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Lifeforms of Caradesance

The lifeforms of Caradesance – Vampires

[Welcome readers to the long grass plains.]

[To yet another part in the exploration of a planet that has no ambition.]

[As we examine, the vampire, who is the natural hunter of homo sapiens. Although that was until vampires realised that animal blood; one tasted nicer and two did not fight back with fire.]

[Although in the heart of Dale-shire, in the small county of Provina, most vampires quickly began to think along the lines of, they may drink blood, but the humans need to eat meat. And since that moment almost a thousand years ago, in the age of conflict, vampires have been the financial backer of every butchery enterprise to arise within the Royal Kingdom.]

[Whilst it is true, vampires have only one true enemy. People seem to forget; for the most part vampires no longer enter the mountains. And because of this, trolls and vampires rarely met after the exodus.]

[After the vampires left the nation of Mist and settled in the long grass plains, they acquired new enemies, though not to the same extent.]

[Now it is true what they say. Vampires are very neurotic. They are also fast. They can become easily obsessed with virgins. But at the end of the day that’s what they call their positive attributes. After all, you wouldn’t want to meet a vampire who has the bad attributes. You’d likely end up a drained husk on the floor.]

[Much is known about vampire history, which is mainly down to the fact that some of the first vampires are still alive. Although within vampire culture they’re the only true immortals, but even they can still be killed.]

[The whole race of bloodsuckers was created by Ares, in the age of the gods. Exactly before the gods stopped wandering among us mere mortal beings. Although after Ares lost to Loki in a battle of shadows and demons, Aries was banished to Naserian (the underworld), and the vampires were free.]

[That was when they entered the mountains and met the troll race, which they hadn’t needed to do at all. But back then vampires feared something more powerful than trolls. Although if they hadn’t gone into the mountains, they wouldn’t have changed troll evolution.]

[There are five remaining vampire bloodlines from the first families. The Caliana Family. The Vino Family. The Marietta, The Laroma, and the Deucalion. Each of these families control a certain percent of all the animal farms and slaughterhouses across the kingdom. Along with other business ventures. And currently, it is the Vino family that are the lords of Provina. But that could change at any time.]

Lin Deucalion is sitting in front of her shuttered window, staring out at her father’s bushes. Her fangs ache. The veins in her hands are almost purple, and not the light shade of blue they should be. A shiver runs throughout her body and into her bones. Something that is not quite alive, but isn’t quite dead. Although what is one expecting from a vampire.

A door screeches slightly on its hinges. The sound which me or you couldn’t hear begins to tickle her ear drums. But no person enters the room. The smell of an animal begins to waft around the room. Whilst the sound of the door closing is faster than the sound of the animal moving about looking for escape.

Lin moves quietly across the floor on her hands, searching with her nose. Her nails are digging into the wood as she moves, dragging herself along the wood. Each nail cracking further under the pressure of six stone. Although Lin can no longer endure the pain and hasn’t the strength to capture her prey. She hasn’t the abilities she could have if they only gave her real food daily.

Exhaustion is all she knows these days. Hunger pains and fang ache. Dire misery and further pain. And even though she once knew what happiness was. Now all she has is a desire for escape. Freedom from the confines of her immortal bind. And as not even hope can survive the length of time she has been locked away for in the attic. Her desire burns the brightest in the rear of her mind where the fantasy could still brew.

The rat came closer to her. Snatching at it would prove to be too slow though. So, her only hope is to bite at it like a snake. A method for catching the rats that’d so far proven to work.

The fur rubs her tongue as her mouth closes around the animal. Blood fills her mouth as her fangs begin to seem sharper. Although she knows this feeling won’t be permanent. The poor creature doesn’t have enough within it. But yet it is enough to keep her alive for another month or so. Screaming within from all the pain and hunger. But that is where they have her, that is how they control her. For no vampire would give in and allow themselves to starve. The hunger is merely too great a feeling.

The straw bed in the corner begins to call her once more. Hallucinations begin from the blood of the rat. Food it is, but it is also a drug to her at that moment. As if it had been eating rat poison before they released it in with her. But the bed begins to call her once more.

‘Rest’ the straw says to her from the corner of the room. As she moves towards the bed, her body tries to heal the degradation to her undead form. Without carbohydrates to offset the blood and a proper meal each day, they’re only just keeping her alive. And in constant pain. It is a cruel punishment that her father at the time had called necessary. Although as time went by, the punishment had turned into a torture which felt never-ending. A constant stream of unwanted thoughts attaching themselves to a desire that is unattainable, freedom that is beyond her grasp.

Lin woke to the smell before her eyes could adjust to the darkness. It is something new, but not new. Something which shouldn’t be in the room. But it is in the room with her. And her mind scrambles as she tries to find it.

Although the smell starts to make her mouth water and saliva begins to drip onto the wood as she begins to crawl around.

[If she was a wolf, she would have howled. But she isn’t, so she made no sound at all.]

‘Slowly’, her mind whispers, ‘move slowly.’ Her body listens to the command as she begins to search with every sense still available to her. Each movement in the darkness towards the silhouette causes a scraping to begin though. A squeaky teenage voice calls out in the darkness.

‘Hello. Um, anyone there? I didn’t mean to break in, it was a dare. My friends dared me to do it.’ She doesn’t answer. The crawling scraping continues to fill the room. His breathing gets heavier as he becomes more afraid. His fear and sweat adds a new, tantalising stench to the room.

She leans closer as she gets to within an inch of him. Although she realises as he begins to sob that he can’t distinguish her, and he isn’t moving. And as she inches even closer to the lad with a dark smile on her face the stench of urine fills the air.

‘Please. Please. I’ll leave,’ the lad says as if he could sense her, but he still he doesn’t run. Lin places her hand onto his body. He whimpers and pees himself yet again as he tries to move backwards into the wall. The overpowering smell filling the darkness fills her with the type of hope that only she could smell. A guilty pleasure washes over her, one that she could only find in tormenting her prey. Her other hand met little resistance as she pulled herself using his body. Although the lad couldn’t move from a fear which made him release his bowels this time. She leans in as she begins to smell his neck. His heart beat is almost like an aphrodisiac, which causes her to place her lips to his neck.

‘Please. Please.’ He cries as her teeth start sinking into his flesh. Instantly though, the strength and the amount of human blood flowing into her begins to give her a new strength of her own. Her arms wrap around his sobbing body. Images flash within her mind as she drains him slowly, making sure it lasts longer for him. She sees his family, his friends, and even his betrothed. She sees how he gained access to her father’s manor. She sees that fear was the reason he couldn’t run away. She sees everything and knows that one hundred years have passed since she’d been locked away. The sobbing stops as his body goes limp in her arms, but driven by crazed hunger, she drains him of every drop. Lin notices through her fangs that his heart is no longer beating, and she releases her grasp on him.

Her veins begin to normalise first as the moons rays hit her through the slats in the shutters. Her skin shines under the rays for but a second. But her body is healing even if her mind would never do so.

She walks over to the wooden shutters which are no longer a problem. Even if they are nailed closed, one movement is all she needs to rip her way to freedom.

The moons catch her eyes, turning the whites pink. As she stands on the window ledge, her mind and body link with a dark internal bloodlust. But freedom is calling to her, and around her, she knows there are targets everywhere.

[And from what she’d learnt in that lad’s mind, she knew that the world has grown in size since she’d been locked away. A much larger world than she remembered now existed for her to sample.]

[So with a dangerous fugitive freed, the world of Caradesance looks a little bleaker than it already did.]

[Next time we explore the Cyclopes. A people of great might and still the most feared warriors of Britstana. Although in the modern era they languish in the capital with no lands of their own.]

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Lifeforms of Caradesance

The lifeforms of Caradesance – Dwarfs

[Welcome readers to the lifeforms of Caradesance.]

[Today we will be going underground. To the homes of the Dwarfs, who live under the surface of the mountains, which is known to the locals as the nation of Mist. In this rocky metropolitan underground network where the Triticum-aestivum-absolutum-est evolved, they have built a life for themselves doing what dwarfs are well-known for.]

[And Dwarfs, as we like to call them, are friendly, well-organised beings. They uphold the law to the last letter. At least until they don’t. And no matter what they say, they cannot hold their liquor. So as a rule. All alcohol is illegal within the mountains. But dwarfs still love a good drink, and that’s where they don’t obey the law.]

[Male dwarfs are slightly taller than females, and even if they weren’t. Well, you’d be able to tell them apart from the fact that male dwarfs have no hair whatsoever. Whilst females of their race have long silky breads which they braid, stubble on the top of their heads which they pattern and extensive armpit hair, which as of late has become fashionable to shave. Of course, all this has led to the largest collection of wig and fake beard stores in one location. Wig-Wham Highway they call it, and all nine streets are stocked with products for men. With designs to suit anyone’s style.]

[For nearly two thousand years, the inhabitants of the mountain caverns have mostly ignored the outside world. Although in recent years, the outside world has slowly been seeping inside.]

[Minor criminal operations began to appear at first. Then product wagons began to get hijacked at bolt point. New faces arrived after that looking for work. And the shaft towns as they’re called were suddenly filled with problems.]

[That was when the dwarven lords formed the Mounties, an organisation dedicated to upholding the law. They were given the powers to arrest, judge and sentence criminals. Although three hundred years on, they’re struggling to hold back the wave of crime. And as they continue their war on the surface world, the ever growing list of criminal activity keeps getting longer by the day.]

‘Attention.’ The commander shouts at his new recruits as he enters the room. Everyone snaps their hands to their heads in a quick smart salute. Their backs straighten out of respect. And they all ignore his fake beard as it begins to slip.

‘At ease,’ they all relax as much as they can in heavy chain-mail. Although they all still appear to be ready to pounce, ‘now then, I have everyone’s deployment letters here.’ He waves the stack in his hand to show them all.

‘But first I would like to congratulate Marken for getting this year’s bronze detective’s badge. And scoring top of the class.’ The room explodes immediately in cheers and claps. Even Little Dig joins in, and the dwarf doesn’t like the elf. Especially since the elf just (but only barely) beat him out of the one detective badge which is given out each year. The commander waits a minute before shouting.

‘Clam down,’ he gazes at Little Dig and begins speaking, ‘now then. When you’re all calm.’ The commander smiles whilst still gazing at LD, who begins to feel uncomfortable. As the training commander carries on speaking once the room is quiet, Little Dig’s eyes lock onto his bosses.

‘This year we are introducing a new policy. This policy has been handed down from the High-Lord, which states,’ he verbally composed a marching band noise before carrying on, ‘that second place will be given a spot in the MDLE. So congratulations LD, you’re going outside.’ Everyone glances at Little Dig as they begin to cheer and pat him on the back, although he doesn’t know what to say.

[The Mounties have five departments spread out across all the station houses. And the MDLE was the most sort after department. After all, the drug law enforcement office got to go outside.]

LD, as everyone calls him, can’t believe his luck. Although that’s before he remembers that last month almost forty dwarfs were killed in an attack by Rock, a new warlord of the surface world. And everyone knew that Rock was quickly moving up the ladder, destroying all the other tribal leaders in his way.

[And everyone in the mountains had overheard the talk about his deadly lieutenants.]

The commander stops them all cheering and carries on the announcement. As they quieten down once more, the dwarven commander begins to stare at the only troll recruit.

‘Now Lilly Flower, the high-lord, has asked that you be given the position of wagon-enforcer. So please wait around, as I am still waiting for your envelope.’ The troll nods whilst the commander hands all the other recruits their envelopes one by one. As he reaches LD, he smiles and says softly.

‘You’ll be one hell of a drug enforcer, Mountie!’ LD smiles in return. But before he can answer, his trainer moves on to the next recruit in line. Around him, people are opening their envelopes and wandering off towards the barracks. LD already knew his posting. And as all drug enforcement Mounties report to the same place. He didn’t need to open his letter.  He knew that the gigantic but unimpressive surface shaft station where all the drug enforcement officers are posted meant he merely needs to pack his bags.

‘Two weeks travel. It’s only two weeks.’ His mind is racing as he heads towards the barracks. He must tell his mother, father, and then it hit him.

‘I have to tell Daisy Chain.’ He decides after some thought that duckling out would be easier. Although after he writes them all a joint letter, LD swiftly begins to collect up his belongings. Which isn’t hard, as he doesn’t have much. Although as he stuffs the few fake breads, a wig and his fake arm pit hair into his sack, he realises he doesn’t want to leave the capital. He sighs as he stands up straight. After all, he has no choice. His marching orders said surface shaft, so off to the new station he must go.

On his way to the taxi rank, he posts the letter and hopes Daisy is going to follow him. Although deep down, all that passes through his mind. Is how she’s an independent dwarf woman, who likely isn’t going to follow no man.

[The city of Under-Rock is connected to all the shafts, cavern towns, mining sites and new excavations using long tunnels. And as horses do not fare well in the round tunnels of the dwarfs. They’d long ago bred giant ants that were used as transport. These days, the ancestors of those ants have been bred for their size, after they’d been granted independence away from the hive collective. Only to be attached to yellow carts, which they called cabs.]

‘I’ll be damned,’ he thought to himself. His face broadcasts the thought as he steps out of the extended cab journey. After two weeks of nonstop travel, he looks at his destination. The station isn’t inside like he’d anticipated, but on the surface. The blue sky is above his head, and LD for the first time in his life feels inadequate as he surveys the building. As he does so, he realises it is built for the height of a cyclops. As he watches two such individuals stepping through the door. Houses surround the station, as well as a market.

Just inside the station is an open area. There are three doors on his left and right, a desk in front of him and a seating area, which is nearly full of people. Although the sergeant sees him approaching and speaks directly at him, although it isn’t with an amiable tone.

‘Sit down and someone will be with you-’ as LD reaches the sergeant though he salutes. And this alone stops the desk sergeant from carrying on.

‘DOM Little Dig reporting for duty sire.’ The human behind the desk sighs.

‘Green door, report to the station commander. Room 67B.’ LD nods, smiles, and then strides off through the door that the human is pointing at. Following the signs hammered into the brickwork, he finds room 67B easily enough though. As a brass plaque on the door is engraved with the words ‘Commander Leafonhim.’

Little Dig knocks, waits, and enters only once he hears the commander shout.

‘COME!’

Little Dig salutes immediately as he steps inside. He let the door close on its own, wishing he hadn’t as it slams shut. The smell of molten sulphur causes his nose to flow with snot almost immediately. His eyes then fill up with tears as he begins coughing. Little Dig strives to stay at attention though.

‘AT EASE!’ Although as the newly promoted dwarf relaxes, he surmises the commander isn’t actually shouting, but is simply loud. As the air clears, he comes face to face with the troll as the Mounties in his red uniform leans over the desk, and begins to stare at him.

‘LITTLE DIG ISN’T IT?’ He nods not knowing what to say.

‘You’re assigned to outskirt patrol one,’ he looks down at the stack of paperwork before he carries on speaking with a quieter voice, ‘we don’t patrol the surrounding streets, but if you notice anything. Anything at all. You are to sound your brass whistle and intervein. Now most of what we do is considered clean up around here. And lately, as the surrounding towns are fighting each other, it feels like a losing battle.’ He blinks as the commander glances at him.

‘A bunk should be available for you to crash in the barracks. Report to loading tomorrow morning at 7AM.’ Little dig nods and goes to speak for the first time.

‘Yes sire-’ the station’s leader cut him off.

‘Tis commander. Not sire.’

As he wakes to the sound of a brass bell ringing, he feels strange. The showers are also overcrowded as he steps inside. Humans, elves, and dwarfs are all filing in one by one. Showering under lukewarm water for a minute at most, before they all file out once again. The breakfast tables in the mess hall are even worse. People are nearly sitting on top of one another. Although there is no conversation happening between those crowded around the tables. As Little Dig eats his bread, cheese and sausages in silence, whilst he looks around, wishing he had some fried-onions.

They all begin filing out once again, the second a lieutenant begins to ring a large bell near the entrance. Little Dig finds himself following the signs which said ‘Loading’. And as he does so, the crowds thin out as he walks through the corridors. Around him as he reaches the last corridor are seven other dwarfs and two humans who are going the same way he is.

Loading turned out to be a stable attached to the outside of the station at the rear. Carts, huge mountain donkeys and bulky bags of feed which are lying around in piles take up most of the space with. And as a lieutenant stands there waiting for them all to arrive, LD looks around. Everyone is suddenly sat on a bag of feed, as he still stands there. The human lieutenant, who is now staring at him. Smiles at him almost curly in nature, as only one corner of his mouth goes up.

‘Sit down. For the sake of Nivrean. I don’t have all day.’ He does what he is told, and those waiting laugh at him.

‘Now then today we will be patrolling Seventon, Large-Rock and Littletree. All three of the surrounding villages have been quiet in the last few days. But still we need to stay together as a squad if we disembark the cart. So keep your eyes open, and we’ll all make it back in one piece.’

He looks around and sighs.

‘As for today’s true briefing, it looks like our squad captain hasn’t turned up yet again.’

The human standing there in his dress reds looks around for a full minute before he carries on speaking.

‘So as he’s still not here, I’ll go ahead with the report,’ he unfolded a piece of paper which he took out of his breastplate, ‘okay. So last night Rock pushed Oak-Leaf out of Regaton. We believe his motivation is to reach the lowlands without the need for our tunnels. Unfortunately for us, that means Oak-Leaf turned on Cats-Eye, who lost his life and all his lands in single combat.’

‘This means there are now only six stops between us and this new dangerous warlord. Whereas this also means it will bring more drugs and booze inside the mountain. What am I missing? Oh! Yes, congratulations to recruit Little-Dig, who is now with us. And let’s make sure we give them hell.’

Ten of them plus the human lieutenant squeeze onto a normal size cart. Which seems ready to be thrown on the fire-pit heap. Each of them are holding crossbows as the cart rolls away from the station. They’re an improvement on the previous design, which is said to have been the cause of so many deaths. Which mostly occurred on the side of the Mounties themselves. But then at least the new bows are also loaded with new arrows, which could penetrate a troll’s stubborn outer layer. But still couldn’t kill one. As the cart rolls past the last brick cottage, they all sit there as not one of them speaks. And for a brief while, Little Dig is pleased about this.

The first village isn’t what he expects a troll location to look like. There are stores, houses and pavements, all of which he has heard about, but never seen before. Inside the mountains, homes are built into the rock. Outside under the sun, these buildings have shape. They’re round, box shaped, and two are even cylindrical in design. As the cart rolls closer, Little Dig finds it all so fascinating.

An arrow flies out of nowhere, and somewhere in LD’s head it screams at him that this is the end.

‘Death to burrow-lovers,’ the bolt-firer shouts. Although the person shouting is already running and jumping over fences. And within a split-second, he’s gone from sight. LD sits there frozen to the spot though.

‘What was that?’ He asks the group. But no one answers him, as they’re holding their own bows and are pointing them at the surrounding area.

As the cart moves along the streets though, it begins to pick up speed. A knot forms within the newest members stomach as the cart rolls along. They carry on their patrol route through the village in silence, whilst LD watches all the shadows. The fear of death is seeping into his mind though. And as the cart rolls out of town, the human says.

‘There appears to be smoke rising from over that hill.’ They all turn to stare. LD though can’t see what’s happening. And he also decides he doesn’t want to know. As he ponders his own mortality, the cart picks up speed.

‘Yah! Yah!’ The human lieutenant says as the sound of the stick hitting the donkeys fills the air. All his fellow Mounties holding onto the wooden railing appear terrified. And as the cart bounces along the uneven road, LD begins to notice that he is as well.

‘Hold on, or you’re going to fall out!’ The human next to him shouts over the sound of the air rushing past them. LD listens to him as he grabs the railing.

The next village up the road is on fire as they reach the outskirts. Flames are spreading from one roof to the next. Smoke fills the air with soot and dirt as LD struggles not to breathe. People are screaming as well. The sound of iron clinging against iron echoes through the air. And as the donkeys won’t move any further forwards either, they begin to pile out of the cart.

‘Lieutenant.’ One of LD’s fellow dwarfs said pointing with his hand. Everyone turns and suddenly they can all see the five trolls tramping through the smoke towards them.

‘Friend or Foe!’ The lieutenant says, ‘I demand you announce yourselves.’ They’re still moving closer though, and they aren’t answering him. So the leader of the squad does what he thinks he needs to do.

‘Fire!’ Everyone stood around the cart listens to his order. Even LD, who is shaking, begins to fire at the figures as they stride forwards through the smoke. As they draw nearer, the sound of timber crackling in the flames can be heard. Bricks begin exploding as well. And as they all load another round into their crossbows, the lieutenant screams out.

‘Fire!’ Another round is sent into the smoke. They all reload and await the next order, but the figures begin to pullback. The sound of wood breaking within the smoke grew louder, but LD can’t distinguish anything within. Nevertheless, he is not prepared at all for what is about to happen.

A troll appears in the smoke as a figure. Almost nothing but a silhouette against the greyness which clung and covered the area. They were all about to point at it, but then LD notices the troll is on fire. And he is hurrying towards them. As he moves though, the poor being is screaming. Flames lick his skin as an oil spreads over its silicon skin. Each step he unleashes another scream, which gets higher-pitched with each second.

‘Roll!’ LD shouts at him. But it is too late. The flames catch the troll’s digestion track through the melting silicon shell and the soft spots within his mouth. In less than a nano-second bits of rock fly through the air. The clumps almost hit LD, whilst the human closest to him isn’t as lucky. LD has never seen a head fold in on itself before. But as the boulder collides with his fellow Mounties, LD threw up all his lunch. As he does so, other trolls begin to explode, as they die trapped within their houses. And all the Mounties can do is stand there and watch as the village burns to the ground.

[The war of the warlords has arrived at the gates. And now the forces of the MDLE have one more problem to deal with, as the war bangs on the entrance.]

[Next time on the lifeforms of Caradesance, we delve into the longest lived being of Britstana. The vampire. And explore just what it is that makes them, well, them.]

[Until then. Remember to always tie your shoes laces, even if you’re an adult. Six people in the last hundred years within the entire multiverse have died because of untied shoelaces. Be clever, tie, don’t tuck.]

Categories
Lifeforms of Caradesance

The lifeforms of Caradesance – Elves

[Welcome readers. To the most backwards magical planet we call Caradesance. Where we have been learning about all the races which call the planet home.]

[My name for those of you who don’t know by now is Vin Attorn. And today I will be taking you deep into the enchanted forest of Britstana. Where the Elves of the former Tigrade nation still live to this very day. Or at least those that haven’t left for better opportunities do.]

[The stretch of magical forest, which is precisely the same length as the United States, is known for the four natural growth states which it has in abundance.]

[From seed into sapling is the first two states. When ready, it will grow into a tree like any other. This is known as the third state. Then when said tree becomes deadwood to feed the forest, it begins what is known as the fourth state. Such is the cycle of life. Although admittedly, whilst this does happen everywhere. Here in the enchanted forest this process can happen in the blink of an eye. Or it can take a hundred years for the acorn to even become an oak sapling. No one knows how this started, but the elves of the forest use this cycle to their advantage.]

[As such, most of the forest dwellings are linked to Hub City. Sending giant logs down multiple rivers to the small city on the coast. Only for the city to send food back down the river paths using carts. As they have no fruit trees or bushes. And trees take up all the soil space as it is. All the elf’s food comes from outside of the forest and needs to be transported in.]

[All elves are but miniature pink hairless creatures. Or they are until they turn thirteen. Sometimes fourteen in some cases. But at the correct point, their bodies will force them into a three-year hibernation. Where they will sleep until they’re awakened by the first lunar eclipse of the third year. When they wake, they do so famished and in dire need of a bath. The adult elf which has now emerged will also have grown hair for the first time in their lives.]

[The only known benefit to this hibernation growth state is that they will completely miss puberty. Luckily for their parents. And they will also be ready to serve the modern society, the second they emerge. Or they will be, after they wash and eat in that order.]

[There are of course five known types of elves. Though one type has not been seen for many years. The wood-elf, the low elf, the high elf, the blue elf, and of course, dark elves.]

[Whilst wood-elves are supposed to be connected to nature. This is only partly true. And is considered a full-fact only because they have some form of nature growing out of them. Although not all wood-elves can talk to the trees like the stories tell you. And most cannot control any form of nature. Oh! And they also have green hair which isn’t important. As most of this type of elf is also known to dye their hair blonde.]

[The low elf is not called low because they are wanting. But because they are low in magic. Thus, not a single low-elf can perform any sort of magic at all. So I suggest you don’t believe the blonde pointy eared idiot in the pub trying to swindle you of your tuppence.]

[High-elves. Well, they’re all mages. They have ginger hair like humans. And there is nothing else left to say about them. They hide away in libraries and universities. Digging into the unknown secrets of the magical world. Or they become policemen, at least from your point of view.]

[No blue elf has been seen for nearly two hundred years. Stories about them say that they were able to reach into your mind. Able to remove all your negative feelings, thoughts and dreams. Replace them with positivity and joy. Although who knows if this is even true. But what is known, is that when they vanished from the forest dark elves rose up to replace them.]

[Whereas dark elves are not raised, but reborn. They’re what happens to an elf who has murdered someone in any way imaginable. When they kill, something in the cosmic balance gives them use of dark magic. Which is unavailable to them until they change. Although with their black hair, black fingernails and total lack of bathing, dark elves are easily noticed in a crowded inn. Or the inns which let them in that is.]

‘Marken Cleanwood,’ the woman shouts from the window at the payment shed, ‘only call for a Marken Cleanwood.’ Marken forces his way through all the elves waiting to be paid. Reaching the front, he nearly fell over before smiling. The woman doesn’t smile back. She hands him his envelope before she shouts the next name on her list. He sighs before turning to leave. His chain-mail rattles as he does so.

The lengthy days, with the constant darkness, the unshapen morbid looking trees and low pay, were getting to him. And to everyone else in the forest.

As he forces his way back through the throng of those waiting, Marken clutches his pay packet close to his chest. As with everyone in Tree-town-thirty-eight. Or any of the other tree-towns. Marken works for Lord Nain’s forestry business. And everyone is paid simultaneously, or as close to. The pay is of course terrible, the hours are long and the work is boring as hell. Well for Marken it is. He has to sit about making sure no one took any of the tools without signing for them. Whilst making sure everyone hands in their identity paperwork before a tool goes out.

[The low elf is a guard. As a child he had imagined it was going to be moonlit chases through the trees. Capturing criminals who tried to run away. Whereas in reality it is nothing as glamorous.]

[After he had grown up to learn that no one investigated anything in the forest. Marken was disheartened to find out that if someone died then someone died. No investigation, or basic searching around for what happened, happened at all. If you were robbed, oh well, you were robbed. And the more elves which left each year, the worse it got in the forest. Crime they said was on the constant increase. And no one was going to do anything about it. Not even the Lord of the enchanted forest, who couldn’t have cared less about his serfs.]

A strong wind blew through the trees. As more autumn leafs fall to the floor, his body shakes whilst he tries not to glance upwards. Although this is when Marken hears a woman screaming. Everyone else around him hears it as well, but Marken is the only one who dashes off towards the sound. After all, his mind is telling him a woman is in trouble. And even though he should have been running away from the sound, like the those around him, his body is ambling in the other direction.

Branches hit him in the face as he slides through the trees. As he plunges on towards the sound of screaming, Marken realises he is on his own. No one is following him. No one is going to help him. There is now only the darkness. The light of the two moons fighting the canopy to reach the ground. His footfalls, crunching twigs and dry leaves as he moves. His heart beats begin to thud as his heart loses its rhythm as he speeds up.

Marken is now regretting his actions. His mind is cursing the part of himself, which compels him to be helpful. The sound of screaming has now gone quiet. All he can hear is the sound of panting and his beating heart. As it thuds against his own chest.

The tool guard thinks about calling out for help. He thinks about turning back around and heading in the opposite direction. But he can’t, someone needs his help (or needed, his mind screams). The desire to do some good in his life drowns out the voice on the inside, as it attempts to scream over his helpfulness trait.

Something carries on overriding the screaming voice and tells him that pushing forward is the only course of action. Whilst he knows it’s the right thing to do.

Another branch suddenly slaps him in the face. An enormous swelling begins to rise immediately. Marken’s head spins around. He tries to regain his footing but can’t. As he tries doing so, his feet go from under him. And as his legs go, he slips on something simultaneously. He hears a noise as he grabs at the closest tree trunk. A pain begins in his head and flows through his neck. In the dark though, whilst falling to the ground, he is sure that he can distinguish someone running away through the trees. Although, as his head hits the ground, all Marken observes is blackness.

‘Your nicked buddy!’ The guard says to him as he wakes Marken up. As two guards pick him up, his eyes open fully. Confusion follows the throbbing. Yet the first words out of his mouth are,
‘Did I save her?’ No one answers him. And with his arms quickly tied behind his back. Whilst being plastered in someone else’s blood. The guard marches him down the main road.

People begin to watch from their windows. Those standing in the street glare at him as he’s marched past them. Their eyes bore into his soul with each set of eyes. And yet none of them realise he’s one of the victims.

In the town’s only tiny red brick guardhouse. They have only two cells. The townsfolk always said they didn’t need more than two. After all, if the criminal isn’t at the scene of the crime, then nothing is going to be done about it. And as both cells were always empty. Only having two didn’t seem like a bad idea. Although sitting behind a large table is the commander of the only guardhouse in town. And although he is known to be a powerful mage who went by the name of Dippska. He is also known to be one of the few mages to stay in the forest voluntarily,
‘What’s this?’ Dippska said glancing up from his table. The sergeant answers his commander whilst still picking his nose,
‘We found him asleep on top of the body.’ The commander makes a noise towards his underling,
‘And that’s a reason to arrest a low elf?’
‘Well, he was on the body. I just said that.’

[The criminal had been on the body, so he’d arrested him. To the young plucky sergeant, it had at the time seemed fairly straightforward. As for everything else, well, he didn’t get paid enough to think about that.]

‘Clean him off, check that head wound and- wait your Marken, aren’t you?’ Marken nodded. He looked around and said,
‘Yes, sir.’ The commander shook his head,
‘Let him go. He’s a guard for-’ Dippska took in a deep breath and then carried on speaking,
‘What did you ascertain then guards-elf?’ Marken, as he is untied, puts his hand to his head and winces in pain. As he looks at the blood on his hands, he begins to tell the commander what he’d seen and done last night,
‘I had just collected my payment envelope. I was walking down Little Shrub Road towards my apartment at thirty-two red-bark street. The fourth-’ the commander starts to move his hand in a twirling motion, which causes Marken to skip ahead in the story,
‘A woman began to scream. Everyone ignored it as they trudged forwards. But I couldn’t, sir. I had to do something. So I darted off under the newer tree-apartments between the green belt. As I reached the crime scene, I was hit on the head. I think I saw the figure rushing off. But I didn’t observe anything of use, sir. It was just too dark.’ The commander made a noise, then glanced down at his paperwork as he said,
‘Clean yourself up. You two clean up the body and go tell the family. Your all to keep your eyes open for a dark elf. Whoever murdered that poor woman has been reborn by now. It only takes about twenty minutes. Now move it, I just gave you all orders.’ Marken doesn’t follow the other two guards out. He looks at the commander’s grey hair and says,
‘Sir. Don’t you think we should do something else?’
‘Like what, tool guard? Pressurize people to sign something and show identification?’ That hurt Makren’s feelings. But he finds it in himself to answer without any emotion,
‘Search for the killer, sir. Check with people. Knock door to door-’, the commander looks up as he cuts Marken off,
‘Ah, these new ideas I hear coming from the Dwarven Mounties. How novel. Although you appear to forget that here in this town, no in this forest even, we will never find the killer. He has likely run a mile. Or maybe he’s currently riding one of the logs to the hub. Do you know that by the time a rider reaches the log hub, that we wouldn’t even be a quarter of the way? He is likely to get on the first timber wagon going to the royal capital. And that is still before we even reach the hub.’
‘Sir, who says it was a male?’
‘She, he or even a troll, it doesn’t matter. Unless we catch them in the act, we can’t do anything.’
‘But-’ The commander looks like he is about to scream at Marken. But the words that cut him off aren’t nastily said,
‘If you want to learn all that new stuff, then go. I mean it. Go to the mountains and learn all the new dwarven enforcement ideas.’
‘I didn’t mean-’ answering the commander doesn’t go the way the low elf is hoping it would go. The commander’s face turns red as he cuts Marken off for a third time, almost screaming as he does so,
‘And I don’t care what you mean. You youngsters all want to go off and see the world. To learn new things, well, if that’s what you want, then go. Go on then. The door is right there. Do you know what? I’ve had enough of you-’ which Marken believes is a bit too far. This is after all the first time he has spoken with the commander, ‘-and all the rest of the youth of these last decades. Do you know what? You’re fired. Get out of my sight before I decide you need to be put in the cell after all. GO!’

[Another murder in the forest is left unsolved. Only to be added to the long list of crimes which keeps on growing by the day. Along with the murder, no one noticed that the delivery of ale had gone missing. Although when the landlord isn’t there to collect her delivery- oh wait. My bad, she was murdered. Quickly moving on.]

[The low-elf is out of the job and with everyone in town presuming he is a murderer. Marken does what all youngish elves do with their lives in this new modern world. He got the bond back on his apartment, cleaned out his bank account and headed off to the world outside the forest. With no real destination in mind. Marken heads towards where guarding is becoming a career and not a chore.]

[And yet this is what life is like for the elves of the forest. They work constantly without thanks. They live in fear that that day would be their last. Or they are forced to leave their ancestral home to find work. And I must note, if the decrease each month carries on the way it is going, then in fifty years time the forest will be like the troll mountain towns. Barren of all but those who have a reason to stay. Which is always linked to illegal activity.]

[Next time on lifeforms of Caradesance. We will be taking a fleeting glimpse into the life of a dwarf as they move the modern universe forward with their digging, tinkering and sluggish advance into the surface-world.]

Categories
Lifeforms of Caradesance

The lifeforms of Caradesance – Trolls

Empty page.

[Welcome-]

Whispering in the background. A hefty slap that connects. Another argument which ends with-

[-so we’re going to take it in turns. Now be quiet!]

Three deep breaths. A smile the reader can’t appreciate. Another slap for good measure. The sound of moaning, as it drifts through a location infinite in its size.

[I am sorry about that. And once again, I would like to welcome you to the lifeforms of Caradesance. Where we are on a journey of discovery through the intelligent kingdom. Using the most backwards planet in the whole multi-verse, as our point of reference.]

[Today’s reading pleasure brings us into the enormous wet valleys that form the nation known as Mist. Known for its deep cavasses that remain the same as they did upon forming. This is a location where waking each morning, you’d be met with what the mountains are named after. As the mist clings around all day anyway. And it is nothing special. The mist has no deep hidden magical properties. It leaves no blessing upon the ground. It’s simply moisture which hangs in the air, dimming the light which strives to reach the ground.]

[In this immense, muddy, inhospitable location, nothing much grows at all. Or, at least, nothing you could survive on permanently. Most of the local food is brought in from the outside, or is grown within the dwarven subterranean glow caverns. And due to this, hidden deep within the once snow-covered, continent spanning, mountain range; lives no one, but the harshest of all types of people. And it is in this damp, rocky, rugged terrain that the trollist-rocanaia is said to have evolved. Or more commonly known as, a troll.]

[Most scientists will say that the evolution of the troll could only have happened by magic. Their silicon body is a mystery to all who attempt to study the being. None attempt to study them anymore. Not even the trolls themselves. And as the chair won’t look back far enough in time. I can only guess at the truth of their birth. Although, I do not like speculating. Because magic and science are areas, where only the verifiable facts must be examined. And I am, most definitely, a goblin of magical scientific study.]

[Each troll born is built not unlike a tiny geode in the beginning. It forms under pressure, and with an act of sexual reproduction, which we will not talk about. That is a conversation about the birds and the bees. And this is a conversation you should’ve had by now ladies and gentlemen with your parents. This is not troll porn. That is a different frequency.]

[Ahem! Do not look for that book, disgusting.]

[Now, an egg-ta-de is formed on the mother’s left shoulder within hours of conception. For the first five days it begins to grow slowly. As it does so, it forms a large shoulder pebble. Which will then fall off when everything is just right. As it detaches from the female it so without causing a single ounce of pain.]

[From that moment, we watch the pebble grow tiny arms and legs. But it’s still unable to move from the countertop where it will mature.]

[The miracle of silicon life, at this point, is forming a brain and mouth. Once finished, the pebble will need to eat. Which it cannot manage until it moves for the first time. Internal stored energy in silicon cells will have to drive its growth forward. Once it moves, the immature stomach needs feeding almost immediately. And as the mother knows this, she constructs a bed of rocks. With leaves used as edible blankets for the next few days.]

[Once the pebble has eaten its countertop bed, they should have become roughly about the size of an adult human hand. The small stone must then find a way off the counter. And find a spot outside to continue its transformation to adulthood. Or in a few hours, it will simply be a rock thrown to the side of the road. Like all the other failed troll children that are scattered across Caradesance.]

With three wobbly rolls. The troll toddler is upright. Legs shaking unsteadily under him.

As it glances around itself. Its eyes open fully for the first time. Gaining its first shred of confidence from gaining its sight. The future mammoth begins to explore the countertop. Each bit of raw organic it finds is eaten quickly, adding to the energy reserve it needs for its transformation into adulthood. The moments add up though, and now, the toddler must get off the countertop.
Deep within the troll; a drive, a need, or a calling from a primitive location, is surfacing.

[Few know what this drive is called, but we will call it a desire.]

And this driving desire is now screaming within. It is advising the toddler to plant its legs into the soil outside. Telling its brain that it will need to stay there with its rocky skull touching the air. The internal-primitive-desire is simultaneously praying for rain. Telling the silicon pathways, that it will grow strong like a fierce storm, if it rains.

So at the counter’s edge it examines the floor. Surveying the cobblestone slabs only once. The toddler dives off of the counter. Simply hoping for the best. It rolls across the floor, as it lands. The youngster giggles from the sheer excitement. Whilst it begins wishing it could do it again. The baby troll stands upright knowing it must now search for a way outside.

But help is at hand. Its mother has come to check on its baby.

The kitchen door opens. The small rock can now perceive the outside world. It can feel the wind on its skin. It can smell the scent of mud. Thusly, its desire to begin growing. The desire, which begins to burn within, is brighter than before. And the young troll knows what it must do.

The toddler proceeds to rapidly move forward. At first, it stumbles over its own feet. But, it continues until its standing in soil. As nothing can stop the troll now from trying to grow up.

[Nature, after all, has taken over.]

So it plants itself into mud. Forcing itself deep into the ground. Until only its head is visible. Instantly the mud-coma takes over, and the toddler will now lay in wait until the first full moon.

[Or maybe even the second full moon. That depends on when it planted itself.]

[At the correct full moon. The troll child will begin to move at midnight. Climbing out of the ground on their own is the final test. And failure means they will become like many of the rocks lying around the mountain. Stuck in the ground, unable to move, unable to talk, and worst of all, they’re still partly alive. Once free though, the child’s grandparents name them by placing an item onto their chest, and the whole tribe dances until sunup, chanting the new name to all the gods for a blessing.]

[Those without grandparents, are named Rock. And there are a great many Rocks in the world.]

[If the child is fed well, cared for, and raised correctly, they can grow to become an impressive seven-foot-tall wrecking cart. In Nippa-kanta, in this modern age, well-fed trolls have caused the reinforcing flooring sector to thrive. Whilst in the countryside, most troll houses are still built like bungalows, low to the ground, and shaped like domes. Although, nearly all the mountain troll towns are now improvised areas where they fight each other, for the right to work.]

[In the valley town of Piptron. Our young pebble has grown into a troll. Where he now spends the days, as the village lookout.]

[Piptron is like most of the mountain villages and towns. Troll migration to the capital of the Royal Kingdom has left it nothing more than a ghost town. Round plaster buildings with thatched dome shape roofs which are left empty. Only to be ruined by the elements over the passing seasons.]

[If I was to describe this location in a simple phase. It would be as an excrement-hole. Which for the local trolls who stayed is preferable, as no one visits a toilet. Unless they need too, of course.]

‘Billflower?’ The skinner shorter troll said glancing at his colleague,

‘What is it Mandrake?’ Billflower asked still watching the worm climb over his foot,

‘Well, no one comes here right?’

‘That’s correct.’

‘Well, I was just wondering.’ The worm fell off his foot as Billflower felt the need to ask,

‘Why?’

‘Because that’s a cart, isn’t it?’ Billflower begins to stare off from atop of the tall pillar of stone they were both sitting on,

‘Eh. You’re right. Go call Rock, could be the Dwarven Mounties. And get ready, we might have to burn the crop.’

[Normally no one dares come this far into the mountains. But riding along the road from the nearest town down, is indeed a cart being dragged by two enormous mountain donkeys.]

[Sitting behind the reins, checking out the scenery, is a vampire. A well-dressed bloodsucker, who is far from his native land.]

The cart which pulls up alongside the pillar has only one occupant. Whilst the mountain donkeys begin stamping their hoofs at being forced to stop. Billflower is not worried as he looks down at the vampire. Watching him with a smile on his face, the vampire says nothing to the troll. As two natural enemies now stare at each other, one looks like he is trying to be friendly. Whereas the other rocky face is blank, showing no emotion externally, but is bewildered on the inside,

‘You’re a long way from home,’ the vampire agrees with Billflower and smiles once again before he replies,

‘I am looking for slat.’

‘You a Mountie. You must tell me you’re a Mountie, if you are a Mountie. It’s the law you know.’ Billflower said with a look of apprehension on his face,

‘I am not a guard of any sort. I, my worthy troll, am money wandering around. I want to pipe your substance to the big city.’ Billflower doesn’t reply to the vampire, and suddenly he’s waiting for the law enforcement dwarfs to jump out from under the cart.

[Vampires and trolls are not only natural enemies. But these two are, in fact, ancient predators and prey. No one knows when the hunting of vampires stopped. But most historians would agree the trolls did so, roughly, before the end to the age of conflict.]

[In the time when hunting vampires was someone’s day job, only the troll race evolved to better hunt their prey. Due to this, a single bite from a troll is not widely known to be, but is deadly. They also became stronger than their prey, although this was at the cost of speed. And no one knows when they lost their coloured yellow outer layer. But troll evolution replaced it with an worn grey that allowed the hunter to better blend into their surroundings. Leaving only picture writings in the caverns across the mountains, which told all trolls their history.]

‘Who you?’ Billflower turns towards the voice and spots Rock, who is now marching through the broken-down village. The vampire smiling in his fine fur robes replies with,

‘I am looking for a slat supply.’

‘You didn’t answer my question. What’s your name?’

‘Brevino.’

‘You a Mountie? You’re to tell me by law if you are.’

‘That’s not true, and I’m not.’

‘Well, I don’t know. What if I said I don’t have any?’

‘Your neighbours said you do. They sent me up here after I asked them,’ the vampire looks around himself, ‘and this is the last town on this mountain road.’

Rock nods. He thinks about it for a minute before asking,

‘What do you want with it?’

‘I want to coordinate shipments to the capital.’ Billflower didn’t like the vampire, or the way he spoke. His mind is focusing on how all posh people in the big city sounded like the bloodsucker. Whilst it is also ignoring the fact that the vampire isn’t wearing clothing from Nippa-kanta. Billflower, who did the current drop every two years to the Capital of the Royal Kingdom. Not only got to meet his sister (who had moved away ten years ago), but also learnt early-on that they all spoke differently.

[If he was paying attention though, then he might have also noticed, that the vampire wasn’t wearing a single piece of flax. Which is the number one material for all clothing of the kingdom.]

Even though the vampire didn’t sound Nippa-kantian. Billflower didn’t like the situation based on a gut feeling. Although his brain put the all the natural hatred and doubt to one side for the bag of gold which almost appears in the vampire’s hand.

‘We have a pipeline to the capital.’ Rock, glancing at Billflower, (who they all knew didn’t know when to shut up), shakes his head at his lookout. Whilst the vampire smiles softly before saying,

‘I was on about Edenborough.’ Rock, nodding in reply, says with an expression of apprehension,

‘How much you after?’

‘Well, I only have four hundred gold to start off with. I was hoping that would fill this cart.’ The troll, obviously the boss to anyone watching. Begins smiling, whilst showing a full mouth of black-tarnished silver teeth,

‘We can do that.’ The vampire smiling gave a cursory curt nod asking,

‘So, you can fill this whole cart with slat, for four hundred gold?’

‘I just said yes. Didn’t I?’ Rock said looking around at the trolls who were with him.

Seven dwarfs begin to scream out of nowhere. Their fake breads flap in the wind as they move,

‘Mountie Drug Law Enforcement, down on the ground! Down on the ground!’ Whilst they are jumping off the back of the cart, their moving around, and watching for more enemies. The dwarfs scream at the trolls once again. Whilst Billflower is following the scene with a growing confusion. The back of the cart was empty, his mind kept on saying.

Crossbows are suddenly pointing at the residents. [The magical variety which could kill me, or you.] But they aren’t going to kill a troll, much less deeply penetrate their rocky shell to cause actual damage.

[Guards after all aren’t allowed to kill anyone.]

Brevino pulls out a sword from his expensive fur coat. The dull iron appears harmless to the trolls, until they realize there is a gem in the handle. A purple ruby, charged with air magic using the gold enchantment method of magical transference,

‘If I touch you with this, your body will fall to pieces. So, lay down on the floor, with your hands on your head. Now!’ The trolls take a step forward, glancing around as they do so. After all, seven dwarfs in chain mail had just appeared out of thin air, who knew what could happen next,

‘Turn around, return to your burrows.’ Rock said with a deadly glare.

[No one, and I mean, no one, is moving. In the past, the troll numbers would have kept the dwarfs in their underground mines. Now, though, the dwarfs have claimed inside and outside of the mountains. This latest drug enforcement operation, is yet another attempt in their extensive list of pushes, where the Mounties struggle to even flex their sword hand.]

Billflower jumps off the pillar without thinking. He only knows he must attack. Surprise his prey, and use his prey’s confusion against itself.

As he is falling towards the vampire, the blade in the bloodsucker’s hands slashes towards him. The sword though barely misses our troll. Whilst the lookout lands on the vampire with a full body slam.
The massive weight landing on the cart causes one of the wheels to snap in a shower of splinters. The two donkeys bolt inwards free of their reins. And as far away from the noise, as they could go. The distraction, though, is enough to cause not only cause hearing damage. But this is also enough to cause a panic to rise in the dwarven ranks.

[This is not the first time the MDLE had turned up to clean up the improvised location. And these dwarfs have heard the troll sagas, like every other person on Britstana. We’ll tell you them at a later date.]

The sword sent flying through the air is of little use to the vampire, who is now struggling with the troll trying to bite him. Whilst one of his legs showers the grass with blood. Its natural healing ability is reluctant to stop the flow immediately. Although the blood begins to slow down after a few moments. But the vampire is now weak.

Billflower suddenly attempts to grab the bloodsucker’s paler face, who is still trying to wriggle out from under two tons of weight.

Whereas two of the dwarfs decide to fire their bolts into the troll. Although this has little effect, and the two bolts certainly don’t stop Billflower from wrestling with Brevino.

The other five dwarfs are standing their ground, watching as nine advancing trolls continue to move slowly forward. None of them open fire though, as their arms are shaking. And suddenly, they have to make a choice. Four of the five dwarfs begin to leg-it, as fast as they can. Which for a race that is on average four-foot-tall is extremely fast. The lone shaking dwarf lets his only bolt loose, as the other two also decide to run away from the wrestling match.

Rock pulls the iron bolt out of his arm. Smiles. Looks around himself, and then looks down at the dwarf who is now crying,

‘I’m just doing my job, please, please don’t hurt me.’ The troll laughs at him. With one stabbing motion, he plants the bolt into the dwarf’s forehead. The leader of the town does so again, and again. In what can only be described, as an extremely violent crime. Rock stabs the member of the mountain law enforcement until there is nothing left of the guard’s face. The surrounding trolls are laughing, as the tiny body is now, little more than a bag of broken, well everything.

Billflower, who is still wrestling with the vampire, begins to chuckle. His arms are now holding down the victim. Billflower applies pressure. And they all hear a loud- SNAP!

The sound travels across the mountains, echoing off of the hills. Causing everyone to hear the sound. Even the dwarfs, as they ran off down the road. Billflower titters, and starts to drag the vampire across the floor, as blood splutters from his chest. The trolls all laugh together, as the vampire whispers,

‘Tell my brother Trevino-’ Although his words are cut short, as the troll has his massive mouth over the vampire’s shoulder. There is no helping the officer of the law, as one quick bite is all the predator needs. The troll drug cultivators stand there watching, as the vampire begins to convulse on the floor. Shaking, as the silver toxin travels to the brain. The vampire dies in mere seconds, exploding into a pile of ash at the end of his life. Once the body goes limp, Rock studies Billflower and says,

‘Well done BF, you’re now in charge of defence measures. Dwarf-Pebble, go find that sword. And the rest of you, clean this waste of space up. We’re going to have more trouble sooner or later.’

[In the mountain troll town, dominance of the alpha’s land has been settled for the moment. A new semi-alpha has been promoted up the chain. And the war on dangerous narcotics has two more casualties to add to the growing list.]

[Next time. We will be going to the enchanted forests, in the north of the Royal Kingdom. Where the tree homes of the elves, give birth to five sub-races. Until I narrate, at you again, live for the moment, but remember to stay safe.]

Categories
Lifeforms of Caradesance

The lifeforms of Caradesance – Humans

Silence.

An empty page.

The absence of words.

The sound of someone being slapped. A trivial muffled argument began between two comrades. Which was followed by yet another slap. Both goblin and fourth dimensional butcher had been forced together by circumstance-

[Get out of the chair and stop writing!]

{No!}

[I’ve had enough of you.]

The goblin slapped the butcher once more. The hand collided with his face, leaving behind a dull ache. The goblin flexed his physique, as he prepared to lash out once more-

[Stop writing and step out of the chair.]

The goblin whacked the defenceless butcher. Vin tried to rip both submerged hands from the red crystalline goop.

{Which forms the words you’re reading, by a means of goblin magical technology, and some heavy amounts of thick black builders-tape.}

Mister Roge struggled-

[I am Vin Attorn, and I was once a hob-goblin of the slowest order. Now I am but a humble goblin watcher of time and space. As we travel together through the multi-dimensional universe, I once more return to the most backwards planet in the whole cosmos.]

Pause. The sound of rustling as something metallic is thrown away. The crunching sound of fried potato slices.

[Sorry. I hadn’t yet eaten my breakfast.]

Pausing once again.

Complaining in the background.

I lash out for the sake of quietness. Glad that I did so.

[Today, we are going to start our journey on the continent of Britstana. Where life is a little less primitive, and has been roughly moving forward at the pace of a giant space turtle. So I would like you to sit back and relax. As I take you on a tour of the so-called intelligent races of Caradesance, with me Vin Attorn.]

[In what I’m calling the lifeforms of Caradesance.]

We are beginning our journey at the seaside. A beach that is between two large cliffs of volcanic stone. Ocean worn pebbles and rocks, scatter the half a mile long local resort in large round or ragged black stone. Whilst a bank which leads up to the village has the most splendid summer flowers. Causing those walking down to the rocks to sneeze.

The mid-day sun is high in the sky. Which is bringing the almost hairless homo sapiens out of their crude round stone buildings. Like many intelligent beings across the multi-verse, these hairless apes tend to live in family groups. Finding a strange comfort in conforming to hierarchal obligations, that they tend not to share around.

[In the animal kingdom an important factor to life is would be predators. Forming large packs or herds discourages these hunters. Keeping not only kin alive but allows larger amounts genetic information to be past along, and allows for greater numbers of sustenance to be found.]

[Humanity has over the course of its evolution developed away from the herd mentality. Forming a stronger family bond than others of the animal kingdom. Although their bond only keeps its own members safe, whilst ignoring those outside the group, unless it’s to their obligations.]

[This animal desire to stay safe is what holds the Thatcher family together subconsciously. As they live along the north-eastern coastline in the small village of Nix. Their names for the record are Mic and Debra Thatcher. Both mother and father Thatcher have three children by the names of, Derk, Din, and Darren. Other than that, nothing else about them is in fact important. They’re but a grain of sand amongst billions.]

Their children, like every other red-haired child on the rocks, are throwing small stones into the water. Deb, screaming at them all to stop behaving like fools, is still standing on the costal walkway off the rocks just before the bank amongst a collection of mothers. Unpacking food from a straw basket, Mr. Thatcher, with a smile on his face, took a sip of local ale from his tankard whilst sat on the pier laughing with the other fathers.

[As we watch the beachgoers, I must note that while nothing can hurt our humans whilst they are on land. There are things which lurk in the water that shouldn’t be so easily forgotten about. And I am not just on about the undercurrents.]

Laying beyond the rocky beaches out in deeper water are four large manic prandial fish. Swimming around their children, the adults are following the vibrations in the water. Slow-moving underwater patterns which allow them to find their food, and are given off by anything in the water.

[Named after their sweet, tasty, highly sugared flesh, and their obsessive collective nature. These fish are more related to the lobster than a tuna. Although thanks to the magic of Caradesance you would think they were five-foot-long fish. Armoured, and armed with pincers where some fish might have a neck fin, an adult prandial is the deadliest hunter of the ocean.]

This collection of manic prandial is also a family unit. As they glide through the water they’re searching for schools of tuna. Having been brought close to the shore by new vibrations in the water. The adults are still unsure about the situation. Thus mother, and father prandial, are keeping their two young close to them. Swimming circles around them whilst they sniff the water currents.

A splash happens at the edge of the water moving outwards, the pattern that reaches them only takes a few seconds for them to register. Knowing that it’s different from the inconstant vibrations they’d been following, all the members of the family unit begin to slowly move towards the shore.

They smell their dinner option as an underwater scent reaches them. This new scent to the younger members is a pleasant surprise. An opportunity for the younger prandial to eat meat that they class as rare.

[And this is something neither of them can pass on.]

The two juvenile prandial do not wait for permission. Both shoot off through the water, as fast as their immature fins let them.

[To live and to eat to the prandial are the same thing. They have permission to live, so they have the right to hunt. And hunt they will do.]

[And that internal nature of the magical not-a-fish, is what has kept them alive throughout the ages. Each armoured fish is born knowing that they must eat, need to swim, and must give-in to the urge of mating, so that they can survive.]

With a speed that would beat the extinct moor-panther, the younger two-foot-long animals begin swimming towards their prey gaining speed. Within moments, they’re close.

[No one has spotted them.]

Derk, the youngest Thatcher child, was playing in the water. Being only six-years-old, the smallest child is ignoring what the adults have always told him about the ocean.

Because he now knows his brothers are no longer paying him any attention, after glancing at them. The child walks a little further into the swallows to splash around some more. Derk’s grin widens, as he begins to enjoy his day at the beach. The small child playing didn’t understand what all the fuss was about.

[The fuss though is about to become apparent to Derk.]

He hears screaming from his mother, who is now running towards him almost tripping on the rocks. Waving back, the child continues to splash in the water. His father jumps off the pier, and begins running through the knee-high water, ignoring all danger to himself. Still, the boy, splashing in the salt water, is ignoring all the warning signs.

Both adolescent prandial could feel the secondary lighter vibrations travelling through the water. But their focus is on lunch. Because they’ve committed themselves to this hunt, nature takes over.

[It is now, hunt, or stave. That is how the animal kingdom works from their limited perspective.]

The larger of the two glides out in front, jumping at the child the first chance it gets.

[If you were to observe this in slow motion, then you would see twenty thin legs unfolding out of the very skin of the creature. Alas, there is no way to show you this. And it does happen quite fast.]

The creature, ignoring the crying defence mechanism of its prey, draws closer on its elongated, spiderlike legs. Crawling along the rocky beach, and struggling to breathe, the eldest of the two prandial is now close enough to swipe with its larger pincer.

[It barely misses the young boy, but whilst the animal knows it has used the wrong tactic. The creature knows also that it must now retreat. That is if it wants to hunt again. Every cell in its aquatic lungs is now screaming that it must hurry back into the water.]

The smaller of the two predators waits until its brother is in full retreat.

[It uses its siblings’ failed attempt. Noting distance and speed. Which is all the animal needs.]

The fish launches itself from the water with all twenty legs unfolding. One second is all it takes, for the prandial youth to begin pulling the miniature human into the ocean. As it does so, the fish knows nothing of the rocks which are bouncing off its armour. All the prandial perceives is that the prey appears to give itself over without a fight. Dragging the child deeper into the water, the fish begins to drown its food before the family shares in the hunt.

[Whilst on the shores of the beach, life is now changing for the family. They are suffering the greatest loss possible in the circle of life, and they must adjust to this new reality.]

[Next time on the lifeforms of Caradesance. We will be going to the natural home of the trolls. High in the valleys of the mountains of Mist, where these most interesting intelligent beings are forced into manual labouring roles.]

Laying beyond the rocky beaches out in deeper water are four large manic prandial fish. Swimming around their children, the adults are following the vibrations in the water. Slow-moving underwater patterns which allow them to find their food, and are given off by anything in the water.