Niko the kobold stalked carefully down the alley, his small scaly figure obscured by a dusky cloak that fluttered lightly in the cold winter breeze.

Posted under Episode 0, Story On By Chief

Niko the kobold stalked carefully down the alley, his small scaly figure obscured by a dusky cloak that fluttered lightly in the cold winter breeze. Holding up his tail to keep it from dragging in the dirty snow that covered the cobblestone, he waited patiently for the butcher to turn his attention from his stall so that he could pilfer his next meal: a tender-looking
 chicken. He crouched just slightly as he neared the stall to ensure that no one was watching, not that anyone would be dumb enough to hassle a small kobold. What else was there for a lowly kobold to
 do in a city? All that Niko needed to know was
 where to find the chicken and then how to make off with it.

A soft thud caused Niko to quickly lift his head. Standing behind the stall where the butcher had been cutting his chicken,
 was a large man with a long, braided beard. His eyes were wild and he held a wickedly curved sword in one hand and what looked like a bloody cleaver in the other.

"Where's my chicken?" shouted the man.

Niko froze; he wasn't sure if it was better to flee or face the man.
 Niko fled and ran into the sewers.  Niko managed to lose the butcher, but Niko knew the sewers were a dangerous place to be at night.
 The rats were everywhere, and Niko could only hope that they wouldn't attack him while he hid out in the darkness.

Niko found a quiet corner of the sewer and settled in for the night. He tried to sleep, but he couldn't stop worrying about the butcher coming back for him. After a few hours of tossing and turning, Niko finally drifted off.
 Niko had a terrible nightmare.
 In his dream, he was being chased through the streets by a group of armed men who wanted to kill him because he'd stolen their chicken. Niko woke up screaming, clutching his tail tightly.

Niko sat up quickly and rubbed his eyes. It was still dark, but he could hear footsteps echoing off the walls. Someone was coming!
 Niko ran off in a random direction and looked back to see who was chasing him.

It was the butcher! Niko turned and ran, but the butcher was gaining on him. The butcher had a strange, twisted smile on his face as he pulled the bloody cleaver out of his belt. Niko stopped running and tried to hide behind a wall. "I'm going to kill you!" yelled the butcher.
 Niko was cornered and as the butcher approached, Niko knew he had to do something drastic.

He jumped out from behind the wall and rolled down the street, narrowly avoiding the butcher's cleaver. The butcher gave chase, but Niko didn't stop rolling until he found himself at the bottom of an open manhole. Niko climbed out of the hole and started running again. He was terrified that the butcher would catch him and kill him.
 Niko managed to use the sewers to make it to the dark woods where he could meet up with a magician that could sell him a weapon capable of taking down the butcher.

The magician was able to sell Niko a scimitar, but it was a bit too big for him to wield effectively. He would have to find a way to get it smaller before he could fight the butcher. Niko wandered around the forest for several days, hoping that the butcher wouldn't find him.
 The Butcher found Niko and while he couldn't wield the sword properly, he still managed to cut a piece of the butcher off!

The butcher was angry and demanded that Niko come to him so that he could pay for his missing piece of flesh. Niko went to the butcher, but when he got there, the butcher was nowhere to be seen. Instead, Niko saw the butcher's head on a pike. A group of men stood around it, laughing and pointing at Niko.

Niko asked that men what happened to the Butcher and who killed him.

"We did," said one of the men. "You're next."
Niko ran away as fast as he could, but the men caught up to him and started beating him. Niko was scared for his life and screamed for help. A young man wearing a hooded cloak appeared out of nowhere and saved Niko.
 The hooded figure was none other than
 the magician that Niko had met earlier. Niko thanked the man for saving him, but the magician replied, "I don't want your thanks. I just want you to know that I am the one who killed the butcher."
Niko was relieved that the butcher was dead and asked the magician if he could buy some food from him.
 The magician agreed, but warned Niko that he would have to keep his identity secret. Niko was grateful for the magician's help and decided to go with him to his home.

When they arrived at the magician's house, Niko noticed that the magician lived in a hut made of straw and reeds.
 Niko kisses the magician.

"You're welcome," said the magician. "Now let me take care of you."
He led Niko into his small home and offered him some food. The magician then told Niko that he needed to get ready for bed because he had to leave early in the morning. Niko was confused; how could the magician possibly leave without eating breakfast?
 The magician casts a breakfast spell for Niko and leaves.

Niko wakes up with a terrible hangover. He looks around the room and notices that he is in a crudely constructed bed of straw. His clothes were gone, and all that remained of him was his underwear. Niko was confused and wondered why he was in such a strange place. Suddenly, he remembered the events of last night.

Niko felt sick and ran outside to vomit. While throwing up, he saw a strange man standing on the roof of the magician's house. The stranger looked familiar, but Niko couldn't quite place where he'd seen him before. Then the stranger spoke to Niko. "Hello, Niko," he said. "I'm the butcher!"
 Niko was shocked!  Was this just a nightmare?  Or did the butcher somehow escape death?  Niko ran to the Magician's only to find a cleaver stuck in the door.

"How did you get in here?" asked the magician. "I thought I locked the door."
"You did," replied the butcher. "But I didn't lock it from the inside."
The magician tried to fight off the butcher, but he was no match for him. The butcher cut the magician's head clean off and left it on a pike like the others.
 Niko had to fight the butcher one on one with his heavy scimitar.

Niko managed to cut off the butcher's right arm and leg, but he still wasn't able to defeat him. The butcher took back his cleaver and cut off Niko's left arm and leg. Niko was horrified that he was going to die, but then he realized that the butcher was using magic to heal himself.
 Niko uses some ancient magic he stole from the magician's hut to destroy the butcher.  Niko casts
 a spell that causes fire to erupt from the butcher's body. The butcher screams in pain and collapses to the ground.

Niko is so happy that he has finally defeated the butcher that he falls asleep on the spot. When he wakes up, he sees that the butcher is gone.
 Niko names the spell after the death of the butcher:
 The Butcher's Death.

Several weeks later, Niko decides to go out and explore the world of the living. He sets off into the forest and comes across a group of goblins. They see Niko coming and shout to warn their leader. The goblin leader runs towards Niko and shouts, "Run away, you little thief!"