Wizardquest Chapter 17: A Cold Night at the House on the Hill Pt.2

Hala finishes hacking up a final chunk of ectoplasm, some hair, and a little bit of white fluid, before she groans and looks up, disoriented. She tries to move her arm, but realizes that Harmony still has her in a vice grip and she instead stops trying before looking to you.

“W…wizard? Why am I here?” She looks down at herself, then back up to you. “And why am I naked?”

You unconsciously hand her a cloak from the wagon, waving Harmony to let her go as your mind races about the implications of losing contact with Bubs,

The wolfgirl takes the cloak and starts putting it on, although she doesn’t seem to have the decency to remember to close it up, so it sort of defeats the purpose. You sigh, once again inured to the sight of her slim and toned body in the nude.

“You were possessed by a ghost and were out here, roaming around naked, but we don’t have much time to waste.”

Hala furrows her brow and then sniffs at herself. “Hrm, doesn’t smell like ghosts…” She looks to you suspiciously. “Unless you used your vile magic to…”

You raise your hands in exasperation, “Oh by the gods, can Blake just let that go? Look, you got possessed by a ghost, and that goop there is what’s left of it.”

Hala looks down and pokes at it. “Yeah, I don’t remember eating anything like this, and that’s way more than he exploded in my mouth.” She sighs and rests a paw against her cheek, looking down at her crotch. “Such a waste… Well I still think some of the other load is still there…”

You put a hand on your forehead and groan. Hala was a nice girl, but sometimes, oh ho sometimes you wondered if you shouldn’t have just left her in that forest. Delilah chortles from the wagon where you set her down.

“Quite the free spirit, isn’t she? Of course, she’s really the only one getting any, so I suppose she has the right to…”

“Not helping Delilah.”

“True, but as I told you, I am quite depleted on magic reserves and it’s making me… rather anxious.”

You sigh and turn to the wolfgirl as she stands and stretches out, looking at the unconscious form of Veronica, laying on the ground. She points to the aspirant with a raised eyebrow. “What’s the story with her? And by the way, where’s Blake, Saya, and the other one.”

“Well, that’s sort of the problem at the moment. Tabitha was possessed as well, she did this to Veronica, she’s somewhere in the house, and I just lost contact with Blake and Saya.”

Hala’s eyes go sharp and she bares her teeth, growling slightly. “What? You let him go alone?”

“Well first off he wasn’t alone, and second off, we don’t have time to argue, we have to get back inside.”

You look down to Delilah and pick her up, cradling her in the crook of your arm. She doesn’t seem to protest, or really do much of anything and you nod to her. “And you’re going to help me with these ghosts.”

She rolls her eyes, “And you’re going to learn to listen, because unless I suck out a little but of semen, I’m spent. If you want your ghosts gone, you’ve got to give a little.”

You groan and think about it for a moment. Yes, you’ve made metaphorical deals with the devil before but you still didn’t feel quite comfortable about it. Although you might end up thinking about Selene again and…

You shake your head free of such thoughts. No matter the moral implications of this, you straight didn’t have the time to rub one out and you were NOT going to allow any mouth anywhere near your junk. Thankfully you had one last option.

You reach into your [Sack of Holding +1] and pull out the last [Concentrated Mana potion ], pop the cork, and shove the viscous fluid into Delilah’s mouth. She sputters for a moment, confused at the sudden intake before she starts drinking the potion, he eyes glaring at you.

“You wanted to suck on something, right? Well suck on that.”

It scares and makes you curious to see that the potion didn’t just leak out of her neck like you sort of expected. Actually, you were kind of wondering where the hell it all went because there physically was no way that her face could just hold all of that liquid. She interrupts your little thought process by spitting out the vial from her mouth and licking her lips before frowning at you.

“It’s stale” she says in a flat tone. “Honestly it would have been much better fresh.”

“My crotch is a no mouth zone.” You say with a growl, starting to walk back to the mansion. “And that should have been plenty enough energy for you.”

She sighs as you walk forward. “While true, it’s just… Unrewarding.”

“Maybe Hala will let Blake use you as a stress relief device when she’s busy or something.”

“You think?” She asks with a hint of hope.

“What? Eww, no, don’t even say that.” Growls Hala from behind you.

You don’t really care about keeping quiet anymore as you stride forward quickly, grass crunching under your feet. The maid, and probably the lady as well, know that you’re out and about and the time for skulking around in the dark is over. As you think that Chaika burbles up about something at the same time Delilah’s eyes snap to attention and you look over to see a woman standing in the paved area in front of the fountain, her back toward you.

You narrow your eyes at the figure, a woman wearing pure white clothing and a parasol that seemed to almost glow in the dark evening, contrasting with her raven black hair. As you stride forward, she turns her head and then continues to turn it, a full 180 degrees as she smiles wickedly.

“Oh why hello my dear, would you like…”

You raise the Dullahan’s head and her eyes glow a bright purple before the ghost before you shrieks a terrifying wail, holding her ghostly arms up to her face as her clothing shreds and tears by an unseen force, her ectoplasmic flesh dissolving into nothingness. Her wail rises to a fever pitch and you answer with the [Irate Frog Song], the power of your echoing chords of power meeting and overpowering the unearthly shout.

And just like that, she’s gone. Delilah’s eyes fade back to their normal black sclera and she yawns, looking at you with calculating eyes before speaking,

“I’d be careful with that, you could wake the dead.”

You shrug and continue to move forward to the mansion doors, and plant a firm boot to the door to kick them open. Sadly, your foot bounces from the door and you flail your arms, almost falling on your face from the recoil. You stagger some and stare at the doors, breathing out your nostrils. Okay, so the fuckers are going to lock you out now? Well fuck them, you’d just blast this entire fucking door down!

You raise your staff to blast it when Hala calmly walks up to the door and pulls it open slowly. She looks back to you, with a very disappointed expression before you grumble and stride forward Into the dark dark mansion, raising Chaika up for light.

There, in the middle of the foyer, upon the chair surrounded by rose petals, sat Tabitha, completely nude. She sat, her legs crossed and the bare steel of her blade laying flush against the pale skin of her chest, a contrast to the tanned skin of her arms and face. She shifts ever so slightly and you appreciate the full aspects of her curves as her legs change their crossing and her shoulders roll, accentuating the delicate curve of her neck and full breasts.

You stare in fascination as the fey light of your staff plays over this seductive tableau and you realize that her hair was also fully down and undone, hanging loosely across her back. You fumble for something to say, momentarily stunned, and she breaks the silence with a small, haunting laugh.

“Something wrong Wizard? Lizard got your tongue?”

You shake your head and raise Delilah’s head up before you growl back, “You’re not Tabitha!”

She chuckles again and slides a hand over her sword, fingers delicately touching the steel in a loving caress. “You wound me Wizard. And here I am, all ready for you.”

She licks the blade softly before closing her eyes and moaning softly in pleasure. “There’s no need to be hasty, why don’t we just stop and take our time…”

“The real Tabitha would never do this, she wouldn’t throw herself upon someone without first dueling them, judging them as a warrior.”

“But Wizard, I have judged you as a warrior, so many times before…” She strokes the blade a little faster as she whispers, “When you fought those dark elves, when you killed that Arachnae, oh and your fight in the coliseum, mmmm.” She shudders for a moment, sliding her fingers down the sword and tracing the line of her breast.

“I know exactly how much of a warrior you are.”

While the show was uh, deeply erotic, it’s not like you could deny that Tabitha was incredibly attractive if she wanted to be, you couldn’t afford to be distracted by this, but you didn’t want to just hurt her, that actually was Tabitha’s body! That meant your only choice was to subdue her somehow and get Delilah to exorcise her.

You gulp at that mental image of Delilah’s head pressed against Tabitha’s naked body, their saliva mixing together, small moans of pleasure escaping from…

“Are you sure you can’t give me something fresh, because it looks like your trying really hard there.” Says Delilah in your hand.

You look down, then back to Delilah before groaning as Tabitha chuckles. “Hora, hora… Is that a wand in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”

{Hey!} grumbles Chaika. {That’s my schtick!}

You ignore that comment before you grit your teeth and confront the situation. Okay, fuck this, you couldn’t afford to waste time here, you needed to find the others, and quickly. Who knows what would happen after they finished raping Blake, which surely was what was happening right now.

“Alright, that’s enough.” You say standing firm. “Either leave Tabitha’s body, or you’ll be destroyed. I don’t have time to deal with you right now, I have to find my daughter.”

She puts a finger delicately to her lips. “Oh, so forceful wizard. I just wanted to have some fun with you, but you’re acting so mean.”

She stretches her lean body, her reptilian tail swishing back and forth behind her as stands up, exposing the full glory of her sculpted form, and she takes a fighting stance, blade at the ready.

“Well, if you won’t willingly come for me, I’ll just have to fight you.” She licks her lips. “It’ll be more fun that way anyway.”

You nod to Harmony who places Veronica carefully down on the ground before she strides up next to you, prepared for battle. Hala also strides up, but you place a hand on her chest, before quickly adjusting your aim to her shoulder and shake your head.

“You just got possessed, besides, I’m afraid she’ll cut you up too much with that sword and I need your nose for later.”

Hala pouts but nods slowly before standing over Veronica’s prone form. You nod to Harmony and Delilah and then to Tabitha who starts panting a little.

“Three on one is not very sporting you know.” Her eyes alight as her chest starts to heave up and down. “But it’s really turning me on right now.”

You groan and motion to Harmony who charges forward, fists ready. As she contacts the lizardman, Tabitha deftly parries a blow with and delivers a wickedly slash across Harmony’s leg, the armor easily glancing aside the blow, but the strike sending Harmony off balance and causing her to stagger forward some. Tabitha quickly took advantage and took the pommel of her sword, slamming it into the back of the construct and forcing Harmony to stagger to a knee before the lizardman turns to you with a flushed face and wild eyes.

Well, that didn’t go as planned. Fuck, normally you’d freeze her or something, but it was so cold in here that she should have been sluggish as hells, but she clearly wasn’t. You figured it must be due to the chill of the grave from the ghost that staves off the feeling of hypothermia. Which is very unfortunate for you.

You didn’t want to use fire as that would probably kill and or maim the poor girl and you didn’t want that, but you needed a way to immobilize her. Yes, you could freeze her legs, but at the moment, electrocution sounded good.

{Yeah that sounds fine.} Says Chaika, bored. {You should try bindings of darkness someday, it’s quite effective you know, just have to…}

You ignore her blathering about corruption when Tabitha dashes toward you, quick as a blink and you snap cast [Lightning Bolt], the power flying through Chaika to slam into Tabitha’s blade, which she deftly twists and somehow manages to divert the flow of electricity away from herself, ignoring the minor arcs of power that singe her skin.

The next thing you know, she’s upon you, and she knocks Delilah forcefully out of your hands, and quickly delivers two precise strokes of her blade before turning about in a roundhouse kick that sends you flying backward into a heap.

You blink, trying to figure out what just happened when you realize that her sword blows didn’t actually cut you, but instead were precisely made to sever your belt, and the fall dropped your trousers, exposing your cock to the air. Your eyes go wide as the lust crazed monster moves upon you, her sword held low as she reaches one hand out before her, a lewd smile on her face as she moves to claim her prize.

Hala tries to jump her, but with barely a thought, the lizard grabs the wolf by the neck and throws her violently aside, not even deigning to use her blade on her. You scramble back some, channelling power into your staff and you discharge a gout of [Ice], which Tabitha neatly dodges before she straddles you, slamming her hand on your own to make you drop your staff before she lays a cold hand atop your penis, shuddering at the warmth as she slowly strokes the tip.

“Oh wizard… I’m a little disappointed in you. If only you came at me with the intention to kill, this wouldn’t have been so easy.”

She leans down and breaths upon the tip of your penis, her breath oddly cool, yet stimulating and you feel a shock run through you, before she adjusts position, ready to plunge onto you before you could stop her.

She giggles before her eyes suddenly go flat and she turns about, rage apparent on her face. “You should have stayed down you pile of scra…”

Her words are cut off as a jet of purple electricity slams into her, sending her flying forward onto you, smashing you to the ground under her weight, and you can feel tingles of energy course through your own body as she she spasms atop you, her smooth skin and rough scales haphazardly sliding across your flesh.

You struggle some, trying to free yourself when something pulls back the lizardman’s head and suddenly Delilah is shoved in between the two of you, her lips locking onto those of Tabitha’s.

The two monsters seem to struggle against each other, but Tabitha is forced in place atop you, her skin rubbing against your shamefully erect member, sending tremors through your body. Soon enough though, the struggle stops and you hear lewd noises and moans as the two war for dominance of mouth space and you forcefully roll them off you, taking in a deep breath.

You look over up to see Harmony standing above you, staring down at you. With a quick yelp, you cover your shame and blush furiously before looking over to Tabitha, who was on her side, retching up ectoplasm and thankfully no spunk. You see Delilah licking her lips, seeming mildly satisfied with herself, despite being on her side.

Placing a hand to your head you groan and look back to Harmony who was looking away, pretending to cough, even though that was impossible. You shake your head before asking, “Harmony did you just…?”

“Shoot lighting? Yes, apparently I did.” She raises one of her hands and it seems to separate the metal from around the hand, revealing a thin disc that lit up with purple power before dying out. She shrugs, “Guess that’s why I was feeling before, this extra system. Doesn’t look like it was only meant to do lightning, but I can’t say why I feel that..”

You stand up, finding a way to fix your pants as you look down at Tabitha. The poor monster was huddled in a ball, shivering with such intensity that her teeth were chattering. She looks up to you, dazed, “W…w…wizard? What’s h…happening?”

You lean down and place a hand on her shoulder and feel that she’s exceptionally cold. Your grit your teeth and search around for sow thing before quickly pulling down a curtain and using it to wrap the poor girl in to give some warmth.

“Tabitha, I know this is hard to believe, but you were possessed by a ghost.”

She nods her head, “That sounds reasonable.”

You blink, “It does?”

“Why else would I be naked in a mansion while covered in lewd juices?”

You rub at your head and try to look for a good answer before shrugging and picking up her sword, handing it back to her. She pulls herself to a sitting position and holds the blade, then frowns.

“Ugh, this is going to stain the blade unless I get it cleaned.”

“Right, okay then, look, Blake and Saya were captured by the maid, and while I really would like to help you here, we need to get going.”

Tabitha looks up to you and nods, standing slowly, still shivering. “Ugh, I really hope that ghost didn’t destroy my under garments. That warmth spell you put on them is a lifesaver.”

You smirk and then have a thought, handing Tabitha the [Darkness attuned compass] before you pick up Delilah, who has another flat look on her face. The Dullahan just looks at you before rolling her eyes.

“Ghosts always kind of taste funny.”

You blink and look at the ground, trying to fully process what she just said. It’s just… You mean… Wow. You never thought you’d ever hear that and it…. Wow.

While you stare at the ground, you notice the ectoplasm and have thought to scoop some up. Maybe you’d have a use for it later? You had plenty of vials to stopper and seal it so no issue there. You quickly stuff it into your bag before gathering yourself up and taking your staff as the others prepared to move out.

>You gain [Ectoplasm]

>Some call it ghost goo.

You look to Hala who still seems perfectly fine flashing everyone and you ask, “Hala, I’m having trouble connecting with Bubs, can you smell Blake?”

She closes her eyes and sniffs loudly before pointing upstairs. “Yes, I found him, and his scent is strong…” She frowns deeply before her eyes flare up. “Oh that fucking bitch. Only I can make him give off that scent!”

She charges up the stairs and you follow in pursuit behind with Harmony still carrying the unconscious Veronica and Tabitha trailing behind you. You quickly move upstairs, looking out for any signs of ghosts, but seeing nothing too crazy until Hala comes before a large set of doors that obviously lead to the master suite. She growls ferociously and paws at the door, but is unable to open it.

She looks back and you and you sigh, readying your magic when Tabitha calls, “Wizard… Your device is pointing directly ahead, and it’s shaking quite furiously.”

You look back to her, concerned before Chaika growls, {Damnit, that’s some intense power!}

You quickly turn back around to see the doors before you slowly open inward, showing the pleasantly smiling face of Xanthia, her arms crossed before her as she bows at the waist. Beyond her lies an ornate hallway lined with statues, paintings, and other rich furnishings. They were all covered in a thick layer of ice and you could practically see energy of ghosts flowing around the room.

As she rises again she says in a gentle voice. “The Lady is currently entertaining a guest right now. Please return to your rooms.”

You grit your teeth. “Cut the crap, I know you have Saya and Bubs.”

“And Blake!” Chimes in Hala.

“Him too, and we’re not leaving without them.”

The tilts her head slightly before gently touching her cheek with her hand. She sighs and shakes her head.

“Oh dear. I’m afraid we have a problem then.”

Without warning, a pool of darkness spreads from the maid, washing out all around you, covering the walls, floor, and ceiling, and casting the area around you in an oppressive gloom as shapes seem to twist and move in the unnatural dark, teeth flashing, eyeballs twitching, a see of unseen and ever changing horrors all around you, forcing you to stagger backward and you take if all in, or try to, for actually doing so might make you go mad.

Xanthia adopts her characteristic smile again as tentacles of dark purple appear from her body and start to flow from her.

“My lady gave my explicit instructions for her to not be disturbed, she did not, however, forbid me from having a good time.”

Oh what the fuck was this.

Everywhere around you, a cold, oppressive darkness filled your vision as twisted words entered your mind, speaking of unseen horrors and promised torture. You feel your skin begin to crawl as phantom tingles spread down your body and the sensation of thousands of spiders trickle down your face and into your mouth, suffocating you In a disgusting embrace of raw terror.

You feel yourself stagger back, eyes searching everywhere, but all you see are eyes staring back, teeth gnashing, and the flailing of forgotten memories. Your put a hand to your head to stop the pressure, by the gods this pressure, as if your skeleton was trying to claw it way free of your flesh. Of course it would, it didn’t want to be here. No one wanted to be here.

You see Hala tremble uncontrollably before kneeling down and curling into a ball while tiny pink kittens danced on her head, each whispering something vaguely anti-danuki. You look down and panic and you realize you’re holding a fucking dead! How long as that been there! You drop the unfortunate thing and fall back, swinging your knife stick around, feeling as if someone is trying to tell you something, but gods damn, those fucking spiders man.

You feel your staff collide into something and you whirl about, eyes wide. You see a tall, imposing creature made of flesh and bone, but all wrong, as if the skeleton fractured and broken.

“Wizard! Calm down! It’s me, Harmony!,

The monstrosIty says from one of its many mouths and you pull back, preparing to cast a bolt of magic at the thing then you feel a solid hit to the small of your back, sending your forward in a heap on the ground where those damn spiders return to chew on your flesh!

You writhe and squirm as you feel a pair of arms turn you over and you see the fleeting images of a fist slam into your face. Your vision swims in and out and you see a nightmarish hellscape sudden resolve into Tabitha, then slip back into the visage of a raging beast, howling at you with sounds that chill your soul.

Then the fist comes again and as blood trickles from your nose, you suddenly realize that, oh okay sure, that’s Tabitha and she’s punching you. And this isn’t a horrifying world of pain and misery, it’s only your mind being rent asunder by the power of a terrifying abomination!

That’s so much better!

“Woah woah hold the fuck up!” You shout, holding an arm up over your face. “You did it Tabitha, I’m good, holy fuck, stop!”

You see the fist cocked and ready again waver in the air and your eyes find Tabitha’s face where she stares at you before sighing and rolling off you, looking off before you, her makeshift toga slipping down one shoulder as she grips her sword.

You groan and rub at your face, rubbing away the blood from your nose as you look about, eyes focusing on the source of your pain. The fucking maid, smiling that demure little fucking smile still standing ahead, her tentacles lashing back and forth over and over, blocking a barrage of blows from Harmony, and the occasional blast of lightning, which becomes absorbed into her black body, causing her to release small moans of pleasure.

You look to Tabitha who grunts at you. “That’s the second time wizard, if this happens again, I’m charging you.”

You slowly pick yourself up, leveling Chaika before nodding to Tabitha. “Fine. How did you resist this and not the ghost?”

“This is merely a mind trick,and lizardman are immune to those. A ghost instead possesses the soul.”

“Are you saying you have no soul?”

“Wizard I swear to the gods, shut up and blast this bitch.”

You nod sharply and channel your will, thinking to Chaika, {Ready for this?}

{I’ve been ready you dunce. I swear,you could have broken me swinging me about like that!}

{Sorry, I wasn’t in my right mind}

{I saw} she says, offhandedly as she focuses your power. You channel the power greatly into a focus of raw energy and discharge a [Lightning Bolt].

The energy, tinged purple through Chaika, courses through the air into the maid and her body lights up, sending her near translucent skin into nearly luminescent sheen. Despite this, she turns her face to yours, that smile now literally lit up as her black eyes shine with your power before it slowly fades away.

“Hehe. Oh my, how… Shocking” she giggles some before blocking a blow by Harmony with a tentacle, pushing the construct away.

She raises an arm, the first time since beginning now that you realize, and from the murk around you rises little copies of herself, about four in total, and they giggle softly before assaulting you and Tabitha. You raise your spear stick and stab towards the little creature, its giggling managing to rip into your soul as it pushes aside your clumsy blow. Maybe you should ask for training from Tabitha or something.

A second little creature jumps at you and latches its tiny, smooth body about your arm and you wave her about furiously, but she won’t come free. In this distraction, the other one runs up to you and attaches to your leg. You flail about wildly, but aren’t really being hurt or anything until the one one your leg smiles manically before tentacles sprout from her back and become deadly sharp.

You curse and lash out with your free arm, smashing your hand into her face and pressing down into the soft, almost gelatinous skin before you scream and channel [Fire] into its face. The body shudders and trembles, your fist growing incredibly warm as the creature screams and starts to bubble and boil before shuddering and then exploding outward, showering you in goo and causing the other little creature to squeal in shock and you grab her with your arm and throw it off onto the ground before driving Chaika into its chest.

You feel a surge of power and magic shudder into the thing, it’s body trembling as a spike of darkness flashes from the spear tip and dart quickly to the thing’s head, distorting its face into a twisted grin before it shudders and melts into the ground. You pant before looking over and seeing Tabitha slash up the two assaulting her with ease, holding the curtain up to her Chest with one hand to cover her while her sword cleaves through them with no trouble.

She nods her head to you. “Wizard, we need to hit her with something hard, now.”

“She’s absorbing my magic like its a playtoy and she still has that fucking grin on her face.”

She did, and as she looks into your fucking soul from across the room, she lashes out with her tentacles and pushes Harmony back toward you, the construct sliding through the murk to stand next to you. You put a hand on Harmony’s shoulder and she growls,

“Damnit, she doesn’t seem to be hurt by anything.”

You nod, “I know, damnit if only you were still in the staff, we could call up some massive lightning or something.”

{Oh sure, okay, wow, fuck you too.} growls Chaika from the knife stick.

“Sorry, geez.” You breathe out before grinding your teeth. “If only we could use the [Plasma Blast].

“You’d need sufficient heat and electricity, right? How can you do that, she’s absorbing all of this.”

You grit your teeth and search about before staring at Harmony’s fist. It crackles slightly with electricity and your eyes go wide. Could… Could it be?

You snap your head to Tabitha. “Quickly, engage her I need to concentrate.”

Without a second thought, Tabitha dashes forward to the creature and starts engaging her, slashing apart her tentacles as fast as they flash forward, forcing the maid to frown slightly as she starts to concentrate on the assault, giving you the time to look to Harmony. You casually look to Hala and see her still curled up in the ball, weeping. You uh, you’ll deal with that later, poor girl.

“Wizard, what’s going on?” She asks, watching Tabitha go toe to toe with the creature, not able to really harm it, but still keeping it at bay. If she had a real face, your certain she’d look jealous.

“Harmony, if I bring the fire, will you bring the thunder?”

“Thunder is a sound wizard.”

“Not now MOM.” You say as Harmony nods her head, already rolling from the joke. She holds up a hand and you take it before she points her other hand at the maid. You level Chaika forward and channel your rage and power into the staff, cashing Chaika to burst into ember light.

“On the count of three.”

“One…” Tabitha slashes at the tentacles as they come toward her.

“Two…” The maid frowns deeply before sprouting a massive burst of tenactles sprouting multiple mouths and teeth, jabbering from madness and growling an aura of horror.

“Three!”

From your staff, fire so hot it burns your face, spews forth in a lance at the same time as lightning bursts from Harmony’s hand. The two fly forward and converge into swirling spear of light at the moment it reaches the maid.

Tabitha jumps back as the maid’s tentacles swing forward toward her, missing by the barest margin when it hits. You see a burst of blinding light followed by blast of sound a woomph of air sending your staggering backward, holding your hand before your eyes.

It takes a while before your eyes start to clear and the mild ringing in your ears dies down. As the light fades you see where the maid once stood now was… Nothing. The pervasive darkness that flowed from her was gone and in her face the floor for about 10 feet was splinters and shattered, paintings here broken and burning, statues shattered and melted, others leaking and melting into disfigured heaps from the heap.

You sigh and hang your head. You were afraid it wasn’t going to work, or even if it didn’t, it would be like the coliseum. Of course, had it worked like that, you’d be dead, Selene or no, from this distance. You pull yourself up and then go to pick up Harmony, who was also pushed back.

“By the gods, it worked.”

“Yeah, I guess so.” You say, feeling mildly exhausted. It didn’t destroy you like before, but the terror from before at the crazy heat needed was just…it made you tired. You look down to see Hala shuddering and pulling herself up from the ground and Delilah, who just realized you threw onto the ground like common trash, laying there just sighing, annoyed.

Then your spine stiffens as you remember that Tabitha was right in sight the creature! Your eyes dart about, looking for her until you see her crumpled form, laying prone against a wall that was cracked from the force of her impact into it. You race toward her and roll her onto her back, feeling for signs of life and sighing as you see she has a pulse, but is unconscious.

Harmony walks over to her and puts a hand on your shoulder. “Is she?…”

You shake your head. “No, she’s fine, just unconscious.”

She nods her head, “Of course, of course.” She looks over at the broken and shattered doorway, “We need to move in on her and rescue the others.”

You look about and see Veronica, still unconscious, as well as the groaning Hala. You hang your head and stand up. “I need you to stay here and protect them.”

“But, you can’t!”

“Yes, I can.” You say, smiling. “It’ll be fine, stay with Delilah, and keep them safe, I’ll be out soon, alright?”

She looks down before nodding. “Alright, stay safe wizard.”

You smirk and tap her shoulder before walking through the doorway. As you step past the ground zero, you hear a lingering giggle and you stop, looking about before you shake your head and continue to look about. The swirling gale of ghosts seems to sense an intruder in their presence and they dash toward you, screaming in lust and anger, and you slam your staff onto the ground, causing Chaika to radiate power, pushing the ghosts back and causing them to scream in terror.

Some of the more powerful ghosts press forward, gritting their teeth as they press in. You reach into your [Sack of Holding +1] and pull out a vial of [Holy Water], then uncork it with your teeth and splash the water through the air.

As it contacts the ghosts, their translucent bodies burst into green flames and they recoil back, allowing you to continue your trek forward, wails of torment ringing about you as you run toward the door through the hallway, and you slam into it with your body, forcing the doors to burst open.

Instantly, your beard begins to frost over and you feel your very bones chill inside the room. You shiver uncontrollably as your breath becomes visible in the veritable freezer of the master bedroom. You search about with your eyes, taking in the surroundings.

The room was quite large and decorated and a multitude of furniture all made of pure, shining ice. The floor was a slick with frost as well as the walls, and you notice that there are no paintings here. Infact the walls are bare to the point where you notice that the ice has formed a sheet of mirrors that focuses on a single point, the four posted bed in the center of the room. Now that you noticed it, the only thing that wasn’t made of ice in this room was the bed and its mattress, which rocked back and forth slowly.

Upon the bed, was Lady Juliant, straddling the recumbent form of Blake, his skin blue and cold as he shivers, his body stiff. Of course, the stiffest place of his body was his erect shaft, enveloped on the warm folds of the Lady’s vagina.

You watch in panoramic view as she rides Blake over and over, forcing herself onto him as her body rocks his into the creaking bed, their forms pressing into the mattress of the bed, causing it to shudder with every undulation of her hips upon his manhood.

You growl and take a step forward, raising your staff when the Yuki-Onna throws her head back and cries out, her nails digging deep into Blake’s chest as Blake shudders and groans, thrusting his pelvis up into her as if being sucked up by some vacuum. They stay like this for what seems a mild eternity before Blake drops back down, breathing heavily.

The lady smirks, looking to you with sultry eyes and she slowly lifts herself up from Blake’s body, small goblets of semen leaking forth a dribble form her snatch. She sighs and rubs at her nether region before addressing you.

“Oh! Wizard! Did Xanthia send you in? I’m afraid you caught me at a rather inconvenient time I’m afraid, but I just finished with the hero for now and might I say, he was very much worth it.”

You growl and point your staff at the ice spirit, the tip lighting into flame. “Your maid is dead, and the same fate will occur to you if you don’t release my daughter, my familiar…” You look to Blake. “And the hero I guess.”

She raises an eyebrow as she lays down atop Blake, pressing her body onto his, and he shudders, instinctively seeking warmth from her flesh.

“Dead? I sincerely doubt that. As for your daughter…” She points to a corner of the room where a frozen stature of a women and a rat reside.

“They’re just spectating for now. Honestly if I didn’t have experience with such unstable beings I would have had to be much more aggressive with her.”

Your eyes go wide and you shout, “You bitch!”

She gasps mockingly. “Oh, no no no, such manners will never do here! You must never threaten a host, that is poor form.” She places a hand to Blake’s throat, her nails drawing drops of blood.

“Unless of course, the host threatens first. But we can be civil, Infact, I don’t really ask for much at all.”

“What are you talking about?”

She chuckles and rubs her belly, “I just want a little warmth is all. It’s so lonely, so cold here, but when guests come by they warm me up so well.” She looks outside the doors at the swirling ghosts. “Of course, after the fun we have, most decide they want to stay, forever.”

“You fucking monster. You just lure people in and kill them?”

She shrugs, “Thats a very boring way to saying it, but I suppose it’s the crux of the matter.”

“Why would you do that?”

She sighs and traces her finger across Blake’s chest. “It wasn’t always this way. I used to be human you know, and this place used to be quite lively until the Monster Invasion. In exchange for my life, I was transformed into this, and my life of warmth and comfort became one of cold, always seeking warmth.

“Well why not find a husband or whatever the fuck you monsters do?”

Her expression becomes fierce. “I had a husband, before the change, but the Lady, her army stole him along with the other male staff, killing the women and trapping their souls as ghosts.”

She snarls, “I can never forgive her for that, and try as I might, I can never love again like I did my poor Henry, however…” She grips her hand on Blake. “I can fill that void with warmth, however temporary with those who travel these lands, and should the Lady or her minions try to disturb me, they will be destroyed, mercilessly.”

You try to process all of this before you nod your head slowly. “What if I told you that we’re fighting the Monster Lady, that we seek to destroy her?”

“Well, then I’d say you have a good head on your shoulders, but I only care about the head between your legs.”

“Why? Why not use your strength to fight against the Lady?”

She laughs, “The hero here tried the same tactic on me, as did many others before you. No, I feel the resentment in my bones, but I am not going to meet my own death in a futile gesture as such. I have everything I need here!”

You sigh and hang your head before igniting your staff again. “Very well then, but before I burn your icy body into a oblivion, can you tell me where you get your food from? It’s the one question I just can’t figure out.”

“Oh.” She shrugs, lifting herself off Blake’s body. “Xanthia makes it from her own body, she’s quite skilled.”

You feel your stomach roil and you fire a lance of [Fire] at the monster.

She laughs and rolls off the bed, causing the fire to miss her and crash against the wall, melting the mirror. She stands in her nude glory, and conjures up spikes of ice from the floor that race toward you, prompting you to quickly apply your own skill with [Ice] to split the flow enough to make it miss you.

“Ara Ara… I don’t say that often, I feel you deserve it. Oh I remember the last wizard who walked into my domain. He was quite skilled with his magic and his staff served him well in the bedroom too…”

“I swear to fucking Solos, what is with your monsters and your damn lust?!” You shouts back, firing off a bolt of flame that she deftly stops with blocks of ice.

She shrugs, “Fun things are fun. Dogs eat dog food. Monsters have sex. These are the constants of our world.” She raises a hand and shrugs, “Take it up with the gods.”

She fires a gout of ice at you, but this time you were prepared, forming a [Shield circle] that deftly stopped the ice cold. Heh. Hehehe. Heh. Cold. But no time for that as you drop the shield and try using [Lightning bolt].

The two of you trade blows back and forth, sending magical energy flying around the room, melting and re freezing the room in bursts of power. After one particularly nasty strike of ice, you find yourself sliding across the floor and you feel yourself collide into something solid. Instead of crumpling though, you feel strong hands press on your shoulders and stabilize you.

Looking over your shoulder, you see Harmony standing behind you, still as possible, her blank eyes staring down at you, but you’re relieved to see her.

“Oh thank the gods, Harmony, I’m glad you’re here, but why aren’t you guarding the others?”

She says nothing and you look at her, concerned. “Harmony? What’s wrong?”

You feel the pressure on your shoulders increase until you cry out in pain and drop to one knee as Harmony presses upon you.

“Harmony, what the fu..ahh!” You shout as the walks up, chuckling.

“Oh my, it seems your little you has been possessed! How curious, I haven’t seen something like this in ages.”

She gently slides an ice cold finger over your lips and you shudder as she twirls your beard around your fingers.

“I was going to have some more fun with the Hero, but this little fight of ours has really stirred me up inside something fierce, so I think I’ll just give you the pleasure early.”

You hang your head, more tired than defeated. How did you always end up in these situations?

You hear Lady Juliant make a disappointed “tsk, tsk” and use her forefinger to raise your chin, her icy touch sending shivers down your spine. Her eerie blue eyes stare into yours, searching for something before she sighs.

“Where did that defiance from before go? That raw vigor and power? This is just sad.”

“Why did you do it?” You ask suddenly.

She blinks, confused. “Do… What?”

“You know, abandon your husband.”

She stares at you, eyes going wide as a streak of anger flashes in her eyes if not her face. “What was that?”

“I asked,” you continue eyes still looking aside. “Why you abandoned your husband all those years ago to the predations of the monster horde? You could have saved him.”

She growls, “What do you THINK you know about any of this? It happened centuries before you were born you little worm, there was no fighting the will of the lady back then.”

She looks to the side, snarling, “Besides, he could never love me the way I am now. My only solace is that he is long dead in the grave and free from his torment.”

“I doubt that’s true” you whisper.

She growls and grabs your beard, “And what does a little virgin wizard like you know of love?”

You take a deep breath, look her straight in the eye and say, “More than you, I suspect.”

Then you begin the [True Irate Frog Song].

The raw force of your infused voice pushes the Yuki-onna away from you, her eyes wide with shock as she stumbles backward, putting her hands to her ears. You feel Harmony’s grip upon you start to slack slightly, but it was still enough to keep you rooted in place. May the gods forgive you for what you were about to do,

You quickly weave and [amplify] before you and suddenly the power of your voice magnifies, causing the whole room to shudder and shake, the icy furniture shuddering under the force of your voice. As you reach the height of the song, you feel Harmony shudder and shake, then her arms suddenly go slack and you feel her weight slump behind you, though you can’t hear a damn thing.

The shivering of the room increases until, with a sound like a tea kettle overheating, the ice in the room shatters! That is to say, the whole fucking room shatters, sending pieces of ice spiraling all over the room, cutting slices into the bed, the walls, Blake and Lady Juliant, even your exposed skin where your robes weren’t able to properly cover you.

As one rather large chunk wallops you in the forehead, you stagger back, your song ended as you are forcefully removed from the stage. You rub your head from the sting, trying to get your bearings back when it suddenly occurs to you that you had just destroyed all the ice in the room. And your daughter was currently a block of ice.

Panic rising, you sweep your eyes across the room to spot the area where the two were frozen. There was a puddle of blackness overlaying a pile of bones, looking nothing so much like a tar pit releasing its ancient victims to the air and you suddenly feel sick. Oh gods no, you didn’t….you couldn’t have…

As you put a hand to your stomach you notice the little rat sitting next to the goop and the thought suddenly occurs to you. If they were dead, then wouldn’t you be flat on your ass, shivering in pain from the loss of your familiar? Hell, you might even have died in that case as well!

You quickly perform a <fast scan> on both of them and sigh in relief as you find that while both were not necessarily hale, they were alive, if unconscious, which was more than enough for you at the moment.

You wipe some blood from your cheek where an ice shard had cut it and rise, planting Chaika on the now bare flooring. You swing your gaze about to see Harmony slumped over, her internal systems lights off, but the magical presence of her crystal still operational, thank the gods. Of course, if she was still possessed, which was the only logical answer, there was no telling when she might get back up.

Time to make this quick then,

You stride over to the monster, who was shakily getting to her feet, her beautiful body torn and bleeding from flying shards of ice, the blood already starting to freeze over at the wounds. She growls and raises her hand to cast something, but you slap it away and grab her by the chin this time.

“You want to warm up, huh?” You say, as fire springs to life through Chaika, who seems positively giddy to do so.

“Well then, let’s heat things up?”

You press the flaming knife stick close to her face and she screams, trying to pull away. You aren’t going to like, sear her flesh or anything, but you do feel a little vindictive. She kind of deserves all of this really, after everything she’s done, but you’re not that cold, not yet anyway.

She squirms, her cold, pale face heating up rapidly to a more normal flesh color. You think about forcing her to call a surrender then when her eyes flash with murder and she takes a deep breath. You feel this is about to get really bad and you pull away as she lets loose a torrent of ice from her mouth that blasts toward you, and would have frozen you solid had you not had the foresight to pull away. Even still, your beard took another one for the team and became a veritable block of ice.

As you regain your feet the air around the Yuki-onna goes practically sub zero and you can feel the ripples of magic pour through her. You step back, trying to figure out the spell she’s about to cast, ice appearing out of nowhere in wickedly sharp bursts, her eyes pure white as she snarls in anger.

Your shield probably wasn’t going to protect you from whatever the hell was about to occur here and you could try the [Counter circle], and hell, you’d probably succeed. But that wasn’t how this was going to play out. No, this frosty bitch decided to give you the cold shoulder and put your daughter on ice in her house frozen in time so she could make ice with other men instead of rescuing her husband. Well, then this ice queen was in for a chilling realization: you play with fire, you’re going to get burned.

Raising Chaika up, you channel pure fire such to the point that all ice in a circle around you begins to melt, the water coursing away from you in rivulets, and when they met the zone of cold cast by the Yuki-onna they froze, creating a visible divide between fire and ice.

Lady Juliant narrows her eyes and channels even greater power around her pushing back your melting zone, causing you to grit your teeth and push back as more and more of your concentration and will went into the heat and fire gathering around you, forcing another stalemate of magical energies. As it pushes on, you carefully open your bag and wait, continuing to raise the temperature.

You feel, rather than see as her energy reaches its peak and she screams, throwing her arms toward you as the raw fury of winter crashed down upon you in a wave of freezing cold.

In response, sweating though you were, you cast out your magic, knowing that it just wasn’t nearly as powerful as her blast of ice, you just didn’t have the preparation and you were still tired from your earlier fighting. Still, your [Fireball] crashed into her ice, and the resulting steam was blinding, the heat nearly scalding and turning the room into a veritable sauna, but you can still feel that her ice was overpowering you and you step back, afraid of the cold embrace of the grave.

And then, without warning, it stops. Gone, vanished, vamoosed. All that remained was a roiling cloud of steam and pools of water as the gas billowed out through the room, dispersing some and granting glorious warmth while at the same time giving you a modicum more of vision.

As shapes began to take hold again, you see Lady Juliant, lying on her back before you, breathing in ragged gasps, unmoving on the floor. You take a slow step toward her, your beard dripping water all down the front of you and you can now see the reason she was so incapacitated.

Jutting from her breast, abdomen, right arm, and thigh were globs of brown, viscous looking material that slid down her body, creating puddling rivulets in the meltwater. Her eyes darted back and forth as she struggled to make words, her breath coming in ragged gasps and choking coughs.

“H…how… Wha?” Is all she’s able to say before she goes into coughing fits again.

You sigh and point to your [Sack of Holding +1].

“I knew the fire wasn’t enough to stop your power, you were too strong. But I had a secret weapon in my arsenal.”

With a wave of your hand and a steam of feces appears from the bag, flowing around before you, creating a stench that is magnified in the swamp-like confines of the room.

She coughs, blood running from her mouth, “Y…you shot me with… Grah…. Shit?”

You nod your head. “Aye, fired it through the steam, and the freezing power of your magic made it powerful enough to piece your skin.”

She groans and her eyes flutter. “Am… Am I going to die?”

“Yes. You are.”

She coughs a fit, blood and sputum spouting form her lips. “Ah… At least I’ll get to see… My Henry again…”

You don’t say anything to that she she shudders one more time before going slack, her face lolling to one side. You just stare at her, still as ice in death and wonder if someone so cruel should be allowed to look so peaceful.

{Its the nature of things.} says Chaika softly. {Don’t cry for her, she wouldn’t have cried for you.}

{I’m not her though.} you say, wondering just how many monsters you’ve sent to the grave by this point. 10? Maybe, you’ve lost count, or perhaps you never wanted to start counting. The thought was too depressing.

As you take your eyes off the body, you feel a surge of magical power about you and you whirl around, trying to locate its source, but it seems to be coming from everywhere all at once.

{Chaika, what the hell is this?} you ask, trying to muster some kind of plan.

{Ghosts, it’s the ghosts, they’re all moving together, literally all of them.}

You frown, concerned as an unearthly howl echoes through the halls, causing your body to shiver and shake with the pressure upon your soul. You stagger, your tired form resting on Chaika as it flows through you.

{Hold on wizard, I think I know what’s going on.} Chaika says, reassuringly as you stare out into the corridor and see a swirling gust of green power, opaque figures twirling in the gust of energy, their voices stretching and screeching to your mind. As the voice reaches a crescendo, the energy spiral upward in a funnel, and the souls of the dead fly up through this tunnel and out of the house, leaving an echo of their pain and the impression of joy.

You slump back to the floor, the psychic backlash of so many souls being freed to enter the realm of Nerg causing your magical senses much anguish and you pant, trying to recover yourself. It was over, the Lady was dead, her maid was obliterated, and the souls of the dead released to their eternal slumber.

You sigh, closing your eyes and allowing your tired body to give in to its accumulated insults, when you feel strong arms grasp you around the shoulders and the world suddenly shifts as you’re thrown forcefully through the air, crashing full-bodied into Blake’s prone form, causing him to pull up, coughing in pain as you try to get your bearings.

You look ahead of you and see Harmony, walking slowly toward you, a fey glow about her. You try to make sense of all of it, what the hell was going on, did you scramble Hadmony’s crystal somehow?

“Harmony, what are you doing? Stop, it’s over!”

Harmony hisses, some static seeming to pulse through in her voice. “No… No it’s not over. I finally have a body again, and I refuse to just… Enter the void.”

She flexes a hand, staring at it while soft electricity plays over the fingertips. “Though this form does not seem to possess a vagina or feeling, I feel there is yet ways I may play with you and fulfill my pent up lusts.”

The construct turns its emotionless face upon you and takes a step forward. You try to pull back grabbing onto anything to get away, and you feel your hand grab something long, thick, and solid. You turn to see that you’ve grabbed Blake’s shaft and you hurriedly release it, feeling horrified as the possessed Harmony leers above you.

She reaches for you when quick, thudding sounds echo from behind and you hear, “Through Solos our purity is assured, through Solos the plight of man is alleviated, through Solos we might purge the darkness and live in his light, blessed be our Hallowed lord to deliver us from our misery!”

You see Harmony turn slightly and then shudder violently as Veronica’s hand latches onto her face and radiant yellow light flows through the woman into the construct, causing Harmony to emit a powerful scream as greenish ooze flows from the cracks in her plating to pool on the floor.

Veronica slowly releases her grip on the construct’s face, causing Harmony to slump back down to the ground and fall over in a heap. The aspirant looks down at the fallen device, then back to you and she shrugs.

“Evening wizard, I miss much?”

The rest of the party joined you soon after that, Hala cuddling up with Blake when she realized how cold he was, much to the dismay of the other girls, who thankfully didn’t say anything, although Tabitha gave Blake’s naked form a loooong glance before turning away to inspect the Yuki-onna’s corpse. You quickly went to check on Saya, who had spent the time since unfreezing to literally pull herself together, and by the time you reached her, she was mostly humanoid.

Bubs was out cold the entire time, but he also groggily woke up and you could feel your link to him reignite. He stumbles about, drunkenly for a moment before looking up to you.

{Hey there big guy… What’s going on?}

You smile and pull the little dude into an embrace. {Nothing buddy, just glad to see you’re alright,}

{Oh, cool…} he says, eyes drifting back closed. {I’m going to take… Another nap. You owe me two Bubsy snacks for this…}

You smile and place him in your pocket and whisper, “Sure thing bud.”

After making sure Saya was able to walk, which thankfully none of her bones were broken, you give her the biiigggeesssst hug and a kiss not the forehead to the point where she starts to try and push you away, complaining about how you’re embrassing her. Whatever, she can deal with it, and you stay there for quite some time before making your way over to the others to see Veronica helping Harmony up, her systems online again. She shakes her head and looks to you before looking away, theoretically embarrassed.

“W…wizard, I… I could feel that thing invade me and she made me think such… Such lewd thoughts and I’m sorry, I couldn’t fight her.”

You sigh and pat the head of the construct. “It’s fine, we’re all safe now. Besides, what happened anyway?”

Delilah pipes up at that from her place atop the bed. “I was keeping the spirits at bay from repossessing the bodies of those three when a massive surge of them came forth. I had thought that they would leave the bird alone, but it seems I was mistaken.”

Harmony shrugs and chuckles softly before looking away. You rub your head and then narrow your eyes. “Wait, you said you knew what was happening, was that the same with you two?”

Hala and Tabitha exchange a glance before pointedly looking away from you.

“Nope, we were fully possessed, I don’t remember a thing.” Says Hala, snuggling up to Blake.

“That is foolish to insinuate wizard, I am insulted.” Mutters Tabitha as she pulls her makeshift clothing tight.

The two exchange another glance and giggle some, leaving you perplexed and mildly annoyed as Blake wakes up, looking about in confusion.

“Oh hell, I got raped again, didn’t I?”

Since your [Darkness attuned compass] was now dead again and Delilah felt there was no real threat, you all decided to sleep the rest of the night in the house, this time all in one room with proper wads up and a nice, gentle heating of the room via the new, wonderful spell you crafted, <Warm blooded>. You had disposed of the Lady’s body in a suitable fire beforehand, and you were well assured of some good sleep.

>You learn <Warm Blooded>!

>Its like <Cold blooded>, but not!

Delilah and Tabitha stand watch again in exchange for your pipe and you quickly fall asleep on the floor apart from Blake while the girls all share the bed.

The morning came far too quickly for you, and you awaken to the naked form of Hala stretching her tail over you, giving you a full view of her nether regions. You just blink your eyes before sighing slightly.

“Hala, put some damn pants on.”

The wolfgirl sticks her tongue out at you as the rest of the party awakens and you begin to gather your supplies up. Someone found Tabitha’s undergarments hanging from a chandelier in a side room and in a short period of time, the women were fully dressed again, much to your good spirits and a little to Blake’s disappointment.

Since the Lady was gone, you decided to go searching for supplies as you had been asked to, unable to bring yourself to tell the others that everything was created by the maid, the horrible roiling in your stomach reminding you of that terrible fact. Of course, when Hala found a storage cellar full of fresh vegetables and salted meats, she gleefully brought it back to the rest of you, excitement on her face and terror on yours.

There… There was no way that this should be here unless Lady Juliant lied to you or… Or the maid really was….

You kept that disturbing thought to yourself as you combed through the place some more, looking for possible artifacts. All you really found were empty paintings and couches, the chair from last evening mysteriously gone. The only real interesting thing you noted was a large cabinet in the cellar which, when opened, held multiple vials of white fluid labeled, “chilled semen.”

Your stomach roils at the sight but Chaika practically drools at the sight, begging you to please please please take some, it’s not like it’s going to hurt anyone, come on pleeeaaseeee.

You groan and take a few vials. Might as well have some on hand for Delilah also. It wasn’t fresh, you didn’t think, but it was probably just as energy dense, or whatever the hell was going on in semen that made monsters crave it so much. Salt? Did they want salt? Ah whatever.

As your search of the premises ended, you hear the sound of hoofbeats coming from outside and you open the door, a frown on your face as you see the reindeer approaching, their leader crossing her arms under her breasts as she pulls up short in the rotunda. She looks over your party and smiles wickedly.

“Well, well, well, look at you, our brave group of adventurers managed to survive the night in Juliant Manor. You didn’t kill the Lady, did you?”

You narrow your eyes, suspiciously. “We did.”

She smiles even wider, “Wonderful! Oh that makes things so much easier then.”

You frown. “Easier? What are you talking about. We had a deal, where’s that mountain pass.”

“Deal? What, for that stupid little pass near the waterfall to the northwest? Oh well, see we originally thought you were just going to die here like everyone else, but wow, you actually killed the bitch.”

She paces about, looking around the grounds and nodding her head. “But hey, now that she’s dead, that saves us a world of trouble. The lady wanted this place as a forward command to assault that Fortress, and wouldn’t you know it, a dumb group of muscle heads was able to save us trouble. I guess patrolling south did pay off in the end.”

She waves a hand, “Kill them, this time no playing around.”

As she says this, the reindeer around her start to charge forward toward your group, caught by surprise, you’re utterly unable to mount a proper defense, and as the first reindeer reaches you, her spear thrusting for your throat, you recoil back, only to see tendrils of blackness grab the spear, then the reindeer and pull her down into a sea of nothingness.

The other reindeer stop in their charge, prancing about in confusion as more of them are randomly pulled down into new formed murk, their screams and brays echoing in the darkness. The leader looks about, furiously shouting for order when out from the ground, the shape of Xanthia materializes and delicately strokes the chin of the leader before her hand becomes a seething mass of eyes and teeth and it rends the reindeer’s face asunder before more tentacles drag the body, still trashing, into the abyss.

Your party stares in horror as the reindeer are destroyed or flee, running off the premises as fast as they can, bolting over walls, or charging through the gate. Xanthia lets them go, smiling gently toward your party as she touches a hand to her cheek,

“Oh my, they were such rude guests.”

You gulp and raise your staff, not wanting to fight this thing again when she giggles softly, the darkness retreating back into her as she calmly walks toward you.

“There is no need for that, you put my Lady to rest and I thank you for that.” She looks back behind her. “They, on the other hand, sought to defile her memory, and that just wouldn’t do.”

She touches your nose and you shudder. “I hope you like the gifts I left you. Have a safe journey, and please come back to visit. I’ll be here,” She continues to walk forward, back into the mansion, “Always.”

The rest of you watch her go, stunned in silence at what just happened. Veronica slowly licks her lips and whispers, “Lets get the fuck out of here.”

A few hours later you’re back on the wagon, a [UFT] out ahead of you, searching for whatever waterfall you were looking for. The others were either resting or tending to their equipment, and Veronica of all people was driving the horses. You narrow your eyes at one point while searching through the sentry when you see something in the far distance that looked like it could be a waterfall.

“I think I found it, far out ahead, due northeast.” You say, continuing to scan for threats, which thankfully you found none.

The others sigh in relief and Hala beams, slapping a crate. “See, everything turned out alright. We survived, we found the mountain pass, and we got a crate of fresh food!”

You and everyone else but Hala share a look of horror and then nod your heads in silent agreement. Hala just looks around, confused and scared as the rest of you move in towards her precious meats.

As the sun hangs heavy in the sky overhead, two crates sit on the road, silently fading back into the nothingness from whence they came while a wagon trundles onward to the looming hills and mountains ahead.

>You reach level 11!

>You reach level 12!

>Your wizard power level has increased to 92%

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