Simon Says

December 5, 2007

Denagor stepped through the portal into Faerie, grimacing as he felt the world shift around him. His hand strayed to the hilt of his sword, though he knew there was little he could do about the discomfort. The air was thick with magic, and he could feel his skin itching at its touch… but that was the nature of this realm, and they had to put up with it if they intended to complete their quest.

He glanced at the rest of his companions as they arrived, the portal flickering and vanishing behind him. His strength and training with a blade, assisted by Narissa’s spells, Aramaek’s prayers and Misty’s skills at stealth, should hopefully make their stay here a quick one.

A strange, syrupy cough caught his attention, and he noticed their guide was waiting for them. They had arrived in the Mistfell Bog, a strange place that was tremendously difficult to navigate. Not only was it a typical swamp, where one wrong step could lead to an eternity of sleep in the murky waters, but it was also filled with dreaming magics and hidden dangers that could trap the mind or soul. Thus, they had arranged for a native guide, and though the fae that lived here were hardly trustworthy, they had a contract to ensure some cooperation.

Their guide was a thin figure, all joints and limps and barkcolored skin, with buglike eyes and a strange grinning mouth. Gleaming gossamer wings spread behind him and retracted with each breath, and he wore a tunic and pants that seemed formed of shimmering rainbow silk.

“You have the payment?” he hummed, his voice bright and buzzing like the sound of a hummingbird… or the presence of a bee.

Denagor tossed him a pouch, filled with precious gems. Pretty to look at, and pricy as well – the fae might not measure wealth as men did, but that didn’t make them cheap to bargain with. “You’ll lead us safely through here?”

The faerie nodded. “Yes, yes… but you have to promise to do exactly as I do, to perfectly follow my path! I will not be held responsible if you fail to do so, yes?”

With a smirk, Denagor gave his assent. They were all well-trained – they wouldn’t do anything foolish.

The faerie’s smile grew wider. “Excellent,” it purred, “do precisely as I do, and no harm will come to you in this place.”

Then it flew fifty feet into the air and burst into a thousand butterflies that immediately scattered in all directions.

Denagor blinked in disbelief, and then closed his eyes as he felt a headache setting in.

“Well, shit.”

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