The ongoing saga of Mortog and his mother
| Dopey's Brother: A Prophecy Rises Meetin Da Opposition
Meetin Da Opposition
"We should emerge ahead o' them by a ways, if-n they go da way da map says." Snaznock says looking at the map. "But I's not fer knowin where they surfaced."
"Yeah but all we have is a hand drawn description o' da map." One of the other fighters say.
"Hey! Who's da tracker here, hello!" Snaznock yells. Dwarves aren't known for their stealthy manners. "We've a copy o' da map, an what has I's always told ye?"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, I's heard it afore, ye da best in da business." Tranvock says sarcastically.
"What er ye three on about?!" Thodec asks.
"Bah they's all yellin bout who knows where te go." The last warrior says walking up behind them all, taking up the rear.
"So ye got a scent of em almighty tracker?" Tranvock asks.
"Hold on a durned minute would ye!" Snaznock says. "I's first gotta figure out where we are."
"Great! Were screwed, lost afore we can even figure out where we're at." Tranvock says chuckling.
"Oh shut it Tranvock." Halgic says. "We just be gettin our bearings is all, ye best let him do his job."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever." Tranvock snorts.
After they figure out where they're at and they figure out which way they should head to find the boys. They decide to head off in the direction the boys should be heading. Since they had no idea that they were even out here, (since no one had ever come back from the hidden caves before, they had no idea if they even made it out of there alive let alone where they might have emerged.), they began heading north noting that there were dangers they had no idea were out there.
Snaznock, the tracker, had no sense of where the kids were he couldn't even tell if the kids had passed that point or not, as far as he was concerned the kids were nowhere near this point. All he knew was that king Keldron himself had told him to find this artifact whatever the cost, even if it meant his comrades. He had no intentions of following those orders. He would make sure his men at arms were not put into unnecessary harm. He would sense out every danger and make everyone aware of what could lie ahead.
"I know where we are, but I's also see dare are at least four Trolls ahead, dare are males and a female based on these footprints. I'm not fer knowin if-n it be a family er not. If it is, be prepared fer a fight, if it aint then they should run da other way. Okay, it's time fer our first fight out here, has anyone battled a troll afore?" Snaznock, the tracker, asks, knowing a bit about Trolls himself.
"Aye." Halgic says. "I's had a couple o' run ins some years back. Nasty things, they smell an dare ugly. They can regenerate limbs an wounds fairly quickly; we have to get 'em quick an hard. A severed limb can still git ye. Chop off the heads as soon as ye can an I be sealin da wound wit fire er acid as soon as I's can. Ye's may still have te fight da body until it can no longer hurt ye, yeah, these nasty buggers be hard te kill. I'd jest assume not battle 'em at all."
"Ye's be backin down from a fight then?" Graggum asks.
"Not at all, I jest be knowin where I should be spendin me energies is all. I's bein a mage, I gottsa memorize all deez spells. So any chance we can avoid dis I bein all fer dat." Hagic says to Snaznock.
"Maybe if we stays put here fer da time bein."
"Good, because we be out here te find da book an dem kids an dats all." Halgic says.
"We also supposed te get dat durned artifact, whatever it may be." Says Thodec. "An I aint plannin on healin anyone who don't needin te be healed."
"Then it's settled. We wait an see if they pass us by."
"I wanna kill them tings, me thinks we needin da practice an dis is a good way to get us prepared for what is te come. Besides, I jest need some killin time." Tranvock remarks.
"Ye may be gettin yer wish, get ready! They be headed dis way! I see one comin. Everybody down!" Graggum shrieks. Based on what he just heard, he didn't feel like battling them either. They may have no choice.
They grey and white landscape with evergreen spotted background gave way to the nine-foot creature making its way out of the tree line. Its limbs hung on the ground. The three that had never seen a Troll before weren't prepared for what they were witnessing right off the bat but they knew right away that the head had to come off and fast. The thing was a good four foot taller than any of them.
Suddenly a high pitched, what could only be described as a, roar, ensued from it as it charged toward the group. Two of the warriors of the group, Graggum and Tranvock instinctively took action and as the creature charged them Graggum went into motion swiftly and began running at the creature Tranvock hoisted him into the air and his long sword came around to cut right through the neck of the creature sending its head several feet away to rest on the ground at the tree line. A firebolt hit the open wound quickly and without warning almost hitting Graggum. The body ran around aimlessly until coming to rest across a tree stump. The body was effectively dead. But coming through the trees, five more appeared with one of them being a really young one. Halgic sent a fireball directly into the young ones head cancelling that one on the spot. One of the larger ones stopped and let out a hellacious roar.
"Great Halgic! Ye done pissed off its mother! Take her out!" Tranvock yelled and Graggum ran up to her and quickly chopped her leg off at the hip. As she was going down to the ground he took a swipe at her neck, she was a big one and was able to wiggle away from his mighty blade just in time to take a swipe at him knocking him back fifteen feet, setting him far away from any of his friends. Where the leg once was, another was beginning to grow back and she was able to crouch on her one good knee and the stump that was growing back. A fireball hit her square in the chest as Tranvock ran into her and chopped at her shoulder with his axe. After he knocked her back to the ground he spun around in the air to come back and snap her head clean off her body, and an acid spit landed on her neck sealing her wound and melting the rest of her body into a gelatinous green goo that just burned on the ground in a bubbling fashion.
With only the three left, the group had a good grasp of the fight, until a fourth, larger, creature came tumbling out of the forest, except this was no Troll, but a giant, granted, a smaller giant, but still something taller and bigger than the nine foot Trolls that were attacking them currently.
"Concentrate on da Trolls first!" Tranvock yelled. One of the three Trolls swung his long gangly grey arms right at Graggum as he came in for a side swipe at another Troll and knocked him back another five feet or so digging into his worn armor viciously. His sword came loose and fell to the ground a few feet in front of him as the closest Troll made its way directly at him. A bolt of lightning hit it square in the chest knocking the thing back about ten feet giving Graggum a chance to pick up his sword and charge the singed creature. As it got up, its head was severed from its body by a fast moving Graggum. Tranvock had his own problems blocking the two remaining Trolls from digging their ferocious claws into him. As Graggum ran to rescue his comrade, a giant foot came crashing down in front of him causing him to roll over the foot and come to a sliding halt in the snow. Looking up he had to roll away from a giant tree stump coming down at him from the giant, who was apparently trying to protect its masters.
Tranvock still fending off the two Trolls was slicing at them with his axe, not making much headway because they were healing too fast to do any real damage, but he was on the defensive. An acid spit splashed on the troll's chest sending some of the burning liquid onto Tranvock's armor singing it slightly but slowing almost to a halt.
"Halgic! The head!" Tranvock yelled as a fireball hit the downed troll in the chest, the head still growing back. The giant did some of the work for him as his foot came crashing down on the Troll who was regenerating it's head. That put that Troll out of action for the time being. The only Troll left hit Tranvock hard enough to knock him back past Halgic who was standing behind the line hurling firebolts, acid spit and lightning at the oncoming Trolls. Graggum was forced to face him alone as well as the giant who was coming up on him fast. As limberly as he could he jumped in the air and spun around with his long sword and tried to cut off the head of the final Troll standing in front of him. He only managed to scrape the front of the troll. Halgic had done this type of fighting before. He was good at his job, with very few mistakes.
Weight wasn't enough to kill a troll so the other Troll who was regenerating its own head while being stomped into the ground by a giant was now in a full run at the now, fully alert, duo of raging weaponry. It was met with not just a long sword but a mighty axe and a glob of acid as its head rolled into the snow. The last troll came up behind them and swiped Tranvock to the ground several feet from the fight. Graggum was only able to cut off his arm, which, started to grow back immediatle as the arm on the ground was closing it's long clawed fingers around his ankle. Tranvock came in with a swipe at the creatures lag bringing it down to their level so Graggum could finally get it's head off. As he did that a large tree trunk slammed into the ground besides him and Tranvock got kicked out of the way by the giant. The giant stopped in its tracks and just stared into nothingness. The giant tree limb just fell into the snow.
Tranvock immediately started going over to Troll limbs and bodies filling up as many canteens as he could with the Troll blood.
"What are ye about Tranvock?"
"Ye know dis stuffs worth a fortune back home."
"An ye think we not gonna be needin dem canteens fer water?" Graggum says.
"I's be tryin te make all dis worth somethin when's we get home."
"We's be gettin dat stupid artifact, dat be enough fer me. Now empty them things an pack em wit snow te rinse em out."
"Yer no fun." Tranvock says as he does what he's told. Now he just stood standing at the bewildered giant standing in front of him.
Giants were harmless unless under the control of Trolls or any other mages' influences. It just looked at the crew as if he didn't understand what he was doing there, which is normal for a giant, especially for a forest giant. They weren't blessed in the way of brains, which is what made them so easy to control. The beast was now completely docile. Tranvock began running up to the giant with his axe held high.
"Stop!" Thodec yelled. "There is no need te kill dat poor giant, he has been through enough, let him have his freedom." Tranvock stopped and groaned.
"First I canno collect da blood, now I conno even kill one lousy giant?"
"What killin five Trolls weren't good enough fer ye?" Graggum asks sarcastically.
He liked killing bad things and he saw what that thing did to Graggum and was hoping to get revenge, but he knew he was right; the Trolls were just using him as slave labor. Tranvock and Graggum, as well as the battle mage, were all still on high alert for signs of any more Trolls or giants trying to kill them, but Snaznock and Halgic knew that it was over because the giant had no one left to protect and began walking away on its own. Giants are relatively harmless unless threatened directly.
"Well me's showed them!" Tranvock remarked in high triumph.
"Yeah an ye alone right?" Graggum stood there chuckling. "I's think da appropriate response is dat 'WE' showed them. Dat's what ye be meanin right?"
"Yeah, yeah, dats exactly what me's meant."
"Well, no weapons an nothing of value let's move te our first campsite."
"If-n Snaznock knows where we is." Tranvock says.
"I's be knowin where we is, now we just be needin te make it te da cave is all." Snaznock says. "Maybe da kids be stayin dare as well, we's be findin out as soon as we be gettin dare." So the Dwarves moved on.
Darcey follows Dargus sweating profusely as her fists keep clenching and unclenching while looking around for any sign of guards or any other kind of authority.
"Calm yerself Darcey, I'll never lead ye astray." Dargus tells her as they walk; sensing her tension.
They come to an area that Darcey had never been to, and she had thought she had been everywhere in the city. This was completely new to her. That made her even more jumpy. They came to an iron door in a seemingly blank wall, the type of door that you could easily miss if you weren't looking for it. 'Great, no way out.' She comments in her own brain as Dargus knocks in succession with some kind of pattern. A slat opens up in the middle of the door. She sees a pair of eyes stare straight at her looking up and down.
"Who's she?" The woman behind the door asks. "Password."
"Just let us in Grofelda. Ye know durn well who dis is. Now let us in."
The slat shuts and there's a loud, echoing click and the door opens slightly. The secret password thing relaxed her a bit. This looks like what he described after dinner. 'Maybe this is legit.' She thinks. Her first instinct when walking into the room was to ascertain any dangers that might come her way.
"We couldn't be more honored Darcey. I's, well, we all's be hearin dat ye be da best fighter in all da citadel."
"Yeah yeah, what is dis place?" She asked looking around the room. It was a stone hole in the wall with beams holding up more beams running across the ceiling. Boxes and barrels were scattered around the room and into any of the three passageways leading from the main hall. As a young girl she played hide and seek all the time with her friends and siblings so she was able to learn where all the hiding spots would be and it stuck with her. She was looking at all those hiding places now.
"A place o' solitude an a place where those afraid can find some semblance o' peace. We's be talkin bout issues pertaining te Keldron an any part o' this kingdom without fear o' bein judged er sentenced te da irons er worse." The woman told her. "We hope fer a better life without Keldron. I assume dat be yer goal as well?"
"Wait. Who are ye an why should I be tellin ye anything?" She looked her dead in the eyes.
"Forgive me, I didn't realize that yer as new te dis as we are te ye. We knows ye from a lot of yer accomplishments an of course yer amazin son; seein he bein da only one te have actually done somethin bout da situation so far. So ye be a bit of a celebrity around these parts. Yer popularity could pose a problem fer us an even yerself though."
"So ye's sayin I'm a danger here fer all ye?" Darcey asks a bit annoyed.
"Well I's need te be honest wit everyone an that be includin ye. If ye's can keep a low profile an don't do many things dat's out o' da ordinary, ye should be fine. But reguardless I's be happy te have the best fighter in all da citadel here wit us on our side. Sorry. I's Trazzulin leadjaw. I's lead deez good folks." She waves her hand behind her as some people, men and many more women come out of hiding. There were about fifty of them. Darcey's eyes bugged out of her head at the sheer numbers of this group. "There are many more o' deez 'groups' around da city. Many more, some are men driven groups an some are women driven, such as dis one. We all want da same thing, a Keldron free rule."
"Well Melron's not much better, but at least da council will rule instead of a ruthless tyrant."
"How do ye figure Darcey?" Trazzulin asks.
"Melron is like da opposite o' Keldron; one is super good an da other is super evil. Melron's too passive fer our own good. An at least wit da council, dare be more than just one o' them, they could rule as a council rather than a solitary king." She said looking around the room at all the other dwarves listening to every word she said. She knew she was right about all the hiding spots but didn't know the scope of the situation she was now in. Then Trazzulin led her toward the back of the large room and into a smaller passageway but not before she turned around to face Dargus.
"Ye comin wit us?"
"Not tonight hun, I's got me own meetin te look after. But I's be seein ye tomorrow, meet me at da rink after school. I think our two groups should meet together, at least our leaders. So I's gonna try an arrange dat."
"Well, I wanna be there wit ye. I gots lots te say."
"Easy killer, let's get ye acclimated te this group first." He tells her.
"I's be knowin all I's needin te know. An dat's dat all o' us want da same thing. So I wanna be hearin yer ideas as well."
"One step at a time hun, one step at a time. You'll have yours."
"Yeah well, time te do er die." She tells him.
"Not quite yet hun. But I's be seein ye soon, tomorrow at da rink, okay?"
"Okay, we'll talk then." She tells him and then turns around to follow Trazzulin leadjaw into the halls of the stronghold.
They wander through the cavern until they reach what looks like a meeting room. Just beyond that looks like a kitchen and sure enough a woman comes out with some meat and cheeses to let them munch on while they talk at a long table.
"So Dargus tells us ye have a plan te overthrow da king? I have te say we just been lookin at undermining his authority fer da time bein."
"Yeah well, I's on a timetable. Me son's out in da wilds above ground searchin fer an artifact that many have tried te find but none have succeded, er even come back from. I's worried bout me boy, me own stupid boy."
"We all know bout yer boy, he a bit o' a folk hero round here but we all's be worried about our own kids too if this war happens. There'll be no stoppin them from comin in here an takin our young away from us, an fer what? Our stupid king. They'd be doin us a favor in riddin us o' dat stupid king but da risk te our children just be too great. How he ever got dare in da first place is beyond me."
"Our good king died dats how." Darcey says.
"He had te know his overbearing son would take over. But what could he do? He was dying an he knew any will he put forth wouldn't stand up te his son."
"An now look at it, we have tons o' followers in secret against him. If we all rose up he couldn't kill us all!" Darcey says.
"Has ye seen what he did te those school kids last week? He executed four o' them fer wantin a better government. Someone in da school is backin Keldron. Dare everywhere an we donna know who they are or who te trust. These parents are scared out o' dare wits bout commin forward, how would ye like te see one o' yer own girls put te death because he found out dat yer part o' our group? So we all canno stand up just yet. We be biding our time."
"I's be on a killin spree if dat damned king killed off one o' me kin. We need te find out who da traitors are, at least in da schools so dat we can prevent more killins." Darcey told her. "At least te prevent more kids from dyin, those er kids dat we be needin wit us, not dead."
"So ye got a plan for them?" Trazzulin asks.
"Lemme think about it, right now, da only plan I's got is te just go up an ask em, but dat could draw suspicion an we donna want anymore kids gettin beheaded. It makes me sick te think he can just go around beheadin our kids. . . Kids!" She says just about crying out in anger. "Dis madness gottsa stop! One way or da other."
"Dats why we have dis organization, te figure out a way te stop him."
"I got it! we kill him." She says with disgust in her eyes and a fist pound on the table.
"Yeah but how?" She asks her seriously. "Can ye tell me dat?"
"I gottsa plan, but it be really risky." Darcey says.
"Well, let's hear it. It can't be any worse than ours. We just plan on makin it hard fer him te do anythin."
"It's simple, we fake an attempt on Melron's life so dat da rest o' Keldron's supporters will think he's without honor an go against him."
"An if dat fails?" Trazzulin asks. "Say his followers don't care about honor, that would suit them right?"
"I's be poisonin his food te make it look like he had a disease dat all da clerics couldn't cure cause they don't know it's a poison."
"An if they figure out it's a poison?"
"Then I's be runnin like hell an hopin they donna catch me, dats why I do dis part alone." Darcey offers.
"well you's either very brave or extremely desperate an me's fer thinkin yer both." Trazzulin tells her. "Me's fer thinkin dat we need te come up with a better plan, a surefire plan. But, me's wantin te go home te me husband so we shall meet again next week at da same time."
"Next week!? We need te do somethin now! Me boys out dare an we be needin te stop dis war as soon as we's can." Darcey was freaking out now, wanting so bad to put a plan into action right away.
"Any plan we start tonight would likely still take a long time to enact Darcey, think of something different fer us so dat we can have a better more surefire plan fer next week or even just so we have some options. Okay?" She says calmly showing her to the exit. "An me's trustin ye wont be tellin nobody bout us right?"
"Well of course not!" Darcey exclaimed. "I aint fer bein stupid ye know."
Darcey walked home kicking rocks and tearing up from the fact that other dwarves don't seem to understand her frustrations. 'I thought up this great plan but she says it aint a sure thing? How could she say dat?' She began thinking about other ways to rid them of Keldron, but she just kept coming back around to her original plan. She felt useless. Now she hoped Forge didn't see her sour mood, but she's sure he wouldn't even notice.
The stick cracked hard against his knuckles as his own stick hit the dirt below him in a cloud of dust.
"Ye know I's hate it when ye do dat!"
"Ye gotta be able te hold on te yer weapon if'n ye get hit in da knuckles, er better yet, don't get hit in da knuckles. Melron, ye gotta be able te get past this part o' da trainin. Ye's good, real good, but ye canno let go o' yer weapon unless ye got no more fingers wit which te hold it wit an dat be a real possibility wit knife fightin. Dats why I's ain't trained ye wit real blades yet, I be knowin dis bein yer favorite fighting style an all, but ye gottsa get past this part. Block better. Next time I'll teach ye some more creative blocks, maybe ye's pick up one o' those better. Get yerself home afore Keldron finds out yer here.
"Yes master Kecktrik." Melron says bowing.
He walked through the corridors thinking to himself. 'What does he think imma do all day? Crochet? I hope he does find out i's learnin te fight. Yeah, den I's havin te be fightin him an he'd probably jest kill me.' He thought a lot about Keldron finding him fighting, then fantasizing that he could kill him in a fight. He loved his brother but let's face it, he's ruthless and completely out of control. Power has taken hold of him bad. 'Maybe I's could'no kill him, jest knock him down a peg er two. Make him want te rule WITH me, not against me. Who am I's kiddin, I's probably have no choice but te kill him, but i's donna know if'n I's gots it in me te kill me own brother.' He thought about this all the way to the kitchen for dinner and all through the night after that. He just couldn't figure out what to do. These were the days of his life right now. Determined to do the right thing but not knowing what that was.