The Knoll

By Francois S. Lamini

Prologue: Some Background Information

If you can recall what Dinosaur Land looks like, you may have noticed that a few locations were not explored by Mario or his brother. These locations include the small island just north of Donut Plains, the land bridge connecting Vanilla Dome with Cookie Mountain, and the islands just to the west of Chocolate Island. The latter is not important, however. Check out the map that I provided.

What I want to focus on for this story is the island just to the north of Donut Plains. This island is called Knoll by some because it resembles a small rounded hill sticking out of the sea. This area is mostly a gently rolling grassland with few trees, small berry bushes, and exotic weeds. This Knoll is home of the...

Read the story and find out for yourself!

Chapter 1: A Home in the Weeds

It was a sunny afternoon and everything was calm. The birds were roosting in the tall Knollish grasses and the wind was blowing as gently as ever. Not too far away a small group of people were playing with sticks. It looked as if they were using the sticks as swords and pretending to be swordsmen.

By taking a closer look at the "swordsmen" or stickmen you would notice that these "people" weren't people at all but small stocky humanoid dinosaurs. Each one stood about four feet high with short little arms and heads that resembled Koopas' head but with a shorter snouts. The dinosaurs were tanned, like Koopas, but had no shells on their backs. This was a strange race indeed. It seems that they must have been isolated for some time.

Rick: Hayaa! Take that, you lousy stickman!

Rick thrashed his sword as he prepared to strike his friend Rex again. This time Rex blocked the strike and jabbed Rick.

Rick: Owww! That hurt!

Rex: That's what you get for calling me a lousy stickman.

Rick: You ARE a lousy stickman because I said so.

Rex: Whatever...

Digger: Hey guys, the food is ready.

Rex: I love food.

The trio raced over to a small thicket made of weeds, where several dozen other dinosaurs were waiting for their arrival. The dinosaurs had set up a small picnic area in which they placed piles of mulberries on four large grass mats. Other items, such as fish and peaches, were placed in mud bowls. The meal looked truly delicious.

Rez: Ok, everyone. Let's eat!

Everyone started eating. When the meal was over everyone reclined on the grass mats and took a nap. After about an hour Rick got up.

Rick: Man, what a dream! Get up, Rex!

Rick started shaking Rex.

Rex: Get off of me, you dope.

Rick: I have an idea for a fun invention, but you have to help me with it.

Rex: Invention? Inventions are boring. What is this "invention" anyway?

Rick: Well, we make a cape and fly to other places.

Rex: Why do you want to do that?

Rick: I'm tired of this Knoll. I've been here all of my life.

Rex: What's so bad about the Knoll?

Rick: It's small, that's all. Anyway, we can use this mat to make the cape.

Rex: (whispering) Are you crazy? People are going to kill us if they find out we took their mat.

Rex and Rick waited a few hours for everyone to wake up. As the mats were being rolled up Rex and Rick volunteered to help. They rolled up the mat they were sitting on and carried it in a different direction than where the others were going.

The inhabitants of the Knoll do not live in houses, but sleep just about anywhere and in any place
that they choose. This made it easy for Rex and Rick to "steal" the mat.

Rick began to poke holes in the mat. Two holes were poked in each of the four corners of the mat. Rick spent the next hour reinforcing the holes with grass thread and a grass stalk needle.

Rick: Done! Let's give it a try.

Rex: This is stupid. Just because you put on a cape doesn't mean you can fly.

Rick tied the cape to his wrists and ankles using a pinned string tie. This kind of tie uses a needle to secure the knot in such a way that it could be undone easily by using the needle. Rick tried to fly by jumping up but landed flat on his face.

Rick: Owwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

Rex: You silly dinosaur. I told you that you can't fly using a cape. I mean, we could be playing stickmen right now!

Rick: You give up too easily. This cape has too many small holes. No wonder it can't make me fly. What we need is some peach tree resin.

Rex: Yeah, but the peach trees are near the coast. I don't want to go all the way over there.

Rick: Well, then I'll go by myself.

Rick started walking towards the coast where the peach trees were located. Rex stopped him.

Rex: Dude, there are only two peach trees on this island. If we take all of the resin then we'll be in big trouble with the folks.

Rick: So?

Rick continued walking to the coast. Shortly after Rex joined him. The coast was not very far away and the walk only took several minutes.

Rick: Now that wasn't too bad, was it?

Rex: Ok, ok, I'll quit my whining. What is the resin supposed to do for the cape anyway?

Rick: For one thing it will seal the holes in the cape, and if we sundry the cape it should become more elastic.

Rex: Darn, we need a lot of resin!

Rick and Rex worked together on the cape for the rest of the evening and then lay the cape out to dry in the sun for the next day. They made sure to hide the cape so that no one would find it.

Rex: I'm tired. I think it's time to hit the grass.

Rick: You said it.

Chapter 2: The Fortress

Rick got up from a good night's sleep and was eager to try his cape. However, he did have to let it bake in the sun for at least the morning.

Rick: I can't believe I have to wait the whole morning to try out my cape. Oh well, that's life.

Rick paused for a moment.

Rick: Rex, get up, man... I have an idea.

Rex: Wha? Let me sleep, man. What, another idea? Give me a break!

Rick: No, this one is fun.

Rex: Really?

Rick: You bet. I was thinking how we're always short of resources like peach tree resin and exotic fruits. Man, I'd kill for something else besides fish.

Rex: Yep, I agree. We are short of peach tree resin but THAT'S WHY WE DON'T ABUSE IT!!! As for the exotic fruits and other meats, I could do without them.

Rick: You don't know what you're missing, dude.

Rex: Ok, tell me one thing- How are we supposed to get all of this stuff? The Knoll is not very  promising when it comes to resources.

Rick: We need to build an empire to get these goods.

Rex: Yeah, but how? I don't know of any other lands besides the Knoll.

Rick: That why the cape will help us. When it's ready we'll be out exploring places in no time!

Rex: You're a dreamer. That thing is not going to make you fly. Come on, let's go join the folks and play stickmen.

Rick: Ok, but let's not forget to check the cape this afternoon.

Rex: Will do.

With that Rick and Rex headed back to the thicket where the picnic was held. The others were playing stickmen so Rick and Rex decided to join them. The morning slowly passed, and finally the cape was ready for use.

Rick: Let's check the cape.

Rex: Right.

Rick and Rex then headed off to the area where the peach trees were and Rick quickly grabbed the cape with Rex standing guard. Rick then put on the cape. He ran as quickly as he could and started to glide. The problem was that he wasn't getting enough air.

Rex: It works... but I'm not that impressed. Anyone could have made that. You hardly flew 20 paces. That thing is way too big. Maybe if you make it smaller it might work.

Rick: Well, let's give it another try.

With that Rick attempted to fly once again.

Rex: You're really stubborn, man. That thing will never work.

But sure enough Rick was starting to get some air. He flew about 20 feet and landed 100 paces away. What seemed to give him more air was the fact that Rick was lowering his arms. This gave the cape more curvature, which seemed to make the cape work better.

Rick: You're right, the cape is too big. We need to cut it. Do you still have that cutting stone?

Rex: Yep.

Rick: Before you cut, let me mark the area that I want you to cut out.

Rick used an unusual gray rock which smeared like chalk when it was rubbed onto the cape. Rick
marked out an area only slightly smaller than the cape. Rex eagerly cut it out. The edges of the
cape needed to be reinforced but there was no string for sewing.

Rick: Ok, I'm going back to the thicket to get some string. Wait here until I get back and don't let anyone see the cape.

Rex: Cool, dude.

When Rick arrived in the thicket he was questioned about the disappearance of one of the mats.

Max: Hey, we're missing a mat. I checked the thicket where I supposedly saw you put it but it's not there. What happened?

Rick: I don't know.

Max: Well, it's not a big deal anyway but try to be a little more careful next time. After all, it's not like anyone could have stolen it. We're the only inhabitants of the Knoll.

Rick: I'll try.

Max: Hey, is that Rex all the way over there? I think he has the mat! Tell him to bring it over here.

Rick: Ok, I lied. I took the mat so that I could make a cape out of it.

Max: Hmm... a cape. Sounds like fun. Can you fly with it?

Rick: Almost.

Max: Hey, forget about the mat. I think a cape is much cooler.

Rick quickly went over to grab a lot of string and headed back to the coast. He found Rex anxiously awaiting his arrival.

Rex: What took you so long?

Rick: Max caught us but it's ok with him since we're making a cape.

Rex: Cool.

Rick: Ok, let's get to work.

Rick and Rex eagerly worked on the cape. Rick sewed and Rex kept watch. When the cape was finished Rick tried it and this time he got air! Rick only ran about 30 paces with his arms out and he took to the air look a bird. Rick continued soaring until he was about 300 feet up.

Rick: Woah! I can see the whole Knoll from here.

Rex: (unable to hear Rick) Hey! It works! Can you see anything?

Rick began to gently descend. He swirled around slowly until he was about 50 feet above the ground, then he slowly dove until his feet brushed on the ground. He abruptly came to a complete stop after just 20 paces.

Rick: Ta-da! See? I told you this cape works.

Rex: You did it! But, did you see anything unusual?

Rick: Not unless you mean the dome.

Rex: No, I mean other lands.

Rick: Come to think of it, I did see a forest just south of here.

Rex: How big is it?

Rick: It's pretty big. Makes me think... there must be a lot of peach trees in a large forest, and probably exotic fruit. Hmm... We should tell the others.

Rex: If we make many of these capes then we can colonize the forest.

Rick: Yeah, but we need some weaponry first and probably a fortress so that we can store all of this stuff and our capes and weapons.

Rex: Sticks will do for weapons.

Rick: Right. Let's tell the others.

Rick and Rex went back to the thicket to tell the others about their invention and plan. They told them how they had managed to create a true flight tool and how they had found a giant forest.

Rez: You mean to tell us that there is a forest hundreds of times larger than this thicket?

Rick: That's what I saw.

Rez: So, this cape... I would like to see it in action.

Rick: Very well.

Rick ran with his arms out and began to soar to great heights like before. He then landed with a perfect landing.

Max: Wow! He flew just like a bird. How about some lessons?

Rick: Sure, but we need more capes.

Dino: So we use the same procedure that you used?

Rick: Yes.

Rex: I think the cape would look better blue, and what better way to dye it than with mulberries!

Rez: We need to dilute them, though, so that we get that blue color.

Rex: Cool.

Max: But, you said we need a lot of peach tree resin. We might not have enough to make everyone a cape.

Rick: You don't need much. We can easily make 52 capes.

Dino: I say we dye the back of the capes black.

Max: Yeah, that would look sharp.

Rick: Let's call ourselves the Caped Dinos. Let's vote on it.

For: 45
Against: 7

Max: Then call us the Caped Dinos!

Rex: Probably the first thing we should do is build our fortress. I say we put it on top of the Knoll.

Dino: That's a good plan.

Rez: I think we should make the fortress using mud bricks and mud mortar. That would make for a strong structure. I'll leave the design up to you, Rick.

Rick went on to design the fortress while the others worked hard to create their own capes. The tribe also collected sticks which they would use as swords. At the same time a large group of dinosaurs went over to the coast to prepare sundried mud bricks for the fortress while another group started making mud mortar from seawater and cliff dirt. Finally a third group started pulling sticks off of trees in order to create wood grates which would serve as reinforcements for the fortress walls. Everyone was working hard.

Rick's design for a fortress was very interesting. The fortress was nothing more than a square double brick wall with no doors. Grating was to be placed between the walls of the fortress and this area was to be filled with mud mortar. The top of the walls were to have a roof which was basically mud bricks stuck together, flat side down, with a grate sandwiched in the middle. The middle was also to be filled with mud mortar just like the walls. The reason why there were no doors or even ladders to climb up the walls was because the caped dinosaurs could just fly over and onto the top of the walls. Inside the fortress clotheslines were to be strung from wall to wall, which would serve as a way to hang resources such as capes and sundried fruit as well as other stuff. Overall the fortress looked very secure.

The tribe finally gathered all of the needed resources and started to build the fortress. Rich began teaching the tribe members how to fly. Many of then took to flying quite well while some did not, but eventually everyone learned how to fly. When the work was over a week had already passed but the tribe was proud of their accomplishments. A celebration was thrown to honor their work.

Rez: I can't wait to start eating some of that exotic fruit. That's what life's all about.

Rick: Yeah, I'm tired of eating fish all the time.

Chapter 3: The Promised Land

It was a brisk morning and the tribe had already perfected their caped flight. Some dinosaurs got up early to practice flying. Rick was still asleep but Rex was wasting no time. He was sparring with Rez using a stick. The dinosaurs would need these skills as they might encounter new dangers in the forest. Never before had the dinosaurs experienced danger as they had always been sheltered from the world on their secret Knoll.

Rez: You're too slow, man. Look, this is how you stick fight.

Rez jabbed Rex with his stick.

Rex: Owww! What was that for?

Rez: That's how you should attack.

Rick woke up.

Rick: Hey guys, let's go exploring.

Rex: Sounds good to me. Let call the others.

Rick, Rex, and Rez woke up the other tribe members and told them about their plan to explore the forest south of the Knoll. Everyone got up, eager to find those exotic foods.

Max: Well, let's get going!

The tribe flew off with Rick and Rex in the front. After a short flight that only took a few minutes, the tribe landed on the northern shores of Donut Plains. They were excited to see the trees of the forest as they had never seen so much vegetation besides grass.

Rez: Where should we start?

Rick: I don't know. Let's split up. We should divide into groups and take different paths, then we should meet back here.

Rex: Sounds like a plan.

The tribe broke into eight groups and each went their own way. They all started at the edge of the forest and went in, not knowing that Koopa could be on the other side.

Rick: We've got to be careful 'cause there could be some locals here. Maybe they don't want us to take their fruits... but we have a fortress and that's too bad for them.

Max: Too bad for them? Our fortress is all the way on top of the Knoll. It's pretty much useless here.

Rick: You worry too much, Max.

As Rick and his friends plunged into the forest they noticed a peach tree staring them in the face.

Rex: Woah! A peach tree! This forest must be full of fruit.

Rick: Yep, that's why we're here.

Max: I say we fly around the forest and land in different spots.

Rick: Yeah, but we have to stay together.

Dino: When we were flying I saw something that looked like a house.

Rick: A house? Where?

Dino: It was on the other side of the forest.

Rex: Really?

Max: Maybe they have food there.

Dino: You mean like exotic meats?

Max: Sure.

Rex: Yeah, but someone nasty could live there.

Rick: You worry too much. Not everyone that's not like us is nasty. The people in that house could be very friendly.

Rex: So we're going?

Rick: Yep. To the house!

The friends took off to the house in the distance, not knowing that it was really a haunted house. Will they be ok or will they run into a ghost trap? Find out in the next episode.

Chapter 4: Smashing the Haunted House

Rick and his friends were rapidly approaching the mysterious house on the other side of the
forest. After flying for a few more minutes they landed not too far from the house.

Max: Should we go in?

Rick: Sure, why not?

Rex: Whoever lives in there must love the dark.

Rick: Well, let's go in.

Rick and his friends headed towards the back door of the house.

Rex: There's some red sign above the door but I don't get it. What are those weird pictures on it?

Dino: Who knows?

Rick: The door is closed but this stick should be able to pry it open.

Rex: The stick is way too fat to fit between the door.

Rick: No way! I'm going to put it under the door.

With little effort Rick pried open the door by placing a stick under it and slowly pulling. The door suddenly flung open.

Rick: Awww... Something stinks.

Rex: Maybe there is something rotten inside this house.

Dino: Geeze, it's pitch black in there. You know, I don't think anybody lives here.

Rick: We're going in!

The friends headed into the haunted house but found that inside it was completely pitch black. There wasn't even a sound.

Dino: No one lives here. Let's turn back.

Rick: No way! We're the Caped Dinos.

Rex: I wonder if we can fly in here.

Rick: It wouldn't hurt to try.

As it turned out the house had large rooms so flight was possible, and that's what the friends did. They flew around the rooms but still couldn't see a thing.

Rex: Let's head for that window.

Rick: Yeah, this is hopeless. This house stinks. Nobody lives here!

Dino: Let's demolish this house.

Rick: Cool!

Rick then busted out of the window that Rex saw and the others followed. When they got outside they took off into the air once again but this time they called their friends by whistling loudly. Almost immediately many Caped Dinos showed up from the forest and even the Knoll.

Rick: Hey guys, I want you to help us smash this house.

Spike: Will do!

The dinos they flew high into the air, real high, and dived sharply. This caused them to hit the house with great speed. After only a few hits the house collapsed.

Dino: Ha ha ha ha! That was fun!

Meanwhile, Mario, who was with Luigi, Yoshi, and the princess, heard the sound of a house collapse.

Mario: What was that?

Luigi: I don't know, but it sounded like a house collapsing.

Yoshi: Ohhh... Yoshi hate houses.

Mario peered into the distance and saw that the Donut Ghost House had collapsed.

Mario: That's a shame. That house was a landmark. I wonder who is behind this one... maybe Koopa.

Luigi: That slimy reptile is always up to no good!

Mario: You know, I don't like this. I'm going to put an end to this.

Mario began walking over to the debris.

Luigi: Wait up, Bro!

Yoshi and Peach followed.

Meanwhile, the Caped Dinos were looking through the debris for fruits. So far they had found none. For
some strange reason the ghosts seemed to disappear.

Dino: Where's the fruit?

Rex: No one lived here. There probably wasn't any. We're just wasting our time.

Rick: There's a fat little man with a mustache. Maybe this was his house. Oh, I feel so bad that we knocked down his house... not! *laugh*

Max: Maybe we can ask him for fruit.

Spike: He doesn't look like he's carrying any.

Mario: HEY!!!

Rick: Hey, what?

Mario: What did you do to this house?

Rick: We tore it down.

Luigi: You guys can't go around tearing down landmarks.

Max: Sure we can, and you can go back to where you came from.

Mario: (to luigi) Let's kick some tail!

Luigi: Mario, we're outnumbered and it looks like these guys can fly.

Mario: Well, we can too. See, I still have the Cape Feather.

Spike: Let's get out of here. This guy is too full of himself... and fat.

Rick: I agree. It's time for lunch anyway.

With that Rick and his friends flew back to the Knoll.

Mario: You guys are leaving already? YOU JERKS!!! Let's follow them, Luigi.

Luigi: Let's not.

Mario: You coming?

Peach: This is not really something to worry about.

Mario: Yeah, but next time they'll smash another house. We can't let them get away with this.

Yoshi: Yoshi need wings.

Mario: Hmm... wings... Wait here.

Mario handed Luigi another Cape Feather and both of them transformed into their caped form. They then flew after the Caped Dinos. Mario flew over to a block which was hanging over the forest. He punched it and coins came out, but no wings.

Luigi: Cheese Bridge has Yoshi Wings.

Mario: That's far away. We'll never be able to follow them if I have to carry Yoshi.

Peach: Just forget it, Mario. You're just going to get into trouble again.

Luigi: Come to think of it, that is the strangest-looking race of dinosaurs I've ever seen, and the scary part is that they all can fly. The princess is right. Let's stay here.

Mario: Oh, all right. I guess we could give them another chance. I never liked that haunted house anyway.

Luigi: Was it that one that had provolone cheese?

Mario: No, that was the secret ghost house. But, anyway... let's head back to the house.

Yoshi: Yoshi with you.

Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and the princess headed back to Yoshi's Island. They didn't even seem to care about the Caped Dinos anymore.

Chapter 5: Storming Morton's Castle

Back at the Knoll, Rick and his friends were planning an invasion of Donut Plains. They were not afraid of Mario and were more concerned about conquest.

Rick: Did you see that fatso?

Rex: Yeah, he had a mustache.

Rick: He's arrogant. It's people like that that can get in the way of our dreams.

Max: You said it. We should maybe fortify part of the new land.

Rick: Why not? It will be under our control. The only problem is that there is not water in the area. I didn't even see a pond anywhere.

Rex: And what about the dirt? Where do we get that?

Rick: Dirt is easy to get. All we have to do is pull up some grass.

Dino: We could probably transport water from here to the new land.

Rex: You mean in these water bags that we use to collect seawater?

Dino: Sure.

Rex: But how do we actually transport the water over the sea? Those cliffs on the other side are too high to climb.

Dino: We tie capes to the bags.

Rick: Yeah, we could use strings to pull the bags when we're flying. Somebody will have to run with the bag for a little bit to give it some air.

Max: Well, let's stop yackin' and let's start sackin'.

With that, Max and the rest of the gang started collecting seawater in bags. They then began transporting the seawater to Donut Plains via capes, which worked well. Seeing that the capes were making it easy to pull the water, some of the dinos began transporting as many as eight bags of water at a time.

Work immediately began on the new Donut Plains fortress. Dinos began pulling up grass and making the mud mortar and bricks right on the site. Sticks and other materials were gathered from the edges of the forest.

Seeing that they had a close encounter with Mario, the dinos began making a new weapon. This weapon consisted of round, hollowed out mud balls which were about the size of a basketball and filled with all kinds of bugs - from ants to bees. The mud balls were then capped off and coated with resin to make them more elastic. They were then baked in the sun.

Digger: Yeah, that fatso will never know what hit him! Next time we'll surprise him.

Dino: I'm not sure that these mud balls are going to work. Why don't we try one?

Digger then threw a mud ball at Dino.


Digger: You silly dinosaur. We're immune to bees.

Dino: Whew! I thought was a goner. But NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!!!

Digger: You told me to test it.

Dino: Not on me!

After a few days the fortress was completed. It was the same as the other fortress but it was stocked with capes and mud balls instead of fruit. This was more of a military base rather than a storage facility like the Knoll fortress.

The Caped Dinos began colonzing the forest. At first it was only the north part and then later is was the south part of the forest near the haunted house that they had smashed.

Rex: Hey, there's a big lake in the way. Should we turn east?

Rick: Yeah, the lands to the east look more promising.

Rex: I see that the fatso has built himself a fortress.

Rex was looking at Morton's castle.

Dino: Let's smash his base.

Max: Man, this is going to be fun. Let's use our new weapon.

The Caped Dinos took off for Morton's castle with their bags of dirt balls and sticks. They flew to the top of Morton's castle and then to the front door.


Rick: That's not going to work. Try throwing a mud ball at the window.

Max: Ok.

Max threw a mud ball at the window and out of it came ants and bees. They went into Morton's room.

Morton: Owww! How did all these bees get in here? That's impossible because there are no bees in Donut Plains. And if there are no bees that means that I might be under attack by killer bees. Yikes! I got to get out of here and go to Dad because if I don't I'll get stung and I don't like to get stung.

Dino: This guy won't shut up.

Rick: Here, take some more bugs.

Rick threw more mud balls at the window.


The door of Morton's castle opened and out came Morton. He then whistled loudly and hundreds of Koopa Troopas and Goombas showed up. They began going at the dinos.

Rex: What do we do? We're under attack!

Rick: That's the fun of it. Now we can really use our skills.

Rick soared up into the air with a bag of mud balls. He threw one after another at the Troopas. Other dinos were either diving at the Troopas and Goombas or they were hitting them with sticks. The battle wasn't looking good for the Koopas.

Morton: You idiots! Call in the Super Koopas!

Troopa: Yes sir!

With that about 500 Super Koopas came onto the scene. Each one was flying at even faster speeds than the Caped Dinos.

Max: We need more men.

Rick: That's your job. Call 'em in.

Rex: I'm gonna kick some shell!

Rex flew onto a Troopa and knocked his shell off. Rex then threw a couple of mud balls into the shell and kicked the shell at the Troopas. The shell not only wiped out many Troopas but it infested them with bees and ants.


Rick: Let's give these guys a kicking. EVERYBODY GRAB A MUD BALL AND FOLLOW ME.

Morton: What are they doing?

Rick soared into the air with a mud ball and many more dinos followed him. They formed a long line.


Morton: Geeze. These guys are kicking our tails. RETREAT! RETREAT!

Rex: Look, they're heading into the castle.

Rick: Well, follow them in.


Read on!

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