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The Misplaced Givings

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The Misplaced Givings


by Dan Potter


This novel relates the tale of the Siege of Trembaloo and its consequences. It is mostly unique in that the Epilogue is three chapters long. Most of the book takes place around the year 18,079 TLFotUM, concerning itself with the disastrous hubris of the people of Trembaloo in thinking they were safe from Lord Kinlo's army of Khith-Cohoris-Wutel in the well-defended Trembaloo Pass. It is roughly contemporaneous with the other book in this series, The Forgotten Faction, but they take place mostly in different parts of the world.


Chapters 1-5

For the first few chapters, it is not really much of a siege. Regular commerce continues through the western gates, while Kinlo's forces remained tightly bottled in the pass. Much to the consternation of Earl Montgarte D'Raspcalligan, the Trembaloo Fighting and Drinking Guild is organized to coordinate the influx of warriors seeking Epic deeds, and the increased commerce actually slows the westward evacuation of the city's civilians.


Then S'yrf'yl the Immortal arrives with bad news.


"Fools! You have had months--months--and not even one in ten have fled. Even now, a detachment of the Khith-Cohoris-Wutel come south from Graha to rejoin their master at the west end of the Trembaloo Pass. And when they do not find him there, they will come here. And then? Then you will be besieged in truth."


--S'yrf'yl the Immortal, in The Misplaced Givings


Chapters 6-10

Unbeknownst to the residents of Trembaloo, Lord Kinlo had sent a large detachment to clear out any would-be ambushers who might be holed up in the Upsy Mountain Pass. This detachment marches south through the region of Graha toward the western end of the Trembaloo Pass. S'yrf'yl immediately takes it upon himself to evacuate as many innocents as possible; however, for every one he saves, hundreds remain trapped behind. Among those he saves is a small child with a large destiny; a child named Wayjere Ovelkus, whose father, Elkus Ootvalley, commands the forces on the second western wall.


Looking out into the sea of crabs which were surging forth in this assault, Elkus could see that the outer wall had already been breeched. The chitanous siege towers constructed by the attackers rose too suddenly from the midst of the attackers, invisible until they were pressed into service. This tactic had overwhelmed the first line of defenders.


His arrows exhausted, he redoubled his grip on the hilt of his blade and tensed his body, preparing for the fight ahead. "Goodbye wife, goodbye Wayjere my son. Keep safe." he whispered as the first Wutel began scaling the second wall, where Elkus stood.


-- The Misplaced Givings


Over the next year, the court Wizard Mardrangion and his Furniliar, Curtis the Mightstand, ponder the problem of the demon Phgoorikus, part of the attacking forces. Eventually, wielding Nhek'miggon'uil, one of the legendary 100 Swords of Sepathok, the mighty tragic hero Navrid the Unscrupulously Heroic sets off to slay the arch-fiend atop the Mountain of A'aa. Naturally, he succeeds.


Chapters 15-28

Encouraged by the success, the court Wizard Mardrangion's wife leaves behind her Furniliar, Currington the Dresser, and attempts to infiltrate Lord Kinlo's camp and slay him while he sleeps. She is not heard from again. In his grief and rage, her husband destroys a thousand Wutel in history's most uniquely inspired and singularly unbelievable execution of Magniloquent palavercation. The effort leaves him comatose.


In 18,085 the third eastern wall of Trembaloo finally falls. The Cohoris Guard takes to the task with relish, acting as shock troops when the walls are finally breached. The quick-thinking Elkus Ootvalley is credited with evacuating the survivors into the area between the second and third western walls. Navrid the Unscrupulously Heroic dies executing Elkus' plan, but Elkus lifts Nhek'miggon'uil from the hero's body and uses it to personally fend off Lord Kinlo while the last of the civilians escape. Elkus orders the gates closed, holds Kinlo off for a short time, then throws himself from the side of the mountain to prevent his powerful weapon from falling into enemy hands.


Upon requesting reinforcements, a few spies who manage to sneak past the siege are told that reinforcements would have been sent, but everyone was too busy preparing their own defenses. This dishonorable abandonment of Trembaloo is still a black point of shame in the history of Mandleclang and, indeed, much of central and western Battal. Eventually, those residents of Trembaloo who are not immediately slain are taken prisoner and subjected to the twisted whims of the Khith-Cohoris-Wutel as servants and laborers.


Epilogue Chapter 1

It would be almost 11 years before 18,097 brought the end of the terribly brutal reign of Lord Kinlo. Weakened by the siege, the Khith-Cohoris-Wutel did not march on to Middleclang, instead plaguing villages and farms across the countryside for several years before returning to the full-scale butchery of entire cities. Shamed somewhat by their failure to help at Trembaloo, several rulers did eventually dispatch forces to directly assault the Khith-Cohoris-Wutel armies.


But for Trembaloo, it was too late. The city would rise again, but it would never be the same bastion of commercial and cultural magnificence.


Epilogue Chapter 2

The year is 18,140, and Wayjere Ovelkus is an old man, bent by years of laboring for OreCorp, Ltd as a safety inspector. His wife, Love Ovelkus, is a kind but elderly woman who labors baking Raddish Bread to make ends meet. We meet their son Gendoman Ovelkus, recently returned from the Grimm Elemenstati Akademia to open a bakery of his own, where he makes Raddish Bread despite the fact that literally hundreds of other bakeries already focus on the Middleclang specialty (Gendoman would say delicacy, but he would be wrong). Wayjere encourages his son to seek more Epic deeds:


"Adventure awaits just beyond the mountains, my boy," he would say. "Across the river lies lands undiscovered by these simple folk, and things remembered here only as legend.


"Do not forget that the Immortal plucked my mother from a terrible fate in Trembaloo, while I was yet an infant in her arms. And I have never done anything Epic, though the Hierarchs know I've tried. I must have been saved for a reason, don't you see? And if I was not saved for myself, then I must have been saved for you."


--Wayjere Ovelkus, in The Misplaced Givings


Epilogue Chapter 3

Moving back in time to the end of the siege, we learn that Mardrangion and Mau'de were both assumed dead, though neither actually met their end. Curtis the Mightstand waits patiently for his master's return, keeping company with a handful of soldiers.


"Mardrangion! We thought you were dead!"


"Ah, but killing me would be a difficult task indeed. It was a wedding gift from my wife, actually; for so long as she lives, my own death is but a temporary inconvenience. I am usually awake within the hour."


"But... I thought Mau'de died as well..." the confused soldier replied.


"Indeed," said Mardrangion mournfully, "I was sorry to lose her again, as it will be years before her new vessel grows to maturity. Fortunately, though the mechanism differs, death is no more permanent for Mau'de than it is for me."


--The Misplaced Givings, Epilogue

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