King Crusher lead me to the royal quarters, the royal quarters basically being a hut that is several times larger than any other hut in the village. When I stepped inside of the hut I was surprised to see that it was rather civilized, it was very clean with some of the nicest and largest furniture that I have ever seen. The was a very comfortable couch, a fully stocked bar, and a large magic mirror on one wall. (The magic mirror resembling what you would call a flat screen television.) It was a really nice man/ogre-cave.
The Ogre King then turned toward me and he didn’t seem so ugly and stupid looking anymore.
Suddenly, everything that I had seen happening with the Ogres and Amazons made sense, the fact that they didn’t live together, the strange clouding of the Amazons’ vision and realizing that at least the King’s ugliness and stupidity were all an act. I handed the crown to Crusher.
“Your Majesty, I think you need to confirm the truth for me about the Ogres and Amazons.” I was amazed at how much his facial expressions had changed the general look of his face. He looked handsome, he wouldn’t have been out of place in the human royal court except for his size and dress (a large loincloth just isn’t considered suitable for court dress).
“Tell me what you suspect and I will enlighten you if you are still ignorant of any of the cognizant points, by the way, my real name is Odin and my son Smasher’s real name is Heimdall,” he said all of this without the slightest bit of trouble.
“The Amazons had their sight cursed by somebody, I would guess a rather powerful sorcerer, the Amazons saw the stupidest, meanest and cruelest Ogres as desirable. The Ogres figured out the curse so they stayed away from the Amazons and just put on a stupid/ugly act to keep the curse from doing irreversible damage to your entire race, but it did have some bad effects over the centuries. I think there are some rather bad examples of Ogrehood in existence, such as Mauler.” It was conjecture on my part but I felt it was close to the truth.
“Actually, about 75% of the Ogres have been affected. A quarter of us have remained intelligent and comely but we do have to put on an act in public. I knew when Andromeda came running into the village this morning and disappeared with Heimdall into the mountains that you may have broken the curse, at least on Andromeda’s sight. I hope that it may have destroyed the curse on all of the Amazons.” Odin had a rather pleasant bass voice. “The curse was cast by a rather powerful sorceress on the Amazons after an Amazon stole the sorceress’s boyfriend. I think the sorceress was named Hortencia.”
Now Hortencia was a name I hadn’t heard in a long time, she was part of a group of sorcerers that tried to overthrow the mystic council a millennia ago, give or take a few decades. She is also a part of my family tree. She is what we would call “a sorceress in the woodpile.” Most wizard families are rather proud of their wizarding tradition but they take pains to hide any sorcerers that may be in their family trees. But if you shake any family tree hard enough then a few nuts are bound to be exposed and Hortencia was well known for her vindictiveness.
“At least now we can quit this stupid charade and leave the ugly facade behind.” I was impressed that he even pronounced facade correctly. Will wonders never cease?
“I know you and Nell have started a relationship. It wasn’t uncommon in the past for humans and Amazon/Ogres to form couples but it became problematic after the curse was placed. Don’t worry about me, I am not one of those over-protective fathers that scares any prospective suitor from his daughter, I raised Nell to be able to trust her own judgment and take care of herself.”
I was starting to wonder where this was leading until Odin took a small glass bottle off a shelf. The bottle was clear glass and had some sort of strange crystal stopper. Odin handed me the bottle. “When you are with Nell tonight, remove the stopper, make sure to return the stopper in the morning. The bottle has no limit as to how many times it can be used but make sure you aren’t wearing any clothes when you use it, that could be uncomfortable for you, and here is the gold promised to you.” Odin motioned to a large bag sitting by the door.
“I don’t think I could carry all of that gold with me. May I leave most of it here and just take it as I need it?”
-Goodgulf, why are you leaving a huge bag of gold behind?-
-I can’t think of a safer place to leave a large bag of gold than an ogre village, so shut up Swayvill-
“Wow, you stole Eris’ shorts? You do know the significance of this act?” I shook my head indicating that I had no idea what it actually meant, “Eris will have to step down as Queen, hopefully, Persephone will make a better leader.”
Odin and I took our leave of each other and I started for my home. It took me a full day to reach it because I was tired from my running spell. Luckily nobody bothered me on my trip home.
When I arrived at my home it looked as if all chaos had broken loose. Nell was chasing something in and out of my home screaming in rage. She had a heavy club and was trying to smash something that was running ahead of her. Unfortunately, she was doing more damage to my home and surroundings than to her target.
“SMURFS! SMURFS! I HAVE TO KILL THEM BEFORE THEY GET IN THE WALLS AND BREED!”
I cast a levitation spell on Nell so she started floating in the air. She flailed about in the air and when she saw me she looked daggers at me. “Put me on the ground Goodgulf, I have to get those Smurfs,” she said this through gritted teeth.
“Nell, those aren’t Smurfs, those are Feegles and you need to leave them alone. They are friends and you are actually providing them with entertainment by chasing them. They enjoy this sort of thing.” I heard some high pitched giggling from behind a bucket. “Come out here right now Seamus. I need to introduce you to Nell.”
I placed Nell gently on her feet as Seamus came from his hiding place. Seamus stood about 15 centimeters tall. He had nut brown skin but was so covered in blue tattoos that he appeared to be blue. His hair was a reddish-brown along with a matching beard and mustache. He was wearing a kilt and sash that were about the same color as his hair. He was shod with a pair of hobnailed boots and he had what looked like a two-handed Claymore on his back.
“Aye, Goodgulf she is a big-job of a big-job,” Seamus spoke with a very heavy Scottish brogue. “Does she happen to be a hag like you?”
“WHAT DID THAT LITTLE CRETIN JUST CALL ME!” I thought Nell was going to explode.
“Please Nell, “hag” is the name that the Feegles use for any worker of the mystic arts. I am a hag as well. Their first contact was with an old witch that was tending her sheep in the mountains.” I turned to Seamus and said, “This is Nell, she will be staying here and you need to show her the respect that you show me, so no stupid tricks on her or no more special wizard liniment for you or your brothers. And speaking of stupid tricks, where are your brothers Ewan and Struan?”
Suddenly two more little blue people in kilts appeared, "Oh wailey, wailey! Please don’t take away the wizard liniment. Crivens! We promise to be good!”
My special wizard liniment is actually some gin that I distill myself. It is about 44% alcohol. Sometimes I make vodka if I am in the mood for a Bloody Mary and I have tomatoes, limes, horseradish, and hot peppers but usually I prefer Gin and Tonic if I can find quinine. This helps Chickenbutt Flats during malaria outbreaks.
“I guess some introductions are in order. This is Amazon Princess Penelope. I suggest you be very nice to her. She does have the strength and capabilities to harm Feegles so I wouldn’t piss her off.” I then motioned to the Feegles. “These three little reprobates are members of the Mac Nac Feegles, also known as the Wee Free Men. They live in the old burial mounds in the mountains. The first that you were chasing is Bigger than Medium Seamus but not as big as Big Seamus, Seamus. These are two of his brothers, Ewan and Struan.” The each bobbed and nodded in turn.
Nell looked at me. “Aren’t those old burial mounds cursed? I thought anybody that tried to dig out any treasures from those mounds were usually found dead in nasty ways. Why don’t they just call him Medium Seamus and call Medium Seamus Small Seamus?”
“That is correct, the Feegles are the curse and they don’t take vandalism to their home lightly.” I was able to say that as Ewan and Struan started giggling.
“What kind of name is Small Seamus? We already have a Wee Seamus. If we took your advice then we would have two Wee Seamus’s and that would be complicated and confusing.” Seamus said this like it his actual name wasn’t complicated and confusing. “And why would you be calling us Smurfs? We are the Pictsies, not Smurfs. Do we look like some half-wit buggers with stupid knot like tails that are going to break out in song and say ‘Smurfy this and smurfy that’ because we’re too stupid to remember the actual language? I can’t stand Smurfs, I want to give them each such a good kickin’ right in the pog. Except for Smurfette, now there’s a smurf that will put the starch in me kilt, if you know what I mean!”
I could feel the anger starting to radiate from Nell. Feegles have that effect on most beings. “Seamus, if you or any of your brothers ever happen to meet Smurfette in the forest then I would suggest that you treat her with the kindness and respect that you would show your own kelda. If you are less than respectful towards her them I might get very angry with you.”
The kelda is the ruling female of a Feegle clan, she rules with her husband known as The Big Man. There are many male Feegles but very few females. If there are more than one female in a clan then they are usually mother and daughter with the older female being the kelda and the younger female being sent to another clan when she is old enough to become a kelda there. In this particular case, the kelda was their mother.
“Aye, aye, Goodgulf, nothing but respect from us for Smurfette, she would be safer with us than our own kelda.” Seamus must have realized he had touched a nerve with me. I will not tolerate any kind of sexual predation. (I know that I stole Eris’ shorts off of her but that was more because she was mean and I certainly didn’t take advantage of her sexually as some would have.)
“Make sure all of the Feegles know that Smurfette is to treated with the respect that you show the Kelda or any of your sisters, no harm whatsoever to her or you may have the entire Amazon Nation after you,” Nell said this in a way that made the hair on the back of my neck prickle.
“Aye, we will, we wouldn’t want any problems from big jobs of big jobs. Big jobs we can handle readily enough but big jobs of big jobs could be a problem.” Seamus seemed thoughtful for a moment. “By the way, Goodgulf, the Big Man sent us to you to tell you that some ugly big jobs of big jobs were looking for you, they said they had a quest for you.”
“Thank you, Seamus, I have already met with those Big Jobs of Big Jobs.” This is the Feegle name for Ogres/Amazons. “I have completed the job they had for me.”
After this exchange, the Feegles took their leave of us. Nell and I repaired most of the damage caused by chasing the Feegles then retired to the cabin. I showed Nell the bottle that Odin had given to me. She had no idea what it was. I had started a fire in the hearth before we repaired the damage to the cabin. It was getting late in the year and it could get cold at night.
As we got ready for bed I performed the tooth cleaning spell on Nell and myself. I had gotten undressed and Nell was standing fully dressed as I removed the stopper from the bottle. I felt a momentary bout of dizziness and when I looked around my cabin, it seemed everything had shrunk a bit.
“Goodgulf, what happened and why does everything look so large?” I turned and looked at Nell. It was strange, her voice was higher pitched, her clothes hung on her loosely (her shorts had actually fallen and were hanging on the tops of her boots which now went just above her knees) and my eyes were now level with her eyes.
I suddenly knew what the bottle that Odin gave me was. It was an Accommodation Spell. The subjects of the spell became physically accommodating to each other. As far as I could tell Nell had gotten shorter and I had gotten taller. I think we were both about 6’ 6” now. When we are ready to return the stopper to the bottle we would return to our original heights.
I took Nell in my arms, she put her arms about my shoulders and we kissed deeply and passionately, a kiss that left doubt as to how we felt about each other.
I think my life will be much more interesting with Nell in it. I can’t wait to see what the future brings.