Is It Tuesday Yet?

Part 14 - Quiz in a Box, or Cards of a Fox

As we opened the door, a friendly demonic entity invited us in to partake of his poisonous repertoire of ghastly goods. Everything he created was poisoned. And he wouldn't have us leave until we did. I wondered why it was that way. Maybe nonposionous food was terrible for his digestion.

After disintegrating the poor demon from his prison, we opened the other doors. Four, as it turns out to be so far, just to check. Spiders? No. Rats? No. . Not that either… Dragons!? I was strangely drawn to this room, the grand reptilian heads looking our direction. Their majestic scales glimmering in the scattered lights.

But, before I could enter, the door was closed by Dratharz who had the most worried of faces.

I sighed.

The door was human-sized. . .

The fourth door had a skeletal chess player. And Murph was losing horridly. Yes, we found her. But, apparently, Dod wanted to play as well. And the bet was win or be trapped here for… well, too long a time to live.

I never did learn Create Food. . . Perhaps I should!

But, eventually we finangled out of our debt to him and furthermore "the mage" who had trapped his bony life here, and we picked a door.

Every room is square!

A mountain of books and a mountain of odds and ends had seemingly started a war with each other as two individuals yelled at each other over which was better.

Our task, after getting their attention and thus the fuel of this enchanted maze, was to pass a test of their creation. Our reward… would be a simple box, with no opening. But, the words of the maddened sage gave me a horrifying terror. This box was a deck of many things. . !

Part 13 - Open to the Public

I watched the orbs spin as we approached the bastion. The sound of screaming and grinding metals was growing louder and louder. The air was bending and the light around the orbs flexed until it all suddenly ceased. An unnatural stillness followed that moment as the automatic defenses recognized the vehicle we had crammed into for the uncomfortable journey.

The Professor came to meet us at the door and inquired as to our mission. I was exhausted and wanted desperately to be alone and think about things. But, after notifying him about it being a success…

"Excellent! Now we can get started on another thing," He paused briefly, catching our eyes one by one, as if the news was of morbid recollections, "As you are all expectantly awaiting progress on the elixir, we have a problem."

"A key component in my research is the organ of a Mana Beast. They are very rare. In fact, the only place where you might be able to obtain it is in the Mansion of Melcor." I was starting to be quite annoyed with the never-ending list of "rare" materials requisite to burn out this curse. It was penultimate to my overwhelming dissatisfaction that I was cursed in the first place.

The Mansion of Melcor was "Open to the Public," whatever that meant specifically. I would be wary of wording in a madman's domain.

Nevertheless, a warm meal and my small corner were the last things before my face felt the soft threads of down feather. The outside air slipped its light enticement into my mind, calling for me to rest in the boughs of a tree or the small enclosures of roots, but I was too fatigued to attempt it tonight.

I stay on top of the seat next to Airelinna and Dratharz as we travelled on a fading path to the location where the "Mansion" was to be found. The barrens of the area surrounding the Professor's home was left behind and a dark forest in the northern portions of Illandia was approaching. The horseless carriage rumbled and jerked often on the earth beneath and I was quite discontent with the invention.

Airelinna had a strange look to her face as we approached the forest's edge. Her eyes would nervously glance to the north-east, but I didn't need to ask her about it. I remembered from my studies where the elves' lived. Telvelon. But, not only for that reason did I know where it existed. It lay close to the birthplace of my own people, Andellar. I didn't know what made her nervous, but I extrapolated that it was some sore memories which didn't need to be brought to light at the current moment.

The road forked and a sign alerted us to the pathway towards Melcor's Mansion. The signs thereafter however, were sub-par humor and a ridiculous way of communication. Sometimes, to himself. Such is to be expected from insanity I suppose. But, the forest became pitch black, and I believe that the entryway was some sort of dimensional gateway, because there was no way the light would be completely blocked. The carriage kept moving, much to my discomfort, because I was so tense and anxious that we might crash into something.

The light returned and we found ourselves in an open glade near a tall mountainside. The smooth cliff rose far into the sky until the peak pierced the blue swath. There was no building around. I thought it odd, that a mansion not exist where it was publicized to be. So, I got to thinking that this master magician w—. Oh. There's an illusion there in the rock face.

Upon entry to the "real" Mansion, the polished marble, stone and other expensive taste in architecture and upholstery was revealed. Where we exited though ceased to be what it was. Three glowing portals in a square room on the forward facing walls. A desk with a seated occupant behind it. Melcor. I had one question I was about to ask, but Dod leapt into a portal.

Much to my surprise the next few moments blearily blended together. I panicked a bit. Everything was going too quickly! But, as I zipped in the air through the portal to follow my skin screamed about the heat. The room we appeared in had LAVA.

Dratharz was kind enough to cast a spell on me to ward off the effects of the temperature, but as I looked around, Murph was missing.

"What happened to Murph?" I gaze around.

"Oh, no," Dratharz moaned, "Remember what Melcor said?"

Dod was eerily silent.

I assumed the worst, "She's been separated from us. Well, it's going to be dangerous for 'her' ability. As he said each room will be."

The room we had been deposited into, was a maze of walkways with stone pillars reaching up from several positions. I fly up a bit to get an idea of where to go along one path. We were stuck in the center with exits at all sides of the chamber. Lava and possibly "other dangers" were along these paths.

We chose one and made our way forward. Ahem, well, "Illedrena, you should be first." I was at first defensive about my position as being "bait," but we didn't have time to sit inside a madman's magical mind maze. Dratharz and I led the others and we approached the first pillar. There was a flash of light and I about keeled over with how awful I felt. I drifted with double vision down to the ground and lost my lunch. The awful blurriness and wrenching of my stomach stopped soon after, but it was obviously cursing me; the pillar.

We reached the next pillar, and I clung to it. The fear I felt was overwhelming. I couldn't move.

Another pillar, another spell. I felt… tired. So little need to think… And I don't think I remember much more than that. Some sort of paralyze and mind-musher.

The final pillar in our path. Dratharz and I entered it's radius of influence and we didn't see a flash. I just saw myself enter a beautiful pasture with trees, flowers, butterflies and, well, Dratharz was part of it too. We tried to estimate the nature of this curse. But, it all ended in no clues. The hallucination eventually faded and we pressed on.

Dratharz and I waited for Dod and Airelinna to succumb to the same curses as we did. Each pillar having the effect we previously experienced.

At last, we reached the door. Dod had a thought, and knocked on the door before we were to open it.

And the door knocked back. . .

Part 12 - Making Death's Acquantince

Our journey back to the keep was uneventful, if somewhat smelly. I tried at times to drown it out with a purify air spell, but it stank. The guts of the hydra were being kept in barrels of this noxious fluid that was unfortunately able to penetrate it's container. But, having re-entered Illandia, it was nice to see a familiar forest or two.

I had time to think. I, of course, spent time thinking about the curse. Devising my own possible methods of curing the ailment should the hydra's organs not work as intended. I didn't doubt the Professor's capability of skill, but it didn't hurt to prepare for such an occurrence. However, my thoughts tended towards the pass. It irked me. Dragons who didn't attack on sight, but were friendly. I still remember the two that I had seen. Or was it really two different dragons? Perhaps it was an illusion of a grand scale. I chuckled at my own pun.

Having arrived back at the keep I was exhausted from such an extended trip. We filed silently into the main living room from down a hallway. But, standing inside was a dark hooded figure wielding a scythe, facing away from us. I immediately flitted behind the first person nearby and peered over their shoulder. Wary, suspicious, and quite frankly I was scared. How'd they get in here!?

The individual turned around, his pasty white face and amused expression belied the true purpose of his appearance. He said his name was, Dod. It took me a moment, but this was the human's version of Death incarnate. The robes, the scythe. I made my best effort to stay distant from him for this reason as well as the curse's sudden "friend feeling." I sighed to myself from a standpoint of ghastly horror. I was friends, with Death himself. I was even more sure of it now that he had his personage briefly transform into the visage of a Leprechaun's Gravewarren.

Dod said that he had forgotten a lot from the past six months, which was odd, because our memory loss was close to a year. He swung his scythe in the air slowly making a small whooshing noise with his voice. A crow alighted on his shoulder after a shadowy sand-like burst. In it's beak was a scroll. Dod, as he wished to be called, explained that his duties involved, as luck would have it, killing those on the lists he received from this bird. He couldn't remember why, but he related that he had no desire to find out what would happen if he "didn't" cross off the names.

I was lost. I could hardly etch a mildly coherent statement, even though I heard everyone clearly. I was grinding my gears over how in Melora's name I and my companions had managed to befriend Death himself.

After this short explanation, we asked him why he was here.

"Well, isn't it obvious? I need your help."

Dod showed us the paper with the names listed. Each one of them had been crossed off, but one remained. Lord Bast. Dod had plenty of information on him, his province, and even the fact that his home was teleport shielded. That last part was the reason he couldn't end Lord Bast's life. It was a surprising level of detail. He even drew us a small map. I didn't understand why or how any of us would need to assist Death in his duties. Honestly, I was too shocked, still, to be comprehensive in this. All I knew was Dod had the curse. And that meant we needed to be there, and help each other.

I tried this before. But, the curse was like an elastic band. The harder I struggled against it, the further back I was thrown. Dod would also feel this, and there was no doubt he'd be with us for a while yet. The Professor stated that he'd have to devote his entire attentions for what could be up to an entire year of research and study. The elixir to purge the spell might take such amount of time or even longer.

The Professor provided a horseless carriage to carry us all toward Lord Bast's province. The trip took most of the day, but it was just as Dod had said. The transport was left outside the small town's limits. Everyone went over the plans that were discussed. I believed that it would be beneficial to get more information on drawing Lord Bast out from the safety of his mansion. We entered the only local tavern, empty except for the man cleaning tables and glassware.

I was in the rafters attempting to sneak around a third eye view of this gathering of information. Murph however. . . thought to reveal my presence. I then realized the ignorance of both this man, and Dod. Well, maybe not Death himself. He's likely been around long enough and was merely toying with me. But, the man himself was naming me a wretched pixie. I attempted to douse him with water from above, but Dod continued to deflect it for each usage. I wouldn't have needed to do this at all if it weren't for Murph. The anger built up quickly. I flew down with water raging around me. My eyes aglow with venomous passion. I spit like a viper, shouting, "I am not one of those hideous creatures!"

I splashed the water down in my rage, and cast it across his floor, drenching everyone's boots. As I made my way to the door, I heard him ask, "What are you then?" I yelled over my shoulder with a cold stare, "An ellyl!"

I returned to the carriage. It still bothered me that small pockets of humanity still remained that called us such a vile class of ugly fey. It made no sense! Pixies were half my size! They even glow! I softly pounded my head against the wall of the carriage for a moment. My father's ambassadorship was meant to improve relations between humans and ellyllon. One of those edicts being, "teach them to not call us pixies." It was simple really. If that man ever happens upon a less restrained male, he'll lose his life. Well… he might just anyway with those weakened floorboards.

I find myself being very complicated about the whole scenario. Except. . . Murph. She complicates things. I'm going to have to be careful using the communication ring around her.

Later, I was woken up as the others piled into the carriage. The look on Airelinna's face was a bit grim, and everyone was mostly silent. I suppose they were… successful. . .

Part 11 - Hydrus Maximus

Upon my return, I contemplated to myself in my room. The curse was unbearable now. It's teeth gnawed at my mind and I grasped at straws trying to piece together the life I lived now. I was only here with them because of it. Regardless, I didn't remember, that black fog of memory locked away in the curse's jaws. How I came to be with a group of adventurers… Vile could be one word of my quiet pondering. And what leader was I to become? As it stood, I hadn't appeared any closer than my current circumstance foretold. I only remember—

"There it is!"

My heart jumped as I heard the cries outside. It was time. We'd found it.

Hydrus Maximus lumbered slowly down the canyon as the weapon was brought out. The loud machinery whined, hissed, and ticked. But, it's harsh noise is what first attracted the beast. It stopped, and all fifteen of it's heads turned to face us.

We were at the top of a sheer cliff, but I had never seen anything so enormous before. Even the dragons, at a distance, felt minute at it's presence. It's smokey scales glinted briefly before it roared out and began to saunter toward us. Trees and other foliage, although sparse, were crushed beneath it's body.

Garrett muttered, "This'd better work," as he hefted a well crafted crossbow, courtesy of the Professor no doubt.

The Professor aimed the cannon, and an explosion of steam and hot air blurred the area for but a moment. The creature was lifted up off it's feet and sent end over end with it's heads rolling.

"Aha!" shouted the Professor.

I was surprised. The weapon was actually effective!

However, just as we were about to celebrate… Hydrus Maximus rose up in the distance and roared, it's heads chattering as it charged.

My blood froze, and I backed away. The wound.. The blood seeping from it's body. The cannon was supposed to kill it. How was it still alive? Magic wasn't going to hurt it… I had to buy us some time. I reached out and conjured from behind a grove, some illusory giants. A local tribe, "hiding" until now, enraged themselves and harried the beast. They distracted it for perhaps half a minute.

The Professor was madly dashing about the cannon, preparing it for another shot. "Give me more time!"

Dratharz reached out and caused a large trench to suddenly appear in front of it. The hydra tripped and smashed into the ground. It roared again painfully, but it's legs didn't break.

It neared us, but I couldn't stay nearby anymore… It was getting closer! I created my phantom and willed it to attack the beast where the gaping wound was. Then I started giving myself some distance.

Garrett was shooting the heads. A few, pierced in the eyes, fell to his crossbow. Arrows came from nowhere, that must've been Airelinna. Murph was, well, shooting near it.

Pits under the hydra's legs formed and it sank into the ground, remaining fairly contained for the moment. And where the old heads were, they were shriveling away and forming new heads, just as the book had described for these beasts. I felt my phantom dissipate. I tried to form another, but the magic backfired and shocked me.

"I'm ready now!" bellowed the Professor as he got into the firing seat.

But, the challenge needed no second cannon round. The hydra's heads gasped and it screeched as the last of it's life from it's body was sundered. The arrows and bolts had finished it off. The heads fell to the ground around it, their tongues lolled about in, if not true death, the definitive appearance of it.

I slowly came back to the edge of the cliff where everyone was. The silence filled the entire canyon for a moment, until the Professor urged me to go and "check it out." I first had a summoned warrior try to touch it, whereupon it vanished when it did. So, I flew down and investigated. I entered the wound and the dark interior purged the light I tried to make for myself. I felt around, the slimy texture of it's innards seeping trickles of blood. But, there was no movement, no heartbeat, no breathing. I felt the large feathers of arrows and bolts all centered and buried deep around one particular organ. In my mind, I thanked Melora for our safety and success in bringing down the beast. I hoped that it would serve to rescue us from the curse.

"Is it dead?" from inside the creature, it masked the one who asked them.

I exited the wound and yelled to my companions, "It's dead."

The next few days were spent dissecting the creature and getting anything that could be utilized in an elixir for our predicament. I just tore the tip of one tooth and made a simple band around my wrist with it.

The Professor made payment to Garrett for his assistance and we departed again for the Dragon's Peak Pass. The awful smell of chemicals seeped into what quarters were left. Stacked barrels of anti-magic organs, guts, and scales covered every inch of the house. I made an illusion constant around myself to avoid the smell, but it didn't help my stomach much so I took to the roof and attached myself to the house. It was going significantly slower than before, perhaps from the extra weight.

As I relaxed, I took out the eyeglass from the "toys" the Professor kept around. I peeked up at the Dragon's Peak again as we were about to pass. This time, a white head emerged and looked down at us. The majestic glittering of scales betrayed the infortuitous danger that it could provide. However, it merely revealed a paw and waved at us. It's mouth ginning. I couldn't help myself, I grinned back. I don't know why I did, but I did. As I continued to peer through the eyeglass, I saw something else near the dragon itself. Or, wait… Where did it go? I thought I saw something. The dragon continued to watch over us as we passed until the peak was out of sight.

And now, we have returned to Illandia. . .

Part 10 - Losing Heart

There were a few labored breaths that reached my ears, some quiet whispers underneath my own fatigue. I could hardly feel my own body, my senses were muffled, or even muted in places. I tried to open my eyes, but the light burned. I felt my center of gravity shift and I looked out again. After a moment of blurry blinking, I saw Airelinna's solemn, well composed face, her golden hair a bit scattered, but her eyes were stern.

I tried to speak, my voice coming only with effort, "W-what happened? Did we kill the demon?" I figured, since everyone else still stood before me, that we were successful in bringing it down.

Airelinna hesitated before making a concise statement, "You died."

My eyes went wide, my face contorted with churning feelings of disbelief and despair, "I died!?" My mind flashed with images of my brother, the demon, and his…

Murph interrupted this caravan of thought with, "Ellie," she did seem to like that human-like nickname, "We did everything we could, but it wasn't enough. We… we were unfortunately unable to save your legs."

I could feel my toes, so I knew she was just kidding. But, as I painfully looked, they were not present! I had lost… I… My legs!? I couldn't keep it in anymore, my eyes filled with tears and all sense of bravery or stern determination even a desire for intelligent understanding of the moment escaped my body in this instant. I was a cripple! I was less than alive! I wailed for what little strength I could muster to do so, but it merely birthed new pains as I felt my phantom limbs struggle against their bonds. I had failed my family, my brother, my queen.

What decisiveness that fate had given me this day, to not only live, but to live a life not worth living. I would be held to a commonality of disdain that was eyed from all intelligent species, not merely my own.

Murph tried to comfort me, "Ellie, are you okay?"

"No! No, I am not okay!" I curtly snapped through my tears. "I don't know why I thought I could be like my brother. Please, just leave me alone for a while."

I fell asleep from the exhaustion I felt. I was wide awake in my mind, but my body's aches overwhelmed my need to rummage through confusion, terror, and pains. When I opened my eyes again, it was dark. What happened now? Why… Wait a second. I wiggled my nose and felt a cloth's ridged fibers nestled over me.

"Murph. Get this off of me…" I murmured from whatever corner I happened to lay in. 

Murph struggled to keep from giggling. And, as the cloth was removed, I took notice that a pair of legs was passing by in my field of view. I blinked a couple times, but took the occasion to mean that I must be hallucinating or something, as nobody else seemed to see it. Was I going mad as well? No. I couldn't be. Could I?

Murph was forced to dispel the illusion she placed over my legs. Her "fun" had ended too soon for her liking it seemed. I gave her the most disapproving glare I could. Even I with my illusions would not go so far as to harm another's image of themselves.

The Professor leaned down and picked up my frail body and forcibly fitted me into a wind-up chair. I had no choice. My body could not move much of it's own accord and my mind was in a daze. He said something about moving this small sti-.

"Aiiie!" I was thrust forward in this "wheelchair." Unable to stop, I went headlong into the wall where I numbly felt new bruises on my knees. My wings were terribly sore by the end of my embarrassing wind-up tour, the accompanying backrest saw to that. I just begged that someone take me to my room. This "toy-like" feeling was growing stronger and I hated it. I knew that it was purposeful and it was wrong of them to do so. I bit, well, numbly pressed down on my tongue. I wouldn't be so ungrateful towards the Professor. He did save my life. Airelinna told me as we ascended the stairs that he used a potion of resurrection.

However, Murph made quite sure not to leave my side for any reason whatsoever. I just wanted some peace and quiet, but I didn't have the strength to speak anymore. I fell asleep in the wheelchair, and let the darkness take me, completely ignoring her jabbering.

When I awoke, I felt much better. I still ached everywhere and I didn't feel well enough to fly, but I was able to get free from the chair which I was strapped to. I managed to descend the stairs, and get some food before making my way back to my room. It was then that I was alerted to the large gaping holes in my wings from the Professor.

I looked and was again beset with pure grief; inundated with a wild emotional stain that cascaded over me and I straightway left in tears. I couldn't bear it. It was the worst feeling I had ever felt. Why did this have to happen to me? I don't want to live with this. . .

On my way back, a human male, the Xithonian hunter, Garrett, noticed me. I had no mind nor care for his presence, only the call for a bit of solace sounded amidst my sobbing frame.

I was about to return, when Murph paraded into the room and held Veilseeker aloft. It was much smaller in her grip.

"Hey, Ellie, Look what I found!"

I cleared my eyes of tears to see that she danced with Veilseeker above her head.

"Please, Murph, don't do this," I begged her, "That's very important to me."

I didn't even try to take it back. How could I in this state I was in? I wouldn't give her any additional satisfaction from being, however slight, the taller of us both. Instead, I just watched her while I moved towards my bed. She teased me some more and popped it onto the table where I couldn't reach without some good proper climbing. Then to my extreme emotional dismay, she picked me up and cradled me like some newborn. It hurt for one, and two, I was distraught! I struggled in futility to escape.

She babbled on end for what seemed an eternity until she suddenly stopped as Airelinna burst into the room and set things right. She tore me away from Murph's cradling, returned Veilseeker to me and I was gently placed into my leafy bed by the kind elf. That's when all sound ceased. She lifted the leprechaun up with a wave of her hand and spun around her three times, much to the visual protest of Murph. But, all faded away as I gave myself up to sleep's embrace.

I awoke again, but made no effort to leave my bed. I felt awful; less so physically, but definitely emotionally perturbed. I saw that my wings were healing, some magical effect from the potion I was given, but the feelings I had were a pulsing soreness in my head. My whole life felt off kilter, not unlike when I was first banished. There was some food at the foot of my nest and I nibbled on that while I thought quietly to myself.

When I was fully rested, I braved the world again and went to have a chat with the Professor about what he had done for me. We had found a beautifully secluded portion of some forested mountains where we were to hunt the Hydrus Maximus. A wall was erected around the house and Garrett was busy chatting with one of the others about things that needed doing.

I took the time to search for some special poisonous plants that were common in forested areas. I found them and gathered as much of the precious toxins as I could. . .

Part 9 - Magical Storms & Voids

And we arrived in Zithon, the lands across the great divide. . .

The surprisingly pleasant landscape was far different than I first surmised from the information we'd been given. There was plenty of plants and shrubs living here, less wildlife to be apparent. It was indeed a harsher environment with less water to sustain everything, but nonetheless it was thriving!

The city… well, town really, was a bright white beacon against the view beyond. The white buildings and sandy colorations were not large nor overly ornate. And it was guarded by soldiers bearing gold and tan emblems on their gambisons. After strict cultural warnings from the professor, Alexa was left outside the gate, and guarded by Dratharz. I was interested in what the city looked like, so I tagged along. Maybe I'd get the chance to do a little talking; who knows?

After some cultural exchange and bylaws to observe, we were directed to The Hunter's Moon, situated near the palace. I thought it strange that a merchant hub would have a palace, seeing as how the throne of a leader should be left in "one" palace. However, it meant that high-class people would be coming and going nearby. I didn't know if I'd have much time to have much conversation, but seeing as how I was a foreigner, likely not much.

The Hunter's Moon, signified by a sign bearing a crescent peaked with a drawn bow, lay before us. Indeed, it was a higher-class institution. As we entered, eyes were immediately drawn to us, whispers were given in corners. The professor picked a table at random and began to speak with one of the patrons and once given a ludicrous amount of coin identified himself as Johnathan. He said our quarry for the Maximus species of Hydra was here, that it was real, and that in order to find one, we'd ought to go south and find a friend of his named Garrin.

We inquired as to the nature of this establishment and why hunting was so revered in Zithon. For a bit more coin, it was revealed that it was not only to keep local pests down as a public service, but it also held a deep cultural connection with the people of Zithon. He gave us a few nasties that we'd best leave alone, such as: Blood Beasts, large gorilla-like canines; Amarat, large wolves; and Humbaba, miniature demons with lion paws. He pressed the importance of staying clear of these and "other" unsavory creatures.

So, with this new information in hand, we set off only to again hear the Professor cry out yet again that he had forgotten something. Whereupon the guards gave a familiar look of inner giggling.

On the morrow, as we set off toward the next destination. I took the time to do a little practicing with Veilseeker in front of everyone in the kitchen. The day began quite calm until the Professor and Airelinna stood up and went to the window.

The house lurched as it came to a stop.

Ahead, a purple haze formed into a large cloud that quickly made it's way towards us.

"Murph," called P. Fraus, "Do you want more money?"

The declination to her greed was overcome by the dire sensation I felt from this approaching "storm." As I had created a boar to go and experience this weather, it vanished and my link was broken.

We hunkered down and Dratharz created an enormous earthen wall to hopefully block it. The storm penetrated it, so P. Fraus put down a small box and opened it. To my dismay, I felt my connection to the surrounding mana disappear and my eyes went wide. I was then injured from the magical lightning that exuded from this magic storm.

Below, demons, hundreds of them, were scattered all over and attacking the legs to the house. We opened a window and started to dispatch them, but one managed to leap inside. It's hide of red and black, horns, with yellow eyes of madness started swinging it's claws. I hid behind the Professor, who just ran out for another purpose. Now exposed, and with magic being no option in this void nor in the storm, and the eyes of the demon locked onto me, I delved deep into my hatred for the demon. My brother's face came into view in that moment as I flew forward, swinging Veilseeker with all my strength.

I cut at it's neck, but to my dismay, I saw no wound in the demon's form as it's sharp, deadly appendages came towards me. . . 

Through the lands of Dragons and Magic

As we passed though the pass of Dragons we headed toward the city of Meldon. Since the Professor hasn't been here before, he decided that I, his most trusted associate, guard his home while they looked for information regarding the Hydrous-Maximus. It was pretty uneventful while they were there, and they didnt say much about it. But we started to head south to the city Methel.  On our way, a storm gathered out of nothingness, as I have never seen anything like this or have had to deal with this before, decided to encase us in earth. That, however seemed to have no effect, as the storm passed though the wall, and through all of the professors magical defenses. After that shocking, quite literally, display of this strange magic storm, we heard some thing wrecking against the house. The Professor and the elf, decided to shoot the devilish creatures, which seemed to go quite well for a short while, until one of them was able to leap though the window. Chaos ensued, and since he was standing in the middle of the Professors magic dampening box, all that was left for me to do was attack his mind. The small ones weren't able to hold long against it, but fought bravely, and were almost clawed them both in two, but not before the larger small one closed the anti-magic box. The professor ran, to get his spear, which was unfortunately in a far room of the house.  Then, the Professor came back with his spear and jabbed it through its heart, killing it instantly.  The Professor ran into another part of the house again, and retrieved a potion and rushed to the small sprite and poured it down her throat. A small time passed, and she stirred back to life.  Then, both the elf and the Professor after strictly telling me to not cast spells, cast their spells all over the place on the two small ones, which sometimes seemed to work better than it should have, and if I recalled correctly, nothing bad happened, so like I would have totally been fine, and would have probably killed all the demons surrounding the house if they let me cast the spells I wanted to, but no they decided that it would be a great idea to open the windows to the impervious house, leaving it prone to an attack, then went against their own words and cast spells… yeah that's fine, that's totally fine.  Anyways, I think I'm done with this entry for now, um, I'm not sure when I will be able to write again, maybe soon, maybe not so soon. We shall see. 

The Hunt Begins (sort of)
(Well really we are going to the place that the hunt will begin at)

It is finally time the cannon is done (Hopefully) and we are on our way.

We packed up the new cannon and some of my Mechanical Golems (to load the thing) and set out for Dragons Crest pass to find us a Hydra. We took a short stop in the Tired city to send some letters and pick up fresh supplies for the crossing. Most of the trip was un-eventfull we saw some dragons and giants (had to kill several of them) and some men riding strange beasts (I'll have to check on that at some point) but overall a peaceful journey. Soon we will be in Xithon and the hunt will truly begin.

Part 8 - The Dragon's Peak Pass

We made our way to Tier City, the professor needed to pick up some supplies and to send some post with a courier service. As we approached, my eyes were dazzled with ancient dwarven architecture that rose up and up upon many different levels. The city looked old, carved intricately and as tightly packed as possible. The streets were compact and the buildings sat next to each other with seemingly no extra space.

Leaving Alexa, (the house dearies), outside the main gate, we entered the city, keeping close to the Professor. I smelled baking bread, flowers, and … sniff something I'd never smelled in a city before. It wasn't a bad smell, so it couldn't have been refuse. Doubtless that the city had such in it at times I could assume.

Before I could investigate the smell, I caught up with the group and we found ourselves at a courier service building. Bags of letters, supplies, and crates loaded onto wagons were nearby the establishment. A team of oxen moaned their displeasure as they were led away by the driver. The Professor and others entered, while I waited outside, examining the unique style of craftsmanship that went into the city. The people that passed by seemed entranced by their business and only a few gave chance to wave at me as I waited amongst the bags, couriers, and crates.

The others returned shortly, until the Professor grimaced and said aloud, "Agh. I forgot that too!"

I merely raised my left eyebrow. Whatever he had forgotten, he'd been complaining about his "forgetfulness" all morning. I would ask him before we entered the pass, just in case it'd be something I could assist with.

While on our way back, I caught that smell again. I investigated, blending into my surroundings; being that of a market, with stalls and vendors hawking their wares while yelling out for buyers. It wasn't particularly busy, but the streets were bustling enough. I followed the scent to… Mushrooms? They were odd. I didn't know where they'd come from. I shimmied up the side of one man who was picking at them, touched one, and duplicated a mushroom with a wave of my hand. I wasn't stealing, but my casual attempts at being unseen were likely to cause suspicion regardless.

So, I carried this duplicate around. Sniffing it, trying to remember or glean some information regarding it's origin and type. I couldn't get anything from it. But, I decided to do a little experiment upon our return to Alexa outside the gates.

We started to leave and made our way past the guards posted at the gate only to hear the professor exclaim that he forgot something again, whereupon we straitway turned about and entered the city again. The guards chuckling with some sidelong looks that seemed to say, "Now how many times have I seen that?" The Professor purchased some supplies to restock the house's larder.

Back in the house, I started with Airelinna, who sniffed at the air, but gave no other reaction. Murph was completely unaware of my presence or that of the fungus. To be perfectly honest, it wasn't particularly pungent, so it was understandable that she was unfazed. But, Dratharz surprised me. He turned himself about and spotted me without so much as a harried search.

His eyes flared, "Where did you get that? Did you steal it?"

His reaction astonished me, I was so taken aback that I cocked my head and thought of how to actually respond to such an accusation. But, just as I was about to make a statement, he bent his staff down in a menacing manner and lit my duplicated fungus on fire!

"Gah!" I yelped, releasing the mushroom which vanished into a puff of still trailing smoke as the fire dissipated. "Come now, I didn't steal anything! I merely duplicated it with magic." I eyed him with a stern scowl, still put off that he did such a childish thing. However…

"Why did you do it?" I pressed. "Moreover, why did you need to burn it?"

Dratharz hesitated, "It's a mushroom. Whatever."

"Nobody else responded so… acutely."

Dratharz then continued to defend his actions while simultaneously convincing me that it was merely a mushroom and that it didn't matter. I believe him. It was just a mushroom. But, something still tickled the back of my mind that the reaction was still something beyond normal.

I sought out the Professor as we approached the mountains, and found him in his workshop working calmly, "Professor, you've been exclaiming all day now that you've forgotten something. What did you forget?"

P. Fraus, sighs and looks down at me, "I wish I remembered to bring one of my Destruction Spheres."

I look back on the spinning doom spheres that he had stationed atop every tower on his fortress' walls. I cast a spell that made the large "machine-thing" appear in his workshop as a mere illusion. "What if it was here?"

He shook his head, "Not everybody nor everything knows it to be dangerous. We'll just have to make do without it."

My shoulders drooped, and that feeling of uselessness returned.

I sat in the kitchen, holding a wooden spoon semi-defiantly as Murph and Airelinna performed their separate skills together. Airelinna sang light, airy tunes, while Murph squatted, leaped and bounced in dance. I couldn't hold it in, and laughed at how ridiculous and wonderful it was at the same time.

That was when we had our first scare. When a enormous roar sounded just behind the house. We didn't find the creature, but ahead, we saw a green dragon flying.

That night, as I took my turn for watch, I watched and listened for anything that might attack us. But, much to my embarrassment, I ended up being frightened by Alexa's inner workings. The rumbling sounds of metal banging below giving me the pale death. I realized, after alerting the Professor, that it was just that.

The next morning, we stopped. Large boulders were in the path.

"Illedrena," P. Fraus called, "Come look at this."

I acknowledged, "What's wrong?"

"Could you go and touch those? I mean not you, but, you as in not you?"

I was confused.

"Have an illusion touch it."

"Ohhh, yes. I… By the light of Melora!"

The air filled with growls and thuds, trees being brushed aside and cracks of stone and bark. A mountain giant clan was attacking us! Their massive bodies wielding trees and other large makeshift weapons. One, that I could see anyway, had a massive boulder that it hefted on it's shoulder, another in it's hand.

"Alexa, take us up," called out the Professor to his home's system as he reached out the window to shoot at one of the giants.

The giants attacked the house, their blows resonating against the metallic legs below.

I created my phantom instantly. My mind's image being crafted from a splice in the air. The wraith, opaque black with gleaming purple eyes covered by a deep cowl, hovering above the ground with tattered black cloak. The tendrils of it's arm's ended with sharp and menacing claws in place of fingers. I sent it out to deal with them. My mind also focusing on an illusion for the next moment.

My phantom went up to the face of the giants in front of the house. It lunged forward, digging those menacing claws straight into it's face, red blood spurted from the wound. Then it ripped outward, completely sundering the giant's gray matter from it's skull, the white bone cloven from the magical creation. The flesh giving way before my magical destroyer.

A flock of "me" I sent to distract one of the giants. But the battle ended as soon as it had started.

The ground below had erupted into a disjointed wall of crackling energy. Burnt flesh reached my nose as the giants squealed in pain and ran for their lives, leaderless. I felt the rage inside me simmer. My phantom chased down one the giants, only to be outrun. I had it return, where it "bumped" against some force and was unable to return to me. It "bumped" again before it was left behind from the speed of the house. I let it vanish.

We continued on the path a little ways, but stopped to examine the damage. The Professor was near to shedding tears as he looked at the legs and puckered his lips in sad contemplation about how much it hurt to see his creation harmed. I felt for him, a little. So, I attempted to repair them with magic. Some pieces were missing so I couldn't replace those, but every face of metal plate was fixed. It seemed to shine and blaze with a newly cast sheen!

I floated away soon after, leaving the Professor to examine the aftermath of my work.

We passed Dragon's peak… And the green dragon that lived there. There was no doubt in my mind that the dragon saw us as much as I saw it. It merely tossed it's head back and forth, watching the pass.

And we arrived in Zithon, the lands across the great divide. . .

Part 7 - The Weapon

An Ellyl, lost in the world of giants.

Far be it from me to not see a catastrophe in this desolate landscape the Professor constructed. I looked out beyond the cliff, where the waterfall flowed. My eyes strained from the sun's intensity. The forest lay below, the beautiful sight only four hundred, perhaps five hundred yards away. I longed to be amongst anything green, alive, and growing. The Professor's herb pots were… How should I say?


He thought it a whole garden. However, I shook my head, shaking the mild frustration loose from my mind. I planned on beautifying this place. Indeed, I knew nothing about plant magic, but I lived inside a tree for close to thirty-four of my thirty-six winters. Certainly I could get at least some grass to grow before I went mad from the dull stone gray that threatened to overwhelm me.

I dared not leave the compound for fear of the "monsters" that Airelinna had expounded upon before. The Professor was sure that his defenses would keep most, if not all, nearby creatures at bay. The strange spheres atop their towers whirred on occasion, their oscillating oculus orbit betraying an ominous doom.

I let out a sigh and bent the water around me as I flew down into the depth of the river. The sphere of fluid listening to my occasional whispered thoughts. "Who is Illedrena Avalor?" I would say. "Why is she here?" "What is she meant to do?" All my internalizing accomplished was a sense of hopelessness, loneliness, and fear. My tears added themselves to the river's floor, soon to be washed away with the current when I left.

The week passed much the same, until a large stone "block" or wall, was erected by Dratharz. A huge contraption, walking on legs with a platform carrying an enormous metal hollowed tube. Upon my inquiry, it was relayed as a "Steam Cannon," which would be our weapon to kill the Hydra without needlessly endangering ourselves.

Holes were set into the stone wall beyond, so I determined to at least do something fanciful this week and made illusory targets over these divots. I created red dots, a bit easier to see from such a great distance.


The noise was horrendous! My ears ached, and the dastard contraption had steam billowing from it. The earth had shook tremendously from the explosion of energy. The projectile had hit one of my red dots, which shattered and then fireworks expanded around it to signify the scoring.

The stone was cracked, deep and concaved a great deal. It was near ready to fall apart at the edge, which is where it was struck.

With the test successful, and with most everything else in order. We set off to kill the beast. . .


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