Wednesday, 12 April 2017

    Still fixating on the fleeing giants, I reflexively continue to create sparks from my flint and steel, in the diminishing hope to create a forest fire that w-
    Betraying my own expectations, the tip of the tree erupts into a blinding fury of emanating flames. I rapidly riffle through my mind to find a way of this damned tree, well knowing the searing heat that was soon to come. It didn't arrive however, I hung mere inches from the growing flames, and the heat that should've scorched me was replaced with a comfortable warmth wrapping around me as a blanket. Confused on this skewed perception of heat, it dawns on me, or more specifically my chest. My crystal chest plate reflected both the image and heat of the flames, only a delicate warmth. A very quick thanks to the magical pegasus was given, and then I continued observed the soon-to-be forest fire.
    That is, until the confused expression of a wyvern with a wide open mouth piqued my interest. I lean over to gander at the wyvern staggering around with something very much alive thrashing in its mouth. The Hunter had somehow managed to open the jaws of a stunned wyvern and begun to crawl his way through the treacherous hole for who knows what. Naturally, the wyvern attempts to snap his mouth shut to maim the Hunter with his jagged and sharp teeth, yet he struggles to as the Hunter stands and pushes his arms upwards against the force.
    The jaws shut closed.
    Resistance did not stop though, as I spot large protrusions appear and disappear around the wyvern's mouth as the Hunter still pushed and punched to force his way out.
    Hesitating on finding a way to cut the Hunter out of the jaw of death, my plans are altered when the red dragon hurtles into the ground forcing anyone in the vincinity to change focus. In a mood of panic and dread as the red dragon examined me with his eyes, I try to play it cool, put up a nervous smile and casually quip "Hello."
    "Puny mortal, why are you not burning a painful death screaming in flames?" probed the dragon. "I'm immortal?" I replied, trying my best to keep my composure spilling out into the flames. Trying to prove my claim I roll back my shoulders, emphasizing my chest to show off my lustrous crystal chestplate insulating me. "You are a foolish brave warrior." he smirks. He is distracted chuckling at his own insult, not paying attention to the fact that my hands have grabbed another oil bottle start to aim straight at him. The bottle spins at a rapid pace towards its destination. He stops his gloating demeanor and snaps open his eyes. Another quick movement and he already snatched the bottle midair with a claw swipe and immedietly starts to guzzle it down with greed.
    Once again he distracted from my actions, savoring the oil from his dexterous reflexes. An extra third oil bottle finds itself into the grip of my hand prepared to deliver, the second time's the charm I suppose. But charm was shown to be absent as the bottle flies well above the target and vanish in the thick of the forest.
    The crimson menace does not even acknowledge my misjudged throw or presence. He instead opts to hover above the ground and turn around, letting me gaze at his barbed and bulbous tail. It gently curls into a spiral as the tail of a playful cat.
    The tail unwinds much faster than I could react.
    I sailed across the sky, the green trees below turned into a blur. My chestplate whistles as air flows between its cracks. Slammed into the sturdy tree I struggle to focus just for my breath, lying limp on a weak branch.
    Inhale, Exhale. Inhale, Exhale.
     Slowly, I move each part of my body and limbs to make sure nothing is broken or painful.  I gently rise up to focus once my senses come back from the soreness and confusion. How could I survive such an intense blow? I look down to examine my crystal chestplate but fail to see a single crack or dent, that was the sole reason I continue to breath. Once again I give gratitude to that mysterious pegasus for a literal life-saver.
    Before moving out of the branch I listen for any tell-tale signs for the hostile red creature, ready to swoop in when I reveal myself. No roars or growls, just the gentle brushing of my body against the leaves. I take my chances and peek out form the safety of the leaves. There wasn’t a red dragon in my view as I thought, but he could be around the area. Surprisingly none of the wyverns or my allies else had taken notice I flew into a tree moments ago, if they did spot me mid flight they’d assume I flattened with the tree.
I do take notice of something no one else did, a fight below me. The cleric was swinging his staff wildly at some hideously gross, despicable creature, a midget.
How dare that tiny freak even attempt to lay his hands on my friend! But I just can’t jump down and slaughter that thing, I don’t want him to gaze his eyes at me. I must be silent.
With ease the cleric blocks any of the midget’s short-ranged punches and throws by mildly shifting the staff. The midget’s rider armor seems to be restricting his joints preventing him from going all out. Was he actually a rider of one of those wyverns? He seems to be far too tiny and clumsy to grab a hold of one, lest he try to control it. I imagine him barely grabbing on with just one hand as the wyvern takes flight and eventually letting go and wildly spinning due to his small stature.
The midget actually lands a kick in the cleric’s shin only making him more enraged. I also get more angry, how could he? I ‘ll get rid of this disgusting midget in a spectacular way since no one will notice me, I have the time.
I have several odd tools and trinkets for unusual or rare situations but I’ve never gotten a chance to use any of them due to the nature of such occasions. This time is different. I dig into my bag into a part I rarely access, and retrieve a wooden tube, a blow dart. Along with an poison-tipped dart I slip it into one end, I take in long drawn breath, wouldn’t want to get a mouthful of illness. Placed into my mouth I take a long hard look at the ugly miscreant, adjusting my mouth for a direct hit. A sharp exhale shoots the dart in a straight line in lightning speed.
The little mongrel takes a direct hit to his shoulder. It seems that his rider’s shoulder plate did not provide its protection as the needle sinks in and disappears. Only the shaft remains visible. He stops his tirade of frantic attacks and pauses to look at the Cleric wide-eyed with his arm pointing. His mouth gasps and struggles to speak, just sounds of incoherent muttering. The legs are the first to collapse then the rest of the body topples as well. He lies face down and struggles to move. His movements slowly stop as death takes hold.
Staring at the corpse in confusion, the Cleric looks all around for the source of the dart. I shake the branch I lay on and call out to him. He turns with a slightly scared face but turns to relief as he recognizes me. The Cleric shifts to the base of my tree and as a gesture of thanks, casts a spell of healing to soothe my pains. A golden aura engulfs my vision and the aches from being thrown disappear altogether.
All of the aura blanks out, leaving my eyes to see the natural colors of the world once again. I glance to the Cleric to find why it all stopped so abruptly and see him staring at the two dragons of clashing colors, red and green, peer in detail of the other. Red is the first to break out of the gaze by launching a torrent of flames of which the heat set several tips of nearby trees ablaze. The green dragon is plunged in the flames for several seconds and writhes in the unbearable fever. The fire stops and the green dragon has charred spots, clearly in pain yet continues to fly. I squint my eyes to recognize the two figures atop the green dragon, the Wizard and Oreo, and they are not in good condition! Both of them reduced to cooked pinkish flesh, moaning the cries of a baby discovering hot water.
They’d probably be okay once we’re done, not the worst we’ve seen with what we went through. Of course though, something else takes our distracted eyes as the chance to attack -
Another midget with the fury to match it charges the Cleric but screams far too early alerting us, it’s going to take a solid fifteen seconds for him to make contact. The Cleric’s raises his arm and faces his palm to the thing, an ethereal purple spear emerges and flies. The midget is struck in the center of hi chest instantly ending his momentum, his legs fly up in the air and he collapses onto the ground driving dust and fallen leaves everywhere. Pointing straight up the ghostly spear, taller then the victim itself, rises and falls gently as the skewered midget struggles to come to terms. It seems that it hasn’t killed him but that will change with time when the spear will disappear, leaving a gaping wound exposed.
A ear-piercing screech fills the empty air after the stabbed midget stopped moaning. I hear the familiar flapping of a dragon closing in on us, I struggle to peek to find it without exposing myself. It wasn’t the red dragon luckily, rather the green dragon barely coping with it’s burned wings and slowly sinking towards the ground  to relieve himself of the constant effort it takes to stay afloat. Two figures perched on top, the Wizard and Oreo, were now level with me. There wounds and burns have been for the most part gone with some careless healing spells, but some charred spots still remain and so did their a-dragon-just-set-me-on-fire faces. Oreo is unfazed or pretends to. He lets go of his grip on the dragon and grabs hold of his bow loads an arrow and pulls it abnormally far. It’s aiming at the red dragon still in flight among the trees. It stops for a brief moment and that’s when Oreo fires, the arrow whizzes in an arc to hit only to feebly bounce off the red scales and fall like a needle. We start to realize the wrath we have invoked by getting involved with this red dragon but there was one more trick we could use, a furry little one.
“DONKEY!” I screamed out to beckon him once more to me, he was my last hope in this fiery encounter. “Come on Donk—”
My calls are answered as Donkey bursts into my field of view, primed for any of my bidding with an expression that oozes of loyalty and honed skill. I riffle through my mind to find anything of use he could be to the situation. The red dragon is obviously out of reach, he can’t help Oreo, the wizard or—
Ah, the H unter! Last I recalled of him he was being digested alive inside of a wyvern and slashing his way out to change that. With an objective secured in my mind to delegate to Donkey I take in a lungful of air and straighten my posture ready to give my commandments.
“Donkey! A loyal and dear friend to our group the Hunter has found himself in the most terrible of situations; a wyvern! Even worst at this very moment he is fighting to prevent his end as lowly food!  And it may be too late for him, but you are here to change all of that! Now go! Go with your unending ferocity and willpower and tear apart that sorry wyvern so that our friend will see the light of day once again! GO!”
Donkey acknowledges the duty handed to him with a simple nod and looks to my eyes, I nod back. He turns away to face the direction of the Hunter I pointed out and dashes away to finish it. Everyone else just looks at me in either awe or confusion after the ordeal, but I shrug it off.
Oreo beckons me onto the green dragon after seeing me rest on the tree branch for a while. He says I could have a better shot at hitting the red dragon if I was riding and against the betterment of my judgment, I leap off my branch onto the back of the green dragon.
I land on all fours steady making sure to get a grip on the scales to avoid slipping and falling off onto the Cleric. Immediately after the dragon lowers before straining to rise back up, it’s now groaning from exhaustion and having to carry the weight of three adventurers. This may have been a bad thing to do. Oreo without warning leaps at me to try and toss me off! He could have asked me to get off in the first place but it’s too late for that. I dodge to the right and Oreo crashes on to his belly, dazed. I take the chance to counter his attempted toss and grab his torso to roll him off the dragon. Oreo falls down, letting a branch catch him and hold his weight, effectively switching positions from before.
The Wizard looks at both of us mildly disappointed with a sigh. A moment later he makes a few gestures with his hand, then we start to flicker and disappear. Did he cast an invisibility spell on us? It would be useful to hide when that red dragon comes over to try and roast us or if any other wyverns and their riders come. We only remain invisible for seconds before it wears off but the green dragon remains completely invisible, I feel like I’m going to fall at any instant as I look and see the ground below me clearly. I’ll have to be careful not slip off.
Perfect timing for the red dragon as it flies overhead, we all duck in unison in preparation of soon to be barrage of fire but in a few tense moments it never comes. Instead we hear the familiar voice belonging to the one that tail-slammed me into a tree.

Really? I could barely believe it. Most of us had been viciously wounded; I got tail-whipped into a tree, the Hunter is still probably being digested and the Wizard and Oreo were burnt to a crisp. But still, I couldn’t find any sensible reason why they would retreat now after coming so close to victory.
Just after the red dragon’s command I notice all of our enemies, the wyverns and riders start to make a retreat. Many wyverns fly frantically with their rider barely holding a grip, some had even left their rider forcing many to run on ground towards the forest fire. Far down I spot the midget who had a magic spear embedded in him start to follow the order, desperately hobbling away from us.
I don’t even know where she came from, but the Monk bursts into my view running straight behind the midget. The midget’s short strides are no match and soon she catches up, she leaps forward and tackles him with the Monk landing on the midget on the ground. The midget is held into an arm lock and realizes the situation and starts to sob wildly. I can’t tell if they’re genuine sobs of pleading or crocodile tears, I don’t care either way.
Distracted by the wailing midget, I see a hand creeping up the side of me. I quickly look down are spot Oreo, clinging to seemingly thin air but I know it’s the green dragon. He quickly grabs my arm and pulls me down without warning, I topple off and brace myself. I crash into the same branch Oreo did and feel a tinge of comeuppance from before as I recover my bruised ego. Oreo completes his climb and reclaims his usurped position, smirking at me during the process.
The familiar stomps of the giants returns and jolts my body. It seems they heard the call to retreat and came to observe or catch any stragglers for fresh meat. I climb up the branches of the tree in order to see how many of them came out of the cave.
A dozen or so they stumbled around looking, but a small group surrounds a cornered enemy. I lean out to see they’ve encircled the dead body of a wyvern, the one that ate the Hunter. But clearly the head and neck is thrashing about, the Hunter is probably alive and kicking his way out of his meat prison. Donkey is also trying to help with the situation by repeatedly headbutting the corpse in the belly, which only slightly jostles it. The group of giants obviously don’t know that someone is in the dead wyvern, believing it to be possessed. They start to roar , threatening the body with physical violence and to end up as a tasty meal.
Something else distracts all of the giants from going through with their plans of beating a dead body.
There were noises of panting and straining coming from the suffering green dragon. But he was invisible to all of us and only we know this discrepancy. Even though they couldn’t see the dragon they start to circle around the source of the noise, ready to beat the ghostly voice senseless. Once again they threaten the perceived dangerous being with violence. The wizard and Oreo still on the invisible dragon, attempt to calm down the giants into a more calm state, since they’re the ones that would suffer the most if they attacked. But these pleas are ignored, they heighten their threats with more insults.
I feel my right foot being tugged at and raise it away fast, fearing someone may want to tug me down again. Glancing down quickly I see the Monk who pulled without warning apologizing, she only wanted me attention. She simply asks for rope and points her face in a direction, I look and spot the midget laying on the ground in fetal position, moaning. He looks worse than I remember, dirt is strewn all over his clothes and he has many bruises on his face. I understand what she intends to do with the rope and toss down a few feet of it from my bag. She catches it and walks with glee towards her target. I stop looking and opt to focus on the dragon, I don’t want to see the process, just the end result.
It’s degraded to throwing hateful threats and showing their clubs, tired of the constant threats the invisible victim snaps back.
“It’s foolish to antagonize one who can melt you with a single breath of acid.”
This sends the entire already unfriendly group into a state of fury, raising tensions so high that intervening would bring a certain death from both sides. The Cleric, completely at wits end, climbs up the tree closest to the dragon with ease and the anger of a mother. With one hand on a branch he leans out towards the unaware Oreo who was occupied with bickering, and shoved his shoulder. Oreo lost his balance and unable to see the dragon to hold on, fell down but at the last moment gripped one hand on a part of the dragon no one knows. The Cleric wasn’t finished with his retribution, He stares at the giants, waiting for them to stop hollering. When they don’t, the Cleric sighs and catches their attention with something even louder.
“Hey, will you guys shut up for a damned moment!?!”
His voice drowned out all the other noises I could hear and forced all eyes on him, silence save for the sounds of nature. He definitely used some sort of spell to project his voice as loud as that. With everyone’s attention drawn, the Cleric resumes his lecture.
“Look, I know you can’t see this dragon that wants to acidify you, but can we just mellow out for just a bit? Neither of us want to fight so, just— a misunderstood time right now. If we all talk, we’ll get this over with.”
With that, the Cleric climbs back down the tree in silence and walks to help the Hunter as if his plea was never announced. The giants take a pause to process what he said and understand it as well. In the lull created from the thinking giants the Wizard gets up, although it looks as if he’s in midair. Not wanting to risk walking onto real air he leaps from where he stood onto a branch and clings to it, since it’s something he can actually see and hold onto. He gingerly descends the tree and once clear, makes a mad dash towards their cave when the giants huddle together to discuss.
A slicing visceral noise ends the temporary quietness. I shudder a teeny bit, already imagining a horror scene when I turn to look at the source. Ah, so the Hunter is finally getting out of that hellhole. The Cleric just sliced open the neck of the dead wyvern through its thick scales, tall enough for any man to exit, or enter. Light seeped into the innards of the mouth. It must have been a literal divine miracle for the Hunter and he took it swiftly. He bursts through the gap, severely widening the hole and tearing off chunks of scale and flesh. Smeared with blood, the Hunter collapses at his feet and drops his sword.
His face was the one of a prisoner who’d been freed after an agonizing several years of jail. Actually, being trapped inside a musty, damp dead wyvern is comparable to jail. But he had a smile, letting us know that he was okay. Due to the rotten odor the Hunter was smeared in the closest the Cleric would get was two feet to do a it’s-going-to-be-okay hug, but he hovered his hands to avoid rubbing on him the entire time. The Hunter wearily lies down onto the ground and said it was his time to be alone for a bit, we respected his wishes and leave him to reflect.
The midget restarted his agonizing moans again and I start to watch him, he’s awake and squirming in pain. All that struggling is for naught though, as he still lays in the fetal position and his hands are bound behind his back. It’s tight enough to cut off circulation as his hands turn into darker shades of purple.
The Monk had her back turned away before the midget cried and now that he had her attention she comes back and slaps him, snapping his head to the side and silencing him. Unamused by his antics she grabs him by the chin and lifts him to his knees. A dark pink slap mark was now added to the many bruises on his face. He looks down, avoiding the gaze the Monk tried to pierce him with. She snaps her fingers with her free hand at his face, forcing the midget to look at the source of the sound.
She asks him, “Why did you come here?”
The Midget closed his eyes in thought. “To…” The midget hesitated, “…Kill you.”
She was satisfied with those three simple words and smirked as she slams her fist against the midget’s temple. She lets her grappling hand go, letting the midget crumple to the ground, knocked out cold. Blood starts to  drip down into his ears.
The invisibility spell had worn off the green dragon, now visible to all. You can clearly see the rage in his emerald eyes be held back by his will. Oreo who was gripping some random scale of the dragon, now had a much easier time seeing what to climb. He scrambled up the creature from the side and mounted him once again.
The Wizard returns from the cave dragging a massive object behind him shrouded in brown cloth. The giants take notice of the object and whisper among themselves, suspicious of what he may have stolen. He drags himself until he is between the group of giants and the green dragon, then  rips off the cloth, revealing to the world what he had brought to attention.
A rotten, decapitated green dragon head.
The green dragon, horrified by the sight of his own slain brethren shrieks of a high enough pitch to rumble the nearby trees and everyone wince. He thrashes his wings and body all around without care, crashing into trees and almost the giants. He repeatedly slams his tail against the ground and shakes his back like the waves of the ocean, it looks like he’s trying to buck off Oreo who barely clings on for life and fear. He stops at once and remains calm with his eyes closed and head low, a complete change of state from just moments ago.
Oreo takes the opportunity to scramble off the dragon, scared of the potential that the dragon could go berserk once again. My suspicions become more solid, as a bubbly sizzling noise growls from the throat of the two-faced dragon. He’s preparing to spray acid! What makes it more terrifying is that no one knows who’s going to be the target. He raises his wings and slams them down, raising himself into the air and starts to fly up. If he’s starts to spit his acid, he’ll hit everything below and reduce everyone to a bubbly puddle regardless of their alignment.
Several of the giants also realize the potential carnage the dragon could create. A handful split off from the group and start to whisk where the dragon lifted off. They were all distinct from the rest of the plain aggregation of giants. Blue tattoos of warrior and magical origin adorned them on their faces, arms and chest. They adjust themselves into an organized row, something unlike their usual brash tactics, and hold their hands out as if they’re grabbing an orb. In parallel all their hands start to conjure a small ball of ice that floats between their palms, growing bigger with every second until it is the size of a large boulder.
All at once they roar to announce their attack and multiple shards of frost and ice shoot out of their orb, all aiming at the wings of the deranged dragon. The effects are almost immediate, the ice pounds and shreds the relatively delicate wings while the frost slowly freezes his ability to fly well. The overwhelming cold force is too much for the dragon to handle and he starts to careen down towards the earth, wings almost frozen to the core. He crashes down with thunderous force as he couldn’t use his wings to soften the fall. He screeches and attempts to move away but the frigid dead weight of his wings prevent him from moving an inch. Fury and frustration is plastered on his face.
However, he is forced to concede to the giants as he could do nothing to change the odds. He lays still on the ground, wary for the next potential hostility to happen. Sensing that the giants would probably start to get their revenge and retribution against the dragon for all the taunting and threats, the Monk walks with urgency towards the trapped creature before the giants could interject. She places herself down mere feet from his head and crosses her legs. She waits with patience until has put all focus on to her, and then she starts to speak.
“You’re angry,” she says in a tone sprinkled with gentleness “It’s something understandable, though.”
“Understandable?” The dragon snaps back. “I only understand this. You want me to fight and die for you. For a pitiful cause.”
She replies .“Our cause is something worth fighting for.”
“Your actions say otherwise.” He opposes the Monk’s opinion. “Your allies’ attempts to fight the invading army have merely been a small setback. They will come again, and they won’t forget.”
The Monk sighs. “That is why we need you, we will perish without any help-”
“So be it.” The dragon sneered.
“-And then they’ll get you too.” She finishes her sentence. “You have two choices, flee like the rest of the cowards and delay the inevitable, or join us and stand a chance.”
The Dragon furrows his face in thought, taking in her opinion and reconsidering his options.
The Monk also adds ”Are you not bound to Oreo? What happened between when he summoned you and now?”
“It is true that my purpose to Oreo is being a loyal servant. But my life comes first.”
“You’ll have no more life when you abandon us. The army will take it instead. We are the only ones you have.”

She waits with the dragon in silence. We all do, giants included. No one wants to break his speculation. Is he really supposed to be a companion for Oreo? He didn’t seem to be the kind to build relationships much less a follower to a substantially weaker being. Oreo came flying in on that beast amid battle as if they were brothers teaming up. I still don’t know the story between them and fill in the missing gaps with my own imagination. Were they raised together? Kept secret during our time in the citadel? I take note to ask Oreo later, if the dragon becomes amicable again. We need him on our side in this fight, this skirmish left us exhausted and the army  and we won’t last long without any support.
Raising his sore head, the green dragon clears his guttural throat and says his final decision. “There is no choice if I desire peace for myself. Consider me as part of your little cause for now.”
The Monk sighs with relief and I silently cheer in my mind. At the very least we won’t perish the moment our enemy counterattacks while remembering the pain we inflicted on them today. It won’t be very long until they recoup and come for us.
Annoyed with our premature celebration, the green dragon responds curtly. “Letting me out of this prison of ice is required if you wish for me to remain an ally.”
“Okay, got it.” the Monk replies back to assure him.
Sensing that the Monk probably can’t shatter the ice with her bare fists, me and the rest of the group come to surround the reflective, inanimate wings. At once we all strike with our weapons with precision and a bit of callowness to crack the ice, but we make sure not to cut so deep we slice into the dragon’s flesh and anger him further. Chunks of ice start to break off and fall, immediately melting on the ground from the sun’s heat.  In moments much of the ice is gone, now puddles along the patches of dirt and grass.
With much of the dragon’s wings now exposed he starts to expand his wings. The rest of the small patches of ice crack and slide off. Drips of water flow down the entire canvas of his body.
“I’ll be up there.” The dragon gestures his head towards the top of the giants’ cave entrance which has a natural terrace. In moments he leaps off the ground and flies towards his destination, landing with ease. He rests himself atop and curls his body, keeping one eye open to look at us as he starts to sleep.
The giants, satisfied with the situation, start their own way back into the cavern. Among the walking group, their leader stands still and looks at us, about to ask some questions.
“Come, inside. I want to give a proper welcome to you, unexpected guests.” He says to our group in a much more soothing voice than the grating war cries from before. “I’m sorry for being a bit brash about earlier. Wyverns, you know?”
Yeah, I guess the giant in us came out of all of us when they did attack. The leader seems to have made a sharp turn in personality, from a raging warrior to a host welcoming guests. Will he offer us tea next once we come in?
In our group we look to one another for confirmation, we all nod yes. I speak to respond to the leader’s offer “Sure, it’s better to talk in there than here.”
“Your welcome, squishies.” He responds with a hint of sarcasm, reminding me I haven’t even thanked him for all he’s done.
“Thanks, I mean it,” I almost forgot to say our gratitude to him, “you and your friends saved our backs out there. Are they all right?” I ask, concerned for his wounded comrades. The less giants we have the more problems we’ll have in the future.
“Only a few are hurt, they’ll heal, given time. I’ll tell them it was all for you, make sure to kiss their feet when they’re recovering.”
“Can do.”
“Now, let’s go in, out of the heat. It’s been a long while since we had guests.”
Heat… Isn’t the forest still on fire!?! It’s something I’ve started yet completely forgotten. If it’s been this long since the fire started then it may be too late to stop it. The forest ablaze in flames that coat the sky in orange and burn with searing intensity, something I wouldn’t mind but I’m currently in it, and so is the giants’ cavern. I yell to the leader to alert him of the elapsed inferno. “Hey! What about the forest we’re in? Isn’t it on fire?”
He replies with casualness “Oh, that. Did you not notice it’s already out? It was all snuffed out when our mages froze that damned dragon.”
Wow, the giants’ magical capabilities are much better than I assumed, better for us. It’s going to be very important to convince him to join us as well. He and his clan have what we need, strength, magic and terrifying appearances. We need to act like this some royal castle of a king and we’re the visiting nobles ready to kiss his feet, to receive some personal advantages with him.
“Well, we’re here. Ready to come in?” The leader asks. We all stand close to the entrance to his humble cave still pitch dark, not allowing us to see the interior of his home.
“Yeah, let’s go.” I reply, and so we all step in...

Thursday, 2 February 2017

        Unamused by the fact I have become and still am a giant's plaything, I attempt to find solace in why I should be treated like this. I only find humiliation instead. Resistance is futile at this point, no matter the determination I put in to try and get out. So I put on a neutral face, and simply wait for the giant's short attention span to run out. But I wait far less than I anticipated. One of the giant's comrades says in a voice awe and wonder, "Look at the big wing-ey things!". I predicted that the giant saw birds flying in the sky for the first time in his life. And so I ignored it. But then, my heart leapt into my throat.
        The unmistakable sound forces my eyes above the horizon. It was something I've heard constantly in the past few hours. But now my eyes have the chance to visually feast on it. Dragons, no wait, Wyverns. The only difference between a dragon and a wyvern was that they had no separate front legs. They were instead combined together with the wings. But I still felt the same terror strike my heart as equally as dragons.
        The wyverns flew too fast and erratic for my eyes to count. I could only make an estimate of at least of a few dozen. They were multiple clumps, tightly-knit together to the point that they looked like fast, multi-colour clouds that would rain death instead of water. The giant looked towards the flying death, and quickly but gently, laid his hand down to the ground and let his fingers relax, so that I could become independent and on the ground once again. All of the giants moved and looked together at the wyverns in synchronous harmony. Their faces similar with an agape ignorant mouth and eyes either full of wonder, or stupidity. I also notice the same awe-struck face on Donkey, and I reminisce his complete failure to take down the giants. He has dishonoured our family honour and the only way for him to atone for his sins, is to sacrifice himself for me, and our family (which consists of just me and Donkey).
        I call towards Donkey for possibly the last time and with a melancholic yet vehement clamor, I confess to him, "Donkey, you have brought great shame and dishonour to our family, and there is only one way to atone for such an appalling failure, sacrifice." Donkey stared at me with those saucer-sized eyes, but I continued, " As my final command as your master, you must charge and duel with absolute determination towards the flying abnormalities. Do not return to me until you have restored our honour, by either decimating the wyverns, or by dying." Donkey somberly looked upon the wyverns, and then back towards me with the face of a regretful soon-to-be departure. A single tear flows down from the corner of his eye, which disappears upon the green foliage. "GO!" This final scream jumpstarts Donkey into running into the forest, far enough to vanish into the thick of the lush trees.
        FEE, FI, FO, FUM...
        My entire being convulsed in rhythm with those sudden stomps. I swiftly turned around and expected a flurry of angered giants rushing out of their caves from a disturbed nap, ready to eliminate the trouble-makers. But instead see my comrades walk side by side together with several more giants out of the cave. Did they somehow make acquaintances with the giants residing in the cave while I was being toyed with? I don't think about my question for much, neither do I question the hunter. He gallops straight out of the cave towards the wyverns with a horse I've never seen before. Perhaps being played with really messed with my perception of time... But my mind shifts once more to the wyverns and see that they truly do spot us and the "inconspicuous" giants. However, there was an odd wyvern out there flying far away solo without any backup with him. Actually, I had mistaken this to be a wyvern. The cold harsh truth lay upon my eyes and paused my mind when fire breathed and danced out of its mouth.
        A red dragon.
        I was not exaggerating this fact. It had been such a long time since I have seen such beauty and death rolled into a fiery creature. A flashback of the Citadel fire snapped through my mind, and reminds me of the carnage they could create. This would not happen again, I thought to myself while I sprung into action. A view from the height of a giant would definitely grant me the benefit of seeing the nearby soon-to-be battlefield and allow me to have a better shot at those flying banshees. And with that following logic, I immediately leapt onto the loincloth of the closest giant. I grab a handful of the smelly cloth and dangle off the ground, blessing my stars the fabric didn't tear or fall and exposing the giant, making him blush and cover himself with embarrassment.
        Either the giant did not notice my weight on his loincloth, or he pretended I wasn't there in the first place. I took this opportunity to start climbing on the flowing loincloth, taking VERY special care to avoid that my gaze lands upon the forbidden nether regions, lest my eyes be scarred for life. Although the time it took to climb the lengthy loincloth doubled due to my lack of useful vision, I manage to reach upon the lower back of the giant. I continue my ascension, this time careful to grab on the thick pungent hairs for extra grip, rather than the numerous red pimples that would spray disgusting pus all over me. After the final pull, I find myself perched up upon the left shoulder of a giant, and over thirty feet off the ground. It was definitely a breath-taking view over the gently sloping forest, like taking hours hiking and the ending result is the sight only a bird could fly up to.
        My gaze upon the green landscape is abruptly interrupted by the yells of the Monk, but it was something my tongue isn't familiar with. It was very... primordial, and had very harsh consonants as well as many hissing noises. Even though I wasn't able to understand the foreign words, many of the wyverns who are much closer to us than I realized all move their heads together in synch. All their eyes' gaze pierces where the Monk stands, her face turns into one of terror and then flees in a frenzied panic once again. From all of this I deduce that the Monk probably said something in draconic to antagonize the wyverns. And the wyverns retaliated with a gaze intimidating enough to make the Monk panic.
        But my attention is refocused back onto the sky on something that isn't the wyverns, but not the red dragon either. It was an emerald green, and by the size and demeanor of it, that it was surely another dragon ready to spit acid instead of flames upon us. Even more peculiar though, was the small human figure mounting the base of the neck on the dragon. It looked even more similar the closer I scrutinized it... Was the figure Oreo? A bit of memory-jogging reminded me that Oreo left us while we were trailing Bob, he didn't give any decent reasons to stay behind. If that figure was him, then he deserved the right to rub it in our faces after we doubted his arguments to stay behind.
        At this point, the wyverns had come close enough to us and the giants to viciously attack with an arsenal of their sharp spiked tails, two talons on their wings, and toothy snouts. It became a massive war between two brutish forces, both equally armed with a terrifying armoury. At the very least we were on one side instead of being targeted by both. The gift of flight may have given the wyverns an edge in the battle, but the giants still managed to strike some down with clubs or grab them midair on their tails. Amongst the mayhem I manage to spot the Hunter in a similar position to me, perched upon the shoulder of another uglier giant. The Hunter yells in a determined voice to his supporting giant to grab and hurl him at one of the fast-flying wyverns. In just one moment the Hunter is still on the Giant's shoulder, in the next he is seen flying in the air as fast as one of the wyverns. A blink of my eye and he's gone, I don't know if he managed to snag on by a scale, or he turned into forest pancake.
        It is clear now that the wyverns have changed their tactics from randomly assaulting anything in sight to a surgically coordinated blitzkrieg. The newly introduced tactic was proven very effective by the evidence of panic-stricken screams, blood-spurts staining the soil and the giants also possibly staining their loincloths. However, this heightened brutality instigated by the wyverns was now matched by the giants. It appeared that some of the giants were capable of conjuring magic and used it as an offensive weapon to even the odds against the renewed strategy. A creative array of firebolts, freeze rays, lightning and variety of spells I had no idea that they existed all harm the wyverns just as much as the blitzkrieg did.
        Even though the battlefield of burned trees, spilled blood of giants and wyverns alike and ruined ground had somehow become even more hectic, A familiar four-legged creature was spotted by me.
        Ah, Donkey...
        Actually. a better name would be Donkey the Revenant, since it had seemed he had returned, as if from the dead. Although I wouldn't exactly call him something you would say was "alive". It seemed that a demon had possessed him and decided the best way to take advantage of Donkey's body was to arbitrarily prance around in nonsensical directions while screaming his lungs out at the highest pitch his vocal cords could. His facial expression would be more appropriate for someone who belonged in a sanitorium, as proven with his imbecile tongue sticking out sideways and unnerving eyes opened wider than teacup saucers. At this point, it would have been better to have my last memory of Donkey wistfully moving towards the wyverns to fulfill his duty to restore honour, and instead I ignored him and pretended that he died valiantly fighting the wyverns.
        The bellowing battle cry of another giant in front of me is replied with the screeching fierce roar of the wyvern on the top of a pine just in front of the angered giant. They both stare each other down in close proximity with their faces becoming more and more distorted due to bubbling animosity for each other until it seems to hit the boiling point. In an impulsive attempt to stop the giant and wyvern from getting so despicable to each other to the finality of brutality, I reach into my coat pocket to feel a familiar coarse rock. I pull it out with finesse and a flashback that reminds me of how the rock did almost nothing to a mighty owlbear... I dismiss the flashback in hopes that the rock could actually accomplish something by being thrown, and convert my faith into the strength in my arm which hurls the rock much harder than I anticipated. My faith in the rock is once again melted away with the sound of "KLAK" when the rock harmlessly whopped into the wyvern's unyielding scale, and leisurely rolls down the tree onto the ground. The event didn't even make attention for the wyvern to notice the rock, but instead keeps antagonizing the giant until it ends with the start of a savage brawl.
        Just like how I attempted to interfere with the wyvern with a futile distraction, I spot the half-orc wizard attempting to do the same with another. His quarterstaff is raised and pointed towards an unamused wyvern in a bellicose manner. With his free hand he rotates his wrist and repeatedly opens and shuts his fingers, and in an instant they are wide open pointing to the wyvern. Magical bluish glowing darts shoot rapidly out of his fingers, making way rapidly towards the snout of the wyvern. But his magic missile matches the same fate as my rock did, the darts harmlessly ricochet off the snout of the now irritated wyvern and fade away into nothingness. The wyvern casts a face of petty annoyance towards the wizard to show its disappointment.
        I spot the rustling crown of a tree, anticipating it a wyvern climbing up to launch aerial attack on one of the grounded giants. But of course it is one of my comrades, the Monk already twenty feet up clambering her way for reasons only the deities know. She quickly grabs onto a modest branch but the weight pushes it beyond the breaking point and snaps with sudden violence. The monk falls oddly through the air like a ragdoll, her face and all her limbs facing straight towards the sky. But it was only like that for a few moments until she wildly crashes on the ground vociferously back first. An indent in the shape of her body was formed, her robe and tattered and hair covered with bits of twigs and leaves. But somehow her right forearm sticks straight up in the air, hand still tightly grasping the crippled branch she trusted to hold her weight. This absurd scene brings forth a bellow of laughter from the nearby giant fortunate enough to watch, further cementing the Monk's reputation for clumsiness.
        The emerald green dragon that flew from a far distance before comes back into my focus unexpectedly. The flying beast is surprisingly closer to us now than I realized, but the most startling fact was that it was flying right beside the crimson red dragon! I expected them to be mortal enemies since I assumed Oreo would command the green dragon to fight its own brethren. Even the two flying dragons weren't that odd, compared to the fact that I quickly spot our Rogue get haphazardly grabbed by the hands of a brutish giant. I had no clues why the giant would do such a thing, but it becomes much clearer when the giant winds the arm containing the Rogue. Without warning the Rogue soars through the sky awkwardly, past the intended target of a wyvern then hitting the tip of an unlucky tree, which provides enough momentum to launch him onto the top of another tree.
        The Rogue's tree sways more violently even after it subsided from the crash, but I also take notice that all the other trees are swaying just as rough in synch. I take a quick gaze around me to find the source of such rumbling, but I heard it before I saw it.
        It was the familiar stomp of a giant but it was more than a giant, each step created a shockwave that shook everything in its radius and the sound was much more profound and abiding than the normal giant stomp. And then I spot the origin of the stomps shifting out of the cave. The leader, I assume, is easily twice the size of any other giants in the vicinity, adorned on his head are antlers from some ungodly giant creature and loincloth is a step above the others with a beautiful fabric and intricate patterns. His grizzled face is complete with his stoic expression and full beard.
        He breathes in deeply, and then exhales with a tirade of commands.
        Another breath is drawn in after that decree, while doing so he glares at each individual in our party just short enough not to daunt us, but long enough to make us straighten our posture and take to heart on what he was going yell next.
        The last two words of his expression were accompanied by the swarming of storm clouds covering the sky. A thunderous flash appears everywhere, but it was calculated, striking all the riders down from their high and mighty wyverns. I take this opportunity of pandemonium to leap off the shoulder of my vessel, the giant, and onto the tip of the nearest tree. I fiercely grip the tip of the tree as it swings wildly to due my reckless jump. After the swinging subsides, I reach into my pack and grab a bottle of oil, my fire instincts are calling me. I pull out the cork with haste, and begin to douse the tree in oil carefully, to make sure my clothes don't catch any of the flammable substance.
        After the entire bottle is emptied I consider when to set the tree alight, which in turn will set the entire forest ablaze. But a much more intriguing spectacle forces me to look. I gaze at Ted, who just flung himself out of the sheath of the half-orc wizard and starts to whirl rapidly into a blur. Ted then cleaves himself into one of the riders lying on the ground in a daze from the thunderstrike. His body is immediately separated into two halves, the first half his upper torso and the second his flailing detached legs. He coughs with a shocked expression, and then moves no more. The wizard calmly picks Ted up and wipes the blood off with a cloth, before putting him proudly back into his sheath.
        My ears notice a rhythmic punching noise piercing the air, and I look down once again. The Monk is on top of a rider, just laying brutal punches to the head that make him jolt with pain, but he is unable to block or counter them. She lays one last haymaker punch to the side of the head that finally either knocks him out or kills him, I couldn't tell at this viewing distance. 
        Now I hear a magical skreeeeeeik, making me stare in another direction while wondering when my eyes will get a chance to rest but still pay attention anyways. The Cleric uses magic to summon a weapon from nothingness, a purple translucent javelin arose from thin air. He grasps it and points it at a rider who somehow handled being struck by lightning and stayed afoot on his red dragon. The javelin is thrown boldly by the Cleric spinning in the air until it found its target, the rider. His body is flung off the dragon and he flails about until he lands neck first on the ground, and then he stops, he is surely dead now and the javelin fades from the body.
        A scream of pure terror and agony stretches across the forest, and I hesitate to look at the source of such horror, But I do so anyways. The first thing I take in is the flying spurts of blood forming numerous pooling puddles. Limbs and various chunks that were once a rider were strewn apart like some sickly playtoy. The culprit was continued to roar in anger as if Bob had forgotten that he had a human side to himself, he let the owlbear inside to take complete control of his inhuman actions.
        Now after watching my allies rightfully take the riders' lives, the tide of the battle shifted towards the giants. Many wyverns are grabbed out of the air by the giants' hands and swung into the nearest natural object, be it a tree, a boulder, or just the cold hard ground.
        The red dragon who just a while ago flew around spitting flames at anything it deemed an enemy now idled in the air flapping its wings. Its eyes closed and stared upwards into the cosmos, then chanted in what I assumed to be Draconic. Not a moment later, a translucent blue stick appeared and flew astonishingly fast that it disappeared from my sight. I don't know what would be worse, to find out what that spell is going to do, or the anticipation of waiting for the spell to do something.
        I push the thought of the doomsday spell to the bottom of my mind and focus on the green dragon that Oreo perched himself on. A force of wind nudges me as it flies by, and it does so while spitting bubbly acid at a flat-footed wyvern. Oreo also tries to aid his beastly partner by firing a pettily arrow at the wyvern, but he overshoots and contributes nothing to the situation. But it doesn't matter as the wyvern's wings have dissolved. It is now screeching in torment and futilely squirming as it literally liquefies into an unidentifiable green acid puddle in less than a minute. Some of the bubbles that rise and burst with great intensity splash onto the red dragon, but he merely sneers and shakes it off like a wet dog.
        Another tree sways in the background and it's not due to the wings of a wyvern, no. It was the rogue swinging to and fro gaining some serious momentum and with one last heave he lets go into a controlled fall. His hand quickly reaches into his hip, then he tumbles onto a rider regaining his senses. The Rogue stands up after the fall but the rider lays awkwardly. It wasn't until I realized after the knife was pulled out that the Rogue stabbed him midfall. The distinctive whiz of an arrow makes me glance down to catch the context.
        A successful hit from the bow of the Hunter punctures the chest of another helpless rider. It was a direct pierce into the heart himself, he gasps and stumbles in shock and tumbles down facing the sky. He tries one last effort to rip out the arrow and only the shaft breaks out, he lies dead.
        Concentrating on the rider's fatal arrow wound, I fail to realize the red dragon had swiftly moved from whence he came. By the time I noticed such absence I barely catch a glance as the dragon deftly flies towards the leader of the giants and claws him furiously, mangling his left shoulder.
        I realize that things are going to start going south, and that I may not be able to unleash my plan to burn the entire forest to ashes in a beautiful inferno. Immediately I take out my flint and steel, and strike with both hands to create a mass of tiny insignificant-but-significant sparks that will be the ignition to a doomsday event. However, there juuuuust one tiny problem...
        The sparks refuse to cooperate, no matter how times I strike the steel across flint, my master plan has been soiled due to some damn irreconcilable sparkles!
        I sulk in my own thoughts for a while, blocking out the world from interrupting me. Screams of the monk change my mind however. I snap my eyes open and detect the Monk launching herself recklessly from the top of a tree onto the stationary red dragon. She horribly miscalculates the jump, overshoots by a large margin and she is punished the same way she fell down before.
        The Cleric sensing the damage caused by the red dragon and wyverns, casts various healing spells of glowing gold that aids the giants of their afflictions caused by bites, scratches and strikes. Once again he summons his magical javelin from thin air to toss at the red dragon to keep him at bay, and unfortunately misses the golden opportunity.
        Being careful to look around my surroundings to make sure nothing is amiss, I do notice something amiss. I do a double take and my eyes may be deceiving me, dozens of green dragons now fly ominously over the sky. All are flying erratically and recklessly. Where did they come from? Who brought them here? A not-so-conspicuous chortle shows me the culprit: Oreo. Between his laughs and inhalations, he manages to spurt out a small chant and POOF another green dragon had just begun to exist. Now that I examine them, this was clearly an illusion spell. These fabricated green dragons could never be able to even harm a fly, they even looked like a watered-down version of a real green dragon.
        But those foolish giants were dull enough to take the bait.
        "RETREAT!!!" many of the giants screamed in low-pitched panicky voices. All the giants took a quick glance to their cave, and started slow mad-dash towards it. The entire ground rumbled with the cowardice of the giants retreating back into their supposedly safe "home". Many of us had to dodge the giants blindly running back in, as well as leaping out of the way when some giants casted spells at the faux-pas green dragons still flying around haphazardly. How are we going to fend off the wyverns now!?! We are simply outarmed but then I look towards Bob in owlbear form, who has ignored all this anarchy and is currently tearing another rider a new hole. Maybe I could learn a lesson from Bob and just drag the giants out and make them cry like toddlers pretending to be a baby green dragon...

Saturday, 8 October 2016

    "Okay guys, we'll have to gather a bit closer to me so I can be more discreet. 'Cause you know, a dragon is scrutinizing this forest right now looking for any living thing to set a blazing inferno on. And I would prefer to be in one piece right now." I had no disagreements with Bob, and so did the rest of us. So we heeded his advice and all huddled up together as if we were about to put all of our hands in and cheer for ourselves. Actually, we came much closer to each other, practically hugging, than what is comfortable when we heard the iconic "WHOOOSH... WHOOOSH... WHOOOSH..." of a menacing dragon sound much more closer than what we would like.
    When all sounds and sights are clear of any danger, and when we stop shaking hugging each other, it felt like the perfect opportunity to show Bob the Arsenal to see if he can give us any information about it that we are far too simple and unperceptive to see. The Arsenal was laid as gently down as possible onto the soft green grass, as if it was an explosive that would trigger by the slightest amount of pressure. The chest itself was made out of old, dark oak wood and many intricate carvings made by a master artisan of seemingly wild and abrasive symbols decorated the edges and centre. The carvings contained an esoteric language I do not understand, yet they seemed wild due to its characters containing long scratches and no curves. A purplish faint light pulsated between the crack of the lid and body, giving a feeling of exoticness and untapped otherworldly power. Bob unlocked the hatch, and hesitated when he put his hand on the lid, but he took a deep breath, and opened the Arsenal. A blinding lumination pierced all of our eyes the instant Bob swung open the Arsenal, forcing all of us to look away, only able to indirectly look at the Arsenal, but not the contents. I was able to gaze at Bob's face, his eyes were dilated to the maximum staring deep within, many of his less-than-pretty features were exaggerated by the purple shine, giving a ghastly face. His chin was between his index finger and thumb, his stubble was being lightly scratched and eyebrows furrowed in intense, uninterruptible thought. The lid was shut as quickly as it was open, letting the purple light dissipate, and Bob's eyes closed tightly for a few seconds and took in a deep breath. When Bob breathed out, his eyes opened once again, and mouth ready to speak. "Inside this chest is... something beyond just powerful magic, it is THE magic to end all magic, and right now, it's literally calling EVERY dragon to come here in a one-hundred kilometre radius. I suggest we move faster than a man with the runs."
    Bob was right, this chest is a beacon to every magic-sensing creature that will in some way kill us. "There's a place I know that will get us out of danger's way northeast, follow me if you want to live." Since all of us had a desire to live, no one argued against Bob's suggestion. We move silently across the green forest, letting the leaves and grass absorb any noise created by our feet. But this is both a blessing and a curse, the towering trees and leaves cover the ground from any bird's eye, make it easier for us to slip by unnoticed. But of course, the tables could be turned, was there something stalking us? Ready to pounce from the shadows without ever knowing we were being tracked.
    Trekking through the forest ever so paranoid, our pace starts to slow down as we start walking on an incline that increased in steepness with every step, making our legs feel the burn with fatigue. But the rest of us take the pain and continue, except for Ore, who wished to stay behind, and had his wish granted, although by this time, a dragon had probably had him as an appetizer. I take a small breather to make sure my legs don't succumb to the fire, and look ahead of where Bob is going. My eyes follow the incline, until I realize the incline greatly increases in height, and my eyes go much further up than the horizon. I realize it is the side of a mountain that abruptly interrupts the flat horizon, and many caves of sizes from ignoble to worth a journey by their own dot the base of the mountain like a pin cushion.
    Bob raises his head, come to a precipitous halt and stretch his arms wide to the side, preventing anyone from passing him. "More things are coming." said in a low morose tone by Bob, but this statement only raises more questions-What are the "things"? How many of them are there? And are they close? Bob kneels down  with his face close to the ground and sniffs it with a deep inhale, like a wolf tracking its unaware prey. "Something's wrong." Bob says, face still towards the ground. It also changes all of our expressions from confusion when Bob kneeled down, to anxiety with the simple statement.
    In an attempt to clear the confusion from my mind, my eyes wander around the surrounding forest to catch any suspicious things that threaten to harm us. The treetops and leaves sway ever so gently in the light breeze, nothing seems to be out of place or hiding, but something much more worrying and sinister was on the ground just a few feet ahead... Footprints, but not the size of mine or any other humanoid, no, these were much bigger, a Giant's. More specifically a Stone Giant's, and by the size of it, you could probably fit in three of us or even two owlbears, and it was a foot deep, a sign of how hefty the giant could have been. And it was eye-catching to everyone, since the foliage and grass in the footprint were yellow and long dead, showing how old the footprint has aged since the giant pressed his foot on the ground, contrasted with the still living fresh green grass threatening to regrow over the footprint.
    This location is obviously not the best place to be in, and it becomes certain when we notice something just as sinister as the footprints, but it is not stationary. There were swaying movements far in the distance, however, they were too erratic and too large to belong to an innocent branch seeking the sunlight. Instead, these movements seemed to belong to dragons! No, not the kind that are so huge you have to pan your head to see the whole of it. The size of the ones my eyes spot are more "people-sized", yet they seemed to be just as terrifying as tiny they, able to disembowel my guts out with one swift swipe against the abdomen, and I could still hear the iconic sound of a flying dragon, muffled-whooosh...whooosh...whoosh.
    Several of the brown midget-size dragons were directly in front seemed to be searching for anyone like us, forcing us to change our current path, as whispered by Bob " I feel like those tiny-terrors will cause many problems if we go on, so we need to go along the entrances of the caves, so on the off chance we'll hide in, as it's very obvious you guys are bumbling dimwits who all panicked when you first saw me." Those words cut deep, but there was no opportunity to backtalk, he was our only guide. And so we continued our clandestine trek towards the pitch black caverns.
    Once again, Bob changes our feelings from hush-hush to wide-eyed paranoid with just two whispered words-"Something's Off." The paranoia fueled my senses to find anything wrong in the cavern entrance. We were just near the entrance of the cave that could fit a dragon and his accomplices, on the line dividing the twilight sky leaking through trees outside, and the ominous pitch black residing in the cave hiding the unknown. I couldn't tell how far the cave would go in, and I was afraid that if I were to yell into the abyss, there wouldn't be an echo of my own voice, but rather the responding sounds of something inhuman.
    The longer I focused looking within the dank cave, the better my eyes adjusted to the lack of lighting, and then I found what Bob saw as "wrong". Footprints littered the decrepit cavern ground, many of them coming in and out, and were in so high numbers it was as if they were part of a stampede. But they belonged to gia- "BOOOM... BOOOM..." All of our instincts kicked in when we heard those ground-shaking noises, our ears wide enough to hear a pin drop, and our eyes frantically sweeping across the craggled walls of the cave and trees out to find anything threatening. Our paranoia becomes vindicated however, when we spot the parts of some lumbering Stone Giants far out behind several trees and a few slopes. Despite their far distance to us, the Monk, Wizard and Cleric controlled by their paranoia hastily rush into the blackness of the cave for a better chance in this game of hide-and-seek game the giants were not aware they were playing.
    Fueled by my desire to see the giants and where they are, I start to talk a few attentive step across the hardened grey stone, but instead of my eyes receiving vital information, it was rather my ears: "BOOOM... BOOOM... BOOOM..." Once again, perhaps too many times in one day, adrenaline rushed and did its job of making me hyper aware, such as the sounds of my ragged breathing, and the sight of trembling feet of my comrades hiding behind me. I shut my eyelids and ignore the symphony of sounds to dissuade the adrenaline, I take in a breath, hold it, exhale, and repeat once more before gently opening my eyes to face the world once again.
    My eyes tell me that my body was correct to activate the adrenaline, as I see the same group of hulking Stone Giants ever so slowly make their way towards our cavern. Their expressions are sullen, many of their beards scraggled and scratched, many of their hairs as long as a fair maiden but treated as back-alley brawler, with a cacophony of bright red acne ungraciously placed over their already hideous faces and some pus leaking out of some pimples. Not to mention a smorgasbord smell of rabies infested rats, an outhouse and the scales of a bottom-dwelling rotting fish, all of it, emanating from the noses and breaths of the constant mouth-breathers invading all our nostrils and pillaging our lungs. I dry-heaved in a desperate attempt to get it out, but I stilled smelled the horrible concoction, even from the incredible distance from us.
    All of these horrible characteristics were multiplied by what I thought at first was four giants, but my eyes looked again, and realized there was one more  my pacing eyes ignored through the messy leaves and trees, and repeated this numerous times until there was a grand total of seven giants! "I'm pretty sure this cavern is a Giant's community home..." Obliviously whispered by Bob, what gave it away? The swathes of giant footprints walking to and fro? The sheer scale of size perfect only for something that can flatten a hamlet? The permeating similar smell coming both from within the cave and Giants?
    An advising voice comes from the wizard, but it's not his own voice, but rather his hilt which contains Ted the talking sword. "Guys, the way I see this is that we've got two options right now, we can either sweet talk them about why we're invading their humble abode, or we sacrifi-err, use somebody to distract the giants while the rest of us book it." These two options seemed to be the ultimatum, but you should never, ever underestimate our cowardice in any situation. And so, a third option was considered, escape. But in order to do this, we would still need a distraction, and that reminded me of the perfect object for this kind of situation. The rugged ashen rock was the perfect size in my palm, I trusted in it to distract the giants, and the rock trusted in me for my aim to be true. The Cleric abruptly states that it is possible to befriend the giants, while giving me a disappointed glare. Right after that, the Cleric's eyes close, face focused, his hand moves in a swift, esoteric pattern, muttering an intelligible chant. My hand suddenly disobeys my will, and refuses to throw the rock at the giants no matter how hard I swung my arm. It seems that casting sanctuary, a spell to stop creatures from willingly harming others, was put upon me as a part of the Cleric's master plan to befriend the giants, instead of harming or running away from anything that poses as a slight danger. But little did he know, I had a little big furry weapon to counter this.
    Donkey was diddling eating the grass on the edge of the cave entrance without a care in the world. But his face and body snapped instantly into one of a patriotic salute, with just a yelling whisper of DONKEY! I inhaled deeply to the point of my lungs wanting to burst out of my ribcage, but it was necessary for tirade of inspiration I was going to yell for Donkey. " DONKEH! A TERRIBLE, ARBHORRANT CONGLOMERATION OF REPUGNANT GIANTS DARE MAKE THEIR WAY TOWARDS US! DO YOU WANT TO US TO LIVE IN ORDER TO SEE US REPEL THE INVADING ARMY!?! THEN YOU MUST FIGHT WITH ALL YOUR WILL AND FULFILL YOUR DUTY I HAVE DELEGATED TO YOU! CHAAAAAAAAARGE!!!"
    An valiant aura surrounded Donkey, and his face and body matched with it. He stared down the giants as if they were ants he was disgusted by and trying to step on. The giants were now at a somewhat far, yet dangerous distance from us, and seemingly blind to our presence, but that wasn't a problem for Donkey. His mind, full of honour and a duty to fulfill, made his body prepare to charge against the hideous giants. And now, his mind only had one word. Charge. His body responds with instant obedience, turning into an instant blur dashing towards the giants, much faster than even I anticipated. But he ceases to be a grey blur when he reaches contact with the giants, instead becoming a common donkey with a face replaced with pure terror instead of valour.
    The seven Stone Giants change their positioning from a group of friends casually walking home, to surrounding Donkey on all sides! Escape was impossible, unless Donkey was able to levitate. I couldn't bear the impending loss of such a valiant pet I've had since the Citadel, and so I shut my eyes and turned away, expecting to hear the terrified screams of poor Donkey, ending with one swift bite. But the expectation I was expecting was not something I expected, I heard low-pitch distorted giggles outside the cave. I gently turned around, and faced the source of the sounds.I prepared to open my eyes, but before that I had a vision that I would see the headless corpse of beloved Donkey, surrounding by the giggling giants feasting on him. Instead, all the giants are encaptivated by Donkey, and respond to this by cuddling and nuzzling him like a mother bonding with her newborn or kitten snuggling up with its new owner. It was a cuteness overload, both for me and the giants. My own entrancement with Donkey was interrupted abruptly, by the Monk silently screaming in dread while bolting out of the cave precariously, and then proceeding to panic and hide by diving headfirst into a bush.
    After this brief oddity with the Monk, I redirect my attention towards the Giants, now at a much more alarming distance, and stumbling even closer, ignoring and stomping over any foliage and bushes. I notice all but one of the giants still holding and playing with Donkey as if he was a toy doll. Actually, Donkey was more like a toy doll than a donkey, for the fact that he was looked lifeless and limp. I couldn't tell if he was no longer with us, or if he simply fainted from the anxiety dealing with the playful brutes, and I heavily hoped it was the latter than the former. In an attempt to find out the truth whether or not Donkey has gone to a better place, I yell out towards him, "OI! Donkey, WAT-AR YE DEW-ING!" Donkey springs back into the world of the living hearing this statement, his face no longer one of dread as I saw before, now it is one of the joy of a young child having a sugar rush. He expresses his glee by looking at me with a grin and cheering "Weee!" from his voice box, which sounded like a teen trying to do a high-pitched squeal due to Donkey rarely using his voice.
    Being once again captivated by the joy Donkey is having, I fail to realize the giants' moved into close proximity with me, and one starts to grab me! His hand is of a gigantic size, his grasp held the lower two-thirds of me, and with my free arms, I push down on his finger and thumb with all of my might as if my lower half was trapped in quicksand, but he doesn't budge at all. I feel a sense of weightlessness as he begins to lift me to the height of his face. The giant's facial features are distorted and exaggerated, like looking at a child who had fully grown physically, but refused to grow mentally. His hygiene was matched his face, and was announced to me through his body odour and cavity filled mouth, his parents must have had conceived to see how ugly a child they could possibly make. I closed my eyes and tried to do the same with my nostrils to ignore the sensory invasion, hoping one quick bite would end it all, rather than suffer through another moment of humiliation. Instead of my wish being granted, my limbs are grabbed by pinching fingers, and shifted around in motions. Once my eyes are opened from curiosity, I find all the giants cheerfully smiling at the way they're manipulating me like a marionette doll, replacing the position of Donkey with me. A giant, attempts to coo me with a baby voice, stating "You smell like Donkey!" but instead sends disgusting spittle over my face and upper half, which smells like rotting half-eaten fish. All of the giants' actions have proven the opposite of brutes I expected, instead they were rather dumb, and certainly not the smartest...

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

    The glistening orange of the disappearing sunset matched the beautiful fire engulfing the blazing fort. it was a work of art. As the adrenaline from my body dissipated, I realized we have accomplished the daunting task of escaping the fort with the Arsenal to ensure the future of our kingdom. Maybe we should have a little bit of celebration on our horse-drawn carriage traveling towards Avendale.
    In all of our adventures so far, they've been pretty weird and unique, but even this time, I have been bizzared by spotting a flying pegasus. Soaring in all of its majestic flight. What I thought was the pegasus' shadow, was actually getting bigger and bigger and realized they were falling items that soon landed on my hands, revealing three items: An extremely shiny armour which seems to be made of crystal, a longsword seemingly forged with gold and a hint of dragon, and a hardy-looking explorer's garb that seems to be suitable for any kind of adventure. I felt a tingling sensation in the back of my head, and came to the conclusion that this may be a reward for me, it's as if a powerful omnipotent being has been watching and recording my adventures as well and protecting me for surely I would have died eons ago if it weren't the being. I thanked... whoever that being is, put on the shiny crystal armour, store the garb and longsword and pretend it never happened.
    We must haste to our destination, Avendale, as we have knowledge that the invading army is advancing, and if they get there first, what will surely follow is total annihilation, as they first demonstrated this at Redstone. Dragons that are part of the invading are also working towards Avendale as we spot them in the distance. Hastily, we shove our cart with all of our might off the main road and into the surrounding forest with our two horses and my donkey. We all know that dragons never sleep with two eyes closed, and are very perceptible creatures, and the one in the distance may know that we are its next meal. The only option left now, is to bolt! As we group ourselves on the two horses with the arsenal, the half-orc wizard yelled to remind us to: "Never split up!". I start to remember all of the unfortunate events of splitting up, and decide not to split up. But what can we do? Especially after the half-orc wizard yelled. We take the chance of hiding, ditch our cart behind, and sneak even deeper and deeper, into the dense green forest.
    Our instincts to choose the hiding option were life saving, as the blur of a dragon flying at its maximum speed, with I think something, or someone riding it luckily buzzed by, not even detecting or glancing at us. We're still traveling to Avendale by the main road, though quite aways from it as we're in the green tone of the surrounding forest. Suddenly, both the Monk and Hunter look down at the brown soil ground that is covered with the fallen leaves of the trees towering over us, and then spread their arms to prevent us from moving any further. They turn around, with their faces plastered with fear, panic, anxiety and like they just crapped their pants. Simultaneously, both whisper, "Owlbear..."
    Those mere words are enough to make our entire group shudder, even I particularly paid attention in class back in the citadel. Owlbears are capable and willing to ruin you and everybody's day. They are savage, bloodthirsty monsters that attack anything without provocation, and physically hardwired to have a pathological need to literally kill and attack everybody. It would be pretty cool to have one as a pet though.
    I heard everybody's movements, mine included, stop at the sound of the owlbear's threatening growl. The only movements are now of the forest, and the Owlbear, but it doesn't last for long when everyone starts to enact their plan to escape. The monk and the thief leap as quickly as they can onto one horse, and me and the hunter do the same as well to the other horse. I think about how the others would escape from the horror called Owlbear, but really only care about my self. But of course, with the half-orc wizard's magic, he and cleric start to float above the ground higher and higher until they start to touch the highest branches of the trees, I hope owlbears can't jump... It seems that Oreo, the only one who doesn't have a plan, in frantic frenzy, starts to climb the nearest tree with a speed I've never seen in him, I hope owlbears can't climb...
    It felt like all of these actions took forever to do from my view, but it has probably been only five seconds, and the Owlbear has run out of patience. The Owlbear charges, its brown paws violently shaking the ground and us every time it stomps forward, its body leaning to run faster than I can yell "OWLBEAR!", and its hideous face contorted into one of pure sadistic joy. Everyone is in a frenzied panic to escape, but Oreo is the most terrified since he lost his grip on a branch, and started tumbling out with the grace of a fish out of water. There is a sickening crack as he lands directly on his head, but it doesn't phase him at all, climbing with renewed energy until the very top of the tree. Even though he's temporarily safe from the owlbear, he has a terrified face. He looks down at us and whispers loudly that there is a dragon coming, but it is going to be a while until it comes. That fact does not calm me at all, now we have to deal with a savage Owlbear AND a dragon!
    Unexpectedly, the hunter, saddled in front of me asked for some of my oil. Despite my confusion, I oblige and hand it over, I become even more perplexed when he proceeds to pour all of it onto the bush below Oreo's tree and proceeds to set it on fire by the sparks of my flint and steel, which I have finally noticed he took without my permission. The bush immediately goes up in flames, an beautiful orange inferno erupts as the bush shrinks and shrinks, and the thick grey smoke rises higher than the height of Oreo. I think there are only two possible reasons why the hunter set the bush on fire, one, the flames and the smoke would be scary enough to deter the owlbear from climbing Oreo's tree, or two, the hunter wants smoked Oreo.
    With all of this pandemonium, it was expected that some of us would put a palm to their face and go to avoid embarrassment, and it was the monk and the thief, together on the horse they started to gallop away, yelling that we'll all meet at Redstone. It was at the perfect moment however, for the Owlbear leaps off its four limbs in a mad frenzied dash towards Oreo, the cleric and wizard with a bellowing roar that had angry little bits of spittle coming out his teeth ready to sink into anyone of them without warning.
    In a desperate attempt to save my friends from becoming the owlbear's next plaything I look towards the mossy ground and spot a grey, course fist-sized rock that has seen its fair share of being thrown. With great haste, the rock was immediately relocated from the ground to my palm, and relocated even quicker from my palm to the torso of the owlbear with a hurl of my arm. The rock harmlessly rolls off the jiggling thick brown fur of the owlbear. The owlbear stops in its tracks for a moment, slowly turning its head towards me, its something I regret looking at. Its face has wide bloodshot eyes staring at me that have seen the deaths of hundreds of creatures, a twitching black nose fuming steam that has a fetish for freshly killed meat, and the sharp, serrated teeth shown through the mouth in a position of acrimony. Nope, nope and nope, I paid the price of momentarily preventing my friends mauling by being intimidated and losing my dignity...
    But the act of tossing the rock at the owlbear was not in vain, as the wizard and cleric have slowly elevated towards the evening sky as high as the treetops, it was hard to tell though, as the leaves far up the trees casting silhouette contrasted with the garish tangerine sun. Abruptly, all of the others, and myself, quickly stop focusing on our surroundings when we hear the unmistakable sounds; WHOOOSH....WHOOOSH...WHOOOSH. A dragon. Really close. Whelp. I swear, I could feel the rushing air ruffle everything in sight, the leaves, my hair, and even the owlbear, who seems oddly uncaring about the precarious situation. We all wait for the next WHOOOSH, but it never comes, I sigh, due to relief, and also because I held my breath for quite a while.
    It is calm for only a very short moment however, as I hear some less-than-polite swear words, the ruffling of leaves and the snapping of several branches. I glance up, and glance quickly down as the cleric falls uncharismatically, landing hard and spreading leaves everywhere. The cleric has a panicked look on his face, realizing that he must follow the laws of gravity, and the fact the owlbear is on the ground too. But the attention of the owlbear is shifted quickly to Oreo, I spot him midway on a tree, focusing on a different tree, and preparing to jump. He hastily jumps, for Oreo fears that the owlbear would catch him midair, Oreo claws and hugs the tree as if it was his missing father.
    Remembering our original plan to quietly retreat, the hunter and me stealthily move away from the owlbear, making great care to not step on any of the twigs and rocks that litter the ground. The hunter also asks me to borrow one of my trusty rocks, I gladly hand one to him without hesitation, to be without a rock is to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. After it feels like we're out of the owlbear's field of perception, we bolt it and run faster than man who has the runs. I turn my head for moment to look at the owlbear one last time, the owlbear does too, with an angry scowl, directed both at me and the cleric, desperately trying to float up faster, but now it takes its attention to a much closer target, Oreo.
    As we run further and further from the furry monstrosity, I spot Donkey, as loyal as ever staying in the spot where we left him since we encountered the owlbear. Donkey greated me with a saluting ugly-but-endearing face... If it was possible for him to salute, it matched well with his grizzled grey fur with some tufts sticking out, showing how battle-hardened and devoted he was to me. I know that his ardent allegiance to me will be the greatest weapon I will ever wield, and so I command him: "Go forth Donkey! Go and fight the owlbear with vim, vigor and valour! Fight, kick, roar and bite with no mercy and leave him covered in his own blood and tears! You must go with courage! You must do it for your loyalty! You must do it for me! GO!!!".
    My relentless speech filled Donkey to the brim with courage and a seething fury to destroy the owlbear with his bare hooves. He charges faster than someone terrified by an owlbear right towards the same owlbear. The owlbear takes a curious glance at Donkey and immediately laughs a hearty laugh with its deep vocal cords. This does not deter Donkey at all and is still just as determined to dominate the owlbear charges, as Donkey makes contact with the owlbear, he just bounces off the fur, doing absolutely no harm whatsoever to the owlbear. As Donkey is dazzled from headbutting the immovable creature, the owlbear proceeds to sit on Donkey, squeezing the poor daylights out him, while laughing like a crazed owlbear. But the owlbear isn't too cruel, since he starts to pet Donkey on the head like it's his own "pet"...
    As we move a little bit further ahead, we spot the monk and the thief stopped on their horse, with the Arsenal secure in the horse's cargo carrier. When we immediately reach them, the monk proceeds to take the Arsenal and shove it to the hunter who is surprised to be suddenly carrying such a powerful box. Right after that, both of them leap off the horse, and the thief slaps the horse's arse, spooking it and making it gallop away, much to our confusion.
    All four of us turn our heads up towards the sky as we hear the screaming voice that belongs to Ted, the magical sword. Ted's tone of voice sounds disappointed, like a mother lecturing a disobedient son. The contents of Ted's lecture are calling the wizard such a coward for leaving his friends to fend themselves off a ravenous owlbear by just floating away and looking like a moron doing so. The wizard bursts into tears and starts to fly back towards us, showing Ted's powerful words that could move mountains.
    Except for Oreo, who is currently in a tree while the owlbear focuses of him, all of us gather to unite our forces and decide what to do. It seems obvious that if we all ran away, the owlbear would would hunt us down and snap us as if we were weak little twigs. However, if all of us puny anemic twigs were to bundle together as one big stick, then the owlbear will never break us! We will combine forces and take down the terrorizing owlbear once and for all!
    While we were trying to hype ourselves up and rally together to take down an insurmountable owlbear, we pause of our chanting to take a glance at Oreo, still glued to the tree as if his life depended on it, actually, it DID depend on his life how glued to the tree he was. He quickly lets go of the tree from his hands, twisting around to face another tall tree, and hastily pushing off the current tree with his feet. Leaping towards the targeted tree with his eyes closed, he does not spot the branch headed on a straight to his head, immediately his face meets the fury of a small branch, his face red with scratches. But this does not stop him from hugging his tree target, unfortunately, the hugging is not enough, as Oreo slowly slides down the tree, ripping bark off and making loud scratching noises, eventually touching ground. The owlbear's interest in Oreo is quickly piqued, as it turns to face him and move closer, less than a ten-feet gap between them.
    The owlbear's front end leans closer to the ground, bending its front legs, before pushing them off the ground lightning fast. It's stature changed from that of a regular (but still terrifying) owlbear to a humongous towering 9-foot tall savage animal of pure seething hatred staring right at Oreo. Even at the far distance I'm currently at, I feel as if the owlbear has eyes at the back of its head, ready to turn and charge at a moment's notice. The owlbear however, is much more focused on Oreo, its eyes piercing at Oreo who is desperately trying not to make eye contact with the owlbear, instead finding refuge by staring at the ground, out of sight therefore out of mind.
    "ATTAAAAAAAAACK!" a loud voice that is Ted screams We all turn to face the wizard to see what Ted has to say, but it is too late, as the talking sword has already leaped of the wizard's sheath, landing between the gap of the owlbear and Oreo in a whiplash. Ted stands valiantly straight, facing the owlbear without a hint of fear, ready to make owlbear shish-kabob. "Ted?" a grainy low voice asks, all of us look around to identify who said it, since it was not any of us questioning Ted. It all dawns at us as we all look at the owlbear one by one, its face not one of savage anger anymore, but one of confusion. "Bob?" responds Ted to the owlbear, whos ears peak and eyes raise after hearing the name.
    As the owlbear apparently named "Bob" is distracted by Ted's recognition of it, we all take the opportunity to crouch down to the foliage and sneak back towards Oreo in a seemingly futile attempt to save him. The monk however, so focused on the situation of the owlbear and Ted goes right into the middle of a bush by surprise. It wouldn't have been much of a problem- except for the hundreds of mosquitoes who made it the bush their home. They all angrily buzz and hungry for fresh blood, go after the monk and make her scream in terror for a brief bit.
    "Ted! What're you doing here?" a hoarse questioning yet non-threatening voice from the owlbear asks to Ted. The sword responds cheerfully-"I've been adventuring with these adventurers! And you should also greet them too!" All of us weren't too excited to introduce ourselves to a standing 9-foot tall owlbear and so our faces were of worried smiling."Oh, right! I'll make things a bit better for you guys!" Bob states, sincerely apologizing. Things become a lot more freaky when the owlbear somehow drops something it had in its paw to the ground. In an instant, the owlbear is shrouded in a cloud of grey smoke, obscuring the figure of the owlbear and everything around it. Coughing noises reach our ears from the smoke, but it did not sound like one of an animal such as a cat vomiting a hairball, but more human. A hand starts to appear out of the smoke, waving around to dissipate all of the lingering smoke. None of us believe our eyes when we see a man with a five o' clock shadow smirks back at us. His big black cloak and body, which seems to be a bit more on the heftier side due to a somewhat protruding belly gives me the impression for a bit that he was the kind of person to be in their mother's basement.
    "Shh, shh. The name's Bob, but we have to be quiet, a dragon is patrolling this forest, which is attracted to magical items..." We all look at the Arsenal, it's probably the world's most dense location of magical items..."That big chest of magical stuff is really not helping... But anyways, we'll need to distract it." Distract it? we booked it dealing with Bob, how in the world are we going to distract a dragon?!?

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Chapter Names

Chapter 1: Flint & Steel
Chapter 2: Ignition
Chapter 3: Inferno
Chapter 4: Ashes & Embers

Sunday, 5 July 2015

I usually start off an entry telling about my surroundings. Not this time. Especially with thick bags on our head. But I knew it was the pits due to the familiar squishy mud I've been accustomed to. The only colour I could see was a sunset orange to indicate that it was... Sunset. Thunder created an ominous atmosphere that only my ears could hear, in addition to another new prisoner that was nine years old, somehow an assassin crying in a fit with a high pitched voice. A loud "Shut up!" actually shut the nine year old's mouth, now only heard as whimpers.
    It seemed hope was beaten to a bloody pulp and then hanged, this thought was confirmed when my jail mate the half-orc wizard was weeping and gasping for air for his precious Ted the sword. I would strangle him in any other circumstance, but our captors thought long enough into the future to bound our hands, but apparently they haven't met me, a master of dexterity slipping of the bounds easily. The musty bags were no longer constricting my face and now I could see the depressing brown pit and a slight shimmering of orange sunset. I wanted to punish the half-orc by letting him suffer from the bag just a little longer for crying about an inanimate sword that's sassy, but I'm not that cruel and immediately untied him. Starting to scope out another escape attempt, the half-orc wizard starts climbing up the pit sneakily to have a glance at the outside world that we are denied, there were two guards at the catapult and another at the corner. But of course at the right moment even more reinforcement came or a patrol came back, and what we've learned from our previous futile attempt of escape is that we should just wait all of this out.
    Okay, so maybe waiting it out for five hours becoming drenched in  freezing rainwater that is now ankle-deep was not the best idea. The time to break out was definitely now, especially due to darkness night brought and the pitter-patter of the rain would mask the noise of me throwing rocks. Both me and the wizard started climbing the slippery mud walls, reaching the grate and letting Ted gnaw on the lock, when we heard the silent snap of the lock, it was time break out and earn our freedom!
    As we pushed open the wooden grate, right in front of us was the back of a guard orc, oblivious to what's going to happen to him. I immediately pulled on his belt, snagging a key, toppeling his balance backwards and making him have a taste of his own medicine by landing face first into muddy rainwater pit, luckily his screams were masked by the roar of lightning striking down. Me and the wizard started to break the locks of the other grates to free our comrades and letting them climb up, but the one of the guards started screaming, alerting everyone that the prisoners had started their break out, and soon I heard the howling of the werewolves that I loathe in the distance, and more yelling of guards, pretty soon we were surrounded by guards, brandishing their weapons.
    In our situation, a normal group of adventurers would have just surrendered and crawled back into the pits, but of course, we're not normal. Everyone, as if on some silent cue, simultaneously charged against the enemy, creating a huge brawl as everyone tried to find a target and hit it with fists of fury. But alas, I did not charge with my brethren and instead opted to try to find my gear and armour, Because I was only wearing my tightie whities.
    I spotted the familiar building that once held my gear and unimaginable wealth, and also a huge bloodstain on the wall where I passed out due to the piercing bolt... Anyways, I quickly opened the door with ease which was unlocked already since I picked the lock during our last escaped and quietly slipped in unnoticed because of the war cries of my allies threatening to tear out the throats of the guards and wear them as necklaces as a prize of war. The silence inside of the building was unsettling, and shifted into the door of the right again, hoping to see my precious gold coins again.
    OH YES, the idiots were stupid enough to leave to gold here again! But of course, I had to resist squealing like a pig and trying to stuff the ice cold gold down my underwear, because priorities must come first. If I was one of the guards, I would take all of the prisoner's gear, light it on fire, curse it, swear at it, stomp on it, feed it to a dragon, take the remains and finally throw down a pit of lava to ensure that if they ever attempted and escape, their gear would not be available to them, unlike the simpletons here who decided to throw my gear back into the exact same place when they took it from our last escape.
    While I was putting on my armour and checking all of my gear, a phenomenal idea popped in my head when I was checking my oil bottles and my trusty flint and steel. I held grip to one of my oil bottles as I shoved multiple handfuls of gold down my pants as I thought about how I was going to execute the masterpiece of fiery revenge, because anyone who says revenge is a dish best served cold obviously never had it flambĂ©. I was ready, I held in my both of my hands an oil bottle each, and took off the cork using my teeth, and with a grin forming on my face, I kicked open the door and was flooded with the deafening chaos, ready to make ashes of everything here. I turned down both of my bottles, letting them drip out their delicious black opaque liquid which is capable of burning down entire cities and empires, and then I ran. Everything in my vision became a blur, rushing back into the midst of the savage bloodshed, flicking around the oil bottles in random directions, particularly to the guards, who were as confused as everyone else amongst the battle, even my own teammates. All the participants of the clash awkwardly resumed fighting as I continued to run around the fort spraying the highly unstable liquid on any material that could conceivably be burned down.
    I ran in every alleyway, path, nook and cranny and even inside some of the buildings, finally panting for breath and stopping inside the building where I first started the long trail of oil and have now made a full circle around the entire fort. I stooped down and examined the oil, making sure that it was made of the most combustible, high quality and long burning oil and then, when I was sure it was, I pulled out my flint and steel out of the bag and held it close to the oil. I flicked the steel across the flint, and in slow motion, I saw the sparks dazzle across and fly right into the oil The oil erupted into a burning speck of fire as each and every little spark created a new spot of a tiny volcano-like flame, and soon they all demanded more and more air and fuel, growing taller, bigger and following the trail very fast, and soon the materials surrounding the trail of oil started catching fire and spreading it themselves, it was beautiful.
    I stood there, gazing into the allurement of the scorching inferno, letting it swallow all of my vision. Unfortunately, I had to stop as I realized the entire place was ablaze, threatening to turn me into ashes if I stayed long enough, so I sprinted into the outside, only to realize it was just as hot too. The wooden walls, defenses, and even some of the guards were running around with their pants on fire, not following the advice of stop, drop, and roll. I was still searing hot and could not see a thing due to the billowing smoke and fires so bright, I dashed to wherever it was that wasn't engulfed in flames yet, and it happened to be the stables. As I was checking for an opening to escape the blaze while under , I saw him, DONKEY! I unlatched the stable he was forcibly put in, and in an instant, we both tackle-hugged each other, it was a bond between man and man's best friend, the donkey.
    I hear the screaming of my name in the distance, how long has it been? It was a long time since I had a good night's sleep especially after spending time in the pits. I see some of my teammates looking around for me while in the fire, and it was... Sunset?!? This stable must have been fireproof and this fort has been taking an awfully long time to burn down. I yelled out that I was still alive and got out of the stable with my donkey towing behind me, and I spot the what was left of the guards, some charred to a crisp, and some beaten to a bloody pulp. Everyone was waiting for me to get on to the cart with two horses, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the Citadel in the cart! As I hopped onto the cart, I felt the key I ripped off the orc before in my pocket, and a great idea emerged from within my noggin. I slid the key out and ever so slowly inserted it into the lock of the Citadel, the key then proceeded to instantly melt and flow between the cracks of my fingers, will we ever open this chest? Well, at least we've finally escaped the fort, and now we must travel to Avendale to warn them of the invading army, and hopefully after, save the kingdom.