Early Adventures Of Olaf
Chapter 1: The Black Bow
1012 AE (60 years ago)
Olaf awoke with a start, sweating. His father was home, announcing his arrival with shouting and the slamming of the door. “Come Olaf, wake up boy!”
Olaf yawned heavily and pulled a pillow over his ears, “Just five more minutes” he replied in a tone so low not even a mouse could hear.
“Theres no land to til today Olaf!” Came a call from the kitchen table. “The fair has come to town!”
“The Fair!” Olaf sat up, suddenly wide awake. And he smiled as thoughts entered his mind of the previous years’ fair, only once a year would he see fire eaters, warriors from as far as Krytia wrestle, beautiful mesmers dance and best of all the return of the famed Black Moa Bird!
Olaf grabbed his garments and dressed as he made his way out of the door. “Not time for breakfast today – the fair is here!”
In the distance Olaf heard sounds and the calls of animated bustle, the entire town had taken the day off to come see the fair. And as Olaf grew nearer to the gathering crowds he caught a glimpse of Rosie Magee.
He slowly looked her up and down, since birth they had been childhood friends, yet today in her flowing white silken gown Olaf for the first time viewed her differently, drinking in her beauty.
Her long golden locks had been brushed till they glistened, and in the sunlight the semi transparent nature of her gown left little to the imagination.
“Is he going to gawp all day?” laughed a male voice.
Olaf looked up to see Rosie standing close to a lute player. His handsome smiling face searched Olafs, and to Olaf’s dismay Rosie’s gaze seemed transfixed to the musician.
Olaf laughed nervously “Are ya gonna come and see the Black Moa Bird with me Rosie?”
She lowered her head and smirked “I’m sure you can find amusement on you own Olaf”, and to the strum of the lute Rosie turned her head away from Olaf as the handsome lute player resumed his song.
Olaf sighed and walked away and to his surprise a tear hit his cheek as he heard Rosie’s soft voice sing to accompaniment of the lute player's song.
“Stupid minstrel!” grumbled Olaf with a frown, he passed the wandering crowds with a glare as more tears fell and as he made his way to the tent of the Black Moa Bird a heavy hand fell hard upon his shoulder.
“Aren’t ye gunna apologise for bumping into me like that?”
Olaf looked up to see a gruff man twice his size, who bore a large long scar down the left side of his cheek while the right side of his face was indistinguishable with two large burn marks.
“The names Prettywood, Ulgar Prettywood!”
Ulgar Uglywood, thought Olaf.
Sweat started running down Olaf’s forehead as he gulped “I’m Olaf”
“I’m sorry sir, I’m off to see the Black Moa!” Said Olaf breaking free from Ulgar’s grip.
“Bah!” boomed Ulgar as he leant on his bow. “Have you not seen the queue boy?”
Olaf turned his head and felt his heart sink as he saw a large file of men, women and children lined up to see the Black Moa.
“You’re last in line!” laughed Ulgar, “It’ll be half a day ‘til you get to see it”
“I can wait” piped up Olaf.
“And miss out on all the other attractions?” Said Ulgar raising his brow.
Olaf pondered what he’d miss for a moment and as he did he noticed the strange black bow Ulgar held that seemed to move in his hands as if it had a life of its own.
Looking down at Olaf, the scarred archer gave a toothy grin “I can help ye boy, I knows its owner, but ye’ll have to help me first.”
“How so Mr Prettywood?”
“Well, as you may of guessed I have not come here to view the Black Moa or watch knights joust, nay – I have an attraction myself!”
“You do?” grinned Olaf.
“Yar I do, but I can’t proceed as my apprentice, damn waif that he is has ran orf!”
Ulgar ran his finger down his scar for a moment as he searched Olafs eyes. “Would you be my apprentice young Olaf?”
“If you can grant me an audience with the Black Moa afterwards, yes sir! Yes sir! Mr Prettywood!”
“Good!” laughed Ulgar. “Good!”
Olaf followed Ulgar to a large oak tree, where already a line of townsfolk waited. Ulgar raised his arm up into the air with his quivering black bow in hand.
“They’ll be no refunds today – the shows back on folks!”
A loud roar of approval came from the crowd as Ulgar marched Olaf to the tree.
“There’s blood on these branches!” Cried Olaf.
“Never mind that lad, just stay here, rooted to this spot.” Ulgar’s voice lowered “and if ye run it won’t be just the branches that have blood!”
From his cloak Ulgar produced a large green apple and to the roar of the crowd placed it upon Olaf’s head.
Marching back twenty paces Ulgar turned and readied his bow. “Behold! I Ulgar shall not only hit the apple but do it - blindfold!”
The crowd cheered wildly at the sight of Ulgar as he wrapped bandages around his eyes, and Olaf’s body shook with fear as Ulgar prepared to shoot.
Running a finger along the string, the blindfolded archer spread his feet at a comfortable distance apart and drew a black arrow from his quiver, then knocking the arrow to string, Ulgar took aim.
“This is it!” Cried Olaf. “I’m gunna die!” And below the oak, infront of a blinded archer and townsfolk he'd known all his life Olaf called to the one person he cared for more than himself. “Rosie!”
“Rosie!” he shrieked as the arrow soared through the air.
Only for the gracious crowd to reply with “Bullseye!” as the black arrow tore into the apple and fell into Olaf’s hands.
Yet the pleasure of being alive was not Olaf’s only delight that day, from the crowd he saw Rosie unwind her arms from the lute player and gaze approvingly at her childhood friend.
“Now for my next trick!” Shouted Ulgar as he placed another apple upon Olaf’s head.
“This better impress her!” grumbled Olaf.
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Thread: Early Adventures Of Olaf
17-10-2006, 20:08 #1
Early Adventures Of Olaf
17-10-2006, 20:09 #2
Early Adventures Of Olaf
Chapter 2: His Greatest Treasure
1012 AE (60 years ago)
“Yar, I’m sorry you didn’t get to see the Black Moa Olaf” Nodded Ulgar as Olaf hungrily bit into the last remaining apple.
“Its alright Mr Prettywood what happened yesterday sure made up for it!”
Ulgar laughed. “The fair has moved on and I should be rejoining it.” He paused and brushed his chin “Yet lad ye have done me proud and what kinda fella would I be not to give ye payment.”
Olaf’s eyes lit up as Ulgar delved deep into his sack. “Nope that’s not it.” Said Ulgar as he carelessly threw a jade dagger aside, “That neither” tossing aside a bronze helmet.
Olaf’s eyes widened and his jaw dropped as he saw what Ulgar had offered.
Into Olaf’s hands Ulgar placed a pair of tatty old brown boots. “Uhm…Thank you Mr Prettywood.”
“I hope that’s not disappointment in your eye young Olaf!” laughed Ulgar gleefully.
“Oh no sir, no sir Mr Prettywood.” Said Olaf as he lowered his head, hoping to hide his disappointment.
“They’s not just any old boots!” roared Ulgar. Yet Olaf had already gathered as much as he held the boots in his hands, like Ulgar’s black bow they seemed to move as if they had a life of their own.
“Try them on.” Grinned Ulgar. “And they’ll lead ye to fortune!”
Olaf pulled on the boots, they seemed a little snug at first, but he adjusted them to fit.
“Now – Follow me!” shouted Ulgar as he leapt to his feet.
Jumping far into the air and hitting the ground at full pace Ulgar ran northwards and into the woods.
Olaf followed, yet Ulgar ran fast and was soon out of sight, yet still could Olaf hear him.
“The boots Olaf, let the boots lead you – but don’t be greedy!”
“I must be going Olaf! – yet one day I shall return and teach you the bow!”
Olaf stopped and panted using his knees for support to catch his breath.
Holding down the feeling to vomit. "Yeah, yeah…the boots!” shouted Olaf. Yet no reply came. Ulgar had disappeared.
Olaf looked around hesitantly, he’d never been this deep into the woods, and for good reason Grawl were said to be living near!
The sky darkened as Olaf made his way southwards back to his home. “Stinky ruddy boots” he grumbled yet as the words left his mouth Olaf stumbled and into a pool of mud he fell. Olaf cursed and brushed himself down, then wiped his boots with a piece of rag, yet as his boots shone clean he saw on them the reflection of a shining light and so into the pool of mud he delved his hands.
“Well blow me down sideways! A diamond in the rough!” Olaf held up his hand and gazed at the newly found diamond ring. Then scuffled his feet around in the dirt and danced “Lovely ruddy boots!”
The next day out of sight and earshot, Olaf laid down his plough, once more putting on his boots of good fortune and wandered back to the woods in search of what the boots would bring him. For hours he walked and growing tired and bored Olaf chased animals around the forest until, standing in the dark of night, he suddenly realised that he no longer knew how to get back to the safety of his home.
Every now and then, thinking that he heard his father’s call, Olaf would rush off in that direction only to find that it was the hoot of an owl or the rustling of some nocturnal creature and after one such occurrence, Olaf found himself standing knee-deep in stagnant water.
Olaf splashed the water and cursed and as he did he saw in its ripple something purple laying deep below, holding his breath Olaf sunk low into the water and once out of the water and shaking himself dry he gloried at his new find. A purple purse Olaf held in his hand and as he shook it he heard the metal of coins rattle inside. “A penny saved is a penny earned!” laughed Olaf with a jig.
For two long days did Olaf wander in the woods with not meeting a living soul and during that time the boots brought him to wonders beyond his wildest dreams, a silver bracelet, a gold chain and to Olaf’s glee an axe, engraved with images of Balthazar.
After a stern telling off from his father and warm hug from his mother Olaf laid the boots down happy to be once more in the safety of his bedroom, with his prizes safely hidden away under his mattress.
For days Olaf worked the land resisting the urge to take the boots and wander off, for never would he wish to be lost again, yet as season changed from Scion to Colossus Olaf once more took hold of the boots and set forth in search of riches.
For three hours he wandered without his boots seemingly finding him anything and as he bent down to fling them off, Olaf heard a rustle behind a bush.
“Good day, Olaf." a rosy-cheeked lass said cautiously, smoothing her skirt with a nervous hand.
Olaf narrowed his eyes “Rosie Magee, you’ve been following me haven’t you?”
“No Olaf, I’m as lost as you apparently are!” replied Rosie as her tongue flicked out to lick her lip nervously.
Olaf laughed and took her hand, the boots had led him to the greatest treasure he could ever find. “I’m not lost, let me show you the way back” Smiled Olaf at Rosie while holding her hand tightly as they walked together home.
17-10-2006, 20:10 #3
Early Adventures Of Olaf
Chapter 3: Puss In Boots
1012 AE (60 years ago)
For Olaf the months passed quickly and before he knew it, it would soon be Wintersday, he was rich, in love and happy. The boots had brought him wealth and many golden gifts he bestowed to Rosie, she wore his diamond ring on her finger, his gold chain around her neck, his silver bracelets on her ankles and love for Olaf in her heart.
And as they kissed under the stars Olaf wondered what the boots could bring her for Wintersday. With a final passionate kiss Olaf left Rosie reluctantly that night and with his magical boots he went in search of a present for her.
He did not travel far until the boots stopped him dead in his tracks, causing Olaf to fall over backwards. A low hissing sound, almost like a purr, began to drift through the air and as Olaf scrambled to his feet he saw he had tripped over a beautiful black kitten.
“The purfect gift!” laughed Olaf as he took the kitten in his arms and ran home.
That night Olaf dozed by the fireside, his gift for Rosie was safely tucked away in his boots. And as he fell into slumber he dreamt of buying Rosie an engagement ring and asking for her hand, how could her father disallow such a thing to Olaf – the richest boy of the town!
The air was cold, yet no snow fell that Winters Eve and as the kitten in Olaf’s boot awoke its terror could not be heard above the howling wind. With life force inside them, the boots once more sprung to life and away from the warm fireplace they crept, out of the door and into the cold…
Sounds of crying and shouting awoke Olaf and blurry eyed he looked around to see nearly a dozen people gathered in the kitchen – with everyone staring at him.
His father looked as white as a ghost, his mother was crying and holding Rosie in her arms. Olaf gazed at her staring back at him yet through her tears she felt so far away.
A man with a hawkish nose and ginger beard whom Olaf knew as Sheriff Argyle gave Olaf a disdainful look – it was he who Olaf first heard.
“All these possessions were given to you by young Olaf Rosie?”
Olaf glanced away from Rosie and saw on the kitchen table, the ring, the bracelet and all he had given his love laid out on the table.
“Yes” came a barely audible cry from Rosie.
Sheriff Argyle’s eyes set deeply upon Olaf who trembled against the warmth of the fire.
“And how boy did you come across such a wealth of stolen goods?”
“Thief!” shouted Bearfold the Woodcutter who held the axe Olaf had found in his hands.
“Scoundrel!” shouted a white haired old woman who waved the purple purse Olaf had discovered.
“Lock him up!” came another cry.
Sheriff Argyle raised his hands and turned to the face the angry townsfolk. “Now, now there could be a perfectly reasonable explanation!”
A lump hit Olaf’s throat “The boots” he cried “The magical boots!”
Laughter and mockery met Olaf as he tried to explain, and in his dismay he saw Rosie could no longer bear to look at him.
“How could you son?!” Shouted his father. And as the Sheriff bound Olaf with rope, Olaf took one last tearful look at Rosie who still dare not meet his gaze.
Beaten and thrown in prison, Olaf wept in his cold dank cell. “Oh Mr Prettywood, I have been too greedy!” And to the Gods he prayed his lost boots would one day return to him and with them – Rosie’s love.
As the new year came, forgotten was Olaf in his cell, for news spread like wildfire among the towns and villages of impending doom…the Guild Wars had begun...