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An Outing to the Mystery Chamber
"Psst!! Have you heard there is an assassin in Town?" I have sent Fireball to investigate & while I wait for him to return I will keep the pets close to the Castle. Had a family outing in the Mystery Chamber recently - Steffany, Bright Eyes, Hooter, Emerald & I.
Hooter headed off to speak to the Wise Owl that lived in the Tree of Knowledge. Hooter had discovered that colour blindness can run in families so he wanted to trace his family tree & needed advice why to start. Wise Owl told him to consult the Horn of Ancestry. They were talking when a furry bundle (make that 2 furry bundles) bounded up the Tree of Knowledge & jumped from branch to branch, then disappeared. "Who Whoo Whoo!" said the Wise Owl. "Oh, it's just Bright Eyes & Steffany." replied Hooter. As a parting gift, Wise Owl unearthed a rusty chest & gave it to Hooter. Maybe he is colour blind too!
Steffany & Bright Eyes were having lots of fun scampering around the Chamber. Up & down the Column of the Fallen they went. "Steady!" groused the statue. Over to check out the funny-looking birds. As they neared the Chained Eagles, its legs (or was it?) began to scissor with a clacking sound. Steffany got such a fright, she raced back to the Column of the Fallen, up it she went & hid at the top. It took much coaxing & a gift of a gold chest from the Column of the Fallen to get her to come down. Bright Eyes, on the other hand, was intrigued. She investigated further & found a silver chest.
Emerald was pouting. I had insisted she come with us. It was family time. Emerald preferred party time. Suddenly Emerald belched - a Fireball flew out of her mouth & hit the Heart of the Chamber. It burst into flames. No! No! Oh, dear, no! I thought. The Keeper of Wishes sighed in relief & smiled. "Thank you," she said. "It was getting a little chilly in here but you have ignited the heater so things will warm up now." In appreciation, she gave Emerald a silver chest containing 3 diamonds & some coin.
I thought it prudent we leave before we wore out our welcome - after all we had a rusty chest, 2 silver chests & a gold chest plus a happy Keeper of Wishes. Time to go!
Fireball has returned. He found the assassin. "That is one rude dude!" Fireball also has some very disturbing news. which sends us hurrying to the Mystery Chamber. It appears Chris the Assassin was sent here to kill the Keeper of Wishes. This news really upset the Keeper & she readily agreed to Fireball's suggestion that he provide her with protection. She even gave him a gold chest. As we left the Mystery Chamber, I noticed a smirk on Fireball's face. What was he up to? I wondered suspiciously.
Hoppy had accompanied us but did not go into the Mystery Chamber. Instead he went to visit Arabella Scales in the Underground Grotto. When we came out into the Grotto, there was Arabella & Hoppy sitting on the Pedestal of Wit trading stories. Arabella apologised profusely that she only had a silver chest to give Hoppy. Hoppy smiled his mega-watt smile (you know, the one that showed his Teeth of the North) & said "No problem" "Come back soon!" cried Arabella. Looking pointedly at Hoppy, I said "Fan Club member?" He nodded & smirked.
Some days I feel like it is one step forward & two steps back with some of my pets.
Just One of Those Days
Pacing up & down..... right & left... Worrying, wondering "What is that pet up to?"
Suddenly Liv stomped past, out the door & with a roar of motorcycles, she disappeared with Apocalypse Rider & his bikie gang.
The object of my worrying, Fireball, rushed in the door, dropped a gold chest at my feet - said 'from the Keeper of Wishes' - and disappeared out the door again before I could say a word. What was happening???
Now where is Pup? We were playing "Fetch" when I threw the stick a bit far. Hope he hasn't got himself into trouble. Oh well.
"Coming Perdita!" It is naptime. "How about I read you a story from your favourite - the Book of Dancing Shadows". Soon a soft snore lets me know someone in this household has settled down.
Excited yipping could be heard so I headed outside to find - Pup racing towards me carrying a long stout pole. He dropped it at my feet, sat back on his haunches with a look that said "See, I found it!" I glanced up to see Arabella Scales hurrying up my driveway - shaking her fist furiously at Pup. "THAT! That dratted puppy!" she panted. "He took one of the thick sticks I used to hold my Cauldron up - now my potion is spilled all over the ground! THAT! THAT! " she ran out of words but her look spoke a Volume of Fury. "Keep him out of my way!" she shouted as she headed back to the Underground Grotto. I look at Pup. Now people tell me "He's just a puppy! He will grow out of it!" 'Please, I pray, give me Strength & Courage to last that long'!!!!
Now if I only knew what Fireball was up too?
ADVENTURE! The pets were off & I had to race to catch up. We were going to Mirror Lake for an outing.
Pauly Parrot looked forward to catching up with Skull Pete's parrot. I warned Pauly "Any swearing & you won't be allowed back!" Petunia Pig & Heather Hippo wanted to investigate the Pirate Ship. Sebastian Seal & Pup Puppy just wanted to have a good time. Perdita Pegasus wanted to see the Lake.
When we got there, Pauly, Petunia & Heather peeled off to their respective objectives. Perdita found all that water a little intimidating & decided to stick close to me. Being friendly, I shared Skull Pete's bottle of amargnac (just one drink!) & as he got mellow the stories started. Perdita was spellbound & Skull Pete so loved having an audience that he gave her a gold chest ( "Another male bites the dust!")
Skull Pete's parrot was confused with Pauly speak. Instead of the usual 'colourful' language, Pauly kept saying "Not Bl****! Bubbles! Bubbles instead!" In the end the parrot gave Pauly a silver chest because he couldn't understand what Pauly was talking about.
Meanwhile, Sebastian & Pup had discovered the Kraken & decided to play "Tag" with it. Sebastian swam out with Pup dogpaddling behind him. Then they would bark & make a playful lunge for the Kraken's tentacle to see if they could "tag" it. The Kraken would wave its tentacles & give a fiery roar. They were all having a great time until one fiery roar came too close to the Bow Figure who shouted very loudly & very crossly. "STOP! STOP THAT, RIGHT NOW!" He tossed 2 rusty chests at Sebastian & Pup & told them to "Go Away!"
The loud roar startled Petunia & Heather who had been playing in the rigging. Heather fell out of the rigging & through the deck to the lower level in the ship. Petunia jumped after her friend. We rushed up onto the Pirate Ship to make sure the girls were okay. Heather was sitting on a silver chest while Petunia was lying on a gold one. They had found Skull Pete's treasure room! Petunia spotted Skull Pete & began moaning & squealing (what a ham actor!!!). Skull Pete gave Petunia the gold chest she was lying on & Heather Hippo the silver chest as compensation for any injuries.
I decide it was time to go home. We heard a loud shout. "SHIVER ME TIMBERS! WHO BROKE ME SHIP'S WHEEL?" We kept going although I am sure I heard giggling from behind me.
The Moonshine Episode
Cee_For has been one busy cat lately. He has been scrounging all the HOS for large clear bottles - to date he has found them in the Skulls, the Pirate Ship & the Winter Garden in the Castle while in Town, he has found them in the Doll Showcase & the Overgrown Pond. Why did he want them?
He has been schmoozing the cherub in the Scroll Storage & she has rewarded him with lots of Poisonous Flower. What was he doing?
Apparently Cee_For & Salty have gone into business making Moonshine. Whenever Arabella was away, Cee_For would use her Cauldron to brew his liquor. In went the Tears of Impurity (from the Rune Altar), the Poisonous Flower & another ingredient that is a Bloody Secret. When the Cauldron had expended its Boiling Power, Cee-For distilled his brew through the Purifying Fire. Then bottled it. Together, Salty & Cee_For took the Moonshine back to the Tavern & put it in the basement.
Beware if you have a drink at Salty's! That stuff has been known to cause you to go with Green Sickness.
Castle Entry Clean-Up
AHH! Young love! The Werewolf Knight is working himself up to proposing to Anabel. He is in such a state that the Castle Entry has become very neglected. So some of the pets have organised a working-bee to help him.
Sebastian Seal is putting his new-found knowledge of gardening to good use. He tended the garden of the Harp in Blossom - keeping her blossoms blooming. He said he would clear away the Dead Mushroom. The Harp did not have a chest to give Sebastian so she gave him some Fairy Dust.
Gabbi Griffin cleaned & polished the Astral Lamp. Moths leave such a mess! The Knight was so distracted that he told her to keep the Dragon Fang she found (in fact she found several) & gave her a wooden chest.
Fireball Phoenix helped his cousin, Fountain Phoenix, to clean the Fire Fountain & dispose of the rubbish (up, in a puff of smoke!). Fountain Phoenix was so thankful that he let Fireball have a silver chest & the several Vampire Palm that they found.
Pup Puppy ran around & around with his long ears trailing on the ground - eventually he had swept the floor clean so the Knight gave him a rusty chest for his effort.
Cee-For got into the carriage with the Wheel of Fortune & he tinkered with the spinning mechanism. "So help me, Cee_For if this Wheel does not give me something good you are in trouble!" I cried when I found him. The Knight gave him a wooden chest to shoo him on his way.
A tired crew headed for home.
Wedding Preparations (3 chapters)
Chapter 1. The Grounds
Sir Oeland Silver Mane, the Werewolf/Iron Knight's father, has returned & given his permission for the union of his son & Anabel so now we are preparing a celebration at the Castle Gates. The pets have been roped in to clean, shop & cook.
Petunia Pig & Heather Hippo got to work with spit & polish to clean the grime from the Knight Lords. They rubbed & polished until the Lords shone. The Knight Lords loved their shiny new look so much they thumped their weapons into the ground startling Petunia who gave a squeal & fell on her backside. The Lords gave the girls a silver chest each.
Sebastian Seal tended the Rock Garden. He hosed the rocks down & with his flippers he carefully raked the small stones & gravel into intricate designs just like a Zen garden. He got the Midnight Rose & did an ikebana arrangement. Anabel was impressed. She apologised when she gave him a rusty chest but explained that, with the party expenses, she was running low on chests at the moment.
Hooter Owl & Steffany Squirrel got to work on the battlements & Belfry. Steffany scampered up the walls & pulled down the flags. She washed & dried & put them back up. Meanwhile Hooter cleaned & dusted the battlements & Belfry. Then he flew off, returning with the Torch (several of them) from the Crypt & a set of Northern Lights from the Column of the Fallen. He arranged them on the walls to light up the area. The Werewolf/Iron Knight was delighted with the effect. However, like Anabel, he was low on funds so could only give Hooter & Steffany a rusty chest each.
Hoppy Tiger raked the area & Prickles Hedgehog picked up all the litter. Their reward was a rusty chest each.
Snazzy Snail climbed into the Prison Cell. As she worked to clean it, she talked to the skeleton magician. She even washed his abra.ca.dab.**** cloth (the one over his magic top hat). He had had no-one to talk to for ages & he was very lonely. When Snazzy finished cleaning, he was so thankful that he did some magic tricks for her - ending up with several Manticore Eyes which he gave to Snazzy along with a silver chest.
Fireball Phoenix used his heat to burnish the metal on the Raven Stone. Then he scrubbed & cleaned the rest. Excited about his new look, the Raven Stone gave Fireball several bottles of Nocturnal Blood as well as a silver chest.
Chapter 2. Food Shopping
Mandy Manticore, Emerald Dragon, Pauly Parrot & Happy Turtle went shopping for food.
Happy went to see his old friend, Skull Pete at Mirror Lake. When he asked about fresh seafood, Skull Pete led him to the Pirate Ship. Here Happy got fish, crabs & octopus. Skull Pete threw in some olives and eggplants as well.
Emerald dashed off to the Mirrors for some cheese, cherries, grapes & strawberries. While she was there she also collected some candy for after-dinner snacking.
Pauly flew off to the Battle Pit. Here he got some bread & a couple of lobsters. He returned with one of the lobsters attached to his tail feathers by its pincers - not happy!
Mandy headed off to the Tavern. At the Bar Counter she asked Salty for the freshest fruit - apples, pears & cherries - plus some onions, carrots, nuts & candy. From the Game Table she got mushrooms (not Fungus Among Us) & candy. Mandy also visited the Crypt to pick up some garlic & corn and the Broken Carriage for some eggs.
While she was at the Tavern, Mandy came across Cee_For who volunteered to go to the Frozen Treasure for some shrimp he had 'on ice'. Apparently he has the Ice Key & has been using the Frozen Treasure room as cold storage. He came back with some muffins as well.
Cee-For & Salty also sent over some Moonshine for the party.
Happy, Pauly, Cee-For & Mandy each got a rusty chest for their efforts.
Chapter 3. The Celebration
It was the day of the party & all that was left to do was cook.
Emerald offered to cook the fish. She demonstrated a new meaning for the term - 'flame-grilled'.
Cuddles turned out to be a cook a- la-excellent. He prepared the salads - garnishing them with grated cheese & chopped olives. He made a fruit compote as well as a fruit flan for dessert. He popped corn. He heated up the bread & muffins so they tasted fresh & yummy! He boiled the crabs & shrimps & then put them 'on ice'. He marinaded the octopus, grilled the eggplants & sautéed the mushrooms. He prepared a lobster mornay.
For her part in the preparations, Emerald received a silver chest. The happy couple were so appreciative of Cuddles' efforts that they gave him a gold chest.
Finally it was all ready. With the Knight and Anabel looking on & joining in, it was time to PARTEE!!! Oh what a day & Knight, what fun we had!!
Fireball –The Delinquent
You WHAT! Fireball had just informed me he had gone into business - Phoenix Protection Services.
The Keeper of Wishes in the Mystery Chamber has paid him 2 gold chests & 3 silver chests so far to protect her from the assassin.
Fireball had found the assassin in the City Square. He warned him not to try anything funny. Chris the Assassin laughed & tossed a rusty chest at Fireball. Fireball gave him a hot foot & then sent Liv and her friend, Apocalypse Rider & his gang to pay a little visit to Chris. The assassin now pays Fireball to protect him from Liv & her friends - 2 gold chests & 1 silver chest so far.
"Well!! Now you can lay off the Ice Monster at Ice Rock," I say. "Okay!" Fireball replied. "He has run out of gold & silver chests anyway - only has rusty ones left."
Some days you just can't win an argument.
"Anything else?" I query. "Only the Binding Egg," he replied. Apparently, to avoid becoming hard-boiled, the Binding Egg has agreed to supply Fireball with several Blood Lotus. "That's extortion," I said. "No, it is the Binding Egg employing me to protect itself from me!" he replied. I can feel a Headache coming on.
To all the players having trouble getting a Blood Lotus from the Binding Egg, I apologise. Fireball has first dibs & he is talking about teaming up with Cee_For Cat & expanding into the Castle black market. Cee_For has found 2 great storage areas where they can stow all the items they plan to sell. The first area is in the Frozen Treasure Room to which Cee_For gains entry by using the Ice Key he stole. The second area is in the Headstone in the Ancient Park - a little deal he has going with the Headstone statues. At present Fireball & Cee_For are talking to Salty & some of his contacts about setting up business.
I shake my head. Sometimes there is no reasoning with them & you just have to let them go!