The Wizard’s Snake

 

Relationships can be tough- especially when you’re a dungeon crawling barbarian and she’s a handmaiden of the goddess.

And what is it with all half-elves dressing like sluts?

 

“So,” said Golran, mighty barbarian of the Northern ice wastes, as he glared out over the rim of his tankard, “where were you last night?”

Valkeria, chief priestess of the sky people and handmaiden of the Eagle Goddess shrugged. She affected a yawn and waved halfheartedly as a gnome raiding party entered the tavern and made for the bar.

“It is so busy in here tonight,” she said.

“Well?” Golran’s eyes blazed. He drained his tankard in one gulp and brought it crashing down onto the table, making Valkeria’s goblet jump, spilling droplets of ruby wine.

“Urgh,” she said picking it up and moving her cloak of eagle feathers away from the crimson stream marching towards the table edge, “I hate it when you do that.”

“You still haven’t answered my question,” Golran cracked his knuckles and scowled from beneath his thick black brows.

Valkeria sighed. She rolled her eyes and said, “Ok. If you really must know I went to see Zubaran.”

“Zubaran,” said Golran, his mouth falling open. “What? That, that wizard?”

“Yes. The wizard. So?”

“But…but we were supposed to go on a quest together. Remember?”

“I know,” she said shuddering. “Into the catacombs of Drax the Lich Lord.”

“The Lich Lord. Right.”

“To best him in combat and then pierce his heart with an Aspen stake blessed in the sacred grove.”

“Right.”

“And then to wrest from his dead fingers the noble staff of Albaroth returning it to Prince Kandor and restoring him to his rightful place as King of all the Sunken lands.”

“Yes,” said Golran as he stared across the table at Valkeria who slumped in her chair and began to inspect her nails. “So?”

Valkeria sighed, “I didn’t feel like it.”

Golran clenched his jaw. “You didn’t feel like it?” he said, grinding his teeth.

“Yeah. I wasn’t in the mood.”

“You weren’t in the mood,” said Golran very slowly.

“No, I wasn’t. Look, Golran, I know you’re like, really into the whole dungeon crawling, hack and slash, chopping off heads…thing, but, no offence, once you’ve seen one lair of an Un-dead Lich Lord, you’ve kinda seen them all.”

“But, ah, I thought you, like, loved dungeon crawling. You said you loved it.”

“Yeah well, maybe I’ve changed my mind.”

“But the people of the Sunken lands were relying on us.”

“Yeah?” Valkeria shrugged, “You completed the quest didn’t you? Drax is dead. Again. Peace reigns in the land, blah, blah, blah. What is the problem?”

“The problem?” said Golran, pounding a mighty scarred fist onto the table. “The problem is that, one: I needed magic and two, the only rune reader currently not in Volgotha protecting the city against the siege of the Desert Trolls, was,” Golran lowered his voice “-Featherhead.”

“Featherhead?”

“Yes.”

“What, Featherhead the fey?

“Right. Keep it down.”

“Oh, that is priceless. I would have loved to have seen that.”

“It is not funny,” said Golran. He glanced over his bronzed shoulders then leaned across the table and dropped his voice to a whisper “He’s not right. Up here.”
Golran tapped a finger against his head, “He said his magic would only work if I wore his hat of pink feathers.”

“Wow,” said Valkeria. She coughed and covered her mouth with the back of her hand, “So, ah, did you?”

“We were about to do battle with a Hydra, I didn’t really think I had a choice. It is not funny.”

“No,” said Valkeria turning her face away, “no, it’s really terrible.”

“And three,” said Golran “I do not like you spending time with that wizard.”

“Oh?” said Valkeria, the feathers of her Eagle cloak bristling. “And since when exactly do you tell me who I spend my time with?” She narrowed her eyes and folded her arms against her chest. “Besides, I like Zubaran. Zubaran is fun. Zubaran doesn’t just want to go crawling through stinky dungeons getting all juiced up over Goblins.”

“Fun?” said Golran. “Fun?”

“Yeah,” said Valkeria “We went to his tower.”

“You went to his tower?” said Golran so loud that heads turned.

“He showed me his snake.”

“He showed  you his snake?”

“He let me hold it.”

“He let you WHAT?”

“Relax. It’s only a python.”

“ARGH,” said Golran as the muscles of his arms bulged and his steel fingers tore a chunk of wood from the table top. He stared at the piece of splintered furniture in his hand as if unsure exactly what to do with it.

“Wow. Well done,” said Valkeria. “That is just so impressive.”

“Oh yeah?” said Golran flinging the wood aside, “I bet Zubaran couldn’t do it and I bet, I bet he couldn’t do this.” Golran snatched up his tankard, “Urgh.” he said as he grasped it between both hands and began to squeeze. His cheeks darkened. Veins popped out on his temples and on his neck. “Can’t seem to get a grip,” he said, “wait. Yep. Got it. There we go.”

Golran tossed the crumpled tankard onto the table where it thudded with a dull clunk. He beamed then glanced down at his hands.

“You’ve cut yourself.” said Valkeria.

“Yeah.”

“It’s quite deep.”

“I know.” Golran grunted and grasped his wounded hand, cradling it against his chest. He said “Maybe you could…?”

“Ah uh,” said Valkeria pursing her lips and raising an eyebrow ,“if you think I am going to waste a healing scroll on you then you have another thing coming.”

“Fine.” said Golran gritting his teeth. “Fine. Maybe I’ll go ask Zubaran. Yeah, I’ll ask him. Right after I cut off his head and shove it up his arse.”

Valkeria groaned, “You have so got the wrong idea. Zubaran is gay you moron.”

“Gay?” said Golran, ignoring for a moment the throbbing ache in his fist.

“Duh. Isn’t it obvious? He has a range of beauty potions Golran. He does hair and make up enchantment. He wears a rainbow coloured cloak for God’s sake.”

Golran grunted, “I just thought, I mean, Wizards they’re all a bit…you know.”

“Oh and I suppose it so normal to run around in just a pair of furry pants and a goblin tooth necklace right?”

Golran puffed up his chest “Grom. Clothes are for lesser men. We of the Northern Wastes disdain the effeminate foppishness of the civilised lands. Why, sometimes we march into battle naked and-who are you staring at?”

“Hm?” said Valkeria, “What?”

“Oh,” said Golran as he followed her gaze,“Him.”

“Barrimont of Briache,” said Valkeria, “his armour is so shiny,”

“Armour is for wimps.”

“And his halberd, it just so, glisteny. Do you know he’s taken a vow of celibacy? He’s pledged to stay chaste until all the evil in the land has been vanquished.”

“Oh yeah. That’s what he says,” said Golran tying a strip of leather around his wounded fist, “Until he gets you on your own and then it’s all: Oh fair maid thy lips would grant me vigour. Chaste my ring piece.”

“He’s so tall,” said Valkeria, not listening.

“I’m tall.”

“And dark.”

“I’m dark.”

“Do you know he’s slain three dragons?”

“I’ve slain loads of dragons.”

“But these were really big dragons.”

Golran shook his head, “I need another drink.”

Valkeria scowled, “Why do all half Elves dress like sluts?”

“Eh?” said Galron, following her stare.

“I mean come on, is that really supposed to be Armour? Two leather straps? And those intsy bitsy breeches? Could they be any higher? They’re practically inside of her.”

“Yeah,” said Golran, “she looks really…bad.”

“She’s all over him. As if he would go for her. I mean she’s so, flat. She looks like a prepubescent boy.”

“Oh I don’t know…” said Golran quietly as he locked eyes with the half elf.

“I don’t believe this,” said Valkeria half rising from her seat “Is she smiling at you?”

“Huh?” said Golran.

Valkeria thumped both fists onto the table, “Back off you pointy eared bitch. The meat head is with me.”

The half Elf sneered and turned back to the silver armoured Paladin. She winked at Valkeria as she ran her fingers over his shimmering silver biceps.

“Bitch,” said Valkeria.

Golran  roared with laughter. “Grom’s toes,” he boomed, glancing out of the corners of his eyes to make sure everyone could hear “you can scarce blame the maid for staring, everyone has heard tell of Golran the mighty barbarian.”

Valkeria’s eyes became slits of yellow hell. She tapped her sharp, talon like nails on the table top and said, “Golran. Do you even have any idea what day it is today?”

Golran frowned. “Grom,” he said, scratching at his chest, “Um, wait…yes. The Mushroom people are holding a great feast in out honour. Damn. I told them we’d be there. It’s late. We’ll never make it on foot. You’ll have to open a dimensional door or something.”

Valkeria arched her eyebrows. “Golran,” she said “today is our anniversary.”

Golran sat back down. “Today? I knew that.”

“Of course you did,” said Valkeria, “and do you notice anything different about me?”

“Uh,” said Golran eyeing her up and down, “is that a new quarter staff?”

“No.”

“Hair,” said Golran clicking his fingers and pointing at her head, “Uh, Zubaran did your hair. Right?”

Valkeria touched a palm lightly to her coiffured hair, “Well,” she said, “I thought I would make an effort. Because I thought that someone might have planned something special.”

“I noticed straight away,” said Golran, “And you look really, really hot. Beautiful I mean. And, I, I wanted to give you this. As a present. So you could wear it and think of me.” Golran unfastened his necklace and slid it across the table top, “They’re real Goblin teeth, you know.”

Valkeria coughed.

“Love you,” said Golron.

“Yeah,” Valkeria brushed the necklace aside, “Look. Golran. I’ve been meaning to say something for a while now. It’s just, this, us, you know, it isn’t working for me.”

“What? But we’re great together.”

Valkeria scrunched up her face and shook her head. “Sorry,” she said, “you’ve changed. You used to make an effort. You used to make me feel special. I need someone who’s going to give me attention, I want to go for nice meals and do romantic things. You, you just want to spend all your time piling Orc skulls up into stupid mounds.”

“Cairns,” said Golran.

“Whatever. It’s over. I’m going to go offline now. I think I may even cancel my account and delete my profile. I’m sorry. You won’t see me again. This is good-bye Golran.”

Valkeria began to dematerialise- first, turning slowly opaque and then gradually fading, until she became just a vague, shadowy outline that said, “And don’t bother trying to find me on Starquest, or Phobo’s Pharoahs and DO NOT post loads of garbage on my Facebook wall or I will block you-”

She disappeared. Golran stared at the empty seat opposite.

“Bugger,” he said finally and then he turned to see if the Half Elf was still around. But she had disappeared and the crowds in ‘The Adventurer’s Rest’ were beginning to thin.

There was no-one at the bar but a little man wearing a headdress of pink feathers.

“Damn,” said Golran as Featherhead the fey managed at last to catch his eye.

“Greetings o noble warrior brother.” said Featherhead as he skipped  towards the Barbarian, his nimble fingers strumming the strings of a lyre.

“And what a merry happenstance it is that we twain are joined this eve for I have composed a most wondrous saga of our dreadful journey into the very jaws of most perfidious evil and would perforce gain much joy from playing it for your-“

“Piss off,” said Golran and he too went offline.

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Author: benrattle

Copywriter, aspiring screenwriter. Push up nut. Coffee drinker.

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