Kyren the Bard in: The Pixie-Imp War
By: Kyren Posted on: February 23, 2007
-The start of the adventure
It all started when I was just eleven. I was an orphan, at the time, living on the streets of Shallam, in and out of the choir (Singing other people's music just wasn't my road, and in order to stay true to my destiny as a bard I had to stage repeated escapes, each one more cunning than the last, due to the fact that each one was made more difficult by the fact that those running the orphanage learned from their mistakes each time...but that's a different story), and yearning for a true adventure.
Naturally, it was at this time when I heard about the grand Kobold hunt, something that the Pygmy's of Minia were offering, having apparently recently discovered the delicious taste of "dog-men". At the time I didn't even have a weapon. But I wasn't about to let THAT stop me. I decided to leave for Shallam and head to Minia. Unfortunately, to do that, I had to get past the gate.
I did so by making use of my amazing ability to impersonate others. I found one of your smaller paladins and carefully snuck up on him, whacked him over the head, and stole his armor. Thus disguised I snuck out of town without raising any alarm. I made my way through the night to Minia (stopping to ask directions as Delos).
-The Great Kobold Hunt
The next morning I went from my makeshift camp to the Pygmy village of Miba. There I learned that the grand hunt had started two days ago, and that while I was behind, I was still eligible for the grand prize for the most captured kobolds, and I was warned that dead kobolds did not count. That afternoon the hunt began in earnest, myself setting out along with several Pygmy hunters and a few other adventurers, mostly Ashtani but with a few Hashani and a Mhaldorian.
Together we went to Libya Dungeon, where we split up, each going his own way. I wandered through the caverns, an endless labyrinth of abandoned tunnels. Sometimes I'd stumble across a dead kobold or another hunter, some of whom were having as much luck as I, some of whom were bringing back as many as three or four kobolds. All the while I cold not escape the feeling that I was being watched.
Eventually I stumbled across a small kobold cub. I lunged to the monster and was suprised to find him calling for help! I felt foolish, for I had not thought that these were sentient beings! It suddenly dawned on me why I had not seen any fellow Shallamese. I decided that I would do my best to sabotage the hunt.
Unfortunately, the protective kobold father who charged me with a club didn't know that. Judging by the fact that he was foaming at the mouth a little, I decided he wouldn't be receptive to any negotiations. I drew my shortsword, which came packaged with the armor I'd...liberated, and, using the flat of the blade, whacked the froth out of his mouth. While he was still dazed, I made for the exit, only to be confronted by a white furred, black striped Rajamalan!
He lunged at me with a large stick, and a fierce fight between the two of us ensued, but he was at least five years my senior, and clearly well trained in the art of swordplay, so I was completely outmatched. Soon, my opponent had me face down on the ground with his knee in my back. He took my sword, but before he could slay me, I asked "Wouldn't you rather see the face of the one you're slaying?" So he turned me over. Then I asked "Wouldn't you rather see the face of the one you're slaying in a good light?" So he took me outside. But as soon as I was out of the dungeon I ran towards the setting sun as fast I could.
He chased me, but once inside the Pixie Village, he, now under the watchful eye of the pixie gaurds, simply began following me.
I asked him "Who ARE you?", and he replied "I am Elau, villager of Jaru and Guardian of Light." So I informed him that I was Shallamese and that clearly this was all a big misunderstanding. Unfortunately he then informed me that I was wearing his armor. I gave it back to him, along with the sword, and we made amends, as well as vowing together to stop the hunting of the Kobolds. That night we dined with the pixies. It was an evening picnic of the highest quality and I, being an orphan, had never eaten so well. Near the end, an Imp Captain entered the area, tailed by three Pixie Guards. He told the Pixie Queen that the Imp Lord had ordered him to present an ultimatum: She had to marry him or he would invade the Pixie Village, raze it to the ground, and massacre its inhabitants.
The Pixie Queen could not decide, and was given three days to make her decision. Meanwhile, the feast ended and I and my new friend Elau went to sleep, troubled at the new turn of events but helpless as we could not storm Ember Tower single handed and live.
-Raid on Miba
That morning we set off on our quest to free the Kobolds. We entered Miba village armed (though 'armed' for me meant wielding a stick: not very intimidating). We made our way directly to the hunters lodge and began hacking the murderous hutners apart, Elau bellowing "Pentharion!" The hunters, taken by suprise and used to hunting the helpless Kobolds, fell quickly, but many, being nimble, got away. We continued the charge and found a cell where there was kept a kobold, and guarded by two guards. Though drained from the last battle, we duelled and defeated the Pygmies quickly. Elau could not break down the door.
We decided that the place to keep such an important key would be either the chief's hut or the barracks, and since the former was likely to be well guarded we opted to try the latter first. Unfortunately, our attack on the hunters lodge had drawn some unwanted attention, which led to a wholescale attack on us by the Pygmy defenders. The fight was brutal, but by splitting up we managed to lose them in the village. I snuck into the barracks and found the key, and then left. On my way back I bumped into Elau...who had much less success losing his Pygmy opponents. This battle was even more vicious than the last, with more than a dozen pygmies to fight. By the time half were slain, we were sorrounded and exhausted, the whole thing having lasted nearly three hours. But just as the nearest pygmy guard was about to land the finishing blow he was struck down by the claws of a Kobold! He was gaunt, but he was determined, and he and his comrades swept through the suprised Pygmies. As I staggered to my feet, I handed one of the Kobolds the key and pointed in the direction of the cell, mumbling "'nother one..." Apparently the Kobold understood. That's when I blacked out.
I woke up in a dark room, and for a moment I was afraid that I'd been captured by Pygmies, but Elau, armored and armed, was standing there, along with two armed kobolds, convincing me that I was not. I was informed that after we had split up, Elau had made a daring raid on the Kobold pens, freeing all the kobolds, and that they were the ones who had rescued us. Also, the Kobold in the cell made it out all right. It turned out he was their King, hence the extra security. He gave us the highest commendations, and treated us to a feast. It was no fairy banquet, but it was nonetheless better than the food the average orphan eats. I was informed after the meal that the Pixies had only until sundown to respond to the Imps demand: in the morning, the Imps would attack. I was shocked, and realized I had been asleep longer than I had thought!
-The Battle of the Pixie Village
I and Elau stayed at the Pixie village, keeping watch through the night. Elau didn't think the Imps would attack before morning, but for paranoia's sake agreed to stay up with me. I took the post at the entrance, and was nearly nodding off when an arrow shot out from the blackness and whizzed through the air a sliver from my chest! I drew my stick and attacked the assailant, no more than ten yards away. The archer fell fast, but soon many Imp guards attacked. It took all my might to repel them, and once I did, more came! The invasion had come early! I called to Elau "Help! We're under attack! I can't take them all!" There was no response. I continued my battle against the Imp invaders, each moment growing weaker. By the time the third wave arrived, headed by the same Imp Captain who had delivered the ultimatum, I was nearly too tired to keep fighting, having already been weakened by my ordeal at Miba. But before I could be overcome, a pair of Pixie Guards came to my aid! Tough their tiny daggers were much smaller than the Imps spears, they were expert aerial combatants, and the Imps, obviously, were not. But we were sorely outnumbered and soon the pair was as tired as I, and all of us were sustaining injuries.
But then came two more guards! And soon after them another pair of pixie defenders. Coming in by two's, the Pixies soon had a force equal to that of the Imps! With that we were able to beat them off, but I was still worried about Elau, and so went to investigate his post at the side of the village, near the forest between us and Miba. He was gone! Soon dozens of arrows with flamed tips were raining down on the simple huts of the Pixies! They went up in flames, and I could do nothing to protect them. I went into the forest towards where the arrows were coming from. The archers were spread out. Walking softly and carrying my big stick, I took them out, one by one. By the time I had taken out most of the archers, the east half of the village was a twisted ruin, and still no Elau. I returned to the village to find that nearly two score imps had slipped past me and into the burning ruin of the village, making for the Pixie Queen. Most of the Pixie guards were literally tied up with other matters, so I decided I would have to protect the Queen myself.
-The Pixie Queen Abducted!
I took a shortcut through the flames and reached the hut first, where I found a trio of Pixie Guards, sorely outnumbered and clearly quite worn down and beaten up, boldly holding off the enemy.
I dashed in to help them, and fought valiantly. For what seemed like hours I fought the Imps, who seemed to number in the hundreds, with a weapon that felt like it was made out of lead and arms that felt even heavier. Nonetheless, we four protected the Queen valiantly. When we started wearing down, the Queen supported us with her magic. But soon she too tired. The Imps had clearly received reinforcements. First one Pixie fell, than another, leaving me with just one companion. He received a blow to the head and blacked out. I collapsed from sheer exhaustion minutes later, the last thing my waking eyes saw being the Imps charging the now unprotected Pixie Queen.
-Rescue at Ember Tower
When I woke, it was to Elau shaking me awake, who then informed me that the Pixie Queen had been abducted while he protected a school at the north end of the Village. He informed me that half the village had been burned and destroyed, but that after seizing the Queen, the Imps left immediately. Naturally, we set out with what guards weren't occupied rebuilding and defending the Village to rescue the Pixie Queen. Unfortunately, the only Guard to be spared was the one that had survived the attack with me. I equipped myself with an Imp Captains armor and shortsword, which at the time were only a little tight.
Then I set off with my companions to Ember Tower. We were from the start bombarded by arrows, and upon reaching the inside we had to fend off an entire squad of Imps. It didn't improve much as we ascended the first set of stairs, several Imps still hot on our tail. We made our way up to the Imp Alchemists lab, where we were greeted by explosive chemicals. Elau was scalded by an acid, rendering his left paw unusable, but while the Imp Alchemist gloated over this small victory, our Pixie friend ran him through.
Up the next floor we took a wrong turn and popped up in the Imps sleeping quarters, where a trio of sleepy Imps greeted us along with another trio of less sleepy Imps. The changing of the guard. Given no choice, we three beat off the lot, along with about four others that came from behind. The wear of the past week began to take a serious toll on all three of us. Nonetheless, now sporting several bruises from the butts of our foes spears, we advanced...straight into a hellcat training pit, where we faced off with the hellcat trainer and his four pets. There were three of us, so I took two. After grappling with them for a while, I defeated first one, and then the other. The hellcats were much easier than the Imps, and the trainer himself was not at all difficult once his annoying pets were out of the way.
Finally we reached the top floor, after disposing of two Imp Guards. When we reached the top we found several servants scurrying around, as well as an Imp Captain and two Imp Guards. I took the Captain, and soon hacked his head off. In the melee, the Pixie was stabbed in the leg, but fortunately his wings allowed him to continue fighting, despite our pleas that he return.
We burst inside the Throne Room, bellowing war cries, where we found a wedding taking place. Nobody knows how to crash a wedding like an invading force from a Village with a vendetta with the groom as old as the Logos. While I and my comrades duelled the two Captains and their squads, the Imp Lord, the Imp Priest, and the unwilling bride escaped to the roof. Not waiting to finish up the battle, which was complicated by ever increasing Imp forces pouring in, I dashed after the Imp Lord.
At the very summit of Ember Tower, nearly a mile in the sky, I battled the Imp Lord, one on one, sword to sword. My cause gave me strength I had not known before. I slowly stripped off my armor, finding that I quite disdained heavy plate armor in combat. I fought even more fiercely after I was relieved of the iron weights that had done so little to protect me. Our swords glinted in the sunset as we duelled for the Pixie Queen's life. We duelled into the night itself, first pushing one of us back to the edge, than the other. Finally, I pointed behind the Imp Lord and said "Look behind you!" While the Imp Lord was debating over whether to look, I shoved him off.
-The First Dragon
The Imp Priest, horrified, committed suicide. Unfortunately, during the duel, someone had closed and locked the way back in the tower. I turned to the Queen and told her "Fly down, I'll climb after you." Despite being dead tired, I climbed down the mile-high tower, which was filled with crags and cracks and, in some cases, ladders. At the end, I fell, but it was only five yards and I landed in some leaves. I got up, staggering slightly, and made my way back to the Village. It was now dawn.
I nearly collapsed upon arriving in the village, but my task was not done yet, for the cheerful faces of Elau, my friend the Pixie Guard, and all the other villagers soon dissolved into looks of horror as a massive dragon swooped down and landed in front of me. Apparently my actions had drawn the attention of Mhaldor. The great beast breathed fire on me, but I was protected by a shield of holy light created by Elau. "Run!" he said, "I can't keep this up long!" I did run, but I ran straight towards the dragon. No longer under the protection of Elau's shield, the monstrousity poured out flame towards me in an endless torrent, but I was nimble enough to escape all of it. Finally I got close enough to the monsters gullet that when it opened its mouth to spew flame at me I leaped up and plunged my sword into its mouth. The beast let out a great roar and then fell dead. The Pixie village was now safe from invasion. I had survived my first adventure.