Wizardquest: Epilogue

>9 years later

“Daaaaaaaaaaaad!”

You look up from your Communuion glass and frown as a small figure darts into the room from outside, not even bothering to shut the door behind them. You sigh and send a final weaving to Franklin, letting him know you had to go and that you were happy to hear that he and Croakly were doing well. Odd what a few years can do, the man even had a kid now, though she drove him absolutely mad.

Speaking of which, you smile as your addressor dashes up, panting a little. She was a young girl of 8 years of age, wearing a sturdy, if fashionable, tunic dress that covered down to her knees. She takes a deep breath and you can’t help but admire how much she looks like her mother, with her nine, beautiful tails ending in small blades that were only starting to grow into their full size. She had black, soft fur on her forearms, ending in delicate clawed hands and large, feline paws for feet. Her hair was a shade of auburn, diluted from the striking red of her mother’s, and her skin was fair and delicate.

This was your daughter, Sophie, and you loved her with all your heart.

Or wait, was it Sylphie?

The girl eyes you strangely before rolling her eyes. “Geez Dad, it’s Sophie. You think Sylphie would be caught dead wearing anything but robes?”

“Ah, well, you two are kind of identical.” You say, smiling gently. “Forgive an old man his failings.”

“Mom says you can’t use that excuse until you’re as old as she is.” The girl replies, sniffing.

“Well darn, if that’s what you mother says then that’s the way it has to be.” You shrug before stretching. Your back was a little sore from spending all day working on the communion matrix/shitposting. Sometimes the two bled into each other, but these days you spent most of your time working on various magitek systems, a field you were in the process of reviving with help from various other wizards with the same interests.

“Anyway, what was it you needed honey?”

Sophie snaps her fingers before pointing to the door with one of her tails. “Oh, oh that’s right! Big sis is home!”

Your eyes twinkle as you stand up, “Is that so? Harmony’s back a little early with her, but that’s alright.”

“Well, she’s not quiiiiite back yet.” Says Sophie, looking a little embarrassed. “That’s just what Sylphie told me she saw with her [Far sight] spell.

You roll your eyes, “That girl and her magic. I swear, every time I turn around she’s made some new spell.”

Sophie shrugs, shaking her head, “I keep telling her she’s weird but she doesn’t listen.”

You rub your daughter’s head between her feline hears, mussing her head and she makes a sound of distress before pouting and trying to rub her hair back into place.

“Daaaaaaaaaad!” She cries, giving you a sullen look.

You chuckle, “I seem to recall a time when you would beg me to rub your head like that.”

She huffs, “I’m not a little girl anymore!”

“Well, you may be growing up, but you’ll always be my little girl.” You emphasize this by patting her on the shoulder. She looks away from you, blushing a little as she mumbles something unintelligible and then uses one of her tails to spring her away toward the door. Honestly the way she uses her tails far exceeds that of her Sister’s by a long margin.

“Come on, let’s go greet Big sis!” She shouts as she dashes out of sight.

You shake your head, chuckling before you adjust your robes and head outside. It was a bright, summer day in Havenforth, and you had to shield your eyes from the sudden wash of light after leaving the darkness. As you adjust, you look about again to take in the surroundings. In truth, Havenforth didn’t change much, even with a resident family of monsters, the damn town never changed, but they had come to accept the little 9-tailed scamps that got into trouble all over the place, whether it be from Sophie’s adventurous antics, or Sylphie’s latest magical escapade, everyone sort of changed their minds from, “This is the house we ignore” to “We should keep an eye on these people.”

It wasn’t like they could call the Order on you if they got sick of your shit, although honestly the Order would have been too busy to come out here anyway, what with the business in Galmathoria and the “Prophet of the Twins” out in the Ectrian wastes far to the East. Well, things were contained out there for now, so it wasn’t much of your business anyway.

You look back at your house and smile, seeing the changes you’d made over the years. Where it was once a two bedroom little place, it now sported an additional room for the kids, carved delicately by your loving wife (who needed to get her tight ass back home soon) and an additional little tree house in a tree that was behind the house. A few other adjustments were made over the years, but it was for mere convenience. It wasn’t like you were hurting for money, as you had plenty of patrons after your fight with the Monster Lady and your new technologies. People wanted constructs built by the Wizard who helped the Great Hero himself, what do you know?

You search the distance as you hear the sound of hooves on dirt and soon enough you see Mr. Ed come galloping up, pulling just short of you with a loud neigh as the small girl on his back pulled the reins. He turns and looks at her before snorting, to which the girl mutters a quick, “Sorry…” and leaping down off the saddle. She gently pats him on his shoulder and he whinnies before trotting of over to the little stable you had made for him.

“Sylphie, you know he doesn’t like it when you do that.” You say to the girl. She was almost a carbon copy of Sophie, with the only distinction being her dress, brown and green robes that gave her the air of intelligence, and her eyes, which were distinctly different from those of her twin’s. Where Sophie’s eyes were full of adventurous mirth, instead Sylphie’s were more docile but brimming with an intelligence that far outpaced her age.

“I forget sometimes.” She says, sighing as she looks back to the horse, who was happily munching on hay.

“I got so excited seeing Harmony and Saya coming back that I sort of let instinct kick in.”

You shake your head, “Well, as long as you don’t complain about when he starts yakking it up later.”

Sylphie sighs again and then rubs at her forehead, a far more grown-up gesture than her sister. “Well, maybe I can placate him by brushing him or something.”

“Alright then, don’t be too long, I want to be going as soon as your mother gets back.”

She cocks her head for a moment before seeming to remember something, “Oh, that’s right, we’re going the Lord Commander today in Feldergrod, right?”

You smile, “Yes, and that’s why I want you looking your best and on your best behavior. We can’t have a repeat of last time.”

She frowns, “That was Sophie’s fault!”

You give her a sidelong glance. “Uh huh. And Sophie totally enchanted that pie to explode all on her own?”

Sylphie pales before looking away quickly and shifting her stance. “Uh…uh… I gotta go take care of Mr. Ed!”

She dashes away quickly and you sigh, shaking your head. Selene warned you that Cat o’ nine-tails kittens could be a handful, and she wasn’t kidding.

Ah, whatever, you loved the hells out of those two.

A rush of air causes you to look up and shield your eyes from the sun and wind as two forms sail down out of the sky. You realize perhaps a moment too late that one of them was heading right toward you, screaming for you to move. You do your best to move out of the way, hopping back, but the flyer hits the ground running in front of you and ends up bowling right into you, knocking the two of you onto the ground.

You and your assailant groan and you try to pick yourself up, finding the source of the collision to be a young woman with dark black hair and brilliant white bird wings protruding from her back, laying on top of you. She stirs, rubbing at her head before looking up at you and blushing.

“Uhm. Hey there daddy.”

You sigh and help the girl to her feet. “Saya, how many times have I told you to watch where you’re flying? Honestly I don’t know why your mother made those wing bones for you.”

Saya looks back at her wings and makes a pouting face, “But I like flying! Besides, it means Harmony doesn’t have to carry me anymore when I go off to see Madam Xanthia.”

You shake your head, “Look, I’m glad you’re still going for boarding with her, but is she ever going to teach you how to stick a landing?”

Harmony shrugs, folding up her aethersails into her wing-folds on her back, the magically charged arrays dying down. “Honestly, I think all she does is learn how to scare people and brew tea.”

Saya huffs, “That is not at all true! I’ve learned etiquette, shape shifting, delving into the unconscious horrors in the minds of men, aaaaannnnnd cooking!”

Harmony stares at her with that same, emotionless faceplate. Saya rolls her eyes, “Yes and how to brew tea, honestly Harmony, you’re as bad as Chaika at times.”

Harmony mocks hurt before hefting a bag she had been carrying and nodding to the two of you. “I’m going to go take care of the “Young Miss’s” items before all of you head off.”

You frown, “You’re not coming with us?”

Harmony shakes her head, “No, Harmonious wanted to speak about something recently and…” She looks at you and you nod your head in understanding.

“Alright. I’ll tell the Lord Commander you said hello. Be safe, alright?”

She waves a hand to you before heading inside, bag in tow, leaving you with Saya. The two of you look at each other before you cough into your hand.

“What, gone another four months at school with an eldritch horror and you’re too good to hug your old man?”

Saya blinks before beaming and walking up for a big hug around your waist. You return it gently, trying your best with the wings in the way, stroking her hair as she says, “I missed you Daddy.”

“I missed you too pumpkin.” You say in return. Saya may have not been technically much older than your younger daughters, but due to her uh… unique position, she took it upon herself to, “grow up” in a way, very quickly soon after the twins were born. Selene had carved her a set of bones similar to the ones she had before, made of a lightweight stone similar enough to bone that Saya could wear it easily without issue. She still used those bones frequently, having an emotional attachment to them, but she frequently used modifications as her talent grew, such as the wings she sported, courtesy of your wife again and her crazy carving talents. It had been very difficult to get her not to carve reindeer all over the house though…

The two of you part and you give her a wan smile, looking at the wings, “Still no luck then?”

Saya sighs, shaking her head, “I don’t know, it’s been 9 years and I still can’t get the hang of anything without using a skeleton.”

“Ah, well, you’ll get it eventually.” You say, rubbing her hair, which makes her beam. You secretly think the other two only like having their hair messed with at times because Saya likes it, but you can never prove it

Saya nods her head, looking around, “Where are the brats?”

“You know I don’t like you calling them that.” You say in a disapproving tone.

She rolls her eyes, “You know they are though.”

“That may be so, but they’re your sisters and you’ll love them, damnit.”

She smiles, giggling, “Aww I’m just kidding Dad, you know that.”

You grunt. “Point conceded. Well Sylphie is in the stables and I actually don’t know where Sophie went… She came out here to greet you with me but I got distracted by Sylphie…” You scratch your head, looking for your daughter.

Saya sighs and the wings at her back suddenly melt away into black ooze, the bones falling neatly out, one by one so that she can gently pick them up and store them nicely. She looks around again before handing the bones to you.

“Hold these for a second.” You look at them before frowning. It was always just so… disconcerting to be handed a pile of bones, even if they were wooden, by your daughter.

You watch as she saunters toward the house, whistling for Solos’s sake, apparently oblivious as she walks. She reaches just a few steps before the front door when she quickly snaps to the right and throws out her hands, making a loud, growling noise, and you hear two distinct little shrieks of panic before your two little twins fall to the ground out of thin air in a panicked huddle.

Saya smiles fiercely as she stands over them, laughing like some kind of mad villain while the two pick themselves up. Sophie stamps her foot and huffs at Sylphie,

“You said we’d be invisible!”

“We were!” Sylphie replies, shock on her face as she seems to go through something in her head. “The spell was working fine, I don’t know how she saw through it…”

Saya kneels down to the two girls and shakes her head, “Oh Syl, Syl, Syl, your magic is powerful, but you have to understand, you’ll never get the jump on me.”

Sylphie frowns, “Why’s that?”

Saya beams, “Because I’m your big sister and I said so.” She holds out her arms, “Now come on, give me a hug.”

Sylphie pouts before Sophie jumps into Saya’s arms, giggling, “Yay! Big Sis is home!” Sylphie sighs a moment later before smiling and hugging Saya too. The three girls laugh for a little as Saya talks to them about how they’ve been since she was last here and they relate everything, as young girls are wont to do.

Sophie&Sylphie

You sigh, shaking your head when you feel a presence behind you. Your spine straightens some before you take a slow, deep breath, and speaking in a low, calm voice.

“I know you’re behind me.”

A deep, obviously fake voice replies, “Pretty daughters you have there. Be a real shame if someone were to….”

You narrow your eyes. “Be a shame if what?…”

The voice chuckles, “Be a shame if someone were to bound over here and hug the hells out of all of them, including their handsome father.”

You sigh and shake your head before turn around. “Hello dear.”

Behind you stood your wife, Selene, a hand covering her mouth, the other on her hip while her eyes danced with utter amused pleasure. The years hadn’t seem to touch your wife, as they hadn’t seem to have for centuries, and she looked as beautiful as radiant as she did the day you met her, although now she wore a very fine and fashionable dress instead of whatever that revealing cloth thing she favored beforehand.

She lowers the hand and chuckles some more, “Darnn, the imperceptible wizard saw through the evil Monster Lady’s disguise, so now she’s forced to silence him…” She does this by walking up to you and putting her arms around your neck, pulling you in close for a long, gentle kiss. As she does so, you go to put your arms around her, realize you’re holding a pile of bones, then set them down before you pull her close as you return the gesture. The two of you stay like this for a long while before she pulls back and smiles, a fire dancing her eyes.

“Glad to see you back home, dear. How are things in the North?” You ask, still holding her.

She rolls her eyes, “Ugh, I don’t even want to talk about. The damn Galmathorians still refuse to come to the negotiation table over their increased abductions of men after… well, after Tolosh’s handiwork backfired, and the damn Ushi-oni’s are getting agitated again. They still won’t accept that they can’t crush pelvises with impunity anymore. Apparently nicely asking a man is just too much for them.”

“What about the Queen Alarune? Has she stopped having these, “visions” or whatever they are?”

Selene frowns. “No, and honestly I’m getting a little concerned. The Monster Lady’s never had much in the way of control over the plant monsters, but things have just seemed… off for years with them. Maybe Valinitha had a really good control over them that I just never saw or something…” She sighs, shaking her head, before putting a finger to your lips, “Anyway, enough about work, let’s talk about….”

She’s interrupted then by a chorus of shouts from near the house and the two of you turn around as two little balls of fluff and energy fly into Selene, shouting, “Mommy!”

Selene catches the two twins with her tails, juggling them while laughing, kissing the two on the head before pulling in to give them hugs. Sylphie smiles and drops to the ground while Sophie falls back, balancing on her tails as she shouts with enthusiasm, “Oh, oh, alright Mom, I’m going to beat you this time.”

Selene raises an eyebrow, “Is that so little lady?” She bares her teeth in a fierce grin, “Well bring it on!”

The two face each other down before suddenly their tails fly out in a fierce flurry of fluff and blades, the two seeming to bob and weave each other as their tails intertwined and fell away, vying for… something. Honestly you never really understand what this little game of theirs was about, but apparently beating her mother was one of Sophie’s top goals in life, so you let them have it… whatever it was.

You look to Sylphie who follows along with her eyes before she sighs, shaking her head. She obviously didn’t get it either, but you knew already she took after you far more than her mother, and vice versa with Sophie. You look up again and see the tails frozen in place, Sophie panting heavily, a fierce look of concentration on her face as she looks around and then slumps her shoulders, her tails dropping down slowly to the ground.

“Awww, I lost again.”

Selene sighs softly and smiles, kneeling down to put a hand on her daughter’s shoulder. “Hey, you really improved though! You even caught me off guard a few times.” She winks,

“You still have quite the way to go to beat me though.”

Sophie makes a determined face and nods, to which Selene smiles and stands up before clapping her hands. “Alright you two, we’ll be going soon, so get ready.”

Sylphie sighs as Sophie jaunts off inside again. “Do we have to go back to El Dorito for the trip?”

Selene nods, “Yes, I can’t carry all of you, even though I’d like to.”

Sylphie shakes her head, “Alright… I’m going to go finish stabling Mr. Ed then. He’s getting cranky without his brushing.”

She pads of to the stables and Selene taps her cheek, watching her go.

“Honestly, she loves that horse far too much.”

You walk up to your wife and shrug, “Well, he is her familiar, so it sort of makes sense.”

Selene gives you a sidelong glance, “You know, sometimes I think you love that rat of yours more than you love me.”

You put an arm around her waist and chuckle, “Oh honey, I don’t love him more than you! I love both of you equally.”

She narrows her eyes at you and you start to sweat a little, fearing your joke went a little flat, when Saya walks up, hand on her hip. Selene breaks off her gaze from you and looks over to her, expression changing to smiling.

“Saya! It’s good to see you back from that mind-shattering horror.”

“I could say the same to you, mother.”

The two look into each other’s eyes before smiling widely and moving in for a hug. Despite Selene having children of her own, literally related by blood, she never saw Saya as anything other than her eldest daughter, and you knew that it made your little girl the happiest in the world.

The two break off and Saya stretches and picks up her bones before nodding to the house. “I’m going back inside to get changed, especially if… ugh, Patricia is going to be there.”

You frown again, disapproving. “Honestly, I don’t see why you and her fight so much.”

Saya rolls her eyes, “Ugh, it’s… It’s like….” she rolls her hands, trying to find the words.

Selene puts a hand on your chest. “Love, it’s… it’s a cat and dog thing.”

You shake your head and sigh. “Oh very well then. Go ahead and get changed.”

Saya nods and dashes inside. You look around and frown, “Where’s Chaika?”

Selene thinks for a moment. “Oh, I left her in Feldergrod. She said, ‘I hate being carried around like a sack of grain,’ or something, and figured she could meet us there.”

“Ah, fair enough.” You say, rubbing at your chin as Sophie and Sylphie finish whatever they were doing and bound up, Sophie doing her best to contain her excitement while trying to be a prim and proper little lady and not really succeeding at either. Sylphie was her quiet self, but you could tell she was looking forward to it as well. It isn’t much longer then until the door opens again, and Saya walks out.

Saya was changed into a light green dress that hugged her body in a way that, as a father, you were proud and disapproving of, but it was elegant enough for the situation at hand. In addition to changing her clothes, she had also decided to change her bones into another, much more precious set that Selene had carved.

She was about the same height, but instead of looking human, she now sported nine fluffy, bladed tails and a set of black cat ears upon her head. When Selene had asked her about what sort of skeleton she’d like years ago, she asked for the ability to look like her, and so a set was crafted with which she could become a Cat o’Nine tails. It was one of her favorite sets, and she wore it around whenever she was home, especially if her sisters were about.

As if on cue, the two little girls smile and each of them perform some kind of secret handshake between the three of them using their tails, one to which you shake your head and Selene rolls her eyes with a jovial expression.

“Okay, are we all ready?” You ask, looking around. Your children nod in affirmation while Selene frowns, looking about for something.

“Where’s Harmony?”

“She’s staying behind, going to go visit her granddaughter.” You say offhanded as you too look about. You feel like you’re forgetting something for some reason, but you can’t quite place what it is…

{BIG GUYYYYYYYYYY!}

You crane your neck, tracking the mental signature to watch as a small, grey form, comes scurrying toward you in a hurry. He stops, doing a little ratty flop onto his back, panting, although you’re not overly certain rats normally pant. He’s probably just being a ham.

{Oh right! Bubs! I forgot, we’re about to leave!}

Bubs looks up at you, unamused. As time went on, you were afraid Bubs would get old, but something in the familiar bond seemed to keep the little guy aging far slower than he had any right to. As such, he was much more spry than a 10 year old rat should ever have the right to be.

{Well no shit.} He says, mentally sighing. {And you were just going to leave me behind?}

You chuckle, {Well I should have said goodbye, yes, but I thought you wanted to stay with your family?}

Bubs grimaces. {Oh hells no, the mother of my children is mad at me and the damn little tykes are busy trying to get into all sorts of trouble and, uh… I just need a vacation.}

You shake your head, {There is no vacation from married life Bubs}. Bubs sighs and flops over. This was, of course, his second mate, as the first one had a rather normal lifespan for a rat. He seemed to take it in stride though, understanding that this was the way of life for a magical rat. Besides, now he had more people to tell his crazy stories too. You secretly wonder if his dad was a familiar for someone since there are an awful lot of parallels between the two…

You sigh. {Fine, but don’t come crawling to me if you get your head chewed off.} You think about this for a second. {Literally, I suppose.}

Bubs blanches before shaking his head. {Fine, fine.} He quickly crawls into your pocket before sighing contentedly in his favorite position. It’s comforting to know that no matter how much things change, they still stay the same.

“Alright… I think that’s that.” You say, nodding before raising a hand and casting [Destination Dorito]. A portal opens before you and bright sunlight and the smell of deliciousness waft outward before the kids pile in. As Saya walks in, you put an arm on her shoulder,

“Hey, make sure they don’t bother Hardinclouse too much, or get in trouble with any other Wizards that might be in there.”

She smirks at you, “I know the drill. Besides, Hardinclouse knows these two by now. Old guy never seems to change that smile of his.”

“Well, don’t let them spoil their supper, alright?”

She waves at you before vanishing into the portal, which closes behind her. You sigh, watching her go, before you turn to Selene.

“Shall we?”

It doesn’t take terribly long for the two of you to reach Feldergrod, especially since Selene wasn’t doing all the heavy lifting. You didn’t really mind being in your wife’s warm and fluffy embrace, but when she was pregnant, it sort of… made traveling difficult. So you decided to work on that aeromancy of yours and, after discussion (brow-beating) with other wizards, you managed to form a rudimentary flight spell which you had kind of sort of made work for you. Well it worked for short distances anyway, because as it turns out, the reason wizards don’t fly around is because it’s fucking hard. You sort of respected those fucking sorcerers that could do it now.

Not much, but a little.

You arrive outside the city and let your family out, heading to the gate. The guard at the front gate notes your [Centaur Princess charm], which is still in good condition, and he waves you through without any issue. The two lovers/under city rulers had managed to grow the city into a rather large place, rivaling some of the other cities in the Kingdom such as Telnar, or Wishka. It was still nowhere near the size of Cair or Sanctifrond, but due to the traffic now through Varruck, which had grown massively due to the excellent mayor and it’s trade route position, and improved river traffic, people and monsters had flocked to the city with promises of jobs, safety, and family. Anyone who made trouble not sanctioned by the goons seemed to… vanish.

You and the clan of cats walk through the streets of Feldergrod, taking in the sights. Well, walking is a weak term for what is truly “herding.” You have to strategically keep Sophie from walking into tailors, or Sylphie wandering off whenever she detected magic from being cast. Unfortunately your enforcer, Saya, was not doing her job, and instead was blushing while sending furtive glances off to young men in the crowds.

You really didn’t relish having “The talk” with her, so you made the excuse that Selene would have to do it because she’s a monster and a woman and hey, you just got a new message on your Communion glass! Not that it would matter terribly much, you’re fairly certain that Saya knows the uh… “ins-n-outs” of the whole thing being that she has some of the memories of a crazy spider and two adult women. She promises you that she hasn’t gone stalking boys yet, but you wonder…

Ah, anyway, you’re getting distracted. By the fifth time you’ve pulled Sylphie away from a damn sorcerer (An illusionist, you’re almost positive), you thankfully reach the dock district. The whole place was teeming with energy as river traffic boomed, people from all over the Kingdom passing through on their way to and from Sanctifrond or elsewhere. You watch as a massive river barge pulls out of port before you shake your head, remembering something from what seemed ages ago. You look up to Selene who smirks and then nods her head to the side before taking her daughter’s hands and walking down the street.

You look to Saya who purses her lips, and you take her hand in yours, to which she smiles back and rolls her eyes.

Your group reaches a familiar building soon, the Lamia’s Nest, although the building was much expanded since last time you were here, having eaten into another building next to it like some kind of parasitic slime.

Present company excluded, of course.

Misha had done very well for herself, and she now offered space for certain functions of private venues since her popularity had grown on account of a little, “Path of the hero,” or “The trail of the shit-wizard,” depending on where exactly people had heard the tale crafted from your old cyan story. You occasionally got visitors because of it, but eh, occasionally it drummed up business at least.

You look around for Chaika and don’t see her, sighing as you figure she’ll appear later. You open the door for your little family and you enter into the Inn to be greeted with the dour face of a Hero of the Order of the Heroic Brotherhood.

He looks all of you over before sighing and shaking his head. “Invitation?”

You roll your eyes. “Clause, you know who we are…”

“Invitation or no access.” He repeats, the angry looking man putting a hand on his sword. The man was the personal bodyguard of the Lord Commander, and he was damn good at his job. He was, however, dull as a doornail.

Selene groans and reaches into your pocket, pulling out some papers which she hands to the man. He looks them over and then grunts before handing them back.

“Enjoy yourself then.”

“You really need to get laid.” Selene shoots back before walking forward, ushering the children behind her. You and the man exchange looks, and you see a hint of sadness in his eyes. Apparently the bodyguard of the Lord Commander could fight three rampaging Wurms at once, but his damn feelings could be hurt.

You walk past and enter the side door he was guarding and find yourself in a warm and inviting room filled with trays of food, a large table, and the Lord Commander of the Order of the Heroic Brotherhood, Blake Beauregard Boudreaux.

And family.

Blake turns as soon as you enter and smiles widely, giving Selene a polite hug before moving to greet you. Despite nine years passing, Blake’s charm hadn’t changed at all, infact it was magnified from boyish strength into rugged charm. He wore a short, expertly cut beard along with his official uniform, a white affair emblazoned with his various medals, and coated firmly in black fur. When he reaches you, he thrusts out a hand which you take readily, and the two of you shake firmly, looking each other in the eyes.

“Master Wizard.”

“Lord Commander.”

The two of you stay like that for a second before you crack up first, smiling wide. He follows suit soon after, and the two of you embrace, patting each other’s back. Blake pulls back and chuckles,

“Ah, Wizard, glad you could come!”

You shake your head, waving an arm, “And miss all this fun? Ha, of course I’d make it.”

You notice another person move up behind Blake and you smile as Hala, wearing a simple dress of dark red, stands next to her husband, holding a small child in her arms. The wolfgirl had changed quite substantially in the years. She had grown from her lean figure into a more full-bodied woman, her already ample curves now magnified, yet still exuding a fitness that made her an incredibly attractive woman. You felt that the years coming forward she’d definitely fall into the “MILF” category.

Not that you were noticing, no, that would get you another lecture from your wife and you’re a good wizard.

She shifts the child in her arms, a young, perhaps 1 year old little wolf-girl with the same dark hair, ears, and tail of her mother, but the brilliant eyes of her father. Hala pulls you into a hug, which you return, before she pulls back, chuckling herself,

“Wizard! It’s good to see you again!”

“You as well Hala. What’s it been now, two years?”

She nods her head, “For Minfilia’s third birthday party. A shame you couldn’t be there when this little one was born”

You smile and shake your head, “Ah, sadly I had a contract for Fran’s husband out in the mountains. Guy needed some magitek equipment for mining in the mountains.”

You look at the child and start to play with her, touching her nose, “What’s that make, three now?”

“That’s right, they keep me busy. Especially little Beli here.” As she says this, the little girl in her arms starts to cry and she starts cooing her and having her to quiet a little, managing to do so soon enough before she rolls her eyes and smiles slightly in response.

You rub your chin, “Beli… I seem to recall that you said that was your mother’s name, yes?”

Blake shrugs, “I got to name the first two. She gets to name the next two.”

Hala ribs him, “And we’ll trade off like this every two, right?”

Blake sighs, “Honey, we talked about this…”

You shrug, “Well as the God father of your children, I say that if you two keep getting busy, I’m going to be put out of house and home if anything happens to the two of you.”

Blake rolls his eyes, “Yes, and if you two don’t get busier, then we’ll only have your three darlings as their godparents.”

Hala chuckles amiably before little Beli starts to cry again and she sighs before waving at you and walking away to calm her down. Bubs takes the opportunity to hop down and head to the food table, the little rat still a glutton..You turn back to Blake when you feel something, a small niggling at the back of your mind, and you look to see yet another familiar figure stride up to your little conversation.

Veronica strides up, her movements calm yet sure, her figure exuding a low power that hummed through her figure. You and Blake both turn to greet her and she stops, resting a slender hand on her hip.

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t the Wizard.” She says, smirking.

While Hala and Blake had grown in a way that magnified the beauty they already possessed, Veronica instead had grown into a quiet maturity. She was slimmer compared to her toned figure years ago, a result her of injuries, but she had a quiet sort of strength, a serene face, long hair, and strong, powerful eyes that made her seem far older than her years. It was no wonder that after she had recovered from her wounds and her story had been told, she had been elevated to the position of Ascendant, a chosen of Solos who’s position was more spiritual than combatant.

Of course, being Veronica, she didn’t take to this easily, and tried her damndest to become a full Paladin, but she too had relented in time, understanding that her new role was far more beneficial, especially since she was still limited in what she could do in combat. She could still kick your ass of course, but she would do so with serenity instead of rude words.

“About time I see your sorry ass you piece of shit.”

Okay, so maybe she still did use rude words.

She moves in and hugs you, which you return, genuinely pleased to see her. You pull back and shake your head, “Veronica… gods, it’s been so long. I missed you last time Blake and I met.”

She sighs and rubs her head, her gorgeous white and gold dress shuffling as she does so. “I know, I know. It’s difficult to leave Sanctifrond, and ever since Tabitha managed to get around on her own, all I get to see is this jerk and Hala every so often.”

She gives Blake a sidelong glance. “My Lord.”

Blake waves a hand in a dismissive gesture. “I managed to get her out here with some sweet words to Victor. It’s been far too long since the group got back together.”

You nod your head, looking over and seeing that Selene and Hala were talking while their respective children went off and caused mischief. You notice, again, that Saya and Patricia, Blake and Hala’s oldest child, were staring each other down, tails wagging back and forth in menacing gestures. Joy.

You shake your head. “Speaking of which, where is Tabitha? I haven’t had her come by in awhile to check her legs.”

Blake sighs, “I don’t know. She’s been doing good work for the Order, heading out and quelling monsters who try to cause trouble while sharpening her skills. She insists she isn’t as good as she used to be, but I think she might beat me these days.”

“I think she was out near the wastes last I checked. That region is… difficult.”

You nod your head, “Selene says something to the same effect.”

Blake frowns and begins to speak when Veronica holds up a calm hand, stopping his words with a gentle power.”Blake, please, let’s keep work out of today.”

“That’s exactly what I want to hear!”

The three of you turn to the door to see Chaika standing next to the slithering form of Misha, who was the one who had spoken out. Misha, like most monsters of maturity, hadn’t changed much beyond her attire, which was much fancier than before, as fitting a woman who did quite well for herself. She puts a hand on her hip and raises a finger, making a tisking sound,

“Blakey-poo, you need to learn how to relax.”

Blake puts a hand to his forehead as he sighs, “Misha, please…”

“Ohhhh no. Lord Commander or not, you chose my Inn for your little get-together, and you’re going to have fun with your friends.”

She sniffs, “Besides, I found this old snake wandering around outside, getting in trouble with that dour fool of yours.”

Chaika sighs, “He needs to get laid.”

Veronica nods her head in agreement as the construct moves up to you, waving. Despite your increased talent in working constructs, Chaika had continued to use the bipedal model you had given her, with basically no modifications. You had asked if she wanted a snake body, which would be hard as fuck to do, but she turned it out, saying that she had already gotten used to this.

Where Harmony had taken to staying around the house and playing with the children most of the time, Chaika had instead taken to being more active, using her knowledge of religion and being a damn tyrant to aid Selene when she was forced to take up the reigns as Monster Lady. Chaika didn’t seem to mind, and she often told stories around the dinner table about how to go to beat up some of the more bone-headed monsters such as the Ogres and the fucking River Troll Union, which had grown large enough to actually be more than just a joke, and had to be taken seriously or else all bridge traffic in the land would be halted by incredibly sexy, large, slimy women.

Selene was not amused with the damn aesthetician who went around and gave them self-confidence with a make-over or whatever. You just found him the greatest troll in existence and blessed his work.

Chaika looks about. “Where’s the bird-brain?”

You shrug, “She had something come up.”

“Ah.” Is her reply. She nods to Blake and Veronica, who nod back, before she sighs and wanders over to the children to pull Sylphie away from casting a spell over a conveniently placed pie.

Misha chuckles, “Honestly, look at the two of you. Who knew that the scared little wizard, and my overly ideal Blakey-poo would go so far in the world.” She smiles brightly, “Gods, it’s nice to see you together again.”

Blake smiles and hugs Misha. “I’ve missed you to.”

Misha pulls back, wiping some tears from her eyes. “Alright, alright, you’re going to make my ruin my make-up.” She takes a deep breath and then winks at Blake. “I’m going to head back to the kitchen and get that lazy chef of mine to work on some more food. Those children of yours eat like wolves or something Blakey-poo.”

Blake shrugs, “Tell me about it.” He waves at her as she slithers out of the room.

Veronica breathes out contentedly, looking over to the children. “I guess that’s everyone then. Solos, if it isn’t truly amazing to see what changes in time. Who would have thought we’d all be where we are?”

You smirks, “I certainly didn’t. Of course, I figured when Blake finally decided to gather people together it might have been in Cair…”

Blake frowns, “Wizard, please. The city may have rebounded enough to now be richer than the capital, but you know I don’t gamble.”

“Besides, I can’t go fighting in the coliseum, people would recognize me, and I’d never get around to beating anyone.”

You wave a hand, “Oh fine, fine. Would have saved me a trip into the swamp though. Rapodaie is becoming quite insistent that I go and help her with some enchantments or something. I really think that instead she just wants me to visit since traffic to Cair has sort of leveled off. She must be getting bored.”

Veronica shrugs, “Or those dark elves in Derrick are causing trouble.”

She shakes her head. “Did you know they actually decided to have another Fair? I’m surprised everyone forgot what happened last time. At least we have a presence there to keep things calm this time.”

You wave a hand, “Bah, nothing would happen, they’re harmless now.”

Blake rolls his eyes, “You know they still hate you though.”

You’re about to respond when you hear Selene call out, “Dear, I need a hand here!”

You frown and nod to the two before you walk over to Selene who was holding Sophie and Sylphie by the arms, the two grumbling about something. Your wife nods her head over to Saya and you sigh before walking over and putting a hand on your hip as you survey the scene.

Saya, her tails now swishing much more violently than before, stood facing off with a tall, lean wolf girl of about 9 years of age. She was Patricia, Blake and Hala’s oldest daughter, and you could tell that she was going to develop like her mother, with a well groomed, long braid of black hair that complemented her wolf-like ears, paws and swishing tail. she wore a studious little outfit that looked more like something Sylphie would wear.

Patricia growls, “Saya…”

“Patricia.” Saya says, her feline eyes narrowed.

The wolf sniffs, “Still going off to your little boarding school are you? How sad, I bet you haven’t even learned basic arithmetic yet.”

Saya narrows her eyes, “You think you’re sooooo much better than me, don’t you?”

“Well, I am the daughter of the Great Hero, I am much smarter than you, and I can wear a dress better even though you can do that form changing thing.”

Saya’s temper flares as Patricia gives a wolfish grin. The girl wasn’t really a mean-spirited bully, she just longed for Saya’s attention. You had heard Blake lament about how she doesn’t have as many friends as she should because she lived in the Hero’s Hall, and when she first met Saya, she found the only way she could captivate her attention was by, well, being a dog to a cat.

You look over and see at least that Patricia’s other sister, Minfilia, was hiding behind Hala who was trying to calm down little Beli while throwing sympathetic gestures to Selene. You bet your little scamps had tried to play too rough with the shy little 5-year old wolf who had brown hair instead of her mother and sisters’ black.

Rubbing at your forehead, you put on a smile and walk over to Saya, putting a hand on her shoulder, smiling widely.

“Ladies, what seems to be the trouble here?”

Saya looks up at you with a pleading gesture while Patricia sniffs again. “Nothing Mister Wizard.”

You look at Saya who’s ears perk up for a moment before she huffs and turns away. “Nothing Dad, I’m going to get some food.”

Patricia smirks, “Not before me, because that’s where I was going.”

The two stare each other down before aggressively walking over to the table and loading up plates on the opposite sides of each other. You don’t think they even know what they’re loading up honestly, because they stared right into each other’s eyes while doing it before rushing over to a table and having what amounted to an eating contest.

You throw up your hands and look to the two women with children around them who both sigh in consternation. You walk over to Selene who still restrains your two little brats, Chaika standing over her shoulder, shaking her head.

“What is it this time?” You say in a monotone.

Selene frowns at the two girls, “Your daughter here…” she nudges Sylphie. “Tried to get little Minfilia to drink some juice that she altered to make her mouth turn purple.”

Sylphie mumbles, “Sophie told me to.”

Sophie glares at her sister and growls, “Traitor!”

“Enough!” You say with emphasis, not shouting, but instead using your Dad voice.

“I told you two to be on your best behavior and play nice, and then the moment I let you out of my sight, you try to play another prank? If you do something like this again, you’re going to spend an entire day doing whatever Chaika says.”

The two girls go white as ghosts and whisper in unison, “Please no.”

Chaika chuckles menacingly, pretending to crack her metallic knuckles. The two girls slink back and bow their heads profusely.

“S..sorry Daddy.” Sophie says while Sylphie starts to form tears in her eyes.

Selene shakes her head, “No, you apologize to Minfilia.”

The two look at you and you nod. They look down and grumble before walking over to the shy little girl and muttering apologies. Hala gives you a grateful look as she talks to your twins, trying to coax Minfilia out of hiding.

“Thanks, those two…” Selene says, shaking her head. “They really like Minfilia, but they just… I don’t know….

“Take after their mother?” You say, raising an eyebrow.

She rolls her eyes, taking your hand. “Ha, ha. Anyway, I think the crisis is averted for now. Is everyone here?”

You nod your head, “Yeah, I guess so. Why don’t we go ahead and get some food, then talk about things with…”

Selene stops you, holding up a hand as her ears twitch, along with all of the wolves and cats in the room, and you soon hear a little scuffle outside, followed by strong words and then loud, stomping feet. You watch as all the monster eyes turn as if following something, heading toward a window. The footsteps stop and you see Selene and Hala look to each other quickly before Hala thrusts her child into your arms and the two women dash over to grab Saya and Patricia from their table right before the window explodes inward as someone flies through, landing before you in a rain of glass.

The moment they touch down, a sword, mace, tons of bladed tails, and powerful magic are leveled toward them, and that was even before Clause dashes in, cursing.

The figure slowly stands and looks around the room, glass tinkling off them as they look around slowly. They sigh, placing their scaled hand to a sword at their side.

“Well,” says Tabitha, looking around the room, “This is my invitation.”

Everyone stands down, sighing in relief, all except for Clause, who had to be ordered to stand down and go inform Misha about what happened. He did so with great reluctance, and left under the trailing eyes of Tabitha, who didn’t let go of her sword until he was gone. A deep silence permeates the room as she stands there, bits of glass crunching underfoot.

“Am I too late?” She asks, looking about.

You walk over to Harmony as Veronica and Tabitha talk, and you say softly, “I thought you were headed to see Harmonious?”

She looks up at you and sighs, “I was, until that one appeared at the house, talking about coming for some party for you or some…” She pauses and then coughs, which she can’t actually do. “Anyway, so she got the place wrong, and I figured I should bring her on over.”

You narrow your eyes. “Uh huh…”

Harmony coughs again. “Look, I need to clean up this mess before the kids hurt themselves, alright?”

You raise your hands, “Alright, alright.” You turn and walk over to the group that had formed around Tabitha.

The lizardman hadn’t really changed much physically, unless you take into account the new scars on her arms, face, and likely elsewhere on her body. Oh, and her construct legs. They were made of steel reinforced with trace amounts of adamantium and powered by mana crystal batteries. They were your first attempt at making such things, but you promised her that you would try and even though she did amazing in her wheelchair training with Veronica, she volunteered when you were ready. In conjunction with the High Hospitalier, the two of you had removed her old legs and replaced them with the constructed ones, tying an imbedded soul stone into Tabitha’s humours, creating a new link for her to control.

True, they needed to use mana to keep going, but simple crystals were easy to find and transport, and in a short period of time, she had managed to master their usage, and over the years you had made better designs which now looked much like her old legs instead of clunky boxes.

She turns as you approach and smiles, her head bare of her cap, her long, brown hair flapping in the slight breeze she created.

“You weren’t home Wizard. Hope you don’t mind me using your maid.”

You smirk and shake your head, embracing the woman. “You almost made me think you wouldn’t make it.”

She snorts, “Well I almost didn’t. A damn sandworm had me trapped for a few days before I could gut her and get back here.” She raps her legs and they make a ringing sound. “These babies got pushed to the limit running back.”

“I’ll give them a tune-up later.” You say, nodding your head. “So you were in the wastes?”

She nods, face grim. “Yes, I was out near Fort Carlsbad for awhile, making sure that travelers to the mountain were safe along with the yetis up there before I heard about the troubles out in the sands.” She smirks, “Despite the sand, it’s much nicer out there, nice and warm.”

“So there really is a Prophet out there?” You ask and she nods, frowning.

“Yeah, some “Pharaoh” or something. Not sure what she is, but… Well, anyway, there’s a need for my blade.”

She touches the sword at her side lightly, the same one she had taken from Fort Carlsbad all those years ago, still holding your fiery enchantment.

“Well, regardless, it’s good to see my sister in arms back.” Veronica says, putting a hand on Tabitha’s shoulder. She smiles softly, looking to Blake. “With Tabitha, I think everyone’s here, hmm?”

You narrow your eyes at the three in front of you and slowly turn around to look at Harmony who looks away, picking up glass. You turn back to Veronica and put a hand on your hip.

“What’s this all about?”

The others cough into their hands as the doors open again and your eyes go wide in surprise, seeing Misha glide into the room, wheeling in a large cart laden with a massive cake laden with multiple candles. She looks at the broken window and begins to curse before drawing herself up and taking in a deep breath before smiling again.

Blake turns from Misha and nods to you as Selene walks up and takes your hand in hers, smiling at you as you look around in confusion.

“Happy Birthday Wizard.”

You blink in surprise as everyone cries out with various, “Happy Birthday Wizard!” or “Happy Birthday Daddy!” or {Can I have some of that cake Big Guy?}

You put a hand to your head, a smile on your face, “You cheeky bastard, you set this all up, didn’t you?”

He shrugs, patting your shoulder, “The Lord Commander has to be a tactical expert, no?”

You give him a little punch on the shoulder before everyone comes and congratulates you, with your daughters crowding up and giving you big hugs, which you return. Eventually Selene pulls them off gently and waves you to the cake, kissing you lightly on the cheek.

“Make a wish dear.”

You look around everyone you know, the people you met on your journey, those that shaped the life you currently live, and the ones you’re proud to call your friends and family. You close your eyes and take a deep breath, emotion coursing through you as you think about what you could possibly wish for. After a few moments of contemplation, you open your eyes, take in a deep breath, and blow out the candles to the cheers of those who love you.

You didn’t need to wish for a damn thing.

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6 thoughts on “Wizardquest: Epilogue”

    1. Aww, thanks man. It was a pretty big time commitment, but it was worth doing because of people like you who enjoyed the series. I’m just glad I got it on here where it can sit and people can discover it if they want.

      And yes, dank maymays. The basic tenants of anything written on a chan.

  1. Nice story, I had fun reading, got few laughs from dank memes and references and cringes from shit-related jokes at the begging, gladly after that they were used less often. Though the amount of grammar errors almost makes it unbearable.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read through all of it. I posted the story almost straight from the board it was written on, and it was not edited at all before posting. I acknowledge the issues and am slowly working on fixing them, though life and other projects have gotten in the way of this.

      Again, glad you enjoyed it, and yes, the shit-jokes got less used later on as the readers who made the suggestions got a little more mature-ish.

  2. I’m glad I finally sat down and read this. It was really well done and beautifully took me on roller coaster ride with a great blend of action, drama, and humor.

  3. Thanks for the great story! Man it took a while to read, with work n such, but what a great journey! The right amount of everything! Keep up the awesome work!

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