There is a stage. The curtains are closed and the lighting dim. Upon this stage sits a microphone fitted in a tripod. This microphone is the center of attention; for not only is it in the center of the stage, not only is the only stagelight focused on it, but behind this microphone stands a man. He is a small, gaunt man, dressed in a three piece suit. On his nose sit glasses, with frames so large they look to weight more then the man. In an incrediably nasal voice, he begins his speech.
"I am the lawyer and I will be delivering the legal conditions set forth to readers of this literature. Readers(hereafter named, "The Viewers") of this literature (hereafter named, "The Story") is required by sections 2, 3, and 5a of the I.C.L. (International Copyright Laws) to not distribute "The Story" in any means in which creator(hereafter named, "The Author") of "The Story" has not personally authorized. "The Author" is not responcible for any dam... Rickkter? Get off the set. I'm not done giving out the legal notice. Why are you drawing you sword? Rickkter? Rickkter! NO! AHHHHH!"
*swish* *crunch* *plop* *applause*
"Thank you. Thank you. We interrupt this legal notice for a few words from our presentation. But before we begin, the author asked me to say a few things. Mainly, this is his first released work and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated."
"Nice outfit, but take my advice. Lose the hat." commented Jesreg.
The robed figure took a stance of mock hurt. "You have no appreication for fine art.", he started with feign indignity. "Why, I bet you don't even know half the fruits on this hat! What's this thing, eh?"
"Oh. So that's what it was."
After pulling the ridiculus, wax fruit covered hat off, the figure was much easier to make out. He was completely covered in flowing, blue robes. Both hands and feet were covered in dark grey gloves. His head was covered with a hood from his robe and a grey vail. The only part showing were two glowing spots where his eyes should be. They were not static however, they changed brightness and color to match to mood of their owner. Right now they were yellow with merth.
New arrivals took Jesreg out of his momentary observation. The small mouse nodded to Misha and Matthias. Misha looked over the covered figure and sighed.
"This is going to be worse than the meeting over Madog."
"Yep." Matthias agreed with a sigh.
"Well, let's not keep the good duke waiting." The group started towards the meeting room, leaving one behind.
"G-G-Guys?" Jesreg called out. "I-I can't do this." All eyes focused on the petite mouse. He visibly flanched from the attention.
"Why?" inquired Misha.
"Look, I'm just some random gaurd with two vowels thrown in. Why should I be needed?"
Matt just stepped forward a placed a hand on his shoulder. "Don't worry. You'll do fine."
The mouse sighed and hung his head. "I'm letting my form get the best of me aren't I?"
Matthias simply nodded. "Shall we be off?"
Jesreg nodded, and the group entered the ducial chambers.
Around the table was Duke Thomas, Wessex, Father Hough, Misha, Rickkter, Matthias, and even Raven. Duke Thomas sat at the head of the table, and a completely robed figure sat at the other end surrounded by gaurds. It was the shrowded one that broke the silence. He spoke in a surprisingly high voice for one of his atmosphere. "I'm guessing we're hear to discuss wheither I'm too dangerous to... keep around?"
"That is correct." Intoned the duke. "And right now I'm thinking low. First off, I was never told your name."
"There are those who call me... John."
"Alright then John. I suppose we better start from the top. Where and how were you found?"
"I believe I can answer that." called out Jesreg as he prepared for his monologue. "We were in the northern cellar. As you know, there have been a lot of unexplained 'bumps in the night' around that area. I was checking it out, trying to find the source. Then Matthias bumped into me...
"AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!" The world stood still as the mouse let out his ear piercing scream. "By Eli! Don't sneak up on me like that!"
Matthias was taken aback. He was also rubbing his sensative ears. "Sorry. Didn't mean to startle you."
Jesreg slowly let out a breath he didn't know he was holding. "It's alright. I only turned mouse a week ago. I'm still getting used to it." Jesreg noticed a grimace cross the rat's face, but he wasn't sure why.
"You're not staying in the cellars are you?"
"Oh, no. I'm not ashamed, just timid."
The relief was immdiate. "Good, good. The reason I'm down here is because some rats are too ashamed to come up and I'm trying to find one of them. What's your name?"
"I'm Matthias. Nice to meet you."
"Hey... I know you. You used to be head of the...did you hear that?"
Both rodents listened intently. Big ears can come in handy at times. There was a soft clicking, almost like gears turning...
And then the world fell, or at least Jesreg did. A trap door opened beneith the mouse. After a short plument, he landed on the floor below with an indignified sqeak. Below? Below! There isn't a floor below! The stairwell has no exit! As he looks around, he sees skeletons all over the ground. Realizing his immediate peril he looks up. His heart was as a brick, sinking into his chest as the trapdoor slowly closed.
"There is a secret passage in the stairwell. It can only be opened from the outside. Tap the off color brick three times."
And then the door was sealed. But... Who told Matthias how to release the captive mouse?
Slowly turning around, his helper came into view. Then he promptly went out of view as the mouse slammed against a wall cringing.
His helper was not alive.
Before him was a skeleton. The flesh had long since rotted off his bones. We was wearing the tattered remnants of a flowing robe, something you'd expect a mage to wear. On his forehead rested a blue gem, set in a brass circlet. But the most piercing thing about him was his eyes. They glowed despite the sockets being empty.
"Relax.. It's okay... I'm not going to hurt you..."
"Th-Th-There are s-some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed."
The liche chuckled. But it was not a malevelent cackle. Just one of amusement. It helped put the mouse at ease.
"How true, how true. We'd best head towards the exit."
"Right. Say, what's your name."
"John. John Thesmere."
A groan... A moan.. Many sounds like sticks hitting sticks.... Both turned to see the skeletons of the other prisoners animating.
"This is a soul trap. The runes in this place hold all forces inside! They could no more go to the after life than I could."
"They don't look friendly."
"My mage training helped save my sanity... But them... Run! Make for the exit! They'll die as soon as they leave this place."
"But what about you?"
The two ran down the hall down the hall, sounds of the undead in hot pursuit. As they turned the bend, they saw the secret passage just starting to open...
"Wait a minute. If the skeletons were supposed to die when they left the room, why are you still here?" interrupted the duke.
"That's a very good question, and I don't have an answer. Neither do your castle's priests." replied John.
"Why didn't you just scratch out the rune holding you in?"
"Because it was engraved and inch deep in a magically harden steal plate. I think it would be a good idea to study it at a later date."
Hassen nodded then turned to Father Hough, "And what have you done to help him to his eternal sleep?"
"We even tried four simulatious exorcisms combinding both of our religions. Do you know when the last time we did that was?" Eli's priest added. The dukes eyes bulge a little bit at this news.
"Personally, I've tried notifying the... proper authorities." started the liche.
"For that last time Mr. Loriod, I am NOT interested in contributing to your "Power to the Peasants" campaign, nor am I interested in wearing one of your buttons. In case you haven't noticed, I'm rather ticked off at the moment. And these infernal maps aren't helping matters any."
"Of course the maps are woefully inaccurate. This IS Hell you know." shot back the thin man. "If I help you get where you need to go, will you contribute to my campaign?"
"Alright, you've got a deal." John conceded as he fished over all the gold he had. "I'm looking for the Deadra Lilith."
"You're standing infront of her office building." The robed figure slowly bent over as a long groan escaped from behind his vail. Loriod continued along his way cackling in glee.
As John entered the building, he was greeted by a rather pretty receptionist. He was also greeted by a demon screaming and running out of a door marked, "Secretary, abandon all hope ye who enter here." The demon grabbed the liche and in a shaky voice screamed, "Run for your life!" As he exited the building, the next demon got up to see the secretary. Right after entering, a large hand placed a sign on the door labelled "Out to lunch."
The building was in superb condition and the reception area was covered in plaques. One marked "Mission Statement" boldly stated, "When it comes to the undead, we're dead on." Right beside it was the Vision Statement, "Over one billion damned." Another held a trophy, with the caption, "Faust Place, 316 Ironic Torture Festival". On the other side was "You kill em, We grill em. The Hell Diner." Finally, on the receptionist's desk was a sign saying, "First sinned, First Damned."
"I'm here to see Ms. Lilith."
"Do you have an appointment."
"You'll have to get an appointment with her secretary. Please take number and wait your turn." John ambled over to the dipenser and pulled a tab marked, "2,643,464". One of the waiting demons swears the room got darker when he noticed they were now serving number 546. "Excuse me, I'm in a bit of a rush. Do you think you can speed things up for me?"
"Very well sir, you may see the secretary next if you wish. Please wait until she's done with the current visitor." A loud burp echoed through out the building, and the same large hand opened the door and removed the "Out to lunch sign." The demon did not come out... The receptionist confirmed what John already knew. "You may now see her." Bracing himself, John entered the room...
"I'm not sure. I next thing I remember is waking up in my room shaking violently. I also had this business card for 'Figmund Seud's Psychiatric Theropy' saying I have an appointment at 12:00 am Thursday."
"I see. Hmm. You've done us no wrong. I see no reason that you can not serve Metamor once again."
"Thank you milord."
"Well then. I declare this meeting over."
With the Duke's dismissal, everyone began filling out of the room. John also began fiddling with his fruity hat again.
"What is it with you and that hat?" Asked Misha.
"I think it's a fetish, much like laying in a tub of jello... only jello hasn't been invented yet."
Soon, only two people were left in the room. It was none other than Rickkter and Matthias.
"Hey, I got something for you." Rickkter started. He pulled a small wrapped present from under the table.
"You remembered my birthday! Thanks dear."
The two settled in a tight embrace as they began a long passionate kiss...
"Um, we're sorta busy at the moment."
"The camera's still rolling."
Rickkter and Matthias slowly turn to the camera, then back to each other.