Those who have heard the mystical tales...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Seventh Tale of Freddy the Llama: The Heart of Sarai

Chadde soon discovered that he only had half of the Compass Frog, and so only had half the power he thought. He was truly afraid, for he knew that the llama had both the frog and the harmonica. His only hope for any sort of advantage rested in the last talisman: the Heart of Sarai. The Heart was a pendant on a chain, a beautiful pink crystal attached to a chain of metal no tool could break. It, with the Frog and Abram's Harmonica, were locked away in a Box and hidden deep in the Swamp of Drumm.

Our heroes, the Bards, were not the first to come across this Box. Not long before Freddy tripped on it, a young man went hunting in the swamp. He saw the gleam of the golden fringe through the thick mud stains, and, reaching down to remove the Box from its dingy prison, pulled it from the mire. The young man opened the Box, and inside were a harmonica, a silk bag, and another box. Taking the silk bag, he put the Box back. He found a brilliant pink necklace inside, and it glowed despite the dark canopy of the swamp. The young man looked around, put the necklace back in the bag, and left the Box half-buried in the mud.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Paddy and Dumon had run the flat despite having very few customers. Holden moved out, supporting himself on his new-found riches, leaving Freddy the only "permanent" resident. Truthfully, however, the llama had been little seen for the few weeks after the incident with Chadde. Dumon's Flat only remained open for two reasons: tourism and "something to do." The Bards found little work after the Battle at Mille, and had almost begun to separate. Gizmo was planning a long adventure to Troy (not the Troy of legend, but another, named for the heroic battle), and Badger was readying to venture to the Hill of Springs, a land across the Sea of Ocixem. Schaff and Claire would soon ascend to the throne, as King Carl was in a sickly condition. Fox and Holden spent several days working at the Sassy Bass pub, and adventure presented itself only as dirty dishes.
Freddy reappeared one day, revealing to Paddy and Dumon that he had located the Heart of Sarai. The two looked at each other in awe, then back to Freddy.
Freddy smiled. "I'll show you."

Holden and Fox were busily cleaning tables in the middle of a shift, when the doors of the pub flew open. Holden noticed. Freddy stood in their midst, and immediately Holden took off his apron and followed him. Looking up, Fox and Freddy exchanged a glace that told Fox everything, and Fox followed Holden's lead.

Badger and the Great Scott strolled into the flat, and saw Paddy and Dumon packing. Badger asked, "Where are you going?"
"Uhh... on an adventure?" said Dumon.
"She said on an adventure," replied Paddy.
"That's not a place."
"It's in... New Mexico."
Badger stared at him.
"No, actually, Freddy's back. We're going to find the third talisman-thingy."
Badger smiled. Naturally, Scott asked what on earth they were talking about. So, Badger told him the tales of the Compass Frog and the Harmonica.
"Oh, cool. Let's go."
Badger smiled, again.

Freddy knew that luring Schaff from his ailing father would be no small task. However, Freddy knew he needed all the help he could get. Fortunately, King Carl was up and walking around when Freddy arrived. Explaining the situation, Freddy asked him outright. Schaff agreed, but on the condition that he could leave should he hear word of his father's condition.
"Well, yeah. I mean, that's not a problem at all."

Gizmo was the last Bard for Freddy to visit. Gizmo heard that he was back, and prepared for the journey. When the llama did arrive, something seemed off. His eyes, normally clear and vibrant, were bloodshot and cloudy.
"Are you ok, Freddy?"
"Yeah, just a little tired. You know, from the journey back."
"Well, yeah. Where all did you go?"
"Everywhere, man."
"So you've located the Heart?"
"That I have."
"Shall we ride?"
"And... everyone else is outside?"
"Yeah, they're waiting for us."
"Let me get my horse."
"No need." With that, Freddy exploded, revealing the dark figure of Chadde. Gizmo lunged at the villain, but he caught Gizmo's sword. The room swirled and darkened, and Gizmo fainted. Chadde hid Gizmo in his closet and changed his appearance.
The real Freddy, as well as the rest of the Bards, entered immediately after this confrontation.
"Hey Gizmo, where are ya?" called Freddy.
"In here. Come on in."
"I assume you've heard?"
"Everything. Shall we ride?"
"Well, yeah."
"Are you feeling ok? You look tired," pointed out Badger.
"A little. But I wouldn't miss this for the world."
Chadde, disguised as Gizmo, rode off with the Bards.