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Heroes and a Halfling



J L Rees

Chapter One - Mr Inky

Fredgar Brandybottom is a halfling. Some people may call him a hobbit. Like all halflings in Darlunia, he enjoys relaxing, eating and gardening. Sat in a garden full of flowers and vegetables that he had grown himself, he basked in the late morning sun.




A cat bolted out of the window onto Fredgar's lap. From its mouth, dangled an amulet swaying like a dead mouse hanging by its tail.

When Fredgar regained his composure, he grabbed for the amulet. It was too late. The amulet was gone. The black and white ball of fluff that had it, had jumped down and run off under the garden fence and down the road.

"Hey, wait there!" he called after the cat.

Fredgar leapt up from his seat, pushed the garden gate open and chased the cat down the main road in Fayapple.

Fayapple was a small town primarily made up of small bungalows and houses built into hills and mounds of earth. The population is mainly halflings, but there are other folk that live here including humans, dwarves and elves.

Fredgar jumped fences, stumbled through bushes and pushed his way through tall cornfields. Eventually he realised he had left Fayapple but wasn't quite sure where he'd ended up. In the distance he could see a black and white dot jumping over a hedge.

"Oh well! I suppose I'd better follow you if I want that amulet back," he said to himself.

He scrambled through the hedge to be greeted by a stone column right in his face. His lip burst open, and the blood streamed from his mouth. The cat appeared from behind the stone, meowed and darted off again.

Wiping the blood into his sleeve, Fredgar grumbled and slowly followed the cat again.

The stone must have been part of a castle or fort, he thought to himself. As he looked around, he saw many stone columns and slabs jutting out of the ground. He then noticed the cat sat in front of a hole in the ground. Fred got closer but the cat disappeared. Fredgar lunged forward tripping on a piece of stone and landed face first on the ground. His fall was silenced by the sludgy mud underneath him. He looked up towards the hole and up popped two ears and a little black and white face.

"Meow," it called to him.

Picking himself up, the halfling brushed off the mud. He then went ahead to walk to the hole. He discovered it wasn't a hole but a stairway leading down. At the bottom, in front of a door hanging off its hinges, sat the cat.

"I suppose you want me to enter this door then?" he asked the cat.

"Meow," was the reply.

"You really are an inconvenience; I could be at home right now relaxing. I will call you Mr Inconvenience or Inky for short," Fred said.

"Growl, hiss," is all that came from Inky as he jumped through the crack in the door.

"Guess you didn't like that name. Well, I'm not particularly fond of you either," mumbled Fredgar to himself.

He pushed on the doors, but they wouldn't budge. He looked about the area and found a wooden beam, which must have been part of the structure to the fort. He wedged it into the crack and heaved with all his might. The beam creaked, the door screeched, then in an instant BAM! The door fell to the floor in a splash. Behind the door was a huge puddle and on the other side a wet Mr Inky not looking very amused.

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