Hachi was strolling through the woods of the western forests, enjoying the sun as it brushed past the branches of the surrounding trees. He was wondering what he would do now that he had arrived here, he had no place to go aside from inns that would let him stay, and even those were hard to come by. He walked a path that led towards a human village nestled in the trees. As the sun shone, he could hear birds in the trees. After a bit of time walking a dark cloud loomed over the sky. Within minutes it began to rain, heavier and heavier and the soil eventually grew damp and muddy. Hachi could feel the damp mud beneath his paws and his former smile turned into a frown. His fur and hair was now wet and he was getting cold quickly, with no obvious ways of keeping warm. He sighed and continued to walk, a little upset.
Through the rain he could see smaller animals darting into burrows. Slipping down a hill he landed face-first and afer pulling his face out the mud h saw what appeared to be a hole in a large mound. On top of this mound was a large tree. He spat some of the wet mud out of his mouth and he looked towards the mound. His instincts were telling him to go inside, a remnant of his non-sapient ancestors. However, he didn't know what could be inside but regardless he crawled towards the mound while quietly breathing, in case he accidentally alerted something inside. He did not expect there to eb a slope and he slipped down into a large room a little way underground. Oddly, the chamber he entered was lit by wooden torches burning in alcoves carved into the matted soil. There was only one passage way that was in front of him. The whole room was large in scope, surpassing the large huts of various indigenous tribes. The the room appeared to be little more than an entry chamber into a much larger complex. He was a little surprised by how sophisticated this place looked. Wiping his feet politely, he walked into the room and looked about.
Hachi - Huh...must be some big mole to have made this place...
He continued to walk through the room. He felt warmer when he entered and took the opportunity to shake off the rain out of his fur. He continued through the archway into the adjoining room which was most likely the nexus of thiss trange place. In the middle of the room was a pile of various carved bones and trinkets. Hanging from the walls were furs and leather sheets marked with glyphs. In an alcove within a U-shaped ramp was a collection of rather large but finely crafted weapons.
All of it ofset by a collection of four very large eggs in the centre of the room. He felt a little more nervous when he saw the bones and furs, lifting his hand to touch his own fluffy chest to make sure it was still attached to him. However, he soon saw the four large eggs and his heart skipped a beat. The sight of them almost made him faint. He squeaked quietly and stood still, almost paralyzed.
Hachi - W-Who lives here...?
He wondered fors hort while. The eggs were clearly nothing like those he had seen before. Luckily, it appeared the eggs were not quite ready to hatch yet. He was rather curious and he approached the eggs. He didn't know what to expect, although he was a little hungry. He looked at the eggs, which were speckled and 2/3rds the height of him from base to tip. Arranged neatly within a shallow pit in the centre of the room. Behind them were the weapons, arranged decoratively. Each one looked a quality he had never before seen on most weapons around Koldenwelt. Appearing Dwarven at first but much, much larger.
As he admired the eggs, there was a quiet "thump, thump, thump" Getting gradually louder. Something was approaching from outside the burrow. Humans might not have heard it but Hachi's ears were better even than an elf's. He squeaked and he looked around in a panic. He knew something was coming, he wasn't that stupid. He took a chance and then threw himself into a pile of furs that have been left in a mound on the floor of the room. Peeking out from thep ile, A very large shadow loomed against the wall. Walking into the chamber on all fours with an elk in its mouth and another on its back was a Draonoggr. Such creatures were rarely seen ouside the mountains and the Eastern Plains. This one was easily the size of a small hut when on all four of its legs. The Draeonoggr threw the elks on the floor next to the eggs and curled around the latter. Gripping one elk in its left hand it lifted the dead creature up and bit hard into the stomach, tearing a large chunk of flesh from the body with its powerful jaws.
Hachi felt sick as he watched the massive creature tear out the stomach from the corpse. Hachi had eaten deer before, but he couldn't understand why this beast would it the corpse raw unless it truly was a wild animal, which wouldn't make sense in a place like this. He felt scared, if he was discovered it would be his end. Fortunately, the creature appeared too busy eating to notice the visitor, tearing apart and gulping down the elk raw.
After eating most of it, the creature dtood up on its hind legs, reaching a little over five metres tall and carried the remaining elk to a room to the right of the entrance. This was his chance, he looked around for a second or so before he leaped out of the fur pile. He looked over to the weapons, one sword caught his eye, or at least it was a sword on his scale, a shortsword at least. He approached it slowly, not wanting to make a sound that would alert the massive creature. He didn't want to leave with nothing. The blade was somewhat wide. The blade's edge was tinged red as it was eged with dozens of rubies cut and polished to a razor-thin edge. The flat of the blade was covered in silver engraved with a collection of words in the Old Tongue. Various other gems marked the gold-plated crossguard and leather-bound handle. He was interrupted as the thumping sounds indicated the creature was on its way back. He looked away from the blade for a moment and turned round when he heard the creature approaching. It would be useless to hide back in the fur pile again, who knows how long he would be there. Instead, he reached out and grabbed the handle of the blade. he began to make his way back towards the entrance of the room in hopes the creature wouldn't detect him.
However as he neared the doorway to the entrance chamber, the thumping reached its climax. A long shadow was cast over him as the creature loomed over with its arms folded. It spoke in a language he had never heard before, he couldn't make out what the creature was saying, but it sounded rather annoyed, perhaps even angry.
Hachi - I-I'm sorry, I can't seem to understand you...sir...
The draeonoggr's lips rippled as it growled. Hachi backed away more, a nervous look on his face. He didn't want to make any sudden movements. As Hachi backed away, the Draeonoggr unfolded its arms and thumped the ground to stand on all fours, causing a slight shake as it closed in. He could feel its hot meaty breath on his face. The smell of raw elk meat still freash on its breath. At that moment, hachi heard a voice coming from beside him.
??? - Aren't you going to kill her? She's not letting you leave, make your own way!
Hachi - T-That's a woman?!
??? - And that matters how?
Hachi - W-Well, it's against my way to hurt women, let alone kill them unless absolutely necessary...
The Draeonoggr repeated the same line, only halfway through its worsds distorted until eventually he managed to understand the last part of the sentence. He looked back to her with a nervous look.
Draeonoggr - --Are you doing. With that.
Hachi - Urr...
The Draeonoggr approached and was now right in front of Hachi's face. He could feel the heat of her breath as it blew agaisnt his fur. He continued to back away only for her t ocontinue aggresively approaching him.
Hachi - L-Lemme start from the beginning! It was raining, it was m-muddy, I couldn't find anywhere else to go! If I stayed out there, I-I was gonna catch a cold or somethin!
Draeonoggr - And you think that gives you the right to walk into MY home unannounced and touch MY hoard!?
Hachi - Oh, t-this is YOUR hoard? I-I never knew! Hehe, if you would, I'll kindly walk back over there and place this nice sword you have back with the--
Taking his chance, he turned ran, squealing out of fear as the Draeonoggr furiously bounded after him. She leaped to pin him down by his arms. but Hachi used the blade he had stolen to guard himself and in the process cut into the Draonoggr's palms. Using this opportunity he turned and ran again, using his natural leg strength to help carry him. Cradling her hands, the Draeonoggr roared with rage. and outside numerous birds flew fro mthe trees, squaking or chirping in panic from the noise. he mysterious voice began laughing as Hachi ran.
??? - Entertaining. Entertaining, I like it.
Hachi - Ngh, I dunt like hurting wome--Wait a minute, you can talk?!
Hachi looked down, mow realising this voice was coming from the weapon he took. He saw the face of a rather disdained draeonoggr looking up at him from the silver flat of the blade.
??? - And how long did it take you to realise that!?
Hachi - Since when the hell do blades talk?!
Not noticing the ramp smoothed out, Hachi tripped as he left the burrow and fell with his back in the mud, holding the blade tightly.
??? - Use your brain! I was never always a dagger. I have spent centuries trapped in this dagger, at least two hundred of those spent as a trophy to that tree-dweller you took me from.
He could hear the draeonoggr roaring from inside the burrow. Hachi squeaked as he heard her roar and he stood up, beginning to run again while holding onto the blade. The mud was slowing him down somewhat, but he was still going faster than what any usual elf would be running at.
Hachi - I'm simply borrowing you!
??? - I AM NOT SOME TRINKET TO BE PASSED AROUND! You release me from this prison, and in time I will reward you.
Hachi - I've had plenty of guys say that to me, a lot of them were old dirty guys like you!
The face growled from within the blade.
??? - Oh I mean it. before my imprisonment I had the ear of the High Archon of the Orocathi Domain. Land, armies, I could have have even taken his place!
Hachi - Then...why are you a sword?
??? - Occupational hazard. He caught wind of my plans and hired an assassin to trap me in this blade. Obviously, the assassin succeeded.
Hachi - Heh, so turns out you're not so powerful.
??? - If my dragonsworn had not been so incompetent I would have succeeded.
Hachi - D-Dragonsworn? Your terms confuse me.
Hachi continued to run, eventually he hopped onto several tree branches and took shelter in a tree. The face groaned within the blade.
??? - If you really don't know, Dragonsworn are like servants to my kind. Lesser creatures who aspire to our position, so they pledge themselves to serve one of us. The number of dragonsworn under your command can be considered a status symbol.
Hachi - So...you sword people have normal people serve you?
??? - Sword people? SWORD PEOPLE?
The draeonoggr landed somewhere nearby and sniffed the ground in an attempt to track Hachi.
??? - I am a draeokorumnoggr. A creature like the one you run from like the coward you are. Only I am more... refined.
Hachi - You don't look like a big ugly lizard thing.
??? - That's because i'm trapped in a dagger. How am I suposed to look big as a dagger?
Hachi - Well you look like a sword to me.
??? - Not to her. You're lucky you see me in this state. Before my imprisonment I dwarfed creatures like her. Like I said, I can reward you if you provide me with a body. But don't worry, your body is far too insignifcant for my tastes.
Hachi - Oh thanks.
Hachi grunted and slammed the sword against the branch.
Hachi - How about a name, sword person?
Archavior - I am Archavior. And. please. Don't call me "sword person". I used to be a mountain lord.
Hachi - Well, I'm Hachi! And an attitude like that really isn't going to get you anywhere while you're like this, sword person.
Archavior - Don't remind me...
Hachi chuckled and saw some blood on the side of the blade. He proceeded to begin wiping Archavior with a cloth. The rain cleared as he hid in the tree, eventually the Draeonoggr flew off. Comfortable that he was safe, he jumped down from the tree and headed back towards the road.
Arrival At Fafniberg
Hachi had been walking for a few days, it appeared as though the Draonoggr that he had taken the sword from had gone elsewhere to look for him. As he left the forest he saw a small town up ahead, the fields were growing a variety of crops. Even as he approached he could hear the bustle of the town centre. As he neared the palisade wall surroudning the town, he was looked upon by a pair of guards in tough leather armour. Both wielded speaes and scratched wooden shields. Here on the edge of the Everwinter Highlands a Lagosi like him was a rare sight, some might have mistaken him for a beastman.
Hachi didn't pay much attention to the guards and continued to walk, it wasn't like he had not seen town guards before. He was skipping slightly as he walked and he had a smile on his face. He appeared as cheery as ever, much to the grumpiness of his new weapon, of which he was still having trouble believing was an actual Draonoggr. On his back, placed onto a strap, was the said weapon. As HAchi skipped forward, one of the guards, a rather burly human coughed to draw his attention. Hachi casually ignored the guard as he continued to skip towards the inn, much to the guard's irritance who was curious as to waht hee was.
The town was busy that day, it was a market day and there were all kinds of people selling their wares from the outlying farms. Some ways in and surrounded by cobbles dtreets and fronted by market stalls was the a local inn, which was was easily one of the largest buildings in the immediate area. The sign above it gave a name "The Basilisk's Crown" - the sign showing a rather happy basilisk wearing a cheery crown made of gold. Hachi looked up at the sign and looked for a momemt before a smile appeared on his face. He pointed up at the sign and let out a rather amusing chuckle.
Hachi - Look, sword! It's a basilisk wearing a crown! That's genius!
Archavior - Yes, very whimsical. if i didn't know better i'd say this is an omen of some kind.
Hachi - An omen? Ah don't be so silly! I'm sure it's nothing aside from a little joke!
Archavior - Hrmph, humans.
Hachi looked to the sword on his back for a moment. Archavior was generally grumpy but Hachi was not entirely sure why he was so miserable al lthe time.
Hachi - Hmm? You okay? Well, of course you are, you're a sword, but...
Hachi's laugh had drawn the gaze of a figure wearing a dark blue hood looked who in Hachi's direction for a moment. His eyes widened upon seeing the weapon on his back. The figure was talking to one of the town's constables who noticed his attention had been drawn to something else.
Constable - You okay sir?
??? - Yes, yes i'm fine... Who is that fellow?
Constable - I have no idea, looks foreign though.
??? - Constable, keep an eye on that one...
Constable - I'm no spy si--
He was stopped mid-sentence as the figure pulled out a small but heavy cooin pouch. The constable nodded without question. Not saying a word before he slipped back into his routine. The figure turned to look at Hachi as he passed through the inn door, if Hachi had looked back, he may have caught a glympse of an amber reptillian eye piercing into his direction. But the figure quickly melted into the crouds and vanished.
Archavior - It has been 700 years since I was 'okay'.
Hachi - Hehe, then what's up, grumpy? Something caught your eye?
Archavior - That creature you fought is not the only draonoggr around here.
Hachi instantly placed a hand on his katana. He felt a little bit more alert, before he then stepped into the inn quickly, though he didn't want to attract any more unwanted attention. The inn was busy and noisy, filled with drunken farmers celebrating. Along with the odd mercenary band passing though looking for work. The smell of drink was heavy andirritated Hachi's nostrils. The whole place would have been uneasy for a Lagosi due to the loud noises from the patrons and the smell of drink. Mounted above the fireplace was a stuffed basilisk head which caugght hachi's attention. Hachi looked over to the basilisk head and approached it, chuckling he was approached by a dwarf with his arms folded proudly.
Hachi - Hey it looks like a Draonoggr a little!
Dwarf - Yup, strangled the beast about 10 years ago.
Hachi - What, you killed that thing? That's pretty impressive for a guy of your...uhh...
Dwarf - Ahh don't worry about sayin' it lad lad. I take it yer' new here?
Hachi - Heh, well, could say that. I'm just stopping by for a bit, looking for a rest.
Dwarf - Then let me welcome ye' to the Basilisk's Crown. FInest beds in town. I take it a well-travelled man like you needs a drink.
Hachi - Ehh I dunno, I'm not much of a strong drink guy. Got anything for the lighter-bellied?
The Dwarf smiled - Ever tried mammoth milk?
The sword on Hachi's back was starting to draw attention from the other patrons. Who had never-before seen such an elegant design outside of the halls of nobles.
Hachi - M-Mammoth milk? What's a mammoth?
The dwarf laughed and guided Hachi over to the bar.
Dwarf - Ye' find them in the Everwinter Highlands to the west. Ginormous things they are, shaggy fur, walk like an ox and tusks, oh the tusks are often a prize.
Hachi's eyes widened - Damn, they sound kinda scary, sir...how the hell do you milk one of those things? I never got anything like that back home.
Dwarf - Oh tame ones are fine lad. Like milking a sow...ye' do have cows where you coem from, right?
Hachi - Yeah, we have cows where I come from. I think they're much smaller than your "mammoths" though.
Dwarf - Oh yah.
The dwarf poured out a glass of thick, creamy mammoth milk. it had an odd smell to it, the smell rested on Hachi's tongue and gave off a salty taste As the dwarf pushed the glass over he leaned in with a rather expectant look on his face.
Dwarf - So, how much do you have for a room?
Hachi raised an eyebrow and then checked his pockets for a moment. He remembered having some coins to spare but they seemed to be gone, probably lost during his escape from the female Draonoggr. He then looked to Archavior and smirked. Hachi then looked to the dwarf and smiled
Hachi - Well, you see this blade here?
Dwarf - Oh yeah, was wondering about that blade o' yers.
Hachi - You can have it if you're able to find a room for me. With a king-sized bed, a-and maybe a p-personal maid.
Dwarf - Can I see the blade up close?
Hachi removed Archavior from his back and placed it down in front of the dwarf to admire. Hachi had a smile on his face as he set the blade down. Somehow confident that the blade msut have been with enough, he did not expect the dwarf to look at the blade with such avarice-ridden eyes, which glistened like gemstones and his mouth became a broad smile as he hovered his hands over the blade, seemingly mesmerised by it. But keeping his hands above it as if the blade was white-hot.
Dwarf - Lad...This is incredible... Hachi - Yeah, it's a pretty strong blade too. How much do you think it's worth? A king-sized bed with a personal maid for the night, maybe two? Dwarf - Ye can have all the rooms in the inn for a weapon like this! Hachi - Really? This thing carries THAT much value? The Dwarf leaned close to hachi - Lad, this blade is a Draonoggr dagger. I'd say dated from at least 700BNA. Say what you will about the creatures attitudes, but their crafts are legendary to the right people. It would be cruel of me to exchange such a weapon for a few rooms. So you can have one on loan. I have a few dealers who would love to see this. Do we have a deal?
Hachi was about to nod until he noticed a hooded figure walk into the inn. He had a bad feeling about this, although he really wanted a room to sleep in. He looked back to the dwarf and nodded, holding out his hand for a shake. The dwarf grabbed Hachi's hand very firmly and shook it with a smile. Hachi's hand swelled slightly as he felt the Dwarf shake with an almost crushing grip.
Dwarf - Word of advice lad, keep a cosntant eye on that blade o' yers, not everyone is willing to pay to get it.
Hachi - Hmm, what do you mean?
Dwarf - Thieves lad, some might not even give you the courtesy o' living.
Hachi squeaked nervously - T-That...doesn't sound p-pleasant...
Dwarf - Sleep well, anyway.
Archavior - He's right you know, I have seen lesser creatures kill longtime companions for the trinkets of my kind.
Hachi nodded to the dwarf and Archavior. He still couldn't keep his mind off the hooded figure, he felt a little panicked. Outside, as Hachi headed upstairs the figure was met by two others. They wore black leather and it appeared the figure was a superior to them.
??? - I will alert the master, I want one of you o deal with that foreigner. Fail and I will let the master deal with you personally.
The two agents gulped and nodded. While one snuck into the inn, the other paced towards the town garrison. it had been a long few days for Hachi so as he entered the room the swarven inkeeper had offered him he slumped onto the bedspread.