Nounite - C01E01 - A Cold Dish

A cloaked crook approached The Buried Tower. Wearing a dark grey cloak, he was almost unrecognizable from a far. The guards had no idea what was approaching them. They knew nothing of his intentions or his identity.

“Who are you stranger?” shouted one of the royal guards as he got closer. “Take me to your lords and I will reveal myself” the mysterious hunchback replied. The guard stepped in the sand, moving forward with eyes full of uncertainty and curiosity, a great inner conflict took over his thoughts. Was this stranger a threat or an enemy of a greater enemy. He pulled himself together and put his right hand on his sword, ready to draw his sword if need be.

“Why should we trust you?” yelled the guard while pointing at the crook. “We know nothing of you and you might very well be an assassin from the tyrant troll himself”. The mysterious looking dwarf took small steps towards the guard and took off his cloak. A green toad with a missing arm, a missing leg and a missing eye, a sloppy skin with wrinkles and scars all over his small figure, “Do I look like I serve the troll?” said the green toad. “Muchlike The Order, I seek one thing and one thing only — revenge.”

The guards now understood why he used a cloth to cover his small injured figure, the sand would’ve burned the scars and the pain would’ve been immense. The first guard was absolutely shocked, he just couldn’t simply understand how a toad was capable of crossing The Grand Dust. “Can you believe this sorcery?” the first guard looked back and asked the others. A second guard stepped forward to the old toad, Esméralda. A brave woman, dressed in shinning golden armor, heavy boots and a great deal of courage. She was a wonderful representation of the sandborns. “I’d put my life and yours in great risk if I let you into The Order’s gathering”.

The toad replied “I’ll give you my word…” but he got cut off by the hasty rage-fueled guard shouting “Your word? You think that’s enough?”

Esméralda set the other guard back and got closer to the toad as the toad lifted up his head and revealed his face. Everything was so unbelievably unremarkable for an old peasant crossing the sands, but he nodded at Esméralda surely thanking her for stopping the angry guard and mumbled “Words used to mean something…” then added “I shall offer you something else then, perhaps an eye?”.

The guards were uncertain to why such an old soul would bother travelling this far just to meet The Order, yet they were heavily invested to see how far the toad would go just to enter The Buried Tower. The royal guards were still in denial as the toad reached for his only eye with his only hand and removed his own eyeball. He handed over the wet eyeball to Esméralda and said “I pledge to you my word.. and my eye” the toad continued “Will that buy me a word or two with The Order?”. Esméralda almost fainted as she saw such disgusting move, but now she was convinced that the toad had something greater to offer rather than being a selfless paid assassin. “No assassin would do that for any amount of coins or gold” she thought to herself. “Yeah yeah… Open the entrance boys”.

She accompanied the toad into the meeting. “I’m deeply ashamed of interrupting my lords, but there’s an interesting individual that you should meet” she said as they entered the hall. The Order started to whisper as they heard the head of the guards march into their gathering. “What is the meaning of this"?” said Opath II. “Weren’t we clear enough?” Shouted commander Oeta.

“My sincerest apologies my lords, but I believe that this toad has more to offer than it meets the eye” she said as she dropped his wet eyeball on the wooden war-table. The disgusting sound of the flesh hitting the old rotten wood of The Buried Tower made everyone shimmer and left them in awe. “Here I have…” she had no idea what she was doing with a nameless toad in the middle of The Order’s gathering, all she knew was that the toad had the courage to cross The Grand Dust and had offered his eye.

“Who are you?” shouted Osak as she slammed the table. Words caught up to each other and the sound of whispers began to grow. “If you knew the first thing about The Order, you wouldn’t enter the tower empty-handed” Osak followed. “Haha, empty hand Osak, the freak has only one and yet it’s empty” said Orvak. Esméralda pushed the toad into the light so he’d start to speak, “I’m a cook” said the toad with his deep voice.

“He’s a cook he says haha” said Orvak as he touched his fat belly. “Do we look hungry to you fool?” he continued as he stepped away from the table and moved towards the toad. “Step into the dark Esméralda, we will handle the blind toad!” continued Orvak. Esméralda stepped into shadow ready to hear The Order’s next command while they talked with the wrinkled amphibian. Orvak got closer to the toad threatening him with his stinger, he started an evil laugh that he didn’t get to finish. As he started patting the toad, his venom entered the scorpions stinger instead and the fat scorpion fell to the ground. The other 4 members of The Order stood up and slammed the table altogether. “Hold your stingers. If I wanted you dead, you would’ve been dead by now” said the blind toad.

“What did you do to my brother?” shouted Osak. “He’ll live to see another day” replied the toad. “You and I both know that he’s the stupidest scorpion of the south” he mumbled. Osak pressed her teeth against each other and was full of anger, her eyes turned red, her stinger rose up and she started to move towards the toad.

“You have no other choice. You need me more than you think” said The Eyeless. “Don’t you need a plan to kill the troll?” he continued.

Commander Oeta raised his voice “We already have one!”

“The wine stains on the map tell another tale commander” said the toad as he left everyone in shock. “Wasn’t he blind?” Opath II whispered to the commander. “I am” replied the toad. “Once you lose a sense, another one gets stronger and what I don’t have in organs I make up for in plans”.

“Why are you in the south if you already have a plan?” said Oeta. “The perfect crime, requires the perfect audience.” replied the toad and silence took over the war room.

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