"Well, I hope you realize this is all rather new to Me as well. I'm not exactly trained for this sort of thing, you know."
Iggy stood before his god. Well, not his god specifically. Iggy had always been more of a casual believer.* This god happened to be the God of Negotiable Affection, and had just happened to be hovering around the corner the tavern was on when the bar fight had broken out and had simply overheard Iggy and granted a prayer out of boredom.
"I must say, though, it was a rather silly thing to pray for."
Iggy scowled. "I was drunk. There was a shattered bottle at my neck. You were pretty cheap in holding yer own end up, ya know."
The god simply shrugged. "You prayed to survive the night, you bargained, I granted you your wish."
"I didn't mean for me to bite it the next day!"
"You did not pray for a protection plan. Oh, do not give Me that look, you would not have gotten it, anyway. Have you seen your Holy Points lately?"
"Yes, they're very bad." A short scroll appeared in the god's heavily ringed hands and unraveled itself. "You rescued a little girl's balloon from a tree when you were seven, then it all sort of leveled out from there."
"I asked her out afterwards, and she laughed at me and said no all on account of me having braces! It's hard to bounce back from that kinda rejection! And you're telling me you actually keep track of all that stuff?"
"All a part of the Great Game, I'm afraid. Look, I'm not too happy about it either, you've put Me quite a while behind Offler this round, but we all must learn to make due. Shall we find your first assignment?"
Iggy crossed his arms and growled, but gave no further protest.
"Then we shall let the Fates decide!" Thunder rolled as the God of Negotiable Affection raised a glittering hand. Lightning crackled abound, and as he dove his mighty hand down, a comically over sized top hat materialized in its path. The hand went in, rummaged around a little, and reemerged holding a scrap of paper. "Here you are," he said, handing the tiny slip to Iggy. "Now be on your way."
Iggy looked at the paper. "Uberwald?" he said. "I have to go all the way to Uberwald? I bet this guy ain't even somebody."
"I hesitate to point out that neither were you." said the god. "But I feel sorry for you, what with your life having been so pathetic, so I shall release you back to the Disc in Bonk, where you'll find him in great need of your help."
Iggy buzzed his new wings furiously. They couldn't even make him fly.
*All those "Oh, my god's" and "Dear, lord's" had to go somewhere, you know.
* * * * *
Iggy materialized fifty yards away from the mansion's gate. At the door, guests were greeted by a very large man in a suit and let in upon presentation of their invitation. Each one was very finely dressed and wore a mask covering the top half of their face.
"Great," said Iggy. "It's one of them swank affairs." He looked around for a moment and found a suitable alleyway. He disappeared inside, and there was a brief explosion of glitter. Stepping out, Iggy was dressed suavely in a fitted tuxedo, his hair neatly combed, (a first in his recent lifetime), and wearing a goblin mask over his eyes, complete with long pointed green nose. He approached the door and the bouncer snorted at the sight of him.
"Nice wings, boy," he said, giving them a teasing yank that made Iggy wince. "You s'posed to be the Pixie King or something?"
Iggy lined up a snide remark about the bouncer's mother in his head, but restrained himself and merely handed him an invitation that was perfectly identical to the one hundred others he had seen that night. Before he went in, he noticed something peculiar above the man's head. The name "Maxwell Schiebmeister" floated there in neat script. Ah, so that was how he would find his man! He had the name on the slip of paper in his pocket. Now all he would need to do was find the body walking around underneath it.
He walked inside, it seemed, just in time for the cake to be presented. It was rolled out on a trolley into the middle of the room. Iggy looked around at the hundreds of people of clearly several different species in a circle around the cake. There almost was not enough room in the air for all of the names floating above them. The masks would not present a problem in finding this guy, but the size of this crowd certainly would.
"Talk to the paw, mister, 'cos the whiskers don't want to know!!"