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Jackie the Giant

(LOL. Okay, I'll go make some then. :) )

8/14/2011 #241

Eight months ago...

The night was peaceful and still. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, allowing anybody looking up to see all the stars scattered in the sky. The leaves of the forest surrounding the village lulled the simple peasants to sleep after another day of hard work in the fields. As the moon approached the zenith of its climb, there was a bright flash of light and a loud, disharmonious sound that woke everybody in the village up and brought to their minds images of mountains, thunderstorms, tidal waves, fire, twisters, and other related things - though to the villagers, they seemed very random.

Cautiously, they opened their doors and windows to try and find the source of the disturbance, and saw two figures standing in the darkness. One of them was huge, dwarfing the other by at least two and a half feet, and was holding a large metal object in both hands.

Present day

The final stone was pushed into place, and Hugo Ternos stepped back to look up at the castle. Emperor Frey admired his handiwork - well, the work of the villagers and Hugo, but he still considered it his. In only eight months, a castle fit for a king had been erected - which was appropriate, since hewasa king. "Come Hugo." he ordered the Kaiju, walking briskly towards the main entrance with a sweep of his robe. Hugo followed loyally, staring down at the small, pathetic villagers as they moved out of his Lord's way.

The inside of the castle was as fancy was one would expect - the walls were almost completely covered by gold decorations, and torches were placed every few feet. Making his way to the throne room, Emperor Frey was pleased to see the throne - a large, wooden seat painted purple and black, with a velvet-covered cushion - being placed on the raised platform in the back of the room. His pleasure turned to fury, however, as one of the servants carrying it slipped and fell, allowing the chair to crash to the floor.

With a roar of fury, he stormed towards the fallen servant and picked him up by the front of his tunic, ignoring the terror in his face. "How dare you mistreat a royal artifact!" He shouted. "That throne is worth more than you will make in a hundred life times!" he threw the servant back, making stumble and fall again, and whirled around the stomp out of the room. To Hugo, he said, "Throw him in the dungeons to await execution." The Kaiju nodded and, with a gleeful smile, picked the servant up by the scruff of his neck. Ignoring the whimpers of fear and pain and occasional cries for mercy, he carried the helpless man to the cells beneath the castle.

8/14/2011 #242
Jackie the Giant

In a village small enough and far enough away enough to avoid the worst of Emperor Frey's tyranny, all was peaceful. Some older gentlemen were playing checkers outside the store, children played in the streets... and Supaisu "Spice" Hyenasnake was throwing a fit.

"Why the heck do you want us to go away?" Spice demanded of her father. The other people in the room, which consisted of her fiance, Sato "Sugar" Spiderwolf, and the local healer, Ringo Dovehart, both rolled their eyes and sighed. Chief Hyenasnake had decided to send Spice and Sugar to a far off city to train with his and Ringo's master, Akiko Robinswann. Needless to say, Spice did not want to go. "We're perfectly happy right here." She argued. "Why do we have to go to the big city to train? And why that city in particular? Do you want to get us killed?"

"Akiko Robinswann is better than any teacher you could ever have, and that includes myself and Ringo." Hyenasnake snapped at his daughter. "I believe it to be well worth the risk. Sugar has already agreed to it, why can't you?"

"More like resigned myself to my fate." Sugar muttered dryly.

"You are going to go to that city, and you are going to train under Akiko Robinswann young lady." Hyenasnake ordered. "Now go pack your bags and be ready to leave in the morning."

(I didn't know the name of the city that Frey lives in, that's why I kept calling it "that city".)

8/15/2011 #243

(It'll be called Aesir, after Frey's home in Okarthel. Sorry, I should have specified. I think I'll need a protagonist soon, I just need to find or make an appropriate character...How do you feel about a young demon hunting mage?)

The town, renamed Aesir when Frey showed up and took over, was not as happy and peaceful as the one in which Spice and Sugar resided. Sure, it had expanded to almost three times its original size, and the homes were much sturdier, but this was because Frey had worked all the villagers half to death, and had many more brought into the town as servants and, more often, slaves. His rule had spread remarkably far in such a short time, but there still remained much to conquer, including the little village mentioned earlier, which was just on the border of Frey's territory. It was just a matter of time before Abumagi soldiers started occupying it.

8/15/2011 #244
Jackie the Giant

(Whatever character you want is fine. If it's a guy it could be a "leave the fighting to the men" type person and that might create some charater friction between him and Spice. Just a suggestion. Like you said, it can be a giant, single-celled organism if you want to be.)

Sugar and Spice left their village at the crack of dawn the next morning. Spice, of course, was wide awake but glowering at anything that moved and refused to help load the horses. Sugar was still two-thirds asleep and moved like a zombie, but he did what he was told and ended up doing most of the work. Ringo lashed him to the saddle so that if he fell asleep he wouldn't fall off.

"Now, I want you to become the best martial artists you can be." Hyenasnake told both the youngsters firmly. "Spice, no causing trouble. Sugar, don't get lost in your healing and forget to learn to fight."

"But don't forget to heal either." Ringo said in a bored tone. "Not that you'll remember anything we've said because you've fallen asleep again."

Spice kicked her horse into a trot, but Sugar's had to be slapped because the young man had indeed fallen asleep in the saddle. The two older men shook their heads as they watched their proteges ride off. After a few minutes, Ringo spoke up: "Ten gold coins says they don't impress Mistress Akiko."

"You're a rotten old man if you think that I'll bet on the performance of my only offspring." Hyenasnake replied stoicly. "Or at least, you are if you think I'd take that piddly amount. Twenty gold coins."

"You're on."

8/15/2011 #245

When Sugar and Spice arrived at Aesir, there was a group of Abumagi soldiers waiting by the side of the road, weapons in hand. One of them couldn't have been more than fifteen years old, yet her weapon was almost half her height. Like the other two, she was wearing purple and black armor, including a helm that covered her face, so that only her eyes were visible.

The girl stepped forward. "Halt." she commanded at the approaching horse-riding humans. "What is your business here?"

8/16/2011 #246
Jackie the Giant

Sugar and Spice pulled their horses to a halt and eyed the heavily-armed soldiers. Sugar was the one to answer their question.

"We are here to train under martial arts master Akiko Robinswann." He replied calmly. Their business was perfectly legal, as far as he knew, so there was no need to be nervous about saying it. He hoped that Spice had the sense to keep silent, and it seemed that for once she did, though she looked ready to bop any soldier who came near her.

8/16/2011 . Edited 8/16/2011 #247

"Emperor Frey requires that you present pay for the right to enter the city." The girl replied, what little of her expression that could be seen unreadable. "Five gold each, plus 2 for each horse."

8/16/2011 #248
Jackie the Giant

"What? That's highway robbery!" Spice squawked, only to have her fiance's hand clapped over her mouth as he smoothly leaped from his to hers without seeming to put any extra weight on the horse.

"Spice! Just pay the stupid tax." Sugar growled at her. "Money is not as important as your life."

There was such a passionate look in his eye that she just nodded, and pulled out the required pay. Fortunately, Hyenasnake had given them each thirty gold coins so that they could buy food or clothes if need be so there was plenty left over.

8/16/2011 #249

The girl took the money and dropped it into a bag another soldier held out. "Thank you, and welcome to Aesir." As they passed into the town, she quietly said to Spice, "I'm sorry for the trouble."

8/16/2011 #250
Jackie the Giant

Spice raised her eyebrows at the girl's apology, but nodded her acceptance of it.

The town wasn't quite what the pair had expected, and Sugar reached over to grab Spice's lead when he saw a line of slaves being herded down the street by a man with a whip. The last thing he wanted was for the two of them to become seperated in a place like this.

"Father said that we would be able to recognize Mistress Robinswann's home by the large, red-breasted clay swan that sits on her porch." Spice said. "He said she lives somewhere in the middle of the city, halfway between the gateway and the castle."

Sugar nodded and the continued to make their way through the streets.

8/16/2011 #251

The homes and buildings of the town gave it a quaint, friendly feeling, but the inhabitants gave the appearance of the exact opposite: Many were dressed in ripped, dirty rags, and looked like they hadn't gotten a proper meal or bath for days. One of them, a small child, even collapsed as he was walking towards the two riders, clearly hoping to ask for a handout, and didn't get up. The villagers walking past didn't stop to help.

8/16/2011 #252
Jackie the Giant

Spice gasped when she saw the child fall and leaped off of her horse to stoop beside him. She pulled him into her lap and her eyes sparked with anger when she saw how skinny he was.

Sugar didn't say anything, but led the horses closer so that he could help if need be. He knew that Spice had a soft spot for children, and would not leave the child behind. "Well?" He asked. "Is he alive?"

8/16/2011 #253

The child was young, maybe ten years old, and his skinniness could be seen quite clearly since he wasn't wearing a shirt. He looked at Spice with wide, hungry eyes, and moved his mouth as if trying to speak, but his voice was barely a whisper. The tightness of his flesh showed that he hadn't eaten for quite some time, and was probably close to starvation.

8/16/2011 #254
Jackie the Giant

The child's pleading gaze cut Spice like a knife, and she picked him like he weighed nothing, which was almost true. Still holding him, she climbed back into the saddle.

"Spice, what are you doing?" Sugar asked, though he could clearly see what she was planning. His fiancee never could stand by and watch a child suffer.

"I'm going to get this boy a meal." The female martial artist replied firmly.

8/16/2011 . Edited 8/16/2011 #255

The boy didn't resist Spice - in fact, he didn't even seem to be fully aware of what was going on. A fair distance away, the helmed soldier that was guarding the entrance into the city watched the two humans. 'Interesting...Not too many people would respond like that.' she thought. She would have to keep an eye on them.

8/16/2011 #256
Jackie the Giant

Spice rode to the nearest tavern and carried the boy inside, while Sugar stayed behind to mind the horses. She placed the boy gently on one of the chairs, and signalled for the barkeep. When the man finally aknowledged her, she ordered a bowl of stew and a loaf of bread. She knew that starving people needed soft foods because their stomachs couldn't handle anything else. If need be, she would chew his meat for him, and soak the bread in water, but she would feed this boy.

8/16/2011 #257

The boy sat listless and unresponding, until the food was placed in front of him. As the smell of the stew and fresh bread permeated his nostrils, he blinked and looked with unfocused eyes at the meal before him.

8/16/2011 #258
Jackie the Giant

"Can you eat?" Spice asked him gently. She scooped some of the stew out and blew on it to cool it down. Seeing as how the boy could barely keep his own head up, she fed him the food, occasionally trading the spoon for the cup to help him drink the water that the barkeep had brought. She forced him to eat slowly, since his stomach wasn't used to holding food, and made him take regular pauses to let the food settle.

8/16/2011 #259

After a number of minutes of this treatment, the boy finally had enough strength to lift his arm and take the spoon himself. "Thank you." he said softly to Spice before taking a bit of the stew. It felt like he had never eaten anything better than this, and the sheer kindness of this woman came as a surprise - in a town like this, you quickly learn to look out for number one, and only number one.

8/16/2011 #260
Jackie the Giant

"You're welcome." Spice said, glad that the boy was getting his strength back. The boy was still skinny, but you couldn't expect one meal to bring back the weight he had lost, could you? "I'm just glad to see you feeling better." She told him honestly.

At that moment, Sugar came in and joined them. "Feeling better?" He asked the boy.

8/16/2011 #261

"Yeah." the boy replied, looking up at Sugar and picking up the bowl to finish off the last of the broth, drinking it down. "But, why did you help me?" he asked Spice.

8/16/2011 #262
Jackie the Giant

"How could I not?" Spice asked, surprised by his question. "Where I come from, you don't simply leave someone lying in the street like that. Especially not a child." She gestured to the barkeep to refill his bowl.

8/16/2011 #263

"That's not how it works here." The boy replied as his bowl was filled up again. "Ever since Emperor Frey came, everyone just looks out for themselves, and don't care about anyone else - or they just pretend not to."

8/16/2011 #264
Jackie the Giant

"What about the healers?" Sugar asked, as Spice looked pained by this news. "Don't tell me even they look out for only themselves?" In their home village, the healer was only one step down from the chief, and was looked to for advice about everything from what a pregnant mother should be eating, to what a husband should do about his nagging wife. Sugar couldn't imagine a healer who would simply step over a starving child like he was a piece of garbage.

8/16/2011 #265

"The healer is a wicked, cruel man," The boy replied, "Who charges 75 gold for a simply healing session. Most of us have to worry about injuries and disease on our own."

8/16/2011 #266
Jackie the Giant

"What?" Sugar reeled slightly at the boy's words. "But... but healers are supposed to help the sick. How can someone call himself a healer if he cares more for money than he does for helping those who need his services?" He pinched the bridge of his nose as he tried to get over the shock of this affrontory to everything he had been taught by Ringo.

"Sugar is a healer." Spice explained to the boy. "But he's never charged a client ten copper coins, let alone seventy-five gold ones. He was taught that a healers first priorty is his patients, not his wallet."

8/16/2011 #267

"Really?" The boy looked hopefully at Sugar. "Maybe you could replace him! You and your girlfriend look like you could run him out of town! Of course, the Emperor wouldn't be happy about that..." he looked uncertain now.

(Damn, I should have put Lisa in this situation instead of being a soldier)

8/16/2011 . Edited 8/16/2011 #268
Jackie the Giant

"Hoo boy." Sugar put a hand to his head. "The Emporer? That's... that's a mighty deep pile of dung to be jumping into." He knew that Spice would jump right into it, but before he could say anything more, she piped up.

"Yeah! I'll bet we could." She said, turning her eyes to her fiance. "Come on Sugar, you've always wanted a permanent position. Now could be your chance."

Sugar rolled his eyes. When Spice wanted something, she was bound to drag him into it sooner or later. "We can look into it." He said finally. "No guarantees yet."

8/16/2011 #269

"Awesome!" The boy exclaimed, quickly finishing up the stew and leaping off the chair. "Thanks for your help." he said to Spice as he made for the door.

8/16/2011 #270
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