Thursday, 25 October 2012

Story Hook: The Nation of Endless Dancing

Story Hook #93: Nation becomes infested with sand worms attracted to things with no rhythm. Entire continent becomes perpetual dancers


"If you do not dance, you can not leave ship," the man said in somewhat broken common. "Come and dance the dance of my people." I looked around the harbor. Everyone was dancing. Cabin boys danced across ships. 8 poor guys carrying what looked like a mast skipped past holding tambourines. A gentleman manning the office was doing a little jig while carrying on a conversation with a woman who kept twirling and leaping. Music wafted through the harbor from somewhere, though I couldn't see the band. I looked back at the gentleman i was talking to. He was doing a weird little tap dance in time with the music. He bobbed up and down. It was probably the strangest thing I had ever seen, even stranger then the giant teddy bear we found in that giants cave. I glanced over at Enok. He shrugged.

"Come," the man said, "dance." "Erm..." I hesitated. I didn't really want to dance across the harbor and to be perfectly honest, I wasn't much of a dancer. The man saw me hesitate and smiled. "Come," he said to Enok, "dance to wonderful music." Enok shrugged and leaped off the boat, causing several pirouetting repairmen to scramble out of the way. He landed gracefully, but then he had always been the graceful one. It was one of the annoying things about him. Enok was a ranger, and having grown up and trained in the forest could move like a cat. I watched him, quite literally, waltz across the dock, where he joined a conga line and headed off.

I shook my head. Well, if he could do it so could I. I stepped past the old man and onto the dock. Now I tend more towards the hit things with the axe until the stop moving bit of adventuring, so I was not exactly as graceful as Enok. However, I gave it my best, I wiggled and jumped and waved my hands and succeeded in sort of moving across the dock and into the harbor.

Almost immediatly the old man was beside me. "No no no," he said, "You must dance in time with the music." I tried to jig my feet like his, but it was rather difficult with my steel boots. Enok and his conga line had looped back around and several of them were watching with rather horrified expressions at my failed attempts to dance while the old man jumped around me yelling "No, no, back on the boat you go!" I continued trying, which was unfortunate because I tripped and fell flat on my face.

At this moment, I heard a loud rumbling and suddenly from out of the ground burst a massive worm. It was easily twice both my height and girth, a sandy coloured creature that looked like a giant snake until you saw its strange round head.. The creature roared, its huge round jaw revealing rows of massive teeth. I went for my axe and realized to late I'd left it aboard the ship. I hadn't expected any trouble from these dancing maniacs. I raised my hands to protect myself as the thing came at me, knocking me to the ground. It reared up above me and I looked around for help. Enok was working his way back to the boat, presumably to get a weapon. Meanwhile the conga line was congaing the heck out of there and the old man was leaping about maddly. I groaned. The worm pounced on me and I rolled away and back to my feet. From out of the ground two more of the creatures burst. The first dove on me again and I rolled out of the way. The second caught me as it gave chase however, knocking me back to the ground.

The old man, ceased leaping and jigged for a moment. He pointed his finger at me. "Shouldn't have left boat", he said, "You have no sense of rhythm." And with those fateful words the first worm struck my head with its tail and I blacked out.

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