I'm in deep.
Deep Cover here.
When it was just the Goblins, I was okay with it. I mean, I sort of convinced them I was a deity fair and square. It was a mutually beneficial relationship based upon the Right of Might, a tried and proven methodology. They were basically worshiping me, sure- that was pretty nice, but it was more in a "He's the toughest Snake around" sort of way.
No deception involved, my conscience was clear.
With the Elves though... with these guys, it's a totally different story.
My conscience is not clear.
Remember what I said about how the Goblin Shamans were a bit creepy? I mean, much as I like to think I came up to the surface here on my own volition, but the reality is I just didn't want my insides turned outside, so I took their quest and left.
Then BAM: Lo and behold, I was eaten by a giant Owl.
I think not.
In all seriousness though, I really don't think the Elders wanted me hanging around for the long term. I was messing with the typical order of things, and those guys... they were starting to give off a certain sort of "murder-ee" vibe.
Capacity for magic, or not, I'm physicaly not exactly a fearsome example of monster-kind.
I'm smaller than your average tabby-cat, and I've probably got a rounded down "0" for attack and defense stats. All it would take... I'd guess one well-placed attack and I might be dead.
And that's from an ordinary Goblin.
If the Elders happened to take me seriously, there was a probably good chance that they could have killed me. Conservative as they were with their weird magic, the Gob's had me pretty-well convinced of that.
They were just waiting for some decent odds to take a gamble. Subtle as it was, they had the vibe.
The feeling of a predator, watching something it wanted to eat...
By now, I think I've gotten fairly good at picking up on that sort of feeling. Each level I've gained has added to it in some way, and though it's not quite to the level of a [Skill] as [Voice of Gaia] would indicate, I'm willing to lump it beneath the natural radius of my unrecognized talent of [Paranoia]
I think it's safe to say, in sharp contrast to pugly Goblins: every single Elf in the Forest Village has that same vibe of "Dangerous."
I should have guessed it might turn out this way. A big hint was probably in the all-of-half-a-millisecond reaction time I'd had before Miss Elf-warrior put hands around my neck.
With a grip tight enough so that I might as well have met up with death herself and flirted over coffee.
They're fast, they're strong, they're undeniably lethal: and unlike dinosaurs- none of them seem the type who go about swallowing monsters whole. From what I can gather, they're much more inclined to chop/stab/brutally bludgeon them to death.
Those fairy-tales and fantasy books about Elves had it all backwards. The ancient wisdom and peaceful mannerisms? That "being one with nature" cliche? Those are either totally off the mark, or just grossly misinterpreted. For folks live in a terrifically dangerous and violent place filled with horrible violent and dangerous monsters: of course they're "one" with nature! Elves fit right in as terrifying monsters of their very own!
So of course, I've ramped it up a bit myself.
"BOW TO YOUR GOD! BOW AND GAZE UPON HIS SCALES!"
[Spirit attendant] has been cranked to 11 at this point.
"BEHOLD! THE MASTER OF THIS FOREST GRACES YOU WITH THEIR PRESENCE!"
I can tell it what to say, but it basically has things down pat. Mystic mumbo jumbo, talk about how great and powerful I am, how everyone should grovel at my feet- tail? Well, the important thing is that just that they know that they should be grovelling: and that they're doing it. Hundreds of elves are bowing, kneeling, prostrating- they're really laying down some serious respect.
"BEHOLD YOUR GOD'S WONDER! STARE IN AWE AT HIS MAGNIFICENCE!"
My master plan [Just fool them until I can run away] seems to be working pretty well.
The whole village is definitely buying it.
They're carrying me around this village like some old-age emperor, four elves walking around a platform they whipped up for me, flowers and offerings strewn about it. Elves are looking out of carved tree-trunk houses, waving and shouting.
Beautiful women are throwing petals from windows. Some are dancing around and placing baskets of fruit onto my odd little procession's platform. The warriors are chanting and jumping about, spinning spears and shouting out the glories of my presence.
It's all very exciting.
The Goblins might have worshiped me, but it wasn't anything like this. Goblins were much more of a struggling sort- and they're not exactly super-model types. Elves though: these guys are thriving. They've got the food, the looks, the strength, the devotion! Heck with proving my innocent to humans! What was I thinking? This is fantastic!
"OH great Forest God! The Chief and Elders of our humble tribe wish to speak to you!" Miss Warrior Elf is calling out to me, bowing as my Elf-carried altar is lowered: all those carrying it taking knee. "Will you honor them with your presence?"
Hmm... a meeting with the Elders...
You know, the last time this happened, it turned out they were really sort of terrifying and probably wanted me de-
"THE FOREST GOD SHALL ATTEND THIS MEETING!"
Wait-what? I will?
"THE FOREST GOD IS PLEASED BY YOUR OFFERINGS!"
I am... oh damn it all.
The [Spirit Attendant] really does just roll with things, doesn't it? That glowing floaty bastard.
Time to pull that back from 11 to a setting that's a bit more manageable. Gotta' rein it in a bit here, avoid repeating any mistakes.
Would have helped if it came with an instruction manual or something.
"Your God demands that he be taken to a suitable place of rest, and the Elders brought to him."
That's a bit better, you weird ethereal orb.
Let them come to me. I'm in charge, that's how it works.
The mental gears are turning here. If they're anything like the Goblin Elders were, I should be on my guard. Safety first.
"It shall be done, oh Great Forest God!" Miss Elf seems pleased with this.
This is fine.
Everything is going exactly as it should be.
Nothing could possibly go wrong.