Monday, November 06, 2006
“But you’re not a demon, you’re a moogle.” Apocolipse said in disbelief. He managed to say what we were all too shocked to utter.
“Yes I am. My name is Ursula. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” The moogle witch said with a bow.
“I thought your race all preferred to be called Moogle.” Foxx said suspiciously.
“I am a unique individual like you. I think it is only fair that I have a unique name. Don’t you think?” She said. “In the spirit of my race I only live to serve though I don’t feel compelled to call everyone Kupo. Why must they always finish everything they say with Kupo, Kupo, Kupo? It’s so annoying. Don’t you agree? And all that happy chirping with no real emotion. I am more honest, more real than that.”
I take service a step beyond what other moggles dare. Moogles are very powerful. We are capable of much more than storage and house cleaning. Where my counterparts will fetch your mail I will fill your mailbox with something that will make all your comrades green with envy. If your heart is empty, I can fill it. Whatever your desire, I have the power to give it to you. I only desire to be the most successful moogle of all time in advancing the success of you adventures. I only wish to help out the poor unfortunate souls who can not achieve their full potential without my help. Those in pain, those in need, I am more than willing to share my gift with them. For a fee of course but do I help them? Yes, indeed.
“We’re not here to rub the genie’s lamp. We are here to take Orabu home. Where is he? We want him back.” Willowkarr demanded.
“He is home. He’s with me and quite comfortable. He could not fulfill our agreement so he is paying off his debt. Justice demands it. I am bound by our contract.” Ursula replied.
“The question is what can I do for you?” I heard the moogle witch say to me.
I startled as I realized the question came from within my mind instead of through my ears.
“I heard your wish, a truly pure and worthy desire. You would be doing the world a great disservice to keep it to yourself.” The voice cooed sweetly.
“Enough!” Ryger shouted. “Get out of my head before I slice yours into pieces”
Ryger drew his sword and stood ready to charge but just as suddenly he yelled in pain and dropped his blade. Clutching his forearm he fell to his knees.
“Now now. Moggles are not a violent race. Why would you be so rude as to draw a weapon in my home? Please, make yourselves comfortable. There is no need to worry about your friend. He has simply retired from adventuring. It was his choice. I am always honest in my dealings.” Ursula said.
“Then you won’t mind if we see him.” Brodie said.
“I can see this is the only thing that will satisfy you.” Ursula said with a sigh. “Orabu, please bring your friends something to eat and show them that you are doing just fine.”
“Yes my Lady.” Orabu said as he came into the room with a platter of grapes.
Marrcus took the platter from him tossing it on the ornate tile floor just in time to keep Willowkarr from running head long into it as she charged Orabu tossing her arms around his neck and weeping with emotion. “I was so worried you might be dead.” She cried.
Others came forward to greet him but I just stood there filled with dread. I walked up to him slowly looking him over. I knew it was him but something was terribly wrong. I cupped his face in my hands and looked deep within his eyes looking for some glimmer of my friend. His eyes were blank and expressionless. He was clearly under Ursula’s spell.
“Restore him back or we break your black magic by spilling your blood.” I said angrily.
“Why does everyone assume that I am a villain? He came to me you know. He wanted the most powerful linkshell there ever was. He wanted his group to be widely known not only for being capable of accomplishing tremendous tasks together but for a strong brotherhood they would to enjoy. A real family bond. Beautiful don’t you think?” Ursula chirped.
“He doesn’t look very happy to me. He doesn’t look like he feels anything. What did you do to him?” Petru demanded as he rubbed his tiny Taru hands together in preparation for any spell needed in the impending conflict.
“Your friend couldn’t fill his end of the agreement. All I asked was that he prove his leadership abilities by having fifteen people equip his linkshell at once within one month without mentioning our agreement ofcourse. He couldn’t do it.” Ursula explained. “It should have been so simple.”
“I think we have had enough talking. I like the blood spilling idea.” Dominuse said standing ready to pound the tiny white fluff ball of a witch with his large fists.
The moogle leaned back and laughed loudly. “Galka always prefer brute force over good reason. I think Beldin understands that I only want to help. Don’t you Beldin? He knows that only I can grant his heart’s desire. Is that something you really want to give up?”
“I’m not stupid enough to try to make deals with you. Find yourself another victim.” Beldin growled as he reached back for his lance.
“You can stroke your lance and ready your weapons all you like. They will not serve you here. I’m so hurt by all of this hostility. I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave if you can’t be nice.” Moogle said in a slightly sharper tone.
“Not without Orabu.” Garness said.
“I want to kill him myself most days but I wouldn’t leave him here in that state. He’s ours. Hand him over or we see just how tough a moogle can actually be.” Doma said as she tightened her white gloves and reached for her weapon.
“Well if you insist on making me prove my point.” Ursula said.
We didn’t need a second invitation. We rushed in to chop this little fur ball into bite sized wyvern snacks but we didn’t get far. We bounced off an unseen barrier like rain off a window pane. The stronger party members continued to try to force past it while the mages worked earnestly to find a spell that would deteriorate it. Foxx circled the wall to see if there was any other way to enter. Doma, Kammy, and Willowkarr tried to dig under the unseen force but it seemed to circle the evil witch moogle in an unpopable bubble.
Meanwhile Ursula flopped down in an overstuffed chair propping her feet up on the arm rests and started to read a book, ignoring our efforts. After about twenty minutes of struggle she looked up at us with a rather annoyed expression. “Must you be so loud? Can you not see I’m really getting into this book. I just adore a good love story. I’ll read aloud if you promise to quiet down.”
“You have got to be kidding me.” Martin said exasperated.
“Fine. I won’t share.” Ursula said and with that she peered over the book at Martin and the Paladin fell helpless to the floor a breath away from destruction.
Marrcus cast a raise spell on him and healed him as well as he could but other party members started dropping in quick succession until only I was standing.
The moogle put her book down and flew over to me looking me in the eye and speaking to me in my mind. “I wanted to talk to you alone. I can see in your heart you can save your friend. I do leave room for mercy but at a steep price befitting of the reward. Only someone who loves him can break the spell he is under. It will not be easy. Are you willing?” Moogle asked.
I felt a tide of panic well up at the thought of negotiating with this notoriously deceitful creature but I didn’t see any other way. “Tell me what you want and then I’ll tell you if I will pay.” I replied as coolly as I could muster.