A little later than planned because I have been distracted by one of my guilty pleasures; WWE Live.
Noggin and the Vampire
Listen, and I shall tell you more of the tale of Noggin and the vampire.
I have told you how Thor Nogson, Captain of the Guard, found a stranger washed up on the beach and took the stranger to Noggin, King of the Nogs. You have heard that the stranger was Spike the vampire, magically exiled to the Northlands far from his home. You have heard how Graculus, the great green bird, arrived and reported that one of the Nogs was dead at the edge of the forest, the blood drained from his body, two holes in his neck, and that he suspected that it was the work of a vampire.
I have told you how Noggin had Spike the vampire imprisoned in a cell, and how Knut, Prince of the Nogs, set Spike free from imprisonment and led him out of the palace; and how Thor Nogson discovered the escape and led the townsfolk in pursuit of the vampire. You have heard how Spike made his way to the castle of Nogbad the Bad, wicked uncle of Noggin the Nog; and how he found there Nogbad together with Harmony Kendall, the former Personal Assistant to Angel at Wolfram and Hart, now Personal Assistant to Nogbad.
Gather round and I shall tell you more of the saga.
“Yeah, I’m a vampire,” Spike growled. “Not much into eating people these days, though.”
“That is a shame,” Nogbad replied, “because that is exactly what you must do if you wish me to return you to your own land.”
“Don’t tell me, let me guess. You want me to kill Noggin, King of the Nogs.” Spike gritted his teeth. “I mean, that Noggin geezer.”
“Oh, certainly not,” Nogbad said, raising his eyebrows. “He is my nephew, after all.”
“Then who? That beardie Thor Nogson bloke?”
“Oh, no. Nooka, Queen of the Nogs,” Nogbad told him. “I want you to turn her into a vampire.”
“Sod off, you bastard!” Spike snarled. “You even try to hurt that nice lady and I’ll rip your guts out and strangle you with them.”
“So you aren’t willing to help me win back the Crown of the Northlands? It’s the only way that you can persuade me to return you to your home,” Nogbad said with a sly smile.
“Oh, you’ll help me,” Spike said confidently, and morphed into game face. “You’ll be willing to do anything so that I stop the pain.”
“I don’t think so,” Nogbad replied. “Captain of the Guard! Nogbad needs you.”
“Got your own version of Thor Nogson, then?” Spike sneered.
“Not exactly. Your dimension has proved a fertile source of recruits for my cause,” Nogbad revealed, still smiling. “I shall have the Crown. Meet Olaf.”
“I’ll stop you,” Spike promised, and then saw the huge figure emerging from a side room. He recoiled in surprise, and his face reverted to its human form. “Second thoughts, do what you like.”
“Greetings, puny eater of blooming onions,” Olaf the Troll God boomed. “We meet again.”
“Oh,” said Spike in a flat monotone. “You remember me.”
“Of course,” Olaf said. “You are the friend of the brave but inept warrior who fought to protect Anyanka and the witch. You tried to distract me from my quest for babies to eat, and for merry sport, with prattle about ale and onions.”
“Not his friend,” Spike denied automatically, and then felt a pang of sadness. Friendship with Xander had indeed seemed a real possibility on that night, and had it come to pass then a lot of things might have worked out much better than they had done in actuality.
“You eat babies? Can I say ewww?” Harmony screwed up her mouth in disgust.
“Oh, don’t be so squeamish,” Nogbad scolded. “You ate my henchman Leif the Lusty.”
“Well, there was inappropriate touching,” Harmony said defensively. “I wasn’t going to let a workplace relationship get off to a start like that. There has to be dates and coffee and flowers first. Or at least a promotion in the offing.”
“So, the dead bloke was one of yours,” Spike sighed with relief. “That means I don’t have to dust Harm.”
“You were going to dust me?” Harmony squeaked. “That is totally cruel!”
“Well, thought you were eating the innocent, Harm,” Spike explained. “Can’t let that happen.”
“Oh, yeah, ‘cause you have a soul,” Harm sneered. “Slayer-loving freak. All that was between us doesn’t matter to you.”
“It matters, Harm,” Spike said softly. “Would have dusted you, yeah, but it would have broken me up to have to do it.”
Harmony’s expression softened. “That’s sorta sweet. Are you still my Blondie Bear?”
“Enough!” Nogbad snapped. “If this vampire won’t help my cause he is useless to me. Lock him up in my dungeon, Olaf.”
“Willingly, for he is a friend to witches,” Olaf rumbled, and advanced.
Spike went into game face again and dropped into a crouch. He knew that the huge troll was stronger than he was; he had struggled to lift the mighty hammer that Olaf had swung with the ease of a golf club. However, he believed that he was faster than the troll, and guessed that his martial arts skills would give him an edge. His practice sessions with Illyria had honed his abilities to their peak and he was reasonably confident that he could win.
Olaf struck first, a powerful swing with his left fist. Spike slipped under the blow and hit the troll twice in the stomach, and then leaped back to avoid a bludgeoning downward swipe. The vampire danced lightly in again and kicked Olaf in the kneecap, making the huge monster roar with pain, and then punched to the chin. Olaf rocked under the impact, but struck back.
Spike caught the troll’s arm and pinned it in a wristlock. He twisted Olaf’s arm, forcing him to bend down, and kicked him in the face. Olaf roared again. Spike twisted the arm further and kicked again, this time catching his massive opponent behind the knee and making him stumble. One more kick would have brought Olaf to his knees; but at that point Nogbad the Bad hit Spike behind the ear with a mace.
Spike swayed and his grip slackened. Olaf tore free his arm, bellowed with rage, and clothes-lined Spike across the throat. Spike flew backwards across the room and crashed into a wall. He bounced off and staggered forwards. Olaf charged him with head lowered and butted the vampire full in the face. Spike toppled to the floor and lay dazed.
“Chain him in the dungeon,” he heard Nogbad order. “We’ll see how he feels about eating the Nogs after he’s been without blood for a few days.” Then Olaf’s boot descended on Spike’s head and he knew no more.
The Nogs gathered in the town square in the morning ready for their vampire hunting expedition. Olaf the Lofty, Court Inventor, had hastily manufactured a score of long wooden poles with sharp points; eminently suitable for thrusting through the heart of a vampire. The Nogs brandished them eagerly. They had been joined by Ronf, the tallest and strongest of the little people of the Hot Water Valley, who was always eager for a fight even though he stood only knee high.
Noggin, King of the Nogs, and his Queen Nooka, from the Land of the Midnight Sun, came out from the palace to address the assembly. Prince Knut tugged at his mother’s cloak. “Mother,” he said urgently. “I don’t think Spike ate that man. Don’t let the Nogs hurt him.”
“He is a vampire, Knut,” Nooka, Queen of the Nogs, reminded her son.
“I don’t care,” said Knut, Prince of the Nogs. “He was perfectly nice when he ate with us, and he told lovely stories. If he’d been evil he could have eaten us during the night. Why would he have crept out and gone all the way through the town and into the forest, and then eaten someone who hasn’t been seen in the Land of the Nogs for years, and then returned to the palace?”
Ronf, the little warrior from the Hot Water Valley, stood at the front of the gathering of Nogs and listened to the little Prince with interest.
Nooka, Queen of the Nogs, frowned. “It does seem rather strange. Noggin, King of the Nogs, listen to your son.”
Noggin listened to the words of Knut, Prince of the Nogs, and then addressed the Nogs who were assembled under the leadership of the brave Thor Nogson, Captain of the Guard. “Hear me, oh Nogs. You are to search the forest for Spike, the vampire, but you are not to kill him unless it is absolutely necessary. Take him prisoner, and tie him up, and bring him back to the palace well covered up so that he is not burnt up by the sun. We shall hear what he has to say before we pass sentence.”
“Very well, Noggin,” agreed Thor Nogson. “Come, Nogs, we’re going on a vampire hunt.”
Graculus, the great green bird, flew over the forest looking for traces left by the vampire. The Nogs searched among the trees, looking under bushes, and down rabbit holes, and turning over stones. It was Ronf of the Hot Water Valley who was the one who found the tracks.
“Ah’ve found somethin’” he called. “Some strange tracks. Shoes wi’ a pattern on the sole. Not like any of the shoes of the Nogs. An’ there’s some older tracks, wi’ a strange spikey bit to the heel. All goin’ the same way. This way.”
“Towards the old castle of Nogbad the Bad,” said Thor Nogson. “Very well, Ronf, lead the way, and we shall follow. To the castle, if that is where the tracks lead.”
They followed the trail, so faint that none of them could see it except for the sharp-eyed Ronf, who also had the advantage that his eyes were closer to the ground. The tracks led them to the castle of Nogbad the Bad.
“I see smoke,” said Thor Nogson. “Nogbad must have returned from exile. So, Spike is in league with Nogbad the Bad.”
“Ah’m not so sure,” Ronf said doubtfully. “See, the tracks lead up to the castle, but the ones with the pattern wander round a fair bit. In fact, ah’d say that he went right round the castle and then climbed in through yonder window.”
“Are you sure?” Thor Nogson said doubtfully. “It’s all rocky. I can’t see any sign at all.”
“That’s because your eyes are so far from the ground, ye great big Nog,” Ronf growled. “The tracks do just what ah say.”
“All right, all right,” Thor Nogson said. He strode up to the castle doors and called out a challenge. “Nogbad the Bad, are you there? Have you returned to the Land of the Nogs, from which you were exiled on pain of death?”
Nogbad stuck his head out from a high window. “Foolish Thor Nogson! Yes, I have returned to claim the throne that is rightfully mine. I have your friend Spike prisoner in my dungeon. If you do not surrender the Crown of the Northlands I shall have him tied to the roof of the castle so that the sun burns him to dust.”
“Our friend Spike?” Thor Nogson said, puzzled.
“The wee laddie was right,” Ronf said. “This Spike must have tried to stop Nogbad’s evil plans. Ah think we should try to rescue him.”
“Nogbad the Bad,” Thor Nogson called again, “Release Spike at once or we shall besiege your castle. Your crows cannot help you against all the fighting men of the Nogs.”
“Maybe not,” Nogbad conceded, “but I have other forces beside crows this time. Olaf! Teach these fools a lesson.”
“Olaf?” Thor Nogson frowned. “He doesn’t mean Olaf the Lofty, surely?”
The castle door swung open. A mighty figure emerged. He seized Thor Nogson in a grip of steel, raised him into the air, and hurled him into the forest.
The Nogs panicked. “Troll!” they cried, and fled back into the trees.
Olaf threw back his head and laughed. “You do well to flee, Nogs,” he roared. “I will pillage your lands and dwellings! I will burn your crops and make merry sport with your more attractive daughters! And I will set Nogbad upon the throne of the Northlands.”
The characters in this story do not belong to me, but are being used for amusement only and all rights remain with Peter Firmin, Oliver Postgate, Smallfilms, Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, the writers of the original episodes, and the TV and production companies responsible for the original television shows. ANGEL ©2001 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. The ANGEL trademark is used without express permission from Fox.