I was trying to think of a St. Patrick's Day post - something to do with leprechauns, I imagined - when the Boy blew through the room playing with his new Tokidoki rainbow pega-corn thing, an impulse buy at the game shop earlier this evening.
"Is that your new unicorn?"
"Yeah, she's shooting rainbow lasers at you. Pew pew! Her name is Aleeza, she's a flying rainbow unicorn from space."
"Mmhmm. She's got a really disproportionate head for an equine. That head is huge, man."
"She has a big head to hold all her crazy brains."
Insane rainbow-laser unicorn? Yeah, that takes care of the St. Patrick's Day post just fine. Thanks, kid.
Happy St. Patrick's, everybody.
THE MAD UNICORN AT RAINBOW'S END
Upriver, 'beyond the bend' as they like to say, lies a secluded little wood, obscuring within a beautiful waterfall. This forest - or more properly, the region around the waterfall - is known to some as Rainbow's End. Once the gathering-place for those few leprechauns in Wampus Country, in recent months it has taken on a rather different tone, and a new purpose altogether. Where once there was merriment, dancing, and inspired levels of imbibing, now there is only paranoia and pain - for the Mad Unicorn rules Rainbow's End.
Aleeza, the mad unicorn, hails from a different realm entirely, a world composed chiefly of rainbows and laughter and happy songs. Chief amongst the sentient species of this land were the winged rainbow unicorns who frolicked upon the heather and flitted through the clouds, carefree. In time, however, this idyll was disturbed, as the elders of that race - wise beyond aeons and quite powerful - detected that realms beyond their own had been fouled by the taint of evil, and selfishness, and burnt cookies. Left unchecked, such chaos could one day penetrate into the rainbow-realm itself - and this thought, the unicorns could not abide.
The elder unicorns called together the rulers of the other intelligent species of their world - the Psychursinoids, the Fruit-Folk, and the Sphere-Folding Beasts, as well as representatives from other, lesser species, into a grand council. Each community sponsored several contestants into a grand tournament which would decide who among them was best suited to traveling to distant worlds to combat the growing chaos. In the end, Aleeza won the tournament, and was chosen to be the first hero catapulted into another world.
So Aleeza, the flying rainbow unicorn who smells like birthday cake, was hurled through a swirling portal of eldritch magic...and landed in Wampus Country. She did not like what she saw one bit, and it wasn't long before man's obvious cruelty to man drove the poor unicorn over the edge. All thoughts of the rainbow crusade crumbled within her massive magical cerebrum - the unicorn just plain snapped.
Seeking refuge from the bloodshed and greed which she could smell in the air like so much swamp-gas, Aleeza was quickly drawn to Rainbow's End, a hidden forest village populated by a troupe of leprechauns who had escaped Mab's grasp by fleeing the Summerland entirely. When she landed in their midst, the leprechauns were at first fascinated - here was a fine and unusual specimen of a unicorn, and winged to boot. Also, she smelled like birthday cake and apparently found defecation magically unnecessary. This would be a tale for the ages! But as Aleeza looked around Rainbow's End, she began to see the leprechauns in a very poor light indeed - a mess of drunken louts, greedy, mischief-loving, all back-slapping and fart jokes.
Perhaps it was then that the madness truly boiled forth inside Aleeza, and she became the Mad Unicorn in earnest. Using her substantial magical power, she quickly subdued the majority of the leprechauns, and telekinetically seized their pots of gold, hurling them into a pile at the base of the waterfall and transforming said pile into a single lumpen mass of rock. The leprechauns stood slackjawed and bruised - so long as Aleeza controlled their pots of gold (which, as you may know, contained their souls), she had them in thrall and could command them.
The Mad Unicorn quickly set about bringing her version of order to Rainbow's End. The leprechauns were forced to redecorate, raise defenses, and - horror of horrors - tear down every single brewing-still and pour out all the alcohol. You can perhaps imagine the angry veins pulsing on each leprechaun's forehead.
Now, several months later, the Mad Unicorn continues to rule Rainbow's End with an iron hoof, using the leprechauns as her near-slaves, attendants, and occasionally spies into the world of men. The leprechauns would like nothing more than to overthrow her, but while she controls their souls, they cannot speak ill of Aleeza in any way, per her command. On two occasions leprechauns have tried to 'get smart' and act out against the Mad Unicorn; on both occasions she transformed them into bunnies and crushed their skulls underhoof.
Rainbow's End has a population of twenty-seven leprechauns living in a number of small houses strewn about the forest and up in the trees. Aleeza, the Mad Unicorn, is often flying about the perimeter of the region, but can also be found holding court beside the waterfall. Aleeza has 9HD and the sorcerous abilities of a 10th-level magic-user, as well as the talent of speaking animal tongues (which she can impart temporarily to another by the touch of her horn). The Mad Unicorn can polymorph other once per day in addition to her compliment of spells. In addition, she can fire rainbow lasers (3d8 damage) from her eyes every other round; the range on this attack is considerable, and Aleeza may elect to fly above the forest canopy and rain hot orbital rainbow death upon her foes.
Adventurers may find opportunity to challenge and overthrow the Mad Unicorn on behalf of the leprechauns; if slain, the rock beneath the waterfall turns back into a pile of gold, and the PCs have likely gained new friends amongst the wee folk. The leprechauns will gladly give the adventurers a portion of gold, as well as reward each of them with a magical mug which produces, on command, a thick heady lager thrice daily. Conversely, those who approach the Mad Unicorn humbly may be able to conduct a small quest on her behalf in exchange for magical knowledge (rainbow-themed spells strongly recommended). If harvested, Aleeza's horn naturally serves as a shortsword +3 which smells like birthday cake.