[This story was originally written in the forums, where the original copy can still be found.]

[Okay people, NO GOING OFF THE STORY LINE!! I have read a whole bunch of posts in 'The Search' topic on how people did not follow the topic at all, so please stay on track thankyou ^_^]

BIC: Dracon awoke in his tent and peeking outside, it was another morning of no events what so ever. He seen his familiar and smiled, it has been a year or two since he was recovered and Dracon was glad, he did not want it stolen again. He crawled beside his 'stanley' and pat each individual head. "Wake up stanley, we have to deliver some goods" Dracon said standing up his familiar doing the same.

Dracon walked back to his tent and packed it up and slung it over his back, his dragon halberd and thorn whip also put away, but easy to access. He motioned for stanley to follow and they quickly arrived at a town. A wagon arrived and Dracon followed, it was equipped with a couple of horses for some heavy travel. "Well shall we start" Dracon said climbing into the wagon. His familiar followed by the side of the wagon and they were off to some distant town to deliver some goods.

It has been a few hours since they started their journey, they were abrublty stopped by someone in a wizards robe. "Poxy roxy sorrox" he said and Dracons weapons glowed a slight blue in color.

Dracon shouted something and did not notice anything diffrent so he shrugged it off.

Dracon continued down the road and arrived at the town shortly, he stopped at an inn and dropped off the supplies. He walked into and seen the receptionist who recorded everything that went on "I have made the delivery" Dracon said handing her a slip of paper including the details.

"Thank-you" The woman said sweetly and smiled.

Dracon left and parked the wagon in a loading area (sounds advanced for medieval times doesn't it). He arrived and found stanley and they walked around a bit bored, they encountered though a weak monster stepping in their way. Dracon sighed "Stanley let me handle this" Dracon said attempting to grab his dragon halberd, though couldn't, his hand would not fully grasp it and he did not know why. He was dumbstruck for a moment and attempted to grab the thorn whip, the same effect happened. "What the 'el?" He said quietly, "Stanley take him down!" He yelled mad for the fact that he was not able to attack.

Stanley quickly took the monster down with a one, two, three jabs total from all the heads. "Well were lucky that was weak..." Dracon said and trailed off. "We will have to go back to town and find some one to lift what ever that strange wizard has done to me" Dracon said, though not knowing it was soley in his weapons.

He arrived shortly back to town looking for someone who could possibly lift the curse from his weapons....

"Let's see... Glaziers, Artisans, Fish-mongers, Dragon-slayers, Time-tinkerers, Metallurgists, Non-sensical writing devices, Psychics -- A-ha! Curse-lifters!" Dracon finally rambled off. He was not yet halfway down the main road before finding what he needed, which left him a slight bit disappointed.

"Gee, stanley," the boy muttered to his pet, "it seems like normally when we go on these sorts of wacky quests, they take a lot longer than this." The Hydra only returned multiple blank, dazed stares. Before pushing in the door to the Curse-lifter, Dracon took a step back. "Unless maybe a slew of orcs mistake us for the ones who stole their prized roast?" he posed to seemingly no one, darting his eyes around him, waiting to no avail. "Fine," he finally admitted defeat, and with a heavy sigh, trudged through the door.

"Hello?" Dracon called through the dark. Despite its prime location, the shop itself was very poorly lit. He touched his fingers to the wall for guidance, pulling them back in a hurry once he recognized the shape of something very cold and a very dry -- a skull. Of what sort, he did not know, but he pulled stanley close at any rate.

"Hello?" Dracon called once more, wishing to be in this place no longer than he needed to. "I... I think I was cursed. I would like to be... not cursed." A haughty laugh cut the black air and echoed off the close walls.

"So cursed, say ye?" the same voice questioned. "Lifting is a very involved and possibly dangerous operation. It is not something to be taken with li'l regard." Ahead, a silhouette appeared in a corridor and slowly approached.

"First, we must be certain. First, we must test ye..."

Dracon walked foward, stumbling a bit "Test me....test me how?" He asked to the darkness.

"Why we test you like this" The mysterious thing asked.

"I do not feel anything...." Dracon protested, not believing he was here.

"You, you get out of here right now!, anything that has set thine curse upon you, is in great power" The figure said the darkness disappearing and Dracon found himself outside with his Familiar.

"Stanley, what just happened?" He asked to his pet, and getting blank stares yet again.

"We will just have to find that little sniveling wizard again...." Dracon said sighing in disgust....

As Dracon and Stanley continue upon their quest, they encounter a young man on the road.

"Hello," said the youthful stranger. "You seem troubled."

"Yes," replied Dracon. "I have a feeling I have been cursed by a great force."

"Cursed, eh? What exactly is happening?"

"Why should I trust a complete stranger like you?..."

"Good point," the youth answered. "Call me Eagle. I am a servant of the forces of Light."

"Great!...So you are a monk?" Dracon inquired.

"...Not yet exactly," Eagle responded. "I have fulfilled all prerequisites, but I am just honing my skills...but do you see this pendant here? This has been given to me to use whenever I feel I am ready, and I need but a few more days now."

"Interesting...so, can you lift my curse then?"

"Let's see what I can do currently," Eagle said.

* uses Luck on dracon to heal the body and bolster the mind and spirit *

Dracon tries to draw his great halberd, but to no avail.

"Ah...I'm sorry," Eagle stated. "I guess I would be of more use as a monk. No matter, though...I shall not give up so easily. If you do not mind, would you permit the honor of accompanying you and your familiar?"

"Sure," Dracon replied.

"Then it is settled." Eagle proceeded to make a long, clear whistle, and shouted, "Fox! Asfaloth!" in a booming voice. Before long, a Kamaitachi and a Monoceros were at his side.

"These are my familiars, FoxMcBlur and Asfaloth." Turning to Stanley he asked, "And you would be -?"

"His name is Stanley," Dracon replied. "Well, thanks to you and your familiars, my lack of fighting capability at present does not pose that much of a problem anymore, then? Let's go and find how to remove this curse, and have vengeance on the vile one who cursed me."

The group traveled on a little bit longer, and then Eagle asked, “By the way, do you have an idea on how to remove the curse?”

“I was planning on retracing our route.” Dracon replied. “In that way, perhaps I can find that wizard again and deal with him.”

They went on with their familiars for a while, not finding any trace of the wizard. Eventually, to break the silence that had fallen, Eagle asked,

“Why would someone curse you, anyway?”

“I don’t know.” Dracon answered.

“Do you have any enemies?”

“No. At least none that I know of.”

“Hmm… Well, perhaps—“

The monk was cut off as the alert Dracon quickly pulled him out of the way of an arrow. Looking, they saw only a forest from where the arrow came.

“Come on!” Dracon yelled as they all charged into the forest.

Being alert, the group searched all around for their attackers, but only seeing trees everywhere. Suddenly, the whole forest seemed to echo with footsteps.

“I don’t like the look of this…” Eagle muttered.

"Well" Eagle said quietly "It seems you have made some enemies"

"Yes, well, I know nothing of them..." Dracon said pausing. He ran back to the trail and looked aroung and seen a glimps of a....purple pointy hat. "Hey, hey you!" He yelled chasing the mysterious figure. "Stop, stop in the name of all that is.....ah whatever" Dracon said running as hast as he could after the figure.

His pace slowed and he soon came to a halt, his familiar and the others catching up to him "I think that is him...." Dracon said when the party managed to get close enough to hear him.....

"Are you sure that was the one we are seeking?" Eagle re-inquired.

"Yes, of course," Dracon answered. "How could I forget that hat! But...it sounds like we're surrounded..."

"No matter. I can fight, and our familiars aren't weak either," Eagle returned.

"B-but...you're...a monk student, no? Wouldn't you think that his troops would use...magic? Probably surround us with tons of mages that are able to withstand your magical prowess?"

At this Eagle drew a short blade, and swung it in the air. "Never judge a book by its cover."

"Why did you deceive me then?" Dracon asked. "I honestly believed your powers truly consisted in magic only!"

"Well, they do not," Eagle stated abruptly. "Your curse renders you powerless...your goal is to survive, ours is to protect you." At this Dracon tried to draw his halberd again, yet again in vain.

"A thousand curses upon that vile sorcerer," Dracon declared.

"Fox! Asfaloth! Stanley! To arms!" Eagle shouted.

At this moment, several brigands appeared seemingly as out of nowhere...

A worried Dracon pushed his open hand toward his arsenal, still to no avail. His eyes panned across the adversaries: the first pounded a large cudgel into the opposite hand, the second whetted two wicked daggers against one another, the third gripped a huge battle axe with a dripping head, and the last revved up a chain saw.

"Oh, come on!" complained Dracon.

"I think we can take them," the monk told, rising to the ranks with the monsters with blade ready. One hand left the hilt to beckon the brigands to the fight. Eagle whirl about, loosing a war cry as he advanced upon the foes, which prompted a flimsy dagger to be thrown and knock the sword from Eagle's hand and into a nearby tree.

"Ah!" Dracon yelped in a sudden panic. "I thought you were a monk? Where are your monk-reflexes?"

"Well, I am not a very good monk," he further informed, rushing to the tree to retrieve his weapon. "Why do you think I am using a sword?"

"Yeah, I was wondering about that," muttered Dracon. "Still, what kind of swordsman would let that happen?"

"I am not a very good one-of-those, either," admitted Eagle, who now braced both feet against the trunk to pull free his deeply embedded blade. Luckily for the group, the bandits had been busy being induced into a fit of laughter at their opponents' expense.

"Then... why even bother with the sword?" is what Dracon said. What he thought was "C'mon, curse. Breaknow breaknow breaknow breaknow I'mdoomed!"

"Because..." started Eagle, who managed to tug free the heavy blade which soon crashed to the ground. He looked up to his still distracted targets and once more clumsily spun about, this time cleaving it through all four brigands. Quickly they hushed, with wide eyes and shocked expressions but no apparent harm.

Then, the head of the axe plummeted to the trail with a solid thus. So too did the knife blades and even the armor on their backs. Eagle, now turned about to Dracon once more, sheathed his mystic blade.

"It is the magical blade Metalkeen; it will cut effortlessly through iron and only iron."

"Oh, I get it now," Dracon, quite pleased with himself, stated. "I was wondering how this would all work with the non-lethality of monks."

The non-le-what now?" asked Eagle, a foreground to two rampant familiars, gnashing and lopping the heads off brigands. Dracon raised a disproving eyebrow to his new ally. "What? I told you that I wasn't a very good monk," he reminded while being splattered by the impaling of an unarmored foe.

Then the student's attentions seemed to be elsewhere. No sooner than he could raise his hand, it had caught an arrow. The group sought shelter on the opposite side of some close trees.

"We cannot waste any more time with these guys," Dracon screamed over the whizzing of arrows. "There are too many of them! We need to find the Pointy Purple Wizard!"

"That's just the problem; we'll never make it out with them shooting at us like thi-- did you just use the phrase 'Pointy Purple Wizard'?" Eagle stared blankly at Dracon for a spell before shaking off the confusion brought on by his words. "Anyway, if these guys are his troops, we should be able to find out more about the Pointy Wizar-- ah! Now you've got me saying it!"

"How many of them are there?"

"What?" asked Eagle. "How should I know?"

"Well, can't you sense them or something? You're supposed to be psychic, right?"

"What? No! I'm a monk-in-training, remember?"

"I could swear that you were psychic the first time we met," Dracon yelled back over the storm of arrows. "And a Lieutenant of some sort."

"What are you talking about? We have never met before."

"Sure we did. Remember? It was a year or two ago when I recovered my familiar, and I don't want him stolen again... I could swear that I went over this."

"Dracon, please," retorted Eagle. "I think I would remember that, what with being psychic and all." Now was Dracon's turn to stare blankly and quite confused.

Eagle's head peeked out of cover long enough to attract a thick hail of arrows.

"They are still there, and I still cannot see them," told Eagle. "How are we supposed to fight what we cannot see?"

"Or reach what with our lack of ranged weapons and all..." quipped Dracon. The monk gave no heed to these words; he slid back on his tree, pounding his head to get the ideas moving. An attention-wanting cough came from overhead. He tilted his head upward to meet that of a weasel, clung to the trunk with its scythe-like claws. Its nose twitched in anticipation.

"Oh, right... you guys." Eagle commanded his Kamaitachi away. It slinked up into the tree-tops and was never seen again.

Across the trail, a mess of leaves and twigs began to litter the air, but then whole branches descended into view and onto the enemy archers. Eagle came bursting out of hiding, atop his Monoceros, while Dracon and Stanley tried to keep up, gassing those that the rider overlooked. The archers tried to find their way in the clouds of leaves, hearing their foes' movements and fellows' cries but still unable to see. It did not matter, though; Fox had cut their bowstrings in the foliage fog.

One particular archer stumbled about among the dizzying descent of leaves. He soon found himself hoisted up by his tunic's collar by something very sharp. A friendly whirlwind allowed the archer to see Eagle on his legendary steed, which glared up at the enemy from beneath its horn.

"Where is he," Eagle demanded more than asked.

"Wh-who?" stuttered the archer in reply.

"Your boss," Dracon answered, "the Pointy Wizard!" Utter confusion beset the archer.

"What? Our boss? I thought you were working with him?"

"No," answered Eagle with a softening expression. With a subtle gesture, Asfaloth was commanded to lower the hostage, at which time the monk explained, "We are seeking the Purple Wizard as he has placed a curse on my friend over here." The archer, once more standing and rubbing his sore neck, shot a surprised look over to Dracon.

"You mean that guy right there?" he asked, seeming quite disbelieving.

"Yes... why?"

"Because my real boss is the master of a thief guild. We caught him near our secret hideout... and that is when he put a curse on The Boss..." told the archer, who became increasing quiet as his story progressed.

"O-kaaay..." Dracon stated after a long silence. "So maybe we could work together. Y'know, compare notes."

"Well," the brigand went on, "I don't think the curse worked quite right..."

"... on me... or on your boss?"

Later, Dracon and Eagle are allowed into the secret hideout. Although it was in none of their interest, the two were made honorary members as they shared a common foe -- the Pointy Purple Wizard (which Dracon got all of the thieves saying, too). As hidden as the base's location was, The Boss's quarters were kept at an even more secretive location, hidden from even most guild members.

And when they met him, they found out why.

"Is that guy's head a -?"

OOC[Yeah, I know this Eagle is not supposed to be the same character LieautenantEagle added to The Search, and I like it better this way since a monk is loads cooler than a mentalist, but since they are in the same continuity, I felt it had to be dealt with in some way.]

So no, this Eagle is not psychic and they have indeed never met before. Think no more on that bit than you would the chain saw.

OOC[B>Never mention "LieutenantEagle" again, or psychic powers or as such. I know I am pathetic with RPs, you don't have to rub it in.]


"Is that guy's head a...a balloon?" Dracon asked in surprise.

"It has only been so since the Purple Pointy Wizard cursed The Boss," a brigand explained. "That is why I said that the curse did not work correctly on you."

"Thankfully..." Dracon thought aloud. "But come now, we must speak to The Boss."

Eagle and Dracon approached the door to the Boss's quarters and bid their familiars to stay at the door. The brigand opened the door.

"Sir Boss...I have brought the people that are also in search of the Purple Pointy Wizard," the brigand stated, and departed.

"Well, hello there," said the Boss. "You do not seem like a powerful fighting force, particularly with your curse...Dracon, is it?"

"How did you know?!" Dracon exclaimed.

"It's written on your new guild name tag," the Boss simply described. "And I have been informed of the fact that you are as much a victim of the Purple Wizard as I am...except for the fact that you are not as deformed..."

"I believe this to be a matter of resistance to the affinity of the curse," Eagle interjected.

"Quite possible," the Boss stated. "But come now...as you see, in my current state, I am not even fit to command. I am forced to hide away. You must destroy this Purple Pointy Wizard, wherever he is! And that's an order, since you are now members of the Guild!"

"I just hope that there is no danger to you and Dracon in the destruction of the Purple Pointy Wizard..." Eagle stated after some thought. "However, I cannot tell at this time, for I cannot identify the true nature of the Curse."

At this moment, a shout arose throughout the headquarters of the Guild.

"We're under attack by the Purple Pointy Wizard!!!"

Dracon rushed outside and seen the wizard, it was only a....kid. "Why did you lay this curse upon me?!" Dracon yelled questioningly(Sp)

"What curse...," the kid said panicked "I did....." He paused "oh, that curse" The kid said chuckling. He ran up to dracon and looked at him and turned and faced the small guild of thieves "I hate you all like the bats, now you will become big and FAT!" The wizard yelled everyone infront of him, the whole small guild...bloating. The wizard laughed and mumbled something and dissappeared.

"What the 'el" Dracon said looking at the deformed members of the guild. They became, slow, ugly and they are as blind as bats" Dracon said scared, "who ever this un-trained kid is, they are making mess of things..." Dracon said worried again. "Stanley, lets move out and try and trace him, get his sent" Dracon said furiated now.

Stanley walked over to where the kid was standing and sniffed, all the heads searched for a bit, barley making anything out. They looked at dracon in a saddened expression "It is okay, I guess we need to run into him randomly again" dracon said patting the heads of his hydra.

OOC[Okay, I know you can auto, but please, pretty please don't mess with the plot too much, surprise is coming up when we get deeper into it.]

"Damn!" swore on of the thieves. "Cursed to be immobile and blind, with a balloon for a head. All our numbers are completely helpless."

"You poor, innocent marauders," Dracon sympathized before fully grasping his statement, "especially that one. He seems to have taken the curse worse than all of you. I think he's oozing something."

"Actually, that one was inside," the Boss corrected, "and she's me wife."

"But, I thought you couldn't see?" challenged Eagle.

"I just know."

"You poor, innocent marauders..."

"Well, I suppose we ought to get wheeled in before the wolves get our scent. Get the rookies to fetch some wagons," the Boss ordered. "Strong wagons," he added. One by one, some lesser members of the guild filed out of the hideout pulling carts to keep the higher ranking members safe until cured or lanced. One of these members caught the young warrior's eye. A small, frail thief with greatly exaggerated features. And green skin.

"By the Mesopotamian High god! 'Tis thou, Bimblesnaff," exclaimed Dracon upon seeing his old acquaintance. "It has been several years since we last met."

"Who are ya?" the goblin asked, finding that all humans looked the same. Seeing Stanley, his memory was refreshed. "Aye, right. The wee lad wit' the missin' snake."

"So, my Ghobling friend," Dracon further chatted with the long since separated companion, "you are a new member to this establishment as well, I see?"

"No, actually," Bimblesnaff disagreed, setting down the wagon sinking his claws deep into one of the amorphous blobs, "I've been in it for nigh on a year. I'm just..." he struggled a while, failing to roll the monstrosity which, at worse guess, would be several fold his weight. "... not that good."

"Oh, I see," understood Dracon. "So, I take it you are staying with it to procure much shiny riches?" The green one shook his head.

"Unlimited access to the guild tavern," the kobold said with a devilish smirk.

"Funny," noted Eagle, "I don't remember being told about any tavern here."

"That's 'cuz it's closed right now," expounded Bimblesnaff, now rapidly throwing his body's weight into the mass to attempt to get it to budge.

"Closed?" Eagle questioned, "What happened to cause that?"

"Me," answered the goblin, smiling wickedly once more. "So, what are ya up to? Savin' the world again?"

"No," he replied with a heavy sigh, "we're just... trying to get this... curse... off of me?"

"Ouch, that's bad," retched the goblin. "Well, I at least hope ya got a worthy adversary." He darted his eyes around to make sure his words would go unheard. "Like, right now, I heard these guys are actually fightin' a Pointy Purple Wizard! How lame is that? Right? ... Right?" Dracon stood in silence, only emitting a single, awkward cough. "I'm not helping you," he quickly stated.

"Aw, come on," Dracon whined, "for good times sake! What better do you have to do with the pub closed?"

"It'll be reopening in a week," told the freak. "That's when the next shipment comes in."

"Gee," Eagle asked, "what have you been doing since the last shipment came?"

"This," Bimblesnaff grunted as he strained against the swollen form. Both Eagle and Dracon's eyes slowly panned over to a large wagon near the supply depot marked with the words, "Curly's Ale Shiping Co.", complete with misspelling. The sign continued, "We deliver weekly! ... As in just today! ... He drank it all already! ... 'cuz he's a drunkard!"

"What an odd sign," Dracon wondered. "Are you certain you do not want to accompany us, goblin friend?"

"Quite sure," the fiend said, kicking the shapeless form. "If ya're so keen on havin' a goblin wit' ya, why dun ya just take me brotha?"

"Your... what?" Dracon was shocked, but more shocked when a small freak popped out from behind him with a terrible shriek. "By St. Lazuro, what is that?" The dripping, boggle-eyed, naked mutant gibbered some incoherent dribble.

"Well, it's not actually me brotha," Bimblesnaff explained, "more of my homunculus. Some advise: never get drunk in an alchemical lab."

"Now, why would anyone do that?" Eagle demanded, seeking some type of reason to the stupidity.

"Well, all those bottles are just so shiny." At this, the already jittering creature exploded, its wish being granted. "Damn, and this guy still dinna budge," complained the goblin, wiping some of the flung slime from his face. Dracon and Eagle, seeing the hideous mutant trembling before its eruption, had already left the scene to find the Pointy Purple... ah, dammit.

"So," Eagle spoke up after a while of walking in the wilderness, "do you think he ever got that guy onto the cart?" A terrible yell echoed through the trees which grew into a mighty roar as a large, winding dragon could be seen rising above the tree tops, even at their distant location. Reaching down out of their sight, they saw it return to vision, carrying a large sphere shaped object in its claws. Then, faltering, it crashed back down out of sight. "Never mind," Eagle sighed.

"Where are we going again?" Dracon questioned, not remembering the goal to their wandering.

"No where."

"What?" He implored, "Then why are pacing though these woodlands?"

"Well, you said 'I guess we need to run into him randomly again'," Eagle quoted, "and there's no better way to randomly encounter something than walking through the wilderness where you saw them last."

"That has got to be," Dracon started, "the stupidest thing I have ever-"

"Watch out, Mad Pony!" Eagle interrupted, pulling Dracon out of the path of a raging unicorn with little demons on its back. "Imps!"

OOC[Erg. I hated to add myself, seeing how I always say that one can perfectly add to a story without adding themselves, yet I have failed to do this once. I just had too many funny ideas with him, and then they doubled. Well, he's not really in it, tho', so... meh.]

Ems didn't mean to insult you, Lwty, he just wanted to clarify that Eagle was not Lt. Eagle from The Search as to avoid someone making a huge mistake later on. Now, if he wanted to insult you, he would have said "telepsychic", so its all quite good.

Er, Dracon, you do know that a "brigand" is not a "brigade", right? I have to be the Grammar Nazi, but that really got confusing when reading. Brigands are thieves who roam in bands, while a brigade would be one of those bands, kinda.

"What in the name of Light was that?" Eagle inquired.

"I dunno," Dracon said. "Must be the Purple Pointy Wizard's doing, though, according to your logic."

"So do we continue searching for him, then?"

"I guess..."

"No need, fools!" a childish voice shouted out from the thick shrubs. "I'm right here, come and get me...if you can! Ahahahhaha!"

Dracon attempted to step forward, realizing that he was completely immobilized.

"Great!" Dracon exclaimed. "Now I'm disabled and immobilized! What's next, balloon shape?"

"Wait...hold on," Eagle said. In a swift stroke, he drew Metalkeen and sliced through the air...and Dracon was free to move again!

"How did you -?"

"Nothing easier for a magical blade to do than to sever invisible ropes. Come now, where is that ingrate?" Eagle infuriatingly asked.

"How...how did you...not get paralyzed...?" the voice of the child stated. "You were both supposed to be...stuck here forever...until my imps finally got you..."

"Fool! You shall learn to never mess with a servant of Light!" At this Eagle rushed forward towards the direction of the sound of the wizard. He was met with a purple flash, and, when Eagle cut the thickery apart, no one was there.

"Um, Eagle...I think he apparated away," Dracon stated.

"Sure enough, Dracon...the problem is, how do we get him now? And so humiliating...to be unable to defeat a simple child!"

"You know, I am beginning to have doubts about his being a child," Dracon contemplated. "Before we met, I was warned that I was dealing with a great and terrible force...probably this is but the tip of the iceberg."

"Ah...I hate ice," said Eagle. "Anyway, let's return to the guild headquarters. No use in hanging around here when it's so dark anyway, we will eventually be hit by a rampaging unicorn if not worse. Besides, I have a feeling that...what was his name, Bimblesnaff, was it?...can actually help us out greatly in finding the Purple Pointy Wizard."

"That's my phrase," said Dracon.

...They started trudging there way back to the guild head quarters. "I, that kid, do you think that he could have changed his shape to conceal his identity?" Dracon protested. "If this, in fact is the tip of the ice-berg, we don't know what he could do next, he could destroy the world next with a complex rhyme…” Dracon said putting his heads down. “He could possibly do worse; he could torture everyone in his wake…” Dracon said continuing, remembering the incident back at the Thieve Guild Headquarters. “This is no ordinary Purple Pointy Wizard; this could be in fact a terrible, long and painful journey, possibly harder, than when I tried to recover Stanley here.” Dracon said glancing over to his familiar.

“You told me earlier, you remember some one by the name of Lieutenant Eagle, and you mistaken him for me…” Eagle said looking at Dracon.

“Ah, yes, I did know someone by the name, though you are clearly not him, I am sorry for earlier…” Dracon said smiling.

“No, it is okay, I just want to know exactly what happened.” Eagle said wondering why Dracon would apologize.

“Well, first, I found out about two years ago that my familiar, was taken by a group, a small group called the Akilokipok…” Dracon said telling everything that happened with Bahamut, eagle, and everyone who accompanied him on his painful struggle to recover his Hydra that recently hatched before the incident.

“Ahh, I see…” Eagle said sadly, “I am glad you recovered him” He said smiling encouraging Dracon.

“Well, I am glad I won’t see a lot like them again.” Dracon said happily. “Here we are, best hurry…” Dracon said entering the base of the guild. He walked casually to the boss with an unusual balloon shaped head, “Did you find anything out?” Dracon asked concerned.

“Yes, yes I did in fact…” The captain said gravely.

“I found out that……..

"-Wait," interrupted Dracon. "Don't even tell us."

"Aww, c'mon guys," said the balloon-headed one, whose said-head currently had a sock clinging to it. "It is a really funny thing, really."

"Did you find out anything concerning Purple Pointy?" a frustrated Eagle asked.

"Oh, right... that guy," mumbled the boss, departing to some scrolls behind him. "Well, I did some research, and I found out that if you destroy his familiar, he will be entirely disabled and-"

"His magic will be reduced to mere, piddle tricks. Yes, we know. The same applies to any wizard, not just him. But he doesn't even have a familiar," informed Eagle, becoming quite agitated with Boss.

"Wait, he doesn't have a familiar," realized Dracon. "That's impossible."

"What do you mean? Of course he does," Boss countered.

"How does he speak if he has a balloon for a head?" Dracon inappropriately thought aloud.

"Wait, you're right."

"About the talking balloon?"

"No!" snapped the monk. "About his familiar, or his lack of one, at least. Everyone knows that most of an individual's magical energy is concentrated in their monster."

"Why's that?" asked the thief as conveniently clueless as the reading audience.

"Monsters are not like us. They are made more of magic than material," Eagle narrated. "They come about from fragments of our souls, no longer attached to our bodies but still bound to our spirit. They grow as such, without physical limitation, into things impossible." He looked up to the brigand leader. "Still bound by soul, whatever magical dweomers came to form a random fracture of one's life-force into an unimaginable beast are also available to the sorcerer it belongs to. Humans are innately non-magical, but when they share the soul of a monster..."

"But to gain the benefits of a monster's magic," said Dracon, "the two must be close, don't they?" The monk narrowed his eyes and descended his gaze once more.

"To have powers like that, a familiar had to be nearby," rationalized the warrior of light. "So where was it?"

“Perhaps it was nearby, but we never thought to look for it.” Dracon responded. “We always had our attention concentrated on the Purple Pointy Wizard himself.”

“That may be so…” Eagle said, “but wouldn’t we have noticed if the familiar was around nearby?”

“It may have been hiding.” the Boss piped up.

“Well,” Dracon announced, “at least now we know to look for a nearby familiar next time we run into him.”

“Easier said than done.” Eagle muttered. “Especially when the wizard seems to keep disappearing constantly.”

“So, what are you planning to do?” the Boss asked.

“We could try to run into the Purple Pointy Wizard randomly again.” Dracon suggested. “Except next time we’ll be looking for the nearby familiar.”

Everyone else thought on this for a while, but no better plan came up. So the group bid farewell to the deformed boss and set out into the wilderness again.

"Well, here we are again," Dracon moaned, "wandering through the forest... aimlessly. I sure wish this would have just worked out the first time we did it."

"No one cares about that," snapped the monk. "Past mistakes- or... whatever they are- cannot be solved now, unless we had some sort of time monster. But, until we find ourselves the omnipotent falcon-fish, we'll just have to continue onward with our task at hand as is." After lobbing the heads off of many randomly found imps and mad ponies with the use of a flying guillotine, something more interesting was stumbled upon.

"This rock is terrific!" Fortunately for the duo, the less-than-bright goblin did not see them, distracted by the not-so-shiny stone, and they were able to continue looking for things randomly.

"There has to be something behind that wizard's familiar being unnoticeable," pondered Dracon out loud.

"It might be like a Kamaitachi. Those buggers are faster than sight," input Eagle constructively, only knowing the answer from experience. "Right, Fox?" A swift agreement came from a rush of wind as the pet dashed by.

"Also," added Dracon, "it could be so small that we cannot see it. Or," he dreaded, "so large that we do not know we are even seeing it..."

"Please," refuted the monk, "could something be that large?" Horrors from the boy's past flooded his mind.

"You haven't seen any 'mountains' moving, have yo-" A hand was thrown over his lips, stopping his words. Eagle's eyes rolled in his head while his body remained perfectly still, surveying the surrounds.

"Did you hear that?"

"There was a noise? I didn't hear anything," Dracon whispered. "What was it?"

"The sound," he answered, "of silence."

"Ugh!" Dracon's head fell back as his grunt of anguish filled the air, his pet doing likewise with each of its own. "What type of garbage is that?"

"In my training," the monk spoke with words that barely escaped his lips, "there were times when we had to be without word, without sound. However, a natural quiet is must different than the one we fabricated in the monastery. When you spend so long a time without noise, what was once quiet becomes audible. I can hear someone, something, out there which does not wish to be found.

Dracon stared at his companion in a natural silence before blurting, "I thought you were a bad monk?"

"I... was," he confessed. "I just got punished a lot, okay? ... It's paying off now!" Hiding behind trunks, the two slunk their way closer to where the thing was thought to be. More nothing was heard, but the object of their hunt did not seem to notice their pursuit. When thought to be within sight of the quarry, Eagle leaned out from hiding to take a peek. Quickly retracting his head, a blazing luminescence filled the forest, quenching every bit of shade. The light had even singed the tree that shielded him.

"I think it's on to us," Dracon sarcastically spilled, charging out from his hiding place, hoping the thing to not be swift. He was not sure if anything was even out there until a form shot by his vision. He could barely describe the oddity that which he saw. As he chased it further with his familiars in train, he strained to identify the crimson shape that bounced from branch and ground. At first he thought it was as some sort of beast but his opinion changed to a breed of bird later on, only to come back halfway to beast again. It was a mystery as to what it truly was, a fact which told Dracon exactly what it was. A wall of shredding wind, compliments of Eagle's weasel, blocked the path of the creature, forcing it to scurry way into some dark hole.

"No where to hide now," Dracon called out, peering into the darkness from which a large, shining plate stared back, "ey, Carbunckle?" The monster has never been seen by human, or any, eyes. It's very existence was still regarded as a myth among myths. It made perfect sense that it would be the pointy one's pet.

"What are you doing with my familiar?" cried out a voice from behind them.

"So, come to get your precious back," Dracon smugly stated, "huh, Pointy Purple What the? You ain't him!"


"Hehehehehe....that is right, youth," said the dark-robed man standing behind Dracon.

"What - who are you?" asked Dracon.

"Dracon, remember what the Boss said?...The Purple Pointy Wizard is not a child," Eagle reminded.

"Right...you there are a smart lad," the dark-robed man complimented Eagle. "I am the one you refer to as the Purple Pointy Wizard...though, as you can see, I do not wear purple nor do I have a pointy hat."

"Wh--what!?" Dracon said.

"In order to distract you, I transformed into a child so that you would ease up on your pursuit. But now that I see that you have decided to assail my Carbuncle, I have no choice but to reveal my true form and dispatch of you as so."

At this moment, Eagle suddenly held up the pendant he showed long ago. "It is time, Dracon," Eagle said. "If this is to be the battle to save you, then I must unleash my true might at last." Eagle chanted a short incantation at the pendant and there was a massive flash of light, rendering everyone blind for a moment...

* class changes to Monk *

"W-wait, Eagle...before we begin killing each other...why did you curse me in the first place?" Dracon inquired.

"Ah, youth...that I shall tell you, since you are incapacitated anyhow. I had a precognition that you would destroy my life's work...so I found you and bound your weapon attacks with an ancient spell. Now, the only way you can save yourself is by killing me, which you will never do...despite the fact that your friend has now agreed to become a true servant of Light."

"I shall not die without taking you down first," Eagle retorted. Drawing his blade (for, though a monk, he still preferred the sword), he charged at the mysterious magician when all of a sudden...

The wizard laughed "THere shall be no killing! Poxy Roxy Sorox!" The wizard laughed and Eagles weapons were also bound to him, but could not be used. THe wizard reached into his pocket and pulled out a long string of unreadable text, at least to the party. He recited the lines in a quick jist of his tongue. Carbunkle and the wizard dissappeared again, but not without leaving a note the stated:

"History and secretes are fun,

But not for you,

For the akilokipok will strike again,

They will become my slaves,

there dead bodies rising from the dead,

For with a few words, I shall rule the world"

Dracon's eyes widened in horror. "A-a.....the akilokipok gang, i-is coming back..." Dracon said bending over his head in between his knees. He slammed his fist onto the ground "They can't be coming they can't!" Dracon said, his words wet with tears.

"Err... What are you crying about? And who are these Akiwhatsit guys?" asked Eagle.

"The, The Akilokipok. They're a group of evil monster theives that, that stole stanley here and generally caused a lot... of mayhem, two years ago." sobbed Dracon, motioning towards his Hydra.

"You beat them the first time?" ventured Eagle

"Yes, but we could use our weapons then. And there were more than two of us." Dracon said, recovering his stature quite fast

"So we need more people?..." asked the confused monk

"I guess we could try it with the two of us. We'd probably fail though, and failure would mean almost cerain death, probably at the hands of the Purple Pointy... Oh, alright, Black Not-so-pointy Evil Feind" Replied the youth

"I like Purple Pointy Wizard better..."

And so the now-cursed pair moved out, in search of the wizard's hideout, or some ally that could lead them to it... Or break their curses...

OOC[Alright, I hope I didn't kill it. Anyways, I want to know if anyone wants Zedd in this story... Of course, if he is added, I'll have to take measures to stop him being overpowering, like he was in The Search...]

"So our fighting is now constrained to our familiars..." Eagle said.

"Yes, and when Akilokipok comes back...we won't have familiars..."

"Let's just hope Fox will be able to use his stealth capabilities to evade Akilokipok for as long as possible," Eagle stated optimistically. He did not know the terror of Akilokipok, and therefore was unable to understand how or why they captured familiars.

"Wait, Eagle."

"Yes, Dracon?"

"Aren't you now a Monk?"

"Yes, and...?"

"Well, then, that means you aren't incapacitated! You can strike foes down with light magic!"

"Umm...well, I still need some time to learn the necessary prerequisites....none of my current attacks are magic-based."

"But at least you can learn magic-based attacks, can't you?"

"I don't know. Maybe, maybe not. But if I can, then I think you're the one who's going to need a lot of luck in avoiding being attacked."


"Well then..."

* uses Fortune on dracon *

Suddenly, for no apparent reason, Dracon decided to try to draw his great halberd...to his surprise, it moved a little. He couldn't draw it, but it wasn't completely stuck as before.

"Say, Eagle, I think you've weakened the curse..."

"I certainly wish we would know where we were heading for once," whined Dracon.

"Well, has it failed us before?" responded the monk.

"... Yes!" The boy began to rattle off examples, "The first time we just ran into imps on a horse, the second time we got pwned by the Purpleless Pointless Wizard, and the third time I dropped my ice cream cone."

"Ice cream?" questioned the Eagle under his breath. "Pwn?" He would have pressed these thoughts further, but he noticed their surroundings shifting by faster than their pace was moving. Soon the two and their many beasts were being ripped through the air by some mysterious force. They came to an abrupt halt in the middle of no where, floating off the ground. Unable to move their bodies, panicking eyes darted about to attempt a source of the strange events. From the bottom of his eye, Dracon spotted something on the ground below. It was a small, warm glow. Had it not been for the faint luminescence, it would have slipped from his notice.

"There's something down there, Eagle," he told his companion, "something... shining."

"Shining? Could it be," the student blindly guessed, "the Carbuncle?"

"No, that was a bright light," he corrected. "This is dimmer. Who are you?" the boy cried out. Silence followed, broken by a croak. "... what?" A tiny being rose before them in a radiant aura. It was a small, amphibious creature with a round body. Unlike most toads, however, this one possessed a shell on its back like that of a turtle. Again, the thing let out a grumbled chirp from its throat which blended into some deep, belly laughs. A figure emerged from the dark shadows of the forest, but only advanced to the fainter shade, never touching the light.

"Why greetings, my friends," a cheerfully pitched, thundering voice poured from a misshapen mouth. "I apologize for the rough treatment, but I had to find you."

"Who are you?" Eagle asked again. "And what do you want with us?" The large eyes of the quivered, deeply wounded by the harshness of his tone.

"Why, friend, I only wish to speak to you," the man spoke as if apologizing, despite doing nothing wrong. "And my pet-friend only has you still held so that I may speak with you face to face." With a snap of his fingers, the phantom force that bound them loosened but did not disappear. Free to fully examine their situation, they saw that whom they spoke to was a giant, standing at least eight feet tall. "Allow me to introduce myself, friends," the titan spoke. "My name is Gwm."

"O-okay, um... Goom," Dracon struggled to say, bowing with the tall man, "now that we have met, can you let us down?" Another basal chortle arose from his mighty gut.

"I am sorry, friends, but I cannot do that, either," Gwm insisted, still deep in his bow, "for I do not want you to run, either."

"Why would we run?" inquired Eagle from his upright possession, soon discovering the answer for himself. In the giant's stooping bow, a long, menacing, spike-covered tail was observed as protruding from out his green robes. "What are you?"

"Now, now, friend," the non-human soothed with his harsh voice, "there is nothing to worry about. I mean you no harm." Straining their eyes, they noticed the man they were speaking to drastically different from men. Features were exaggerated or disproportionate, his digits were webbed, and his body was entirely covered in wetted, yellow fur. "To settle your curiosity,friends, I am called a Fuath by your kind."

"Foo-ah?" exclaimed Eagle. "Are you not foes of humanity?"

"Cannot there be exceptions in the world?" he wisely put with the most gentle tone he could obtain. "Tell me, friends, you are foes of the regal mage?"

"Regal mag- Oh, you mean the Pointy Purple Wizard," Dracon rationed and earned another chorus of laughter from the hairy brute. "You are his enemy as well?"

"Oh, my friends, if you only knew," he merely stated. "Did he place his curse upon you as well?"

"Unfortunately," Eagle divulged, "but if he cursed you, then why do you wield that grand cudgel?" In a restrained act, he bent his finger to point to a large branch with a claw or tooth or some sharp bone structure sticking through it.

"Oh, yes, friends, he did," Gwm agreed, "but the wood used for this club was sacred. So, you are trying to defeat this wizard, yes?" Floating, they nodded. "But how will you accomplish this great deed without use of your weapons?"

"We have our familiars," confidently stated Dracon. "Stanley took on Akilokipok before, he will be able to do it again."

"Yes, wonderful, my friends," enthusiastically cheered the Fuath, "but their is one problem."

"What would this be, Gwm?" the lad questioned, sincerely wondering.

"Akilokipok is no fool!" After his terrible roar, he threw his arms forth, commanding his Strong Toad to hurtle the two men far away with the power in its stare. With the telekinetic restraints no longer confining their arms, they quickly lashed out to grab their familiars as they were cast threw the forest's canopy. As their bodies sailed through the breaking twigs and boughs, they hated themselves for being so trusting. They should have realized sooner that nothing the "gentle giant" said was true to how they thought it to be. He was an agent of the Akilokipok and was only after their familiars. Dracon realized how lucky he was that he was able to grab Stanley before they could be separated again as he smashed into the earth at the end of the psychic push. Eagle, however, was not so fortunate.

"He's gone," he said, filled with despair. "He's gone. They got him. They got..."

“…They got…They got Asfaloth.” Then Eagle broke down and started crying.

“No!” Dracon cried out upon realizing what happened. He knew full well the despair that accompanies the loss of one’s familiar.

Dracon attempted to calm and reassure Eagle, telling him that everything will be okay. After a while, Eagle got himself up, along with Dracon.

“At least I’m lucky to still have FoxMcBlur, but what should we do now?” the monk asked, in a voice noticeably fainter than usual.

“Don’t worry, Eagle,” Dracon answered. “We’ll head back to the thief guild and regroup there. We’ll talk with the Boss, and then decide what to do.”

They began heading back, with Dracon and Eagle keeping Stanley and FoxMcBlur, respectively, close to avoid any more capture attempts and for protection.

“Do you have any idea on how we will rescue Asfaloth?” Eagle finally asked.

“I honestly do not know how we alone will be able to pull it off,” Dracon admitted, in a lower mood than before. “Last time I had much more help. This time you and I are incapacitated, and our familiars are at risk of being captured themselves.”

Eagle then started looking gloomy again, so Dracon quickly added, “We’ll find help, Eagle. No doubt about it. There’ll surely be others who want to defeat Akilokipok and that wizard.”

“…You really think so?” Eagle asked, his hopes rising a little bit. “You really think that we could amass ourselves a large group to help us?”

“I do!” Dracon stated, his mood beginning to rise as well. “Nobody wants people around that’ll steal their familiars away and curse them. They’ll fight back, right?”

“Right!” Eagle agreed.

Then they came within sight of the guild headquarters. As they got closer, Dracon and Eagle could hear the sounds of a commotion.

“What’s going on?!” Dracon asked.

The pair and their recently lessened group of familiars could here someone cussing like a drunken sailor, evan though they were a good distance away. "Why you sons of *****es! Where's my money!? I know one of you took it, so give it back before I start bustin' heads! god ******!!! That's it! You're goin' down!!!!" Dracon and Eagle saw a figure holding a blade, about to strike down his first wictim. They also saw what seemed to be a rather large serpent. Before the figure could swing, FoxMcBlur had him pinned to the ground with it's blade to the man's neck. The rest of the group ran over, ready to incapacitate him. But then...

"Rook?" asked Dracon, rather stunned.

"Dracon? Good to see ya. Got myself in a bit of a bind. You see, I was just minding my own business, when someone ran up and stole my wallet! Just like that! I chased him here, and as you can see, failed to get it back. Could you give me a hand?" explained Dracon's ally.

OOC[I hope I didn't ruin this by adding myself, but I thought it would be cool to have a reunion with the whole Akilokipok thing starting again...]

Dracon smiled "Sure...sure no problem" Dracon extended his hand and felt a strange presence surrounding him...then his breathing started to become heavier and heavier. Dracon tried to step back a few feet to see what was going on...but he couldn't the weight of his foot was to great. He heard a snapping maybe bones, maybe trees...what was it. Dracon from the extreme weight fell to the ground a large crater was made under neath him.

Eagle experianced the same thing, he too fell to the mighty force that was holding them down. Eagle began to speak but barely, he couldn't move his jaw, he had to hold it up or it would surely be ripped off by the extreme force "I think the gravity has increased ten fold!" Eagle said barely moving his mouth.

"I know...." Dracon muttered.

"We need to get out...of.......here" Rook said laying on the groun on his back, his whole body glued to the ground.

The skin on everyones body, was being pulled to the ground, anymore of this, and it would be completely ripped from the bones.

Off in the bushes Dracon heard a noise, a slight laughter.

"It is that damn Wizard again, he seems to have taken the shape of that kid...." Dracon said, hoping help would come to his aid.

OOC[Sorry for the crappyness]

"Dracon," strained Rook to say, "how could anyone come and help us? We're being smashed to the ground by unbelievable force. No one could withsta-"

"Hey, guys. What's shakin'?" Pushing over their pressed eyes, the band of three saw a goblin standing over them. "Oh. Hey, Rook."


"Thought ya looked familiar," he admitted, tossing Rook his pilfered goods.

"Bimblesnaff? But you- ... but how- ... what?" stammered Dracon. "Why aren't you being crushed by gravity?"

"Gravity?" the green one scoffed, expelling foul air from his tightly closed lips. "Like it's the boss of me."

"Well, Mr. Goblin," Eagle spoke up, "since you're up and about, could you bonk on that pesky mage-boy?" Pondering deeply, and shortly wincing in pain from such, the Ghobling boldly thrust his finger high into the air.

"No!" he cheerfully proclaimed.

"He, um, destroyed the ale cart?" quickly lied Dracon while he lied. As he panned his eyes about to find the goblin, no one was in sight. "Well, I'm guessing he got him to stop," the lad stated, sitting up with no problem.

"Or he went chasing a butterfly," suggested Rook, rising as well.

"Or," the monk began, pulling himself from the earth. As his torso went erect, his body was tossed through the air, soaring over the other two men. Leaving Eagle's previous location, a sweeping, bone mace flung back around behind the hairy giant.

"Looks like I forgot to get something from you, my friends," Gwm snarled as his heavy tail whipped behind him in a frenzy. "You're lives!"

"Ooh... so scared! A pile o' hair! Big deal!" mocked Rook. Koumori constricted the beast, and Rook leapt into the air and struck its skull with the flat of his blade, toppleing the hairy monstrousity. "There! That was easy!"

"Wait. I think he may know something we need! Where's the Akilokipok?" threatened Dracon. "Tell me or we'll kill your familiar!" he said,indicating to the Strong Toad hiding in the bush, and was immediately grabbed by Fox.

"Okay! I'll tell! Just please don't hurt Mr. Cuddles! They've rebuilt their old base in the same place! Now please let us go!" They released him and his rather strangely named familiar, and the ran off.

Soon after...

"I've told them" said Gwm.

"Perfect. Everything is going to plan! Hahahaha!!!

“We’ve got to find Eagle!” Dracon exclaimed once the situation was resolved.

“Eagle? The other person who was with you?” Rook asked, and then pondered a bit. “Wait, then he’s—“

“No, he’s not.” Dracon clarified upon realizing what Rook was thinking. “I thought the same thing too until I asked him. It seems he is a different person.”

“Oh.” Rook replied.

“Anyways, let’s go look for him.” Dracon said, and they set out on their search.

The monk had been sent farther than the pair and the familiars suspected. It took 15 minutes of traveling in the direction Eagle was hit for Dracon to finally glimpse him, sprawled out on the ground.

“Eagle!” Dracon exclaimed, running over to his side.

“Oh…Dracon, ‘tis you.” Eagle weakly stated.

“Yes. Now, can you get up?” Dracon queried.

“I don’t think so,” the monk replied, “especially after I haven’t been able to move a muscle for…how long was it?”

“Don’t worry, we’ll help you.” Rook said.

“Yes. Here, I’ll carry you.” Dracon said.

“Do you want me to help you?” Rook asked.

“It might be better if you had your hands free in case that wizard comes again.” Dracon answered. “Because we can’t use our weapons.”

“Huh? Why?” Rook questioned.

“It’s because of a curse set on us.” Dracon explained, and he told Rook the story while the group got back to the guild. As they arrived, they found that the thieves had managed to regroup themselves from the gravity onslaught.

“So…wait, that was why you asked about the Akilokipok from that beast.” Rook said.

“That’s right.” Dracon replied. “They’re coming back…”

Then, Dracon remembered his recent conversation with Eagle and turned to Rook squarely in the face.

“Rook, will you help us fight the Akilokipok again? Please.” Dracon asked.

"Hell yea! I'm still pissed at those bastards! Now let's see.... ah! Here!" said Rook, pulling out a marked map. "'X' marks the spot!" thay stepped outside and immediately encountered purple pointy. But this time, Eagle was prepared.


Eagle quickly began a holy ritual.


By this point, Rook had already yanked a throwing knife out of a pocket.

As the wizard said his last word, all three unleashed their prepared act. "...SORROX!!!!" A barrier of light surrounded Rook, protecting him for the moment, and Rook hurled his shuriken knife, hitting his target. The purple, pointy robes hung from a tree.... with no wizard to be found.....

"Huh, that was unusual," Rook blatantly stated, pulling his knife from the bark. "Why did he come to face us and spend all that time with a spell chant if all it did was make him disappear?" It was a rhetorical question, but Rook expected something to be given in return, verbally. "Guys, what do you... think..." The reason for his colleagues' lack of speech was now apparent. As he turned around, he no longer saw den of the thieves. Instead, the entire landscape had changed. The green forest suddenly whithered to black lifelessness as the foliage became replaced with oozing, sickly thorns. Past this break, the ground became barren and dark, spanning a long way until reaching the base of a jagged, menacing fortress.

"He didn't move himself," Eagle explained for those too dense to understand the situation, "he moved us!"

"Well, duh!" Dracon snapped at the monk. "I think that was pretty obvious."

"Hey, now," whimpered Eagle, "someone may not have known."

"Er... no. No, I... don't think so," lied Rook. "I knew. Yeah. Now, then, onwards!" As Rook charged forth to the castle of an evil aura, Dracon began to question why he suddenly was acting like a leader or why they were all blindly charging with him but gave up even trying and joined with the group.

"What is this now, friend?" roared the yellow giant with strains of putrid colored saliva flinging from his lipless mouth. "You brought their beasts with them?"

"It was a fluke, Gwm," the less pointy wizard stated. "By now you should have learned that my incantations are far from stable. It does not really matter, though, as even the three of them with all their beasts would be no challenge for you alone. And, of course, you are far from it." Webbed fingers graced the glowing shell of his beloved pet.

"I still hate that I had to play weak and defenseless to those fools," the Fuath growled. "Threatening my treasure, as if they could do it any harm." The Strong Toad was, of course, fabled for its indestructibility. Nothing can harm it, save if it is reduced to ash by a very grand and fiery heat.

"And I hate," croaked the shelled amphibian, "that I had to see you play that part to those undeserving vagrants. It is far beneath you, Master."

"You give that squirt more credit than me," a rough voice boomed from the shadows. The room shook as the figure emerged: a hulking titan, bulging with muscles riddled with pulsing veins. His massive chest supported even larger arms that nearly dragged on the floor. His back hunched, as though he was too much weight for himself to support. His body was draped in furs from many animals. Atop his head was the skin of a bear that lined most of his back. The jaw hung down over most of his face, leaving only his bearded chin showing. Its claws were fashioned into boots and his left glove. On his right hand, he wore the head of a wolf. The rest of its body transvered up that arm with the tail hanging freely over his shoulder.

"My apologies, Jorkra, but I put my faith in those whose abilities have been proven," Gwm snubbed. "Let us not forget who brought you that new friend?"

"And he is much appreciated," the berserker chortled, pulling on a heavy chain that he held in his hand, beckoning forth a frightened Monoceros. As it staggered forward on battered legs, Asfaloth slowly gazed upward at its captors with glowing, red eyes. "He goes well with my other pretties. And, if it proving myself that you desire, I shall. Those foolhardy heroes shall never reach the gate."

"They're probably pretty close by now, Beast Master," Gwm informed. "You better make haste, friend."

"I always do." Throwing his right arm forward, the jaws that adorned his hand howled a long, mournful cry as it gained life. No longer was their a man's arm, or even a man, but a gigantic wolf with bondage in its jaws that charged off, leading with it a pack of turned monsters.

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