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  1. #11
    Maleficent



    It had been a long time since Maleficent tried to be anything but intimidating. After Stefan destroyed her home, she didn't have much to be happy about it. She had spent many years focused on her anger and her need for revenge on him. Her hate for Stefan didn't just stop at him, but his family as well. They were guilty by association. Once she figured out who invited her here and why, then she'd refocus her energy on not only ruining King Stefan's life but his daughter's as well. Stefan loved Aurora and if she hurt the princess, she'd hurt the king.

    "O'ahu is far from here, yes?"

    She asked Kalona. Not recognizing the name of his kingdom and his manner of dress was far different then what she was used to seeing. Isobel's style of clothing was similar to those of Perrault. Not the exact same, but more similar then Kalona's.

    Maleficent found herself sizing up them both up. She had the feeling that Kalona was a great warrior. And Isobel...She had the air about her of a queen. The way she held her head and the confidence she was trying to project. It was easy for the former fairy queen to recognize.

    Maleficent nodded her head and held up her own letter.

    "That I did. Although, I'm not sure. Often times, if something sounds too good to be true, it is."

    The offer being able to finally avenge her people and possibly restore the Moors. It was what she dreamed off but sounded far too good to be true. But she didn't think it would hurt to find out either.

  2. #12
    Kalona

    "I know nothing about let-ters, but I received a message from a talking crow, inviting me to this place."

    Kalona stumbled over the unfamiliar word. Why did that word not get translated when everything else they said was easily understood, he wondered.

    "I believe O'ahu is very far away indeed. I'd neither seen nor heard of this place or any other place like it before the crow invited me here. I also hope I wasn't mistaken in accepting the crow's invitation, but such an obviously magical animal is difficult to ignore."

    Kalona looked at Maleficent, and nodded solemnly.
    Last edited by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin; 09-25-2017 at 12:19 AM.

  3. #13
    Isobel and Pino



    Isobel nodded her agreement with Maleficent. "It probably is too good to be true," she said. "I decided I might as well hear... whoever it is... out, but that doesn't mean I trust the offer."

    She agreed with Kalona as well; a talking bird would surely have made her take notice too. That would have been even more odd than a mysterious written message.

    "Well," Isobel said. "Since the three of us are here, let's see what the mirror has to say."

    She turned back to it. "Mirror mirror on the wall, now we have assembled all."

    The mirror shimmered and fogged again, then a voice replied. "Three were called, and three are here. Now the goal will be made clear."

    The fog cleared from the mirror's enchanted surface, and now a man's face could be seen. He was well-dressed and immaculately groomed, but his face was lined and careworn. When he spoke, it was with a different voice than the mirror had used. Isobel realized that the mirror was just a go-between. Perhaps this was their host?

    "Hello," he said. "My name is Lord Pino. I welcome the five of you to Castle Riordan."

    Isobel looked around in confusion. She saw only three people - herself, Maleficent, and Kalona - plus Maleficent's pet bird.

    Pino seemed to have anticipated this reaction, and looked mildly amused. "You needn't hide the forest witch in your sleeve, Queen Isobel. I know you brought her, though the summons was only for you. It makes no difference to me. None of you will be harmed here, including the uninvited guests. Let her show herself."

    Now that everyone had been alerted to her presence, it would have been pointless for Carrie to continue to attempt to hide. She climbed into Isobel's hand, and Isobel set her gently on the floor. Carrie then resumed her true shape, and without much fanfare she stood with the others, looking a bit out of place with her simple homespun dress in the elaborate setting of the castle.

    "That's better," Pino said.

    Though by Isobel's count they were still missing a person, Pino didn't pause again to take them from four to five. He simply continued, "Now, on to the reason I have called you here. You have all faced losses. Setbacks. At times, your burdens may have seemed too much to bear. Some of your sufferings were your own faults, and some were not, but that doesn't matter here. What matters is the opportunity I'm offering you. I'll cut to the chase. Somewhere in this castle, there is a powerful grimoire. For those unfamiliar with the term, it means a book of ancient magics. I believe that the spells contained within will solve your problems, as well as my own. There is, of course, a catch - and that is that I don't know where it is hidden. That's why I have summoned you here. If you find it for me, I will share the use of its magic with all of you."

    It sounded plausible enough, but Isobel had some remaining doubts. If this grimoire was so powerful, why was Pino willing to share it with strangers? If it was just a matter of searching the castle, why couldn't he simply find it himself? And if he did find it, exactly what use did he intend to put it to?
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  4. #14
    Maleficent



    "That is true."

    Maleficent replied to Kalona, when he told her that he hadn't wanted to ignore a magical animal. She probably wouldn't have been able to ignore one either.

    Maleficent then nodded her head back to Isobel. Maleficent didn't trust this offer either, but why not check it out. What else did she have going for her? Other then trying to think of a way to ruin Princess Aurora's wedding. She watched Isobel use the mirror and frowned at the man who appeared on it.

    'Five?' she wondered. And watched as Isobel's hidden mouse became a person. She and Diaval exchanged a look. Obviously this Pino knew that Diaval wasn't a bird. Although, he had been one for the last few decades. But how did this man know that? She couldn't help but wonder what kind of magic did Isobel's friend used. She clearly could shape shift.

    Although Pino began to talk and she turned his attention to their mysterious host. She jaw tightened when he talked about setbacks. She wouldn't call King Stefan destroying her home a setback. She'd call it a horrible crime. One she wanted him to pay for. No matter how many years it took. When he said why he had summoned them here was to get a book, she crossed her arms and wanted to know the catch. It was too easy and nothing in life was easy. And she didn't believe the only catch was that he didn't know where the book was hidden in the castle.

    "Why do you need us to find the book? Pino, you clearly are powerful enough to summon us here. Why not just get it yourself?"

    Why did he need them?
    Last edited by Sojourn; 09-06-2017 at 08:06 AM.

  5. #15
    Pino



    "A good question from the lovely Queen Maleficent," Pino said with a smile. "But one with a disappointingly simple answer. I wish I could get it myself, but I cannot. You see, I am trapped in the realm of this mirror."

    He looked at Maleficent, Isobel, and Kalona in turn.

    "There is a reason I selected each of you to assist me. This castle is more than it seems. It is home to strange magics and fiendish challenges. Each of you were chosen for your unique gifts, which are precisely suited to the tasks that await you here. Queen Isobel here has a talent for manipulating magic mirrors. Alas, I myself do not have that skill, nor did I have the foresight at the time to bring along anyone who did. So I got stuck. It is my hope that once you succeed, the grimoire will be able to free me from the mirror realm."

    He briefly made a show of putting his hand to his mouth in thought, and then added, "I do believe there is a spell in there to correct unwanted magical transformations, too, if that would be at all of interest to any of you...?"

  6. #16
    Maleficent



    Being called a queen was something Maleficent had not heard in many years. It seemed odd. Especially since he called her 'Queen Maleficent', Maleficent was a name she had adopted later. Once her kingdom had been lost. Although, Pino's explanation made sense to her. He was clearly in some mirror dimension. Not that she knew anything about that. She had not studied mirror magic and didn't know how to manipulate one.

    And when he admitted their were obstacles in the castle, that made more sense to her as well. She didn't think finding a magic book would be easy. If it was, Pino wouldn't need them, now would he? When he mentioned a spell about magical transformations, her eyes widened. How did he know that? But even more importantly, was it true? Could she finally free her love of the inverted curse she had given him?

    She whispered to Diaval.

    "Do you think he's telling the truth?"

    Diaval cawed, not very sure what to do think but thought it might be worth a try to look. He had been trapped in a raven's body since Stefan had destroyed the Moors. They had tried many things but nothing had freed him from this spell. He left her shoulder and hovered above the group, flapping his wings. His signal for her that they should explore the castle. Maleficent nodded her head, hoping the man was telling the truth. She looked at Isobel and Kalona.

    "I'm game to look for it."

  7. #17
    Kalona

    "I'm willing, but I need to know what we're looking for. First the let-tah, now a ga-ri-mo-ah, and a boo-kuh. This is truly a realm of many strange things. I just hope someone can show me what we're looking for, so I'll know it when I see it."

    Kalona looked solemnly at the man on the wall, and at each of the other companions... including the magic bird, and the woman who'd been a mouse... and the bird who his human companion seemed to treat as more than just a bird.

    "I do promise my spear, my war club, and my snaring stones to help in this effort if they can."
    Last edited by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin; 09-25-2017 at 12:19 AM.

  8. #18
    Isobel and Pino



    Isobel found herself more reluctant than her companions seemed to be. Why should she do this? Why should she step out on this limb? For Azure? After what they had done to her, when she had been nothing but a kind and generous queen? They deserved nothing. Why should she risk anything for them?

    For most of her life, Isobel had given little thought to what she wanted. It had been what her family wanted for her, then what her husband wanted from her, then what the kingdom needed...

    Now she had lost all that, and she could ask herself what she wanted. The answer was quite simple. She wanted to go home to the cottage - because the cottage was her home now. Not the castle anymore. Isobel wanted nothing more than to go back to the quiet life in the forest, and forget all about thrones and grimoires.

    She knew she couldn't, though. Her evil Snow White would never let her live in peace. Even the forest wouldn't be safe. Once Blanche learned that Isobel had survived, there would be another horrible fate in store for her. And worse yet, poor Carrie would be dragged into it too. Blanche would surely want to punish her for the kindness to Isobel... and Isobel wouldn't let that happen. She had to find some way to protect them both - and maybe this was it.

    Isobel exchanged a look with Carrie, and Carrie gave a little nod as if to say, Whatever you decide.

    "Very well," Isobel said. "We have nothing to lose by the attempt. Just because we look for this spellbook, it doesn't mean we're going to find it. If we find it, it doesn't mean we have to use it. If we find a use for it, it doesn't mean we have to go along with Lord Pino's plan if it would be to our detriment."

    Isobel knew full well that Pino could still hear her. She wanted him to. He needed to know that he did not have her unquestioning loyalty. That her decision to go along with this for the time being did not mean he owned her. No one owned Isobel anymore.

    Pino didn't seem to mind. He smiled and said, "I am glad to hear that all three of you are willing. For the time being, I will leave you to explore the castle as you see fit. I have taken the liberty of asking the servants to prepare chambers for each of you with some changes of clothing in the styles you each prefer, should you require rest or fresh clothes. I would ask that you please make your way to the ballroom at ten o'clock tonight. The castle is hosting a ball, and your presence will be needed if you hope to recover the grimoire. Good luck!"

    Pino's image faded from the mirror. When he was gone, the previously locked door leading to their right swung open to reveal a corridor.

    "Well. Shall we?" Isobel said.
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 09-10-2017 at 07:54 PM.

  9. #19
    Maleficent



    "This is what a book looks like."

    Maleficent said to Kalona. She flicked her wrist, a small cloud of black smoke appeared, and a book suddenly appeared in her hand. It was a story book, not a book of spells. Because she always liked to be a little ironic, the title said 'Sleeping Beauty'. Although, it would be the version the 'heroes' said had happened. After all, the victors wrote history. History was their version of the truth.

    "I'm sure the book this lord is looking for won't be as easy to find."

    There were two reasons Maleficent agreed to look for the book. The first was revenge. Perhaps she could finally avenge her people properly and make King Stefan pay for all the things he had done. She should have just killed Aurora all those years ago. It would have been so easy and Stefan had been so helpless that day. But...so had Aurora, she had just been a baby. And as evil as the people said she was, she couldn't kill an innocent baby. Even if it would have made her life so much easier. She just wasn't that evil.

    The second reason was hope. Hope that perhaps there was a spell in the book that would return Diaval to his true form. Even after all these years he was still loyal to her. The least she owed him was to free him from the curse she had cast on him in the first place.

    Maleficent smiled when Isobel said she would look for the book but it didn't mean they had to use it or let Lord Pino have it.

    "I like how you think."

    The Mistress of Evil replied. Why should she help him? It's not her fault he got trapped in a mirror. She only had loyalty to one in the world, Diaval. Everyone else...Well, they called her evil and called Stefan a hero. A hero didn't kill innocent people. A hero didn't destroy people's homes. The people of Perrault and all their allies could all burn as far as she was concerned.

    She was surprised to hear a ball was being hosted. Although, unless she was provided with a black dress, she wouldn't be changing her clothes. Since the day she lost the Moors, all she wore was black. She nothing in her life to celebrate by wearing bright colors.

    Maleficent nodded her head to Isobel.

    "Let's go."

    Diaval cawed in agreement. They should explore the castle and find the mysterious magic book. A book that might hold the key to everything she wanted.

  10. #20
    Kalona

    When Maleficent produced the 'book,' Kalona stared at it. He wasn't used to magicians producing items so easily. But he studied it in her hands. Then he held out a hand.

    "May I see it more closely?"

    When Isobel spoke of looking for the book, but not necessarily using it, Kalona nodded.

    "Yes, of course."

    He'd assumed that they'd choose whether and when to use the thing when they found it, if they did. It was good of her to make that clear early, tho.

    When this Lord Pino told them about the rest of the day, Kalona frowned.

    "We're to attend a dance? Will others perform, or are we expected to perform, too?"

    This could be a problem. He'd devoted his time to studying fighting, especially the spear. He'd never take the time to properly study dance.
    Last edited by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin; 09-25-2017 at 12:19 AM.

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