Tales of Agora - Saving Winterfest P.1
Who wants more lore? You!? Well, get ready for the next adventure in the Tales of Agora series... Saving Winterfest. Dive into the tale of everyone’s favorite ogre, Narbash, in his story below!
Winterfest has begun and Agora has frozen over, leaving a frosty paradise. Take part in the most generous time of the year to earn a bounty of exclusive content including three new Winter skins, Winterfest chests packed with goodies, and--during the final week--a mystery prize.
NARBASH MEGA BUNDLE
If you're looking to get your hands on all things Narbash, his Mega Bundle will be available starting December 12 and will run until the 19th! Get your hands on every Narbash store item, including the Tribal Vibe skin and Narbash’s Moment emote!
Throughout the week we will be highlighting some of our favorite Narbash + Winterfest pieces on all of our social channels. Expect to see everything from beautiful art pieces to montages and more!
Saving Winterfest (P.1)
By: The Paragon Lore Team
Being the Chosen One had its perks. Normally, getting anything you wanted was one of them. That’s what Narbash had been counting on when he approached Warleader Grokken about preventing the war, but so far his efforts had been fruitless.
“This thing with the Nimmruds is, uh…” Narbash scratched his head, trying to think of a word he hadn’t used already. Bad, lousy, cruddy… Nope, used all of those.
Chieftain Lorga sat beside Grokken at a bustling feast table, still as a stone. Her dark, unmoving eyes hadn’t blinked since the beginning of the conversation, though she occasionally raised her fork to take a bite of meat.
The snow fell all around them, covering the grass and sprinkling everything white. The entire tribe had gathered at the center of the village to celebrate Winterfest together. Brute-faced ogres toasted and shared stories around an array of wooden feast tables, which had been moved from throughout the village so that everyone could eat together. Young ogres hurried between the tables and the huts, carrying new plates of food and jugs of wine. The way the tribespeople laughed and reveled, Narbash could hardly believe they planned to march to war the next day.
He shuffled his bare feet in the snow, hardly feeling the cold—that was one advantage of being an ogre. Every season was swim season!
He gestured amiably at Grokken, deciding to try a different strategy. “I mean, do we have to fight? There are better activities to do with neighbors. Like dancing! Or, uh, pole vaulting!”
“You do not understand what is at stake in this war, Narbash,” Grokken said, sawing vigorously at the meat on his plate. “They have slighted us. Angered our gods, by hunting a frog on the Holy Plains. Such impudence can only be met with war. I will crush their skulls and tear their irreverent tongues from their mouths! I’ve wanted to put those Nimmruds in their place for years!”
Chieftain Lorga growled in agreement.
“You sure this is about the Holy Frogs, and not some kind of personal issue?” Narbash lowered his voice. “We have practice dummies out back if you need to express your anger.”
“Silence!” Grokken pointed his crooked fork at Narbash’s face, meat flying from it. “Do not question my devotion to the Holy Frogs!”
Grokken leaned over and tore a chunk off the bird in the center of the feast table. Across the length of the table were platters heaping with warm green beans, plump berries, and seasoned snow hare. Nearby, Grokken’s soldiers yelled a toast and drank from their stone-carved steins, red wine dribbling from the corners of their mouths.
Narbash raised his finger excitedly. “Hey, why don’t we get the whole tribe in on this discussion? I’m sure they have plenty of good thoughts on this war business!”
He looked around for a vantage point from which to address the tribe. The feast tables arced around a central point—the Holy Slab. It was the biggest rock on the plains, placed there centuries ago by the gods. Amidst earthquakes, floods, and wars, the Slab stood strong, unmoving. Narbash recalled the first words Lorga had said on the Slab when she was appointed Chieftain. They were epic words, to the ears of a child. Narbash would never forget them.
It is an honor to stand upon the rock of the gods. Very sturdy rock.
What better place for the Chosen One to change history?
“Do not stand on the Holy Slab, Narbash,” Grokken ordered, as Narbash approached the Slab. “You’re too young! You’ll anger the gods!”
Narbash strained to pull himself onto the ice-slick rock and nearly tumbled down the other side of it. A hush swept across the feast tables as Narbash gained his footing. The Chosen Beads, heavy and golden, clattered around his neck. At the table straight ahead of him, Grokken stabbed his fork into the table, his green face turning red.
“No need to be so tense, Warleader!” Narbash declared, looking over the crowd. It was full of familiar faces from all over the village, stopping their conversations to gape at him. Even the chefs came out of their huts to investigate the sudden silence, gathering in small crowds behind the feast tables.
Narbash put on his best smile. “That’s right, uh… This is one lively party! And why are we going to ruin that by marching to war the next day? That’s not in the spirit of Winterfest. Winterfest is about good food! And jokes! And meetin’ new folks!”
Grokken stood up, knocking over his own chair. “Remove yourself from the Holy Slab!”
At a table across from Grokken’s, Naya the Soothsayer rose to her feet, pointing her wrinkled finger. Around her sat a crowd of ogres adorned with cloaks and carved necklaces—the soothsayers and oracles of the tribe, trained to commune with spirits and interpret the will of the gods.
“Do not speak to the Chosen One that way!,” Naya said, her old voice cracking. “He carries a message from beyond the skies!”
“How much wine have you had, woman?” Grokken retorted. His rowdy soldiers hooted and laughed, cheering him on.
Naya gaped, revealing her toothless mouth, while her companions joined the argument.
“The light of the Chosen One reaches beyond our understanding!” they declared.
Grokken’s soldiers stood up and shouted back with raised fists. “The gods’ symbols are for us to interpret!”
Narbash stood atop the Holy Slab scratching his head. “Hey, there’s no need to—”
One of Grokken’s soldiers threw a half-eaten drumstick at Naya. She fell back as though struck by the heavens, the meat tangled in her long gray hair.
“Stop it, everyone! We were having a great feast!” Narbash pleaded.
No one heard him. Feastgoers from other tables stood up to join the argument, gathering in two opposing crowds. The angriest came to the middle of the two crowds, yelling and brandishing food items at their opponents. Narbash jumped down from the Holy Slab and ran over to disarm a woman wielding an enormous gourd. Chieftain Lorga sat in the middle of it all, unblinking.
Grokken brought his fist down upon the table with a frightening crack. Meals leaped from their plates. “Enough!”
Silence fell. Grokken pointed an accusing finger at Narbash, who still held the gourd above his head, frozen in place with a look of surprise.
“The Chosen One,” he snarled, “has caused nothing but trouble for our tribe. Is it the will of the gods to hinder preparations for a war fought on their behalf? To disrupt the year’s most important feast? To disrespect the elders who have trained and fought for decades to achieve the honor of standing upon the Holy Slab?”
“Not only that!” an old man chimed in. “During the fruit festival, Narbash ate all of my donkenberries and disturbed the peace for a week with his flatulence!”
The crowd seemed especially riled by this memory.
“That’s because I liked ‘em!” Narbash explained, disheartened. “And you gave ‘em to me, because I’m the Chosen One!”
“Remember when Narbash wore golden jewelry on the Sacred Day of Silver?” another tribeswoman pointed out.
“Oh, come on! That wasn’t hurtin’ anybody!” Narbash declared. He slammed the gourd down in front of Chieftain Lorga, breaking the table with a loud crack. Food and drinks lurched into the air and smacked into Lorga, drenching her with wine, strings of half-eaten meat, and lumpy gravy. All went silent once again, as the Chieftain looked down at herself, grunting in displeasure.
“Chosen One,” she said gruffly. She stood up, slabs of wet meat and splintered wood sliding off her lap onto the ground, and pointed her finger at Narbash. “Prove yourself.”
From the crowd, Naya wailed, “Gods forgive us!”
Warleader Grokken was smiling, or as close to smiling as Narbash had ever seen him. He ripped the Chosen Beads from Narbash’s neck, and declared, “Travel to the Nimmrud tribe, and bring us one of their tongues. If you make it back alive, we will take it as a sign that the gods truly have chosen you.”
“I can’t do that!” Narbash protested. Everything was happening too fast, and he wished that Naya and her soothsayers would come to his rescue, as they always did—but now that the Chieftain had spoken, nothing could reverse the sentence. The stoic woman sat down, plucking a sticky plum off her loincloth and popping it into her mouth.
“You will, or you will die trying,” Grokken said, jamming his finger into Narbash’s chest. Narbash had a feeling Grokken knew the second option to be far more likely.
“I will not hear any more of your excuses,” Grokken said, grabbing a sheathed dagger from the nearest soldier’s belt, pressing it into Narbash’s hands, “until you bring back a tongue.”
Grokken’s soldiers began chanting the word tongue. They moved around him, the force of the crowd carrying him away from Grokken, past the Holy Slab, and out of the village.
“Hey!” he shouted, trying to turn around. “Stop it! I’m the Chosen One!” He watched Naya’s waving arms disappear in the distant crowd. “Naya! Soothsayers! Help!”
The soldiers shoved him out onto the empty plains of Zechin, hooting and throwing food. He scrambled away, his heart beating fast, and kept running until he could no longer hear their jeers. He stopped beside a half-frozen river, the gentle flow of water tinkling behind him. The village he had spent all his life in was little more than a speck in the distance.
“Well, I don’t need their praise to be the Chosen One, anyways,” he said. He threw his arms up in the direction of the village. “You hear that? I’m the Chosen One, and you can’t stop me! Ha!”
Surprisingly, he didn’t feel any better.
A guttural, desperate noise sounded from the river. Narbash walked toward it and looked around, momentarily forgetting about his own dilemma. Slabs of free ice floated over dark waters. Narbash bent down, scanning the rocks and bushes.
One of the ice slabs croaked. It had a spotted frog sticking out of it, one leg frozen beneath the ice. Narbash splashed into the shallow water. It was so cold it bit through even his thick ogre-skin. He grabbed the ice slab from the center of the river and scrambled back out, breathing fast.
“I’ll s-survive,” he told himself, sitting back and cradling the ice in his hands. The air scraped at his wet skin. He glanced down at the trembling frog. “I bet you’re hurtin’ more than me.”
He gently rubbed the area trapping the frog’s leg, hoping to melt it. The frog had a look of panic, its round eyes darting and its vocal sac distending rapidly. It squirmed, trying to jump out of solid ice, until the ice thinned and cracked, and the frog hopped from Narbash’s hands so quickly he couldn’t see it.
It landed not far away and turned to look back at him. Then it jumped right into his lap, croaking gratefully.
“Well, look at us,” Narbash said, offering a hand to the frog. “Two holy guys, alone on the plains. I’m glad I found you. And that the Nimms didn’t shoot you, or I’d be alone right now. You got a name, little buddy?”
The frog leaped into his hand, croaking gleefully.
“Greep it is,” Narbash said, standing up. Greep hopped onto his shoulder. Narbash noticed he still had the dagger in his belt, so he tossed it aside and started walking. “No way am I going to cut someone’s tongue out. That’s just rude, don’t you think?”
“I don’t understand why the Chief and everyone else hate the Nimms’ bumpy tongues so much anyways. It’s just another thing that makes ‘em unique. Somethin’ fun to share about each other! Am I right?”
Greep’s tongue flicked out and caught a buzzing fly beside Narbash’s ear.
“See? You’ve got a sticky tongue. Maybe my tribe is just jealous that our tongues are smooth, and don’t have anything special about ‘em.” Narbash paused, checking his bearings against the curves of the mountains. He started on course for the Nimmrud tribe, which was several hours away. “Anyways, I’ve gotta figure out a way to convince the Nimms not to go to war.”
Narbash scratched his head thoughtfully.
“Someone’s tribe has to be reasonable enough to respect the Chosen One, right? Even if it’s not mine, anymore.”
Greep made an alarming noise.
“Not a good fly, huh?” Narbash asked, as Greep’s tongue lashed at his ear. “Hey, ow! I know my ear is hairy, but it isn’t a fly!” Narbash carefully picked Greep off his shoulder and held the frog out in front of him. Greep’s tongue darted out at his chest, where the Chosen Beads had hung.
“Huh,” Narbash said. “You’re right. Without the Chosen Beads, how will they know I’m the Chosen One?”
Greep made the alarming noise again, his vocal sac bulging with such force that Narbash thought it would burst.
“Oh, don’t you worry yourself, little guy,” Narbash said, placing the still-croaking frog back onto his shoulder. “I’ll think of something.”