So a few weeks ago, a friend asked me to write them a story. I had wanted to come up with one dealing with a conversation I’d had with someone else about dreams, assassin penguins and how gingers don’t have souls. So when I thought about this story I determined I would try something different and write it more like a script.
Narrator: In a not too distant past, a young boy was born to the leader of the guild known as The Dales. Despite the unusualness of the boy, the leader of the guild was ecstatic. He would train the boy, groom him to be the best hero he could be, so he could eventually take over leadership of the guild.
Leader of the Guild: Oh my darling you’ve made me the happiest man alive, giving birth to our first child; a baby boy that will be raised to lead our empire, and our guild family. We will name him Firmil.
Guild Leader’s Wife: But Sweetheart, the poor boy has red hair. This is unheard of. What if there are problems? Surely this imperfection will be noticed. We will fall out of favor with the rest of the guild.
Leader of the Guild: We will hide the boy until he is ready. We are the northern most empire. I can take him into the mountains to train him. He will learn the art of war, and how to properly capture another empire’s hero, so that when the time comes he will have the ability to demand other’s respect.
Narrator: So that is what they did. As the boy grew, the guild leader would take his son out into the mountains. They young boy learned how to use weapons, move with stealth and the art of leading an army. The boy learned quickly and by age nine he was sneaking out of the empire, and into the mountains to practice on his own. The more he did this, the more he learned about himself. He found that he had magic, and as the years went by he grew immensely in power. He also started to put together his own little mountain army.
Firmil: Snowball, Report.
Snowball: Yes, Firmil, sir. We spent a good portion of the day yesterday scouting the empires in the realm beyond the mountain. They are cocky about the upcoming realm vs realm challenge. They believe they will easily defeat your father’s guild and have run of this realm for the duration of the challenge.
Firmil: (scratches chin) How complacent are they? Did you hear any of their plans for attacking?
Snowball: From what Cane’s team was able to find out, it sounds like they will not attack until dawn, following the start of the challenge. They make jokes saying they need to give your father’s guild the appearance of a fighting chance.
Firmil: (furrows brow) I will speak with father, and gain his permission to attack in the early hours of the morning, while the empires still sleep. I will teach them to take my father’s empire lightly.
Snowball: (standing at attention) Your team of assassin penguins will await your orders young Firmil. We will be prepared to follow you into battle.
Narrator: Firmil took his leave, and went back to the palace. He snuck in without being seen and made it to his parents’ room. That’s usually where they went when he snuck out. They just sat there waiting for his return. They knew his stealth skills were superb, so they never worried about anyone finding out that their son was a ginger. It was believed that gingers were a bad omen. There had not been a red-headed child in any of the realms for several hundred years; but Firmil’s parents just believed he was special.
Firmil: (Knocking on the door)
Leader of the Guild: Come in (watches Firmil enter the room) Firmil, good to see you back in one piece. How was your time practicing?
Firmil: It was good, also informative. Father, I have a request for the upcoming realm vs realm challenge. (watches father nod approval to proceed) I would like to lead a team I’ve put together into the realm on the other side of the mountain, just after midnight; with your permission of course.
Guild Leader’s Wife: (sighing) I have dreaded this day coming. I knew Firmil you would eventually want to get involved in these silly challenges. (sighs again) I was just hoping it was still a few years out. Sixteen just still seems too young. I will leave though, and you discuss your strategy with your father. (stands up and leaves the room)
Leader of Guild: After the last challenge, where you proved your ability to catch escaping heroes with your little “team” as you call them, I will grant your request. I assume you have your reasons for the time frame, that you have not discussed with me yet.
Firmil: (nods head) I do, father. My team scouted the guild in the realm just across the mountains. They are sure that The Dales, is no match for them. They do not plan on attacking until dawn after the challenge has started with the belief, that The Dales need to think it has a fighting chance. I’d like to surprise them.
Leader of Guild: (nods) You have my permission to take your team across the border in the early morning hours, and I will have my defenses ready for an attack at dawn following the start of the challenge. Though I hope what you have planned will be effective enough, that there will be no attack from that guild you mentioned.
Firmil: (Bows) Of course father. I will bring about your desired result. May I go wash for supper now? Mother hates it when I’m late.
Narrator: His father dismissed him and they had a lovely family supper. The next couple of days the Guild Leader and his wife saw very little of their son. He appeared at meal times, but said very little as to his activities. Firmil didn’t offer, and his parents didn’t pry. They had seen changes in their son since the last realm vs realm challenge, and they saw changes in the heroes their son recaptured, when they tried to escape. They had their suspicions, but right or wrong, they loved their son. And he did help strengthen the empire, and the guild; even if he stayed out of sight.
The day finally came, the day of the realm vs realm challenge. All participating realms had until sundown to prepare their troops, and put strategies into play to keep the crystal. The crystal was the most coveted piece of land in every realm. The Dales was the holder of the crystal in their realm. Firmil was going to make sure it stayed that way.
Firmil: Latest report.
Snowball: The entire guild is asleep, sir. Only one or two empires have impenetrable shields, but they are super weak empires. They are not a threat. (pauses for a breath) Will your magic be able to hold up to teleport them all? You have grown stronger, but we have not tested it to this degree.
Firmil: (scratches chin in thought) I believe I should be able to handle it, but just in case, lets hit the more powerful empires first. (watches snowball nod) Let’s head out.
Narrator: Firmil and the team of assassin penguins crossed the mountains, and went down into the valley where the rival guild’s empires lay sleeping. Using their stealth and Firmil’s magic, they captured all the Heroes; except from the two protected empires, without waking a soul. The heroes didn’t even awake as they were teleported from their comfortable beds, to the slim mattresses of The Dales’ prison. Firmil and his team of assassin penguins had just started to cross back over the mountains as dawn broke. Looking back Firmil had to smile as chaos broke out amongst all the empires in the guild.
Firmil: They will not be mounting an attack anytime soon. (Listens to penguins laugh) I am going to teleport home. Keep a lookout for any of our prisoners that try to escape.
Snowball: We will, and we will contact you at once, when we recapture them. (watches Firmil nod and then disappear) You heard him, break into patrols and watch the mountains. No hero escapes back to their empire.
Narrator: The assassin penguins split up to cover their assigned pieces of the mountain, to keep an eye out for any hero who dare to escape the prison that Firmil had placed them in. Meanwhile Firmil made the rounds through the prison. He used his magic to keep him from being seen. He was looking for a hero, not really a specific one, just a gullible one. He’d start with a gullible one, then work his way up since he had his pick of so many heroes. You see, no hero ever escaped on their own. They never knew they had been picked to escape. Chosen by the young ginger who helped them get past the empire walls. They never realized until it was too late.
Firmil: (looks in on a beautiful young female hero and whispers to himself) This will be the one I take, an easy first target. I can sense it. (removes concealing magic and changes hair color before going up to the jail cell and whispering) Hey… hey are you awake?
Beautiful Female Hero: (looks around to find voice, then walks closer to the cell door) Yes I’m awake. Where am I? Where are we?
Firmil: The Dales, the guild we are supposed to be fighting in this realm challenge. They sent in… penguins of all creatures… sometime after midnight. I tried to sound the warning bell, but those penguins are quick… stealthy. I thought I could escape the assassin penguins this time, but once again I failed.
Beautiful Female Hero: Assassin Penguins… that just seems unreal. (pauses) But if you were captured too, how are you here talking to me?
Firmil: My empire has been a favorite target of the assassin penguins, and their leader. I only keep watch during these challenges, to ring the bell if there’s danger, but the penguins think I’m the empires hero, so they continue to come after me. I’ve been here enough times, that I have gotten very good at escaping. I have been trying to take at least one hero back with me, these last couple challenges. I’ve been successful so far.
Narrator: The young female hero was leary of the strange man at her cell door. If she was stuck in the empire that she thought she was now stuck in; she wasn’t sure if escape was a good idea. She’d heard stories. These stories told of heroes who had attempted to escape, achieved success, but were not the same afterwards. There was something in the young man’s eyes; however. They were the kind of eyes a girl could trust.
Beautiful Female Hero: Ok, I trust you. Let’s get out of here. (watches as the young man smiles and deftly picks the lock)
Narrator: Firmil held out his hand, which the female hero took. He led her through the empire and to the mountains with a stealth that awed the young hero. She was definitely impressed. While he looked a little on the young side, she couldn’t help but be enamored by his prowess and skill. He led her all the way across the mountains, escaping all notice of the assassin penguins. Firmil was pleased to see how the female hero was reacting to him. He had chosen the correct prisoner as his first victim.
Firmil: This is where we will have to part. I see it as my duty to try and help others escape.
Beautiful Female Hero: How can I ever repay you? (watches a seductive smile appear on the young man’s face) Maybe a kiss will do?
Narrator: Firmil thought a kiss was a great idea, and he let her lean in close to his lips.
Beautiful Female Hero: (whispers near the young man’s lips) I am glad I trusted you.
Firmil: I’m glad too.
Narrator: And that was her mistake. Trust, ladies and gentlemen, is how the soulless redhead, the chosen child of the devil, took the souls he needed to survive. The devil could not give his children souls, so to survive they had to take the souls from others. These souls, when Firmil died, would go back to his master, and he would be greatly rewarded. Now the young female felt something draining from her as she kissed him. Startled, she tried to pull away, but the more she tried to pull away, the closer to the young man she got, and the quicker the draining feeling felt. Then the kiss ended.
Beautiful Female Hero: (looking at Firmil like she’s never seen him before) Where am I?
Firmil: (holding her by the arm) You were trying to escape the prison my father put you in, but I’ve recaptured you. My friends will take you back until this realm challenge is over.
Narrator: Fear crept onto the young heroes face, though she couldn’t feel it. She didn’t remember fighting. She didn’t remember running away. The assassin penguins came out of the mountain and took her away from Firmil, leading her back to the prison.
Firmil: (Looks down at the newly formed freckle) Well, there’s one down. Let’s see how many more I can get before nightfall.
Narrator: Firmil teleported himself back to his father’s prison. He wandered around with his magic concealing him as he picked out his next target. There were several more female heroes that had been captured. He was pulled towards them. He had liked the feeling of taking a soul through a kiss. It produced a satisfying rush that he wanted to feel again.
Firmil: Next realm vs realm challenge, I will tell my assassin penguins to locate only the empires with female heroes.
Narrator: And that is what they did. Each realm vs realm challenge, Firmil’s father would let him lead his team against an opposing guild. Firmil would take all the female heroes prisoners, while any male heroes that he captured, he left in the mountains, forcing them to try and find their way back. Firmil may not have taken their souls, but very few made it out of the mountains in one piece. All the females were always returned back to their empire, but they never were the same. While losing their soul didn’t kill them, it left them in a tranquil state, unable to have feelings or understand the feelings of others. Firmil continued to be successful when his father passed the empire on to him. So successful, that in the final realm challenge, Firmil led his guild to victory over all the other realms in the land, which eventually all merged so that they were one realm.
To this day, Firmil has been the most successful ginger that the devil has unleashed on the world, though it is prophesied that there would, one day be a husband and wife who would conceive two red-headed descendants of Firmil, a brother and sister, who using their kind and gentle ways, would collect all the souls that the other demons could not obtain. It will definitely be the end days when this comes to pass; but our story ended when Firmil defeated all the other realms in the final challenge and became the lead hero of the realms.