Are you ready to see what will happen with our reluctant companions? Me too! Oh. I already know. But, I am good at pretending. Except for the part where I told you I was pretending. Forget I told you that.
The two companions set off. They traveled in silence for miles, heading
towards the Land of the Misfit Mutants. I had been hastily shoved into a
bag, where I could hear and be heard, but wasn’t very comfortable.
“Do either of you have proper names? If you are going to face hardships
and adventure, you should know each other’s names.”
The Orc actually growled at me. More silence.
“Don’t make me scream. You wouldn’t like me if I screamed.” What good is
having a scream that pierces dimensions if you can’t throw it around a
The Orc spoke first. “We already don’t like you.” He sighed, and before I
could work up a scream, he held out his hand to the barbarian. “People
call me Scalzi.” The barbarian grunted. He must’ve still been miffed
about covering the gratuity while the Orc stood around like a groak.
“Wil the Barbarian? That’s terrible!” I couldn’t help myself. Who ever
heard of a Wil the Barbarian?
“I’m not a Barbarian!” He sounded really annoyed. He took a breath. “Look.
I’m just a guy. I don’t really know how I got into this mess, and I’m
certainly not sure how to get out of it. My people sent me to the Oracle
mainly to get rid of me, and didn’t expect I’d accomplish anything. All I
have is a backpack and a talking clown sweater. It’s like some colossal
joke, only it’s not at all funny.” He lapsed back into silence.
The Orc shifted uncomfortably. Then he reached into his gear. “Care for a
Mentos?” The Orc proffered a mint.
The two smiled, and, the tension broken, settled into companionable
After many days of travel, the details of which are unimportant, we got to
the outskirts of the Land of the Misfit Mutants. Wil put me on, and we
made our way into the valley.
The Land of the Misfit Mutants is filled with mythical creatures of all
sorts, some of which remain unknown to the wider world. There are
four-eyed fish swimming in the lakes, a fearsome creature with long claws
and a bad attitude called a Wolverine, a duck with fur that laid eggs, and
the terrible Catalypse.
I performed the Ritual of Catalypse Summoning, which involves pretending
to be allergic to it, plus 25 gold pieces. Ten minutes later, our new
Catalypse appeared. I told him briefly about the mission, and he agreed to
join us in the hunt. I relayed this information to the others, who lacked
the ability to understand the Catalypse speech, and who, without me,
would’ve gotten NO WHERE in their quest. Ungrateful…
Ahem. Bitterness later. Story now.
An interesting side note here. The Catalypse’s name was Herb. It’s a
little known fact that the real key to controlling one of these powerful
creatures is knowing its true name. Of course, I could be lying. Why would
I blab my secrets to you?
The two clambered onto the great creature, because flying is *way* better
than walking. Herb told me that the Lupine lived in the Land of Fire,
where the volcanoes smoked and lava flowed. It was a perfect spot for a
lair because Orcs and humans avoided the place.
The end is in sight, and it’s looking like our heroes will soon meet their foe. It seems like just yesterday they didn’t even know each other’s names, and now, they’re going to face mortal peril together. It was just yesterday? Wow. Time sure flies, doesn’t it?
groak / GROWK / one who stands around while others eat, in hopes that he or she will be asked to join.