Thursday, February 19, 2015

Quests Episode Seventeen: The Capture

Read the series prologue here.

Read episode sixteen here.

Episode Seventeen: The Capture

As night fell over the forest, Fedrick the goblin boy and Felnar the troll girl took up positions as guards at the edge of a series of deep of ravines completely overhung with trees and vines. Within these crevasses was camped the army of the underground city. The camp was well hidden; fairies and elves had passed many times without noticing it. Fedrick kicked a tree restlessly.

“I hate this place,” he said. “It makes me uncomfortable. We better have a real fight with those hateful meddling fairies soon. I don’t think I can stand this waiting much longer. We came here to kill fairies. I say we should get to it!”

Felnar sniffed the air. She wasn’t really paying attention to what Fedrick was saying; he had made the same complaints many times. “I smell fairies,” she said.

“Of course you do. They’re all over this place,” Fedrick snapped. “Why do you think it’s called Fairy Wood?”

“I mean they smell closer tonight,” said Felnar.

“There may be a few nearby,” Fedrick agreed. “Let’s keep our eyes open.”

He turned and walked along the edge of camp. He hadn’t gone far when Felnar gave an angry cry and dove at something in the undergrowth. Fedrick turned in surprise.

“Felnar, What is it?”

“It’s that stupid gnome!” Felnar snarled. “The one who helped turn some of my people to stone. Quick, help me catch him.”

Fedrick moved closer in an attempt to understand what was happening. Felnar scuffled on the ground for several minutes as her small enemy avoided her grasp. The gnome kicked pebbles into the troll’s face. With an outraged roar Felnar swiped the ground, knocking the tiny man off his feet. By the time Fedrick saw the gnome, Felnar was scooping him up to hold him tightly in her claws. With a mean grin, the troll raised the gnome to the level of her eyes.

“I hoped I would be the one to catch you,” she whispered, showing her fangs.

Just then a small voice yelled, “Let him go!” and Felnar was dive-bombed by streak of red light which materialized into a red-haired pixie boy. The pixie was followed by a scaly-skinned water sprite and a purple winged flower fairy.

“Fairy scouts!” Fedrick shouted, sounding the alarm.

He drew his sword, though he was unsure how much good it would do against such small enemies. A stream of goblin and troll soldiers poured out of the ravines behind him to join the fight. It took them only a second to notice the fairies. The soldiers spread out in a wide circle, blocking the tiny creatures, keeping them in the center of the circle so that escape was impossible. Felnar swatted at the pixie with her free hand as he pulled her hair. He dodged her, but was immediately grabbed by another troll. Goblins also caught the sprite and flower fairy out of the air. The soldiers and held the fairies with their wings pinned against their bodies, causing them to cry out in pain.

“Good work,” said the captain. “Looks like we caught ourselves some fairy spies. We know just what to do with them.”

The soldiers laughed. Fedrick grinned. This moment made his stay in the horrible forest seem worthwhile. Something moved in the branches of a tree overhead. Curious, Fedrick glanced up and tried to make out what was hidden among the leaves. Suddenly, a tall elvin figure dropped from the tree, smashing into the ring of soldiers. Fedrick saw the blade of a rapier flash in the moonlight and held up his own sword in defense.

“It’s an Airwalker,” shouted the captain. “Get her!”

Fedrick and a few other goblins moved to obey, but the Airwalker dodged between them, slashing with her thin sword. The soldiers snarled when her blade hit them, leaving small gashes on their skin. They attempted to surround her, but the elf jumped back into the air, kicking several of them out of her way. Fedrick sheathed his sword and grabbed at her legs as she rose. The Airwalker twisted, smacking him hard in the face so that he fell back, releasing her. Fedrick jumped again. This time he used all his force to yank on her ankle hard enough that the girl fell forward onto the ground, dropping her sword. Before she could escape, Fedrick grabbed her shoulders and slammed her head into the earth.

The sprite screamed, “Lasa!”

The Airwalker tried to stand but fell, dizzy and stunned. As she lay at his feet trying to recover, Fedrick picked up her rapier and pointed it at her chest. The elf glared at him then winced and turned her aching head to one side. Fedrick guessed she was probably seeing stars and was pleased by this sign of his strength. Two other goblins moved to stand on either side of the Airwalker. Fedrick lifted the rapier as they each grabbed one of her arms, pulled her roughly to her feet, and held her between them, facing the goblin captain.

“Search the area. Make sure there aren’t any more of them,” ordered the captain. Then pointing to the soldiers holding the fairies he said, “You there, take the prisoners to the city.”

Just then Felnar broke in, “May I have one of the fairies? I’ve always wanted to have a pet fairy.”

Fedrick rolled his eyes. He had known about this secret wish of Felnar’s for a long time.

The captain hesitated for a minute, considering the odd request.

At last he said, “Very well. It should be all right so long as you never let it escape. Which one do you want, troll?”

Fedrick took the gnome from her hands as Felnar looked at the other fairies.

“They’re not for sale!” the Airwalker snapped.

“Shut up, you!” the captain yelled.

One of the goblins holding the elf smacked her hard in the jaw. She fell silent, resigning herself to dagger glares.

After a minute Felnar pointed to the purple winged fairy and said, “I want this one.”

The goblin holding the flower fairy handed her to Felnar.

“Get your slimy hands off her!” screamed the pixie, but Felnar ignored him.

The soldier holding the pixie shook him roughly, until he too fell silent. Yet as he looked at the fairy in the troll’s grasp, tears streamed down the pixie’s cheeks.

Just then the sprite wriggled free of her captor's claws. The goblin swatted and snatched at her, but she zipped over his head and into the nearby trees.

“After her!” yelled the captain.

Several goblin and troll soldiers rushed into the forest after the sprite, crashing loudly.

“Go, Lilly, go!” shouted the flower fairy. The pixie, gnome and Airwalker joined in the cry. The angry soldiers tried to silence them once more.

“Great job, beetle-brain!” Fedrick snarled at the goblin who had been holding the sprite. The other goblin bared his fangs. Fedrick ignored him and moved to join the group taking the remaining fairies and elf to the city. He was glad for the opportunity to return to a familiar environment, but more than that, he was proud that he had been an important part of capturing the enemies.

Continue to episode eighteen.