Flights of Fancy (or, Run Away as Fast as You Can!)

The Never Ending Quest - Episode 19505

Fred had never seen such a contraption, he had never dreamed that such a thing could exist, not even in his worst nightmares (which, after all, were filled mostly with dragons, ogres, and the occasional burly woman). He had heard tales of many flying beasts, he had heard tales of some of the Races using animals to travel in the air - the counsel of the WhiteHand, for example, used the great birds called kites with which to travel, and it was said that some of those mages even had dealings with the Great Eagles. He had heard, too, of the gnomish peoples - the ancient race of little men; it was said that they could build anything they could imagine, even suits of armor with wings. But Fred was too busy with his knightly training to give such stories much thought or credence. Fred's mind reeled, this was just too much, this flying thing, this foxy woman beside him, the animal body in which he found himself, everything. Fred wasn't sure if he had lost his mind.

That's when one of the yellow lights appeared awfully close to where he was standing. The ground heated to incredible temperatures and the very rocks seemed ready to melt! Fred and Alicia lept away from there and bounded back towards the forest. The Forest. That was how Fred knew where he was. The trees were over a hundred feet high, the bark was white as goat's milk and smooth as a baby's bottom, and the leaves were lilac in color. In Fred's mind this could only be the Lilac Forest, and considering that he found a seaside town built about a port, his only conclusion was that this was Siloon. And that meant that this was the Isle of Right, which was only a stone's throw from the sunken Isle of Oops*. And that in turn meant that within a day's swim (paddling slowly, deliberately, conserving one's strength and without over-exertion) was the coast. The coast of the continent, the coastlands of Havnheim, lands in control of a duchy, not an Allarian duchy, but one friendly to the Family Collins nonetheless (or at least Fred hoped).

But getting off this Isle, getting back to the continent, getting back to Allaria, and ultimately back to that damnable dragon was not first and foremost in Fred's mind. Undoing whatever foul magic was involved in altering his manly body into a manimal of twisted and vile form was not first and foremost in Fred's mind either. What was first and foremost in Fred's mind was simply not getting killed by whatever evil thing was now floating high above in the world of birds, not getting burned nor slashed nor hacked nor twisted nor broken nor being the victim of any other act of violence which that floating thing could inflict (and Fred knew an awful lot of violent ways a man could be hurt!).

*for a complete history of the Isle of Oops and the horrific (if not comical) events which wasted the small land mass to nothingness, please see the Annals of Sire Rutber of Quaith.

  1. Fred and Alicia make it back into the Forest... just as part of it catches fire!
  2. By an act of the gods (or just plain bad luck) Fred's big toe hit a rock which rammed the back of Alicia's heel making her to stumble headlong into a shrubbery. After shaking violently she stopped moving. W hat does Fred do now?

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4/24/2002 5:25:07 PM

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