Odie Ose wore a smile, as he shuffled along with the crowd. Wore it. He didn't always feel like smiling, but he did feel like always smiling, you know? So he'd put a big black Arkin grin on his face as his war paint.
The paint was permanent Signamancy, cast by the Juggles who used to be Shady Elves or Scene Elves or even Navy Elves. Didn't matter what they were before. Odie had been a Superfluous Elf. Didn't matter. They were all Juggles now. They were Arkin' family. Much love.
"Ouphe-ouphe!" he called out.
All around him on the path, other Juggles answered in kind. "Ouphe-ouphe! Ouphe-OUPHE!" He was surrounded by his tribe, a bunch of Arkin' losers and outcasts who'd found each other to love. These Arkers had put the smile on his face. Thafs all that mattered.
Except it might matter a little that he couldn't do anything special for the family. That made him feel bad sometimes. Former Altruist Elves and House Elves could do Healomancy. The Woodsy Elves and Trashy Elves were good at forage. Boring Elves could mine. Hardcore and Jam Elves kept the beat going. The High Elves and Hoe Elves could grow food, and Hungry Elves and Junk Elves could cook it.
All he could do was fight, but lots of Juggles were better at fighting than him, especially the Mosh Elves. The only thing Superfluous Elves could really do was know when they weren't needed, when they'd be better off going away. He didn't feel that way here. He hadn't felt that way in a long time. Not since… that time he didn't like to Arkin' think about.
There was a murmur in the crowd. Some of the other Juggles bumped and shoved him until he stopped on the path and turned around to look where people were pointing.
Up in the sky, but coming down fast, an armored blue dwagon with a single rider was descending to the edge of the hex-wide camp. The beast was far on the other side of the crowd, away from the stage where Odie had been headed.
Its rider was too tiny to make out from here, but then he did something spectacular. A few churning power chords and a sick lick of pure Rock screamed out through the air, and then a bolt of Shockmancy shot skyward from the saddle, and Odie realized he knew exactly who this was.
He threw a hard shoulder and shoved a big fat Hungry Elf out of his way, then broke into a flat run.