As far back as he could remember, Chopper had always wanted to go fast.
Even as a yoof, to feel the wind blowing through his hair squig, and riding into battle on his very own War Boar or Pump Wagon, seemed like one of the most exciting things that could ever happen. Unfortunately, going fast wasn’t something that was easy to do in Swampland.
Located far to the south of the Badlands, and deep within the Marshes of Madness, Swampland felt to Chopper just about as far away from speed and excitement as it was possible to be. With his tribe’s village built among the trees above the swamp, and with deep stagnant water as far as the eye could see, moving around faster than a slow jog required a tremendous effort. Chopper’s muscles ached simply from the effort of moving through the waist high water; and that’s not mentioning the many water snakes and blood warms that would constantly wrap themselves around his limbs, trying to drag him below the surface, as he went about his business.
Well, one day Chopper had had enough of his sedimentary lifestyle.
“Hog”, he said, “it’s time for us to go for a ride.” And grabbing his favourite axe with the red handle, he launched himself onto the back of his best friend. Who just so happened to be a 8 foot tall River Troll.
“Er, sure thing Chopper”, said Hog. “M-O-O-N, that’s how you spell ride.” And with Chopper clinging firmly to his back, Hog began to make a deep growling sound in the back of his throat, put his head down, and started to run as fast as he could… right into the hut of the village Chief.
20 mins later, once the tribe had been able to catch and calm Hog down again, the Chief ordered that Chopper be tied up and carried deep into the swamp. For what seemed like hours, Chopper lay back listening to the splashes of the chief and his bodyguard as they made their way through the waters.
Suddenly however, the splashing of the orcs stopped, and to his amazement Chopper realised that they were walking up and out of the water. Soon, he found himself dumped unceremoniously at the feet of the chief in the middle of what looked like a long rectangle shaped island in the middle of the swamp.
“Stoopid Chopper” said the Chief. “For too long u’ve been bovverin’ us with your stoopid runnin ‘ere an there. Well if you got to run, you can bloomin’ run over ‘ere where you can’t urt no one. No one’s used this stoopid place for years, ever since they all got blown up when the Shaman got drunk.”
Signalling to his guard to untie him, the Chief handed Chopper what looked like an oval shaped egg made out of brown leather. Holding this strange object in his hands, and admiring the lethal looking spikes sticking out of each end, Chopper felt like this was something special, something that he was supposed to have.
Now, holding the ball firmly in his hands, Chopper turned to face the far side of the empty clearing, and he began to run.
To be continued…