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Anabel said that she has found the thief and he has been taken care of, vampire style. Then she told me that if I see a new vampire around to watch my things, because as she said, he is a bit of a klepto. Which I think means he steals things. She has just about located where the thief hid the Rune of Tenderness, she just needs a few items to further her search. She said that the Stone of Wild Nature and the Spyglass will help her find it. So I found her items for her and she told me that I was really useful. I came back a little later and she told me that she had found the Rune of Tenderness but forgot to bring it. So I did a few more errands for her and she gave me the Rune of Tenderness when I returned to her.
Now Professor Pinfeathers wants me to help the witch. She may repay me with the Rune of Inner Beauty.
When I reached Arabella Scales in the Underground Grotto she said that the Chamberlain needs our help. After finding some of the items she told me that she was spellbound by my tiny victories. They sure don't feel tiny to me. I am kept running all around the castle. Then she told me that Alchemy isn't a hobby, it's a calling, and if I bring her the ingredients she can show me. I was able to find all of the items on her list and brought them back to her. "That was quick", she told me, "you are a spirited one". No more news from the Chamberlain as to what he wants so she can go back to her favorite potions. But she needs me to help find some of the ingredients and I have to hurry because the poison in the potions can fade. Yuck! Poison in the potions, that doesn't sound nice.
Now the Chamberlain wants Arabella to bring him the Charm of True Feelings and the Wing of the East in the Rune Altar. After using up several of her ingredients, I have to go and replenish them for her. She said that it was bewitching how I do what I am told. She also said that the Chamberlain will be happy with what I have brought to her. When I returned, she was glad I was back because she needed someone to admire her new shoes. So I did. I didn't know if they were the style but they were pretty. Oh no, now her gargoyles are ill. Please would I help her cure them. Gargoyles or not, I don't like to see an animal suffer so I helped her cure her gargoyles. She thanked me and told me that although she may be a witch, she still has responsibilities to the Chamberlain. Then she gave me the Rune of Inner Beauty. Great, I thought, only 4 more to go.
It was only when I had completed Arabella Scales requests that I realized that the pirate ship had a hole in it's side. You would think I would have noticed when I went inside the ship for a couple of items, but either I was mesmerized by the Kraken, or afraid of the witch, because I didn't notice. I know that when I went to the Tent above the pirate ship, the hole was not in the side of the ship. It looked as though the cannon on the shore had shot a hole in the side of the ship. But after looking at the cannon, I realized that there was no way that cannon was in working condition. Once again, the Midnight Castle has let me see only what it wants me to see, and even then, only when it wants me to see it. This place is totally amazing for a seven year old. I would imagine that it would have a few surprises for an adult too.
The Professor was rather stern when he told me to go to the innkeeper and demand the Rune of Endless Greed. While he said to demand it, I will only do so, if nicer tactics doesn't work on Old Salty.
Salty told me that it really wasn't that bad to be a ghost, but since he can't touch anything, he needs my help to find and create some items for him. When I came back with the items, he told me that I did well, and he could sell these items on the open market. Actually he started to say black market, but I don't want anyone to think badly of Old Salty. He has had a hard time of life since he came here. He said that he was just thinking about Valeria today, and how they had been so good together. But right now he has other things to worry about. So he sent me for a couple more items. When I returned, he was glad I was back and that the job was very well done.
Now he has found some high rollers (I guess that means that they will pay a lot for items), so he is looking for pricey items. The problem is, he doesn't have any and he hopes that I will help. I was able to get the Infernal Armor for him, but now I have to wait until the castle can make more of the Links of Steel in order to make the Binding Fate for Salty. So I guess I will check the Belfry tomorrow to see if the castle had been able to put two more of them in there yet. Then I will be able to finish that task for Salty. But I am sure he will have more for me yet.
I found the Links of Steel to use in the Dead Ambassador so that I can create the Binding Fate for Salty this morning. Salty seems a bit greedy this morning. He says we work well together and maybe he should make me his partner, but then he thinks that I would want a cut of his proceeds. Actually I don't, but I won't tell him that.
The Chamberlain has got it in for him and he needs to protect himself with the Vultures Claw and Steel Hive. So I start looking around for the items that I will need to create these items for him.
He told me that gossip around the inn says that I am looking for the Rune of Endless Greed. He said that if I help him out, he will tell me where to find the rune. One of the tradesmen mentioned the Rune of Greed, but he's one of the Chamberlain's henchmen. But Salty will see what he can do. As a ghost he's starting to lose his clients. Apparently they are not comfortable with the non-corporeal he thinks. To show his good will he wants me to find the Emerald Tablet (which no one can read) and the Demonic Whip as well, and to come back later when I have it all for him.
Now Salty has a plan, he's offering the deal of the century and his clients love it. He'll soon have my Rune of Endless Greed, he promises. He also said that I am real good for business. As soon as I can get the Vulture Statuette and Mask of Pursuit, I will get the rune. I had to wait for the castle to make another Glowing Darkness in the Battle Pit so I can get the Symbol of Doom from the Book of Evil. This is needed to build the Vulture Statuette. Sometimes it seems that the Midnight Castle gives you what you need right away and sometimes it seems like it makes you wait forever. But I eventually got what I needed and gave them to Salty, and for all my effort, he gave me the Rune of Endless Greed.
I think Professor Pinfeathers is as excited as I am to get these runes. He keeps saying that the Mystery Chamber gets closer with every rune. Only 3 more runes to go. He has done a bit of sleuthing on this own and has information that will help. He told me that Skull Pete knows where to find the Rune of Infinite Wisdom. And, he said, I will likely get the Rune of a Knight's Honor from the werewolf knight.
Even while I have been helping the Midnight Castle nobles find the items they need, and the items that are needed to get to the Mystery Chamber, I have also been trying to help some of the gnomes. Today was Librander the Archivist. They have such interesting requests.
When I got to Skull Pete at Mirror Lake, I was a little surprised to see the skeleton of a pirate leaning against a pole. It was Lord Chamberlain's curse that he remain a skeleton forever. When Skull Pete spoke, it was a little unsettling to talk to a skeleton, and have him talk back. Pete needs help to remove the curse, he said to me. He needs the Mirror of Embarrassment. And rumor has it that there is also an item at the Bar Counter that will help. When I went to get the Mirror of Embarrassment, a Pirate Standard appeared in the water just off the shore. Just like the magic cupboards, you put items on the Pirate Standard and it gives you a different item.
Then Skull Pete said that if I was looking for the Rune of Infinite Wisdom, to keep looking. He also said that people get rattled when they see him. I'll say, I sure got rattled when he spoke to me. Since we are trying to reverse the curse, he asked me to bring him the Heavy Hops and Stone of Peace. He said that he would look a lot happier if he had any flesh. What he wouldn't give to be a pirate again. I brought him the "loot" as he called the items, then he told me that the Rune of Infinite Wisdom is his greatest treasure. For another try at reversing the curse, he wanted the Bone Whip from the Road Sign and the Punishing Hand. For that I had to go back to the Underground Grotto and there, attached to a tree, next to the witch Arabella Scales, was another magic cupboard. But this one was a little different. It had an animal called Six Paws inside it and knew what to give by the tone of the bells that sounded when you inserted two Glowing Darkness and one Insight Ring.. Apparently I came back quietly because he called me a stealthy one and asked if I had ever thought of becoming a pirate. It sounds fun.
Okay, so maybe I will not become a pirate. But Skull Pete still thinks I can help remove the curse that Lord Chamberlain has put on him. He just needs a few more things, a book that he thinks will help and a Midnight Rose. He tried to remove the curse but failed. Now he would like some things to cheer him up, like the Symbol of Secret Confession and the Sign of Penance to revive his spirits.
Oh no! Now he needs the Claws of the West and it is in the Bow Figurine that just appeared on the Kraken's ship. I will just have to talk to the Kraken and tell him that I am not trying to take his home from him. Wow! The Kraken understood me, and let me get to the Bow Figurine by climbing up one of his tentacles. It is like another magic cupboard. You put several items on the Bow Figurine and he tips his hat and gives you what you need. Unfortunately, the curse is still with Skull Pete in spite of all the rituals he has tried. He is grateful to me, a mere mortal, and needs a moment to recover himself. So he gave me a list of a couple of items that he wants and I went to get them. He says that I am too fast for a mere mortal, it should be a pirate's life for me. After several more attempts, he was foiled again, but will give me the rune after one last favor. I find more items for him and Pete the Pirate said the the old pirate is grateful and he gave me the Rune of Infinite Wisdom.
Well as Professor Pinfeathers had said earlier that I might find the Rune of a Knight's Honor from the werewolf knight, I went directly to the knight. He told me that he can find the rune for me. Whatever his appearance, he said, he is still a knight. He asked me if I would help him in return. It sure is nice when someone asks me to help rather than just tells me to help. I will be glad to help the werewolf knight with his quests. He told me that he has found someone who says he has the rune. We should earn his trust with a few gifts, the knight told me. This guy apparently really gets the werewolf knight's hackles up, so I can't take too long finding his gifts.
When I got back to him with the items, he said that after sifting through a lot of lies, he finally has a lead on his father's whereabouts, but his source demands payment. So off I run to find the items he will use for payment. Everybody should be able to find their father, I thought. Now a band of thieves found out that he was looking for the Rune of a Knight's Honor and now they are after him. He wants me to get him the Poisonous Stinger that will put them off the scent, and the Knight's Honor will make them fear him. He told me to be careful as they might come after me too.
Well, the thieves are scared of him, but so is everyone else. We had better tone this down, he told me, with the Druid's Hand and the Devils Glove. He said that he has never seen such fear in his neighbor's eyes. And as he has to go away for a little while, he doesn't want Anabel to forget him while he is gone. Some parting gifts may help. Perhaps the beauty of the Ice Crown should match hers and the Mask of Virtue to show his generosity will help. He also said that he would talk to his gardener about the bouquet of a thousand roses. When I brought his items back to him, he said that his father passed through one of the neighboring settlements but the residents there are too afraid to talk to him. A gift to their leader would help. I agreed and found the items he thought would help.
Oh no! He said he can feel his animal nature waking up. He'd better get some protective amulets like the Bear's Fury and the Eight-Pointed Star to keep his inner wolf at bay. I brought him the amulets and he told me that I didn't let him lose his chivalry. Now I am his true friend, he said to me. I will have to do more for him later, but now it is time for me to go home for supper.
When I went back to the werewolf knight the next morning he told me that it was nearly time for Dark Valentine's Day. And he doesn't have anything for Anabel yet. He thought that the Sign of the Predator and the mystical Rage of the Forest would be great presents for her. Being a mere mortal, I could have thought of better gifts, but I can't really say what a vampire would like to receive from a werewolf. So I went to find his gifts and when I brought them back to him, he said that she will never forget his generosity, nor will he forget mine. That made me feel pretty good.
The knight told me that Anabel could help him help me find the Rune of a Knight's Honor, but she's not being forthcoming with the information. If he could offer her the Grasping Handle, she might divulge the information. He said that she won't be able to resist the Celestial Pendant either. When I quickly brought them back to him, he asked me how I manage to find such rare things? I told him that apparently the Midnight Castle wants me to find them.
Oh and he found the rune that he promised he would find, and he always keeps his word. But he needs to trade for it with the Wizards Ball and an Insight Ring. He told me to hurry before this person sells it out from under us. So I ran and got the items and he went and traded them for the rune. When he gave it to me, he told me that he could feel my gratitude. "Take it", he told me, "you alone deserve to own the Rune of a Knight's Honor".
Professor Pinfeathers told me that with just a little more searching we'll find a way out of here (The Underground Grotto). He said to go to the Keeper of the Castle and help him. This is the only way to get the Rune of Overwhelming Kindness.
So I headed for the Keeper and he said that he can see the past, present and future. And that it flows by him like a rushing river. I guess the way to help the keeper is to help the dragon and do what he asks.
The Wise Dragon was still in the Forbidden Tower and when I approached him and asked him what I could do for him, he was in one of his strange moods again. He was talking about Knights, Princesses and Dragons. He was saying that the Knights love Princesses, Dragons love Princesses, and Princesses love Knights. He feels that mortals are so complicated. Then he looked at me and said that it is my fate to bring him the Vampire Sign and he wants the Card of Destiny. He said that he would just wait there for me, while he is fuming. I brought him the items he requested and he told me that I was a good egg, but to go away right now. He needs time to think. Princesses are so fickle aren't they, he asked me. People are so much more complex than dragons. He needs some time to himself, he told me again, but before I could leave, he told me that like Sands through the hourglass, our lives dribble away, except for his, as he is immortal. Some times, I really don't understand what he is saying at the time, and then later I will understand some of it.
So I went to see Seraphim, my baby dragon, and I was surprised to see just how big she had gotten already. But the dragon trainer said that she was doing very well in her dragon classes.
I went back to the Wise Dragon and did a few tasks for him, and he said something about he guessed he was going to bed hungry again tonight. If he would say something, I could probably sneak something out of the kitchen for him. But I found a few more items for him and he looked like he was asleep, but he said that he was only resting his eyes. He is completely awake. He asked me how I was today, and I told him that I was fine. He said that he is always perfect. I found a few more items for him and when I brought them back to him, he said that a hard worker is good to have around. I think he meant me, but with the Wise Dragon, you never know for sure.
The Keeper of the Castle said that the Chamberlain might be useful, and perhaps I would go and help him. Although the Chamberlain is not my favorite castle resident, I agreed to go and help him anyway. The Keeper hopes that I will return with good news.
When I asked the Chamberlain what I could do for him, he said that he is getting the impression that I find collaboration with him distasteful. I just would have said simply that I don't like it, but of course, would not voice my opinion to him. He said that we are not finished working together yet. It was time to set my reservations aside. Now it was time for him to do something he has always wanted to do. He gave me a list of items, and when I returned to him with everything he had asked for, he said that he seems to exercise some control over me despite my issues with him. He also said that I was really a good sport. I didn't tell him that I am doing this for the castle. The Chamberlain said that I had a great quality, in that I never let people down. Although I continue to regard him with suspicion, I am still there to do his bidding.
After making several trips for his items, he said that they were exactly what he needs for his plans. He made me even more suspicious when he said that this is an unjust world, and only the fittest survive. He does what he has to do, and so should I. He also told me that it was nice when I find things for him in such a timely manner. When I returned with more items, he asked me if the ire between us is melting because I came back for more instructions. He felt that my eyes say that we are not becoming closer. He told me that he was very busy today which means that my help is much appreciated but he will be too distracted to offer any help. He wasn't just my uncle's chamberlain, he is also the Head Vampire and warned me that if I waste his time, there will be blood. Mine! Boy am I glad I am through with his errands for now. I will make my way back to the Keeper, glad to be away from Lord Chamberlain.
I went back to the Keeper of the Castle and he told me that we are growing closer to our goal. He also said that sometimes a good relationship is more valuable than gold. (I guess there are some others that should think of that.) He said that I should help the pirate in the Mirror Lake, but it is best not to ask anything in return.
So I went to Skull Pete and he asked me if I was sent by the keeper. I told him that I had indeed been sent by the keeper, and that I was there to help him if I can. Skull Pete said there is an urgent assignment and though he is a skeleton, he will never forget the money. I don't know what money he is talking about but I will try to help him anyway. He said that he knows for sure that his human appearance can still be returned. He gave me a couple of tasks and when I returned he said, "Thanks, mortal". I guess he feels that it seems he has found a way to return himself to his human form, and asked me to help him. He has retrieved a recipe that will return his human appearance and gave me a list of items he wanted and told me to come back soon, and even called me his apprentice. He sent me to the Pirate Ship and told me where to find a special item and then to the Game Table. When I got back he said that he was awfully glad to see me, he calls me an adventurer.
Skull Pete told me that he was close to his dream. He has outwitted the Lord Chamberlain whose curse made him a skeleton. But he could use a few more coins. He said that the ghost innkeeper has found a large sum of money, but he's a pirate and the innkeeper doesn't deserve wealth. Then after bringing some items back to Pete he told me that the Elvish Rum is unrivaled. He wants to start selling it. Actually, he wanted us to sell it, but I am too young to be involved in that. He thought the Elves might ask something in return for selling the rum, so he sent me for more items. "Great job", he told me, "it's a pity you weren't on the ship with me". Now Pete wants a new sword and sent me for more items. When I returned he said that his friend Rudolph would have called me a good soul. Then he said that a certain person promised to make a new mast for him and asked me to help. Poor Pete, he was cheated on the mast but at least he still has some gold. When we were finished, I headed back to the Keeper.