Plot Summaries: Fred & Astra from Fens of Canmoor to Thrones

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JH
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Plot Summaries: Fred & Astra from Fens of Canmoor to Thrones

Post by JH » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:41 pm

I found this along with five other plot summaries on my hard drive, where I'd forgotten I had them. They were written by Lord Reaibn, and originally were posted by him on his forum on his own, much missed, website. I must have copied them from there at some point. I'm sure he won't mind if I post them here with due accreditation.

Story Branch 1

Reaibn got the Eye of Hayzus and transported Fred & Astra to Caemlyn. He did NOT reveal he had gone goofy with power. Fred and Astra took a bath (to wash off the mud), but had been left ridiculous clothing (and an umbrella). They ate dinner with the servants, and apparently some of the former Lords and Ladies were now in menial positions. King Emry was said to have "passed on" because he couldn't adjust to the changes. Fred was scheduled to be coronated the next day, and Fred and Astra allow themselves to be led away to their rooms. Light is provided by an actual lamp plugged into apower outlet. Fred investigated the desk, discovering modern pen and paper, then looked in the other desk drawer. He found a roll sealed with red wax which was basically an invite/ticket to his coronation. This entitled the holder to: a seat in the south stands, food at the banquet (only one serving per meat/sweet, and no liquor until after the coronation), the requirement to be called upon to perform tests of strength and prowess (men), the right to participate in the peanut races (and keep winnings), the right to watch the gelatin swim, and the knowledge that anything else costs money and that the kingdom is not held liable in any case for anything and (alarmingly) that coronations "COMES BUT ONCE EVERY TWO OR THREE YEARES. PLEASE DO NOT MISS THIS." Fred was creeped out by this, and then was taunted by the voice of Reaibn (calling him 'Sir Freddy Freddy Freddy'). Reaibn made the lights go out, and Fred went to bed.

The next day, Fred had a shower and went to breakfast. Astra was notably missing, and when Fred asked about her absence he was informed by Reaibn that She would be there any minute. Fred was not hungry, and only ate a little ham and eggs. He was still unnerved by the social mixing at the breakfast table, and so made conversation with Reaibn about when the coronation was supposed to start. Reaibn informed him that it started on 3 bells on the 2nd watch, with the crowning to take place at 8 bells. The feast was scheduled to start at 1 bell on the 3rd. Fred didn't really understand that, and Reaibn alluded to some proclamations that Fred would be expected to make, but then Astra joined them (in garish white and orange garb with ostrich feathers). Fred tried to talk to her about the craziness around but she was condescending about how he needed to learn to 'adjust to circumstances'. Fred asked about defense of the kingdom, and was informed that none was needed any more. Reaibn had pacified Hespan and the dragon, basically neutralizing all threats to the kingdom. *note: Minestus is running a lemonade stand in the south of Allaria in this thread.

Fred finds these reports alarming, and Reaibn assures him that he is just 'very good at cleaning things up'. That he helps people 'do what they really want to do'. For instance, the Lords and Ladies doing menial jobs, that is what truly makes them happy, he just set them free to do it. Fred was not convinced, but asked what happened after the coronation. Reaibn then dropped the bombshell that he intended Fred to marry Astra exactly one week after the coronation was complete. He was very happy about this, and then went on to note that the entire kingdom would watch the consummation. Astra flew into a cold rage, but Fred turned her condescending comments back on her. Astra ignored him, telling reaibn that she intended to cause Fred physical harm to prevent any consummating from taking place. Fred was quick to change the conversation back to the content's of his first royal proclamation. Reaibn informs Fred he will announce a royal pardon for all prisoners as well as a cake-making competition. Fred balked at this and so Reaibn offered to provide a list from which Fred could select who would get pardoned.

Reaibn was provided with the 'Roll of the Damned' which made it quite clear that King Emry, having gotten his hands on the Eye, had went a bit batty and declared himself emperor of the known world. Reaibn assures Astra that he kept better 'control' of the Eye (Note: called 'marble' sometimes) from then on and that Aqualaria and Allaria have great relations. Astra wonders if there is an Aqualarian merchant caravan or embassy somewhere in Caemlyn, harboring thoughts of escape. Fred tells Reaibn to remove the claim of power over other countries from the royal proclemation header. He thinks to himself and doubts his ability to rule a kingdom where someone insane like Reaibn holds so much magical power. Who will be his ally? Reaibn? No, he is bonkers. Astra? Maybe. He decides to bide his time and hope a solution presents itself while trying to hold on to his sanity. The Roll of the Damned ends up only having three names on it, and they focus on Bob the Barber, who wrote short works with blatent continuity violations.

Fred could not believe that such a thing was a serious offence, but Reaibn assured him the continuity errors were quite terrible. Fred freaked out, and Reaibn made to have him taken back to his room (forcibly if necessary), however Fred realized how his freaking out was not helping matters. He thought taht maybe the Eye was causing his own instability and made a conscious effort to calm down. For his part, Reaibn was sad, having thought that Fred would appreciate the breakfast and all the work going into the coronation. For now, Fred decided to get it together. He put on a brave face and apologized to Reaibn for acting so rudely, and promised to discuss the marriage to Astra later. Fred then decided to meet with Bob before the coronation, which shocked Reaibn but he agreed to arrange it. Before that, however, Fred ran into Princess Exotica, only now she was a chambermaid. Reaibn assured Fred that Exotica was MUCH happier as a chambermaid. Fred just sighed and continued off towards the dungeon. Astra asked about the Aqualarian embassy and was sad to discover that when king Emry went off his rocker that they pulled the embassy out. There were also no merchant caravans. Astra then made a private decision to make her own way home. There was no way she was marrying fred. They meet the Tin 'Grande Jaileur', who speaks super annoyingly. Astra said 'excuse me' and was banished to the excuse room. Meanwhile, Reaibn gets the keys which is fine with Fred as the tin-man gave him the creeps. The opulent but in poor taste jail cell that Bob the Barber was in had shag carpet adn orange armchairs, among other atrocities. He was cheerful, but was horrified to learn he would be pardoned, as he was a 'recidivist'.

Fred has Bob give him a haircut and a shave, and Reaibn leaves to check on Astra, talking about 'showing her the marble'. Bob tells Fred as he performs the shave and cut that he wanted to be a troubedour (only he couldn't sing). He then tells fred the tale of 'The Second Winecask: A Shocking Tale from the Cellars of Lord Bellephron's Manor'. Unfortunately, this tale immediately had huge continuity errors. To keep Bob happy, he decides to keep him in jail. Meanwhile, Astra was trapped in the excuse room, where she needed to provide the right excuse to get out. There were a ton of recepticles with pieces of paper containing excuses, and she finally found the right one (needing a spanking). She was spanked by the tin-man in the discipline room (ouch) and then went to go find Lord Fred. Instead, she ran into Princess Exotica (the chambermaid). Exotica just kept insisting that Astra leave her alone, however, and after repeated attempts to engage her she heard Reaibn telling Fred that Exotica's mental state had deteriorated. She realized she had to get out of Caemlyn without Reaibn noticing. As they were getting closer, she tried to find a way to flee but then decided to take her chances and stay put.

Astra tells Reaibn she did NOT have a good time in the excuse room. He tells her that it is almost time for them to put on their robes. She tells Reaibn that she hopes they dont have to do a lot of sitting down, and he seems to already know what is going on as he tells her there will be plenty of soft cushions. Fred attempted to speak to Exotica, who only responded that she wanted to be left alone. Reaibn reminds Fred and Astra both that he already told them that Exotica had lost her wits since her fathers unfortunate demise. He reminds them of their tight schedule, and they are hurried along. Astra compliments Fred on his haircut, and then they both went to their respective rooms. Fred followed Reaibn through a maze of corridors to a simple door with no handle or lock. Reaibn knocked on the door and it opened. Fred beheld a bed, several cushioned chairs, a steaming buffet card, a cabinet ligt up from inside containing various things (including bottles), a desk with a computer, and several huge monitors showing things around Allaria. Fred asked Reaibn about all the "sorcery" and REaibn referred to it as a "special magic" called technology that he was powering via actual magic. He refers to becoming 'one' with the marble (Eye of Hayzus). He tells Fred that he wants him to help him make EVERYTHING good, for everyone, all the time. He tells Fred that basically all of Allaria is in attendance for the coronation (minus prisoners and help). He shows Fred a magical image of the feats of strength and military prowess currently occuring and the crowd going wild. He points out that everyone is having a good time but that Astra is the problem he needs Fred's help with. He knows she is planning to escape and mentions having to show her something. Fred forbids Reaibn to harm Astra, which he shrugs off, insisting he will only 'convince' her that she needs to play along. As for Astra, she was given thirty minutes to get ready, assisted by two maid servants, one of which was Exotica (who again only responded to inquiries with 'No. Leave me alone'). Astra was put into a gorgeous outfit and then was joined by Reaibn, who offered to show her his marble.

When Astra joined Fred she is acting bewitched (talking about how great the coronation will be, and how excited she is to marry Fred, etc) but then winks at Fred to let him know that her words have been for Reaibn's benefit. Her family's invisibile ancestral dagger allowed her to shake off her bewitchment (as Reaibn had not been thorough). She then used it to slit Reaibn's throat before he could open the doors. He muttered that he only wanted to help, and then died, his corpse vanishing. Fred was incensed by Astra's actions but she insisted it was the only way. They then went to sneak out the scullery door. Fred was not sure Reaibn had been evil, but he put his guilt away temporarily as they went to make their escape. Meanwhile, Reaibn was very much alive. He plotted atop his throne of cold iron as they made their escape out the scullery door.

Astra and Fred found themselves in a thorny maze of Reaibn's devising. They realized he was not so easily slain, and found themselves gaining weight every time they thought they were getting free. Astra used her ancestral dagger to eventually get them free of the maze and back to their normal size. Reaibn's ghostly assistant offers to seal the gate but Reaibn decides to let them go. Fred and Astra are determined to escape Caemlyn, and Reaibn decides to let them... for now. He spoke to them from thin air outside the capitol, informing them that he would leave it up to them to return of their own volition. As a motivation, he afflicted them with an unsightly sore that woudl itch and burn, bursting painfully if over-bothered (one per hour). Fred and Astra discovered quickly that Reaibn was serious, with nasty purple pus-filled sores appearing on them at the end of the next hour.

Abandoned Plot Element: Ghostly Apparition.

Fred and Astra arrived in Redstone, and went to 'The Forgotten Fool' inn. It belongs to Bartholomew (an old friend of Lord Fred's family). Bart went to get Walter, the village healer and his best friend. He was worried about how much Lord Fred knew about the situation in Allaria, and he wondered about the sores. He had seen them before on people who had displeased Reaibn, and that was worrisome. Redstone had so far been spared the insanity that had afflicted much of Allaria, but if they harbored someone at odds with reaibn it could be bad news. On the other hand, Lord Fred was a true knight and a friend of the family and bart would never turn his back on him. Bart was not expecting Ol Roy (a drunk, and hired thug of reaibn) and his group of street urchin thieves to knock him out and take him prisoner. He and his urchins got their instructions via dreams, and had just been keeping tabs on the town. However, they were warned of Fred and Astra, and so accosted Bart as instructed.

Meanwhile, Fred and Astra had taken a bath and changed clothes. They then felt much better, although the sores were still quite bothersome. When Bart did not return within a couple hours, they got worried and went looking for him. Astra thougth of asking where Walter (the healer) lived, and they found out that information. They then saw Ol Roy and his armband with the eye on it (reaibn's symbol) and surmised that Bart had been taken. Ol Roy fled before a raging Fred, but the urchins were ready to put up a fight. They were having quite the dilemma and barely dodging serious injury from the urchins when Walter used magic to knock the children unconcsious. This broke a vow he had taken to only use his magic for the purpose of healing. Walter said it was worth it, however, proving that Reaibn did not know of Walter's origin or abilities. Fred demanded to know why he didn't just use his magic in the first place and Walter explained that he didnt want to break his vow AND that using magic is draining for him and reduces his ability to use it again in the immediate future. He then had Bart tie up and move the children to prevent them from bothering them again. Fred and Astra told Walter the whole crazy story as he tended to Fred's cut (from the urchins). They tell him they intend to walk to aqualaria but are afraid they wont make it due to the crazy distance: 9 days walking. And they also feared Reaibn's further actions if he felt the sores werent enough of a motivator for them to return. Astra surmises that Reaibn's powers have limits as he hasnt used his transforming magic or other abilities to stop them in redstone (instead, acting through outside agents like Ol roy and the urchins).

Walter: Mage & Healer from Vjorica, the Divided City

Walter concludes he can heal the sores they already have but cannot stop new ones from appearing. He provides them with soothing ointment, however. He then informs them that reaibn has the Eye of Hayzus and is a madman sorcerer with almost limitless power within the boundaries of allaria. Walter theorizes that Reaibn is restraining himself deliberately instead of just transporting Fred and Astra back to the castle. They all ponder what game he is playing at. Walter tells them that for whatever reason for now Reaibn is just content to inconvenience them and place obstacles in tehir way, as if to see how they overcome them. Like Fred and Astra are a curiosity to him. Walter healed their sores and gave them the ointment and Bartholomew gave them their fastest horses. Walter explained that Reaibn was not evil, it was the Eye that was evil. It was twisting and changing REaibn, himself a good man. He asks them to spare Reaibn's life, if possible. Fred and Astra set off in a gallop, seeking to put distance between themself and Caemlyn.

Fred and Astra apply ointment to hard to reach areas on each other, while in Vjorica seven hooded figures met, referring to an unknown person with a misison of the "utmost importance" with "layers and layers". One of them seemed to be in charge, and they decided to wait and meet again later, monitoring events in the meantime. Meanwhile, in Walter's home Bart and he got into a small argument. Bart thinks they should have told Fred and Astra something, while Walter insists that it would have done more harm than good. They open a trap door with a strange lock and go into the basement. Ol Roy is admonished as are the urchins (by Reaibn) and their memory wiped. Apparently, REaibn cannot see into REdstone, his vision is clouded. Apparently, REaibn is on his way physically to REdstone. In Aquilaria, Queen Heliastra is worried about the "Reaibn problem". She summoned her High Priestess and High Sorceress to make a plan. Back with Fred and Astra, they headed south once again.

Fred and Astra pushed on through the night, seeking to make good time. Their plan is to go to Aqualaria's capitol where hopefully the High Sorceress could help them escape from their tormenting spell. They also avoided small villages so as hopefully to evade Reaibn's agents. Meanwhile, Queen Heliastra has learned that Astra is definitely in Allaria but also that her High Sorceress and High Priestess can do nothing about it. The sorc cannot pierce Allaria with her magic and thus would have to enter herself (and risk coming under Reaibn's sway, which the Queen cannot do) or send someone else. They desperately need Astra back, not only because she is the Queen's daughter but also because she has intelligence they need about the 'reaibn problem'. Reaibn had tried to teleport to Redstone and found himself unable to. This greatly frustrated him. He changed all the inhabitants of Mudspot into hedgehogs for a few hours to prove he still had powers, but he couldnt touch Redstone (except appearing in peoples dreams). He was also unable to hear or see anything going on in redstone. He summoned demon-horses and headed to redstone in person at all speed, furious! Walter and Bart enter the basement, and Bart sits in a very white chair inscribed with magic runes. Turns out he is a Nullifier, or N-Mage (see below). The chair is painful for bart but it allows walter to slowly expand his anti-magic aura. At this point, his aura extended two miles beyond Redstone in every direction. It was necessary to get his aura at maximum so that they could plan from Redstone, made a safe haven from Reaibn's magic. Their plan is so far unknown.

Bartholomew: A Nullifier, or N-Mage. They are extremely rare individuals born with what you could refer to as 'anti-magic'. It is hard to explain, but it is like magic, but polarized opposite. It is the inverse of the magic that the normal wizard or sorcerer uses. A Nullifier has an anti-magic aura that nullifes magic in his or her vicinity. It does not, however, prevent them from casting their own spells using their strange magic. Trained nullifiers can make conscious 'exceptions' to their aura, which is what Bartholomew does with Walter. Extremely trained Nullifiers can enhance the spells of other mages, combining their anti-magic with magic to produce wondrous (but very dangerous) spells indeed.

Possible Plot Point: Mudspot's inhabitants changed into hedgehogs for three hours; Bartholomew and Walters histories (as individuals and together). Are they the "outcasts" from Vjorica? Possibly.

They slept, and were accosted by bandits led by a 'Count Greenholt'. They were robbed of all their possessions, although Astra tries to bluff that they have a contagious disease. She does convince them to leave the ointment. Fred and Astra apply more, and continue on foot, hoping to find water soon (as they are running low and only have one waterskin left). They risk going to a farmstead to aquire some food, but accidentally interrupt a barn party. Unfortunately, the people think they have the plague. They are thrown a loaf of bread and asked vehemently to leave. Out of necessity they came upon another farmstead and 'borrowed' food, horses, and supplies (vowing to replace them in the future). They continued to reduce the amount of ointment used (to make it 'stretch') and the clothing that they wore (to reduce chafing on sores). They were pressing on into increasingly wild country, but were forced eventually to attempt to get a few hours sleep. They are interrupted by a visitor, a speaking cat who is actually Adronius, a wizard from Vjorica. He is headed to Caemlyn for some unknown purpose, but takes time out to give Fred and Astra a slight narcotic effect and energy to help them on their way. He cannot do more or risk giving himself away. He then headed back the way Fred and Astra had come.

Possible Plot Point: Count Greenholt, bandit group leader (not a friend of Reaibn's)
Possible Plot Point: Borrowed food, horses, and supplies
Adronius: Wizard from Vjorica, shapechanger, there to go to Caemlyn while Reaibn is away for some unknown purpose

In Vjorica, another meeting of the seven in the robes. They are aware that Adronius will probably help F&A, but are confident he will stay on-mission. They also reference 'outcasts' and discuss whether this will help or harm their goals. They agree to continue to wait, as they can do nothing else without showing their hand. F&A rode on, still having quite a ways to go. They noticed black smoke up ahead, and although they tried to avoid it a stiff breeze blew it their way and it caught up to them. They tried to run through the fire, but were overcome. They fell into darkness. It was then revealed that Falena (from Aqualaria) had actually started the fire, sending it to burn them intentionally because she knew fire would break the enchantment and also would most likely convince Reaibn that they were dead. She healed them as much as possible, but was not able to fully use her power (only a trickle) so as not to alert reaibn. Although they were scarred (this could be fixed in aqualaria) and hairless, they should be able to continue.

Falena: From Aqualaria, sent to aid them and channeling a fraction of the power of both the High Priestess and High Sorceress

Meanwhile, Reaibn was super pissed, having reached an anti-magic shield around redstone. His demon-horses had been banished by it. He was even unable to dispel it using the eye to channel its raw power. He foolishly swallowed the eye, and though he was in agony walked resolutely forward through the field. Astra wakes up and recognizes Falena, who informs her of her mission to help her. She drinks water, and learns that the fire was Falena's idea. Fred and Astra remark about how horridly ugly they are with no hair and covered in scars. Reaibn continued towards Redstone, snarling and surrounded by a flickering blue aura, right against his skin. Although the magic aura was still surpressing all his magical spells and abilities, the presence of the eye inside his body still allowed him to do things like increase his muscle mass and agility. His goal: physical revenge on those responsible for trying to block him! Walter and Bart are not happy, they know Reaibn is coming and that he ingested the eye. They did not anticipate that. They believe he will be unable to do anything magical but are still worried. They resolve to continue 'the plan' with no changes. Falena is not sure that F&A are ready to travel, and they decide to eat and then decide.

Adronius had reached Caemlyn, a gray persian cat slipping inside entirely without incident. He made it all the way to the hall by the kings bedroom, magicked himself in, and put runes of silence, deterrence, and sealing on the door with a Kubra-nin. He then moved the bed with a wand and used the kubra-nin to sketch a rune of opening on the wall behind the bed. Meanwhile, F&A enjoyed a meal. Falena asked Astra how she came to be in Caemlyn, and heard the story of how REaibn had transported them there magically. She gives fred much credit for their survival and praises him as a traveling companion. Fred then finishes the story about them escaping after reaibn tried to crown him and have them marry. THey worry about King Emry.

Note: Kubara-nin are magical sticks that are used to 'scribe' runes. Rune magic is powerful (although hard to master) and a totally different type of magic. It is not detectable through normal means and so Vjorica hoped that Reaibn would not notice it. Kubara-nin come in a variety of types. Adronius was using a 'low power' model that has a few uses only. More powerful permanent types could be more easily sensed by someone of Reaibn's power. Wand magic is out of favor throughout Allaria and Aqualaria, whose wizards and sorceresses see it as a crutch. Vjorica, however, still embraces all forms of magic and wand magic is some of the best magic to get things done with a minimum of fuss OR to enhance your power/use someone else's spells easily (depending on the type and power level of wand). Alana-gil is magical chalk (also out of favor outside vjorica, also hard to detect).

Latest End Point: 101275
Last edited by JH on Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: dcided to post all six summaries in one thread rather than separately
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Re: Plot Summaries: Fred & Astra from Fens of Canmoor to Thrones

Post by JH » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:46 pm

Story Branch 2 - summary written by Lord Reaibn

Wherein Astra gets completely bewitched by the Eye

Reaibn got the Eye of Hayzus and transported Fred & Astra to Caemlyn. He did NOT reveal he had gone goofy with power. Fred and Astra took a bath (to wash off the mud), but had been left ridiculous clothing (and an umbrella). They ate dinner with the servants, and apparently some of the former Lords and Ladies were now in menial positions. King Emry was said to have "passed on" because he couldn't adjust to the changes. Fred was scheduled to be coronated the next day, and Fred and Astra allow themselves to be led away to their rooms. Light is provided by an actual lamp plugged into apower outlet. Fred investigated the desk, discovering modern pen and paper, then looked in the other desk drawer. He found a roll sealed with red wax which was basically an invite/ticket to his coronation. This entitled the holder to: a seat in the south stands, food at the banquet (only one serving per meat/sweet, and no liquor until after the coronation), the requirement to be called upon to perform tests of strength and prowess (men), the right to participate in the peanut races (and keep winnings), the right to watch the gelatin swim, and the knowledge that anything else costs money and that the kingdom is not held liable in any case for anything and (alarmingly) that coronations "COMES BUT ONCE EVERY TWO OR THREE YEARES. PLEASE DO NOT MISS THIS." Fred was creeped out by this, and then was taunted by the voice of Reaibn (calling him 'Sir Freddy Freddy Freddy'). Reaibn made the lights go out, and Fred went to bed.

The next day, Fred had a shower and went to breakfast. Astra was notably missing, and when Fred asked about her absence he was informed by Reaibn that She would be there any minute. Fred was not hungry, and only ate a little ham and eggs. He was still unnerved by the social mixing at the breakfast table, and so made conversation with Reaibn about when the coronation was supposed to start. Reaibn informed him that it started on 3 bells on the 2nd watch, with the crowning to take place at 8 bells. The feast was scheduled to start at 1 bell on the 3rd. Fred didn't really understand that, and Reaibn alluded to some proclamations that Fred would be expected to make, but then Astra joined them (in garish white and orange garb with ostrich feathers). Fred tried to talk to her about the craziness around but she was condescending about how he needed to learn to 'adjust to circumstances'. Fred asked about defense of the kingdom, and was informed that none was needed any more. Reaibn had pacified Hespan and the dragon, basically neutralizing all threats to the kingdom. *note: Minestus is running a lemonade stand in the south of Allaria in this thread.

Fred finds these reports alarming, and Reaibn assures him that he is just 'very good at cleaning things up'. That he helps people 'do what they really want to do'. For instance, the Lords and Ladies doing menial jobs, that is what truly makes them happy, he just set them free to do it. Fred was not convinced, but asked what happened after the coronation. Reaibn then dropped the bombshell that he intended Fred to marry Astra exactly one week after the coronation was complete. He was very happy about this, and then went on to note that the entire kingdom would watch the consummation. Astra flew into a cold rage, but Fred turned her condescending comments back on her. Astra ignored him, telling reaibn that she intended to cause Fred physical harm to prevent any consummating from taking place. Fred was quick to change the conversation back to the content's of his first royal proclamation. Reaibn informs Fred he will announce a royal pardon for all prisoners as well as a cake-making competition. Fred balked at this and so Reaibn offered to provide a list from which Fred could select who would get pardoned.

Reaibn was provided with the 'Roll of the Damned' which made it quite clear that King Emry, having gotten his hands on the Eye, had went a bit batty and declared himself emperor of the known world. Reaibn assures Astra that he kept better 'control' of the Eye (Note: called 'marble' sometimes) from then on and that Aqualaria and Allaria have great relations. Astra wonders if there is an Aqualarian merchant caravan or embassy somewhere in Caemlyn, harboring thoughts of escape. Fred tells Reaibn to remove the claim of power over other countries from the royal proclemation header. He thinks to himself and doubts his ability to rule a kingdom where someone insane like Reaibn holds so much magical power. Who will be his ally? Reaibn? No, he is bonkers. Astra? Maybe. He decides to bide his time and hope a solution presents itself while trying to hold on to his sanity. The Roll of the Damned ends up only having three names on it, and they focus on Bob the Barber, who wrote short works with blatent continuity violations.

Fred could not believe that such a thing was a serious offence, but Reaibn assured him the continuity errors were quite terrible. Fred freaked out, and Reaibn made to have him taken back to his room (forcibly if necessary), however Fred realized how his freaking out was not helping matters. He thought taht maybe the Eye was causing his own instability and made a conscious effort to calm down. For his part, Reaibn was sad, having thought that Fred would appreciate the breakfast and all the work going into the coronation. For now, Fred decided to get it together. He put on a brave face and apologized to Reaibn for acting so rudely, and promised to discuss the marriage to Astra later. Fred then decided to meet with Bob before the coronation, which shocked Reaibn but he agreed to arrange it. Before that, however, Fred ran into Princess Exotica, only now she was a chambermaid. Reaibn assured Fred that Exotica was MUCH happier as a chambermaid. Fred just sighed and continued off towards the dungeon. Astra asked about the Aqualarian embassy and was sad to discover that when king Emry went off his rocker that they pulled the embassy out. There were also no merchant caravans. Astra then made a private decision to make her own way home. There was no way she was marrying fred. They meet the Tin 'Grande Jaileur', who speaks super annoyingly. Astra said 'excuse me' and was banished to the excuse room. Meanwhile, Reaibn gets the keys which is fine with Fred as the tin-man gave him the creeps. The opulent but in poor taste jail cell that Bob the Barber was in had shag carpet adn orange armchairs, among other atrocities. He was cheerful, but was horrified to learn he would be pardoned, as he was a 'recidivist'.

Fred has Bob give him a haircut and a shave, and Reaibn leaves to check on Astra, talking about 'showing her the marble'. Bob tells Fred as he performs the shave and cut that he wanted to be a troubedour (only he couldn't sing). He then tells fred the tale of 'The Second Winecask: A Shocking Tale from the Cellars of Lord Bellephron's Manor'. Unfortunately, this tale immediately had huge continuity errors. To keep Bob happy, he decides to keep him in jail. Meanwhile, Astra was trapped in the excuse room, where she needed to provide the right excuse to get out. There were a ton of recepticles with pieces of paper containing excuses, but cannot find the right one before Reaibn shows up to help her. Her excuse is to tour the wine cellars with Reaibn. He escorts her, after having her light the tip of her baton (which glowed with a soft white light). They went down the stairs into a vaulted dungeon. They then ended up on a cobblestone floor between two rows of huge oak casks. He then tells her that although this wine is awesome, that is not why she is down there. He offers to send her home, but first she must stare at the Eye. She kept staring at it for a couple minutes at Reaibn's assistance. She then leans over, stunned, realizing Reaibn wasnt crazy at all.

As for Reaibn, the 'marble' had only failed him once (King Emry). It had even worked on the dragon and the kingdom of Hespan. It proved equally effective on Astra. Astra was not sure what she had seen, but she was assured of reaibn's infallibility. Reaibn is glad she has 'come around' and tells her she will make a good queen. They then go to rejoin fred.

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Re: Plot Summaries: Fred & Astra from Fens of Canmoor to Thrones

Post by JH » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:48 pm

Story Branch 3 - summary written by Lord Reaibn

Wherein Astra is let leave by Reaibn and she stays with a hermit

Reaibn got the Eye of Hayzus and transported Fred & Astra to Caemlyn. He did NOT reveal he had gone goofy with power. Fred and Astra took a bath (to wash off the mud), but had been left ridiculous clothing (and an umbrella). They ate dinner with the servants, and apparently some of the former Lords and Ladies were now in menial positions. King Emry was said to have "passed on" because he couldn't adjust to the changes. Fred was scheduled to be coronated the next day, and Fred and Astra allow themselves to be led away to their rooms. Light is provided by an actual lamp plugged into apower outlet. Fred investigated the desk, discovering modern pen and paper, then looked in the other desk drawer. He found a roll sealed with red wax which was basically an invite/ticket to his coronation. This entitled the holder to: a seat in the south stands, food at the banquet (only one serving per meat/sweet, and no liquor until after the coronation), the requirement to be called upon to perform tests of strength and prowess (men), the right to participate in the peanut races (and keep winnings), the right to watch the gelatin swim, and the knowledge that anything else costs money and that the kingdom is not held liable in any case for anything and (alarmingly) that coronations "COMES BUT ONCE EVERY TWO OR THREE YEARES. PLEASE DO NOT MISS THIS." Fred was creeped out by this, and then was taunted by the voice of Reaibn (calling him 'Sir Freddy Freddy Freddy'). Reaibn made the lights go out, and Fred went to bed.

The next day, Fred had a shower and went to breakfast. Astra was notably missing, and when Fred asked about her absence he was informed by Reaibn that She would be there any minute. Fred was not hungry, and only ate a little ham and eggs. He was still unnerved by the social mixing at the breakfast table, and so made conversation with Reaibn about when the coronation was supposed to start. Reaibn informed him that it started on 3 bells on the 2nd watch, with the crowning to take place at 8 bells. The feast was scheduled to start at 1 bell on the 3rd. Fred didn't really understand that, and Reaibn alluded to some proclamations that Fred would be expected to make, but then Astra joined them (in garish white and orange garb with ostrich feathers). Fred tried to talk to her about the craziness around but she was condescending about how he needed to learn to 'adjust to circumstances'. Fred asked about defense of the kingdom, and was informed that none was needed any more. Reaibn had pacified Hespan and the dragon, basically neutralizing all threats to the kingdom. *note: Minestus is running a lemonade stand in the south of Allaria in this thread.

Fred finds these reports alarming, and Reaibn assures him that he is just 'very good at cleaning things up'. That he helps people 'do what they really want to do'. For instance, the Lords and Ladies doing menial jobs, that is what truly makes them happy, he just set them free to do it. Fred was not convinced, but asked what happened after the coronation. Reaibn then dropped the bombshell that he intended Fred to marry Astra exactly one week after the coronation was complete. He was very happy about this, and then went on to note that the entire kingdom would watch the consummation. Astra flew into a cold rage, but Fred turned her condescending comments back on her. Astra ignored him, telling reaibn that she intended to cause Fred physical harm to prevent any consummating from taking place. Fred was quick to change the conversation back to the content's of his first royal proclamation. Reaibn informs Fred he will announce a royal pardon for all prisoners as well as a cake-making competition. Fred balked at this and so Reaibn offered to provide a list from which Fred could select who would get pardoned.

Reaibn was provided with the 'Roll of the Damned' which made it quite clear that King Emry, having gotten his hands on the Eye, had went a bit batty and declared himself emperor of the known world. Reaibn assures Astra that he kept better 'control' of the Eye (Note: called 'marble' sometimes) from then on and that Aqualaria and Allaria have great relations. Astra wonders if there is an Aqualarian merchant caravan or embassy somewhere in Caemlyn, harboring thoughts of escape. Fred tells Reaibn to remove the claim of power over other countries from the royal proclemation header. He thinks to himself and doubts his ability to rule a kingdom where someone insane like Reaibn holds so much magical power. Who will be his ally? Reaibn? No, he is bonkers. Astra? Maybe. He decides to bide his time and hope a solution presents itself while trying to hold on to his sanity. The Roll of the Damned ends up only having three names on it, and they focus on Bob the Barber, who wrote short works with blatent continuity violations.

Fred could not believe that such a thing was a serious offence, but Reaibn assured him the continuity errors were quite terrible. Fred freaked out, and Reaibn made to have him taken back to his room (forcibly if necessary), however Fred realized how his freaking out was not helping matters. He thought taht maybe the Eye was causing his own instability and made a conscious effort to calm down. For his part, Reaibn was sad, having thought that Fred would appreciate the breakfast and all the work going into the coronation. For now, Fred decided to get it together. He put on a brave face and apologized to Reaibn for acting so rudely, and promised to discuss the marriage to Astra later. Fred then decided to meet with Bob before the coronation, which shocked Reaibn but he agreed to arrange it. Before that, however, Fred ran into Princess Exotica, only now she was a chambermaid. Reaibn assured Fred that Exotica was MUCH happier as a chambermaid. Fred just sighed and continued off towards the dungeon. Astra asked about the Aqualarian embassy and was sad to discover that when king Emry went off his rocker that they pulled the embassy out. There were also no merchant caravans. Astra then made a private decision to make her own way home. There was no way she was marrying fred. They meet the Tin 'Grande Jaileur', who speaks super annoyingly. Astra said 'excuse me' and was banished to the excuse room. Meanwhile, Reaibn gets the keys which is fine with Fred as the tin-man gave him the creeps. The opulent but in poor taste jail cell that Bob the Barber was in had shag carpet adn orange armchairs, among other atrocities. He was cheerful, but was horrified to learn he would be pardoned, as he was a 'recidivist'.

Fred has Bob give him a haircut and a shave, and Reaibn leaves to check on Astra, talking about 'showing her the marble'. Bob tells Fred as he performs the shave and cut that he wanted to be a troubedour (only he couldn't sing). He then tells fred the tale of 'The Second Winecask: A Shocking Tale from the Cellars of Lord Bellephron's Manor'. Unfortunately, this tale immediately had huge continuity errors. To keep Bob happy, he decides to keep him in jail. Meanwhile, Astra was trapped in the excuse room, where she needed to provide the right excuse to get out. There were a ton of recepticles with pieces of paper containing excuses, but cannot find the right one before Reaibn shows up to help her. Her excuse is to tour the wine cellars with Reaibn. He escorts her, after having her light the tip of her baton (which glowed with a soft white light). They went down the stairs into a vaulted dungeon. They then ended up on a cobblestone floor between two rows of huge oak casks. He then tells her that although this wine is awesome, that is not why she is down there. He offers to send her home, but first she must stare at the Eye. She kept staring at it for a couple minutes at Reaibn's assistance. She remained unconvinced, however, as she was unable to see anything (or at least that is what she tells reaibn). He is disappointed but takes her through a door that wasn't there before, and she found herself at the gates of the castle. Reaibn then claims to have built the castle, which just gives Astra more evidence that he is cracked.

Reaibn gave her a steed, with Astra herself enchanted by Martine, a super well built guy with green hair. She then leaves, unimpeded. Less than an hour later she stops by a lemonade stand and thinks of what she really saw in the Eye.. a revolt, with pitchforks and torches and everything! She had seen them, and knew REaibn was dead. She beheld the people at war with the guards, and a gruesome battle. She smelled the scent of lilacs... and then was back in the present. She planned to ride hard for six days, cross the Shreken, and go home to Aquilaria. Choosing between a castle and a nearby hermit, she chose the hermit. The hermit was an old man with shaggy white hair, and introduced himself as Rufus. He said she could stay with him if she did some chores. SHe did some chores, and as she was sweeping she found a cameo of a couple and two hunting dogs in a meadow. SHe wondered if the young man was Rufus. WHen the hermit saw the cameo he gasped and asked her where she found it. She informed him it was on the floor and she found it while sweeping. Rufus told her it was his wife, and that she lives in Caemlyn. The strange part is that he said he had left her ten years before. But reaibn had only taken over recently, surely? This was confusing. According to Fred, King Emry had still been in charge when he had set out on his quest. Rufus tells her he is not sure why he even kept it. She apologizes for causing him pain, but he says thats ok she could not have known.
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Re: Plot Summaries: Fred & Astra from Fens of Canmoor to Thrones

Post by JH » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:50 pm

Story Branch 4 - summary written by Lord Reaibn

Wherein Astra is let go and she is having tea with a goblin

Reaibn got the Eye of Hayzus and transported Fred & Astra to Caemlyn. He did NOT reveal he had gone goofy with power. Fred and Astra took a bath (to wash off the mud), but had been left ridiculous clothing (and an umbrella). They ate dinner with the servants, and apparently some of the former Lords and Ladies were now in menial positions. King Emry was said to have "passed on" because he couldn't adjust to the changes. Fred was scheduled to be coronated the next day, and Fred and Astra allow themselves to be led away to their rooms. Light is provided by an actual lamp plugged into apower outlet. Fred investigated the desk, discovering modern pen and paper, then looked in the other desk drawer. He found a roll sealed with red wax which was basically an invite/ticket to his coronation. This entitled the holder to: a seat in the south stands, food at the banquet (only one serving per meat/sweet, and no liquor until after the coronation), the requirement to be called upon to perform tests of strength and prowess (men), the right to participate in the peanut races (and keep winnings), the right to watch the gelatin swim, and the knowledge that anything else costs money and that the kingdom is not held liable in any case for anything and (alarmingly) that coronations "COMES BUT ONCE EVERY TWO OR THREE YEARES. PLEASE DO NOT MISS THIS." Fred was creeped out by this, and then was taunted by the voice of Reaibn (calling him 'Sir Freddy Freddy Freddy'). Reaibn made the lights go out, and Fred went to bed.

The next day, Fred had a shower and went to breakfast. Astra was notably missing, and when Fred asked about her absence he was informed by Reaibn that She would be there any minute. Fred was not hungry, and only ate a little ham and eggs. He was still unnerved by the social mixing at the breakfast table, and so made conversation with Reaibn about when the coronation was supposed to start. Reaibn informed him that it started on 3 bells on the 2nd watch, with the crowning to take place at 8 bells. The feast was scheduled to start at 1 bell on the 3rd. Fred didn't really understand that, and Reaibn alluded to some proclamations that Fred would be expected to make, but then Astra joined them (in garish white and orange garb with ostrich feathers). Fred tried to talk to her about the craziness around but she was condescending about how he needed to learn to 'adjust to circumstances'. Fred asked about defense of the kingdom, and was informed that none was needed any more. Reaibn had pacified Hespan and the dragon, basically neutralizing all threats to the kingdom. *note: Minestus is running a lemonade stand in the south of Allaria in this thread.

Fred finds these reports alarming, and Reaibn assures him that he is just 'very good at cleaning things up'. That he helps people 'do what they really want to do'. For instance, the Lords and Ladies doing menial jobs, that is what truly makes them happy, he just set them free to do it. Fred was not convinced, but asked what happened after the coronation. Reaibn then dropped the bombshell that he intended Fred to marry Astra exactly one week after the coronation was complete. He was very happy about this, and then went on to note that the entire kingdom would watch the consummation. Astra flew into a cold rage, but Fred turned her condescending comments back on her. Astra ignored him, telling reaibn that she intended to cause Fred physical harm to prevent any consummating from taking place. Fred was quick to change the conversation back to the content's of his first royal proclamation. Reaibn informs Fred he will announce a royal pardon for all prisoners as well as a cake-making competition. Fred balked at this and so Reaibn offered to provide a list from which Fred could select who would get pardoned.

Reaibn was provided with the 'Roll of the Damned' which made it quite clear that King Emry, having gotten his hands on the Eye, had went a bit batty and declared himself emperor of the known world. Reaibn assures Astra that he kept better 'control' of the Eye (Note: called 'marble' sometimes) from then on and that Aqualaria and Allaria have great relations. Astra wonders if there is an Aqualarian merchant caravan or embassy somewhere in Caemlyn, harboring thoughts of escape. Fred tells Reaibn to remove the claim of power over other countries from the royal proclemation header. He thinks to himself and doubts his ability to rule a kingdom where someone insane like Reaibn holds so much magical power. Who will be his ally? Reaibn? No, he is bonkers. Astra? Maybe. He decides to bide his time and hope a solution presents itself while trying to hold on to his sanity. The Roll of the Damned ends up only having three names on it, and they focus on Bob the Barber, who wrote short works with blatent continuity violations.

Fred could not believe that such a thing was a serious offence, but Reaibn assured him the continuity errors were quite terrible. Fred freaked out, and Reaibn made to have him taken back to his room (forcibly if necessary), however Fred realized how his freaking out was not helping matters. He thought taht maybe the Eye was causing his own instability and made a conscious effort to calm down. For his part, Reaibn was sad, having thought that Fred would appreciate the breakfast and all the work going into the coronation. For now, Fred decided to get it together. He put on a brave face and apologized to Reaibn for acting so rudely, and promised to discuss the marriage to Astra later. Fred then decided to meet with Bob before the coronation, which shocked Reaibn but he agreed to arrange it. Before that, however, Fred ran into Princess Exotica, only now she was a chambermaid. Reaibn assured Fred that Exotica was MUCH happier as a chambermaid. Fred just sighed and continued off towards the dungeon. Astra asked about the Aqualarian embassy and was sad to discover that when king Emry went off his rocker that they pulled the embassy out. There were also no merchant caravans. Astra then made a private decision to make her own way home. There was no way she was marrying fred. They meet the Tin 'Grande Jaileur', who speaks super annoyingly. Astra said 'excuse me' and was banished to the excuse room. Meanwhile, Reaibn gets the keys which is fine with Fred as the tin-man gave him the creeps. The opulent but in poor taste jail cell that Bob the Barber was in had shag carpet adn orange armchairs, among other atrocities. He was cheerful, but was horrified to learn he would be pardoned, as he was a 'recidivist'.

Fred has Bob give him a haircut and a shave, and Reaibn leaves to check on Astra, talking about 'showing her the marble'. Bob tells Fred as he performs the shave and cut that he wanted to be a troubedour (only he couldn't sing). He then tells fred the tale of 'The Second Winecask: A Shocking Tale from the Cellars of Lord Bellephron's Manor'. Unfortunately, this tale immediately had huge continuity errors. To keep Bob happy, he decides to keep him in jail. Meanwhile, Astra was trapped in the excuse room, where she needed to provide the right excuse to get out. There were a ton of recepticles with pieces of paper containing excuses, but cannot find the right one before Reaibn shows up to help her. Her excuse is to tour the wine cellars with Reaibn. He escorts her, after having her light the tip of her baton (which glowed with a soft white light). They went down the stairs into a vaulted dungeon. They then ended up on a cobblestone floor between two rows of huge oak casks. He then tells her that although this wine is awesome, that is not why she is down there. He offers to send her home, but first she must stare at the Eye. She kept staring at it for a couple minutes at Reaibn's assistance. She remained unconvinced, however, as she was unable to see anything (or at least that is what she tells reaibn). He is disappointed but takes her through a door that wasn't there before, and she found herself at the gates of the castle. Reaibn then claims to have built the castle, which just gives Astra more evidence that he is cracked.

Reaibn gave her a steed, with Astra herself enchanted by Martine, a super well built guy with green hair. She then leaves, unimpeded. Less than an hour later she stops by a lemonade stand and thinks of what she really saw in the Eye.. a revolt, with pitchforks and torches and everything! She had seen them, and knew REaibn was dead. She beheld the people at war with the guards, and a gruesome battle. She smelled the scent of lilacs... and then was back in the present. She planned to ride hard for six days, cross the Shreken, and go home to Aquilaria. Choosing between a castle and a nearby hermit, she chose the hermit. The hermit was an old man with shaggy white hair, and introduced himself as Rufus. He said she could stay with him if she did some chores. SHe did some chores, and as she was sweeping she found a cameo of a couple and two hunting dogs in a meadow. SHe wondered if the young man was Rufus. WHen the hermit saw the cameo he sighed and put it away. He informed Astra he would be happy to cook her dinner, and she gladly agreed. He asks her to get water from the well, but lets her know she should bring a cudgel because of a pesky goblin who has been claiming it as his own. He warns her to never look it in the eyes. She agrees, apprehensively, then he mentions that she should ALSO ignore the giant eye that appears in the sky at night in Allaria. He tells her that pretty much every creature will hypnotize in his experience so maybe she shouldnt look anyone or anything in the eyes.

Astra went about this chore hurriedly, and arrived at the well. She had to strain to bring up the full bucket, and when it got up she noticed why: a slimy goblin! He tried to greet her in a kind way, but she thwacked him in the face with her cudgel and he went tumbling down into the well. She questions her own behavior but heads back wiht the water, only to discover the old man tied up and the goblin with a dagger to his neck. The goblin wanted to talk so she came in the hut where the goblin made tea and informed her he wanted to join her on her journey to aquilaria. It informs her that it had no intentions of hurting the hermit or whatever, but that the hermit had in fact been trying to kill IT. He tells her that he was in fact paid by the nearby village to guard the well against bandits. the old man says that is a lie, but the goblin shuts him up with magic. He offers to talk it out with Astra, after which (regardless of her decision) he will let them both go.
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Re: Plot Summaries: Fred & Astra from Fens of Canmoor to Thrones

Post by JH » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:51 pm

Story Branch 5 - summary written by Lord Reaibn

Wherein Astra escapes but somehow time and location jumps and Hespan conquered Aqualaria but then she goes back to Allaria to help Reaibn in exchange for his help freeing her country and people.

Reaibn got the Eye of Hayzus and transported Fred & Astra to Caemlyn. He did NOT reveal he had gone goofy with power. Fred and Astra took a bath (to wash off the mud), but had been left ridiculous clothing (and an umbrella). They ate dinner with the servants, and apparently some of the former Lords and Ladies were now in menial positions. King Emry was said to have "passed on" because he couldn't adjust to the changes. Fred was scheduled to be coronated the next day, and Fred and Astra allow themselves to be led away to their rooms. Light is provided by an actual lamp plugged into apower outlet. Fred investigated the desk, discovering modern pen and paper, then looked in the other desk drawer. He found a roll sealed with red wax which was basically an invite/ticket to his coronation. This entitled the holder to: a seat in the south stands, food at the banquet (only one serving per meat/sweet, and no liquor until after the coronation), the requirement to be called upon to perform tests of strength and prowess (men), the right to participate in the peanut races (and keep winnings), the right to watch the gelatin swim, and the knowledge that anything else costs money and that the kingdom is not held liable in any case for anything and (alarmingly) that coronations "COMES BUT ONCE EVERY TWO OR THREE YEARES. PLEASE DO NOT MISS THIS." Fred was creeped out by this, and then was taunted by the voice of Reaibn (calling him 'Sir Freddy Freddy Freddy'). Reaibn made the lights go out, and Fred went to bed.

The next day, Fred had a shower and went to breakfast. Astra was notably missing, and when Fred asked about her absence he was informed by Reaibn that She would be there any minute. Fred was not hungry, and only ate a little ham and eggs. He was still unnerved by the social mixing at the breakfast table, and so made conversation with Reaibn about when the coronation was supposed to start. Reaibn informed him that it started on 3 bells on the 2nd watch, with the crowning to take place at 8 bells. The feast was scheduled to start at 1 bell on the 3rd. Fred didn't really understand that, and Reaibn alluded to some proclamations that Fred would be expected to make, but then Astra joined them (in garish white and orange garb with ostrich feathers). Fred tried to talk to her about the craziness around but she was condescending about how he needed to learn to 'adjust to circumstances'. Fred asked about defense of the kingdom, and was informed that none was needed any more. Reaibn had pacified Hespan and the dragon, basically neutralizing all threats to the kingdom. *note: Minestus is running a lemonade stand in the south of Allaria in this thread.

Fred finds these reports alarming, and Reaibn assures him that he is just 'very good at cleaning things up'. That he helps people 'do what they really want to do'. For instance, the Lords and Ladies doing menial jobs, that is what truly makes them happy, he just set them free to do it. Fred was not convinced, but asked what happened after the coronation. Reaibn then dropped the bombshell that he intended Fred to marry Astra exactly one week after the coronation was complete. He was very happy about this, and then went on to note that the entire kingdom would watch the consummation. Astra flew into a cold rage, but Fred turned her condescending comments back on her. Astra ignored him, telling reaibn that she intended to cause Fred physical harm to prevent any consummating from taking place. Fred was quick to change the conversation back to the content's of his first royal proclamation. Reaibn informs Fred he will announce a royal pardon for all prisoners as well as a cake-making competition. Fred balked at this and so Reaibn offered to provide a list from which Fred could select who would get pardoned.

Reaibn was provided with the 'Roll of the Damned' which made it quite clear that King Emry, having gotten his hands on the Eye, had went a bit batty and declared himself emperor of the known world. Reaibn assures Astra that he kept better 'control' of the Eye (Note: called 'marble' sometimes) from then on and that Aqualaria and Allaria have great relations. Astra wonders if there is an Aqualarian merchant caravan or embassy somewhere in Caemlyn, harboring thoughts of escape. Fred tells Reaibn to remove the claim of power over other countries from the royal proclemation header. He thinks to himself and doubts his ability to rule a kingdom where someone insane like Reaibn holds so much magical power. Who will be his ally? Reaibn? No, he is bonkers. Astra? Maybe. He decides to bide his time and hope a solution presents itself while trying to hold on to his sanity. The Roll of the Damned ends up only having three names on it, and they focus on Bob the Barber, who wrote short works with blatent continuity violations.

Fred could not believe that such a thing was a serious offence, but Reaibn assured him the continuity errors were quite terrible. Fred freaked out, and Reaibn made to have him taken back to his room (forcibly if necessary), however Fred realized how his freaking out was not helping matters. He thought taht maybe the Eye was causing his own instability and made a conscious effort to calm down. For his part, Reaibn was sad, having thought that Fred would appreciate the breakfast and all the work going into the coronation. For now, Fred decided to get it together. He put on a brave face and apologized to Reaibn for acting so rudely, and promised to discuss the marriage to Astra later. Fred then decided to meet with Bob before the coronation, which shocked Reaibn but he agreed to arrange it. Before that, however, Fred ran into Princess Exotica, only now she was a chambermaid. Reaibn assured Fred that Exotica was MUCH happier as a chambermaid. Fred just sighed and continued off towards the dungeon. Astra asked about the Aqualarian embassy and was sad to discover that when king Emry went off his rocker that they pulled the embassy out. There were also no merchant caravans. Astra then made a private decision to make her own way home. There was no way she was marrying fred. They meet the Tin 'Grande Jaileur', who speaks super annoyingly. Astra said 'excuse me' and was banished to the excuse room. Meanwhile, Reaibn gets the keys which is fine with Fred as the tin-man gave him the creeps. The opulent but in poor taste jail cell that Bob the Barber was in had shag carpet adn orange armchairs, among other atrocities. He was cheerful, but was horrified to learn he would be pardoned, as he was a 'recidivist'.

Fred has Bob give him a haircut and a shave, and Reaibn leaves to check on Astra, talking about 'showing her the marble'. Bob tells Fred as he performs the shave and cut that he wanted to be a troubedour (only he couldn't sing). He then tells fred the tale of 'The Second Winecask: A Shocking Tale from the Cellars of Lord Bellephron's Manor'. Unfortunately, this tale immediately had huge continuity errors. To keep Bob happy, he decides to keep him in jail. Meanwhile, Astra was trapped in the excuse room, where she needed to provide the right excuse to get out. There were a ton of recepticles with pieces of paper containing excuses, but cannot find the right one before Reaibn shows up to help her. Her excuse is to tour the wine cellars with Reaibn. He escorts her, after having her light the tip of her baton (which glowed with a soft white light). They went down the stairs into a vaulted dungeon. They then ended up on a cobblestone floor between two rows of huge oak casks. He then tells her that although this wine is awesome, that is not why she is down there. He offers to send her home, but first she must stare at the Eye. She kept staring at it for a couple minutes at Reaibn's assistance. She remained unconvinced, however, as she was unable to see anything (or at least that is what she tells reaibn). He is disappointed but takes her through a door that wasn't there before, and she found herself at the gates of the castle. Reaibn then claims to have built the castle, which just gives Astra more evidence that he is cracked.

Reaibn gave her a steed, with Astra herself enchanted by Martine, a super well built guy with green hair. She then leaves, unimpeded. Less than an hour later she stops by a lemonade stand and thinks of what she really saw in the Eye.. a revolt, with pitchforks and torches and everything! She had seen them, and knew REaibn was dead. She beheld the people at war with the guards, and a gruesome battle. She smelled the scent of lilacs... and then was back in the present. She planned to ride hard for six days, cross the Shreken, and go home to Aquilaria. Choosing between a castle and a nearby hermit, she chose the hermit. The hermit was an old man with shaggy white hair, and introduced himself as Rufus. He said she could stay with him if she did some chores. SHe did some chores, and as she was sweeping she found a cameo of a couple and two hunting dogs in a meadow. SHe wondered if the young man was Rufus. WHen the hermit saw the cameo he sighed and put it away. He informed Astra he would be happy to cook her dinner, and she gladly agreed. He asks her to get water from the well, but lets her know she should bring a cudgel because of a pesky goblin who has been claiming it as his own. He warns her to never look it in the eyes. She agrees, apprehensively, then he mentions that she should ALSO ignore the giant eye that appears in the sky at night in Allaria. He tells her that pretty much every creature will hypnotize in his experience so maybe she shouldnt look anyone or anything in the eyes.

Astra drew the obvious conclusion, that the hermit was stark raving mad. She got water from the well, and then saw the giant eye in the sky. She looked away and then back, and it was just the moon. She then decided to stare at the moon to assure herself that all was normal. However, the moon turned back into an eye and she heard reaibn in her head asking her not to abandon King Fred (as he was now) and to come back and marry him. The eye then turned back to a moon once more. Astra was strong willed and resisted, returning and telling the hermit the story. They made small talk about Aqualaria, and he recommended she take a certain trail through the forest. The next morning, he had her horse saddled and ready. She asked if the moon ever waned, and he replied no and that she should try to only travel by day when the eye is not visible and at night to never look at the eye if she can help it. She said her farewells to Rufus the hermit and went on her way. She foraged for food and traveled for the next two days, finally coming upon a small village in teh south of Allaria near the Shreken mountains. The smell of beef was tempting, but she didnt have much money. She considered trading her grand horse for a less good one, spending the difference on food. The villagers were welcoming, but decidedly odd. She was offered a free meal by the people of Mudchute, and so took them up on it. They then wanted her to judge sauce as to which is better on a side of beef. Astra decided to talk before eating, and chatted with the people about King Fred, etc. The subject of Fred needing a wife was brought up, but just then Astra was asked to sample the different sauces on the beef, which she was relieved to do. She ate ravenously, and then was asked which one she liked best. Not realizing it was a contest, she informed which one was her favorite, and everyone was happy. She ate pork with more bbq sauce (as that is what the sauces were) and ate and drank late into the evening with the friendly villagers. That night she accidentally saw the eye, and Reaibn once again spoke to her about Fred needing her back in Caemlyn.

REaibn reminds her he let her go willingly, and pleads for her to return of her own free will. She declines. Reaibn tells her that he himself is sick, and she recommends he see a physician. He asks her to pray for Allaria, and she agrees to do so. She then heard REaibns voice again, saying: "Turning and turning in a widening spiral The falcon cannot hear the falconer". he then spoke again, asking astra if she did in fact see something in the marble. He informed her that he knew he was 'madder than a march hare'. She told him about the revolt. He responded that he was doing his best with the Eye, that when King Emry had it he killed people and did bad things, but the he is trying to be good. That the crazy things happening in allaria were at least crazy good or crazy neutral, not crazy bad. She then asked who he intended to give the Eye too next, and he informed her that it would be King Fred's. She objects, saying that he should destroy it rather than let it corrupt fred, but he tells her that he cant destroy it. it wont let him. Astra considered returning, but then decided to push on. She felt that staying would be like remaining on a sinking ship when a lifeboat was available.

After consulting wiht the mayor, she decided to take the trail of the caves. She was given food and drink and supplies, and on she went. The mayor had warned her of the dragon, but she was determined. She elected (wisely) not to enter the caves, and made a fire that night. She slept soundly, and awoke at first light. She was confident that she was out of Allaria at last. She finally approached the towns and villages of Malboncton. Strangely, there were no signs of settlement. Astra found this alarming, as she found no dwellings at all. The only sign that anyone had ever been there was the overgrown trail she was following. She made camp again at night, but the next morning foudn that the trail she had been following had vanished! She took inventory of her supplies, and decided to keep south and downhill, resolving to find a creek and follow it to a farm or hamlet. Thus she could find civilization once again. She continued on, hoping the forest would not become impassable. Just before noon, the downhill grade got much steeper and she could hear the trickling of a river so Astra dismounted, tethered the horses, and explored cautiously on foot. She found herself at the top of a cliff and could see the rather large river. There will hills and mountains in teh distance and although she could see no settlements she was convinced some must exist. She was worried that the mountains were snow-capped, and she feared this meant she was not where she thought she was. Astra decided to retrace her steps and explore to the other side of where she had left the horses.

Astra saw the river tracking in an east-west direction, between two lines of ridges. She became convinced she was now quite lost. She had no idea how to get home. She decided to try to make it to the river and follow it downstream as that would be the most likely place for a settlement. She explored to the right, finding the going difficult, and so doubled back. Spending several hours picking her way through the forest, she finally found a clearing and discovered a deer. She followed the deer until she lost it at twilight. The forest floor was moist, making it not ideal for camping for the night but she did it anyway. In the morning, her surroundings had changed even more dramatically. She found herself at the edge of a great lake with a dock and some boats. A couple with two children were sitting at a table eating some sort of exotic food. They were handsome with fair complexions and dark hair. The man wore a toga like garment of pale blue while the woman wore a lime green dress. The children looked to be twins with white toga-like garments and short hair. The table had folding legs and seemed to have been brought by the family to the lake to enjoy a picnic. The man went for his dagger, threatening Astra to not make trouble. She tells them that she is trying to get to Aqualaria to which the man smiled and told her she did not look like an Aqualarian. She agreed that her attire was strange and decided not to reveal her identity at this time. She asked how the land fared, and was told that Queen Maia (another name for Heliastra, Astra's mother) continued to rule wisely. Astra lets them know she was in Allaria and is looking for the road to Themyscira. This set the woman on edge, who told her it was about an hour and a half away. This didnt make sense to Astra considering the lake of this size not being anywhere near Themyscira. Little did Astra know that she was actually just outside Themyscira as Aqualaria had been conquered by one of its neighbors. Aqualarians were now forbidden horses, so the woman had been referring to walking distances. The man had lied about things faring well because he suspected Astra could be a spy. Aqualaria had been conquered by Hespan! Well, there was a treaty but the war had gone so badly that the country was now very small and the Queen ruling in name only. When Astra vocalized her doubts about their proximity to the capital, the man's suspicions that she was a Hespanian were (to him ) confirmed. He assures Astra that she could make it there in a 90 minute walk, or a third of that on horseback.

Astra headed into town, but the people she ran into were not friendly. Since she was riding a horse, they assumed she was Hespanian or from a Ryngaerd tribe. There were a lot of 'alien' faces as well, which alarmed Astra as normally Aqualaria was pretty insular. Instead she saw all sorts of strange dress, foods, and complexions. She still did not realize that Aqualaria had been invaded, although she was starting to think it looked that way. At the crest of a hill she was ambushed and knocked out by a pike. When she came to she was staring at a man in a silvery outfit. He asked for her papers and identity, but Astra was annoyed by what she felt might have been a swollen cheekbone. She was confused and angry, and refused to answer them. They responded aggressively and she replied that she was a free born Aqualarian and didnt need papers. They pushed her to the ground, searched her for weapons, and left her in her underthings. They speak to each other that she seems like one of the old officers from the Aqualarian calvary. Astra finally claims she is an officer of Themyscria Second Regiment, First Squadron. They tell her that all of those are royal and accounted for besides. Astra panics, as the man is correct. Arthemia, who they referenced was gone to Hyrcania (a place to the west of Themyscira). She then claims that she was lying before, and that she is 'Lady Astra, brevetted as an officer after Hyrcania" (since Astra was a relatively common name). She decides not to reveal her royal lineage. Their response is that she should have told them from the get go and that they will have to confirm why they werent informed new officers had been oppointed. They then get on to her for committing the following offences: travelling without papers, riding horse without permit, resisting arrest, and obstructing and being insolent to an overseer. However, she comes under military discipline so they are able to do a summary judgement and decide to court martial her.

Possible Plot Point: Astra is an officer, Themyscria Second Regiment, First Squadron

The men drag Astra (dressed again in skirt and blouse, but still barefoot) to a newly constructed building labeled as 'Consulate of Hespan - Themyscira Office'. This was especially alarming to Astra as Hespand and Aqualaria had NEVER had diplomatic relations. Now there was a palace? Ridiculous. There was a Captain of the Aqualarian military there (Captain Coperina) and she was asked if Astra was one of her officers. She recognized Astra as the princess who disappeared, but was afraid if she revealed that information that Astra would have an 'accident' or 'commit suicide'. She knew she needed to speak to Astra privately. She had barely held onto her regiment due to her disiplined labor in a particularly harsh winter. Her women troops had helped build the great lake that served the pleasure of the consulate and they all had to do menial jobs for the Hespanians and their allies. Outside of battle they were not allowed horses or weapons. She realizes she needs to tell Astra about the men in silver, the elite Hespianard calvary whose armor was very effective against edged weapons and projectiles alike. They were indoctrinated by a mysterious 'master' in something called the 'New Way'. Copernica hated them so very much but was powerless to do anything bout it. Even the common Hespanian army hated these guys. In the aftermath of the war Aqualaria had been dismembered. The land was divided up among Hespan and its allies, with Aqualarians only allowed to live in teh Principality of Themyscira, the Duchy of Stygria, and the Republic of Ferra, but even there they were outnumbered. They were forbidden to own horses, swords, parchment, or ink, or meet without permission. Queen Maia was trying and failing to preserve their way of life, but she felt that armed resistance at this point was hopeless.

Captain Coperina - Captain in Aqualarian military (under Hespan rule), First Squadron, Second Sabre regiment

The captain confirms that 'Lady Astra Hill' is a real person but that she hadn't seen her since just after Hercania. Astra is being struck for talking out of turn but the captain defends her. They want to do the trial immediately but the captain argues for a short investigation. She asks to do the inquiry at the post, but the Hespanians refuse. The Hespanian Overseer insists that the inquiry must be held where they are at and he didnt care what they thought about it. He informs the captain that he intends to pass sentance within the hour. The captain was unhappy but decided to do her best. She informed her through the way she phrased her questions of what was going on. Astra made up a cover about her mother being sick and her borrowing the horses to visit her. She claims she didnt ask for a leave of absence since she knew she would not be allowed to borrow horses. The Overseer points out that the tack on the horses is not that of the military, but Astra counters that it is a family heirloom, which the captain found an acceptable answer. She claims to have gotten the horse from a free roaming herd in a meadow, but the captain counters that she probably stole it from a merchant. Astra took the hint and copped to this, saying there was no way she would have stole from the Hespanians. The captain asked about her clothes, and Astra mentioned Allaria, which alarmed everyone. He wanted answers, but the captain tried to keep them on-topic. The OVerseer was having none of that, as Allaria is sealed and they know nothing about it except that people told tales of it being gripped by insanity but also crazy advances in fabrics and other areas. He demands to know what Astra knows of allaria, but she claims that her visit there was five years ago and she has no new information. This is believable to the overseer, so the captain continued the inquiry. She claimed she left her papers back in the barracks so not to lose them and claimed she thought the officers that tried to arrest her were thieves (due to the ambush). The captain remarks to the overseer that Astra was kind of dim and was promoted because she is a minor noble. She then grills astra for leaving her papers, as you only need papers while travelling. Also that she is stupid for not recognizing the silver uniforms of the Hespan Elite Calvary. Astra apologized for all of her actions and plays stupid, pleading guilty. She is put on horse turd duty (muffin duty) for a year and a day, and will be confined to barracks when not on duty. The Overseer is satisfied with the punishment, and as they leave the captain loudly berates Astra for her 'stupidity'.

When they have privacy at the post, the Captain informs Astra that it would have probably been best if she had not returned. Her and 'Ancient Paula' (ancient being a petty officer rank in aqualarian calvary) seek to give her advice. Namely, that she needs to leave quickly before the truth of her identity is revealed. She tells Astra that the conflict started between two sisters of a tribe in Jaxinarta, and nothing was thought of it until HEspan took sides. The thought is that they probably instigated the civil war in the first place. The coastal barrier was compromised and there was a massive naval assault. The Hespanian calvary ravaged the country, benefiting from reforms introduced by a mysterious advisor to the Hespanian King known only as the Master. Astra wonders if this is the same mage that caused her so much trouble. The captain continues to describe that the master introduced much improved armor, logistics (supply lines, etc), and doctrine and discipline (the 'New Way'). The final blow as a trap where much of the Aqualarian army was destroyed along with most of command and leaders. There was then a terrible winter where many died, and so Queen Maia surrendered to try to preserve something of their way of life. Hespan took over the coast and certain other spots, dividing the rest of Aqualaria among vassal states. Remaining Aqualarian military units were disarmed and made into labor squads. Astra asks to speak to her mother the queen but the captain is worried about informers being everywhere. Astra also learns that all of her sisters and brothers of dead. The Hespanians intend for there to be no heir, so that Queen Maia is truly the last ruler of Aqualaria and the country (even as a vassal state) dies with her. The captain advises Astra to lie low, and goes to find paula to get her some less conspicuous clothing. She tells Astra that her hair must also be cut and dyed. Astra wonders many things, such as how five years had passed while she was journeying home and how she moved that incredible distance between teh Shreken and Themyscira so quickly.

In 10 minutes the captain comes back and tells Astra that Paula will bring her some clothes and cut/dye her hair shortly. They cut it and styled into a short ponytail, dyeing it brown. Astra asked about the master, but they had no answers. Astra told them about "breaks" where time, location, and the order of things seemed to change. The first being her transport into the swamp and then to the throne room of the insane Reaibn, the second was when she followed the deer to the subjugated Themyscira. She gave bare details about Reaibn and Fred's becoming king. This was news to the two women. Astra did NOT want to stay and hide, instead wanting to take their lands back, but the captain reminded her they had no way to do that at this time and must be patient. Astra agrees and gives an inspiring speech, saying she agrees its time to observe and wait for an opening. The captain tells Astra they intend to smuggle her to the hinterland. Astra does not like this, but the captain is insistant that for now Astra must not remain near the capital as too many know her. Astra asks for alternatives to the hinterlands and they suggest Stygria as the best safe haven, Ferra as teh second choice (but its dangerous especially for nobility), and Paula suggests Astra could find help with the hespanian infantry, who are frustrated with their orders. Astra asks about Hyrcania, and is informed it was absorbed by Hespan and kept locked down (not even their own troops let in except for settlers from Havnheim and the Elite Calvary). This confuses Astra because hyrcania is not nearly as valuable or convenient as Stygria and Ferra. The captain has no idea. Eventually, Astra decides to go to Hycania, forstalling any arguments. The captain pleads with her that this is a terrible idea, and begs her to think again as if she dies the royal line dies with her. Astra is stubborn but the captain insists there is no coming back from there. She wants the captain to tell her mother after she is gone. They agree since she is insistant to make preparations to leave the next day.

Paula tries to get Namak (petty officer in Hespanian infantry) to arrange passage to Hyrcania, but he says there is no chance. She tells him it is Princess Astra, and he says he will check into possibilities but that he cannot have responsibility for her safety. Paula is confident Astra will die so she agrees to that easily. Later that night, Namak convinces the travelling minstrel Sabok over a game of cards to take Astra with him. Sabok has agreed out of Curiosity, as he wants to see what the mystery is 'out west'. He asks what Astra's cover will be as a part of his travelling act, and her response of 'herder' doesnt fly. Paula leaves, telling Astra and the Captain of the result. Paula and the captain were nervous, having given this hespaniard lots of precious information. Even with Namak vouching for him, the risk was too great. They again tried to dissuade Astra from Hyrcania, but she is having none of it. She decides to seek out the minstrel and found he was staing in the 2 story house of Norma the Goldsmith. Astra went there, introducing herself as a friend of the captain, handing over letters of introduction. She found a man working on the roof, replacing shingles (reddish-brown terra cotta from northern Hespan). She watched him work for a while, and he even sang a song. Astra had surmised by this point that this was Sabok the minstrel himself. He invites her up on the roof, and she obliges. Astra introduces herself as Galilea, the cover story that the captain and paula had given her. She holds off on telling him the nature of her visit, offering to help instead. He has her drive the nails while he holds the tiles. He told her a tale, during which they finished a row of tiles. Astra asks where he got the tale, and asks for some water. He tells her the tale is from hespan and that he often tells stories as a part of his act. After Astra had some water (and he declined some), they got back to work. Astra resumed hammering the nails, but after a while she realizes she had consumed too much water and so needed to relieve herself. She got directions to the 'box stool' to get some relief. After that she noticed papers on a table. She compared the Aqualarian way of keeping dates to the hespan way (which relied on the rule of kings). She realized that she quite liked Sabok and felt he would be a good traveling companion IF he was reliable. She asks about how he came to be there as they continue work on a new row of tiles. He tells Astra that there was plenty of work at home but he wanted variety and to broaden his horizons. He then asks for a true story about Astra.

Astra is taken aback by this, but offers a story of Caemlyn and her escape from it five years previous. She tells the long story, and Sabok asks about the masters appearance, which of course Astra does not know. Sabok accurately surmises that Astra is the person he is to escort. They had been feeling each other out. He agrees to continue to call her Gal just to be safe. Astra offers to dance as her cover in his travelling act, and does so to some music. He is impressed, and tells astra they will leave for Hyrcania in three days. As astra prepared for bed that night, she found a letter (somehow) from Reaibn, explaining that the uprising happened exactly as she had predicted. However, he was able to avoid bloodshed as he was prepared and used the marble's power directly at the cost of being 'consumed' by the marbles power. HE wrote the letter in a moment of lucidity and informed astra that his power had increased tenfold. he can now view (though not affect) things outside of Allaria. He knows of her plan to go to Hyrcania, and warns her that would represent utmost danger. He pleads with her to return to Allaria, to his side, where he is confident she can somehow restore his sanity and they can free her people. He tells her that he needs her that he found out so much about magic, the marble, and how his condition can be aided but he needs an unaffected person (and King Fred does not qualify). He knows she does not trust him but he tells her that he senses the darkest kind of terror in Hyrcania and says they can help each other. Astra thought about this and decided to go back to Allaria. In the end, because Hyrcania was such a long shot anyway, REaibn was just a better bet. Better madness than evil. She wrote on teh back of his letter that she would accept his offer in exchange for him promising to restore her kingdom and people but that it would take some time for her to return. She put the letter back in the envelope, and it vanished. She went to sleep, but awoke as her bed was flying through the air at tremendous speed! To her it was a gentle ride with the scent of jasmine, but Astra was annoyed that she did not get to say goodbye to her travelling companions. Also, she had thought Reaibn couldnt affect things outside of Allaria (as he said in his letter)!

A few hours later, Astra's bed lands in a courtyard in Caemlyn, gentle as a dove. She was till worried that her friends would think she had been abducted or (worse) abandoned them, but there was nothing she could do about that now. Reaibn welcomed her personally in a preposterous bright blue outfit and ridiculous hat. He restored her hair, and she swallowed her annoyance to ask how she could aid him.

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JH

JH
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Re: Plot Summaries: Fred & Astra from Fens of Canmoor to Thrones

Post by JH » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:54 pm

Story Branch 6 - summary written by Lord Reaibn

Wherein the Dark Ones, Crown of Akarfen, and HH Crossover (NB: HH = Horsehockey)

Reaibn got the Eye of Hayzus and transported Fred & Astra to Caemlyn. He did NOT reveal he had gone goofy with power. Fred and Astra took a bath (to wash off the mud), but had been left ridiculous clothing (and an umbrella). They ate dinner with the servants, and apparently some of the former Lords and Ladies were now in menial positions. King Emry was said to have "passed on" because he couldn't adjust to the changes. Fred was scheduled to be coronated the next day, and Fred and Astra allow themselves to be led away to their rooms. Light is provided by an actual lamp plugged into apower outlet. Fred investigated the desk, discovering modern pen and paper, then looked in the other desk drawer. He found a roll sealed with red wax which was basically an invite/ticket to his coronation. This entitled the holder to: a seat in the south stands, food at the banquet (only one serving per meat/sweet, and no liquor until after the coronation), the requirement to be called upon to perform tests of strength and prowess (men), the right to participate in the peanut races (and keep winnings), the right to watch the gelatin swim, and the knowledge that anything else costs money and that the kingdom is not held liable in any case for anything and (alarmingly) that coronations "COMES BUT ONCE EVERY TWO OR THREE YEARES. PLEASE DO NOT MISS THIS." Fred was creeped out by this, and then was taunted by the voice of Reaibn (calling him 'Sir Freddy Freddy Freddy'). Reaibn made the lights go out, and Fred went to bed.

The next day, Fred had a shower and went to breakfast. Astra was notably missing, and when Fred asked about her absence he was informed by Reaibn that she had been a bad girl and not went to bed when Reaibn told her to and that he had given her a suitable penance. Fred arose angrily but Reaibn assured him that she was fine, just being disiplined. Fred realized that while Reaibn was not quite evil he was weird... dangerously weird and with crazy amounts of power. He decided to believe that Astra was ok and set down to eat. Reaibn then brought up Fred's dirty undergarments. Fred had pretty great hygeine so was very confused by this line of inquiry and mocking. Reaibn then asked if Fred thought he was cool, seeming to be ready to pass out. Fred announced that yes indeed, the coolest, and REaibn calmed right down. He then said that he had soiled his undergarments as well and the breakfast continued. It was then when Astra showed up, dressed in little girl glothes including a diaper. She was clearly angry, and ignored REaibn. Fred refrained from mentioning her attire (wisely) but Reaibn admonished fred for greeting her as Princess Astra. As for Astra, that ridiculous attire had dressed her in itself against her will and she was in a terrible mood. She got some bacon, which reaibn then took away, replacing all her food with pureed peas. Lord Fred admonished Reaibn for this, telling him to restore her plate. Reaibn restored her plate AND her clothing, sighing. he informed them that they would meet in an hour to discuss the coronation, then stormed out of the room.

Fred apologized for Astra's inconveniences at REaibn's hand but she forstalled him, letting him know she felt they needed to leave ASAP. Fred countered with the fact that he coudlnt leave his country in the hands of a madman, and that maybe as king he could make a difference. Astra brought up the fact that reaibn has the power and it doesnt matter who has the crown. That everyone around appears to either be on his side out of fear OR (even worse) have had their will subverted. Fred tells Astra she can go but he is honor bound to say. Astra agrees to stay for 48 hours, but that is it. When they meet Reaibn in the great hall to discuss the coronation they find out about the Dark Ones, terrifying creatures existing unseen by mortal men, visible to the one who controls the Eye of Hayzus. By using it, Reaibn had opened himself up to them. He has to keep them amused or all of Allaria and then the world would fall to their power and madness. Reaibn's insanity serves a purpose, to amuse the Dark Ones and contain their evil. Fred and Astra were (of course) horrified by this, and demanded an explanation. Reaibn mercifully removed their ability to see the Dark Ones, but explained they were "always there, always watching". He explains that he had found the Eye of Hayzus and with it unimaginable power. What he did not know, however, was that Hayzus was an ancient evil. Because REaibn had a good heart it could not turn him evil but it did open the door for the Dark Ones. They had come to him on the 3rd day after he had the eye. It was they who whispered to him in the darkness, giving him crazy ideas for which to use his newfound power. It was some time before Reaibn perceived them for the evil they were and realized their true nature. He had unleashed a scourge upon the world, and it was only restrained by a thread. As long as Reaibn amused them, they were trapped within a certain radius of him (for instance, the Castle walls while he was in them). But if he were to defy them they would drive him fully mad and force him to use his power to bring them completely into the prime material, where they would feed on the sanity of all creatures until the entire world was an asylum of the damned.

F&A agree to help Reaibn however they can, there must be a way out of this. Unfortunately, with the Dark Ones being able to hear everything that is said, it makes finding a solution difficult. In the short term they must go on with Lord Fred's coronation (which the Dark Ones find highly amusing). Astra suggests that reaibn destroy the Eye, but reaibn informs her that is impossible and that for even suggesting it she must be punished. They insist she compete in the gelatin swim with the knights and servants. On the day of the coronation, Astra won the gelatin swim handily. She narrowly beat out Sir Rodan Fothenvi and on the way to the winners circle was ambushed by a Frantic reaibn. He informs her that between noon and one, at the peak of the day, the Dark Ones are dormant and unaware of anything that goes on in Prime Material. Once one hits, they have to seek Reaibn out. He runs and hides but they always find him. He asks her and Fred to meet him the next day at noon on the dot so that they can plot in his study in the tallest tower. The bell tolled one then and REaibn panicked and fled. Astra got dressed, got her medal, and found Fred and explained everything Reaibn had told her. Then, it was time for the coronation ceremony itself.

The ceremony was held in the open air of Caemlyn Square. Just about the entire adult population fo the town was in attendance. Astra was at ground level in the front row of the stand. She found her heavy gold medal a nieusance, as she was informed she should wear it throughout the day. It was a disc fully six inches in diameter and an inch thick. Fred and REaibn (again his mad self) walked into center square, with Reaibn having the Eye of Hayzus on a chain around his neck and in his hands carrying a crown. It was not the ancestral crown of Allaria but some more flimsy looking crown. Reaibn looked calm, and Fred looked nervous. Fred was wearing a cavalier's outfit with a long wig. Reaibn began the cermony, making a pronouncement from himself as 'First Advisor For Life of the Sovereign Kingdom Allaria and all of its various holdings and territories and so forth and so on'. He then introduced Lord Fred's ridiculous title and appointed him king, the 'Law of Laws' and the 'Ruler of Rulers'. He apologizes to Fred as he puts the crown on his head, and Fred finds out why as apparently the crown was magic. Fred suddenly feels calm and confident, and realizes he SHOULD be king and Reaibn is a really great advisor and not at all crazy and greets the crowd. They all rejoice and have a good time. On the way to the Royal Table for the feast, Fred asks Reaibn about the crown since he has felt 'different' since he put it on. Reaibn informs Fred that it is the Crown of Akarfen, from a sealed vault of magical artifacts buried deep within the Shreken mountains. He tells Fred he isn't sure what it does, but that it is 'definitely magical'. He gives Fred an apologetic look.

Reaibn then decides he wants to discuss the upcoming marriage of Fred and Astra. Astra freaked out, this being the first time she had heard of such a thing being planned. Reaibn also informs them that him (and the Dark Ones) will be watching the marriage be consummated. Astra flies off the handle, screaming at Reaibn that the wedding is off or she is leaving. She then disappeared with an audible pop. Fred as alarmed, but that quickly faded, as he decided to have a few drinks with Reaibn instead. A calmness from the gem in his crown pervading his body, he informed Reaibn that he was sure that Astra would come around. Reaibn agreed, and said that then everything would be fine. Meanwhile, down in the castle dungeons, Astra was chained to the wall again. She screamed for help, and someone did in fact hear her. A few hours later, a young woman dressed in rags brought her food and water. It was Exotica! She tells Astra that after her father disappeared and Reaibn took over that he told her that the last would be first and the first last, and then made her the dungeon master's assistant. Astra explains to Exotica about Reaibn being as trapped as they are, explaining about the Dark ones. Exotica was skeptical, thinking maybe Reaibn was controlling them instead, but Astra insisted that the reality was terrifying. Astra asks Exotica to undo her chains but is informed that they are magical. Astra, frustrated, reflects that at least they are long enough for her to eat, etc. She then asks about King Emry. Fortunately, Exotica does know what happened to the King, she tells Astra that he escaped to Aqualaria, trying to rally support to come take Allaria back. This gives Astra hope, as she is sure her people would assist him. Unfortunately, Exotica has heard no word. Astra asks how long she will be kept in the dungeon, and is informed that she will stay there until she agrees to marry King Fred. Exotica then offers a dim hope that maybe Belboz (who has been sucking up to Reaibn since he took power and is now the dungeon master) would be willing to help Astra with his magic. Astra asks Exotica to arrange an audience with Belboz. She remarks that she wishes she had fled earlier, but Exotica points out it probably wouldnt have worked because since Emry's escape Reaibn has strengthened his control over the kingdom. Exotica then leaves to get Belboz.

Belboz arrives a bit later, sarcastically greeting Astra. She questions his service to Reaibn, but Belboz assures her that he does so only because Reaibn's magical power far outstrips his own. She asks about him letting her loose, and he informs her that this might be possible, but that she would have to do something for him in return. Astra nods, and Exotica is dismissed. Belboz tells Astra that he will set her free, and make it look like she was still chained up. He wants her to retrieve the Crown of Akarfen because the great red gem on the front of it has great magical properties. Reaibn is using it to supress King Fred's will, but it can also do other things that Belboz hopes reaibn is unaware of. It is of course much less powerful than the Eye of Hayzus, but that is impossible to get as Reaibn keeps it on his person at all times. Belboz goes on to explain that the crown is why Fred was acting so strangely, and that even after it is removed the effect takes a day or two to wear off. He tells Astra that he will make her look like Exotica, therefore she will have access to teh castle. He will then reverse the transformation once she brings him the crown. Now, such an illusion will fool everyone BUT reaibn and even him if he isnt paying close attention. She asks how she will steal the crown and he tells her to figure it out, suggesting maybe that she steals it while he is asleep. He assures Astra he will give her a copy of Fred's room key so she can be sure to get in. She asks why he doesnt just steal it himself, and he tells her because it is too dangerous. He also requires that she promise on her honour as a princess of Aqualaria, not to implicate Belboz if caught. Astra is not sure about this plan, fearing leaving Fred still trapped in the madhouse that is Caemlyn. Belboz is annoyed, explaining that she can't help fred from here anyway. He tells her to get him the crown, go to Aqualaria, and get help for Fred there. Her options are stay chained up, marry fred, or try his plan.

After further doubting from Astra, Belboz sweetens the deal by offering a simple attention reflecting spell on her which should increase her chances of reaching Aqualaria safe and sound. It is the best he can do, and a huge risk on his part (although he admits having the crown will help him hide his involvement). Astra then agrees to do it on her honor that she wont implicate him. He then goes to make preparations. About a half hour later, he returned and Astra was set free, a double set in her place, and her appearance changed to that of exotica. Right before Astra left, however, Belboz realized how stupid his plan of an illusionary double was. He decides to transform Exotica into Astra's appearance and have her take Astra's place. This would work far better than a simulacrum that wouldn't be even able to talk independantly. Belboz went to fetch her. She refused to help... which did not at all affect the situation. Next thing you know she was chained up in Astra's spot, wearing her appearance. Of course, she immediately complained about it but was pretty much ignored. Astra (looking like Exotica) found getting to Fred's quarters difficult due to the amount of drunk revelers. She ended up fetching ale, and was then accosted and propositioned by a man who she let take her to his room before twisting his bits and making a break for Fred's (nearby) suites. She then ran into Freida (maid and friend of exotica) who assumed she was there to make sure Fred was tucked in and then then blabbed at the mouth for a bit. When Freida left, Astra entered Freds room as quietly as she could but unfortunately Fred awoke as she entered. She let him know she was there to tuck him in, explaining that she had left the dungeons (where exotica was now assigned) because she wanted to bring Fred a message from Astra. This of course interested Fred, who was worried about her. Astra then saw the Crown of Akarfen on the floor by his bed. Astra tells Fred that astra is mulling over her choices and considering doing what is best for the kingdom. Fred smiles at this, telling her that REaibn had informed him that their wedding would be the start of the greatest age that their kingdom had ever known. Astra agrees to take the message and then is told to return to the dungeons so she left the room. Unfortunately Lord James (the man whose bits she twisted earlier) catches her in the hall and drags her before Reaibn where he accuses her of hurting him and that she is a whore. Astra defends herself and Reaibn agrees with her, sending Lord James to the dungeons. Reaibn was very distracted, and Astra got out of there as quickly as she could.

For his part, Reaibn thought there was something odd about her, but he had other things on his mind. The Dark Ones had insisted that King Fred and Astra be married, and their deadline was only 11 days away. If he failed, they had threatened to snap his mind like a twig. He then resumed drinking, threatening sober people with the dungeons. Meanwhile, Astra goes back to Freds room who seems to be asleep this time. It is not pitch black due to some magical soft lighting by Reaibn. Astra crawls on the floor and grabs the crown from under the bed. The door creaked open and so she hid under the bed. Reaibn was there to check on Fred, as the Dark Ones had told him to directly. He then notices the crown is missing so storms out of the room and summons the guards and tells them to lock down the castle and mount a search. He did not notice Astra and the crown in the room under the bed because he had drank enough to where his magical and other senses were quite muddled. Astra then put the crown in her bag and covered it with spare linens and was going to leave when Fred woke up and addressed Exotica once again. She makes up an excuse for the noise outside the room and tells fred that astra wanted her to give him a kiss on the cheek for his bravery. He is supicious but takes the peck on the cheek and Astra makes a break for it once again. This time, she makes it back to the dungeon without incident. Exotica is of course extremely annoyed about how long Astra has been gone.

Astra gives the crown to Belboz, who is quite pleased. He thinks of switching them back, but after hearing about the massive search decides he does not have time and that they should remain as each other until things calm down. Exotica and Astra are not happy (mostly Exotica). Astra is sent to clean up dungeon room B, where Lord James has thrown up. Now Astra complained a lot more. Lord James was NOT pleased to see her. She makes an Aqualarian oath, which he finds suspicious but she ignores that and gets to work cleaning up the dungeon floor. Meanwhile, Belboz is still hiding the crown when he hears the guards entering the dungeons. he puts it behind a stack of tomes, covers it with some tomes, and throws a filthy large cloak over all that. He then went to greet the guards. They are ringing the bell (labeled 'Ring for Service') outside the heavy iron dungeon gate. Belboz tried to give them attitude but then realized they were High Guard and so he would not be able to verbally abuse them out of his dungeon. With plan A gone, he adopted a sincere-ish smile as Captain Artur (from the Emry days) explained that the crown had been stolen and that they were there to a) verify Astra was still chained up and b) search the entire dungeons including Belboz's personal quarters and the sub-basement. Belboz protested about his quarters, but the captain informed him that he was not a suspect but they had to be thorough and that Belboz could accompany the captain to his quarters. He didnt want to release a demon or a trap after all. Belboz liked that idea, filing it away. Belboz then took Captain Artur to see Astra (really Exotica). He is satisfied that she is chained up, but unfortunately Exotica addressed him by his name. She tries to explain it away, but he isnt having it. He asks if Belboz coached her, but Belboz comes to her rescue explaining he had been whiling away the boredom for her by teaching her all about the working of Caemlyn on his breaks. Artur doesnt buy this either, but Exotica backs him up saying that she begged him to talk about something, anything. Belboz apologizes for telling her stuff and Captain Artur is mollified. He wants to make sure she hasnt escapes and Belboz explains that none but Reaibn could free her without him knowing. Artur asks if she is being treated well.

Meanwhile, the five remaining guards found nothing on the first floor dungeons. THey eventually came upon teh cell where Lord James was chained to the wall and Astra was cleaning up the floor. They ask Lord James how he got there and he lies about Astra leading him on and then her lying to Reaibn. Astra protests that this was not the case and the Lord gets slapped by one of the guards. One of them (Jenkins) comes on to Astra but she manages to restrain her rage and channel it into cleaning. Jenkins pinches her butt on the way out, which causes her to spill her bucket of cold and filthy water. They all laughed as she cursed at great length. She tells Lord James she is done cleaning, he makes a comment about her outfit being wet, and she stormed out with her cleaning supplies.

*NOTE: This thread was continued on HH! Opportunity for cross-site shenanigans.


Latest NEQ Endpoint: 94896

HH Crossover link: 4919
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