Rage Against the Juice
Posted by Universal Shift
A fun fantasy fiction piece inspired by a writing prompt from obiwannabe.
The mage was sad. Sir Trollop, his favorite toad, had been his familiar since he was in diapers. So much love…affection…gone! Wiped out by that brutish oaf swinging a broadsword like a drum major’s baton. Fury swelled with the destructive magic inside him. First his store, now his toad. This had to stop.
“Hey!” he screamed at the barbarian.
The brute paid him no heed. He continued relishing in the chaos and destruction he was visiting on M&M Magical Mystery Museum and Gift Shop.
“I said HEY!” This time he screamed it with fury and that emotion transferred, as all magic does, into energy.
The wizened mage’s emotional manifestation splattered against the barbarian’s wide back like a raw egg. It slithered around slicker than snot and attached itself to the invader’s face.
This got the barbarian’s attention. He clawed his face and the invading magical emotion, howling like a werewolf in heat. Unfortunately, instead of halting the berserk frenzy of that oversized man-beast, the battle with the mage’s fury caused him to thrash around even more, sending over the remaining shelves and skewering the mage’s shop boy with his ultra-rare Wand of Many Miracles and Snake Oil Juicer (which was shattered in the process). That was it. Total ruination. The last bastion of the great and terrible mage, The Mighty Morass, had been obliterated by an over-muscled simpleton in a Nord Rage.
The mage spat in disgust, unable to believe that his power had come to this. It was only 253 years ago that the Mighty Morass first rose to the pinnacles of Infamy when he singlehandedly (well, he had help if you count his hordes of mindless zombies) conquered the city-state of Moist Gardens. No small feat right? Conquering a city-state and converting it into an undead factory must demand some kind of respect, right? Wrong. Mighty Morass was plagued by adventurers and would-be heroes for the next two centuries. Same story every time. They’d crash his gates, burn and pillage his city, murder scores of innocent zombies and high-tail it out with a chunk of his treasure or one of his magical trinkets. It was nonstop to the point of banality. These “adventurers” were really nothing more than bandits with a cause. They chiseled away at his resources and patience just like thieves until the mighty necromancer was forced to give. He barely escaped with his life on that day and he couldn’t help but cry as his city burned behind him. He’d been in retirement/ hiding ever since. Now all he had left was trashed by this imbecile caught in the throes of society’s newest demon: Nord Juice. Rage like a Viking!!! All the posters said. Rage indeed. They hadn’t seen rage like the Mighty Morass could rage. He’d find these Nord Juicers and rage them all night long. Starting with the offending oaf in his shop.
The barbarian had expended the very last of his wrath and now lay panting on the floor, the mage’s fury still dutifully clutched to his face like a little suckerfish. Morass leaned down and brushed the fury away.
“Are you awake? Can you hear me? You’ve destroyed everything! Everything! I’m going to disintegrate you!”
The barbarian looked frantically around, confusing leaking from his pores. “Where the hell am I? What the hell just happened? Who the hell are you old man?”
“Old man? Old man! I am the Mighty Morass! Great and Almighty Necromancer of Moist Gardens! And you, insolent barbarian, have obliterated all that I have left in the world.”
“Get out of here. You’re the Mighty Morass?”
“The one and only.”
“No way! This is great! I can’t believe I’m talking to the Mighty Morass. I loved all the bard’s stories about you as a kid.”
Morass inflated with pride. “Well, there are a few good ones,” he admitted.
“More than a few. Hey listen, can I get your autograph?”
“Well, I suppose I could manage a little something for such a dedicated fan. What shall I sign?”
The brute scrounged around the rubble until he found his broadsword. “Can you sign it, To my best friend, Mak the Knife. Always and forever, the Mighty Morass?”
“It’d be my pleasure. Now where is that runic chisel…”
“Real bummer what happened to your shop,” Mac said as he watched Morass carve the inscription into his blade. “If you want, I could help you find the guys that did this to you.”
Morass stopped his work and gazed hard at Mak. He couldn’t believe the stupidity of most people. But was it really stupidity? Or was it something else? Nord Juice could be the root of all of this. It wouldn’t be the first time society produced something self-destructive and then set it free on the masses. But somebody had to pay. Not only for the destruction of his shop, but for the deaths of Sir Trollop and his shop boy. True enough, torturing the idiot barbarian for his part in this would offer some small comfort, but there was a greater injustice here. If he had to blame someone, he might as well blame the demon. No telling how many other elderly wizards have been victims of Nord Rage. He’d be doing the world a favor. For once, he’d be the adventurer righting the wrongs and he liked the idea of that. “What do you know of Nord Juice?”
“I love that shit! Guzzle it like horse piss! Wait…are you saying that Nord Juice did this to you?”
“That’s exactly what I’m saying.”
“Damn that’s hard.”
“Do you ever make sense?”
“Nevermind. Listen, I need to know where you got the Nord Juice from.”
“I get it from Pappy. Down in the bazaar. Don’t you think that’s a bizarre word? Bazaar. Say it like a pirate. Bazaarrgh!”
“Shut up,” snapped Morass. “I’m thinking.” Deviousness rose with the destructive magic inside him. Pappy. That hapless peddler would be the first to feel the vengeance of the Mighty Morass in over half a century. And to be honest, vengeance never felt so good. But first, he had to clean his shop.