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Rated: E · Chapter · Fantasy · #2163317
Inspired by the Shantae video games, and VERY loosely off of Norse and Celtic mythology.

One morning, in a land of Elves and magic, a young Elven woman was waking up. Her green eyes were dim as they slowly opened to the bright morning day, and her red hair was a mess in the shape of a porcupine's backside from restless sleep. This woman, Ban-Laoch stood up from her bed and looked exhausted from a poor night's sleep. "Ban-Laoch! Ban-Laoch!" Shouted a fire-colored bird as it flew into a windowsill. "The Elder of Tuatha Meadu-"

"Ardaigh..." Ban-Laoch said in a tired tone. "... do you remember how long we've worked together?" Ban-Laoch said.

"About... twenty years as of a few months ago?" Ardaigh said.

"And in the past decade... have you ever known me to be a morning person?" Ban-Laoch said.

"Well, I know you don't sleep all that well since-"

"It was a simple yes, or no question," Ban-Laoch said, cutting off Ardaigh.

"No, not particularly," Ardaigh said.

"And what time is it?" Ban-Laoch said.

"About... seven in the morning, give or take a few minutes," Ardaigh said.

"Yes... yes my little Phoenix. But see, there's one thing you seem to be forgetting after a little over twenty years. Can you guess what that is?" Ban-Laoch said.

"You... haven't had your glass of magic wine yet?" Ardaigh said.

"Bingo, and now... now to get my morning glass, and start my day off on the right foot!" Ban-Laoch said as she pulled out a glass, removed a bottle of wine from its shelf. Poured its contents into the glass, and then took a deep long swallow. Then the magic worked as her ruby red hair straightened out into a clean bob, and her eyes glowed like shining emeralds. "Ah... Banu'an'lae wine gets me ready to face the day." Ban-Laoch said as she perked up.

"Okay... as I was saying. The village elder wishes to see you." Ardaigh said.

"It's something important this time right? Because I'm not going to waste a Saturday trying to open jars for him again. Nearly dislocated my thumb the last time I helped him with a jar." Ban-Laoch said.

"No, he would have told me. All he said is that it was important." Ardaigh said.

"It better be, as Champion of Tuatha Meadu. I deserve to have my decades of combat and magic training to be put to proper use." Ban-Laoch said.

"But your father is-"

"Onwards, to the Village Elder!" Ban-Laoch said as she hastily left her home with a large number of pastries shoved into her mouth. Into the village of Tuatha Meadu, her home and her responsibility to protect it from those who would seek to do harm to it and its people. Built amidst the ruins of an ancient city from the Elven Golden Age, Tuatha Meadu was a peaceful place, and its champions were the ones who kept the peace and security. Till about twenty years ago Ban-Laoch's father was the Champion. But he was placed under a powerful magic spell that put him into a deep sleep since then.

At any rate, she had arrived at the Village Elders hut. "Ban-Laoch... it is good to see you on time for once." The Elder said.

"There wasn't an appointment, you never schedule appointments. Now... do I need the enchanted gloves to try to open a jar again? Or is this something genially important?" Ban-Laoch said.

"Trust me; I have no need to get my fix of pickles this week. Now... are you familiar with the village of Tuatha Orkney?" The Elder asked.

"Not personally. I know it exists, and that it's a small island to the north-east why?" Ban-Laoch said.

"It's a trade partner of ours, we sell them the extra food from our farms and we buy fish from them. But we haven't heard from them for over a week. The last thing our merchants saw of Tuatha Orkney, there were Dwarven Longships spotted off the coast... and bearing the colors of the Deep Drake." The Elder explained. Then a look of rage spread across Ban-Laoch's face.

"...WHAT?! That Dwarf has returned to raiding our kin, the same Dwarf that made my father fall asleep?!" Ban-Laoch said in rage.

"Yes... Bledis has returned. There's no way of telling if Tuatha Orkney still stands, or if that runt has taken everything of value and burnt the village to the ground. Regardless... this could be the one chance to restore your father to the waking world. I tell you, that man could open a pickle jar just by looking at it." The Elder said.

"That... and his centuries of experience as Champion of Tuatha Meadu, and his connections to virtually everyone in Elfenheim, and even a few among the Orcs and Dwarves, as well as his expertise in the Golden Age. You know... things more important than your obsession with brined cucumbers! Now if you'll excuse me I have a Phoenix to catch." Ban-Laoch said as she left the hut. "Ardaigh... ARDAIGH...! he's at Iarann's office." Ban-Laoch said in annoyance as she made her way through the village to her step-sisters office.

"Ban-Laoch, to what do I owe the pleasure?" The robotic Iarann said.

"Yes, a good day to you sister, now I'd love to shoot the breeze with you, maybe have some Sona wine. But I have a mission and I need Ardaigh to take me to Tuatha Orkney... assuming there's even a Tuatha there." Ban-Laoch said.

"Really, what could be so important that he wouldn't have you waste the day away trying to open jars?" Iarann asked.

"Bledis... he's back, and he was seen near Tuatha Orkney," Ban-Laoch said.

"ARDAIGH, BLEDIS IS BACK!" Iarann shouted to the back room. Ardaigh flew in, his mouth filled with lollipops.

"You can have those while I'm looking around there village. Just get big so we can leave!" Ban-Laoch said as Ardaigh hastily turned big, and swallowed all the lollipops as Ban-Laoch mounted him. "What...? WAIT! DO THIS!-" Ban-Laoch and Ardaigh flew through the ceiling and creating a giant hole.

"-outside... and he ate all of my lollipops. And Tuatha Milis has cut off trade with us..." Iarann said in annoyance with her organic sibling and her Phoenix companion. "If this office burns to the ground again, I'm paying for the repairs out of her allowance."

It was a long flight to Tuatha Orkney. The island itself was a dreary bleak place with grey clouds, not helped by the ruined village along the shore. "Oh no... We're too late." Ban-Laoch said as she and Ardaigh landed.

"There may be survivors among these ruins. We should look about... see if anyone is alive." Ardaigh said as he changed into his normal size. The two searched about the ruins of Tuatha Orkney, for a while all they found was the burned-out ruins of the village... and a bonfire made of stuffed animals and other children's toys.

"WHAT MONSTER WOULD SLAUGHTER CHILDREN?!" Ban-Laoch shouted in outrage.

"Bledis... Bledis and his Stone Thralls. You remember what happened when you first faced him right?" Ardaigh said.

"Yes... I remember what that deranged bloodthirsty runt did. It's one of the reasons why I need magic wine just to function in the morning." Ban-Laoch said as they searched through the ruins. Eventually, they found someone, an Elf women in blue tattoos.

"W-Who are you?!" The women asked, looking terrified as she held an old looking sword.

"We're not here to harm you... are you of this Tuatha?" Ban-Laoch asked.

"W-Why do you want to know? Stand back!" The women said as she raised her sword.

"We're not here to harm you! I'm a Phoenix, and she's the Champion of Tuatha Meadu. We just want to find the one responsible for this." Ardaigh said as the mystery women panted as she held up her sword.

"YOU WILL NOT TAKE ANY MORE INNOCENT LIVES PAJAMA WOMEN!" The women shouted as she charged at Ban-Laoch.

"Pajama women...? What is she babeling- wait? Did I forget to get out of my pj's?" Ban-Laoch said as she looked down to see that she was wearing her pajamas. "WHY DIDN'T ANYONE SAY ANYTHING?! I WAS WANDERING AROUND THE TUATHA MEADU IN THESE!" Ban-Laoch shouted as she dodged the woman's sword strikes.

"What? I didn't notice until now that you were still in your pajamas." Ardaigh said.

Ban-Laoch held the woman's arms in a vain attempt to stop her. "Ardaigh! Do something!" Ban-Laoch pleaded.

"Right... I think I might be able to open her eyes. As she seems to think you're an enemy, her mind is clouded with fear and paranoia." Ardaigh said as the women head-butted Ban-Laoch.

"Why... why did I forget my armor and weapons... my FATHERS sword and armor... why did I not think to bring them with me?!" Ban-Laoch said as she fired a fireball at the women. The fight went on like this. The maddened Elf women attacking Ban-Laoch, and Ban-Laoch barely standing her ground against her.

"WHAT IS TAKING YOU SO LONG?!" Ban-Loach said as the women pinned her to the ground with her sword to Ban-Loach's throat.

"There! I finally got it!" Ardaigh said as he flew up to the woman's face, and slapped it.


"I... I am so sorry, I... I thought that... the voices. They said that you were with the invaders who destroyed my home." The women said, looking ashamed and terrified.

"No, I'm not an enemy. I just... what is your name?" Ban-Laoch asked as she stood up.

"I'm... I'm Sen'unat." Sen'unat said.

"How long have you been here? When was the attack?" Ban-Laoch asked.

"I don't know... I've only recently awoken. All I remember before that... was the longships... the screaming... the fires." Sen'unat said, terrified by her memories.

"Did they have sails colored dark blue with a black Drake on them? Please, it's important that I know." Ban-Laoch said, kneeling beside the panic-stricken Sen'unat.

"Yes... YES!" Sen'unat shrieked as unexpectedly, the longship Deep Drake flew past along the beach line.

"Bledis..." Ban-Laoch said as the Dwarven raider jumped off of the Deep Drake. Wielding a sword and ax, and his armor covered in the gruesome trophies of his conquests and fights.

"Ah! Lass Ban-Laoch! It has been too long since I last saw you." Bledis said, his apparent friendliness poorly disguising his burning malice and bloodlust.

"Be silent runt! Why have you returned after these twenty years?" Ban-Laoch said, pointing a finger at him.

"Right to the point... so unlike your wretch father, is he still a heavy sleeper after all this time? Don't answer that, I'm going to remove you from the equation, and get you out of my beard. And since you came in your night-night garb... far easier then I could have imagined." Bledis said, and then he leaped up howling like a banshee as he brought his ax blade to Ban-Laoch's head.

"Daughter... your power is finally awakened." A women's voice said inside Ban-Laoch's said. Ban-Laoch was then wreathed in fire, that sent Bledis flying back.

"What... what is this?" Ban-Laoch asked as she looked over herself... and burning her pj's.

"What the...?!" Bledis shouted as he threw his ax. It melted like butter in Ban-Laoch's flame.

"...time to die little man," Ban-Laoch said sinisterly.

"Another time lass, tell Tall-Ainne I said hello!" Bledis said as he hastily left on the Deep Drake.

"You will not escape undamaged runt raider!" Ban-Laoch shouted as she fired a fireball at the Deep Drake as it sailed out to sea. Barely missing it and burning off a good chunk of the ship.

"What... what manner of magic is this?" Sen'unat asked as Ban-Laoch fell face first into the dirt, the fire going out.

"I'll explain later, for now, find something to cover her with, and I'll get you both back to Tuatha Meadu," Ardaigh said.

Meanwhile, Ban-Laoch was dreaming. Normally her dreams consisted of slaying her father's old enemies that had escaped justice. This time she was with her father, Tall-Ainne. "Father... is that really you?" Ban-Laoch asked.

"Yes... it's about time I had a talk with you. One... I should have had with you decades ago my dearest Ban-Laoch." Tall-Ainne said.

"What do you mean father?" Ban-Laoch asked.

"Do you remember the stories I told you of the Golden Age, of how we learned from the Djinn how to wield magic, and how they helped us to drive the Dark Ones from our world into the Void?" Tall-Ainne asked.

"Of course I do... it was the only kind of story you told me and Iarann when we were young. Despite our insistence that you tell us a different bedtime story... seriously, Iarann even bought a book of old children's story as an unsubtle hint that you should tell us something else." Ban-Laoch said.

"So that's where that book came from... anyway, over the course of my long career as Tuatha Meadu's champion. My companion aside from Adriagh... was a beautiful Djinn woman. She taught me much about the magic that her people shared with ours long ago, of the inner workings of the magitek that our sires created, and of the ancient ways and languages of the Sun-Blessed Elves. I... I loved her... and she loved me in turn... and that love... led to you." Tall-Ainne explained.

"What?! You... you mean that my mother was a Djinn... how is that even possible?" Ban-Laoch asked in shock.

"I do not know... all I know is that we had a night of... PASSIONATE LOVE, and many months later, she returned with you in her arms. I do not know why she did not keep you for herself, or why she even consented to that night. But I do know this... he blood is why you are alive now." Tall-Ainne said.

"The fire... that fire that damaged the Deep Drake was Djinn magic?" Ban-Laoch asked.

"Yes, but that is but the tip of what you can do. You have the potential to become the most powerful Elf in Elfenheim, since the Golden Age." Tall-Ainne said.

"But father... I'm just substituting for you until the spell Beldis cast on you at the end of the Raider War, wears off! I mean... I have so many questions to ask that I don't know where to start!" Ban-Laoch said in a panicked tone.

"Then let me answer the most important... dark times are coming. And the Dark Ones... there making there move to return from the Void. And only a Daughter of the Djinn can stop the terrible war that is to come at Bledis's hands." Tall-Ainne said grimly.

"But you sealed the Void off from our world for good! Even Bledis couldn't find a new way to bring them back." Ban-Laoch said.

"Bledis is as cunning as he is ruthless. He'll find a way... and you must be ready. Ban-Laoch, I know that this is all sudden for me to say... and that this is only the second time we've spoken since I fell asleep. But please... you must unlock your full potential as a Djinn Daughter. Unite our people; rediscover the ancient relics that enhanced my old armor." Tall-Ainne explained.

"The ones that Bledis destroyed during your final battle with him when he cursed you to your enchanted sleep in the first place?" Ban-Laoch asked.

"Of course, I entrusted the secret locations of such relics with your sister," Tall-Ainne said.

"And uniting our people... how would I accomplish this?" Ban-Laoch asked.

"I don't know, ask the elders of the other Tuatha's what need be done. Journey across Elfenheim, and unite our people against the coming darkness." Tall-Ainne said as Ban-Laoch looked nervous.

"I... I will try father." Ban-Laoch said with uncertainty.

"Ban-Laoch... remember what I said when you took up my mantle after the Raider War. I believe in you... and I know, that even with doubt and fear gripping at your heart. I know that you can, and will rise to the challenge. Even as our Elder squanders your talents on pickle jars, and you seek adventure in the wilds, furthermore... you remember that Bledis's death is needed to wake me from my deep sleep. You kill him, and I will finally awake. But in order to defeat him... your potential must be unlocked." Tan-Ainne said.

"If that is what is asked of me, father. Then I will do as you ask of me." Ban-Laoch said.

"That does my heart good... now go... you have a war to prepare for." Tan-Ainne said, and then Ban-Laoch awoke in her bedroom.

"Thank the gods you're awake!" Adraigh said.

"Adraigh, there will be plenty of time to celebrate. For now, I need to talk to my sister and the Village Elder." Ban-Loach said as she got out of bed, and donned her father's magic armor.

"And a glass of Banu'an'lae wine to face the day, and to try help you to live with the horrors of the Longship War?" Adraigh said as Ban-Laoch looked herself over in a mirror.

"And a glass of Banu'an'lae wine to face the day, and to try to help me to live with the horrors of the Longship War?" Ban-Laoch said as she looked about the same as the morning when her new adventure began.

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