Waxley the Bold Ch. 01byslyc_willie©
(Author's note: This story was inspired by my tabletop gaming days. If you understand what that means, then you will have no problems understanding the magical references in this tale. For the rest of you, think of this story as something close to 'Lord Of The Rings.' Warrows are like hobbits, and the rest . . . well, that is easily figured out.
Long-time readers of my fiction on this site may expect quite a bit of sex. However, such is not the case with this story. Still, I hope you enjoy this little tale of fantasy. There may be more in the works, but I can't promise such. Waxley the Bold remains one of my favorite characters, so who knows? He may return.)
Three Warrows ran swiftly down the well-worn trail, panting from exertion, faces ruddy and grinning with excitement. They leapt off the path as they came to an ancient stone bridge, older than time it seemed, yet still sturdy enough to handle the daily traffic of wagons and horses that ferried goods to the human city of Heimdall, a league up the sloping trail.
Crouching low behind pale marbled stone, cracked and weathered and covered with well-worn glyphs, the three young halflings stared up the hill. All was quiet save for the burbling of the stream behind them and the occasional bird call in the trees.
"Are they coming?" asked the youngest of the three, a lad of a mere eighteen years. He had a ruddy complexion, curly chestnut-brown hair, and a perpetually red nose.
"I don't think so," said the oldest, a slender and athletic Warrow with short, dark curly hair and strong features. He frowned. "I'm surprised. They usually give chase much longer than this."
The youngest chuckled. "Maybe Idunn is on our side," he said, invoking the name of the nature goddess and patron of the Warrow race.
The other two gave the youngest strange looks.
"Are you a druid, now?" asked the oldest.
The chestnut-haired Warrow simply shrugged. They all stared a few moments longer up the road, then turned and rest their backs against the stone wall, laughing and congratulating each other for the day's events.
"Let's see what we got. Brandy?" asked the oldest, indicating the third member of the group. Unlike the other two, he had straight brown hair, kept, as always, in a topknot. He was the pudgiest of the three. He dug into his leather vest, came out with a small cloth bag, then pulled another like it from his breech pockets. The other two produced similar bags from various pockets on their person.
They dumped the coins on the ground, spread them out. Most were silver shillings, but there were a few gold crowns and many copper farthings. They counted the booty quickly, tossing the cloth and soft leather bags aside.
"A hundred and twelve farthings, eighteen gold, thirty-seven shillings," announced the oldest.
"Hah!" exclaimed the youngest, clapping his hands together. "I'm getting me some ham steak, squash fritters, pickled snake eggs with mint jelly, and flagon after flagon of beer tonight! Oh, and--"
"Shut up, Calo," snapped Brandy. "You're making me hungry."
"You're always hungry," chuckled Calo, reaching over to pat Brandy's round stomach.
Brandy glared, raised a meaty fist. Calo raised his hands defensively, but still chuckled. He looked to the oldest of the group. "How much for each of us, then, Waxley?" he asked.
"Here," said Waxley, stacking coins in his hand. "Six gold, twelve shillings, thirty-seven farthings each. There's one shilling left, so we flip for it. If it lands eagle-up, its either mine or Brandy's. If it's eagle-down, it's Brandy or Calo. Got it?"
The others nodded, and Waxley flipped the coin. It smacked into his palm, and Waxley slapped it onto the back of his other hand. It was eagle-up.
"Mine or yours, Brandy," said Waxley with a grin. "Feeling lucky?"
"I'm always lucky," laughed Brandy. "Eagle-up, it's mine."
Again, the coin flipped end over end in the air, smacked into Waxley's palm. Turning it over on his hand, he revealed the result: eagle-down.
Waxley chuckled, kissed the coin. Brandy shook his head. "So much for always being lucky," he said.
"Hey, but we still got thirty-seven shillings each, and six gold coins," said Calo, slipping his coins into a heavy leather bag at his waist. He jingled the pouch.
"Aye, you're right," said Brandy. "What's one more coin?"
"One more than you've got," said Waxley with a grin.
Brandy chuckled, shook his head. The three of them stood, dusting themselves off.
"Now remember," said Waxley, wagging his finger at the other two. At three feet, eight inches in height, he was taller than either Calo or Brandy by a good two inches. "Don't flash that money around. Spend a little here, a little there, but don't make it obvious. We were fishing all day, got some big catches, left our fishing poles at Calamity Point. We sold the fish to Heinrich. Got it?"
Brandy squinted in thought. "Which one is Heinrich again?" he asked.
Waxley rolled his eyes. "He's the dwarf from Gieldthagir Mor, remember? The one who buys fish for the taverns in Heimdall?"
Brandy snapped his fingers. "Right. Big fellow, black beard, big ear rings."
"That's the fellow," said Waxley, leading the others down the path over the stone bridge. In the distance, numerous plumes of smoke rose from between the hills, indicating the Warrow village of Crawley's Crossing.
"And don't go bragging," warned Calo to Brandy. "Like you almost did to Merla last time. If you got to brag, make something up. We're pick-pockets, for Bragi's sake!"
"I won't say nothing," grumbled Brandy, pouting. "I almost slipped with Merla, is all. I won't let it happen again."
"You better not," said Waxley. "I don't think my uncle would like to be standing watch over me in the jail."
"Aye, that wouldn't be good," said Brandy. "'Course, he had his day, didn't he? Adventured all over Gorwal, I hear."
Waxley smirked. "He went to Bogarty Wood with some big folks a couple times," he said. "Luthits and elves. And that was twenty years ago."
"I'd love to have a big adventure," mused Brandy, picking up a stick from the ground. He slashed at the air. "Take this, goblin!"
Waxley chuckled. "You'd do better to use a crossbow," he said, holding an imaginary one in his hands. "Uncle Riley never got close enough to anything to stab at it; he just shot out is eyes. Thoop!"
"Yeah, that's the way," grinned Brandy. "Goblin-slayer, that's what I'll be."
Calo snorted in laughter. "You can't even go camping a night in Bluster's Glade without crying for your mum. How're you gonna go kill goblins?"
"I did not cry for my mum!" protested Brandy, smacking his fists to his side. "I was just having a bad dream!"
"Aye, if I was dreaming about your mum, it'd be a nightmare, too."
"Oy! You take that back!" exclaimed Brandy, swinging his stick at Calo. The lankier Warrow laughed as he fended off the blows. Waxley just continued on toward the village, rolling his eyes and shaking his head.
Let Brandy and Calo sort this one out themselves, he thought.
"Help!" came Calo's strained voice. "Waxley! He's sittin' on me! Help!"
Waxley just whistled, slipping his hands in his pockets as he walked.
"Waxley Paddins!" blustered a heavy voice, gaining the young halfling's attention instantly. He jumped up from his bed, tossing the book he had been reading onto the small table in his room as his uncle stormed through the door. Riley was an impressive figure for a Warrow, thick-bodied and taller, even, than Waxley. He was clad in the blanched leather armor that marked him as a member of the constabulary. At his side hung a shortsword, hanging from his wrist was a sap. The latter weapon he smacked into his fist as he glared at Waxley.
The younger Paddins wore his best innocent face. "What? I was just reading. My chores are done, ask Pa!"
Riley's eyes narrowed. "I got a pigeon message from the Heimdall Guard just a few minutes ago. Seems some Warrows did a little pick-pocketing today at the Market Square."
Waxley shrugged his shoulders. "Me and the boys were fishing," he said. "We ain't the only Warrows out there, you know. Maybe it was those Briar boys from Silver Hole."
"It weren't no Briar boys," growled Riley. "Where's your fish?"
"We sold them to Heinrich," said Waxley quickly.
Riley's eyebrows raised. "Oh, really?" he asked.
"Yup, gave us a good price, too. I caught me a big pike, big as, well, big as your head!"
"Hmn. Funny that Heinrich didn't mention anything about it when I saw him today," said Riley.
Waxley swallowed nervously. "Well, it must have been after you saw him."
Riley sighed. "Waxley, my boy, let me give you some advice," he said. "You can't go through life taking advantage of other people, even if they are big folk with deep pockets. And you can't keep lying to cover your arse. Sooner or later, those lies will catch up to you."
Waxley stared at the ground, shuffling his feet.
"Now, we're going to talk about this later. I won't say anything to your father . . . For now. That will be up to you."
"But--" began Waxley in protest. He was stopped by Riley's steely glare, cast his eyes down again. "Yes, sir."
"And you'd better go talk to Calo and Brandy, too, before they spend too much. I'd like to do this quietly, especially since Calo is Captain Wills' son. I'll be back in a few hours, and I'll expect to see all three of you then."
Waxley made a sour expression. "Yes, sir," he said, then frowned. "Where are you off to?"
Riley took a deep breath. "There's been a dire badger sighted near Bluster's Glade," he said. "Captain Wills wants me and a few others to check it out."
Waxley's eyes bulged. "You're going to kill a dire badger?" he asked, awe-struck.
"Hopefully not," said Riley. "I've tangled with them before. Nasty buggers, they are, as tall at the shoulder as I am. Maybe we can just trap it and take it back into Bogarty Wood. But don't worry yourself about that."
Riley turned toward the door, then paused. "Remember what I said. We'll settle this pick-pocket matter when I get back."
Waxley nodded. Riley left with a grunt, his heavy, booted feet stomping on the floorboards. Waxley watched after him for a long moment.
A dire badger . . . Now that would be something to see!
Despite the warning of their oldest friend and informal leader of the trio, Brandy and Calo did, indeed, make their wealth known as they visited the tavern. They ordered feasts fit for the greatest of Luthit nobles and let the ale flow freely for all involved within the brew-soaked walls. It was not long before the tavern wenches took notice.
The one who straddled Calo's lap was a slender, dark-haired lass with multi-colored beads entwined within her long ebony strands. She let her loose skirt ride up her lean thighs as her arms draped over the young herren's narrow shoulders. Her emerald eyes glittered as she took him in.
"You're certainly a generous fellow," she said coyly, shifting on his lap. Casually, she tussled his thick hair. "I like that."
Calo smiled up at her, after glancing quickly to see that Brandy was also pleasantly enamored by a comely madchen. His hands sought her narrow waist and slowly crept upward. "Oh, do you?" he chided. His lips revealed a toothy smile. "Funny that you never showed me any attention before, Luralee."
Luralee's curled lips remained fixed. "I wish I had," she said, then leaned close. Her breath was sweet with the fragrance of cheap wine. "Perhaps we can make up for it."
Calo grinned, feeling his excitement grow, encourage by the warmth radiating from between the tavern girl's thighs. "I think we can . . . at a different place."
Luralee considered the young man beneath her, caressing his round face slightly. She slipped her leg from his lap and stood. "Come on," she urged coyly.
She moaned and grunted beneath him as Calo plunged away, burying himself inside the willing girl again and again. Luralee lay on her stomach, her back arched as she clawed the soiled sheets in the small home she shared with two other girls like her. Her firm buttocks quivered with each pounding thrust Calo delivered. Her dainty feet kicked in the air.
"Oh! Sweet! Idunn!" she gasped, pushing up on her hands. Her sweaty, flushed face peered back at Calo as he continued to delve within her.
"Aye, she is," hissed Calo, gathering a fistful of the girl's hair in his hand. Her jerked her head back and shoved his cock as deep as it could go. "Sweeter than you, wench."
Luralee cried out, her pussy clamping tightly around Calo's cock. "Ah! Yes! Say it again!"
Calo pounded into her, harder, deeper. "Wench!" he roared. "Vixen! Whore!"
"Oh! Ah! Yes!" The girl all but screamed as she exploded in orgasm, grinding her firm ass against Calo's slender body, rolling her hips savagely. She hissed through clenched teeth, dug her fingernails into the dirty bedsheets. Her spasms wracked her body for long moments, until she fell forward, burying her face in a pillow.
Still, Calo drilled into her, determined to bring about his own satisfaction. "Cheap tavern slut," he growled, gripping the girl's shoulders as he leaned into her. His hips smacked loudly against her quivering buttocks. "Tell me you're naught but a whore! Tell me!"
Luralee moaned, whimpering into the sheets, rolling her body eagerly. "I'm a whore," she murmured. "I'm your whore!"
"Yes!" cried Calo, stabbing deep one last time, spilling his seed within the girl. He grunted and spasmed, enjoying his release to the fullest. His cock burned within the slick, sucking womb of the tramp beneath him. At long last, he collapsed upon her.
"What a good whore you are . . . ." he muttered, heaving hot breath in her ear.
"Mmmm . . . ."
The Paddins sat quietly around the dinner table, partaking of a late-afternoon supper. Waxley stared down into his soup, dabbed at it with a chunk of bread. He was not conscious of his mother and father watching him, the former with worry, the latter with grim concern. Waxley's younger sister, Marilee, just fourteen and typically oblivious to the world, hummed a tune as she stabbed at chunks of potato in her bowl.
"What did Riley want?" asked Pa, breaking the silence.
Waxley was startled, and looked up, wide-eyed. "What?"
Waxley's father took a bite of bread. "He seemed upset with you for something," he said.
"Oh, you know Uncle Riley," said Waxley dismissively. "You misplace his shovel and he's ready to call on Thyr's lightning for it."
"Hmn," grunted Pa.
"They've been gone a long time," said Ma, customarily doing her knitting as she picked at her food. "It'll be dark in less than an hour."
"He's hunting a dire badger," said Waxley. His eyes flashed with excitement. "I bet he'll come back into town carrying it's head!"
"Ew," said Marilee. "Ma, tell him not to talk like that when I'm eating."
Waxley leaned toward his sister, grinning mischievously. "I can see it now. It'll be dripping with blood and gore, and it's eyes will be all bulged out--"
Waxley chuckled, returned to his meal.
Half an hour later, as the sun was descending over the treetops of Bogarty Wood, Waxley and his father sat on the front porch of their hillside home, overlooking the village.
Crawley's Crossing was home to some sixty families, most of whom were descended from the original settlers who came here, three centuries before, after the land had been cleared of goblins and orcs by Captain Avery Crawley, on behalf of the Duke of Heimdall. Learning of the new development, the land that would become Crawley's Crossing was purchased by the first settlers, Warrows from Bower's Garden in the north.
In the centuries since, the perfect soil and rolling hills had proven ideal for growing grapes, and now, CC wines, as they were called, were well-known from the Luthit capitol of Amellard to the Modsognir Dwarven holt of Gieldthagir Mor. Making wine had become the dominant business for the Warrows here, as it was in other nearby villages such as Silver Hole, Badgerhead, and Twindowns.
"I've been meaning to speak with you, son," said Pa, drawing on his pipe. "You're a man now, Waxley, have been for some time. I'd like to bring you into the business."
Waxley rolls his eyes. "We have talked about this, Pa," he said. "I just don't think I could be happy watching over grape fields and tasting wines all day."
"Why not? It's a good life, good work. You could have your own label, plant your own vineyards. You could marry that Corabell girl."
Waxley gave his father a sidelong glare. "Corabell don't want to marry no winemaker," he said.
"So what does she want to marry?" asked Pa, reaching for a glass of the family label. "A pick-pocket?"
Waxley froze as he rocked in his chair. He didn't look to his father.
"As an example," continued Pa. "Or do you think that going on some great adventure will earn her heart?"
Waxley sighed, resumed rocking. "Don't you ever wonder what's out there, Pa? Didn't you ever want to go explore the ancient ruins in Bogarty Wood, or the Andromil Mountains? See the Brunhin in Argraine?"
"I know what's out there," grunted Pa. "Goblins, orcs, dragons . . . danger. That's what's out there. Listen to me, boy: leave the adventures to the adventuring type. Your place is here, in this village. Make yourself an honest living, marry yourself a descent girl. Make me a grandfather."
Waxley sighed. He knew from his father's tone that the matter, as far as the man was concerned, was settled.
The clamor of voices suddenly rose from the other end of the village, where the thick wooden palisade wall was broken by a gate that faced Bogarty Wood. Waxley and his father both rose to their feet as a constable rushed toward them, sweaty and flustered. He approached the Paddins patriarch with a plaintive expression on his face.
"Dubil, calm down, man," said Waxley's father. "What happened?"
Dubil took a deep breath, hung his head. "I'm so sorry, so sorry," he said. He lifted his head, revealing swollen red eyes. "It's Riley, sir. Riley's dead."
His body lay upon the bed of a wagon, a common end to an uncommon life. In death, Riley seemed to have shrunk in size. He no longer seemed the great, broad-shouldered constable he had been that afternoon. His face was relaxed, a mask of calm, yet his body bore the marks of a savage and brutal death. Blood had soaked through the blanket that covered him to his neck, but did not conceal the nasty gash on the side of his head, matted and caked with blood and gore. A crowd had gathered around the wagon, and all in attendance were long-faced, silently sympathetic.
"It was that damn dire badger," said Dubil, his voice apologetic. "It came out of nowhere! Just leapt from the trees and fell upon us. Poor Loman almost lost his arm, Tandy can hardly walk . . . But Riley . . . He held the beast off, let us regroup. I tell you, though, he gave as good as he got! I won't be surprised if we find it dead in the woods tomorrow. I hope it bleeds for a long time before it dies. Vile beast."
Waxley stared in mute shock at his uncle's corpse, wishing Riley would just sit up, wishing it was all just a twisted joke. But he knew it was not. His heart felt like it was being dragged down to the bottom of the sea by a twenty-king's-ton weight.
Beside him, Captain Wills took a deep breath. He was a somewhat smallish man, with curly dark hair and a round face, but he exuded confidence and command in his captain's uniform. He adjusted the cap on his head, stepped closer to the wagon. "This is a tragedy," he said. "We have lost our finest man."
He turned to Waxley's father. "I cannot tell you how sorry I am," he said.
Waxley watched his father, whose face was a grim mask. He nodded at Captain's Wills' words. "It was his life," he said. "I always feared this day would come, but he was ready for it. Riley never thought he would live forever, after all."