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A Busy day in Grinchta’s Lair

It was nearing the winter solstice on December 20th; soon Christmas would be upon Grinchta’s Lair. All the preparations were being made; presents for all the good little elves were being gathered in the Grinchta’s Lair workshop, cooking in Grinshta’s Lair kitchens was starting, the decorating was well underway.

Dingle the head Grinchta Lair elf had spent the whole week decorating the Lair for the holidays. He was almost finished and was pretty happy with how things were looking, but some of the Christmas lights seemed to be missing and all his glitter boxes had all disappeared from his storage boxes. He had spent far too much time tracking down all the missing decorations and just decided to order more instead.

A single, unwrapped present which would occasionally levitate in the air got the attention of the gift wrapping department in Grinchta’s Lair. The magic seems to be strong this year thought Grinchta’s main elf named Bingo. He covered all the magic presents well he thought and never figured he’d have to use more nets to keep the the presents from floating away again. As Bingo was finishing up adjusting the nets over the magic gifts, he noticed a snickering elf with insomnia and dental hygiene issues named Jammy stumble out of the workshop storage shed. The Elf was a sight to see all was covered in glitter from his head to his toes toes and had apparently found some missing Christmas tree lights which he was wearing tied around his neck like a winter scarf and a pair of dancing candy canes from last year’s display he held tightly in each hand. Jammy was dancing and twirling around like he had joined the Nutcracker Ballet and seemed to be enjoying his dance.

Meanwhile over in the Lair’s kitchen, the uneaten Christmas cookies baked by a disillusioned fire wizard were being quickly loaded into the incinerator before the fire wizard noticed. That fire wizard named Lameo never got the hang of cooking or baking, but still loved to cook and bake. The problem was his cooking and baking was not fit for human consumption because it all tasted like the hairy big toe on Grinchta’s left foot, so everything had to be incinerated before anyone accidentally ate it. Grinchta was the only one who seemed to be able to eat Lameo’s cooking or baking, but he’s been on a diet since some kids called him Tub-O. But they'll make more soon I'm sure.

It’s beginning to look like the elves will have a very Merry Christmas, they hope you do too!


Servant of Mallok
Louisa, shadowheld
(English & german version / Englische & deutsche Version)

The stolen Christmas presents
by Louisa, EU2

‘Layana, Farina, get out of bed! Meli, Lujo, Loui, Tia! Come on! Ysibi, Stüppe, hopp hopp! Look outside, it's snowing. How beautiful it looks!’ I cheered while laughing and dancing around in circles. After trying in vain to wake up the remaining members of our guild, I went down to the living room. After all, it was Christmas and Santa Claus probably had sneaked through the chimney early in the morning, drunk the milk and eaten the biscuits. And he certainly has left some presents under the richly decorated Christmas tree.

However, when I entered the living room, there were only a few pine needles under the Christmas tree. No sign of gifts! But strangely enough the glass of milk and the plate of biscuits were emptied to the last bite. I ran back upstairs to tell the others about my discovery. At the top step I ran into Malcom, Lütte, Sigi and Wintana and while I told them what I had found below, the others also came out of their rooms. ‘Why are you shouting so loudly, Daria?’ Lujo exclaimed a little annoyed. So I told them once again about the missing presents. She looked at me with wide eyes and screamed, ‘What do you mean there are no presents? That’s impossible! I have put... I mean, I saw Santa Claus landing on the roof with his sled! We have to look for the presents! "

After some time and a long search later, we finally found an elf who admitted to having stolen the presents out of boredom as he has been unable to sleep properly for some time now. Giggling he added, ‘And I will not tell you where I hid them ... except... yes, unless you bring me some cookies!" We looked at each other at a loss. Where should we get cookies on Christmas Eve? Meli was the one, who had a solution. ‘What about the uneaten Christmas cookies baked by a disillusioned fire wizard? He used to love Christmas, but since he knows that Santa Claus is no…’. She abruptly stopped talking, looking at me. ‘Great idea!’ Layana exclaimed enthusiastically, ‘let's go, let's visit him.’ A short ride later we arrived at the house of the fire wizard. He seemed to be very happy to get rid of his cookies. Well, at least he did not hesitate to hand over his cookies to hand them over. With bags full of baked goods we reached the elf again, whose eyes lit up when he saw the many cookies. Giggling he took them from our hands. Glancing down at his teeth, Farina shook her head and said, ‘a snickering elf with insomnia and dental hygiene issues – how extraordinary!"

The elf took another delicious bite, then said with his mouth full, ‘The presents are in the back, you just have to go through the gate and then you'll see them." After a short walk we reached a large hall, in which many colorful packages were stacked up to a high tower. Just as I was about to go closer, Malcom grabbed my arm. ‘Look... Grinchta!’ I looked into the direction he was pointing and saw a huge green monster, which threw us with a withering glare. However, before anyone could react, Loui noticed a relatively large red egg coming out of a gift and hovering a few feet above the ground. ‘A single, unwrapped present which would occasionally levitate in the room from time to time or is it a trick from Grinchta to confuse us?" asked Stüppe perplexed. Ysibi whispered, ‘That's a gift, but it's not supposed to fly just yet!" Suddenly I heard a crack and saw that the egg was cracking open. Seconds later the first part of the shell fell away and a small red dragon's head popped out of the egg. He looked around curiously and freed himself from the egg completely by jumping onto the pile of gifts that was next to him. He immediately started stretching and flapped his wings. After a short hesitation, he tried to lift from the ground, which he did after a few failed attempts. He flew over our heads, did a lap around the room and settled down right in front of Grinchta. ‘No, please don’t!’ whispered Lütte with a faint groan. Everyone was worried about the little dragon, but no-one dared to approach Grinchta. Grinchta herself scowled down at the dragon and grunted something incomprehensible. Then he bent down trying to grab him.
However, the dragon was faster and bit into the hairy big toe on Grinchta's left foot, who started shouting loudly and tried to get rid of the dragon by swinging his leg back and forth. The little dragon still did not let go. Getting out of our stupor we pulled our weapons (contrary to the Christmas mood) and attacked Grinchta. After a few feints and blows we had broken through his defence, which caused him to retire and ran out through another gate. Fortunately, the little dragon let go of his leg and turned to us. Once he had examined us all curiously, he came to me, climbed up my clothes and sat on my shoulder. I beamed at him and stroked his little head. Just as I thought we were ready to leave, the dragon slid off my shoulder and lunged himself at a pair of dancing candy canes that circled the room. Satisfied, we watched him chase after them. The gifts are save - Christmas is saved! All's well that ends well.

Die gestohlenen Weihnachtsgeschenke
von Louisa, EU2

"Na los doch, steht endlich auf! Layana, Farina, raus aus den Federn! Meli, Lujo, Loui, Tia! Na kommt schon. Ysibi, Stüppe, hopp hopp! Schaut doch einmal hinaus, es hat geschneit. Wie wunderbar", jauchzte ich und drehte mich lachend im Kreis. Nachdem ich vergeblich versucht hatte, die restlichen Mitglieder unserer Gilde zu wecken, ging ich hinunter ins Wohnzimmer. Schließlich war heute Weihnachten, da hatte der Weihnachtsmann sich bestimmt schon früh morgens durch den Schornstein hineingeschlichen, die Milch getrunken und die Kekse vernascht. Und dann hatte er sicherlich noch ein paar Geschenke unter den reichlich geschmückten Tannenbaum gelegt.Doch als ich das Wohnzimmer betrat, befanden sich unter dem Weihnachtsbaum nur ein paar Tannennadeln, von Geschenken weit und breit keine Spur. Doch komischerweise war das Glas mit der Milch und der Teller mit den Keksen bis auf den letzten Rest geleert.
Ich lief wieder nach oben, um den anderen von meiner Entdeckung zu berichten. Als ich oben ankam, kamen mir bereits Malcom, Lütte, Sigi und Wintana entgegen. Während ich ihnen berichtete, was ich unten vorgefunden hatte, kamen die anderen ebenfalls aus ihren Zimmern. "Was soll denn diese Lautstärke, Daria?", fragte Lujo etwas genervt. Ich erzählte auch ihr noch einmal von den fehlenden Geschenken. Sie schaute mich mit großen Augen an. "Wie, die Geschenke sind weg?! Ich hab die doch selb... ich hab doch den Weihnachtsmann gesehen, wie er mit seinem Schlitten auf dem Dach gelandet ist! Das kann doch nicht sein! Wir müssen sie suchen gehen!"

Nach einiger Zeit und nach einer langen Suche fanden wir schließlich einen Elfen, der zugab, die Geschenke aus Langeweile gestohlen zu haben, da er in letzter Zeit nicht mehr schlafen konnte. Kichernd fügte er hinzu: "Und ich sage euch nicht, wo ich sie versteckt habe.. außer.. ja, außer ihr bringt mir ein paar Plätzchen!" Wir sahen uns ratlos an. Woher sollten wir denn jetzt auf die Schnelle Plätzchen bekommen? Plötzlich hatte Meli den rettenden Einfall:"Was ist denn mit den nicht gegessenen Weihnachtsplätzchen, die der desillusionierte Feuerzauberer gebacken hatte? Der hatte es doch früher immer so mit Weihnachten, aber seitdem er weiß, dass der Weihnachtsmann n...". Sie schaute mich an und beendete ihren Satz nicht. "Super Idee!", rief Layana begeistert, "los, lasst uns ihn besuchen."
Einen kurzen Ritt später kamen wir beim Haus von dem Zauberer an. Dieser schien sehr froh zu sein, seine Plätzchen loszuwerden, jedenfalls ließ er sich nicht lange bitten und schmiss uns die letzten Kekse hinterher. Die Säcke voll mit Keksen erreichten wir wieder den Elfen. Dessen Augen leuchteten auf, als er die vielen Plätzchen sah und stürzte sich mit einem Kichern darauf. Als Farina einen Blick auf seine Zähne warf, bemerkte sie kopfschüttelnd: "Ein kichernder Elf, der an Schlaflosigkeit leidet und Probleme mit der Zahnpflege hat - was es nicht alles gibt!"

Der Elf biss noch einmal genüsslich in ein Plätzchen, dann sagte er mit vollem Mund: "Die Geschenke liegen dort hinten. Ihr müsst nur einmal durch das Tor gehen und dann seht ihr sie schon." Nach einem kurzen Fußweg erreichten wir einen großen Saal, in dem tatsächlich in der Mitte viele bunt verpackte Pakete lagen. Doch gerade als ich darauf zu laufen wollte, hielt Malcom mich am Arm fest. "Sieh doch nur.. Grinchta!" Ich schaute an dem Geschenkehaufen vorbei und sah ein riesiges grünes Monster, welches uns mit einem vernichtenden Blick betrachtete. Bevor allerdings irgendwer reagieren konnte, bemerkte Loui, dass ein verhältnismäßig großes rotes Ei aus einem Geschenk heraus kam und ein paar Meter über dem Boden flog. "Ist das ein einzelnes, ausgepacktes Weihnachtsgeschenk, das ab und an in der Luft schwebt? Oder ist es ein Trick von Grinchta, um uns zu verwirren?", fragte Stüppe perplex. Ysibi raunte ihm zu:"Das ist ein Geschenk, aber es sollte eigentlich noch gar nicht fliegen!" Plötzlich hörte ich ein Knacken und sah, dass das Ei Risse bekam. Als das erste Schalenstück herunterfiel, schaute ein kleiner roter Drachenkopf aus dem Ei heraus. Es schaute sich neugierig um und befreite den Rest seines Körpers von dem Ei, indem er auf den Geschenkehaufen sprang, welcher sich neben ihm befand. Dort streckte er sich und schlug probehalber mit den Flügeln. Nach einem kurzen Zögern versuchte er zu fliegen, was er nach einigen Fehlversuchen auch schaffte. Er flog direkt über unsere Köpfe weg, drehte eine Runde und ließ sich direkt vor Grinchta nieder. "Nein, bitte nicht", kam nur ein leises Stöhnen von Lütte, die sich Sorgen um den kleinen Drachen machte. Doch keiner von uns wagte es, sich Grinchta zu nähern. Grinchta selbst schaute finster auf den Drachen herab und brummte etwas unverständliches. Dann bückte er sich und wollte ihn packen.
Der Drache jedoch war schneller und biss in den haarigen großen Zeh von Grinchtas linken Fuß. Dieser brüllte laut auf und versuchte ihn abzuschütteln, indem er sein Bein hin und her schwang. Der kleine Drache ließ aber noch immer nicht los. Da wurden wir aktiv, zogen unsere Waffen (entgegen der weihnachtlichen Stimmung) und griffen Grinchta an. Nach einigen Finten und Hieben hatten wir dessen Abwehr soweit durchbrochen, dass er sich zurückziehen musste. Er lief durch ein anderes Tor hinaus. Der kleine Drache ließ glücklicherweise von ihm ab und blieb bei uns. Nachdem er alle einmal neugierig gemustert hatte, kam er zu mir, kletterte an meiner Kleidung hoch und setzte sich auf meine Schulter. Ich schaute ihn strahlend an und streichelte seinen Kopf. Als ich gerade dachte, dass wir nun endlich gehen könnten, glitt der Drache von meiner Schulter und stürzte sich auf ein Paar tanzender Zuckerstangen, welche in dem Raum ihre Kreise zogen. Zufrieden schauten wir ihm zu, wie er ihnen hinterherjagte. Geschenke gerettet - Weihnachten gerettet. Ende gut - alles gut.


Ardent City Christmas Ball Ivyleaf US3

It was time for the annual Ardent City Christmas Ball. People from all around the seven realms were showing up to the castle for the party. Everyone was dressed in their most festive Christmas attire for the occasion. Plente was here, already handing out her traders idols as Christmas gifts. Guests were giggling to each other that they would just mail it to someone else later. Ephelus the Emperor, decked out in his collection of anobri rings, was chatting to a snickering elf with insomnia and dental hygiene issues. And is that the hairy big toe on Grinchta's left foot? It is, even Grinchta can't stay away from the Christmas ball! Everyone was having a wonderful time listening to music and dancing the night away. Wrinkles kept hanging around the buffet bar taking bites of food and putting the uneaten part back when he thought no one was looking. There was a large Christmas tree in the middle of the room decorated with such beautiful lights and ornaments, you couldn't help but stop and stare in aww at it's beauty. All it was missing was a star for the top, which was Guard Tutalls job. Some guests were standing around watching and taking bets as to whether Tutall would knock the tree over like he did last year. There were so many gifts lovingly placed around the tree, some were wrapped in festive paper, others were wrapped in old newspapers, there was even a single, unwrapped present which would occasionally levitate in the air. The palace children were trying to sneak peeks at the gifts but custodian Geretrudis kept watch and would scold the children when they tried. In the throne room a pair of dancing candy canes kept twirling around Lady Philippa and King Leo, trying to get them to let loose and bust a move. They finally gave in and did the Ardent Rodeo. Other guests joined in on the rodeo when they saw how much fun Leo and Philippa were having. Nobleleaf was standing by the dessert table drinking lots of water and trying to decide if he should try some of the uneaten Christmas cookies baked by a disillusioned fire wizard. Hernegliscus was standing there as well telling jokes to everyone that walked up to the table. He had so many good jokes to tell, everyone walked away laughing so hard they couldn't even try the desserts they picked up. The night continued on in such wonderful merriment with everyone singing Christmas carols, passing out presents, and dancing. Each guest would agree that this was the best annual Christmas ball yet.


Jelani stumbles into the Event Zone
As Jelani Strongbow finished off the last of her banoffee pie, she looked around Ardent City and wondered what was inside that shiny doorway filled with decorated trees and snow. Having come from the broken hills of Halcyon, she’d never seen such a sight before. She was totally bewildered by all the elves running around dropping cookies everywhere. One in particular, a snickering elf with insomnia and dental hygiene issues, kept bothering her, saying “I’ll give you a horn, now go find a wand”.
She couldn’t understand the meaning behind this, but she went around asking everyone she could see if they had a wand. And everyone was so nice, she got wands and wands and wands. She didn’t know what to do with all of them so she went in search of a wizard who might be able to use them. A pair of dancing candy canes told her to look for the origin of all those cookies and then she’d find a wizard in need.
Jel looked under the decorated trees for the cookies but instead found presents. A single, unwrapped present which would occasionally levitate in the air pointed to a stone. As she approached the stone, it asked if she wanted to touch it or back away. She chose to touch and was immediately, ok to be honest it took quite a bit of time to be, transported to a place called Grinchta’s lair.
When she finally arrived, a lot of people seemed to be just standing around. They left a big opening in the middle, she couldn’t understand why. But they did share that her long travel time was something called lag; a quite common phenomenon for this area. While exploring the area, she met the cutest fairy, Nougat, who invited her to play a game of hide and seek.
Before she could join Nougat, a huge, hideous elf appeared. Everyone started shouting, “Grinchta is up! Who is coming?” Jel couldn’t understand why anyone would want to come meet this thing especially as she had just run into the hairy big toe on Grinchta’s left foot and thought it stunk worse than the breath of the first elf she had met.
Scared by all the swords being unsheathed and bows knocked, she ran outside as fast as she could. Nougat was there waiting for her, saying “isn’t Grinchta the worst?” Jel agreed and then Nougat said, “Let me show you my favorite hiding place!” Jelani followed closely and soon saw the uneaten Christmas cookies baked by a disillusioned fire wizard. She thanked Nougat for showing her such a great spot, in fact, it had led her straight to Rince Wynd, who was in great need of a wand. Jelani felt such joy she knew this zone was a really special one and wished she could stay there all year long.

Jelani Strongbow, US2
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