@Copyright E. Charles Tucker, all rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without the expressed written consent of the author.

This was written during my stint with the online RPG, Illusia. I'd played a number of characters, but one in particular became near and dear to me: a Felzur thief.

Some background: the game world centered around two alliances, light and dark, one led by the "goodly" humans and the other led by the "evil" V'lalek, or Vampire race. The Felzur were aligned with the V'lalek race, and were master spies, thieves and assassins.

My character, however, thought himself more skilled than he was capable of. I chose to play the character as a condescending, sarcastic, self-serving thief who was always searching for his next big opportunity. Unlike the Minotaur Chronicles I'd written, Mhauztales were meant to be humorous with obvious nods to Terry Pratchett's style.

Mhauztrap

"Yoo shoor dem wan meez do dis?" The Ogre scratched his knobbly head, absently digging a beetle from behind an ear. Mhauz spread his arms wide, grinning with only the barest hint of fang. "Habbock! Come on, old friend, would I lie1 to you? Of course, the army picked you!" He reached up and tapped the confused Ogre on the chest for emphasis. "You are the youngest2 son of your clan chief, right?"

Habbock grinned happily at this, clapping his hands repeatedly. "Ya, ya, meez Da be Clan Cheef, hem eempotint!" Mhauz suppressed a sigh, silently saying a prayer to the White Goddess for patience. "That's why the Winged One picked you! Only an Ogre would be so stu...err, have the strength of, ummm...presence! Yes, strength of presence to walk right up to the gates of Evermist and announce the plan to attack the city!"

The ogre frowned a bit, biting on his lower lip. "But...meez no unnerstans. Why tell hoo-manz an' alfs an' nohms an' horsees weez fite? Dis no ceekrit?"

After a few seconds of silent disbelief, Mhauz recovered from his surprise. "Because, you big lummox" he yelled, slapping the Ogre across the face. "Do you think with all the time and effort my people have invested in that damnable city, we can afford to have it razed by some bloodthirsty brainless cannibalistic clods? No!!"3

Mhauz sighed, his mind racing to simply things as much as possible. "It's honor, Habbok. Like the Minotaur? All, "fight fair" and "for the glory of Krag" and all?" Habbock nodded, slowly; the spy gave him a reassuring smile and continued. "Well, that's how it is. The Cherub" - he paused, catching the Ogre's pained look and corrected himself - "The Flying Man wants to fight fair with the humans. So, he picked you to tell the humans where to meet him."

The felzur pulled a rolled up parchment from his cloak, unfurling it to show to the Ogre. It showed, in very crude and primitive drawings, the route planned by the V'lalek-led forces from the Abbey to Evermist. "Now, be sure and show them this" he said, rolling the map and placing it in the Ogre's belt. "Do you remember what I told you earlier?"

Habbock nodded happily. "Yooz sed, telz hoo-manz iz Burd-man whut sendz meez" he beamed. Mhauz smiled, patting the Ogre on the knee. "Good boy. Now, off you go" he said, sending his messenger plodding off down the road towards the gates of Evermist.

The felzur smiled, already backing up towards the forest. "Yes, my friend, you go warn the Evermist forces for me. Me, I've just *got* to tell someone about this horrible betrayal by the Ogres. Horrible."

1:A felzur. A lie. Need we say more? There's an old Felzur saying: Every lie is the absolute truth until it's discovered otherwise. And even then it's my word against yours.
2: Translation: the dumbest of the lot. And among Ogre clans, that's pretty dumb.
3: Okay, we lied. That never happened. Felzur are sneaky, backstabbing, conniving little double-dealers, but stupid they're not. What he actually said was "I'd be happy to explain it to you, Habbock" - and given that the relative size to strength ratio between a Felzur and an Ogre is akin to that between a melon and a boulder, we'd say his choice of words was well considered.

-fin-