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    [Dasher] LAW-DM-02 The Jade Crown

    Dustin "Dasher" Montgomery

    [Dasher] LAW-DM-02 The Jade Crown.
    By Darrel Vanwinkle (Lord Pouchlaw)
    January 01, 2018

    Chapter One

    .
    Montgomery Estate; West Hollywood, California; Planet Earth.
    .
    Darren Montgomery asked, "What exactly was that, Dustin?"

    Dasher while still holding the iron machete stepped back over to stand with his parents, Darren and Alicia. "That was a demon lord, dad. They are after something I found that I no longer have. It was a magical patch of fur which permits them to teleport across worlds and dimensions. When I had a priest out here blessing my estate house last night, I showed him the patch of fur and he said he would dispose of it properly back at the Catholic church. So I no longer have the thing the demons are looking for. But they don't know that, dad."

    Darren crossed his arms over his chest and said, "Nice try, Dustin. Unless you forgot, I have to deal with lying actors and actresses back at the studios every single day. What's the real story; tell me the truth and I won't punish you."

    And this is why I should never try to craft a safe story to use for my family's benefit. My dad has to put up with liars at work and when one of his kids tells a fib, he doesn't buy it for a second. I took my parents back inside my estate house where I put the machete back on the wall and I prepared myself some breakfast as I told them the whole truth while utilizing some magic as proof and changing into my reindeer man form to add credibility to my story. When I finished and was sitting down to have breakfast, my parents stood there in silence. But I had shown them my reindeer man form and used some magic that my sister didn't even know as yet. I wasn't sure what was going through their minds at this point.

    Dasher's mother, Alicia, then said, "So the Dragon God of Rale, Arakoth, kept the patch of fur and that is why you don't have it anymore."

    Dasher replied, "That's right. And just before you knocked on my door this morning, the Archon Lion known as Daniel a high priest of Harmony blessed my entire home to protect me from the forces of evil here on Earth. But when you guys knocked on the door, Daniel went back to Rale fast. If a demon even so much as tries to enter my house now, they will feel like they are burning and will be in agony."

    Darren said, "And in Rale, you are Dasher the Seeker. Can your reindeer fly like most other magical reindeer do?"

    Dasher switched to his War Reindeer form once again and he had his father sit on his back and then he began floating inside the house and flying from room to room before returning to the kitchen where he let his father get off and then changing back into his human form again and resuming the eating of his breakfast. "I would have to say yes, I can fly."

    Alicia said, "I assume your new friends want you to come visit when you can, right?"

    Dasher replied as he finished up his breakfast. "Yes. But please keep in mind, regardless of how long I spend in Rale, only one hour passes here on Earth. And yes, modern conveniences do work in Rale despite the place being a magical world."

    Darren then said, "Then there is something you can do for us while you are there. If I give you a miniature solar powered camcorder with an extensive life video storage unit, could you fly around their capital city and video tape a random every day life tour of the city to bring back to us for production purposes?"

    Dasher replied as he was washing his dishes, "I can ask Lord Hart for his permission to film the capital city. I know it is a request that no one has ever made before."

    Darren said, "Do this for me and you can spend as long as you like with your new friends."

    Dasher smiled. "Its a deal, dad."

    Darren said, "I will go fetch the camera unit for you, son." And he headed back to the main house to get the camera.

    Alicia remarked, "Don't tell your father I suggested this, Dustin, but when you first cross back over to Rale, cast a detect evil spell on the camera just to be on the safe side. I don't want you to endanger your new friends. If it passes the test then you can continue to do as your father asks."

    His mother then departed the house right quick but she returned easily before his father had a chance to return. She then handed over a small book to Dasher and said, "Pocket this and then have your magic user friends read through this book and see if they can learn anything from it."

    Dasher quickly pocketed the book just as his father came back into the estate house.

    "Here you go, son," said Darren. "One fully prepared camera for your filming job in Rale. As we agreed upon, spend as much time as you like with your friends in Rale."

    Dasher could see right away that this was not a cheap model camera; this was one of his father's executive camera units for filming on the go. He had always wanted to play with one of these cameras but he never wanted to take a chance of breaking one since he knew the price tag was way up there. "We should have the family pool cleaned before anyone chooses to swim in it. A demon lord was in that water. Since my dishes are washed, I will change forms and head over to Rale right now. For now, you both should get to work. I don't want you to lose your jobs." And after he made sure his parents were out of his estate house. He locked the door from the inside and then he went into his bedroom and stepped into the walk-in closet.

    "I hope mom is wrong about this camera. I have always wanted to play with one of dad's mini-cameras." And then he transformed into his War Reindeer form as he cast the Detect Evil spell on the camera while still on Earth. When the camera lit up with a red light, Dasher sighed as he disposed of the camera in the trash compactor. "All yours, Darth Vader."
    .
    End of Chapter One

    #2
    Chapter Two
    .
    The Walled City of Centralia
    Throne Room of the Heart Order
    .

    .
    Dasher greeted Daniel and the others before asking, "What was the blessing you placed upon my house, Daniel?"

    Daniel replied, "It prevents evil spells from being cast within your house if the target is specifically you. That is the exact parameters of the blessing. It will also make evil beings burn if they try to enter your house. Why do you ask?"

    Dasher then explained how he had to reveal what he had been up to in front of his parents and it seemed that his father was being mind controlled by the demons. He then explained the evil camera trap that his father had handed him and how his mother suspected there may be something wrong with the camera. "That is why I was asking, Daniel. Dad was too eager to surrender one of his 'touch my camera and die' cameras to one of his own children, me specifically, and the action made my mother suspicious." He then pulled the pocket book out of his pants pocket and handed it over to Lord Naidra. "My mother asked me to have the magic users to read over this book and see if you guys can learn anything from it. I assume it is a magic book of some sort that my mom has had on her side of the family for some time."

    Naidra cast Detect Evil on the book and it detected nothing. Then he opened the book and made a face. "What language is this? I will need some time with this to figure it out."

    Dasher then asked, "Any word from Bender and the others yet? I know they headed up to Tibor North."

    Daniel replied, "From what Harmony is telling me, they are still breaking through the ice but Bender's suspicions on the location seems to be partially true; there is a city frozen under the ice on the mesa."

    Dasher said, "I am looking forward toward going on another adventure with Comet and the others, if I am not too late, that is."

    Hart then said, "You are not too late. They are preparing for an outing right now. I am sure they would love to have you traveling with them."

    Dasher was escorted to the chamber where Comet and the others were making sure their supply packs had everything they needed for the latest adventure. Comet smiled when he saw Dasher entering the chamber. "Hey! My favorite adventurer! I am so glad to see you, Dasher! Ready to go on a new adventure with us?"

    "If you will let me come along... I function better when I get to hang out with you guys."

    I then explained to Brimpaw about the magic book that my mother had me give to Naidra since that was part of my agreement with the Rale Magic Users; any spell I learned of on Earth, I had to share with them when I returned to Rale. Comet, Brimpaw, Diamondfang and Eclipsa really loved the idea of my being with them during their newest upcoming adventure. I would soon learn that I wasn't going to be the only one accompanying these guys on their trip.

    As Comet, Brimpaw, Diamondfang, Eclipsa, and Dasher emerged from the palace grounds to begin their journey, they were joined by Freddy, Joseph, Daniel, and that elephant barbarian known as Khan. Yes, the one with the god-slayer axes. Freddy said, "We are not going to do your jobs for you, friends; we are coming along to combat any evil demons you may encounter." Diamondfang grinned at Khan. "Sadly, I am the only useless fighter in the party, Khan. I only call it useless for your benefit. In addition to being a holy knight, I also have healing skills as well." Khan smirked. "As long as none of you are a god, I have no complaints. I still like Bender and Jimmy."

    Comet then said, "The treasure item we are going after is called the Jade Crown. It was once worn by a legendary Lion Druid whom was more the ranger than the nature priest. Legend says that the crown can make plants and soil do as the wearer commands. Word reached Nadira recently that rumors of the Crown were floating around Northern Easterna near the village of Applebrook. And from the name alone, you can guess what food they have in abundance there." Khan smiled. "I love apples."

    Dasher then made what he felt was a wise statement. "If a druid owned this crown, then I suspect that it was not made of precious metals or gems. It would have been made of wood or plant materials. Or did I get the information incorrect based off of what you people just said about the crown and the former owner?"

    Freddy remarked, "It is an astute observation as would be another old Earth observation: All that glitters is not gold."

    Eclipsa moaned, "Tell me you didn't ruin all of Rayne's fun in the old days with the way you are harping about currently..."

    Joseph laughed. "No, but we did prevent him from embarrassing himself for all those times he tried to acquire what turned out to be fools gold."

    Freddy remarked honestly. "In the old days, Joseph and I were quite naive. The adventurers had to rescue us from all manner of weird to humans instances."

    Joseph then said, "One of the worst naive things that I got stuck in was through my own stubborn procrastination. I wouldn't choose a religion which made me an open target to the demons when they were sure that Freddy was the legendary warrior reborn. That stubborn issue is why I am stuck in wolf form right now. At least like this, I don't have to wear pink panties anymore. And no more pink My Little Pony cellphones, either."

    Freddy said, "A few of Arakaoth's priests stopped working on me when I almost died once. They said they didn't have my deity's permission to resurrect me from the death wound that had been inflicted on me. So these religions can be a help or a hindrance at the stupidest times. What is it that is making it so hard for you to choose one, Dasher?"
    .
    End of Chapter Two

    Comment


      #3
      Chapter Three
      .
      Dasher made a face as he replied, "Whenever I look over the deity listings, about the moment I find one that sounds good in the preliminary description, I usually find a disadvantage near the bottom of the description. And as Hart and Lucinda both said back at the palace, we should be careful in our choices since you are stuck with a god once you choose one."

      Comet asked, "What kind of deity are you hoping to find, Dasher old buddy?"

      Dasher replied, "One whom may be fun to be associated with and whom would be a great aid to my magical scout education. I've found three that almost match the criteria but then they have a nasty flaw listed near the bottom of their descriptions. Dalus the Delver, a donkey treasure seeker - his flaw is that the worshiper must sport the ears and tail of a donkey for a year after first joining the religion; Claimater the Mage, a fun loving clay mud otter - his flaw is that the joiner must wallow in clay mud for twenty-four hours and then let it dry upon their bodies. I don't want to be that messy; and third was Ruber the Seeker, a pale red kangaroo/fox hybrid - his flaw is that he demands that his followers permit him to get them pregnant once a year and while pregnant, the follower must stay in the god's lair while learning the sacred tenets. The pregnancy lasts for three months. I'd be out of action if I chose him as my divine choice. I haven't found any other possibilities as yet. The book is rather lop-sided in regards to a human choosing one of those listed within."

      Freddy remarked, "Exactly the reasons why it took me as long as it did for me to choose the reindeer sun god as my deity when the moon goddess of the wolves permitted me to trade off to a deity that may suit my profession better. It is rare for a deity to permit a follower that choice."

      Dasher then said, "You're a scout, Comet. Whom is your deity?"

      Comet blushed. "I chose a deity before I knew that I was going to be a scout. If I would have access to the book you had, I would have been a little smarter. I'm stuck with Fletcher Two-stripe. Another scout that I admired had him as his deity and I was thinking, Sounds like a hunting deity. So I went to the temple and told the priest there that I wanted to follow Fletcher so I could be a great hunter. An initiate pulled me aside and tried to tell me that Fletcher wasn't a hunting god. But since the scout I admired followed the god, I chose not to listen to the initiate. Fletcher Two-Stripe is a male skunk whom oversees the creation of feathered headdresses. When I ultimately found that out, I was floored. I tried to kill myself by throwing myself into the chasm of impaling rocks. A traveler found me there and took me to the closest temple. It was a neutral house dedicated to Gaeon. When I awoke and saw that giant wooden horseshoe over the alter. I wasn't sure where I was. I was bandaged up securely. The Druid therein asked me whom my chosen deity was so they could ask for their permission to heal me. At first I feigned amnesia by saying that I couldn't remember. Then the druid said that only an herbalist could heal me unless the god I had chosen gave another religion permission to heal the follower. I was there for nearly a month before one of the soldiers from the unit I was part of found me in the temple and identified me to the druid. He told the druid whom I had chosen on choosing day and when asked, Fletcher told the druid that I should suffer for lying about my chosen deity to a religious icon. At that point, I felt as Khan feels toward all religions. So I said that I was tricked into choosing his useless religion."

      "I woke up two weeks later in a dank cavern smelling like I had been sprayed by a male skunk in rut. It took a year for the stuff to finally wear off. My unit mates wouldn't let me enter the training grounds while I smelled like that. Abashed, I tried to commit suicide a second time. I figured that there was no way a traveler would be lucky a second time to find me, so I tied a rock around my neck and jumped off of a bridge over the Glacier River. I was taken far downstream and over a waterfall. When I woke up the next time, Fletcher was standing there with that 'look' on his muzzle. He told me that if I died, then I would be stuck in his court with no hope at all doing nasty chores for disrespecting him since I had chosen him. So I growled, Why does a headdress maker have the name of someone that makes arrows? That is what fooled me into choosing your religion! And as a Scout, I think your occupation is the most worthless, most useless occupation that I have ever encountered since it doesn't help a soldier at all. That is when he pulled me close to his nose as he told me that he has warriors whom serve him and none of them think that his sphere of control is worthless. Then he smiled a little as if another god popped the idea of a punishment into his head in regards to me. He told me that in order to earn his forgiveness, I had to go into Centralia and do a job for Lord Hart for no reward. If I failed at what he was asking, then I would change into a skunk myself moments before losing the support of his religion. And no one else would be able to restore me to normal since I was being so hateful toward him. And I told him that if I failed, then it would be likely that an enemy of the South would have killed me and then his punishment would mean nothing."

      "I broke loose from his grip but before I could leave, I stumbled and fell to the ground. That's when I saw that he had placed a skunk's tail on my reindeer body. Since I wasn't used to the new weight and balance of the thing, It made me fall on the ground. That's when he told me that I could choose to do as he asked and have my normal tail back or I could become a skunk entirely at that second moments before being teleported into the middle of his enemy's encampment. His enemy hated skunks. He told me that if I could defeat or kill his enemies as a skunk, then he would give me the chance to change religions, but other gods likely wouldn't want an immature whiny baby as a follower. Then I told him that I would do the job for Lord Hart, but I did ask him where his enemy's encampment was. He told me moments before he sent me back to the trade route that would lead to the South. I went and found a skunk and I paid him to spray me from antler tip to cloven hoof while I held my breath. Then I paid him and I went directly to the enemy encampment where I got into a Hell of a fight. His enemies were a tribe of violent boars. I somehow held my own against the lesser troops and then the chieftain emerged from his tent and he attacked me with a glowing battle sword. Just as I thought that I was a goner, I tripped on something and fell backward and when he went to pounce on top of me with the sword tip aimed at my head. I raised up my own substandard sword and... he impaled himself on the blade. The rest of the boars fled when their chieftain fell to my blade. I took the Boar's enchanted battle blade to the temple of Fletcher whereupon the priest therein nearly gagged on my new aroma. I smelled like a combination of rank skunk and filthy boar. I laid the battle blade on the altar and said that Fletcher wanted it."

      "I then departed and as I headed off to see if I could get myself clean and non-scented, Fletcher and Buscovf, his enemy, appeared in front of me and they both belted me in the face. Fletcher said that I disgusted him. Buscovf said that it was he that had suggested the Lord Hart quest as a punishment. Then he said that some reindeer were too immature to simply go and do a simple task. I then rolled over and said that if Fletcher had been true to his name then I wouldn't have felt underhandedly deceived into joining his useless burlesque wearing religion. Buscovf laughed his ass off and Fletcher attacked the boar right there. He mentally told me that he would deal with me later. While they were fighting, I slipped away to get my journey started. I did learn something in my scout training. But I guess I am royally screwed in the god department. I still hear Fletcher occasionally in my mind despite my never setting a hoof into any of his temples since that last time. And now you know of my damnation and torture over choosing the wrong religion."

      Khan then petted on the reindeer's head. "You see. Religion is stupid." And then he stepped away to continue his trek along the trail only to slip on a patch of wet ground and fall head-first into a foul smelling dung heap just off side of the trail they were traveling on.
      .
      End of Chapter Three

      Comment


        #4
        Chapter Four
        .
        Standing just ahead of the party in the middle of the path was Fletcher. "Insulting religion is not a good way to get out of it. I have another task for you, Comet. Since you are going there anyway... I need the feather of a winged Pyrolisk. Do this for me and you will be one task closer toward getting out of my religion. Or... you can stink instead. Like your friend the shit-eating elephant."

        Dasher then said, "It is a wonder you have any followers at all skunk boy. You say that Comet insulted you, then you turn around and insult other mortals as if to display that you are no more mature than he is."

        Fletcher then lifted a hand to throw a divine spell before stopping dead cold in mid motion as what appeared to be a sharp axe blade emerged from his chest apparently having come from behind him. As the formerly divine skunk fell dead, standing just behind where he had been standing was Khan looking none too pleased. "One less god."

        Freddy sighed. "I am sure the demons are laughing their asses off now. You are not going to be very popular, Khan. Arakoth was watching; I know you aren't afraid of him, but killing gods will not make the world any better or safer from demons. Now lets see about getting you cleaned up so we don't have to smell that all the way to the ranger's grove."

        Arakoth the Dragon God was then standing there with Starshine the Magic of Hope, Elderon the Fox, Warrior of the Shining Blades, and Harmony, the Lion of Knowledge. "The ladies are still breaking open the lost northern city. Khan... we were permitting you to keep those axes to deal punishment upon evil forces. Fletcher was not evil; despite Comet thinking else-wise."

        Comet said, "So you weren't listening when he asked me to get the feather from a winged Pyrolisk? I am not stupid, Arakoth. I know what a Pyrolisk is. It is the flame version of a basilisk. Fletcher was sending me to be turned to stone. Khan WAS right; Religion is nothing but trouble!"

        Arakoth then said, "But you trust Diamondfang and he is my paladin."

        Comet growled, "So resurrect his lame ass and ask him why he was sending to a place to get stoned!"

        Elderon said, "It is generally not healthy to growl at a god, Comet. Especially one whom can flatten you with his fat ass."

        Arakoth then shot a dirty look at Elderon whom simply deflected what ever flew at him which then split a nearby tree in half.

        Dasher said, "Again with the unnecessary immature behavior. This will make choosing a god harder for me since the gods are coming across as children."

        Harmony and Starshine worked on reviving Fletcher, a feat that could only be done once on a God. "Careful, colleague. We just revived you; now you owe the council of Harmony for bringing you back. But we do have a question for you. Why were you sending Comet off to a monster that could turn him to stone?"

        Fletcher slowly sat up. "You let a barbarian keep enchanted Artifact god slaying axes that were empowered by the gods themselves?! Are you people out of your minds?! Had Comet been thinking like a warrior should, I never said he had to confront a living Pyrolisk. I just need one of the feathers. Even a court jester could have figured that one out. I guess he doesn't really want out of my religion which he chose himself. No one tricked him into choosing me. In fact, one of my own initiates tried to warn him before he joined and he signed up anyway. I am a Merchant god, obviously, but I cannot let a follower down-talk the religion since he willingly made the choice. If Baby Comet wants out of my religion, all he has to do is craft a feathered headdress out of Uncommon to Rare feathers with the rarest ones positioned at the top. The day he does this and presents it to one of my altars, I will permit him to switch religions. His freedom in exchange for the headdress. Fair enough, right?"

        Arakoth glanced at Freddy, whom spoke up at that point. "Do you swear upon your mature rights of a god that this deal you are speaking in front of other gods to Comet will not be reneged? And you will do nothing to impede his journey to make this headdress so he can be free of your religion? If you are serious, then swear it upon your soul."

        Fletcher growled, "I don't have to swear anything to a stupid mortal!"

        Freddy then exclaimed, "So you admit that his task is simply another immature punishment that you dreamed up to teach Comet a lesson!"

        Arakoth nodded his head. "Freddy has a point, he asked you if you would swear upon your mature rights. And when you refused, you proved that this was simply another childish display to get revenge on the mortal that made the boar battle god laugh at you. You are as immature as they are claiming. I swear... some gods need to be back in their diapers."

        Starshine spent the polite moment to get all of the nasty off of Khan. Arakoth then said, "You people continue your journey; we will deal with Baby Fletcher."

        The mortal adventurers moved on past where the gods were going to lecture the divine skunk. After a while, Diamondfang said, "I was letting Arakoth know everything that was going down from the moment Fletcher attacked Khan to the moment Khan returned the favor. Although, perhaps you should still make the headdress so you can finally be free of the religion. A fresh new start as it were." Comet said, "Like I have a choice."

        Dasher grinned. "I wonder what the Rale Gods would think of Christianity?" Freddy replied, "Careful, Dasher... I mentioned that to Harmony himself once and he said that the gods would fight to retain their omnipotence. There are no humans on Rale save for a small community that Hart's Minotaur mentor is protecting. Mine and Joseph's parents are with them. Joseph's parents are the ones whom wanted a daughter. I believe they have one now. And Joseph gets to stay with the rest of us now." Joseph grinned. "I never have to worry about pink ever again. But you really should choose a decent god so you have some divine protection from demons. You know the demons are going to be after you. That's why Freddy and I are here."
        .
        End of Chapter Four

        Comment


          #5
          Chapter Five
          .
          After traveling all day, the adventuring party made camp on a small overlook where they could see the nearby forests of Easterna. During the making of the camp, Freddy was seen speaking to what appeared to be a female silver wolf priestess at the edge of camp. Since she wasn't attacking the party, Dasher spent his time studying the book of gods trying to find the one that could match his chosen profession. It was worse than looking for a needle in a haystack or a candle in the middle of an inferno. Descriptions always seemed nice at first and then the monkey wrench was mentioned near the end of the listing. Sometimes, artist conception sketches were provided for the god in question.

          Applebrook was on the other side of the forest in which they camped near. Dasher knew that Khan wanted apples so perhaps that would be enough to calm the elephant barbarian.

          As Dasher was about to turn the page in the god gook, a rather loud sound occurred off toward the direction of Applebrook as smoke and dust then billowed up from the other side of the forest. Startled, he dropped the book and it fell biding side up on the ground. When Dasher picked up the book and held it open in his lap, he saw that the book was open to about the middle of the book where he saw three kangaroo gods depicted on one page. The first was called Sailengo the Wanderer, the second was called Orzengo the Hauler, and the final one was called Hidengo the Seeker. Dasher noted that the cutest one seemed to be the youngest brother, which was the Seeker. Reading up on the newly discovered selection within the book, it read: These three kangaroo brother gods hail from the most secluded island nation on the planet. Up until 4,000 years ago, they and their followers thrived across the tropical islands. Then one day, an island volcano erupted and caused a massive Tsunami which obliterated their followers nation and nearly wiped out all mentions of their religious following in the Great Southwestern Seas. Demons claimed responsibility for the decimation of the island Kangaroos since they had access to Mystic Silver which demons feared. The final follower died from a demon attack just after informing a Priest of Harmony about the brothers demise at the hands of demons. 2,000 years later, this book was compiled and this mention of the brothers was included in its pages as a warning to any whom would revive the peaceful religion. Just below this blurb were the following words in bold: To avoid the attention of demons, do NOT choose these brothers as your deity. Otherwise, you will be a universal target to all demon kind.

          Dasher was admiring the youngest brother and studied the listing to see what the young brother's favorite pattern or religious symbol was. Oddly enough, the favorite pattern seemed to be a bent stick with no markings whatsoever. He had no official holy symbol. There were no indicated duties that the follower would have to permit the young lord to do to or with the follower. And according to the listing, they had no official places of worship. It merely said, "Sit at a camp fire and use the god's name once a night to receive his blessing." Dasher hummed. "That sounds too easy. Anyone could do that. But how to do it without tipping off the demons that I was doing it?" He then thought about it before closing the book and glancing over at the camp fire in the center of camp. He slyly smiled as a wily idea crossed his mind. "It's worth a try. I just need to be talking to someone at the campfire to make it sound accidental. I can do that easily." He then stood up and walked over to the camp fire and sat down with the others. "What's been decided among the adventurers, my friends?"

          Brimpaw commented, "We were debating whether to stay in camp over night or head through the forest tonight to investigate whatever made that massive sound."

          Diamondfang said, "I had just reminded Brimpaw that I have to clean my armor every night so I can earn my healing and magical abilities from Arakoth."

          Comet commented, "My senses as a scout are pretty useless at the moment. I think Fletcher placed a curse on me. When I try to scout out things away from camp, I get a strong whiff of skunk. If I cannot perform my chosen profession then getting his feathers will never happen."

          Eclipsa said, "Another immature baby god act. I am glad my goddess doesn't act like that. What about yourself, Dasher? Did you ever find a good god to represent you?"

          Dasher smiled. "Not yet, but I did find a listing on a seeker that said I should play hide and go seek in the forest to get the god's attention. I am going to try it later. I figure talking to a god first before choosing him might be a wiser move than just making the sad mistake that Comet made."

          At that moment, the camp fire made a small fire burst which didn't last very long. Everyone was now staring right at the fire itself. But for Dasher, something else occurred which no one else seemed to notice. 'ello Dasher. So yas are the clever one whom revived me. Ah won't make yas do silly things in my name, mate. But for reviving me, Ah 'ave added new spells to yer mental spell book. Continue to 'old respect for me and Ah will reward yas again. Is there anything Ah might do for yas right now? Dasher mentally replied, Seek out Lord Starshine and ally your handsome adorable self to him; He and nine other gods banded together to make themselves stronger versus demons and other evil gods. Recently I learned that They are capable of reviving fallen gods. Therefore, If you were to join with Starshine, you might be able to barter for the revival of your brothers. I will speak your name again tomorrow night. Thank you for being far more reasonable than some petty gods I have seen recently. Comet's sorry immature excuse for a merchant god is really punishing him; The god's name is Fletcher; he is a skunk. Comet is a Scout of whom I respect. Although he isn't as adorably sexy as you are, Hidengo. Hidengo replied, One request at a time, Dasher. Ah will seek out Starshine first and then tomorrow when yas speak my name at the next camp fire, Ah will see what Ah can do for yer friend Comet. Is that 'im over to yer left? Dasher mentally replied, Yes... I gave him a blow job the first night I met him. The others said that I shouldn't have after they found out that I had done it. But it was too late.

          And then the moment had ended.

          In the next moment, Dasher heard Starshine's mental voice. Thank you for sending Hidengo to me, Dasher. You told him exactly what I was hoping you would. There are safety in numbers, after all. He has agreed to join our clan of gods for his own protection. He told me that you think he is adorable. Are you horny for a god? Dasher mentally replied, That is crude, Starshine. But while I have you on the mental network, what was decided about the merchant god whom is punishing Comet still. And before you ask, Comet told the team that when he tried to use his scouting abilities earlier, all he could smell was skunk scent quite heavily. The rest of us didn't smell it at all. Comet said that if he couldn't perform his profession, then Fletcher was definitely not going to be getting his feathers. Comet is suffering if he cannot do scouting as he was trained to perform. Starshine mentally replied, I knew he was acting too smug after we revived him. If he wants that headdress, he had better undo his childish spell off of Comet. Or I will kill him myself.

          And then it was quiet on the mental network once again.

          Brimpaw asked, "You chose your god, didn't you, Dasher?" Dasher slyly grinned. "That's not all I did... I informed Starshine that Fletcher is still up to his old tricks by punishing Comet with making him smell skunk scent. Starshine said he would look into it."
          .
          End of Chapter Five

          Comment


            #6
            Chapter Six
            .
            After a spell sharing lesson between Dasher and Brimpaw, the adventurers got in some sleep while the professionals kept watch around the camp site. When morning came, Dasher noted that Freddy and Joseph had Fletcher all tied up with a black swollen eye in which the bruise looked as large as an elephant's fist. Comet chose to ignore the god that he no longer wanted anything to do with. Dasher on the other hoof asked, "Freddy? What did Fletcher do to land him in getting into this situation?"

            Freddy said, "Arakoth caught him trying to arrange it so the demons found out where you were, Dasher. He was going to make it so the moment you chose a god, it would summon an entire army of demons to your exact spot. Arakoth popped him in the eye for interfering with divine selection."

            Dasher said, "With the size of that bruiser, I thought Khan had popped the skunk in the eye."

            Khan grinned. "Not a bad idea, but the dragon got to him first."

            Dasher came over and knelt down to look Fletcher in his good eye. "Are you going to let Comet perform his scouting profession. He has already stated that there will be no feathers if he cannot use his scouting abilities. You are not making him want to keep you as a god. If anything, the more you interfere, the more he wants nothing to do with you. I'll bet you don't even give your priests this kind of attention unless they make you angry." He then rose up and looked at Joseph. "You look like you think that I should have kept my mouth shut."

            Joseph replied, "I wasn't going to say a thing, initiate. But you do seem to love standing up to other people's gods as if you were an equal. You need to curb that attitude or else the next evil god you meet won't be in the bantering mood; they will kill you."

            Freddy then added, "He is right, Dasher. Either curb what you are doing and saying, or else I will use your real name in public instead of what you prefer to be called."

            Dasher glared at Freddy and said, "Sure thing, Sir Fredric Du Fairfur. Lucinda told me what the demons had been calling you during your first adventure. At least I didn't make a shitty deal with an evil dragon and get butt fuck raped by your colleague's home people. Besides, this isn't your quest. Comet and the new fellowship were supposed to be doing this. You are only bodyguards whom cannot help to brag about what you did before. Like anyone cares." And he turned off to join Comet in getting the camp packed up.

            Joseph quietly laughed. "Boy, you asked for that, old buddy."

            Freddy said, "If he hadn't mentioned Lucinda, I would have accused him of being a liar when he stated he had never read the book. At least I didn't trick Hart into lowering his guard for a fellatio like he did with Comet and then keep quiet about doing it after the fact, despite Eclipsa hearing him do it. I am tempted to let Dasher learn about Rale the hard way."

            Khan said, "Since he feels that he doesn't need bodyguards, why don't we teleport on ahead and see about getting me some apples. Then their little group can deal with the demonic hunting parties and evil bandits in the area without our help."

            Joseph smirked. "Had he asked, he could have found out that we have been in Easterna before and could have transported ourselves to Applebrook without all this walking."

            Eclipsa, Brimpaw, and Diamondfang were standing nearby as the paladin said, "If you guys abandon this party, I will make certain that Arakoth learns of your evil deceit."

            Eclipsa then added, "Dasher is not the leader of this group; Diamondfang is. Comet follows his orders; not the other way around. It was different for Lord Hart, but Comet isn't ready for leadership. Dasher is still learning about working with a bunch of furs. Running away to teach all of us a lesson shows that you are as immature as Fletcher has been acting."

            Brimpaw stated, "None of us asked for you boys to tag along with us. Had we thought that we needed bodyguards, we would have asked Lord Hart for a few of his soldiers. You deliberately volunteered yourselves to join us without our consent. We were letting Dasher travel with us. You've had your day, Freddy Stevens. This is our time."

            At that moment, Comet was among their confrontation as he knelt down and cut the cords holding Fletcher with his carving knife. "Don't say I didn't do anything nice for you. Since I cannot be a scout anymore, I don't have to do your task either. You are lucky I don't castrate you for ruining my life." He then raised himself back up to his cloven hoofs before helping the skunk to his feet. "Old Legends just cannot stand newcomers whom might steal their unclaimed glories. While Dasher was defending me, that is no reason to threaten to cast a spell on him. He feels sorry for my situation. Come on, guys. We have a Jade Crown to find." And he turned to leave.

            Fletcher was abashed at the fact that Comet freed him from the bindings. "Promise to do the task and I will lift the skunk aura from you."

            Comet stopped for a moment as he said, "Promise me that you won't interfere with my tasks and you will get the headdress as you requested. At the moment, I have nothing to lose since I cannot do scouting with that aura all over me."

            Fletcher nodded his head. "Agreed. I promise. I will await your return with the headdress at any of my temples."

            Comet then said, "I promise as long as no one you may have spoken to interferes with any quests that would lead me to the feathers you are asking for. That means no evil gods, no demons, and no bandits. And the former offer you made in front of the gods of Harmony also still stands. Agreed?"

            The skunk god took a slow breath and released it. "Agreed." And the skunk aura was lifted from Comet. "If you renege, the aura will return. It only stays gone as long as you keep your word the same as you are asking of me. You will also get a feeling of where uncommon and rare feathers are located as you travel. One of each type will be fine. A headdress is typically woven of thirty different feathers. The more unique you make the headdress, the higher the value. Do a good job and you will be free of me." And then he was simply gone.
            .
            End of Chapter Six

            Comment


              #7
              Chapter Seven
              .
              The adventuring party was now traveling through the forest with the bodyguards taking the point in case any stupid demons tried to prevent this group from reaching their goal. Dasher must have been in a slightly funny mood because he began singing a parody of an old movie tune.

              "North bound and down, eighteen feet are movin', we're gonna do what they say can't be done. We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there. We're North bound, just watch our party run. Keep your feet hard on the trail, guys; We got what it takes. Let it all hang out 'cause we got a run to make. The lords are waitin' in Centralia and there's feathers in Easterna. And we'll bring 'em back no matter what it pays. North bound and down, eighteen feet are movin', we're gonna do what they say can't be done. We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there. We're North bound, just watch our party run. The demons got their ears on and their hot on your trail. They ain't gonna rest 'til we're in jail. So we got to dodge 'em and we got to duck 'em, We got to keep our feet a truckin'. Just slam those weapons down and give 'em hell. North bound and down, eighteen feet are movin', we're gonna do what they say can't be done. We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there. We're North bound, just watch our party run."

              Brimpaw and Eclipsa were marching to the beat since it was a catchy tune. Freddy and Joseph just rolled their eyes since they both got it. A Jerry Reed song from Smokey and the Bandit. In fact the tune was so catchy, that it made bandits and demons alike lower their guard and not even attempt to interfere with the party's movement through the area.

              By that afternoon, the party reached the ruins of Applebrook village. From the steaming craters all over the former village, it was apparent that a massive battle had occurred there. A night-time strike from what they knew of the initial explosion they had heard the night before. Laying nearby munching on some apples was a wounded Pyrolisk. Dasher and Comet approached the downed beast. Dasher exclaimed, "This just isn't right, Comet. He's injured." And then to the Pyrolisk, Dasher asked, "Are you okay, sir?"

              The Pyrolisk lifted his eyes to see whom had spoken and when he saw the reindeer people, he replied, "Ogre King Ormak along with a bunch of demon alchemists set off their newest invention on this village. I had been flying overhead and normally an explosion would not knock me out of the sky; but this was no normal explosion. The shock wave that cut through the air currents made me lose control and I crash landed among the apple trees. Then the northern Druid with the green crown sent his stone and wood elementals against the demons and ogres and that fight is what laid waste to the rest of the village. They chased the druid to the north. Occasionally I will hear fighting occurring up that way."

              Comet then said, "Fletcher the Merchant god needs a Pyrolisk feather for a new headdress that he was commissioned to create. Would you grant us one of yours in exchange for our healing you so you can fly once again?"

              Diamondfang then approached showing the beast the healing salves and bandages.

              The Pyrolisk moved his good wing around and said, "If you will mend my wounds, you may take my crest feather from my wing. We grow a new one every year. The crest feather has what looks like a fire opal in the center of the feather. But it has no power. It simply looks like one."

              Comet said, "Patch him up, Diamondfang. I have to see about claiming this feather. I didn't expect that I would have to pluck a feather from a live Pyrolisk."

              The Pyrolisk then said, "Use your glove, Scout. Our feathers are hot to the touch for an hour after they are plucked. Otherwise, the molted feathers are cold upon falling out."

              Diamondfang was then patching up the beast and applying salve to all of the wounds.

              Comet using his armored glove carefully yanked the Pyrolisk feather out of the wing tip where the crest was usually positioned and once he had it in his hand, he looked at the red opal like jewel in the center of the feather. "Oh wow... I don't feel right about taking this. But... I have to do as Fletcher asks. Only twenty-nine more rare feathers to go."

              The Pyrolisk then said, "A Phoenine monster lives to the East of here. Their feathers are super rare. They are so bad tempered that hunters have to kill them to get anything from them. But you might get lucky to find a stray feather from the beast. You can tell the feather from any others by the bluish sheen around the edges of the orange, yellow, and black spots. A Phoenine is the cross between a spotted jaguar and a phoenix. Very dangerous to encounter and life endangering since once riled, they would fight to the death."

              Khan made a comment at that point. "Even demons avoid Phoenines when they can."

              And unexpectedly, the Phoenine emerged from the Eastern side of the forest and padded directly over to Freddy and Joseph. "Lord Freddy. Can you please make the ogres and demons leave the Northern forests? My cranky wife is driving me crazy for every moment they keep making noise. It almost makes me want to be a bachelor again."

              Freddy said, "I will take your mission but in return, you must relinquish one of your best feathers to Comet the Scout. He is unfairly under a task from an immature god who wants to make a headdress."

              The Phoenine then made a face and said with a bile tone, "Sounds like that Merchant God, Fletcher, that no one likes."

              Eclipsa remarked, "Wow! He nailed it!"

              Comet then stepped out into the open. "I am the unfortunate lap dog that is running his tasks."

              The Phoenine reached up into his mane-like plumage and pulled out a very lordly feather that was glowing as he handed it over to Comet. "May Fletcher develop mange for those he has slighted! Take this feather and be more careful when you choose a god next time! Payment made, Freddy! Get rid of the ogres and demons, please!" He sounded as if being polite was a taxing chore.
              .
              End of Chapter Seven

              Comment


                #8
                Chapter Eight
                .
                Once the Phoenine and the Pyrolisk had departed, Freddy said to Comet's party. "Demons and ogres are our job, guys. You just focus on getting the crown and for Comet, the rare feathers. I know what you are planning, Comet. You want the rarest feathers to make Fletcher be so awed that he will have no choice but to concede to your desires. Twenty eight to go."

                Comet smiled. "And still alive."

                At that moment, a butterfly winged Glimmer Mouse flew into their midst and said, "Are you the ones looking for the Jade Crown? My queen, Lighta Cheesewisp, has tasked me to inform you that the druid/ranger does not have the Jade Crown. He made a facsimile that looks like the original and now the ogres and demons are after him because they believe he knows where the real one is. I am to bring you people back to my queen so she can lend aid to you in your quest."

                Freddy then said, "Go with him, guys. Joseph and I have met Lighta Cheesewisp when we fought in the demon wars. If she says she can help you, then trust in her words. We have to go remove the ogres and demons from the forest. The Phoenine's wife is trying to get some sleep."

                Shortly after the party parted company with the legendary heroes, Comet became aware of the skunk scent once again and that made him stop following the others. Dasher noticed that Comet had stopped so he went back and he hugged his favorite adventuring friend. He then whispered, "What's wrong?"

                Comet whispered back, "Shortly after we parted company with the others, I started smelling skunk scent again. As if it is a warning to get back on the right track."

                Dasher quietly replied, "Mentally ask him why he is making the skunk scent return. He promised that you wouldn't smell it as long as you didn't give up in your task. And as far as I know, you are still doing his task."

                While Dasher guarded Comet, the reindeer scout closed his eyes and mentally reached out, "Fletcher? I am smelling skunk scent again. Did I do something wrong? I haven't given up on your task. In fact, I have two rare feathers with me right now."

                Fletcher's mental voice replied, "I have kept my end of the bargain, Comet. However, I don't know whom the Glimmer Mouse really is, but the real Lighta Cheesewisp died near the end of the demon wars and Freddy was never informed about it. I should suggest that you stop your party from walking into a trap and resume going to the ranger to get the Jade Crown."

                Comet opened his eyes and said, "We have to stop the others, Dasher! They are being led into a trap!"

                Dasher raised his own voice in the Westerly direction the others were traveling and he sang loudly, "North bound and down, eighteen feet are movin', we're gonna do what they say can't be done! We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there! We're North bound, just watch our party run! Get your feet back on the trail, guys; We got what it takes. Let it all hang out 'cause avoiding traps is what we spake! The lords are waitin' in Centralia and there's feathers in Easterna! And we'll bring 'em back no matter what it pays! North bound and down, eighteen feet are movin', we're gonna do what they say can't be done! We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there! We're North bound, just watch our party run! The demons got their ears on and their hot on your trail! They ain't gonna rest 'til we're in jail! So we got to dodge 'em and we got to duck 'em, We got to keep our feet a truckin'! Just slam those weapons down and give 'em Hell! North bound and down, eighteen feet are movin', we're gonna do what they say can't be done! We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there! West bound is a nasty Trap!"

                When Eclipsa, Brimpaw, and Diamondfang heard Dasher sing the traveling song in a different way with a warning at the end that didn't rhyme, they stopped following the flittering mouse and slowly backed up before quickly returning back to where Comet and Dasher were standing. Diamondfang said, "What is up with the warning, Dasher?"

                Comet said, "We got to get back on track. We got word that the real Lighta Cheesewisp died at the demons claws at the end of the demon wars. That creature was leading us into a trap. Lets go find the real Jade Crown and then work on getting the feathers."

                As the party tried to make their way back to the village, they soon came upon a demon party that had gathered to prevent their getting away. "Oh sheep dip!" exclaimed Dasher when he saw what was ahead of himself. Then he decided to try a fast one. "If you make me fail my instructions for filming the kingdoms capitals, your lord will be very angry, so you better let us pass. Besides, those tricky adventurers are just behind us. They almost caught us trying to get a warning to the demon commander."

                And as strange as it seemed, the demons permitted the five adventurers to pass safely through their numbers without challenge. And once the party had put some good distance between themselves and the demon army, Diamondfang asked, "What does filming the capitals mean and why did they look scared when you mentioned that you were the one doing it?"

                Dasher quickly explained the evil magic camera trap that he caught on to before returning to Rale and how he had destroyed it so his Rale friends didn't befall the trap camera.

                Eclipsa grinned. "So they think that you still have the camera. That's a clever ruse. Lets get back toward getting the Jade Crown."

                When the group headed North, they came upon a mass pile of dead ogre bodies that Khan and the others were setting on fire. "Hey guys," said Brimpaw. "The side trip turned out to be a demon trap and we avoided it and returned to the task at hand. What happened here?"

                Dasher was pretending to aim with a wooden block that he had pulled out of his backpack as he slowly panned over the surroundings around the battle site. Fleeing demons were heard vacating the treeline as fast as their demonic claws and hoofs could manage when the aim of the wooden camera reached their position.

                Joseph said, "I hear demons retreating as if they were about to be dunked in holy water. Why would they be doing that?"
                .
                End of Chapter Eight

                Comment


                  #9
                  Chapter Nine
                  .
                  Eclipsa patted Joseph along his neck fur as she whispered what funny ruse they had learned that the demons were actually scared of in regards to Dasher. When Joseph heard the stupid sounding ruse, he fell over on the ground laughing.

                  Freddy said, "You are going to get your fur dirty, Joseph. Whatever the joke is, we cannot waste time here. We have to get to that ranger."

                  Joseph got up and said, "He has been watching us from the Northern treeline."

                  The party then headed directly toward the treeline to the North and that was when the earth and wood elementals attempted to attack the adventurers. Well, they started to...

                  ...as the God Slayer Axes cleaved each one into rubble and splinters as the elephant barbarian charged straight through their numbers!

                  The Legendary Heroes and the new adventurers were soon standing before the quivering bear child whom had been wearing the crown before Freddy snatched it off of his ursine head and handed it over to Diamondfang. "That was brave and stupid, cubling. I thought that the whole continent knew whom Khan was. Where did you get that crown at?"

                  The sniffling teen aged bear cub replied, "A hooded stranger came through my fathers logging camp some weeks ago and when he saw me under a punishment, he offered to give me a magical item to deliver payback on the people that resulted in my punishment. He pulled this crown out of a black sack and placed the crown on my head. After that, I had the overwhelming desire to go punish the people of Applebrook for ratting me out to my father. I created earth and wood elementals and we went to Applebrook where we arrived to see the demon and ogre army setting up some massive black cannonball with a fuse sticking out of it. I overheard one of them say that this would be a test to see if it would be powerful enough to destroy a divine lock so their queen could return to Rale. When I heard them say that, I had my elementals attack the demon army since I knew that I didn't want the demon queen to return."

                  Freddy looked at Joseph and Dasher as all three of them said, "Gunpowder!" And then Freddy added, "I was wondering if they were going to use the technology that they stole from the Eastern Continent. Looks like they figured out how to make bombs. We need to warn Lord Hart about this situation immediately."

                  Brimpaw said, "Everyone gather around and I will cast the recall to anchor spell that I memorize before every trip. Sure beats walking back."

                  Eclipsa then said, "What about the bear cub?"

                  Brimpaw commented, "What about him? He tried to kill us. Besides, his people are from this region. Surely he knows his way home. Lets just leave him here."

                  Instantly Bender and Jimmy were standing with Freddy and the others. "Tibor North has been freed and liberated," said Bender. "What are you guys doing aside from making Khan smile like a fox in a henhouse on Earth?"

                  Joseph said, "We need to send this bear cub back to his father's logging camp in this region. Then converge back in Centralia for the latest news. The Demons are making gunpowder in an attempt to make a bomb powerful enough to blow the divine lock open on their queen's prison."

                  Bender growled, "OH HELL'S NO!" Then he lowered his voice. "She was bad enough the first time. I knew we should have moved her prison off into deep space; say, on the other side of the galaxy inside a black hole. But no... Arakoth said that her prison was just fine where it was. And now we have to live in fear of this?"

                  Freddy said, "I think we should move it anyway and just not tell Arakoth that we did it. Then the demons wouldn't be able to blow any locks off of anything since she wouldn't be on the planet anymore."

                  Jimmy then reappeared having taken the bear back to his father at the logging camp. "Lets get out of here, guys. The stupid father started to accuse me of kidnapping his lame son."

                  Bender then explained to Jimmy what he missed.

                  Jimmy said, "I second the idea. She really wanted Sir Frederic dead so I say we have the right to pass final judgment on this bitch. I mean, she wasn't trying to kill Arakoth."

                  Freddy said, "All in favor?" And every god present as well as Freddy, Joseph and Khan all said "Aye!" Freddy then said, "Those opposed?"

                  Instantly Arakoth and Starshine were in their clearing. "I thought we decided to keep the demon queen in her prison, Freddy?"

                  Freddy then said the chilling words, "The demons have learned how to make use of the gunpowder they stole from the Eastern Continent and now they are making bombs. They plan on making one so powerful that it will destroy divine locks in order to free their queen. This is why we need to get her prison away from Rale."

                  Arakoth then said, "Where is your proof?"

                  Freddy looked at Diamondfang and said, "Repeat to your god what the crown wearing bear said that he overheard the demons say in Applebrook; Arakoth, you can cast detect lies so you will know the proof you want. But doing so would indicate that you don't trust your own paladin."

                  Diamondfang recited exactly what the bear had said about the demon army and their words. Starshine (whom could discern truths from lies) commented, "He is telling the truth, Arakoth."
                  .
                  End of Chapter Nine

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Chapter Ten
                    .
                    Back within the palace of Centralia, Lord Hart listened to the report and said, "Our allies on the Eastern continent told me that it would take something more powerful than gunpowder to blow open a divine lock on a divine prison. However, we know from reports that we had from Arakoth's son Custom Hopper whom dwells on 20th century Furth that demons have been causing havoc there. And that world's people have long since advanced beyond gunpowder. If one of our demons got their claws on that, then there would be no stopping them."

                    Lucinda said, "Balrael would be free for sure. And you know this, Arakoth. Keeping her on this planet where her escape is only a matter of time is stupid. I hate to take sides, but the demons would likely want to test their new explosives before trying it on the divine prison. How many explosions on the planet would it take before the people lost their faith in not only the gods but their seemingly selfish and uncaring ways? This is the exact reason Taolama does not join the gods of Harmony; it's their way or no way."

                    At that moment, an old gentleman sheep appeared to the side of the chamber. "My follower has a point, hatchling. You had a chance to permanently banish her back to the Abyss and you chose instead to place her back into the same prison cell that she escaped from. THE EXACT SAME CELL!"

                    Dasher was just outside of the throne room in a side orchard where he had a campfire set up. "Hidengo."

                    The kangaroo god appeared and he hugged Dasher. "After reading over the rules of the gods of 'armony, Ah chose not to join them, Although Ah did choose to ally with Starshine since 'e was far more reasonable than the rest of that bunch. Elderon and Sad were quietly talking about leaving 'armony since it wasn't working out to their expectations. Elderon said that Arakoth was beginning to act like a tyrant. And that wasn't why 'e sign up for that alliance; the bloke called it an alliance. Ah am sorry Ah could not comply with yer request, Dasher. So instead, Ah did something nice for Comet instead. 'opefully 'e chooses me as 'is next god when 'e sees the present Ah gathered for 'im."

                    Dasher mouthed to the kangaroo, 'You gathered the rare feathers Fletcher was asking Comet to go get?'

                    Hidengo nodded his head as he handed over the bag to Dasher. "Ah'll wait out 'ere and then yas can bring 'im out to me."

                    Dasher grinned as he hugged the kangaroo god in return. "I really likes you, mate. Be back soon." He released the young boomer god and then he entered the palace once again where upon he grabbed Comet by one arm and led him off to the palace tailoring chamber. "Let's start getting that headdress made, Comet."

                    Comet said, "But I only have two feathers." Dasher said, "Show them to me." Comet pulled out the two rare feathers and laid them on the table. Then Dasher opened the bag and dumped out twenty-eight more feathers of the rare and super rare variety. Comet smiled and laid a deep muzzle kiss on Dasher's lips. "I love you, Dasher."

                    Dasher then said, "Make the headdress and then after you deliver it to Fletcher's temple, I will tell you where these others came from."

                    And they began crafting the headdress out of leather, silk, gemstones, and the special feathers. The two that Comet had gathered were centered on top. The end product was such a work of art in which both reindeer had to remember to breathe after stepping back to look at the marvel that lay before them. Comet then packed up the headdress and then he headed off into the city to deliver the it to Fletcher's temple.

                    At Fletcher's temple, Comet walked in and approached the altar. The high priest skunk looked to the reindeer. "How can we aid you today, despised one?"

                    Comet unpacked the headdress and laid it out on the altar. "Fletcher told me to craft this and bring it to any of his temples. I expect him to keep his end of the bargain."

                    The high priest looked as if he was having a heart attack as he laid eyes on such a unique headdress in the manner that it had been crafted. "As a follower, you should put it on."

                    Comet growled, "Fuck no! I only had to get the rare feathers and craft this headdress; he never said I had to wear it! I demand that he keep his end of the bargain or else I will inform Starshine and Arakoth that Fletcher lied his ass off again! Both gods which I mentioned are in the city right now!"

                    Instantly, Harmony and Starshine were standing directly behind Comet where the priest could see them. "Summon your god. A bargain is a bargain." "If he chooses not to honor his word, then we will have no choice but to decimate his entire religion from this world."

                    Fletcher was then standing in the temple directly before both Harmony and Starshine. It looked as if he had been force-summoned to the spot. "Comet made your headdress. Now honor your word." "Remove his joining from your religion at the same time that you remove all of your spells from this scout. You are acting worse than Lord Hart's original hippo sex god."

                    The mephit merchant god sighed. "I was starting to like you, Comet. But I did give my word. A shame that people in Rale cannot follow two gods instead of being restricted to one. I think Balrael herself was the one whom originally created that divine rule. That's right, Comet. The demon queen is a goddess herself and her husband was once Arakoth. Now you know the truth. This is the exact reason Arakoth will not permit his wife from being exiled from Rale. He still loves her." He snapped his fingers causing a magical shower of glittery dust to sprinkle down all over Comet. "You are released from my religion, Comet. I hope you think fondly of how I prevented you and your party from going off into the demon's trap while you were in Easterna. No one would have known what had happened to you. Goodbye, Comet."

                    Comet then asked, "What were the divine rules regarding multiple gods before she passed that divine decree that all gods complied with?"

                    Fletcher said, "Arakoth should know. He asked seven other gods to band together under his banner in direct defiance from his wife. The old rule permitted a citizen of Rale to follow up to eight gods or goddesses as long as the person revered each and every one that they chose. Most people could only manage three gods. Balrael hated the number three. She once said that two was okay. If the old rules were to be restored to how they were, I would hope that you would give me a second chance. I've never had a scout in my following before."
                    .
                    End of Chapter Ten
                    End of Episode Two

                    Stay tuned for the next episode, Restoring An Island Nation.

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