A New Hope….fulness

The smoke drifted inland as the raft burnt, stinging their eyes as they raised their hands to the grey sky and cheered and sang, hopefully if they made enough noise this new god Niffle or something, those Dwarves where hard to understand, the tusks didn’t help, would hear their cries and take the spirit of their honoured enemy to his…. whatever he had, a pitch perhaps?

Eilivaror rubbed his head, and turning to face the lads his back to the sea, scratched his beard and generally tried to understand the events of the last few hours…..

The Slavers, who it turned out had really silly name, like characters from a child’s reading scroll, not an “sson” amongst them, some even had girls names!! maybe they where girls under those beards?.…. he shuddered as he remembered and then tried to forget his first wife… had marched onto the beach to face his crew, at this point looking at the considerable force arrayed against him he was hoping a life in slavery would involve maybe harem guard duties, or some form of rowing, he was good at rowing. A short stringy green fellow, he learnt later these where some distant cousins for the gobbo’s had (with much prodding from a dwarf…. correction chaos dwarf), stumbled forward and in few words had explained that its master would like to give the crew a fighting chance by playing a game of…… ”

Eggball?? Ok, they have axes, hammers, shield & armour, we have swimming attire a few drift wood clubs and sharpened fruit, to be honest it sounded like a good deal. “OK, what happens now?” The Hobgoblins quickly drew out a large rectangle on the beach, lines dissecting it at various places and dividing it into separate areas. Then they had explained the rules, including the sacred rule of 11, “Fantastic, so ill just stand here and send my best 11 onto the “Pitch”?! he was beginning to like this idea, he could see himself, safe on the “sidelines” in a long brown coat directing the battle, sorry match, instead of the captain he could be called the gaffer, and say things like ” the lads done well” & ” we all pulled together, a good team effort” however this disappeared when he was told as leader he was to start on the pitch.

He quickly picked 3 crew members, added Sturma and Skallaveig as he figured these stumpy guys couldn’t run for toffee, his personal guard of Bert & Jarl of course had to be there, so that made 8 guys shivering slightly stood on one side of the “line of Skirmish” A Hobgoblin moved towards them, quick and very nimble, one to watch and said ” not enough, you need more!!” “Oh, do we? well don’t worry, that’s being taken care of….. what’s your name by the way” he enquired innocently The hobgoblin looked at him and with a sneer said “Harry, my master Snape has given me special lubrication to make me sloppery and hard to hold” This bought several sniggers from the crew, “well Harry, unless your some sort of wizard, you die first” Eilivaror said with an evil grin as the hobgoblin scurried away.

The Dwarven host arranged themselves on their side of the line, leaving weapons and shields off the pitch, however keeping their armour on, the Centaurs, horsemen, whatever, out wide, flanked by a slave helper, the Dwarves on the line jeering and taunting and the rest of the team behind them, protected but ready to move forward as required. Suddenly they stopped their calls and looked as a mighty roar echoed across the playing field, “pay no mind boys, that’s just the last 3 team members arriving” announced Eilivaror as around a small hillock came the Howler twins with their sister in tow, as they arrived he took a minute to explain his “Battle plan” and they quickly got into position facing off against the dwarves, the twins out wide mirroring the Horsemen and Fluffy moving to the centre of the line, a strange far away look in her small dark eyes.

The ball goes up….. and its game on, a few moments of pushing and shoving on the centre of the pitch, Eilivaror noticing the opposition was distracted motioned to the twin on his right, who charged across the line and sets about Harry in short order, he was knocked to the floor, blood pouring from a nasty wound to his forehead and carried off the pitch, “that’s going to leave a scar” muttered Eilivaror, who would have thought that telling the twins Hobgoblins taste like seagull could have inspired such a reaction?

He laughed to himself, first blood.

What came next stunned the dwarves, the Norse, and all the wildlife that had the capacity to feel stunned, Fluffy rose up to her full height and gently caressed the dwarf in front of her who had been screaming about vengeance for his “favourite slave” she gently laid him down on the pitch in an act of gentle kindness, then, without prompting she twerked him, and even gave what could only be described (as established later) as a killer slut drop, that dwarf went to dwarf heaven happy, Snape was no more!!

Things seemed to go sideways quite quickly after that, in a display of overconfidence the Norse pushed on to score a touch-up? still not quite getting the terminology right, they over extended and paid the price, even without the slippery Harry they dwarves recovered the ball as they Norse began to be carried off, Fluffy did her bit but as the first half closed the Dwarves ran in a touch-down (getting it now) both sides where players light as someone brought out some sour fruit and weak drink for half time refreshments.

The problem now was they have to give the dwarves their ball back this half, 1-0 down and a life of slavery beckoning did nothing to improve Eilivaror’s mood….. then he had a brainwave, he wandered over to the where the twins sat with Fluffy, everyone else giving them a wide birth and whispered in her ear, a strange look crossed her features and she surged to her feet, a mighty roar escaping her snarling snout.

The second half started much as the 1st had ended, Norse followed by Hobgoblin followed by Norse left the pitch, Eilivaror himself despatching a particularly dirty player, must be all the rolling around he thought. Fluffy then thundered past and flattened another, “for Niffle’s sake, someone get the ball” he cried, moments later his wish was granted as a Norse player, Sturma or Skallaveig, he couldn’t see which smashed the player to the ground, the ball was free, ” grab it someone” he screamed, but no, his guys where useless, juggling the slippery ball up into the air. “Now Fluffy, now” he yelled as a large hairy paw shot out and grasped the ball, Fluffy had her moment, he hoped she remembered what he had told her…..

The horseman tried in vain he was stronger and faster than any dwarf, any human, but Fluffy was on a mission, twice he tried and twice he failed as in the dying moments she knocked him to the ground, for a moment he had visions of death by slut drop, but then she turned and ran into the end zone, he survived, the match was a draw and the timer had run down.

The dwarves, deciding that discretion was the better part of valour, and not wanting to attract unwanted attention from an 8 foot hairy killing spree still clutching the ball, stripped their deceased comrade and very generously proclaiming it would be unethical to enslave such worthy opponents, packed up in short order and left, keeping a watchful eye on Fluffy as they disappeared over the sand dunes.The Norse meanwhile had built a raft, loaded the dwarves body onto it and set it adrift whilst lighting it, a fitting tribute to a honoured enemy.

…….”Well, that was unexpected” exclaimed Eilivaror as he surveyed the scene, “what exactly happened boys” he enquired of the Howler twins motioning to Fluffy, with much gesturing, posturing and guttural grunting he began to piece it together, apparently Fluffy was partial to cabal vision broadcasts, short 10 minute ones beamed out late at night, and had decided that she wanted to become an Exotic Dancer!! he laughed, so that coupled with his whispers of the ball being an Egg she could hatch had inspired the monster, ultimately saving him and the others from slavery “is there nothing she cannot do?” he asked out loud, “don’t think she can throw” came a muttered response….. “we shall see…..”

“Right lads” he shouted, “I’m sick of sand in me undies, lets get off this beach and find somewhere worth pillaging”

Sturma or Skallaveig, appeared from over the dunes,” Captain, Captain, they cried, over this way, there’s a big castle just over there on the horizon” Ok he thought, lets go knocking and see who wants to play……..

….To be continued…..

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