Author Topic: King's Quest 5: Absence Makes The Heart Go Yonder! An adaptation by GrahamRocks!  (Read 11839 times)

Offline GrahamRocks!

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Disclaimer: King's Quest and their characters are not owned by me, they are owned by Sierra On-Line. All Rights Reserved. Trust me, if it were, the AGDI remakes would be canon and so would The Silver Lining. And MoE would be done better.

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Chapter 1: Off To Serenia!
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It was a lovely morning in the Kingdom of Daventry. The birds were chirping in their nests, the flowers were blooming nicely, and the Kingdom had not seen the troubles of famine or war in years. All thanks to the man known as Graham, their wise and brave king, who had restored their Kingdom over 20 years ago, being crowned king over Daventry as a reward from the late King Edward, and aside from an encounter with a certain three headed dragon (which was killed thanks to his son, Alexander, using a Storm Brew spell), seemed to always be at peace.

As Graham walked leisurely by Lake Maylie, he smiled happily as he picked some wildflowers to bring home to Valanice, his wife, for later. Like always when he was walking in his Kingdom, he was wearing his classic ranger uniform of a red tunic, blue pants, high brown boots, and his iconic “adventurers cap” that he was so proud of. Everything was so tranquil as of late, it seemed that nothing could go wrong…

-
 
But, something did go wrong that day. All was quiet, and nobody was around to see the man in the long black cloak teleport up onto the hill overlooking Castle Daventry. With a devilish smile, he raised his arms up high and a loud rumbling of thunder was heard. Dark clouds gathered over the castle, yet strangely weren’t seen anywhere else in the sky. As bright bolts of lightning came down around the castle, a sudden rush of wind quickly formed into a tornado completely covering the castle. When the wind stopped blowing, the castle had vanished without a trace! All that was left was an empty plot of dirt.

Yes! The first part of my scheme is done! My brother shall have his revenge soon. The man thought to himself proudly as he fled the scene, thinking that no one had seen him do his dirty deed.

He was wrong. He did have one witness. A young man popped his head out from behind a nearby rock, shaking slightly at what he’d just seen. Thankfully, the castle thief hadn’t seen him. Cedric (for that was his name) wasn’t sure what to do though. He’d been sent here by his mentor Crispin to check up on an old friend of his, and nothing more. Cedric didn’t want to butt into something that didn’t really concern him, but he also couldn’t just sit idly by and let the royal family be stolen away by some black cloaked fiend right underneath the Kingdoms nose! What was he going to do?! Just then he saw another person walking his direction where the castle was a minute ago. Cedric hid again, not knowing if the person was friend or foe, and watched him closely.

Graham’s heart skipped a beat and he jumped back in surprise at what he saw! His castle was nowhere to be found!

“Oh no! No! My castle is gone! W-what’s going on here?” King Graham said, worrying about his family’s fate. If the whole castle was stolen, they must have been taken as well. Just then, he heard a voice behind him and turned around.

“Um, h-hello?” Cedric said softly, trying to keep his voice steady. He came out from behind the rock, keeping his brown eyes away from Graham’s bright blue ones. “I saw what happened, sir.”

“You did? Then tell me what happened! Tell me everything you know, young man!” Graham demanded.

Cedric explained everything he saw. “He was dressed in a black cloak, and judging from that wand I saw, is a very powerful wizard! I’m not really sure who it was, but I could tell he was up to no good. He conjured up a big whirlwind which swept up your castle and made it disappear in an instant. After that, you came along. That’s all I know, sir.”

Graham thought for a moment, looking away. “Hmmm… but why would this wizard want my castle? What have we ever done to him?” he turned back to Cedric and asked, “Are you sure you didn’t know who he was?”

Cedric shook his head. “I don’t know why he did this or who he is.” But then, Cedric got an idea! He smiled and snapped his fingers. “Oh, I know! Crispin! My mentor can surely help you, sir! Now, let me see…” he opened the bag attached to his belt, felt around in it, and pulled out a small cloth pouch. Checking inside, he saw that he still had a bit of the stuff left, and it was luckily still faintly glowing which meant there was still some magic left in it. “Aha! Here it is. Here, rub this dust in your hair.”

Graham took some of it and did so, rubbing it all into his graying hair. “What is this stuff?”

Cedric rubbed some in his own hair just in case and replied, “Some leftover fairy dust that Crispin gave me. That’s how I got here in the first place. It allows you to fly!” he stood on his toes and flew a couple feet off the ground to demonstrate. Graham copied him, and found that it really worked! He really was flying!

Cedric smiled at his success, and pointed to the northeast with his hand- their destination. “Well, now that that is settled, follow me! I’m sure Crispin will help you get your family back in no time.”

Cedric spread his arms out like a bird in flight, and headed out towards the countryside of Serenia- his home. Graham followed Cedric’s lead, still scared for Valanice, Alexander and Rosellas safety, but he felt hopeful as well. If this Crispin really could help, he would be eternally grateful.

-
And so it begins! You'll notice that I've made one major change already: Cedric doesn't recognize Mordack!

Offline Delling

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Cedric's a guy instead of an owl!! :D :D I like it already. :yes:

Though that Cedric doesn't recognize Mordack implies that Crispin may well be less informed as well which could make matters more interesting... *ponders*
Noli me tangere! Nescio ubi fuisti!
Don't touch me! I don't know where you've been!

Marquess of Pembroke
Duke of Saxony in Her Majesty's Court
Knight of the Swan for Her Imperial Highness

...resistance was obviously useless against a family that could invent italics.

"Let the locative live."

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Offline GrahamRocks!

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Yay! I have a fan! :D

Writing the second chapter as we speak. Put one little Sierra reference in this one!

Aaaaaand... done! Finally! Phew, that took FOREVER to write!
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Disclaimer: King's Quest and it's characters are not owned by me, they are owned by Sierra On-Line. All Rights Reserved. Trust me, if it were, Cedric probably would have been a little bit less annoying.
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Chapter 2: Sounds like a Quest… a King’s Quest!
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It was not long before the two of them reached the country of Serenia. Graham was still marveling at the vast beautiful landscape he saw: towering mountains capped with snow and ice, deep green forests filled with mystery, a foreboding desert stretching endlessly far off to the west, and a treacherous looking sea to the east with one or two islands off in the distance. Running through the middle of the land was a rushing river, which flowed past a tiny town. And in the middle of all this, a small branching stream went past a cozy little cottage.

“There it is! That’s Crispin’s house!” Cedric said with a smile, pointing it out to Graham. Feeling the fairy dust starting to wear off, he quickly went into a dive aiming for the path leading up to the house, grabbing a tree branch to stop himself from going past it, and hung from the branch as if it were monkey bars.

Graham however…

SPLASH!

…wasn’t so lucky, and made a crash landing right into the stream. Unharmed, but soaking wet up his waist. The cottage door opened, and an old man came out to see what all the commotion was about. He was dressed entirely in a faded black robe, had a long gnarled wooden staff in his hand, small half-circle glasses perched on his nose, and had a long white beard that came down to his chest, contrasted to Cedric’s outfit- blue vest, brown pants, big round glasses that seemed to magnify his eyes, clean shaven and had a much smaller wand gripped in his fingers. This must be Crispin.

“What’s all the noise out here?” Crispin asked, looking around. He noticed Graham getting up and motioned for him to come inside and dry off. Crispin stopped at the door, and looked at Cedric, who was still hanging from the tree. “Cedric, get down from that tree. Come inside and let’s have some tea, shall we?”

Cedric dropped down and nodded. He walked inside and shut the door behind him.

-

While Cedric was in the kitchen preparing the tea, Graham sat down in a living room chair. Crispin had a surprisingly nice house for it being so small, with a kitchen, a living room which doubled as a storage room for various knickknacks and herbs, two bedrooms for Crispin and Cedric, and Cedric’s favorite room in the home- the library, stuffed full with books all about Serenia and the countries beyond, such as the Guidebook To The Land Of The Green Isles, and a mysterious tome labeled the “King’s Quest Companion, Second Edition. By Peter Spear.” When Graham asked about it, Crispin just smiled and said that he shouldn’t read too far into it, otherwise he would “spoil himself on details he wasn’t supposed to know as of right now”. Graham decided to drop the subject. Hmmm… maybe he’d pick it up once this adventure was done.

When Cedric came back with the drinks, all three of them settled down and Graham told Crispin why he was here. After listening to Graham’s story, Crispin sat quietly thinking for a while.

“Hmmm… the wizard you described seems to match up with someone I, and the rest of the Society of Wizards, seem to know. But, we removed him from the Society years ago for doing unspeakable things with dark magic, and haven’t really heard from him since.”

“Do you at least know his name?” asked Graham.

“Well, let me think a moment here… oh dear, what was it? I remember it started with an ‘M’…” Crispin pondered, “‘Merlin’? No. ‘Morowyn’? No. ‘Musefar’? No, he’s been dead for years… aha! Mordack! His name is Mordack!” Crispin remembered now.

“What else do you remember, Crispin?” Graham asked, eager to learn as much as possible.

“Hmmm… let me see… I remember that he was one of the most powerful members of the Society we’ve ever had. Oh, he had a temper, that one. Get him angry, and you’d end up on the receiving end of one his dark spells. Also, I recall he had a brother. But, I remember his name was always so hard to spell, let alone pronounce correctly. I highly doubt that detail is important to you right now,” Crispin shrugged, “As for why Mordack would take your family and castle? That I don’t know the answer to. I do know one thing though; if you want to get your family back, you’ll have to find Mordack somehow and defeat him once and for all!” Crispin finished with a dramatic bang of his staff on the floor! He walked towards a chest over by the window, searching through it and muttering to himself.

While he was waiting, Graham turned to Cedric. “I just remembered- I don’t know your name! I don’t think I properly introduced myself either.”

Cedric shook Grahams hand to be friendly. “I’m Cedric. Crispin’s my mentor, and like a father to me. I’m part of The Society of Wizards,’ he showed off his wand, “but I’m sadly only an apprentice right now. I’m sure Crispin can help you out better than I could. And you, sir?”

Graham smiled, returning the handshake. “I’m King Graham of Daventry. But, please, call me Graham. None of this ‘sir’ business, alright?”

Cedric smiled and chuckled. “Heh heh, okay… nice to meet you, Graham!”

“Ah, here it is!” Crispin said, handing something small and white to Graham. Graham looked at it curiously. “What is it?”

“It’s an old piece of Magic White Snake I have. Go on, eat it. With it, you’ll be able to talk to animals.” Crispin explained.

“Well... okay. This could prove useful!” Graham said as he chomped it down. Mmmm! Tasted good too, nice and sweet! Cedric went back to drinking more tea, and Crispin went back to the chest to find something else. He came back with what looked like an ordinary stick.

“Here, take this as well. It’s my old wand. I’m sure it can help you in some way on your travels.” Crispin handed the wand to Graham. Graham nodded and thanked him for his help. Graham got up to leave…

“Wait! Come back! I have one more thing for you!” Crispin called to Graham. Graham poked his head back in the door.

“Yes?”

“You’ll never find Mordack on your own. I suggest you take Cedric with you to be your guide.” Crispin suggested.

Cedric spat out his tea in disbelief!! “WHAT?! B-b-but-but Master Crispin, I’m just a-“

“No buts, Cedric! You’re going to help Graham on his mission whether you like it or not.” Crispin stopped him, clearly serious.

“Why can’t you do it, Master Crispin? You have much more experience than I do with this sort of thing. I don’t see how I-“Cedric tried to argue with his mentor, but was interrupted again.

“Cedric, you’re much younger than I am. You have more strength than you realize, plus you’ve been studying up quite a bit about Serenia. Why, I’d say you know this country like the back of your own hand by now! Besides, how else are you going to practice your magic, hmm?” Crispin pointed out.

Cedric realized he couldn’t win this argument, so he just shut his mouth and nodded. Crispin turned to Graham. “I would love to help you more, King Graham, but there is an emergency I simply must attend to in a neighboring land, and I cannot delay it much longer!”

Graham simply nodded in understanding, but Cedric was curious as to what he meant. He hadn’t mentioned this when he sent out Cedric to Daventry this morning at all.

“What sort of emergency, Crispin? Is there something I can do to help?” he said, cocking his head like a curious dog.

Turning to his pupil, Crispin just said, “Yes, you can help me by helping out Graham. Trust me, if you do, it’ll make handling this emergency a whole lot easier in the long run,” and gave him a reassuring pat on the shoulder. “You’ll do fine, my son. Consider this your first real step in becoming a qualified wizard.”

Cedric frowned as he still had doubts in his abilities. “But… what if I fail? What if something happens to him, or to me?” Crispin just mussed his hair and assured him that he’d do fine. With that, Cedric and Graham left Crispin’s house to start their adventure together.

“Well, I’m followin’ you. Lead the way Cedric!” Graham said, observing the scenery. Cedric tried to get his bearings together and motioned for Graham to follow him towards the town, hoping that they’d find some information about Mordacks whereabouts there.

The Quest had begun!

-
What's this?! someone who actually DOESN'T hate Cedric with a fiery passion? You'd better believe it! I guess because I've been a gamer for so many years now, I've gotten used to and tolerate annoying sidekicks all the time. This is coming from someone who actually like Navi, people!
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 03:22:37 PM by GrahamRocks! »

Offline Delling

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What's this?! someone who actually DOESN'T hate Cedric with a fiery passion? You'd better believe it! I guess because I've been a gamer for so many years now, I've gotten used to and tolerate annoying sidekicks all the time. This is coming from someone who actually like Navi, people!
You liked Navi. :o *needs to sit down, is sitting down, thinks: "that was fast"*

Hrmm... there doesn't seem to be much to comment on in this chapter... it pretty much follows the course of KQ5.

Crispin's, Cedric's, and Graham's characterization are all consistent at least (which is good... it's something a lot of fanfiction writers can't manage). :yes:
Noli me tangere! Nescio ubi fuisti!
Don't touch me! I don't know where you've been!

Marquess of Pembroke
Duke of Saxony in Her Majesty's Court
Knight of the Swan for Her Imperial Highness

...resistance was obviously useless against a family that could invent italics.

"Let the locative live."

http://my.ddo.com/referral/Delling87

Offline GrahamRocks!

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King’s Quest 5: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!

An adaptation by GrahamRocks!
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Disclaimer: King's Quest and its characters do not belong to me. They belong to Sierra On-Line. All Rights Reserved. Trust me, if I did, then... Sierra would still be around and not owned by Activision. Ugh…
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Chapter 3: Time to Journey Once More!
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No less than two minutes later, the two ran into their first hazard!

Cedric, still in the lead, noticed it at the last second and quickly pushed Graham back "Watch out, Graham! There's a poisonous snake in the road!!" Cedric cautioned, pointing at something long and brown that practically blended in with the path in front of them with his wand.

The snake was in a coiled position, and rattling its tail angrily. It obviously wasn't going to let them pass easily. Cedric trembled in fear, the snake locking eyes with Cedric.

"Ssssstay away! Thissss issss my path!" The rattler hissed at them, baring its fangs.

Cedric started to step back, thinking, Well, maybe we can find some other way to town? When Graham grabbed him and began searching through his bag.

"H-hey! What are you doing?!" Cedric shouted in surprise.

Graham said nothing for a moment, still searching. "Aha! This should do well enough," he excitedly said as he pulled out a flute! He handed it to Cedric, who was scared stiff, and said "Here, play this. It should distract it!"

Cedric snapped out of it and grabbed the instrument quickly. He played a snazzy little tune that made Graham think of pretty girls and a man in a "leisure suit" (although he wasn't sure exactly what that was).

The snakes eyes turned glassy and it started swaying back and forth to the music, and didn't even seem to really notice when Cedric and Graham just carefully stepped over it and went on their merry way to town.
-
"Wow, Cedric! That was actually pretty good!" Graham said, patting the boys back. Cedric looked away, flattered, and saw a sign up ahead that said "Welcome to Serenia!"

When they reached the outskirts of town, Cedric stopped and hung back. Graham turned around and asked, “What’s wrong, Cedric?”

“I think I’ll stay out here, Graham. That place makes me nervous.” Cedric rubbed his forefingers together.

“Why?”

“There are some people in that town who don’t like me, plus there is a nasty dog that chases me everywhere.” Cedric said, looking down.

“Oh come on, Cedric! Don’t be a coward!” Graham replied. But there was no use in arguing with the man. Graham sighed, rolled his eyes, and walked into town alone leaving Cedric behind.
-
Even though it was still early in the morning, the town was bustling with activity all around. Shops were either setting up for work, or were already open. Children were running around playing games in the streets, before being hurried along by their mothers to go shopping. A couple scruffy dogs barked at passersby and sniffed around for scraps. Off in the corner of town, there was a man trying to fix a wagon with a hammer. The smells of fish, flowers and fruit filled the air, and somewhere in town, Graham could hear a minstrel playing a jaunty tune on a lute. Graham noticed something shiny in the road, bent down and picked it up. Why, it was a silver coin! How lucky!

I might as well buy something while I can. Graham thought as he walked into the “Fey Bros. Tailor Shop”.

Tailor Fey, a young man with dark upturned hair, looked up and greeted Graham. “Hello there, can I help you?”
“No, no. I’m just browsing.” Looking around for a bit, nothing really caught Graham’s eye until he saw a thick dark blue cloak on one of the racks. And it was just his size too! But, he was shot down immediately when he asked for the price: really expensive!

He walked out feeling a bit ripped off, and went into the next store, which was the “Corner Cobbler Shoe Shoppe”.

An old woman, named Mrs. Cincinatus and her husband, Sonny, looked up at Graham and sighed.

“Hello, sir. Unfortunately, we don’t have anything to sell for today.” She said sadly.

“Why?”

“Because our shop is very high quality- takes me days to weeks to find perfect leather to make the best shoes for our customers. And we haven’t had much luck as of late findin’ anything good.” Her husband chimed in with a frown.

“Hmmm…’ Graham thought, ‘is there anything I can do to help? I can’t stand seeing people so miserable.”

She shook her head. Graham assured them that he’d do something to help and would be back. Then, he remembered to ask about Mordack. They said they didn’t know much about him, but to check out the library in town instead.

Graham thanked them, and walked out to get Cedric. Seeing as he loved to read, he could probably help. But, just then, Graham felt a strange sensation coming over him… and turned to look at a barrel. For whatever reason, he felt the need to “check” the barrel. Doing so, allowed him to be overwhelmed by what he saw and smelt- a nasty rotting fish! Something told Graham that, although it stunk, he should take it with him anyway. Plugging his nose with a wince, he put it in his pack and walked outside town. 
-
Cedric sat outside on a log. He was very, VERY bored by this time, and was starting to regret telling Graham he didn’t want to go into town with him.

He looked in his pack to see if he had anything he could fiddle around with that wouldn’t blow up in his face. Let’s see… a couple apples (he wasn’t hungry, just bored), his journal (filled, of course, with his notes on magic spells and personal thoughts on things), a card deck (he didn’t have anyone to play with, nor was he very good anyway), the flute he used earlier, a navy blue cloak with a hood and long sleeves, the now empty pouch of fairy dust (completely useless), and an old stuffed owl he’d had since he was a little boy (maybe he could somehow enchant it to make it act like a real owl? Then he’d have someone to talk to.); Owls were always Cedric’ favorite birds. Like them, he preferred the night more than the day. In fact, there was actually a spell that Cedric had learned recently that allowed you to basically become a “night owl” and keep you awake all night, at the risk of when the morning came (when the spell wears off) and you’d be too tired to do anything else for a few hours but sleep.

He took out the flute again, and played a short, solemn little tune. Suddenly he heard footsteps nearby, and looked up to see who it was. A young man, around his age, walked slowly down the path. He shook his brown haired head sadly, and seemed to be looking in vain for something. Cedric felt sorry for the man, and wondered what was wrong.

“Ahem! Excuse me, is there something wrong sir?” Cedric asked worriedly.

The man noticed him and sighed, “Hello there. There is something dreadfully wrong. I’m looking for my fiancée, Alicia, who was separated from me some time ago thanks to an evil witch.”

“How did that happen?”

“The crone asked me to marry her, even though my heart belonged to another. I naturally refused her, and with a wave of her hand and a flash of light, I was sent to this land without her by my side. I’ve been looking for her everywhere, but haven’t found one clue. I miss her so much…” he sniffled and hung his head. Cedric patted his shoulder and comforted him.

“Alicia is a gorgeous princess, and I am her prince. She has long golden hair, lovely blue eyes, and smooth creamy skin. I don’t suppose you’ve seen her anywhere?” he asked. Cedric shook his head. “Well, if you do see her somewhere around here, tell her that Herbert is looking for her and that he misses her, and loves her dearly.”

Cedric nodded and promised to look for her and also tell Graham about her too. That made Herbert a bit happier. He held his head up a bit higher as he walked away into town, no doubt to ask other people if they could help as well.

Cedric smiled and went back to sitting on the log and wait for Graham. He soon came out of Serenia, looking rather excited. “Cedric, I found a place where we can find information about Mordack!”

Cedric raised his eyebrows in interest. Graham continued, “How about the library? I know you like to read.” Graham coaxed. Cedric thought for a moment, and then nodded.

The two of them walked back together into town. Graham hoped that the librarian wasn’t as disagreeable as the one he met in Kolyma.
-
This place was HUGE! Romance, Magic Spells, Navigation, History, Adventure, Tragedy, Mystery, Combat, Botany… they could spend an entire day here just browsing the shelves from top to bottom. Graham couldn’t help but smile as Cedric’ eyes filled with a youthful vigor, and took in all of this. He doesn’t get to see so many books in one place very often, seeing as Crispin’ library was obviously a lot smaller, and that he doesn’t come to town unless he’s going on a specific errand.

“Well, first of all; we should find a map so-” Graham said, then noticed Cedric’ expression. He looked offended, snorted, and looked away with a frown. “What? Oh, Cedric, don’t look at me like that! It’s not that I doubt that you would be a good guide; it’s just that even the best navigators can be wrong sometimes, and we might need another source just in case. Couldn’t hurt, right?”

Cedric nodded. Yes, it would make sense. After all, an adventurer like Graham could never be too prepared.

In the Navigation section, they saw several old musty pieces of parchment- The Land of The Green Isles… Daventry… Llewdor… Tamir… Kolyma… but what are these other strange maps? They’re documenting places neither Graham not Cedric had ever heard of before- Spielburg… Willowsby… Shapeir… Raseir…(well, okay, Cedric did recognize those first four, seeing as they were the places spoken of in one of his favorite Adventure book series “Quest For Glory, by Paula Spiese and Lori Cole”. But, he didn’t expect them to be real!) Camelot… Misty Acres, New Orleans… Lytton, California… Lost Wages… Nontoonyt Island… perhaps they were portals to different universes?

“Ah, here we go; Serenia!” Cedric said as he carefully ran his hands over the old map, making sure it was just that- an ordinary map, not a magical one. Otherwise, he’d probably be whisked off to somewhere and would never find his way back. Thankfully, it wasn’t.

Graham also picked up a couple books, just in case. One was a book about lock picking (you never know when that might come in handy!) for himself, and a book on magic spells for Cedric. Unfortunately, while the librarian was a lot nicer than the one he met at Kolyma (to Graham’s relief), she couldn’t help them much when it came to the subject for Mordack either.
-
As they walked out, Cedric flipped through his new book curiously. “Hmmm…’ he muttered to himself, ‘I wonder if there are any teleportation spells in here? Gotta find some way to help that guy…”

“Who?” Graham asked. Cedric looked up from his book and replied, “While you were in town, I met this young man named Herbert out on the road…”

As they continued walking, Cedric told Herbert’s story. Unfortunately, as they were both looking at each other as they walked, they weren’t watching where they were going. They both heard it before they saw it- a low hungry growl…

(Posted on: May 05, 2012, 11:26:40 PM)


…And then, suddenly, they were face to face with a big black bear! They had bumped into it as it was trying to break open a rotten tree that had a bee hive in there, and had now turned around. Cedric was about to scream, but Graham quickly clapped his hand over Cedric’ mouth, and began to slowly back away from the creature.

But, the bear started following them! Slowly walking, and sniffing around for something, but still following them! The ursine wanted the food in their pack! Graham, still backing up, spoke softly to Cedric. “Give it your apples and the fish in my bag. It’s clearly hungry.”

Not taking his eyes off the bear, Cedric did so, not making a sound. Tossing the apples and fish to the bear, it looked at the food and was distracted long enough for the two to head back to where they came from.
-
They were headed off in another direction when they heard someone talking. A tiny, slightly seductive female voice reached their ears from behind. “Oh kind sirs, wait! I must thank you personally!” the little voice said.

Graham and Cedric looked around, but saw nothing. They did hear something buzzing though. The buzzing became louder, and she appeared in front of Graham- a bee! She had curly blonde hair, and had a rather curvy figure for a bee.

 She held up something yellow with holes in it, about as big as Graham’s nose. “Here,’ she said as she handed it to Graham, ‘Take this honeycomb as a reward for saving our hive from that awful bear!” Graham stuck it in his pack and thanked her. Queen Beetrice smiled, told them “Have a nice day!” and flew back to her subjects.

Cedric raised one eyebrow in confusion, “Uhhh, Graham? What use is honeycomb going to be to us? And, why DID you have a rotten fish in your pack anyway?”

Graham chuckled. “My father, Sir Hereward – God rests his soul- wanted me to not only be strong, but also be smart. When I was very young, he passed on a nugget of wisdom to me. He told me “Boy if I have learned anything in my life, I have learned this: When in doubt or in trouble, pick up anything that is not nailed down, and if it is, look for loose nails or boards. Check carefully into, under, above, below, and behind things. Read everything; you might learn something. Wear clean undergarments, brush after meals, and always remember: nothing is as it appears.” And I’ve followed his teachings for my entire life. So, if you see me pickup something unusual, just know that I’m following my fathers’ advice.”

Cedric just rolled his eyes skeptically, “Sure, Graham, suuuure.” And walked to the northwest past town. He walked past the house made of a fallen old tree where the gnomes lived, but didn’t mention it because they didn’t seem to be home. No sense sticking around, especially seeing as the head of that household was a little crotchety anyway.

Just then, Cedric stopped. He seemed to be listening intently for something that was very faint. “Cedric? What is that sound?” Graham asked, as he also tried to listen. They listened harder, now picking up what sounded like a melody. Cedric turned his head north, and ran off towards the sound. Graham followed, now hearing a voice! A sad voice sung sweetly…

“How will I find this heart of mine?
Taken from me for some time…”

The two found an awesome sight- in the middle of the pool surrounded by forest, was a willow tree. But this wasn’t an ordinary willow, for it had a human-like face, branches that looked suspiciously like arms, and she carried a harp under one arm while trying to wipe away her tears with the other.

“Here I stand in my pool of tears
Here I’ll stay throughout the years.”

And with that, she strummed one final note on the harp, and as silence fell she began to cry.

Graham couldn’t help but feel pity for her- he was reminded of how lonely Valanice looked when he first saw her in the Magic Mirror. Perhaps there was something they could do to make her feel better? He cleared his throat. “Ahem! Uh, Ms. Willow?”

She looked down at Graham, noticing him at last and sniffled, “Yes?”

“I noticed that you look really sad, ma’am. Is there anything we can do to help?”

She sniffled and wiped her eyes again. Graham had a handkerchief in his pocket, and he handed it to her. She took it and continued, “You know I’m not really a tree, yes? I’m actually a princess!”

Cedric raised his eyebrows and approached her. “Tell us your name, ma’am!”

“Alicia… Princess Alicia is my name.”

“Alicia?! So… you have a fiancée named Prince Herbert, then?” Cedric asked, shocked.

Her eyes lit up and she looked a little happier- perhaps even a bit hopeful. “Herbert? You’ve seen him?!”

Cedric nodded and told of how he met him just recently. He told Alicia that Herbert was desperately looking for her, and that he missed and loved her very much. She started to cry again, only this time in happiness that her love was alive and nearby.

“Hmmm…’ Cedric said, looking her up and down. ‘But this certainly won’t do- you can’t marry him while stuck as a tree!”

“Oh, I know the solution to this! You two must find my heart of gold. The witch from the Dark Forest should have it somewhere.” Alicia said excitedly. Graham nodded in understanding, and she directed them to the north where the forest was. Graham walked to the north, while Cedric nervously tagged behind.
-
As soon as they reached the entrance, Cedric felt a sense of foreboding about this place, and began to tremble. Like Alicia said, the place was dark. The trees were large, and stretched upwards with tall branches and huge trunks. Cedric could hear the cries of various wild animals and insects, sometimes noticing their eyes glaring at them. They really shouldn’t be here! Oh, why couldn’t her heart be in some place safer, like somewhere in town?

“Graham, I don’t like this place! Maybe we should come back later, when we have something to protect ourselves with.” Cedric squeaked and started backing away. “I’ve heard stories about that place- the witch lives there, of course, but also there is a chance that if you somehow get past her that you would become lost in this place until you dropped dead!” Cedric was starting to panic now, shaking his head. He grabbed Grahams arm and tried to pull him away from the nasty place.

Graham resisted, and kept trying to walk forward. “Cedric, we have to do this one of these days! We can’t just leave her in that state, you know.” He protested.

Cedric sighed, but didn’t yield. He shook his head again and began walking away again, but then stopped, not wanting to leave Graham for fear he would go in with or without him. He didn’t face him as he hung his head shamefully, “I know, Graham, I know. But… there is something in there that’s more powerful than me. I’m not… strong enough to protect you. I fully admit it, Graham, I’m a weakling! A coward! I’m not an adventurer like you Graham; I’m no hero like you. I’ll never be as brave or strong as you!’ he started to get misty eyed, ‘I’m so sorry I haven’t been useful in the slightest today, I just can’t handle the pressure! I still don’t understand why Crispin picked me to go with you, when he could have picked someone with more experience than I.” he turned and looked at Graham sadly, he was about to continue when Graham shushed him.

He spoke gently to the lad, “Cedric… do you know what courage is?”

Cedric said nothing, his eyes turning away. Graham started walking past the forest, believing that Cedric was right in saying it was too dangerous. He was a little uneasy as well, he had to admit. He motioned for Cedric to follow him and they walked together. Graham continued speaking to Cedric, “Courage means that, even when you’re stuck in a bad situation and admit to being scared, you do what you need to do anyway. I’m not fearless, Cedric. I get a little scared sometimes too, you know. There were times where I stared death in the face, and feared for my life -or for someone else’s- and I felt there was nothing I could do. Still, nevertheless, I faced my fears and came through. But, even if I couldn’t, I tried my best to stand tall and not let my fears overcome me and drag me down. Trust me, if you spend all your time worrying, you’ll never get anything done. Are you understanding me, son?” Cedric didn’t say anything, he just nodded.

Graham patted his shoulder, and gave him a warm smile. Cedric couldn’t help smiling back a bit. But, his smile faded when Cedric realized what was ahead…

The short scraggly grass gave way to dirt, and they could see it turn into sand a few steps in. They could see tall brown cliffs ahead, as well as what looked like little pools of water in the distance. But, Cedric suspected they were just mirages. This was the place known as the Endless Desert. Whether or not it really was endless or not, nobody really knew because not many people go in there unless they seek death. If the heat didn’t get you, the bandits did. If the bandits didn’t get you, the scorpions did. Cedric looked at Graham, silently begging him to not walk in there.

Graham looked back at him, and tilted his head towards the desert. “C’mon Cedric, let’s go! There might be something useful out there.” Cedric frowned and shook his head, but he didn’t want to argue right now. After all, what was the point of guiding someone if you didn’t trust them?

Courage… Cedric thought to himself as he followed Graham in the hot, dry desert. Do I have courage? I suppose I might as well find out…
-
Phew! FINALLY DONE!!! YES!!! Oh man, this took forever! These chapters just keep getting longer and longer, don’t they? I apologize if this chapter is boring, really I do. Also, I apologize if that courage speech by Graham seemed too corny/too early to tell Cedric about. Hey, the kid has to grow up someday, might as well start at a place where there is the potential for actual danger, right?

Pop quiz! Name all the references to other Sierra games in order. What specific game is each reference from? And what year did each game come out? I might post the answers later, possibly the next chapter. But, for now, I’m going to bed. GOODNIGHT! :)

Offline Delling

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Ok... I for one know I can't pass the pop quiz (le gasp :o) as I didn't really play enough Sierra games (mostly just KQ and SQ).

A few grammar-y thingies...

..., at the risk of THAT when the morning came (when the spell wears off), and you’d be too tired to do anything else for a few hours but sleep.

...subject for OF Mordack...

I know I noticed another wording thing somewhere... maybe Deloria or another forum grammar guru can pick it out.

I liked the speech about Graham just following his father's advice. XD

I liked having Cedric encounter Herbert while Graham was in town... you might consider breaking up the action a bit more... for instance, having Cedric encounter Herbert and inform Graham of the encounter and then having both of them encounter Alicia in the same chapter beyond just feeling a little rushed maybe also feels slightly contrived or convenient.
Noli me tangere! Nescio ubi fuisti!
Don't touch me! I don't know where you've been!

Marquess of Pembroke
Duke of Saxony in Her Majesty's Court
Knight of the Swan for Her Imperial Highness

...resistance was obviously useless against a family that could invent italics.

"Let the locative live."

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Offline GrahamRocks!

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Did I seriously write "for" instead of "of"?! Ugh *facepalm*... how could I have missed that?!

Also, I want to ask you a question: in Queen Icebella's Ice Palace, should I reference King's Quest 6 and make her wolves anthromorphic wolves like the guard dogs of The Land of The Green Isles? or should they just be regular talking wolves?

Do you want the answers to that quiz anyway? or would you rather just go to the Sierra Omnipedia and research?

Also, what did you think about Graham' speech about courage? Too cheesy? :D Too early to tell him?

Offline Delling

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It was a bit much... goes with the general pacing comment, I think.
Noli me tangere! Nescio ubi fuisti!
Don't touch me! I don't know where you've been!

Marquess of Pembroke
Duke of Saxony in Her Majesty's Court
Knight of the Swan for Her Imperial Highness

...resistance was obviously useless against a family that could invent italics.

"Let the locative live."

http://my.ddo.com/referral/Delling87

Offline crayauchtin

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Sir Greywolf could be anthromorphic, since in the KQC he's supposed to actually be a werewolf, but I think the others should be regular direwolves.

I'm really liking this adaptation, by the way, good work! :) Would you mind, when it's done, if I posted it up on my Wiki? (Giving you credit, obviously!) I'm trying to have a lot of fan works up there.
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Offline GrahamRocks!

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Oh, I would be honored sir! :)

(Posted on: June 01, 2012, 07:28:17 PM)


-
Disclaimer: King’s Quest and its character do not belong to me. They belong to Sierra On-Line. All Rights Reserved. Trust me, if I did, then… The Silver Lining wouldn’t have had as much development trouble.
-
Chapter 4: Nectar of the Gods!
-
Sand dunes; Nothing but sand dunes; that’s all they’d been seeing for who knows how long now. Aside from the cliffs off to the west, there was literally nothing out here.
Why did Graham think this was a good idea? Cedric thought to himself as he walked at a snail’s pace, his shoulders sagging. He glanced off to his left, and noticed a skeleton lying in the sand. Cedric couldn’t help but shudder at the sight.

“I think I know who this guy is.” Cedric said, still looking at it sadly. Graham didn’t answer his comment and just picked up the boot (that strangely wasn’t rotten) next to the corpse, sticking it into his bag.

Cedric continued talking anyway, “I believe he was known simply as The Wanderer; had more brawn than brains. Ended up saving our Queen Priscilla –although she was a princess back then- a few years back from some evil wizard named Harlin the Malevolent, and stupidly denied his reward of the Kingdom of Serenia and the hand of the princess, and set off for the desert without any water. They say that he was an adventurer like you, Graham.”

“I think I’m a little bit smarter than this ‘Wanderer’, Cedric. At least I’m going in this desert with a purpose-“

Cedric crossed his arms, “And that would be what, exactly?”

“…Uh, well…” Graham didn’t really have an answer as of yet.

Cedric nodded. “Mmhmm, that’s what I thought.”

Graham looked Cedric in the eye seriously. “Cedric, do you trust me?”
“I… yes, I do Graham.”

“You don’t seem very sure to me.” Graham replied as he started walking again. He shaded his eyes against the sun, looking for a source of water.

Cedric grumbled impatiently, “Face it Graham- you’ve brought us out here for nothing. We have no reason to be h- uh, what is that?” he pointed out something strange. The sand seemed to be moving underneath their feet, and they could hear rumbling. Whatever it was, it was digging right for them! The two started backing away, then just turned and ran, not wanting to know what exactly it was that pursued them!

“Quick Graham, head for the cliffs! We can hide there!” Cedric said fearfully. Graham nodded and they kept on running until they reached the cliffs.

-

Noticing some footholds in the rock, Graham immediately started to climb up them. Unfortunately, while Graham was considered the best climber at his school, Cedric was not, and began slipping off! And the burrowing thing was still hot on their trail!

Cedric’ heart pounded in his ears as he started to lose his grip, and he dared himself not to look down…

…but he did anyway and let out a loud scream! All he could see was a pair of eyes, and rows of sharp jagged teeth that snarled and snapped at his flailing feet! He couldn’t hold on much longer… but, then he heard a voice above him-

“CEDRIC, give me your hand!!” Graham shouted, now up at the top of the cliff and offering his hand. Cedric looked up, and quickly grabbed his hand just before the sand monster was jumping up and about to take a bite out of his foot!

The creature tried to grip its claws into the rock, but it kept slipping down and that just made it all the more annoyed. Finally, it gave up on climbing and decided to be patient and wait for them to come down from the cliff. It growled and paced back and forth slowly in the sand. It eventually gave up and left to search for less clever prey.

Graham and Cedric both breathed a sigh of relief. They slowly climbed down from the cliff. Graham went over to the small oasis of water near the rocks and took a drink.

“Ah, life giving water, Nectar of the Gods!” Graham said to himself, now slowly starting to relax. Cedric followed suit and began to calm down as well.

But then, Graham’s sharp ears picked up a sound. Sounded like… hoof beats! He shaded his eyes and noticed two figures on gray horses (probably Arabians or Akhal Teke’) running towards them! Great, more trouble, just what they needed. Graham dashed behind the giant rock next to the pool, and motioned for Cedric to follow him. Hiding in the shade in the rock, with only the very tip of Graham’s hat sticking out; thankfully the men didn’t notice and ran right past them.

The bandits stopped in front of an ancient dusty temple embedded into an alcove in the cliffs. It was said to be the only remnant of a long gone civilization who worshipped a mysterious deity by practicing a forgotten form of technology, but, their experiments obviously didn’t end well. Up near the stairs, were large statues of Pegasus and a couple lion statues. What seemed very odd to Graham and Cedric was that there seemed to be no visible door- just a blank stone wall. They wondered what purpose this abandoned temple could serve the brigands when there seemed to be no way inside.

One of the thieves –possibly their leader- brought out a long, beautiful staff with what looked like a bird holding an orb in its talons on the top. He raised the staff high, and rapped hard on the wall- once, twice, thrice, and said loudly with conviction, “Open Sesame!”

Instantly, like a rising curtain, the wall disappeared and opened into darkness- no wait! There was something there, but it was very hard to see. All they could see before the wall came down again, was a faint shimmer. Gold! It’s a treasury! Graham thought to himself and grinned. As if he could read minds, Cedric noticed Graham’s expression and shook his head no in warning. This was a very bad idea Graham!

A moment later, the wall opened again and the men got on their horses and rode away. Cedric got up from their hiding place, and started to leave for the small bunches of grass he saw to the east -the signs of where the desert ended and they were back in civilization- but noticed that Graham wasn’t following him. Instead, he was heading in the direction of where the bandits came from!

“Graham! Don’t even think about it! Crispin would be furious if I told him that I failed in my job of protecting you, all because you had to just waltz up to a bandit camp and take their staff in order to get into their treasure horde!” Cedric said sharply.

Graham didn’t even turn around. He kept walking anyway. “Trust me Cedric, if there’s gold coins in there, we’re going to need them eventually for something. Whoever heard of a person who travels and doesn’t bring any money with him?” Silence from Cedric. He did have a good point; after all, one little silver coin wasn’t going to get them very far. He heard Cedric grumble and the stomping footsteps of his boots behind him told Graham that, while Cedric was still not too keen on his idea, he had to go along with him anyway.

-

It was not long before they reached the camp of the bandits. It was around noon, so all was quiet as everyone was taking a rest in the shade of their tents. Tip-toeing through the settlement, Graham whispered to Cedric that they were going to quietly search the tents for the staff and then head back for the temple. Cedric nodded in understanding.

It was actually quite easy to scrounge for the item, because there weren’t all that many tents anyway and all of them were pretty small. Peeking into one of the last tents, Cedric’ eyes were greeted with the sight of the very staff they were looking for! Excellent! Trying his best not to wake the snoring thief, he snuck over to the staff and grabbed it quickly. He was about to casually walk out and breathe a sigh of relief when…

There was the sound of a CRASH! and someone was shouting angrily outside!

Cedric, forgetting all about being stealthy for the moment, ran out to see the commotion! Tightly gripping the staff in one hand and his magic wand in the other, he was greeted by the lovely sight of Graham tussling with one of the brigands! While Cedric was impressed with how strong and quick Graham was, he began to worry when he saw something flash in the other man’s hand- oh no! He had a knife!

As the man knocked Graham down, and brought the knife closer and closer to his throat, Cedric quickly dropped the staff and flipped open his magic book, picking a random passage. He pointed his wand at the target and recited thusly-

“Great ball of fire, strike down my foe most dire!!”

 Immediately, he felt intense heat running through his fingers and focused on quickly channeling the magic through the wand.

BOOM!!

The bandit’s shirt caught fire and he screamed in surprise! He dropped the dagger and started trying to put the flames out, completely ignoring Graham long enough for him to get up. Seeing as the man was distracted at the moment, they took this opportunity to grab the staff and run as fast as they could back to the temple.

-

“Open Sesame!” Graham shouts as he bangs the staff on the temple wall-

Bang! Bang! Bang!--Crack!

The staff suddenly snaps in two onto the steps! Luckily, the wall opened anyway and Graham rushed in. Cedric stayed outside to stand guard, brandishing his wand just in case the brigands came back for a rematch.

Oh wow! Will you look at all this treasure? Graham excitedly thought as his eyes fell on piles upon piles of treasure- jewels, coins, goblets, rings, bracelets, necklaces, crowns, swords, shields, daggers, lamps! It’s all so shiiiiny…!

But, of course, that little voice in Graham’s head reminded him, “Take only that you think you’ll need. After all, you have the Magic Chest back in Daventry!” and sure enough, he heard rumbling behind him- the wall was coming down fast!

Cedric noticed this as well, and shouted “GRAHAM! HURRY UP!!” now getting even more worried because, off in the distance, he heard hoof beats, whinnies and angry shouting! The bandits were back (and there were a LOT more this time!), and they were angry! And the one that Cedric had burned a few minutes ago was leading them!

Graham looked around for something small to grab, and spotted a lamp on the floor; a rather interesting looking lamp- very round and wide at the bottom which tapered off to a point at the top and was a bright yellow that made it “stand out” surprisingly. Why hadn’t he noticed something that obvious before? Graham grabbed a couple gold coins for good measure, and managed to roll out just as the door was closing!

As the robbers came closer and closer, Graham picked up the remains of the staff to give him a chance to defend himself. Cedric tried to stop shaking so much so he could concentrate on aiming his wand at their attackers. Must be brave… must be brave… Cedric tried to convince himself, Must protect Graham at all costs! as he flipped open the book. If only there was a way to slow them down a bit!

“Aha, found something!” Cedric excitedly remarked as he pointed out a spell in the book. Cedric smiled and tightened his grip on the wand and recited thusly,

“Let my aim be precise, let us pass with ease, grant me the power of ice, and make my enemies freeze!”

 He felt a shiver pass through him and his arm felt so cold that it was almost unbearable! Still, he tried his best to focus the magic through his fingers and out through the wand.

WHOOSH!! Success was his as a harsh chilling wind blew from the wand! The bandits didn’t know what hit them, as the spell immediately took effect on anyone it blasted with the blizzard. Cedric started to laugh triumphantly, “HahahahaHAHAHAHA!!! I did it, Graham! I got ‘em! HAHA-“ but it caught in his throat and turned into a gasp- the leader had somehow escaped the spell and was still galloping towards them madder than ever! Cedric began to panic and backed up against the temple wall. Now practically on top of them, shouting something in a language neither of them spoke, he raised his scimitar high above the young mage’s head and Cedric closed his eyes waiting for death…

CRRRACK! He opened his eyes and saw Graham standing in front of him blocking the sword with the staff held over him! The staff was obviously not made for this though, and started to crack and splinter. The leader swung his sword again, this time aiming down for Grahams legs. Graham quickly jumped out of the way and countered with a jab of the broken end of the staff which was blocked by the sword.

Locking their weapons together for a moment, Graham speedily kicked sand in the bandit’s face! The leader was blinded momentarily, and Graham was able to knock the scimitar out of his hands and send it flying across the sands.

Cedric tried casting the spell again, “Letmyaimbeprecise,letuspasswithease,grantmethepowersofice,andmakemyenemiesfreeze!” pointing his wand with a flourish at the bandit leader. The cold wind picked up again, making Graham’s hat fly off his head, and knocking the enemy onto his back.

Graham quickly got up when he saw the leader was temporarily stunned, shouting to Cedric, “RUN!!!”

“No need to tell me twice!” Cedric shouted back, running as fast as he could alongside Graham.

Unfortunately, the brigand leader recovered quickly, and started chasing after them on his horse! With them being on foot, and the bandit leader on horseback, there was no way they’d get back to civilization in time unless something stopped the crook!

Then, Graham heard the rumbling again- oh no, the sand monster was back! But then, Graham got an idea… it was risky, but it was worth a shot.

 Graham skidded to a stop. Cedric turned around, and worried asked, “Graham, what you doing?!” Graham mouthed, ‘Do you trust me?’ and raised his eyebrows. Cedric nodded. Graham nodded in return, and faced the bandit leader brandishing the broken staff courageously. As the boss of the brigands came closer, Graham heard the rumbling again and stomped his feet quickly trying to get the monster’s attention.

The rumbling had become more loud and apparent now. Even Cedric, who was farther back, could feel it. Cedric started running back towards Graham, Must protect Graham at all costs! the voice in his head commanded. But, Graham saw what the lad was doing, and held up his hand to stop him, giving him a wink.

Having not gotten his sword back, the bandit just decided to jump out of his saddle and tackle Graham. Graham smiled- that was exactly the plan! Grappling with the bandit made a lot of commotion underground; the monster was intrigued by the entire disturbance and, quick as lightning, it burrowed up from the ground in a rush of sand and a snarl!
 
Graham rolled quickly out its path, and out of harm’s way. He got up and ran towards Cedric.

Being blinded by all the sand, the bandit noticed too late the sand monster eyeing him hungrily and it was too late for him to get away from its sharp teeth and huge mouth! Graham and Cedric didn’t dare look back at the carnage that ensued, and they just ran to where sand turned to dirt, and dirt turned to grass. 

-
Yes, I realize this chapter isn't the best because of the pacing. Again. I just didn't want to think about that dang desert anymore, seeing as I had trouble right from the start with the question "Why are we walking in here anyway, Graham?" and I didn't have an answer. Anyway, it's done now. I don't have to think about it anymore. I'm sorry Delling, and Sir Cray, if it disappoints you in any way *hangs head in shame*.

Anyway, pop quiz answers are:

Four part reference for the  :watchout: scene: the flute references KQ6 (Alexander had to use the flute to solve a puzzle),the tune Cedric played was the "Leisure Suit Larry Theme" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA55WlZRkx4), the snake's reaction was referencing AGDI KQ2 (the snake goes into a trance), and it references/foreshadows The Silver Lining (Graham whistles the LSL theme in the Pun Garden)

Graham hoping the librarian wasn't as mean as the one in Kolyma is another AGDI KQ2 reference to the town librarian, who was a complete jerk.

Navigation section: The Land of The Green Isles (KQ6,1992), Daventry (KQ1,1984), Llewdor (KQ3,1986), Tamir (KQ4,1988), Kolyma (KQ2,1985), Spielburg (Quest For Glory 1,1989), Willowsby (QFG1, 1989), Shapeir (QFG2, 1990), Raseir (1990), Camelot (Conquests of Camelot, 1989), Misty Acres New Orleans (Laura Bow 1, 1989), Lytton California (Police Quest 1, 2, 3, 1987), Lost Wages (Leisure Suit Larry, 1987), Nontoonyt Island (Leisure Suit Larry, 1988, 1989)

Cedric checking over the map to make sure it's not magical, reference to KQ6's Magic Map (didn't KQ3 have one as well?)

Oh, and that skeleton in the desert that Cedric recognized was referencing the very old Sierra game, Wizard and the Princess.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2012, 01:59:20 PM by GrahamRocks! »

Offline crayauchtin

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I DO like this chapter. And the pacing wasn't bad -- I think the sand monster helped with that a lot! And, hey, like I said, the pacing isn't all your fault... you're writing KQ5 after all. *shakes head*

I do have two very small things to point out...

You switch tenses right here.
Quote
The bandit’s shirt caught fire and he screamed in surprise! He dropped the dagger and started trying to put the flames out, completely ignoring Graham long enough for him to get up. Seeing as the man was distracted at the moment, they took this opportunity to grab the staff and run as fast as they could back to the temple.

-

“Open Sesame!” Graham shouts as he bangs the staff on the temple wall-
You only stayed in present tense for a little bit, but I was like "Uh?"
I don't know if you had done that before anywhere and I didn't notice, might want to double check just to be sure.

And the other thing is SUUUUPER nitpicky so feel free to ignore it, but how old is Cedric? Because (and maybe this is because in the timeline in my head the whole thing with the Wanderer is at least twenty years before KQ5) he suddenly sounded much older when he was talking about the Wanderer, partly because he was referring to it as "a few years back" but more because "Ended up saving our Queen Priscilla –although she was a princess back then", to me, sounds like an old guy going on a trip down memory lane. :P
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Offline GrahamRocks!

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Cedric is in his 20s. But, remember: I mentioned in the first thread about Cedric, that he was very bookish and loves to read. Crispin said this in chapter 1:

“Cedric, you’re much younger than I am. You have more strength than you realize, plus you’ve been studying up quite a bit about Serenia. Why, I’d say you know this country like the back of your own hand by now! Besides, how else are you going to practice your magic, hmm?”

Thanks to his love to read, Cedric learned all about the history of his homeland, and thusly about The Wanderer and Princess Priscilla. Cedric was probably in diapers (did they even have diapers in medieval times?) when The Wanderer came around, but thanks to The Wanderer's heroic exploits, the adventure/s were recorded in books.

This also explains why he recognizes the skeleton, because the books mention that he left for the desert and that "they say that, even now, you can find his bones, bleach-white on the sands with only a lone boot and a few scorpions for company." and Cedric knows that anyone with brains, knows not to go in there. Especially without any water.

Unless your names are Graham and Cedric, or if you're a bandit.

How come you aren't a KQ5 fan, Sir Cray?



(Posted on: June 08, 2012, 06:51:41 PM)


-
Disclaimer: King’s Quest and its characters do not belong to me. They belong to Sierra On-Line. Trust me, if I did, then… I probably would have picked a better voice for Cedric.
-
Chapter 5: The Fortune and the Flute!
-
Once they were out of the desert, Graham stopped to catch his breath. “Hey, Cedric? Thanks for the help back there,” he said appreciatively.

Cedric grinned, “Oh, it was the least I could do. I’m sure you’d do the same for me, right?”

Graham was about to reply, when a growl interrupted him. A large, gray furred wolf bared its fangs at him. Graham stepped back a bit, “Easy… nice wolfie… heh heh, uh, want a stick?” showing the broken staff to the wolf. The wolf wasn’t impressed and started walking towards him. Cedric, by instinct, pulled out the spell book and flipped through it.

Suddenly, a voice stopped the wolf from attacking. “No, Daciana! Down girl, leave that poor man alone!” the wolf tensed up, and backed up with a whimper, her tail between her legs. Graham looked up from the canine, and saw a young woman look at them quizzically. She had long dark hair, tan skin, and brown eyes. As the wolf sat by her mistress’ feet, the woman spoke again, “Just what on earth were you two doing in the desert? Don’t you know about all the dangers in there?”

Graham nodded, “Yes, we do. Let me explain…” and told the lady of their little adventure in the Endless Desert, about the brigands, the vicious sand monster, and their lucky escape. Graham also explained why they were here in the land, and about their mission to rescue Graham’s family. She shook her head disapprovingly, and led them away without a word, from the edge of the desert to where she lived- a nice little camp, if you could call a single huge wagon a camp at all. A bubbling pot of soup sat over a small campfire, and next to it was a mustached man sitting slumped in a chair who looked rather bored. The man, Vladic, sat up when he saw his daughter had brought visitors and said, “Want to get your fortune told? It’ll only cost one gold coin to see Madame Mushka, my lovely wife.”

Graham asked, “Does she have any information on a wizard named Mordack? I need to find this man so I can rescue my family from him.”

Vladic answered, “I believe so, sir. She sees everything in that crystal ball she has. Now then,” he held out his hand and Graham gave him a gold coin. Vladic pointed inside the wagon, “She’s in there. Good luck!”
-
Graham went inside, shutting the door behind him. Looking around, he saw nothing much of interest. The place didn’t have much in terms of furniture, except a potbelly stove, two wooden chests in the corner, a bed, a shelf that contained various knickknacks that Graham assumed were magical in some way, a tambourine and a lute, and in the middle of all of this sat a desk and a couple chairs, with a star patterned cloth behind it. Madame Mushka sat in one of them, gazing into her crystal ball. She looked up at Graham and said in a heavy Romanian (and stereotypical) accent, “So, you are here to see me- Madame Mushka, yes?”

Graham nodded and sat down. He started to tell her why he was here, but she stopped him. “I know why you’re here, King Graham of Daventry. You are on a Quest. A Quest to save the ones you hold dear, yes?”

Graham replied, “Correct. Do you think you can help me track down the man who stole my family?”

“I shall try my best to help you, King Graham. Now, look, look King Graham! Look into zee crystal ball.”

Graham stared deeply into the ball, and frowned at what he saw…
-
Graham saw his castle shrunk and trapped in a bottle on a desk. But, what really caught his attention was the bearded man next to the desk. Wearing the black cloak Cedric had mentioned before, Graham figured that this was Mordack.

“Look Mannanan! Look what I’ve brought for you,” Mordack said, as he held a tiny squirming figure in his fist and showed it to the black cat beside him.

The cat snarled, “Hello Gwydion. Remember me?” as he unsheathed his sharp claws.

Mannanan! So THAT’S his name. Crispin said ‘I highly doubt that detail is important to you right now.’ Oh, how wrong he was! Graham suddenly remembered.

“Take a good long look at what you did to my brother, Alexander. Doomed to spend the rest of his life as a cat! I cannot fix a transformation like this,” Mordack brought Alexander closer to his face, “but I believe you can, since this was all your fault anyway.”

Alexander tried to wiggle his way out of Mordack’s grip, but to no avail. “N-no! I really didn’t mean to do it, honest! And I don’t know how to change him back anyway, as the Sorcery of Old hadn’t said anything about turning someone back from a cat!”

Mannanan hissed, “You’re a foolish, stupid boy Gwydion. I should have killed you long ago!”

Mannanan took a swipe at Alexander, but he just barely missed as Mordack picked him up by the shirt collar, and looked at him straight in the eye, “You’re holding out on me, little man. You better find a way to turn my brother back into a wizard soon… or else you and the rest of your family will be fed to the cat- starting with your dear mother! Bwahahahahahahaha!!!”

Mordack dropped Alexander back into the bottle where the castle was, and continued to laugh evilly along with Mannanan. Alexander jumped up to his feet and shouted, “My father will come and stop you, Mordack! He will come rescue us, and he WILL destroy you once and for all no matter what it takes!”

The wizard and the cat stopped laughing at Alexander’s determined words. Mordack glared at the young prince, “He will, huh? Well, we’ll see about that!”
-
And with that, the images faded away and the crystal ball went silent. Madame Mushka looked up at Graham, who looked very upset at what he’d seen just now. She tried to calm him down, “There is still time, you know,” she handed him an amulet with a blue stone in it, “Here; this is an amulet that can protect you from all but the strongest types of magic. I’m sure it’ll help you in some way.”

Graham settled down and thanked her with a tip of his Adventurers Cap, then got out his map and asked, “Do you happen to know where his location is?”

She looked at it and nodded, pointing out a large, menacing looking island to the far northeast, “That’s where you should be headed. I believe there is a path through the Great Mountains that will lead you to the sea, where you can reach the island by boat,” she handed the map back “You’ll need to be careful though, King Graham. That Mordack is very powerful, and now that he knows you’re coming, he will stop at nothing to get rid of you once you arrive.”
-
Cedric had decided to stay outside, seeing as, one: this fortune was more important to Graham than to him. And two: unlike the visit to town, he actually had someone to talk to out here. 

Sitting down and leaning back against the wagon, Cedric decided to speak to the girl who had calmed down the wolf, “So, what’s your name?” he asked.

“Florica. And yours?” she said with a sweet smile as she sat down to his left.

“Um, I’m Cedric,” Cedric replied. He looked down at Daciana, “So, she’s yours?”

“Yes. Sorry about earlier, she’s very protective of our camp. She always loves it when we play our music at an event, though.”

Cedric perked up, “Music?”

Florica nodded. “Yes, I dance and play tambourine, my father plays violin.”

Cedric grinned and took out his flute. “I can play the flute.”

“Oh, play something won’t you?” Florica asked. Vladic pulled out his violin and got his bow ready.

Cedric thought for a minute about what he could play. Then, he remembered one he hadn’t done in a while. Cedric played a soft, gentle tune, one he’d known since his childhood. Vladic joined with in his violin while Florica started to slowly dance, and as he played, Cedric started to relax a bit (although he wasn’t sure if it was because of the peaceful music, or something else.) These people don’t seem too bad, why they seem to be quite nice. Especially Florica, with those beautiful eyes and… he peered down past those enchanting eyes, then, realizing what he was doing, shook his head and tried to clear his mind of such things, bringing his eyes back up no, no, no! What am I doing?! I shouldn’t be thinking such things! Cedric thought as he looked at her and she smiled at him. Florica came a little closer, and he got lost in her gaze for a moment. He blushed and looked away.

The song continued on for another minute and seemed to speak to Cedric, as he closed his eyes, becoming lost in the music, of better and more innocent times long gone by. 

When he was done, Florica said, “That was quite lovely, but, why do you look so sad?”

“That song was a lullaby my mother played for me when I was a child. It’s one of the few things I remember about her, before Crispin took me in as his apprentice, and his son.”

“Really?”

He nodded and showed her his wand, “I’m an apprentice to a great and powerful wizard named Crispin. He’s taught me a lot, but, he can be a bit forgetful at times,” he shrugged, “Although, for all I know, it could just be a test to see how responsible I can be as a wizard.”

“It might be. This mission you’re on to help out the man in the funny hat,” she pointed inside the wagon, “might just be part of it. What else do you remember about your mother, though?” her voice smooth, almost hypnotic to him.

For some reason, Cedric found himself telling her everything he even faintly remembered, and yet, he never bothered to question why. “I remember her eyes, brown like mine, were always filled with love for me. I remember her voice, and I remember her telling me often ‘You’re going to be strong and brave someday my little Cedric, I just know it.’ I remember her holding me in her arms and hugging me,” he looked down, “I remember… something happening to her, something bad. I don’t remember what exactly it was, except a bright flash of light and someone laughing at us,” Cedric shivered at the memory.

Florica came closer to him, now getting concerned, “It’s alright, Cedric. You don’t have to say any more about it.”

Cedric didn’t seem to hear her, and kept talking, “I couldn’t protect her. I wasn’t strong enough to save her. I was just a boy, yes, but I should have done something other than stand there!”

“Cedric—“Oh no!

Cedric still didn’t listen, “Those cruel black eyes; that worn, wrinkled face. The way she just flicked her wrist and... I remember mother screaming in pain.” He muttered.

“Cedric—“He’s going in too deep!

“She took the only person I’d ever cared about up to that point away from me, just like that,” he gritted his teeth and clenched his fists, “If I ever find that… that witch who murdered my mother in front of me, I swear, I will avenge her!!” he growled.

“Cedric!!” Florica shouted. She snapped her fingers in front of his face, trying to break the charm they’d put on him.

Cedric blinked twice, and then looked at her calmly. He shook his head, and tried to clear it a little. “I’m sorry, Florica. I don’t know what came over me. What were we talking about again? I remember playing my flute, I remember watching you dance, and… something about my mother… after that it gets a little hazy.”

“It doesn’t matter, Cedric.” Florica said, patting his hand “Let’s just think about something else for awhile, shall we?”

“Yes, Cedric. Let’s play a happier tune, to lift our spirits.” said Vladic, getting his violin ready again. “How about I start this time?” and played a fast paced, happy tune that made you just want to get up and dance!  Cedric joined in with his flute, smiling. Daciana wagged her tail in happiness at hearing her master play.

Florica giggled and pointed down at Cedric’s feet- apparently, the song was so catchy that even the nearby flowers moved back and forth as if they were dancing too!

As soon as that melody ended, Cedric started playing another one he knew. It was a song that spoke of adventure out on the high seas, of pirates good and evil, of exploring strange islands filled with treasure, and, of course, three headed monkeys!

Graham had come back outside by then, and he proved himself to be pretty good at whistling. He sat down next to Cedric on his right. When he finished the tune, Cedric turned to Graham and asked, “So, how did it go? Find anything about Mordack?”

Graham nodded and told them all that he observed through the crystal ball. He showed Cedric the location to Mordack’s island on their map. “That is where we need to be headed to soon.”

Cedric looked at the map and winced. “Graham, this will take us through the Great Mountains. There are wolves there, you know. The path is very cold and slippery too, and you saw in the Endless Desert how bad I am at climbing.” He shook his head, “We certainly can’t head there now, ill equipped as we are.”

“Right, but atleast we know where to go now,” Graham said. 

Graham got up again, dusted off his pants, thanked the gypsies for their help, and started walking back to where they’d originally been heading before Cedric had chickened out: the Dark Forest. I must help her. I won’t let her become like Valanice was: eternally miserable and alone with no hope in sight. There must be something I can do about that witch so as she won’t trouble anyone
else ever again,
he thought to himself. He brought the lamp out of his pack, and looked at it curiously. I wonder what’s up with this lamp? It must be of some value if those bandits had it.

Cedric got up as well, and said at Florica. “I really enjoyed talking with you, Florica. I hope I can see you again someday.”

Florica nodded and replied, “Oh, we will most certainly see each other again. We come by Serenia every year to tell people’s fortunes in town, so we’ll be around. I’ll be sure to say hello if I see you.”

Cedric smiled. I like the sound of that! he thought. “I shall look forward to that day. Farewell Florica,” he said as he bid goodbye to his friend and went to catch up with Graham.
-
Phew! So sorry this one took so long, guys! I’ve just had not as much time to write (and also, no muse is no fun, I can tell you that!) due to general problems in life and schoolwork.

Oh, and I actually unintentionally made another reference in chapter 3 during the “poisonous snake scene” due to the snakes reaction. The hypnotized reaction from the snake is not only a reference to the AGD Interactive remake of 2, but also to 4! Even more so to 4 than 2, because the puzzle is solved the same way: using a flute on a snake to put it into a trance, which both Rosella and Cedric do.

Offline Rosella

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Over 10,000 words for one chapter? That is, indeed, a lot of writing. XD
I'm a princess even if my kingdom is pixelated.

Official Comfort Counselor of the TSL Asylum © ;D

It's funny how you find you enjoy your life when you're happy to be alive.

Offline GrahamRocks!

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Understatement of the century, Rosie!  ;D
-
Disclaimer: King’s Quest and its characters do not belong to me. They belong to Sierra On-Line. Trust me if I did, then… the puzzles probably might have made more sense.
-
Chapter 6: A Heartfelt Reunion!
-
Graham and Cedric soon reached the Dark Forest once more. Looking at Cedric, Graham asked, “Are you ready to go in, Cedric?”

Cedric looked back at him, and despite how he was still clearly shaking, he nodded. He tensed up, took a deep breath and nodded again, this time more determined. “I’m… I’m not scared, not at all. Heh heh heh!”

“Really?”

“Yes, Graham. I’m sure,” Cedric assured him. Graham slipped the amulet over his head, hiding it in the front of his tunic. I hope this works like she said it would. I wish I’d brought that emerald with me.

Cedric flipped open the magic book, searching for ‘protective’ spells anywhere. He found one, memorized it, and with a smile closed the book and put it away. 

With that, the two of them walked into the forest together.
-


(Posted on: December 12, 2012, 09:47:37 PM)


Cedric had been right to be afraid of this place. The trees were so close together, that when they looked up, they couldn’t even see the sky from where they were standing. Looking down, they noticed that there seemed to be an awful lot of frogs hopping around. One of the frogs stopped and looked up at them, croaking in a female voice, “What are you doing here, humans? You should know better than to come in here, you know.”

Graham explained why they were here. The frog shook her head and replied, “I still don’t think you should be in here.” She exclaimed, “Leave and begone while you still can stand upright, otherwise you’ll end up like us!” as a bunch of other frogs came near her, all croaking and nodding in agreement.

“The witch did this to all of you?” Cedric said, frowning. The frogs nodded. “Well, is there any way to cure it?”

“Really should have brought that stupid emerald with me,” Graham muttered to himself.

The leader frog shook her head sadly. “I doubt there is anything we can do,” she sighed. “Most of us have gotten used to it by now. Some of us can remember our human lives still rather well, others cannot aside from a few things here and there. Over time, we become more and more like ordinary frogs, even losing our ability to speak and think like a human would.”

“What about you?” Cedric wondered.

“I’ve been here so long that everything is a blur. All I remember is a town somewhere in this land, and that my mother always told me, ‘Lucy, you should never ever go into the forest! There are many Bad Things in there that would gobble up a nice little girl like you without a second thought!’...I regret not listening to her now. Oh, why did I have to be such a rambunctious and disobedient child?” she sighed, despondent.

“Well, we’re going to help despite the risks,” Graham said determined. “Speaking of risks…” he brought out the lamp he’d gotten from the bandits and showed it to her. “Would you happen to know what’s in this lamp?”

 “Hmm…” she placed a slimy hand on the lamp, was silent for about a minute and then said, “I think you should get rid of this thing, and forget you ever found it.”

“Why?” Graham wondered.

“There is something in there, but you should not let it out, unless you want to take its place. Or if you plan to give to someone else, and let them handle it.”

“Well, what’s in there?”

“A genie, and a very angry one at that,” the frog cautioned.

Graham laughed, “Heh heh, a genie? Seriously, that’s all? I thought you were going to say it was some dark evil wanting to consume us all and destroy the land.”

“I’m not kidding around, sir! This guy has been stuck in there for a long time, and he needs to take it out on somebody, which might as well be whoever opens this thing.”

“So the genie has been cursed to stay in there until someone lets him out, and you all have been cursed to turn into frogs. Hmmm…” Graham said, quickly forming a plan in his head. “Cedric, I think I have a plan, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

Cedric raised his eyebrows in interest, “Uh… okay Graham. What do you want me to do exactly?”

“I need you to get behind me, and stay there. Understood?” he said firmly. Cedric nodded and got behind Graham. “Good, thank you Cedric. You’ll be protected there.”

“But, your life matters more than mine, Graham. If I die, no one will weep for me. You, on the other hand…” he trailed off, not wanting to think of it.

“I know what I’m doing, Cedric,” Graham said.

“And what exactly are you doing, Graham?” Cedric questioned.

“You’ll see, Cedric.”

“If you say so, Graham; don’t worry, I’ll watch your back.”
-


(Posted on: December 12, 2012, 09:48:46 PM)


Cedric shivered as they wandered deeper into the forest, as it became ever gloomier and danker than before. He jumped suddenly, as he heard something growl at him from the bushes, but he quickly regained his composure, trying to ignore the flapping of leathery wings above him, and the sense of someone watching them from the shadows.

Graham could barely make out a path leading up to a large tree, which had a small indentation in it. And being naturally curious, he went up to it to investigate. Looking closer, it looked like a little door etched into the wood. What’s this? he wondered.

Grasping both hands on the handle, he tried to yank it open. Nothing. He pulled harder with a grunt, still nothing. Wonderful. Must need a key to open it. He got out his book on lock-picking and tried his best to read it in the minimal light, and stuck in back in his pocket after a minute of reading since he had nothing that would help.

Suddenly, he heard what sounded like a ‘poof’ behind him and whipped around to see someone standing there in the shadow of the trees. Oh no, the witch had spotted them! “Cedric- duck!” Graham warned, just in time for Cedric to avoid getting hit by a sickly green bolt of magic. As the blast struck Graham in the chest, he felt a tingling sensation run over his entire body. He’d felt this feeling once before, and had hoped to never feel it again. A quick glance at his hands showed that for a moment, they looked webbed and covered in mucus! But, just when Graham was beginning to get worried that the amulet was a dud or the person’s magic was too powerful… he then felt relief wash over him as the trinket started to take effect and nullify the magic spell into nothing. Cedric saw this, and got up, just as relieved.

Graham looked at the witch and grinned. She was completely powerless thanks to the amulet. The red-headed, wrinkled old hag then let out a furious scream, shaking her fists at him angrily, and he stuck his fingers in his ears lest he’d go deaf!

“YOU!!” she shouted, “Who are you?! What have you done to my magic?!”

“I don’t think you need to know,” Graham answered, crossing his arms. Cedric mimicked him and nodded. “Besides,” Graham said, “I didn’t know this was a private forest! Is it yours?”

The witch gave them a malicious smile, showing off crooked yellow teeth. “That doesn’t matter, sonny, because I’m afraid you’re both trapped here for eternity,” she cackled evilly. Cedric started trembling again. As she ‘poof’ed away, she let out another chilling laugh, her black eyes sparkling.

Cedric tried to compose himself and clenched his fists. Buck up, Cedric! She’s not all that scary, is she? She looked kind of familiar though. Hmm… but why?
   
“Cedric? You alright?” Graham asked, noticing that Cedric was just standing there.

Cedric snapped out of his thoughts, “Huh? Uh, nothing Graham; she just looks familiar, that’s all.”

“Oh? How so?” Graham asked, as they started walking down the path. The faded dirt road curved down in an arc, going past what Graham hoped were “just” spikes in the ground and not what he thought they were.

“I’m not sure I want to tell you,” Cedric replied. “I don’t remember much myself.”

“Tell me anyway.”

“Well…” Cedric began, hesitantly. “You remember when I said that Crispin was like a father to me? It should be obvious why.”

“Crispin adopted you?”

“Yes. I’ve been his apprentice and son ever since I was… five, I think? I’ve just turned twenty. I remember very little of my life before Crispin found me, except that my mother loved me very much. But…”

“She’s dead?” Graham asked.

Cedric nodded sadly, “I’m afraid so.” He frowned, punched his fist into his palm, and snarled, “It was her. That witch was the one who murdered her, I’m sure of it!”

“Well if my plan works,” Graham noted, bringing out the lamp, “You won’t have to worry about her much longer, and neither will anybody else.”


(Posted on: December 12, 2012, 09:49:51 PM)


-
Some Time Later…
-
“Uhh… Graham…?” Cedric whimpered.

“I know, Cedric. I know!” Graham stopped him. “I’m just as anxious as you.”

He looked around frantically at their surroundings- hadn’t they been here before? He could have sworn they’d already seen this part of the path already. Then again, everything looked the same here: the path didn’t seem to lead anywhere, there was barely if any light through the treetops so they could barely see, and there were man-eating plants lunging out at them whenever they reached a dead end. If they stood around too long, they were soon assaulted by creeping spiders and annoying bats, so they had to keep moving.

Finally, they seemed to be getting somewhere… although it wasn’t pleasant in the slightest. Towering above them, across a wide chasm was a house. It appeared to be hewn right from the rock itself, and had spikes sticking out of it for some reason. As if the bridge leading across the chasm that was made of… something’s ribcage wasn’t enough, peering down into the chasm, Graham saw what looked like a very long drop, and it appeared that other adventurers like him weren’t as lucky as there were spikes to be impaled on down there. Graham backed away, not wanting to make himself sick.

Graham heard the ‘poof’ again. Just great- she was back! Graham turned around quickly, but Cedric was quicker and stepped in front of him.

“Cedric, get back!!” Graham ordered, but, to Graham’s surprise he shook his head and instead brandished his wand bravely. “Cedric!” Graham barked, “Get behind me now!”

Cedric shook his head again and growled, “No Graham, I- OOF!” Graham shoved him out of the way just as the witch fired away another magic spell at Cedric. Luckily, it missed and just singed the grass. Since she knew Graham was protected, she ignored him and fired again at Cedric.

Scrambling to his feet quickly, he recited as fast as he could,

“Nay, we shall never fall nor yield, by the will of Leginimor, give us a shield!

The green bolt hit Cedric dead on. He braced himself, but he didn’t feel any pain at all! Opening his eyes, he looked down and saw that he glowed faintly as the spell took effect. He looked up and smiled at Graham, “See? I can be smart too.”

Cedric turned to the witch and grinned. She was seething and snarling like an angry dog now, completely enraged at what had just happened!

Cedric dropped the grin and started backing away quickly. Best not to push my luck- this spell won’t last forever, he thought as he went back behind Graham who didn’t look very pleased with Cedric taking such a risk.

“Cedric--!” Graham started to say, but was soon interrupted by a growl. He tensed and looked behind them. There in the shade of the trees, Graham could see… something. Rather, he saw a pair of yellow eyes and when the creature growled again, it showed off a pair of razor sharp teeth and he heard the sound of unsheathed claws. Graham backed away from the creature, not wanting to know what it truly was, and he heard the witch say, ‘If magic cannot kill you, then teeth and claws shall!”

Graham and Cedric were standing back to back. He heard Cedric stammer nervously, obviously trying and failing to sound braver than he felt, “I-I’m n-not afraid of you!”

“Oh really?” the witch said, and she aimed a blast at his feet. Cedric jumped, lifting one foot off the ground, looking very much like a spooked horse. “Now then…” the hag continued, “I believe it is time to say farewell, sonnies.”

She snapped her fingers and the creature charged at Graham! Graham and Cedric dodged just in time, darting off into opposite directions in the forest. The creature, now out in the clearing, was revealed to look somewhat like a panther, its fur as dark the witch’s eyes, except it had larger, sharper claws, was a lot bigger than normal (if it could stand up on its hind legs, it could probably be able to look Graham in the eye), and seemed to have a strange misty aura around it. This was no ordinary big cat. 

It figures that she’d have a cat. Graham thought as he raced through the trees. He could hear the cat rushing like lightning after him. Graham’s running pace had begun to slow- he was getting tired from all he had done this day, and he knew he wasn’t as young as he used to be. The fact that his pack had gotten so heavy over these past few hours didn’t help matters either.

The cat was so close now, that Graham could feel it breathing on him. He’d have to get rid of it somehow, lest he be shredded by this beast of a feline! He felt around in his pack and felt something heavy so he tossed it behind him. Graham breathed a sigh of relief and picked up speed, as he heard the object hit the cat and knock it backwards with a yowl and a thud. 

Graham was then knocked over himself by someone who managed to also fall on top of him. After the stars cleared from his head, he looked up and saw- “Cedric! There you are!”

Cedric quickly got to his feet and apologized, “Sorry Graham!” Graham shushed Cedric and looked behind him. The cat was stunned by the lamp (which was what Graham had thrown) that had hit it.

Graham then remembered something- the lamp contained immense magical power, didn’t it? If only she’d poof in right now, it just might work! Graham schemed, she’ll notice how quiet it’s gotten and wonder what’s going on, and she really can’t ignore that lamp in front of her… he speedily hid in the nearby bushes, followed by Cedric, whose ‘shield spell’ had long since worn off by now.

After a minute or so of waiting, the crone did indeed appear once more. The panther was coming to its senses and looked up at its mistress, who didn’t look happy to not see a corpse or two lying around. “Well, I can see you didn’t do you job properly Kitty,” she said scowling. The panther looked away ashamed.

It was then she noticed what was next to her pet. It was round and squat at the bottom, and tapered off to a point at the top and looked to be made of brass or perhaps even gold. The bright sheen of the object in the moonlight wasn’t the only thing that attracted her attention though… as she felt its smooth finish with her fingers, she detected something inside. Whatever this object was, it had amazing power inside of it.

Whatever magic this object contained, she felt she just had to have for herself! The power seemed to be begging to be released by her. Her frown swiftly turned into an excited smile as she felt around for a way to open it, and found that the very top of the item was very loose.

She clasped both hands around the top of the lamp and gave it a good tug. It came off with a pop, and as the smoke came curling out of the lamp, Graham thought, Oh, this is gonna be good! I can’t believe she fell for it!

The small tendril of smoke grew larger and larger, until it had become a cloud. Then, the cloud grew arms and what looked like a head wearing a turban and changed colors until a genie floated in front of her!

Stretching his arms, the genie said happily, “Ah, freedom at last!”

The witch clapped her hands and excitedly said with a smile, “Genie, I wish for-“

The genie glared at the witch and pointed a finger at her, “Now YOU spend the next 500 years in a bottle and see how you like it! Now, yallah!” and with a snap of his fingers, smoke surrounded the witch and before she could protest or even scream, the smoke zipped right back into the lamp. The top of the lamp put itself back on; the genie clapped his hands sending it to who knows where, and then teleported himself away in another puff of smoke. The panther had long since run away as frightened as a kitten, never to be seen again by at least mortal eyes for many years.

Cedric broke the silence after a moment, “Now, she has all the darkness she desires, and much more.” He smiled gleefully and rubbed his hands together, “I’ve always wanted to say that.”

“I can’t believe she fell for that!” Graham laughed.

“I can’t believe that plan actually worked!” Cedric replied, laughing as well. “That was very clever, Graham.” 

Graham looked at the crone’s house curiously. “Hmm… I bet there is something in there, something important.”

Being very careful, they walked slowly over the wooden planks that covered the rickety ribcage bridge. Both of them avoided looking downwards, Cedric because he had a slight fear of heights and Graham because he didn’t want to trip and fall into the chasm and become like the other less fortunate adventurers who had met that fate.
-


(Posted on: December 12, 2012, 09:51:40 PM)


Despite its tall appearance from outside, the inside of the house was rather small, cramped even. The little winding staircase only led to a bedroom, which Cedric looked into but found nothing all that interesting. Otherwise there was a shelf with various jars and bottles on it, and a cage hanging from the trunk of a tree that had somehow embedded itself into the wall of the house, and a single wax candle giving the house a sickly green glow, not unlike the magic the hag had tried to use on them. The only interesting thing here was a wooden chest against one wall. As Graham looked into the small cage, finding a little key, Cedric opened the chest.

He gasped in surprise at what he’d found- a portable spinning wheel, obviously used only by someone with small hands. “Hey, I recognize this! What’s a gnome’s spinning wheel doing in here?” Cedric wondered.   
     
He stuck it into his pack for safekeeping. Looking down, he could see the fly wheel sticking out a bit, but if he squished it down any further it would probably break, and Cedric knew that the gnome wouldn’t appreciate that.

Graham looked in the dresser. There were clothes -including a black cloak… hmm, where had Graham seen that before? He turned away from it, not wanting to think about it- An old cracked hand mirror, a few magical components that even Cedric wouldn’t touch, a cookbook that Graham hastily skipped over lest he gag, and a pouch.

It was a small, simple cloth pouch that was very light and tied with a piece of string. Opening it revealed three sparkling emeralds! These definitely will come in handy! He thought, and he put them away.

They checked over everything once more, to make sure that they didn’t miss anything just in case. They didn’t find anything so they left the house alone.
-


(Posted on: December 12, 2012, 09:52:16 PM)


The two of them weren’t really sure how they found the suspicious tree again, but, somehow through wandering around lost for what felt like hours made them end up back there again.

Although, Cedric thought, it seems that the going has become easier now that that witch is gone. Is it just me, or does it seem to be getting a little lighter around here? Either she’d cursed the forest and now that she’s gone the curse is lifting, which wouldn’t surprise me. Or we’ve been wandering around in here for a lot longer than I thought and the moon is out.

In any case… Mother, we’ve avenged you. I hope you can rest in peace now. Cedric thought and smiled to himself.

Graham took out the key he’d found and turned it in the keyhole.

Click! Success!

He threw open the little door and said with a whistle, “When she said she had a ‘heart of gold’ she wasn’t kidding!” and held up a little heart that was quite literally gold in his hand!

He looked around. “Now all we need to do is get out of this place.”

Cedric did the same and replied, “Uh… how do we do that, Graham? I- hey! What’s that?” he stopped and pointed at the ground- there were tiny tracks in the dirt!

Graham bent down to look closer. “Whoever made these tracks was wearing tiny shoes. Hmm… was running pretty quickly, not very long of a stride either so they must have short legs too. In fact, I’d say there are elves here.” He began following them, the tracks going around the heart tree and back in the deeper parts of the forest where they’d just been.
-


(Posted on: December 12, 2012, 09:53:18 PM)


They had come to a dead end surrounded by rocks and bushes. Looking up, Graham could see eyes peering out from the bushes, looking at him cautiously. “Excuse me, could you help us? We’re a little lost here, and need to get out soon so I can rescue my family,” Graham asked.

No answer.

Graham took out the pouch and shook it a little. A soft jingling was heard from the pouch. “I have these jewels in here, and I know from experience that the fair folk love treasure.” He opened the pouch and took out one of the gems, flicking it like a coin with his thumb onto the ground. He and Cedric stepped back and waited.

One of the little folk gathered his courage, ran up and grabbed the emerald in his hands. Graham tried to grab him, but he slipped away into the bushes too quickly for even the former knight to handle. Graham tried again, dropping it closer to where they were standing. Same result.

Hmm, I wonder… he thought. He took out the honeycomb, and squeezed out the honey onto the ground. He placed the last emerald next to the honey puddle and waited.

Sure enough, that shiny green glint was too hard to resist for the little elf, and he ran out of the bushes again to snatch it… only for him to get stuck mid-run with the emerald just beyond his reach.

“See?” Graham said to Cedric, holding the now empty honeycomb (which was now just beeswax) “I told you this would come in handy! Mother always said ‘One could always catch more flies with honey than seawater’, and she was right.”

“But it’s an elf, not a fly, Graham!”

“Well, it still works.”

Sticking the beeswax back into his pack, Graham bent down and picked up the mischief maker by the shirt collar in one hand, picking up the last emerald in another. The elf struggled in Graham’s grip, but he held him tight. “L-let me go! Please, I beg of you!”

Graham frowned and put the emerald back in his pack. “Oh no, I’m not dropping you until you help us leave this blasted forest.”

The little elf nodded and replied, “Okay, okay I’ll help you get out, I promise! An elf never breaks a promise! Drop me, please.” Graham dropped him. The elf ran over to a very large oval rock formation and spoke to it, “Move over, Rocky! You’re in the way!” and the rock turned out to be not a rock after all, but a creature with legs and lizard-like head and neck. Scuttling off to the side, it muttered “Durrr- sorry!” and curled up again allowing them to pass. Cedric looked at Graham confused, and Graham just shook his head and shrugged back. He didn’t know what Rocky was either.

The elf soon led them to a clearing and went down into a hole underneath a large tree. He called out, his high-pitched voice echoing, “Over here! Over here!” and he disappeared underground. Graham peered down into the hole- it was a lot bigger than the hole in the Land of the Leprechauns on Mushroom Isle back home, but it still looked to be a tight squeeze for him. Nevertheless, he got down on his hands and knees and crawled into the dark tunnel.

He looked behind him and called, “Coming Cedric?”

Cedric wrinkled his nose in disgust at the prospect of crawling down deep, dark holes to who knows where. The fair folk weren’t exactly the most trustworthy of people. Still… if Graham trusted him, then he should too. And even if they couldn’t, they probably could think of some way to weasel their way out of a deal they couldn’t keep. Cedric sighed with a nod, and crawled into the tunnel after Graham.

But, just in case… Cedric casted the ‘Shield’ spell again, and also gave ‘Night Owl’ a try too.  He whispered, “Let my eyes be bright, let me see all who prowl, I shall know no fear as I transform into a night owl.” He felt the spell take effect immediately, as it looked to be a lot brighter in the passage than before from his point of view. I just hope Graham won’t be too freaked out by this.
-


(Posted on: December 12, 2012, 09:54:59 PM)


They soon entered a wide cavern that was made of what looked like sandstone, with various crevasses all around. Several more elves were peeking out from the crevasses, staring at them cautiously and talking to each other in hushed tones. “Humans!” Graham heard one say. “What are humans doing here?” Cedric’s vision returned to normal, not extremely bright like he’d expected. Must only work in the dark.

Graham and Cedric spotted the elf who had led them here, but he wasn’t looking at them. He was looking at the other muttering elves around him and frowning. He whistled for silence and they shut up. This elf must be their leader! Graham realized, and he tipped his cap in respect with Cedric bowing his head.

The leader noticed them at last, and motioned them over to where he was standing. “Come here you two- I’ve got something for you!”

Graham and Cedric came over to him. The leader was holding something behind his back and smiling. “I’ve got something special for you, kind sir,” he said to Graham, “but I won’t give it to you until you do something for us.

They nodded and were silent. The leader continued, and looked up at Graham’s outfit, “You are a knight, yes?”

Graham nodded and admitted, “Yes, I was known as ‘Sir Graham’ nearly 20 years ago, but I was crowned king when I was no younger than-“he stopped when the leader looked shocked and hastily bowed to him, the other elves as well. Graham held up his hand, “Please don’t do that. I don’t want to be idolized nor feared, just treat me like you would anybody else.” The elves agreed to that. “Now then, you were saying Mr. Elf?”

The leader continued, “Well, since you’re a good enough knight to be crowned a king, surely you must remember tales of your bravery from when you were still under the king before your reign. That is your half of the bargain: you tell us stories of your days as a knight, and I’ll give you my gift.”

Graham sat down and the elves and Cedric gathered around. “Well, I suppose I should start at the beginning. Back when I was a lad, I used to visit this inn in my home town called The Prattling Pony…” and so, King Graham told the little people and the young mage about how he began his first Quest when he was young.

When Graham was done telling the story, the leader looked thoughtful. “Hmm… that was a rather nice story, but…”

“You want another, I reckon?” Graham asked. The elf nodded and replied, “Yes. Especially since the gift I have for you are is actually a pair of something, and it wouldn’t make sense for me to give you just one.”

“Fair enough.” And he began another story, this one being one of the times he fought for his life against a huge fire-breathing dragon. Due to Graham being quick and smart as a whip, the dragon ended up confusing itself so much, that it took itself out by falling off a cliff. But the dragon snapped out of it and tried to take Graham with him! Graham prevailed however by kicking it in the face until it fell to its doom with a roar, never to bother them again.

The leader broke out into a grin, and brought out his gift with both hands. “I never accept a gift without giving in return. In exchange for those stories you told us, I want to give you these,” and showed off a fine pair of hand-crafted leather shoes with gold buckles on them. “Here is a pair of our finest elven shoes, your majesty!” and he gave them to Graham.

“Thank you very much,” Graham said gratefully. “I know exactly who I can give these to!” and he put them away. He then asked, “Well, I believe you also have to hold up your end of the bargain?”

The leader nodded and scampered over to a tall wooden ladder, where at the top was another hole in the rock. He pointed up and answered, “Go up there, and that should be your ticket out of here!”

Graham and Cedric thanked them, waved goodbye and climbed to their freedom. They entered another tunnel, and Cedric’s ‘Night Owl’ spell took effect once again.
-


(Posted on: December 12, 2012, 09:56:27 PM)


They were soon blocked by something, which looked like a log to them. Giving it a mighty shove, they then saw the light at the end of the tunnel and climbed out onto the dirt path next to the forest. “Oh, sweet freedom!” Cedric rejoiced.

He and Graham looked up at the sky. The sun was setting, and they could see the faint glow of the moon already. Had they really been in there that long? Graham took out the little golden heart and smiled at it. “I think we should help her first.” Cedric nodded in agreement, and they walked back to where Alicia was still waiting for their return.
-


(Posted on: December 12, 2012, 09:57:10 PM)


-
But, along the way, they met a familiar face trudging along. Or at least Cedric knew who he was. “Herbert? Is that you?”

Herbert looked up at the familiar voice, “Oh, it’s you Cedric. Hello again.”

Cedric asked, “So I can guess you haven’t found her?” Herbert shook his head. Cedric smiled and said, “Well, we did!”

Herbert perked up and looked hopeful, “Y-you did?! Where? Where is she?”

Graham faintly heard the sound of harp music again and started to follow it once more.  “Follow me, I’ll show you where she is.”
 -
“HERBERT!” Alicia cried out happily, stopping her harp music, as she saw her true love come down the path, being led by Graham and Cedric. Herbert immediately recognized her voice and ran up to her, and wrapped his arms around her trunk.

“Alicia! I finally found you, thank the heavens!” Herbert answered happily. He let go and looked her over and frowned at little. “So this is what that witch did to you, huh? I swear if I ever find her, I’ll-“

Cedric cut him off, “No need for that, Herbert. We took care of her already, or rather Graham did. She won’t be bothering anyone for a long time, I can assure you.”

Herbert cheered up. “Oh. Good!” he looked at Alicia again. “Hmmm… but how can we fix this, my love?”

“With this,” Graham answered as he showed him the little golden heart they had gotten from the forest. Herbert smiled and stepped out of the way to let Graham give it to her, but he shook his head and handed the heart to him. “You should do the honors, Herbert. You’ve already stolen her heart once, right? You should give it back to her.”

Herbert took it in his hand, turned to Alicia and handed the little golden heart to her. She took it gratefully, murmuring a soft “Thank you!” and as she placed it back where her heart would be, a bright light engulfed her body! Her tree form started to shrink, and her leaves disappeared. She shrunk down to Herbert’s eye level, her branches turning golden and hanging down, her bark turning creamy and smooth, and a lovely dark blue dress that matched her eyes covered her.

“Darling! I’ve missed you so much!” she cried, embracing him with tears in her eyes. Returning the hug, Herbert kissed her sweetly. Graham smiled, reminded of the moment he’d first met Valanice when they were their age, and he couldn’t wait to hold her in his arms again just like this.

The couple broke off their kiss, and Alicia turned to Graham and Cedric. “Thank you! Thank you both so much, kind sirs!”

“I’m always happy to help,” Graham said.

“It was nothing, ma’am!” Cedric replied. “It was the least we could do, right Graham?” Graham nodded.

“Oh, there must be some way I can repay you!” Alicia decided. Graham was about to say, ‘No, no. We don’t really need anything.’ But he was stopped.  “Here,” Alicia said insisting, “take this harp as a reward for your generosity, sir. It is a magic harp, and it plays the most beautiful music ever heard.”

Graham took it and thanked her, and then did something odd. He took off the magic nullifying amulet, and also took out the emerald in his pocket and handed it to them saying, “I don’t need these anymore, since Cedric is here with me. So I want you to have them instead to protect you on your way home. This amulet and the emerald will guard you from all but the strongest types of magic, so you should have no trouble with witches anymore.”

“Oh, thank you!” Herbert said sincerely. He shook hands with them both and said, “I’ll tell my father’s kingdom of Greys all about you two, but I must know your name!”

“I’m King Graham of Daventry, but please, call me Graham.” He replied, returning the handshake.

Herbert nodded and smiled wide. “Well, thank you ever so much again, Graham and Cedric! I’ll never forget what you did for us. But before we leave here I have to ask, why are you here Graham? The king here if I recall correctly is called Kenneth, not Graham.”

“Well, it all began just a few hours ago…” and Graham told the prince everything that had happened, from the theft of his castle and kidnapping of his family, to what had happened since they’d arrived.

Herbert simply said, “I wish you luck on your Quest, King Graham. Give that wizard a good beat down and make him regret he ever even thought about attacking your family, is what I say!”

“I will,” Graham replied. Cedric looked determined and brandished his wand, putting on a brave smile.

And with that, Herbert and Alicia walked away hand-in-hand to start their journey home.

Cedric put his wand away and said, “Well, that was heartwarming, wasn’t it?”

Graham chuckled at the pun and nodded. Cedric looked down at the spinning wheel in his pack. “Now that’s done, I’m going to see that gnome about this spinning wheel.” He looked at the harp in Graham’s hand and wondered, “Do you even know how to play that thing?”

Graham answered by playing the Court of Daventry’s anthem, “Greensleeves”. Cedric was impressed, and as they walked to the gnome’s house, Graham played a part of a ballad known as “The Legend of Camelot” with Cedric joining in on the flute. The ballad told one of the many, many tales of King Arthur, where he was searching for the Holy Grail, and also his three bravest knights who had gone missing, in order to save the kingdom of Camelot.

They were about to play the next part, which chronicled the battle between King Arthur and the Black Knight who was holding Sir Gawain captive, when a voice barked at them, “Stop all the racket, will ya?! We’re trying to relax here!”

Graham stopped and apologized. Cedric looked down and said, “Well, well! You’re exactly the person I wanted to see! I have something that I’m sure you’ll like.” There by Cedric’s feet were two gnomes; the one who’d spoke was old, and the younger one next to him smiled shyly and waved hello to Cedric.

The old gnome crossed his arms and tapped his foot. “Not likely, lad. Ya’ve not done a thing for me before, so why should I not think it’s another magic trick or somethin’?”

Cedric held up his hands in defense and replied, “I swear as a member of The Society of Wizards, I shall not trick you.” He reached into his pack, and got out the spinning wheel. “I believe this is yours?”

The gnome’s eyes bulged out in shock, and he snatched it from Cedric’s grasp. “My spinning wheel!  Wherever did ya find it, lad?” Cedric explained that he’d found it in the witch’s house in the forest. The gnome frowned, “So it was her who took it, eh? I can’t imagine why, since it can only be used by me and my family.”

Really? Graham thought. I thought there was something suspiciously familiar about him. I wonder if he remembers me at all?

“Say, Mr. Gnome? If I may ask, do you know who I am?” Graham asked.

The gnome looked Graham over, scowled at him and shook his head. “I don’t know what ya’re talkin’ about, son. I’ve never seen ya before in my life!”

“But, I could have sworn I’ve seen-“

“You need yer eyes fixed then,” the old gnome interrupted. He looked back at Cedric. “Anyway, thank ya kindly for giving me my spinning wheel back, lad.”

“Don’t mention it.” Cedric replied. He felt something pulling on his pant leg, and saw the younger gnome (who Cedric knew was the old gnome’s grandson) trying to get his attention. Cedric bend down close to the little boy’s eye level and asked gently, “Yes Halberg?”

“Um, I…” Halberg hesitated shyly. “I liked your music, Cedric. I liked it a lot. Um, could you… maybe teach me how to play sometime? Please?”

Cedric smiled and patted Halberg on the head. “Of course I can. But, I need to help Graham here first though, alright?”

Halberg tilted his head in curiosity. “Why?”

“He’s on a Quest, and I’ve been chosen to help him. I have to stick by his side and make sure he doesn’t get hurt. I know you’re probably going to ask me what his Quest is, so I’ll explain…” and he told the little gnome all that had happened thus far.  Halberg smiled as he got an idea, and ran back into the house. He came back out a few seconds later with a little marionette that looked just like him and handed it to Cedric who took it and put it carefully in his pack.

“Um, you can keep it Cedric, for helping Grandpa. We can make more of them, right Grandpa?” Halberg asked. His grandfather nodded and started to walk away into the woods, calling for Halberg to join him. Halberg waved goodbye to Cedric and hurried after his grandfather, wishing Graham and Cedric good luck.
-


(Posted on: December 12, 2012, 09:59:09 PM)


As they were walking back to town, Cedric heard the sound of a creaking wagon and turned to see that the gypsies were starting to head off once again. He waved goodbye to them and saw them wave back with Florica smiling at him as she leaned out the window.

She disappeared for a moment, then quickly came back up and tossed something to him. He caught it and saw it was a tambourine. He called out, “Thank you!”

Florica called back, “You’re welcome! I’ll see you next year, Cedric!”

Cedric wished them goodbye and good luck again, and the wagon left in a cloud of dust. Cedric sighed and grinned, hugging the tambourine. Graham smiled and thought I know that look. “If I didn’t know any better Cedric, I’d say you liked her.”

Cedric dropped the grin and stammered, “G-Graham! It’s n-not what you think! She’s just a… friend. Yeah!”

“Sure, Cedric suuurre.” Graham replied skeptically and rolled his eyes. “I won’t tell anyone that you are attracted to a traveling gypsy girl.”

Cedric frowned and gave him a look that said, ‘I don’t believe you!’

“I never break my word, I promise. Knight’s honour. Now then,” Graham brought out the shoes, “I need to make a-“

“WOOF! WOOF! WOOF!” A dog barked nearby. It was digging profusely into a gigantic ant hill, and frightening the residents. One of them trying to poke the dog with something, but having little success as it didn’t seem to do much and the ant didn’t look to be a good fighter anyway. Cedric went over to pet the dog, but it looked up and snarled at him and began blocking their path.

“GRRRR! Get outta here humans, this is MY spot!” The mutt barked at them and bristled

“What is it today with all these animals claiming, ‘This is MY path!’ and ‘You shouldn’t be here!’?” Cedric wondered aloud.

“You look bored, boy.” Graham said, bringing out the broken staff. “Want to play ‘Fetch’?” he asked and waved it around.

The dog went into a play bow and wagged his tail. “Woof! Woof! Sure!”

Graham whistled and threw the stick like a spear, where it flew off far into the distance. The dog chased after it with a happy bark. Graham heard tiny cheers from the ants below.

One ant broke off from the little group, and Graham let it crawl onto his pointer finger. The ant wore a tiny crown on its head, had a needle strapped to his side like Graham would a sword and spoke in a regal tone, “I thank you very much kind sir, for saving us from that horrible mongrel!” the ant bowed his head, “I’m King Antony at your service.”

Graham nodded back. “I’m King Graham of Daventry and this is my friend Cedric. We’re trying to find a way to cross the Great Mountains and rescue my family, who has been captured by a wizard named Mordack.”

King Antony’s eyes widened. “That is a very dangerous mission, King Graham! That man is trouble!”

“I know, but I can’t just sit here and do nothing can I?”

“Well, that’s true.” King Antony replied, “I wish you would reconsider but… I highly doubt you’re going to give up on this, are you?” Graham shook his head. King Antony untied the needle at his side and dropped it into Graham’s palm. “Here, take this golden needle with you. I found it in a haystack by the inn to the east a few days ago, thinking it might be a useful weapon, but since it’s so heavy and big, it’s completely useless to one so small as me!”

“Maybe you should stick to your jaws,” Cedric suggested.

“Thank you King Antony.” Graham said, sticking it in his pocket and was reminded of the tailor from earlier. “I’m sure there’s someone who would love to have a needle as nice as this.”

“Well I wish you good luck on your mission, King Graham!” King Antony said, hopping off his finger and heading back to his subjects. They wished each other farewell, and they continued onward back to town.
-


(Posted on: December 12, 2012, 10:00:14 PM)


As Graham went past the Baker Bros Bake House, he took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Mmmm! something smells good in there! He recognized that smell anywhere- pie! The sign on the door said, “Custard Pie Special for 1 Silver!” He was about to dash inside to follow the scent when he heard frantic squeaking from behind them.

A rat was racing as fast as she could down the dirt road, with a large yowling orange cat chasing after her. The rat twisted and turned, but the cat was still on her trail! Thinking quickly, Graham brought out the old boot he’d got earlier and threw it at the cat…

But the cat saw it coming and dodged! The feline sprung into the air and was about to pounce on the rodent, when it suddenly had the wind knocked out of it and landed on its back!

The cat got up and hissed at Cedric as he picked up his boot from the ground. Cedric hissed back, “Shoo! Scat!” and kicked at the cat with his other boot. The cat screeched and slinked away.

The rat, overjoyed, squeaked, “Thank you kind sirs! Thank you so much! My children and I will never forget you two!”

“You’re welcome,” Graham and Cedric replied in unison.

“I hope I can repay you two someday. Well, have a nice evening friends!” and the rat scampered away into the bushes.
-
Graham and Cedric walked into the Bake House, their mouths starting to water. Cedric rushed forward once he spotted the custard pies on the counter, two of which were already being sold to a lady and child, but Graham quickly grabbed him by the shirt collar and held him back. “I’m getting hungry too Cedric, but we need to be patient.”

As the other customers and the owner finished their long, boring conversation, Graham got out his money. He paid for a pie and walked out, Cedric following him and anxiously wanting to dig in immediately. “Now now, Cedric. We should save this for later.”

Cedric looked at him dumbfounded; his eyes widened and jaw agape. His mouth snapped shut and he glared at him. “What.” was Cedric’s reply.

“You never know when you’ll need to defend yourself-“

“With a pie.”

“It’s a custard pie, isn’t it? We have to use to this on somebody somewhere.”

‘What?! Graham, it’s a PIE! What in the world can you do with a pie other than eat it?!”

“Throw it at someone, use it as bait, leave a trail of crumbs behind you…”

Cedric sighed, “Fine! But, you owe me something to eat later alright?”

“I can do that.” Graham said.
-


(Posted on: December 12, 2012, 10:01:19 PM)


Finally arriving back into town, it was almost dark and everyone was starting to close up shop for the night. Graham brought out the shoes and tucking them under one arm, rushed into the Corner Cobbler just when they were about to turn off the lights.

“Sorry son,” Mama Cincinatus said tiredly. “We’re about to close so we can’t take any more orders today. You can wait until tomorrow, okay?”

Graham just smiled. “I’m not here to buy anything, but I do have something for you.” He showed the old couple the elven shoes.

Sonny grabbed them and examined them closely. “Look dear, look! Look at this soft, fine leather, and… are these buckles gold?” they looked at Graham and Sonny asked, “Wherever did you find these gems, son?”

“I came across some elves in the forest, and in exchange for telling them a couple stories their leader gave me those shoes.”

“…Well, I’ve heard crazier stories in my life.” Mama replied. She frowned, “You didn’t have to go through all that trouble, son. Why did you take such a risk as to go into that awful place- don’t you know how dangerous it is in there?”

“I can’t stand seeing people so miserable, so I managed to find those shoes for you. Oh, and call me Graham.”

They smiled at him.  Graham asked, “So what are you two going to do now?”

“We’ll sell these come tomorrow,” Mama said, looking down at the shoes. “Then, I think me and Sonny are gonna finally retire to someplace warmer and nicer.”

“Who will watch over the shop then?”

“We have a son and daughter-in-law who have wanted to take over the place for a while now, so that shouldn’t be a problem.”

“We are forever in your debt, Graham. Thank you so much!” Sonny added gratefully, shaking Grahams hand with a firm grip. With the other hand, he picked up his cobbler’s hammer and gave to Graham. “Here, take my hammer please. I don’t need it anymore, and a hammer is always good to have on you, just in case.”

“You’re very welcome and thank you, sir. This’ll come in handy on my Quest I’m sure!”

They wished him good luck and a fond farewell, and turned off the lights.
-
Cedric popped his head into the Toy Shop and smiled- the place was small, cozy even, but stuffed to the brim with all manners of toys from dolls and rocking horses to wind-up soldiers and little puppets. But, what really caught Cedric’s eye was actually something unique: on the east wall of the shop there hung a wooden sled, painted red and looked big enough to hold both of them. The toymaker was a friendly looking old man from a faraway mountainous country, who had come to Serenia several years ago to start a better life for his family. He was one of the few people who actually didn’t mind helping Cedric out.

“Hello there, Cedric. On an errand for Crispin?” The toymaker asked, peering through tiny glasses and was winding up one of the last toy dolls for the night.

Cedric looked down at the doll being wound up and tried not to chuckle, even if the way the toymaker was holding the doll and the crank looked funny. He looked back up and shook his head. “No, a Quest for a King actually, to help rescue his family.” He pointed at the sled, “We need to head for the mountains, but I didn’t bring any money, so…” he dangled Halberg’s marionette in front of him, “Will you trade me this for that sled over there, Mr. Gepeppo?”

The toymaker’s eyes widened and he asked, “Vhere did you ever find such a beautiful thing, my boy?”

“Halberg, that little gnome down the road, gave it to me for helping out his grandpa earlier.”

The toymaker smiled. “Oh, vell that vas very nice of you, lad. Of course you may have the sled, I can alvays make another one.”

“Thanks so much, Mr. Gepeppo! This will definitely be useful.” Cedric said gratefully, taking the sled off the wall. He attempted to just pick it up and carry it, but he wasn’t as strong as he looked so he had to drag it outside instead as he waved goodbye and goodnight.
-
Graham stuck his head in the Tailor Shop’s door and asked, “Hey, anybody want a golden needle in here?”

Tailor Fey immediately looked at Graham and answered, “What? You found it?!”

Graham grinned and showed it off. I knew it! “I found an ant attempting to use it as a sword, who said he’d found it by the inn.”

Tailor Fey blinked twice in disbelief, but snapped out of it and held out his hand expectantly. “Well?”

Graham held it away from him and pointed at the dark blue cloak in the corner he’d seen earlier. “I’ll give you the needle back, if you give me that cloak over there.”

Tailor Fey nodded and tossed it to Graham, who handed him the needle. “Oh thank you ever so much, sir! Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“No, that’s enough for now. Thank you very much and have a nice evening.”
-
“Hey Graham-urgh! Can you help me with this?” Cedric requested, dragging the very heavy sled across the near empty cobblestone street. Graham picked up the sled easily, and stuck the sled… into his pack. Which was just as big as Cedric’s and certainly didn’t look to be able to hold something that big. Cedric became slack-jawed and wide eyed in bewilderment for the second time that day. He sputtered, “But-but-but… how did you…? That sled is… what?! How come I don’t have one of those things?”

“It’s better not to ask, Cedric. The answer would make your head explode.” Graham answered.

“I already have a headache.” Cedric muttered and shook his head.

“Are you alright? You look tired.” Graham commented, looking a little worried.

“Who, me? No, I feel just fine Graham. It’s you I’m worried about!” Cedric looked at him with a wide smile, his eyes glowing unnervingly in the moonlight from the full effect of the ‘Night Owl’ spell (which had been a faint glow before, now looking more like a cats eyes in darkness). Graham didn’t like the look of that gaze very much- it made him feel a little uncomfortable.

“Well,” Graham said looking up at the night sky. “We’re going to have to rest up for our journey. We have a long day tomorrow, I’m sure of that. Maybe we could stay at that inn down the west road that King Antony mentioned for the night.”

Cedric nodded and they went down the road, carefully trying to watch where they were going in the dark with Graham trying to disregard any of the howling wolves he heard.
-


(Posted on: December 12, 2012, 10:03:51 PM)


The Swarthy Hog Inn as the sign said, was a tall two story building made of wood with a barn off to one side, and really didn’t look all that imposing to Graham even at this late hour. That didn’t stop Cedric from starting to tremble nervously at the sight of the place. “M-maybe we should find some other p-place to stay, Graham. T-this place gives me the shivers just looking at it.”

“Oh, Cedric, settle down. What’s the worst that could happen?”

Cedric crossed his arms, tilted his head and tapped his foot. “Oh really? ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’” he said in a mocking tone. “Every time we’ve gone to a potentially dangerous place, we’ve gotten into trouble somehow-“

“-And gotten out alive, don’t forget. And we always end up gaining more than losing much of anything.” Graham pointed out. “We’ll be fine, don’t worry.”

Cedric frowned and said, “Okay, Graham. I trust you enough with both our lives if we get into any trouble in here. If we die, I’m blaming you.”

“What, will your ghost haunt me or something?”

“Yes.”
-
It wasn’t as lively as they thought it was going to be. They expected it to have a few guests hanging around, sitting by the fire and swapping tales and drinks together. They expected the innkeeper to welcome them nicely. They expected the inn to be as pleasant and friendly as The Prattling Pony was.

It was anything but. The innkeeper glowered at Graham as he walked past him, as he’d spotted a logbook in the corner. Flipping to a blank page (strangely enough the last entry was dated several years ago by some guy called Tandem the Spoony, but Cedric had heard that this inn had fallen on hard times anyway), they signed respectfully:

‘King’s Log. Dated 1694 A.L. Searching for family captured in the nearby land of Serenia. Enemies abound. The challenges are many. I find resolve in that my cause is just. I shall prevail. End Log.’

‘I, Cedric Archimedes Shannon, Apprentice Wizard to High Wizard Crispinophur, have journeyed from the land of Daventry and back again to help a noble man known as King Graham rescue his family from an evil sorcerer known as Mordack. Please pray that we are successful in our Quest.’

And to top it off, they both signed their names in the logbook with a flourish. Despite his sour look, Graham figured that he should introduce himself to the innkeeper and the two men next to the counter. Cedric went into the dining room to see where the guest rooms were, stepping over the big spotted dog, and he gasped!

There were a bunch of items in the room, from treasure to mundane things strewn about. A bunch of scarves, a set of intricate daggers, a string of pearls, a lute with the symbol of a lyre bird on it (Cedric was reminded of an old friend of his from when he was a boy, his frown deepened as he hoped he was okay), a fine looking sword, a chest filled with coins stamped with the face of the First King… Thieves! We’ve wandered into a den of thieves! Cedric thought, turning around. I have to tell Graham!

“Da inn is full! We ain’t got no more rooms.” Cedric heard the innkeeper say (at least he thought it was him)

“But, the last entry besides us is-“Graham replied, not believing him for a moment.

“I said we’re full!” The innkeeper growled.

“Oh really? Well, where is everybody then?” Graham insisted. I smell a rat!

“There really is nobody here, Graham. Not for years.” Cedric confirmed, stepping back into the room. He pointed his finger at the innkeeper, “You! All three of you- you’re all thieves! The proof is in the back room- jewelry, foreign gold, clothes that clearly wouldn’t suit you, an instrument belonging to a dear friend of mine -I should report you to the King myself! We all know he wouldn’t approve.”

“These two are troublemakers, aren’t they boss?” one of the goons said with a leer, “And you know what we do with people like you?”

“No, but we’re not going to find out! Cedric, RUN!” Graham quickly shouted, making a break for the door, Cedric at his heels.

They never made it. They were quick, but the thieves were quicker. The innkeeper grabbed and yanked them back inside despite Graham and Cedric struggling in vain.

One of the goons took out a club, and promptly whacking Graham on the skull with it! Graham grunted in pain as his head pounded, but didn’t stop struggling to get away. In fact he punched the goon in the jaw, which only made him madder and so he hit him again. Graham dropped to the floor, but just as soon got up again. Not giving him a chance to fight back, the goon struck again for a third time, knocking him down once more. Graham tried to get to his feet again, but was pummeled twice for his troubles! He collapsed and didn’t rise this time.

Cedric cried out, “GRAHAM!” as he was slammed against the wall by the other goon, who immediately wrapped his hands tightly around his throat.

He gasped for air and tried to push the man off him, but he just pushed back.

He felt lightheaded and his vision blurred.

He felt his heartbeat slow down considerably, and as his eyes became too heavy to keep open, the man finally let go and he collapsed to the floor. As his world turned black, Cedric’s last thought was, Graham, I blame you.
-
This took me, how many months to write?! 3, maybe 4 months? Over 10,000 words were written for this chapter, with it clocking at 45 pages, making the longest chapter thus far in this story and the longest thing I’ve ever written in general in Microsoft Word EVER!

Phew…! I’m tired. Heh heh, I’m evil, aren’t I? Cliffhangers are fun! And next time, I get started on something in the story that I’ve wanted to do for months…

But, for now, good night!

Offline GrahamRocks!

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-
Disclaimer: King’s Quest and its characters do not belong to me, they belong to Sierra On-Line. Trust me, if I did… I probably would have characterized everyone better.
-
Chapter 7: The Escape Plan!
-
Night had long since fallen on Mordack’s Island, and the royal family was miserable. In Mordack’s laboratory, Alexander sighed and hung his head, “I shouldn’t have left him there. I should have made sure he couldn’t escape and find his brother so easily.” He looked at his mother and sister, “I’m really sorry. This is all my fault!”

“Alexander, you didn’t know this would happen.” Valanice said, trying to comfort him. “We’ll get through this, one way or another.”

“Well, sitting here and moping won’t do us any good!” Rosella stated, getting to her feet. She looked up the spiraling staircase that led to some sort of machine at an upper level, “There has to be a way out of here...”

“But, Rosella… even if we do find a way out of this bottle, how are we going to get out of this castle? We don’t have anything to make us grow back to our regular size, nor do we have any idea how far away from home we are.” Alex noted, crossing his arms.

“’Nothing is as it appears’ is what grandpa said, right?” Rosella asked.

“It’s pretty clear to me that we’re stuck here.” Alex replied.

“All we can do is hope that your father comes here soon.” Valanice said.

“He will, I’m sure of it.” Alex said confident. “But still, patience is a virtue.”

“Well, it’s a boring virtue.” Rosella sighed, sitting down again.

The door opened with a creak. They all looked up hoping to see Graham walk in…

…Well, it wasn’t Graham to their disappointment. But, luckily, it wasn’t Mordack either. Instead, it was somebody they’d never seen before!

She was slender and dressed in a ragged grey dress, with olive skin and long raven hair. She looked around nervously, and they saw she had a pair of lovely hazel eyes.

Maybe she can help us? She looks trustworthy… and lovely. Alex thought. He jumped up and down and called, “Hey! Over here, ma’am! Help us!”

“Can you help us out of here?” Rosella yelled.

“Help!!” Valanice cried.

The girl turned to the sounds from the table, looking surprised at the bottle with little people in it. She’d thought she’d heard Mordack talking to someone earlier. Maybe, if she could find something to defend herself with, they could all escape from the wizard and she could finally return home to the Green Isles.

She began walking to the table and asked, “Who are-“but she was interrupted, as suddenly a shimmering blue door appeared in the wall out of nowhere, and an ugly beast with spiraling horns and covered in blue scales, came out with its claws outstretched to grab her. In an instant, the Beast had snatched her and quickly carried her back through the blue door which closed with a ‘snap!’
 
“Alexander, what are you doing?” Valanice questioned, spotting her son trying (and failing) to scrabble up the smooth glass with his bare hands. He slipped down as expected and he answered, “We have to help her! We can’t just-“

“Alex!” Valanice interrupted, “We can’t help her until we get out ourselves! And we can’t get out of here until Graham comes. You know that.”

“By then it might be too late!”

“There’s nothing we can do, Alexander. We will help her yes, but right now we need to focus on getting out ourselves.” Valanice said, dead serious. “And for that, we need to be patient.”

Alex sighed and nodded, leaning against the glass. “Right. Patience is a virtue.”
-
The first thing Graham felt as he came to was pain.Lots of it! His head ached like it had gone through a brick wall. He slowly opened his eyes, trying to ignore it as he surveyed his surroundings.

He was alone in a tiny room with a stone floor. There was nothing much in here but some barrels, and a shelf. A lone torch lit up the room, and wooden steps led to a wooden door. Graham looked down, and saw he was tied up with strong rope. He struggled with all his might, but it was no use! The innkeeper certainly knew what he was doing when he’d captured a guy like him, since he’d not only tied him up, but stole all his stuff as well, bag and all! All he had was the shirt on his back.

“Great,” Graham muttered to himself. “Just fantastic.” He took a deep breath and thought, Okay, Graham. No need to panic. You can get out of this if you stay calm and think about your situation. Check carefully into, under, above, below and behind things. Pick up anything that is not nailed down, and if it is, look for loose nails or boards. What are things in here that look useful, Graham? Torch? No, it’ll set the place on fire. Shelf? No, nothing but bottles and jars. I need my pack, not a jug. Barrels? No, considering this place, they’re probably filled with nothing but ale or grain. The door looks like it’s locked- figures since they don’t want me running around upstairs. There is a hammer over there, but I can’t reach it when I’m tied up like this! Wait- is that a hole in the wall? He whispered, “Psst! Hey, anyone in there? Can you please help me?”

A squeak came as an answer, and a familiar rat poked her head out of the hole. “Hello there, sir! Oh my,” she tsked, “You certainly have gotten yourself tangled up in some trouble this time, haven’t you?” Graham chuckled and nodded. “Well, knot to worry, I’ll break you out!” and she started gnawing on the fibers.

“Thank you, Miss. Rat. Say, for some reason, you remind me of someone I know.”

Through a mouthful of rope, she replied, “Really? Who?”

“A lady named Roberta, the ‘great dreamer.’ Somehow, you remind me of her. Although, it could just be your voice.”

“Yeah… probably.” The rat said with a smirk. With one more snap of her teeth, the rope fell in a heap on the floor, and Graham was finally free!

“Thank you very much!” Graham said. “I must ask you one more favor though- can you search for my friend Cedric too? They got him too, I’m sure.” The rat nodded, squeezed underneath the door and disappeared.

Now to get out of here myself. Graham thought as he picked up the rope -can never be too prepared- and the convenient hammer that was lying down next to the stairs. Peeking through the keyhole, he saw nobody there, so he gave the hammer a swing- TWACK! - at the… padlock. That was on the wrong side of the door. Graham tilted his head in confusion. Do they WANT me to get out? What?! How could they be so stupid as to do that? He shook his head. Oh whatever!

He swung again. TWACK! And again. TWACK! TWACK! The hammer obviously wasn’t made for this as it began to crack. Luckily, the padlock was hanging on its hinges. One more swing. TWACK!! Both the padlock and the head of the hammer clattered to the floor.

“Yes!” Graham cheered quietly. He opened the door softly and tiptoed out.
-
Cedric’s eyes popped open and he immediately starting coughing and gasping for breath. Once he could breathe properly, he looked around.

He sat tied up by rope in a room. Specifically, it was a guest room, complete with nice bed and chamber pot. Cedric attempted to plug his nose, but because he was tied up so tightly he could barely move, he settled for wrinkling it in disgust instead and glancing out the window. Day was dawning now. Had they been out that long?

And why do I feel lighter for some reason? He thought. Then it dawned on him. Oh no… don’t tell me…
He checked to where his bag was. It wasn’t there. “Great… just dandy!” He laughed.

Okay, Cedric, okay… don’t panic. Think! What would Graham do? Oh no- Graham! Is he okay? Nonono, focus! Okay, what’s in here exactly? A bed. A window. A table with a candle on it. A closet. A mirror. The door- obviously locked, because that would be waaaay too easy. A chest by the bed, might be useful unless that is locked too.

A hole in the wall… wait a second! Cedric grinned, maybe the residents can help me? “Psst! Hey! Anybody there?”

A squeak was his answer, and the furry head of a rat appeared out of the hole. “Oh, there you are, kind sir!” the rat said as she scurried over to Cedric.

“Oh boy, am I glad to see you!” Cedric replied relieved as the rat chewed the rope. “Tell me, is Graham alright?”

The rat nodded and smiled. Cedric relaxed, “Thank goodness.” The rope fell down at Cedric’s feet. “Thank you very much, Ms. Rat. Is there anything I can do for you?”

The rat shook her head and said, “No. The fact that you saved my life is enough for me. Well, I wish you luck friend!” and she scampered back into the hole.

Cedric got up and went to the door. “Hmmm… I know it’s possible, but I’ve never tried it myself.”

He closed his eyes, put his hand on the padlock, and whispered, “Let my word, rather than key or knock, open this door and undo the lock.”

The lock brightly glowed with a faint hum… there was a click! And then a thud! The lock dropped to the floor, and Cedric’s smile widened. “Freedom! I knew that spell would come in handy one day!” The “Unlock” spell was one of the first spells Crispin had taught him, as a safety precaution just in case he accidentally locked himself (or both of them) out of their house. Who needs a spare key under the doormat when you had that?

He tried it on the chest by the bed, just in case there was something in there. And indeed there was! There at the bottom of the chest was his flute and card deck. He stuck the flute onto his belt, and the cards in his pocket. He checked the closet and promptly facepalmed at what he found- they’d left their cloaks in there! Why?! How stupid could they be?! Well, at least it makes sense to keep it in a closet.

With a sigh and a shake of his head, he draped the cloaks over his right arm and started down the stairs. He stopped at the top of the timber stairs and took a step down. There was a “creeak!” as he put his weight on it, and he jerked his foot back. Okay, going straight down? Not an option. They’ll hear! Same goes for sliding down the bannister, despite how fun it would be. Is there any other way down? He glanced around, spotting a nearby door. He carefully opened it, and he saw another set of wooden stairs going down and to his left being lit by torches all the way. Cedric smiled. Perfect!

As he walked down the steps, he started to formulate a plan in his head. Okay, first of all, find Graham. Secondly, get all our stuff back. Lastly, get out with our hides intact. But how? Hmm… maybe I could…? Would that even work? I’m not even sure they’d be fooled by that... I mean, I wouldn’t know how to act-

He’d been so distracted by his thoughts (and looking down as he walked) that he didn’t notice the door until his head had smacked into it. “Ow!”

After rubbing his forehead for a minute, he pressed his ear to the door and put his hand on the knob. It was quiet for a moment, but then he heard a door creaking open and bent down to look through the keyhole. His eyes widened as he spotted a familiar face in a red tunic and feathered cap. Graham! Thank goodness!

Cedric threw open the door, and tried to keep his voice low as he spoke. “Graham, there you are! I’m thinking of a plan to get us out of this place. Here,” he handed him his cloak back.

“What’s the plan?”

Cedric slipped his cloak over his head and flipped the hood up. It covered the upper part of his face, aside from his eyes. He opened the cupboard, and grabbed the carving knife next to a savory leg of lamb. He swung and thrust it through the air and watched the light of the sunrise glint off the blade. He nodded with a smile and strapped it to his belt. “A good thief is never without a good dagger.” He turned back to Graham as his grin widened, “Alright Graham, here’s my plan…”
-

Offline GrahamRocks!

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Cedric took a deep breath and rubbed a finger up and down on the handle of his knife, trying to keep his nervousness down. If this plan of his failed, they were doomed!

He closed his eyes, clasped his hands together as if he were praying, and tried to remember the spell for casting an illusion over yourself. “Do not reveal, do not spy, allay your wandering eye. Do go on, I shall too, for I am simply one of you.”

Cedric was covered in a cloud of smoke, completely obscuring his view. After a moment, the smoke cleared and, sure enough he’d been transformed!  He looked like just your average thief- thin as a rake and pale as a ghost with his eyes flicking around looking for potential loot.

He tiptoed into a sneaky position, arching his back and drawing his dagger with a grin. Into the inn he went, hanging out in the back of the room near the door, leaning against the wall as he tossed and caught his knife perpetually (hoping he wouldn’t blow his cover by accidentally slicing his finger off or something.) The bartender was talking about the next raid he’d planned.

“A’ight, now when we reach town, we should hide an’ break off into two teams. Then after that, we’ll head to opposite sides to flank the guards and rub ‘im out.”

Cedric raised his eyebrows at this, but his expression remained blank. Hmm… interesting…

“But boss?” One of the thieves from earlier (specifically the one who’d attacked Cedric who was named Brutus) asked, “What if someone notices the guards are gone?”

“They won’t. We’ll snatch their uniforms and take their places, a’ight?” The bartender answered confidently. “Then, once that’s done, we’ll signal the rest of you and you can go on with the raid.” The chief thief smirked and clasped his hands together. “Boys, this should be a cinch.”

Cedric crossed his arms and wore a small grin. Not if I have anything to say about it! He thought.  His eyes tracked them as they all headed out. There weren’t all that many thieves really, only 7 or so of them. Once they all left, slamming the door on their way out, Cedric walked over to the pantry door and let out a “coo-ee!” to let Graham know that it was safe to come out.

Graham stuck his head out and asked, “Nobody noticed you at all?”

Cedric shook his head and steepled his fingers, putting on an evil little smirk. “Hee hee hee! What’cha say, Graham? Why don’t we… do a little raiding ourselves?” Graham nodded and they headed for the dining room, with the “Illusion” spell wearing off.

The very first thing Cedric started searching for was paper and a pen. “Paper, need paper. Need something to write with for my plan to work.” He muttered to himself. He soon found both and started writing as quickly as he could,

To the guards of Serenia Town,
Beware! Today, there are some thieves on
their way to the town. They are planning to knock you
all out and replace you with themselves disguised as
you, and then they shall begin a big raid on the town with
no one to stop them! I can only hope that this message
reaches at least one of you so you might pass it on to
others nearby. Be on your watch for anyone suspicious
and do as you will to them according to our King and Queen’s
decree of peace. –Cedric A. Shannon, Apprentice to High Wizard Crispinophur of the Society of Wizards.


He rolled up the paper and tied it with some string, then looked up and around and muttered, “Now where is…?” He looked up at the longcase clock and stood on his toes to grab the object- his old stuffed owl toy. “Aha! There you are, Archimedes!” He placed the toy on the table

Graham looked up from a drawer he was rummaging through to ask, “Cedric, how is a-?”

Cedric smiled and held up his hand. “Just watch this Graham. This is something I’ve always wanted to try.” He flexed his fingers, put one hand onto the owl’s head and said thusly,

“Feel my need, hear my word, come to life, beloved bird,” As Cedric spoke, Graham thought he saw the bird twitch as if he were trying to move.

“Eyes of glass, fill with light,” the eyes glowed brightly, and the owl blinked.

“Feathered wings soar in flight,” the smooth fabric all over the bird separated to form actual coarse feathers. Archimedes managed to spread his wings, giving them a good flap. 

“Heed my call, most familiar fowl, transform from toy to living owl.” The cloth feet sharpened into talons, the sewn string that had been stitched into his beak came apart and Archimedes gave a hoot. He stretched out his wings once more, taking his first flight around the room. He looped around a couple times, before coming to perch on Cedric’s arm. Cedric tilted his head to the side, Archimedes did the same. Graham crossed his arms and nodded, impressed.

“Do you understand what I’m saying to you, bird?” Cedric asked, speaking gently. Archimedes nodded. “Good. Now, I have a task for you.”

Cedric picked up the message he’d wrote and handed it to the owl. “Take this into your talons, old friend. Fly as quickly as you can to Serenia Town, and give this to the first guard you spot. Then return to me, got it?” The owl nodded affirmatively and snatched the paper from his master’s hand. Graham opened a window, and the owl took off towards the town on silent wings.

Cedric turned around and looked at all the stuff that had been crammed into the dining room in every nook and cranny- from weapons of all kinds, to jewelry of immense value, to intricate pottery, to even a little ebony statuette of a falcon- if it had any worth at all, they had it! How the heck did they even get ahold of that?! Cedric thought, raising his eyebrows in surprise at the artifact. For a moment, Cedric wondered, Should I take it? It must be valuable, and Grahams father did say to ‘pick up anything that isn’t nailed down’… but what use could this have, logically or not?

Graham took notice of Cedric staring at the black bird and shook his head as he continued looking for his stuff, “We already have one bird, we don’t need another. I say leave it.”

Cedric looked at him and asked, “But your father did say-!”

“Unless you plan to smash it over someone’s head, which I don’t approve of, then leave it for the authorities to pick up. It wouldn’t be useful, trust me.” He smiled to himself as he’d found his satchel at that moment, stuffed under the stairs. “We really should only be taking what we need, and what is rightfully ours. That’s what the plan was, right?”

Cedric was silent for a moment, then nodded and put it back on the shelf. He was about to take a   look at the bookshelf, when he caught something else out of the corner of his eye.

There in the corner of the room was a lute. The morning sun shone through the window and onto the dusty, old instrument. Cedric went over to it and picked it up, running a hand over the lyre bird that had been carved into the wood. He closed his eyes and strummed his fingers over the strings. He smiled as the memories of meeting the lute’s owner as a boy came rushing back to him.

“I didn’t know you played the lute, Cedric.” Graham said, looking up at him from under the stairs, trying to wrench the sled from underneath it.

Cedric opened his eyes again and replied, “I don’t, but an old friend of mine does.” He looked down with a sigh, “Or he did anyway. I hope he’s okay.” He placed it in his pack, “I’m taking this back to Crispin’s house once we’re out of here. He’ll be wanting it back, I’m sure!”

“Or you could take it with you,” Graham suggested, having yanked the sled out into the open with some effort.  He stuck it back in his pack, with Cedric just shaking his head in confusion still at the logic of that.

“Why would I do that?”

“Well, you might just so happen to meet him on our journey. Friends show up in the strangest of places, you know. What was his name?”

“Alistair the Bard. I have him to thank,” Cedric blew a couple notes on his flute, “for this. He gave it to me as a goodbye gift, since I liked it so much.”

“Ah,” Graham nodded. “When we have more time, you should tell me more about him.”

“I will.” Cedric nodded and put the flute back onto his belt and stuck the lute into his pack. As he walked over to the bookshelf and searched through it, he wondered aloud, “I wonder where Alistair is right now? Is he safe? I never saw him without his lute! That’s troubling…”

“Cedric, worrying about him isn’t going to help anyone. I’m sure he’s fine.” Graham said, reassuring him.

“But aren’t you worried about your family, Graham?” he asked, finding their books and his journal. Looking in a nearby drawer, he found both his wand and Crispin’s wand and tossed the latter to Graham.

“Of course I’m worried! But, I’m not letting that get me down. It’s just making me want to get there faster.” Graham replied, looking dead serious as he picked up the hammer and swung it a couple times before putting it away.

“Then lets not waste any more time!” Cedric exclaimed, running out the door to the backroom. Graham rushed after him, but once they were in the backroom he skidded to a stop and yelled, “Wait! We need food!” and proceeded to yank open the cupboard and got a whiff of meat. Graham licked his lips hungrily- a savory leg of lamb! He quickly grabbed it and put it away, finding the beeswax and the pie in there as well. The pie still looked as delicious as it did yesterday, to Graham’s joy. Being careful not to let Cedric see it, he stuck it away in his pack alongside the beeswax.

“Graham, you coming?” Cedric called, getting impatient. Graham ran outside, looking ready to go.

Cedric looked up and pointed, “Look! There’s Archimedes!” and as soon as he heard his name called, the owl swooped down and perched on Cedric’s arm. “Tell me owl, did you succeed?”

Archimedes swooped back towards the town. As Graham and Cedric ran after the bird, they spotted the town guards up ahead with the thieves in their possession! One of the guards saluted the two of them as a thank you, and they smiled and saluted back. The thieves certainly didn’t look happy that their plan had been foiled though. Cedric saw the innkeeper snarl and glare at him as he passed by. Cedric just smiled and said as he pointed his finger, ‘Next time, perhaps you should count all your men to see that you’re all there. Otherwise, you might have a traitor in your midst.”

“When I get outta jail, you better watch yourself, kid- ‘cause you’ll get a dagger to the back one of these days!”

“I find that highly unlikely, thief. You’re not gonna be seeing me for a loooong time, if our majesties has anything to say about it. Farewell!”

Cedric’s smile widened as the guards rushed the thieves away to be judged. I feel so proud of myself! Cedric thought as he sauntered back the way they came, his nose pointed in the air… and then he proceeded to trip over a rock. “Oof!” he caught himself and Graham helped him to his feet.

“Be proud of your accomplishments, but don’t be snobbish about it.” The king told him.

Cedric looked surprised. “Of all the people to say that to me, it is a king?! Actually- come to think of it, Graham…” he looked thoughtful, “Why don’t you exercise your authority more? I should be calling you ‘sire’, not ‘Graham’! Tell me, sire: why are you humble?”

“Let’s get going and I’ll tell along the way. How’s that?” Graham replied, motioning to the path ahead which turned and twisted its way up through the Great Mountains of Serenia.

Cedric and Graham stopped and looked up at the path ahead. They felt the breeze grow colder and harsher even as they stood there.  Cedric took a deep breath and exhaled- this was it. Once they were up there, there was no going back for either of them. Cedric would be that farthest distance from his home he’d ever been, and yet, he didn’t feel as afraid as he thought he would be.

“Graham?” Cedric asked, “I think I’m ready for this.”

“Good. Let’s go.” Graham replied.

He started walking up the mountain path, with Cedric following close behind.
-
...I'M SO SORRY!! :( I didn't intend for this to take so long, but... stuff got in the way: school, family problems, procrastination, Writer's Block...

Hopefully the next update won't take nearly a year to complete!

Offline Numbers

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Cedric took a deep breath and rubbed a finger up and down on the handle of his knife...

Are you sure you want to go there? :P
I have no mouth, and I must scream.

Offline GrahamRocks!

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Bahahahaha!!!

Wasn't intending that innuendo, but funny nonetheless.

Offline Numbers

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"Oh, Graham!" the tailor exclaimed, his voice bursting with passion, "You've returned from Mordack's Island, clean as a whistle! My joy know no limits! Why, I just want to measure your waist right now!"

Graham blushed, but he was secretly pleased, for he could not help but notice that the tailor was brandishing a very large golden needle.



And thus, KQ5 slash fiction was born.
I have no mouth, and I must scream.

Offline GrahamRocks!

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HAHAHAHAHA!!