Tornado of Souls and the Maelstrom of Malevolence

Dearest Oric,

It’s been a while since we last spoke. Bennutto plods along in your absence, tail wagging and tongue lolling. I think we are all adjusting and adapting to your absence in our own little ways. We miss you. I hope the denizens of the dark are decent captors. I heard somewhere that the dark side has cookies. Is this true? I know you probably can’t reply. My hands are tied too! It’s part of my new alias and false identity. As soon as I am done transmitting this missive, Tranny, Otto, and I will bow our heads in fervent prayer for your safe return. I have been distracted of late and Isis reminded me I must needs pay more attention to the Bismarck. There is only one set of paw-prints in the sand, my friend.

Oh? I told you about Otto’s new collar right? It’s beautiful! Rhinestones and gemstones and studs and…PLEATHER! It’s gotten the Bernard admittance into all the seedy S&M clubs he frequents with Tranny. “She” has been a lackadaisical NetNanny though I’ve taken to letting them out on the town without supervision and relishing my time alone. It takes a lot of alone-time to develop an alter-ego. Besides, I think it’s safer that way. Since returning home with the furry-one and Tranny I’ve found some refreshed purpose to my elemental devotion — thanks to my dad. His are big shoes to aspire to fill. “Elementary my dear Tyvernos,” he said around his pipe full of ragweed.

You must be excited about the Trials! It’s pretty hard not to be. Everywhere we go and everyone we speak to is talking about it. I can’t give you much concrete information for fear that your captors will use the information against me, CrIsis, and our mission so I’m prepared to omit a few details. Hopefully you still get a complete picture. Names are being withheld to protect the innocent.

We are guests here in ___ ______. I think. __________ and his brother _____ have treated us well and afforded us hospital hospitality. ______ offered to stay on the ship but that’s bullshit. I whispered to the squirrel, “awfully nice of the bull to offer to stay on the ship. Though, I think it matters not.”

Tyvernos raises his eyebrow.

Tyvernos wonders whether or not it is our most prudent course of action.

We were given a wide-berth. Especially once we shared with __________ that our ship, ________, harbors the soul of a former member of _____. He’s got a very nice house, though, it rather reminds me of your current accommodations. Do they have room service in the Dark? I hope they’re feeding you enough to maintain your fit-as-a-fiddle vim and vigor. Before long we were ushered to our rooms to clean up before the evening meal. We shit, shower, and shave and got ready for dinner.

Tyvernos elbows _______ and whispers, “awfully nice of them to tolerate your horniness here.

Looks like they even have a pad to accommodate ______ massive splendor.

At dinner ________ introduces his brother, _____ _____, named after _____ the Star Mage. A child of his father’s second wife. Or was it cousin? I think she had a roommate back in college who got a little fresh. You could tell she liked to have a good time though. I mean anyone who dresses like that is practically asking for it. Right Tranny? He…er, she agrees. Sorry. *cringe*. Regardless, at dinner they told us of their time in the Trials thousands of years ago. Can you believe that? The Defilers at the Lopanic Games?!?! That’s incredible! I wish my parents were here to hear their stories retold. He also told us about their need to adopt alter-identities and to really fly below the radar. It was a thought I had a while ago and one I haven’t had the opportunity to fully pursue since rejoining the group.

Tyvernos humbly minds his manners and waits patiently for the pleasantries to commence so the EATING MAY RESUME TO CONSUME!!!!

“______” says, “I can’t lie, I am sorry.”

Tyvernos nods sagely to the Minotaur. “I agree, my friend. While it doesn’t bother me to lie I can completely empathize with your uncompromising philosophy. Our ideals are what make us mortals. They are what SEPARATE us from the DARK. Well, that and, apparently, room service.”

“_______” looks down and smiles “thank you.”

Tyvernos blinks incomprehensibly. “Don’t worry, big guy, my alter-ego is actually _____ the Minotaur. So you’re fucked. But at least my identity will be safe.”

Folks went about their bidnass to do some shopping before the trials. I didn’t accompany them because — it’s shopping. __’____ and I decided to stay back at the mansion and pamper ourselves with tea and crumpets and frilly, lacy things. I heard that _______ got a flamberge. __________ took the priest aside and told him that he’s been impressed by CrIsis’s honesty. Perfidy, before she left the realm, entrusted something to him with the directions to give it to a truly worthy priest.

“______” got back from shopping sooner than the rest having taken wing to inform the Squirrel and I (Like the King and I only furrier) that something happened to the rest of CrIsis while shopping. They probably maxed out one of our charge cards. I didn’t think interrupting an afternoon of pampering, tea, and crumpets and all manner of hospitality and amenity was in order. ______ then flew back as a bird and informed us that he saw ____, formerly ______’s but now ____’s falcon, leaving the city. I turned ______ into an albatross before turning himself into a Flying Squirrel (thanks Dad!). And __’____ turned invisible and we set off to look for the balance of our merry band of traveling band members. Band on the run! Band on the lam!

They had been thrown into the clink.

We met with _____, who finally returned and recommended that we wait until the justice system sorts it all out. Turns out that it’s illegal to practice magic in public. Go figure! You’d think the people of Palladium would be used to that by now. Regardless, we enjoyed the rest of our evening without the other band members but got much-needed beauty rest for a very public hearing and trial the next day. There was a ton of publicity and _____ had to call in a few favors to get adequate litigious representation.

It was an open and shut case. __’____ telekinetically grabbed the death-delivery pill before the dwarf merchant can commit courtroom suicide and his elven Mind Mage ran Pell Mell out of the building. Rather ordinary day in the lives of CrIsis.

Some other stuff happened but it’s not worth reporting on.

The Lady Isis graced us with her presence and addressed us each in turn. She was optimistic and gave us all a nod of acknowledgement and some words of encouragement and even pointed out our failings and shortcomings. Evidently, I haven’t been as attentive to Bennutto as I should be. I’ll try harder.

Then Overkill got a box.

Inside we found his one-year old daughter’s massacred body. Otto lost his appetite and I had Tranny take the poor beast outside to get some fresh air while I took turns consoling Overkill. The image burned indelibly in my mind is gruesome. I hope I never get your box. Besides, I don’t really have a permanent mailing address. Would you do me a favor and ask your captors to mail you…like, somewhere else? Maybe to the Pyramid at Avramstown? I would hate to have your body mailed to my parents and then try to explain that whole thing. Sigh. They already think I’m pissing away all their money at college.

So we prevailed upon __’___ to do an object read, cure insanity, and smoke him high as a kite.

Next we went to the trials…where BENDOVERREDROVERkill is the official entry in the one-man-one-oar AND HE WON TWO OF THE TRIALS?!?!!? I think he even won with a couple of strangers and non-CrIsis members. Go figure!

Alas, I can’t wait to see you my friend. But if you’re coming in the parcel post…I think I CAN wait to see you. Say, “Hi!” to the Agent for us and let him know we got his invitation. We’re on the road so we can’t send an official R.S.V.P. but it was good of him to invite us for the holidays and we’re excited as ever to try his spinach dip. Don’t ruin the surprise but I’m bringing Rhubarb pie!

Fondly,

MacCaulay Caulkin

Picture by 4Networking
Picture by Picture-Newsletter
Picture by TJ Hamilton

Written by Tyvernos on…an unknown date, in the 69th year of the Wolfen Empire.

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