Part 138: Tales of the Lost Kingdom - Rescuing the Princess - Part 4
Tales of the Lost Kingdom - Rescuing the Princess - Part 4
Alrik the strayer decided to warn the unknown travelers who were possibly the other Dragon-Slayers. He shouted "Daaangeeer! Ogreees!!"
He threw his Throwing-Dagger into the back of one of them. The Ogre was rather unimpressed. Seemingly he had a thick skin. But he was disturbed in throwing a spear towards the river. The other Ogre turned towards him, raising his massive body up to his full height, to smash him up with the Ogre's mighty club. But it was too late for the mighty but slow Ogre - the dagger-thrower was already at the river.
As they reached the plateau, they could see the other group. They were in a fight with heavy Ogres. Quickly, Xera took her bow and ran down to the river. Aidan was too shocked to do something - it was his first real fight ever. He was only able to stand there and watch the fight.
The Old Wizard watched the uneven fight from a hill. He didn't feel anything for or against those travelers, which was why he did not want to be involved. He had other, important things to do. On the other hand, he wasn't able to pretend as if nothing were happening.
He was thinking. He was sure that if nothing happened, the heavy Ogres would win this uneven fight. But he wanted to remain unnoticed, too. He put on his cloak, and stepped onto a clearing.
The fight was short, but hard. Being warned just as they stood in the middle of the river, the group of Ulath, Thorwyn, Sajet and the "Fox" were just able to draw their weapons. Then the spears came. They were heavy, the works of Ogres. They were built rather to smash than to kill. Being supported by the arrows of an unknown Elf and the sword of another human - perhaps a kind of ranger or strayer - the group did the best they could. But the Ogres were fighting fiercely.
A Fireball, cast by a magician on a hill, stopped the fight drastically. All the Ogres who had been in its way were lying dead, burned. The few others - Schnickschnack and his Boss Knör were among them - ran away in pain and fright, like being followed by the Demons of the Night.
The heroes were severely hit, too. A fight against big Ogres was always an awful thing.
Ulath couldn't believe it. THEY HAD WON! How was that possible? Had the Goddess of Fight herself interfered? Or had it been Eolus, the magician?
With still burning eyes and many wounds on his body, he slowly walked towards the others. There some new people there: A kind of strayer or ranger, a female Elf, and a bard.
"For the Wale-God's sake! What a fight! But - what has been done to the Ogres?" he asked. He looked at the burnt corpses of the dead Ogres. The others had no idea.
Having finally crossed that river, they couldn't see anything of the rest of the Ogres - except smashed grass and bushes. They began healing their wounds. Thorwyn had a blooding foot, but the Elf said: "Don't worry. I'll put healing herbs on it. You'll soon be fine."
Sajet looked at the new ones with mistrust. "Who are you? And where did you come from?"
"What??? The plan had FAILED???"
Qarn, the Half-Brother of Princess Tira had been woken from his slumber by the magical Amulet. "How was this possible?"
Shuddering, he remembered his meeting with the five wild-looking Ogres. The magical Amulet had given him the shape of an Ogre himself and transformed his own words into Ogre-language. Before that, he had not even known that they had a language.
But he had had Angst! Although everything worked fine. Only once had the situation been difficult. Seemingly, there was no word in the Ogre-language for "Northerner", and the transcription, produced by the Amulet, let the Ogres burst out in laughter.
By the Gods, what did go wrong? Why did it go wrong? Surely, the "heroes" were dead in his mind, but something had interfered...
"There were magical forces. Forces, I did not take into my calculation. But that shouldn't be no problem. The next time..." his half-sister said.
"The next time?" he cried aloud. "What can stop such a group, if not Ogres? The pitfall with the sharpened spears I dug early this morning will surely be no great threat to them. And nothing puts a group together like a victorious fight..."
"Don't be so pitiful and fainthearted. Don't worry! If all your traps might fail I have something special for this band of wannabe-heroes - or better: someone special..." Qarn gulped. "Someone in their group is under MY control, works for MY service..." she explained.
"A traitor?" he asked. "Shouldn't I know who this is?"
"No, no. Sometimes it is better to keep little secrets to myself..."
The next moment he instinctively held his ears, because in his mind was an absolutely crazy and cruel laughter, something so awful that it could've frozen his blood to ice...
Aidan released himself from his paralysis and ran down to the river. Everything went so fast, but after the fight came a great stillness. Some of the heroes seemed to be wounded, perhaps he could help them with his herbs.
He watched Xera collect her remaining usable arrows, insulting the fled Ogres "Damned, these Ogres have such a thick skin! I must make new, better arrows!"
The Northerner, Sajet and Thorwyn had already crossed the river and sat down, relaxing after the heavy fight and cleaning up their weapons. The Fox inspected the surrounding area, looking traces from the Ogres.
Aidan stepped to the group, saying: "Excuse me, I have seen your fight from afar, but I couldn't help you, since I'm not a good fighter. I'm only a bard. Maybe I could help you with my Healing-herbs and potions?"
"Don't talk this much; go and have a look on these wounds." Xera said. She inspected Sajet's injuries.
"I'm Xera; I wanted to kill some of these Ogres with my arrows, but they were too weak, it seems. It was as if they didn't even scratch them." Sajet's wounds were not critical, only Ogre-scratches. Nevertheless, scratches from Ogres could become dangerous, if they caused an infection. Additionally, there was a bigger cut at the upper part of her arm which was likely to hinder Sajet in her next fight. "I'd like to try some healing-magic." Xera said. "I'm not an experienced magician, but some easier magics work sometimes."
"Don't hesitate. I won't have anything against it." Sajet answered with pain in her face. She was glad that the magic spell worked and her cut didn't look so dangerous anymore.
Meanwhile, Aidan took a look at the others. "Does anyone know where that helping Flash came from?" Ulath asked.
"Probably from Eolus Thunderstorm? He was with us until shortly before the fight."
"I didn't do it." said a voice from out of the shadows.
"Thank you for your help." said Ulath, who noticed the strayer.
Xera looked around. All these heroes, they had become quite a group.
Unfortunately, they weren't able to move on so soon as they wished. The Fireball, which had burnt the Ogres, had been very hot. Almost too hot for Ulath, and the other fighters. They had to remain longer at the river, cooling their skin. The dead, burnt Ogres were put into the river.
"Look, what a mess such a Fireball can do!" said Eolus." That's why I didn't use it."
The red-haired "Fox" was sent to take a look at the trails of the remaining Ogres. The group didn't wanted to become a victim of them once again. Later, he returned with the message that the enemies had run far, far away, on a straight line to nowhere.
Approaching the river, the "Fox" stood on a hill, inspecting the group.
Easy to see there was Ulath, the mighty Northerner fighter with his great Axe. He had smashed one of the Ogres with his own Axe, before the Fireball had given the enemy this unnatural colour. He was obviously the mightiest fighter in the group.
Eolus, the magician stood at the border of the camp, looking at the others activity with a smile. He seemed to be the member of the group who had been least involved in the fight. Had he drunk a healing-potion? He looked as if he was filled with magic.
Sajet, the temperamental Southerner, now mostly fine again, tried to calm herself down. Apparently, the fight had heated her blood, so she tried to get to rest.
Thorwyn, who limped still a bit from his wound, was just cleaning the last bits of blood from his strange looking sword, which looked, as if it was talking to him. He was a good fighter, but not as good as Ulath.
Xera, the graceful Wood elf (or Forest elf, as others might say) was worried about the wounded. She gave the impression of exotic beauty and enigmatic magic, a thing which was considered typical for her race. The Fox was deeply impressed.
Then there was the strange strayer or ranger Alrik, always in the shadows, as if he didn't like too many people around him. In a way, the Fox liked his behaviour. He seemed to be friendly, though.
The last one was Aidan, the bard. He didn't fight against the Ogres, but was a good help against wounds. Also, the fact that he was a bard was a good thing for the group's morale. After all, he would be the only one to describe the deeds of the group correctly, sending the word out into the world.
They were eight heroes now, very different ones indeed. What could stop them now? As foxes were always a bit pessimistic, he could imagine many things...
With the new view in mind, he went down the hill to the others.
Eolus sat down at the border of the place where the group relaxed themselves from the fight. He smiled about that Fireball, and thought that a little bit of Ice would have done it, too. A frozen ground under clumsy Ogre-feet would have been disastrous for them. The man-eating Ogres were dead or gone, and he hadn't needed to use a bit from his magical forces, so he could use them later. Silently, he thanked his Goddess of magic and knowledge for that, keeping in his mind that he had to be careful with his power, as long as they were not safe enough, even as long as the Dragon was not defeated. He wanted to get into that fight with his full might. He laid himself into the grass. "Why do I do all this?" he asked himself. "My, the Gold is fine, but not important to me. I have enough of it. Glory and honour are not my things, I already have a name. Beside that, it has always been my wish to help people. No, the only reason is the Princess. I can't get her out of my mind... She is so beautiful..."
Rethinking the whole journey, he stood up, and stepped into the wood. There, he found a quiet place, where he could weave a protection-spell which would help them against the hot breath of the Dragon. He used the shield from the farmers, whom he had helped before, with it. After his work was done, he felt exhausted, and went immediately to sleep.
1. Sajet, female human from the Southlands
2. Thorwyn, male human (with his magical sword)
3. "The Fox", male "human" (an intelligent Fox polymorphed into human shape)
4. Ulath, male human, from the Northlands (a bit of a drunk)
5. Aiden, male human, an inexperienced and unworldly bard
6. Alrik, male human, a strayer or wanderer who is uneasy in crowds
7. Eolus Thunderstorm, male dwarf
8. Xera, a female Wood-Elf (who wishes to see some of the world)