A Young Rogue’s Encounter

Journal Entry – Hyul 46, Summer

I crouched behind the stone, hoping he hadn’t seen me. I gathered from his appearance that this was no ordinary rooster. Not that the ordinary roosters were ordinary, but this one was moreso…less…ordinary.

Placing my poking stick on the ground beside me, I reached for my pack as quietly as I could, and opened it to assess its contents. I’d been exploring the caves in the area for some time, but still had plenty of livers for energy. I also had some scrolls a friend had given me – she had assured me that I did not need to be able to read them, simply break the seal, and the magic protections would be released. I took out one of the scrolls, deciding that I would just have to trust what she had told me. There wasn’t much else in my pack, besides a pipe, and some equipment for making traps. Also some axes, but they wouldn’t help much.

I took a few other items from my pack, and closed it again. Thanks to the chants my guildmaster had taught me, the other chickens in the area had forgotten my presence, and were placidly pecking for grubs near one of the trees. I cautiously looked around the corner of the stone I was crouching behind, trying to see where the other one was. He was still standing where I’d first seen him, his head raised, as he surveyed the area. I was sure he could sense my presence, though he hadn’t spotted me yet. I hoped I would have time to set my traps before he saw me.

As carefully as I could, I broke the seal on the scroll of protection, then winced at the bright flash of light that entered my torso. Surely he had seen that! I would have to act quickly! The magic from the scroll cast a strange sheen over my armor, but other than that, was unnoticable.

Keeping low to the ground, I moved quickly from behind the stone, staying behind him, and, hopefully, out of his sight. I dug a shallow hole in the ground, and clumsily arranged my snare trap in it. I held my hands over the trap, and chanted the words as best I could, hoping my accent didn’t affect the trap’s effectiveness.

Still watching the Boss, I scrambled backwards, and repeated the process, this time with a different ingredient. This one should make a flash, and temporarily blind the enemy which, when combined with my forgetting chant, should make him stop attacking me briefly. Or so I’d read…

A sudden pain errupted in the side of my head, as his hand (wing?) connected with it. With swaying vision, I looked up and saw him standing over me – I’d been so intent on setting my trap, I’d forgotten to watch him, and clearly he’d discovered me. I scrambled backwards, so that he could be caught in my trap, then realised, as he kept hitting me with great accuracy, that I’d forgotten to chant over it.

Digging in my pack as I leapt away from him, I hurriedly slapped some healing salve on my head, and took a puff from my pipe, coughing slightly as I did so. I then circled warily around, keeping my distance so he couldn’t attack me again while I set my traps. I would just have to be quicker at it.

Keeping one eye on him, I repeated the process: digging the hole, laying the trap, then chanting over it to magic it, first for the snare, to weaken him, then for the flash, to keep him still while I got my own back at him.

I had almost finished, when he found his way around the obstacle between us, and rushed at me. Tripping over my pack in my haste to get away from him, I sprawled on the ground, and waited for the blows to fall, covering my head to protect it. When nothing struck me, I looked up, and realised he’d been caught by my trap. Success!

I quickly got to my feet, found my military fork, and jabbed him with it. He hit me back! All set to curse the one who wrote the article on boss hunting, I realised just in time that I’d forgotten to make him forget me. I hurriedly chanted the words, then jabbed at him again. Apparently I’d forgotten the correct pronounciation, as he kept smacking me every time I jabbed at him. Shortly after, he began following me as I retreated, and I realised I would have to set more traps, and hope I got it right this time.

Scurrying away from him again, I repeated the process, again, of setting the traps, and magicking them. Finally I had them set up, and led him to them. Trap one: success! Trap two: success! Chant to forget…I jabbed him tentatively, and got no response: success! I breathed a sigh of relief before settling in to jab at him, attempting to find his purse of treasures. I wasn’t going through all of this for nothing!

Soon, I noticed that he was getting weaker, and beginning to collapse. I would find that treasure yet! Luckily he’d not had a chance to use his magic, as I was nicely protected by that scroll…Or so I thought. “Dispell” – I faintly heard the whisper, as I noticed all of my own magic fail. Then he cursed me. As the magic ripped through my armor, I felt weak, and wondered if I would succeed against him! Then the poison came, draining my life. Then, just as quickly, he dispelled me again, canceling all of his curses.

Bemused, I continued searching for his treasure, hoping he hadn’t had the sense to hide it away somewhere. As I searched, he continued cursing, and then dispelling his magics. Finally, he withered, and staggered away, leaving a small bundle of coins behind. All of that for a measly bundle of coins? I shook my head, gathered up my pack, and broke a scroll to return to my clan’s Haven.

I had learned something about the Mythic leaders, and made a note to remember their abilities, and also decided I would have to stock my pack a bit better than I had, before venturing into their caves again.