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Midnight Castle, The Hidden Mysteries   Oh the Absurdity!

Started 4/28/18 by Rahia13; 34998 views.
In reply toRe: msg 43
Rahia13

From: Rahia13

4/28/18

Bella motioned to the table in front of her where she placed the Drop of Time so I followed suit and set down the Phoenix Egg. She gave me a brilliant smile and snatched the egg up. Nimie grabbed the Drop of Time and our business with Bella was concluded.

"You come back again, yes," Bella asked, looking at me, "I think I prefer dealing with you over that one."
"I'll be back," I smiled and followed Nimie out of the door. We weaved back through the market taking the same path as we came. Once we reached the closed off door, Nimie pulled a lever and the door slide open. We were once again in the Dungeon of the Cursed, "Okay, explain everything. Why did you and Dal come after me? Who were you working for then? Where is Dal? What exactly do you do for Just John?"
"So many questions," she sighed, "I don't know who hired Dal to come after you but I was hired by Just John to look after you. Well not only you, also Dal. He got a tip she was going to harm someone in the Castle. I don't know where Dal is, I swear."
"Okay but what do you do for Just John."
"I take care of things he can't. If something is stolen or if he needs a rare item," she said, waving the Drop of Time, "I steal it back or find it. It's what I do for him. I also follow people when required. I don't kill people that is not what Shadow Thieves do. I leave that to the Assassins Guild."
"What's the difference," I asked. My only response was a raised eyebrow, "Okay, stupid question."
"Yeah. Look, I'm not the enemy, neither is Just John."
"Then why did you and Dal lead me to believe that?"
"Part of the job," Nimie explained, "I had to make sure Dal believed I was on her side. You know I still have bruises from all those creatures you sent after us."
"I'm so not sorry," I said, sticking out my tongue, "I have to protect what is mine. I've spent nearly a year collecting all of the things in my backpack. Plus, close to six months getting the Gnomes to make me things that would make it all fit in this tiny backpack. I won't have it stolen."
Nimie nodded in agreement, "Any more questions?"
"Yes, where are the other markets?"

Continued...

In reply toRe: msg 44
Rahia13

From: Rahia13

4/28/18

"They are mostly underground," she explained, "The one is Town is through the Chapel, the closed door. In Cloud City it is in Cloud Pier, the alleyway. In the Elvyn Forest go to the Forest Palace and sprinkle a crushed Blood Lotus on the vines there, that will lead you to that one. I don't know the one in the Dark Tower, yet. John hasn't told me."
"I see," I replied as I wrote all the locations down on my map, "Thanks. I knew those places led somewhere. I just didn't know where."
"Keep the cloak and wear it when you go in those places. It is best if they don't see your face. We aren't meant to be in there."
"Fine," i agreed and she turned to go, "One more thing. Do you know anything about Arabella?"
"If you want to know about Arabella, ask her husbands," Nimie said with a grin and ran off.
"Thanks, again," I yelled after her retreating back.

How many husbands could Arabella have? Would I find out the truth or just find more questions? I really should have pressed her for more information about Dal. I knew, however, that I would find her eventually. I decided to head back to the Tavern, maybe the Innkeeper, Jeronimo would know all of Arabella's husbands. Plus, I was getting rather hungry. The Tavern wasn't great eating but it was slightly better than the Gnome Kitchen.

(NOTE: Bella is the gypsy avatar. I needed another character so I decided to use her. The other avatars may turn up in my ongoing quest to open all the hidden passageways. You have been warned. )
In reply toRe: msg 45
Rahia13

From: Rahia13

4/28/18

The Haggard Husbands of Arabella Scales

I arrived at the Tavern as the sun was setting and double checked to see if Nimie had doubled back. I entered the Tavern when I realized I wasn't being followed and walked over to Jeronimo who was back to human form. I didn't say much but slid a pouch with two thousand gold coins in his direction.
"What is this for," he asked, putting down the mud and towel.
"I need some information," I said and began to explain.
"I see," he said after weighing the pouch, "You might want to start with Hamish. I'm sure they will lead to others after you've had a chat with them."
"Ah better give me the gooseberry cider then," I smiled. Once I had my flask of cider in hand I made my way over to the Drunken Skeleton. I settled down next to him and waved the flask under his nose.
"Och, now what have you brought me, lass."
"Gooseberry Cider," I said, shifting it away from his greedy, bony fingers, "I'll need you to answer some questions first."
"Of course," he said, smacking his bony lips.
"Why did you warn me against Arabella?"
"She has a temper. A fiery one she is. One little slight and you might find yourself a bag of bones as well," he said reaching for the flask.
"Not so fast, Hamish. You were married to her," I stated and at his nod I continued, "What can you tell me about her?"
"Well she's the daughter of the Lord Chamberlain. They don't get on well. She lost her mother when she but a babe. She had a nursemaid who was like a mother. Lethe, I think her name was but she vanished one night. I believe I was her third husband."
"I know most of that," I sighed, "You were married to her so what is she really like?"
"She's kind and gentle. She wouldn't hurt a fly unless it hurt her first," he explained, "The one thing you don't do is cross Arabella Scales!"
"Right, fiery temper and all."
"Yes," he agreed, reaching for the flask once again.
"What did you do to her?"
"Ah, well that is," he trailed off and reached in to his robe. He pulled out a small painting and rubbed his fingers over the canvas, "I fell in love with someone else. She was a scullery maid, beautiful and not nearly as anxious as Arabella."
"Anxious?"
"Arabella always questioned my intentions towards her. Perhaps her first husband had burned one too many bridges to Arabella's heart. Perhaps it was her father's constant rejection but she always thought I was seeing someone. I wasn't, not until I met my Heidi. That was five years into our marriage."

Continued.....

In reply toRe: msg 46
Rahia13

From: Rahia13

4/28/18

"That wasn't a long time to go a stray," I said.
"No but you have no idea what it is like to be married to a powerful witch. People would come and go, ask for things all the time. I barely saw my wife the whole time we were married. I was ready to have a family, she wasn't. After I told her she cursed me and here I sit drinking and drinking but the thirst never goes away," he lamented.
"Do you know her other husbands?"
"You could try her first husband. He resides in the Belfry and his name is Diego but he doesn't talk much," Hamish laughed and threw back the flask as soon as I gave it to him.
"Thanks," I said, dusting off my pants and heading towards the Belfry.

There was a chill in the air by the time I arrived and Trina's door was firmly closed. I had thought about dropping off the items I had collected for her but that would have to wait. I made my way up to the Belfry and Diego. He was propped up against the bell and was nothing more than bones. Hamish was right, he didn't talk much. I had over looked him every single time I had gone in the Belfry in search of clues or items.
"Diego," I called, "Time to wake up for a bit."
The bones didn't stir and I was beginning to give up in finding the next one when the crow above Diego started talking.
"He had to go but I can give you his message. He said he wronged Arabella. He had several mistresses, one in every port he recalled. Arabella flew into a fit of rage and stabbed him with own sword when she found out. She followed him, one day she did. She caught him with Lyla and that was the end of that. It was five years into the marriage. She was always kind before that but he had a wandering eye you see. He knew he shouldn't of married her but he couldn't resist. He is sorry, if he could do it all over again, he would have stayed true."
"I see. Thank you. Do you know the next husband?"
"He said the Ice Monster at Ice Rock."
I nodded and picked up a Polestar on my way out. I made my way up to Ice Rock and nodded to Henry. He just grunted back. He really didn't speak.

Continued....

In reply toRe: msg 47
Rahia13

From: Rahia13

4/28/18

"Speak," the Ice Monster bellowed as I approached his eyes glowing red.
"I want to speak of Arabella," I said offering two Ice Crowns and 2 Shackles of Chaos.
"What of the witch," he asked taking the offerings.
"I heard you were married."
"Yes," came an anguished sigh, "I was her second husband. You can see her fourth husband dead in the snow down there."
I looked and saw a skeleton pointing towards the Summer Garden. I shivered and looked back towards the Ice Monster.
"I can tell you both of our tales. I was a snow imp, chasing snowflakes when I met Arabella. She was heartbroken over her first husband and his betrayal but I assured her I wouldn't do such a thing. I never did! The only thing I did wrong was take her father's side in an argument between them. I knew I was wrong the moment the words left my mouth but it was too late. She cursed me after 5 years of marriage."
"Wait," I said, seeing the connection, "Did all of her marriages last 5 years?"
"Yes," the Ice Monster answered, "Now I am here. I have a purpose at least from this vantage point I can control the ice and wind and keep the climate safe in the Castle. I do still love her."
"What about him," I asked pointing the skeleton on the ground.
"Poor Kestril went insane," the Ice Monster said, "He couldn't handle being the husband of a witch. She had hid it for so long but one night he followed her into the Underground Grotto. He tried to drag her out of there but she cursed him. He flew out of the Castle Entry and bashed his head on the rocks below. She mourned his lose for years until she met Jorg then her heart filled again."
"Where is Jorg?"
"He is in the Commercial District. The only one of us still in our normal form," he explained and the glow faded from his eyes as he lifted his hand, handing me a Symbol of Sacrifice.
I took the offering. I guess it was an item for an item with this one. I looked up at the night sky and decided to make my way over to Cloud City.

Continued...

In reply toRe: msg 48
Rahia13

From: Rahia13

4/28/18

The lights were not lit in the Commercial District but I could make out Jorg. He was pulling on a rope that was connected to a heavy sack.
"Excuse me, are you Jorg?"
"Who wants to know," he asked with a grunt.
"I'm Rahia and I was wondering about Arabella Scales."
"How is she," he asked, stopping what he was doing and turning towards me, "Did she send you? She sent me away after 4 years. She said she didn't want anything to happen to me. She was so afraid so fragile, my Arabella."
"No, she didn't send me," I said and watched the happiness in his face shatter.
"Then go away!"
"Please, I just want to know about her."
"Why?"
"I just want to understand her."
"All I can tell you," he sighed, "is that she is just looking for happiness. She wants a family of her own but in her own time. She wants to be able to practice her art without people calling it foul. She just wants to be. That is why she sent me away. She thinks someone put a curse on her. She thinks it could have been Lyla who was mistress to her first husband but she isn't sure. She won't take any action until she is sure."
"You were happy together?"
"I think so. We had a good life and she could move from the Castle to Cloud City with ease. I was one of the Gnome King's guards back then. After I came back, I was sentenced to pulling this sack for what seems like forever."
"That is a harsh sentence," I said.
"No, it's the punishment for divorce in the Gnome kingdom," he said and started pulling, "It's an ancient law that should be removed but I'm the only Gnome it has happened to in a thousand years. We had all but forgotten it."
"Oh," I said trying not to laugh. This was a divorce punishment? I couldn't stop it and burst out laughing.
"What is so funny," he asked whirling around forcing the rope to snap, "Oh no! Oh no!"
"Does that mean you are free from the punishment?"
"No! Also Arabella doesn't know about this. You can't tell her. She would feel awful!"
"Okay, I won't say a thing. I have a spare rope if that would help."
"Thank you," he said and fixed his pulley.
"No, thank you," I said as I back away. I didn't want to burst out laughing again. It was their custom so who was I to laugh at it?

I decided to head home for the night. There wasn't much else I could do. I had learned that indeed Arabella and Lord Chamberlain were much a like. They were both kind but vengeful when needed. Their bark was much worse than their bite. It all didn't add up though.

Continued..

In reply toRe: msg 49
Rahia13

From: Rahia13

4/28/18

Someone was trying to hinder my progress with the theft of my maps but who? I had cleared Lord Chamberlain for the most part. It was also looking like Arabella had nothing to do with it. I was still unsure about Just John. I knew it wasn't Jeronimo or Henry. They just didn't seem interested enough in what I did. Could it be the Keeper of the Castle? The Iron Knight? Perhaps Anabel? I knew that I had to find Dal and figured out who had hired her. I also realized that I had forgotten to eat at the Tavern when I walked in the door of my house. Luckily I had some fruit laying around so I wouldn't starve. Well for tonight at least. I turned on the lights and looked around at my ransacked room. The tables and chairs were knocked over. My papers were fluttering to the ground and my Christmas tree was in shambles.

"Who did this," I whispered.
"We didn't see," Elle said, "We got home as someone was leaving but we couldn't see. The chests we brought home were to heavy and we tried to follow after we set them down but we were so tired."
"It's okay, Elle. I'll look at the chests later," I said patting the Snow Fairy on the head. It didn't look as if anything was missing but I wouldn't know until I cleaned the mess up, "Okay, my little ones, it's time to clean. Who ever does the best job gets an extra bag of food. Remember not to break anything and don't touch the sharp objects call for me instead. If you notice anything missing let me know."
"Aye," my little pets said in unison and off they went cleaning my house.

Well, I guess I was making enemies. I figured every thing was all good since none of my pets got hurt. I would make people pay if one little hair on their heads was out of place. Okay, maybe not for the Snow Griffin but for the rest....
Who was after my research? Was it even my research they were after? Did I pick up something special along the way and not realize it? I sighed and pushed the questions aside as I started picking up the pieces of my house.

In reply toRe: msg 50
Rahia13

From: Rahia13

4/28/18

All That Glitters

There were only a few pet injuries as we cleaned up my house. Sunlight had started to slither in through the windows when my pets decided it would be a good time to bring in all the chests they had collected the night before. I have 39 pets but there were 40 chests.
"Did we get someone new," I asked my pets as I looked at the last chest.
"No," they all chimed.
"Well, to make sure, let's do roll call! Ruddy?"
"Here," a squeaky voice came from my beloved Reindeer.
"Penny?"
"Bells on," my Penguin quipped.
"AB?"
"AB Norman here," the Snowman said with a bang of his broom.
"George?"
"The Yeti is ready!"
"Mr. Cuddlesworth?"
"Cuddle Wuddle," came the reply from the Little White Bear.
"Gryff?"
"Up here," The Snow Griffin said.
"Shame," I said with a cough, "Bailey?"
"Meow, purr, meow," came from the Winged Cat next to Gryff.
"Owlsly? Phos? Pearl? Manny? Blaze? Brownie? Dehlia? Truffles? Gary? Lemmy? Bling? Polly? Matilda? Nutty? Tomoe? Sonik? Whisk? Amethyst? Jack? Hops? Fries? Flutter? Cherish? Savannah? Nightshade? Magick? Poe? Kin? Gobbler? Abu? Gnolio? Elle?"
"Here," the rest replied.
"Well, hmm! Let's open it and see!"

I opened the chest but there was nothing inside. It looked rather deep on the outside but it was very shallow on the inside. I looked at my pets and they all shrugged. Did someone leave it behind? It was golden just as the chests were that most of my pets brought home but something was off about it. I moved it closer to the window and took out a knife that I had found in Shallow Waters over at the Pond of Life. I tried prying the bottom out but the knife snapped. I sat back on studied the markings but they seemed to be the same as the other chests.

Continued....

In reply toRe: msg 51
Rahia13

From: Rahia13

4/28/18

"Maybe it is magic," Elle offered, "I could sprinkle some snow sparkles on it and see if it opens."
"It can't hurt," I agreed and motioned her over. She flapped her wings until I thought she was going to faint but nothing happened. Well, I did get a nice puddle of water in my house.
"I could try heating it up," Blaze, my pet Phoenix said. I nodded and watched the curtains go up in flames, "I'm sorry!"
"Don't worry but maybe we should take it outside," I said, picking up the chest. It was really light for a golden chest. I mean super light, if I didn't know better I would think it was a wooden chest. I glanced at Gryff and wondered if maybe he wasn't playing a joke at my expense. Oh, he had done it before. He brought in a golden chest once and it was filled with dung. Yup, he had collected it and put it in the first gold chest that Ruddy had brought back for me. He had a good giggle until he realized that that didn't work for me. He only gets out every now and then when I have enough food for all the pets.

I set the chest down in a nice clearing a few yards from the house and let all my pets have a go at it. Nothing worked! I decided to try my trusty Ace of Old Leader but the smack resounded up my arms and down my legs. It was a stubborn chest! I decided to sketch it out and ask around. I carried it back inside and placed it behind the Christmas Tree.

It was completely odd, nothing was taken. We had done an inventory and I had everything. My notes, maps, Rune Stones, everything was here. The only thing that was different was the golden chest. Why would someone give me an empty golden chest? Is there a purpose to this chest or just something to frustrate me?
Once again, I had more questions than answers so I decided to head off to the Tavern. Who needed sleep anyway? It was a new day and all that glitters is definitely not gold.

(NOTE: Meet my pets! HAHAHA! Filler is filler. Plus I did get an odd gold chest today while playing. I sent out Poe and he brought back an empty chest. I'm not joking, it's the oddest thing I had ever seen. So, I had to write about it.)
In reply toRe: msg 52
Rahia13

From: Rahia13

4/28/18

Arabella Scales

I stepped inside the Tavern, placed my order and headed over to Canta. He smiled as I sat down. The Iron Knight took a seat opposite me and we started out daily game of dice.
"Tell me, did you know that Arabella had been married five times before?"
"Of course," the Iron Knight replied, his one red eye glowing, "It's common knowledge."
"I didn't know!"
"You didn't think to ask," he said with a shrug, "If you want to know about Arabella, why not just ask her?"
"Would she talk?"
"She has nothing to hide," he replied and threw a double six on his last round, "Ha, better luck next time, Rahia."
"It's okay! I'll just beat you three times tomorrow," I said with a grin and a wave. I moved away from the dice table and over to Jeronimo to eat my crab melt and gulp down my pear cider. I settled my tab and headed towards the Dark Tower. Anabel was waiting for me when I got there.
"Don't believe a thing she tells you," she warned, "Something isn't right with that witch."
"I guess you are all sunshine and roses," I retorted back and she actually hissed at me.
I shrugged it off. I figure Anabel just had her claws out because of the whole love triangle. Was that settled now? I could never keep up with those three. I took the stairs to the Laboratory and found Arabella waiting.
"So, you've come at last," she said, waving around a Reconciliation Rod.
"I have."
"It took you long enough. I thought I'd waste away while you talked to the whole Castle before you got to me."
"I had to know what I was walking in to."
"Cautious but curious, I like that," Arabella stated flatly.
"You have to me in my line of work."
"And what is your line of work?"
"Everything!"
"A Rahia of all trades," she laughed.
"Something like that."
"So what can I do for you?"
"Tell me the truth."
"I can do better, I can show you," she said and threw a ball of glowing white at me. I felt myself falling backwards but I didn't land hard as I expected. Everything did go dark for a second or two and then I was blinking my eyes open and found myself in the Underground Grotto.

Continued...

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