, as they settled in at a local inn, Dynaheir realized they couldn't take a cow on their journeys and they had need of supplies and gold. With some trepidation, she sent Minsc to the local butcher the next morning.


Minsc set out on his task, determined to make his witch proud of him. He would get the best price for the cow - yes sir! On the way, however, Minsc was stopped by a man pushing a cart filled with trinkets and what appeared to Minsc to be several rats of various colors.


Upon seeing him, the man approached Minsc. "Ho there my good man. I am called Borda. Might I interest you in a few of my baubles and potions? Perhaps a special pair of gauntlets? Or a fine Calimshan perfume for the lady in your life?"


"Minsc has no time to stop right now. Minsc is to sell this cow so that we can get supplies."


"And who is this Minsc? Why I can make a fine deal with him for his cow!" replied Borda.


"Why I am Minsc and Minsc is me! And evil stands no chance against me and my sword! EVIL, MEET MY SWORD! SWORD, MEET..."


"Er, yes, yes." Borda interrupted. "Now as to the matter of your cow..."


Minsc replied, "No, Minsc is to take this cow to the butcher and get gold."


Borda, realizing Minsc wasn't quite all there, siezed the opportunity. "Ah, but I can offer you something even better than gold! Magic beans!"


Minsc became somewhat alarmed. "Magic? Oh no, Minsc is not allowed to do magic. In Rashemen, only witches are allowed to do magic!"


"Ah, but this is the beauty of the magic beans! You don't do any magic! All you do is plant them in the ground - and the beans do the rest!"


"Well, I don't know. Minsc still thinks..."


Borda interrupted, "You still have doubts, my good man? Well, let me sweeten the deal. For absolutely no extra cost, I'll throw in one of these very smart miniature giant space hamsters!"


"They look like ordinary rodents to me." replied a somewhat doubtful Minsc. "Why would Minsc, a brave warrior ranger, have need of a rodent? Kicking the backside of evil requires great strength!"


"This is true, my friend. But cunning and smarts are also good in a battle." Barda continued, "And no self-respecting ranger would be without his trusty animal companion. Plus a miniature giant space hamster will easily fit in the smallest of places - no worries about taking up room. So, what say you? Do we have a deal?"


"Minsc is not sure. His witch said to go to the butcher. And..."


"Oh, this is a much better offer than anything the butcher would give you!" said Borda, attempting to close the deal. "All he would offer you is gold. I'm practically giving away magic beans and throwing in a miniature giant space hamster to boot!"


"Well, you seem sure this is a better deal. But Minsc is still not sure. Maybe I better go ask my witch and come back."


Borda turned the screw one last time in an attempt to close the deal. "I may not be here when you return. Such is the lot of a traveling salesman. And even if I am, the beans may be purchased by someone else. So, what say you?"


Minsc, not wanting to lose a good opportunity and impress Dynaheir, replied, "OK! You have a deal. Here is the cow."


"Ah, most excellent! Now be sure to plant these beans by the light of a full moon, which just happens to be tonight. Oh, and here is your new companion as well. Thank you for your business. Good bye!" And with that, Borda set off as fast as he could push his cart.


Minsc started back to the inn with his prizes, trying to think how best to explain to Dynaheir why he didn't make it to the butcher, when he heard a voice...


"Eh, what is that you say? I should tell my witch the truth? Yes, Minsc agress this is the best way. You are a smart one! And what should I call my furry new friend? Ah, your name is Boo, is it?"


(And that, my friend, is how Minsc and Boo became Minsc and Boo.)


At the inn, Dynaheir was less than pleased with Minsc having acquired a few measly beans and a rodent. Angrily tossing the beans out the window, Dynaheir chastised Minsc for failing to complete his task, reminding him they would go hungry that night with no gold to pay for food.


"And as for thy rodent, thou will feed him none of our rations lest he become a main course!" Sighing heavily, Dynaheir continued, "Let us retire for the night. Perhaps things will not look as bleak in the morning."


To Be Continued...

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Part II


The next morning was indeed different. As Minsc stepped out of the door of the inn for his usual constitutional, a wondrous sight greeted him.


"What do you make of this, Boo?" an astonished Minsc queried. "A forest has appeared in the village. Or did Minsc not notice and it has been here all along? Oh, of course, Boo. Minsc forgot about the magic beans, although I wondered if you maybe ate a few of them last night - such clouds coming from your backside! They are truly magic beans to make a forest here in the village! This will make my morning walk much more enjoyable!"


Minsc (and Boo) hadn't gotten far when they encountered a wondrous being. Heavenly light glowed all about her. She had beautiful wings and, to Minsc's amazement, she was blue! Never before had he seen such a lovely being.


She began speaking to him in a melodic voice, "Hello, Minsc. I am Solar and I am here to teach and guide you."


"But why would Minsc need a teacher?" a dumbfounded Minsc replied. "I have my witch and now I also have Boo. Minsc thinks that he has plenty of teachers."


Solar continued, "I am here to show you your heritage and your destiny." Solar paused for a moment as though listening to someone. "Wait, what is that? Oh, this is not the Bhaalspawn? Yes, yes, I shall explain quickly and continue my search."


Minsc was very confused. "Who was the pretty lady talking to, Boo? And what could a ball spawn? Oh, and would you like to have a ball to play with, Boo?"


With the pause in the conversation between Minsc and Boo, Solar began her tale, "It seems I do not have much time to explain things to you, so I will make this as simple as possible. If you climb this beanstalk, you will find a giant and his wife. They are terrorizing the nearby village and plundering their lands. In order to end this campaign of terror, you must first get the chicken that lays the golden eggs, rescue the Golden Harp... what?... oh yes... the Golden Harper, and finally you must kill the giant himself."


"Oh now this is talk Minsc understands! We will imprint our boot firmly in the backside of this evil! And when the deed is done, rangers and hamsters everywhere will rejoice! Come, Boo, we should get started right away! And good luck finding the ball that can spawn."


"Er, yes, thank you." And with that, Solar disappeared.


Minsc (and Boo) eyed a sturdy looking stalk and began to climb. About half-way up, Minsc asked, "What do you think, Boo? We've been climbing for a good while now. Dynaheir will be wondering where Minsc is. Yes, you are right, my friend. This evil needs a good swift kick! Onward!"


Minsc (and Boo) continued upward for several more hours, when finally they reached their destination. Needless to say, Minsc was amazed by what he saw.


"I am amazed! I have never seen such a place! All the trees and birds and animals and clouds! It is a ranger's paradise! Eh, what is that you say? Oh yes, we should be moving on so we might apply a butt-kicking!"


Minsc (and Boo) followed a path that lead to a door. A very big door. So big, in fact, that Minsc, even though larger than most Rashemi, didn't know how he was going to open it.


"What is that, Boo? Why don't I ring the doorbell? Yes, that would be a good idea!"


Upon ringing the bell, the door opened to reveal a woman easily twice the height of Minsc. Minsc was entranced by the beauty of the woman: Dark skin, flowing white hair...


And then she spoke, "More Rivven at my door? Hmm... you'll do quite nicely, however. I need a new slave for the amusement pit."


"No, Minsc is no slave! Minsc is here to firmly plant his boot in the backside of evil!"


"You are welcome to try." the woman chuckled evilly. "You are but a lowly male worm and I..."


"Fee, Fie, Fo, Fum,

I smell the blood of a Faerûnian!

Be he alive, or be he dead,

I'll grind his bones

To make my bread!

(And why I would want monkeybread is beyond me.)"


Upon hearing this, the woman said to Minsc, "If you value your life, you'll allow me to hide you away so that fool of a husband of mine doesn't perform one of his experiments on you. I lose more slaves that way."


Before Minsc could reply, the woman grabbed him up by the scruff of his collar. She hurriedly tucked him into a nearby pantry and went off to see what her husband was upset about.




As she scurried into the room, the woman replied, "There is no need to shout. And you will show me the respect I deserve, male worm!"


"I am showing the respect you deserve. Need I remind you, you are hiding here to escape Lloth and her minions? Eh, no matter. (although a well-placed fireball might warm this cold-hearted bi...) EDWIN, STICK TO THE SCRIPT PLEASE! (Very well. Why do I always end up with monkeys?)"


A somewhat cowed Viconia replied, "Yes, I remember the reason I am here" She sidled up to her husband, "Perhaps you would like me to remind you of how grateful I am? I could always show you how..."


"Perhaps a little later. (Sometimes these monkeys do have their uses.) For now, bring me my chicken!"


Viconia sneered at him, but left to fetch his prized chicken. Once the fowl was in front of him, the giant commanded, "Lay!"


"B-b-but... master... I'm but a lowly..." the very frightenend chicken began.


"I said, 'Lay!' (If there's anything worse than dealing with simians, this would be it. Why do I have to submit myself to this?)"


The chicken then squatted down, grunted a few times for effect, and then, lo and behold, presented the giant with a golden egg.


Meanwhile, back in the pantry...


"Boo, did you see that? A chicken that lays eggs of gold! This must be the one that Solar told us about surely! Eh, no, Minsc did not call you Shirley. Minsc knows your name is Boo. So we should get this chicken and return to the village. What? Oh yes, heh, we should wait for the giant to fall asleep." And with that Minsc quietly closed the pantry door.




When all grew quiet, the pantry door slowly began to swing open. As Minsc peeked out he said, "Do you think it is time now, Boo?"


The intrepid pair softly made their way to where the giant sat sleeping - for rangers are known for their stealth. Minsc quickly grabbed the chicken and put it in his pack. "Ooo... sorry, Boo. Minsc did not mean to squish you!"


The prize acquired, Minsc (and Boo) quickly headed back to the beanstalk, climbing down as fast as he could. "Going down is much easier, is it not, Boo? Yes, Minsc will be careful so we do not go down too fast."


Once again in the village, Minsc (and Boo) quickly returned to the inn where a worried Dynaheir was waiting. Before Minsc could begin to explain, Dynaheir began chastising him.


"Where hast thy been? I arose expecting to find thee returned from thy morning walk. It is now evening and thou has just returned. Let me look at thee for injuries. Did thee sustain another blow to thy head?"


When Dynaeir paused for breath, Minsc began his tale of the events of his day. Once Minsc finished his story, Dynaheir again asked if he had gotten hit on the head.


With Minsc's assurance he had no injuries, she then questioned his story. "If thou hast no injury to thy head, then what proof can thou offer for this tale?"


Minsc replied with confidence, "I have the chicken than can lay the gold eggs right here!" And with that, Minsc extracted the chicken from his pack, for which Boo was very grateful. Boo hoped Minsc would clean the pack that night.


When Dynaheir saw the poor unfortunate fowl, she could barely contain her laughter. But this quickly turned to astonishment as Minsc set the bird on the floor and it began to speak.


"T-t-thank you for my rescue... cluck, cluck... I do hope you're not g-g-going to ask me to... cluck, cluck... produce a gold egg... cluck, cluck... or any eggs for that matter."


Minsc then said, "But I saw you do it! The giant, he says 'Lay!' and you made a gold egg!"


The chicken chuckled, well as much as a chicken can, "I can't lay eggs because I'm a rooster... cluck, cluck... well, actually I'm not a rooster either. I'm a m-m-mage... cluck, cluck... studying under M-m-master Thalentyr and I would... cluck, cluck... appreciate it if you... cluck, cluck... could return me to him so he might change me back."


A confused Minsc asked, "But how did you make a gold egg?"


"It was really quite s-s-simple... cluck, cluck... some of the local dwarves would m-m-melt gold... cluck, cluck... and then shape it to look like an egg. I'd then... cluck, cluck... h-h-hide it in my feathers until s-s-summoned by the giant."


A disappointed Minsc sighed. "Eh, what is that, Boo? Yes you are right! We did save him from the giant. But we cannot take him where he wishes to go just yet. Well, because Solar said we have to get the Golden Harp... what, oh yes, the Golden Harper. And then we must kill the evil giant so that he will never again be mean to people!"


Dynaheir had been watching this exchange with some amusement. However, she felt it was time to end this foolishness. "Minsc, take the, er, chicken to the farmer so he may be fed and made comfortable for the night." Remembering the cow, she quickly added, "And speak to no one along the way - straight there and straight back. Upon thy return thou should also clean thy pack to remove any fowl odors. Do this quickly so we may retire for the night. We should get an early start so we may return this, er, chicken to where he belongs. And where is it we should take thee?"


"Cluck, cluck... m-m-my name is Melicamp and M-m-master Thalentyr has a home... cluck, cluck... just s-s-south of Candlekeep... cluck, cluck... in High Hedge."


Minsc (and Boo) got Melicamp settled for the night and returned straightaway to the inn. While cleaning his pack Minsc said to Boo, "We cannot leave here, Boo, we cannot! Our job here is not yet finished. If we do not finish, Minsc will have to hide his face in shame. What is that? Oh, that is a good idea! Minsc and Boo will get up extra early in the morning. Minsc has finished cleaning his pack. We should go to sleep now. Good night, Boo."


To Be Continued...

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It's time for the big finish...


Part III


Minsc (and Boo) arose very early the next morning. As Minsc tiptoed down the hall, he said, "Boo, tell me again why we are sneaking around like the thiefs in the night. Oh yes, so we do not wake the other people and Dynaheir. And also because rangers are stealthy. Yes, I forgot. Dynaheir would not allow us to go up the beanstalk again. So I will be as quiet as a hamster! What... oh yes... shhh."


The pair quickly and quietly made their way to the beanstalk and up they went. Minsc knew he would have to rescue the Golden Harp... er, the Golden Harper that day because to get up any earlier would simply mean not going to bed at all. And there was still the giant to deal with.


So Minsc (and Boo) rushed down the path to the very big door. This time, Minsc knew to ring the doorbell... and so he did.


"Well, well, well, the small rivven has returned!" announced the giant's wife. "You shall not get away from me again! This time you are going straight to the amusement pit!"


Minsc said to Boo, "How did the large woman know it was Minsc? What is that, Boo? I forgot my disguise? Yes, that would explain it."


As the giant's wife was about to grab Minsc (and Boo), a familiar refrain could be heard:


"Fee, Fie, Foe, Fum,

I smell the blood...

(Eh, why do I bother? It always ends the same. Let us just get on with the story... it's already too long.)




With that, the giant's wife forgot about Minsc (and Boo) and ran off to see what her husband wanted this time.


"Yes, my husband, what is it?" she queried. "You did not finish your dreary little rhyme."


"I require you to bring me my gold. I grow bored with my experiments (not to mention the intelligence of the simians) and I wish a diversion."


The giant's wife oozed close to her husband and purred, "I could provide you a more pleasurable distraction. I am well versed in the drow art of..."


"Yes, yes, I am well aware of your... talents. (I know women find me irresistable, but can't she give it a rest?) I only wish to run my fingers through my lovely gold." came the somewhat longer than necessary reply.


"Very well, I shall bring you your gold. But you had better find a way to increase it instead of wasting time with these experiments!" Before the giant could reply, she was gone.


Minsc (and Boo) had scurried for cover as soon as the giant's wife's attention was turned elsewhere. They saw her return with two very large bags of gold... well, they seemed large to Minsc. To the giant's wife, they seemed only as big as a lady's evening bag.


Minsc said to Boo, "Did you see all that gold, Boo? Never have I seen so much! We should get it to give to the people of the village. Yes, we will again wait until he falls asleep. He does seem to be a very sound sleeper."


The giant, growing sleepy, replaced the gold in their bags, and placing them on the floor (how convenient is that, eh, Boo?), put his feet up and went to sleep. Minsc (and Boo) did the ranger stealth thing, snatched the bags, and ran for the beanstalk.


Once there, Minsc said, "Boo, I do not think we have time to climb down the beanstalk and back up. Besides, if Dynaheir sees us, we will have no chance to rescue the Golden Harp... er, yes, the Golden Harper. I will just throw the bags down, OK?" And without further thought, he did. (Oo, I hope that the town crier will be alright.)


With that, the pair hurried back to the very big door. "Boo, do you think we can squeeze under the door? They really need to use weatherstripping. And Minsc does not wish to meet the very large, unpleasant woman again."


And so, squeezing under the door, Minsc (and Boo) quickly sought out a place to observe without being observed. "Where do you think the giant would keep the Golden Harp... the Golden Harper. Yes, yes, Boo, Minsc should really try hard to remember that."


With that, the pair heard:


"Fee, Fie, Fo, Fum,

I smell...

(Why am I saying this? The only smells are coming from that infernal amusement pit.)




The giant's wife came rushing in. From the look on her face, it was clear what she had on her mind. "Yes, my husband? Perhaps now you are ready to allow me to show you the drow art of..."


Cutting her off, the giant thundered, "The only thing I desire now is sleep. (Perhaps I should not have lit the fire under her.) Fetch me my Golden Harp!"


Snickering, the giant's wife replied, "Need I remind you, you had the Golden Harp melted down for one of your experiments. Something about turning gold into turnips, I believe."


"Never mention that again! So what shall I do to soothe me now?" the flustered giant queried.


"Well, there is always the option of the drow art of..."


"Take a cold shower, will you please!"


"Very well, perhaps the Golden Harper will help." As the giant's wife left to fetch the item, she mumbled, "Although it is more likely to set you even more on edge. Continually complaining about 'balance' and 'nature's home'!"


From his hiding place, Minsc's eyes widened in amazement as he got the first glimpse of the Golden Harper. "Boo, have you ever seen anything so beautiful? Eh, yes my eyesight is just fine."


The giant, irritated from lack of sleep, commanded, "Play!"


"Nature could find a home here if it were properly cleansed and balanced." began the Golden Harper.


"Argh! No, play the harp! (These simians cannot follow the simplest of instructions without detailed explanation!)" an exasperated giant bellowed.


Glaring at the giant, the Golden Harper replied, "As you wish." for she could say no other, being under a geas. So, she began to play and sing. And such a noise, screeching and, well, it was beyond description.


However, Minsc said to Boo, "Have you ever heard such a lovely sound? What is that? Yes, my hearing is quite good, If it was not, I could not hear you, right?" And with that, Minsc went back to listening to the, er, music.


Evidently, the giant also found the efforts of the Goden Harper to be soothing, for soon he was sound asleep. Noting that Minsc was also asleep, Boo began chittering frantically.


Minsc's eyes popped open, and he declared, "Minsc was not asleep! Well, OK, maybe a little asleep. But we got up very early. What? Oh yes, the giant is asleep. We should go get the Golden Harp... oh, yes, the Golden Harper."


Minsc (and Boo) tiptoed across the floor to where the Golden Harper remained. Minsc, with his great strength, grabbed on to her and... couldn't budge her. "Minsc does not wish to be rude, but you are a little f... what is it, Boo? Oh, I should untie her from the chair leg? Yes, it would be much easier to lift her then."


Untieing the Golden Harper, Minsc was about to place her in his bag of holding, when she cried out, "Help me! I am out of balance! The balance must be maintained!"


"Oo, pretty lady, we must be quiet! We do not wish to wake..." But before Minsc could finish, they heard:


"Fee, Fie, Fo, Fum,

I smell the blood of a Faerûnian!

Be he alive, or be he dead,

I'll grind his bones

To make my bread!

(And this time I am serious!)"


Minsc quickly deposited the Golden Harper into the bag and bolted for the door. The giant, not far behind, was in danger of quickly overtaking Minsc with his extra-long strides. But Minsc, with his great ranger stealth and a hastily downed potion of speed, managed to make it to the beanstalk well ahead of the giant. Minsc (and Boo) quickly climbed down and found a very angry Dynaheir waiting.


"What is thy explanation for this? We were to set out this morning to continue thy dajemma and thou hast continued this fantasy!" Dynaheir angrily awaited his reply.


"But again Minsc has proof that this is no fantasy!" he announced triumphantly. And with that, he reached into the bag of holding to produce the Golden Harper. "I still think she could lose a few... yes, Boo, Minsc will not finish that."


Placing the Golden Harper on the ground before Dynaheir, the Golden Harper began to speak, "What have you done? Speak! I would know why you have done this. Unless I am returned to that despicable giant, I will slowly die! Unless..."


Minsc said in alarm, "Minsc does not wish the pretty lady to die. But I cannot take you back to the evil giant!"


"The only way to release me from his service is his scroll of reversal, Or killing him. Whichever comes first. But it must be done quickly. Forgetting the fact that the giant is already beginning to descend the beanstalk as we speak, my ability stats are getting lower and lower."


"Then Minsc must act quickly! It is good I am still hasted from the potion. But another trip up the beanstalk? Minsc does not think he can fight so well clinging to it. And I do not think my arrows will go that far." Minsc's mind was racing as he considered possibilities. "What is that, Boo? Cut down the beanstalk? That is a very good idea! SWORD, MEET THE BEANSTALK!"


Minsc began hacking away at the beanstalk as fast as he could, which was pretty fast considering he was still infuenced by the potion. Dynaheir, wishing to end this foolishness once and for all, aided Minsc by casting blade barrier and then standing close to the beanstalk. Between the two, the beanstalk began falling before the giant was halfway down.


As the beanstalk fell, the giant could be heard saying, "Why is it these monkeys develop an intelligent thought at the..." The rest of what the giant might have said will remain a mystery as he hit the ground with a gigantic thud. (What other kind of thud would a giant make?)


Minsc kicked at the giant while Boo sniffed him out. Scurrying back to the security of Minsc's tunic, the pair agreed the giant was indeed dead. At that moment, the Golden Harper lost her golden hue.


"J-j-jaheira? There you are! I've been so worried about you!" a young half-elf warrior said as he hurried over to where the Golden Harper, er, Harper stood.


"Khalid?" queried the Harper. "Well I am glad this ordeal is over. At least we were not mugged and dragged to Amn where I was caged and you were..." She shuddered and didn't finish the thought.


Khalid smiled at her and stated, "We should be on our way. We are to meet Gorion and his ward at Friendly Arms Inn." Thanking Minsc and suspiciously eyeing Boo, the pair set off down the road.


In the meantime, villagers had started to gather, most thanking Minsc for their deliverence from the giant. However, there was one very agitated woman yammering at Minsc that her husband would never be the same, although the gold would come in very handy.


Dynaheir strode over to Minsc, and, placing a hand on his shoulder, asked, "Art thou ready to continue thy dajemma now? We need to get the chicken to his master and if we start now, we can still make it to Beregost before sunset."


"Minsc did good here, yes? Rangers and hamsters everwhere will rejoice. What, Boo? Yes, I can say it that way. HAMSTERS AND RANGERS EVERYWHERE REJOICE!"


Dynaheir and Minsc (and Boo) set off down the road wondering what further adventures awaited them. Little did they know they would be ambushed by gnolls, leaving Melicamp stranded yet again and Dynaheir a prisoner. But that, my friend is another story.



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