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“And in the wake of his success, the chosen will make a powerful alliance.”
I stand before the city of Granemor. My head held high and my pride firmly adhered to my worldly perspective despite having been chased out of my own house, by a mad woman. A deadly mad woman I might add. The city from the outside looks more like a stronghold. There are enormous walls that stack up in a fortifying perimeter around the place. A few large towers jut out from somewhere inside, and loom over the surrounding area with an impressive, if not intimidating air. You can’t see any guards, except the lone soldier at the gate, but then you never see Granemor guards if they don’t want you too. Its probably the most defensible sight in all of lore, if it weren’t so strategically placed adjacent to the dark and foreboding Scorched Lands. Strategy here being to not have one, or to make certain that you have a constant flow of enemies hurling all kinds of dangerous objects at your walls. This makes we wonder which came first Granemor, or the idea for the walls. Of course, I know it was Granemor, but I like to give them a hard time.
“Halt! Stay where you are!” the guard yelled as I approached the gates.
I glanced at him for a second, not giving him a quick look, but letting my eyes slowly slide to the guard and just as slowly slide away and back to the gates before me. My favorite scowl was waving its flag of general dislike, but then, it always was.
“This is New Granemor!” Proclaimed the guard with a pride that came off as nauseating. My eyes slid back to him and I grunted for a full minute, letting some very low and slurred mumbles through just for kicks.
“Yeh” I said in an understandable tone. “I know.”
“You sound very evil, sir.” The guard replied. “I’ve never known a good man to go on grunting and mumbling in such an unpleasant and disreputable manner as yours before. You countenance is filled with sharp angles, and scars. Not to mention the black armor with the spikes placed in dysfunctional but aesthetic areas. These are all written down in the guard’s handbook of ‘Things to Look for that Might Indicate the Person You’re Talking to is an Evil Person.’ How do I know you are not such a person?” He raised an eyebrow and looked at me quizzically for some time.
“That is an uncreative name, and a mouthful. How do you shorten that? TLMIPYTEP? How about the pamphlet for stupid?” I retorted. Which admittedly wasn't my best retort.
“I don’t believe you are helping your case.”
“I’m not evil.” I said with a grin, but the scars than run through my lips combined with the missing teeth most definitely gave me a sinister look.
“Right, then. In you go.” The guard replied without a moment’s hesitation.
I would almost find this disturbing since I was aligned with the dark elements as well as the light, and I am a trained Necromancer. Then again, I have trained as a paladin too. I was better at being a paladin, smashing is far more fun than magic. Besides, why should I care who they let in? I’m a big enough boy. I can take care of myself.
Once I came through the gates I didn’t take more than half a step before a blue Moglin riding some sort of hideous bird creature stepped out in front of me. He only had one ear, but the other was large enough to make up for that. Moglin ears usually are. I don’t find it as an unkindness to rip off Moglin ears. They are ugly things. This particular ugly thing was poking a katana at me, and glared from under his steel helm.
Immediately, I was jealous. He could wear a helm and wield a katana. I have a katana, more than one actually, however, I can never get enough. Plus, I can’t wear a helm after my incident a while back. I began to wonder if my potion bearer placed that one on me as trick.... for fun.
After several more thoughts that probably shouldn’t have run through my head, I realized what was going on. A trap. Of course it was easy to get into town looking as evil as I did. They had a highly trained Moglin knight ready to take my head off. He didn’t though. He simply continued to glare, his cold eyes penetrating from the shadow of his helm.
I stared at him for a while, not sure whether to move or to talk, but then, talking was never my thing. I walked a few steps away and turned slightly to view the town. The Moglin didn’t move at all. He just kept his sword pointing to the area I was once standing in. Strange things are known to happen in Granemor. New Granemor, I guess.
There were many people wandering the streets between the stone buildings and I found myself surprised to notice them. Perhaps I was changing for the better. Noticing people had to be a step in a direction that was…well, less selfish.
I wandered around for a while, until I stumbled across a tower with guards posted at the door. This is the only guarded door I’d come across so far, and my interest was thoroughly piqued. I was on vacation, and there was nothing more I loved to do on vacation than stir up trouble, going to places people would rather not have me.
I sauntered up to the puny bundles of armor that looked too heavy for the scrawny men underneath. Not that I could actually see the men underneath. I gave one a burdening glance of disdain, and then offered it to the other. I bounced my proposition back and forth between them, but nothing gave. I decided a name drop would do.
“I’m Shinou.” I said with my sinister split smile, and paused so they could get a good look at me, before continuing. “ The Grim Koorima.”
I couldn’t see the facial expressions of the guards, but their voices were annoyingly unimpressed. “Ok. What business do you have here?”
“Well” I said still holding my grin. “That depends on what this place is.”
“This is the home of….” The guard said some long name I would never bother to commit to memory, but that sounded somewhat important. “His unfortunate daughter has a horrible curse!”
“A curse, eh? I could probably help with that.”
The guards looked at me astonished, and quickly opened the doors. The haste was surprising, especially because they didn’t stop to ask what my cure was. Usually I beat the curse out of people.
They ushered me to some room that was more barren and yet managed to look more sophisticated than my own homes. Standing before me was a large man that sported an eye patch and a small beard. His mug was almost as rough and ugly as mine, so naturally I took a liking to the lad. His armor was bulky, though just steel. Still, his sword was bigger than my entire body. I could respect that. All thoughts of beating the curse out of his daughter drained from my modest brains.
The daughter in question sat with her legs tucked beneath her on a throne that was a couple steps raised from the level of the rest of the room. I began to wonder just who was in charge here. Did this young girl’s curse make her the immediate master of anyone who looked upon her? I didn’t see how that could be a curse, but I did feel a strange need to help the girl. No, perhaps the girl was cursed, because she had this power. Some nasty Warlock probably spat it at her after she tried to dominate his will. Probably that Warlick fellow. Nasty man.
“Welcome, I was told that you knew of a way to help.” The armored man spouted in a royal voice. You know those Haughty and condescending voices filled with rhythm and loathing. I hate those voices. There was a slight gruff to it. A soldiers gruff, so I forgave him.
“I had thought of a way.” I nodded admittedly. “Don’t think it’s what you have in mind, though.”
“Probably not.” The man agreed raising his giant sword effortlessly. No doubt in some sort of gesture meant to impress me. It did, but I made sure my face didn’t show it. “The lady here awoke screaming. When the guards arrived they only witnessed a shadow slinking away into the night. My soldiers chased it, but to no avail. It vanished somewhere pass Darkovia into the mountains and hills. Since then she has not spoken a word, no songs are sung, no flowers bloom. She sits gloomily on my throne as I watch over her….
“Yes, well at the very least you consider your throne yours. I was beginning to wonder.” I responded, Impressed with myself for taking notice of the man’s story. The bit about the flowers didn’t make a lick of sense to me, but noble speech rarely does.
He stared at me, unsure for a few long seconds, and then continued. “A group of my best knights were sent to deal with the situation. Not one of them has returned. Do you believe you could succeed where they have failed? “
I shrugged my shoulders. Not in response to his questions, but because if I wasn’t going to get the chance to pummel the curse out of the girl, I might as well pummel something else. He took it as my response though, a slight glow of hope rising in him. “Good luck then, and thank you Shinou, the Grim Koorima!”
I pulled out my map to use my birthright, which would teleport me where ever I pointed. I picked a spot in Darkovia that I knew to be the shadiest. I don’t mean that this spot had the most concentration of trees. Though, it might have. I teleported and sure enough, as happens with teleporting, I appeared in a place I wouldn’t have ever traveled on foot. In the mouth of a dragon’s skull. Only this skull was moving, and somehow attached to a moving dragon skeleton.
The dragon reared back in apparent shock, and I took advantage of the little time that gained me. I used another power of my birthright allowing my armor to morph into a more suitable form. I have spent some time trying to align myself with the absolute elements, and in doing so have gained some favorable abilities. My armor shifted hue to a deep blue. The metal of it morphing to so there was engravings that resembled bones, including a ribcage where anatomically, it should be. Spikes encircled my ankles, protruded down my spine, and arced out from my forearm and elbow. Shadow engulfed my head, and my eyes glared red through the blackness. I was dark aligned now, and any undead would find me resistant to its dark aligned attacks. I also phased a matching shield out of thin air. I do love accessories. Then finally I manifested the Golden axe I had won on my last adventure. Its good to be putting it to use so soon. I held the axe upright so that when the dragons jaw closed down on me, the axe from tip to hilt stood straight keeping the monster from chewing me alive. I focused gripping the handle tight in one hand tapped the innate light powers locked inside. The light burst out in a powerful beam following a path of the dragon’s spine and tearing its bones away.
The dragon collapsed, leaving me completely, and happily safe. I brushed myself off and continued through the forest. A few monsters who caught a glimpse of my previous fight scurried away looking for some prey that might prove to be an easier catch.
The forest began to lighten, and the trees gradually began to show some signs of life. Eventually, the dark forest of Darkovia was no more, and a deep thick jungle had replaced it. I was never smart enough to figure out how climate, environments, or geography work, but I was almost sure this should have been an odd thing. It didn’t stop the undead from coming though.
A huge lumbering and sparsely armored skeleton came out from behind a vine covered tree. I sincerely began to worry, because when smashing is your favorite way of battle, the bigger usually gets the better. However, even my insignificant smarts were a mighty bit larger than this skele-brute. He got tangled in the vines and tripped spilling his bones out over the warm underbrush. I smiled, and thought that perhaps this time luck was with me.
A few steps later I was on a plain with a nice view of a mountain range sloping up at a dangerous rate not too far from where I stood. I began to wonder if my birthright was malfunctioning. Randomly firing off even when I didn’t want to. Perhaps this was another fight with my subconscious self. That would really be that last thing I needed.
I called out to my subconscious, though I wasn’t really sure how to do that. A couple of quick commands and a few rough words should set that guy straight. While I was minding my own business with myself, I had little time to give attention to the outside world. So, it came as a surprise to me, when a giant spiked club smashed into my side and sent me sprawling through the air. I skid on the rough ground and was sent spiraling as I smashed into a boulder. My spiral just slowed to a speed where I could get a fraction of sense out of the outside world when I collided with another large rock and decided I was more than qualified to perform a Triple back flip. I guess I hadn’t decided that I knew how to land it properly, because I was a mess of limbs and armor at the base of the mountain.
I patted myself down, checking to see if anything was broken, or bleeding too badly. I seemed to be in tip top shape. I smiled gleefully as I had just found out that I was made of tougher stuff than I had originally thought. I made a mental note to try and increase the amount of intimidation my scowl could give off to be proportionate with my overall toughness, before glancing about trying to spy what had enough power to send me careening through the sky like a light weight boomerang thrown by a man much too large to playing with a child’s toy. It was a troll.
Trolls are very large creatures, and one of the perks of being large is an equally large stride. This allowed him cover ground with a rate that would make some horses envious. Not the fast ones, of course. Still he was coming at me, and I did have to find a way to survive. Luckily, I had dealt with his kind before, and knew just what to do. These big guys trained in clans, where they learned a particularly foolhardy martial art. In this way of fighting, which was mostly based on wielding those massive clubs, they learned to throw all their might on a blow to their own head, before striking out at their opponent. I thought the skele-brute was dumb, but these trolls are in a league of their own.
Sure enough the troll smashed his own face, causing a spurt of blood to come from his nose, before taking a swing at me. I stepped to the side and let it make a crater in the ground not but a couple inches away. The troll snarled, and thrust an enraged blow into his own skull. I heard his eye bone crack and he took a few staggering steps backward before smashing his club downward into the ground where I stood before. I had simply pointed a few feet away. I smirked and taunted him with a maniacal laugh. The troll ate the taunt and it must have been too sour, for he threw all his might into his next blow that collided with his own jaw. I heard the crunch of splintering bone, and saw his jaw move like jello, before his eyes rolled white and he fell down from his own stupidity. Fights can be fun.
There was a cave entrance next to me now, and I couldn’t help but think how convenient it was to be smacked straight here. Luck really was on my side. It smelled of curses and troll, which was never a good a mix. Both smelled horrible as curses were brewed with hate and decaying small rodents. Trolls smell worse, but the description is too disgusting to think about, let alone…well, describe. I ventured into the depths of the cave, being careful to smash all the stalagmites, and make as much general noise as possible. I find it best to bring the baddies to me, sometimes these caves can be more like labyrinths.
Sure enough a smelly pot-bellied troll wearing a ridiculous pointy wizards cap complete with decorative stars, came barreling out of a shadowed tunnel way.
“You have made it the furthest, but you cannot stop my dastardly plans!” The troll spat, with breath that smelled worse than his body odor. I clenched my teeth in an effort not to lose the potion I drank for breakfast.
“An oaf like you can’t plan.” I replied.
“Yes!” it said and tried to straighten it’s back as if it was proud. Unfortunately, the effect was ruined, because the pot-belly was so large it gave the poor lad a hunch back.
“Or do magic. Who cursed the girl?”
“ME!” the troll bellowed.
“Stop messing with me, or I’ll shove that belly back up your throat.” I promised him with all the seriousness in my being. I would probably do it anyway.
“No! I am not! See here, General Herous will keep looking for his daughter’s voice, sending his best to find it! He will leave Granemore open to attack! And Granemore will fall, once and for all!” The gruff voice exclaimed.
“I don’t know who General Herous is, or what you’re talking about, but you’ve gotten on my nerves.”
I walked up to the wretchedly annoying fatso, and pulled the cap down over his head. He gave off a few muffled cries, but I just chuckled at him. He tried to pull his cap up, but his fingers were too big and clumsy. I raised my axe and decided to help him get that cap off. After the deed was done, from the neck of the creature, poured out the voice of the young girl. Some tasks are so easy, they just ooze fun, or blood. Either way was just fine with me.
I took the voice then got out my map and pointed at Granemore. It wasn’t even a second later that I arrived in the same room with the same eye-patch wearing aristocratic soldier and the same girl in the same throne staring at me. They were in the same exact positions as before. I wondered if they just stood, and sat, like that all day and night. Perhaps it was the strain of having a cursed daughter and being cursed that caused such strange behavior.
“You have returned! What news have you?” asked the haughty soldier in an urgent tone. I would almost believe his daughter had lost something more important than her voice. I mean she can’t do all her courtly whining now. Was that really so bad? I threw the voice at the girl and it slammed into her throat with such force that it flipped her off the throne. She disappeared behind its unnecessary bulk.
She popped up behind the arm rest with frazzled hair. “I can speak again! Thank you Shinou the Grim Koorima!”
The man with the eye-patch looked at me questioningly, and then nodded appreciatively. “Yes, thank you. In return, I would love to hand over this unique sword. He held a hand up that gripped an extremely thin blade attached to a hilt almost as equally thin. There was a hand guard with a spiral pattern and it reminded me of my bout with the first troll. I looked at it swaying a bit, but took the thing.
The girl peeped up from behind the throne’s arm rest again. “Yes! Let me imbed the power of voice within its steel!” With that the girl opened her mouth wider than any human should have need of and let loose a note that would have pleased any morning bird, but made me remember why I try and avoid such creatures. A blue twinkling wind came and circled around the blade a few times. And then a few more. I sighed and shuffled my feet, looking to the girl, who’s pleased smile threatened to eat her entire face. The light continued to swirl around the blade. I shuffled my feet again and rolled my eyes over to the eye patch. He had a smile, but it was noticeable more forced. He let a shrug loose and I gave my attention back to the sword. After a few minutes the twinkling stop and I snapped the horrid thing in half so It wouldn't snag on the window sill when I threw it out. Which I did promptly.
“I’ll be having none of that.” I told them with certainty.
“Yes, what soldier would?” Said the man who nodded in agreement. His daughter just continued her mad grin, which had somehow gotten bigger.
“How is it than we can repay you?” The man asked.
“Give me another opportunity to smash things.” I said with a very pleased grin. After that I heard the screech of a high pitched woman’s voice. It sounded at bit…. Angry.
“And fast.” I added.
“It will be the first of the alliances between the absolutes and the worldly kings, who will need rise, to save all their kind.”
< Message edited by vamplycan -- 2/7/2014 17:10:07 >