Sunday, 31 August 2008

For Glory! (part 2)

Head spinning, he tumbled forward tripping over his feet. The world
was a blur to him, but as he landed on his hands and knees he heard a
faint voice crying "you are the one to save the kingdom! Go, and do us
proud!" a crashing noise, and a second, nearer voice yelling "next
one's here!" Strong arms pulled him to his feet, and Fosco gazed up
into the stern eyes of a great bearded Dwarf. Gaping at the dwarf (who
was suspiciously tall, given the legends about their general stature),
he found himself being hurried along. "Fowsree the hobbit, you have
arrived just in time!" Boomed the dwarf. "Fosco, sir", said the hobbit
meekly. His voice didn't carry far amid the boom and clamor of hammers
pounding at forges, the hurried chanting of mages who seemed to be
coaxing great piles of rock to slowly stand upright, and the periodic
"thunk" of some great machinery operating high overhead.

The dwarf was moving so much faster than the hobbit could run that
Fosco was picked up by the scruff of his neck and dragged on, past
forges and training quarters and pantries and general uproar of
wartime preparations. "Foxwell, your deeds here today may well decide
the course of the war. This is a desperate and dangerous battle, and
we have need of warriors just such as you. This is why we've entrusted
you with this ancient and honored weaponry, used by fighting hobbits
in the glorious wars of the first age. Treat it well!" Fosco had
regained some of his composure by now, and noticed both that the dwarf
seemed to be reading the lines he said from a well-worn piece of
parchment that he held in one hand, and that the "ancient, honored"
armor and weaponry that was dropped into his arms as he was rushed
past looked suspiciously similar to the ones the smiths had been
manufacturing en masse in the forges he'd passed just moments before.
He tried his best to put them on, but the helmet was a bit too big and
the breastplate a bit too small. He saw a massive gate approaching,
what must have been the front gate. "Fazwith, this is where you make
your stand. Where your deeds will echo through all history…" "In the
Book of Deeds!" cried Fosco, with enough strength that the dwarf
paused mid-stride, confused. "My name will be entered into the book of
deeds! It must be! I was told that anyone who joined the army would
have their name.." "Right, sure! Whatever!" Cried the dwarf. "Fluuzle,
your name will be entered in the Book of Deeds. You are the one to
save the kingdom! Go and do us proud!" He was pushed out of the door,
which slammed quickly behind him.

Customs relating to death vary between races, of course, and different
races have different ideas about how ones last moments ought to be
spent. Elves, for instance, place a high value on dying in a peaceful,
tranquil environment. For a dwarf, nothing is more sacred than dying
with ones family close and ones gold closer. Almost any race would
probably agree that the last moments of Fosco were bad ones. Once the
door slammed behind him, he turned back just in time to see a burst of
purest white light explode from the castle, and see a fully armored,
absolutely enormous seraph descending from the clouds. His eyes almost
unable to comprehend the sight, out of his mind with terror, he ran
headlong away from it. Straining his eyes into the distance, he could
see the enemy castle. He was approaching it at what seemed an
impossible place. His mind putting pieces into place, he realized that
the… THING behind him was on his side. And he didn't see any enemies,
just the castle. He was beginning to have a good feeling about the
assault when he realized the castle was moving. His mind barely had
time to register the horrible eldritch creature as it rose impossibly
high over him, before he felt the nether-winds of it's attack of
flowing black nothingness which utterly erased him from this
existence. Somewhere, from far behind him, right before his mind
succumbed to the chittering madness which was a black ocean around
him, he heard a familiar voice cry "It's working! The hobbits are
slowing it down! Next!"

This story by Bacter has referenced the Epic War game on Kongregate! It is a truly excellent game, and you shouldn't feel sorry for your Hobbits.

No comments: