Director Abbie sat at a table in a dingy tavern, her right hand gripping an empty mug. It was a strange place for a paladin to be, but The Book said nothing on the proper hangout spot for a paladin. “I should be out fighting evil, slaying demons and the like,” Director Abbie muttered to herself, “but a lone warrior can’t do much alone.”
The paladin thought back to the time of origin, when a peculiar man had used his shaman powers to bring forth the potential from each of the Adventurers. “Shaman powers,” said Director Abbie, “Hah! He just happened to be holding a stick made from enchanted eldenrod wood.”
She took a drink from her empty mug. The tavern keeper came over. “Would you like me to refill that for you, mam?” he asked. She gave him a look that said, “I’m underage, you nitwit. I ordered an empty mug in the first place. Keep that stuff away from me; I’m not paying for any of it.” He ambled off.
Director Abbie stood up. “If one isn’t enough,” she thought, “I’ll have to do some addition. Where would the other Adventurers be?”
A girl came down the steps and tossed a few coins on the counter to pay for her room. Director Abbie was starting to head out the door, but did a double-take.
“Allie!” she called, “Is that you?!”
The girl looked up. “Oh, hi, Abbie.”
“Allie, you’re a powerful battle mage, right? Join me! There is evil in the world, and we must stop it!”
“Sure, there’s always evil in the world,” Allie said, gathering a couple bags and heading for the door, “it can wait. But I’ve got a good job offer and if I want the job I have to leave, like, now. Sorry, bye.”
She went out the door. Director Abbie followed, but Allie was already lost in the crowd. Director Abbie sighed. “I’m not sure if she has a camouflage ability or just street-smarts.”
The paladin glanced back into the tavern, then moved out onto the street. If there was one Adventurer in this city, there may be more.
Director Abbie roamed the streets. She saw peasants, guards, merchants, a masked street musician, and two nobles, but none of the Adventurers she sought. Maybe it was time to whistle for her horse and look elsewhere. But there was no room for her horse in these crowded streets; she’d have to get out into the open.
Director Abbie pushed her way through the throng. She came back to the masked musician…and got distracted.
He was playing a mandolin like a fiddle, jumping nimbly across a fence as he played a lively tune. Sometimes the audience would lose sight of him for a moment, they knew not how, only to have him show up on the other side of them. The music reached its climax, the artist leapt into the air, flipped –
Director Abbie rubbed her eyes. It was over? Fine time to blink. Fine time indeed. What had she been doing? Calling Noelle, right. So she could gather the Adventurers.
The masked man was back. He was passing a cap. Director Abbie reached into her pocket for some spare coins and stopped. There was something familiar about this sideshow.
He gave a sweeping bow.
“Yes!...you should wear disguises less often. I almost missed you.”
The audience was dispersing now that the show was over. “I’m a stealth class,” said polikujm, “of course I’d be wearing a disguise.” He took off his theatrical mask. “So, you need me to help with some great paladin quest of yours?”
Director Abbie realized she didn’t actually have a villain yet. “Um, kinda…”
“Great. Count me in.” He looked at his hat. “I got a bottlecap again. Someone should tell those peasants they don’t have to give anything if they’re dead broke.”
Director Abbie had called Noelle outside the city. She was now mounted on her winged mare. Polikujm walked beside them.
Soon they came to a bridge.
“Toll bridge?” asked Director Abbie.
“Troll bridge,” confirmed polikujm.
They started across. A nasty-looking troll climbed out from underneath and stood in their way.
“My bridge. Pay, pay!” the brute thundered.
Director Abbie begrudgingly handed over a gold coin. Polikujm gave him a bottlecap. “I heard trolls were stupid,” he thought.
The troll grinned at the gold coin. He liked gold. Shiny gold. Heh, heh…the other coin was shiny too. But not gold. “What this?” he thundered.
“Bo’lcap,” polikujm replied, “highly prized by many. A collector’s item.”
The troll fingered it. Maybe, and maybe not. Suddenly, his head flew off and splashed into the water.
“Varmits have no common decency. If you didn’t build the bridge or buy the bridge or win the bridge in a card game, it’s not your bridge and you can’t be charging people for it! Damn bastards are nothing but common thieves. No better than politicians.”
The death knight kicked the huge corpse off the bridge.
“Hey, Ashton,” said polikujm, “we’re off to slay dragons and zombies and stuff. Want to come?”
Ashton picked a gold coin off the bridge and pocketed it. “I could go for some dragon treasure,” he said.
And they were on their way. Director Abbie was still trying to figure out where to find a villain. “Aren’t they supposed to jump out at you and be all ‘Muahahaha?’” she wondered, “We’ve already passed like six sufficiently suspicious-looking trees!
Behind the seventh sufficiently suspicious-looking tree was an ivy-covered cottage. A raccoon was rolling through a garden of funny-smelling herbs. Two crows standing on a smooth rock seemed to be bickering over a shiny object. A black cat lounged on the front step.
The paladin held up her hand to signal a halt. “Crows, black cats, peculiar smells…we may have stumbled upon a witch’s cottage.” She dismounted, signaling to Noelle to stay. The three moved toward the cottage door.
Polikujm plucked his bottlecap from the rock and stuffed it in his pocket.
Director Abbie and Ashton both had their weapons ready. The cat purred loudly. The door opened. A woman stepped out. She leaned against the doorframe, folded her arms, looked at the adventurers, and spoke.
“I’m not a witch.”
Director Abbie blinked. “Prove it!” she said.
“Look, I’m an apothecary. A healer.” She pointed to her garden. “Those are irises, not wolfsbane. That’s sage, not nightshade.”
Ashton was getting bored. Who cared what plants this lady happened to have?
Director Abbie was getting creeped out. How could this woman know her arguments before she said them?
“And as to that,” the lady said, “why, I’m one of you! WorkaholicsAnon.”
“Anon? But…you were never with us on our adventures.”
“No, but I was affected same as the rest of you. I sure didn’t notice at first. I just thought I was making some lucky guesses. I think I finally realized I had something special when my friend asked me to guess a number between one and ten. Oh, I had another friend there too. And the winner, whoever guessed closest, would win my friend’s cupcake. See, she was on a diet at the time and eating a whole chocolate cupcake would really have set her back, but they were giving out free chocolate cupcakes as a promotion, one per customer. Since she was a customer, she took one. Anyway, it seemed so obvious to me that she was all but screaming the number two. So that’s the number I guessed. Now my other friend had guessed before me and chosen five, which would be a good choice considering with two people guessing, a five will get you at least half the chances of being closest. But she seemed totally oblivious to the number our friend with the cupcake was practically screaming, so I realized I must literally be a mindreader. But as to the other powers I ended up with –“
Director Abbie cleared her throat. “Nice to see you, Anon. I hope you’ll join our party.”
WorkaholicsAnon looked confused.
“We’re Adventurers. And so are you. Let’s go save the world.”
“Sounds fantastic!” said Anon. She got a few things together, locked her cottage, and said goodbye to the animals while Director Abbie woke up Ashton and got polikujm to stop playing with the cat.
And they were off.
So cute Abbie
lol. +5 for good characterization.Ashton was getting bored. Who cared what plants this lady happened to have?
/me starts wondering what sort of monster he created with his book series.
n0ki: If it weren't for faggy civilization, people like me and bnd would be totally dead by now.
The group was nearing the mountains. There was always adventure in the mountains. It’s like the amount of coverage is directly proportional to the amount of adventure which is inversely proportional to the size of the city. Or maybe it’s just easier to draw a dragon in a cave than in a crowd.
Director Abbie turned Noelle around. “There are now five of us,” she said, “That should be enough to take on whatever villainy we encounter. Polikujm, you’re in charge of scouting ahead. Anon, let us know if you learn anything by…standing there. Polikujm, you’re in charge of scouting ahead. Ashton, when –“
Director Abbie stopped short. When had they collected a fifth party member? And why were there two polikujms?
The polikujms looked at each other. One poked the other and got poked back.
“You don’t have a replication power, do you?” Director Abbie asked.
They shook their heads.
“Shapeshifter,” Ashton grunted, “Whack ‘em both in the face. That’s a surefire way to knock a shapeshifter out of their form.”
The polikujms looked like they wanted to avoid getting punched in the face.
“Shapeshifters can’t replicate powers, can they?” Director Abbie asked.
“Unless they have an empathy ability like Sam,” replied Ashton.
Anon interrupted. “I know who’s who! The one on the left is thinking, ‘Hey, it’s like a mirror, except totally different. Do I have an identical twin?’ and the one on the right is thinking, ‘I am poli! Ha-hah! My name is poli.”
Ashton punched the one on the right in the face. The polikujm became blurry, then materialized into Analyst Trevor. He looked at Ashton as indignantly as a guy with a bloody nose can and yelled, “Ow!”
“Oh, he’s an Adventurer, too,” realized Director Abbie, “Alright, Tut-tut, tag along. But not as one of us.”
Suddenly, out from the forest jumped six armed bandits! “Grab them!” the bandits hollered to one another!
Director Abbie charged toward one, her glowing sword outstretched. The bandit parried it with his shortsword. Ashton furiously slaughtered two men as the paladin swung twice more, finishing off hers.
The melee fighters swung around to take on the other low-level NPCs. One seemed to be attacking a bush. Director Abbie ran him through, then dismounted to clean her sword on the grass. Polikujm stepped out from behind the bush. The paladin looked around. WorkaholicsAnon was gone. “Where’s Anon?!” Director Abbie yelled to the others.
“Двама бандити, избягал с нея в тази посока!” Analyst Trevor called back, pointing into the forest.
Director Abbie rolled her eyes. Maybe she was in danger or maybe she decided to take a potty break in the middle of an ambush. “I’ll go look,” she said. Analyst Trevor looked at her like she was nuts.
Director Abbie didn’t find their missing member, so she returned. “Polikujm,” she said, “are you a tracker?”
Polikujm looked uncomfortable. “Sorry, I’m more of an anti-tracker. Not-being-seen, not seeing.”
“Okay…” Director Abbie considered, “We have no ranger. But we can’t abandon a party member. So let’s stumble blindly through the forest until we find something!”
“С таким же успехом.”
“I’m a ranger.”
The Adventurers turned to look at the newcomer. He wore forest green, brown leather, and held a bow in his hand. Yup, he was a ranger.
“My name is Arsal. I can shoot arrows and find footprints and make holograms.”
“And you’ve got a mustache.” said an Si-valuer.
“And I’ve got a mustache.”
“Holograms?” asked Director Abbie, not believing her luck, “You must be one of the Adventurers too!”
Arsal scratched his head. “Well, yeah, but I was late or something and my powers have been slow in coming.”
“That’s okay. What we really need now is someone to track the bandits who ran off with our apothecary. Lead the way!”
Arsal lead the way.
The five adventurers walked through the forest. Finally they came upon a small town, enclosed by a fence. Polikujm vaulted over it. Ashton muttered, “Repression,” and kicked a hole in the fence to walk through. Arsal and Analyst Trevor followed. Director Abbie just sat there on Noelle.
“Aren’t you coming?” asked polikujm.”
“Well,” said Director Abbie, “I would. But I’m lawful. I think it goes against my paladin code to cross a fence like that. I’ll go around.”
Someone rolled his eyes.
Someone turned her horse and rode away.
“Okay,” said the sole remaining extrovert. Looking at Arsal he asked, “You tracked her to this town?”
The ranger nodded.
“Okay, we’ll spread out. Start walking into buildings and conducting full searches.”
“What, barge into peoples’ houses?” asked Arsal, surprised.
Ashton looked at him. “Yes.”
“…well, what if they resist?”
“You’ve all got weapons. Use them.”
Polikujm and Analyst Trevor didn’t have weapons. Ashton didn’t seem to notice.
Ashton began a methodical search. Make door open, look under large furniture for woman, find another door, repeat. He was freaking people out.
Arsal was uncomfortable barging into peoples’ homes, so he went to some public buildings, starting with the sheriff’s office.
“Hello, have you caught any bandits? Maybe found a woman?”
The sheriff turned around and looked at Arsal. He didn’t look happy.
“What business of yours is it whether I’ve found a woman, stranger? I think that’s my business and mine alone. I could have six wives and it would have nothing to do with you! Do I walk into your office and as you if you’ve got a girl? You can bet your boots I don’t!”
The sheriff turned back around, fuming. Arsal figured he’d better leave.
Analyst Trevor burst into a big, fancy house. A family was eating dinner. They looked up at him, startled.
“Ищу друга! Кто-нибудь из вас видел странную даму или обнаружить по запаху греческого кабинета специи?”
The man stood up from the table and responded, “Нет, у меня нет. Вы должны оставить.”
Analyst Trevor left. Then a grin spread across his face. He shapeshifted into the man he had just seen and headed for the tavern.
Polikujm waited until the others had started off, then began to tune his lute. There were two ways to get what you wanted. Take it, or have it given to you. Okay, there were probably more, but polikujm wanted to try the second way. He went to the town square and began to play.
“A fine old town, a pleasant place,
A getaway for two.
I’ve seen some grander lands afar,
But this will have to do.
Come one, come all, and hear my tale,
I’m asking if you’ll tell
Where I can find a friend of mine,
A lost and friendly gal…”
Director Abbie was still riding around the fence. How big was this town?!
Polikujm finished his song. He had drawn a crowd. Great, they could help him…but they were just standing there. Why were then just standing there? Polikujm realized that they were expecting a speech! He was tongue-tied. “I’m a musician!” he thought, “What have I gotten myself into?”
It was then that Arsal happened upon the group, still wondering whether the sheriff actually had any information. “Arsal!” called polikujm, somewhat relieved, “Tell these people what we need!”
Arsal looked at the crowd uncomfortably. “Um, a person,” he said, “Or – information. To find a person.” This didn’t seem to satisfy the people.
Ashton shoved his way through the crowd to polikujm and Arsal. “You trying to start a bloody riot?” he called.
“No,” said polikujm, “I thought we could use some help.”
“Fine. Why aren’t they helping?”
“Well, I think I’m supposed to tell them what to do…”
Ashton rolled his eyes. Introverts.
“Okay, people,” he called, we’re looking for an apothecary woman who can read minds and likes to talk. It doesn’t look like this town gets much tourism, so if you see a lady you don’t know, just bring her to us. Now get going.”
The crowd dispersed.
Analyst Trevor strode confidently into the tavern. The tavern keeper looked up. “The usual?” he asked.
Analyst Trevor nodded. He was handed a frothy green beverage. He took a sip. It was vile. No way could he finish it; better find out what he could before his cover was blown. “Все, что происходит, что я должен знать?” he asked.
“Look,” said the bartender, “you know I have trouble understanding you when you talk like that. English, please.”
Oh, no. Anything but that! Maybe he could still bluff his way out. “Это не моя вина, что вы слишком глупы, чтобы понять меня!” yelled Analyst Trevor, standing up suddenly, “То, как вы люди щеголяют ваш язык делает меня больным.”
“Calm down, calm down,” said the tavern keeper, agitated. In a lower voice he said, “So you’re stressed. The dame is well-hid, don’t worry.” He moved to the other side of the bar.
When the tavern keeper wasn’t looking, Analyst Trevor made his escape.
Director Abbie continued riding around the town. She spotted a hole in the fence. It looked like some guy in full armor had just walked right through the fence. “Someone better fix that,” Director Abbie thought.
Suddenly, a throng of peasants ran through the hole in the fence and grabbed the paladin! She was stunned. They weren’t zombies or imps. Was she supposed to kill a different kind of minion horde?
While Director Abbie was contemplating, the peasants tore her off her horse and began to carry her through the fence.
“Stop!” Director Abbie yelled. What were these people doing?! They were utterly insane! Sane people don’t grab paladins and run through fences with them. Through fences? Hey, this was a valid way to get into the town!
“Go!” Director Abbie yelled.
The peasants deposited Director Abbie in front of Ashton and left, figuring their job was done.
Ashton looked down. “Hi.”
Director Abbie stood up and brushed herself off. “I found a way in.”
The two stood there for a few seconds waiting for someone to say something important. Nobody did, so they turned to polikujm and Arsal.
“Find anything?” asked Director Abbie.
Analyst Trevor ran toward the group waving his arms. The four adventurers turned.
“Who’s that?” asked Arsal.
“A local,” Director Abbie replied casually.
Analyst Trevor realized he was still in his borrowed form. He shapeshifted back to normal and told his companions the exciting news.
“Alam ko kung saan anon ay! Tingin ko ako ang tao sa singil ng ilang mga proyekto na may kinalaman sa kanyang. Ang mga tao sa bar ay kanyang lugar.”
The others looked at each other. Exasperated, Analyst Trevor grabbed a stick and started to draw in the dirt and pointing to buildings.
“There’s a dust gollum attacking the tavern?”
“You found a pair of glasses in that house?”
“That house is full of drunks?”
“A witch escaped from that house and is turning everyone in the tavern into –“
“नहीं, नहीं, नहीं! मुझे का पालन करें.” said Analyst Trevor, giving up on his attempts at drawing WorkaholicsAnon and motioning toward the tavern. They followed.
Director Abbie suddenly realized she hadn’t had anything to eat! “Okay, everybody sit down,” she said, “at a table. We are going to eat.” Analyst Trevor still wanted to convey his message, but decided it could wait.
A pretty young waitress came to their table. “Today we have ham, split pea soup, or stuffed cabbage,” she informed them, then whispered, “but between you and me, I’d avoid the soup. Nobody wanted it yesterday either.”
“Thanks for the tip, Allie,” said Ashton.
“And of course we offer pretty much any drink.”
“Egg nog?” asked polikujm.
Allie wrote it down.
“Goat’s milk for me,” said Director Abbie, trying not to show her surprise at finding Allie there.
Allie looked at her like she just asked for a waffle in the shape of Siberia.
WorkaholicsAnon sat alone in a tiny, dark room. She was gagged and tied firmly to a chair. She could hear her friend’s thoughts nearby. They were making her hungry. But she couldn’t call out, or even send an animal to get them. So she continued watching the documentary on brain surgery.
lol abbie!! great story so far! i'm having a rough time there arent i??
and funnnny, i caught u poking fun at my chattiness and drawn out stories... touche touche..
Enneagram: 9w1 6w5 2w3 so/sx
The adventurers had finished their orders and were waiting for their food. Analyst Trevor tried again to get the others to understand him. He pointed to the tavern keeper and whispered, “その男はアノンがどこにあるか知っている.” They looked at him with blank expressions. He facepalmed.
A man at a nearby table finished his drink, stood up, and came toward them. He had long brown hair, a thin scraggly beard, and looked like he hadn’t had a decent meal in weeks. The stranger leaned one arm on the adventurers’ table and looked them each in the eye. First Ashton, then Director Abbie, then polikujm, then Arsal. “You don’t have any idea what your friend said, do you?” he asked.
“I don’t,” agreed Ashton casually. Director Abbie was eying the stranger with distrust. Polikujm was eying him with amusement. Arsal was wondering what was taking their food so long. Analyst Trevor was shapeshifting into Allie and walking away.
The stranger smiled. He kinda liked this feeling of superiority. Ah, well. “He said the tavern keeper knows where Anon is,” the stranger said, shrugging, “don’t know whether that’s any use to you, but now you know.” He turned around and left, blurring from vision as he moved to the door.
Director Abbie squinted. Had that been an adventurer she hadn’t recognized?
Allie returned with their meals. She started to set them on the table. One, two, three…she stood up with the last two plates. “Weren’t there five in your partY?”
“Yes,” said Director Abbie, looking around the table. Sure enough, both Analyst Trevor and Ashton were missing. Suddenly there was a scream from the bar! The four ran toward the noise and found Ashton holding up the tavern keeper by his shirt against the wall.
“Ashton!” yelled Director Abbie. She seemed rather peeved.
“I tried asking nicely,” said Ashton, unapologetic. “He’s gonna tell us what he knows one way or another.”
A stuffed cabbage smashed against the side of Ashton’s head. He shook it off and reached for his greatsword to continue the interrogation. A large slice of fatty ham struck him in the jaw. He growled.
“Atta girl, Allie!” yelled the frightened tavern keeper, “get this menace off me and I’ll give you a raise!”
“It’s a deal,” replied the waitress. She pulled her arms back, and with a lunge and a twist of the wrists sent two balls of energy against the death knight. He fell over, still gripping the tavern keeper by the shirt. The man’s head crashed into a table leg, and he was out cold. Ashton shoved him aside. No use threatening a sleeping man. Time to deal with the interference.
Arsal had drawn his bow at the start of the fight, but was just waving it back and forth. Should he shoot a party member or a girl? Who was in the right?!
Polikujm decided since the guy with no powers was out of the conflict, nobody was really in danger. So he went back to the table to eat.
“Allie!” yelled Director Abbie as the waitress ducked and rolled to escape Ashton’s greatsword, “You’re one of us! Why are you working for the enemy?”
“It’s called having a job,” yelled Allie, sending another blast toward Ashton, “You should trY it!”
Ashton jumped behind his meat shield. “Adventuring is a job!”
Director Abbie was caught off guard and did not have time to brace herself. She fell to the floor, dazed.
Allie clapped her forearms together and the air became dusty. “Whatever,” she said, “this one paYs!”
Ashton coughed, then spotted Allie through the haze and charged her, yelling, “I doubt you get paid in dragon treasure!”
“Dragon treasure?” asked Allie, interested. She jumped back while hurtling a blast at her adversary’s sword as it came down. The two forced collided, throwing both of them to the floor.
Director Abbie was back up. “Stop fighting fire with fire,” she yelled, “you got your raise, Allie. I hope you’re happy.” The paladin sneezed. “Let’s find Tut-tut and get out of here.”
Analyst Trevor walked like a girl through the hallways at the back of the tavern. Most taverns doubled as inns, so it was no surprise that this one had so many rooms. But why so many hallways?!
This thread is pure gold. Especially this:
“My name is Arsal. I can shoot arrows and find footprints and make holograms.”
“And you’ve got a mustache.” said an Si-valuer.
“And I’ve got a mustache.”
Very busy with work. Only kind of around.
Analyst Trevor turned right, then left, left, left, right…there must have been something seriously wrong with whoever designed this place. He found a door. It was locked. It was at that moment that Analyst Trevor realized he may qualify as a rogue class! He reached into his pocket and pulled out a lockpick that had actually been there the whole time and picked the lock with knowledge he didn’t know he had. He opened the door.
WorkaholicsAnon could sense Analyst Trevor’s thoughts nearby. But the new documentary in front of her was so engrossing, she didn’t bother paying attention to him.
Analyst Trevor stepped into the room. It was dark. He saw a light in the corner and stepped toward it, then fell through the floor! “Some rogue,” thought Analyst Trevor as he got to his feet, “Can’t even detect a trap.”
Director Abbie stood outside the tavern with Ashton and Arsal. Everything had started out wonderfully; they were a party of six. Then Anon got kidnapped, Tut-tut disappeared, and polikujm was gone!
“Okay,” said Director Abbie, doing some quick math, “There are three here and three missing. Let’s find them and meet back here. Ashton, you find polikujm. Arsal, you find Tut-tut. I’ll look for Anon. Go.”
Ashton thought. Where had he last seen polikujm? At the table. Ashton went back into the tavern and found polikujm finishing up his plate and starting on Arsal’s. Figuring the others would take a while to find their people, Ashton sat down to eat Director Abbie’s food.
Director Abbie pulled out her book to find guidance for her situation. “Ransom…examine…” she muttered aloud, turning pages, “they must return…put to death…” She knew what she must do.
Arsal looked at the buildings in front of him. Something didn’t seem quite right. He walked around to the back of the tavern, then back around to the front. There was something missing. He looked across the street at the sheriff’s office. It wouldn’t do any good asking for help there. Though maybe he could sneak in the back way and – the back way. Of course! The tavern had no back way. A tavern had to have an escape route of some kind what with all the brawls they attracted. Arsal ran inside.
Arsal’s eyes glances along the back of the tavern. There was a back door. But apparently it didn’t lead outside. He hurried to the door, opened it, went through, shut it. And saw a normal hallway with typical rooms for rent. Oh, well, may as well search them for Analyst Trevor.
Arsal began trying knobs. Locked, locked, open…empty. Messy, too. Locked. Open…into a hallway. Arsal shut the door behind him and crept along.
Director Abbie entered the sheriff’s office. “My friend is missing,” she said, “I’d like to post a reward to anyone who can find her.”
“Sure,” said the sheriff in a gruff voice. He handed her a paper to write on.
Director Abbie finished her sketch. It wasn’t very good, but hopefully it would get the message across. She left the notice with the sheriff. It was time for the next step.
Analyst Trevor felt around him. He found two walls; he must have landed in a corner. Analyst Trevor felt along the right side of the wall carefully. It was pitch black. Hopefully there was a way out.
Arsal found himself in a maze of hallways. He felt like a rat looking for a chunk of cheese and sniffed. He didn’t smell anything important.
Director Abbie crawled through the town on her hands and knees, tapping foundations, looking in holes, and generally looking ridiculous.
Polikujm and Ashton finished eating and went to wait outside.
Arsal came to a door. It was unlocked. He carefully opened it and felt around for a light switch. Finding one, he flipped it. But since lightbulbs had never been invented in this world, nothing happened. “I have powers,” thought Arsal, “what can they do?...”
Arsal made a huge hologram of a lightbulb in the center of the room. He saw an open trapdoor right in front of him and WorkaholicsAnon watching TV in the corner.
WorkaholicsAnon felt Arsal’s presence. She greeted him like a busy introverted thinker greets a stranger.
Analyst Trevor was still moving along the wall. It was rough and sandy. “Ово се осећа као пећину. Ја сам под земљом, ” he muttered.
Arsal was moving toward Anon when he heard a strange sound below. Someone must be down the hole! He’d investigate after untying Anon.
Anon felt someone grab her. She slowly unfocused from the screen in front of her and turned to the man trying to free her from her chair. “I think I know you... ” she said.
“Sure you know me, ” Arsal responded, pulling the rope free, “I used to stop by your cabin for salves. ”
WorkaholicsAnon stood up. Arsal turned off the TV. “I think there’s someone down that hole, ” he said, pointing to the trap door, “Want to check on it?”
WorkaholicsAnon looked at him like she hadn’t heard. “You want pizza,” she said, “and I know where you can get it for a great price. Follow me.” She scooted around the hole and left the room.
Arsal was confused. She was acting very strangely. He wanted to investigate the hole...but maybe he’d better keep an eye on WorkaholicsAnon instead. Arsal took one more glance at the hole, sighed, scooted over it, turned off the light, and ran after Anon.
Director Abbie was still crawling around the ground when she heard something peculiar, like a parrot talking backward from inside a file cabinet, underneath her. She tapped the ground. It didn’t sound hollow, but she’d never heard hollow dirt. The paladin looked around for a shovel of some sort but saw none. Apparently she’d have to dig with her hands – or her sword, but that would get it dull and dirty – if she wanted to look underground. Too bad she didn’t have a digging power. Director Abbie paused and glanced over at the town fountain. A grin slowly spread across her face. Maybe she did have a digging power.
WorkaholicsAnon and Arsal ran out of the tavern and past Ashton and polikujm. Ashton and polikujm looked at WorkaholicsAnon, then at each other.
“Looks like Arsal found Anon,” said Ashton.
“Think we should follow them?
Director Abbie had grabbed a bucket nearby and was carrying fountain water to the dirt like it was on fire. After several trips, she stopped, dropped the bucket, and flexed her fingers. Director Abbie bent over the mud and motioned as if she were digging through it, but with hands many times the size of hers.
The mud rose up, hovered in loosely spherical form, and turned as more mud was added to it. Director Abbie turned her hands, flexing them, and the ground had become a giant mud ball. There was a hole in the ground leading into a larger cavern.
Analyst Trevor felt the wall was turning left. No corner, though. He heard something creepy behind him and turned around in time to see part of the ceiling lift itself up as light poured in.