Sunday, April 15, 2012
Before Abram and Sarai banished the symbols of their power, they realized that the Compass Frog had developed a personality. It was prone to fits of rage and sorrow, when its eyes would glow red, and it would sulk without motion for days on end. Abram and Sarai took note, and so placed it in a charmed box, that whoever opened it would see the wrath of the schizophrenic frog. The box itself caused the frog to lose its alignment, also. Buried within the soil of the swamp for such a long time, the frog grew both tired of the silence and slowly insane. Abram remarked at the curiosity of such a disease, and Sarai reminded him that it was a spoiled, but it was just a frog.
Since retiring to the closet, Freddy remained a silent, quiet figure. Many days, he was nowhere to be seen, but no one ever doubted his whereabouts. One day, he purchased a white suit, with black trim. He never took it off. Bran, the compass frog, had worn off on him. Its existence was a mystery to the Bards, but its effects were evident.
The Bards were together one day when they began quietly discussing the strange manner in which Freddy had been acting. Badger thought him to be sick, Schaff considered him dying, and Paddy said, "Guys, he's dead. Freddy is dead." Freddy walked in the room and said, "Paddy. I'm not dead. You're so loud." He wandered back into the closet.
The Bards thought about how to find out more about Freddy when Holden mentioned that he hadn't cleaned his closet in a while. Gizmo said that it could be used as a clever excuse, and Fox and Badger agreed.
Dumon and Paddy led the group into the closet. Paddy shouted something about housekeeping several times, and Holden and Fox told him to shut up. Entering the room, the group found him missing. They searched everywhere, as it was a large addition to the flat (mind you, Dumon and Paddy knew nothing of the closet's size) when Dumon opened a closet door.
Here, a strange young man named Jacob Corona walked out and said, "It's a closet within a closet! Closet-ception! Oh my goodness!" He then ran away. Gizmo muttered something about it not being cannibalism and Dumon shot him a disgusted look. She walked in and saw a glowing box with holes in it. She opened the box and found a frog inside, the source of the glow. When she opened the box, voices whispered "good Bran, good Bran..." Freddy, sleeping in the corner, chanted in his sleep. Dumon, giggling, said, "bad Bran, bad Bran." The frog turned red and the two disappeared. The other Bards had entered the dark room by then, as well; they witnessed the odd occurence. They all agreed with Paddy that she must be found.
Meanwhile, Dumon found herself in the swamp of Drumm. The frog sat on a stump in front of her, its eyes glowing red. She stood, and watched as orcs dressed in short, hooded coats assembled around her. some were adorned with golden jewelry, and they all swayed as they walked. She walked to the frog, watching the advancing army, and leaned to pick it up. It threw her backward some forty feet, but well within the ring of orcs. The orcs continued to advance until the frog hovered into Dumon's lap. By this time, she had crawled over to the frog's stump throne. Each of the orcs dropped to mimic the way Dumon sat. She began to get up, and so did the orcs. Frightened, she dropped back to the ground. She heard a whispery voice of some unknown language, but she understood. It was as if some out-of-focus lens turned; the system of verbs and nouns gained clarity.
The frog explained in a deep, booming voice that the orcs were under its command, but under the call of whoever held Bran. Afraid for her life, and rightly so, Dumon asked about Freddy. The frog's eyes faded as it fell asleep, and the orcs vanished. Dumon, confused and alone in the swampy forest, gathered herself and sought a river. She kept the frog in hand, in sight the entire time, and when she found a river, she began to head downstream. Suddenly, she heard voices and footsteps; she ran. She came upon a house that seemed vaguely familiar, but her head began to ache and pound. She stumbled inside, dropped the frog, and fell asleep.
Schaff remembered that Freddy (who was asleep and therefore of no use) found the frog in the Drumm swamp. Paddy said that he had a friend with a river house and boat (he specifically said "bo-at") who could be of some help. They traveled to the house, and lo and behold, it was Jacob Corona's house. "Oh yeah, Dumon? She's right inside. Watch out for my chickens," he clucked.
The house was an old and dirty shack, but when the Bards went inside, they found it lavishly styled. As they traveled from room to room, each decor style was a different, expensive set. Dumon was fast asleep on Jacob's sofa, but the frog was nowhere to be found. Freddy walked out of Jacob's closet, alert, panting, and somewhat disturbed. "Chadde has the frog, but I've stolen his power." He then told the following story.
"I can travel from closet to closet. The teleportation that Dumon went through was the frog's doing, in sheer terror. Chadde had attacked me earlier today, knocking me cold, and freezing the frog in sleep. He fled when he heard Dumon enter. The frog evidently came back to his senses still in terror and blind madness. He's prone to odd fits. I came to, and you all were gone. I found the harmonica I gave Dumon, as it was in the box with the frog, and used its might to find the frog. There was Chadde, standing over Dumon and the frog. I played a jaunty tune on the harp, and it paralyzed him. I took the frog, chanting 'good Bran, good Bran..." when Chadde grabbed the frog from me. I played another tune on the harmonica. The frog began to split. Chadde did too, but I mean that he ran. I held a green frog while Chadde carried a red one away. The green one began to glow, but I began to glow, too. The frog vanished into my hand. I dropped the harmonica in pain, but I also began to hear voices. They explained everything about the frog and the harmonica, but they're not the only talismans. One more remains, a heart pendant necklace-thingy, and Chadde knows enough about it to use it. However, he thinks we only have one source of power. We don't have much time, but while we can, we need to stop him from using the Heart of Sarai."
Posted by Thomas J Gleaton at 7:00 PM