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The Wheel of Destiny #6: Boris Eca

By [Ankama]DOFUS - ADMIN - June 09, 2021, 16:00:00
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Greetings, kikitties! Once again, the Wheel of Destiny spins for you! What exciting tale will I, Ecaflip the great, regale you with today? What was that…? Did I hear somebody say "Ecaflip the gross"?! Hey! I'll have you know I practice impeccable hygiene! Why don't you just watch the wheel spin… (Ticka-ticka-ticka-ticka-ticka… ticka… tick… tick!) Ah! That's unexpected… Care to visit a different time period? Join me in the future, where we'll discover the unique story of an Ecaflip who's more like a Rogue than he seems (and vice versa)… Allow me to introduce Boris Eca!

The anecdote I'm about to relate is the Twelve's honest truth. It happens in 969. The World of Twelve will have changed quite a bit. Be as skeptical as you like. That same year, a dragon will entrust an extra-twelvian baby to an Enutrof. But that's a whole 'nother story…

Off the coast of Sufokia, an archipelago that doesn't appear on your map yet will be struck by a terrible tornado (disasters will be commonplace in a few centuries). Hurricane Ecatrina will be followed by a massive flood, which finally wipes out everything that remained in the wake of that extraordinary storm.

Once the seas have calmed down and the rivers have returned to their beds, all kinds of wreckage will choke the landscape. At that time, his boat reaches the shore of Bolixo, a once idyllic atoll transformed into a landfill in a matter of days. He walks along the beach littered by the remnants of ravaged lives. Sniffing. Scratching. Digging. He lifts up pieces of wood that had served as siding for homes not long before. He pockets items with the slightest value. Having a keen nose is handy if you're a Rogue!

He is Waff Volenski, an old hound nearing retirement age, whose temperament has led him to be shunned, driving away even his bravest colleagues. His sharp-tongued remarks will most certainly be on display, punctuated by impatient and irritated growls. Above his dark eyes and eternally furrowed brow rests his bandana, emblazoned with a chafer skull, a perennial warning to steer clear. But some will try to approach regardless. And walk away a few teeth short…

Many treasures may be tucked away in the ruins of a bygone world. The advantage of robbing the dead and the missing is that no one ever comes to collect. Suddenly, the old Rogue's Rogue of an Ougi lifts up his eyepatch to get a closer look: Right in the middle of a hodgepodge of useless items – old beds, stuffed toys, and dolls – two kamas shine in the darkness. His pace, assisted by a treechnid-wood cane, quickens. He dives headfirst into the pile, but a menacing hiss makes him pause.

"Grrr… The heck was that?"

Old Waff then realizes he's mistaken a pair of yellow eyes for two kamas.

"Grrr… Why would you hide like that? Get out of here or I'll set fire to this trash heap!"

Keeping a hand on his trusty shooter loaded with rock salt, the old Rogue sees something emerge from the heap: a young Ecaflip with piercing eyes and dark fur.

"Grrr… I'm gonna go tell your parents their little runt likes to spy on honest folk!"
"That's not even true!"
"Grrr… Oh yeah? Then what were you doing?"
"I was watching a Rogue stealing stuff."
"What? Grrr… Me? Grrr…"
"That's right! Stealing from my neighbors AND my parents…"
"Grrr… Quiet…" *glancing around* "Somebody'll hear you, ya brat! Grrr…"

The old Ouginak wanders off to avoid detection, but quickly notices he's being followed by the young Ecaflip. He picks up a pebble to throw it at him. He should have lifted his pretend eyepatch to aim better… But at least the kid went away.

*****

That night, Waff Volenski sits by a fire and grills a few meager crustaceans. Nearby, two golden spheres reflect the dancing flames.

"Grrr… Alright, c'mere! I don't like bein' watched while I eat… Grrr… I'm tellin' you now – you can have two claws and then yer outta here! Grrr…"

A while later:

"Grrr… Take this blanket – yer shakin' like a leaf, little snoop! I'm tellin' you now – you can stay by the fire for five minutes and then yer outta here! Grrr…"

Another while later:

"Grrr… Hey, no sleepin' here! Go on, git! Grrr…"

Too late.
 

The next day, the Ouginak is awoken by the little Eca's angry tone:

"I knew it!"

He's holding out a pearl necklace.

"This is my mother's!"

The Rogue grabs the precious item and starts pulling.

"Grrr… Prove it!"

He kicks the feline, who falls backward. The kid wipes his tears with the back of his paw so the old man won't see him crying.

"Give it to me!"

  • "I found it, grrr! It's mine! Grrr… You can't just say it belongs to you! If I listened to everyone wanting to steal something from me who said what I found is theirs…"

The boy's chin trembles, but his fiery gaze remains steady.

"Grrr… If you want the trinket so bad, you can always buy it from me! Grrr…"

The tension in the air is electric, while the sky turns cloudy.

"You can count on it!"

Then the cat takes off.

*****

Waff Volenski doesn't see hide nor fur of the kid for days. During this time, he accumulates things that would ordinarily fail to pique his interest. He collects knickknacks, toys, children's drawings… One night, as he's sorting through his finds by the fire, it occurs to him he's finally amassed a few items that most likely belonged to the Ecaflip and his family. A sheet of paper, slightly crumpled and covered in dark patches from humidity, features a chalk drawing of a little feline surrounded by his parents. Their smiles seem even more vibrant in the firelight. The artwork is signed in playful handwriting: BORIS ECA, 6 YEARS OLD.

When Waff lowers the paper, the Ecaflip is standing in front of him. The sleeves of his once white shirt and his torn pants are rolled up. He's tied a scarf around his head, which causes something resembling a smile to appear on the Ouginak's face (a genuinely rare event). Then he tosses a cloth bag at his feet. A huge pile of collected valuables sits there. The old Rogue has spent weeks accumulating them…

"Give me what's mine, you old tightwad."

The words wound the old adventurer, though he had it coming. His scowl immediately returns.

"Grrr… These trinkets must still be worth something…"

Waff pretends to check the hoard, knowing full well he's hit the jackpot. Then, without looking, he holds out the items he found, wrapped up in an old sheet. In the middle of the trade, Boris Eca's stomach rumbles.

"I'm tellin' you now… You can have two claws and then yer outta here…"

The young Ecaflip looks surprised.

"You didn't growl…"

Taken aback, Waff hastens to add:

"Grrr…"

  • "In that case, sure…"

*****

In the night, Boris Eca rifles through the old Ouginak's things to steal something valuable from him before taking off. But he discovers a surprising document. The papers in his little paws would reveal a hidden side to the old tightwad currently snoring…

*****

The next morning, the Ouginak is awoken by the sweet aroma of mango being poached in kokonut milk by Boris Eca. The tantalized dog instinctively salivates. But this stops when he notices the repeat notices nearby, each stamped with a big "PAYMENT OVERDUE."

"Grrr…"

"Good morning to you too!"
"You had no right… Grrr… I'll teach you to snoop around in my–"

Waff is interrupted by a wooden spoon placed right under his nose. The smell is far too appetizing to resist. But it's nothing compared to the taste he gets immediately after.

Once he's finished, Boris Eca decides to dish something else out. In a manner of speaking…

"Why don't you just sell that old inn instead of struggling to pay it off?"
"Grrr… That's my stuff to deal with, so butt out!"
"I found it. So it's my stuff now."
"Grrr… That tavern is special to me. It's all I inherited from my folks."
"I see…"
"Besides, if I sell now… I won't see a kama for it! But if I pay it off, fix it up… I'd be able to invest in somethin' that'll make me happy!"
"There's things that make you happy? You? Ha ha!"
"Grrr… I've got a pirate's heart, lad! Once I'm done stealin' from nobodies – no offense, kid – grrr… I'll live the high life on a sailboat!"
"… And you'll steal from wealthier folks!"
"YEAAHHH!" the old curmudgeon replies mischievously, his tongue hanging out. "Y'know, kid… I've spent my whole life being taxed. So, when the tide has turned, I'll come up with new taxes each day for others to pay me. And I'll finally get to take it easy…"

*****

Waff spends the rest of the day turning over wreckage on Bolixo. He's nearly covered the entire island and will have to journey to the next atoll. Off in the distance, he sees the knee-high Eca digging. He is naturally curious, so he takes a pair of binoculars from his pocket to get a closer look. The kid is using a shovel he seems to have borrowed.

"Grrr… That's my spade!"

A few seconds later, Boris Eca looks over his shoulder, and Waff sinks down behind a sand hill, now his monitoring post. The kid then tosses the sheet containing his things. Waff is baffled. Is he burying his treasure?

*****

Since the hurricane, Boris Eca has spent most of his time searching for his parents. He's collected all sorts of objects, artifacts of his lost world – proof that it really existed. Somewhere other than in his imagination. It wasn't too hard to put together a cache for the old hound. Boris Eca knows this isle like the back of his paw. Maybe, he thinks, he should expand his search radius? Maybe he should prepare for the worst? What if, he continues thinking, he were actually alone right now?

*****

That morning, the young Eca heads to the old dog's camp, lured by a familiar scent. Mango fruit steeping in hot kokonut milk. But no one to serve it.

"OLD TIGHTWAD?"

There's a black headscarf and a letter.

"Little snoop,

I'm finally leaving you in peace! I'm headed to the neighboring island. Despite all your flaws (you can't help it, you were born a cat), I'd hate to see you get hurt. You can't go on livin' in the ruins of your hut, or else you'll go nuts. So I'm tellin' you now – if you want to set sail… let's go!!! Just slip on that Rogue hood and meet me at the beach with the crabs.

Waffael Volenski

P.S. Don't overthink it – you're already more of a Rogue than you realize.

Who knows, maybe even a pirate?"

Boris Eca looks down at the letter and then the bandana in his paws. He takes a deep breath.

And then decides…

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