The Summoner of Darkness:
Santa's Floating Dead Body
"Pine cones!" Unicorn suddenly screamed.
"Look at the cute little pine cones!"
"I'm looking at them," Quaraun said. "I'm just not sure why you are."
"I love pine cones."
"Pine cones are like tree poop."
"You think of the weirdest things."
"Aye. I knows it."
Quaraun stared at the tiny green and brown cones scattered on the ground.
"They look like miniature dead goblins," Quaraun said.
"We've lost Xanadoot," Quaraun said looking around. "ZooLock! Where's your slave gone off to?"
"I know not, my Lord."
"Will you stop calling me 'Lord'?"
"Yes, your Ladyship."
Quaraun glared at the squid beast.
"Where is Xanadoot?"
"He ran off when the highway men attacked. Your dragon brought me back, but neglected to bring back poor Xanadoot. He's probably half way back to Persia by now."
"I don't believe you."
"I speak the truth."
"Which is out of character for you, seeing how nothing you say is true."
"As you wish, my Lord."
"I told you to stop saying that."
Quaraun turned to Unicorn.
"Why didn't you tell me Xanadoot was missing?"
"I did nae notice."
"How could you not notice?"
"Ya was flying through the clouds most of da day. Me brain no can keep track of many t'ings at once. Ya was vomiting ya guts half the day. I did spend me time taking care of ya. I was no paying mind to the Thullid's goblin."
"Where we go to."
"Into the woods. Just follow this path and see where it takes us. It seems to be what I do."
The three continued on in silence for a short while, moving quickly through the dense forest to put as much distance as possible between themselves and the Human cravan they'd left back on the road.
"Why does ya walk so much?" Unicorn asked Quaraun, breaking the silence.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean ya walks all over the world and ya does no seem to have a reason for doing so."
"I like walking."
"Most Elves settle down and lives in a house. Hs a family. Never travels. Ya never settles down. Not even for a few days. Not even now when ya is hurt."
"I'm not hurt."
"Ya leg is bleeding."
Quaraun looked down at his wounded knee.
"I hadn't noticed."
"I t'inks we should find a place to settle down for a while."
"You mean stop travelling?"
"Why would I do that?"
"Why are ya travelling?"
"I'm a Lich Hunter."
"Who does nae hunt Liches."
"I found my Lich."
"Ya started travelling to look for me."
"And now ya found me. So why ya still travelling?"
"I don't know. Habit. I've done it so long. I can't seem to stop."
"Does ya want to?"
"I have to now. There's a price on my head."
"Yeah. Necromancy is outlawed. I had to become a Necromancer to resurrect you. And then I killed my family. And all the villagers. And the king."
"And the Katopas."
"And the Katopas."
"And the DiJinn," ZooLock added.
"And the DiJinn," Quaraun sighed. "I'm wanted for murder, mutiny, treason, genocide, necromancy, practicing magic without proper permits and authorizations from the Guild, and being the male sex partner of another male. I can't really stay in any one town very long before some one figures out they can gain a king's ransom for turning me over to the Guild,"
"So ya started out travelling, to looks for me dead soul," Unicorn stated. "And in doing so, raked up a criminal record, which now forces ya to continue travelling causing ya be on the run from the Guild, then, eh?"
Quaraun stopped walking. Unicorn who was walking too close behind the Elf, ran into him.
"I wish was would no stop like that," the Faerie complained. "Give me some type of warning ya gonna stop bolt short like that."
"I just thought of something," Quaraun said, not paying attention to Unicorn's complaint.
"What ya Jelly brain t'inking?"
"For the past three days we've had one thing after another chasing us off the main road."
Quaraun turned around to face the direction they had come from.
"It's like someone is tossing stuff in our path to stop us from going forward."
"Ya mean magic? Like another wizard?"
"Yeah. Either preventing us from going on that road or forcing us to go into these woods."
"Why would some one do that, eh?"
"I don't know. But first those highway men, then those hell hounds, and then that impossibly huge turtle... and those two cats and the pumpkins and that out of season field of poppies that had a really bad effect on me this morning. None of this feels right. Those highway men didn't try to rob us. In fact they didn't go after you or ZooLock at all. They just held you down while they attacked me. I thought they were going to rape me, that's what most Humans do, but they didn't do that either. They ambushed us, just to hurt me. That's all they did. It's like they knew we were coming and waited for us."
"Ya t'ink some one paid them to beat ya up?"
"Yeah. I do."
"Who would do that?"
"I don't know. But their is a price on my head and it gets higher all the time. What you said about me travelling, back there. I keep thinking about it. I would like to settle down and have a place to live and not travel any more, but I can't because there's always someone ready to hand me over to the Guild."
"Aye, but ya is very, wicked powerful wizard. People says ya is most powerful wizard in whole of world. More powerful then evil Lich King Gwallmaiic, Elf Eater of Pepper Valley, leader of Lich Lords."
"You ARE King Gwallmaiic, exiled King of the Realm of Fae."
"I knows. And that why I know rumours is true. Ya has far surpassed me in magic ability, provided ya stay off the poppies and wine long enough to keep ya head on straight."
"Those hell hounds," Quaraun went on, ignoring Unicorn's remark about his drinking and drug addiction. "They were from another dimension. They just appeared out of no where. Zapped into existence. Magic literally tossed them at my feet. And that half Elf..."
"Yeah. He just showed up out of no where, in the middle of no where and he just happened to know how to get rid of the hell hounds."
"Him were shifty character. Him with hims pockets full o sheeps."
"I think he put those hell hounds in the way to chase us off the road, but I don't think he meant to hurt us. I think he thought we'd run. He showed up just when the dogs knocked me down and bit me."
Quaraun reached down, pulling his skirts up and rubbed his wounded leg. The deep punctures from the bite were still seeping blood.
"He didn't expect me to get hurt. I don't think he would have shown up, except the dogs bit me and he was scared I'd be killed so he had to come out into the open to make the dogs go away. He used magic to poof them back to the hell dimension they popped out of, but how did he know where t send them? It would have taken even an advanced wizard weeks to figure out which hell dimension those dogs came from and then more time to find the right spell to send them back, but he knew immediately where they came from and the proper spell to send them back. He had to have been the one who sent them after us."
"But why would he do that?" ZooLock asked. "He seemed like a nice chap."
"He is," Quaraun answered. "For a half-Elf. He helped us before. A few years ago. But he was using a different name back then. He was calling himself Glinter when we first met him."
Quaraun stared up at the tall pine trees towering over head.
"Some thing's not right with GhoulSpawn. Nor any of this. Why would he be doing this?"
Quaraun had begun muttering to himself under his breath about Hell Hounds and GhoulSpawn and was no longer watching where he was going. Unicorn was nearly blind, though pretending not to be, thus he walked inches from Quaraun, keeping the Elf in sight so as not to walk into any trees.
"Why we stop?"
"There is no more path!" Quaraun pouted.
"Oh! That fixable," Unicorn said cheerfully, pulling out his machete.
"How is that fixable?"
Before Quaraun had time to ponder the possibilities any further, Unicorn ran charging forward, while screaming at the top of his lungs.
"Murder! Death! Destruction! Santa's floating dead body! Yes! Yes! Yes! Woo, ho, ho, ho! Hahaha! Kill every one! Die! Die! Die!"
Quaraun stood motionless watching Unicorn run around like a raving lunatic, screaming and yelling and shrieking, while brandishing a machete and chopping up the over growth. Knowing the Phooka was blind and and couldn't see where he was swinging that weapon, terrified Quaraun as he watched the Faerie hack every thing in his path to nothingness. ZooLock cowered behind the Elf, knowing it was the only safe place to hide as the Phooka would never hurt Quaraun. After a few minutes, the feral Faerie had cleared a path through the brambles. Unicorn trotted back up to Quaraun.
"See? All fixed."
"What the hell is wrong with you?"
"You just massaquered those poor plants."
"They is plants Quaraun. One can no massaqure plants."
"Plants are living beings."
"I a Phooka."
"I'm an Elf."
"I'm suppose to protect plants!"
"Ah yeah. Forgot, yis a butterfly kissing, treeing hugging looney."
"Those poor plants!"
"Theys plants, Quaraun."
"Those poor babies!"
Quaraun Rushed forward to examine the slashed shrubbery, dragging ZooLock behind him as he went.
"No concern for that life, eh?" Unicorn pointed to the Thullid being dragging in chains behind the Elf.
Quaraun was suddenly on his knees hugging the chopped up bits of plants.
"They're all dead!"
"Why did you do that?"
"I is dead warrior king. It in me blood."
"Oh. Uhm. Okay."
Quaraun wasn't sure he understood what the old Faerie was implying, but he decided it best to just agree with the Phooka and hope something made sense.
ZooLock staggered to his feet, hoping Quaraun wouldn't run off without warning, knocking him off his feet and dragging him on the ground again.
"I suggest," the squid said. "We stop and eat while we are stopped already."
"I shall cook dinner, then," Unicorn stated.
"Are you sure you can handle dinner?" Quaraun asked.
"I master chef," Unicorn declared. "What for ya t'inks I can no handle dinner?"
"We have no food for you to cook."
"Ya always has food in ya bag of holding there."
"It only holds stuff infinatly, it doesn't stop it from spoiling. I can't keep more then a few days worth of food at a time in it. You know that. We are nearly out of food."
"Ah! Then it good t'ing we in swamp."
"Why is that a good thing?"
"Swamp is full of wild edibles."
"I don't eat roughage."