Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997

The Power Red as Blood

Chapter One:  Springfall


Are you ready to read about the exciting adventures of me, Phillip, the Cleric? Alright! Let’s get into it!


Me and my six fellow adventurers—-Perrin the Rogue, Michael the Wizard, Oparal the Bard, John the Paladin, Raymond the Ranger, and Emily the Druid, arrived soaking wet at Spring Falls Inn. A Bartender welcomed us inside. A waiter came over and helped us settle at a table. He asked us if any- one wanted some food. Most of us ordered something, but John just had to oder stew which slowed us all down. We stayed silent for a bit and a woman sat down next to our table and asked us how we were. She told us that she was a merchant and told us we needed a permit to sell things. A bit weird. She went back and talked with a few people. I told the group that it seemed kind of sketchy, so Per- rin used his Perception skill to listen to what they were saying. He heard a couple of terrible things happening up North. We went over to the bartender. Oparal asked him why everyone was talking about the North. The bartender seemed a bit uncomfortable but we convinced him to explain. He told us that there was an evil Wizard who was making an army to take over the world. I was very alarmed and suggested we leave immediately but everyone wanted to eat. I don’t get it. I lasted for weeks without food and water and they can’t even last four hours without food. Shame! Anyway the bartender decided to stop talking so we went over to another man to try and get more information. Unfortunately Oparal couldn’t get to the point. Eventually Raymond asked him who he was and what he does. He told us he was a traveller and that he explored the world. I asked him whether or not he has been to the North to get more information, which was a good idea so we could see if he had any idea what was going on up North without making him uncomfortable. He hesitated and replied, ‘’No’’. Obviously we all thought that that this was very sketchy. Perrin used his Sense Motive power to see if he was lying and indeed this traveller was lying. Unfortunately we couldn’t keep him talking so her turned away. After bickering with the waiter for a little, we finally got our food. Then we bick- ered with the bartender and rented three rooms for 18 gold pieces.


John:


We sat down in the Spring Fall Inn. Everyone either ordered food or not. I ordered some stew and ale but ordering this had consequences later on. We first heard some whispers about something happening up North but nothing more. So Perrin went to ask the bartender if he knew something. He first told us nothing but through our amazing persuasive skills he finally told us there was a wizard up North opening a portal to another dimension. Perrin suggested that we leave right now but everyone declined him. The food was taking long so Oparal went to complain but the bartender was annoyed so that didn’t work. We decided we wanted more information so we asked a random dude but that almost evolved into a fight but luckily the bartender stopped the fight and tried to kick us out but we persuaded him again and stayed inside. We got our food and we slept.The next day Perrin woke us up because there was an emergent situation. We went down stairs and found a battle happening. Two people were already dead and there was another guy getting destroyed. THIS IS DEFINITELY AGAINST THE LAW. So we decided to stop him, but it got out of control and we had to kill him. I helped Raymond shoot the death shaft but guards showed up and MY DEAR THEY WERE THE WORST LAW ENFORCERS EVER. They blamed US for starting the fight and they corrupted the witnesses so we had to hypnotize the guards and tell them to let us go. As we were leaving town we saw an elf give a speech. The speech was like: ‘’The wizard up North stole our prized artifact. With the artifact the wizard could do some serious damage.”


Philip: 
We all woke up early and got ready to leave on our wonderful adventure. However when we exited our rooms we heard sounds of people fighting in the main bar of the Inn. Being the sneakiest one out of all of us, Perrin sneaked down to find out what was going on. We waited for a bit and de- cided to follow Perrin. We all also stealthily sneaked down the stairs. There was a very angry man towering over another man who way laying on the floor in pain. There looked to be two dead people laying on the floor. There was also a few bottles of beer on the table nearby. Another two people lay motionless near the table and another two were cowering in a corner. The bartender was also ducking behind the counter. It looked like the murderer was drunk and was about to kill another victim. We decided to intervene. We quickly neutralized him. Just as we landed the final blow two city guards barged into the Inn. It looked like we just killed an innocent man and nobody in the group knew what to do but thanks to my quick thinking I remembered the witnesses in the corner. The witness- es started explaining our innocence but the guard hits them both in the face with a stick, scaring them both into saying that we were the guilty ones. Such corrupt guards. We didn’t want to harm the guards, so Perrin pride to bribe them with 300 gold pieces, but they took it and stayed there. Michael and Opparal charmed the guards to leave. Then we set off on our adventure!...


John:

 

§

 

Chapter Two: The dusty road lies ahead


We were walking down the dirt road and suddenly bandits approach. We had noticed a letter stick- ing out of the leaders bag so we sent Emily’s hawk and took the letter. We found out the leader got fired from the army so we persuaded him to stop attacking us for money. But he got murdered by his
allies. So the battle started. I managed to get the last kill. We took all their money and we kept going forward, until a WOMAN STOLE SOME MONEY FROM US. But luckily we tied her to a tree, interrogated her and let her go. So we got our money, killed some thieves, so it was a pretty good day. But then a giant monster bird attacked us but luckily our wizard talked the birds out of killing us. So after we defeated the birds we continued with our journey.


Philip: 


We continued strolling down the path. The scenery was beautiful. We walked from early morning all the way until sunset. The big green trees accompanied us the whole way. The sun shone brightly above us. Just as the sun started to set the sky turned a mixture of purple and orange. A group of bandits ahead shouted, ‘’Stop and hand over your weapons. We’ll take your money too.’’ Obviously we weren’t going to do that so we started thinking of ways to pass through without killing them, being generous heroes.


Perrin noticed a letter sticking out of a bag inside the bandits cart. Emily summoned a hawk to take the letter and bring it to us. We read the letter. It was from the military and it said the that the leader of the bandits was kicked out of the army. Everyone grumbled because they thought it was useless, but I knew differently. Using my thinking, how likeable I am, and my diplomacy skills, I convinced the leader that killing us wouldn’t make a difference. The leader agreed to let us pass without hurting us but one of his fellow bandits stabbed him before he could react and he died. He picked up the leader’s crossbow and the battle was on. Perrin started by sneaking into the forest. Then Oparal cast a flare into one of the bandits in the forest. He looked very dazzled. Michael hit that bandit with a magic missile. Next, I knew that the bandits would attack soon, so I cast my Virtue spell to temporarily beefed up John. Emily entangled two bandits. One escaped but the other was not so lucky. John tried to stab a bandit but he missed by a long shot. I was pretty confident that we would win but it would soon be their turn after Raymond flared a different bandit. Oparal charmed a bandit into thinking that another bandit would betray him. I forgot the rest of the battle except that we won and that I carried the team. In the time of need I used my Bless spell to remove everyone’s fear, giving them hope when they were fearful which helped them destroy the bandits and healed Michael.

 

Anyways we took 200 gold pieces, their horses and their cart. Night would soon come and we all fell a bit tired. We hopped onto the horses and were just about to leave, but then we heard some sketchy sounds coming from the back. We investigated and it turns out that it was the thief who was taking our stuff. When she saw us she immediately dashed into the forest. Luckily Emily had prepared her Run spell, allowing her to catch up with that dirty thief. We tied the thief up. Oparal tried to scare her into telling us who she was but she just spit at her and insulted her. Oparal bluffed more convincingly the second time and this time the thief remained silent. Listening to my advice Oparal asked her about whether or not she knew anything about what was happening up North. It looked like she had no clue so we took the stuff she stole from us and left her there. The thief screeched, ‘’Wait, there are wolves’’. So being the nice heroes we were we released her and she dashed away.

 

We continued along until we noticed birds above us. I was getting really sick of fighting. Raymond re- acted quickly and hit one of the birds with his longbow, which was pretty impressive considering that they were way above us.. Next, Emily tried climbing the trees. She started off well then one of her hands slipped off a branch and she fell down quite far. After that, I decided I would never climb a tree unless my life depended on it. I Would just leave it to the experts, like Raymond or Perrin. Then, one of the birds swooped down with its talons stretched to attack, Another bird tried to peck Emily with its beak but it misses by a long shot and almost hit a tree. Out of nowhere, a bird swooped down ready to cut Michael’s head off. Sadly Michael couldn’t react fast enough so the bird sliced across his chest. The birds keep harassing us for a bit until Michael casts a spell to talk to the birds.


“Why are you attacking us?” asks Michael.

 

“Our nests have been destroyed by creatures like you” replied the bird.

 

We discussed a bit about what we should say. Ultimately we decided on my idea which was to tell them that we didn’t destroy their nests. Emily also used her geography knowledge to tell the birds where they’ll be safer and live happier lives. The birds thanked us sincerely and flew away into the night sky. The sky was now shining with its bright jewelry with a full moon just above us. It was very peaceful as we kept moving along the path. We saw a small town just up ahead. Soon we arrived hoping for a place to rest, only to find that it was deserted.


John: 


§
Chapter Three: Ghost Town


We came across a very civilized small town but it turned out that no one was there. We checked out the blacksmith and City Hall and found out there was a lot of complaints coming from 4 Valley Street. So we decided to investigate the house. Philip, Emily and I stayed outside while the others entered.
The whole thing is very sketchy since there was a crossbow trap and the doors and windows shut a few seconds upon entering. So Philip decided to hack down the door with his mace and Oparal come running out so I went in to investigate, I found out there was blue light coming from the upstairs. I went to check.

Philip:
We decided to check the town out. We all noticed that it seemed to be abandoned very recently. There also seemed to be a little frost on everything. I’ll be honest I was pretty spooked but I had a strong feeling that this town would be an important part of our journey. We went into the Inn but nobody was there. The only thing left was rotting stew, rotting soup and mouldy bread.. Disgusting! We left and investigated the marketplace. It appeared to be mainly a farmers market. It looked like it was very busy around the marketplace before it was abandoned. I could imagine a farmer exchanging a bucket of milk for several loaves of bread, the children laughing and running past the stands anda woman buying a good looking cotton shirt. There seemed to be so much life that was just sucked out of this town. I shuddered. It felt really cold here in this town. I couldn’t tell if this was just my imagination or real life. All that was left here were broken stands and rotting food.


I suspected that there was a portal that transported the wizard and his army here and destroyed this town. The City hall was also deserted. It was very fancy with its marble floor and huge Pilars. We advanced up the wooden stairs to the office rooms. The first was just an ordinary office with lots of documents piled up on a wooden table. The second one had lots of letters. The majority of them were complaints about a weird sort of laughing appearing out of nowhere.


Even more peculiar most of the complaints had come from the address 4 Valley Street. We decided to investigate the house. We detected that part of the house was magical. Perrin also fund out there was tripwire connected to a crossbow. He quickly disabled the trap. Perrin, Raymond and Michael (and later Operal because she did not want to miss out) went into the house. Emily, John and I stayed outside because we weren’t sneaky enough. Time passed slowly. The stars shined above us. It looked like a black blanket with white polka dots was covering us up. Eventually something happened!. However it was not good. Suddenly all the doors and windows were covered with stone. I was pretty worried so I used my trusty mace and and insane strength to break down the door. The stone crumbled and Oparal came running out of the house screaming loudly. I calmed her down and she told me that Perrin was trapped in a sketchy basement. She also told me that Raymond was trapped in a set of stairs. Michael is standing outside another sketchy room. He rushed upstairs to see what was up. As soon as Michael saw the door was wide open he cried in joy and ran out, leaving John to investigate the upstaters portion by himself.


John: 
I found Michael staring into a room. When I came Michael ran outside. So I checked out the other rooms upstairs. In one there was this weird ritual circle. I ignored it. Because it was very weird and very evil. So the second room had a lot of paintings. The middle one showed the school. Now the painting of the school had some evil coming off of it so I decided to go down and tell my comrades to go check out the school. They decided that Emily, Raymond, Philip, and Oparal should go and

check out the school. Meanwhile Michael and I should continue investigating the two rooms that are left. So after they left we found out that one of the rooms was a completely ordinary bathroom and in the other we found a dead body on the bed. We decided not to investigate since it is very unlawful to disturb someones resting place. But suddenly the group that went to the school came saying they need our help. So we unwillingly left Perrin behind (He was stuck in the basement and couldn’t be helped.) and headed back to the school. But the school was very weird since we could stick our hands through the door (through the actual wood) and come out fine. So I volunteered to head in first to check for any traps. So I head in and once I am inside and the door becomes firm and locked.

 

But suddenly everyone was inside and the key has disappeared. So we decided to explore. We found out that one of the classrooms had the same ritual circle as the one in the house and there is something off about the double doors at the end of the hallway. So we decided to investigate the double doors. When we opened it it showed us a stairway to the second floor. Michael detected there was illusion magic so the stairs seemed very sketchy. So Oparal decided to go first and check it out. She walked up the stairs!! So then everyone decided to go too but suddenly instead of stairs we fell into a very deep hole...


Philip:
I stepped into the room as well. It looked old and abandoned but compared to the other houses this one looked like to person here survived longer than the rest. I saw the stairwell leading to the base- ment. It looked kind of weird because the stairwell stopped after just a couple of steps. Hoping that Raymond was there I took a few mighty swings and knocked the stone barricade down. Raymond was indeed there and looked very relieved. I asked him where Perrin was in the basement behind at least ten stone walls. I decided there was not enough time to break them all down. There was also
the fact that I didn’t want to get hit by a crossbow arrow.. We walked out and the whole gang except Perrin was outside. We discussed a bit and decided on leaving John and Michael here and that Oparal, Raymond, Emily and I will visit the two houses that might contain the key. We left and set off again. I learned to don’t try and be part of everything and to always keep a heavy mace around. Anyways we arrived at the first address. We checked for traps and any sketchy magic. There wasn’t any so we picked up the key and went to the school . When I stuck the key in a light blue mist fell upon us. The school was clearly magical. We decided to play it safe so we went back to pick up John and Michael. We all arrived safely at the school., except Perrin.

 

Since I unlocked the door successfully, John somehow stepped through the door. He just slipped through as if the door was nonexistent! I gathered my courage and stepped through the door as well trying to save John. When I went through the school looked well...like a normal school. The rest of the group went through too. Just in case I raised my trusty mace to break through the door to see what would happen. I swung my mace against the door so hard that my mace broke. The door was obviously made of an extremely sturdy material. Luckily I used my magic to mend my mace and it was back to normal. We carefully sneaked down the hallway. We found out that all the rooms were magical, except one. One of us opened the door which made a loud squeaky sound. On the blackboard there were weird characters and a huge circle. It looked like a rare language, called Druidic, which only Druids understood. Emily seemed to understand only a couple of the characters. Apparently it was similar to her Entangle spell. For some reason the group decided to double back to the double doors instead of exploring the room. We observed that the floor was slanted but the magical double doors at the end of the hallway were enchanted to make the hall look flat.


We carefully opened the doors. There was an old staircase with dusty railings and dirty steps. We tried to detect whether or not the the stairs were magic, only to find that we couldn’t. Emily encouraged her hawk to try stepping on the first step. The hawk remained unmoved and firmly shaking his head, refusing. We asked him why he wouldn’t go. He responded by saying, “The lies”. We were confused but all the hawk said and knew was that it was the lies of “The Princess”. We decided that Oparal would try stepping on the stairwell. She easily marched up the stairs and signaled for us to follow. I breathed a sigh of relief as we all one-by-one went up the stairs. It turns out that it was just an illu- sion. We all fell down through the stairs.


John

 

§
Chapter Four: Phantom City

 

When everyone fell into the pit we discovered that Oparal had died. Evertone was crushed with grief. Oparal had been such a helpful part of our team. She encouraged us during very critical moments in our journey. She talked opponents out of fighting us. She was a very valuable part of our team. So we gave her a very respectable funeral and burned her corpse and kept her ashes in a jar.


Philip:
We were falling down quickly and I was close to hitting the ground when I felt a sensation like I was floating. Michael, recognizing my importance to the group used his Feather Falling spell to make sure I would stay alive. I slowly descended to the ground. It looked like we were in a tunnel. It was dark and creepy. I could feel a shiver come up my spine. Most of the group were seriously injured but Oparal suffered the worst fate of all. She had landed with her head first somehow. I used my magical senses and it looked like she had died from the fall. We all grieved. Oparal had helped us in a lot of ways and she was a friend to all of us. We buried her and said our sad goodbyes.

 

John:
As we continued walking down the corridor we came into a room with a cage ful of elves. So we asked them why they were in a cage. They replied that the ghosts had locked them up because of something their ancestors had done. So I did the only thing that was good to do and set them free- -locking people up when you know they didn’t do anything wrong is very mean. I broke down the cage. But just as they were coming out a ghost appeared.She asked why we were setting her prisoners free. After negotiating a long time we finally managed to convince her to let them go but then the little elf just had to throw a rock and hit her in the head. So it became a full out war and the ghost had summoned two of her ghost buddies. So we chose sides. Michael and the elves and everyone else with the ghosts.


Philip:
Most of the group was still badly injured so I channelled my positive energy to heal everyone. I concentrated my positive thoughts , my courage, and the memory of Oparal to release a powerful aura. Everyone was feeling better so we took out our torches and continued down the dark tunnel. Just up ahead we found a cage with several elves locked up inside. We checked the cage for evil and magic. It’s magical but not evil. We walked toward the cage and the elves look up. “You’re not dead”, said one of them. I asked them what they meant. They told us that ”They’’ captured their grand- parents and that the elves have been there for their entire life. We found out that they were telling the truth but there were some details missing. I, being the most diplomatic of the group now asked them why they would capture the elves grandparents and who “They’’ were.

 

The elves spilled the beans and explained the whole story. Hey told us that the commanders of the elves had ordered the now banned town massacred. The elves claimed that they were just following orders and had no choice. They begged us to open the cage. They also told us that ghosts captured them. We could tell they were telling us the complete truth. I felt pretty moved and inspired as well. We took a closer look at our surroundings. There were eight doorways out that were all evil. Michael also determined that the cage’s magic distorted the sense of time for those in the cage. We discussed whether or not we should let the elves out. John took my newly mended mace and tried to break open the cold steel bars.of the cage. The bars shook, but remained intact.The elves moved revealing a small child. “You’re helping us”, asked the child with hope in his eyes. John continued swinging my mace against the bars. Eventually the bars break open with a loud “Clang!” The elves smiled and finally escaped the cage that’s been holding them for as long as they could remember.


Suddenly a voice from behind us shouted angrily, “What are you doing?” We spoke to thin air.. “Sav- ing innocent victims”, we responded. The mysterious and frightening voice claimed the elves were monsters. We explained they were just following orders and had no choice. The voice responded with extreme hatred. “What they did was unforgivable.” Out of nowhere a stone was flying towards us but hit something in front. It hit a ghost. The ghost slowly turned around towards the child who had thrown the rock. “You’ll pay for that” threatened the ghost. She put her hand through the child’s neck. “Stop” I screamed instinctively. “Let’s talk about this” I pleaded.

 

Unfortunately from the darkness an angry blast hit the ghost. I heard the shout, “This is the moment we’ve been waiting for”. The ghost vowed that she would kill them all. An elf looks us straight in the eye and ask us to choose a side. Michael sides with the elves. John, Raymond, Emily and I side with the ghosts. I sided with the ghosts because they were our only escape.


John:
I tried very hard for michael to switch sides but sadly he didn’t listen to me. So then the battle be- came a one sided slaughter. The ghosts killed most of the elves. So when all of the elves were dead and Michael on the ground unconscious, the ghosts said, “You may not leave” WHICH I THINK IS THE MOST UNMANLY THING TO DO SINCE BEING A TRAITOR IS NOT VERY NICE. So Philip decided to heal Michael and surprise attack them which worked. We had killed two of them. We were just about to kill the third but suddenly another ghost appeared and killed the third ghost!! She asked us to do her a favour and she would tell us the way out. We found the favour really sketchy but in the end we agreed to it. But it turns out it truly was sketchy since we had to kill our friend Perrin. Of course he said no so we fought another hard battle. In the end she laughed a weird laugh and disappeared but before that she had given Raymond a heart attack. Lucky we were able to save and recover him back to life.

 

When we kept on walking, we came into a room with six doors. We figured out that one of the doors is leading towards magic mist. So we decided to send Perrin in first to investigate. We couldn’t see him, but we could hear him saying that everything is fine. So everyone except Emily and I decided to go in, but once everyone was it closed shut. Lucky, I was able to go inside before it closed but unfortunately Emily was stuck outside...


Philip:
Suddenly two other ghosts appeared from the ground. We battled with all our might. Halfway through the battle I felt panic overcome me. Will I actually attack Michael? We easily sweep the elves but Michael is the last one left. Raymond finally shoots Michael and he fell unconscious. We pretend to side with the ghosts leaving Michael on the ground. The ghosts congratulate us but they say they still have to kill us. I ran backwards to revive Michael using my Rebuke Death spell. He woke up with a sliver of health that I granted him with. Michael used his Burning Hands spell and the battle was on! Raymond tries to shoot a ghost but misses. Emily atompted to strike a ghost with her sickle but also misses. Raymond drew his sword and attempted to slice the ghost’s chest. The ghost react- ed swiftly and turned transparent again so the sword sliced straight through his chest. I blessed my fellow teammates, increasing their morale.

 

Two of the ghosts took out longbows and shot Raymond and I. John attempts to stab a ghost with his longsword but it goes straight through again. Emily tried with her sickle but had no success either. Suddenly another ghost appeared behind one of the ghosts. She reached her hand into his chest and pulls out his heart. She reached into the floor and took out the body of our friend Perrin. He woke up and slowly opened his eyes to look at us. “This is a happy reunion” said the ghost. She told us she would let us go if we did her a favour. We asked her what it was. With an evil and wicked smile on her face she told us to kill Perrin. I was revolted. “Kill a friend”? “Never”! The group seemed to feel the same way.

 

Michael dazzled the ghost and I followed up by channeling positive energy on her. You might be wondering why I did that. After all, shouldn’t that heal her? Well because she was evil my positive energy actually hurt her. It also healed my fellow friends, too. She floated backwards startled. Another battle was about to begin! The ghost shot an arrow at Raymond. I heard him fall with an “Ooomph!” I rushed over to heal Perrin and he stood up feeling full of energy. The ghost vanished beneath the ground and appeared next to Ray- mond. She put her hand on his shoulder and told him to shoot Perrin. Raymond dropped his bow and replaced it with his sword. He swung it but it went straight through the ghost. “Wrong answer chuckled the ghost.” She plunged her hand into his chest and Raymond suddenly started having a heart attack. Emily rushed to Raymond first stabilized him temporarily. I was close behind and used my Rebuke death ability to heal him. He woke up. Perrin threw his dagger at the ghost. She vanishes into thin air. We all breathed a sigh of relief and started to observe our surroundings.

 

We saw six doors around us. None of them were magical, except for the leftmost one. We all took
a look at it. Michael found out that it was conjuration magic. We unlocked the door and there was a weird sort of misty fog. Emily called her hawk to fly into the mist. Soon after it went in we could no longer see it. With a rope around him and John holding it, Perrin walked into the fog. After a couple of seconds, Perrin shouted to us that it was OK to go through. We all went through but for some bizarre reason Emily wasn’t with us. She had an unsure expression on her face so she might’ve stayed there. Hopefully she was fine.


John

 

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Chapter Five: The First Ring

 

When I stepped through the doorway, I found everyone else standing in a flat meadow dotted with colourful flowers with long blades of bright green grass. The very big oak tree at least a hundred years old to the right of where I came through. To my left was a very tall, gloomy tower. It was made of large, dark cobblestone. There were mountains in the background with snow on the tips. It would look really picturesque and vivid but the gloomy tower was very drab. So everyone decided to sleep by the oak tree to regain some health and enjoy the beautiful scenery. So I spent my time polishing my sword and repacking my supplies. The next day, after a very trash breakfast, we headed into the tower.

Philip:
I woke up to the sight of a blue butterfly resting on my nose. I groaned and lifted myself off the grass. As soon as I did the butterfly gracefully flew off from my nose and into the bright, blue sky, its wings flapping about. I looked around and everyone seemed to have just woken up too. We decided to explore this beautiful meadow. It seemed like a normal meadow with its little flowers and long grass. Then, we decided to check out the gargantuan castle next to us. I sign on the entrance said, ”The door is open to all of good heart”. There was a button next to the door. Perrin pushed the button and the door opened. Just in case I channeled my positive energy to make sure everyone was healthy before we stepped into the mysterious tower. We march up the stairs and at the top thereis a long corridor. There were bright lamps on the side and a luxurious red carpet. Perrin opens his mouth to speak but nothing comes out. I tried to talk as well but I can’t talk either. I realized that that I couldn’t cast any spells! Oh no! We try walking down the corridor but for some bizarre reason it seems like the more we walk down the fancy corridor, the slower we get. I didn’t even feel tired!

 

We eventually gave up and went outside to discuss what to do. Perrin tried climbing the tower with his grappling hook but he fell down from a long way up. We tried entering again. Perrin set the carpet on fire looking for clues. The fire’s bright red flames burned the carpet. Somehow it was slowing down and eventually stopped moving. Luckily John had a trick up his sleeve and he stood still. In a matter of seconds he was at the end of the hall. We all followed suit and we all arrived safely at the end of the corridor untouched. We tried opening the door. Unfortunately it was locked. Suddenly two gargoyle decorations morphed into real life. They looked kind of weird. One of them had no eyes but the other had what seemed to be over a thousand little eyes, which was absolutely horrifying. They both run towards us.

 

After a long and tiring battle we finally outwit them by burning them and they melted into grey mud on the carpet. Perrin continued trying to unlock the door. I ran out of patience so with one mighty swing I break down the door. We cautiously shuffled past the door, ready for any surprises...


John suddenly stopped and we all almost pushed him forward into... A pool of blood!? We can see fast movement in the pool of blood that looked like it was about knee-high. There seemed to be little worm-like monsters in the pool. Past the pool of blood, there is another door. I try to use my bleed- ing touch to see if it would make the blood disappear, but it looked like nothing happened. We can hear some hissing from the unnatural creatures, so Raymond fired his longbow at one of the monsters. The arrow whizzed past my head and hit the creature. It screeched in agony. John stepped into the pool of blood, but as soon as his feet touched the blood, he vomited, and backstepped. Gross! I’m definitely not going in there anymore! After another long and painful fight we finally prevailed. By the time, we defeated the blood worms, the blood was about waist-high. Perrin cautiously opened the door. A huge wave of dark red blood came crashing down.

 

Thankfully, I was still at the entrance, so I was relatively unaffected. More and more blood came crashing down. In the pool, the blood was almost to the ceiling. A gigantic tentacle reached out of the doorway. Perrin swung his sword and hit the tentacle. Another tentacle reached through the little doorway and it wrapped around Perrin. It squeezed and Perrin was unconscious. After a bit of fighting, we knew that the tentacles overpow- ered us. The tentacles pulled the unconscious Perrin through the door, which looked like the entrance through an underwater tunnel. Despite my potent and immense healing, we were all still injured and weak. Raymond, being the most agile besides Perrin, swam into the tunnel. I hoped that he would be alright. The blood was rising quickly and Michael and I made a desperate attempt to swim into the door, but we couldn’t make it...


John:
The hallway was one hundred meters long which was very weird since the tower from the outside looked like it was 15 meters in diameter so everyone knew the tower was magic. Even more weird
is that we couldn’t speak at all It was so silent that if a pin dropped it would sound like an airhorn. Second, when we walked towards the door, the door never came any closer but the entrance from the building got further and further away. So we tried all kinds of different ideas. I shot an arrow but it traveled for a bit and then stopped mid air. Perrin lit the carpet on fire, but it stopped spreading right where my arrow was. So the whole thing is very dumb. I thought about the problem for a while and found the answer. I stayed completely still. Suddenly, I was going forwards towards the door! Soon everyone reached the door and we could finally speak again, We found out that the door was locked so Perrin went to pick the lock. But just then two monsters came out of the walls and came towards us with scary speed. So we readied our weapons and prepared to fight. Perren tried to pick the lock. We hit at one monster, shot it and slashed it and finally in died into a puddle of goo. And then the other monster’s eyes turned red and it started attacking.

 

Meanwhile, Perrin is having trouble unlock- ing the door. But suddenly the goo starts reforming, so we decide to burn it to a pile of ashes. The other monster’s eyes glow an even darker shade of red and looks even fiercer. But suddenly beside it, a door opens and something grabs it inside. We sighed a sigh of relief. And just then, Perrin had picked the lock. But, there was another door!! Philip somehow got the genius idea, smash the door down. But what we saw scarred us for life. It was a pool of blood up to your knees. And then four blood monsters formed. So it was another cruel battle. In the end, we vanquished the monsters, but we were running low on spells and HP. But we bravely opened the next door without fear. But sadly blood came rushing out with the force of a tsunami and the blood just kept coming and coming and coming until there’s only a tiny bit of air left near the top. Everyone swam for their lives except for Perrin and I. I was weighed down by my armour and Perrin just can’t swim. But then a tentacle came out of the door and grabbed Perrin and crushed him until he was unconscious so I pulled
him out and we both swam to the surface. I had taken off my armour to go up. And then the battle started once more.

 

But this time, we were not as lucky and lost the battle since most of our spells and HP are drained. And the tentacle monster had captured Perrin and crushed all of us almost to death. Raymond decided to chase the monster while I stayed back and protected my comrades. In ten minute and elf came back saying that Raymond wants us over there. So I went over and saw piles and piles and piles of treasure. So before taking any treasure, I shot an arrow into it to see if there are any traps. Unlucky for me, a golem rose made of the treasure and smashed me. Luckily, I jumped through the door and went to the other side. But, it seems the gods really hate me since the tentacle monster grabbed my leg and and pulled me under and I blacked out.


Philip:


§
Chapter SixThe Land of Monsters


I woke up on a modest mattress in a big chamber. I looked around. Is this the afterlife? A dream?
A vision? The whole group was awake as well, except Perrin, who was probably dead. The elven diplomats were here, too. For some reason, the elves were strapped in, but we were not. John tried unlocking an elf, but as soon as his hands touched the strap, he felt a powerful wave of electricity go through him. He withdrew his arm in pain. Unfortunately, the elf was dead. Oops! We have to leave the elves here, so we exited down through a tunnel straight ahead. Along the way, Perrin caught up with us. He wasn’t dead! We cheered and he followed along. We marched in a single file as we entered into another massive chamber. There was a hideous monster, resembling a troll standing in the mid- dle of a huge complex of mirrors, with its back towards us. The was the shine of a magical mirror in the very back of the chamber. For some reason, we couldn’t see the monster’s reflection in the mir- rors. We did some quick math and chucked a rock we found in the corner of the chamber to the top right. It hit the ground with a loud sound. Crack! The monster ran over to investigate as we sneaked past. I accidently tripped over Raymond’s right foot and I landed as loudly as the rock did. It happens to the best of us. The monster ran over and saw me getting up. I motioned for the group to leave, to escape.

 

The monster said “You are monster, I must destroy you. I am very sorry.” He swung with his massive wooden club and it hit me straight in the chest. I was knocked back and flew through the air, landing on my knees. I felt a sharp pain and I realized that this could be the end. Luckily, Perrin shouted from behind the monster. The monster turned around and charged at Perrin who was stand- ing in front of the magical mirror. At the last second, Perrin jumped out of the way and the monster vanished inside the mirror. I successfully healed myself and we decided on what we should do next. We decided to go through the mirror.


John:
When I woke up, I was strapped into a metal chair by leather bonds. I was going to turn around
to figure out where I was, when suddenly the straps let me go. So I got off the chair and stood up. Around me, the other people of my party were also here. So we took a group hug and shared stories of how we got here. We also found out that there were lots of elves also strapped into chairs. We decided to rescue them, but sadly, our weapons were taken away. So Perrin decided to pull the straps

off with his bare hands, but he got electrocuted. Luckily, he did not die. So we went into a hallway that was connected into this room,. We found it leading into another room with a monster in it. The room had lots of mirrors. Luckily for us, the monster was looking the other way when we came in so we did not get caught. Since we had no weapons or armour, we could not fight the creature. So we came up with a way to lure it away from seeing us so we could get across. At the back of the room, there was a blue mirror which our wizard has determined is a portal. But just as we were about to go in the portal, Philip was making his way here but he got seen by the monster? So we took the monster’s attention and lured it into the mirror. And afterwards, we went into the mirror. When we came through to the other side we were on a tall mountain, on a dusty road leading down from the mountain.

 

Below the mountain, there was a big battle going on. There were monsters that we fought before on one side and on the other side, there were winged beasts with maces attacking them. The side with the monsters seemed to be slowly and steadily losing. But we got our own problems to deal with. Further down the dirt path, at the bottom, there was a lighthouse emitting blue light. But strangely, we could see three figures in the blue light. But every time the light moved away, they dis- appeared. But then the light was slowly creeping up the dirt path and the monsters were also moving up. So we concluded that the monsters only appears when there was blue light. But the light stopped right in front of us and so did the monsters. So we did the only natural thing someone would do. RUN.

 

Luckily almost everyone ran through the light but sadly, considering Perrin is very small, he couldn’t run very fast. So he got knocked unconscious by the monsters. Lucky we pulled him out of the light before he got killed. By that point, everyone was very exhausted. Once we got out of the light, we saw the same blue mirror at the bottom of the dusty road. But it was guarded by a monster. However the monster did not seem hostile in any way. But once we reached the mirror it blocked it. So we punched it until we got tired. So we tried talking to it to let us go. But sadly, Perring somehow talked it to death. I mean it started crying and melted into a puddle. So we stepped through...


Philip:
Across the mirror, there was no troll, just a huge pile of dust on the ground. It seemed to be a normal day, except for the fighting between the factions. There were human-like creatures fighting against the monsters. We were on a narrow dirt path I told the group some of my genius philos- ophy: Something called compassion. I explained how the troll thought we were the monsters and how it was right to kill the monsters without understanding their side of the story. I explained the idea that maybe we were the monsters. The group seemed to ignore this absolutely brilliant philos- ophy. (Get it, PHILosophy and PHILlip). There was a weird sort of shadow walking towards us. Finally, they reached us and raised their swords to strike. We dodged and ran past them. We hoped that the shadow fighters couldn’t reach us when we were in the light. We managed to run past, but still got hit a couple times. Perrin even fell unconscious, but I healed him back to a healthy state. A winged creature suddenly fell from the sky and landed straight in front of us. I quickly ran over to heal him. He asked us if we were of this world or not and we replied that we weren’t. He pointed at another magical mirror and told us to exit. We asked whether or not we could help, but he declined.


Perrin asked him if he was an angel and the winged-creature said yes. He flew into light blue sky to fight some more. We marched down the narrow path and reached the mirror. We were just about to saunter through the mirror when a green monster suddenly expanded, covering the mirror. When we asked him why he was blocking us that the wizard told him to block the mirror. I tried reasoning with him, but just when I was close to convincing him, Perrin hit the monster with my mace and the monster punched Perrin, knocking him unconscious. I quickly revived Perrin and continued arguing with the monster. I made him so emotional that he melted away. Opening up the mirror. We walked forward, letting faith carry us through the mirror...


§
Chapter Seven: The Sorcerer’s Sanctum


When we stepped through the mirror, we arrived in another hallway. We could tell that we were once again in the wizard’s tower since it had the same gloomy appearances as the last hallway. The hallway was very narrow, around two meters wide. There were also not many torches so it made it seem so gloomy that something could jump out of the walls. In front of us. We see a very large set of doors. It was very lavish, made out of a dark oak tree, with banners of red crossing it. But just as we were going to open the door, down another hallway we could hear a child’s scream that pierced the air. Since we were great people, we decided to send Perrin to check it out. A few minutes later, when Perrin still didn’t return, the door suddenly opened. We decided as a group that we should wait for Perrin to come back before going in. Just as we were going to check on him, he came back. He said he had dealt with the situation and the child is now fine, but I felt like he was lying. I was going to ask him a question, but everyone went into the room.


John:
We walked through the mirror and everything went white for a moment. Eventually the white started to fade and we found ourselves in another hallway.


A dark hallway lined with dim torches. There was also what seemed to be a magical room in front of us but it was locked. We heard the scream of a child. We marched down the hallway and came upon a sketchy hooded figure dragging a child by the hair. Perrin leaped into action and got the hooded figure into choke-hold. His head swivels around and looks at Perrin straight in the eye. He had pitch black eyes which was kind of creepy. He says, “You have proven yourself worthy”, and faded away. The child also disappeared. We continued down the corridor only to come across another chamber. There was a tall apple tree in the middle of it. Out of nowhere a bright flash of light whizzed past me. I squinted trying to get a closer look at the mysterious figure who had cast the spell. It was... the evil wizard. Michael reacted first, sending a spell straight back at him. We had another fight but

the wizard easily overdowered us. The wizard shouted, “You really think you are heroes, don’t you?” We ask him what his side of the story is. He responded asking us why we were here. . We told him we were sent by the elves because you stole the Power Red As Blood. (The Power Red As Blood is a powerful gem). The wizard said that the elves wanted to kill him and take the gem so they spread rumours around that he was making an army to take over the world.


My mind wandered back to the eleven diplomats who were pleading for help. He continued telling us that he was the one who created the Power Red As Blood. He also said that we raided his sanctum and killed his friends—the monsters—. He explained that people had been killing his friends who were peaceful creatures for centuries without even considering that the creatures were peaceful and even kind. He wanted to make his sanctum a place where his friends can roam free and live wonder- ful lives. We could tell that he was clearly telling the truth. We asked his, “Is there anything we can do to help?” He responded “As a matter of fact, yes there is”...


When I stepped through into the room, I could see a very big apple tree growing in the middle. In each of the four corners of the room, there was a gigantic white marble column extending from the ground all the way to the ceiling. The ceiling itself was twenty meters high with engravings in a forign language that I do not understand. Beneath the apple tree, we could see the wizard standing there with his staff. On the top of his staff, there was a red glowing gem. Well, this is it everyone thought. So I took my mace and moved up to attack. Before I could even reach him, Emily had already cast an entanglement spell on the wizard. When I reached the wizard, I took my mace and swung it so hard that he stumbled back a few steps. When I saw Philip running up beside me, I threw my mace towards him and with an amazing 360o spin, he swung the mace into the wizard’s body. But all of this did nothing to the wizard. It only made him more angry. He first vaporized the apple tree that was entangling him and then shot a bolt of red lightning onto the ground. Luckily, Philip and I were able to dodge it but sadly Perrin wasn’t paying attention, so when the lightning bolt hit the ground it immediately knocked him unconscious. And that moment was when we realized we had no chance of beating the wizard. So we tried settling this battle with a diplomatic solution. So we asked him why he was letting so many monsters into our world. He responded saying that those monsters were getting slaughtered and killed in their homeland so we had to bring them to somewhere else so that their species doesn’t die from extinction. His speech was so heartfelt that we begged for forgiveness from the wizard saying that everything was a misunderstanding. Bit the wizard did not forgive us, instead he said if we complete a favor for him he might forgive us. He said that if we killed the elves that were saying lies about him, it would be his favour. We asked him why he couldn't do it himself and he said because in order to open the portal he needed to bond his life force with it meaning if he left the tower he would die. The wizard said “Your going to need your armor and weapons back if your going to do this.” So suddenly, everyone is back at full health with their armour and weap- ons.

 

Suddenly, the wall opposite the door came crashing down. Behind it was an elf! Just as we were going to do something about her, the ghost princess appeared behind the wizard, gave him a heart attack, stole his staff and disappeared. Then the elf said “We need the staff!” and disappeared as well. We stabilized the wizard before asking him if he could tell us where to go. Instead, he snapped his fingered and we were suddenly teleported somewhere else...


Philip:


§
Chapter Eight: The Power Red as Blood


The wizard started healing all of us and giving all our weapons and armour back. He also handed each one of us a potion of healing. He gave each of us some lit upgrades. I got armor made of scales, which was way better than my old, flimsy leather armor. Suddenly, a wall collapsed behind us and a group of elves. Out of nowhere, the wizard started having a heart attack. A ghost took the wizard’s staff. We stabilized the wizard and he told us to go to the elven village via teleportation to stop them from doing “The Ritual”. We stepped into his portal and arrived at the ritual site. A ghost -according to Perrin, is called “The Ghost Princess”- was fighting with the leader of the elves for control of the wizard’s staff. The staff’s red gem glowing brightly as they fought. Finally, the leader of the elves scared of The Ghost Princess. She laughed evilly. There was an army of elves between us and the leader, so we had to get through them before getting to her. Perrin stabbed on elf on both of his legs and the battle was on! Eventually, the leader’s power overwhelmed her and she vanished from blinding red light. In her place, was a huge red dragon. It roared like a lion, but over 100 times louder. Everything around us burst into flames. The two remaining elves charged at the dragon, but they also vanished when they got within a meter or two away from the dragon. It looked like the end of the world.


John:
After a blinding flash of light, everyone except the wizard had appeared in an elven village. The village consisted of six houses with a ritual circle in the middle. Inside of the circle was the elf that crashed down the wall and the ghost princess. They are fighting for the staff. Suddenly, from inside the houses, lots of elves appeared and several of them shot at Micheal. Luckily he didn’t die of his injuries. So then the battle started. Perrin quickly jumped up, did a 360o, fell onto the ground and slid beneath an elf’s legs while cutting the back of his knees. Perrin took that opportunity to rip out a piece of the elf’s shoulder and flung it across the town while jumping into a house. Just then, from inside the ritual circle, the elf kneed the ghost princess and in that moment of surprise, the elf took the staff away from the ghost princess. The ghost princess made a grunt of surprise before disap- pearing into the ground. From then on, everything became a blur. Arrows were flying everywhere, swords were clashing and spells were being chanted. And every now and then. The ghost princess would appear and suddenly give heart attacks to us and the elves. A while later, when all the elves were weakened or dead, several of our guys suddenly fell to the ground.

 

We turned around and found out that elven reinforcements had arrived. Luckily, Micheal took them out with a burn spell. But just then, the elf in the ritual circle started floating. During the battle, the colour red had started seeping into her body from the staff. By the time she started floating, all of her body had turned red. Just as we thought she would summon lightning, she screamed in pain and blew up into a big explo- sion. Since all the elves were close to her, they were vaporized. Luckily, since we were further away, we escaped vaporization. When the light dimmed, we discovered something truly horrible. A dragon! It was at least 30 meters high, 100 meters from the head to tail and it’s wingspan was 90 meters wide. The scales of the dragon were blood red.


Philip:
The grass, the rooms, everything within several kilometers of us was burning. Even the sky lost its bright blue and turned to grey from all the smoke. The Ghost Princess showed up behind each of us and healed us all, then mysteriously disappeared. I suddenly remembered that this was the drag- on that showed up everything 1000 years to see if the world is still worthy of living. We notice that everytime we shoot the dragon or throw something at it, the dragon gets smaller. Unfortunately, the dragon was totally destroying us. Emily suddenly remembered that the dragon was looking for a heroe’s sacrifice. Hearing this, John got onto his knees and grovelled.


John:
So then I thought, maybe that fighting wasn’t the way of defeating it. So I thought maybe surrender- ing will make it return to its original form, so I bowed down and the dragon walked over to me and stood there. It was as if it was waiting for something. So I took off my armour and settled everything I had on the ground.


Philip:
The dragon stopped attacking us and crouched down next to John, waiting for something. John gave the dragon all his possessions.


John:
I had no time to reflect on my decision since a split second later, I vanished into a blinding light...
The End.


Philip:
The dragon was not satisfied and vaporized John and all his possessions. All that remained was half of his longsword, stuck in the ground. Just like that, one of my best friends was gone. I grieved,
but I knew that we had to continue. Raymond followed suit, getting onto his knees and the dragon also crouched next to him. He told the dragon that he would sacrifice himself and demanded that the dragon stop destroying the world. The dragon thought for a bit and said, “Courageous, but not enough,” and Raymond suffered the same fate. The dragon flew down and crouched down next to Perrin. I was thinking about how anyone could do something more courageous than what Raymond. Perrin drew his sword and swung at the dragon, who in turn vaporized Perrin.

 

Michael tried almost the exact same thing and met the same result. It was only Emily and I left. The dragon flew over to Emily. Emily was talking to the dragon when suddenly it hit me, I had to jump into the dragon’s mouth. I quickly prepared myself to jump into the dragon’s mouth, to be the sacrifice, to save the world. But as I was flying through the air, Emily jumped into the dragon’s mouth. I stopped in mid- air and landed with a thud. The dragon slowly turned its head towards. Then he smiled and started to shrink until only the gem remained...


The End.