The Tales of Simur Thorgrim
Difficulty level: Easy
Text units: 60+
Long ago, above the cavernous caverns of Balbum, lived a simple and rather peculiar fellow. He never desired to be part of things, or known. He refrained from being social, and went only to two places during most of his broad and boresome life. He traversed the mines, and his own home. Those two places he knew inexplicably well, by this time in his elder life he had even memorized the amount of pebbles he passed every day to get from one place to another. There were thirty seven. He liked that number, it was his favorite. Then again, I should first explain who our fellow was before ranting about his likes and dislikes. He was a dwarf by the name of Simur Thorgrim, and he enjoyed his peaceful roadside shack in which he lived aboveground. He liked the sun, and the smell of the grassess, and preffered the aboveground over the belowground were the city of Balbum was located. Simur liked it there, and he decided it would be his home. Much better to have a place you can like than one you’ll not like. In fact, this was Simurs motto. It was a good motto at that. However one fateful day, Simur was going to encounter some things he did not like, and that was the day were his life took an unexpected twist. The day came along which changed his view about the world, and led to him being a bit more well known than he would have preferred to be, but one cannot change his past can he? No, no indeed one cannot. What you have found today, this, it is his story. Let us begin!
You gaze around you, examining with great care the set of holes you have just dug with your lucky shovel, Orville. You take a look at the lawn in front of the old and worn shack that is your home, and decide that it clearly looks better. Progress is nice, you pat your lucky satchel as you think about progress. The sun is rather hot today, and you wipe the idle sweat beads off of the furrows in your forehead. You scratch the chin that has secluded itself under your bewildering white beard that covers most of your chest. Your chest, as you now notice, is rather small compared to the immense size of your stomach.
You begin to dig another hole looking at the road in front of your house. As usual, it’s empty. Good, no one to bother you. This has turned out to be a pleasant day and at this point you don’t mind the slight burning in your weary arms.
You work for a few minutes when you hear the scraggly breathing of a ginger haired dwarf with a large backpack trying to make his way into town. He looks at you and rolls his eyes, continuing his journey. How rude. Not even a hello. You can’t be idle about this! You need to take action! This fellow can’t just pass by your home your land, and then insult you. Very rude indeed! What are you going to do about this?
- Say hello! Start a conversation?
- Rid me of him with the shovel.
- Eat him.
You smile squinting your eyes in the light, and with your nose and ears getting red you say a quick, but formal “Hola, Muchacho”. The ginger fellow didn’t seem to hear you. You realize all of a sudden gingers don’t speak Spanish, you giggle at yourself and say, “Hello there sir!”. The man turns around obviously aggravated, and asks you why you choose to bother him on such a nice day. He says it with a rather rude tonality, and you feel a bit hurt, but at least you have successfully gotten his attention!
- Why is the dwarf so angry?
- Can I comment on his ginger hair?
- Send him on his way with a rude gesture with your hand.
You ask the man why he is so aggravated with you, and through his ragged gasps the man replies in a high pitched voice that he is late for his wifes anniversary, and need to get to town as quick as he can so he doesn’t miss it completely, and in turn she can’t be angry with him. You nod in understanding, even though you’ve never had a wife.
You walk with him for a bit when you notice he has fallen down, and gives a muffled yelp, muttering something about his back. He, seems to noticed you have taken notice of his fall and promptly questions you if there was any way you could possibly help him?
- Oh don’t you worry, I have a trick up my sleeve…
- I’d rather not, after all I don’t know where he’s been. He could be filthy…
You crack your knuckles and grin. You have been known for your towing prowess, and this is a simple job. You tell him he must only tell you were to take him, and for the day you will become his personal chauffeur.
He grins, and asks were your wagon to carry him in is. You laugh at the absurd idea, and reach for Orville. The dwarf looks at you oddly as you place the shovel in his backpack amongst the variety of other toiletries inside, and looks at you even more oddly when you attach your beard to his. Astounded, he quickly asks you to stop knotting the pieces of facial hair together, but you ignore him. After a while of his nagging you tell him this is the best way, and finish the knot.
Your white beard now looks like the reins of a horse, you did the job quickly too and expect an incentive by the end of today. The man frowns and quivers but he can’t move all too well and you assure him of your experience in the field. He nods, realizing he doesn’t really have a choice, and asks you if by any chance you knew the road into town.
- Of course I do! I’m not that stupid!
- Depends… what do I get in return for lugging this guy around?
Is this fool kidding? You practically live in town, how would you not know the road there? What a silly fellow he is.
You explain all this to him, and then begin merrily dragging him down the road. You whistle to subduct the noise that the ginger fellow is making, it’s rather annoying to listen to him complain. You look at Orville, it’s lucky to have someone like that shovel on board.
The ginger fellow seems to have decided it’s about time he should start a conversation with his new chauffeur. He begins by stating his name, which is Wendell, and then happens to stumble upon a very awkward silence. He seems a bit nervous, and adds in his last name which you catch over his moans to be, Ygrim. So this ginger fellow is none other than Wendell Ygrim. Then again, you’re not exactly sure what his significance is, besides him being your new companion.
Looks like you have got a new friend. Congrats!
So you understand the whole thing about this fellow being in desperate need of assistance since his back appears to be broken and he is about to miss his wife’s anniversary but you think to yourself, you can’t just do this out of your own goodwill! That’s too generous for such a fellow who has previously been so rude towards you!
You tell him you may or may not know the road. It all depends on what he’s willing to offer you in return for such a gracious deed. He looks stunned, after all you have already attached him to yourself and this seems a bit counterintuitive. No matter, you still require compensation. The dwarf fumbles around in his pockets to find something of value, he tells you he doesn’t have money, but it’s alright you’d much rather have some sort of item. Some prize. He comes up with nothing.
- He best keep looking.
- Fine… I’ll be generous…
You tell him you require some form of payment, and you won’t take no for an answer. If you have to you’ll even leave him here. He tries to tell you that the both of you are now inseparable but you don’t attempt to reason. You give him a few moments, and he eventually pulls something out of under his beard. He says he didn’t want to give it up, as it was very precious to him, but if it will get him to his wife, he’ll hand it over.
You keenly observe as he unearths a small black box from within the facial hair. It fits in his palm and is adorned with some form of elfish crest. You can tell it is elfish because of the inscriptions, however the box otherwise remains somewhat mysterious.
- Well, what’s inside of it exactly? Meh, I’ll take it, we can deal with the contents later.
You tell him it’s ok. You were just yanking his chain after all. He’s puzzled by the placing and choice of words but he refrains from asking anything about your decision. Instead he merely asks you if you, by chance, know the way into town. It’s apparently ok if you don’t. In fact, he insists it’s ok.
- No worries. I know my way around.
You call out to the fellow and make a comment about his ginger hair, he grins, saying that’s the first time anyone has ever said something like that before! You have successfully caught his attention, and feel very accomplished. At the same time however you feel strangely at impasse. You’ve always been a bit socially awkward. How can you possibly continue this conversation with your new amigo?
- Comment on his ginger hair again.
- What is his name?
- Eat him. Eat him because you didn’t eat him earlier and you really want to now.
- Ask him if he knows anything about submarines. I like submarines.
You lack the ability to conjure up something that might arouse this fellows interest, so you make another comment about the color of his hair. He seems happy, but now a bit less. It appears you didn’t exactly “wow” him by restating yourself. A compliment can only go so far after all. You look at him and rub the back of you head, it seems he is forcing a smile anew to make you feel a bit better about yourself but it isn’t exactly working. You can’t lose this guy now!
- Sorry, I’m not really good with conversations.
- Comment on his ginger hair again!
- I’ll just leave him to his own business.
While your on the topic, and have successfully gained his trust you decide to ask the fellow for his name, you know, be polite. There’s no need to be rude after all. Not anymore at least while you’re both grinning.
He reaches out to shake your hand, it’s rather moist as you clearly notice. It appears he uses lotion. He, as we have now learned, is called Wendell. Mr. Wendell Ygrim. How nice! You’ve made yourself a friend haven’t you? He explains he was just passing by, and thought for a moment you were a lunatic for digging holes in the ground (he gives a hearty laugh when he says this) but he decided you must have a good reason for it. You find that rather rude, it’s not very nice to call someone a lunatic, however you let this one go.
- Can we invite him inside? Maybe share stories by the fire!
- Introduce Orville.
You tell him you’re only really good friend is Orville, and as you point to your shovel you hear the fellow give a rather badly concealed chuckle. You can’t tell but it seems like he has just tried to intimidate Orville!
- No one insults my shovel. No one.
You ask the man if he knows any submarine facts and he brightens up immediately. It seems he also shares a love for the underwater vessels! He begins to recite a few facts:
He then asks you if you like to read.
- Reading is fine and dandy by me.
- I ain’t read. Do I look read? I ain’t read…
You tell the man you do, in fact, read. You tell him you are actually rather fond of reading, and vividly remember the day your grandmother taught you the written dwarfish language. What joy! However you’re quite unsure why he asks. Does it have anything to do with submarines? You like submarines. They’re nice. He tells you he has some stories he wrote himself in his bag actually, and if you wouldn’t mind having a gander he’d greatly appreciate it. The lad was apparently an aspiring writer before he had to find a “real job” to feed the family. Would you like to see his past works?
- Why yes actually I do! I like me them books!
- Not particlary, I’d rather not waster my day reading an amateur text.
Read? You can’t recall the last time you read anything at all, have you ever read before? You remember the day you try to read something of substance, your eyes began to bleed violently and your poor grandma had to rush you to the shamans! What horrible memories! You tell the man about your experiences with watery, unclear vision. You despise reading, and he seems very taken aback, and for some reason insists you have just insulted his literature! Back to being rude I see. And you were having such a nice conversation about submarines too!
- Sorry, I’m not really good with conversations.
Looks like you are way too anti-social to have a real friend. Or is it just dwarves you have a problem with?
- Now you have to just go on with your life.
You bring your fingers into position, and call out to the dwarf. He turns to face you and he lights up like a bonfire on a hilltop. You smile, relishing the moment of anguish the man obviously experiences. He glares at you, yells some foul phrases and continues on his way not daring to look back. You did the right thing, after all he was being rude in the first place and this is your land where you did your holes. No one will tell you otherwise.
You see Orvill in the ground by the shack, you didn’t realize you had left him there. How silly of you! You call out to your friend and the ginger headed man has apparently heard you, as he turns around with a scowl and laughs, pauses; spits on the ground next to him, and goes strolling off again. How does that make you feel?
- No one insults my shovel. No one.
- Creampuffs and blubbery whale bits.
That’s not exactly an emotion, would you like to try again? Although creampuffs are delightful!
- Fine, rewind it!
He was being very rude wasn’t he? Probably best if he wasn’t rude to anyone else along the way. But are you sure you want to kill him with the shovel? It’s dirty. You don’t know where its been.
- Yes. Use my rusty shovel.
- True, I don’t want him getting sick. What else can I use?
You walk up to him as he begins to cross the road, you tap him gently on the shoulder and then hit him in his little ginger face as he turns around. You hear something crack as he falls to the ground and immediately check your shovel to make sure it’s ok. After it turns out that Orville is ok, you hit the man a few more times, to make sure he’s dead. You sense a rush inside of you, feeling a sense of danger. You have killed a man! What are you going to do? You have to cover this radical deed up!
- That would be a splendid idea!
What would you prefer?
- My bear fists!
- A tub of mayonnaise!
- My bear fists! But while I wear footie pajamas!
You pull from your lucky satchel a pair of severed bear hands that you collected one day while mining. (You had accidently stumbled upon a cave, bear cave, you see). You run up to the dwarf shrieking like the mysterious cave bear, and tackle him, clawing at his face. His eyes are agape with terror, but you can see he thinks it’s rather funny. After you’re certain of his death, you sit on the ground to relax for just a moment. But wait, you have killed a man! What are you going to do? You have to cover this radical deed up!
- Yes I should… hold on, isn’t killing a cave bear poaching? Or no? No then? Ok.
From your lucky sack, you clutch a fermented tub of mayo, which you have mixed with relish for an occasion such as this. You throw it at your opponent, and listen to the glass shatter as it makes contact with his sweaty little face. It’s so sweaty and little, that you actually find it rather cute. You think that it’s now being covered with mayo and on the ground ruins the look. But it’s all good. You have killed a man! What are you going to do? You have to cover this radical deed up!
- Ok, but can I first lick the mayo off of his face? I don’t like being wasteful…
You decide to use the bear paws you have stored in your lucky satchel. You drop orville, and take off your clothing revealing the footie pijamas you always wear underneath, and run up to the dwarf, throwing the first bear hand at him and then clawing him with the second one. You watch him fall to the ground with a marvelous new face! Oh knows! You have killed a man! What are you going to do? You have to cover this radical deed up!
- I should! Shouldn’t I?
Good thinking, so what will you do, Simur? You know, to cover up the fact you just committed a felony.
- Plant him in the garden! In one of the holes!
- Use his blood to summon the wretched demons of Ikrapkum!
- Call the police! This is wrong!
You trace a vile looking circle in the ground around the corpse of the ginger fellow. He almost seems to stare at the sky above, it’s a blank stare, one that gazes at the foreboding clouds above. Once they were white and fluffy but now the whole sky has darkened and you can feel yourself shake. You glance around quickly to make sure no one is watching you, and promptly instruct Orville to turn away, however the shovel refuses your request as he faces the body. You pull from your satchel a book of incantations, you flip through its coffee stained pages until you reach the section devoted to demon summoning. Your large body stumbles as your raise your right hand towards the heavens and in your deepest most authoritative voice declare the summoning! You feel the earth shake beneath you, and hear thunder in the distance. What a stereotypical scene! Suddenly, you see the forehead of the dead dwarf transform into a doorway from which comes forth the fiery form of the demon of Ikrapkum. He glares at you, he is a skeletal figure, his head adorned with gleaming ram horns. You fall back clutching Orville as the creature rather unkindly bellows something about how he is late for a meeting and demands to know this instant why you have summoned him.
- Well, if he’s gonna be rude, I ain’t talkin’.
- Wow, I honestly didn’t think I’d get this far…
- Ask him if he’s a genie!
You tell him you won’t stand for his rudeness and turn away crossing your arms. After a few minutes he sighs and apologizes for his rude introduction. You stand still, and behind you he slouches his back and sighs even louder, making up a long list of reasons he is sorry which he promptly recites to you. An hour goes by, and the demon is unsuccessful in turning you around, and he feels like he was robbed of his time. At this point you turn, thinking he has been properly punished, but not before walking right up to his pretty little face, and slapping his cheek. The demons eyes glow a fiery red and he frowns, he straightens himself, and bellows a stream of curses. How dare you! How dare you even make an attempt to hurt such a being! He surrounds you in a circle of flame, and increases his size to massive proportions. He yells something aloud, declaring that the circle of fire will be your prison. You hurriedly ask him how you can free yourself, Orville can’t be on his own! The demon gives a malicious grin, and says that you must beat him in a game of wits, the Butter Challenge!
- I’d rather not die, thank you very much.
The demon seems to be disappointed by your rejection, as the circle of flame contracts around you.
- Who would have thought that demons are so resentful?
You stare at the menacing figure for a moment, and after a long pause you admit you never actually thought about it. You just kind of summoned him without thinking, and expected something to come out of it when you were done. You were never really good with planning now, were you? The demon looks confused, he calls you an imbecile, and asks what you would like it to do now. He’s already late, and your just making matters worse. It would have been wonderful if you had decided on doing something with this prior to the event. The demon slaps his forehead repeatedly with a greasy palm as he questions your purpose.
- Well, what exactly is he late for?
- So, is he a genie?
He replies with sarcasm, and a bit of annoyance in his thundering voice telling you he is not in fact a genie. You ask if he has any genie cousins, to which he replies that he does not. This saddens you, as you really wanted to see a genie. The demon feels a bit sympathetic, noticing the effort you put into summoning him, and tells you, that, after a great deal of careful though he has decided you may get one, but only one wish. You beam up immediately, you find it ironic how less rude the demon was than the little ginger fellow when he stumbled upon your garden. Noticing you have lost yourself in though, the demon gently taps you on the shoulder with his cracked yellow fingernail and asks that you best tell him your wish before he decides to find your family. What would he do after finding your family? You smile, and ponder on your wish.
- I want an eggroll!
- I want my beard to become mentally aware.
- I want to go back home, to Kansas!
- Can I please have a submarine? I do like submarines…
- Tell me what rhymes with orange.
- I wish I could go back to the day this all began!
The demon gives a laugh, and a wink of approval, he raises his arms up into the sky and conjures a sphere made of what seems to be a sparkling metal, he molds it in his hands, transforming it into a cylinder, which begins to turn tan, you feel a spinning sensation in your head as brilliantly colored lights begin to dance in front of your eyes.
The demon laughs as the sound of thunder fills your ears, it is replaced by rushing water, and your vision goes black for just an instant. In a blink the scene returns to the hot spring day you left, but replacing the body is now a carefully wrapped eggroll. It looks fresh, and you can smell it from where you stand, and as you bend down to pick it up you inhale the oily fumes. You take a mouthful, and roll the contents around in your mouth, tasting the variety of flavors you encounter. You were known to be a connoisseur of eggrolls in your time, and this is possibly the most mouthwatering and delightful eggroll you have ever had the privilege of tasting. You lick your fingers after you finish and begin to head on home to relax for the rest of the day. A few hours later somewhere in the frozen recesses of Ikrapkum, a great demon laughed as he told the tale of the dwarf who wished for an eggroll to his many demonic friends. They never believed him.
- The Glorious End. Would you like to play again?
You tell the demon that you want your great white beard to become your new pal, fully conscious and able to converse with you. The demon nods slowly, with an odd look on his face. He’s a bit unsure of why you’d want something like this but you insist in him going through with it. The creature gives a snap, hearing your wretched pleas and with a click, the beast and the corpse vanish. You find yourself alone, and decide to see if anything had occurred, so you call out to your beard. It says hello, and you decide to give it a name. Gregory seems a fitting name, you think. Gregory indeed! You talk with the beard for a while, as the both of you watch the sunset. You share memories and dreams. It was that day, on the day of his creation Gregory learned the true meaning of love and friendship, and refused to part with you from then on. He grew attached, you could say. Or at least more attached than he was before. It was only until twenty-six years later that you noticed almost all dwarves had beards and you felt the need to be different. You went home from the mines one day, and decided to have a shave. That was one hell of a day for Gregory.
- The Hairy End. Shall you try another?
The demon looks at you curiously, wondering what a “Kansas” is. He thinks for a minute or two and then decides on something. He instructs you to close your eyes, and tap the heels of your shoes together thrice. You find this rather peculiar, but do as he says. You keep your eyes closed for a bit, as you hear no one directly instructing you to open them, but you feel something wet alongside your leg, and at this you decide to open your eyes. You see a small fuzzy black dog who is licking your hairless legs. You notice you are wearing a skirt now, and have lost quite an amount of weight. As mystified as you are you decide not to question the magic of certain all-powerful being. You look around, see the cabinets and windows and vases, oh my! You then gasp in a insane horror. Your eyes grow wide, and your stomach curls in fear. You kick the dog aside, and run around the small bedroom you appeared in, and after smelling chewing and listening to everything in the room you decide this is not a dream. Everything is in black and white. Your not in Balbum no more, sister.
- The Classic End. Would you like to play again, little girl?
You demand the demon to give you what you have always dreamed of, your very own submarine. You exclaim your love for submarines and beg the demon. He tells you he already promised you a wish, so there was no question. You would be receiving your own submarine. He makes a glass filled with water magically appear in his hand, and quickly covers it with his other. With the glass shielded from your view, he brings down his cupped hands to eye level and opens them up. You give a pleasurable squeal, and pull the glass from his hands thanking him, for inside, lies a tiny submarine, with a ginger headed dwarf peering from an opening in the top. It looks just like in the pictures! Of course, you had imagined they would be bigger, but apparently not. No worries, you were ecstatic! You looked up from the glass to thank the demon once more and it seems he has vanished, and as has the corpse. You wonder if the dwarf in your submarine is the same one you had killed. Eh, probably not. You smile, and head home.
- The Seafaring End. Purchase a new vessel?
The demon looks at you, and points out the fact that no one’s ever asked him that. He claims that the result of him telling you the word may be a horrendous one, but you disregard his warnings. He leans over, covering his mouth with his hand so he can speak more privately to you, and whispers the word. You laugh when he explains its meaning. As the both of you look up however you notice a dark hole has appeared next to your home, unlike the others you dug this one appears to be almost, fake. You notice it gets bigger, and you gasp as the shack falls into the openings unending and terrifying darkness. You and the demon look at each other, and as you gaze upon the landscape you see holes have appeared everywhere, inhaling the world around you. The very fabrics of space and time are splitting, vanishing and causing a universal collapse. You blink, and appear in a room painted white. You walk in one direction, calling out for Orville and the demon, but no one comes, and it seems the room goes on forever. You sit down, actually rather proud of yourself. Congratulations, you have just caused the end of time.
- Start over?
And right you are in doing so! Your lawn is in need of decoration, and you have quite enough holes for the time being. A new plant is a necessity! Quite! You grab the corpse by the beard, and carefully drag him over to one of the larger holes, and pop him in. You notice his legs poke out, and so does his little ginger head, now stained a bright but gloomy red. You call Orville over to you, but the stubborn lad won’t leave his place so you carry him over and the two of you carefully fill in the pit. It takes you a good hour, and quite a mass of precision to fill in the opening. After the time has passed you take a step back to admire your creation. The mound is about seven feet high, very noticeable, but, it has done the job. You see that by this time the sun is beginning to set, and so ends another day. What are you going to do now?
- Throw a party with all my bestest friends!
- Let’s get to bed, I’m pretty worn out actually.
You grab Orville and his new friend (a frying pan named George) and the three of you head out to start a bonfire! You, being a good host, grab the sticks and some flint and placing the lot on top of the corpse you set the thing on fire! It is engulfed in brilliant flame and you and your pals share in a dance around it, telling stories and roasting sausage. You laugh, you cry. It’s an emotional night, George tells the story of abandonment by his parents at a very young age and you can’t help but feel sorry for the poor guy. The brilliant light of the red flame carries on well into the night, and by the time it becomes just a few weak crackling embers you and your friends are exhausted. You and Orville retire inside, bidding George farewell as he heads on home after the party. You sit down in front of your door to gaze at the stars with your shovel beside you, taking time to admire the distant lights that entangle themselves within the black of the night sky keeping the moon company. You doze off somewhere at that time, and wake with a start when Orville hits you on the head, and rolls down into the garden where he hits a pair of boots. You’re dazed unsure of what’s going on, your vision blurry and hearing muffled. The world is lit up by the morning sun and it seems the boots are speaking to you. The boots are apparently named Djorn and are now quite calmly asking you if you were the one who started the fire last night?
- Why yes, Mr.Boots. Gaaaahhhh…
- What? Wharryou jabbin about?
- I think, I think, I think i juss sawr a burrfly…
In a tiresome slur you manage to bring the memories of last night back into your mind, and begin to hazily remember setting the corpse on fire. Oh joy.
- Now you have to just go on with your life.
You quickly determine it would be best to head into town a warn the local guards that they should be wary as there is now a killer (you) on the loose! You shall instruct them that it is best to get on the case, and possibly examine the corpse you have, um, made an acquaintance of? Found? We’ll have to figure this out later. You grab Orville and your nicest coat just in case it gets chilly later, and head down the little dirt road leading into Balbum. Your journey is mostly uneventful as the road crosses over what is basically a wide open plain. Rarely anyone takes it as it is a country-side road meant only for those walking, not very fit for hearses or large groups, and before reaching the plains there is a lot of woodland that must be covered. You arrive at the gates of Bablbum, large silvery rods that open up to form the doorway. The sun is about to set and you are one of the last that the warden lets in. He is a older looking gentleman with striking black hair. Balbum is mostly built into a massive mountainside, but you have entered the city at the gate overlooking the non-mountainous regions. There lies a bustling city, an average looking town that winds into the mountain ranges. Beautiful and massive city. Inside the largest of the mountains, at the peak overlooking the smaller city lies the castle and cathedral where the duke and priest live. Below that, are secluded the mines in which you used to work. You carefully carry yourself and Orville through the streets, thanking the Warden behind you for letting you in, and proceed to the Department of Complaints, where you address the chief. He is a burly youth, with a magnificent braided brown beard, and he looks at you lazily as you enter. The two of you are alone, otherwise. The building is fairly small, as is the room you stand in. It’s a small area with a marble counter and a creaky wooden floor. Behind the counter you see a door that appears to have been locked, on your left there is a window overlooking a garden much like your own (but without all the holes) and on your right is a closet door which is slightly ajar. The man sets down a book he was reading and asks you quite kindly what is it you would like? He doesn’t seem to be the kind-sort but apparently he’s noticed your age.
- I killed a man! Lock me behind bars! *dramatic sob*
- I happened to you know… find a dead body in my garden, just wondering if you could look into that by any chance. That would be nice.
The guard doesn’t seem to care, since the crime happened outside of the town, and is not under the provincial jurisdiction.
- Now all you’ve got to do is to go on with your life and let go of the guilt.
You notice how hungry you’ve been after all the long hours of garden work. You decide this fellow may actually make a good snack. Your walk is rather wobbly as you approach him with a big friendly grin on your face. The man looks at you and rolls his eyes again giving a sigh. He mumbles something and then disregards you. You carefully walk behind him, and right when you think he is most vulnerable you sink your teeth into the fleshy underside of his arm. He is obviously surprised, as he is by now screaming and shaking his hand. You happily gnaw on his arm as he drags you along, running in circles and yelling. It’s rude to yell.
- Good God, let go of the man!
- Let go, and start running and screaming with him!
- Keep him as a pet.
You let go of him, and pull from your satchel a bit of magic powder and a jar. The man is calling out for some woman now, as he lies on the ground and you quickly sprinkle him with the magic! In a puff of precariously purple smoke, and his size, which is already small (him being a dwarf and all) becomes smaller, and as he falls to the ground you catch him in the empty jar. How useful is your magical lucky satchel? I mean really… how lucky are you? Anyway, you have now captured the dwarf, and under careful analysis you notice he is cowering in the far side of the jar sucking his thumb, you can see he is hyperventilationg, and trying to crawl inside his backpack. What to do?
- I shall bring him home. He shall be mine, and I shall keep him above my mantle.
- I want to spit into the jar so he doesn’t get thirsty!
- I shall go on a quest! Find food for the beast!
You decide, the only way to keep a pet, is to keep it well. So you determine it would be best if you take the little fellow, now trapped in your jar, home were you can do as you wish. Placing him above the mantle as decoration works perfectly fine, I must say. You leave the scene by the road and head on inside. You have a buffalo skin rug that lies just in front of the fireplace. The shack consists of two stories, one room within each. The first room holds the fire, a couch, your stoves and a place to store meat jerky. The floor is wooden and filled with scratches but it has a nostalgic feel to it, and staring at it greatly reminds you of your childhood. There’re two windows, they lie above the stove and the door. It creeks as you enter. You place the ginger dwarf who is imprisoned within the jar atop the mantle, and start a warm, soothing flame. Oh what to do now?
- Can I make some tea, or roast something?
- Can I chat with the ginger fellow?
You decide to ignore the fellow for the time being, he’s mostly served his purpose and is probably taken care of. You think it is best to unwind for the rest of the evening with a nice roast and a lovely cup of tea. You set the water to boil over the fire in a large iron pot (by now the ginger fellow has stopped squealing) and you head into the magi pantry to try to find a roast. The pantry lies in the corner of the kitchen, opposite of the stove, and stretches up to the ceiling. It is sealed at all times, unless you need something to munch on, of course. It was bestowed upon you by the great Soviet Pantry Fairy of the Badlands, it was quite the gift, it’s a wonder you haven’t talked to him, (that is, the Soviet Fairy) since that fateful day. You think about him as you enter the pantry. As you cross inside you appear within a widely outstretched desert, which as you have found out, eventually leads to a rain forest and in the other direction a sea. It’s a mystical land really.
You pick up some of the sand, and ask it if it can become a roast. Within seconds, your wish is fulfilled. It’s a pity the sand can only be used in six hour intervals and only to turn into food, either way you are grateful, and the food comes fully cooked too. You hear a noise, as you get ready to carry the roast, as you turn back towards the door you watch it slam closed, and see what looks like shattered glass beyond it. You drop your meal and begin to bang on the door, wailing with a scowl as you hear tiny little giggles emanating from beyond. It appears the ginger fellow has locked you inside the magic pantry. Good God.
- You lose. Start over?
You get close to the jar, and it appears the fellow inside notices as he promptly begins to slink down at the far end away from you. You smile and say hello. He is obviously not entertained since he has just removed his shoes and thrown them at you. You notice he then begins to yell as loud as he can with his now horribly downsized lungs. What do you suggest?
- Spit on him.
You pop open the lid that you happened to have closed, its much more difficult to pry it off for a second time as you clearly notice. Your stubby, slippery fingers turn this simple task into an effort. However, you soon manage to open the lid. Inside you can see the little dwarf is still frightened, and still sucking on his thumb, which you must say has polished his nail a fair bit! Marvelous! You collect some saliva under your tongue, and after a decently sized pool has been conjured, you release the flood upon the little man. He does not seem very grateful as he squeaks and desperately tries to clamber onto his back to keep away from the gooey liquid around him. Maybe he doesn’t like water?
- How about we shake things up a bit?
- Put him in a new jar.
- Check the bag to see if I still have that tiny canoe!
You decide the little dwarf must just be missing the feeling of the natural outside world! He may just need some nature in his life, and lucky for him, you’re not in short supply! You begin to shake the jar to imitate some form of rain, as he flails his arms in terror. From a distance though, it looks like he’s having a pretty good time. You keep shaking the jar, and watch as the forms inside swirl majestically, it’s a rainbow of intricate and rather dull colors. Your arms however, the poor things, begin to tire. What now?
- Put him into a new jar.
You pull a smaller, square jar from inside your satchel. It appears this fellow simply isn’t as accustomed to liquids as you thought he would be. You promptly place him into his new container, dumping the salivation from the prior jar. It appears he’s much relieved. You can almost feel your friendship growing. Why is it called friendship, you begin to wonder to yourself. There’s no real presence of a ship when you establish a new relationship. Anyway, maybe you should do something about your current situation.
- Time to find food for the youngling!
You reach inside the magic satchel groping around within what seems to be an endless void with a profound lot of contents, yet non of them seem to be a conoe. You persist however, a dwarf can’t give up that easily now can he? Eventually you find a miniature log, an old one covered in sticky green moss. Even though it’s not exactly a canoe, you feel like it would make a wonderful substitute for one. You casually place the log in the puddle of your spittle, and, hesitant at first, the ginger dwarf climbs on. He gives a sigh of relief before the log overturns on it’s side and he’s drowning in the lot of your salivation. The canoe didn’t really work now did it?
- Now you impatiently wait for the dwarf to come up. But he doesn’t.
You think it would be appropriate, to care properly for your newfound pet. You quickly glance at Orville and it seems he approves of your choice. You nod to yourself as you turn to look down at the horrified figure. Don’t you find it rather ironic that the dwarf is now smaller than the smallest sentient beings, the dwarves? He’s like a tiny little dwarfed dwarf. How silly! The thought makes you giggle, but as quiet as it is it sounds terribly loud down below. What do you suppose you should feed the poor thing?
- I have some jerkey back at the shack!
- Pain. Feed him pain.
- He kinda looks like a cow from a certain angle. Maybe I should just pick up some grass?
You decide the one and only thing that is required to sustain meat, is, in fact, simply more meat. Thus, you place the jar on the ground and rush into the shack which is currently in disarray, and reach inside your magical pantry from which you pull a long crusty piece of jerky made from cave-buffalo. Very nutricious. As you stroll back outside you realize the jerkey may be too big to fit in the jar, which you now notice is turned on it’s side and is beginning to roll away towards the road. It goes off slowly but surely.
- Forget the jerkey! Get my jar!
Well, alrighty then, your a rather violent geezer aren’t you? I’m not sure how you can feed something pain, however. Can you be a tad more specific, my friend?
- Place him in the grass with a Gromidian death worm!
- Talk to him about politics.
- Why not dig around in the satchel to find some instruments of torture?
You decide the best form of torture is anything that will involve an insect. You let the dwarf out of his prison, onto the grass below, and he stares blankly and confused. With a tiny finger, he points at himself quizzically, as if to ask if you’re letting him go. You don’t respond to the gesture besides giving a snake like grin and from somewhere within your satchel you pull the slimy brown wriggling form of a death worm. It looks like a piece of cord, with no visible features indicating the presence of a face. You place it down and watch it squirm around, and expect the dwarf to begin squealing. However it becomes apparent that animals do not frighten the ginger fellow, as, within seconds he has taken a blade of grass and used it as a harness on the worm, and has begun to use it as a tool in a dumbfounding escape. You giggle at his persistence.
After several futile efforts the fellow gives up.
- Talk to him about politics.
- Why not dig around in the satchel to find some instruments of torture?
With a malicious grin consuming your face, you begin to mysteriously grope the contents of your satchel. After a few moments, your eyes widen and your ears prick. You have found your device and the ginger fellow has definitely noticed something has gone astray. You pull out your harmonica, and watch as the little dwarf begins to scream. You horrible person, you. You promptly begin to play a tune, the heavy metal version of Jingle Bells! What a hellish Chrishtmunch classic! The bane of any good dwarven holiday! You glare at the little figure as you play, but don’t notice when the glass of the jar starts to crack because of your immensely high pitch. Seconds later, it breaks with a delicate ping, and you see the little dwarf is now free. Mildly injured, but free all the same.
You stop playing abruptly and try to catch him, but the tiny fellow quickly disappears leaving you alone with glass debris.
- Probably you’re not responsible enough to have your own pet.
You heartless monster! Have you no soul? Seriously… no one should have to bear that pain. But then, I’m only the narrator, I don’t make the decisions now do I? So, back to the story, Mr. Thorgrim:
You begin to express your views on last years elven elections, and how Thisgrim had a unjust advantage over the meager Yursober. It was a completely unfair battle of minds and he had only won because of his wealth and skill in advertisisng! Terrible mistakes were made by the elvan people that day! At this the ginger dwarf, it appears, can no longer take the suffering. He ruthlessly paws at his ears and satisfied with the results you continue your traumatizing inflictions of torture. An entire five minutes go by before the dwarf begins to plead you to stop. He was a strong one, that fellow.
- Now when he’s dead because of your torture, you feel a bit sorry. Perhaps you could have become friends.
You reach down and pick up some grass…
- Can I feed it to him now?
That’s more like it! Being Specific! Just brilliant I must admit!
You gather a clump of grass in your hand mixing it with the dirt and pebbles you picked up alongside it and dump the entire lot into the jar. You watch it collapse onto the little ginger dwarf and for a moment there, you presume you may have just killed your pet. After about a minute of sweat-drenched worry however you see the fellow peak up above the atrocious dirt coughing and spitting. He is covered in dust and he seems to have ingested a mouthful of the dirt you dumped inside. Maybe on accident? No? Well at least now you know what he likes to eat. Apparently he is a sort of mini-cow isn’t he? I apologize that I had doubts my friend. Indeed I apologize! You hear him say something in his squeaky little voice, how will you respond to his pleas?
- Maybe give him some more grass? He may still be hungry!
You let go of him and fall to the ground as he begins to run off, his size and the backpack makes his run rather slow but he makes an attempt to get away nonetheless. You try to explain to him that you just got hungry but it doesn’t seem to be very effective. You chase after him for a while down the road, after the both of you have charged a good five meters the dwarf begins to slow down, and sits on the ground, pleading that you spare him from the horror that is your mouth. You smile sympathetically.
- Pat his head, and send him off with a decent meal.
- Try to eat him again.
- Talk some dwarf talk!
You gingerly pat his head, pun intended, and tell him it was only a game, and he does not need to take it so seriously. Everyone played fair after all, in fact you tell him even Orville congratulated you for trying! He is about to ask something regarding who Orville is, but you swipe away the matter and ask him if he would care for a meal before you send him off, he seems rather tired after all, you can tell he must be pretty hungry. The man graciously nods, and over his gasps tells you he would be much inclined for a meal. You can sea he’s very worried, but you assure him you won’t try to eat him again. Most likely.
- Or would you?
You inquire about his journeys and whether or not he has ever traversed to the mines of Balbum. The ginger dwarf looks at you strangely, your sudden change in mood rather surprises him and he seems at a loss for words. After a while, he responds that, of course he has, he wonders if you actually know a dwarf who hasn’t been to the mines, and you reply that you honestly don’t know all that many dwarves at all. You tell him you’re only really good friend is Orville, and as you point to your shovel you hear the fellow give a rather badly concealed chuckle. You can’t tell but it seems like he has just tried to intimidate Orville!
- No one insults my shovel. No one.
You look over the cowering form, he begins to yap about something but you disregard his squealing and attempt to eat his arm again. Your teeth aren’t what they used to be, so you just end up gnawing once more on the flab of his arm. He flails around for a while but eventually calms down and begins to tear realizing his efforts have been proven futile. You explain how desperate you are of a meal, how you’re only doing what’s neccassary to sustain yourself. At this the dwarf lights up, he then, as calmly as he can asks you if you would like some real food instead of his arm.
- Actually, I’m alright, but thanks anyway.
- Well, I suppose it would be more beneficial. Although he does taste rather good.
You let go of the ginger headed dwarf, and he continues running in his queer circles, you join him, raise your hands smile and scream as you run after him. What fun! You remember playing games like this when you were just a wee lad. Those were good days, when you were still around your kin. Maybe, you think, maybe if you chase this fellow around in circles for long enough and show him how great of a person you are he’ll like you. Hell, you could make a new friend! How scrumptious would it be to have a companion other than Orville. It does get lonely here sometimes after all. Orville would agree, they needed a third man. You guys could be like, musketeers! That would be pretty amazing wouldn’t it?
- Ask him if he wants to be friends!
- Demand his eternal friendship.
- Chase him into submission!
At this point, the both of you are panting rather heavily and you wonder how long the chase will go on. You cry out, asking if the dwarf would care to be your friend. The first time you say this however, it doesn’t seem that he has heard you over his own panting. You feel upset, not liking to repeat yourself as often as this. But, a friend is a friend, it’s vital you attain such a bond. So as need be, you call out again and again, until the other dwarf decides to lie down for a bit. It looks like he fell, but you don’t think that’s the case. He just needs a quick break from the game. Maybe this is a good time to engage in conversation!
- Let’s talk about submarines!
You stop running and grab him by the beard, then, whilst looking directly in his little dwarf eyes you bellow out your request. He shrieks as you demand his hand in friendship, and tell him how you will now forever be his companion, through thick and thin. You decide it’s best to say this with as intimidating of a vocal and position as possible. He is utterly terrified, and by now convinced of your insanity. You have just tried to eat the fellow and are now yelling at him to be your friend. How weird is that? He breaks free losing a tremendous piece of his beard and starts running away from you.
- You chase him.
You continue to pursue the dwarf, howling and smiling. However this time you are focused, chasing your prey with a newfound intention. This is a battle now, a life or death matter as it presumtuosly seems. You make yourself clear, despite your age, your running is consistant and much more adequate than that of the younger dwarf, you feel naturally imbued with strenght, and sense even now, so early in the chase that your prey is tiring. You can see the dwarf’s face is actually starting to match the color of his hair. How silly! He looks like a massive beat with legs, wouldn’t it just be brilliant if, in fact, he were actually a vegetable? You imagine it so in order to force yourself to run even faster, and it clearly works. You feel the pounding of your feet increase in intensity as you wail and holler. Eventually, the ginger fellow collapses on the ground gasping for breath, and you place your right foot onto his chest, looking towards the heavens. Well done.
He gasps for air and tries to get your foot from his chest. He mumbles something struggling with asphyxia, but you don’t understand a word. Then finally he stops and becomes still.
- Now when he’s dead because of your torture, you feel a bit sorry. Perhaps you could have become friends.