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RPG Secondhand Fiddles [PG-V]


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[center][img]http://img271.echo.cx/img271/1984/secondhandfiddles0ee.jpg[/img][/center]
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[size=3][b]Part One: Search For Dew Two[/b][/size]

[left]The summer days in Rolani were always brushed with golden breezes and the skies were painted to look as marvelous as a Monet. The streams were lucid and babbling as the frogs and fish leapt along its waters on their own tales of business. The trails, usually filled with squirrels and deer passing through in search of food and a nice place to quench their afternoon thirsts, was bare aside from a caravan moving down the road on its way to the town of Bendstern.[/left]

[img]http://img206.echo.cx/img206/6033/image50yy.jpg[/img]

[left]A massive horse-like creature pulled the cart along with ease and made a bizarre whinny sound here and there as it smelled the fresh moldle-fruit in the trees from afar. Holding the reins and perched on a seat in the front of the caravan was Luca Wheeltine, a thief profession as his mark. Though he was pressed as a man of magic. Sleeping comfortably next to him was a black cat who went only by the name Widdershins and Widdershins alone. She purred softly as she took in the afternoon rays from the sun. The trees were rather thick on the trail and the canopy let in just enough sunlight through their abundant leaves.

Sitting atop the caravan on his back with his right leg hanging down was Morag Dunstibar, a glorious singer who should be admired by all, but sadly has fallen into the work of a thief. Though this is so, he?s full of happiness and blissfully sleeps as the cart goes on. Within the caravan were three others. The girls of the group aside from Widdershins. Sarissa de Leon, Imelda Sorroco, and Katchya Valentine all did their own thing while slacking around the large cart. And lastly, sitting in the doorway on the back of the caravan was Tical Zidane who worked patiently on his new invention, which caused him to curse a word or two from time to time.

Indeed, it was a beautiful day and with one Dragon Dew already in the thieves? possession, things were looking up, even if there were fourteen more to go.

[I]BUMP![/I]

A sudden jolt to the caravan caused Widdershins to wake, Luca to hit his head on the caravan roof, Morag to almost fall off, Tical to fumble his invention, and the girls to all go crashing around inside. ?What?s going on?? Morag asked, peeking over the top. Luca was already inspecting the cart from the ground with Widdershins.

?Looks like it needs mending,? Luca said to no one in particular. He pointed at the busted wheel that had hit a bump in the road the horse could easily pass over. He walked to the back of the cart and poked his head through the open doorway. ?Tical, Katchya, we need your guys? expertise on repairing and tools.?

?Of course, captain,? Tical replied, tossing a broken piece of his invention aside.

?Right away, Luca,? Katchya agreed. They both leapt out of the back of the caravan and went to the wheel to work. Luca got inside the cart and went to take out wood and pans.

?What?re you doing, Luke?? Imelda asked, fixing her outfit from after the crash.

?Since we?re stranded for a moment, let?s make some dinner.?

?It?s already late afternoon,? Sarissa commented. ?Supper will be soon.?

?Nothing heavy. Something light. We can?t miss a meal like dinner.? He hopped out the back and placed the wood and pot down. After starting the fire, he called Imelda out to start cooking some soup from her cabinets. After all, she was somewhat of an alchemist and did make a grand stew. The others, including Luca, got to work on chopping vegetables. Widdershins perched on the roof and watched from there.

?You should help, Widdershins,? Luca said as he finished cutting some carrots.

?I don?t eat it, so I don?t have to make it,? Widdershins mused. She let out several meows that she knew Luca hated.

?Don?t make that sound, Widdershins.?

?Sorry, Luca,? she purred mischievously. She then meowed once more to make him wince and went to sleep.[/left]


[img]http://img206.echo.cx/img206/9425/image65li.jpg[/img]
[left]Dinner, a meal that tended to be larger than supper, was exceptionally small with just a bowl of soap and some bread. But no one complained. They all ate happily and the wheel was almost completely fixed. It?d only be a half an hour more at the most. ?How long ?til we reach Bendstern?? Morag asked, sipping his hot soup.

?Only a matter of hours now,? Tical replied, finishing off his bread.

Luca was leaning against a tree trunk after he had been done eating and watched as the sun went lower into the horizon. It was still very bright out, but sometimes in Rolani, a traveler can lose track of time and before they know it, night has struck. So, after everyone finished up, they took care of their dishes, packed up the pots and such, tossed the firewood away into the trees, and fixed up the wheel.

Imelda found Luca staring at the bump in the road, which was very large for not being noticeable. ?What?s the matter, Luke??

?I don?t know how I missed this bump. My eyes are as sharp as a hawk?s and I didn?t see it at all.?

?You simply missed it. It?s been a long day and when you get drowsy, your eyes play tricks on you.?

Luca took off his hat and scratched his blonde hair. ?I still don?t know. I wasn?t fatigued at all then.?

?Luca, the wheel is all fixed!? Tical called from over by the caravan. Imelda took Luca by the arm and lead him back. Everyone admired Tical and Katchya?s work. The wheel looked as good as new.

?You didn?t have to give it a new paint job,? Sarissa muttered.

?I just touched it up a bit here and there,? Katchya mused.

?Now, now,? Luca said, ?no dawdling. We?re already late to get to Bendstern.?

?It?s not like they?re expecting us,? Morag said.

Luca tapped his nose and thought. ?Yes, but I wanted to do a night performance. My magic always looks its best at night. Not to mention our thieving skills are best with the stealth of night.?

?We?ll just get there today and perform tomorrow night,? Sarissa advised.

?It?s a lot of time wasted.?

?Especially if the Dragon Dew isn?t there,? Widdershins said, appearing at Luca?s feet.

Luca sighed. ?Oh well. Let?s get a move on.? He hopped into the driver?s seat with Widdershins as the rest packed into the caravan. The cart began to move again and everything seemed fine until?

[I]BUMP![/I]

The cart stopped short after a smaller bump had caused it to go a little wild. Luca leapt off the seat and readied his magic. Tical jumped out of the back. ?Honestly, Luca, can?t you drive right anymore??

?I don?t know what the trouble is, Tical.?

?I do.? The two of them turned to Widdershins who was sniffing the bump. ?I smell Molltenders.?

?Lovely,? Luca whined. Molltenders were large animals that resembled moles. They move rocks underground to build homes below the Earth. They dislike people above. It?s no wonder they set up traps every time the caravan passed. ?This road must be filled with Molltenders. How can we get by??

?Easy,? Katchya said from atop the caravan. She had her daggers out.

?They?re just little animals, Katchya. We can?t go and slaughter ?em,? Luca said. That?s when a rather large and furry beast burrowed out of the ground. Its eyes were squinty, its muzzle was long and had jagged teeth. Everyone knew what it was immediately.

?A mother Molltender,? Tical gulped.

?Okay, maybe they?re not so small and innocent,? Luca corrected himself as he readied a fist full of fire. ?Widdershins, make sure the horse doesn?t go haywire and get the others out of the back. We?re gonna have ourselves a brawl.?[/left]
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OOC: Nice music. Crystal Cronicles right? Its also in .hack//INFECTION.

[color=blue]Tical quickly grabbed his guitar and jumped off the wagon.

"Don't worry captain, I will defend the carvan with all of my strength!" He yelled as he ran towards the monster.

"Relax Tical, its only a mole, its not like we're fighting a golem or a dragon," Luca said scratching his head.

"We must take no battle lightly! That is the way of the warrior!" And with that Tical leapt forward and beat the Moltender in the face. The poor beast flew backwards about three feet and landed on its back. It slowly found its way onto its feet. The Moltender stood up strait trying to look tough, but then it started crying.

"Aww, its only a kiid, you didn't have to pummel it into oblivion Tical!" Sarissa commented, running over to help the poor critter. As she approached it, it made a shrill whistling noise.

"Um... what was that captain?" Tical asked. Widdershins answed as though she knew everything.

"Its calling the rest of its clan. About 8 older Moltenders are probably going to sprout out of the ground and attack us in a matter of moments."

"Tical, you dolt, what the heck were you thinking?!" Imelda screamed.

"Obviously nothing," He replied in a dry tone. The team redied themselves for a tough fight.[/color]
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OCC: Oy... obviously you didn't notice I said it was a "mother" Molltender, not a kid. Watch out for that stuff because it can change the whole thing, sir :P


[left]The ground shook and small quakes erupted under the soil before three other Molltenders blasted out of the path, each the size of the caravan. Luca whimpered under his hat as the growling beasts shot spit and drool all over Morag.

"Oh, what in Roak's name..." the singer gagged.

"Steady, boys," Luca winced. "Imelda, get your potions. Katchya, set up some traps. Morag, clean up and grab something to fight with. Sarissa, do your fighting... stuff. And Tical..." Luca pondered.

"Yes, sir?"

"Just... go over there for a bit."

"Trap is set, Luca" Katchya shouted.

"Excellent," Luca replied, jumping out of the way of a thrashing claw and setting another's hair on fire. "How do we use it?"

"Have them dig toward those bumps in the road I've made. When they hit 'em, KER-BOOM!" She clapped her hands to add effect, but no one really paid any mind to it since they had enough trouble evading deadly Molltenders. Katchya ran into the combat, daggers drawn. The fight began, but it was getting all three Molltenders to the mines was the trick.

"They won't kill them will they?" Morag asked.

"Not at all. Just scare the devil out of them," Katchya smirked. Sarissa's fighting moves didn't seem to be effecting the Molltenders much, nor was Morag's pan he stole from the caravan's side. The two were quickly knocked away. Katchya pierced the monsters' sides, but they proved thicker than she believed them to be. Even Luca's magic hardly penetrated. Suddenly, a sharp claw came down and slashed Morag's side.

"Why always me?" Morag coughed. The claw came down again, but froze after the Molltender was paralyzed by Imelda's potion. Luca was relieved to see all the Molltenders frozen.

"Good timing, Imelda," he grinned.

"Not a lot of time, Luke. Get ready to lead them to the bumps."

"We have our chance now," Tical said. "Why not stop them here while they're frozen?"

"Our weapons are useless against their rough hides. Scaring them is the only chance we have." Luca cast a healing spell to mend Morag's wound enough to close it up. "We'll clean that up when we can," he said.

No time to dawdle," Imelda said impatiently. "They'll go back to normal in twenty seconds... if they're weak against it enough."

Luca nodded to the other Cold Spades. "Then let's set this trap up."[/left]
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[SIZE=1][B]OOC I forsee a lot of Morag bashing in this RP. [/B]

Morag clutched his side and nodded his thanks to Luca as his wound closed, the blood starting to dry into the cloth of his shirt. He cursed under his breath, walking over to stand by Imelda and Luca. [B]"Tell me what I need to do."[/B]

[B]"Right, everyone,"[/B] Katchya began [B]"If these Moltenders are intent enough on getting rid of us then they should follow if we move back, correct?" [/B] she was already walking backwards towards the bumps in the road, eyeing the frozen beasts carefully as their eyes began to flutter. Everyone else nodded and jogged behind the traps, Morag and Luca stood slightly in front, just to encourage the creatures more.

As they began to unfreeze, the Moltenders made the most terrible wheezing sound that sounded like a strangled scream. Morag scrunched up his nose in disgust, trying to resist the urge he had to block his ears.

Luca looked over his shoulder and Katchya gave him a thumbs up as the creatures advanced towards them. Morag and Luca got ready to jump out of the way as the three Moltenders bore down on them, their claws slashing wildly at thin air.

[B]"On three?"[/B] Morag asked.

[B]"Three!"[/B] Luca was not prepared to wait around and leapt out of the way as two of the Moltenders attacked him at once. Morag followed suit and rolled away as the creature attacking him stumbled forward on it?s own momentum. All three beasts fell near the traps and set them off, a huge explosion of leaves and dirt covering everyone around.

The creatures shrieked and scrambled away, burrowing into the dirt as quickly as possible to escape. Katchya grinned and gave a proud smile to the rest of the group despite the pieces of leaves hanging from her hair.

Morag picked himself up and brushed dirt from shirt, an annoyed look on his usually quite attractive face.

[B]"I have been spat on by a mole, and let me tell you, it smells."[/B] Sarissa couldn't help but laugh and was rewarded by a cold glare from the redhead, [B]"I have been slashed in the side by a large, possibly rabid, beast and now my shirt is ruined. To top it all off, I have been covered in dirt, leaves and Roak knows [I]what else[/I] you put in those traps, Katchya, because let me tell you it isn't pleasant!"[/B] everyone had a small expression of laughter on their face by now which only succeeded in making Morag whine even more.

[B]"It is quite obviously not my day and therefore I bid you all good evening."[/B] He stalked off back towards the caravan and took his shirt off, tying the piece of cloth to the back of the chassis before getting out a fresh shirt and pulling it on. Morag Dunstibar was certainly not a happy man.[/SIZE]
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[color=Navy]Katchya had helped to fix the wheel earlier, originally she and Tical had [i]just [/i]repaired the wheel, it was good and able to be used, but then Katchya decided that it needed a new paint job, so she quickly re-painted it.

Kat was a simple kinda person, and she enjoyed playing around with things, one of her specialities were traps. When Luca asked her to devise a trap, she was excited and bounced away happily, running around swiftly to gather what she needed. Kat collected a bunch of leaves and dirt, throwing them into a pile. She ran into the caravan, emerging moments later. She looked at the others battling the moltenders and noted that she still had some time. Kat rounded up the dirt and leaves, making them a nice, neat piles, then she buried a detonator into the piles with a wire from it connecting to a pad, that was a motion sensor that would activate the detonators, making the leaves and dirt spray everywhere, along with letting out a loud bang.

Kat grinned at her handy work and did a few backflips over to where the others were fighting. She pulled her odd looking daggers from her belt, spinning them in her hands and slashing at a moltender twice. The large mole creature growled and backed off slightly.

[b]"The trap is set, Luca." [/b]Kat shouted over.

Kat then went on to explain how it would work and what they needed to do so the moltenders would hit the traps. The plan worked out exactly and there was an explosion of dirt and leaves, the moltenders fled in fright and they were all covered by what had been in the traps.

Kat grinned happily, glad that the traps had worked, she ran her hands through her hair several times to remove as much of the dirt and leaves as possible. She apologised about the mess after Morag left in annoyance. Everyone mumbled and walked off, trying to clean themselves off too.

Katchya sighed, some people just didn't have a sense of fun. And she had obeyed the order of Luca without protest and scared off the moltenders, so why were they annoyed at her. Kat frowned and tucked her twin daggers back into her belt. She quickly scaled the caravan and sat on the roof, her legs dangled over the side and she had her elbows rested on her knees with her chin and cheeks held in her hands.

She heard footsteps coming over and lifted her gaze from the ground shortly, before returning the gaze to the ground.

[b]"Katchya, are you alright?" [/b]Luca asked.

[b]"Yeah....Just, is everyone upset at me?" [/b]she questioned, looking at Luca properly. He was still covered in dirt and leaves.

[b]"I don't think so. Probably fussing over nothing. Don't worry about it, if they're upset, they'll get over it." [/b]Luca told her.

[b]"I guess, talk to you later." [/b]Katchya said, sliding off the roof and entering the caravan.

Kat brushed some dirt off her bandanna that was wrapped around her left bicep, today it was a royal blue colour. She hoped that the others weren't upset at her.

She continued to brush out the dirt from her hair and changed her clothes, she felt refreshed and she sat on her bed, playing around with her large array of weapons.

[b][color=Black]OOC: [/color][/b][color=Black]I didn't really knwo what to post about, which is why I made Kat feel like everyone was upset at her.[/color]
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[FONT=Arial][SIZE=1] (( OOC : Hope it's okay that I used HTML. Sorry if its too short.)) [/SIZE][/FONT]

[FONT=Arial][SIZE=2][COLOR="#FFFFFE"]Imelda caught herself laughing with the others at Morag which caused her to stop. She had been the newest member of the Cold Spades and was strictly on buisness, but could not help but bond with these people. Deep down in her heart she envied their closeness but neither did she admit to recognizing this feeling. Shaking the thought out of her head and convincing herself she was being foolish, she checked to see how much stun powder she had used on the Moltenders. [b]"Only a pinch it seems"[/b] Imelda thought to herself.

She put the stun powder back onto the hilt of her belt where she kept most of her used items, for on her right side, were the most simplist powders and potions. This included mostly stun, confusion, sleepness, curing of nausea and headaches etc. On the left of her belt held the most dangerous of potions, ones that had permanent effects. Her hand grazed the last bottle which was filled with a mysterious clear blue liquid and she flinched.

She never had used this potion and wished she never had to in her lifetime. One drop of this potion consumed by any creature or person would be deceased in 10 seconds. The only one that is not curable. It was called Dragon's breathe, for it is said, that the moment they take their second breath, they do not live to see a moment after. Mel was glad that her mother had been a well-known alchemist, for she knew every trick and loophole there is. One day, she hoped she would gain fame from finding the Dragon Dews and become even more known. The thought brought an smug grin on her face.

[b]"Mel, what are you doing over there? Are you ready to get on the road?"[/b] Luca shouted from over the caravan next to Katchya. Despite Imelda's snobbish behavior toward the others especially toward Sarissa who she viewed as more of a rival than anything, she could not help but like Luca. After all, although she didn't know magic, alchemy is similar to magic in its own way. She didn't even mind him calling her Mel. [b]"Yeah, just checking if my potions didn't get damaged is all."[/b] She replied snapping out of her daydream, as she climbed up into the caravan. Katchya was inside looking down at her weapons and fiddling with them. Morag was near the back somewhat sulking to himself. The caravan rocked back and forth over the dirt road as they went along the pathway.

Imelda sighed and thought
[b]"This is going to be one long journey for me....."[/b] [/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[left]The caravan began to move again, the sound of birds filling the evening air. Luca lashed the reins and the horse picked up speed after swurving around the mess the Molltenders had created. "Hope no one gets hurt on that."

"Well, it's their fault if they do," Widdershins scoffed. "If they don't see the big mess up ahead in the first place..."

"Pearls of wisdom, Widdershins. You're the real coin of the realm."

"If I was listened to more often, maybe the world would be a better place."

"It's not every day a cat can talk, so if I were you, I'd shut my trap." Widdershins hissed and perched on the horse's back to sleep. As dusk was arriving, the windows and doors to the caravan closed and Luca yawned a tired yawn. It was a rough day and it was finally coming to a close. But something was amiss.

"That's funny," Luca muttered.

"What is it?" Imelda asked, poking her head out the front.

"We should've been in Bendstern an hour or so ago."

"Did you take the right path?" she asked.

"I think I did. There was only one fork in the road about fifteen miles back. Have Tical check the map." Imelda disappeared into the caravan and Tical appeared immediately after, map in hand. He sat himself down next to Luca where Widdershins usually presented herself and dug through the map.

"Alright, sir, have you seen any signs lately?"

"We just passed the sign that marked this trail Rosehundery."

"Oh, dear..." Tical muttered under his breath.

"What?"

"I do believe you were supposed to take the other trail back at the fork."

"Oh, for the love of Mindlebuffs. You kidding?"

"Not at all, sir. I was never good with jokes."

"Damn," Luca swore. "Well, I guess I shall turn us around. We won't be in Bendstern until tomorrow in the late morning then."

"I'll inform the others, sir." And with that, Tical disappeared into the cart again. Luca turned the cart around with some swift movements of the reins and off they went back down the trail.


Night came quickly to Luca. That or the horse was going rather slow because it arrived before they hit the fork again. So, they stopped the cart and made camp for the night. With some more wood, soup and vegetables, and a small fire spell, the group had dinner cooking. "Everything'll be done in fifteen minutes, sir," Morag informed.

"I still think Imelda should be cooking the soup," Luca whimpered.

"Nonsense," Morag said just before sticking his bare finger into the hot soap. "YOWCH!" Poor, simple Morag. The rest of the group did their own things. Tical worked on his invention, Imelda dabbled in her alchemy, and Sarissa helped Luca work over the map and some plans on how to thieve the new Dews. And of course, lazy Widdershins slept soundly on the caravan roof.

But something caused Widdershins to hiss. Something was in the bushes... but what?[/left]
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[COLOR=Navy]"whats the matter, Widdershins?" Luca asked hearing the cat hiss angrilly.

"Theres something in those bushes that smells of corpses and grveyard soil," Widdershins replied, sounding serious for once.

"Um, captain," Tical began, "You don't think its a... you know... Zombie do you?"

"Thats rediculous, Tical, there aint no such thing as zombies!" Sarissa snapped at him.

"Well," Luca began. The others looked at him, "Thats... not entirely true. I've seen a zombie before. Their attracked to large masses of people, but they fear water. Most towns are built near bodies of water, for obvious reasons, and thats why zombies dont attack them. Tical, the map."

After a quick overview of the map Tical replied, "erm... captain there are no rivers anywhere near here." The group turned back to the bushes where the creature began to emerge. The adventurers readied for combat. They started to see it and...

It was a little girl. The came out looking hurt, and she fell to the ground.

"I told you there was no such thing as zombies!" Sarissa screamed, and beat Tical in the back of the head.

Imelda ran over to the girl, "I think she was attacked... she was lucky to survive such wounds."

"Well... you guys go ahead and fight the big scary monster, me and Widdershins will guard the caravan," Morag said wearilly. The little girl started to wake up.

"Help... me... my town... its under attack..."

"Town, theres no other town on the map," Tical said, studying the map carefully.

"Its... more of a village. There are... only 4 houses. We're a village of warriors... four warriors that had fought hard to save their old hometowns moved out here next to a small lake. We lived nice lives, even though there is no other civilization near here. The village is being attacked by monsters... help us..."

"Captain, the village is doomed, theres no reason to go there.." Tical began but was cut off by Luca speaking to the little girl.

"So, little girl"

"Its Collete"

"Collete, this village of yours, are you very well of? I mean, surely such great warriors must have many goods."

"Well, we have a lot that is of worth. Surely you would be offered great treasures for saving us."

"ALRIGHT then! Gang, lets hurry, we're saving the village! Lead the way Collete!"[/COLOR]
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[B]"Great. More silly heroism."[/B] Widdershins sneered from her perch on the back of the cart. Luca half-turned to glare at her.

[B]"It's not silly heroism, they have [i]stuff[/i]." [/B] Widdershins sighed, licking a paw.

[B]"Stuff that is [i]not[/i] the Dragon Dews."[/B] Luca just sneered back.

[B]"Just...stay put, would ya?"[/B] He and the rest of the troop disappeared into the trees towards the village, leaving Morag and Widdershins with the cart. The singer turned to look up at the cat.

[B]"You're just going to stay up there like always, aren't you?"[/B]

[B]"Mmm....probably."[/B]

[B]"Even if we get attacked?"[/B] Widdershins stared at Morag with disdain.

[B]"Of course! People rarely look on [i]top[/i] of carts. They look in, under...but rarely on top."[/B] She stood up and stretched before curling up again, her back toward the singer.[B] [i]Silly Luca, just had to go fight zombies...[/i] [/B] Although she'd never, ever even [i]dream[/i] of showing it, the cat was worried. Zombies were...evil. And somewhat powerful, for creature that were already dead...[B][i]Don't come back dead and make me claw you...[/i][/B] The cart rocked, causing her to look up, startled, her fur standing on end.

[B]"I...think I'll just lay up here then..."[/B] Widdershins relaxed slightly as Morag joined her. [B][i]It's going to be a [u]long[/u] evening...[/i][/B]
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[left]It was obvious the Cold Spades were in it for the money, not the people, so they were more than happy to take the girl's offer. Morag and Widdershins were left at the caravan and the rest set off to the village, Collette pointing out directions from Sarissa's arms. Something was amiss, though.

"She's growing pale, sir," Sarissa stated.

"So I see," Luca made a face. "Mel, do you have a potion to keep her awake?"

"Nothing to keep her awake and healthy, Luke," Imelda replied. "It'd be best if she got rest anyways."

"But we have no idea where we are," Tical whined.

"We'll be lost without her guidance," Katchya commented. She drew a dagger for safety.

Luca sighed. "Wonderful. We're lost then."

Sarissa frowned. "She's passed out."

"We're doomed!" Tical complained. A swift hit to his head shut him up.

"We'll just return back to the caravan and take care of the girl. Otherwise we'll be lost in these woods forever." They all agreed and turned around.

"Uhhh... sir?" Tical said. "Where is the path to the caravan?"

"There was no path in the first place," Imelda stated.

"Great," Luca grumbled. "Tical, the map."

"Uh... heh heh..."

"The map, Tical."

Tical laughed nervously. "I don't have it, sir."

"If I wasn't holding a girl, I'd hit you," Sarissa threatened.

"I wasn't asked to bring it," Tical said in his defense.

"Always bring a map!" Katchya shouted, holding a dagger to his face. "You're the map keeper!"

"Calm down, everyone." Luca soothed. "Let's just start walking the way we came." So they did. But it wasn't long before the winding trees seperated them all. Luca looked around and only saw Imelda. Sarissa found herself alone with Katchya and the girl. Tical cried for his mommy when he noticed everyone abandoned him.

"What's going on?" Imelda wondered out loud. "How'd we get seperated that easily?"

"This forest is peculiar," Luca said, looking around the canopy. "Take my hand. We don't want to be seperated again. We'll keep moving and hopefully run into the others."

The others did the same as Luca and Imelda, but it was Tical who didn't move from where he stood alone. "I should've stayed with Widdershins," he grumbled.
[/left]
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Tical was in tears and he stated to freak out. "Where are you captain?!" he screamed, but there was no answer. Suddenly he heard a rustle in the bushes. He looked over to them.

"Collete? Is that you?" But what burst out was far more horrifying than a little girl (if thats possible.)

"z...z...ZOMBIE!" Tical screamed as an undead creature tumbled forth through the bushes.

Meanwhile...

"Did you hear that?" Luca asked.

"It sounded like Dumba... I mean Tical," Imelda replied.

"Not that," Luca replied dryly, "he said zombie."

"But... I thought zombies were only legend?"

Back with Tical...

Tical readied his signature guitar, scared to the point that he was about to crap himself. The zombie slowly slunked towards Tical who was frozen with fear. The zombie let out a hideous howl. Tical screamed and came charging towards the zombie and beat its head off. He was breathing heavily and smirked when he realized what he had done. But he let out another shriek when the headless lombie reached its hand up and put it on his shoulder. He pounded the beast in its chest, knocking it to the ground, then beat it repeatedly with the guitar sreaming, until it was completely flat. Tical then passed out from sheer fear.
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[COLOR=SlateGray][SIZE=1]Sarissa looked around the dark forest, grumbling to herself. This had not been a good day for her. She had been jarred off of her very comfortable pillow - twice, mind you - by Molltenders; she had been...[I]gooped[/I] by Katchya's traps; she had been forced to eat a miserable stew; she had had to care for some little girl; and now, she was lost in the woods.

"Lost in the woods" was one of Sarissa's least favorite "status" describers. It was up there with "broke," "hungry," "tired," "unwashed," and "sober". She was, incidentally, all of those things, too. This put her in a miserable mood. And, as it happens, she was with someone who put her in one of those states.

[B]"Where the hell are we?" [/B] Sarissa snapped.

Katchya looked over, looking almost as miserable as Sarissa felt.

[B]"You're asking me?"

"No. I'm asking the rotted stump."[/B]

Katchya flushed slightly and looked away. Sarissa sighed and scanned the trees for some sign of...anything, other than moss and darkness. She didn't like moss, or darkness, though moss wasn't very high on her list of things she didn't like. Darkness was conditional.

It was about this time that Sarissa heard a loud, girly scream coming out of the forest. It sounded like "zombie," but she couldn't be sure. If it was, that was one more thing she didn't like. Zombies were gross. Very, very gross. And often far too persistent for their (or Sarissa's) own good.

The high-pitched screaming wasn't appreciated, either.

The screaming continued, accompanied by the twanging of a guitar. Sarissa felt her brow crease and a muscle begin to tic near her eye.

[B]"Tical's in trouble,"[/B] she growled, sighing. [B]"Again,"[/B] she added, with another exasperated sigh.

[B]"We should go help him,"[/B] Katchya "agreed," staring off in the direction of the effeminate screams.

[B]"Or, we could not. Because as much as I don't like Morag or Widdershins, I much prefer them to Tical. And they have my pillow."[/B]

Katchya stared at her.

[B]"You're heartless. You know that, right?"[/B]

[B]"And proud,"[/B] Sarissa added, with a sparkling smile.

[B]"Well, I'm going to go help Tical,"[/B] Katchya said curtly. She proceeded to run off towards him.

And, since "alone" was not something Sarissa liked, either (at least, not "alone and lost in dark forest with zombies about"), she followed her fellow Spade.[/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[color=Navy]Katchya walked through the forest confidently, though she was taking large strides, her feet didn't make a sound against the ground. She was upset, Sarissa was being mean to her and she didn't appreciate it. She grit her teeth in anger and continued to stomp along soundlessly. She had her twin daggers in her hands and held them by her sides, she was tensed and ready for anything.

Kat heard a rustling of someone walking behind her and she whirled around quickly, striking out with her daggers, but she stopped several millimeters from Sarissa's face. Katchya sneered and pulled back, turning and walking in the direction she'd been heading.

[b]"Katchya! Wait for me!" [/b]Sarissa cried in anger.

[b]"And I should do so for what reason?" [/b]Kat questioned, not stopping or slowing in the least.

[b]"Because I'm a fellow member of the Cold Spades?"

"Try again." [/b]Kat replied.

[b]"Because I said so!" [/b]Sarissa called, running as well as she could with a girl in her arms.

Katchya shook her head and whirled quickly, pushing Sarissa back against a tree with one of her daggers against the other girl's throat. Sarissa swallowed audibly and stared at the strangely shaped, navy blue and silver dagger that was pressed lightly at her throat.

[b]"Listen, I've tried to be nice to you, and I've always hoped that we could get along. But with that attitude, you and I will never be friends. You're an unkind and heartless person, you should be ashamed." [/b]Kat said, glaring at her with cold eyes. [b]"Have fun finding your way out of here." [/b]she said, springing up into the tree Sarissa was against she leapt through the treetops, hoping to find Tical in time.

Sarissa looked around, she was afraid, there was an unconscious girl in her arms, and she was alone, alone and lost in a dark forest with zombies lurking around.

[b]"Help! Katchya! Anyone?!" [/b]she cried.

Katchya backed against the tree, she was standing on a branch and the jump to the next tree was large. She had an idea and reached into the pouch that was on her left hip. It was full of throwing knives and other useful equipment that she could use, she then thought about why she hadn't had it with her when the moltenders around, if she had, then she wouldn't have had to go into the caravan. Kat shook those thoughts away and pulled out one of the throwing knives, she gripped it in her teeth and searched through it quickly to find some strong, fibrous twine that could easily hold the weight of people, though it didn't look strong. She threaded the end of the twine through one of the holes in the throwing knife and unrolled the ball of it she had. When she had enough, she cut the length off with the knife.

Katchya tugged on the twine, making sure it was tied securely and looked at the tree across the gap. She judged the distance and threw the knife, having it stick into the tree with a thunk. Katchya pulled at the twine again, checking it. She wrapped some of it around her hand and ran off the branch, swinging across. At the high point of her arch, she stepped onto the branch. Kat pulled the throwing knife out of the tree and tucked it back into her pouch without taking off the twine, it may come in handy again later.

Now Kat knew she could have just jumped from the tree and climbed the next one, but she didn't want to risk meeting any zombies yet since she was alone, and they were very rarely in trees. Kat continued on her way, wondering what had happened to Tical since there wasn't any more screaming. She assumed the worst and sped up.

[b][color=Black]OOC: [/color][/b][color=Black]I hope that's ok. [b]ULX[/b], if you want me to change that then I can, just let me know, I don't hate you, and hopefully our characters will become friends or something.....[/color]
[/color]
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[SIZE=1]Morag sat on top of the caravan, trusty frying pan at his side with Widdershins stretched out just behind him. It was a position he really did not want to be in. While the rest of the group, save Tical and Luca (though Luca did like using him as bait on the odd occasion), abused him in different ways on a day-to-day bases, Morag had always felt safe around them.

But not when he was left to fend for a caravan, in the dark, with only a frying pan and a talking cat to aid him.

[B]"So if we got attacked by, say, a horde of plunderers intent on stealing all our loot, what would you do?"[/B] he asked this with a nervous smile, terrified that Widdershins would take more offence than intended and claw him to near death.

[B]"I would run away and leave you, the big strong boy of this group, to save your sorry self."[/B]

Morag looked downhearted and grumbled, hugging the frying pan closer to his chest.

His insecurity was not helped when a few minutes later he heard the rather audible scream of who could only have been Tical, screaming bloody murder as he was attacked by something large...and scary.

Morag really didn't like that idea and was suddenly grateful to be at the caravan rather than out there in the forest with a little girl. Plus Sarissa would be angry by now, Katchya would probably be getting nervous and Tical...well, the scream was enough to tell Morag that he was probably wetting his pants by now.

Widdershins mewed and licked her paws, [B]"Should we go check that out?"[/B]

[B]"No."[/B] was Morag's definite and final answer.

[B]"Ah, good...we agree, Mr. Dunstibar."[/B]

The singer laughed nervously and lay back, reaching out tentatively to scratched Widdershin's ears. She mewed again and he relaxed, the cat wasn't so bad after all.

[B]OOC Aaw, bonding between Widdershin's and Morag. And Mr Warrior, Morag isn't stupid, just very, very naive. ^_~[/B][/SIZE]
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OOC: Oh, I'm aware he's not an idiot.


[left]Luca and Imelda, hand in hand, rushed through the forest as quick as they coukd. Luca had lit his hand on fire with a magic spell to aid them through the darkness. But even with his powers, they missed the drop and fell down a small hill where they tumbled into some bushes and landed on a road.

After gaining thought again, then two studied their surroundings. "Where are we, Luke?"

"Looks like... the road our caravan is on." Luca started down it, leaving Imelda to catch up. "We're bound to find Morag and Widdershins with the caravan if we keep going down this path."

"Maybe they're the other way." Luca stopped and turned.

"That's true." He thought on it for a moment. "Well, we can't get seperated again." There was a sudden song in the air, sung beautifully by a voice too familiar. "Morag."

"He's singing."

"He's probably scared stiff. C'mon." They turned to run in the other direction towards the singing, but were stopped in their tracks by zombies on the road. "Charming," Luca uttered.

[b]Back with Morag and Widdershins...[/b]

Morag sat himself down after belting out the notes and took a swig of cordial. "What'd you think, Shins? I can call you Shins, right?"

"If you do I'll claw out your eyes," she hissed.

"Fair enough." Morag lay back on the roof and stared at the darkening sky. The sun was about to fade behind the mountains and stars were already visible. Morag moved uneasily. "So, did you like the singing? It's a song I've been writing."

Widdershins growled in her sleep.

"Alright, alright. I understand. You're sleeping." Morag stood up and walked over to the edge of the caravan to take another drink of cordial. "Grumpy cat..." That's when he saw Luca and Imelda running down the road towards them. "Hey, Luca!" He waved excitedly, happy to see someone else for a change.

"Morag, get something to fight with!" Luca shouted as he ran at a dead sprint.

"Why?"

"Zombies!" Imelda screamed. The zombies were right on their tails, amazingly keeping up at Olympic speed. Morag screamed and almost fell off the roof. He shook Widdershins awake and clutched his pan. When Luca and Imelda arrived, Imelda disappeared into the cart to grab her potions.

Morag leapt down to the ground next to Luca. "Why'd you have to bring the zombies to me?!"

"Because Imelda needed potions. We'll try to kill 'em off so you don't have to." Luca stood in front of Morag and readied some light magic on the unholy creatures. "Time to burn..."

[/left]
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Tical breathed heavily, his guitar still in hand. He heard something coming from behind him.

"Tical," Katchya said putting her hand on his shoulder. He screamed and turned, swinging his guitar, but Katchya blocked it with her sword.

"Oh, Katchya, it you. Why did you sneak up on me?"

"I thought you needed help, so I came to save you."

"Why would you think that?"

"Oh, I don't know, maybe because you screamed so loud Morag could probably hear you from the caravan!"

"Right, well I was attacked by a zombie, yes they are real, no they aren't smart, yes I need to change my underwear."

"Ew." Just as Katchya spoke, they heard a moaning sound coming from behind them. Suddenly around 15 zombies appeared behind them.

"AAAAA! RUN!" Tical screamed.

"Here, grab onto this knife, the string will keep us connected," Katchya said, handing Tical the knife. The two of them went sprinting into the woods. As they ran the air grew thicker.

"Do you smell... smoke?" Katchya asked... them both of them realised, "The Village! We must be getting close!" They reached a huge opening in the woods, and saw four houses set up in a big square. In the center, a small group of warriors was fighting off hordes of zombies. One of the houses was on fire. They saw someone come out of the house with a child and put him in a different house.

"If we save them and get their treasure, the captain will think we're the best! he'll give us an extra helping of dinner!" Tical said.

A sweatdrop appeared on Katchya's head, "lets just save them...
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[FONT=Arial][SIZE=1][/SIZE][/FONT]

[FONT=Arial][SIZE=2][COLOR="#FFFFFE"]
Meanwhile near the Caravan....

Mel pulled out a bottle of holywater and began mixing it adding in Petrification powder and some rosemary. Luca quirked his eyebrow at the thought of why she would be putting in rosemary. [b]"What? They smell! I don't like the smell of rotting flesh anymore then you do."[/b]Imelda snipped as she began to pour the holy water across the pathway.[b] "They shall not take a step further then this"[/b] She stated just as Luca fired his first ball of light on the first approaching Zombie. It shrieked piercing their ears so that they winced, and then fell shortly to the ground.

[b]"Impressive. But watch closely."[/b] Imelda bousted as she began to walk towards the other two approaching at a fast speed.[b]"No, Don't! It's way too dangerous by yourself."[/b] Shouted Luca for they were really approaching at a rapid speed. Mel began to enchant words she learned from her mother, who had learned from a holy monk. It was not a spell of magic, but it made her faith stronger. She threw the holywater onto the zombies and watched as each one shrieked and covered their faces, they will still moving slowly however, towards her. Imelda shocked, stared in bewilderment with her mouth open. [b]"That was my best petrification and curse potion, they should not be able to walk by now"[/b] Imelda mumbled to herself, forgetting that infact, they were still approaching her.

[b]"Look out!"[/b] Luca bellowed for now they were just upon her. One of the zombies was almost close enough to strike her when Luke jumped over the circle of holy water and rushed at the zombies knocking them to the ground making a large "THUD" sound. Imelda finally snapping out of her daze and glanced at Luca. [b]"Luke, I'm sorry. I was being careless, I just can't believe my petrification powder failed..I mean its just never happened before. Since after all I am the best alchemists there is!"[/b] Mel exclaimed through her sympathy. [b]"It's okay, we all have our moments."[/b] Luca comforted her, but soon let out a yelp for he felt a terrible sharp pain in his left knee, for infact a zombie had grabbed a tight hold of it. Its shrieks made even a widdershin's hairs who was watching stand on end. Morag who had been left out of the action for awhile now, quickly hit the zombie on the head with his pan. "BANG BANG BANG" went the pan while he was mumbled [b]" I hate zombies. I hate zombies. I hate zombies"[/b] until it's body went limp for good.

[b]"Luca you okay?"[/b]Morag asked as he tried to help the fallen man up. Luca flinched. [b]"Yeah, but I think I pulled something"[/b] he suggested but Imelda could see a bit of blood streaming down his leg. [b]"Let me look at it for a second"[/b]Mel exclaimed as she bent down to take a further look at the cut, but her face soon grew pale and wished she hadn't. There was green foaming liquid running down his leg the color of poison. [b]"What is it Mel?"[/b] asked Luca curiously for mysterious his leg had become very numb.

[b]"The good news is, I know why my petrification powder didn't work. The bad news is, I know that my poison one does."[/b] explained Mel as she began to tie his leg up in a bandage. [b]"And what exactly does this poison do?"[/b] Morag said scratching his head, for he did not know much about alchemy or anything of the sort. [b]"This poison is called BandelWeave. It's called weave because one day you will feel pain and the next it will be numb. The good thing is that you will rarely be in pain, the bad, it kills anyone who does not receive the antidote within 5 full days. But luckily, I have these ingredients stored in my handbox." [/b] lectured Mel as she made her way over to the caravan pulling out her supplies. She counted the ingredients and soon began to grow even more white. [b]"I am missing one ingredient. A lotus flower. It's fairly common in these part of woods, but hard to find. They grown around buildings, I'm sure the village might have one."[/b]Imelda stated to Luca who was looking sicker every moment. [b]"If theres anything I can do Luke..Just say so...I mean I put you in this mess. Its all my fault."[/b]Mel said while sighing. It seemed she caused nothing but trouble.

[b]"So...Who's going to get this, lotus flower? I mean, Luca can't walk, you have to create the potion and I doubt Widdershins will step a foot in that forest, the guy would probably have to be clueless of the dangers to go into that forest anyway, with all the zombies, and who knows whats in there?"[/b] Morag complained but soon regretted it when he saw their faces. [b]"Me? Why is it always me? Argh, I hate being suckered into these things...Fine I'll go...but I better get a nice dinner after this too...Widdershins you owe me."[/b] He stated but only got a low growl from the cat ontop of the caravan. Imelda began to work on the potion, and Luca laid down in the back of the Caravan. Morag set out on his task of finding the lotus flower, and disapered into the depths of the forest. [/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[SIZE=1][B]OOC *grumbles*[/B]

Morag cursed lightly as he stepped over fallen branches and tried desperately to avoid brambles and other such nasties. He buried his hands deep in his pockets and sulked as he made his way deeper into the forest, a small back slung over his shoulder to collect the flowers in. Imelda had given him a couple of vials, telling him to just "throw this in something face and it will leave you alone."

Fair enough, Morag thought, but what if he missed? Then he would be eaten alive and they would have no more Morag. He grumbled again and kicked a pebble out of his way, the darkness of the forest becoming more apparent as the clouds obscured all light from the moon.

He stopped walking and sighed, looking up at the sky, which had taken on an inky purple colour. Oh, it hadn't been his day. Actually, it hadn't been his day since he joined the Cold Spades. All he ever did was be nice, fit in and give everyone a good laugh, not to mention help them out on more than one important occasion. What does he get?

[B]"I get thrown in a forest to look for a damned flower."[/B]

It was only when Morag stumbled across what he thought was a branch did he realise that it was time to stop sulking and time to start...running. He yelped as a rotten hand made a grab for his ankle and sprinted away as fast as he could, shrieking as he did so.

The singer took the bag off his shoulders and dug inside it for one of the vials, opening it quickly and tossing it all over the approaching zombies head. The creature screamed and fell back, what was left of its face melting away to nothing.

Morag wheezed and clutched his chest, the smell of rotting flesh infesting his nostrils as he pulled in deep breaths.

[B]"Find the flower, get out as soon as possible. Yeah. Sounds like a plan, Morag m'lad."[/B]

He continued chatting to himself softly as he carefully plucked his way through the forest, the half empty vial still clutched tightly in his grip. Then he saw it off to his far right, a bush covered in Lotus flowers. A wide grin spread across his face and the redhead made his way over to the bush, filling his bag with the flowers.

In all the excitement Morag hadn't even noticed how far from the path he had strayed and looked around, a blank and terrified look on his face.

[B]"Meep."[/B]

[B][U]-Over with Sarissa and the little girl-[/U][/B]

"I hate this. I hate nature. I hate the dark. And this kid is getting really heavy..." Sarissa muttered nervously to herself as she picked her way through the undergrowth, the child in her arms seeming to get heavier by the second.

Finally she conceded to whatever fate held for her and plopped down to the ground, setting the unconscious child down beside her. Sighing deeply, the dancer rested her forehead on her knees and curled up as a chilly wind whistled through the trees. She shuddered, and then she heard it. The awful wheeze and the sound of branches breaking.

A shadow stumbled out from the bushes into the small clearing and Sarissa screamed, so did the 'creature'.

"Omigawd, Sarissa!" Morag yelped, jumping back again when he realised whom it was. Sarissa felt a muscle near her eye tense and she let out a shuddering sigh, plopping back down on the floor.

"Great. This is all I need."

[B]OOC Aaw shat, that's what I get for not reading properly >.< Thanks, Sakura[/B].[/SIZE]
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[b]OOC: Delacroix[/b], Sarissa isn't currently with Tical and Kat since Kat left her somewhere in the forest after they had a fight.
[b]BTW: [/b]I'm not sure if they have glass windows...Do they have glass windows?

[color=Navy]Katchya ran forward quickly, slicing twice at a zombie that was in her way. She was headed toward the burning house where there was a lady standing near the door crying out to someone inside.

[b]"What's wrong? Is someone still inside?" [/b]Katchya asked.

[b]"Yes, my son, he's only a toddler. Please save him." [/b]the distressed mother cried.

Kat nodded and took her bandanna from her arm, she tied it around her mouth and ran through, she could hear the cries of the child and headed toward it. She coughed as she inhaled smoke.

[b]"Hold on! I'm coming!" [/b]Kat shouted to the crying child trapped.

Kat sliced through burning wood that was in her way. She finally reached the room where the child was, he was sitting in his cot with fire burning the floor, surrounding him. Kat ran through the flames, patting at any that caught on her clothes, she tucked her twin daggers into her belt and picked up the child and tucking him safely into her arms.

[b]"Shh....its ok. We'll be out in just a while. You're such a brave little boy." [/b]Katchya said, trying to hush his cries.

Kat shifted him slightly and removed the bandanna from her face, wrapping it around his mouth instead. The fire was coming in quickly and Kat searched for the closest exit. There was a window so Kat charged toward it, jumping over the flames and ramming with her shoulder, protecting the boy from the glass. They broke through and Kat curled up around the boy so they rolled when they hit the ground.

The woman cried out with relief as Katchya handed the child over, taking the bandanna away and putting it back on her arm.

[b]"He might have inhaled too much smoke." [/b]Kat said coughing.

[b]"Thankyou so much."

"No problem, but I have to help my friends now." [/b]Kat told her, running off to where the others were battling zombies.

Kat didn't bother taking out her daggers, she reached over her right shoulder with her right hand and pulled the blue tinged, see through blade from its sheath and brandished it.

Kat ran forward with it pointing over her shoulder, as she approached a zombie, she sliced at it, decapitating its head. Though it didn't stop the zombie from continuing to walk around. Kat sprung up and brought the blade down swiftly, slicing the decayed body in half vertically. She whirled eyes searching and she ran off into another battle with the zombies.
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Widdershins yawned, jumping lightly from the top of the cart to the seat. From the seat she slunk her way into the back of the cart, to where Luca was laying, his arm over his eyes and a bandage wrapped around his leg.

[B]"'Just going for stuff', you said."[/B] She nudged the bandage with her nose. [B]"'Nothing to worry about,' you said."[/B] Luca raised his arm to glare.

[B]"I never said that."[/B] Widdershins shrugged.

[B]"You were thinking it, or you wouldn't have gone."[/B] Luca rolled his eyes.

[B]"I could be dying back here and I'm being reprimanded by a cat."[/B]

[B]"Of course. I have nothing better to do." [i]Plus if it keeps you distracted, then, all the better.[/i] "Did you even make it to the village?"[/B]

[B]"Most of the way."[/B] A muscle twitched under her eye.

[B]"Most of the way?"[/B]

[B]"Yeah. Don't worry, Tical and them will take care of the village."[/B] The next words came out as an undignified screech.

[B]"TICAL?!!!"[/B] She shuddered, and proceeded to lick her fur back down from its on-end state. When she'd regained her composure, her voice was still quivering.

[B]"You left [i]Tical[/i] to fight [i]zombies[/i]??"[/B] Luca nodded, his voice slightly weak.

[B]"They'll be ok."[/B] Widdershins turned her back on him, her tail twitching.

[B]"Sure, sure, whatever you say..." [/B] She couldn't shake the all-pervading feeling of doom that simple statement had summoned, no matter how hard she tried. But Luca was wincing again, and so she held her tongue.
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Tical beat a few zombies off of him and looked around to see that Sarissa and Morag were now with them. He fought off some more and headed in their diretion to help them out. He looked over to Sarissa.

"No such thing as zombies, is there?" he said in a dry tone.

"Alright, I was wrong, LOOK OUT!"

Tical ducked as a claw went over his head. He quickly slid his hand down the neck of the guitar, and jammed it through the zombies stomach, pulled it out, and pounded the undead into oblivion. Meanwhile Sarissa kicked one in the face and its head came off, then reached into its chest and pulled out its dacaying heart. At that second, the zombie disintegrated into noting.

"The heart!," she screamed, "aim for the heart!"

The warriors all immedieatly started aiming for the zombies' hearts. Katchya whipped her dagger out and impaled one, then turned around and swiped another in half with her blade. The decayed bodies were particularly easy to cut through. One of the other warriors had a crossbow and proceeded to pierce many of the zombies' chests with ease. another warrior stabbed his sword through four zombies at once. In a matter of minutes, all of the zombies were dead, and the group began taking buckets of water from the lake and using them to put out the flames. Finally, the turmoil was over.

"We thank you very much, travellers. We could not have defeated the horde without your assistance," one of the warriors said, heartilly.

"Colette was very brave in bringing us here." Tical said.

"Who are you warriors?" One of the older women asked.

Tical quickly whipped his guitar out and spun it around his head, then plopped it to the ground, "We are the Secondhand Fiddles!"

"I see," one of the warriors mused, "We would like to give you a small token of our appreciation." The burly man held up a treasure chest about 8 inches by 8 inches in size, and opened it to reveal two beutifull crystals, one red and one blue. He handed the chest to Tical, who's eyes were gleaming.

"You are very generous, sir." Katchya said, smiling.

"I hate to be a party pooper, but how do we get out of here?" Morag asked.

"Simple," the huge man began and pointed to a small hole in the trees, "This forest is magic. Simply go over to the hole, and ask to be sent out of the forest. Where you stepped into the forest is where you will step out."

The Secondhand Fiddles finally made it back to their caravan where Luca, Imelda, and Widdershins were waiting.
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[left]Luca was beginning to look a tad pale. He wasn't one to show he was in pain or misery, but moans of agony seeped past his pink-colored lips. His eyes were becoming a shade of bright orange and his voice was growing scratchy. "Funny he's taking to the poison effects so strangely," Imelda stated. "I wonder if it has to do with a reaction in the zombies."

"Whatever it is," Morag interrupted, "cure it quick. Here's the Lotus flower thingies." He handed over the plant, which Imelda took and went to work on her cure. "I better get a nice dinner for this."

"Oh, for the love of Roak, pipe down," Widdershins hissed.

Morag bit his tongue as Imelda's procedure began on Luca's wound. Luca began to fade into unconsciousness as the cure took effect. He passed out, causing him to fall down to the ground on top of Widdershins. The cat let out a shriek of pain. "get up you fat baffoon!" Katchya and Tical lifted their captain's limp form and leaned him against the caravan.

"It should start to cure him. He needs rest." Imelda smiled proudly, feeling confident the procedure will finish as a complete success. Though, she didn't show it, it worried her Luca took to some uncanny side effects.

"Lift him up into the back then," Sarissa commanded. It was some unwritten law that if Luca was unable to give command, Sarissa was in charge. Neither Luca nor Sarissa herself made that rule up, but it seemed to be what everyone went by. As quick as she gave the order, Luca was heaved up into the back. He was placed on a bed made of pillows in the back.

"What do I get to sleep on?" Tical sniffled.

"My fist if you don't shut it," Sarissa snapped. "Let's all try to get some sleep. Tomorrow's a big day and whether Luca's awake or not, we're making it to Bendstern."

"But I want my dinner," Morag whined. The next thing he knew, he was unconscious laying next to Luca and the rest of the group got some shut eye.[/left]

[size=3][b]Part Two: Bendstern, Ahoy![/size][/b]

[left]Luca did not, in fact, wake up the next morning, but he was watched over closely by the doctor of the group, Imelda. Sarissa sat at the front of the caravan driving them to Bendstern. Morag appeared from within the cart and sat himself next to Sarissa. He was eating a sandwich. "I hear Bendstern is a port town. We get to see boats."

"Don't try to make chit chat with me," Sarissa mumbled.

Morag gulped down a part of his sandwich, but not because he wanted to. Simply out of respect. "I'll just... go play lookout with Shins." When he got up on the roof, he was clawed in the face.

"Widdershins, you dolt!"

It was nearing noon by the time Bendstern was visible on the horizon and was just lunchtime when they arrived in the shipping town. Luca was sadly not awake yet, but was looking better. The streets were full of people and the children were more than happy to see a festiviy like the Secondhand Fiddles cart roll into the small village. The Cold Spades peeked their heads out and grinned. "Show time," Katchya smirked.

Sarissa pulled the cart into a spot near the stables. Thats' where they'd remain until they would perform the show that night.
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[FONT=Arial][SIZE=2][COLOR="#FFFFFE"]Nightime grew around quicker then they expected, and Luca's condition was healing slower then Mel had hoped for. [b]"This is all my fault"[/b] Mel exclaimed almost in tears, for she had been the one to use the wrong powder on the zombies. [b]"Its alright. I'm sure I'll be fine."[/b] Luca said trying to get up but stubbled a bit grabbing a hold of his leg. [b]"Don't move it."[/b] Imelda suggested as she began to adjust his bandages.

Morag however, was out entertaining the crowd with stories that was waiting for the Secondhand fiddle's performance. They seemed quite intrigued. He stopped and slowly made his way to the stables where Luca was rested in a pile of hay. [b]"I just want to say sorry for making you go out of your way for the flower, you really helped out a lot. You are really talented too, I can't believe you held the crowd's attention for that long!"[/b] complimented Mel to Morag. Widdershins in the back snickered while licking her paws and stated [b]"That's nothing until they've seen me. The children especially are amazed."[/b] purred Widdershins as she slowly came around infront of Morag.

Before Morag could say another word, the stable door opened with a loud bang. It was Sarissa and her dancing outfit in hand. [b]"Look! Look at this Widdershins! Have you been sleeping on my dress again? I told you to watch out for it. There's cat fur EVERYWHERE. Theres no time to wash it now. Looks like I'll have cat chow mein tonight."[/b] explained Sarissa angrily, currently appalled that an animal had been sleeping on her belongings. Mel could not help but strain a laugh at the last comment for of course she was joking. [b]"You should keep your dress in the trunk like the rest of the group you know. It's not my fault you were being so careless, and I needed a nap. And I'd like to see you try to even touch me."[/b] replied Widdershins barely paying attention to Sarissa.

Before she could have the chance to comment back, Imelda spoke up. [b]"Well, you could always use one of mine. I know we have different body types...and it would be a little tight in some areas. But I could try and adjust it just for tonight"[/b] she suggested bringing out a gypsy type looking dress with white and red trim. It was petite and slim and was one of her favorites. [b]"Fine. I guess that will do."[/b] Sarissa groaned and walked out of the stable. She usually wasn't this aggressive, she was jutst moody after the long drive to Bernstern. Widdershin went back to licking her paws. Morag helped with Luca. Sarissa went to prepare in the Caravan. Katchya and Tical were off somewhere. And Imelda went to work on the dress. It would only be a matter of minutes until the show would begin.


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[left]The festivities of the evening began and everyone was enjoying themselves. The various performances from the group were going well, even Tical's unfinished inventions were enough comic relief to crowd-please.

Luca sat alone sleeping in his hay. Not even the loud attractions could wake him from his deep slumber. But something did. His eyes shot open, the same dark orange color from the poison flooding them. He stood up, but winced on his bad leg. It was healed enough for him to take steps. They were slow, easy steps, though. Nothing fancy. He made his way through the stables and past the parked caravan. From there he could see Morag perched on a fountain's base belting out one of Rolani's famous folk tunes. Luca managed a smile and continued.

He was in search of the Dragon Dew, if it was there.

The thing was, if one already possesses a Dragon Dew, they're in luck since Dragon Dews light up as they approach another. Luca clenched the Dew in his fist and wandered near the empty village houses of Bendstern. Mostly everyone was out on the streets, so it was safe to be sneaky in the shadows like he was. Though his handicap was quite the disadvantage when it came to homes with steps or slight rises.

A cat leapt onto his shoulder and he was almost relieved to see it wasn't Widdershins. The loud-mouth cat would either blow his cover or make him return back to his hay to rest a little. He held the cat in his arm and let it run off across a stone wall. A few more steps and the Dew glowed bright. A slight smirk played across Luca's face and then he entered the shadows. Only his poisoned-orange eyes could be seen.


Imelda returned to the caravan to check up on Luca, but was flabbergasted to see he wasn't there. "Where'd he go?" She opened the caravan to see Widdershins feasting on a fish. "Widdershins, where's Luca?"

"Sleeping," burped the cat. She wasn't interested in conversation.

"Useless feline," Imelda muttered and shut the door. Widdershins paid her no mind as she wandered off to find the others.
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[B]"And so the Prince and the Princess lived happily ever after, far from the reaches of the evil Queen. The End."[/B] Widdershins finished the story with a disdainfully flick of her tail. The show was underway, and she was supposed to be entertaining children with her ability to talk.

Most of the time, the small humans were [i]so[/i] enthralled by the words coming out of a "pussycat's" mouth that they'd sit in stunned silence during the whole show; a fact that both the rest of the Fiddles and the children's parents enjoyed. This time, however, she seemed to have stumbled on a small hoarde of skeptics...

[B]"You can't talk, you're just a puppet!" [/B] The little boy in the front row had a big mouth. Widdershins drew herself up, looking down haughtily from her stool.

[B]"I beg your pardon, young sir, but do you see strings?"[/B]

[B]"You're a [i]magic[/i] puppet!"[/B] Widdershins closed her eyes. [i]I hate children...[/i] She entertained the happy thoughts of scratching the boy's kneecaps when her fur pricked, the unmistakable warning of small hands approaching. [B]"I bet if I pull your tail you'll say something different, like that magic toy Da bought me last Middlemass!"[/B] Her eyes snapped open when a small fist closed around the very tip of her tail. Instinct snapped into action. Yowling, she slapped the boy's hand away, leapt off the stool, and streaked through the square where the performance was being held, a group of small, yelling children following right behind.

Small size was to her advantage, this time, as she ran under benches, between people's legs, and through the crowd to the caravan. Somehow, those [i]blasted[/i] children kept up, grouping in a small, hostile crowd to glare up at her. She sneered, turning her back on them, whole body quivering with rage.

[B]"OI! What are you lot doing back here?"[/B] Tical was back, between performances apparently. [B]"You're not supposed to be here, run along before I find your parents."[/B] The kids scattered. Tical shook his head, looking up at Widdershins. [B]"They bothering you?"[/B]

[B]"No! I was perfectly fine! I was [i]enjoying[/i] myself." [/B] Tical merely shrugged, used to the cat's caustic comments.

[B]"Has Luca woken up yet?" [/B] He asked, staring towards where the troup leader had been sleeping. Widdershins shrugged, beginning to wash her tail.

[B]"I don't know. All I know is the humans can take care of their own brats now."[/B] Still quivering with annoyance, she stalked to the other side of the caravan's roof and curled up. Naps solved everything.
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