Born to King John XVII, Hope did not get standard princess treatment. Yes, she was locked away in a tower, and yes, there was the standard moat of flaming lava, but unlike all the other spoiled brats, she didn't get a dragon. Hope Rexian had to make do with a demon. And this particular demon couldn't even breathe fire! Simply pathetic job done by the cosmos. Hope may have gotten the valiant-knight-who-happens-to-be-called-Prince-Charming-riding-in-and-killing-guardian-on-noble-steed treatment, but some things just won't do. You can't just mess with tradition like that!
King John XVII was not aÂ particularlyÂ lucky among kings. The first of his problems was that he only got one daughter and no sons. Oh, that wasn't to say that little Hope Rexian wasn't a charming princess, but it just wasn't the same as having a son. At first, King John XVII thought that Hope would inherit the kingdom, which was an awfully big responsibility for a female. Of course, such imaginings were unimportant now. This brings us nicely into the second of King John XVII's problems. And that was the Demon.
Currently, Alnaros, the capitol of King John XVII's kingdom called Alnarosius, was besieged by a demon named Othnarios. Othnarios had gathered an army of fell monsters and corrupt mercenaries and was in the middle of laying wasted to Alnarosius. The demon had done so in an admirable fashion. The only place left toÂ conquerÂ was the capitol, Alnaros.
Hope's importance to the world began with a rock. It wasn't a very big rock. In fact, it was quite small. It could easily fit into a child's hand, and was smooth and gray. The fact that it could easily fir into a child's hand was tested on June 4th, which was when the demon's forces finished knocking down the gate with its siege weapons and stormed the city. Instead of simply swooping in and rampaging the city, Othnarios showed some restraint. He had his army butcher the soldiers guarding the place, and close ranks around him.
Othnarios strolled into the city, his honor guard keeping pace with him, shields up, spears locked, with the citizens cowering in terror peering through windows. However, one child was not quite cowering in terror. And yes, this is the child who was quite attached to the hand that the rock could fit into. The rock was thrown through the air in a majestic arc. It bonked the demon on the head. Though this act did inspire the rest of the populace to take up make-shift arms and attack the demon, and the populace got slaughtered, the location of the bonking is the most important aspect of the throw. The riot and subsequent massacre was not important at all. They would've gotten killed anyway. After all, they were stupid enough to attack armed soldiers. They weren't getting far in life.
No, the important thing was the bonking of the demon. It changed Othnarios's entire mood. Instead of being haughty and cold, he became frustrated and annoyed at this city. After all, some random person had thrown a stone at you. That wouldn't exactly make you into Mr. Rainbows and Sunshine.
When Othnarios reached the palace, he made a split second decision. Instead of killing off the entire royal family as he planned, he decided to take out his annoyance on the ruling family. He slowly impaled King John XVII, drew and quartered the queen, and imprisoned the daughter, Hope, in his tower. The tower was, naturally, sited on the ashes of Alnaros. After all, someone had thrown a rock at his head. That means that the whole city was going to burn. And any citizens that fled the city was going to get butchered. Except if they were women. You have to let the men have some fun with the ladies once in a while.
Hope Rexian was thrown in the room at the top of the tower that was soon built. Othnarios understood that it was slightly cliche, but did it anyway. He's a demon, after all. World Conquest begins with annoying cliche-hating Strolenites.
Since this tower had only one bridge across the standard moat of lava, Othnarios let Hope have the run of the place. After all, the bridge was a rickety affair that was half-rotten in some places (how it got rotten over a moat of lava is something I'll never understand) and only appeared when the stereotypical hero appeared, or if Othnarios needed to use it. And Hope occasionally had dinner with Othnarios. And tried not to barf when Othnarios claimed he was hungry enough to eat a horse, and then ate a live one.
Stockholm Syndrome. Somehow, Hope fell in love with Othnarios. I won't dwell on the romance piece. Certain things, like a demon making sweet, sweet love, should not be thought about.
Suffice it to say that when Prince Charming rode in on his valiant steed, Hope wasÂ understandably upset. After all, Charming had swooped in, used his custom-made sword to bind and banish Othnarios, and then leered at her. He gave the number one, mostÂ repulsiveÂ leer in the history of leering. And as a follow-up to the leer, he gave the most repulsive pick-up line in the history of pick-up lines. Hope got on Charming's steed simply because she needed a ride. And besides, the tower had gone with Othnarios.
And so, Hope went back to Charming's kingdom with him, and married him (Charming's family pulled the guilt trick on her, claiming that since Charming had saved her, the least she could do is marry him. Besides, its tradition). Hope managed to put up with Charming and his constant leering until she found a certain product that results in men not being able to 'get it on.'
But not having to deal with Charming only left her time to consider her former, and still present love, Othnarios. What should she do about him?
The first thing she did was give birth to Othnarios's children She was able to hide the twin's true identity by claiming that they were Charming's sons. And indeed, they both appeared to be normal human babies, so there was no reason for anyone to believe otherwise. All Hope had to do was keep all the flaming and spitting of acid in the nursery.
The second thing she did was find out how to release Othnarios. She spent many an hour in the library with the twins running around and making a nuisance of themselves. But since she waited to do this until after the twins had matured slightly, she only had to deal with one fire. And eventually, Hope found a dusty, forgotten tome that dealt with demon summoning.
This tome, entitled On How Toe Summoun a Daemen, was bound in red leather, had gold leaf, and had a smiley face drew on it with green paint. Some kid must have done it. When Hope read it, she found a section on banishment of a demon. It said that the simplest, and most fun, way to un-banish a demon was to:
...Sacrifice a virgine of an age betweene nine and eighteen on an alter, whiche muste be on the site of the Banishment, duringe the Halfe Moon, for the Halfe Moon is a time of change, and change is what youe seeketh to enacte. The virgine muste be sacrifised through the slittinge of the throate with a Summoninge Knife. The Bloode of the virgine must be storede in a crystale vial and kepteth untile the next Halfe Moon. Then, youe must sacrifice a shorn kid with pure white woole on the previoslye used alter. Slite the kid's throate, let the kid's bloode drain, and then poure the virgine's blood into the sheep's throate making use of the slite. Seale the throate with needle and thread, and chante the Summoners Chante v12a (located in this Tome on page 729).
Getting the virgin and the Knife was the only real problem with enacting the ritual for Hope, because she was, after all, queen, and if she wanted a sheep, she was going to get given a flock.
Since Hope was too public a figure too go out, she had to employ servants that would draw less intention. After scouring On How Toe Summoun a Daemon, she knew that summoning an imp would only take some pig's blood and an hour, and so she summoned one.
The imp proved to be aÂ helpfulÂ ally inÂ acquiringÂ the materials needed to enact the ritual. Though it was incapable ofÂ acquiring a Summoning Knife, it could getÂ the materials to summon more powerful demons. And it, with its knowledge of demonic magics, proved a good tutor for the twins.
Eventually, another summoned imp who Hope had been using as a spy, found the location of a Summoner's Knife. Apparently, some rich noble had a collection obscure knives, and had stumbled across it. He had thought it was another type of knife. The imp advised getting the Knife through a succubus.
Hope had grown skilled with summoning, and with the imps' help, got the materials needed to summon the succubus (a hand mirror, cosmetics, andÂ lingerie). The summoning went off without a hitch. And the succubus easily seduced the noble, and stole the knife while the noble slept.
The virgin was the next on the list. She summoned and instructed a djinn, who were good a disguises, to go out and find a virgin of theÂ appropriateÂ age. She did the same with the succubus. After a couple of weeks, she found one.
With a series of beneficial coincidences, and a heavy douse of luck, Hope and her demons managed to kidnap her before she went a-dandelioning with that sexy guy from the village, which had been rescheduled twice, both times to an earlier date. And the town wizard had recognized the djinn for what it was, and had gotten embroiled in the whole mess. Hope even had to involve the twins in the whole mess.
But Hope had eventually gotten her virgin. And had constructed her alter on the Half Moon at her old home's location, the Tower. With her demon's standing guard, she completed the first half of the ritual successfully. She traveled back to the palace with the virgin's blood in her pocket, while her demon's hid and guarded the alter.
After the necessaryÂ wait, Hope returned to the alter with the kid, and finished completing the ritual.
At this point, the action can occur in one of two ways. The first is Option One: A Marvelous Maid's Marvelous Marriage, and the second is Option Two: An Un-WinnableÂ Argument.
Option One: A Marvelous Maid's Marvelous MarriageOthnarios' Tower rose through the air like a spear piercing flesh. Hope threw open the doors and sought out Othnarios. After finding him, she promptly threw herself into his arms, and hugged him fiercely, while uttering romantic phrases. Afterward, Othnarios and Hope went out and slaughtered King Charming and his family and his kingdom, and enacted Othnarios' original nefarious plot.
Option Two: An Un-Winnable ArgumentOthnarios' Tower reared out of the ground like a bloodhound sniffing the air, uncertain as too where its prey had gone off too. Hope waited for it to finish rising, and then strode confidently inside. She walked the almost-forgotten corridors for Othnarios, and found him in the Great Hall. She walked up to him and slapped him.
'Have you any idea how worried I've been?' demanded Hope, her voice like a hail of arrows piercing an army's flesh. 'What I had to go through? But nooo, you're Othnarios, some great demon. You can abandon anyone you want.'
'My dear, I was banished-' Othnarios began, but was interrupted.
'So THAT'S you're excuse. You got banished. Why, may I ask? I thought you were a demon, not a chicken. Why in the name of all things unsacred couldn't you kill that sleazy prince? And so you just had to get banished, and I couldn't even get to talk to you.'
'I'm sorry for letting you down. Can we please move on to killing things and world domination?'
'If you think there is any chance in heaven that I'm letting you out, then sorry mister, you are sadly mistaken. So long, and goodbye, Mr. I Can't Kill A Knight.'
After pronouncing her judgement on her love, she promptly re-banished Othnarios, waited a decade, and then re-un-banished him. That is, brought him back to the world.
And then they launched Othnarios' original nefarious plot.
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? Responses (7)
A truly entertaining little short story. Your voice is consistent and amusing, and the whole premise made me laugh. I can't really see using this in a game (as you have already written the ending, and I see few places for a party to interact with the storyline), but perhaps the action could be picked up by a GM sometime after Hope and Othnarios go about doing their dastardly deeds. Well done!
Why can't it be used in the game? I considered adding a note at the bottom for this.
Simply pick a point in her tale and chop off the future with extreme prejudice. Simply take the entirety of her story as a baseline for how she'll act in the present. And to increase interaction, you could throw more oh-and-this-is-essential's in the whole unbanishing of Othnarios. I gave the basics. Why not throw in the fact that boiling tar from this valley needs to be poured into the hollowed out leg of the still alive kid? And then re-sew the hoof back on. Naturally.
Or you could use this to show what's happening elsewhere. While the PCs are running around after this villain, add a bit of flavor about this unlucky kingdom. And then, when they get enough levels and XP, Hope can resummon him.
And by that last sentence, I meant when they get enough levels to face him/ foil his evil plot.
But what was the worst pick up line!!!!???!!!!
I like the two endings and the fractured fairy tale tone.
The worst pick-up line? I shall never reveal my secrets =)
As if I was watching a movie for a short while.