Date unknown, Location: Outside the gatehouse to the Giant's Castle, Time since Awakening: Unknown
I'm not happy that we're here. I am less happy that something in my gut is telling me our companions are inside the keep with the giant. And what is really upsetting me right now is the fact that there are two stupid monkeys with wings looking at us from the top of the wall and asking what business we have here. Remembering the conversations overheard last time I told them we had moon rubies to trade with the giant that lived in the castle. They looked away, started screeching at each other, then told us to proceed and, "watch the broom."
Well, at least it was easy to get in here. Chicago, Timmy, and I proceed through the slowly raising portcullis and see what the monkeys were talking about. An enormous broom, Giant-sized really, is sweeping a path across the floor in enormous strokes. Chicago and I would have no trouble dashing across its path with our speed, but I wasn't so sure about Timmy. While we're pondering how to get Timmy across without getting swept up Timmy goes to talk to it. He simply asks it to stop brushing so we can pass and it does! Bless Timmy and his oblivious child brain. We proceed again and quickly find the great hall that I observed before.
It's different. Very different. Sitting upon the throne in the back of the room is the Giant, though less alive than I remembered him. And more fungusy. Also in the room are Nanfoodle and Seravin, standing before the throne, also fungusy, and with a Satyr at their back. Surrounding the throne like concubines are a variety of mushroom men, though they don't seem to care about the proceedings. On the sides of the room are more of those fungus things that came out of Magog, Mi-Go whispers the headmaster in my mind, and two of the creatures I saw last time I was here, moon-men.
Clearly outnumbered we didn't make too much noise until the Satyr talked about using Nanfoodle and Seravin in place of the witches, "despite their limited magical power." It is at this point I cleared my throat. Not my best move admittedly, but necessary I feel. The Satyr recognizes us as the ones who escorted the witches before, mostly me, and demanded their return. In exchange he would give us Nanfoodle and Seravin, whom he wanted less than the witches. The Satyr was kind enough to let Chicago, Timmy and I hold a group huddle to discuss our options.
We decided to lie. We told the Satyr, because the Giant wasn't really asking questions, or even looking at us, that we didn't have the witches. When I asked what they wanted the witches for the Satyr was overtaken with a look of rapture. "Gobogeg hungers. He needs magic people for his sustenance, and witches are the best dish for one such as He." Feeling uncertain about everything I started negotiations. Eventually I had to step back as Timmy, surprisingly, was the most adept at these. From these negotiations we learned that the moon men and the Satyrs formed a coalition and were working together. Eventually a deal was made. We trade Chicago for Nanfoodle, and we need to procure four goblin shamans to get Chicago and Seravin back.
It was at this point a look of shock crossed the Satyr's face, shortly before a blade erupted from his chest. Socks appeared behind the Satyr, already pulling his rapier back. Brenda had also appeared and cast a spell, causing the Satyr to fall into a deep slumber. We took that as a sign that it was time to go. We immediately booked it. Running away we asked Brenda if she could fly broomsticks like the stories and if there was a size limitation. When she answered that she could because of the pact between the broom people and the witches we were thrilled and disturbed. Making it back to the broom we asked if it would fly us away from here, and it immediately complied, allowing us all the climb on it.
Well, it made for a nice and easy trip. Brenda wasn't happy with me because of a suggestion I made during the huddle. If we weren't able to talk it out with the Satyr I suggested we each eat some of the witch balls in the preparation to fight it out. When I explained it was a last ditch effort Brenda shrugged it off with an offhand remark. "I guess they'd still come back, even if it was in a possessed body." More than ever before I had to think about the relationship I had with this woman and her crazy people. To kill time I asked Brenda about Brittania, and Diviticus.
The Knights of the Round sit in Camelot, the capital of Brittania. The Druids who once ruled were kicked out of the country. They are of the order of Merlin and are looking for a way back in. The country has not had a true king in two generations, leading to discontent and more people being exiled from the country. Diviticus is gathering the castaways – druids, witches, hill giants, picts, and various unseelie fae under his banner. I have started getting chills up and down my spine with this new information. Apparently the sword of leadership, wielded by the Kings of Camelot has been missing for those generations. It is a legendary blade that goes by the name Caliburn.
By this point we are flying lower and land just outside of the Witch's Circle, the home base of Diviticus. It looks like a series of stone henges, 1 large one in the center of the area, surrounded by five smaller henges, and the entire thing is surrounded by a number of small stones. Considering the time we decide to spend the night at the Witch's Circle. Diviticus greets us and takes the witches off my hands, in their Witch Ball forms. I'm not sure about doing this anymore, but I hand them over without a fuss. He asks if we want to form a pact. He'll give us great power if we accomplish one of three things, bringing the heir of Pendragon, the weapon of the crown, Caliburn, or the death of every male in Camelot. None of us agreed, begging off saying, "We have other things now that the witches are off our hands." Diviticus offers us things that we need to advance other pacts.
Seravin, by this point complaining incessantly about wanting to "drink" someone agrees immediately, as does Timmy, who apparently wants to eat someone. Diviticus brings them over to a line of prisoners that he and others took from Camelot. Nanfoodle takes the time to pull Chicago and myself aside. He explains that none of these people are actually druids, they continue to commit crimes against nature, and if they continue on nature itself will suffer. He should know, he is a druid. Things are getting more and more disturbing as I watch Seravin and Timmy take their "reward."
Seravin drinks. And drinks. And continues to drink until the prisoner before him is a wrinkled husk, not a speck of blood left. He proceeds to go crazy with bloodlust, rushing off into the night making me lose sight of him. Timmy…Somehow Timmy is worse. He eats his prisoner in one bite, his jaw unhinging itself. I still hear the crunching on some of my better nightmare nights. But then he kept going. He looked sated for a second or two, then went to the next prisoner in line, eating that one. And the next. And the next and the next and the next! By the end of it he dropped to the ground, all of the prisoners consumed, his belly bloated, but continuing to rumble with hunger pangs.
Diviticus didn't waste time keeping track of us now that he had the Witch Balls. He started brewing something, for a ritual we were told. To give the Witches their true bodies back. I forced myself to watch. They were my responsibility, and I could still feel them in my head. Seemed like what I would think is a regular ritual, candles, silver powder, smoke, incense. But soon the Witch Balls started floating. A terrible sound echoed through Witch's Circle and a tear was opened up in space-time. The witch balls float in and I can feel the connection to them in my head sever. Seeing the tear, feeling the souls of these young women be ripped from me, gaining memories of things not of this existence stretches my sanity to near its breaking point. Before I pass out I see fourteen green hags step from the rift.
I had been catatonic for nearly sixteen hours. I asked Brenda what she thought of the witches new forms. Her reply gave me chills. "I wish I could be one of them, in their true forms." We start preparing to depart and ask the big broom for another favor. Apparently it considers us friends and Nanfoodle discovers he can make it fly with druidic magic. We take off and head for Camelot with full speed.
4 August 1930
We wake abruptly back in the real world. I can't even get myself out of bed. Everything is too dark or gray, and every now and then I see images, monsters. They crawl from the corners, threatening and salivating, promising quick death. And I cannot be moved to care. Timmy discovers nothing went to the dream world with him and everything was still under his pillow. I catch sight of the sheathe and remember Brenda's examination of the short sword handed to me by the group long ago, it was not magical by itself, it had a missing part. I ask Timmy to give me the sheathe, it keeps calling.
I hold it close, wrapping my spindly limbs around it and feel better. Just holding it makes me feel like a heroic knight, leading Camelot. I feel a pressure, to expel manipulators like B&&~! Witches. I start getting delirious, thinking of how I'm going to punish those that oppressed my people. Now I can act, and move. I don't know what the others did, but I play all day long. Even during chores. I play Knights and Witches, cutting down my enemies and laughing about it when they cry for mercy. Before long we are back in bed.
I discover myself in a familiar office, new furnishings apparent. In addition to a small detective lens there is a model amulet, like the one Timmy wears on the Mustache-Man's desk. I ask him his name, as I forgot last time. His response is to call him the Headmaster. Now the diplomas and fancy papers and books scattered throughout the room make sense, as well as the large globe in the corner, though it doesn't have the continents as I have learned them. The headmaster tells me my current dream form is not strong enough for the challenges ahead. He gives me the persona of the noble knight, which he calls the Scion of Mordred…