The Epic of Willdog: Part 2

Prologue

Modern philosophy tells us that once the body perishes, as does the mind, the concept of a "spirit" is held to be nothing more than a religious fantasy fabricated by those fearing everlasting nothingness. Modern Willdogophy tells philosophers to shut the HFIL up, and teaches the truth to those who listen.

All men contain three elements to their being: mind, body, and spirit. In order for a man to truly be destroyed, all three of these elements must be vanquished. In many cases the destruction of a body leads to the destruction of the corresponding mind, but it is possible for someone of great will to maintain a state of life in mind even though their body has been destroyed. A spirit, it is known, cannot be destroyed, only banished.

Some clans worship the power of mind over body, some the power of body over mind, and yet others the power of spirit over both. The truly enlightened worship only Willdog.

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Deep in the forest where no man walks, a clan whose beliefs vest in the power of the mind are gathered in their place of sacred sacrament. They stand together: a circle of hooded men surrounding a stone bed upon which two motionless figures lay. Slowly they begin to chant in unison. They circle the figures. Slowly at first, and then rapidly, their movements matching the pace of the chant.

Suddenly, a current of dark magic reaches up from the bowels of the earth and grips hold of the two figures. A bolt of lightning shoots between them, and just as suddenly as it arrived, the dark magic departs.

The gather'd mind-worshippers cease their rambunctious behavior and the night air becomes still. All those in attendance wait... one minute, then two. When it began to seem that their ceremony had been for not, the worshippers started murmering in despair.

Suddenly, a screech cut through the air like a knife through warm margarine. One of the previously motionless figures raises his hand into the night sky before slowly, and triumphantly, rising to his feet atop his stony resting place. The hooded figures surrounding join in his screeching and fill the sky with the noises of their jubilation. The forces of evil are alive in the Land.

Chapter 1: Returns a King

King Zaloba rode alongside the forest of Sgniht Live flanked by two of his finest knights. The previous evening, Zaloba's slumber had been interrupted by an awful screech that had roused every man and woman in his city. The citizens of Alonzo had taken to the streets, chattering nervously with their neighbors, all of them asking what could possibly be raising such a clangor. Nobody had the answer, but everybody knew where the sound had come from.

It was rare for anyone to venture into the forest. Men that entered the forest usually never returned. Those that did came back... differently. Some of them were crazed, and went into a frenzy that usually ended with their death at the hands of the city guard. Others went mute, never speaking another word. All of them shared a look in their eyes that made Zaloba shiver. Something about the forest wasn't right, and not even he was sure he wanted to know what.

But the citizens demanded answers, and so Zaloba had committed to sending a search party into the forest. He had asked for volunteers amongst the men-at-arms, but had gotten none. The solution had been to pick men from the dungeons. Murderers mostly: men that wouldn't be missed. They had jumped at the chance of freedom, even knowing that the price was a march into the forest.

Zaloba didn't expect any of the men to return, but better them than him. Even so, as the day had worn on, the King had found his own curiosity mounting. He had pulled aside his two finest knights, and ordered them to follow him to the edge of the woods. He didn't expect to encounter anything this close to the city, but maybe there would be some clue as to what had happened the night before.

And so the mounted trio slowly clip-clopped up and down the outskirts of the forest, peering into its dark and mysterious depths. The sun was sinking low on the horizon, and Zaloba had been just about to return to Alonzo when one of the knights had called his attention to a figure in the distance. The King immediately cantered towards the figure, keeping a hand on his sword as a precaution. Drawing closer, Zaloba identified the figure as a cloaked person. Zaloba approached the man (or so he assumed) and came to a halt a few meters away from him, before calling out a challenge.

"What's up with you, my friend?" Zaloba called, displaying the charm that he was known for. The cloaked man's hood was raised, and the King could see nothing of the face underneath. No sound emerged from the man, and Zaloba felt annoyance growing within him.

"Who the HFIL are you?!" Zaloba shouted, trying a different tactic.

The man did not respond verbally but instead slowly raised its hands toward the hood through which no light penetrated.

"I..." the figure said while grasping its hood, "am the Box." As he said it, the man pulled the hood down, revealing a bald head, thick mustache, and two shining beady eyes.

The king was struck speechless. He had heard rumors of the Box, but they were always dismissed by the educated man to be nothing more than urban legends. Myths. Surely the stories couldn't be true. But the evidence to the contrary was now looking at him with eyes that seemed to twinkle with glee.

"What do you want?" Zaloba demanded.

"I am here to inform you that you have not gone unnoticed." An ominous air descended upon the men as the Box's words sank in. "Your forays into the forest to attempt to find us are pathetic, as is your faith in your false god. Our lord shall come to power once more, and leave nothing but ash where you once stood." A maniacal grin split the Box's face.

"And who is your lord?" King Zaloba asked cooly, ignoring the man's nonsensical accusations about him searching the forest.

"That, I'm afraid I can't tell you," the Box said. "But what I can tell you is..." The Box extended his arms forward as though shoving something in front of him, and then shouted, "WAV!"

Suddenly a torrent of wind whistled from behind the Box, building in pitch and ferocity until it had an almost musical quality to it. The Box turned and began walking back into the forest, and suddenly Zaloba felt his stomach lurch as he was yanked backwards off his horse. He flew through the air and hit the ground hard before coming to a skidding halt.

Zaloba brushed himself off as his knights scrambled to their feet, having been similarly attacked

"Does he know that wav is the lowest quality spell? My lord knows of spells of far greater quality than the Box, and when our god returns to the Land, this Box will kneel before his boots." King Zaloba said aloud.

Zaloba looked to his two knights, both of whom seemed worse for wear. One of them was drenched in some sort of greenish liquid. The other looked at him before turning to the king and saying.

"King Zaloba, my brother just throwed up."