Gather ’round, little ones, and bring your ears. I’ll tell you the tale of Murmuri the slayer. Yes, yes, I know many of you have heard it before, but who could ever grow weary of the story of a popori hero, fearsome monsters, and a huge sword?
Murmuri was gray as a stormcloud, with big dark-seeing eyes, and sharp foe-ripping claws, and pointy, pointy, beastbiting teeth. There was never a popori so strong and so brave, not even Barana the Berserker. Not even she. Shirzal the Warrior was close, but you all know what happened to him….
So anyway, back to Murmuri. On the day he was born, high up atop that mountain right behind us, they say the air tasted like the hunting song of thunder—always a sign that something special has happened. Even his mother knew he was not ordinary, for his eyes were wide open and he stood up on his feet and said to her “I am Murmuri!” His mother had planned to give him another name, but she was as wise as Murmuri was strong, so she just said “I suppose you are, then.”
As soon as Murmuri was done with being born and being named, he walked down the mountain to the village and began trying weapons. He hefted an axe three times as tall as his father. And he shook his furry gray head. He wielded a lance six times as long as his mother. And he shook his furry gray head again. Finally he picked up a greatsword twelve and a half times his own size, and swung it around in a big circle. And because the sword was twelve and a half times his own size, he just kept on going around. When he finally came to rest, he smiled a smile of pointy, pointy, beast-biting teeth and said “I am Murmuri the slayer!”
And so he was. And so every morning he picked up his greatsword and went up to the mountain to become even stronger, and to become a better slayer, for all fighters must practice with their weapons, even ones as great as Murmuri…that is, if there were any, but of course there are not.
And so it passed that not many days after that momentous one, a great, fierce demon with legs like tree trunks and a voice like rolling rocks chanced upon Murmuri’s village, and thought it might make an interesting lunch. It sat down to begin eating, and when it sat, the ground shook and everyone was afraid, and no-one wanted to go out and get squashed flat. So they stayed inside.
Except Murmuri, who picked up his greatsword and went outside to see just how fierce this demon actually was. Cubs, don’t try this at home. You’re not Murmuri the slayer. Got that? Done talking.
But not done telling the story, because when the demon saw Murmuri standing there with his greatsword that was twelve and a half times his size, he started laughing, his voice like rolling rocks. He put down the house he was about to eat, and pointed his great, fierce finger at little Murmuri, and kept laughing until Murmuri jumped up in the air and sliced that finger off with a mighty downward blow of his sword. And then the demon howled a great, fierce howl and swung his fist—the one with all its fingers—to flatten Murmuri, but Murmuri just thrust his sword point into the ground, jumped up to balance on the hilt with one paw, then flipped over and came back down behind the demon. See what I mean about practice? I thought so.
And as he was behind the demon, he pointed his sword, pulled back, and with a brave squeak, aimed a mighty lunge at the demon’s behind. And because the demon was great and fierce, but not entirely stupid, it stood up with a roar that shook thatch off the roofs—almost taking Murmuri and his sword along—and ran back down the mountain as fast as its tree-trunk legs would carry it, crying like a very large child. No-one has ever seen it again.
And Murmuri grew up to be the greatest slayer who ever lived among the popori, and maybe among all the other races, too. And he was as strong as an oak tree and as brave as the ocean, and he fought many battles, and someday I might tell you about one or two, if you sit very quietly as you are now, and listen to me paint the tale.
This was all a long, long time ago, but they say Murmuri lives still, somewhere far away in the tall mountains of another land, and they say he practices every day by cutting the heads from great, fierce demons and even greater and fiercer things. And they say—and I say too—that if we ever really, really need him he’ll come back and defend us in our time of great danger. Done now. Go home.