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Fantasy Writers

Villains’ Character Castle

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  • #124065
    Catholic Creed
    @hannahrenner

    The Warning and Message shuddered.

    The Point – as they had dubbed the hopeful cure – flashed brilliantly again.

    Red.

    They remembered red.  When it hadn’t been connected to magic.  When they could see all the colors of the rainbow.

    Shades of green.  That had been their world for hundreds of years.

    And now.  Red.  Two flashes of red.  Brilliant, bloody, glittering, tantalizing, hopeful red.

    With a ripple of motion, the Warning and Message lifted hundreds of legs, crawling forward.

    The mountain swayed where their heart should be.  Each tilt brought fresh agony.

    They shuddered at another stony clunk and a dull burst of pain.

    One of their centipede legs erupted into boulders, damaging three limbs close to it, smacking the ground like a toddler throwing a tantrum.

    What a funny image to cross their mind!  It tasted like a memory – sweet and sour like thunderstorms in a polluted land.

    They stretched out invisible feelers.  Encompassed as much of the land around them as possible.

    The Point had Others around it.  And they were aware.

    The Warning and Message considered.  A long, slow moment of no movement.

    It doesn’t matter. They concluded.  If I don’t get a cure soon… this curse will spread. 

    What’s one kingdom when the world is at stake?

    ~#~#~

    Tayl slowly lit his pipe, brown eyes glinted gold in the firelight.  The corn weaved in the wind.

    “Ah mine bush-boy.  If you listen, you can hear the weirds of the world.”

    He blinked.

    Night had fallen since the second tolling of The Bell – another Chosen in the Castle Oaken Door. This one arrived without witnesses.

    (good)

    “Papa?!” a little girl with frizzy black hair and sword-sharp eyes pulled his arm.

    Tayl smiled. “Hup!” He hauled her onto his hip.

    They surveyed the crops.  The village,  The castle.

    Castle Oaken Door.

    The Bronze Lions were restless – blink and they were seated on haunches – blink and they were stretching – blink and they were poised to jump.

    blink. blink. blink.

    Tayl smirked at his adopted daughter.  “Well The Castle suuuure is liven’ up again, ain’t it Clem.”

    Clementine pulled the pipe out of his mouth and frowned.  “Only you and I can see that.”

    He sighed.

    Old Red-Tooth-Strike-Claw – the greatest of the Bronze Lions – was fully mobile now.  He shook off his great crown and roared into the night.

    “Should we evacuate?” Clementine rested her tiny head against his shoulder.  “We could be in the Refuge by tomorrow.”

    Red-Tooth-Strike-Claw appeared beside them.  He shook his broad main, thousands of bronze hairs ringing – each moment the sound was less and less earthly.

    “They don’t know.” Tayl whispered.  “They cannee see nor feel.”

    Clementine nodded.

    “Wise man.” he shook his head, shaggy brown curls frisking and tangling.  “Tt.  Only observant.”

    “Seer.” Clementine whispered.

    “Not of the future.  Just …” Tayl went to put the pipe in his mouth and it was squirreled away again.  “Clem.”

    She fixed her diamond eyes on him again.  The pipe held out almost over Red-Tooth-Strike-Claw.

    The lion huffed and smiled, eyes delighted crescent moons.

    “Well.  Guess it’s time ta hit the hay.”  He wiped a sweaty trickle from his eyes, bouncing Clementine to his other hip.  “Ya gotta get up early tomorrow for yer first day of school.”

    Clementine made a face.  She tucked her head back in his shoulder, clinging to his sweat-drenched shirt.

    ~#~#~


    @this-is-not-an-alien
    , hope you don’t mind me world-building your village a little.  Gotta direction I want to take this since my ActualCharacterTM isn’t going to officially arrive until the castle’s filled.

    I know it’s early in the game, but I haven’ seen anybody really play with the very serviceable exterior of the Castle Oaken Door yet and thought, “well, two threads of tension are better than one!”

    Be prepared

    When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.

    #124110
    Skylarynn
    @skylarynn

    “Are you going to stay for long?”

    “I don’t know.  I may.”

    “Are you a knight?”

    Rowan stared a moment as the girl sat in the yew throne, yet nothing disastrous seemed to befall her.  The elf still did not trust the golden wood though.  “I was once, yes.  A member of Queen Titania’s personal guard.”

    Faeryn cocked her head curiously.  “Who’s Queen Titania?”

    Rowan smiled slightly.  “She is – she was my queen.”

    “What happened to her?”  The girl took another sip from the canteen.

    “Nothing happened to her,” the elf replied, somewhat amused.  “She is still Queen.”

    Faeryn wrinkled her nose in confusion.  “Then why did you say she was your queen?”

    The smile fell from Rowan’s face.  “Because I no longer serve her,” she muttered.

    “Why not?”

    The elf turned away and did not answer.  She tried to drive the thoughts out of her head from when Oberon disgraced her.  Her back stung at the memory.  “It’s…a long story,” she said finally.  She continued when Faeryn opened her mouth to speak; “One I don’t want to get into.”

     


    @erynne
    Dominic sounds very interesting, though Rowan’s not one to go down easily.


    @hannahrenner
    Can you explain the Warning and Message to me?


    @this-is-not-an-alien
    Feel free to have Faeryn keep asking questions.  Rowan saying she doesn’t want to talk about it doesn’t mean Faeryn can’t keep pestering her.

    "Remember, you go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you." - Rev. Peter R. Hale

    #124118
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    @erynne
    WELCOME ABOARD!!! Where you can bring in as many lackeys as you want but only one villain and you can enlist the villagers as minions for your nefarious plans! (nefarious is just a really fun word to say 🙂 )


    @hannahrenner

    Hey no, you’re covered by rules 6 and 4

    6. Characters within the town belong to the castle, meaning they are common property for any writer to work with in any scene. You may invent as many townspeople as you want. Their responses are dependent on whoever gets to them first, meaning you can jump another villain’s deal/arrangement by manipulating castle characters’ responses. You can hijack other peoples’ scenes while they talk to townspeople.

    4. Internal politics in the castle are VERY welcome. Please invent a culture, hierarchy and/or intrigue for castle if desired. (pleeeeease). In fact if your story has political intrigue you can infuse it here. No pressure tho…

    And don’t forget 8!

    8. All rules are invalid if you can break them spectacularly.

    Faeryn turned her head, sensing a newcomer somewhere in the castle.
    “Where are you from?” she persisted with Rowan, curling her fingers around the canteen she’s acquired. There was a stranger magic entering in she could feel it. Soon the Choosing could commence.

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #124120
    Erynne
    @erynne

    Dominic rose early the next morning. The sunshine flooded the room through the one window.

    Today I shall figure out what that thing is up to. 

    He walked out of his room into a hallway, and shut the heavy door behind him.

    He stared down each way of the long hall debating on wich route he would take. He decided to go left, the way he came.

    As he walked down the hall, he thought of a plan. First, I need to figure out it’s intentions. Surely, being dressed in armor and so, it is planning on an attack. If my theory is correct, the only logical thing for me to do is- 

    A loud scream from the opposite direction interrupted the evil scientist’s thoughts. Not like a human scream, no, this scream belonged to someone- or something else. Dominic turned around and dashed in the direction the scream. The scream was getting louder awfully fast. Dominic stopped in front of his door to catch his breath. The scream got louder and louder until it turned into a piercing noise. Fear took over Dominic and he rushed into the room and locked the door.  The noise was gaining louder so he crouched down, closed his ears, and closed his eyes. The scream filled the room.

    BANG BANG BANG 

    A pounding was heard from the door, and it shook.

    BANG BANG BANG….

     

    Hours later, Dominic stood up. That elf has to go. 

     

    If anyone is confused… I don’t really know where I’m going with this XD. Umm… I’m kind of thinking Dominic is cursed because of evil things he has done in his past, but he thinks that they are part of Rowan’s attack.

    Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you ever know who would love the person you hide.

    #124124
    Catholic Creed
    @hannahrenner

    @skylarynn

    No.

    If I can’t write Warning and Message clearly enough for you to understand it, I am not a writer.

    Now.

    I am willing to explain why I selected this character.

    I read a pin on a city that was alive.  It wasn’t really a short story – more like a grandfather’s story.  You know, the one where he explains how everything used to be.  “This was a dirt road back in the day…” and so on.

    I was fascinated with the concept of a living location.  Just think about the stories a house could tell!  Or a city!

    So I tried inserting a living location to a story that wasn’t working.

    Fun Fact!  Randomly inserting things into a WIP isn’t actually the way to liven it up again.  I completely lost sight of what the story was originally supposed to be to chase my tail with a living location.

    Things got so bad, I had to set the WIP aside.  I will go back to it – the way it originally was supposed to be – sooner or later.  I will remember not to mash things into it.

    In the meantime, I have created Warning and Message which combines a CurrentObsessionTM of mine with my interest in living locations. Additionally, this Villain Castle formate should teach me to go with the flow of the story instead of tight-fisting it.

    See, I have an IdeaTM on how this character castle could go.  I even have a climax!  An ending!  But I CAN NOT force ten different people to go this direction.

    I have to interest them.

    I have to allow them to make their own decisions.

    I have to meet them in the middle.

    These are all things I struggle with.

    Warning and Message has some baggage I want to unload on you, but I won’t force it.  And to just explain it would kinda take away from the important lessons I am trying to teach myself.

     

    TL;DR – I’m not explaining my character because that would distract from my goals as a writer.  Expect another update soon that digs in a little deeper with Warning and Message and the politics of the people living around our lovely disaster-masters.

    When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.

    #124125
    Rusted Knight
    @rusted-knight

    I’m going to add one of my guys in. Technically, he is the protagonist but at the stage of the story I’m drawing him from, he is a lawful evil type. The book is Young Adult. You have been warned

     

    Isaac waited. Dew lay over the grass and his cover. Such a strange sight. Droplets that shown like gems splayed about him. Below the ridge, the gems vanished into darkness as they fell onto the road, the concrete sucking them down. A lone bird landed on a branch and looked at Isaac. Chirping furiously, it flew away. He paid no attention to it. His prey was coming.

    The black car roared down the road. Slowly, Isaac tracked it though his sight. Deep in him, a hunger began. A savage calling for blood. Isaac grinned. He would soon feed on another monster. This one was SS-Oberführer Oskar Dirlewanger. His many crimes in Poland included rape, murder, torture as well as having been a commander of one of the death camps. His current occupation was killing partisans or at least anyone he could call one.

    But now the hunter was the hunted. The Fenrir was lose on the cliffs. Isaac loved his codename. The mythical wolf that would kill Odin in Ragnarok, just like Isaac would find a way to kill the Nazi god that was Hitler. Such delicious irony.

    Taking aim, he fired, ignoring the punch to his right arm. The engine of the car flamed and the driver swerved to the side of the road. Kicking open the door, the driver leapt out with a pistol, only to die from a second shot. A second man jumped out from the rear. Isaac recognized the scrawny face.

    “Time to feast.”

    Aiming low, Isaac watched Dirlewanger’s left leg crumple as his kneecap shattered. Forgoing his rifle, Isaac walked down to the road. Dirlewanger was face down, crawling toward the ditch. Seeing Isaac, he rolled over and tried to shoot his pistol. Isaac halted the action by shooting his wrist. Screaming, the Nazi grabbed his broken limb. Continuing his grin, Isaac squatted down beside his prey.

    “How the mighty have fallen.” Isaac laughed. “Now how shall I kill you. Oh. I know. A little strychnine shot in the veins. I know you love that. Or should I hang and flay you. Or set you on fire. There are quite a few ways that you like to use. What? That’s right. I should mention it. I know a few who will find a little peace knowing that you’re dead.”

    Isaac cackled. Vengeance would be dealt. And he would enjoy dealing it.

    Isaac whipped the blood from the knife. The job was done. Now he had to find his next target. Grabbing his rifle, he vanished into the wood.

    The Devil saw me with my head down and got excited. Then I said Amen

    #124135
    Skylarynn
    @skylarynn

    “Where are you from?”

    Rowan shrugged, casting her gaze about the room.  The chamber seemed much less foreboding with a little girl sitting on the yew throne.  “The Green Court, just like any other green fae.”

    “What are green fae?”

    The elf turned back to Faeryn, who was looking off in another direction.  “Green fae are fae – elves, huldrefolk, selkies, and the like – that are bound to the forest by nature.  The Green Court is our kingdom.”  Of course, the green was also quite literal, though Rowan’s glamour presented a more human appearance over her more alien natural visage.

    “Are there other kinds of fae?” the girl asked, still staring off elsewhere.

    “Yes,” Rowan answered.  She was somewhat bemused by the girl’s distraction.  “There are red fae, which are tied to fire; blue fae, which are tied to water; black fae, which are tied to the earth; and white fae, which are tied to air.”

    “And all of them have a court?”

    “All of them.”

     

    "Remember, you go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you." - Rev. Peter R. Hale

    #124261
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    “And all of them have a court?” The girl asked
    “All of them.” the elf said
    Faeryn tilted her head. Every one of them a court. She dropped her fingers on the arms of the monster-chair sensing the cords of wood rattle through it, tip tap tip tap. It’s coming, something was coming. The girl slid of the yew throne still holding the canteen like a sort of trophy.
    “I’m tired.” she murmured her bare feet returning to the floor. Turning her toes to the door she twisted the knob and it opened to a different room from the one they had entered by. People never quite knew what the door would open to but it wasn’t likely to open to the passage out until the end of the Choosing. Faeryn fiddled with the canteen in her hand, feeling its currently-lifeless material.


    @skylarynn

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #124263
    Rusted Knight
    @rusted-knight

    Isaac trudged through the woods. Killing Oskar Dirlewanger had been very satisfying. But his job needed some attention. Reflecting on the future date, Isaac felt the pounding pain in his head, this time center behind his left eye. Stumbling to a stop, he balanced against a tree. The Germans would begin an offensive operation in North Africa to try to turn back the Allies. Alternating histories, twisting details cycled through Isaac’s head.

    Cursing, Isaac broke his train of thought and focused on the tree. It was an pine, the bark of which looked like brown slate. Pealing off a chip, he broke down a few layers, throwing the waste to the ground. The pain was less now. Pushing off the pine, Isaac continued forward. He had a general idea of what would happen now.

    Living in a developing alternate universe with the knowledge of all the possible outcomes was more a curse than a blessing. Some might say that it was one of God’s mysteries but Isaac refused to believe in an all caring being after all he had seen. Thinking about what was yet to happen was guaranteed a migraine. He couldn’t change events to where there was only one outcome. Events on the field of battle were too distant and random for that. He could maximize the chances but that was it.

    Breaking through the tree line, Isaac saw a village ahead. It was an old village, most of the buildings looking like they had been around since knights had still marched around. A small brick castle stood on a prominent point, holding a defensive high ground. Cobblestone roads wove in and about the town.

    Dropping to the ground, Isaac looked more carefully through his sniper scope. Most of the villagers were garbed in an older fashion. A few more modern cloths could be seen on those that seemed to be the local aristocracy. Overall, the village seemed to be a tucked away place, untouched by the war.

    Seeing a rabbit hop into the view, Isaac pulled his pistol from his vest. The rabbit only stared and nibbled the grass as he screwed a silencer on. Taking aim, Isaac watched the beast roll over and go limp. He would hold here until night set in. After that he could slip into town and hide his rifle. It was far too long to claim it was for hunting. Any veteran would recognize it as the anti tank rifle it was. Once it was stashed someplace safe, Isaac could assume an identity and stroll around while he plotted his next strike.

    The Devil saw me with my head down and got excited. Then I said Amen

    #124360
    Catholic Creed
    @hannahrenner

    Red-Tooth-Strike-Claw was aware of the New One.

    He could smell him in the woods.  A fire – familiar.  A dead rabbit – familiar.  A weapon – strange.  A temporal disturbance – strange.  A magical disturbance – familiar.  A metallic. oily thing – strange enough he didn’t have a word nor image to associate with it.  Gut instinct told him that smell was of transportation.  In a second, he understood why – there was no smell of horse or cart or magic carpet or any other form of transportation he was familiar with.

    With so many confusing and recognizable scents slammed together, the King of the Bronze had a mosaic of the New One – one who would be a Chosen if he entered the castle.

    It was coming.

    There would be no ‘if’ if the King could help it.

    He roared, drawing his pride together.  The formally bronze lions drew close.

    Tayl carried Clem into the house – and that pleased Red-Tooth-Strike-Claw.  The man had earth in his bones, wisdom to hide when he should and fight when it was time.

    It would be time to fight soon.

    Now was time to go after the New One.  He was to enter with the others.

    Always ten – no more, no less.

    This was the third.

    Unless?

    But no.

    The One-Who-Is-Coming is a threat.

    He surveyed his pride.

    A cub stumbled at his heels.  Red-Tooth-Strike-Claw smiled, eyes closed, as he nuzzled the cub.

    “Go to Clem.  Go to Tayl.  Protect our Witnesses.” he rumbled.

    The cub bowed.  “I, Strikeson, shall do as you say my king.”

    More propriety than needed.  Red-Tooth-Strike-Claw smiled again.  “Take the other cubs with you.  You lead them in my absence.  Report to Swift-Wing.”

    The cub pressed his forepaws out and his ears flat.  “Sir, yes sir!”

    As the cubs loped away, red-Tooth-Strike-Claw nosed three of his bravest warriors.

    “Right-Flank, Bronze-Sword-Mouth, Bitter-Tooth – retrieve the New One.” Red-Tooth-Strike-Claw rumbled.  “Report to me at the Canyon Roth when you have finished your mission.”

    The three respectfully saluted and bound away.

    Their coming would be swift and the New One would enter Castle Oaken Door, becoming Chosen.

    And he?

    There was a long path ahead of him.

    The rest of the pride followed at his heels.

    To the Canyon.

    Yes, that was the best place to lay a trap.  It was big enough for the One-Who-Is-Coming.

    ~#~#~

    Clem curled in her bed, a book clutched in both hands.  She slept soundly, mouth slightly opened, toes curling and uncurling at random moments.

    Tayl smiled as gently extracted the book from sticky fingers and pulled the blanket over her.

    Then he frowned.  He limped to his room, closed the door, and put the key in the lock.

    He hesitated.  “She may need me.” he reasoned.

    “And she may not.” he whispered.

    “And she can’t see this.”

    “But you should tell her.”

    “Not now.”

    “Yes.  Before the last of the Chosen arrive.”

    “No.”

    He sighed, sinking to the floor, leaning against the door.

    “Ah, mine bushboy, if you listen you can hear the weirds of the world.” he whispered, a hand hesitating over the bookshelf beside him.

    Clem insisted it was bad design to put a bookshelf so close to the door.  He insisted there was nowhere else to put it.  They owned 90% of the books in the village.

    He nodded firmly, prying several books out of the bookshelf.

    He locked the door.

    “Okay grandmir.  Why did they lock you up?” he whispered, triggering the hidden door.

    ~#~#~

    The Warning and Message shuddered, a sob shrieking from one hundred throats.

    They could go no farther that day.

    They slid to their knees, thinking soothing nothings.

    That was fine.

    There were three flashes in the space of their walk.

    They considered the third red flash.  There had been a spike – searing and volatile.  Harder to look at than the other two.  While the other two faded, this third was still red.

    This… this might end better than they hoped.  When they saw in color, red was time magic.  Perhaps?

    They hoped.

    They might have prayed.

    They closed thousands of eyes.  Stretched thousands of legs.

    To a native of the land, a mountain would have sprung up in the night – mysterious and looming.

    But there were pitfalls and traps – enough to discourage the inquisitive.

    Enough to keep the danger inside.

    Inside.

    Inside two electric blue eyes opened.

    A heart beat frantically in a whole chest.

    Two hands waved and two feet hit the ground.

    The eery blue, buoyant light faded.

    I have to escape.

    When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.

    #124452
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    The next door Dominic opens will open to the room with the throne. A strange force and the castle are trapping the soldier inside.
    Faeryn held the canteen Rowan gave her in her hands. Wind gushed across her ankles as tickling grass fumbled between her toes welcoming her to the garden in the castle. Glowing flowers oozed magic light as they opened, some tiny and some as large as she was. Different colored lights flashed against her blindfold. She wasn’t sure that they were fae but threads of creatures that weren’t truly alive anymore wandered through the garden; visible to mortals as foxfire, shimmering glass animals and musical voices chanting different things for each hearer.
    This would be the next room. But first they must enter the court.

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #124456
    Erynne
    @erynne

    Dominic crept his door open and glanced down each hall franticly.

    He stepped out, shut his door and took off running down the hall. Again, it was to the left, the way he came. The hall ended in a familiar staircase.

    He remembered that once he got up the stairs, it was a hall filled with paintings then ended with two doors.

    The two doors stared him down. One was made of a very light colored wood, the other very dark.

    The light colored door is the one he had come through when he entered the castle. It led to some bedrooms, but ended in the entrance to the castle.

    What was behind the dark colored door was a mystery.

    The wood had an odd print on it. It did not look like any other wood the scientist had seen before. He leaned forward and felt the wood’s imprint.

    As his fingers brushed down the door, Dominic noticed something. Beneath the door, a glow appeared. A glow with a million colors and an interesting affect.

    Intrigued, Dominic turned the knob and pushed. The door stood still. He pushed harder but nothing happened.

    Something was pushing against the other side.

    Dominic used his entire body weight against the door but it still wouldn’t move. The intense colors still crept out from the bottom.

    Dominic let go of the knob and noticed something. It’s not moving he thought. The only movement from the knob is when he was turning it.

    He thought desperately for an answer to his problem. The door was clearly unlocked.

    The answer struck him in an instant.

    It’s a force.

     @this-is-not-an-alien

    You are more than welcome to tell about my own character’s actions. It sounds like you have a plan in mind and I don’t want to mess it up 😉 Also, I’m not very good at this XD

    Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you ever know who would love the person you hide.

    #124460
    Erynne
    @erynne

    *face palm* wow. Ok, so. That was bad. I totally forgot the last part 😂

     

    After realizing this, Dominic prepared.

    He twisted the knob and put his entire body against the door

    . The resistance left and the door flew open.

    What he saw, there in what was clearly the Throne Room, amazed him.

    Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you ever know who would love the person you hide.

    #124536
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    You are more than welcome to tell about my own character’s actions. It sounds like you have a plan in mind and I don’t want to mess it up Also, I’m not very good at this XD

    Haha plan yes…plan’s such a strong word, I love how people tend to assume I have a plan when I’m actually just rolling with the first dumb thing that pops into my head.
    This entire village is rather awkward right now I just wanna get all the character to the Throne Room to interact and see how they take it. Nothing can mess up my nonexistent plan mwahahaha I am unstoppable (not)!

    The elf and the man were now in the same room. Faeryn was waiting for the soldier and the strange force she was sensing, different from the castle. Her hands pressed the door she entered from letting her fingers quiver through all the vibrations that were footsteps and actions.
    By now the canteen she had taken was set on one of ten small pools in the middle of the garden emitting a sapphire-green glow.

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #124650
    Catholic Creed
    @hannahrenner

    When Grimme jumped to her feet, it was with the strands of a memory-dream.  She rocked to the side, unsteady on two feet after a day on hundreds.

    No rest – never – not really.  Her mind alert in one body while the other rested.

    She snarled, slamming her fist into the cave wall beside her.

    “I will break this curse.” she whispered bitterly.  “I swear it.”

    There was a faint rocking.  She crept through the tunnels.

    “Of course I collapsed in the Room of Thorns.” she grumbled.

    Stone spikes shot through the floor: pentacles twice as tall as her, needles to cut through her foot.

    The chamber quivered with a deep but piercing shudder – They were coming.

    So what?  They were always coming.

    If they caught this body, they would be doing her a favor.

    She thought.

    Grimme flinched slightly as the shudder came closer.  The shadow of a monster flickered in the light of the Blue Moss.

    She swore, snatched her battle ax, spun on her heel and ran.

    ~#~#~

    Tayl closed the secret door behind him, flicking on the lightbulb.  The generator spluttered deep in the underground chamber, neon-blue dust puffing from the iron teeth.

    After a moment, Tayl plopped at his desk, stroking his beard.  He pulled out the file from his cabinet, humming softly.

    Classified – Foxglove Dell Murders.

    “Alright Grandmir.”  Tayl hung a portrait miniature on a shelve hook.  “Why did you kill the Chosen?”

    The blue dust in the generator shivered and blue onto the miniature: oil on yew wood, infused with magic. “You can always ask my anything at anytime mine bush boy.

    The woman shifted, straitening her stiff grey shirt.  “Hello brat.”

    Tayl’s face remained serene, but his hand balled into a tight fist.  “Grandmir.  How’s jail treating you?”

    She sneered.  “How’s the farm treating you?”

    “Fair enough.”

    “Ten years.”

    “So far, one for each person you murdered.”

    She scoffed.  “I was justified.”

    Tayl leaned back into his seat, pulling his right earlobe.  The phantom sensation of an earring was never going to leave him, was it?

    “You say that every time I ask.” He deliberately opened the file, allowing the title to be seen.  “But this says that they stole…” he cleared his throat. “One sword, two baskets of corn, and five loaves of bread.” He lowered the file.  “That’s very little to murder someone over.”

    The woman rolled her eyes.

    “You know, it took me a ridiculously long time to get this file.”  Tayl stroked it with an ash-smudged finger.  “And we know how things work around here.”

    She snorted.

    “So, here’s my question.”  Tayl steepled his fingers, taking a deep breathe.

    “How do I make it look like an accident?”

    ~#~#~

    Faeryn… That was a name she liked.  “Gift of the Fey” she mused.

    She stretched her mentality through the walls, breathing with book-lungs. Thousands of thin layers of paper rippling as air filled her expanse.

    She was growing.

    The Warning and Message had stopped for the night – but…

    Faeryn smiled slightly, easing off her blindfold.

    Two glittering blue eyes stared back at her in the mirror.  Glittering, electric, blue, blue, blue…

    Yes, electric.  Nothing electrical worked in her village now.

    That was an accident.

    She could possibly rectify it.  But The Warning and Message was required.

    More specifically, the curse guarded by The Warning and Message.

    And she would need ten chosen to fetch it.

    Ten – one for one.

    She trembled, stretching out to feel deep in her dungeons.

    “How do I make it look like an accident?”

    Ah.

    That would be bad…

    ~#~#~

    The old woman grinned.  She clapped her hands.  “Finally.” she smirked.  “You are starting to understand the world we live in mine bushboy.”

    Tayl slumped in his seat, smiling faintly.  “As ya cannee see.”

    ~#~#~

    Grimme burst through to her next chamber, sliding under the turning gear.  It was twice as big as her and essential to her – to The Warning and Message which was her but wasn’t.

    The shadowy monsters were close at her heels, snapping and howling.  Their shuddering echoes quivered in the dark chambers.

    The last of the Blue Moss was gone.  The lower she climbed, the less there was.

    And the more monsters.

    “I’m reaching that door!” she shrieked.

    ~#~#~

    Isaac bundled into his truck – it was his now, he found it, and no one was using it.  He did not know how it arrived, and he didn’t care.

    He did care about the roars in the distance.

    ~#~#~

    Rowan flinched into a defensive position as the door flung open, her eyes dazzled by an enigmatic light.

    How long had she been staring at it?!

    ~#~#~

    Dominic snarled at the nasty, pointy-eared woman in front of him.  Ah, yes, he would kill her.  It would be a joy for all the torments inflicted on him since he arrived at the cursed place.

    ~#~#~

    Grimme shrieked as she reached the door – FINALLY.

    “After all these years.” she sobbed.  “I’m home.”

    She slashed it open with her battle ax, screaming as the shadow-monster’s claws scrapped her arm.

    But she went through that door.

    Only when she crossed the threshold did she realize…

    … that was not her door…

    … her door was several hundred levels below her…

    ~#~#~

    Dominic and Rowan whirled to face the newcomer – a wild woman who materialized out of the strange light.

    She took one glance at them, roared, and charged with her battle ax swinging.

    ~#~#~

    Faeryn collapsed backwards, her fingers splayed as the light faded.

    “I think…” she whispered,

    “I think dear Warning was too far away…”

    Her eyes closed.

    With a puff of smoke, Faeryn disappeared.

    The Castle quivered – the body Faeryn was gone for the moment, bot not for long.

    ~#~#~

    Isaac readied for the attack.

    ~#~#~

    Tayl flinched as the miniature shattered into hundreds of splinters.  In a mad scramble he dashed the pieces into a pile hoping for what?  For WHAT?

    ~#~#~

    The grandmir shrieked, hand stretched out to the door, the last of the vines wrapping around her delicate skin, pulling and tearing.  Her fingers tightened around the cell bars as she tried to pull herself to them.

    With a final scream, she was still.

    Thin vines continued spreading over her body.  Flowers bloomed.  Petals faded.  Seed pods swelled.  Leaves dropped.

    In minutes, the vine was dead, and the old woman it had feasted on was mire polished, splintered bone.

    ~#~#~

    Behind Grimme, the long, ash-flaking claw of a shadowy monster stretched it’s hand through the portal.

     

     

     

     

    Oops.

    My keyboard slipped.

    😉

    When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.

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