Meanwhile, while our old orc friend Fleece is in the armory, just biding his time before starting his insane one-person raid that, no doubt, has some kind of backstory of revenge associated with it; and King Ghoul-ston is reading that letter that came from Ozdarius, which has huge implications for the big election taking place … there’s a whole other thing happening. There’s this princess. Let’s call her Graceloquis. But Graceloquis isn’t like other princesses. While she spends her days playing the role of princess to the general public by donning crowns and waving at her constituents and accepting gifts from her various handsome suitors from neighboring villages and towns or whatever, at night she straps on gloves and a helmet. She does a bunch of, like, kickboxing-esque training in this room with all sorts of swords and armor and spiked things hidden in the castle’s basement, a room that only she and her trainer Buddy know about. Buddy’s this old family friend, probably pushing 60 or so, but mean as a whip. I don’t know exactly what that means. Whips are fucking mean or something. Anyway, whenever she feels like training she says to the rest of the servants, like, “I feel faint, I need to lie down” and everyone else, even her father the King and her mother the Queen, are all like “Oh, that’s just how she is, women need to rest every now and then because they’re all weak and shit,” and she goes into her bedroom, gets under the covers, and the fucking floor falls out from under her! And then she lands in the fucking secret training Bat Cave-like thing. And she works out and trains and does all sorts of sword-work. The question, though, is what is she training for? Only traveling the countryside by night as a motherfuckin’ Dragon Slayer! That’s right. Princess-by-day, Slayer-by-night. The townspeople even have a name for this mysterious and cloaked slayer they occasionally spot riding around with a bunch of dragon heads hanging from his (they think it’s a he) horse: “Le Bastion.” It’s, like, French or some shit. Anyway, she’s been doing this for awhile now, taking out about four dragons a month, for two reasons: (1) Some important person in her past was eaten by a dragon, we’ll get into that part of the story later, I’m sure; (2) She has these two bites on her upper arm, which can only be seen when she gets completely nude, which is rare. These bites were the remnants of when that first thing — the important person dying — happened. She was trying to save him (it’s a him, so, you know, you can probably guess that it was like a boyfriend or something) and the dragon fuckin’ bit her. And what happens when dragons bite you? You become part-dragon! So whenever the fourth moon shines, like once a month or so, she turns into part motherfucking-dragon. Like a were-dragon. What? Is the once-a-month thing symbolic of a period? I don’t know, I haven’t thought of that. But sure. Why not? Anyway, when I say she turns into a dragon, I don’t mean huge like a dragon. She’s still normal-size. But she can fly and’s all scaley and can breath fire. And she wants to eat people, too. But usually just one person will do, since she’s still normal human size. But since she’s nice-ish, she has to find a really bad person, like a criminal or something, to eat on that one-day-a-month when she’s craving human. So down in her Dragon Cave thingy, while she’s training and stuff, there’s also this pirate named Pierce chained up in the corner. Judging by the moon’s arc, he’s got about two days to live before Graceloquis changes into a half-dragon and eats him. This whole time, while she’s going through her bicep curls and squats and fire-evading maneuvers, he’s pleading, “C’mon, let me go! I have lots of gold I can give you.” He doesn’t know where exactly he’s at, that gold’s not going to work buying her off, since she’s already rich as shit. So, she just ignores his pleas and gets back to training. He eventually kind of just resigns to his fate, gets a handle on dying, and starts talking to her. “Why are you doing this anyway? What’s with all the training?” he asks. And she goes into her story, how she kills dragons before they killed her boyfriend. The smaller dragons that she kills are fine and all, but she has this one, the specific one that killer her boyfriend, that she’s still looking for. And she explains the dragon to Pierce (“it’s got this crooked scar from one end of the snout to the other, where I stabbed it”) and Pierce is all like, “I know exactly where that dragon is.” She threatens him with all sorts of injuries and whatever, but Pierce won’t tell her. Instead, he’s all like, “I’ll take you there, but then after you slay him you have to let me go.” Graceloquis, after consulting with Buddy, who doesn’t really trust this Pierce guy, says yes. “Sure. I can find someone else to eat later.” So, they’re about to set off to find this dragon. But the two of them don’t really like each other. Kind of like Midnight Run. Anyway, lots of stuff going on here, right?
The old dude walking towards the town, let’s get back to him. The one with the envelope in his satchel that’s, like, all kinds of important and what-not. The kind of thing that can sway the whole goddamn election! So, the old dude … he’s a priest. An old Yoda-type in his wisdom and everything, the type that would answer a question with another question and have all sorts of shit to say on the topic of right and wrong. That kind of asshole. And his name is … Frankel. No, wait. That’s too dorky. And it starts with the same letter as Fleece, our toad/orc, which might get confusing down the road when they eventually meet up and their stories connect. How about we call him Ozdarius? There. That’s all mystic and shit. So Ozdarius, after lots and lots of travel, mostly by walking with the aid of his cane (which, no doubt, has some magical properties we’ll get to later) and every now and then hitching a ride in a caravan or getting a ferry or two to cross the various rivers of Mongistan … he finally gets to the Central Mongistan Castle in the dead of night. The full moon is shining on it. Pretty much all of the castle is asleep except for the various night watchmen. And, now that I’m thinking about it a bit, it definitely needs a better name than just Central Mongistan. So, let’s just call it motherfuckin’ Castle Centralia de Gorsche. Bam! That one just came out of me, I don’t know where from. Anyway, he gets to the front gate of Castle Centralia de Gorsche and he knocks on the front gate/door thing. “Sorry, gov’nor,” says one of the guards stationed out there overnight. It’s a pretty easy night shift, so he’s a little more doughy than you’d think when I describe him as a ‘guard.’ “Our master’s a’ready ‘n be’ an’ he request’d no’ vis’tors t’night. Big day t’morrow n’all,” this guard says. Ozdarius kind of figured this would happen. “Nothing’s ever easy,” he says to himself in that Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon “I’m getting too old for this shit” kind of way, and takes out his staff and starts banging on the door. But, here’s the thing, whenever he strikes the door with that cane (which, like I said, had some magic in it), it makes this huge motherfuckin’ blast of a sound. Remember those Bang Snap fireworks you’d play with as a kid? Like that, but a million times louder. It’s still that kind of noise though. The guard, obviously, is fucking freaked out (and kind of weak, being doughy and all) so he tries to cover his ears with his hands. He loses his balance and eventually falls in the moat. There’s a moment where he kind of rights himself and is calm, thinking like, “Oh, thank goodness I made it.” But then, the next instant he’s eaten by crocodiles. Or alligators. You know what? It’s, like, a combo crocodile and alligator. Crocogator. Yeah. That’s what’s here in Mongistan. “Dust to dust,” says Ozdarius as he watches this in a wisdom-filled voice. Anyway, the huge noise obviously wakes up King Ghoul-ston who was getting his beauty sleep because tomorrow he has announce the winner of the election. “What is this infernal racket?” he asks as he strolls to the front gate. He doesn’t have his crown on, and is wearing a thick red robe. Just rolled out of bed kind of look. He sees Ozdarius, but it’s kind of dark so he can’t really make him out. Plus, Ozdarius has his hood up. “Explain the meanin …” starts the King, and as he does Ozdarius creates this fireball with his hands so that you can see his face. King Ghoul-ston is flabbergasted. “It can’t be …” he says, before falling to his knees. “It can,” says Ozdarius. “And this time, I came with a gift.” And then he opens the motherfuckin’ satchel and holds up the envelope. King Ghoul-ston is clearly upset. This is one fucking important envelope, guys.
So, let’s go back to the orc who’s just hanging out in the armory inside the castle of the wizards and warlocks. Actually, it’s probably time to give some weird, cryptic, medieval-sounding names. So let’s call the orc Fleece. Yeah, just the jacket. Sure. And let’s call the castle that he’s in … Froudleiken Castle. That’s kind of creepy, right? So, Fleece the Orc is hanging out - as a toad, remember? - inside of Froudleiken Castle’s armory. And there’s, like, all sorts of knives and swords and shields and cannon balls just hanging up. Common armory stuff. And in the corner of the room there’s like a little fire, because that’s the only way the guards can see what’s going on at night, because, you know, there’s no light bulbs or overhead flickering neon lights here. It’s fucking olden times! So Fleece is hopping around the armory, checking out the swords, deciding which one will be the best for the crazy massacre he has planned. Seeing as he’s still in toad form, he’s just making a mental checklist of everything. “I’ll come back and get these when I’m ready to go back into my orc form,” you know? Dude sees a piece of armor, and is like, “Sure, I’ll use that.” And he sees another few daggers just hanging on the wall, and he’s like, “Yeah, I’ll stick those in my utility-type belt just in case I need them for later.” He sees a cannon ball that has, like, dynamite strapped to the sides and he’s like, “Damn, that’s pretty badass, but there’s no way I can creep around the castle at night while carrying a goddamn cannon ball, so I’m going to have to pass on that. Sucks, though. That thing is pretty fucking awesome.” And he’s hopping around, checking out the display of swords by the firelight, and nothing really jumps out at him. Sure, this one’s alright, but it’s kind of light and he doesn’t know if it can withstand the amount of force that comes with chopping off a whole bunch of wizards’, warlocks’, and probably guards’ heads. And he sees another one, and it’s cracked, so that’s definitely not going to work. “Why the fuck do they even keep a cracked sword in the armory? Fucking stupid wizards and warlocks.” And just as he thinks that, the Armory Guard - just a regular dude, not a wizard or warlock, and don’t fucking worry I’ll get to the difference between those two later - comes back from taking his lengthy piss, wipes his brow, and lets out one of those “whew” expressions. “Holdin’ dat one a mig’ty lon’ time gov’nor, I tells ya,” he says to no one in general. Yeah, that’s his accent. I’m not very good at accents. I don’t know, it’s kind of British, I guess. Anyway, he comes back, Fleece the Toad-Orc kind of hops into the shadows, and this motherfucking Armory Guard goes right over to that cracked sword and just tugs on it a little. And, lo and fucking behold, this hidden boulder just rolls out of the way next to the fire and the guard walks into this super secret hidden armory. So, of course, Fleece follows him in.
Meanwhile throughout the rest of Mongistan - which is the name of this made-up world where all these dragons and shit fly around, and these wizards and orcs fight one another and stuff - there’s this enormously important election taking place. You see, every thirty years, all of the people in the world decide on who is going to be the great King of Mongistan for the next thirty years. It’s a pretty big fucking deal. The person that gets voted to be king then has, like, ultimate power and can really do whatever the fuck they want. “Oh, now loaves of bread are called ‘turtles’,” is what one king could say, and from that point on, if you want to make a sandwich, you have to head over to the market to pick up a few turtles of bread. No king’s done anything like that yet - you know, most kings just do the whole behead-enemies-and-bang-a-bunch-of-hot-women thing for the first decade or so before they settle into power - but they could if they really want to. This year’s election comes down to two candidates: (1) Lord Fireship, who’s been an upstanding citizen his whole life, has been living in the Central Mongistan Castle for twenty years as the right hand man of the current king, King Ghoul-ston, and is basically an all-around good guy. Not the nicest; he’s a bit of an asshole if he needs to be. But as far as rulers go, the people of Mongistan could do a lot worse. Opposing him is (2) Quirk McGee, a fearless cowboy-type who spent his early years wrangling dragons and doing your normal outlaw stuff. Robbed banks? Sure. He robbed a bunch of banks. But he never killed anyone that didn’t deserve it. Ladies swoon over this type of guy. And he’s got a scar across his face, but no one’s sure where exactly he got it. If you mention it, though, he’s going to smack the shit out of you. Probably has a lot of symbolic importance, you know. Anyway, you have these two dudes, both tough in their own ways, one a classic self-made man and the other a good establishment guy, neither a blatant bad guy is what I’m getting at. And so the votes are being tabulated, and the people are choosing between Fireship or McGee. And don’t worry, there’s plenty of sordid muckraking campaigning going on: The supporters of McGee call Lord Fireship “The Man” every chance they get and complain that under his rule “the people have been without electricity for large periods of time,” which is technically true, but only because electricity hasn’t been invented yet. Meanwhile, the Fireship Armada - as the supporters of Lord Fireship call themselves - spend half of their time rhetorically asking if the people of Mongistan actually want to be ruled by someone named ‘Quirk,’ and the other half in-fighting about whether or not they should stick with the ‘Fireship Armada’ name. So, all this shit’s going on. And meanwhile this old shaman is walking the long route, through hills and forests and whatever the fuck, to the Central Castle. When I say he’s old, I mean like hundreds of years old. Dude’s got this big walking stick where he notches his birthdays, so there’s, like, hundreds of notches on the stick. You can’t tell where the notches begin or end. That’s how old. And he’s carrying an envelope in this satchel of his. And the envelope, let me tell you, it’s fucking important. It’s got a whole lot of motherfucking information on it. What’s inside this envelope is about to blow open the election for one of the two candidates and change the fate of Mongistan forever. Hoo boy.
So, like, this little orc motherfucker walks into the castle. But, you know, before he does, he hides under the drawbridge so the wizards and warlocks that are in the castle don’t know he’s coming. He uses, I don’t know, some magic or something to pretend he’s a toad in the little what-do-you-call-it… river? Moat? Yeah, the moat thing. So he’s down there, pretending to be a frog and whatever, and he throws a rock, like, a hundred feet away into the field. But it’s a big rock, because this little orc bastard is tough, even when he’s in toad form, which is weird but there’s magic all over this place so it’s not really that weird. And when the wizards and warlocks hear the rock land, they think it’s, I don’t know, this huge canon blast or something. Or maybe a nearby dragon causing trouble again or whatever. “Better not be Shamus the Dragon,” the second-in-command warlock says. The leader says that’s a stupid idea, “We banished Shamus to the ice world,” or something. But, you know, they all better make sure just in case. So they run out of their castle – well, kind of hover with their feet not touching the ground, because their wizards and warlocks, so they have that power – and the guards in the castle, the ones with swords and bows and arrows and armor and shit, they all leave their posts. See they haven’t had a bathroom break in forever because this wizards and warlocks are big assholes and brain-washed them into just standing there like zombies or whatever, and are under their spell unless they’re distracted. So now they’re all pissing in the moat, which does not make our toad/orc happy, but at least it leaves the front gate wide open. Oh, by the way, the orc knows about this castle and the zombie guards because his cousin used to be one of these. He was, like, a half-man, half-orc, so he was tiny and gross, but not as tiny and gross as our main little orc motherfucker. Anyway, back to the present: The wizards and warlocks – there’s, like, 12 of them – all run out to see what the fuck that noise a hundred feet away was. The guards are peeing in the moat. The gate is open. And in hops this little toad thingy through the gate without anyone noticing him. But, like I said, this isn’t any toad. It’s our orc motherfucker. And while the 12 wizards and warlocks are distracted, he hops right through the gates, down the main castle outdoor hallway thingy, and right into the castle’s armory. Because he was going to need a big motherfucking sword for that thing he had planned when the wizards and warlocks went to sleep that night.