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by Fig
Rated: E · Campfire Creative · Appendix · Entertainment · #1465791
Choose good or evil and see what adventure awaits
[Introduction] This is the 4th spawning of the campfire the Quest. In this campfire it is your typical fantasy story where everyone comes together for a quest. There is no specific outline or purpose initially. As characters introduce/interact with each other a plot will evolve. So, just have fun with it and lets see where this quest take us!

In this Campfire you can be anything you want knight, archer, devil, a fish etc. You are not bound to stay as a traditional archer, knight, spellcaster, necromancer etc. Guns are allowed as well as robots/andriods etc. YOU CAN BE ANYTHING. One rule though, your character cannot be overpowered. So, please don't make your character with the strength of 1000 men... or faster than light etc. ANOTHER THING. In this Campfire, you can be good OR evil. Its up to you, If you want to be the villain/backstab people, by all means do it!

Follow the basic character structre and email me your character bio. I will add it up here (do not include with your intro!) And use your assigned color!

You can check out the three other previous quests at:
http://www.stories.com/main/campfires.php?item_id=337876
http://www.writing.com/main/campfires/item_id/512095
http://www.writing.com/main/campfires/item_id/817401

Fig
Name: Joe
Character: Archer
Abilities: Extremely agile, expert with bows and arrows. Also good with throwing objects darts, knives etc. Recently learned how to do very minor spells i.e. healing and flame augmentation
Appearance: Black hair, brown eyes, brown skin, black archer suit and cap. Quiver of arrows on his back
Home:Earth



Benihime
Name: Serina
Character: Assassin
Abilities: Agile, extremely athletic, and acute senses, she uses any weaponry of any kind. She’s also a pro at martial arts.
Appearance: Petite, with creamy beige skin, short, dark hair, and dark green eyes. Is very beautiful; has a curvy athletic body.
Home: Unknown



The Story Creator
Name: Gracebeard The Pirate
Character: ...Pirate?
Abilities: Gracebeard the pirate, as his name suggests, is one of the most gentlemanly of all the pirates on the open seas. His unmatched grace and skill in swordfighting is feared by all walks of life. And if outnumbered, he always has his trusty guns to back him up. Has an unnatural talent of making people follow him, and being a supurb leader.

Apperence: What pirate worth his salt has no facial hair? Certainly not Gracebeard, as his long, flowing brown beard is braided neatly, same as his own dred-locked hair. He is usually seen in his indigo shirt, covered by his obsidian pirate coat, pants, and boots. And he never goes anywhere without his trusty hat, which is long and coveres his whole head.

Home: Earth.



Imbrium
Name: Thi (pronounced Tee)
Character: Assassin
Abilities: Agile, and proficient in dance and gymnastics. Is knowledgeable in herbal medicines and "witchdoctor" or other such supernatural type healing methods such as acupuncture, which she can also use in combat.
Appearance: Petite, with a silky caramel skintone, long ringlets of blood-red hair, and pale lavender eyes. A beauty only a mix of Sicilian, Native American, and Asian can bestow; has a curvy svelte body. Her family always wondered where she got her eyes.
Home: Earth


Teddy
Name: Linda (aka The Fairy Godmother)
Character: Fairy Godmother
Abilities: Can be human sized, giant sized or fairy sized. Can change her shape (but not for too long, and besides, she's getting old and she's tired of turning tricks). Has a magic wand that is pretty powerful (but on the downside it only works if the rhyme is REALLY good). She can fly, and she can breathe water.
Appearance: Normally, she appears as a dumpy, kindly looking old lady, with an actual sparkle in her blue eyes and plenty of smile creases. Grey hair, wings, you know the type. Very grandmotherly. Wears half moon glasses (not just for show, she really is very old. Cinderella is a great-grandmother now, you know). At some other times, she likes to appear as a wasp. They have those great knee pockets for her glasses and her wand, and they sting when angry.
Home: Disneyland (the real one, not the themepark.)



Neohuman

Name: Sir Jodian the Valiant

Character: Knight

Abilities: Swordplay, jousting, damsel-rescuing, and dragon-slaying all fit into his area of expertise. He is also quite charming...

Appearance: Long blonde hair is tossed about in the gentle summer breeze as his intense blue eyes scan the horizon for danger. Sir Jodian is classically handsome, and has the bearing of one who is supremely confident in himself and his abilities.

Home: The Legendary Kingdom of Namia (not Narnia)





Joe breathed a big sigh as he took the oh so familiar path into the forest. This was how all of his adventures began.

" I'm getting too old for this... " he muttered to himself. But, though grumbling, he was actually excited. He never knew what to expect from these adventures. He made lifelong friends through these... Looking up into the sky he remembered a faerie named Jana and an assasin named Serina who were 2 of many people he partnered up with in his last adventure. He opened his palm and concentrated, a small flame appeared in the middle of it. Joe smiled, his many adventures paid off. He knew how to conjure a very small flame and he could heal minor wounds. He wasn't anywhere near as skilled as a beginner spellcaster, but at least he could create light and heal bruises now. In a change to his costume, Joe no longer wore a Lincoln green archer suit to blend into the forest. He now wore a black suit, to blend into the darkness, topped off with a white feather on the cap.

As always at the start of his adventures, Jerlin (The Royal Blacksmith) once again equipped Joe with an assortment of arrows and different tips for whatever he may encounter. Walking aimlessly, Joe came upon the path where his adventures always seem to begin, clearing his throat a little smile came to his lips as he said,
'" I knew I should have taken a right when I was at Shimasura." Looking for a shady spot, Joe walked underneath a tree and sat down underneath it looking for a comfortable spot.

'I'm not sure where what will happen this time... but,I truly believe this adventure will be a deadly adventure"
A Non-Existent User

Serina entered the familiar forest. It had been a long time since she was back in the country – her job had taken her overseas, in foreign countries. But it was wonderful to be back, where her training began.

What brought her back was an urgent letter from the King, requesting her presence immediately. In the letter, he gave her directions to her very own house outside the town, as well as the names of businesses she can get her food, equipment, clothing, etc., from.

”Because of you laying your life on the line for me so many years ago, I want you to have everything you need. If you need anything else, let me know,” he wrote. “But someone has come up, and only you can stop it. Please come see me immediately.”

And here she was, waiting to do the King’s bidding. Out of all of the assassins that were loyal to the King, she was his favorite.

Soon she entered the town, the palace not very far away.

~

“Serina’s here, my lord,” a man said to the King, who sat at his desk.

“Really? Bring her in,” the King said, his face brightening.

Serina entered, her eyes examining the room. “This place has not changed very much in my absence,” she said.

“Serina, welcome back!” the King said, indicating for her to take a seat. She took it, and a platter of food and drink were placed in front of her on a rolling tray. “Thank you,” she said.

“Please leave us,” the King said to everyone who was present in the room. They all left.

He turned to Serina. “Now my dear, how have you been?”

“I’ve been well,” she said. “Been through a lot. Pushed to the limit at times, but in the end, alive and well.”

“I’m glad.”

“So how may I be of service to you, my lord?” Serina asked, getting to the point.

The King straightened up in his chair and cleared his throat. “A lot has happened, Serina. But I need your help. Someone wants to take me and my kingdom down. Someone powerful.”

“Go on.”

The King leaned across his desk as he told Serina more.

~

Serina left the palace and headed to her home that was outside of town. She was tired from her journey and would start tomorrow in finding out about this new dark force coming into the lands.

----------------------------------------------------------

"Because I feel pretty angry,
Let you all become blue,
I'm just an old fairy,
And I'm... coming to get you?"


Linda watched as her wand began to shiver, and then a small explosion erupted from the end and died. She shook it once, twice, and turned to face her unimpressed crowd.

"I'm getting too old for this. Look, I can't even write a spell!" she proclaimed loudly, her wings quivering with agitation.

"Well, someone has to go," Captain Hook pointed out.

"We're too busy fighting," the lost boys crowed, flapping their arms and waving their wooden swords.

"I've got a swamp to look after," agreed Shrek.

"You see, dear," Cinderella said gently, picking up her great-grandson, "you're the only one without a job at the moment. We're all sorted."

"But I'm an old woman!! Fairy or not, it won't change the last 500 years. I can't just 'bibity bobity boo' my way through this quest, or what ever it is, any more." Linda threw her hands in the air, causing a backfire of sparks to shoot from her wand and narrowly miss Tinkerbell.

"But Fairy Godmother," Princess Fiona said quietly, "Something is coming, and we need to send someone. You're the only one who can do this."

"So much for cartoons and their heroes," Linda grumbled, "Leave it to a woman!! And an old one at that." She turned to glare at her fellow friends. "Fine! But if I get all wiped out or whatever they call it now, don't come crying to me!!"

Pocahontas fell to her knees. "We thank you, Fairy Godmother. Be safe."

"So long!" Mickey Mouse squeaked, "Good luck!"

Linda struggled out of her chair and into a shawl, pulling together a small bag of herbs, pixie dust (which she shook Tinkerbell for, upside down), a couple of mice and her favourite notebook.

"I'll fly with you," offered Peter Pan, who was quickly confronted by a very bedraggled looking Tink.

"No need, you just sit where you are," she bit sarcastically. She looked at the relieved and fearful faces of the inhabitants of Disney World. "I'll be off then. Godmother Bless."

And with a 'pop' she became a wasp, and flew off into the sky.
          Gracebeard the Pirate stroked his long, wonderfully full beard, and pondered the amount of time it would take for his ship dock at the new world. He had purchased a strange map form a rusted old man back at port, and Gracebeard wasn't one to not go after treasure, even the promise of it! So, he had his crew shape up, and ship out, following the hazy instructions on the old, worn map.

          "Yar...not too much longer..." He mumbled quitely to himself as the sun set on the horizon. It's sparkling colors as it faded away breathed new vigor into the captain.

          "Cap'n? You goin' to stay out 'ere to'night?" First mate Jones called from the door to bellow deck. His light shirt and sea-weathered slacks gave him the real look and feel of a pirate. The Captain did not turn around to face his mate. He only shouted,

          "No Jones, I'll be coming in soon enough, but that be nothin' of your concern, would it?"

         " N-no sir. I s-suppose not..." Jones stammered.

          "G'night Jones."

          "Uh...yes sir..." Jones quickly agreed as he rushed back down the stairs. The captain himself stayed on deck for another three hours before turning in.

*~*~*


          Twas a new day, as Gracebeard was again on the front of the ship. Unlike the previous night, Gracebeard could make out the faint outline of land on the horizon. And by the looks of it, it seamed to be a forest.
A Non-Existent User
The stars... slowly she watched as one after another blinked out, and she felt nothing. No remorse, no shame, just a simple void within her chest. Yet it fascinated her, watching them fade out, perhaps too strong of a word, but nevertheless she couldn't seem to pry her gaze away.

"Dancer," came a mellifluous voice, "Sweet Dancer, you look so solemn." Thi turned around fluidly. Staring up at the woman t'would call her Dancer. Dressed in black with skin, white like snow, Thi hardly ever had any real patience for the woman, but had yet to let it be know so. To do so would likely be her first, and last mistake, though she'd hate to admit it.

"Mary, how pleasant our meeting, as always." Thi did a faint curtsy, compounding the hint of disdain in her voice. Mary stared down, rage billowing under the surface of her eyes.

"My name is Typhoid, or has your memory faltered yet again old woman!?" Thi smiled at this, a cold smile that didn't reach her eyes. Typhoid took a unconscious step back.

"You'd do well not to play the age game, Typhoid. Else shall we speak of your predicament?" So what if Thi is near her 113th birthday, at least she isn't fighting in futility against father time. You could see it in Typhoid, and if it wasn't for Thi, she'd have been nothing more than black dust a long time ago.

"Ladies please, must you always fight over me?" Thi and Typhoid both merely rolled their eyes a stared soullessly in his general direction, as a man with long curly blonde locks, dressed in pale rouge feathers pranced into the room, followed closely by a big and burly man with dark skin a red hair.

"Cupid... Hunter, where is The Bishop?" Thi asked stoically as she pulled on her veil, letting the green satin, fall away from her face, revealing her sightless lavender eyes. No one ever said that you had to be able to see, to see the world around you...
"I said shut up!" the man shouted at the woman and slapped her square in the face turning her entire left cheek red. The woman rubbed her cheek and whimpered. She then fell to the floor and hugged her friend who had her head in her palms crying, her long blonde hair falling over her. The four men grinned menacingly at each other as they stood in a circle around the two helpless women. Each of them had red bandanas tied around their mouth and brandished knives.

"Next time you'll be careful where you walk!''One of the men taunted the women. He licked his lips as his eyes lingered on the skirts of the two women, while fingering his knife blade.

"Any of you guys think we should make this a night that these women won't forget?' Another one said leaning towards one of the women with his knife and pointing at them. The other three men cheered and laughed knowing exactly what he was implying. The man grabbed the blonde woman by the hair and jerked her towards him. She screamed loudly and he took his knife and ripped her blouse. The men cheered more at the sight of this.

People knew that the forest was a dangerous place at night and you entered at your own risk. Joe did not know why the two women were walking around the forest at this particular hour, but he was not going to let two innocent women get harmed for any reason. Joe saw the entire situation from the start. The two women were walking back to the city, when one of the men approached them. Then the three others emerged from different sides of them out of the bushes so they couldn't run. Joe was completely hidden from them thanks to his black archer suit as he was perched in a tree a distance away gauging the situation. His bow ready, he prepared an arrow and squinted as he lined up his shot. Letting the arrow fly, a very soft 'thwip' was heard as it hit its target perfectly.

'My HAND!' The man who grabbed the woman by the hair, lifted his hand and saw that there was no longer a knife in his hand, but an arrow square in the middle of his palm. Screaming in the dead of night, his screams were joined by bloodcurling screams and howls from the others. Arrows were flying on all sides hitting the men in their legs and arms. The two women hugged each other whimpering. The four men were on the ground writhing in pain as they were unable to move.

'You're allowed to live this time, but next time I can't say you'll be this lucky.' Joe said walking up to the group of people emerging from the darkness. One of the men on the ground growled and spat at him. Ignoring him, he went up to the women and extended a hand to both of them. They looked up at him warily and eventually took it.

'Get out of here, run straight to the nearest officer and tell them what happened. Make sure they send medical help for these brutes' Joe said. The two women nodded vigorously and ran away. Sighing to himself, Joe tipped his hat at the men and walked away slowly being consumed the darkness.

Awhile later, Joe was sitting adjusting some of his arrows, when he noticed a light darting across the sky.It wasn't a light like a star or something, but something else.. it reminded him of a pixie/faerie light, but he couldn't confirm what it was.
'What the heck is that...'Joe mumbled to himself as he stared at the light.
A Non-Existent User
The Bishop always did love Typhoid more than me. I'll never understand why he's always o much harsher on me when it comes to punishments... "AHH!" Damn it... Really, just because litle miss disease tattled like a preschooler as said I was picking on her, on HER! "AHHH!"

"Heh, lovely mi amore..." Sometimes I wonder if it would be better to have Hunter at he whip, rather than Cupid. "AH!" At Least with Hunter he'd do it and be done with it rather than be 'lovingly' attentive to get every last luscious scream out of you. "You really are a sick bastard you know that?" ...Damn... I should have figured he'd smile...

"Why thank you ma petite." Why must he always call me that! It's so infuriating!

"Mi Amour, have I angered you?" he asked, walking around the post so I could see his pout. "You're not screaming for me anymore ma petite."

"I'm done screaming, you've had your fill."

"But Thi!" and now he turns to whines... Funny how easy it can be to manipulate a sadist. I wanted to smile but kept my grip on my anger instead.

"Like I care if you pout, I'm done, finish up or hit the release." He hit the release, with a pout an whimper but he hit it regardless. I slowly dropped to my knees, I didn't want to collapse, and let him see how much I hurt... Besides, my dres was puddled on the floor beneath me. It was the perfect excuse for being down here, so I began to fumble it on as Cupid watched.

Watching me with those red, nay crimson, eyes that held this heat. Raw and unmistakeably male. The gaze of a predator on it's prey; primal and beastly. Lustful...

Too bad I was not his to play with. Well, not really, I'd say I'd kill him before he ever got that close, but... Well He'd enjoy it too much so I'm not really sure what I'd do in the end but be thankful that The Bishop had already claimed me for his...
A Non-Existent User

The sun was hot. Serina had just left the village, a bag of groceries on her back. All she needed was to get some water from the well, and Serina could have lunch. Then she would begin her search of dark forces.

The King had gone into detail about these forces, saying they even showed up in his dreams at night, telling him that his time was short. They wanted his kingdom and all the lands. The King tried to negotiate, but they wouldn’t accept. The King was desperate.

Serina figured she’s probably would need to find some warriors loyal to the King to help her, but she didn’t know who. She decided she would meet up with some later.

She rounded a bend in the road and noticed a figure asleep against a tree. Serina hid behind a bush and examined the area, making sure this wasn’t a trap. When she didn’t see anyone, she moved closer to the sleeping figure.

The hat. She had recognized the figure’s hat. When she came close enough, she squatted down and slowly lifted the hat up. A small smile appeared on her face.

“Joe? Is that you?” she whispered.

-----------------------------------------------------
Linda grumbled as she flew. She liked the effect - like the buzzing of a swarm of angry wasps. Which she did look like.

She zigzagged her way across the sky, her vision blurred. Wasps don't do well in the dark, and as she was also 200 years old it was getting harder to concentrate. Cinderella had already banned her from driving the old pumpkin into town anymore.

Flowing the fading light, she was suprised to bump into someone. Actually, she rather collided with him; she hadn't been looking where she was flying and even though he was 40000 times her size she failed to see him.

So suprised she was, that she stung him.

There was a very very loud shout (remember how much bigger he is than her at the moment)and then a large hand came up and tried to swat her. Her, the almighty Fairy Godmother, the one being making sure fairytales had their happy endings!

"How dare you!" she buzzed in his general direction, flying to and fro angrily, trying to avoid the stick he swung at her. "How rude!"

The narrow miss of a sudden arrow that her asailant had drawn, cursing, made Linda transform quickly. She ducked as another flew over her head and embedded itself in the tree behind her. Linda ruffled her dress indignantly.

"Now, now, young man, there's no need for that."

The young man (who, by the way, looked awfully dishevelled to her, a bit like that Peter Pan thing and his awful pixie) jumped, and stepped back. Linda noted that he had ready another arrow, even if he did more respectfully point it at the ground.

"Well, er, Ma'am... what the he-, er did I hurt you?"

"No." she repiled shortly.

"Then, if you mind my asking, what in heaven's name are you??" he asked, his arrow still readied in the arc of his bow.

Linda smiled benignly.

"I, young man, am the legendary Fairy Godmother. I am on a Quest. Or some such thing. And you are?" She pulled herself to her full height (of 4 and a half feet) and cleaned her half moon glasses, adding before he could reply "And for the love of all that is Godmotherly, tuck your shirt in."

“Joe? Is that you?” A voice whispered. Joe's eyes opened to see a woman in front of him.

"Why, yes it is me, the Legendary archer named Joe, I see my reputation precedes me." Joe said quickly fixing his clothes and adjusting his hat. The woman laughed and shook her head.

"You'll never change will you." The woman said to him smiling.

"I recognize that voice..." Joe replied leaning forward staring at her.

"Its me, Serina silly!" Serina said pushing him playfully in the chest.

"Wow I haven't seen you in ages...' Joe said thoughtfully. His mind wandered back to a previous adventure the two of them were on. They saved the kingdom from a powerful sorceress and necromancer. 'So, what are you up to these days? You're finishing adventuring?"

"Clearly you haven't.' She replied looking at him up and down. 'New clothes, same old Joe huh?"

"What can I say people still need help." He said shrugging his shoulders.

"Yeah... they do...' Serina agreed. 'There's something I want to talk to you ---"

"OOUUCCCCHH" Joe screamed interrupting Serina. Without a moment's hesitation, Serina took a few steps backwards to hide behind a tree and looked around cautiously. Joe swatted the air in retaliation. Something was small and buzzing, he intended to make it pay. He took out an arrow and took aim.

"Because you may be small doesn't mean I can't hit you." Joe said as he fired off two shots. As Joe reached for another one, the small creature that was buzzing around began glowing and before his very eyes turned into a person. Stepping back in surprise, Joe saw it was a woman. An old woman. He had the arrow in his hand, but he didn't aim it at her, he held it facing the ground.

"Well, er, Ma'am... what the he-, er did I hurt you?" Joe asked

"No." The woman repiled shortly.

"Then, if you mind my asking, what in heaven's name are you??" he asked.The old woman gave a big smile in return

"I, young man, am the legendary Fairy Godmother. I am on a Quest. Or some such thing. And you are?" She stood up and rubbed at her glasses."And for the love of all that is Godmotherly, tuck your shirt in." Joe automatically fixed his shirt into his pants.

"Wait a minute, you're a Fairy Godmother?" Joe asked scratching his head. Joe had been on many adventures before, he encountered, elves, faeries, magicians, androids, dwarves, experimental creatures, but never before in all of his travels had met someone like this. She definitely looked like a Fairy Godmother.

"Isn't that what I said sonny?' She replied matter of factly. 'Now, what's your name."

"My name is Joe.' Joe said bowing to her. He wasn't sure if he had to bow to her or not. 'And I'm a special archer under the order of the Royal Majesty the King."

"Is that so? You could be useful..." The Fairy Godmother said thoughtfully. 'My name is Linda by the way and no need to be so formal. And who is your friend over here?" Linda asked pointing in the direction of Serina.

"Hi Linda, my name is Serina." Serina said emerging from the tree.

A Non-Existent User
The woods were dark tonight and yet I was tromping through the woods for the Bishop with none other than Typhoid Mary at my side. The wounds on my back only started to heal, and they itched like crazy.

"Why are we here Mary."

"Typhoid." Mary corrected immediately before answering, "Bishop wishes us to scout these woods. He says a strong resonance has appeared here."

"He's afraid of Heroes..."

"HA! Master Bishop fears naught, and you'd do well not to say such again Dancer else I shall inform him of your indiscretion."

"...tattlebrat." I whispered...

"What?"

"Nothing, let's go Typhoid. There are voices ahead."

"Ooh! Let me go at them Dancer, I long for spreading this restless disease."

I sighed, "Be my guest..."

The woman squealed like a little girls and ran forward through the brush. Wel as best as she could with her long layered dresses. I fell back and rounded the area watching from the treeline as Mary approached the three victims quietly unnoticed.

----------

"Hi Linda, my name is Serina." Serina said emerging from behind the tree. "Are you friend or foe Fairy Godmother?"

"Heavens be! As if I'd be of the latter, child!" The old woman straightened her robes with regal dignity. "I happen to be---" The world fluttered, and their throats tightened cruelly.

"Such wholesome victims for my plague. Darlings you shall entertain me for hours..." a mysterious voice sounded about them.

"W-who's there!?" Serina managed to yell as Joe's voice failed him.

"You may call me Typhoid my dearest." a strange woman of dark shades and moonlit skin emerged from the shadows. She stroked Serina's cheek and giggled as the assassin flinched away. The giggled fell short as she looked from Serina to Joe and back again. "You... Not mere victims but Heroes!" she laughed. "Master Bishop would be oh so pleased!"

Serina heard a distant curse as the moonlit woman said the name Bishop. There was someone else here. Friend or foe, uncertain but better to assume the worst.

It was as the woman bared her attention on the other two that the godmother set about a whispered spell, "Bibbly BOOM!" And stars blaired past. The woman turned severely and slapped the old maid down. But damage done the compulsion to stillness and sickness was gone and the woman backed away as the two able bodied Heroes raised their weapons to fire.

-------------

"DANCER!" she screamed, and for the barest of moments I thought about letting them have her, but then the Bishop would be angry with me again.

-------------

Joe cocked his arrow and fired. Yet a sudden wind blasted through the crowd. Knocking the arrow from sight into the woods. The Godmother screamed at the sudden gale and Serina nearly fell over. Joe found his legs knocked out from under him and he sat harshly on the ground.

"Kill them Dancer!" the moonlit woman exclaimed at a short and dark haired girl with skin similar to Serina's.

"You idiot MARY!" she yelled and slapped the woman, "Dropping so many names." The girl turned to the group and found her eyes locked on Serina. "We will not be a bother to you travelers. We shall go." Her eyes studied Serina intensely and they with the same sudden instant... Wind flipped the grasses up and wrapped around the two women and they were gone instantly.

"WHO THE HELL WERE THEY!?" Joe screamed in frustration.

"Mind your mouth, sonny!"

"Sorry Ma'am..."

"I think the small one was my great grandmother..."

Joe and Linda looked at Serina for a long time as she stared into the dark heavens above.




With one mighty swing of my sword, I severed the dragon's head from its body,

I tried to land on my feet, but the weight and bulk of my armor caused me to stumble and crash to the ground. Behind me, I heard the great beast's head hit the stone floor, followed by the mighty crash of its body. The mighty foe vanquished, I allowed myself to relax a little, though no doubt the real danger was yet to come.

As I had expected, I had no sooner risen to my feet than I saw the heavy and enormous steel door before me slide away. Light flooded the wide cavern, almost blinding me. I shielded my eyes and squinted, and could barely make out the silhouette of a man about my age and about my height, standing there with his arms folded.

“Alain!” I shouted at him, my voice strong and triumphant. “Behold, the so-called ‘Terror of Sleepyborough, slain by my blade!”

“Well done, Jodian. Well done,” Alain the warlock said, his voice dripping with sarcasm, clapping his hands slowly, as he sauntered into the room towards me. His ragged black cloak trailed on the ground and his bitter blue eyes shone with…

With what? For once, not malice. For once, something entirely different. Worry? Dread?

“Your confident countenance falters, my brother,” I said. “Once again, your plans are thwarted, and I am one step closer to-“

“Okay, okay, enough of this,” My twin brother took me by surprise by speaking entirely out of character. He sighed deeply and ran a hand through his long blond hair. “Look, Jodian, I had many more plans. The dragon was a distraction- as we speak, my orc armies are prepared to invade the capitol, and my undead hordes are ravaging the countryside. You couldn’t have stopped me this time. But… that doesn’t matter now. I’m pulling all my forces back to the Fortress of Despair, and I’m preparing to fortify everything I have there.”

“Wh… what? Why? What are you talking about?” I could hardly make any sense of what he was saying.

“A… situation has been brought to my attention.” His voice quivered, his nervousness showing now, and he cleared his throat. “Earlier today, my underlings brought me these.” He pulled some sheets of paper from within his cloak and handed them to me.

I took them and began flipping through them. Most of them were maps, while the others appeared to be journal entries written by a scout or explorer. “Maps?” I asked, examining them further. “Maps of Namia?”
“Look at the first three. They show the eastern forests of Namia as they looked three days ago- that is, the same way they’ve looked for centuries. Now, look at the next three maps. They show what the forests looked like yesterday. Notice anything different?”

I looked at the maps. Taking the place of the forests was instead a big blotch of pale brown color, which was crudely marked with the word “WASTELAND.”

“I… I don’t understand,” I said. “What could have caused this?”

“Only one thing could,” Alain said. “Our world is dying. I mean, literally, our entire world as a living, spiritual entity, is dying. I’ve done a great deal of thinking, and I… believe I have a fairly good idea of why this is happening.”

“Care to explain?”

“Well, according to my calculations, a sudden introduction of massive amounts of negative energy into the meta-essence of the geophysiological system has… err… well, put simply, a horrible and immensely powerful force of pure evil has arisen in another world, and its energy can be felt here. So powerful is its effect, in fact, that it is causing our world to wither and die.”

“I see. Then what can be done?”

“You must go to the world where this evil has arisen, Jodian. You’re the only one in all of Namia who can stop it. You’ve defeated me countless times… I know that you can prevail against such a powerful evil.”

“How can this be possible? How can one travel between worlds?”

“Well… it’s very complicated. But I’ll just give you the basics. Our world, our universe, everything we know, exists entirely within a mote of dust on a leaf in a tree in a forest of that world, the world where this mysterious evil has risen. I will transport you there, and you will emerge from the particle of dust, and find yourself standing in that forest. From there, you’re on your own. Find what help you can, but quickly- time is running out for us.”

I took a deep breath. “This better not be a ploy to get rid of me, warlock, or I’ll find my way back to kick your ass. Alright, I’m ready. Send me.”

Alain waved his hands and chanted ancient words of dark magick. I cannot possibly describe the nauseating feeling of vertigo and unease that the spell made me feel, but moments later, I found myself standing in the middle of a strange forest…


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