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Threetoe's Stories, and Analysis

Heroes of the Coast

By Threetoe

Wind whistled through the corridors of the crumbling stone castle. The crash of waves sounded from beneath the cliffs below. The king's brow wrinkled beneath his crown of coral. His greatest heroes had been sent far and wide to find the ancient dwarf artifacts that were needed in the impending war with the forces of darkness that now crawled upon the earth. A page ran into the throne room gasping for breath and announced the return of Galron, hero of the south. The mighty warrior swaggered into the hall. He approached the king and bowed his head slightly, holding his sword point to the floor. The king rose from his seat and clasped Galron's arms, thanking the gods for his safe return.

Galron presented his prize, a magic ring, to the king. He told a tale of how he pried it from the hand of the dread lord Amibus. The ring protected its wearer from harm dealt by blade or axe or claw. After battling his way into Amibus's fortress, Galron and his men beat down the evil ruler with the hilts of their swords and broke the fiend's fingers in order to take the ring from him.

"It is yours, King Ramese," said Galron.

The King put the ring on his finger. As he gazed into its many faceted jewels, another man stepped into the room. It was Malcom, warrior of the wasteland. He presented the king with a magic cup. He had taken it from the ruined city of Alitwain, a place where the angry dead were known to dwell. The magic cup was always full of the purest water. Those who drank from the cup would find all there illnesses cured. The king took the cup from the warrior's outstretched hands.

"My life is yours," said Malcom.

The king drank from the cup and felt the weariness of his advancing years fading away. As he set the cup down, another man entered the room, a silver helmet under his arm. It was Caltron the Swift, greatest scout and tracker in the land. He had brought with him the Helm of Truth. He had struck down its evil wearer through cunning and stealth. Who ever wore the helm had only to look into an enemy's eyes to read his innermost thoughts. He handed the helm to his lord.

"My only wish is to do your bidding," said Caltron.

King Ramese assembled his army. Most were the sons of poor fisher folk. The king rode at the head of his army on a grey horse, the Helm of Truth on his head. He looked on Caltron and ordered him to scout ahead. Maybe if I impress the king with my skill, he will allow me to marry his daughter, thought Caltron. The king was nonplussed. After a time the scout could be seen returning over the great expanse of grassland. Behind him a cluster of black shadows rose in the sky. Winged beasts, silent and deadly. The king ordered the archers to make ready. As the creatures came closer the king could see them for what they were. Nightwings. They flew with great wings like those of a bat. Their heads were like those of a jackal, menacing with the fangs of a serpent. But, they lived only in the great wastes. The king looked one of them in the eye. Blood. Blood. Blood. The king clasped the helm in his hands.

The winged beasts tore into the army. The king was tackled from his horse. As the monster stood over him, he stabbed it in the chest repeatedly with his sword. The beast fought on, not slowed in the slightest. The magic cup spilled from its place on the king's hip and created a growing pool of water. The monster's claw touched the water and it jerked back as if in pain. The king snatched up the cup and splashed the monster with water. Its face began to melt. The king ran through the combatants, throwing water on the monsters. Soon the surviving enemies took flight.

The scouts reported a huge army of goblins just over the rise in the prairie. The king ordered his men to charge. Galron looked at the king and laughed a warrior's laugh. When you are dead, I will be king, thought the hero. The king's jaw went slack. After a moment he charged after his troops and crested the hill. Before them was a vast host of evil. There marched a sea of goblins bristling with a variety of skulls held high on wooden poles. Here and there giant monsters lumbered along, knocking goblins out of the way to get to their prey.

The king led the charge. The two armies smashed into each other, hacking and slashing. A goblin hacked into the king's arm splattering blood across the ground. But as the blade passed through the arm, the flesh sealed together immediately. The king smiled and thrust his sword into the goblin's chest. At last, I will see my parents again, thought the goblin. The king withdrew his sword in disgust. Through the chaos of sword and pike, the king spied his enemy, Gulrolek, Lord of the Underworld. Galron saw him first and charged, hacking through a crowd of goblin bodyguards to engage the ruler. The warrior lifted his sword above his head and howled. Gulrolek caught Galron's wrists in a huge clawed hand and crushed the bones into putty. Galron wept with rage as the goblins dragged him away. Ramese stepped before the evil lord and pointed his sword at his chest.

"Your reign of terror has come to an end," said the king.

The Lord of the Underworld looked amused. Your toys do not frighten me, thought Gulrolek. The king charged, hacking into Gulrolek's side. The evil lord grabbed the king by the face, and proceeded to tear out his eyes. The king howled in pain as his eyes grew back over and over. Gulrolek reached down and plucked off the king's ring. Malcom charged out of the battlefield and sliced into Gulrolek's leg. The evil lord back handed him and sent him crashing to the ground, a bag full of broken bones. Gulrolek tore out the king's throat and threw him down next to the dying hero. The king looked over to Malcom as the life blood seeped from his wound. I love you, thought the warrior of the wasteland.

Caltron rode like the wind, stopping at every village to warn them that the goblins were coming. At last he reached the castle. The king was dead, he told them. The only thing left was to flee for their lives. He made his way to the princess's chamber. She looked up from the altar at which she had been praying for her father's safe return. Caltron stood in the doorway.

"You can stay here and die a princess," said Caltron, "or you can come with me and live."

Together they rode into the setting sun.


    • messenger/warning riders that go from village to village
    • drafting the poor
    • concerning flags and symbols of armies, the simpler folk can produce simple banners like a skull on a pole
    • symbols of leadership
    • death words (and death thoughts), often can concern the things most important to the dying creature
    • large creatures can push small creatures aside
    • the thoughts a creature is having concern its current actions, entity affiliations, long and short term goals, possessions, etc., these can be read
    • waves crashing on shore, height depends on tide, can use water flows with a biased gravity variable
    • certain nemeses can seek each other out on the battlefield
    • if you know how a creature is protected from certain types of harm, you can choose to inflict unblocked injury types deliberately
    • ordering units to form up in certain ways depending on threats
    • if a creature won't give up an inventory easily in wrestling, creatures can choose to break nearby parts instead
    • item quests in order to consolidate power
    • damage blocking artifacts
    • ever-filling artifacts with various properties
    • disease-curing artifacts
    • if you know your enemy can mind read, you can talk shit at them over this medium
    • body-regrow magic can be used to torture somebody repeatedly in the same way
    • liquids and other objects can have alignments with certain metaphysical forces, these can have good effects on the co-aligned and adverse effects on the counter-aligned, creatures could also have simple susceptibilities to materials