Fledgling Freddie
Mar 22, 2005
Conway sat at his desk in the cellar of the Eye Watering Liquor Supplies, premier drinks merchant of Tir na Nog. The battered wooden desk was totally surrounded by the beer and liquor barrels, and covered by piles of the bills he was working on. His head was bent over a parchment so his long fair hair brushed it and smeared the still wet ink. He was sucking the end of his quill pen as he carefully added up, and tried to ignore the string of complaints coming from behind him.

“I mean,” said his cousin Morolt, from his perch on a beer barrel, “is there anything more boring in life than being a tailor. Sew, sew, sew…” He stabbed a vindictive needle into something that bore almost no resemblance to a cloth glove. “Oh bugger!” He stopped, and looked at the glove.

“Six hundred and ninety one, “muttered Conway and looked up. “What?”

“I’ve stitched up the end,” complained Morolt. “No-one can wear this now.”

Conway looked at the mangled object. “I don’t think anyone would want to. What is it anyway?”

“It’s a glove!” Morolt hurled the offending object into the far corner, and slid gracefully down from the barrel. “It was a glove. I’m giving up being a tailor. We are elves, not mortals. I could be sewing gloves for centuries!” He frowned. “And don’t you dare to tell me it will take me that long to learn to make them properly!”

“I never said a word.” Conway looked down at the parchment. “What number did I say?”

“No idea.” Morolt wandered across to the desk. “You’ve got your hair in the ink again. It’ll be blue like mine soon. You should tie it back in a pony tail.”

“I like my hair loose,” Conway brushed his hair back behind his elven ears. “Now hush, I’m adding up the bill for the Temperance Guild and it’s complicated.

“But it hasn’t many members, and this place only sells alcohol. I thought the Temperance Guild wasn’t supposed to drink.” The ex tailor looked over his cousin’s shoulder to read the parchment.

“Size of guild doesn’t actually relate directly to how much they drink. And the Temperance Guild changed a lot with their new guild leader. They keep talking about making a new guild and calling it Dead Drunk, but they can’t get eight of them sober long enough to do it.” Conway sighed and started adding up again.

The cellar door opened and a dark haired celt entered and slammed the door behind him. “I need a drink!”

Morolt gestured at the barrels. “You came to the right place then Benen.”

Benen ignored him and waved his arms dramatically. “Take me to the nearest tavern and help me drown my sorrows. My heart is broken.”

“Again?” Morolt grinned. “Who is it this time?”

The celt glared at him. “It’s not funny. I saw her and I fell in love for the last and final time.”

Conway put down the quill pen and buried his face in his hands. He had carefully put his desk in the far corner of the cellar in the hope of getting some peace, but some people just couldn’t take a hint.

“So what went wrong?” Morolt asked.

“The most beautiful lurikeen girl in Hibernia… I went up, knelt before her, and told her my heart was at her feet. She told me to go away and called her husband!” Benen sat on the desk. “I’m doomed.”

Conway decided the Temperance Guild bill was certainly doomed, since Benen was sitting on it. “I can’t see the appeal in lurikeen girls. I don’t want a girl friend who is down at knee level.”

Benen and Morolt looked at him in disbelief and chorused in unison. “But they are cute!”

“All right!” Conway put down the quill pen and stood up. “I give up, let’s find a tavern. If we can get through the door,” he added. The Taverns have all been packed since the rift in the veil and those finliaths showed up telling us we are doomed.”


Fledgling Freddie
Mar 22, 2005
The nearby tavern was packed, but the three of them managed to fight their way to the bar. A lurikeen was standing on a table making a speech, and once they had drinks they turned to join the crowd listening to the entertainment.

“Hibernia needs you!” The lurikeen cried. “The siabra threat isn’t over. The veil is torn!”

“What is the veil anyway”, asked a firbolg in heavy armour. “Never got the hang of it.”

The lurikeen ignored the interruption. “Tir na Nog, the very heart of Hibernia is under threat from within. On the frontier, we are under attack from Albion and Midgard.”

“I thought we were winning the war,” said the firbolg. “We’ve got…” He paused to count on his fingers and gave up. “Lots of the relics.”

The lurikeen glared at the firbolg. “Yes, we have four relics, but the Albs and Mids still outnumber us. At least, when they work out how to read the map and find the frontier they do. And while we are on the subject, if we want to keep the relics then people need to help mend the walls on Ailinne and Scathaig. It’s always the same two people and a puppy on the repair crew, and the puppy can’t carry much wood. Where were you last night when there was a hole in the wall?”

The firbolg frowned as he thought fast. “I was taking flowers to my mother for her birthday.”

A large number of the crowd muttered that by an odd coincidence it had been their mother’s birthday too, and Conway found his empty tankard taken by Benen and refilled. “I shouldn’t drink at lunch time,” he said. “I’ve got a job you know.”

The lurikeen looked at him. “You won’t have a job when Tir na Nog falls to the siabra and the albs and mids break through Druim Ligen and devastate the land. Hibernia needs stalwart defenders! Everyone who can wield a sword is needed.”

“Or a staff,” said an elven enchanter, pointedly waving Traldor’s Oracle. “And what I want to know is what happens when they wear out. You can’t replace artifacts you know and mine is down to...”

The lurikeen interrupted firmly. “Hibernia needs everyone who can wield a sword or a staff. We have to defend our land!”

“Or a club, or adze, or…” The words came from a celt in reinforced armour, who ground to a halt as he saw the look on the lurikeen’s face.

“Any weapon or magic,” said the lurikeen bitterly, and sighed. “I don’t know why I bother.” He jumped off the table and headed to the bar to buy a drink.

“He is right you know.” A woad painted celt carrying a drum leapt on the table. “Our land is menaced within and without, and we who are children of Hibernia must defend it.”

There was a scattered cheer from around the room, and the lurikeen could be heard complaining as he took a tankard from the bartender. “Why do they listen to him and not me? What has he got that I haven’t.” He drank the contents of the tankard in one gulp.

“Charisma and a drum I think,” said Morolt, without thinking.

“He didn’t mean it,” said Conway hastily, as he saw the lurikeen turn aggressively to Morolt. “Let me buy you a drink.” He turned to order a round of drinks from the bartender. Behind him, the bard was beating a rousing rhythm on the drum, and by the time the drinks arrived the whole crowd was singing a stirring war song. Conway didn’t know the song, but it was easy to join in the chorus which mostly seemed to consist of shouting ‘We got shrooms!’ as loudly as possible.

“Mushrooms any good in battle?” Conway asked the lurikeen, who was already buying the next round of drinks.

“No use at all.” The lurikeen handed them drinks. “Scare the hell out of the albs and mids though for some reason. We get some trainee animist to cast a bunch of shrooms that couldn’t kill a water beetle, and the albs and mids take one look, scream, and run.”

Conway started drinking his fourth tankard of extra strong ale, and the room began vanishing into the haze of drunkenness.


Fledgling Freddie
Mar 22, 2005
Conway woke up slowly and reluctantly. For one thing, the state of his head told him that he had gone past the three ale limit that was safe for him to drink. For another thing, the strong smell of badly cured bear skin rug told him that he had been sleeping on Benen’s floor. Both were bad signs. He lay still for a few minutes, hoping the queasy stomach and pounding head would go away. They didn’t. Why? He wondered. Why did he keep doing this? He should just say no after three drinks, but it was so hard to admit that he couldn’t handle alcohol. People made fun of him for it, especially since he worked at a merchant that specialised in the sort of drinks that could knock out trolls in three gulps.

He finally opened his eyes, not because he felt better but because someone grabbed his shoulders and started shaking them.

“Conway! Wake up! We have to go hunting.” Benen boomed cheerfully at him.

Conway looked up at him in confusion. “What?” He wasn’t in a fit state to go in for subtle questioning, and the one word seemed to cover most things.

“Hunting. Training. Hitting things.” The celt made gestures that seemed to indicate hitting things with an imaginary club.

“I have to go to work.” Conway struggled to sit up. “I’ll lose my job. What are you on about?”

“Forget the job. We signed up to defend Hibernia! We will beat off the loathsome siabra, and conquer Albion and Midgard!” Benen waved his arms dramatically and cried at the top of his voice. “We got shrooms!”

“You did what?” Conway’s voice rose in disbelief. “No, don’t say a word. Give me a moment.” He closed his eyes, buried his face in his hands, and tried to remember. There had been a lurikeen on a table making a speech. Then the bard singing the ‘We got shrooms!’ song. Then the lurikeen bought them a lot of drinks, and there were some more songs from the bard. He vaguely remembered the ‘Don’t panic! We got shrooms!’ song, and then…” He groaned faintly. “I signed up too didn’t I?”

The door was opened. “Breakfast!” Morolt entered waving a loaf of bread and an unappetising packet of something wrapped in paper with grease seeping through it. He saw Conway sitting up. “Ah you finally woke up.” He paused to consider Conway’s appearance. “You look like a terminally sick parrot.”

Conway ignored him. His mind was still coping with his new status as a defender of Hibernia. “We signed up…”

“Yep.” Morolt dumped the loaf on the table, and undid the packet to reveal some dubious looking slices of meat resting on a scroll of Champion’s Notes 1 of 3. Atlantis seemed to produce an endless supply of that scroll, and the merchants took advantage of it for free wrapping paper. “Defending Hibernia has got to be more interesting than tailoring. Now come and have breakfast while it’s hot. Well, warmish. Finest free range River Gobbler meat.” He broke the bread into pieces and started eating hungrily.

“Interesting…” Conway winced and stood up very slowly. “Yes, people trying to kill us should be interesting.”

“We will kill them first.” Benen made warlike stabbing motions with his piece of bread, so the slice of meat on it flew into the corner of the room. “We are Hibernia’s new heroes!”

“Elves can’t be heroes.” Conway pointed out. He refused the slice of meat Morolt offered him, with a wrinkle of his nose, and tried nibbling a piece of bread.

“Details,” Benen dismissed the point.

“What sort of defender we are is an important detail. They don’t let you change your mind you know. The trainers are really strict on that, some sort of union rule.” Conway decided the bread was a mistake and put it down. “What did we sign up as?”

“We are magicians,” Morolt said with his mouth full. “I don’t know about him,” he waved at Benen.

“I’m a naturalist,” said Benen.

Morolt blinked. “You have to go round with no clothes on.”

“Naturalist not naturist, “Conway said wearily. “A healer type.”

“I’m a healer?” Benen swallowed his last mouthful of bread hastily. “I can hit things though?”

“No,” said Conway firmly. “If we are going to stand any chance at all, we need you healing us not hitting things yourself.”

“But I want to beat trolls to a pulp and stand on their mangled remains making rude gestures at them!” Benen spotted Morolt’s face and rounded on him. “What are you laughing at?”

“I just can’t see you managing to beat anything to a pulp, let alone a troll.” Morolt saw Benen coming round the table with an aggressive look on his face. “Only joking!”

“Stop right there,” said Conway. “We need to work on fighting other things not each other, and if we ever actually do kill a troll no-one makes rude gestures.” He saw Morolt opening his mouth in protest, and cut in firmly. “And don’t say they are only trolls and its all right to make rude gestures. We are going to be defenders of Hibernia, and rude gestures are beneath our dignity. Now, did we get any instructions on fighting and things?”

Morolt pulled a wounded face and handed him a scroll.

Conway unrolled the scroll and read the title. “First steps in being a Magician, a guide for idiots.” He winced. “Well, sounds like it was written specially for us.” He skimmed through the instructions rapidly. Item one. No don’t throw this away, read it you idiot, you need all the help you can get. Item two. Your goal is to complete basic training and then choose which magic class to be. This involves killing lots of things, and the minor detail of not dying in the process. Item three…

“I still don’t see why we can’t make rude gestures at trolls,” said Morolt, sulkily.

Conway put the scroll on the table, pointed with his finger, and read aloud. “Item six. Do not make rude gestures at a dead enemy. It makes you look even more of an idiot than you do normally, especially if it was someone else who actually killed him.”


Fledgling Freddie
Mar 22, 2005
Conway felt rather odd standing outside the gates of Tir na Nog. He hadn’t actually been out of the city, except for the odd errand to Mag Mell or on a couple of occasions to Ardee. He also felt rather self conscious about carrying the training staff. It seemed rather large and conspicuous.

“So, what do we kill first?” Benen waved his training club aggressively.

“Put it away,” Conway sighed. “You are healing not hitting things remember. You sure you don’t remember what happened to your Naturalist instruction scroll?”

“It’ll turn up,” Benen dismissed the point. “Us mighty healers don’t need instructions.”

“Yep, don’t worry about it.” Morolt gestured with his training staff. “I never bothered reading all that stuff they gave me about tailoring.”

Conway remembered the mangled cloth glove, but decided not to bother saying anything. It wouldn’t do any good. It never did with Morolt.

“Lets fight an annoying lucradan.” Morolt suggested. “Every time I go past them they go nyah nyah, and make rude remarks about my blue hair. I’ve just had to ignore them for years, and now its payback time!”

Conway checked his instruction scroll, rereading item three. For your first fight pick something easy. Now take a good look at it. How easy is it? Is it really, really easy? Are you sure there isn’t anything easier around? If not then go ahead and attack, and good luck, you’ll need it. He considered this. “How easy are annoying lucradans?”

“Total wimps,” said Benen. “We will flatten it in seconds.” He waved his training club, swatting an imaginary lucradan.

“Well, all right then.” Conway followed Benen and Morolt, reminding himself there were three of them.

“I’m sure annoying lucradans are round here somewhere.” Morolt repeated the same thing he had already said three times in the last half an hour. “They are always here when I don’t want to find them.”

“Maybe they saw we are mighty defenders of Hibernia and ran away,” suggested Benen.

“There’s one!” Morolt cried in excitement and lifted his staff and fired a feeble magic bolt at a small figure in the distance. “Die you evil little… Oh bugger!”

“What?” asked Conway, secretly quite impressed that Morolt had actually successfully cast a spell. He lifted his staff to join in the fight, rather startled at how fast the small figure was running towards them.

“That’s not a lucradan, that’s a spraggon!” Morolt desperately fired off another spell before the spraggon was on top of him going for his throat.

Conway was sure he managed to cast a spell, but it didn’t actually do very much. After that, instinct took over. The next few minutes were rather action packed as he and Morolt hit the spraggon with their staffs and Benen hit it with his club. Since they still seemed to be losing at this point, they ran at top speed back towards Tir na Nog and took refuge behind a guard. The guard defeated the spraggon with one casual blow and turned to look pityingly at the three of them. “First fight?”

They nodded, still gasping from the run uphill.

“Let me give you a small tip,” said the guard. “The two of you with staffs should be casting spells not hitting things with the staff, and the healer should heal. I like your approach, its original, its fun to watch, but I think the more traditional method might work better.”

Morolt glared at the guard. “There’s no need to…” He broke off at this point, because Conway grabbed the back of his jerkin and yanked it nearly strangling him.

“Thank you for the advice. We appreciate it. ” Conway dragged Morolt off to a distance before releasing him.

“What did you do that for?” Morolt looked at him sulkily. “He was talking to us as if we were idiots.”

“Reason one, he had just saved us from being disembowelled by a spraggon. Reason two, he was right, and we are idiots. Reason three, given the way he flattened the spraggon, what do you think he could do to you?” Conway gloomily read item four on his instruction scroll. If you manage to lose your first fight, then you really are an idiot and I suggest you read the instructions more closely in future.


Fledgling Freddie
Mar 22, 2005
Conway marched into the gate of Tir na Nog and headed up the hill past the merchant stalls.

“You can’t just give up!” Morolt chased after him.

“Watch me!” said Conway.

“We are needed to save Hibernia!” Benen waved his arms dramatically and nearly hit an unwary armour merchant who had stepped back to admire his display of weapons. “Oh sorry,” he apologised and sprinted after the other two.

“If Hibernia needs us, then she is in real trouble.” Conway said bitterly.

“We aren’t doing that badly,” said Morolt.

Conway paused to look at him. “How many fights have we had?”


“And how many times have we run screaming to the guards for help?”

“Uh, three,” admitted Morolt. “But we will get better, especially if Benen works out how to cast a heal spell.”

“I’ll find my instruction scroll,” said Benen. “Look, if I can’t find it I’ll go and ask the trainer for another one. We can do this!”

“No we can’t,” said Conway. “We are better off just admitting it now, before every guard outside Tir na Nog dies laughing. There are those who can make great defenders of Hibernia, and then there are those who can’t. We are those who can’t. I am born to be a bookkeeper, Morolt is born to be a disastrous tailor, and Benen is born to be idle and fall in love with random lurikeen girls. I’m going back to work at the Eye Watering Liquor Supplies, if still have a job there that is.” He headed firmly on up the hill, ignoring the other two.

“Just one more try,” said Morolt, running up the hill to get ahead of him. “That’s all we ask, one more try and…. Oh bugger!”

“What?” asked Conway wearily, rounding the corner after him, and then he saw it. “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!” He stared. Opposite the palace gates, near the public lathe where the Eye Watering Liquor Supplies had stood, was a weird shimmering cleft in the rocky hillside.

A small group of people stood by it, looking gloomily at the strange tunnel like thing. “It’s the rift in the veil, or whatever those finliaths were talking about,” a sylvan offered. “One minute there was a liquor merchant, the next minute it was swallowed up by a doorway to another dimension. It’s terrible. They say the bookkeeper was in there and was lost without trace.”

“Not to mention seven hundred barrels of Eye Watering Liquor,” said a lurikeen. “A lot of adventurers have already headed in there to save it.”

“The barrels or the bookkeeper?” asked the sylvan.

“The barrels,” said the lurikeen. “They’ll probably get the bookkeeper if they spot him though. He can help carry the barrels.”

“I am the bookkeeper, and it was six hundred and eighty three barrels,” said Conway in a stunned voice, staring at the rift in reality. “I suppose I was the bookkeeper,” he corrected himself. He looked numbly at the spot where the Eye Watering Liquor Supplies had once stood. “It’s gone,” he said.

Morolt and Benen had been standing there with their mouths open, now Morolt found his voice. “Good job you weren’t in there.”

“Yes,” said Conway, and his voice changed. “Right!” He said. “Right! That just about does it! They think they can come here, whoever they are, and just vanish a liquor merchants! Not in MY city they don’t!”

Morolt looked at him nervously. “Uh, just calm down a bit!”

“Calm down!” Conway gestures at the weird rift. “Look at it! Just look at it! That was my job, that was!”

Morolt opened his mouth, but Benen shook his head. “Don’t even try. Remember how he got like this after that business with the peacock feathers, the lute, and the frog.”

Morolt went white and closed his mouth again.

Conway turned on them. “Right! You!” He pointed at Benen. “You go to your trainer and get another copy of your training scroll, and this time you READ IT! And you!” He pointed at Morolt. “Next fight don’t even THINK about firing spells at random monsters. I attack first, you join in, and Benen leaves that stupid club behind and HEALS US!” He glared at them. “IS THAT CLEAR?”

They trembled and nodded.

“Uh, does this mean we are going to be defenders of Hibernia again?” ventured Morolt.

“Damn right it does,” said Conway. “No one goes round doing THAT,” he pointed at the rift, “in MY city.”


Fledgling Freddie
Sep 11, 2004
more plz plz plz kthnx

he he its good stuff mate. better than anything i could ever come up with (compliment)
but i only come to the daoc section to read peeps stories now so please give me more :)


Fledgling Freddie
Mar 22, 2005
They stood outside the gate of Tir na Nog and the haze of anger in Conway’s head began to be penetrated by a few minor details.

“Uh, Conway, there are a whole bunch of guards watching us and grinning,” said Morolt, nervously.

Conway looked at the guards, who gave a cheer and waved at him. Yes, that had been one of the details that had been drumming on his brain. Word had obviously got round the guards who were waiting for the entertainment to start.

“Conway. There are a lot of other people around too, not just the guards.” Benen stared at a dark haired lurikeen girl coming out of the city gate. “Oh no, it’s that cute little lurikeen tailor.”

Conway looked at the lurikeen girl. Yes, that was the other point that had been screaming for his attention. At this time of day, there was a constant stream of people running errands between Tir na Nog and Mag Mell, and there were familiar faces among them. He noticed a few people pause, look at the staffs he and Morolt were carrying, and exchange comments. Some of them were definitely laughing….

“Right,” said Conway. “What we need is to fight something easy, some place where no-one is watching.

Benen was looking at the lurikeen girl, and turning an interesting shade of pink as she saw him and waved and giggled. “That sounds good. When we get the hang of this we come back and fight things and impress people.”

“We going to fight outside Mag Mell then?” asked Morolt. “Bet they will all follow us and watch,” he added, gloomily.

“No,” said Conway firmly. “We are going to fight in decent privacy where no-one at all knows us. Domnann Grove!”


Fledgling Freddie
Mar 22, 2005
They stood, silently, looking at the horses. After a moment, Morolt raised a tentative hand. “Uh, permission to speak?”

Conway looked at him, irritated. “Are you trying to be funny?”

“No, no…” Morolt said hastily. “Wouldn’t dream of it when you are in one of your moods.”

“I am NOT in one of my moods,” said Conway, glaring at him.

“No, no… Of course you aren’t. It’s just that I’ve never actually ridden a horse, and some of these look rather large, and we don’t know the way to Domnann Grove, and….” Morolt’s voice dropped to a whisper. “I’m scared of horses.”

“You want to be a defender of Hibernia don’t you? Defenders of Hibernia ride horses,” said Conway, firmly.

“Well, yes…” Morolt said, uncertainly. “But I want to be a defender of Hibernia that doesn’t ride horses.”

“We’ll be fine,” boomed Benen cheerfully. I’ve seen people charging along on horseback lots of times. Looks really easy.” He made an expansive gesture with his arms and nearly hit the stable master. “Oh sorry.”

The stable master moved cautiously away from Benen. “So, are you youngsters interesting in hiring horses, or just admiring them?”

“Some of them look a bit big,” said Morolt.

“You get one the right size for you.” The stable master grinned. “Can’t expect a lurikeen and a firbolg to ride the same size horse, now can you?”

Morolt looked at the varying sizes of horse, trying to work out which one might be elf sized. “And we don’t know the way to Domnann Grove.”

“Ah, you don’t ride to Domnann Grove. You ride to Druim Ligen and get the rest of the way by Glasny’s magic. The horses know the way. They are very well trained, you’ll have no problem. Three horses then?” The stable master looked around the three of them, enquiringly.

“Actually, I might decide to just wa…”

“Yes, three horses.” Conway firmly cut off Morolt’s objections, and paid the stable master.

“Can I have a white one?” Asked Benen. “I’ve always fancied being a hero charging along on a pure white steed.”

“You can have a brown one with a white spot on its nose,” said the stable master, “and you are a naturalist so you can’t be a hero.” He untied the reins of three horses and led them over.

“I want to hit things,” muttered Benen.

“No you don’t,” said Conway. “You concentrate on healing us. You found your instruction scroll yet?”

“I’m sure it’s in the backpack somewhere.”

Conway looked suspiciously at the dark haired celt, but was distracted by the stable master handing him the reins of a horse. He looked at the horse doubtfully. It looked friendly, or at least very bored, but there was some truth in Morolt’s comment about horses being big and none of them having ridden before. Uncertainty niggled at his mood of anger, but then he saw the grin on the stable master’s face. Right! He wasn’t going to back down and be laughed at by any stable master. He was a defender of Hibernia, and he could ride a stupid horse! Holding tight to the reins, he moved to the side of the horse and attempted to mount.

Size is sometimes relative. The horse had seemed fairly big when standing next to it. It seemed a lot larger when Conway tried to climb onto it. He got about three quarters of the way up, and was then stuck with one foot in the stirrup and an arm clinging desperately to the horse’s neck. He didn’t quite know what he was going to do at this point, but there was a burst of laughter from behind him and a helpful hand from the stable master shoved him forcibly into the saddle. “Thank you,” said Conway, holding tight to the reins, and flushing red with embarrassment.

“Don’t mention it,” said the stable master. “You wet behind the ears new adventurers all have trouble getting on horses. Fortunately the horses are pretty patient about it. You lot ready to go?”

Conway looked around, trying not to think about how high up he seemed to be, or alternatively, how far down the ground was if he fell off. Benen was sitting on his horse and beaming proudly across at a giggling lurikeen girl. Morolt was also on horseback, with his face a delicate shade of green, and his eyes tightly closed. He seemed to be muttering to himself, or possibly appealing to Danu for help. “I think we are ready,” said Conway

Barely had Conway finished speaking than there was a loud yell from the stablemaster. “Go!” The horses responded by suddenly galloping off at top speed, and in a fit of panic Conway lurched forward, abandoning the reins and clinging madly to his horse’s neck.

“Oh bugger!”

The despairing wail had to be Morolt. “What?” Yelled Conway, not daring to look round?

“I think he fell off.” Benen called from behind.

“We better get off,” gasped Conway, glad of an excuse to end this mad horse ride.


Good point, Conway thought. “I don’t know.” The horses were galloping along the road past Ardee, with Morolt’s riderless horse overtaking them and going into the lead. Conway spotted a firbolg walking along the road ahead. “How do I get off a horse?” He yelled at the firbolg.

The firbolg looked up and stared at them, and burst out laughing.

“I said how do I…” Conway realised the firbolg had been left well behind. “ Never mind,” he muttered to himself, and concentrated on hanging on to his horse. Morolt would have to get another horse and catch them up.

Despite the speed of the horses, it seemed to take hours to get to Druim Ligen. Or perhaps, Conway reflected, it was the terrifying speed that made the journey seem so long. Finally, the horses came to a halt as abruptly as they had started to gallop, and two shaken defenders of Hibernia slid off and stood thankfully on solid ground in front of the towering border fortress.

“See,” said Benen, after a couple of minutes. “I said we would be fine.”

Conway closed his eyes, counted to ten, and refused to reply. “We’d better wait here for Morolt,” he said, looking down the road back towards Ardee.

“Boo!” Came the cheerful voice of Morolt from behind them.

Conway swung round to stare at him. “How did you get there?” He demanded.

Morolt grinned at them smugly. I went back into Tir na Nog, and visited the Channeler in the palace, and he sent me here by magic. I don’t like horses, and it was faster too.”

“Right,” said Conway, bitterly.


Gold Star Holder!!
Jan 16, 2005
Hehehe ! Addictive reading. Whenever you're ready, the next instalment please )


Fledgling Freddie
Mar 22, 2005
They walked in through the gateway of Druim Ligen, and inside the keep were hit by a confusion of noise. Groups of people in armour and carrying impressive looking weapons and staffs were casting spells and talking. Above the general babble, a loud cry came from somewhere. “Hero looking for group!”

“This is it!” Benen looked around, beaming enthusiastically. “A few more days, and we will be here, banding up with people, and heading off to save Hibernia from evil trolls and stuff.”

“Days?” Conway shook his head. “Let’s work on being able to kill something, before we get carried away with excitement.” He looked around. “We are just here to find Glasny and ask her to transport us to Domnann Grove. Morolt, you seem to be the expert on magic transportation. Lead on.”

“Me?” Morolt looked suddenly nervous. “Me talk to Glasny?”

“You talked to the Channeler in Tir na Nog,” pointed out Conway.

“I know, but he isn’t anyone special. Glasny is… Well everyone knows Glasny. She is famous!”

“Someone has to talk to Glasny if we want to get to Domnann Grove,” said Conway.

“You do it!” Morolt and Benen chorused in unison.

“Right…” Conway sighed and looked around. It seemed chaos. He led the way at random through the crowd, and spotting a slope up to the far gate went up it to get a better view.

“Hero looking for group!” The yell came from a burly figure in heavy armour, sitting on the slope next to them.

Benen was looking at the heavy wooden gates behind them. “This gate leads to the frontier doesn’t it?”

“Must do,” said Conway, looking around the keep for anyone who might be Glasny. He had a vague idea there would be magical stuff going on around her, but there seemed to be a lot of magic going on and people casting spells on each other.

“Can we take a look?” said Benen hopefully.

“No!” Conway said, firmly.

“Hero looking for flaming group!” The cry came from next to them again.

Conway sneaked a closer look at the armoured figure sitting on the slope. He looked big, aggressive, and annoyed about something. Conway inched a bit further away.

“Just a look,” Benen coaxed. “I mean we don’t actually have to fight anything. Just have a look at the frontier and things.”

“No, no and I mean it, no!” Conway looked at Benen in despair. “Can you have a moment of reality for once? We might not want to fight a troll if we met one, but they might want to fight us. We might not actually get a choice.”

“So that’s a no then.” Benen sighed.

The armoured celt got to his feet next to them. “Hero looking for group! I’m been looking for a group for two solid hours! Why won’t you morons group with me?”

“He seems to be having trouble getting a group,” said Morolt thoughtfully, in what he thought was a quiet voice.

The celtic hero swung round to face Morolt. Evidently the quiet voice had not been quiet enough. “You trying to be funny?”

“Me?” squeaked Morolt, backing away.

“You want a duel?” The hero advanced on Morolt.

“Not really, thank you.” Morolt took another step backwards, toppled off the slope and sat down suddenly.

“We are really sorry, and he didn’t mean any trouble.” Conway intervened hastily.

“Well, what he means, and what he gets, can be two different things.” The hero drew a huge glowing sword.

“By the way, there was a group over by the other gate. I think they wanted a hero.” Conway pointed across towards the other gate of the fortress, and held his breath as the hero lowered his sword. The big celt hesitated a moment, and then hurried towards the other gate.

“Did someone want a hero?” Benen asked, looking after the figure in armour.

“No, they didn’t,” Conway said, grabbing Morolt’s hand and pulling him to his feet. “I suggest we move fast before he finds that out and comes back and kills us. I think Glasny is over this way.” He led the way through the people towards a raised area where he had seen a mage standing on her own. “Do you think she might be Glasny?”

They watched for a few minutes, as a lurikeen ranger went up and spoke to the mage. She nodded, cast glowing magic, and the ranger vanished.

“Looks like that’s Glasny.” Morolt gave Conway an encouraging push towards the mage.

Conway quelled his nervousness. They were defenders of Hibernia, even if rather new at it, and Glasny would transport them. He walked up to Glasny. “Err, can you please transport the three of us to Domnann Grove. Please. Thank you very much.”

Glasny looked at him, and then looked around. “Three of you?”

Conway nodded. “Yes, me and him.” He pointed at Morolt. “And…” He looked around and realised Benen wasn’t with them. “I’m very sorry, we’ll be back in a minute.” He backed away from Glasny and hissed at Morolt. “Where did Benen go?”

“Has he gone?” Morolt looked around vaguely.

Conway sighed, grabbed Morolt’s arm, and dragged him along as he headed for some stairs leading up the fortress wall. “Tell me if you spot him.”

The two of them stood halfway up the stairs, looking round for Benen. Back over by the gate leading to the frontier, Conway could see the armoured celt was back in position. There was a distant cry. “Hero looking for wretched group!”

“Over there,” Morolt pointed.

Conway looked where Morolt was pointing and saw a familiar figure on his knees before a lurikeen girl. He registered her armour, and the sword and huge shield that she carried, and developed a sinking feeling. “Oh, no… Not again…” he muttered and set off towards Benen.

“You are the most beautiful girl in Hibernia,” Benen was saying as they arrived. “My heart is yours. All I ask is to serve you in abject devotion for the rest of my life.”

“Look,” said the tiny lurikeen girl. “I said go away. I said no. Which bit of the word no is it that you don’t understand?”

“But I love you! I took one look and knew you were the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.”

Benen tried kissing her feet and the lurikeen girl backed off and brought the massive shield into a defensive position. “I am an epic shield heroine, and if you don’t leave me alone right now I will use this shield to slam your teeth through the back of your throat!”

Conway grabbed Benen’s cloak, pulling it back, so the celt turned a curious shade of pink as he was half strangled. “We are really sorry madam, miss… He won’t bother you again.”

“He had better not!” The lurikeen girl turned her back and headed off towards a group of adventurers. As she left, Conway could hear her murmuring. “Totally insane!”

“Why did you do that?” Conway released Benen’s cloak so he could breath. “Why? Why are you obsessed with lurikeen girls? Why do you want a girlfriend down at knee level?”

Benen got up from his knees, gasping for breath, and adjusted his cloak. “There was no need to strangle me.”

“You would rather I had let her slam you into the middle of next week?” Conway asked, bitterly. “She was really annoyed you know. Why lurikeen girls? I really don’t see the attraction.”

“But they are cute!” Benen and Morolt chorused.

Conway closed his eyes and counted to ten. “We are going to Domnann Grove, right now, before one of you gets us all killed.” He headed across to Glasny, checking that the other two were both with him this time. “Three of us to go to Domnann Grove, please.”

Glasny nodded with a hint of amusement on her face, and lifted her arms to summon her magic. The fort and the crowd vanished into a blur as the glow of power surrounded them. The last sound Conway heard before they were transported was a distant cry of “Hero looking for group!”


Fledgling Freddie
Jan 4, 2004
Gar! Get on with the story already. Don't you start going all Roo on us ... :(


Fledgling Freddie
Mar 22, 2005
“Noooo…” Conway groaned the word, as he woke and felt the state of his head. “Not again…” Other details slowly trickled into his consciousness. The smell of the badly cured bear skin rug he was lying on, the fact he was hugging something large and hard, and an incredibly uncomfortable feeling all over his body.

Why did he do this? Why did he let them do it to him? No more than three ales. He should know by now that he must never have more than three ales.

There was a nearby moan, followed by a heartfelt. “Oh bugger!”

That had to be Morolt. Conway opened reluctant eyes and looked across to where Morolt was lying nearby on the floor. His eyes widened in shock, and he firmly closed them. He wasn’t feeling well enough for that sort of sight. “Morolt, why are you naked? Put some clothes on.”

“I haven’t got any clothes,” Morolt said bitterly. “Oh bugger!”

“What happened? No, don’t say a word. Let me try and remember.” Conway struggled to make his brain think, despite it feeling as if a troll had beaten him over the head with a club. “We went hunting. I remember us hunting lots and lots of weeds with legs.” He paused in surprise. “We actually killed some didn’t we?”

“It was a great day,” Benen sat up in bed and beamed cheerfully at his two guests. He paused. “Why is Morolt wearing one of my rugs?”

“Because I got no clothes,” Morolt wailed.

“Oh yes!” Benen grinned. “I remember now. Still think yourself lucky. At least you aren’t tied to a tree outside Necht.”

“Necht?” Conway tried sitting up, finding it curiously hard to move, and looked at the object he had been hugging. It was a wooden drum. “Why have I got a drum?” He buried his face in his hands, and tried to pull himself together. “We killed some things. We finished basic training. I went and signed up as an enchanter, Morolt signed up as a mentalist, and..” He remembered a long argument between Benen and the hero trainer.

“They wouldn’t let me be a hero,” said Benen, gloomily. “That hero trainer was really stubborn, especially after I accidentally hit him. They made me be a druid. Still I’ll be a heroic druid,” he bounced back to his usual exuberance.

“Alright,” Conway concentrated. “We signed up as our proper classes, and then we went to the nearest Tavern to celebrate… That’s where it gets a little hazy.” An obvious fact dawned on him, and he looked at Benen. “If you are a druid, why are you wearing a robe? I didn’t think they wore robes.”

“It’s an animist’s robe.” Benen frowned down at himself. “Load of old rubbish too. Looks like one of Morolt’s tailoring efforts.”

“I’m not that bad a tailor,” Morolt complained. “Wonder if I can make this rug into something decent to wear.”

Conway automatically assessed the chances of this, and felt they were slim. Since Morolt hadn’t made anything decent out of cloth, it didn’t seem likely he would achieve much with a bearskin rug. “So we had a few drinks…”

Benen stood up and stretched. There was a popping sound as a few stitches gave way on the robe. “It’s a bit small. That sylvan was skinny.”

“What happened after the drinks?” asked Conway wearily.

“Well, we ran into that lurikeen. You remember the one who got us to sign up as defenders?” Benen rummaged in a cupboard. “Stale bread anyone?” He took out half a loaf, hit it against the wall, and looked at the dent in the woodwork. “Maybe it’s a bit hard.”

“The lurikeen. The one who stands on tables and makes speeches?”

“That’s the one, and he told us about these battlegrounds where you can go and test your skills against trainees from Albion and Midgard. And you got all excited and said we would go and smite them and teach them not to pollute Hibernian soil with their presence.” Benen made a dramatic gesture, and hit his hand against the wall. “Ow!”

“You were in one of your moods,” contributed Morolt. He was sitting on the floor cutting up a bear skin rug.

“I don’t have moods,” Conway protested.

“Sure you don’t.” Morolt started to try and thread a needle. “Oh bugger, I’ve stabbed myself. Anyway, you were in one of those moods, so you dragged us off to this battleground.”

“It was fun,” Benen grinned. “Well, apart from the way that troll kept hitting us over the head with his club and yelling me bash you, me bash you good!”

“You mean the reason my head feels as if a troll hit it with a club was because a troll hit it with a club?” Conway rubbed his head and realised something. “What am I wearing?” He patted his head, patted his body, and looked down at himself. “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?”

The other two jumped nervously. “Don’t do that,” cried Morolt. “I’ve stuck the needle in my thumb again. And don’t get in one of your moods. You are wearing chain armour.”

“I do NOT have moods.” Conway stood up, finding it a struggle with the weight. ”Why am I wearing this? It hurts and it’s heavy and it doesn’t fit.”

“Think how the troll feels. He had only just bought that armour second hand.” Benen laughed.

“Wait a minute, you mean we defeated the troll and I took his armour? No that makes no sense.” He looked at Benen. “You have an animist’s robe, and we wouldn’t have been fighting an animist. They are Hibernians too.”

“It was Benen,” Morolt was sewing two pieces of rug together. “We all ran round fighting for ages, us and some other Hibernians, and some Albions and some Midgards. None of us were much good at it, so Benen had this jug of ale and some of the others had some flasks and it seemed much more sensible to sit down and have a few drinks.”

“The troll took some convincing,” Benen grinned. “But after six of us sat on him and took his club away he calmed down and got the idea. And after a few drinks we had a nice friendly game of cards.”

“Cards…” Conway winced. The odd clothing began to make sense. “We gambled our clothes?”

“Well none of us had much money,” Benen grinned. “So you suggested betting weapons and stuff.”

“Me?” Conway racked his brain. “I don’t remember that.”

“You never do when you’ve been drinking,” said Morolt, gloomily.

“I lost my robe playing cards…” Conway groaned inwardly, he would never live it down.

“I don’t know what you are complaining about,” Morolt angrily stabbed his needle into whatever he thought he was making. “You lost your stuff but you won the trolls armour and that minstrel’s drum. Benen ended up with the animist’s robe and the animist was trying to wear a mushroom. I didn’t win a thing. I’m no good at cards.”

“It could have been worse, Morolt.” said Benen happily. “At least we brought you home afterwards, and didn’t leave you naked and tied to a tree outside Necht.”

“Someone got tied to a tree? Why Necht?” asked Conway in bewilderment. “What were we doing in Necht.”

“We got lost on the way home, and ended up in Necht. One of the celts passed out while we were there, so we left him tied to a tree. It was your idea.” Benen grinned.

Conway groaned. He made a mental note never to drink anything but water ever again.

[ooc] This episode is sponsored by the Prydwen database corruption, which left Conway, Benen and Morolt dressed as described, or in Morolt’s case undressed.

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