—by Nathan on December 15, 2008—
Progvator sat by the blazing hearth in his wooden bungalow, gently stroking his cat, staring out into the twilight sky, and smoking his pipe. The glow from those heavenly lights do inspire and awe me, he remarked about the stars. The Dwarf stood, putting down his cat, Blithe, and brushed the feline fur off his blue, silk robes and brown, bushy beard. Perhaps tonight is in need of a poem. But then, a fierce yawn escaped his lips.
"Dear me," he glanced at Blithe, "I do believe I'm awfully tired." He looked at his black cauldron that stood erect in the cottage's far left corner. "But I should do my spells." Being the newest member of the Wizards Wrank, he had an obligation to practice his spells daily. These spells would keep a magical barrier around his home and protect it from evil creatures. This was a reward for completing his task, but if he ever forgot, or didn't do his work...
Progvator unenthusiastically stumbled towards the big pot, cracking his knuckles. "Now," he said to no one in particular, "to begin my little ritual." Holding his fingertips over the cauldron, he began his chant. "Dol ara da sara, el-" He never finished the spell. There came a crash, a yelp from Blithe, and the most horrendous roar the young Wizard had ever heard. "By the Stars!" he cried, turning, "Who is there?" He gasped when he saw the intruder. A large, grey Troll stood a yard in front of him, dangling Blithe over its gaping jaws, which where filled with rows of nasty, sharp teeth. The brute was about seven feet tall and had crimson eyes that gleamed as it prepared to snap up its dinner choice.
"By the beards of my forefathers!" Progvator exclaimed. "Put it down!" The Troll looked at him, an evil grin creeping over its face. Dropping Blithe, it let out another ferocious roar and charged. Tackling the Wizard, the Troll picked up Progvator and threw him towards the west wall. The Dwarf crashed through it and landed on the grass. He gasped in pain. He knew at least two-possibly three-ribs were broken, and his head felt as though it were on fire.
He barely registered the roaring of his enemy as one thought flowed through his mind: How is this possible? How did such a beast gain entrance to my home?
Then, he remembered what his Creature-Battling Teacher, Sir Woggunnut, had told his class, "Trolls were created before the Olden Spells. Therefore, those maledictions do not affect them." Progvator groaned as he realized the terrible truth. A house-protection incantation would have no affect on the beast, SINCE IT WAS AN OLDEN SPELL!
He turned and saw the Troll lumbering towards him, licking its lips, hunger and hatred in its eyes. I've got to get away! Progvator thought as the thuds of the monster's feet echoed in his already painful head. Resisting the terrible ache coursing through his body, the Dwarf lifted himself up on his hands and slowly rose to his feet. Abruptly, hurt soared up his side as the Troll struck again. The Dwarf found himself sailing through the air, only to come to a sudden stop. He looked up. There, astride an Eagle of vast size, was his Human friend Darent. He was a tall Man with long blond hair and the same garb that the Dwarf was dressed in. And, like his short friend, he was also a Wizard, the second youngest Wrank member. It was because of this that the Man and Dwarf had grown to be good companions.
"Greetings!" Darent called above the beat of the roaring wings, "It seems as though I find you in a dark hour. That blow must have hurt, but the landing would have been even more excruciating!" The Dwarf gave a slight nod, his body going limp in the flying creature's claws.
"Indeed," he agreed. "But we must go back and save both my house and pet!"
The Man shook his head. "By looking at you, you're in no condition to fight."
"It's my possessions," Progvator hissed sharply, "my battle." Darent sighed and ordered the Eagle to turn back. Landing softly behind a clump of bushes, Progvator's companion carried him towards the cottage. When they were close enough to view the Troll clearly, Darent put the Dwarf down.
"What's our plan of attack?" he asked.
"Your bird-friend should create a disruption and draw the Troll out. Then we hit it with all we've-unnh!" Progvator doubled over, his entire side burning.
"Are you all right?" whispered Darent.
"I'll... be fine," the younger Wizard moaned. With a nod, Darent signaled the Eagle to soar up into the moon-lit sky. It did so, shrieking and cawing as it flew higher. From inside the house, a bellow came. The Troll trudged out, glaring at the Eagle high in the sky. Suddenly, two bolts of lightning shot out from behind a bush and impaled the Troll in the chest. The beast let out an ear-piercing wail of pain and stumbled backwards. Looking up, the Troll growled and started towards the plant. His eyes were filled with a rage that said he wanted to rend the green thing to pieces. As his meaty hands gripped the bush, he saw a tuft of blond hair sticking up. Ripping out the plant, the Troll roared when the two Wizards met his gaze. Their hands were glowing and two more magical beams shot from them, blasting him in the ribs.
He groaned in agony and swung his paws at the pair. Jumping to the side, Darent watched in horror as the Troll picked up Progvator, who was struggling to escape the beast's iron grip. But what totally terrified the Man was the look of hunger that made up the Troll's features. It's going to eat Prog! He thought. Hearing an abrupt screech, he stared at the dark sky to see his Eagle swooping down at the gargantuan brute.
The Troll roared when the fierce creature dug his talons into the monster's shoulders and lifted it into the air. Letting go of Progvator, it gave a furious scream and swung at the large bird. The Eagle shrieked and dropped the monster. As the Troll plummeted towards earth, it let out a final howl of hatred and failure.
Darent, carrying Progvator, warily approached the beast. The Man put his hands over its lips. "It's dead," he announced.
"Good riddance to bad rubbish, as I always say," the Dwarf huffed.
Within a few weeks, Progvator's ribs had been healed and once again he sat by the fireside, patting Blithe and staring up. However, instead of looking at the sky, he was glancing at a head mounted above his fireplace. It was the only Troll left in the forest, and it was his trophy as spoils of war.