April 2nd 2017, 3:29 am
Hi all, and welcome to Mask of Akanius, the second season of the Chromaicora Adventures! This chapter is set in the world of Dracromia, which exists in another part of the multiverse, and follows the adventures of Alph and his allies as they seek to assemble a mystical artefact. This season runs concurrently with Flight of Indigo and Shell of Thal, which you can find in the series boxed set thread by clicking right here, so be sure to check them out as well. Oh, and this season does contain major spoilers for the previous chapter, Crystals of Silveria Remastered, so be sure to read it if you haven't yet. Now without further ado, let's kick off the latest chapter in the saga!
Episode 1 – Akanian Knights, Part I
Episode 1 – Akanian Knights, Part I
- Meet Alph, a dark-haired young man who has been journeying with his allies for quite some time now, hoping to find his place in a world of turmoil. The fifteen Drachomus Empires are eternally locked in a struggle against each other, with each faction despising the others. After healing a red drachomus child from her injuries, Crynock, a cyan drachomus and one of Alph’s allies, is shunned by the girl’s family. When Ocre, another member of the party and Alph’s closest friend, fails to defend her supposed “brother-in-arms”, the two argue to the point of severing their tumultuous friendship. Meanwhile, Amy and Furbendink, Alph’s non-drachomus allies, uncover a plot to overthrow the emperor of Akanius. Problems arise, however, when the pair is sentenced to a horrible fate! Can Ocre and Crynock overcome their differences in time to save their friends?
Alph of Akanius – An individual who looks strikingly similar to Zed, and even has a similar case of amnesia. He wears a breather most of the time due to respiratory problems triggered when he arrived in Ocre’s hometown.
Ocre of Akanius – A red drachomus warrior who took in Alph when he needed help, she has fast become his closest ally. She considers Crynock to be both an enemy and a friend, to which Alph uses the term “frenemy”.
Crynock of Soranius – A cyan drachomus cleric from the land of Soranius, he has a somewhat caring personality. Even though he is often at odds with Ocre, he still hasn’t forgotten the time she saved his life, so he tolerates her to a far greater extent than he admits.
Amy Mitchell – A human woman with incredible psychic powers, Alph seems to secretly be smitten with her; behind her logical and intellectual exterior, Amy “secretly” has feelings for Alph as well, and hopes to one day get to know the guy behind the mask…in more ways than the obvious.
Furbendink of Moridia – A gnome who uses magic with incredible skill, Furbendink hides his many middle names and even his last name, preferring to use the title of “of Moridia” instead. Whether or not his names are embarrassing to him is anybody’s guess.
“You may feel alone in your situation, Alph, yet you are not alone…”
- Scene 1: Akanius Plains: Morning
Zed is a young man in a seemingly isolated situation. Alone in an unfamiliar world, with not a single memory to aid him, he has adjusted to life in Junihoshi, awakening as his true self.
Yet, he is not the only one in this situation. In another corner of the multiverse, on the world of Dracromia, a young man much like Zed in many ways has adjusted to his new life. He has made many allies, and now travels with a party as eclectic as Zed’s. Now, at last, Alph is finally about to reach a location which will further his own quest…
Five individuals walk through a vast plain of brownish dirt and greyish-green grass. The sky is covered by dark clouds, and the air is mostly cool, except for near the puddles of lava scattered about. Leading the party are two drachomi, individuals which resemble humanoid dragons. The one on the right has red scales and wears golden armour, whereas the one on the left has bright blue scales and wears gleaming armour with a tinge of mint green. Following behind are three other individuals: a male human with rounded ears, dark blue spiky hair and red clothing; a female human with slightly-pointed ears, long, dark brown hair and blue clothing; and a male gnome with purple hair and green clothing. The three individuals at the back wear special masks to help them breathe due to the thick, acrid air outside. The gnome speaks with a voice very similar to that of Brocc from Crystals of Silveria, whereas both drachomi speak with American accents.
Gnome: Oh, how long until we reach the city?
Red Drachomus: We should arrive soon.
Gnome: But you said that an hour ago.
Cyan Drachomus: You must forgive Ocre, Furbendink. You know that she has a lot more patience than the rest of us.
Ocre: Thank you, Crynock.
Crynock: Of course you could still be thinking about your boyfr-
Ocre punches Crynock hard in his upper arm.
Ocre: I told you not to talk about him!
Crynock: I’m sorry, I just thought it was so roma-
Ocre punches Crynock hard in his loin.
Ocre: You know where I’m punching next, right?
Crynock: Yes. I’m still bruised from the last time you punched me there.
Ocre: Good. Then we have an understanding.
Crynock: It seems so.
Ocre laughs loudly. Crynock chuckles nervously. Meanwhile, the male human stares up into the sky. The female human looks over at him. The male human speaks with an American accent, whereas the female human speaks with an English accent.
Woman: What are you thinking about?
Man: Oh, I was just thinking about…nothing. It sounds silly.
Woman: No, go ahead. Tell me.
Man: Well, I know it sounds silly, but…I was trying to think of my family. You know, like do I even have a family?
Woman: Well, you must have a family out there. You couldn’t possibly exist without a mother and father.
Man: I was thinking more about siblings. I keep thinking about how awesome it’d be to have a brother or sister. And…I guess I feel like something’s missing, you know?
Woman: I wish I did. I know my family’s back in Hitorelm City, running their small business.
The woman sighs.
Woman: I miss my sisters.
Man: I didn’t know you had sisters!
Woman: May and Mya. We’re triplets.
Man: Wait…so your names are Amy, May and Mya?
Amy: I know. We may as well be called the “Anagram Sisters”!
Both people laugh. The man stares at Amy.
Amy: Are you blushing?
Man: How can you tell?
Amy: I can’t. I’m just assuming because of the way you’re staring at me. It’s the shape of your eyes.
Man: My eyes?
Amy: Yes. You always squint when you smile.
Man: Well, maybe you’re right about-
A loud roar echoes through the plains.
Furbendink: WHAT WAS THAT?!
Ocre: Oh no…we must hurry if we don’t want to become lunch for the echomite!
Ocre: Alph, get your spitter ready!
The man detaches an object resembling a high-tech water gun from his belt.
Alph: Ready! Wait, why am I the one who needs to do this?
Ocre: Because you’re the only one with a spitter that subdues foes rather than harms them!
Alph: Hold on a minute! Are you saying that this thing is impervious to harm?!
Another roar bellows outward, this time much closer to the party.
Furbendink: WE’RE ALL GONNA BECOME ECHOMITE CHOW!
Mask of Akanius
A Chromaicora Adventure
The party stands ready as another roar echoes towards them. Ocre and Crynock turn to face the others.
Ocre: You should remove your breathers for maximum clarity.
Amy: Is that safe?
Ocre: The vegetation in this area, combined with the altitude, makes it relatively safe to breathe the air.
Furbendink rips the breather from his face and breathes deeply, while Amy removes hers much more calmly. Alph keeps his breather on.
Furbendink: Hm…it still kinda stinks here. Alph, I’m glad you don’t have to put up with this stench.
Alph: Is it really that bad?
Furbendink: Oh, you have no idea how bad this smell is. It’s like…rotten fruit mixed with a steaming pile of cra-
Crynock: Furbendink! Watch your tongue!
Furbendink: I was gonna say “crab bisque”! I HATE bisque!
Ocre: Here it comes…
Furbendink: EEEP! I’ve never been so scared!
Amy: Well, there was the time you-
Furbendink: Oh yeah.
Ocre: And the time that-
Furbendink: Well, I was pretty scared that day too.
Crynock: And let’s not forget the time I-
Furbendink: OKAY! I think the viewers get that I’m the coward in this show!
Amy: And the fourth-wall demolitions expert, it seems.
Furbendink: Oh, haha. Very funny.
Alph: Can we please just deal with whatever this monster is and stop picking on Furbendink?
Furbendink: *Sniff* You really are my bestest friend…you know that, don’t you, Alph?
Alph: And you’re mine as well, Furbendink.
Amy’s thoughts: Well, just you wait until we’re together, Alph! Then WE’LL be best friends, for better or worse!
Amy smiles happily. Crynock looks at her.
Crynock: Why are you so happy all of a sudden?
Amy: What?! No, I’m fine! Me, happy? Never! I’m never happy! HAHAHA!
Crynock: Very well.
A loud roar indicates the creature is almost at the party.
Furbendink: Oh…it’s here! It’s here! It’s- wait, where is it?
Ocre: Right there.
Ocre points a clawed finger at a flying beetle, about the size of a ping-pong ball. It lets out a bellowing roar.
Furbendink: Oh, it’s just a defence mechanism!
Ocre: Alph, if you would be so kind?
Alph steps in front of the party and sprays mist from his spitter at the echomite, which closes into a ball and falls to the ground.
Alph: Alph and his sleep gun to the rescue.
Ocre: Oh, that’s MUCH better! Those roars really go through your ears!
The others stare at Ocre.
Ocre: What? Drachomi have super-sensitive hearing! Tell ‘em, Crynock!
Crynock: Oh, my helmet cancels out noises which are too loud for drachomus hearing.
Ocre: WHAT?! Well, thank you for telling me! I could’ve used that thing right about now!
Crynock: If I’d known, I would have shared my spare with you.
Ocre: YOU HAD A SPARE?! Ooh, you’re infuriating!
Crynock: As I implied, I would have shared mine if you’d asked.
Ocre: How could I ask when I HAD NO IDEA YOU EVEN HAD A-
Alph calls from a short distance away.
Alph: I think I see Akanius City! Whoa, it’s huge…
The others run over to Alph, who’s standing at the top of a not-too-steep slope. In the distance is an enormous city consisting of multiple domes which are connected together.
Amy: It’s magnificent! We have no such city in Hitorelm!
Furbendink: Or Moridia!
Crynock: It’s equally as impressive as Soranius City.
Alph: Which I would love to visit someday. For now, let’s go to Akanius City!
Ocre: We should arrive within the hour.
Furbendink: WOO! Let’s party!
The party begins carefully descending the slope.
Alph: So is crab bisque really that bad?
Furbendink: Oh, don’t get me started…
Alph: No, I wanna know.
Scene 2: Akanius City: Late Morning
The party, once again wearing their breathers, enters the airlock at the entrance to the city. The doorway seals behind them as they walk over to the gate.
Furbendink: …and that’s how I created the rainbow fart spell.
Alph: How did a conversation about soup turn into that?!
Furbendink: Ah, it’s just one of the mysteries of our time, Alph. Like, how do I know you’re not a girl under that thing?
Alph: My breather?
Furbendink: No, your…yeah, let’s go with that.
Ocre: I’ve seen Alph’s face, Furbendink. Rest assured that he is definitely male.
Amy: And soooooooo cute!
Alph looks over at Amy, who starts panicking.
Amy: I mean…I would assume you’re at least moderately attractive.
Amy fantasises about how irresistibly handsome he must be. Her fantasy is broken by a single alarm sound.
Voice: Airlock purified. You may now enter.
Amy and Furbendink remove their breathers and clip them to their belts. The gates swing open, leaving everybody except Ocre standing in awe.
Furbendink: It’s magnificent!
Crynock: It’s so…Akanian…
Ocre scowls at Crynock.
Ocre: What’s that supposed to mean?!
Crynock: N-Nothing, I swear!
Ocre: You better not be mocking my people, Crynock!
Crynock: No, no! I’m on a journey to see the world, and I love learning about new cultures!
Ocre: Well, you don’t usually lie…okay, I trust you.
Furbendink: Wow, Crynock. That’s the first time she ever said she trusts you!
Ocre: Shut it, grape-top!
Furbendink: My bad.
The party begins entering the city.
Alph: Of all the places we’ve been, this is by far the best one yet. I hope the people here are friendly.
Voice: STOP RIGHT THERE!
The party freezes as two red drachomus guards, a male and a female, walk up to the party.
Male Guard: And what do we have here?
Furbendink: Oh, just the tightest-knit group of travelling friends in Akanius, that’s what!
Ocre wraps her right arm around Crynock’s right shoulder and pulls him next to her. Both drachomi pull large, cheesy grins.
Female Guard: A red drachomus who’s friends with a cyan drachomus? Hm…seems suspicious to me.
Ocre: Oh, we really are-
Crynock: -good friends!
Ocre: Yeah, see? We even finish each other’s-
Ocre glares at Crynock, though both drachomi still grin.
Female Guard: Well, okay then. It’s nice to see two drachomi from different backgrounds getting along so well. Go on thr-
Male Guard: Hold it!
The party members tense up again.
Male Guard: This gadget-y thing-a-ma-bob of mine is picking up an unusually high concentration of psychic activity.
Amy: Oh, that’s me. I’m a powerful esper.
Male Guard: A powerful what-what?
Amy: I can use psychic powers. Watch.
Amy focuses on the male guard’s clipboard. The pen unclips from it and floats through the air, enveloped in blue energy, before landing in the female guard’s hand. The energy dissipates.
Male Guard: Wow, that was incredible! Okay, I’m convinced! You folks enjoy your sta-
Female Guard: Just a second!
The party is fed up and groans this time.
Ocre: What now, officers?
Female Guard: Why is that human woman still wearing her breather?
Alph: Actually, I’m a guy.
Female Guard: My apologies, ma’am. Why is this “guy” woman still wearing her breather?
Ocre: Oh, he has breathing difficulties, so he needs to wear it almost all the time.
Female Guard: Oh?
Alph: I can take it off for short amounts of time to eat and drink, but most of the time-
Female Guard: Okay, I’ve heard enough. I’m going to have to ask you all to come with us to the station so we can examine you properly.
Furbendink: WHAT?! But…I wanted to explore the city!
Male Guard: All suspicious individuals must be assessed before we allow them into the city proper.
Furbendink: This is an outrage! I demand to see a lawyer!
Alph: No, it’s fine. I’ll be happy to go with you, officers.
Male Guard: You’re actually cooperating with us?!
Female Guard: If he’s cooperating, then he clearly isn’t a criminal. Okay, you’re free to go.
Crynock: Just like that?
Female Guard: Indeed.
The party sighs, then starts walking. The male guard stops them.
Male Guard: WAIT!
Furbendink appears furious.
Male Guard: We’re sorry for holding you up. It’s just that we’re hosting the Akanian Tournament this year and, well…we need to be on the lookout for spies from other factions. Here.
The male guard hands a flyer to Ocre.
Ocre: What’s this?
Male Guard: Coupons for Crimson Curie’s All-You-Can-Eat. It’s just down the road there. It’s my way of apologising.
Furbendink: A free buffet?! Let’s go!
Furbendink races down the street, a trail of dust kicked up behind him.
Male Guard: He seems unusually excited about one free beverage.
Amy: Oh dear…he’s not going to be happy.
Female Guard: You see the future too?! Amazing…
Amy: Uh…I’m not that kind of psychic.
Amy’s thoughts: If I were, I could see myself removing Alph’s mask and gazing into his beautiful green eyes, his chiseled jaw, his perfectly-sculpted cheekbones…
Amy suddenly cries out.
Amy: Why do I keep missing the chance to see his stupid fa-
Amy looks over at Alph, who’s staring at her. She throws her arms in the air and cries out, before racing down the road, a trail of dust behind her.
Crynock: What do you see in that girl, Alph?
Alph shrugs his shoulders and makes an “I dunno” noise.
Commercial: It’s Crimson Curie’s All-You-Can-Eat! We have the best food in all of Akanius! Now with 300 convenient locations empire-wide! Right now, claim your coupons for one free drink! It’s our way of giving back to you, the customer! Crimson Curie’s, where you can stuff yourself full of the finest chow in the land*!
*DISCLAIMER: May not be the finest chow in the land. You have been warned!
- Scene 3: Crimson Curie’s All-You-Can-Eat: Early Afternoon
The party sits at a table in Crimson Curie’s All-You-Can-Eat. Furbendink is stuffing his face with all sorts of food, from steak and noodles to chicken pie and stew. Crynock stares at him, mouth agape.
Ocre: What’s the matter, Crynock? Never seen a gnome on a food binge before?
Crynock: I can’t work out how one as small as Furbendink could fit in so much food.
Ocre: He’ll pay for it later, believe me. Gnomes may have lightning-fast metabolism, but there is a limit, if you catch my drift.
Crynock: No, I believe I do not.
Amy looks over at Alph, who is not eating anything.
Amy: Are you sure you don’t want anything?
Alph: I’m not hungry right now, thanks.
Amy attempts to tantalise him with some tasty treats.
Amy: Are you sure you don’t want some spicy cheese bread? Or a slice of super-secret recipe chicken pie?
Alph: I’ll manage.
Amy: What about some strawberry truffle-balls? Ocre says they’re your favourite!
Amy holds one in front of Alph’s face. Alph closes his eyes.
Alph: As I said, I’ll eat when I’m hungry.
Amy’s thoughts: He’s playing hard-to-get, I just know it! That just makes it all the more exciting to crack the mystery!
Amy suddenly hears a voice in the background.
Voice #1: Our plan is foolproof! The Emperor won’t know what hit ‘im!
Voice #2: What better way to overthrow the Empire than by taking out its figurehead? Haha!
Voice #1: Victory to the Aoinian Empire!
Voice #2: May our Empress Aoin reign over these Akanian fools!
Voice #1: Let’s slip out quietly before anybody notices.
Amy watches as two cloaked figures slip past the table.
Amy: Uh…if you’ll excuse me, I must be going.
Furbendink: WHAT?! You’re really going to fol-
Amy grabs Furbendink’s hand.
Amy: And I’ll need Furbendink’s help.
Ocre: Okay, we’ll meet up at the agreed location at sunset.
Amy: Of course.
Amy stands up, pulling Furbendink along as she follows the two cloaked figures.
Furbendink: Are you crazy?! We can’t stop-
Ocre: I have no idea what she’s doing, but she’s a mature, capable girl, so I trust her to look after herself. Furbendink, on the other hand…
A rumbling sound is heard.
Alph: Oh, heheh…I guess I’m hungry now.
A hissing sound is heard as Alph removes his breather. He picks up a strawberry truffle-ball and eats it.
Alph: Mmm…so good!
Amy and Furbendink continue to follow the cloaked figures out of the restaurant.
Amy: Hm…I feel as though I’m missing out on something important…nah! It’s just my imagination!
Furbendink: Maybe you need to use the restroom? I know I do!
Amy: You’re that afraid of a little adventure?
Furbendink: I’m a gnome. It’s only natural for me to be wary of…well, anything.
Amy: If you want to use the restroom-
Furbendink: Never mind. It’s passed.
Amy: Good, then we can focus on our mission.
Furbendink: Which is what, exactly?
Amy: Those two goons obviously wish to assassinate the Emperor. How they slipped past security is beyond me, though.
Furbendink’s thoughts: Oh, I think the security around here could use a bit of training.
Amy: Why would you say that in a public area?!
Furbendink: I said that out loud? Huh…I need to control my thoughts a little better.
Amy: Anyway, we’re trained adventurers. I’m sure we could find a way to stop them.
Furbendink: Look, Amy, you’re only 25 years old. I have YEARS more experience than you!
Amy: Which makes you how old, exactly?
Furbendink: Well, by the standard gnome years-to-human years conversion…exactly the same age.
Amy: Really? You’re 100 years old?
Furbendink: Oh come on! You’re psychic! You could have just read my mind!
Amy: Again, I’m not that kind of psychic.
Furbendink: So you keep saying, but so far the only thing I’ve ever seen you do is move objects with your mind.
Amy: Because I’m an esper, and that’s what espers do.
Furbendink: Oh. Well, that’s still subpar to magic.
Amy: Psychic powers are one of the seven varieties of magic.
Furbendink: Well…regular magic is better!
Amy: Keep down your voice! We do not want to alert the assassins to our presence!
The cloaked figures suddenly stop walking and turn to face Amy and Furbendink. Their faces identify them as blue drachomi.
Drachomus #1: Well well, looks like we have a couple of worms following us, don’t we, Voltran?
Voltran: It would seem so, Azulian.
Azulian: What should we do with them?
Voltran: I say we let them have the first move. Then, we strike!
Azulian: Good idea.
Furbendink: Oh, we can go first? In that case…
Furbendink holds out his wand.
Furbendink: “Furbendink’s Rainbow Fart!”
Both assassins suddenly let out a massive fart, and rainbow coloured mist emerges from their lower bodies.
Azulian: What the…?
Voltran: What did you just do, you little…?!
Furbendink: It’s my own special recipe. Like it?
Azulian: Why, you little…
Voltran: …purple-haired punk!
Furbendink: Amy! Now!
Amy holds out her hand, manipulating the fart into the assassins’ faces.
Azulian: This is…*COUGH*…torture!
Voltran: It’s so…*ACK*…colourful!
Furbendink: And guess what? It’s gonna last for a full ten minutes! Haha! You’ve had it now!
The rainbow mist clears from the assassins’ faces. A third, female cloaked figure emerges from the shadows and stands in front of the other two.
Figure: Azulian, Voltran, I’m very disappointed in the both of you.
Azulian: We’re sorry, Bronzika.
Voltran: Sorry, Boss.
Bronzika faces Amy and Furbendink. She has a bluish-tinged scar on the right side of her face.
Bronzika: You should not have tried to stop us. Now, you will both pay!
Bronzika throws a small black orb to the ground, engulfing the immediate area in a dark shroud. Once it clears, the three drachomus assassins, Amy and Furbendink are gone.
Scene 4: Plaza: Evening
Alph, Ocre and Crynock stand in a plaza in the middle of the city. They seem to be looking out for Amy and Furbendink.
Ocre: Where are they? They were supposed to be here half an hour ago.
Crynock: I’m very worried.
Alph: Well, I’m sure they’re just-
Suddenly, an explosion erupts from a nearby building. Humans and red drachomi run around, screaming. The party runs over to the scene of the explosion. A young drachomus child sits propped up next to a building, holding her arm and crying.
Ocre: Oh no…
Crynock runs over to the child and kneels down to her level.
Crynock: Hey there. What happened?
Child: I was playing over there with my pet drake Peppers, and then…next thing I knew I was over here!
Crynock: Can you move your arm?
The child shakes her head.
Child: Nuh-uh. It hurts too much.
Crynock: Can you tell me your name?
Crynock: Hi, Ruby. My name’s Crynock.
Ruby: That’s a funny name!
Crynock: Well I think your name is beautiful.
Crynock: Now, I’ll heal your arm using some of my special magic. Is that okay?
Crynock: Okay then.
Crynock holds his hand over Ruby’s arm.
Crynock: “Cure wound!”
Crynock’s hand engulfs Ruby’s arm in bright cyan light. After a moment, the light dissipates.
Crynock: There. Now how’s that?
Ruby moves her arm. A big smile spreads across her face.
Ruby: You fixed my arm! Thank you very much, Mr. Crynock!
Crynock: You are most welcome, Ruby.
Crynock holds out his clawed hand. Ruby takes it, and Crynock helps her to her feet.
Two red drachomi, a male and female, rush over to Ruby. Ruby runs into their open arms.
Woman: We were so worried about you! Our precious gem!
Ruby: I’m okay!
Man: What happened to you?
Ruby: I broke my arm, and that man made it better!
Ruby points to Crynock. The man lets go of Ruby and walks over to Crynock.
Man: You healed my little girl?
Man: You jerk!
The man shoves Crynock.
Man: How dare you poison my daughter with your magic!
Man: Stay out of this, Drasilla!
Crynock: I merely did my duty to one who was injured.
Wurmius: You corrupted her and turned her over to your side!
Crynock: I take no side. I am friend to all.
Wurmius: Not me. I would never accept a Soranian as a friend.
Wurmius: You don’t belong in this place. Go back to whatever cesspool you come from!
Ocre: Hey! Nobody talks to my friend like that!
Wurmius: You’re taking the Soranian’s side?
Ocre quickly holds her hand to her ear.
Ocre: Uh…well, you tell that jerk to stop being a jerk to my friend!
Ocre points to her ear.
Ocre (whisper): (I’m on the communicator.) Yeah, I hate his guts too!
A tear rolls down Crynock’s cheek.
Wurmius: We’re leaving. Come along, Ruby.
Wurmius takes Ruby’s hand and starts walking her away. Ruby turns back to face Crynock, before turning her head in the other direction. Drasilla walks up to Crynock.
Drasilla: For what it’s worth, thank you.
Crynock: You are most welcome.
Drasilla: You’re very brave. You should be careful in a place like this.
Crynock: I’ll keep that in mind.
Drasilla turns and walks up to her family again. Crynock looks at Ocre, a sad look on his face.
Ocre: Oh, don’t give me that look! I have a reputation to maintain!
Crynock: I thought you, of all people, were above this prejudicial discrimination between our cultures.
Ocre: While that’s true, I would still rather keep out of any dispute.
Crynock: You initiate most of our battles.
Ocre: I said “any” dispute, not “every” dispute. And starting disputes is very different from keeping out of them.
Crynock: I can’t believe this. I thought we were friends.
Ocre: We are friends, you pale-blue dummy.
Crynock: And yet you didn’t stand up for me.
Ocre: Well, I-
Crynock: There’s more. You’re always insulting me, hitting me…I am the butt of almost every joke you make about us.
Ocre: Well, I wouldn’t turn myself into a joke, so the rest of you have to deal with it! Haha!
Crynock: Well, it’s obvious that our friendship is nothing but a joke.
Ocre: Crynock, I-
Crynock: I need some time to cool off. I’ll be heading over to the Soranian Embassy to replenish my magic.
Ocre: But I-
Crynock: Enough. I’ll meet up with you once I know the best course of action.
Crynock calmly walks away. Alph turns to face Ocre.
Alph: I’ll keep an eye on him. I’ve never seen him so angry.
Ocre: That was anger?! He was so calm that I thought he was-
Ocre: Now I see his point. Maybe I should try to be a bit…nicer to him.
Alph: For now, just give him some time.
Ocre: Agreed. Go. Make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid.
Alph: I’ll meet up with you later.
Ocre: Very well.
Alph: Hey, Crynock. Wait up!
Alph runs over to Crynock. Ocre stares into space.
Ocre: I have the worst feeling…that something bad’s happened to Amy and Furbendink.
Ocre looks in a certain direction.
Ocre: Guess I’d better follow my gut.
Ocre’s belly growls.
Ocre: Or at least feed it! Haha!
Ocre walks in the direction she’s facing.
To be Continued…
- No sooner do Amy and Furbendink escape from being captured by three assassins from the Blue Drachomus Empire than the duo winds up imprisoned by the Red Drachomus Empire! Can they warn the emperor about the trio of goons before it’s too late? Meanwhile, Alph attempts to reconcile Crynock and Ocre before their friendship is completely ruined, but a child could ultimately pave the way for more than just these two drachomi to see the error of their ways.
Bronzika – A blue drachomus fanatic who, along with her brothers Azulian and Voltran, plans to take Emperor Akan out of the picture and, in turn, lead to the entire empire being conquered by Empress Aoin. But are they just a few lightning bolts short of a thunderstorm?
“We have to warn the Emperor before it’s too late!”
- Scene 1: Prison Cell: Akanius Palace: Night
Amy and Furbendink sit in a cell inside the palace.
Furbendink: You know, this wouldn’t have happened if you’d just kept your nose out of other people’s business, right?
Amy: I was merely trying to save the Emperor.
Furbendink: Well, let me walk you through what you did wrong:
We cut to a scene inside a dark room.
Furbendink: Firstly, you let us get captured by those assassins…
Bronzika: Hold still while I tie you up! There!
Furbendink: No! Now I’m all tied up! Whatever will we do, Amy?
Furbendink: Then you untied the ropes with your weird mind magic…in front of the assassins…
Amy’s eyes begin to glow, and the ropes which bind her and Furbendink’s hands unravel and fall to the ground.
Furbendink: And then you caused explosives to go off in the room which blasted a hole in the wall…and caused panic in the plaza!
Amy leaps in front of barrels marked “fire powder”.
Bronzika: Witch! Eat my shocking breath!
Bronzika opens her mouth, releasing a bolt of blue electricity from it. Amy leaps out of the way, and it strikes the barrels.
Azulian and Voltran: Oh n-
We cut to just outside the building. The explosion bursts through the wall, sending Ruby flying and causing a red iguana-like creature to flee.
Furbendink: So naturally, we wound up arrested and thrown in the slammer.
Amy: And now the assassins will execute the Emperor. If only the guards had believed our story.
Voice: Right. Come with us, you two.
A guard opens the cell door.
Furbendink: Oh no! Are we going to be boiled alive for our crime?
Guard: Yeah, that’s right. Come with us.
Amy: You can’t!
Guard: Come with us now.
Furbendink: “Us?” You’re the only one there.
Guard: Just for that, you’re being boiled in hot oil!
Scene 2: Akanius Palace: Night
The guard walks Amy and Furbendink to just outside two large, wooden doors.
Furbendink: So is this the “boiler room”? Pfft…haha! Get it? Amy? Captain “Us”? No?
Amy: Really? You’re making jokes NOW?
Furbendink: Oh, come on! That’s funny!
Amy: Well, maybe a little…
The guard sighs and swings open the doors, revealing a huge, elaborately-decorated room. A long, red carpet begins rolling across the room to the far end. Furbendink whistles.
Furbendink: For a boiler room, this is swa-a-anky!
The guard begins walking across the carpet, with Amy and Furbendink following closely behind.
Furbendink: Wait a minute…I think we’ve been set-up.
Amy: Of course we have, you prawn! The Akanians haven’t had a death penalty in over 200 years!
Furbendink: Then why were we threatened and locked up?
Guard: Security measures. We cannot be too careful about the Emperor’s guests this close to the Akanian Tournament.
Furbendink: Fair enough. Oh, by the way, thank you for the chocolates you left in the cell for us. They were deeeeeeelish!
Guard: Um…those were not “chocolates”.
Furbendink: Come again?
Guard: We didn’t leave you chocolates to consume.
Furbendink: But that means…I must’ve eaten…AAAAAAAH!
Guard: Ha, just kidding! They were chocolates. We just like messing with people.
Furbendink: Why would you do that?! And furthermore, why do you keep using the royal “we” to refer to yourself?
Guard: The palace guards are trained to-
Furbendink: You know what? “We” do NOT want to know!
Guard: As you wish.
The group reaches the other end of the room. A red drachomus in simple clothing sits upon a throne of red crystal. The guard stands to the right of the throne.
Guard: Emperor Akan, I present Miss Amy Mitchell of Hitorelm and Master Furbendink of Moridia.
Amy: It is an honour, Your Majesty.
Furbendink: Hi, Akan. So what’s with the wardrobe? Are all your other clothes in the laundry or something?
Emperor Akan laughs.
Akan: It’s quite alright, Miss Mitchell. I’m actually a rather laid-back emperor.
Amy: Oh, I did not expect such a response.
Akan: I understand that royalty in human lands is very…posh. The emperors of drachomus lands, meanwhile, tend to be much more down-to-earth and…let’s say “normal”.
Furbendink: Which explains your casual outfit.
Akan: Yep, all I need is a pair of shades and I’m set. But I don’t usually wear shades unless I’m outdoors…or at a party.
Furbendink: Wait…you party too?
Akan: Sure. I’m throwing a party tomorrow night, as it happens!
Amy: Pardon me, Your Majesty-
Akan: Please, drop the formality. Just call me “Emperor”. Or “Akan”.
Amy: Very well…Emperor, three assassins from the Blue Drachomus Empire are plotting to eliminate you.
Akan: What?! Why would Aoin send assassins?!
Amy: I…take it you know her, then?
Akan: Of course! Our cultures are experiencing a time of peace, a “ceasefire”, as it were.
Furbendink: Or a “cease-shock”, perhaps?
Akan: Hey, nice pun. I like it!
Amy: I doubt that she sent them personally.
Akan: I suppose I’ll have to contact her and find out.
Akan holds his left wrist level to his face. He presses a button on his communicator. After a few moments, a full-colour projection of a female blue drachomus appears.
Aoin: Ah, Akan. To what do I owe this pleasure?
Akan: Hey, Aoin. Long time.
Aoin: It has been too long. How’s your exercise regime going?
Akan: Pretty good. I managed to lose five-
Akan: Look, I’m in trouble.
Aoin: Oh no…don’t tell me your sister lost her drake again.
Akan: No…well, I mean, she might’ve, I don’t know.
Aoin: Then what?
Akan: I have two guests who say that three assassins are coming to get me. They said they were blue drachomi.
Aoin appears worried.
Aoin: Oh dear…it’s…
Aoin: Well, quite recently a group of Aoinian rebels has emerged. They appear to be devoted to their empire, and especially to me.
Aoin: Probably. They keep claiming that they intend to eliminate the other fourteen Emperors and Empresses so that all the drachomus lands belong to me. What they fail to realise is that-
Akan: -all the empresses and emperors actually try to get along.
Aoin: Our governments, however, have other ideas. That’s why these disputes break-out so frequently.
Akan: Our governments and armies would rather keep themselves busy than allow us to coexist.
Aoin: After five years of both our empires being at peace, I don’t want three rebels to undo the ties we’ve both strived to forge.
Aoin: I hate to admit it, but…I think the best course of action is for your guests to stop the assassins…by any means available.
Akan: Very well.
Aoin: Try to be careful, Akan.
Akan: …I will.
Aoin: Now, I must go. I have matters to which I must attend.
Aoin: My bath is ready.
Akan: Okay, until next time, then.
Aoin: Until next time.
The communicator switches off.
Akan: Well, you heard the lady. Let’s stop those assassins!
Furbendink: And how do you propose we do that?
Scene 3: Soranian Embassy: Morning
Alph enters the Temple of Soranius. Crynock is not wearing his armour; he sits with his legs crossed and his eyes closed, facing the opposite direction in a state of meditation.
Crynock opens his eyes and looks back, still facing the opposite direction.
Crynock: Good morning, Alph.
Alph: Good morning.
Crynock carefully climbs to his feet and turns to face Alph.
Alph: How are you feeling?
Crynock: Much calmer, thank you. A good night’s sleep was all I needed.
Alph: That’s good.
Crynock: I dreamed about the moment when Ocre saved my life, and when I awoke I realised that she does indeed care about me. I guess anger really does make one ignorant.
Alph: True that. So…we have a bit of a situation.
Alph and Crynock, who is now dressed in his armour, stand over a red, iguana-like creature which is tied to a post.
Crynock: A red drake?
Alph: Its name-tag says “Peppers”.
Crynock: Then that means…
Alph: This drake is the pet of the little girl.
Crynock: But…what’s it doing here?
Alph: Honestly, not a clue. But I think you can patch up your differences with her father. Or rather, have him patch up his with you.
Crynock: But how can we locate the girl’s family within the city walls?
Alph: Already taken care of. Apparently, there’s only one resident in the city with the name “Ruby”, and guess what?
Crynock: She is the sister of the Emperor.
Alph: Nope, she-
Alph’s eyes widen.
Alph: Wait, how did you know?
Crynock: That billboard…
Crynock points to a nearby billboard, which Alph reads aloud.
Alph: “Lost Pet. Answers to the name “Peppers”. Belongs to Ruby, Princess of Akanius. Reward offered. If found, please contact any nearby guard.”
Crynock: We must find a guard at once.
Alph: Also taken care of.
Alph gestures to a city guard who’s standing next to Crynock.
Guard: Please come with me.
Crynock: I must say, Alph, you are one sharp individual.
Crynock: Indeed. I’m quite impressed.
Alph: Well then, let’s go make a little girl happy!
Scene 4: Akanius Palace: Morning
Amy and Furbendink stand guard outside the palace entrance.
Furbendink: Oh, why do we have to stand here like this?
Amy: We must keep an eye out for the assassins.
Furbendink: You seriously think they’ll just walk through the front door?
Amy: Well, no, but we’ll be able to see anybody who gets anywhere near this entrance before they arrive.
Furbendink: Hey, yeah! Nobody’s coming through here unless we say otherwise!
Crynock and Alph walk between Amy and Furbendink up to the entrance. Crynock carries Peppers in his hands.
Alph: Hey guys.
Amy continues to stare at Alph as he walks past, little pink hearts floating around her head as she does so.
Furbendink: Uh, Amy…not doing a good job, are we?
Amy: Oh yeah…you need to do a good job…guarding the love…falling in guards…
Furbendink: Oh, for cryin’ out…
Furbendink zooms in front of Alph and Crynock.
Furbendink: Names and purpose of visit.
Alph: Uh, Furbendink…it’s us.
Furbendink jots down some notes on his clipboard.
Furbendink: Okay then, Itsus and Furbendink…hey, we have the same name!
Amy: I like names…like Alph…heehee…sounds like a funny name…
Alph: Uh…is she feeling okay?
Furbendink: I’ll be asking the questions, “Furbendink”…if that IS your real name! Now, what’s with the lizard?
Crynock: It is the pet of the Princess. We merely wish to return it.
Furbendink: Uh-huh…uh-huh…a likely story. I’m afraid I’m gonna need to interrogate you.
Amy: I’ll interrogate the one in the mask…I bet he’s so handsome…like a doctor or an actor…
Alph: Did either of you sleep at all last night?
Furbendink: *YAWN*…huh? Why do you ask?
Alph: Because you always act all weird when you’re sleepy, and Amy’s hardly focusing on anything at all!
Furbendink: If you must know, we’ve been up all night guarding the Emperor, and I must admit, we did a splendid job!
Voice: YOU DUNDERHEADS! THE EMPEROR IS MISSING!
A male human dressed in palace attire runs up to the group. He appears furious.
Amy: Dunderhead…”under his”…mask…I mean…what?
Amy snaps back to reality, and the hearts float away.
Amy: Missing? But…how?!
Furbendink: And who are you?
Human: I am Freddie, the Emperor’s nursemaid.
Furbendink: A male nursemaid? HAHA!
Freddie: ENOUGH! Do you realize how much hot WATER you two are in right now?
Furbendink lets out a long, squeaky, high-pitched scream.
Amy: But we guarded the entrance all night long!
Freddie: The EAST entrance! Reports said the assassins were heading towards the main entrance, which is TO THE SOUTH!
Furbendink: Oh…heheh…my bad.
Freddie: If the Emperor’s been captured, or worse…
Alph: Don’t worry, we’ll find him.
Freddie: And you are…?
Alph: Oh, Alph and Crynock. We’re here about the missing drake.
Freddie speaks calmly.
Freddie: Oh, of course. Please, head through there and it’s the second door on the right.
Crynock: Thank you.
Alph and Crynock walk into the palace, Freddie calmly watching them with a smile on his face. He then turns to face Amy and Furbendink and becomes enraged again.
Freddie: You better fix this, or so help me…
Furbendink: So help you WHAT?! We’ve been awake ALL NIGHT LONG guarding your precious Emperor, and THIS IS THE THANKS WE GET?!
Furbendink: Oh, that is IT!
Furbendink furiously readies his wand.
Furbendink: “FURBENDINK’S RAINBOW FA-“
Amy swiftly snatches the wand with her psychic power, holding it up in the air out of Furbendink’s reach.
Amy: You’re very tired and irrational right now, Furbendink.
Furbendink: Says the love-struck esper!
The wand floats into Amy’s hand, and she puts it into her satchel.
Amy: You’ll get this back once you’ve rested.
Amy: For now, we must find the Emperor.
Freddie: You better, or else-
Furbendink growls at Freddie like a dog.
Freddie: Hm…if you’ll excuse me, I must prepare the Emperor’s bed-chamber.
Freddie enters the palace. Furbendink looks at Amy, a smile on his face.
Furbendink: What a nice young man.
Amy sighs and facepalms.
Crynock walks into a dining hall, with Peppers still in his arms. Ruby and her mother and father sit at a table. Alph stands in the doorway. Wurmius scowls at Crynock.
Wurmius: What are you doing here?
Crynock: I merely wished to return-
Ruby runs up to Crynock, who hands her Peppers. Ruby smiles at Crynock.
Ruby: Thank you so much, Mr. Crynock! You did three nice things for me now!
Crynock: Three nice things?
Ruby: You fixed my arm, you said my name is pretty, and you found my pet!
Crynock: I am glad, Ruby.
Ruby: Come on, Peppers! Let’s go and play in the palace courtyard!
Ruby runs out of the room. Wurmius stands up and reaches for a large sack of money.
Wurmius: I suppose you’ll be claiming your reward, then…
Crynock: Oh, that won’t be necessary.
Crynock: I did a good deed. That, in itself, is reward enough.
Wurmius: Hmph…you really are remarkable, aren’t you, sir?
Crynock: I was merely doing my duty.
Wurmius: You turned down a reward for helping a member of my family, and you didn’t even enquire about its contents.
Wurmius approaches Crynock and holds out his left hand, placing it on Crynock’s shoulder.
Wurmius: I thank you, sir.
Both drachomi bow their heads for a moment, then return them to a normal position. Wurmius removes his hand.
Wurmius: I guess I was the one in the wrong this time. I was so quick to judge you because of racial prejudice. I guess you’ve helped me grow a little.
Drasilla: Oh, Wurmius…
Wurmius: The funny thing is that our daughter never once reviled you. She said nothing but kind words the whole way home yesterday. Maybe it’s we who are immature, not our children.
Crynock: Wisdom is present in everyone, but only the chosen few, and the young at heart, know how to utilise it properly.
Wurmius: Well said…for a Soranian.
Both Drachomi smile. Alph looks out of the room.
Alph: Okay, be right there. Uh, Crynock?
Alph: Amy said something about a possible lead on Emperor Akan.
Wurmius: My son? He has been found?!
Alph: Not yet, but we know the area he’s located in.
Wurmius and Drasilla look at each other.
Alph: Oh…and Furbendink said something about making those assassins choke in a rainbow cloud for ten minutes straight.
Wurmius: Then we must go to him at once!
Crynock: Allow us to assist you.
Wurmius: I wouldn’t have it any other way…brother.
Everyone races out of the room.
Commercial: The Akanian Tournament is almost here! Witness as athletes and adventurers from across the Empire compete in tests of strength, endurance and skill. Which of your favourites will emerge victorious? Reigning Champion Ocre of Akanius will be joined by her young protégé, a new entrant in this year’s tournament! Will he be able to keep up with her? Or will he drag them both into a losing streak? Don’t miss the Akanian Tournament, televised across the entire Empire!
- Scene 5: The Dragon’s Flame Tavern: Late Morning
Ocre sits at a table, a mug of some kind of red liquid in her hand. She takes a mouthful and slams it to the table.
Ocre: Oh yeah…that’s a gooooooood beverage! Barkeep! Another over here!
The bartender, a male human, walks up to Ocre.
Bartender: Um…ma’am…don’t you think you’ve had enough?
Ocre: What? This is strawberry purée!
Bartender: Oh, my apologies. I must have mixed you up with that woman over there.
The bartender points to a male red drachomus at a nearby tale.
Ocre: That’s a man!
Bartender: Oh dear…my humblest apologies, sir.
Ocre: No, I’m a woman!
Bartender: Oh…I should leave before I make another mistake…
Ocre: Not before you pour me another strawberry purée!
Bartender: O-Of course, ma’am…
The bartender walks away. Ocre gets the attention of the male drachomus. She raises her mug in the air in good spirit; the male drachomus grins and waves awkwardly. Ocre stands and walks over to him.
Ocre: Hey there, handsome!
Male Drachomus: Oh, hi.
Ocre sits down, finishes her strawberry purée and slams the mug onto the table.
Ocre: What’s your name?
Male Drachomus: It’s Bob.
Ocre: Bob? Isn’t that…a human name?
Bob: It’s a nickname I acquired in human lands.
Ocre: You’ve been to Hitorelm? What’s it like?
Bob: Very different to Akanius, that’s for sure.
Ocre begins flirting with the drachomus.
Ocre: I love an adventurous, well-travelled, attractive man.
Bob: You do?
Ocre: Sure. Let’s sync our communicators, Handsome.
Ocre and Bob sync their wrist devices by touching them. A beeping sound is heard.
Ocre: Thanks. See you around.
Ocre winks. She stands up and returns to her table. The bartender walks up to Bob.
Bartender: Your strawberry purée, ma’am.
Ocre: OH, COME ON! WE’RE NOT EVEN WEARING THE SAME ARMOUR!
Ocre is thrown out of the tavern by two bouncers. She stands to her feet and dusts herself off.
Ocre: Well, excuuuuuuuuse me, Your Majesty!
Ocre begins walking down the street.
Ocre: *SNIFF* Crynock would have defended me. Now I’m starting to see why he was so hurt that I didn’t defend him…
Crynock’s Voice (Distant): Ocre!
Ocre: I can almost hear his voice.
Crynock’s Voice: (Distant): Ocre, I forgive you!
Ocre: It’s as if he’s forgiving me despite our great distance.
Crynock’s Voice (Closer): Ocre? Hey, Ocre!
Ocre: Hey, that bright-blue drachomus over there almost looks like him, right down to his stupid helmet…wait a second…!
Crynock is standing at the far end of the street.
A big smile spreads across Ocre’s face.
Crynock and Ocre begin running towards each other. As they get closer, they both spread open their arms. Just as they are about to embrace each other with a friendly hug, a human pushing a cart filled with manure walks between them. A look of horror spreads across Ocre’s face as she tries to grind to a halt, but to no avail. At the last moment, Crynock leaps over the cart and knocks her to the ground.
Ocre: You saved my hygiene!
Crynock: We can’t have you meeting the Emperor smelling of manure, can we?
Ocre and Crynock stare at each other for a long moment. Crynock breaks that moment.
Crynock: Uh…I should…
Crynock: Climb off…you.
Crynock stands, helping Ocre to her feet.
Ocre: Meet the Emperor?
Crynock: Of course. I’ll explain everything on the way.
Scene 6: Dark Room: Late Morning
Emperor Akan is tied up in a dark room, with Azulian, Voltran and Bronzika standing guard.
Akan: What’s goin’ on? Why am I tied up here?!
Azulian: Will you stop asking that question?
Voltran: It’s beyond annoying!
Akan: Okay, then let me ask you this: why am I hidden in a room with a huge gaping hole into a busy marketplace?!
We cut to a shot of a blast hole in the wall, signifying that the assassins are using the exact same room that they were before.
Azulian: We rented this room, so we intend to use it.
Voltran: Yeah, use it!
Bronzika: I can’t believe I listened to you idiots…
Akan: Well, anybody could just walk in.
Azulian: Yeah, right!
Voltran: Suuuuuuuure they could!
Ocre: Shoulda listened to your captive.
Ocre, Crynock, Alph, Amy and Furbendink are standing in the room.
Ocre: See that hole? We walked through it!
Bronzika scowls at Azulian.
Voltran: Yeah, what?
Bronzika faces the party.
Bronzika: We are the Fans of Aoinias, a new order which will unite all the Drachomus Lands under our Empress, the great Aoin!
Akan: I told you already, Aoin and I are good friends!
Bronzika: Feh! Our Empress would NEVER be friends with the likes of an Akanian, especially not you!
Crynock: Perhaps we could settle this peacefully…
Bronzika: Why is a Soranian here? Is this some kind of new alliance between the Akanians and Soranians which has slipped under the radar?!
Ocre: Him? No, he’s just travelling with us.
Bronzika: Why would he do so willingly?!
Ocre: Because…he’s my friend.
Bronzika: Then…what about these three?
Ocre: Also my friends. This psychically-empowered woman…this annoying little freak-
Ocre: -and this adventurous young man.
Alph: You and I are family, and so are Crynock, Amy and Furbendink. I don’t need a brother. I have all the family I need right here.
Crynock: Well said, Alph.
Bronzika: You’re all a bunch of…of…whackjobs! Drachomi of two cultures working together?! It can’t be done!
Crynock: I believe the proof is in the pudding.
Bronzika: That is IT! Azulian! Voltran! Attack!
Azulian: Well, actually…
Voltran: …these people have a very good point.
Bronzika: What? You’re siding with THEM?!
Azulian: Well, yeah. We didn’t want to be part of this stupid organisation anyway.
Voltran: We thought it was just something three siblings were doing for fun, but you took it way too far.
Bronzika: My own brothers…betraying me?! Fine! I don’t need you! The organisation will be just fine without you!
Azulian: But you’re the only one left, sister.
Bronzika: Oh no, you no longer have the right to call me “sister”. You are both traitors.
Azulian and Voltran: Traitors?!
Bronzika: Traitors! To both the Aoinian Empire…and to me…?!
Bronzika quickly whips her right hand to the back of her neck.
Bronzika: Get it o-
Bronzika’s eyes flash once with orange light. She lowers her hand to her side and snarls.
Bronzika: Prepare to meet your fate!
Bronzika leaps at Azulian. A wave of blue energy stops her and holds her in the air.
Amy uses her psychic power to hold Bronzika in place. Alph approaches her and readies his spitter.
Bronzika: What are you going to do? Fry me with a burst of flame?
Bronzika: Zap me with electricity?
Alph: Of course not.
Bronzika: Freeze me with a beam of frost?
Alph: I’m a pacifist.
Bronzika: Then wha-
Alph fires his spitter at Bronzika, spraying her with a mist which knocks her unconscious.
Akan: What happened? How did you subdue her without harming her?
Ocre: As you know, spitters typically come equipped with cartridges designed to replicate the breath of a drachomus. Flame, lightning, frost…and many more varieties.
Crynock: However, Alph uses the underrated sleep cartridges in his spitter. Drachomi typically don’t see the point in wasting the use of their spitters with something that only temporarily incapacitates a foe, but Alph…
Amy: He is wonderful. He wouldn’t hurt a fly, let alone another person.
Amy’s Thoughts: And one day…he will be mine!
Alph: Who will be yours?
Amy: I said that out loud?! Ehehe…never mind!
Scene 7: Akanius Palace: Night
The heroes are all in Akanius Palace’s party hall. Humans and red drachomi are dancing to the beat as colourful lights dance around the walls of the darkened room. Akan walks over to the heroes.
Akan: I must thank you once again for helping me.
Alph: No problem.
Furbendink: Happy to do it.
Ocre: I guess security will need to be ramped-up around here.
Crynock: Is that wise?
Akan: It turns out that in the end, the Fans of Aoinias had just one member.
Akan: Yep. But she’s being deported back to Aoinias, where she’ll be sentenced and, hopefully, imprisoned for a loooooooong time.
Alph: That’s good, though there was something…weird about her. I’m sure it’s nothing, though.
Akan: But you, Alph and Amy. You both stopped her from hurting her own family. Why?
Amy: I have siblings of my own back home. I know the importance of familial bonds.
Alph: And as for me, I always felt like I was missing a sibling.
Akan: Really? Just “a sibling”, and not “siblings”?
Alph: Well, I can’t remember my life before arriving in Ocre’s hometown, but there’s a little…something which says that somewhere out there, I do have a brother. I wonder where he could be…
Akan: Well, in any case, you are both heroes. Is there anything I can do for you?
Alph: Well…perhaps you could tell us about the grand prize of this year’s Akanian Tournament?
Scene 8: Akanius Palace: Late Night
Akan leads Alph and Ocre through a darkened part of the palace.
Akan: As you know, the Akanian Tournament holds a grand prize of immense value each year, which ultimately goes to the victors.
Ocre: Of course. It’s part of the reason I compete every year.
Akan: Gold…rubies…a solid gold statue of yours truly. Each year, the grand prize is different, and kept secret from the contestants until the opening ritual.
Akan stops in front of an immense vault, and turns to face the party.
Akan: So how in all of Akanius’ realm did you find out about this year’s prize?!
Alph: Well, I was charged with a mission to collect the ten pieces of an artefact known as the “Mask of Akanius”.
Akan: Ah, yes…the legendary lost mask of the Fifteen Dragons.
Ocre: We have reason to believe that the prize this year is one such piece.
Akan: Well, I assure you that it is locked up safely behind this vault, but…
Akan: I am not allowed to show it to you until the unveiling, nor am I permitted to simply hand it to you unless you rightfully earn it through competing.
Akan: I wish I could, but-
Alph: -it would escalate tensions between the fifteen competing factions to the point of war.
Akan: Exactly. Now, perhaps you could tell me why it’s so important you assemble the fabled Mask of Akanius?
Alph and Ocre look at each other, then back at Akan.
Alph: It’s a long story…
July 9th 2017, 4:51 pm
Episode 3: Akanian Origin
- While waiting for their turn to participate in the qualifiers of the Akanian Tournament, Alph and Ocre begin chatting with a red drachomus about why a human is participating in the event. Alph spares no detail, though, as he literally goes back to the beginning, when he first arrived near Ocre’s hometown, and he explains why he needs to wear a breather and just how he earned the name “Alph”.
The Athlete – A male red drachomus who shows a genuine interest in Alph’s backstory, though an interruption may leave him hungry for more…
“Come on, Alphabet, it’s time to train!”
- Scene 1: Waiting Area: Akanius Stadium: Late Morning
Alph and Ocre sit on benches in a large, red-bricked room. They are waiting to participate in the qualifiers of the tournament.
Alph: I’m really nervous.
Ocre: That’s understandable. It’s your first time competing in the tournament.
Alph: But what if we don’t get picked?
Ocre: You doubt our potential?
Alph: No! Well…yes. I-I’m not sure…
Ocre: Trust in your training, Alph. You have the best coach in all the land!
Alph: Now, that I DO believe.
Ocre: That’s the spirit!
Voice: A human competing in the tournament? Isn’t that…I don’t know…against the rules?
Alph and Ocre look over at a male red drachomus athlete, who also appears to be a warrior. He is looking straight at Ocre.
Ocre: Actually, there is no rule that states that members of non-drachomus races cannot compete.
Athlete: Well, no, not officially, but…
Ocre: THIS human was measured as being at a peak proficiency on-par with an adolescent drachomus.
Athlete: No kidding.
Ocre: I am serious! He could whup your behind any day of the week!
Athlete: Well…why exactly IS he competing, anyhow?
Alph: Perhaps I can tell you the details.
Ocre: Correction: WE can tell you the details! We’re a team, after all.
Alph: Oh, right. It all started in Ocre’s township in the Akanian plains…
Scene 2: Ocre’s Hometown: Late Morning
Ocre stands in the square of her small township, practicing her sword skills. As she makes a skillful swing with her blade, she sees a beacon of red light in the distance which distracts her just long enough to make her accidentally let go of her sword, flinging it into the wall of a nearby building.
Ocre wanders through the fields near her home, in the direction of the beacon.
Ocre: Now, what could possibly-
Ocre sees a male human in unusual attire lying on the ground directly in front of her.
Ocre: Excuse me! Hello? It’s not safe to just lie around out here, y’know.
Ocre approaches the human. As she nears him, she hears raspy breaths coming out of his mouth.
Ocre: Oh no!
Ocre runs up to the human. He is unconscious, and his breaths are strained and noisy.
Ocre: I have to get him back to town!
We cut to a view of the human’s face. The scene fades to black.
As the scene fades back in, we see the young man lying in a bed. A weird mask connected to a small device by a black tube is strapped to his face. The young man’s eyes slowly open, and he looks around.
Ocre: I found you unconscious in the plains near my town.
Ocre enters the room. The young man becomes startled and scrambles to sit up, trying to move as far back from her as possible.
Man: Who are you? How did I get here?!
Ocre: You tell me.
Man: I-I don’t know! Wait…I don’t know…
Ocre: You don’t know what?
Man: Anything! I don’t remember anything!
The young man begins to panic.
Man: I have to go! Right now!
The young man reaches to his face in an attempt to remove the mask. Ocre holds out her hand.
Ocre: Uh…that’s not a good idea, kiddo.
Man: What? Why?
Ocre: When I found you, you were struggling to breathe. I thought if I brought you into my town, the clean air would resolve your problem, but…
Man: I think I remember something about that.
Ocre: You do?
Man: Yeah. I-I think I have breathing problems. I’m sure I’ve always had issues with allergies and other things.
Ocre: Then why were you wandering through the fields of Akanius without a breather?
Man: I…I don’t know…
Ocre: You weren’t kidding when you said you don’t know anything…
Man: It’s like my past is all a blank slate. I remember nothing about where I came from, my friends and family…the earliest memory I have is being in the middle of that plain, and then…
The young man focuses on his thoughts, frowning as he tries to think.
Ocre: Whoa, don’t think too hard, kiddo, or you’ll pull a muscle!
Man: Sorry about that.
Ocre: Oh…I might have an idea. Wait here!
Ocre walks out of the room. After a brief moment, she returns with a brown leather-bound journal.
Ocre: I found this near you in the plains. Maybe there’s something in it that can jog your memory.
Man: It’s worth a shot.
The young man takes the journal and opens it. The very first page is marked with an enormous letter “N”.
Ocre: I don’t recognise that pictograph.
Man: That’s N, the fourteenth letter of the alphabet.
Ocre: Alphabet, huh? What’s that?
Man: Your people don’t have a form of writing?
Ocre: Of course we do! We write things using symbols in the Draconic script.
Man: Wait…Draconic? So dragons are real?
Ocre: Of course they are! The Fifteen Dragons are our guardians and protectors. They reside within the Celestial Planes.
Man: Well, you look kind of dragon-ish…
Ocre: So you don’t know of the drachomi either?
Ocre is surprised.
Man: I told you, my past is missing.
Ocre: Well, at least now you can say you’ve met at least one drachomus.
Man: Yeah, I guess I can.
Ocre: Come on, “Alphabet”, let’s go.
“Alphabet”: Go where?
Ocre: I’ll show you around my town. I mean, you’re probably going to be here a while…
“Alphabet”: Sure. Oh, but you said not to take off this mask.
Ocre: Just clip the pump to your belt.
“Alphabet” points to the small device.
“Alphabet”: You mean this thing?
Ocre: Yes. It’s designed for portability.
“Alphabet”: O-Okay then…
Scene 3: Town Square: Ocre’s Hometown: Late Morning
Ocre leads “Alphabet” through the town square.
Ocre: Well, this is the town square. The market and bath house are both located here, as well as other amenities.
“Alphabet” looks around in amazement.
“Alphabet”: It’s amazing…
Ocre: The entire town is protected by an enormous dome that keeps the acrid air of this land outside. We built it for the sake of the humans who live here, since they can’t breathe too well while in the Akanian plains.
“Alphabet”: I can believe that…
Voice: Good morning, Ocre!
A female red drachomus walks over to Ocre and “Alphabet”.
Ocre: Oh, good morning, Flarena.
Flarena: All ready for the Akanian Tournament?
Ocre: What? It’s still months away!
Flarena: I know, but you win almost every year. I’d expect that your skills are already perfect.
Ocre: Well…I don’t know if they’re PERFECT…
Flarena: But who will be your teammate this year?
Ocre: I figured I might go solo this time around.
Flarena: What?! But…the rules state that competitors must have a teammate to assist them!
Ocre: Oh, right…I forgot about that…
Flarena notices “Alphabet”.
Flarena: Oh, we have yet to be introduced. My name is Flarena.
“Alphabet”: Oh, it’s nice to meet you. I’m…uh…
Ocre chimes in.
Ocre: Oh, this is…Alph. He’s going to be my teammate in the tournament!
Alph: I am?
Flarena: I thought you said you were going solo this year…
Ocre: Well, like you said, I need a teammate whether I want one or not! Eheheheheh…
Flarena: Yes…but does he have any skill?
Ocre: Oh…well…skill is his middle name! There’s no finer individual in all the land!
Flarena: Apart from yourself, you mean?
Ocre: Of course! You can count on me – I mean “us” – to win the tournament! HAHA!
Flarena: Well, I look forward to viewing your performance.
Ocre: As do I.
Flarena: Pleasant day to you.
Ocre: Pleasant day.
Flarena: It was nice to meet you, Alph.
Alph: Uh…nice to meet you too.
Flarena walks away. Alph looks at Ocre.
Alph: So I’m really going to compete in this “Akanian Tournament” with you?
Ocre: Yes. But first, I need to train you.
Alph: So when IS this tournament?
Ocre: A little over two months from now.
Alph: TWO MONTHS?! That can’t be enough time for me to train to be a…a…I’m sorry, what will I be training to become?
Ocre: A swordmaster.
Alph: Wait…you want me to become a brawler?!
Ocre: Uh…if that’s your way of saying “someone who uses a sword”, then yes.
Ocre: Don’t worry, you’ll be great, I can tell! Now, let’s go to the training area.
Ocre begins to walk away. Alph stares at her.
Scene 4: Waiting Area: Akanius Stadium: Late Morning
We cut back to the waiting area in the Akanius Stadium.
Athlete: So that’s how you got paired up with Ocre?
Ocre: Just wait, cause you haven’t heard ANYTHING yet!
Scene 5: Training Area: Ocre’s Hometown: Early Afternoon
Alph and Ocre stand facing each other. Ocre is wielding a sword, while Alph has left his in its sheath.
Ocre: What are you waiting for, Alphabet? Come at me with all your might!
Alph: I-I don't think I can!
Ocre: Why not? How can you expect to become a great warrior if you don't even learn to swing a sword?
Alph: That's the thing. I don't want to be a warrior!
Ocre: Come on, Alphabet, you haven't even tried it!
Alph: But what if I hurt you?
Ocre: I'm an Akanian. No way am I gonna let a little owie stop me!
Alph: Okay, it's time to tell you the truth.
Ocre: The truth?
Alph: Yeah. I...am a pacifist.
Ocre: What's that?
Alph: It's someone who doesn't like hurting others. I don't want to use this sword because I know it would hurt someone one day.
Ocre: Now Alphabet, you don’t HAVE to hurt anyone! The tournament isn’t some arena setting where the competitors fight to the bitter end. It’s a contest of strength, skill and perseverance. I can already tell that you have a strong, athletic body.
Alph: I was probably a muddvak wrangler or something.
Ocre: What’s a muddvak?
Alph: A big, brown, hairy creature. You don’t have them here?
Ocre: No, but they sound…um…anyway, the point is that the tournament isn’t a place where people get seriously hurt, whether by sword or otherwise. It’s the one time of year when the factions aren’t at each other’s throats.
Ocre: Oh, yes. The fifteen Drachomus Empires have been at odds for centuries. Surely you must recall that at least?
Alph: Sorry, no.
Ocre: Wow, that is one weird memory thing you have…
Alph: Okay, if you promise me that I won’t have to hurt anyone, I’ll do it.
Ocre: Great. Now, come at me!
Alph closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. He slowly draws his sword from the sheath on his back and focuses on Ocre. Almost at once, a mental image of Ocre appears in his mind as a red outline on a black background. He imagines running up to her and swinging his sword. He then opens his eyes and charges. As he swings his sword, Ocre readies hers to block, but Alph manages to knock her sword out of her hand, causing it to clatter to the ground. Alph returns to a neutral position.
Alph: How’d I do?
Ocre is speechless.
Ocre: I-I…I don’t know what to say…
Ocre: Y-You’re…already very skilled.
Alph: I am? Huh…I had no idea.
Ocre: There’s something else.
Alph: There is?
Ocre: Yes. While your eyes were closed…
Alph tilts his head slightly.
Ocre: …a strange symbol glowed on the back of your sword hand. It resembled a cluster of circles and dots that glowed with red light.
Alph examines the back of his right hand.
Alph: All I see is-
Suddenly, the mark of the multiverse glows through the back of Alph’s brown gauntlet glove with red light.
Alph: By the plains…
Ocre: Wait…you didn’t know about this?
Alph: Well, no.
The mark disappears.
Alph: It’s gone!
Ocre: I think we need to go on a little journey, you and I.
Alph: We do?
Ocre: Yes. There’s a village just over the nearby ridge where a powerful oracle lives. Maybe he can shed some light on this mysterious mark…uh…excuse the pun.
Alph: It’s worth a shot, I guess.
Ocre: Good. We leave at first light!
Alph’s thoughts: Maybe that oracle can tell me who I am…
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- Scene 6: Waiting Area: Akanius Stadium: Late Morning
The athlete leans forward.
Athlete: So what happe-
The athlete leans forward so much that he slips off his bench and falls to the ground.
Alph: Are you alright?!
The athlete pulls himself up using his bench as support and sits back down.
Athlete: Yeah. I was literally on the edge of my seat! Now please, continue.
Alph: Very well…
Scene 7: Akanian Plains: Early Afternoon
Alph and Ocre make their way through a large plain in the direction of a ridge.
Ocre: Not much farther to go, Alphabet.
Alph: That’s good. I could use a rest.
Ocre: Wait until we get up to the ridge. There’s a rest area there.
Alph: Good idea.
Alph and Ocre arrive in the rest area. A number of stone benches are arranged around the circular clearing.
Ocre: Well, here we are.
Alph: Wow, this ground is unusually flat.
Ocre: This clearing was carved out of the rocky ground up here.
Alph: I need to sit down for a while.
Ocre: Be sure to rehydrate.
Alph: What? But…my breather!
Ocre: It should be safe for you to take it off for a short while to eat and drink something.
Alph: Even with the way the air is here?
Ocre: Actually, nearly all of the dangerous air is closer to sea level. We’re at a higher altitude, so the air is much cleaner.
Alph: Oh, I see…
Ocre: Just don’t leave your breather off for too long and you’ll be fine.
Alph: Got it.
Alph walks over to a bench and sits on it. Ocre begins heading down another path.
Alph: Scouting ahead?
Ocre: Of course. I need to make sure it’ll be safe to proceed.
Alph: Fair enough.
Ocre walks along the path. A hissing sound is heard as Alph removes his breather, letting it hang over his right shoulder. Alph removes a pouch from his pack and opens it, taking a pink, golf ball-sized piece of food from it.
Alph: Ooh, strawberry truffle-ball!
Alph bites into the truffle-ball.
Ocre proceeds along the path.
Ocre: Hm…seems unusually safe here. I guess we can-
Voice: HELP! SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME!
Ocre: Someone’s in trouble!
Ocre proceeds to the source of the voice and looks just over the cliff face. Roughly two feet down is a male drachomus with cyan-coloured scales, who is dressed in the armour of a cleric. His most noticeable feature is a helmet with two crests shaped like dragon wings. He is clutching onto a plant root which conveniently juts from the cliff-face.
The cyan drachomus looks up and sees Ocre.
Drachomus: Oh, thank goodness! I feared that no-one else would be in this place!
Ocre: What are you doing out here alone?
Drachomus: I will tell you if you can help me up!
Ocre: Oh, you’re bribing me?
Drachomus: Believe me, I would feel much better if I were saved!
Ocre: Well…okay. I’ll help you!
Drachomus: Oh, thank you so very much!
Ocre climbs onto her belly and holds out her left arm.
Ocre: Take my hand!
The cyan drachomus stretches out his right arm. Ocre grabs his hand and pulls him up with little effort. The cyan drachomus lands on top of Ocre, and the two stare into each other’s eyes.
Drachomus: I should…
The cyan drachomus stands to his feet. He takes Ocre’s left hand and pulls her up. Ocre brushes the dust off her armour.
Drachomus: Thank you for rescuing me.
Ocre: You’re welcome. You still owe me an explanation.
Drachomus: Very well. My name is Crynock, and I am a cleric of the Fifteen Dragons.
Ocre: Really? You revere the entire pantheon?!
Crynock: Of course. All their teachings are the same, so why should I settle?
Ocre: So why are you all the way out here?
Crynock: I am travelling throughout the empires, seeking new lands, meeting new people…basically, I am on a cultural journey.
Ocre: There aren’t many drachomi who are interested in factions other than their own.
Crynock: That’s why I hope to meet other like-minded people. You clearly have an open mind yourself, uh…
Ocre: You can call me Ocre.
Crynock: It’s a pleasure to meet you.
Ocre: And you’re right. I come from a community in which tolerance is encouraged. We have drachomi from multiple countries who live there.
Crynock: I see…
Ocre: I’d like to one day travel the world as well, but for now, my goal is to compete in the Akanian Tournament.
Crynock: That is quite the coincidence, as I am currently on my way to Akanius City to witness it.
Ocre: Oh…well…maybe we could travel there together…?
Crynock: Oh…well…of course.
Ocre: Good. Oh, but I’ll only journey as far as Akanius City. After the tournament, I’m going back to my town.
Ocre: Well, shall we head off, then?
Ocre: Good. Let me just go and fetch my ally. Wait here!
Ocre proceeds back down the path. She stops and turns to face Crynock.
Ocre: Oh, and don’t fall down any more cliffs while I’m gone, okay?
Crynock: I will be careful.
Ocre: Good, ‘cause I already saved you once. I don’t want it to become a regular occurrence!
Crynock nods. Ocre turns back to the path and walks along it.
Scene 8: Mawfang Ridge: Late Afternoon
Alph, Ocre and Crynock arrive in the town of Mawfang Ridge.
Alph: …and I don’t remember anything.
Crynock: That sounds like quite the dilemma.
Ocre: That’s why we’re here, to take him to the oracle.
Crynock: Lead the way!
Ocre: That’s…kind of what I’m doing.
Voice: Excuse me, could you direct me to the oracle?
Ocre looks down and sees a gnome with purplish-pink hair standing in front of her.
Ocre: You’re in luck. We’re on our way there now.
Gnome: Great! I have to ask him where…something…is located.
Gnome: Yeah. It’s kind of private.
Crynock: Say no more…uh…
Gnome: Call me Furbendink, because…well…that’s what I’m called!
Alph: Nice to meet you, Furbendink! Call me Alph, because…that’s what I’m called. Apparently.
Gnome: “Alph”, huh? Weird name.
Ocre: Okay, we’re here!
Scene 9: Waiting Area: Akanius Stadium: Late Morning
Athlete: So you found the oracle…and then what happened?
Scene 10: Oracle’s House: Mawfang Ridge: Late Afternoon
Alph, Ocre, Crynock and Furbendink sit at a round table draped with a red cloth; a large, red crystal sits in its centre.
Furbendink: Well, this is nice.
Ocre: Why are you sitting at the table with us?
Furbendink: It’s in the script.
Furbendink: Fourth-wall demolitions, my good sir. It runs in the family.
Ocre shakes her head.
Ocre: Oh, brother…
Voice: Welcome, all, to the home of…THE MAWFANG ORACLE!
A male human with silvery hair suddenly sits across from the party.
Alph: WHOA! How did you do that?!
Oracle: Ah, that is one secret I am not at liberty to reveal, Alph.
Alph: Y-You sort of know my name?!
Oracle: Of course. I was able to glean some details from you the moment you set foot in here.
Ocre: But how? You weren’t even in the room at the time.
Oracle: Wasn’t I?
Ocre: No. Your seat was empty just a moment ago.
Oracle: An oracle has his ways, Ocre.
Ocre: But that doesn’t answer my que-
Oracle: Now, to business. The four of you are journeying to Akanius City for the Akanian Tournament, yes?
Furbendink: How did you know…?
Oracle: The prize this year is very important, and you must claim it. The fate of the world-
Ocre: Hold on a minute! You’re not going to say that the fate of the world depends on us, are you?
Oracle: Of course not.
Ocre: Good, cause that’s a HUGE respo-
Oracle: It depends on ONE of you!
Oracle: The rest of you are also important, but you must help the Chosen One attain her – or his – ultimate goal.
Ocre: Oh, come on! “The Chosen One”? That’s too overused!
Oracle: Well, tough! That’s the way this journey is going to work whether you like it or not!
Furbendink: So what’s the ultimate goal?
Oracle: Are you familiar with the legend of the Dragon Masks?
Ocre: Of course. Everyone in the world kno-
Oracle: According to legend, there were fifteen masks forged which each represented one of the Fifteen Dragons, the celestial protectors of this world.
Ocre: We already kno-
Oracle: Fourteen of them are intact, and reside within their respective empires. The Akanius Mask, the one modelled after the red dragon himself, was destroyed centuries ago.
Ocre: Yes, so why-
Oracle: The pieces still exist across this world, in many of the empires. Your party’s goal is to find the pieces and assemble…the Mask of Akanius!
Oracle: And it just so happens that the first piece is the grand prize of this year’s Akanian Tournament!
Furbendink: Wow, that’s amazing!
Ocre: But why do we have to-
Oracle: I thank you for visiting me on this day.
Ocre: Okay, why are you only interrupting me, you stupi-
Oracle: Now, begone!
The party walks out of the house.
Ocre: I can’t believe that guy! He kept interru-
Furbendink: Now, let’s go onward! To Akanius City!
Furbendink leads the way, with Alph and Crynock following closely behind. Ocre stands there, her mouth agape.
Ocre: Okay, does EVERYBODY feel they have authority over m-
Guard: Move along, citizen. Loitering is not permitted here.
Ocre nearly loses her temper, but manages to calm down. She follows after the others.
Scene 11: The Name Pending Tavern: Night
The party sits at a table in The Name Pending, Mawfang’s local tavern. Ocre has a mug of strawberry purée, whereas Crynock has a mug of water. Furbendink is pigging out on various kinds of food.
Ocre: So Furbendink, what brings you to Akanius?
Furbendink (mouth full): Hm?
Crynock: Gnomes hail from the distant land of Moridia, do they not?
Furbendink (mouth full): Oh yeah…(swallows)…of COURSE I’m from Midiora!
Furbendink: Yeah, that. I always get those two names mixed up…
Furbendink looks at Alph.
Furbendink: So why do you wear that thing, Alph?
Alph: Oh, I have breathing problems, so I need to wear this nearly all the time.
Furbendink: Weird. Still, I guess we all have problems. My sister Al-
Furbendink: Actually, never mind.
Alph: But I also don’t have any memory of my past.
Furbendink: That’s also weird.
Ocre: Oh, flank!
Furbendink: HEY! Watch your language!
Ocre: We forgot to ask the Oracle about Alph!
Alph: Oh yeah…I knew we’d forgotten something.
Furbendink: Well, you do have memory loss, Alph.
Alph: Not that kind of memory loss, Furbendink.
Furbendink. Oh. OH…you mean amnesia!
Alph: Sort of…I guess.
Ocre: Well, in any case…
The party talks amongst itself. At a nearby table, a female hooded figure in a blue robe watches them. Her hood obscures most of her face.
Figure: Target acquired.
Furbendink: Oh, frogs!
Ocre (mocking): Furbendink, watch your language!
Furbendink: I forgot to ask the Oracle about MY problem!
Scene 12: Waiting Area: Akanius Stadium: Late Morning
Athlete: Oh boy, this is getting good!
A voice sounds out over the speakers in the area.
Voice: Akanian Team 2, please prepare for your qualifying round.
Athlete: Oh, nuts, that’s us. Well, I hope to hear the rest of your story later.
Alph: Of course!
Athlete: Great. And I know only one of our teams can proceed to the next round, but…good luck. It sounds like you deserve to win more than my team.
Ocre: Thank you. Just don’t deliberately throw the round so we have a better chance of qualifying! I’d rather earn our place fair and square!
Athlete: You got it!
The athlete and his teammate proceed down a corridor.
Ocre: Well, we’re next, kiddo.
Alph: Awesome! I’m READY!
The five Akanian teams stand in a line. Alph and Ocre, the third team in the preliminary round, stand in the centre.
Announcer: I give you our five Akanian teams!
The crowd claps and cheers.
Announcer: Now as you all know, only one team from each empire is allowed to compete in the tournament, with each of the potential entrants to participate in a preliminary round to determine who will be representing their country.
The crowd talks amongst itself.
Announcer: We will now announce the Akanian teams who participated in reverse order of placement. In fifth place, with a score of 20 points…Team 1!
The crowd claps.
Announcer: In fourth place, with a score of 35 points…Team 5!
The crowd claps.
Announcer: In third place, with a score of 50 points…Team 4!
The crowd claps.
Announcer: Now, the last two teams were near-even, with a difference of just five points between them. Team 2 managed to score 80 points.
The crowd talks amongst itself.
Announcer: I will now reveal the score of Team 3… (clears throat) …Team 3 managed to score…85 points, making them the representatives of Akanius!
The crowd claps and cheers.
Announcer: For the fifth year in a row, the legendary Ocre will represent the Empire of Akanius, though as you can see, she has a new teammate for the first time since her début.
The crowd talks amongst itself. A few people clap.
This young human male, Alph, has proven to be a valued ally and teammate of Ocre, and we all look forward to seeing how he performs during the tournament. Let’s give a round of applause to Ocre and Alph, the representatives of Akanius!
The crowd claps, cheers and stands up.
Ocre: So how do you feel now, Alph?
Alph: Really nervous…and excited…and a little hungry.
Ocre: Well, you are in for a treat. The winning teams get to eat a massive feast!
The teams begin to leave the arena. Ocre sees the athlete from before and stops him.
Ocre: Hey, thanks for not throwing the round.
Athlete: I’m always true to my word. See ya!
The athlete walks away. Ocre thinks to herself.
Ocre’s thoughts: Always true to his word…just like…
Alph and Ocre walk through a corridor. They walk past another male human with a brown hood partly obscuring his face, who watches as they walk away. He speaks with an American accent with just a little hint of Spanish.
Man: So it begins…I must tell my allies at once.
FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK…
July 16th 2017, 4:42 pm
Episode 4 – Akanian Tournament
- Alph and Ocre begin their trials in the prestigious Akanian Tournament, with both teammates determined to win the grand prize: a piece of the legendary Mask of Akanius, an artefact that is said to grant its wearer the strengths and abilities of the Red Dragon himself. But there are other competitors who seek the fragment for themselves, little realising its true significance. A lone member of the Hitorelmian team, however, does seem to know something about the fragment, and he also shows an interest in it. Will the young pacifist and his drachomus ally be able to claim the prize?
Ash Voltstriker – A competitor who apparently hails from the distant human-inhabited land of Hitorelm, he shows an interest in the mask fragment, but is there more to his competing in the tournament than merely winning the grand prize?
Aoin, Empress of the Blue Drachomi – The leader of the Aoinian people herself has come to Akanius City to cheer on her empire’s team.
“Wait…my hand is glowing?!”
- Scene 1: Alph’s Bedchamber: Akanius Stadium: Early Morning
Alph, who is not wearing his breather, tosses and turns in his bed.
Alph: No…not the muddvaks…anything but the muddvaks…
Alph’s eyes suddenly open, and he sits up, groaning.
Alph: What a weird dream…ACHOO!
Alph sniffs and wipes his nose with the back of his right hand.
Alph: I guess I’d better put on my breather, then.
Alph turns on his breather’s pump. He then picks up the mask and slips it onto his head, positioning it until comfortable, before pulling the straps to tighten it. A knock sounds on his door, before it slowly opens. Amy enters the room, a tray of strawberry truffle-balls in her hands.
Amy: Rise and shine, sleepy hea-
Amy: Oh, you’re awake!
Alph: ‘Morning, Amy!
Amy: Uh…well, you seem chipper this morning, Alph!
Alph: You know it!
Amy: I see. Well, I brought you a tray of truffle-balls. Gotta keep up your strength for the tournament, right?
Alph: Of course!
Amy stands there, holding the tray. After a brief pause, she speaks.
Alph: Oh, just leave the tray there, thanks.
Alph points to a table, causing Amy to look at it. His mark suddenly begins to glow.
Alph: What the…?
Amy: What is it?
Amy turns to face Alph, who quickly pulls his hand under his blanket.
Alph: Uh…nothing! It’s nothing, really!
Amy: Well, okay…if you’re sure…
Amy sets the tray on a table.
Amy’s thoughts: Drat! How can it be this difficult to glimpse Alph’s face…?
We see the man from earlier peeking into Alph’s bedchamber.
Man’s thoughts: That mark…it will soon appear…
Scene 2: Outside Alph’s Bedchamber: Akanius Stadium: Morning
Alph opens his bedchamber door and steps into the hall. He begins heading towards the stadium proper. Alph walks past the man, whose hood is still over his head.
Man: I saw your performance yesterday.
Alph stops and looks at the man.
Alph: Oh, uh…thank you.
Man: It was most impressive. To think another skilled human swordfighter would be competing…
Alph: Oh, you’re a competitor?
The man pulls down his hood.
Man: Ash Voltstriker, member of the Hitorelmian team.
Alph: Oh, I’m…Alph.
Ash: It is a pleasure to meet you, Alph.
Alph: Oh, uh…likewise.
Ash: I am on my way to the arena. Perhaps we could walk there together…?
Ash: Then let us proceed.
Alph and Ash begin to walk.
Alph: So you come from Hitorelm?
Ash: Well, not originally. I have my own home there, so I am eligible to compete.
Alph: And you’re also a brawler? I mean…warrior?
Ash’s thoughts: Brawler…?
Ash: Actually, I am a kinetic, a swordfighter who uses psi magic in their techniques.
Alph: Psi magic?
Ash: Yes, the magic of the mind. Observe.
Alph and Ash stop walking. Ash holds his hand towards a crooked painting of Emperor Akan. The painting ripples with rainbow energy and straightens itself.
Alph: Oh, that’s just like Amy’s esper powers!
Ash: You could say that. Espers focus primarily on psi magic, whereas kinetics focus more on imbuing physical techniques with it.
Alph: Which explains why you’re so…well-toned.
Ash: You are in excellent shape yourself, Alph.
Alph: I eat a lot of vegetables.
Ash: I understand you also have something of a sweet tooth.
Alph: How did you know?!
Ash: Your neckerchief has a piece of candy stuck to it.
Alph examines his neckerchief.
Alph plucks off a piece of strawberry truffle-ball and puts it into a nearby rubbish bin.
Ash: I tend to notice small details.
Alph: So do I!
Ash: Then we have something in common, perhaps one of many things.
A voice sounds over the speaker.
Speaker: Akanian team, please make your way to the arena for the first round.
Alph: Oh, that’s me. I better go.
Ash: Very well. I hope to meet with you again, Alph.
Alph: Me too. See ya!
Ash smiles. Alph proceeds down the hall.
Ash: That boy could prove a worthy opponent in the third round. I must prepare myself…
Scene 3: Arena: Akanius Stadium: Morning
Alph and Ocre stand in the arena. Crynock, Amy and Furbendink stand in the crowd, cheering them on.
Amy: WOO! Go, Alph!
Crynock: Do your best, Ocre!
Furbendink: Both of you, don’t do anything my brother wouldn’t do!
Crynock and Amy look at Furbendink.
Amy: You have a brother?
Amy: But no sisters, then…
Furbendink: I have sisters! Who says I don’t have sisters? THOSE LIARS! HOW DARE THEY-
Crynock: Calm down, Furbendink. No-one is accusing you of not having sisters.
Furbendink: They better not, otherwise they MIGHT get a little surprise…heh heh heh…
Amy: Is that surprise Furbendink’s rainbow fart?
Furbendink: Uh…pfft…no! It’s…uh…Furbendink’s…uh…rainbow…uh…fart!
Amy shakes her head.
Furbendink: See, I’m not a one-spell phony!
Amy: You could’ve fooled me…
The announcer stands at the microphone.
Crynock: Oh, the announcer’s ready to speak!
Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen of every empire, I welcome you all to Akanius Stadium for the preliminary round of this year’s Akanian Tournament!
The crowd cheers.
Announcer: The first team to compete is, of course, the Akanian team!
Announcer: The team captain is a fan favourite, hailing from all the way in Golden Scrub Town. This is her fifth time competing, and her third time passing the qualifiers. Let’s hear it for…OCRE!
The crowd cheers.
Furbendink: Yeah, Ocre! WOO!
Announcer: Joining her this year is a new teammate, hailing from…parts unknown.
The crowd talks amongst itself.
Announcer: For the first time in tournament history, a human is on the Akanian team, but he was measured as being on-par with a young drachomus both physically and mentally. Let’s see if he has the heart of a drachomus as well. Let’s hear it for…ALPH…PLAINRIDER!
The crowd cheers.
Alph: But…how can that be my last name?
Ocre: Just go with it.
Announcer: We will take a short break. After that…we begin the first round of the tournament! Let’s hear it for Ocre and Alph!
The crowd claps and cheers.
Ocre: Are you still nervous?
Alph: Nope, but my bladder might be…
Ocre: Well, be quick. This break is only for fifteen minutes!
Alph: Will do!
Alph runs towards a hallway. Ash watches him from the crowd.
Ash: Be quick, little seedling. I won’t accept disqualification on your part…
Ash looks at the grey drachomus next to him.
Ash: It is nothing.
Voice: Who’s a seedling…?
Ash: You are tired.
Drachomus: No I’m-
Ash’s eyes flash once with red light. The drachomus falls asleep, snoring loudly. Ash looks back at the hallway, a smirk on his face.
Scene 4: Outside Toilet: Akanius Stadium: Morning
Alph walks out of the toilet.
Alph: That’s a relief…
Voice: Couldn’t hold it in, eh?
Furbendink is suddenly standing there.
Alph: WHOA! Don’t do that!
Alph: Suddenly appearing out of nowhere! You really startled me!
Furbendink: Oh, sorry, Al.
Alph: Did…you just call me “Al”?
Furbendink: Yeah! Call it a nickname.
Alph: But I already HAVE a nickname.
Furbendink: Which is…?
Furbendink: Which is short for…?
Alph: Alphabet! You know this!
Furbendink: Honestly, I thought your name was-
Furbendink: Wait…what was I doing again…?
Alph: You tell me.
Furbendink: Well, I was hoping YOU’D tell ME.
Alph: Well…were you on your way to the cafeteria?
A lightbulb appears above Furbendink’s head.
Furbendink: That’s right, I was! You know me so well, Alph! Bye!
Alph watches as Furbendink runs down the hallway.
Alph: That guy sure loves his food…
Scene 5: Arena: Akanius Stadium: Morning
The announcer speaks.
Announcer: Wow! Wasn’t that quite the show, folks?
The crowd cheers.
Announcer: I don’t think the Akanian team has been in better form. Both Ocre and Alph showed exactly what they can do in a contest of skill and stamina!
The crowd cheers. The scene cuts to Crynock, Amy and Furbendink. Crynock and Amy cheer, whereas Furbendink seems disappointed.
Crynock: Omedetou Gozaimasu, Arufu-kun to Okka-san! (Congratulations, Ocre and Alph!)
Amy: Yeah…whatever Crynock said!
Crynock: I was speaking in the Language of Dragons.
Amy: Oh, I see.
Announcer: -currently at the top of the leaderboard-
Furbendink: I don’t know…the viewers might feel a bit cheated.
Furbendink: Yeah! I mean, most of the round wasn’t shown due to…reasons.
Crynock: Technical difficulties with the broadcast?
Furbendink: Possibly. Still, as long as the next two rounds aren’t interrupted…
Announcer: -managed to deflect EVERY water balloon by himself-
Amy: I’m sure that the issue will be resolved by the third round, Furbendink.
Furbendink: I hope so. That’s the money round! Or the “mask round”, I suppose.
Announcer: -a very special guest. All the way from Aoinias, Empress Aoin herself is here to watch her own team compete first-hand!
We cut back to the announcer. Empress Aoin stands next to him.
Aoin: It is my pleasure to be here. May the best team win!
The crowd claps and cheers. Alph and Ocre stand in the arena. Ocre waves to the crowd, while Alph catches his breath.
Ocre: The crowd loves you, Alph!
Alph: Me…? Why would…they love…me…?
Ocre: Because you were perfect! No drachomus has EVER gotten a perfect score! Well, apart from a certain red drachomus you might know…
Alph: Is it Bob?
Ocre: WHAT?! How did-
Alph: You told me about him the other day.
Ocre: Oh, right…No, it’s not Bob. It’s a female red drachomus.
Ocre: Huh? Oh…no…
Ocre: ME! It’s me!
Alph: I know! I know!
Ocre: Wait…were you teasing me?
Alph: Let’s just call it “a taste of your own truffle-ball”, shall we?
Ocre: Well, well, it appears I am quite the good influence, aren’t I? HAHA!
Alph and Ocre look at two blue drachomus athletes, a male and a female, standing nearby.
Ocre: Oh, apologies.
Male Drachomus: Many thanks.
Ocre bows. The male drachomus bows back. Ocre awkwardly leaves the arena, followed by Alph.
Announcer: Uh…Ocre and Alph, everyone!
The crowd cheers.
Announcer: And now let’s hear it for the Aoinian team!
The crowd claps and cheers.
Commercial: The Akanian Tournament is underway! Be sure to watch it on the Akanian Broadcast Service, televised right across the empire!
- Scene 6: Cafeteria: Akanius Stadium: Early Afternoon
All the athletes, including Alph and Ocre, sit at a table brimming with food from every empire. Alph is awestruck at the variety of delicious dishes and treats. Ocre bites into a leg of some kind of meat, then looks at Alph, before she chews and swallows her mouthful.
Ocre: Are you just gonna sit there staring at all this food?
Ocre: What is it, Alph?
Alph: …I don’t know where to start!
Ocre: Well, might I suggest taking off that thing first?
Alph: Huh? Oh…yeah, good idea.
We cut to a view of Amy. She is alerted to the sound of Alph’s breather being removed.
Amy’s thoughts: Now’s my chance!
Amy approaches the athlete’s table. Furbendink notices Amy’s plate of food as he walks past her table.
Furbendink: Hey, someone abandoned their meal…poor little thing. I’ll take care of it!
Furbendink sits at the table and begins eating. His eyes briefly flash with magenta light.
Furbendink: Oh…this Pikunian éclair is exquisite…mmm…
Amy looks around the table.
Amy’s thoughts: Now where is…oh!
Amy sees Alph’s back, his breather’s hose curving over his right shoulder and leading to the pump at his waist.
Suddenly, a crowd of people surrounds Alph’s side of the table, speaking loudly.
Amy: Oh, for crying out-
A number of people, mostly drachomi and humans, try to get Alph’s attention.
Red Drachomus: Oh, you were amazing out there, Arthur!
Alph: Oh…uh…thank you.
Woman: You’re much cuter than I thought you’d be! Wanna be my boyfriend?
Alph: Oh, I don’t know about that…
Man: Can I get your autograph? I’m TOTALLY not gonna sell it on AkaNet…
Alph signs the man’s piece of cardboard. Suddenly, the rest of the crowd pulls out sheets of paper, gloves, and even a pair of underwear, ready to be signed.
Alph: Uh…well, this is…
Ocre: Get used to it, Alphabet! HAHA!
Alph smiles nervously. The scene pans to a view of Amy, who has large, comical streams of tears pouring from her closed eyes.
Amy: Not again…*sniff*
Scene 7: Alph’s Bedchamber: Akanius Stadium: Night
Alph sleeps in his bed. He is alerted to a knock on his door.
Alph, now wearing his breather, opens his door and looks around. He looks at the ground and sees a dark pink envelope marked “Alph”.
Alph picks up the envelope and opens it, pulling out a piece of cardboard with a note written on it; the note’s handwriting is elegantly-crafted.
Alph: “Alph. Meet me in the arena gardens in half an hour. I…wish to see you. Please do not disappoint me! – A”
Alph: But who would be careless enough to wake me in the middle of the night just to meet with me…?
Furbendink: Really? You can’t think of ANYONE?
Furbendink is suddenly standing there.
Alph: WHOA! Stop doing that!
Furbendink: My bad. Now, who is the one person that keeps trying to get you alone with them? Think very carefully, Alph…
Furbendink: Psychic powers…keeps trying to get you alone with them…I cannot stress that last part enough, Alph.
Alph: Who else could it be?
Furbendink: Wow, that makes WAY more sense than who I thought it was!
Alph: Well who did YOU think it was?
Furbendink: My brother.
Alph: Your brother keeps trying to get me alone with him?
Furbendink: Wait…have you even met my brother?
Alph: I don’t think I’ve met any of your family.
Furbendink: Okay then. Well, I think it’s pretty obvious what Amy wants to do then…
Furbendink’s eyes widen.
Furbendink: Y-You’re kidding, right?
Alph: Not right now, no.
Furbendink: Pink note…wants to secretly meet with you…I think our Amy has a wittle crush on you, Alphy-boy!
Alph’s eyes widen.
Alph: Uh…w-what…what d-do y-y-y-
Furbendink: Ah, it seems the feeling is mutual!
Alph begins to panic.
Alph: Th-That’s ridiculous! I-I don’t have a c-crush o-on A-Amy!
Furbendink: Oh, please. You always stutter when you’re hiding the truth!
Alph: How long have you known?
Furbendink: About two minutes.
Alph: What?! How did you figure that out so quickly?!
Furbendink: Well, I’d say it was my own natural detective skills, but I don’t have any. So, I have to say that it’s written on your face.
Alph: But you can’t SEE my face right now.
Furbendink: The eyes never lie, Alph, and yours are positively-
Alph: Okay, okay! Just…what should I do?
Furbendink: Duh! Go meet with her! Don’t upstage her, Alph! Amy is SCARY when she’s angry!
Alph: O-Okay…*sniff*…how do I look?
Furbendink: Fully-dressed, except you’re not wearing your gloves.
Alph: Good enough. Okay, I’m going.
Furbendink: Really? It’s freezing out there, Alph!
Alph: I’ll manage. For some reason, I’m usually able to maintain the ideal body temperature no matter how hot or cold it is, or how much or little I’m wearing.
Furbendink: For realsies?!
Furbendink: Okay then, go. Make that girl happy.
Alph: O-Okay then…
Alph walks down the hallway. Furbendink watches him, wiping a tear from his eye.
Furbendink: They grow up so fast…
Scene 8: Gardens: Akanius Stadium: Night
Alph walks into the gardens. He approaches an ornate fountain with a carving of two water drakes in its centre.
Alph: Well, she said to meet her here…
Voice: Hello, Alph.
Alph’s thoughts: Wait a second…that’s not Amy’s voice…
Alph spins around and sees Ash.
Alph: Yeah, howdy. As in “hello”.
Ash: Ah, I see.
Alph: So…what brings you out here?
Ash examines the fountain.
Ash: Are you familiar with the water drake, Alph?
Alph: Uh…well, I’ve seen a FIRE drake…
Ash: According to Akanian legend, it is said that whenever a fire drake is hatched, a water drake also hatches nearby.
Ash: Indeed, and there may be some truth to it as well, for where one finds a nest of fire drakes, a nest of water drakes is located not too far from its location.
Ash: Anyway, I am here to let you know that I witnessed your performance in the second round. In a test of strength and endurance, you managed to obtain a perfect score. It is rare for any competitor to obtain two perfect scores in a single tournament, so you should feel honoured.
Alph: I just did my best is all.
Ash: All? You are quite a remarkable individual, Alph, and yet even now you are humble?
Voice: Well I’M ticked off that the viewers didn’t get to see the second round either!
Furbendink is suddenly standing there.
Alph: WHOA! Furbendink, why do you keep-
At that moment, the mark of the multiverse draws onto the back of Alph’s right hand with red light.
Alph: By the plains…
Ash’s thoughts: Could it be…?
The mark finishes drawing onto Alph’s hand. It stops glowing, leaving the outline behind.
Alph: Wait…why is it still there?!
Ash: Amigo, you bear the mark of the multiverse.
Alph: The what?
Ash: It is a rare mark that few possess. Even fewer are fully able to comprehend its significance.
Alph: Wait a minute…you said “multiverse”, right?
Alph: Implying that there are other universes?
Ash’s thoughts: The boy asks too many questions…I must not reveal my motives to him…
Ash clears his throat.
Ash: Now, if you will excuse me, I must rest. Pleasant night to you both.
Alph: Oh, uh, goodnight.
Ash walks away. Furbendink looks at Alph.
Furbendink: So where’s Amy, then?
Alph: The note wasn’t from Amy. It was from him.
Furbendink: Really? Huh…weird…
Alph: I’m going back to bed. Goodnight.
Alph walks away. Furbendink scratches his head.
Furbendink’s thoughts: Weird…Ash has the exact same handwriting as Amy…
Amy stands at the fountain, looking around.
Amy: I’ve been here for an hour! Where in the name of Hitorelm is Alph?!
Scene 9: Unknown Location: Unknown Time of Day
The scene shifts to the inside of a vault, its walls made from blue-coloured bricks. Atop a pedestal rests a small, orange orb. A doorway opens on the opposite wall, revealing a figure, presumably a drachomus, clad in orange-trimmed black; the figure also wears a replica of the Mask of Orenius. The figure speaks with a distorted female voice.
Figure: Ah, there it is…
The figure walks up to the pedestal and picks up the orb, which causes an alarm to sound.
Loud footsteps are heard outside the vault. The figure makes a fist with her right hand and presses its largest knuckle with her left. The figure shimmers, then seems to vanish. Two blue drachomus guards enter the room.
Guard #1: Who’s in here? Show yourse-
The guard looks around.
Guard #1: Oh, weird. There’s no-one in here…
Guard #2: Is anything of value missing?
Both guards look around. The first guard shakes his head.
Guard #1: Nope. I know exactly what’s kept in here, and aside from that missing orange tapioca ball, everything is present.
Guard #2: Why was a tapioca ball kept inside the vault, anyway?
Guard #1: Beats me. You know how much Empress Aoin likes her fancy, fruity drinks.
Guard #2: That’s true. Hm…I could sure go for a fruit smoothie right about now…
The shimmering form of the figure is seen sneaking out of the room.
Guard #1: Me too. Let’s head to the palace cabana.
Guard #2: Agreed!
The guards leave the room, sealing the wall behind them. The scene shifts to focus on the pedestal, which is now empty.
Scene 10: Arena: Akanius Stadium: Morning
The announcer stands ready to speak.
Announcer: Well, it’s been a truly spectacular event, hasn’t it? The first human to be in the Akanian team has managed to seize TWO perfect scores!
The crowd cheers.
Announcer: But can our young prodigy master EVERY round?
The crowd cheers. We cut to a view of Crynock and Amy.
Amy: WOO! Go, Alph! You can do it! YAAAAAAAAY!
Amy’s thoughts: I hope you lose the round, you wretch…
Crynock: Where is Furbendink?
Amy: Huh?! I wasn’t wishing Alph would lose! Honest!
Amy: I mean…um…never mind…
Crynock: I could swear I saw him this morning.
Amy: Oh yeah, Furbendink said he had to do something somewhere.
Crynock: The bathroom?
Amy: Actually, he mentioned something about “the balance between light and dark”…and then he babbled about eating chicken or something.
Crynock: Then he is in the cafeteria.
Amy: Possibly. They ARE having an all-you-can-eat chicken dish special right now.
Crynock: “All-you-can-eat”…Furbendink’s favourite phrase.
Amy looks over at Alph, and a look of anger appears on it.
Amy’s thoughts: If he doesn’t lose…I’ll…I’ll…put a frog in his drink! Yeah!
We cut to a view of the announcer.
Announcer: In this round, the two teams who placed highest will go head-to-head in a contest of…well, of the qualities needed in the first two rounds!
The crowd cheers.
Announcer: As you know, the top-ranking team is the Akanian Team, Ocre and Alph.
The announcer gestures to Ocre and Alph, who stand at one end of the stadium. We cut to a view of the crowd. A young woman sitting in the row above Crynock and Amy holds up an enormous cardboard poster which reads, “I LOVE YOU ARTHUR”.
Woman: I love you, Arthur! Marry me!
Amy looks at the woman, a look of jealousy on her face.
Amy: Sorry, Babs, but he’s taken!
Woman: By whom?
Amy becomes furious.
Amy: BY ME!
The woman speaks calmly.
Woman: Apologies, miss. I will leave Arthur alone.
Amy: You better! And it’s “Alph”!
Woman: Oh, my name is Arielle. It is nice to meet you, Alph.
Amy: No, I’m-
Crynock: Amy, look! They’re about to reveal the second team!
Amy looks at the Arena.
We cut to a view of the announcer.
Announcer: -that we can reveal the other team who will be competing!
The crowd cheers.
Announcer: Now unfortunately, the captain of the team has been called away on some important business, and will not be competing in the round.
The crowd talks amongst itself.
Announcer: However, the team is NOT being disqualified, and the remaining team member has agreed to take on the round BY HIMSELF! And we all know how he performed yesterday, right?
The crowd claps and cheers.
Announcer: And now, I present the challenging team…
The gate on the side opposite Alph and Ocre opens, revealing a hooded figure, who steps into the arena.
Announcer: Ash Voltstriker of Hitorelm!
The crowd cheers as Ash pulls down his hood. Alph appears speechless.
Ocre: You know this man, Alph?
Alph: Yes! He’s been stalking me since I arrived here.
Ocre: Stalking?! Why I oughta-
Ocre’s belly rumbles.
Alph: What is it, Ocre?
Ocre: I knew that third bowl of spicy stew was a mistake!
Ocre: Sorry, kiddo. Looks like you’re doin’ this one solo.
Alph: I-I can’t!
Ocre: Come on, Alph! You aced the first two rounds! You did better than I have in five YEARS competing! If ANYONE can defeat this fruitcake, it’s you!
Alph: Uh…okay then…
Ocre races back towards the hallway, her belly rumbling with each footstep.
Announcer: Well, it appears that Ocre has succumbed to a bout of food poisoning. I guess this means that this round will be challenged by two humans!
The crowd talks amongst itself.
Announcer: Well then, let’s get this bout underway!
Alph and Ash walk up to each other.
Ash: I knew we would face each other in the final round.
Alph: Just who are you, anyway?
Ash: I am the one who challenges you for the mask fragment.
Alph’s eyes widen.
Alph: How do you know about that?!
Ash: Let’s just say I have my reasons for wanting it-
Alph draws his sword and readies to block Ash’s first swing, but the kinetic’s sword technique manages to cause Alph to be surrounded in rainbow energy and suspended in midair.
Alph: Wh-What the…?
Ash gently lets Alph down outside the ring. A bell sounds.
Announcer: WE HAVE A WINNER!
The crowd claps and cheers. We cut to a view of Crynock and Amy, who are both speechless.
Amy: Alph actually LOST?!
Amy’s thoughts: Oh dear…I wished so hard for him to lose that he lost…whoopsie-daisy!
Amy blushes from embarrassment. We cut to a view of Alph, who is clearly in shock.
Alph: Great…now what do I do?
Scene 11: Podium: Akanius Stadium: Afternoon
Ash stands atop the podium. Alph and Ocre stand above the 2, while the Aoinian team stands above the 3.
Announcer: And now, the prizes, as presented by Emperor Akan.
Akan walks up to the Aoinian Team.
Announcer: For the Aoinian Team, two copper medals and 1,000 Gold Aoins!
The crowd cheers as Akan gives the Aoinian team their medals.
Akan: Congratulations, dudes!
Female Drachomus: Many thanks, Emperor Akan.
All three drachomi bow. Akan walks up to Alph and Ocre.
Announcer: For the Akanian team, two silver medals and 10,000 Gold Akans!
The crowd cheers. Akan gives Alph and Ocre their medals.
Akan: Bummer, dudes…
Alph: Eh, it’s fine.
Ocre: Fine?! The oracle swore you’d collect every piece! When we get back to Mawfang Ridge, I’m gonna-
Announcer: And for the Hitorelmian team, two gold medals, 100,000 Gold Coins and a special prize!
Akan places the medals around Ash’s neck. He then picks up a chest of dark red-stained wood and opens it, revealing a piece of the Mask of Akanius, which glimmers and sparkles.
Akan: I’m sorry?
Ash: My goal was to see that Alph here made it to the final round, and that he was able to obtain this mask fragment. I want to give Alph this prize.
Alph: You do?
Ocre: He does?!
Ash: Please, give the fragment to Alph. He needs it far more than I.
Akan: As you say, Mr. Voltstriker, sir.
Akan holds the chest in front of Alph. Alph picks up the fragment gently with both hands. As he examines it, his eyes glimmer and sparkle. We hear a woman’s voice whisper in the background.
Voice: Go, little seedling…to the place where light and dark diverge…you are needed there…
Alph’s eyes begin to glow with red-hued light.
FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK…
July 24th 2017, 1:36 am
Special 1 - Zokugeminan Quest
- Alph finds himself in an unfamiliar land, where the Races of Radiance stand strong against the Forces of Monsterkind. Alph learns that Furbendink is also in this place, and that he has been captured by goblins, so the young warrior asks the beautiful paladin, Kari, for assistance. Together, the two make their way to Bolgernia to rescue Furbendink, but they find themselves on a perilous journey to reach him. But how did Alph end up in this place, anyway?
Kari de Lumière – A stern-looking paladin who does her best to help the Races of Radiance, she assists Alph in his quest.
“The place where light and dark diverge…but what does it mean?”
- Scene 1: Market Dome: Akanius City: Morning
We see Alph and Amy walking through an empty street.
Amy: -and then I get back to my table, and what do I find?
Alph: A bug on your food?
Amy: Of course not! Why would there be a bug on my food if it was already eaten?
Alph: So you already ate it?
Alph: Then…who did?
Amy: I have no idea! I briefly left my table to do something not-creepy, and when I got back, my Pikunian chocolate éclair and caramel fudge whip were missing!
Streams of tears emerge from Amy’s eyes.
Amy: And when I went back to order another éclair, they were all gone…
Alph: That must’ve been awful.
Amy sobs. Her expression suddenly changes to one of excitement.
Amy: Fortunately, there’s a Pikunian bakery nearby. If I can just find it…aha! There it is! Wait here while I go in there. I…want to get you a special surprise, Alph.
Amy: Now don’t you go anywhere! I’ll be right back!
Alph: No problem. I’ll be waiting.
Amy smiles, then walks away. Alph looks around.
Alph: There sure aren’t that many folks around here today…
A female voice whispers in Alph’s mind.
Voice: Go now, seedling…
Suddenly, the mark of the multiverse begins glowing on the back of Alph’s hand with red light.
The mark appears beneath Alph’s feet, glowing with green light.
Alph: Well…this is new…
A column of green-tinged light erupts from the ground surrounding Alph. After a moment, the light retreats, and the mark disappears. After another moment, Amy walks back into view.
Amy: Alph! I bought you-
Amy looks around.
Amy appears disappointed.
Amy: Where did you go…?
Scene 2: Unknown Location: Unknown Time of Day
We see Alph standing next to a dirt road, which winds through a lush green meadow, with wooden fences marking the road’s path. The sky is overcast, and thunder rumbles in the distance.
Alph: Wh-What the…?
Alph looks around.
Alph: This isn’t Akanius City…where am I?!
Alph thinks for a moment.
Alph: Okay, Alph, retrace your steps…
Alph begins to pace back and forth.
Alph: One minute, I was in the Market Dome in Akanius City…then the symbols appeared…then there was that beacon of light…
Alph is alerted to a loud snort, followed by the soft sound of hooves.
Alph’s thoughts: Hey, maybe that’s someone who can help me!
Alph spins around to greet the stranger.
Alph: Howdy! I-
Stranger: AAAAAHH! MONSTER! MONSTER!
Alph: What?! Where?!
The stranger pulls on his horse’s reins and gallops away.
Alph: HEY, WAIT! I-I NEED HELP! S-SIR?
Alph holds his right hand to the back of his head.
Alph: Great…NOW what do I do?
Alph walks along the dirt road. Thunder rumbles in the distance.
Alph: I better hurry. It could rain soon! I don’t want to get wet out here in the middle of nowhe-
Alph spots a sign that reads “The Name Pending Tavern – 5km”.
Alph: “The Name Pending”…isn’t that the name of the tavern in Mawfang Ridge…?
Alph looks around.
Alph: It sure doesn’t look like I’m in Akanius, though…
Alph shrugs his shoulders.
Alph: I guess I shouldn’t think too hard about it, then. Unless…
Alph’s eyes widen.
Alph: I’m dreaming! What other explanation is there?
Alph points in the direction of the tavern.
Alph: In that case, I should arrive there instantaneously!
Alph begins walking.
Scene 3: The Name Pending Tavern: Unknown Time of Day
Alph enters the tavern.
Alph: Well, that took longer than I expected…
Voice: MONSTER! It’s him! The monster!
Alph looks around the tavern for the source of the voice. Everyone stares at him, but Alph notices one person in particular who seems outright terrified of him. He appears to be a bald human male with a silvery-white beard and slightly-pointed ears. He points at Alph.
Stranger: Just look at his gruesome appearance!
Patron #1: He admits it! He is gruesome!
Patron #2: I’ll bet 5 Gold Lumis that he’s a spy sent from the Forces!
The patrons agree with one another.
Stranger: We should sentence him right here and now!
The patrons stand and approach Alph.
Alph: Uh…good thing this is a dream, otherwise I’d be in a muddvak heap of trouble right about now…
A hand suddenly pinches Alph’s left arm.
Alph: OUCH! Wait…then…
Voice: There. Are you now convinced that this is not a dream?
Alph looks to his left and sees a woman dressed in platinum armour, including a helmet.
Woman: My people! You are so convinced that this individual is a monster?
Patron #2: Just look at his face!
Patron #3: He’s hideous!
Woman: Well then…
The woman places her hand onto the front of Alph’s breather.
Alph: Uh…I need that to-
The woman pulls off Alph’s breather, revealing his face.
Woman: Does THIS look like a monster to you fine folk?
The patrons murmur amongst themselves.
Patron #1: He could still be a spy! Why else would he hide behind a mask?
Patron #2: And he hissed as you removed it!
Woman: I believe that this device is intended for him to be able to breathe.
The woman hands Alph his breather, which he quickly puts on.
Woman: So you see, he is human.
The woman cocks one eyebrow.
Woman: You question my judgement?
Stranger: Well, I-
Woman: I will escort this fellow to his destination.
Another loud rumble of thunder sounds, followed by the pour of heavy rain.
Woman: After the storm passes.
The patrons go back to their drinks. The woman looks at Alph.
Woman: Are you alright, my good fellow?
Alph: Y-Yes…uh…I think…?
The woman examines Alph.
Woman: Your attire is…well, it is most unusual, to be sure. From what land do you hail?
Alph: Well, I don’t know where I ORIGINALLY came from, but-
Woman: Wait…you do not remember the land of your birth?
Alph: Uh…that’s right.
The woman pauses.
Woman: I might be able to help you.
Woman: Yes. But stay close by at all times!
The woman walks over to the barkeeper.
Woman: I wish to book an extra room for my guest, good sir.
Barkeeper: It’s 20 Gold Lumies a night for…this.
The woman cocks an eyebrow.
Woman: Yet you charged me a mere 15 Gold Lumies?
Barkeeper: I don’t trust types like ‘im.
Woman: Oh? And what type is he?
Woman: Your ears are the same shape as his, are they not?
Barkeeper: Well…I suppose so…
Woman: And his skin is fair, much as your own, would you not agree?
Woman: Then tell me, kind sir, why you refuse to treat him as equal as any other human?
Barkeeper: I suppose you’re right. Fine…15 Gold Lumies, and not a Copper more.
Woman: Many thanks.
The barkeeper hands a key to the woman, who gives 20 gold coins to him.
Woman: A 5 Gold Lumie tip for you, good sir.
The barkeeper appears surprised.
Barkeeper: Oh, well…thank you, Miss! Hey, for the next hour, free drinks for all!
The patrons cheer.
Patron #2: I’m gonna get so dru-
Patron #1 (whispers): SSH! Not in front of the paladin!
Patron #2: Oh, right…
The woman leads Alph to a room door and gives him his key.
Woman: This is your room. I trust that you are tired?
Alph: Yeah, a little.
Woman: Then I will let you rest. Tomorrow, I will take you to the nearby city of Lumière. For now, sleep well.
Alph: I’ll try. Oh, and…uh…
Woman: Yes? What is it, sir?
Alph: …thank you.
The woman nods.
Woman: You are most welcome.
The woman turns and enters her room.
Alph’s thoughts: It was nice of her to help me, but…why did she do it?
Scene 4: En Route to Lumière City: Morning
Alph and the woman walk along the now-muddy dirt road.
Alph: Hey, Kari?
The woman looks at Alph through the corners of her eyes.
Alph: Thank you for helping me.
Kari looks ahead.
Kari: It is quite alright, Alphabet. I am duty-bound to aid all who require assistance.
Alph: I just don’t know how I ended up here…it’s very different from Akanius, that’s for sure.
Kari: I still find it hard to believe that dragons take on a human form in your homeland.
Alph: Well, it’s the truth…uh…honest.
Kari: I do not doubt that. I just have trouble imagining how such a being might look.
Alph: Oh, I have an idea!
Alph holds up his left wrist and activates his communicator. He presses a button and activates a holographic image of Ocre and Crynock.
Alph: These are two of my friends, Ocre and Crynock. Ocre helped me when I arrived near her town. I guess, in that way, she’s just like you.
Kari: Indeed. I must admit this device is remarkable.
Alph presses another button, which activates an image of Amy and Furbendink.
Alph: And this is Amy and Furbendink. Amy is…uh…
Kari: I sense that you have unrequited feelings for this…Amy.
A drop of sweat appears on Alph’s brow as he begins to panic.
Alph: Huh?! I…uh…I-I-I-
Kari looks at Alph.
Kari: Oh…I apologise if I made you uncomfortable.
Alph: It’s fine…I guess.
Kari: And this Furbendink fellow…
Kari: Would his last name happen to be “Rashfoot”?
Alph: I have no idea. He never mentioned his last name.
Kari: Magenta hair…green clothing…I am sure I have witnessed this chromanom before…
Alph: You have?! When?!
Kari: Just two days ago. He was demonstrating to the people of Lumière his…erm…rainbow fart cantrip…
Alph’s eyes widen.
Alph: That’s him! But…what’s he doing here?
Kari: He seemed as lost and confused as you, so perhaps he arrived through similar means.
Alph becomes determined.
Alph: By the plains! We have to find him!
Kari: And we shall. We should arrive in Lumière within the hour.
Alph’s thoughts: I sure hope he’s okay…
Scene 5: The Glittery Gem Tavern: Late Morning
Alph and Kari sit at a table talking with a round-eared human warrior.
Warrior: Yeah, I seen ‘im. Fat is ta say I met ‘im.
Warrior: ‘e said somefin’ about goin’ on a journey to…where was i’ now…
Kari: Please, take your time, sir.
Warrior: Oh yeah, fat’s right! Nomslandia! He was goin’ to Nomslandia!
Kari: Gnome lands? Seems perfectly reasonable.
Alph: So you pointed him in the right direction?
Warrior: Yeah, but fen ‘e went an’ go’ ‘imself captured by gobbos.
Kari: He means “goblins”.
Alph: But…goblins are peaceful folk. Why would they capture him?
The warrior laughs.
Warrior: Goblins? Peaceful? You mus’ be jokin’!
Warrior: Look, fis has been swell an’ all, but I really mus’ be goin’.
Kari: Of course. We thank you for your time.
Warrior: An’ fank you for buyin’ me a drink!
The warrior leaves the table. Kari looks at Alph.
Kari: I don’t know much about this…Akanius place, but the goblins of Zokugemina are evil, vile creatures who are allied with the Forces of Monsterkind.
Alph: “Forces of Monsterkind”…?
Kari: Our world is divided in two: one half bathed in light, the other shrouded in darkness. We are on the light side, the Races of Radiance. We struggle to survive against the Forces of Monsterkind, who exist on the side of dark.
Kari: If I am right, Furbendink has been taken to the goblin land of Bolgernia, where he will most likely be either kept as a slave, or…
Kari: …transformed into a goblin.
Alph: What?! We…we have to go to the goblins’ homeland and get him back!
Kari: I’m afraid it’s not that simple.
Alph: What? Why?!
Kari: Both Nomslandia and Bolgernia exist in the same place, and also at the same time.
Alph: I don’t quite follow…
Kari: When I said there were two sides, I meant it quite literally. Everything exists in either light or dark, and both exist as separate phases. We would need to shift from the light phase to that of the dark, but we need the right tools to accomplish this.
Alph: Then…what do you suggest?
Kari: We gather the resources we require. We then take an airship to Nomslandia. Upon our arrival, we shift into the dark phase and locate your ally.
Alph: Seems simple enough.
Kari: But I warn you, Alphabet: we could become stranded in the dark, with no chance of return.
Alph: I’m willing to take the risk.
Kari: Understood. We will leave momentarily.
Alph’s thoughts: Furbendink…please be okay…
Commercial: It’s Multiverse Week! Each of this week’s eps of Mask of Akanius, Flight of Indigo and Shell of Thal see our heroes going on adventures in other universes. What adventures will they find, and who will they meet? Find out during Multiverse Week!
- Scene 6: Skyport: Nomslandia City: Nomslandia: Afternoon
We see a large golden airship land in a skyport. Its balloon is marked with an insignia that reads LumiAirways.
Scene 7: Tinker District: Nomslandia City: Nomslandia: Afternoon
Alph and Kari walk through the bustling streets of Nomslandia City. Alph is amazed at the large number of gnomes with metallic-hued hair.
Alph: Wow, these gnomes sure are interesting.
Kari: How so?
Alph: Well, I thought that gnome hair is brightly-coloured, not…shiny.
Kari: Ah, you speak of chromanoms, sometimes known as “forest gnomes”. Their hair is brightly-coloured, and they have a strong connection to the force of magic.
Alph watches as a gnome with metallic-green hair walks past.
Alph: Then…what are these ones called?
Kari: They are glimmanoms, also known as “rock gnomes”. They have hair in various metallic hues, and focus on technology rather than magic.
Alph: Whoa…so there are two kinds?
Kari: That is correct.
Alph: I’d like to observe them while I’m here.
Kari looks at Alph from the corners of her eyes.
Kari: Should we not rescue your friend first?
Alph: Oh, right…yeah, let’s save Furbendink!
Kari looks ahead.
Kari: Very well, then.
Scene 8: Shrine of the Oscuro: Nomslandia: Evening
Alph and Kari climb a hill and approach a small platform forged from adamant.
Alph: So what’s this place?
Kari: Exactly where we need to be in order to reach the dark phase.
Kari stops walking, which prompts Alph to also stop walking.
Kari: Alphabet Plainrider, welcome…to the Shrine of the Oscuro.
Kari: One of many across the globe. We need to wait until sunset to travel through, but we must be wearing these.
Kari hands a small orb-shaped amulet to Alph. One half of the amulet is pale yellow, while the other is navy blue.
Alph: Wh-What is it?
Kari: A phase pendant. It will allow us to transition between the phases.
Kari looks at the shrine.
Kari: There is a fifteen-minute window between when the doorway opens and when it closes.
Alph: Fifteen minutes…? But…how do you expect us to be able to return in that time?!
Kari: Alas, the trip is one-way.
Alph: Then how can we return to the light phase?!
Kari spins around and looks at Alph.
Kari: We must locate the Shrine of the Lumière before sunrise, at which point we may return to this phase. Once we return, I will do all I can to help you and your friend return to Akanius.
Alph: Thank you.
Kari: I am bound by my oath to aid you, Alphabet.
Suddenly, the four pillars at the platform’s corners begin to glow with pale yellow light.
Kari: The time is now. Follow me.
Kari walks onto the platform.
Alph steps onto the platform facing Kari.
Alph: Uh…now what?
Kari closes her eyes. After a moment, she opens her eyes, which glow with green light. Kari’s voice becomes echoey.
Kari: Light of the Lumière…grant us passage into the Oscuro…
Alph’s mark begins to glow with red light.
Alph’s eyes begin to glow with red light.
Alph: I…I feel…
Suddenly, a column of pale yellow-tinged light erupts from the platform surrounding Alph and Kari. We cut to a view of Alph, who appears to be in a trance. We hear a woman’s voice whisper in the background.
Voice: Seedling…the Ignis Penduli awaits…
Scene 10: Shrine of the Oscuro: Bolgernia: Evening
The column of light retreats into the ground. Both Alph’s and Kari’s eyes return to normal. Kari catches a glimpse of Alph’s mark just before it disappears.
Kari: Oh…that emblem…
Alph examines the back of his hand.
Alph: Oh, that…it appears every now and then. It’s no big deal.
Kari: I am sure that it IS a… “big deal”, as you put it.
Alph looks at Kari.
Alph: You think so?
Kari: Of course. I have seen that emblem before.
Alph: Really? Where?
Kari: Within a book in the Lumière Public Library. It is described as a map of sorts.
Alph: A map…?
Kari: I imagine that the circles and dots in the mark are symbolic of different worlds. I believe that you have travelled to this world, Zokugemina, from a place farther than I could even imagine.
Alph: Wait…so…Zokugemina isn’t another part of Dracromia?
Kari: Dracromia? Is that the name of your world?
Kari: I see…
Kari: It is quite cold here, do you not agree?
Alph: Well actually, I don’t really feel the cold.
Kari: I should have realised. After all, the ground is covered in snow, and you have not a goosebump on your arms.
Alph looks around. The ground surrounding the platform is covered in a thin layer of snow.
Alph: Oh yeah…
Kari: Still, we must find your friend.
Kari: Yes? What is it, Alphabet?
Alph: What about the Shrine of the Lumière?
Kari: I have studied a map of this land. Do not worry, for I can easily locate it.
Alph: Well, how long until sunrise?
Kari: Approximately twelve hours.
Kari: That is why we must make haste. Now come. I know where your friend is being held.
Alph: Wait…how do you know that?
Kari: Your friend was taken from Nomslandia City. Thus, it stands to reason that he must be located in Bolgernia City. Now let us go.
Kari begins to walk away.
Alph: Wait…you expect us to just walk into the city?!
Kari: Relax, Alphabet. Our pendants will disguise us as orcs for a time.
Alph: O-Okay then…
Alph begins to follow Kari.
Scene 11: Stinker District: Bolgernia City: Night
Alph and Kari walk through Bolgernia City’s Stinker District. Unlike the well-crafted machinery of Nomslandia City’s Tinker District, the place appears to quite literally be a dump.
Kari: This stench is most horrid.
Alph: It is?
Alph pulls his breather forward slightly. His eyes suddenly bulge, causing him to let go.
Kari: A wiser person would not have removed his mask, Alphabet.
Alph: Sorry, sometimes my curiosity gets the better of me.
Alph looks at Kari.
Alph: So how come I still see you as…human, Kari?
Kari: Oh…well…our disguises are only visible to residents of the dark phase.
Alph: Oh, neat.
Kari: Even your “breather” is disguised as an orcish tribal mask.
Alph: Wow, that must be some powerful magic!
We hear a voice suddenly cry out.
Voice: Take THAT, you lousy no-good goblins!
Alph: That sounded like…
We see Furbendink run out of a nearby building, with rainbow-coloured gas wafting through the doorway.
Furbendink sees Alph and Kari.
Furbendink: Alph?! What are YOU doing HERE?!
Alph: I could ask you the same thing.
Furbendink: Okay, let me explain…
We cut to a view of Furbendink as he is struggling against the two goblins who carry him.
Furbendink: First, the goblins captured me and tied me up…
Furbendink: No! I’ve been captured by goblins! Whatever shall I do…?
Goblin #1: Oi! Shut yer gob!
Goblin #2: Are you tellin’ me ta shut up?!
Goblin #1: No, the gnome!
Goblin #2: Oh…never mind.
Alph: Is that bit important to the story?
Furbendink: Hey! I’m telling it, so I say it IS important! Anyway, they then locked me up in a cage.
Furbendink sits in a cage being guarded by the two goblins.
Furbendink: Oh no, I’m locked up! NOW what do I do?
Goblin #1: Hey, good thing this guy’s not a sauciér, otherwise he could…uh…whatta sauciérs do again?
Goblin #2: They make sauce, right?
Goblin #1: Oh yeah. Then…what’s the kind of peep who can use magic without reading a spelling book?
Goblin #2: Uh…a sorcerer?
Goblin #1: Yeah, that’s it! Good thing this guy’s not a SORCERER! AHAHAHAHAAH!
Furbendink: That’s right, I’m not a sorcerer! I’m powerless to stop you from…uh…I’m sorry, what are you gonna do to me?
Goblin #2: Turn ya inta a GOBLIN! EEHEHEHEHEE!
Furbendink: What those goblins DIDN’T know was that I AM a sorcerer!
Kari: Could you cut to the chase please, Mr. Rashfoot?
Furbendink: Oh, right. I’m sorry, lady I’ve never met before…anyway, I waited till those goons were asleep, and then I cast a little spell to mess with them…heheh…
Furbendink walks up to his cage door and holds his hand to the lock.
Furbendink: “Unlock Cage!”
The door unlocks and swings open.
Furbendink: And then I snuck out!
Furbendink: Yes! Now I can sneak out.
Alph: But you didn’t sneak out. I heard you yelling at the goblins AFTER using rainbow fart on them!
Furbendink: Yeah, about that…I can be pretty grudge-holding, so…I snuck back in.
Furbendink approaches the sleeping goblins.
Furbendink: HEY! WAKE UP, LAZYBONESES…ES!
The goblins suddenly awaken. They look at Furbendink and snarl.
Goblin #1: How the (squawk) did you escape?!
Goblin #2: Yeah, you stupid (squawk)?!
Furbendink: Is there a chicken in here?
Goblin #1: Yeah, you (squawk) gnome! It was in the cage with you!
Furbendink: It was?
Furbendink looks in the cage. A chicken is tied to a wooden post.
Furbendink: Huh. Anyway…
Goblin #2: Why did you come back and wake us up, (squawk) idiot?!
Furbendink: To do this!
Furbendink points his wand at the goblins.
A beacon of magenta energy strikes the goblins and puts them to sleep.
Furbendink: Take THAT, you lousy no-good goblins!
Furbendink: And so I snuck out again.
Alph: Then how do you explain…that?
Furbendink: What, the rainbow gas? I snuck back in again.
Kari’s eyes bulge.
Furbendink: Now can I PLEASE finish my story?
Kari: I think you’ve explained enough, Mr. Rashfoot.
Furbendink: Fair enough.
Alph: And anyway, we’re surrounded by goblins.
The scene zooms out to reveal the entire plaza filled with goblins. We cut back to a view of Furbendink.
Furbendink: Not a problem at all, Alphy-boy!
Furbendink points his wand at a goblin.
Furbendink: “Furbendink’s Rainbow Fart-Party!”
Suddenly, every goblin in the plaza lets out a cloud of rainbow gas, which fills the area.
Alph: Just when I thought Furbendink’s antics couldn’t get even more spectacular…
Furbendink: Quick! Now’s our chance! While they’re distracted!
Alph, Furbendink and Kari leave the plaza.
Scene 12: Shrine of the Lumière: Pre-Dawn
Alph, Furbendink and Kari approach a platform forged from platinum.
Kari: Well, here we are.
Alph: So this will take us back to the light phase?
Kari: Actually, it will take myself back to the light phase.
Furbendink: Then…you’re leaving us trapped in a land of monsters?!
Kari: On the contrary, I am to give you these.
Kari hands two bottles of glowing red liquid to Alph.
Alph: What are these?
Kari: Transport potions. If I am correct in assuming, they should lead you both back to Dracromia.
Alph: Oh…thank you.
Kari: I am honour-bound to aid you, Alph.
Kari makes a slight smile.
Kari: But you are welcome.
Furbendink: Aw, this is a nice moment, isn’t it? Now make with the potion!
Alph hands a bottle to Furbendink.
Furbendink: YAY! Thank you!
Furbendink examines the bottle.
Furbendink: Phar-Out Potions, huh?
Furbendink uncorks his bottle and drinks the potion. He steps back.
Furbendink: Now what?
The mark of the multiverse appears beneath Furbendink’s feet with red light.
Furbendink: This should be fu-
A column of red-tinged light erupts from the ground around Furbendink. After a moment, it retreats, and the mark disappears. Furbendink is nowhere to be seen.
Alph: That must be how it looked from the outside during my trip here. Well, I guess it’s my turn.
Alph removes his breather, letting it hang over his right shoulder, then he uncorks the bottle and begins to lift it to his lips.
Kari: Before you go…here.
Kari reaches into her satchel and pulls out a glittering fragment of the Mask of Akanius.
Alph: H-How did you…where did you find this?!
Kari: The person who gave me that potion asked me to give you this object. He said it would be important to your quest.
Kari: The other night, in the tavern. He was dressed much like you are now and wore a similar breather.
Alph’s thoughts: Wait…no, it couldn’t be…could it…?
Alph: Well, I’d better go.
Kari: It was nice to meet you, Alph Plainrider.
Alph: Likewise…Kari de Lumière.
Alph smiles, before drinking the potion. He puts on his breather and steps back. The mark glows on the back of Alph’s right hand with red-tinged light. Then, the mark appears beneath Alph’s feet and glows with red-tinged light. At that moment, the same mark appears on the back of Kari’s right hand with green-tinged light.
Alph: Hey, wait a mi-
A column of red-tinged light erupts from the ground around Alph. After a moment, the light retreats, and the mark disappears. Alph is nowhere to be found.
Kari: May you soon find the Ignis Penduli…
October 30th 2017, 2:17 am
Episode 5: Aoinian Rebel
- The party arrives in the Empire of Aoinias, homeland of the blue drachomi. Ocre and Crynock worry that they might draw attention to themselves, so Furbendink gives them potions that can change their scale colour, allowing them to easily blend in. Upon arriving in Aoinias City, however, they learn that a lone vandal has been defacing buildings and landmarks with orange ink. Can Alph and his allies stop this rebel before she gets herself caught?
“Why, potions are in my blood, Ocre! Well, I mean not literally, but…”
- Scene 1: Aoinias: Afternoon
The party approaches Aoinias City. Furbendink walks just ahead of the others, and stretches out his arms.
Furbendink: My friends, welcome to the Empire of Aoinias!
Ocre: Will you SHUT UP, grape-top?! You’ve been saying that repeatedly for the past hour!
Furbendink: What? That doesn’t sound like something I would do…
Ocre: You’re so annoying and repetitive!
Furbendink: What? That doesn’t sound like something I would do…
Ocre: See?! You’re doing it again! And I bet you dye your hair too, freak-show!
Furbendink: What? That doesn’t sound like-
Scene 2: City Outskirts: Aoinias: Afternoon
The party reaches the outskirts of Aoinias City.
Ocre: Well, here we are, everyone.
Furbendink: Oh, so when YOU say it it’s okay, but when I say it it’s annoying!
Ocre: Just…shut up.
Ocre breathes a small lick of red flame that lands near Furbendink. A drop of sweat appears on Furbendink’s brow as he winces.
Alph: …does anyone else realise that someone’s missing?
Furbendink: Is it you?
Ocre’s eyes flatten.
Ocre: Furbendink, that was two weeks ago.
Furbendink: I know, but what if he’s still in Zokugemina?
Ocre gestures her arms at Alph.
Ocre: …he’s right here!
Furbendink: Oh yeah.
Furbendink: Well, you can’t be too careful in these parts. Rumour has it that two drachomi from rival empires are approaching a large Aoinian town.
Ocre’s eyes widen.
Furbendink: For all we know, Alph could be those drachomi!
Ocre collapses to the ground.
Ocre: I don’t…I can’t even…ugh…
Scene 3: Aoinias City: Aoinias: Late Afternoon
The party wanders through the township. Ocre and Crynock have blue scales.
Crynock: Wow, it was somewhat convenient that you had potions of palette swap, Furbendink.
Furbendink: Well, I would’ve just cast palette swap on you directly, but that’s a 5th-level spell, and I’m only 3rd-level at the moment.
Furbendink: Yeah, it’s right there on my character sheet. Didn’t I lend it to you to read?
Alph: Character sheet…? No, you lent me a copy of The Twin Knights of Zoku.
Furbendink scratches his head.
Furbendink: Oh yeah…
Ocre: Fourth-wall demolitions aside, I am grateful that you gave those potions to me and Crynock.
Furbendink: “Crynock and I”.
Ocre: Don’t push it.
Ocre: I guess what I’m trying to say is…thaah…uh…thaaaaah…uh…thaaaaah…
Ocre: Nice one, gnome.
Furbendink: Wow, you actually THANKED me for doing something rather than YELLING AT me?!
Tears stream down Furbendink’s face.
Furbendink: You’ve filled me with a strong feeling of…something…Ocre…*sniff*
Furbendink suddenly lets out a rainbow fart.
Ocre: Oh, Furbendink! That is disgusting!
Furbendink: Sorry, that happens sometimes…
Alph: …someone’s missing?
Furbendink: No, Alph, Ocre already made it clear that you are right there!
Alph: I’m talking about Amy!
Furbendink: Well, Amy i-
Furbendink looks around.
Furbendink: Oh yeah.
Crynock: I find it odd as well…
Furbendink: And just where IS Little Miss Amanda at this very moment?
Ocre: Beats me.
Furbendink’s thoughts: Huh…I wonder if she’s…
Alph: So, what are we gonna do while we’re he-
Furbendink: “While we’re he”? He who?
Alph: Uh…does anyone else see what’s written on that building?
Ocre’s eyes widen.
Crynock: …this is odd.
We cut to a view of a wall, which depicts a large letter “A” in orange ink.
Alph: By the plains…what IS that?!
Furbendink: That’s A, the first letter of the alphabet. Didn’t they teach you that in human school?
Alph begins to panic.
Ocre: Hey, hey, Alph…calm down.
Alph: What if this is connected to my past? What if someone’s after me?!
Crynock: I very much doubt that, Alph.
Furbendink: Yeah! I mean, you’re not-
Furbendink: I mean…you’re not the most well-known person, right?
Alph: I suppose…
We hear two screams. Suddenly, two young human girls with round ears run up to Alph.
Girl #1: Y-You’re him! Arthur from the Akanian Tournament!
Girl #2: You were amazing! Two perfect rounds in a row!
Girl #1: It’s a shame you lost in the final round, though.
Girl #2: Anyway, we’re your BIGGEST fans! I’m Chantelle…
Girl #1: …and I’m Shanelle!
Chantelle: Oh, will you sign my…uh…
Chantelle looks at the paper cup in her hand and holds it up to Alph.
Chantelle: …my cup?
Shanelle holds up her cup as well.
Shanelle: And mine too?! Please?
Chantelle: Pretty please with strawberry truffle-balls on top?!
Furbendink: Well, I guess you ARE well-known, then…
Scene 4: Dark Alleyway: Aoinias City: Aoinias: Late Night
A dark figure in a navy blue cloak stands in an alleyway, scrawling on a wall with orange ink. We see a view of the figure’s face, which has the replica Mask of Orenius on it, signifying that this is the same individual who stole the orange orb from Aoinias Palace. The figure speaks with a digitally-distorted voice.
Figure: By the will of the Husk…I will obey.
The figure stops marking the wall with ink and drops her brush to the ground, walking away.
Scene 5: Aoinias City: Aoinias: Morning
The party walks through the town.
Ocre: So, what should we all do first?
Amy: Ooh, can we try some traditional Aoinian food?
Ocre: Oh, good idea, Amy. Wait a minute…
Ocre slowly turns her head to look at Amy. Her eyes widen.
Amy: That’s my name!
Alph: Where have you been?
Amy: Oh, I was just doing some…stuff…
Alph: “Some stuff”? Like what?
Amy: Oh, it’s kind of private…
Alph: Oh…uh…okay then.
Amy’s thoughts: He must never know about the scrapbook…
Crynock: Well, does anyone know what kind of food we should get?
Furbendink: My brother would know.
Ocre: Which one? The one who lives with wolves? Or the one who pries into other people’s business?
Furbendink: No, the one with Amy powers.
Crynock: I do not remember you mentioning having a brother with psi powers, Furbendink…
Furbendink: Well, gnome families ARE pretty big, you know…
Crynock: Actually, I did not know that.
Furbendink: Oh. Well now you do. Aren’t I helpful?
Ocre: You? Helpful? Don’t make me laugh! HAHA!
Amy: Oh yeah, did you guys know that there’s a vandal who marks buildings with orange ink every night?
Alph: Yeah, actually. We saw his handiwork yesterday.
Amy: You did?
Alph: Yeah! There was a building with a giant letter A on it.
Amy’s eyes widen.
Amy: That is TOO weird…
Alph: I know. Believe me, I know!
Amy: No, I mean…
Amy points at a nearby building.
Amy: Look at that wall!
Alph looks at the building. The word “HUSK” is marked on it with orange ink.
Alph: “Husk”…? I don’t get it…
Amy: That’s one of the things that this criminal keeps writing. Some people think that it might be her name.
Alph: Well, why doesn’t anyone try to stop her?
Amy: Because anyone who does wakes up hours later with no memory of how they became unconscious in the first place.
Alph: Weird…uh…maybe we shouldn’t be in this town…
Ocre: Oh, don’t worry, Alph! You can defend yourself!
Alph: Yeah…I guess so…
Alph’s thoughts: …but I don’t like hurting anyone…even criminals…
Scene 6: Drake’s Supreme Pies: Aoinias City: Aoinias: Late Morning
The party sits in Drake’s Supreme Pies, a popular restaurant chain. Everyone has a pie on a plate in front of them, except Furbendink, who has a pile of roughly ten pies on a large platter. Amy has a blank expression on her face.
Amy: Um…I thought we were getting traditional Aoinian cuisine.
Ocre: Technically, Drake’s Supreme Pies IS Aoinian.
Amy: No it isn’t! The original Drake’s Pie Shop first opened its doors in Hitorelm City a little over 50 years ago!
Ocre: It did…?
Ocre glares at Furbendink.
Ocre: You told me the first one opened in AOINIAS City!
Furbendink: Yes I did, but only because I really wanted pie for lunch!
Ocre appears furious. We cut to a view of Alph, who is still wearing his breather. Amy looks at him.
Amy’s thoughts: Ha! He has to take off that breather to eat his delicious pie! There’s no chance of missing his face THIS time!
Amy: Um…Alph, you haven’t touched your chicken pie.
Alph: I’m not hungry.
Amy’s eyes widen.
Amy: But if you don’t eat your food, you won’t grow up big and strong!
Alph: Look, I’ll eat when I’m hungry, okay?!
Everyone is startled at Alph’s sudden outburst. Alph shuts his eyes tightly.
Alph: I’m sorry, everyone. I didn’t mean to snap. It’s just this whole…Husk thing.
Amy: You’re worried, aren’t you?
Alph opens his eyes and stares at his pie.
Alph: I’m just really confused is all. I mean, what’s next? Am I suddenly going to end up with special powers or someth-
Suddenly, Alph’s pie is enveloped in a red-hued aura, and begins to float.
Alph: What the-
The pie suddenly lands on Alph’s plate.
Crynock: This is unexpected…
Alph: Wh-Why was my pie just floating?!
Alph: I have to go! Right now!
Alph stands from his seat and runs away.
Furbendink: Alphabet Plainrider! You come back and eat your Supreme Chicken Pie this instant! Otherwise…I’LL eat it!
Amy’s thoughts: I should be disappointed about missing his face, but…
Scene 7: Aoinias City: Aoinias: Afternoon
Amy wanders through a street, calling for Alph.
Amy: ALPH! WHERE ARE YOU?
Ocre and Furbendink explore a different part of the city in search of Alph.
Ocre: ALPHABET! PLEASE, LET US HELP YOU!
Furbendink: AL! HEY, AL!
Ocre: You know, we WERE supposed to split up and look for him, Rashfoot.
Furbendink: Are you kidding? We have five parties looking for him, including us!
Ocre: Don’t you mean “three”?
Furbendink scratches his head.
Furbendink: Oh yeah…I never learned to count properly. That was my sister’s specialty.
Ocre: Which one? The one who wrangles beasts of burden or the one who lives with big cats?
Furbendink: No, the one who-
Furbendink: Why are you suddenly so interested in my family, Ocre?
Ocre: No reason.
Furbendink: I mean you think you gleam like gold, leading this party and telling us what to do all the time…
Ocre: Excuse me…?
Furbendink: …and yet you don’t know as much as you think you do. I mean, I’m a complete idiot, and yet I have a MUCH broader concept of-
Ocre: You’re right.
Ocre: I may come across as brash and overbearing, but it’s only because I have the best interests of each of you at heart.
Ocre: Frankly, I don’t know how you all put up with me.
Furbendink: Better than you put up with ME, it seems…
Ocre: Come on, Furbendink, I only tease you because I care.
Ocre: By the plains, yes!
Furbendink: Oh…neat. Hey, shall we go and get some frozen whip?
Ocre: Aren’t you forgetting something…?
Furbendink: Oh yeah…there isn’t a whip parlour in this town, is there?
Ocre: Never mind…
Crynock walks through the city in search of Alph.
Crynock: ALPH! PLEASE! COME BACK TO US!
Crynock closes his eyes. The scene zooms into his mind.
We see a view of a wyrmborn whose face is identical to Crynock’s, though his scales are shiny mint green rather than matte cyan; he is also dressed in garb typical of a spellsword. “Crynock” walks through Aoinias City, seemingly in search of someone.
“Crynock”: Now, the message I received stated that he would be here…
“Crynock” looks around, an expression of confusion on his face.
“Crynock”: But where could he-
“Crynock” smiles. He walks up to Erik.
“Crynock”: Are you the one known as Hippocamp?
Erik: I am indeed. Herikios Woodhollow, but my friends call me “Erik”.
“Crynock”: Well met. You may call me “Crynock”.
Erik: It is a pleasure, Crynock of Soranius.
Crynock: You said you had news of my ally?
Erik: I do, but it will have to wait. There is someone else who requires your aid.
Crynock: If they need aid, would they not be better to seek a cleric?
Erik: They require aid of a very different kind, Crynock.
Crynock: I see…
Crynock’s eyes open. He appears confused.
Crynock: I do not understand. Was that a vision? Have the Fifteen granted me a glimpse of something?
Crynock thinks for a moment.
Crynock: That’s right, I’m looking for Alph!
Crynock calls out again.
Crynock: ALPH! ALPH!
A voice identical to Crynock’s echoes in his mind.
Crynock’s voice: ZED!
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- Scene 8: Dark Alleyway: Aoinias City: Night
Alph wanders through an alleyway.
Alph’s thoughts: This is all so confusing…first the mark, then Zokugemina, and now these powers…what AM I…?
Alph stops and looks at a piece of rubbish on the ground.
Alph’s thoughts: I wonder if I can do it again…
Alph holds out his hand at the rubbish. He begins to concentrate, and after a moment, the paper is surrounded by red-hued energy and begins to float. Alph uses his powers to lift up the rubbish and place it into a nearby dumpster.
Alph: I…I did it! I actually did it! Maybe these abilities aren’t so bad after all…
Suddenly, the masked figure sneaks up behind Alph and wraps her left arm around him, before readying a dagger with her right hand.
Alph: What the-
Figure: By the will of the Husk, I will obey.
The figure cuts through the hose on Alph’s breather, then drops the orange orb through the hose. Alph begins to choke, and the figure drops him to the ground.
Figure: I have done as you commanded, Master.
Alph struggles to remove his breather, but his arm movements become sluggish. He tries to call out with a strained voice.
Figure: There is no help for you, child of-
Suddenly, Ash sneaks behind the figure and grabs her, pulling down her hood.
Figure: No! Unhand me at once!
Ash: Not until I save you.
Figure: You cannot stop the-
Ash plucks a small orange scale from the back of the figure’s neck and crunches it into powder, which he blows into the wind. The figure’s eyes flash once with orange light, before she slips into unconsciousness. Ash gently lays the figure to the ground.
Ash: I have saved her. Now I must save my protégé.
Ash walks over to Alph and kneels down. He pulls off Alph’s breather and detaches its pump from his belt. Alph coughs and finally manages to breathe normally.
Ash: Are you alright, Alph?
Alph sits up and takes a deep breath.
Alph: Yeah…I think so…but what happened?
Ash: Your breather was damaged by someone who wished to harm you.
Alph: Wait…damaged…? But…I need that to breathe!
Ash: Indeed. Fortunately, I have a replacement for you. Here.
Ash hands a breather to Alph. It is similar to his old one, though the face-piece has two canisters on either side instead of a hose.
Alph: Thank you.
Alph puts on the new breather, adjusting the straps as he does so. Alph takes a breath, the breather hissing as he does so.
Alph: But…how does it work without a hose?
Ash: Another tale for another time, amigo.
Alph looks at the figure.
Alph: So…I assume that this is the graffiti artist?
Ash: Indeed it is.
Alph: What’s she wearing?
Ash: It is a high-quality replica of the Mask of Orenius. Its real version is from the same set as the one you seek to assemble.
Alph: Whoa, it looks amazing…
Ash: Indeed. Some individuals believed her to have stolen the real mask, but it is safely kept within the Temple of Orenius. All she managed to steal was a small orange orb from Aoinias Palace.
Alph: What was so important about it?
Ash: The orb contained a concentrated sample of orange dragon’s gas, which is a potent toxin. The vandal just attempted to poison you with it.
Ash: Fear not, Alph, for you are far more resilient than you realise.
Ash: Erm…shall we unmask this individual?
Alph: Oh, right.
Alph walks over to the figure and kneels down. He looks at Ash, then back at the figure, removing her mask. Alph’s eyes widen.
Ash: You have met this individual?
Alph: Yeah, a few weeks ago, back in Akanius City. She tried to kidnap the emperor, but we stopped her. I thought she’d be behind bars right now…
Ash: Perhaps she eluded capture?
Alph: Well, no. I used my spitter to subdue her until she was captured by the city guards.
Ash places his left hand onto his chin.
Ash: Well, she may not have been in control of her actions at the time.
Alph: What do you mean?
Bronzika groans and opens her eyes. As her vision clears, she sees Alph looking at her. She suddenly sits up.
Alph: Ash, she’s awake!
Bronzika stands to her feet.
Bronzika: I remember you…
Alph: You do?
Bronzika: I met you in Akanius City.
Alph: You remember me?
Bronzika: Of course.
Alph: Then explain why you tried to capture Emperor Akan.
Alph: And why you’ve been graffitiing this town.
Alph: And why you just tried to-
Alph: What’s wrong?
Bronzika: I…was not in control of my actions.
Alph: Then what-
Bronzika: Please, let me explain. But not here. I know a place we can go…
Scene 9: Unknown Location: Unknown Time of Day
A figure dressed much like Bronzika sits in a chair. His face is shrouded by shadow. The figure speaks with a digitally-distorted voice.
Figure: Bronzika has failed in her task. I must inform my master at once…
The figure’s eyes flash once with orange light.
Scene 10: Hideout: Aoinias City: Late Night
Bronzika opens the door to a secret hideout. She gestures to the doorway, inviting Alph inside.
Bronzika: Well, welcome to…er…my “home”.
Alph looks around. He sees the words, “BY THE WILL OF THE HUSK, I WILL OBEY” marked on one wall with orange ink.
Bronzika: It is where I hid myself while I was…
Bronzika trails off.
Alph: So what exactly IS this “Husk” thing anyway?
Bronzika: Alas, I know very little of the entity.
Alph: Well, what DO you know?
Bronzika: I will tell you what I remember. My brothers and I were exploring the distant jungles of Orenius in search of…
Bronzika squints her eyes in an attempt to remember.
Bronzika: …something important. When we arrived in Orenius City, I was captured by a group of drachomi whose eyes glowed orange, and they placed a scale on the back of my neck. Then, they let me go.
Alph: Just like that?
Bronzika: Indeed. I was unaware of it at the time, but the entity was beginning to take control of my mind. Around the time of the Akanian Tournament, it had gained enough control to sway my actions.
Bronzika: It was then that I “decided” to found the Fans of Aoinias and, together, my brothers and I captured Emperor Akan. For a brief moment during your encounter with us, I managed to regain control, but it was merely so that the Husk could gain further control of my mind.
Alph: You were taken in by the Aoinian authorities. What happened? How did you…I mean, how did the Husk escape?
Bronzika: When you rendered me unconscious, the Husk was able to take complete control of my mind and body.
Alph’s eyes widen.
Alph: Then this vandalism…was caused by ME?!
Bronzika: No, no…do not think that. The Husk was already nearing its control of me. When I awoke, I gained the ability to become transparent, a power I used to escape captivity.
Alph: Then what about the graffiti?
Bronzika: It was my way of subtly trying to warn my people about the entity. Though it gained control of my mind and body, my heart remained untouched.
Alph: So you managed to warn people?
Bronzika: Well, not exactly. The citizens were unable to decipher any of the messages I wrote. You were the first person to solve one.
Alph: What, the giant letter A?
Bronzika: Indeed. That was a message for you, Alph.
Alph: But…why would you write a message about me?
Bronzika: My memory is fuzzy, but it has something to do with what you are.
Alph: Which is?
Bronzika: I…I do not-
The door suddenly bursts open. Three city guards enter.
Bronzika: Oh dear…
Guard #1: Bronzika, you are hereby charged with vandalism of Aoinias City and attempted harm on an innocent.
Bronzika: But I-
Guard #2: The destruction you have caused is valued at 1,000,000 Gold Aoins. You are hereby banished from these lands.
Guard #3: If you return to the Empire of Aoinias, you will be sentenced to life imprisonment.
Bronzika: Please, let me appeal to-
Guard #1: You have one day to vacate from Aoinias City, and an additional two days to leave the Empire of Aoinias.
Guard #2: The word of the Empress is final.
The guards leave the hideout. Bronzika sighs.
Bronzika: I suppose this is my punishment…
Alph: Punishment for what?! You didn’t do anything!
Bronzika: But these hands did! By Aoinian law, I am as good as guilty!
Alph ponders for a moment.
Alph: …I have an idea. Come with me.
Scene 11: The Dancing Merrl Tavern: Late Night
Ocre, Crynock and Furbendink sit at a table in The Dancing Merrl, a popular tavern in Aoinias City. Alph and Bronzika stand there.
Ocre: You want her to WHAT?!
Alph: Travel with us.
Furbendink: You want her to WHAT?!
Ocre glares at Furbendink.
Ocre: Furbendink, SHUT UP!
Furbendink: Okay, okay! You don’t have to yell!
Bronzika: Please, I would be most grateful.
Ocre: I don’t know, Alph…how do you know she won’t try to poison you again?
Bronzika: Rest assured that I am now completely free of the Husk’s control.
Ocre: And how do we know that you aren’t making up this story just to save your own tail?
Bronzika: You have my word. It is all I can give you.
Ocre: I don’t know…I’m still suspicious.
Bronzika: Please…give me a chance to prove myself.
Crynock: You should heed her words, Ocre. Didn’t a certain drachomus once give YOU a chance?
Ocre: Well…I suppose…
Alph spots a tavern patron, a male human with round ears, throwing a glass mug at Bronzika’s head and holds his hand towards it. His eyes glow with red-hued light, and the mug becomes suspended in mid-air, surrounded by red-hued energy. Alph gently places the mug onto a nearby table with his powers.
Alph: Is there a problem, sir?
Patron: Sh-She’s the one that vandalised this city!
Alph: No, she isn’t.
The patron’s eyes widen.
Patron: S-Somehow…I know you speak the truth.
Ocre: You do?!
Furbendink: You do?!
Ocre bellows and chases Furbendink out of the tavern.
Crynock: Well, I’m willing to give her a chance, as is Amanda.
Alph: Wait…Amy agreed to it?
Crynock: Yes, before she went to bed. So you have the deciding vote, Alph.
Alph: Well, it was my idea to let Bronzika travel with us, so of course I agree!
Bronzika smiles and bows.
Bronzika: Thank you very much, Alph. I will strive to be a model ally.
Scene 12: Midonian-Aoinian Border: Aoinias: Late Morning
The party, now with Bronzika included, approaches the border between Aoinias and Midonius, the homeland of the green drachomi. Ocre and Crynock are once again their proper colours.
Ocre: I’m surprised the potion wore off just as we’re about to leave Aoinias.
Furbendink: Ah, the effects of the potion last for as long as you need.
Amy: But doesn’t the palette swap spell only last two hours?
Furbendink: The basic version, yes. But POTIONS can be made to last as long as you need.
Crynock: Just how do you know so much about potions, Furbendink?
Furbendink: Well…when you’re a wizard, you pick up a few things.
Ocre: But you’re a sorcerer.
Furbendink: WHAT?! Who told you that?!
Ocre: You did, Grape-top!
Furbendink scratches his head.
Furbendink: Oh yeah…
Ocre sighs and shakes her head.
Bronzika: Well, I am looking forward to our journey together.
Ocre: Yeah, but I DARE ya to make a single mistake, Bronzy! HAHA!
Bronzika laughs nervously as a drop of sweat appears on her left brow.
Ocre looks at Alph.
Ocre: What’s that, Alph?
Alph: Oh, nothing. I just picture wire in my mind. Copper wire, with a green tinge.
Amy: Oh yeah, you’ll start to pick up little things like that.
Amy: Well, since Alph apparently has an affinity for psi magic, he’s going to get little inklings of things nearby.
Furbendink looks around.
Furbendink: But we’re in the middle of nowhere. There isn’t a trace of copper wire for miles!
Amy: Really? Well, perhaps Alph is more sensitive to it than me.
Alph: I don’t know about that…
Bronzika: But you claim to have lost your past. Perhaps you are recovering lost abilities.
Alph: No…I’m pretty sure this psi magic is new…
Alph looks at Bronzika’s satchel.
Bronzika: What is it, Alph?
Alph: Do you have a dragon in your bag?
Bronzika: A dragon? No, I do not…
Furbendink: Yeah, Alph! How could a dragon fit into a small bag? They’re huge!
Ocre: And there are only fifteen of them, all residing in the Celestial Planes.
Furbendink: Well, actually-
Bronzika: I was going to wait until we reached Copper Grove, but…
Bronzika reaches into her satchel.
Furbendink: Everyone, look out! She’s got a-
Bronzika pulls out a fragment of the Mask of Akanius.
Furbendink: -red thingie! Oh.
Ocre: Where did you get that?!
Bronzika: I have treasured it since I was a little girl. It was a gift from my mother.
Crynock: So it is a family heirloom?
Bronzika: You could say that. It has been passed down to each first-hatched daughter. When you told me you were collecting the pieces of the Akanius Mask for some grand purpose, I knew I wanted to give it to you.
Furbendink: But what if you have children of your own?
Bronzika: Alas, my encounter with the entity has altered my biology. I am no longer what you would call a “pure” drachomus.
Alph: Well, you’re a true drachomus to me.
Crynock: I could not have put it better myself, Alph.
Ocre nods. Bronzika smiles.
Bronzika: Thank you, all. That means so much to me.
Bronzika holds the mask fragment to Alph.
Bronzika: For you.
Alph: Oh…thank you very much.
Alph stares at the mask fragment. The voice whispers in his mind.
Voice: Copper Grove…it awaits your presence…
FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK, FRONK…
October 28th 2018, 10:33 pm
Episode 6 – Midonian Outcast
- As the party approaches the township of Copper Grove, located in the verdant Empire of Midonius, they stumble upon a young green drachomus named Wyer, who was exiled from the settlement for “betraying his homeland”, though he doesn’t remember having committed such an act. Knowing too well the feeling of wrongful banishment, Bronzika agrees to help Wyer find out why he was kicked out of Copper Grove. But is there more to the young drachomus than his apparent betrayal?
Wyer of Midonius – A green drachomus who was banished from his own town for an apparent crime, he is assisted by Alph and Bronzika in his search for answers
“I just don’t get why they’d throw me out like that, you know?”
- Scene 1: En Route to Copper Grove: Midonius: Early Morning
Alph, Ocre, Crynock, Amy and Furbendink walk along a road with lush woodland on either side.
Amy: This place is so beautiful…
Alph: Yes, y-
Alph pauses. Amy looks at him.
Alph: I mean…yes, it is.
Amy smiles, then continues to view the scenery.
Furbendink: What? It’s just a bunch of trees!
Ocre: Are you serious, Rashfoot?!
Furbendink: For once, yes. Yes, I am.
Ocre: But you’re a FOREST GNOME! I thought it was implied that you LOVE the forest!
Furbendink: Well, while it’s true that I’m from a jungle-
Amy: So you seriously find forests dull, uninteresting and boring?
Furbendink: Of course I don’t! Well, not entirely, anyway. I just prefer other environs.
Ocre: A forest gnome who thinks forests are boring…well, now I’ve seen everything.
Ocre looks ahead and sees a young male green drachomus wearing a yellow duck costume.
Ocre: Okay, NOW I’ve seen everything!
The drachomus spots the party.
Ocre: Oh no…none of you make eye contact!
The drachomus waves with his left hand. Furbendink waves back, a huge grin on his face. Ocre scowls at him.
Ocre: Furbendink! What did I just say?!
Furbendink: “None of you make eye contact”…?
Ocre: So what are you doing?!
Furbendink: Uh, I’m WAVING at him? I thought that was obvious!
Ocre growls angrily. The drachomus jogs toward the party.
Ocre: Oh, for the love of…look what you did, grape-top! He’s running this way!
Crynock: Perhaps he requires aid?
Ocre: Crynock, he’s in the middle of a forest wearing a duck costume. Believe me, I think he’s fine.
The drachomus reaches the party.
Drachomus: Excuse me, I was wondering if you could aid me? Please?
Furbendink: Well, looks like SOMEONE’S wrong! Haha!
Ocre glares at Furbendink.
Ocre: If you value your posterior, then SHUT UP!
Ocre’s thoughts: Heheheh…Furbendink’s always so funny!
Scene 2: The Woodland Retreat Tavern: Midonius: Early Afternoon
The party, along with the drachomus, sits in The Woodland Retreat, a quaint little tavern along the road to Copper Grove.
The drachomus looks at Ocre.
Ocre: …why exactly are you dressed in a duck costume?
Drachomus: Because I was wearing it when they threw me out of town.
Bronzika’s eyes widen.
Amy: I think what Ocre means, Wyer, is…wait…you were thrown out of your own town?!
The drachomus nods.
Furbendink’s thoughts: Well, it’s no wonder they threw him out…I mean, who wears a duck suit, anyway?
Crynock: Furbendink! Don’t be impolite!
Furbendink: Wait…I said that out loud?!
Alph: Why DID the townspeople throw you out of town?
Wyer: I have no idea.
Bronzika: You were banished for no good reason?
Bronzika closes her eyes and lowers her head.
Wyer: Um…are you okay, ma’am?
Bronzika opens her eyes and looks at Wyer.
Furbendink: Bronzika got thrown out of her country.
Ocre glares at Furbendink.
Crynock: Why would you share Bronzika’s private business like that?
Bronzika: No no, it’s fine. I’m glad that Furbendink relieved me of the burden.
Bronzika looks at Wyer, a look of determination on her face.
Bronzika: I wish to help you uncover the truth behind your exile.
Wyer: You do?
Bronzika: By the cliffs of Aoinias, yes!
Ocre: Wow, you are REALLY nice when you’re not mind-controlled, Bronzy! HAHA!
Bronzika: Many thanks, Ocre.
Bronzika bows her head to Ocre.
Furbendink: Well, if you’re gonna blend into Wyer’s settlement, you’ll need these.
Furbendink hands a potion each to Bronzika and Wyer. Wyer reads his label aloud.
Wyer: “Phar-Out Potions: Palette Swap.”
Furbendink: Oopsie! That one’s for Bronzika.
Furbendink switches the potions. Wyer reads the label on his new potion.
Wyer: “Phar-Out Potions: Conceal Race.”
Ocre: What exactly IS this “Phar-Out Potions”, Furbendink?
Furbendink: It’s a brand name. The family who makes these is the best in the business.
Amy: Well I’VE never heard of them…
Wyer: So I just drink this and…what happens?
Furbendink: You can disguise yourself as a member of any other sapient species. A human, for example.
Wyer: Works for me. Much of the populace of Copper Grove is human.
Wyer uncorks the bottle and guzzles the potion, before letting out a big burp.
Wyer: Excuse me.
Suddenly, Wyer is surrounded by rippling purple energy. After a moment, his face transforms into that of a human. The energy disappears.
Bronzika: Amazing! It worked!
Amy: You look just like a human, Wyer!
Ocre: How can you be so sure, Amanda? For all we know, the rest of his body could still look like a drachomus! HAHA!
Wyer: Well, I can’t exactly take off this costume, since I’m in my underwear.
Furbendink: Just what were you doing before you got kicked out of town, Wyer?
Wyer: Well, I was giving out free samples of Supreme Duck Pie outside Drake’s Supreme Pies.
Furbendink: Hold the communicator…there’s a Drake’s Supreme Pies in Copper Grove?!
Wyer: Yep! And it’s open 24 hours a day!
Furbendink begins to drool.
Furbendink: I am so there…
Amy: Well, while Wyer and Bronzika seek some answers, the rest of us will go to Drake’s Supreme Pies for lunch.
Amy looks at Alph.
Amy’s thoughts: Today’s the day that I FINALLY get to see Alph’s face…
Alph: Actually, I kind of want to help Wyer as well. With three of us working together, we’re sure to get some answers.
Amy’s thoughts: Drat!
Furbendink: Oh yeah…Alph, you could use your new mental prowess to read people’s thoughts!
Ocre: Uh…that’s “MIND POWERS”, Furbendink.
Amy: And Alph can’t read minds with his abilities. He’s kind of like an esper in that regard.
Furbendink: Well, I know a thing or two about espers…
Furbendink’s thoughts: …and I’m sure there’s more to Alph’s mind than what you know, Amy…
Amy: And what’s that supposed to mean, Furbendink?!
Furbendink: I said that out loud?! AGAIN?!
Furbendink’s thoughts: Wow…inner-monologuing is harder than it looks…
Scene 3: Copper Grove: Midonius: Late Afternoon
Alph, Bronzika and Wyer walk through a quaint street in Copper Grove. Bronzika’s scales and Wyer’s hair are green, with Wyer now dressed in medieval fantasy-inspired attire.
Alph: Wow, this town is so…
Bronzika: Strange? Unusual? Weird?
Alph: Actually, I was gonna say “charming”. I almost feel right at home here.
Wyer: It must be because you’re a human.
Wyer: Copper Grove was first settled by Hitorelmians who emigrated to Midonius over a century ago. The architecture, fashions and just about everything else here are of human design.
Bronzika: Hence the higher population of Alph’s kind here.
Wyer: Exactly right, Bronzika!
Alph: So if this town is populated mostly by humans…then why would you have been banished?
Bronzika: Prejudice, perhaps?
Wyer shakes his head.
Wyer: No, that’s not it. The humans and drachomi here get along excellently, much as they do in other places.
Alph: And I’m sure the drachomi here wouldn’t have wanted you banished without good reason…
Bronzika’s eyes sadden a little.
Bronzika: I certainly hope that to be the case, Alph, if not for Wyer’s sake.
Alph: Right…I’m sorry if I…uh…
Bronzika: It is quite alright, Alph. I know you didn’t mean to be disrespectful.
Alph: Even so…
Bronzika: Do you not have family here, Wyer?
Wyer shakes his head.
Wyer: No. I’m an orphan.
Alph: What? That’s awful!
Wyer: No no, it’s not like that. My egg was found in the nearby forest, and there was no indication of why it was there. I was raised by a travelling mystic, and I journeyed alongside them.
Wyer: I don’t exactly know if they were male or female, only that they were…special.
Bronzika: Anyone who nurtures a drachomus from shell to scale despite them not being their own is special by default.
Wyer: No, I mean-
Wyer: I digress. Let’s just focus on the goal at hand.
Bronzika: Of course.
Alph: Agreed. So…any idea where to start looking?
Wyer: Well…we could always-
Bronzika notices a flash of orange in the eyes of a green drachomus as he walks past. She turns around and begins to follow him, with Alph and Wyer oblivious to her absence.
Wyer: -and then check around the library.
Alph: Hey, that’s a great idea! What do you think, Bronzika? Should we-
Alph looks behind him. Bronzika is nowhere to be seen.
Alph: Where did she go?
We cut to a view of Bronzika. She secretly follows the drachomus along a crowded street.
Bronzika: Where on Dracromia are you going, my friend…?
The figure walks toward a building whose architecture is vastly different to the rest of the town.
The figure turns around and looks left and right. Bronzika hides behind a market stall. The figure enters the building. Bronzika breathes a sigh of relief. The stall’s owner, a portly male human with shoulder-length hair and long sideburns, folds his arms and looks at Bronzika. Bronzika looks up and grins at him.
Scene 4: Drake’s Supreme Pies: Copper Grove: Midonius: Evening
Furbendink and Amy sit at a table. Furbendink has eleven large pie tins in front of him, each one covered with crumbs and smears of gravy. A waiter places a large pie in front of him.
Waiter: Bon appetit.
Furbendink: Merci beaucoup, mon-sewer! (“Thank you very much, mon-sewer!”)
Amy: I can’t believe that you know how to speak Luminelv…well, minus the “mon-sewer” part. THAT I’d expect.
Furbendink: Well…my parents made all my brothers and sisters learn multiple languages.
Furbendink: Well, we deal with so many custo-
Furbendink: I mean…lovely weather in here, isn’t it?
Amy shakes his head.
Amy: I guess an intelligent conversation is too much to ask…
Furbendink: So…Alph’s getting pretty powerful, isn’t he?
Amy: I know what you mean. Power-wise, he’s on fire!
Furbendink’s eyes widen.
Amy: I didn’t mean literally! It’s a figure of speech!
Furbendink: Oh, good…for a second there, I thought-
Voice: Awright, which of youse ‘as seen a gnome wiv purpley-pink ‘air aroun’ ‘ere?
Furbendink’s thoughts: Oh no…how did they FIND me?!
Furbendink: Gotta go!
Furbendink races from the room.
Amy: He didn’t eat his twelfth duck pie…that’s so out-of-character for him.
Scene 5: Copper Grove: Midonius: Evening
Alph and Wyer look for Bronzika.
Wyer: BRONZIKA! WHERE ARE YOU?
Voice: Hey, do I know you, sonny?
Wyer looks at an elderly couple who stare at him. Wyer smiles.
Wyer: I’m sorry, I believe you have me mistaken for someone else.
Lady: Oh, you really need glasses, husband!
Gentleman: I swear, he looks like one o’ the regulars!
The lady tuts.
Lady: Come along now. It’s time for our supper.
Gentleman: Ooh, goody!
The couple walks away.
Alph: Do they know you? The real you, I mean.
Wyer: They manage my favourite Pikunian bakery and café. I really have a taste for their strawberry truffle-balls. I’ll have to treat you to some while we’re here.
Alph: You had me at “strawberry truffle-balls”. But we should find Bronzika first.
Wyer: Agreed, but where could she be? We’ve been searching for nearly an hour…
Bronzika’s voice: Alph! Over here!
Alph and Wyer notice Bronzika waving to them.
Alph: Well, that’s…convenient.
Alph, Bronzika and Wyer approach the building.
Alph: He went in there?
Bronzika: Indeed. This architecture…it is neither Midonian nor Hitorelmian.
Wyer: The Orenian Arms. It’s a fancy hotel for all the rich visitors to town.
Alph: It does look fancy…I’d feel out-of-place in there.
Bronzika: Nonetheless, we must investigate.
Alph, Bronzika and Wyer casually approach the entrance. An orange drachomus dressed as a bellhop stops them.
Bellhop: May I help you folks?
Alph: Uh…yes. We’d…uh…
Alph’s thoughts: Come on, Alph…think of a good reason…
Alph: We…that is, the three of us, would…uh…like to…stay…here?
The bellhop stares at Alph. He looks at Bronzika and Wyer, then back at Alph. The bellhop smiles and opens the door.
Bellhop: Of course. Please enjoy your stay.
Alph: Many thanks to you, señor.
The trio enters the hotel.
Bronzika: You speak Oscurelv, Alph?
The bellhop closes the door. He holds his wrist to his face and speaks into his communicator.
Bellhop: Hello, boss? We…have a bit of a problem…
Commercial: It’s Duck Season at Drake’s Supreme Pies! All this month, you can try our delicious Supreme Duck Pie! Made with a selection of fresh Midonian vegetables and herbs, and using only the finest, juiciest marinated duck meat, it’s a mouth-watering taste sensation unlike any other! And what’s more, if enough customers order this limited-time item, it’ll be added to the menu PERMANENTLY! The Supreme Duck Pie, only at Drake’s Supreme Pies!
- Scene 6: Alph’s Suite: The Orenian Arms: Night
We see a view of Alph asleep in bed, his breather on a wooden side-table. Alph’s eyelids tighten slightly.
The scene zooms into his mind.
We see a view of a white background. Suddenly, four circles at opposite points shimmer into view: the top one is red, the left one is purple, the bottom one is cyan and the right one is lime green. Suddenly, the cyan one begins to glow with bright cyan light, before dimming slightly. The red, purple and lime circles begin to resonate with light. The scene zooms into the red circle, revealing Alph, who is standing in the middle of a dense jungle.
Alph: Wh-Where AM I…?
A sinister laugh begins to echo from nearby.
Alph: Wh-Who’s there?! Show yourself!
Alph spins around as the trees sink into the ground, replaced with the walls of a temple whose bricks seem to be made of glistening orange topaz. An entity resembling a cloud of glowing orange pixels with fearsome azure eyes forms nearby, and glares at Alph.
Entity: There is no stopping me, child of the frontier!
Alph: What ARE you?!
We see a sword swing into view. Alph instinctively blocks the sword with his own.
Alph: Why don’t you fight me yourself, you fiend?!
Entity: Look closer, you foolish boy…
We cut to a view of Alph’s eyes, which widen in horror.
Alph: No…you monster…
Zed’s voice: Alph! You have to wake up!
We cut to a view of Alph’s closed eyes.
Wyer’s voice: Alph, please wake up!
Alph’s eyes suddenly open. He sits up and looks at Wyer, who is still in human form.
Alph: Wyer…? What time is it?
Wyer: Not important. Probably sometime between midnight and dawn.
Alph: Then why did you wake me?
Alph’s eyes flash once with red light.
Alph: Bronzika’s gone?!
Wyer: Yeah, she-
Wyer’s eyes widen.
Wyer: How did-
Alph: Psi magic…uh…I think.
Wyer: You can use psi magic?
Alph: Yeah, but it only emerged recently.
Wyer: Well, can you use your power to find Bronzika?
Alph: I don’t think it’s supposed to work that way…
Wyer: Well, I’m really worried.
Alph: How so?
Wyer: Bronzika reassured me that she’d stand guard outside my bedchamber, ready for any sign of trouble. Something’s happened to her, I just know it!
Alph: Like what?
Wyer: Maybe…maybe the entity’s taken control of her!
Wyer: Wait…what do you mean, “again”, Alph?
Alph: It’s a long story. For now, though, we should focus on finding Bronzika.
Alph leaps out of bed, already fully dressed.
Wyer: You sleep wearing your clothes?
Alph: Only if I think there’s trouble, and I’m pretty darn sure there’s somethin’ afoot right now. Come on!
Alph races from the room. Wyer raises an eyebrow.
Wyer: Alph…uh…talks a little strangely sometimes.
Wyer follows Alph.
Scene 7: The Green Goblet: Late Night
Furbendink tosses and turns in his sleep.
Furbendink: No…not the Ignis Penduli…anything but the Ignis Penduli…
Scene 8: The Orenian Arms: Late Night
Alph and Wyer sneak through the hotel.
Wyer: So you really have no idea where you came from?
Alph: Not a clue.
Wyer: Well, wherever it is, it certainly isn’t Akanius.
Alph: Yeah, Ocre already figured that out.
Wyer: You’re so lucky to have a friend like her. I’d give my tail to have a pal who has my back!
Alph: Come on, Wyer! A guy like you must have a lot of friends.
Wyer: I doubt it. I mean, I got thrown out of Copper Grove for reasons I don’t even know!
Alph: Well, I guess neither of us knows certain things about ourselves. I’ve started having dreams that don’t make much sense to me.
Alph: Just last night I dreamt of seeds sprouting and growing into weird-looking fruit that roared like bears, and the night before that, it was four amulets starting to glow and assembling into…well, let’s just say it was kind of abstract.
Alph: The one thing that keeps recurring, though, is a guy who looks like me with silvery-blue hair, and a dragon with features of both silver and gold. Oh, and the letter N.
Wyer: The letter N?
Alph: Yeah. I figure it has something to do with the first page of my notebook, which has a big N on it.
Wyer: Sounds weird…still, I’m sure that-
Voice: -in service to the Husk!
A look of horror spreads across Wyer’s face.
Wyer: Oh, crud.
Alph: What is it?
We see a view of the basement. A large image of the entity from Alph’s dream is carved into the wall. In front of it is a group of roughly ten green drachomi, all wearing dark orange robes; the drachomus at the front wears a replica of the Mask of Orenius. A wooden door at the top of the stairs opens slightly.
Voice: How goes your progress?
Leader: Our plans progress smoothly, Master. By this time tomorrow, the entire drachomus population of Copper Grove will be enslaved to you.
Wyer whispers to Alph.
Voice: And the boy?
Leader: Exiled. There is no way he’d dare to return.
Voice: Excellent. And if he DOES show his face…
The leader seems to grin.
Leader: I will personally make sure he is removed from the material plane…permanently.
Wyer: Oh, they did NOT just say that!
The leader’s eyes briefly glow with orange light.
Voice: There’s a good pawn.
Leader: By the will of the Husk, I will obey.
Other minions: By the will of the Husk, I will obey.
Alph: These folks seem pretty chill about being that…thing’s pawns.
Wyer: Their minds are enslaved to the Husk’s will. They have no choice.
Alph: Ouch. That’s harsh.
The leader turns to face the others.
Leader: Okay, everyone, you know what to do. Take some scales and plant them on every drachomus in town.
The leader removes a white cloth from the top of a box, revealing a large number of orange scales identical to the one removed from Bronzika’s neck.
Wyer: No…they can’t…they just…I…we have to do something!
Alph: Not yet.
Wyer: What?! But-
Alph: Wyer, think about it. Ten-against-two isn’t a fair fight.
Wyer: You’re right. I mean, who’d be dumb enough to take on an entire mob of enemies alone?
Bronzika: You loathsome fiend!
Alph: Oh no…
Bronzika leaps into view from the shadows, alerting the minions to her presence.
Bronzika: You will pay for what you have done, Husk!
Alph: What does she think she’s doing?!
Leader: Allies, seize her!
The two minions on either side of Bronzika grab her arms.
Bronzika: Let go of me!
The leader takes a scale from the box and slowly walks toward Bronzika.
Bronzika: NO! I will NOT become a slave again!
Wyer: We have to help her!
Alph: Agreed. Let’s quickly form a plan to-
Furbendink’s voice: Hey, let ME join this shindig!
Furbendink is suddenly standing there.
Furbendink kicks the leader’s shin, causing him to cry out in pain and throw the scale into the air. Furbendink holds his hand at the scale.
Furbendink: “Herikios’s Bubble Burst!”
The scale is suddenly surrounded by a cyan-tinged bubble. As it pops, the scale vanishes, leaving behind a tiny sparkle.
Leader: Loathsome runt!
Furbendink: Hey, how did you know the nickname that my Pop gave me?
Alph and Wyer race into the room.
Leader: There are more of you?!
Alph: You’d better believe it, bucko!
Wyer: Why are you doing this?
Leader: Never you mind, traitor!
Wyer is surprised.
Wyer: H-How did you know it was me…?
Leader: Are you kidding? No conceal race can hide a drachomus of their true nature from another drachomus!
Furbendink: That is IT! When I get back to the potion shop, I am having a LONG word with the person who brewed that cheap bottle of unidentifiable liquid!
Bronzika: Then I suppose my disguise is useless as well…?
Leader: You wear a disguise…? Why would a human disguise themselves as a green drachomus?
Wyer: Seriously?! You saw through my disguise but not HERS?! That is IT!
Wyer snarls, and his body begins to grow in size.
Furbendink: What the WHAT?!
Tufts of brown fur sprout all over Wyer’s body, and in moments he has transformed into a large bear.
Wyer charges toward the leader, knocking him to the ground with his paw.
Leader: What manner of creature are you to stand against the Husk?
Wyer sniffs the back of the leader’s neck, before licking it with his tongue.
Alph: What’s he doing…?
Furbendink: I don’t know, but I’m getting a strange feeling of déjà vu.
Wyer stops licking, and an orange scale falls off the back of the leader’s neck, crumbling to powder that floats away. The leader’s eyes glow with orange light, before returning to normal.
Leader: Wh-What…happened? Why aren’t I at my alchemy shop?!
Wyer turns his attention to the other minions, who panic and begin to head for the stairs. Alph blocks their path.
Alph: And where do you think YOU’RE going, folks?
Bronzika: Wyer? Have at it!
Wyer roars at the minions, who panic as he runs toward them.
Scene 9: Copper Grove: Morning
Alph, Amy, Ocre, Furbendink, Bronzika and Wyer stand outside The Orenian Arms.
Amy: Sounds like you had quite the adventure, Alph.
Alph: Heheh…yeah, I guess we did.
Bronzika: Well, I’m just glad that this settlement is safe.
Wyer: Yeah, but why was I exiled in the first place…?
Voice: I believe I have your answer, young Wyer.
A grey-haired, dark-skinned woman walks up to Wyer.
Wyer: Oh, Madame Mayor!
Mayor: It would seem that you are immune to the effects of this…entity.
Wyer: I am?
Mayor: Indeed. Those hooligans attempted to place you under its control, and when their methods proved ineffective, they framed you for all the recent crimes that occurred.
Wyer: I was framed?!
The mayor frowns.
Mayor: Well…let’s just say the evidence against you was water-tight, unlike the local reservoir.
Mayor: Oh, my word, yes! The water in the reservoir was channelled into Farmer Cropley’s orchard, ruining this season’s fartberry harvest.
Furbendink: Oh, but I LOVE fartberries…
Ocre: Of course you do…
Mayor: Since you did not actually commit these crimes, you are welcome to return to Copper Grove and resume your career as an advertising executive.
Furbendink’s thoughts: Yeah, because handing out discount coupons is CLEARLY executive work…
Crynock’s voice: Furbendink! Don’t be sarcastic!
Furbendink: I said that out loud?! Wait a minute…
Furbendink looks to his left. Crynock is suddenly standing there.
Furbendink: WAAH! When did YOU get back?!
Ocre: Looks like gnomes aren’t the ONLY ones to pop in out of nowhere!
Everyone but Furbendink laughs.
Wyer: Thank you for the offer, Madame Mayor, but my place is with Alph and his allies. If there’s any hope of stopping this entity, then I want to do what I can to help.
The mayor smiles and nods.
Mayor: I understand. There will be a place for you here upon your return.
Wyer: Thanks. So…uh…
Wyer looks at Furbendink.
Wyer: When will the effects of the potion wear off?
Bronzika: I was wondering the same thing, actually…
Furbendink: Ah, that. Well, they should wear off right about…
Bronzika and Wyer each let out a small fart, and suddenly change back into their true forms.
Wyer: The heck…?
Furbendink: Oh yeah…my bad.
Scene 10: Unknown Location: Unknown Time of Day
We see two robed individuals standing on a platform in a round room swirling with rainbow light. The male has pale skin, slick black hair and blue eyes, and wears a dull cyan robe; the female, meanwhile, has orangey-tan skin, bright red hair and reddish-brown eyes, and wears a dull red robe.
Woman: The Ignis Penduli…
Man: …and the Penduli Aqua.
Woman: It would seem that they are beginning to affect the dreams of-
Ash’s voice: You wished to see me?
The robed individuals turn to face Ash, who approaches them.
Woman: Ah, Phoenix. Welcome.
Ash: Thank you, Crimsona.
The woman bows.
The man bows.
Ash: I suspect that this is about Alph?
Crimsona: Not just him.
Ceruleus: You must meet with the Hippocamp.
Ash: May I ask why?
Ceruleus: It would seem that the bond shared between your protégé and the Hippocamp’s is beginning to strengthen. It is imperative that the two of you are ready for the moment that Alph and the one called Zander Starmute meet.
Ash: Zander…? Ah, yes. I was introduced to him, though with the name “Zed”.
Crimsona: You must locate the Hippocamp post-haste.
Ash: Where was he last located?
Ceruleus: You will find Herikios on the wandering world.
Ash: Many thanks to you both.
Ash bows, then leaves the chamber. Ceruleus and Crimsona look at one another.
Crimsona: How long until the Four Pendulums are ready?
Ceruleus: Soon, dear sister…soon.
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