Those who have heard the mystical tales...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Fourth Tale Of Badger: The Siege of Fort Ni Aps

Badger grew up in a house with two sisters. Mama Sinkus loved her daughters more than any mother had ever known, and raised them in a house between Bamah and the swamp of Drumm. Her older sisters, Karli and Kati, teased her, like all older siblings do, but in their rivalries showed her not only love, but also a particualr set of skills, that not many are familiar with, much less masters of: espionage, deception, and archery. Her sisters were gossipers, as women, and blackmailers, as warriors. They fought for King Carl, and were stationed at the southernmost Bamah fort of Ni Aps.
One day, Mama Sinkus asked Badger to take her sisters their birthday gifts, as she couldn't travel to Ni Aps; Badger fought Kawan during this time. Ecstatic at the chance to see her sisters, Badger immediately packed for the trip. She left the Bards, but they assumed where she was; knowing her free spirit self, they shrugged it off.
Badger arrived at fort Ni Aps, and found her sisters not long after. The gatekeeper knew her, and led her right to Kati and Karli. The sisters celebrated the long-awaited reunion in their normal style--food, drink, and tale-telling ("catching up" is the term they used). Badger, in her merriment, chose to stay for the week.
The next day, Badger wandered the grounds of the fort. She came upon a street musician; fascinated by the crowds that gathered around, she stopped to see his show. He performed simple sleight-of-hand, but it was evident by his show that he had been practicing for a long time. After his show, she approached him, asking for tips on his performance. He smiled, introduced himself as The Great Scott, and took her to the house he lived in. He revealed that he knew her family; had heard of them; well, had known them.
Kati and Karli fought under his father in several battles. He was wounded, and Karli defended as Kati carried his father back to the fort. Scott watched as the three came into the fort; he felt grateful to them. Badger spoke of returning the message, and the two laughed.
So Badger and Scott conversed, for an hour or two; they soon grew close, enjoying every moment together more than the last. Then, alarms began sounding throughout the town; an outside force threatened the fort, and the two returned to the sisters' barracks.
For many years, the Baman people lived in harmony with the Antipoans to the south. However, Antipoa was recently stricken with an army of orcs, who, when driven away, headed north along the Wolfe River.
When Badger and Scott found Kati and Karli, they had armed themselves for combat. Badger saw that she really shouldn't go into the battle, as her mother cared very much for all of them, and losing even one daughter would be devastating, so any rogue heroic act, however awesome and theatrical it would be, would be ignorant and unnecessary. Scott, who later criticized my use of a run-on sentence to describe her single thought, stayed behind with her.
The orcs broke the front gate with brute force. Several men died in that one skirmish. Kati and Karli's forces drove them back at the second wall, and Karli took out the orcs' mightiest warrior. Scott convinced Badger to follow him to the highest tower of the second wall (which wasn't a difficult task) and there they shadowed the archers, stealing glimpses of the battle. When one orc scaled the fortress wall, several archers died pushing him back, but to no avail. Scott, stealing a sword off the nearest tower guard, sent him back to the ledge. Badger stole a bow off a dead archer, and when the orc fell over the side, he pulled Scott with him. Badger sent her first arrow right through the orc's forehead. Scott freed himself in time to survive the fall with only a broken arm. Badger covered him as he made his way to the front gate. Kati noticed him, and calling Karli, defended the retreating magician. Badger continued the fight atop the wall, skillfully driving back orc after orc. Not even three of her arrows missed that day, and the battle swiftly ended when Antipoan armies flanked the orcs. What orcs didn't flee, died in combat.
That night, a feast was held to celebrate the two nations' alliance. Kati, Karli, Badger, and two other Bamans were awarded for their bravery, as were several Antipoans. Scott healed quickly, and was able to return to Bamah with Badger. They lived with Mama Sinkus, happily awaiting their next adventure together, with the Bards, or not.