Rise of Nations

Finland’s First Snoggletog

It Was A Blast, Sorry You Missed It

“Alright gang, are you ready to start the show? It’s almost time.” Johannes asked the assembly of young Finites.
“YES!” came the resounding response.
“Ok, everyone’s had their elixirs?,” Johannes double checked.
“If you wait much longer they’ll wear off!” cried Wippin (or Pebon, Johannes wasn’t sure).
“Right! Wippin, Pebon – get the Skycandles started! Lillyn, Fjotra – light up those Starrockets! Mikhail – in a few minutes launch the first Banshee Ballerina! Vasily – get the barge with the Starfountain ready!”
Whoops, hollers, and cries of astonishment filled the air as Johannes fireworks were set off on the lakefront of Pilgrim’s Shore in celebration of Finland’s first Snoggletog. The town and many citizens from the surrounding realm had come in to celebrate the holiday with food and drink. Johannes had managed to convince many of them to gather outside in the cold night for a special light show. A light show that was taking on a life of its own.
“No Wippin, uh or Pebon, those Banshee…, wait Mikhail that Starfountain is for late…, my gods Lillyn, how did you get all the remaining Skycandles lit?!?!” Johannes had immediately lost control of his young crew and the 30 minute show he had planned was reduced to a brilliant chaotic 5 minutes of manic colorful explosions over Tuskwater Lake.
“Awww, we’re all out,” said Fjotra.
“Hmmph,” said Johannes, giving them all a stern look as he worked to regain some composure, “this is why…”
“We can’t have nice things, yeah yeah, you sound like brother,” finished Pebon (Johannes was pretty sure it was Pebon).
“Nooooo,” replied Johannes, “This is why, I hid THESE!” he proclaimed producing a set of unassuming tubes.
“The best magic is always hidden under a veil of commonness. Let us see what heights your craft can obtain this night, my weird elf friend,” said Lillyn with a flourish, deftly snatching one out of Johannes hand right before he was mobbed by the remaining crew.
Then with unexpected discipline the children (and Lillyn and Mikhail) lined up neatly and set up their rockets. In what looked to Johannes as a practiced synchronous motion, they lit the fuses with their tindertwigs, stood back, and waited with held breath. And then the rockets were off, exploding in a brilliant orange and blue light forming into glowing dragons flying every which way.
“SKYDRAGONS!” Johannes managed to yell before Mikhail’s skydragon misfired, flew right into Johannes knocking him out, and then redirected up to join the other rockets criss-crossing the crisp winter night sky.

Johannes awoke to the sound of unusual lute playing.
“Hey there Johannes! Great job on the fireworks. Thanks for the lute and the winter cloaks,” said Lillyn. She added, “And good job with the heroes and dragon toys for Vasily. I liked that you got two of the heroes to look like him and Mikhail. Fjorta really liked her set too. Wippin and Pebon already used up all the potions you made them.”
“I’m glad you guys liked the presents. How did the show end?” grunted Johannes.
“It was spectacular! If we noticed you got knocked out, we immediately forgot because the Skydragons were so cool. But we eventually noticed and that’s what counts,” replied Lillyn as she experimented around with unusual lute sound progressions.
“I’ll stand further back next year so I won’t miss the finale. So how’s the band thing going, now that you’ve got your lute?” Asked Johannes sitting up and gingerly touching his face and head.
“Well, I’ve definitely settled on the stage name of Mudweasel and I think I’m going to go with a band name of ‘I Wrestled an Owlbear Once.’ If that doesn’t draw the headlines, I’ll keep that as my side project.”



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