Through Fractured Glass – Part 3
As he connected with the mirror, a crash of thunder split the cold sounds of the Lyddell's death-pained gasps in half. His skin met with a rush of freezing water as he slipped into the mirror through a ripple in reality. Swept up in strong sea current, he was dragged down, down, down toward the end of everything.
Alistair thrashed against the waves, breaking through the icy sea wall that stood between him and a world unlike any other and breathing out in ecstatic victory. Just ahead he saw a beach closely encroached by a thickly growing forest of trees and bright colored flowers of all sizes, some even larger than he himself.
Groaning at all the bright colors and lights, he slowly swam to shore and threw himself onto the warm sand. The sky above him moved more than the waves of the sea, churning different shades of blue and purple and yellow that flowed around each other and made him dizzy.
A warm breeze rolled off the canopy of the forest, and it carried a sweet sing-song voice on its back.
"Come in, sweetness. Come in, child."
Grunting, Alistair stood and walked towards the voice without question.
The forest was warm and inviting in every way as the strange voice coaxed him along. Behind him, the sea began to grow dark, icing over as he moved further away from it. Bright flowers closed and opened around him, releasing unimaginable fragrances, and the trees hung heavy with plump, colorful fruit.
Soon, the sound of slowly trickling water reached his ears and the trees opened up to a small glade. The clearing was blanketed with soft grass and moss that made a plush floor around a small pool of clear, sparkling water. Water trickled into the pool down the side of a large weather-beaten stone.
Alistair fell into the pool and drank as much water as he possibly could. It was cool and fresh and tasted strangely sweet. Small plant life grew at its bottom and sunlight seeped down through the treetops and lit the whole glade up in a warm glow.
Alistair drank for a long while before he sat back, looking everywhere and he wondering where he was.
The flowers that grew throughout the forest began to inch and creep toward his hands and legs. There were red flowers as big as his head and blue flowers that glowed from within, no bigger than his fist and growing in plentiful supply.
Purple flowers as big as his whole body stood near the edges of the glade and didn't move at all. These flowers opened, their petals curling back, and entire human arms grew out of them, reaching toward Alistair. A small voice, that of a boy-child, called out from within the violet petals.
"Help! Help, I'm stuck!"
"How do I know you're real?" Alistair's voice quivered as he called out.
"Please! I want my mommy!" The voice pleaded, a child's fearful cries filling the air. He sounded terrified, possibly hurt. And so very desperate.
"Where are you?"
Each of the flowers shouted one after another, the same voice coming from each and overlapping one other. They were loud, desperate and breaking under the terror in them. Each hand reached as far toward him as they possibly could and their voices echoed.
Alistair reached into his pocket as he edged towards the closest purple flower. He grabbed the closest hand and pulled hard. As soon as he did, however, the voices became silent and the arm pulled back against him. Its strength was massive as it fought to drag him into its violet petals, which began to close up and swallow him whole.
To Be Continued...
Lia Blake - The Gielinor Times
WHITHER THE WILD ONES?
With events both serious and strange taking place on the savage island paradise of Karamja these past weeks, it was with a mixture of relief and trepidation that the good islanders watched the week pass without any major catastrophes befalling them or theirs.
Logging camps were left to their business. No disappearances have been reported. All ships reported in on time at each of Karamja's major ports. The Alert, having been put back to sea and investigated as thoroughly as the village of Shilo's militia were able, has been taken up by a new crew and is running its old charter routes once more.
"There's really nothing wrong with it as far as we can tell," said the Alert's new captain, Captain Ombuti, when The Gielinor Times spoke to him. "We still don't know what happened to its old crew, but the ship's in fine working order. It would be a shame not to make use of it."
[b]Business as usual?[/b]
There has been no sign of the mysterious tribals who set upon the lumber colony of Jack's Headache. We spoke to its owner, Lucy Carrington. "The camp's slowly getting back on its feet. Obviously, with the help of the Brimhaven Port Authority, we are leaving no stone unturned in our search for the missing lumberjacks." Thus far, there has been no sign of them, but there have also been no more abductions. So, is the crisis over?
No, says Kalash of Tai Bwo Wannai: "The night before last, we heard calls for help from the jungle to the north." He agreed to speak with The Gielinor Times in the hope that this would raise awareness of the situation. "A few of us went out to look in the morning, but there was nothing there; no sign that anyone had been there during the night." When asked if he could describe the calls for help, he had this to say: "They sounded Karamjan, but we could only make out the occasional few words. It was like they were speaking a different language."
[b]A man with a runestone.[/b]
Coupled with these phantom pleas for help are several reported sightings of "a Karamjan man in northern clothing, fiddling with a strange runestone." This man, The Gielinor Times has learned, has been sighted in Shilo Village, Tai Bwo Wannai, and even as far north as Musa Point. Jirimmy Spirot, a bartender in Musa Point, had this to say: "The only reason he stood out around here, o'course, was that runestone. That and his odd behaviour. We found him standing down on the docks at dawn, and he looked like he'd been there all night. I think he went westwards after that, but we 'aven't seen 'im since."
Varula, a fisherwoman from Shilo Village, was able to tell us this about him: "Him was an odd sort. Talked to no one during the day, and we watched 'im disappear into the jungle at night. Some of the older men refused to look him in the eye and muttered some old saying whenever he walked by them, but they won't tell us why." True to her word, none of Shilo's elders would talk to The Gielinor Times. Interestingly, this sentiment was echoed in Tai Bwo Wannai, where nobody, not even Kalash, would answer questions about this man.
Whatever this man's origins, it is clear it is the same individual this reporter spoke to last week. He has been impossible to find for interview, but reports of him continue to emerge from within Karamja's less isolated communities. Whatever his motives and actions, and whatever the fate of these mysterious tribals and the missing lumberjacks, you can be sure The Gielinor Times will be there to bring you the stories as they unfold.
Until next week, Gielinor.
Tame Locke - The Gielinor Times
What happens when an unstoppable force meets an unbreakable wall?
[b]An interview with Octavius Talbot, Wizard.[/b]
Octavius Talbot is a dull wizard with an exciting personality and Dark Green robes, he is followed everywhere by his faithful pet penguin Hector. In his hands is a strange pot, it appears to be cylindrical, and it's purpose is unknown to me.
Q: Octavius, what exactly is it that you do?
A: Well usually I sit in my house and play with chemicals, but today I went out to buy groceries.
Q:Why do you have a pet penguin?
I've had Hector for quite awhile now, he follow me wherever I go and sometimes takes my money for gambling with other aviary creatures, but he's not supposed to do that.
Q: That doesn't make any sense.
A: Well now that you mention it, that doesn't make any sense. Hector.
Q: Would you support the drowning of a kitten to save the lives of 1000 people?
A: Well, kittens actually have nine lives, so yes, because the kitten would have eight more.
In my defense, it was my first interview, and I had no idea how to react. As such I thought that perhaps switching tactics would produce more beneficial results.
Q:So you're an anti-kitten supporter?
A: I love kittens
Q:Then why would you let them lose even just one life?
A:They have nine, they will be fine.
NOVTUMBERFEST, THE FUN FEST
On the 1st of Novtumber, the White Knights of Falador held a grand festival in their citadel known as 'Vallancia'. The first thing one could see upon entering was the decorations, which added a spooky atmosphere to the decked out citadel.
Buxom maidens in lederhosen walked around the grounds happily, handing out ale with a smile. After the crowd of entering people thinned out the first event began - a drinking contest. Participants gulped down tankards of ale for the prize of gold coins and the winner won the event with eleven tankards consumed.
With the guests liquored up the second event began - a miming contest. The participants began trying to copy a mime with hair the color of blood and tested their ability to perform while slightly or very intoxicated. A woman by name of Eravvi won this event. When the miming contest won the guests were led to a very large maze, specially made for Novtumberfest.
The maze was made of stone and metal, with plenty of tricks and traps. The race added a quick-paced flare to the event and participants rushed and whirled in all directions. Even the correspondent covering the event found she could not penetrate the maze's core and make it past the middle before a very fast guest won.
After the guests got their blood pumping and energy rushing, they went over to a room designed and modeled after the Party Room. The people who participated in this event pulled out all their moves and chatted - fun was certainly had by all in this relaxed event. Balloons fell shortly after full of random prizes.
The last event was a costume contest. Most guests donned their outfits for the entire evening, but a few rushed to changing rooms after dancing for last-minute alterations or to get into costume. The correspondent there was very surprised, along with the hosts Sir Bool and Lord Dion of Entrana, of the effort put into the outfits. Many were homemade or evidently had a fair bit of coin spent on them.
The hosts decided that to pick only three winners was too little for the masses of dressed up people. After a few minutes of discussion, a few more winners were picked amidst a clapping crowd. The winners lined up toward the audience and smiled as they received their prizes. There were a few jealous members of the audience, but all in all, it was an enjoyable event.
When the winner of the mime event, Eravvi, was asked about the highlights of her evening she decided the maze and costume contest were her favorite parts, "It [the maze] was a bit tricky but I can't say it wasn’t enjoyable! That and the fact I got to dress up, nothing beats a good dressing up now does it?"
By all accounts Novtumberfest was a complete success. Sir Bool Cowbra of the White Knights could not be reached for comment, but the pumpkin-headed commander certainly held visible excitement throughout the evening as he hosted the events.
Dana Hayes - Asgarnia Correspondent - The Gielinor Times
Aquarius: Keep alert, you will learn something very important this week. Accept instruction.
Aries: Being cautious doesn't mean to stop trying new things. There's no need to avoid the unknown now. Keep your eyes open.
Cancer: Being polite is a practical virtue. Use information, not emotions, to persuade others. New challenges bring about greater rewards.
Capricorn: A surprise pops up, from a loved one or child. Be sure to pay attention.
Gemini: A brilliant insight propels your studies. Pursue an unusual interest.
Leo: Play with long-range plans. Don't try out a new idea now, more practice is required.
Libra: Be respectful of possibly unstable conditions. Be sensitive in a potential conflict. Negotiate terms.
Pisces: It's a high productivity week. Keep costs low. It's not a good time to discuss finances.
Sagittarius: Opposites attract even more so now. Get something you've longed for. Do yourself proud.
Scorpio: Be prepared, there's a choice to make. Select harmonious surroundings.
Taurus: Research thrives this week. New opportunities present themselves. Stay patient
Virgo: A possible financial surprise could arise. Be receptive.