Zardien – Lightning’s Fire, Light’s Roar Ch. 4

Summary: Voral uses the power of the Lightning Stone to fight

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Chapter Four: Seven Ogres, One Hermit
By Zardien

Foreward: We return to the present, where the one known as Voral begins
his first real journey into the world beyond that which he knew, the
forest of Western Crevonia…

‘Tis had been a few months since Voral had gotten his lightning stone.
Many questions remained; as in why he had set out from his home, whose
voice that was when he had gotten the stone, and what exactly this stone
did. Confused as ever, he trekked northward far beyond the forest
surrouding him and his home…past the two villages and the baron’s
castle…up to the mountains…the mountains that surrounded Western
Crevonia on the northern side. Mountains also surrouned the kingdom on
the western side, but Voral somehow felt almost a magical force willing
him to go north, and so he did.

Now anyone who lived in Western Crevonia knew one thing was certain:
though resources were few, and food was difficult to find (which is why
most turned to farming in the castle and the two villages), the northern
section of this remote area never seemed to be lacking in an ogre
population. The ogres of Western Crevonia were true to the area;
stupider and slower than their southern hybrids, but much bigger,
stronger, and meaner. Living in very harsh climates, the ogres of these
parts had to have tough skin to resist the cold weather, and in such it
also made them more resistant to any sort of attack. (Not that any
adventurers ever came to Western Crevonia to fight them; as mentioned
Western Crevonia was so remote hardly NO one that wasn’t local ever
visted the area. The only humans who had ever dared fight an ogre in
this region were the local farmers angry at the ogres for eating their
livestock, and no farmer who dared try this ever survived.)

However, there was a unique curiousity about the ogres of Western
Crevonia, definitely showing they certainly had SOME sort of
intelligence beyond animal intellect: the ogres had seemed to have
divided themselves into groups; almost “clans” if you will. These clans
(usually consisting of seven ogres each) were quite numerous; their
dwelling places ranging from cliff overhangings to thick forest areas,
though the smartest clans used the caves. There was no direct “leader”
of each group; they all worked together within the clan to survive (not
that an ogre DOES much anyway, I mean, their whole day to day plan is
“hunt, club, eat, sleep”), with usually seven ogres in each clain; in
which they took turns deciding who had to hunt.

A bigger question is, was there bickering among the clans for the best
hunting grounds and living spaces? Think about it. Ogres: big, dumb, and
VERY violent. When they weren’t eating and sleeping, they usually fought
each other until one clan gave up or was compelety wiped out.
Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on which way you look at it),
there were always enough ogres for a new clan to spring up soon after
one was decimated. And also one question remains, how do ogres within a
clan communicate? Scholars have debated this for years, but the answer
that has the most evidence as of recent is that it is a series of timed
grunts; the speed and the number of grunts given determining what each
ogre is saying. But there is one saying that has remained true since
even the early days of man: “If a clan of ogres grunts at you and
charges with their clubs, it would be advisable to RUN!!!”

Fortunately (otherwise we wouldn’t have a story here), Voral was never
good with sayings, and besides, he had a mission here, and couldn’t let
anything stop him from continuing north. On the bad side, when he
finally reached the mountainous area, he came into a sort of problem: in
the direction he was trying to go over the mountains, there happened to
be a cave right below it…and any decent-sized cave in the northern area
of Western Crevonia meant a clan of ogres made their home there.

Now on the fortunate side, this cave was more remote than the others,
so Voral knew he would only have to deal with one clan. “ONE CLAN”, he
thought. Oh boy. For one clan of ogres could easily torn apart a small
herd of bison by themselves, let alone one hermit which they could
disentegrate like a fly. Voral would need to use his only advantages
against them…speed and intelligence…if he would ever be able to get past
this obstacle. On a nice note, when it came to wilderness survival,
Voral was an absolute genius, so on this he actually had a slim chance
of surviving. SLIM, that is…

The first thing one must do in such an impossible scenario is to
evaluate the situation AND the opponets. The first of which being, how
many are in this clan. In such, Voral waited until sunrise on the next
morning, right before the ogres went outside to do their daily whatever,
and then hid in the bushes out of sight of any ogres and watched the
cave for the clan to start emerging…one, two…good, very few…three,
four…please not more…five, six…dang, he’s in a fix…seven…please no more
or I’m goin’ to heaven…phew!, no more…he’s still in for a chore. Seven
ogres. The average number of ogres per clan. Still, the thought of “WHY
ME???” rumbled through Voral’s head. He was going to need a plan.. a
REALLY, REALLY good plan…or he was gonna be Voral-on-a-stick.

The environment. Yes, the environment was always used by those famous
adventurers in the other parts…but then again, the question was, “what
environment”? Anything the least-bit useful looking was frozen in ice
from the constant cold weather. Voral himself had to be in layers of
skins he had hunted of local wildlife to keep from freezing himself.
Yes, Voral was an expert hunter and trapsman…one had to be to be a
hermit in these regions…but this was seven ogres…SEVEN ogres. Not
exactly your fleeting-deer type of creature. Man, life really sucks

Now you’re probably asking yourself, “why the heck doesn’t he just
climb the mountains while the ogres are out hunting or whatever?” The
fact is that northern ogres are slow upon ground moving, but they’re
excellent and fast climbers (one has to be to catch those high-flying
vultures for meals). Their sense of smell is also highly developed. So
Voral knew there was no way he could climb up the mountain in time
before the ogres would smell him and catch up to him by following his
scent trail. (hey, the guy had massive body odor…You would too if you
lived in an area where he did with no good deorderant in
existance!…still, he didn’t smell FAR as much as the ogres did…) Voral
would have to stay and get rid of them…whether he wanted too or not.
Voral did not see the ogres as evil, and they weren’t (though he knew no
evil anyway), he saw them as what they were: really more animal than
human-like that would kill him the first chance they got if he didn’t
take care of them first. So, as barbaric as it sounds (though if you
think THIS is barbaric, you oughta see what ogres do to humans…), he
would have to elminiate the ogres to get past the obstacle. But how? How
to do it? Everything in the forest frozen over…he needed SOMETHING…

Wait, though. There still were those rocks…maybe if he could pry some
loose, he could drop them on the ogres. (And no, there were not loose
rocks conveniently RIGHT above their cave, so he could close them in…he
would have to pick them off one at a time…). Still, another question
remained. What would he use to pry the rocks with? Sticks? HA! The
sticks around here were few and fragile. The big and solid ones, of
course, we in solid ice. Man, what Voral would give for a good sword
right now…

“SWORD???” he thought. Why did that word sound so familiar and recent?
Didn’t he see a sword recently…and on himself? But where? When? Why? It
then dawned on Voral…the thing he was keeping in his belt’s brooch right
now…the JEWEL! That eerie glow…that voice…that REALLY cool armor the
chicks would dig…didn’t he have a sword when he was wearing that
armor…and didn’t the voice say he was the guardian or some such of this
jewel…this…what was the word…storm?…no…cloud?…no…lightning! yes,
lightning! The Lightning Stone, as the voice had called it. He had
almost forgotten about it all during his planning with the ogres. But
how this jewel work? What did it have to do with lightning? How could he
get that really cool armor to appear on him again?

All of a sudden, he felt a shaking upon him…that feeling again…and the
jewel glowed. The voice…the one that spoke to him the first time in his
mind…spoke again…

“VoRaL…YoUr JeWeL’s PoWeRs CaN bE SuMmOnEd…SpEaK tHe PhRaSe ‘By ThE
pOwEr Of ThE lIgTnInG sToNe’…yOu wIlL tHeN kNoW hOw tO uSe ItS

The voice disappears once more, and Voral returns from lala land to
reality. He then did the only logical thing he could think of doing at
this moment…I mean, when a voice in your head tells you to do something
you either do it or go insane…fortunately Voral didn’t choose the
latter…and spoke the words “BY THE POWER OF THE LIGHTNING STONE!” The
jewel glowed, and then that eerie flash, though this time Voral didn’t
fall backwards in surprise…

There it was! The gold armor! That really cool sword! That
girl-killin’ cape! Voral was gonna fight these ogres in style! Not only
that, but phrases came to his mind…the two most notable ones being
“LIGHTNING BLAST”, and “LIGHTNING STORM,” which Voral figured out they
must be powers of the jewel. And of course, out of curiosity, he tried
both.. first, holding his jewel out and calling “LIGHTNING BLAST!”, a
giant bolt of lightning spewed out of the jewel, something Voral wasn’t
ready for and therefore flew him back into a tree. On a more positive
note, he finally figured out that this was called the “Lightning Stone”
for its powers of Lightning. On a bad note, his back felt much pain as
he hit the tree. When he tried calling out the second power, “LIGHTNING
STORM!”, he held onto a tree. Lightning bursts surrounded him from the
skies. Very impressive. Heheh…this thing had possibilities.

Confident, but certainly not stupid, Voral hid in the bushes once more
and waited for the ogres returning from their long day of
who-knows-what. As they approached their cave, he waited for them, his
armor on. He had this all planned out, and if he screwed up he would
become a Voral-pancake. He waited for them, all seven, to get into sight
and beyond the bushes, when he jumped out, yelling “LIGHTNING BLAST!”

The two unsuspecting ogres in the back were not ready for this, and
quickly became, shall we say, “dead ogre fricassee.” Voral, immediately
after this blast, before the other ogres turned around, yelled
“LIGHTNING BLAST” again and aimed the jewel at some loose rocks above.
The rockslide tumnled down, and quickly did away with the front two
ogres, crushing them beneath the rocks.

The disappointing thing was, Voral had now lost the element of
surprise, and one of three remaining ogres clubbed the jewel away from
his right hand. (he was lucky it was NOT his right hand) Not good.
Definitely not good. Three ogres; one human…duh…who has the advantage
here? Voral gave them a big cheesy grin, jumped back, and unsheathed his
cool new sword. Fortunately, Voral was no fool with the sword; the old
hermit happened to be a soldier in his earlier years and taught Voral
what he knew. But Voral was lucky to HAVE this sword right now, for he
had not the foresight to not bury the old hermit’s sword WITH the
hermit. He stared at his three foes, which began circling around him,
like a pack of angry wolves, each one ready to tear the 21 year-old
hermit apart. Voral had other ideas, though, and he ducked the first
one’s club swing in time to bring his sword up into the ogres’ lower
gut, making the ogre topple to the ground, dying. The other two, stunned
in the shock of this move for a minute, gave him time to dive over to
the place his jewel was thrown. As soon as he got it and the two ogres
charged him, he yelled “LIGHTNING STORM,” and, well…you get the idea.
Voral then pulled his own sword out of the now dead ogre, and looked
upon all seven of his vanquished foes.

He had done it…He had really done it. He had defeated and killed a
clan of seven ogres. He then sighed, however, because this was still
gonna be one heck of a climb up the mountain…


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