Those who have heard the mystical tales...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

IX: The Captive

Two large ugly ogres, with pale skin and glowing green eyes, led the young man down the corridor. IT was dark and cramped; drops of polluted, dirty water fell to the damp ground and splashed. Rows of mangy cells lined the walls, and just before the ogres led the young man into one, a witch who had been waiting there to meet them removed his blindfold. 
"Heh. That was easy. Too much curiosity for one cat," she said. It was Gizmo.
Suddenly, he leaped over his own cuffs, grabbed one of the ogres' axes, and ran into the cell; the other ogre, axe drawn, followed him in. Gizmo turned, knocked away the ogre's attack, and lopped off his head. Gizmo shoved the body through the cell door. It knocked over the other two, and Gizmo grabbed their hands. He used the key to unlock his cuffs, put their hands through the bars, and locked the cuffs. He dropped the key between the semi-conscious two.
Gizmo looked down the hall. As he traveled back the way he came, he checked every cell for prisoners. Every one between him and the door was dead, but when he got to the last cell before the door, he found the old lady. However, it was not the same person the giant was chasing.
"Who ARE you?" he whispered, and he cut the lock off the door. Looking up, he found his eyes met with hers.
"No," he said. It was the Lady of the River.
"No! Don't come in here!" she replied. Her eyes were red, as if at one time, she wept tears like a mighty river, but the source had since dried up.
"I've got to get you out!"
"No! You don't understand! This cell is encased in some sort of enchanted... amber... bubble thing. She really doesn't want me to escape."
"Why do you look so different?"
"It ages me, very quickly. I shall probably die soon."
"Then I will get you out!"
"But it'll kill you!"
"Then I'll meet you on the other side," Gizmo replied. The source was renewed, as she realized there was no stopping him. He stepped through the amber. Nothing happened. Gizmo fished the talisman out of his pocket. It glowed; he smiled. Gizmo cut the Lady down and led her out of the cell. On the other side, she lamented.
"I'm sorry. I don't know... I didn't know--" Gizmo grabbed and kissed her. When he opened his eyes, nothing had happened.
"It was worth a shot," he said. Holding out the talisman to her, he said, "Your turn." She smiled and grabbed it. She glowed bright green, but as the light faded, her younger self emerged. The two embraced.
"So why did the witch make the giant chase you?" he asked.
"What do you mean? What giant?" she replied.
"She didn't make the giant chase you through Robert's Dale."
"No. What--what giant?"
"It WAS her! Aww! She wanted us to investigate so that she could get her talisman back?"
"But why would she kidnap me?"
"She disguised herself, but she needed a template. Someone to resemble, so she could hide herself. You came along, the perfect subject, but she had to change you so that WE wouldn't recognize her."
"But why does she want us dead so badly? We need to find the others. We're all in danger!" The two ran into the throne room, where they found the Bards.
"Gizmo!" yelled Scheaun.
"What is she doing here?" asked Badger, referring to the Lady. Before Gizmo could answer, the witch entered the throne room.
"That was... skillful. I have to admit that your escape was brilliant," she said.
"I have your talisman," replied Gizmo. "In return for its safe return, I demand you release my friends. We shall not bother you any longer."
"Ha! you think that all I want is the talisman!? Thieves, murderers! You killed my daughter, Le'heigh-"
"She was kidnapping innocent people and torturing them!" Gizmo interrupted.
"YOU WILL PAY!" yelled the witch, and she pointed at Gizmo. As she did, he drew his sword; lightning shot from her fingertips, and Gizmo used his sword as a conductor, absorbing the sword energy.
"She meant to end our lives," he yelled. "It was the only way we could survive."
"Burn!" she screamed back, and with her other hand, she used the fire from the torches along the walls as missiles. The fire flew towards the Bards, but the Lady knelt to the ground. She stood and waved her hands in an arc, as the moisture from underneath them froze and shielded the Bards.
"Give me your coat!" The Lady told Gizmo, and he did. Gizmo slipped around the ice shield and disappeared. The Lady turned her back to the witch, who easily broke the ice.
"Now I shall finish you," she raged, as she turned the Lady around.
"Get your stinkin' paws off her!" cried Gizmo from the throne. He stood with his sword in one hand and the talisman in the other.
"I don't think I will. She'll make a nice pet-"
"Over your dead body," Gizmo said, and with that, he smashed the talisman. The witch began to glow a bright white light, and she dropped to her knees.
"No! No! NOOO!!!" she howled. The white light consumed her and faded. She was gone in a wisp of smoke. The shackles around the Bards' hands and feet vanished. Gizmo got up, and walked over to them. As he did, he tossed his sword aside. The Lady ran to meet him, hugged him tightly, and whispered, "I love you."
He smiled.
"I know." They kissed.

The Bards returned, and Schaff threw a grand party, with food, music, and a wonderful time for all. At the end of the night, Scheaun and Gizmo left together.
"So what DID you find at Koma?" asked Gizmo.
"Like I said," Scheaun replied. "Nothing. Like, no one, just a bunch of ashes and rubble. But something odd did happen."
"You should tell me about it," Gizmo smiled.
"I will." For a while, they walked in silence. However, Scheaun broke it with the question that bugged him most.
"So where was the Lady all this time?"
"I thought she was in Kali, but apparently she got back earlier than I suspected."
"You didn't know?"
"No. I--we had some issues a little while ago, but now we're past them." Gizmo bit his lip.
"Oh. Wait... ohhh. So Kali, huh?"
"With the nice beaches?"
"Sure could use a vacation."
"Not until you tell me about Koma."

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