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RP:Hangover...Hollow Style

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Summary: Talyara is leaving the lands to visit her homeland, seek help for her eating disorder, and to find 'herself' and what it is that she wishes to do with her life. However, before her departure, she promised her sister, Lanara, one final girls night out. Naturally, the witch's encounter chaos of all sorts, and have a night filled with eating, drinking, hallucinogens, some colorful (and sketchy) characters, and an appearance from the Backstreet Bards. It's a night neither Taly nor Lana will ever manage to forget, for better or for worse.

Lanara meets her sister at the docks in Cenril, and pulls her into a long hug, after giving her a lingering once over. She was pleased that she had worn something sexy for their final girl’s night out, before she was taking a leave of the lands. Grinning from ear to ear, Lana also had dressed up for the occasion, wearing a black, form fitting leather mini-dress that hugged her curves and showed off her shapely legs, and black stilettos that have crisscross straps up to her calves. Her long locks have been teased to perfection, to give added volume, and she wears a thick line of eyeliner, mascara, and crimson lipstick on her fair face. Silver hoops dangling from her lobes, and she wears several bangles on each wrist, that jingle when she moves her arms. A silver clutch is in her hand, and she pops it open to produce two tickets which would secure their passage to Rynvale, where they would be spending their evening. “Taly! You look beautiful, as always! So I thought that we would sail to the island of Rynvale, while we watch the sunset! It will be wonderful! And I made us dinner reservations at the Elimdorei Hotel. It’s technically in Vhys, which is a bit of a trek so Rude-Off will be giving us a ride there.” She’s all smiles, as that was the most expensive restaurant in the realm, and she had heard their exotic food was the finest in all of Lithrydel. Sure, her sister rarely ate, but this trip was for her to get better, so perhaps she would leave on the right foot and at least indulge in some truffles. “After dinner we will head to the Broken Barrel Inn for drinks and some dancing! Supposedly they have the -best- sangria and its karaoke night! So we’ll see where the rest of the night takes us. I’m so excited to have planned all of this for us. Because you are the -best- little sister in the world and I want you to know how much you mean to me and how much I’m going to miss you.” A peg-legged pirate approaches the two women, his gaze trailing from one witch to the other, as he takes in the sight of the beauties. Taly may remember him from a few weeks ago, when he groped her, before Lana throat punched him and tossed him overboard. Ah, good times! He’s completely inebriated and doesn’t seem to recall either of them though, so for now it’s all good. He snatches the tickets and holds them up to his eyes, which cross, as he attempts to read, “Arright, yew brawds luk gud te meh! Git on de bowt.” Lana links her arm through Taly’s and the two women climb aboard the rickety sea craft, excited for their adventure to being.

Talyara had psyched herself up for this girl’s night out with Lanara; it was going to be bitter sweet for the younger witch. Part of her was excited at the prospect of letting go and just having a good time with her sister, but the other part knew that she was nearly upon the time of her departure. As the younger witch was getting ready, she swore to herself that this would be a fun night, no sadness at the thought of leaving, and she would make sure that she would eat, if only a little bit. Taly had even gone so far as to force herself to eat a little bit over the course of the last few days, in order to adjust her stomach. She had also decided to go all out with her appearance for the occasion. Talyara stood on the dock waiting for her sister clad in a royal blue dress that hugged her body, and while she was still a bit too thin, the dress managed to accentuate the few curves she had left (mainly her bosom). The dress was strapless with a sweetheart neckline and the hem fell to the middle of her thigh; black pumps adorned her feet. She wore clear quartz studs in her earlobes and a simple necklace with a light blue, teardrop shaped gem. Her long hair was braided horizontally along the back of her head, ending in gentle waves that fell over her shoulder. Talyara even went so far as to apply makeup; it was with a light touch but it was still there. She smiles when she spies Lanara, hugging her closely before eyeing her sister up and down. “You look ravishing, as always. I’m sure all the men and probably some women are going to be drooling all over you!” She listens as Lanara begins to dictate their itinerary for the evening and her eyes widen. “Oh Lana! You didn’t need to do anything that extravagant! I would have been fine just hanging out with you all night at the sanctuary.” But that would be the extent of Talyara’s push back on the evening’s events. This meant a lot to her and she knew it meant a lot to Lanara as well. As the pirate approaches, Taly immediately recognizes him, and instantly crossed her arms over her chest to avoid any further groping! She side-eyes Lana wondering if the woodland witch was going to throat punch him again. Thankfully, he doesn’t do any inappropriate touching and Lana doesn’t have to resort to violence (yet). With their tickets approved, Taly gladly accepts her sister’s arm, and the sisters walk onto the deck of the ship, catching the eye of almost everyone that they pass. “So a fancy dinner, huh? How romantic!” She teases her sister with a giggle. “This is going to be fun. And it’s not the Whaler so we shouldn’t get thrown out or get into any fights.” Hopefully.

Lanara rolls her eyes as her sister teases her about planning a ‘romantic’ date, and she replies with a giggle, “Nothing but the best for my best girl! I just want tonight to be special. It’s not often that we get dolled up and have a girl’s night out. We are overdue! So let’s have a blast!” The pirate hobbles over to the helm of the ship and steers the boat towards the east, while the two woman walk across the deck, careful not to take a tumble over any of the planks in their three inch heels. Taly and Lana spend their time taking in the beauty of the setting sun, and eagerly waiting for the island to come into view, so they can begin their evening. “Whalers was a nice place, but the staff they hired is really causing it to go downhill. Hopefully Rynvale will be a better hangout for us, and please, sister, no more beating up the cousins of any barmaids!” A few of the crewmen wander up to the deck to eye their precious cargo that they are delivering to Rynvale, mostly vintage wines and some cheeses, though a few of them do a double take when they see the breathtaking sisters aboard the ship. One in particular ogles their assets, lingering a few feet away from them for the duration of the hour long ride, and it seems as though he’s gathering up the courage to approach them, when the ship is steered into port. “We’re here! Yay!!!” Lana squeals and gives her sister a gentle tug, both away from the leering crewmate and so that they could exit the ship. The captain growls at the sisters as they pass, “Dun eh nah yew two? Ye trubble makehs!” Lana stands up to her full height and fixes him with a heated glare, to which he averts his gaze and takes a long pull from a bottle of ale, defeated by a petite elf with a smoldering gaze. As their heels touch the path that leads into the city area of the island they look around for Rude-Off, who is clearly a no show. “That damn reindeer! He’s still peeved that I didn’t bring his damn oat cakes on our journey to Enchantment! Ugh! Okay, all is not lost, let’s just call a carriage!” A few minutes later, they come up to a man with a severely burned face, the boils oozing pus and blood, and he licks his lips as they approach his wagon and ask for a ride to Vhys. “Name’s Freakshow! I’d be happy to give you gals a ride. Hop on in! If the green eyed one gives me a little kiss when we arrive, you don’t even have to pay me!” Lana exchanges a look with Taly, before they both step into the carriage and the horses pull them along the way. Leaning in, she lifts her hand to cup her sister’s ear and whispers, a little louder than she had intended, over the clopping of the horse’s hooves, “This guy is scary! Taly, you aren’t really going to kiss him, are you?! I mean… You kissed those two bloodsuckers and that was pretty gross, but this guy looks like a living fireball with herpes!” Freakshow clears his throat and turns around, awkwardly fixing them both with an angry sidelong glare, “I heard that. I heard everything you said.” Lana falls silent, her cheeks flushing a pale pink as her eyes grow wide, though she doesn’t deny what she said or offer an apology. Were they now in danger?! Vhys was only about a half mile away now, and she prays they would make it to the restaurant unscathed. Goddess willing.

Talyara is all too happy to enjoy this down time with Lanara, leaning on the railing of the ship as the wind picks up her loose strands of hair and tosses them around. The setting sun provides a beautiful ambiance for the sisters who spend their travel time reminiscing on mischief they have caused in the past and happy memories. When Lana chides Talyara about behaving herself at the bar and not attacking cousins of the owners, she feigns her best innocent expression, clutching her hand to her chest and batting her long eyelashes. “Who me?” She asks in a sing song voice before dissolving into a fit of giggles. There’s a man standing behind Lanara who is not bothering to hide the fact that he is ogling her derriere, and Taly gives her sister a little nudge, inclining her chin towards the man. As soon as Lanara turns around, however, he clears his throat and quickly looks away, whistling a little tune as if that would put the witches off of his scent. The ride to Rynvale doesn’t take too long and soon they are docking, the witches disembarking with arms crossed as they wait for Rude Off to appear. It seems he’s as temperamental as ever for he’s a no show, which Taly is internally grateful for because how are two sisters supposed to ride a reindeer in these short, tight dresses?! She favors the idea of taking a carriage until they slide in the backseat and the creepy, horrifying-looking driver turns around and makes his unusual greeting. Taly cannot hide the disgust on her face as she scoots closer to Lanara and slides her arm through hers. The druidic witch visibly shudders and makes a whimpering sound when Freakshow offers to comp the ride for a kiss from her. Taly leans her head towards Lanara to catch her whisper; however, she’s not exactly quiet about it and she’s pretty sure the people of Sage heard her inflammatory comments about the eccentric driver. “Erm, no, I don’t think a kiss will be necessary Mister Freakshow, we have ample coin to pay you,” Taly responds diplomatically. “Is this your carriage?” She asks quickly, hoping for a change of subject to distract him. “Naw,” he responds turning back to watch the road. “This is just my side job. My real job is in construction! I just had a job at a restaurant as they were renovating their dining area. Only, I lost my job on account of I was working on booths that customers were sitting on the other side of! Boss didn’t think that was a good idea so he fired me! Can you believe it?!” Taly opens her mouth to respond but it’s soon replaced by a gag as one of those pustules pops and greenish-yellow pus oozes out and down his cheek, dripping into his lap.

Lanara makes a face every time the carriage hits a bump, because it seems that every time they are jostled, another one of his gross boils pops and oozes down his cratered cheek. This was beyond disgusting! If they weren’t going to the most prestigious restaurant in all of Lithrydel the witch may have just lost her appetite! Freakshow is talking to her sister about his job in construction and she can’t help but giggle as she imagines all the back injuries this man had incurred on unsuspecting diners as he tried to repair booths -while- someone was seated upon them. Ever the mischief maker, Lana bats her impossibly long lashes, and offers, “There’s a traveling circus I’m sure that would hire you in a heartbeat! You could be a part of the fre-” He turns to eyeball her and Taly, and she clears her throat, “Part of the frequent repairman crew! In case any of their carriages break down, or any of their booths, or any of the animal cages. Things like that…” She heaves a sigh of relief as he grunts and gives a nod, “You might be onto something there pretty lady, you and your sister… I feel like it was FATE that brought you to me. I know a shortcut. I’ll get you to the Elimdorei in no time, no time at all!” The sister’s exchange a look, as the hotel was literally within walking distance at this point, and darkness was creeping in from the woods that lined the path. “Um, no, I think we’re okay with this way, it’s, uh, scenic.” Lana tries, though he fails to hear, as the pus from his latest pustule oozes into his right ear, and he steers the carriage into the woods, narrowly missing two trees. The carriage sways from side to side, as the sisters cling to each other and try to keep their knees firmly together, lest they give Freakshow a peep show! Suddenly, the carriage lurches forward as they collide with a large boulder and the horses and Freakshow go airborne and roll down the hill, while the cart haphazardly lands on its side and Lana is pinned beneath Talyara’s figure. “Let’s get out of here!” They ungracefully climb from the wreckage of the cart, their heels digging into the forest floor, as they make a mad dash up the hill and back onto the safety of the road. “What the hell?! That man was so creepy! Look! The hotel is right there!” Lana doesn’t bother to call for help, the horses would find their way back to the stables, most likely, and the driver, well, he belonged roaming around the woods. How dare he try to take a short cut?! And they both had earned a free ride to Vhys, without Taly having to kiss his grotesque face! Minutes later, after brushing any debris from their heels and attire, the two women enter the establishment, all heads immediately turning to appraise the newcomers. Lana approaches the hostess and after giving her name, the two are led to a candlelit table in a secluded section of the restaurant, an area that was reserved for Hollow’s elite, the rich and famous. As of now, it’s just the two of them, as they order their wine and look at their menus, though Lana’s eyes light up as an elderly man, with a beautiful woman on his arm, is ushered past. It was Grandpa Krawtch! The famous puppeteer of the lands and the ultimate celebrity of Taly and Lana’s youth! “Ohmygosh! TALY! It’s our FAVORITE!” She points to the crotchety old man, as he’s seated two tables away from them.

Talyara makes sure that she is scooted right up against her sister, preparing to make a grand escape from the carriage if this Freakshow guy turned out to be some lunatic and decided he didn’t want to deal with the meddlesome sisters any longer. When Lanara mentions Freakshow joining the circus, Taly elbows her sister in the ribs right as the pockmarked man turns around in his seat to glare at them. “He could kill us!” She hisses a whisper to her sister in their native sylvan, hoping the man is unfamiliar with that tongue, and she shoots him some serious side eye just in case. When he mentions knowing a shortcut, Talyara sits up a bit straighter, eyes widening as she gives Lanara a look that clearly screams “do something!” Unfortunately, Freakshow doesn’t want to hear Lana’s decline and instead of following the road right to the restaurant, he turns the carriage into the woods. “Yup, we’re definitely going to die,” Taly whispers frantically to her sister. “He is going to take us to his cabin in the woods and use us as his freaky playthings before killing u---AHHHHHH!” Talyara’s whispered concerns are interrupted by a scream as the carriage suddenly crashes into a boulder and flips it over, sending Taly into poor Lana--it’s a good thing she doesn’t weigh much! The druidic witch carefully untangles herself from her sister and the two climb from the fallen carriage before making haste back down the uneven path, towards the main road, and the restaurant. When they’re near they pause to help each other become more presentable before entering the upscale establishment. Taly looks around and the grandeur of it all, hardly believing that her sister was able to even get a reservation at a place like this. When they are led to a back table, lit by candlelight and laden with crystal glasses and the finest china, she lets out a slow, appreciative whistle. Taly takes her seat and smirks at Lanara across the table. “I have never been to a nicer restaurant. Not even any of my previous lovers have taken me anywhere this extravagant and romantic,” she teases once more with a wink. When the waiter comes, he is thankfully much more professional than that Nicholas fellow at the Dancing Destrier, and he bows politely to the two ladies, asking if they’d like something to drink. Taly quickly orders them a bottle of champagne to start, picking up the leather bound menu to take a look while the garson leaves to fetch their beverages. Unfortunately, it seems like Lana is looking elsewhere, the elder sister reaching across the table to slap at Taly’s arm when an elderly man walks past. Talyara is skeptical of Lanara’s abilities to recognize familiar people from their past--she had this nasty habit of confronting people she thought the girls went to school with when they were younger and embracing them as if they were old pals, only to discover that they were, in fact, complete strangers. But she’s right for once! It is the puppeteer from their youth, Grandpa Krawtch. Only, he is not Talyara’s favor, oh no. In fact, this man was the source of many nightmares of Taly’s childhood. It seemed that Lanara had forgotten that one fateful show where the elderly man went crazy and slaughtered a bunch of chickens in front of the children! One of the severed heads had fallen at Taly’s feet while Lanara clapped and danced merrily along. It was a horrific experience that haunted Talyara to this day. With a great shudder, the younger sister attempts to shush her sister. “Shhhh! He’s here enjoying dinner! We shouldn’t be bothering him!” Taly only hoped that this was enough to temper Lanara’s excitement over Grandpa Krawtch. “What are you thinking for dinner?” She asks in an attempt to change the subject.

Lanara laughs as her sister takes in the grandeur of the establishment and shakes her head, her loose curls bouncing atop her shoulders. “I’m really glad you like it and that I could take you here… We’ve had quite a few donations coming in, and I am able to actually give myself a decent salary now, along with my staff… So I saved up to make sure that I could treat you proper, before you leave for your journey. Plus, I’ve been dying to try their food!” The two peruse the menu, though Lana is very distracted, star struck even, as her chocolate hues remain glued to Grandpa Krawtch and his date, who couldn’t be more than eighteen. Taly looks on in horror, as the cause of the nightmares she had in her youth removes his spectacles and leers at her, wiggling his fingers in greeting, though he managed to look quite terrifying as his snaggletooth wiggled back and forth and he begins to drool. Lana, ever the oblivious little witch, elbows her sister, “Oh my gosh! Grandpa Krawtch is making eyes at you, sister! You should have a fling with him before you leave! Maybe he’d give me an autograph!” It was so like Lanara to ask her little sister to sleep with a drooling geriatric, so she could get his signature! Never mind the fact that he had terrified Taly as a mere toddler, and that she had to grow up without any dolls or puppets, as it would give her flashbacks of Grandpa Krawtch fondling the chickens. Wasn’t there also a rumor about him being a little too friendly with children? Wasn’t he forced into retirement? Didn’t someone burn every last one of his puppets, along with his home, with his wife and children still inside? No, this wasn’t merely a cuddly old man that played with dolls for the enjoyment of an audience, the man was more of an ex-convict and for some odd reason, Lana rises to her feet and walks over to their table! Minutes later, the puppeteer and his date, Deb, sit down at -their- table, which has now become a table for four! Lana is giddy with excitement and makes the introductions, while Deb remains silent and gives a nod, while sipping some champagne. Krawtch only has eyes for the green-eyed witch, now, and ignores Deb, inching his chair nearer to Taly, “What would you like, my dear? My treat. You and your sister are like family!” Never mind that they -just- met, seconds before, Lana is -thrilled- and she orders another bottle of champagne, as they all place their orders. “I’ll have the venison with truffles, and a side salad, please.” Deb orders something in another language, to which Lana narrows her eyes, instantly suspicious of what the woman was eating, and Krawtch orders a whole roasted chicken, with vegetables, much to Taly’s dismay. The waiter looks to Talyara to place her order, and Lana makes small talk with the celebrity at their table, “So, Grandpa! We are such FANS of yours! Tell us! Do you have a favorite puppet? What got you into this line of work? Please, tell us everything!” She perches forward in her chair, a sincere smile on her pretty face, though her smile falters as the man narrows his bushy brows, and snarls, “Did you just grab my ass?” What?! Lana is perplexed, unsure exactly how to answer, and partially wondering if he was joking, though she’s saved from the awkwardness as he returns his gaze to Taly, and gives her a less unsettling inquiry, “Is that a mirror in your pocket, Taly?”

Talyara seems incredibly pleased that donations are bountiful at the sanctuary and it shows in the excitement on her face. “That’s amazing, Lanara! I’m sure it’s going to be a huge success and you finally have a facility to do all the good work you’ve always wanted to do.” At the mention of treating her sister, Taly wrinkles her nose and chuckles. “You don’t have to pay for everything Lana! I brought money!” Those pretty green eyes move back to the menu as she does her best to ignore the geriatric puppeteer at a nearby table—he was too close for comfort! She oofs when she is elbowed by Lanara and is forced to look up only to see Grandpa Krawtch waggling his bushy, untamed eyebrows at her. The little witch’s stomach turns at the thought of being in the same room as this nightmare let alone him trying to hit on her! When Lana gets to her feet, Taly assumes she is going to the restroom, perhaps to freshen up some more, but she is absolutely horrified when she spies her sister over at Grandpa Krawtch’s table. The witch audibly whimpers when him and his arm candy, Deb, make their way over to join their table. Taly aims a kick at Lana’s shin but miscalculates and ends up hitting Deb with her foot instead. With a yelp, she spills her champagne into Grandpa’s lap and he tuts at her. “This is what happens when I allow you to drink underage, Deb!” Turning to the room at large he yells, “she’ll have a glass of milk instead!” Taly shifts uncomfortably in her chair as Grandpa attempts to move closer to her. “Um, no thank you. I don’t let people treat me, my own personal rule,” she lies with what she hopes is a sweet smile but probably looks more like a grimace. The poor little witch almost breaks down in tears when Grandpa Krawtch orders roasted chicken, her mind flashing back to that fateful day when he went crazy and slaughtered his feathered pets. “I’ll have the filet mignon, rare, with a baked potato and roasted vegetables, please,” she tells the waiter before handing him the menu and chugging down the remainder of her glass of champagne. She reaches for the bottle to pour another and uses that as an excuse to nonchalantly scoot her chair farther away from the puppeteer as Lana begins to babble off several questions. “Well you see, not everyone can be a puppeteer. It takes a special set of skills to do what I did! I crafted my first puppet when I was a wee lad, I named him Pedro!” He explains proudly as if he held the most important job in the world. The waiter returns with Deb’s glass of milk and Grandpa Krawtch narrows his eyes. “Is that low fat milk?! Is that because you think she’s fat?! She could be drinking whole if she liked!” The poor garson looks taken aback but Grandpa just waves him off with a scoff and turns his attention back to Lanara. After his accusatory words of Lana grabbing his ass he unfortunately turns his attention back to Taly who gulps. “Um, nope. I don’t have any pockets…so Lana! Why don’t you tell us about the sanctuary! I’m sure Mister Krawtch would love to hear all about it. And Deb, too!” She says a bit loudly in a higher octave, wanting desperately to change the subject and shift it off of her.

Lanara listens to Grandpa Krawtch as he discusses his career at length, even talking about the crafting of his first puppet, good old Pedro! She fondly remembers all the shows that she had attended, and she smacks the table, sending the bread basket toppling over, “Pedro! He was mocha skinned, and you shaved off his hair so he wouldn’t feel the heat so much! I remember!” Lana and Grandpa share this strange bonding moment where he mutters that he thinks she could ‘very well be his number one fan’, after all, and the witch’s eyes light up as the clink their champagne flutes. The waiter arrives with their drinks and a glass of milk for Deb, who is dabbing Grandpa’s lap with a fine cloth napkin, “Kip Krawtch! I can’t take you anywhere, old man! You need to watch yourself! I will never get these stains out!” The puppeteer ignores his young date and places a meaty hand atop Taly’s, leaning in close, as he begins to sweat, giving her body a lingering once over. “Hmph. No pockets.” Instead, he grabs the collar of her dress, and proceeds to read the label, “Just as I thought… Made in Heaven!” He’s trying, desperately, to be sexy, though he’s a creepy old geezer who managed to foil both pick up lines that were tossed the elf’s way, so far. Lana picks up on her sister’s worry and begins to talk about a snow leopard with an injured paw, she’s not even halfway through the story and Deb is in tears, dabbing at her eyes with the wine stained napkin. The waiter brings their orders, refills their drinks, and departs, while Lana carries on about how it was mating season recently and how they had about a dozen ducklings and chicks that were in need of a new farm to live on. “Do any of you know anyone that may be willing to adopt a chicken or duck? They lay wonderful eggs. Me, personally? I think ducks are just the cutest things! Taly, do you still have Lafawnduh?” She misses Grandpa Krawtch’s eyes narrowing, or as he tosses a hunk of chicken to the back of his throat, with a sliver of bone mixed in with the meat. Turning to Taly, she smiles, “You know, Theo and Seldanna were kind enough to give me one of their ducklings. Larz and I named him Firequacker! He’s just the most adorable thing! He’s all yellow, with a little black diamond on the back of his neck. He’s so spunky!” She giggles, sips her wine, and notices that Deb is smacking Grandpa in the center of his back, her expression worried. For a moment, she thinks they’re all joyous over the chicken talk, as she remembers his fondness for his feathered friends. Or maybe he slayed the birds?! Whatever. Lana takes a bite of her venison, nodding and softly sighing, as the flavor was enormous. It was like a party in her mouth, and this place lived up to its name! Meanwhile, the man is choking, as the two sisters dine, and Lana -just- realizes this, and throws down her fork and knife, both clanging noisily to the table. Reaching out she grabs her sister by the shoulders and shakes her, “Oh my God! Grandpa is choking! We have to do something, Taly!!!” Although the two were healers, they couldn’t very well slice into the geriatric’s throat and remove the clog of chicken, so thinking the element of ‘surprise’ will work, Lana jumps to her feet, mutters that she’s ‘got this’ and pulls the tablecloth from the table. The drinks go flying, the gravy from her truffles spills onto the floor, and most of their dinners wind up haphazardly scattered about the table, while the elf holds the white linen in both hands, a bewildered expression on her pretty face. “I was so sure that would work!” Deb screams as Grandpa falls over, about to take his last breath and she collapses at his side, still crying over the snow leopard, her spilt milk, and how life was so unfair. Lanara is worthless at the moment, screaming about her favorite celebrity dying, grandpa choking, and how it was up to Taly to save the old man.

Talyara continues to drink glass after glass of champagne. She knows it’s not wise, to drink so much when she is not only so frail but also lacking food in her system. But seeing as this man had horrified her as a child, she felt that her drinking was valid. She does her best to ignore her sister who is utterly enthralled about their luck in finding the puppeteer at the same restaurant as them, her excitement at meeting her childhood idol and being able to pick his brain. Taly is startled when she finds her hand pinned to the table, Grandpa Krawtch’s liver-spotted, pudgy hand resting upon her own. She attempts to slide it out but he doubles his grip, holding her hand in place. Once again, Taly aims a kick at Lanara, attempting to get her attention and have her notice the panic on her face. She recoils when he moves to check the label on her dress and full on pushes her chair away from the table. “No, not made in heaven,” she says defiantly. “It’s a Kreekitaka knock off,” she informs him with a snuff. Unfortunately, Grandpa Krawtch thinks he’s paid the little witch some great compliments and leans back, proud of his “smooth” moves; Taly uses the opportunity to move her chair to sit right beside her sister. She falls silent then, glaring at the elderly man and his young date who continues to mop up the champagne in his lap while simultaneously sipping at her own glass of milk. Taly is touched by the story of the leopard but she feels that Deb is downright being dramatic about it, her shoulders heaving with heavy sobs which cause the other patrons to shoot nasty looks at their table. When Lanara continues to go on about finding a home for the baby birds Taly slams her hand down on the table. “No!” She shouts a bit louder than she intended, slamming her glass down and sloshing some champagne on her hand. Everyone in the restaurant stops. Looks. Scowls at the rowdy group. The host seems to be making his way over to the table and Taly quickly waves him away with a sweet, apologetic smile. “I’m sorry,” she tells the table at large while the other patrons go back to their dining. Taly gives Lanara a significant look. “I spoke with Venin and the vets,” she says through gritted teeth. “You are going to keep the baby animals for a petting zoo for the children.” It was a downright lie, but Taly would never let Grandpa Krawtch lay another finger on a baby bird! Things finally settle down as an uncomfortable silence falls on the table as the group finally begins to eat. Taly has lost her appetite (even more than usual) but she knows she has to eat to absorb those several glasses of champagne she’s had so far. Green eyes focus on her plate as the little witch forces herself to eat the food upon her plate bite by bite—that is until there’s a commotion and Deb and Lana are screaming and Grandpa Krawtch has fallen on the ground, his face tinged blue. Taly lets out a squeal and pushes herself to a stand as Lana pulls the tablecloth off the table, upturning Talyara’s dinner onto her lap. In a fit of anger, Taly picks up the baked potato and launches it across the room and it pegs some poor diner in the head! “What is going on?!” The man roars, turning towards the chaotic table. “Do you know who I am?! I am a veteran! I am an aspiring astronaut! I am Mister Damon and I will not be treated this way!” Taly doesn’t have time for his bellowing and turns to the dying old man on the floor, cursing under her breath as her healer’s heart urges her forward. Despite her short, tight dress, Taly gets on the ground beside Grandpa Krawtch and heaves him up. Her small arms wrap around his body from behind, and her hands interlock right below his sternum. With surprising strength, Taly begins to thrust in and up, and after some time, the old puppeteer gives a great cough and hacks up the chicken bone. Unfortunately for Deb, she had just been crouching down to check in on him and got a face full of chicken bones and masticated meat in her own open mouth. With a shrill screech, the emotional woman runs from the restaurant still sobbing, screaming about her date being ruined by a couple of hussies.

Lanara drops the tablecloth, finally, and gives a sheepish grin as several waiters, the head chef, and a dozen or so diners, look her way, shooting their rowdy table an accusatory glare. She hadn’t meant to play the role of a magician; she was trying to save Grandpa! He was choking! She’s about to offer up an apology when a potato goes hurtling through the air, her angered and somewhat inebriated sibling, flying into action. Was she also trying to do the element of surprise tactic, and hoping that the flying spud would somehow cause the elderly puppeteer to spit up the chicken?! Clearly it wouldn’t work, as Grandpa was pretty much unconscious and turning blue, drool puddling on his chin, as Deb frantically sops up the wine stain, as though that was going to help the situation. The victim of the potato assault is yelling at Taly and he picks up a crumpet from his dessert platter and hurls it across the room; however it strikes Lanara, dead center in her chest and falls into her cleavage. Buttery breasts were not in style, and in a fit of rage, the elf rounds on the legendary astronomer. “GET LOST! AGAIN! That’s all you astronauts are good for, you freaking airhead spaceman pathetic excuse of a human!” The two get into a heated verbal fight, where he refers to Lana as a ‘weak’ woman, and after filling the room with a string of expletives, she charges at the man, her agile form clearing the short distance in no time. As Taly saves the life of Grandpa Krawtch, Lana is duking it out with Mister Damon, as their bodies collide and he’s sent through the table. They log roll around the room each trying to get the upper hand, the man pulling Lana’s hair as she claws at his face with her nails, before she grapples him and punches him again and again in his face. Never one to hit a woman he takes her blows, beginning to sob nearly as uncontrollably as Deb, who had run from the restaurant at this point. Lana spits on the man’s face, her moment of anger slowly subsiding, as she shakily rises to her feet and brushes the crumbs from her dress. The rest of the party at Damon’s table applauds the witch, and she gives a curtsey, laughing, as even his own ‘friends’ weren’t fond of the famed flyer. Returning to Grandpa, she hands him a glass of water and apologizes profusely, as though it were her fault the ‘mean’ chicken was clogged in his throat. Lana is relieved that her childhood celebrity is going to make it, and she pulls Taly in for a tight hug, while helping her clean the food from her dress. The waiter’s realizing there’s a hero in the house bring them fresh plates of food, reset their table, and tell them the meal is on the house. Somehow, Lana always ended up with freebies, wherever she went! Grandpa is embarrassed, so he excuses himself and leaves shortly after his date, having had too much excitement for one night. He doesn’t offer to adopt the chicks, nor does he even give Taly a thank you, it just wasn’t his style. The two sisters’ sit down and enjoy their meal, now that all the drama has subsided, and Damon finally comes to, his memory a little clouded as he looks wildly around the room, “Where am I? Someone, save me! Bring me home!” Everyone pretty much ignores him, and as Lana takes another bite of her mouthwatering venison, she winks at her sister, “Wait until we get to the karaoke bar!” What more could possibly happen on this night?!

Thankfully, Talyara pretty much misses the entire exchange between the famed Mister Damon and Lanara because she is too busy trying to save the life of the geriatric nightmare that haunts her dreams. Still, she wasn’t about to let him die when she could at least attempt to save him! She only looks up when Grandpa Krawtch is breathing on his own again and his skin is returning to its normal flesh tone. “Are you gonna finish all that chicken?” He asks Talyara who looks utterly disgusted. “I think I’m going to take it to go!” He informs a passing waiter who quickly obliges, wanting to get this man out of there as soon as possible. “But what about the bones?!” Taly asks Grandpa in disbelief. He had nearly choked to death on one! He picks up a cloth napkin from the table, takes his to-go box, and leaves. Talyara blinks as Lanara suddenly log rolls by and she casually looks towards the fallen table and the shattered wine glass, wondering if someone had spiked her drink from the start and this was some elaborate hallucination. The manager from the restaurant hustles over dressed impeccably in a navy blue tuxedo and reaches down to pull Taly to her feet and ushers Lana away from the mischievous astronaut. He compliments the younger witch on her life saving abilities and quickly resets the table and brings them brand new plates of food. “Who was that man you were rolling around with?” Taly asks her sister, eyes wide. “What was even going on?! I didn’t see you fighting as I was too busy saving that disgusting puppeteer!” Taly shudders at the thought but goes back to eating her dinner. She doesn’t finish, but for her, she does quite well (although she doesn’t touch the potato). When dinner is over the two girls head outside and Taly is just about to ask her sister if they are going to have to walk to the karaoke bar when an awkward man pulls up in front of them riding a bike. His squinty eyes are hidden behind a pair of large glasses and his hair was short, curly, and poofy. “It would be great if I could pull you into town,” he informs the beautiful sisters in a monotone voice, tilting his head back towards a cart on wheels he had tied to his bike. “Just hop on and untie the rope and hold it.” Talyara exchanges a concerned glance with her sister before shrugging her shoulders and resigning to this odd form of transportation. It was crazy, sure, but at least they didn’t have to walk.

Lanara slowly sips her wine, savoring the taste on her tongue and just enjoying her meal, as her dark eyes watch her sister. Finally, Taly was eating! She honestly can’t remember the last time her sister had a filling meal, and although she only clears half her plate, she was pleased, and the smile on her face shows her pride. She wanted her sister to have a speedy recovery and get her butt right back to the lands… Also, so she could fire Venin and give Taly her job at the sanctuary! The waiter brings them a light dessert, of angel food cake with some whipped cream and strawberries, nothing too heavy, as they had such a rich tasting meal. Lana spears a strawberry with her fork and giggles, remembering the time she had stolen all the chocolate chip cookies Kuruni had baked for the Yule Festival… She had snuck into the attic with a five pound jar of strawberry sauce, dunked every last cookie, and dined like a Queen! She was grounded, of course, and their mother had to stay up for forty-eight hours slaving over the oven to make more, and let’s not forget how sick she had gotten! Lana had the hershey squirts for a week! “I have no idea who that guy was… He’s a famous ‘ass’ or something… I don’t see what’s so great about him.” A shrug, “Thank you for saving Grandpa Krawtch… If he died I would be devastated! You better believe it!” Dessert is finished and they both head out of the restaurant, making small talk about how they’ll have to return when Taly gets back to Lithrydel, and how Lana should convince Larz to take her here on their anniversary. The elf looks around as they stand outside, crossing her arms and sighing. There was no sign of that damn reindeer or Freakshow and his rickety carriage! How were they supposed to get to town? It was like six, maybe seven miles away, and in three inch heels?! Thankfully, their prayers are answered, as some goofy looking simpleton offers to wheel them into town. Putting her hands on her hips, Lana narrows her eyes at the teen, weary of hiring just anybody to pull them anywhere, especially after the incident with the construction worker and his bursting boils! “How much to pull us into town? You got a name?” The boy mutters ‘frickin idiot’ beneath his breath and lets out an exaggerated sigh, as her eyes widen in surprise. What was this guy’s problem?! After his sighing ends, he pushes his glasses up on the bridge of his nose, and licks his chapped lips, “Uhhhhhhh. Name’s Naprico. Just get me some tots from that place.” Lana blinks, exchanging a look with her sister, “Um, tots? Like fried potatoes?” He blinks and just spaces out again, and then shakes his head, “No! I meant truffles.” Minutes later, a to-go box is placed into Naprico’s hands, though instead of eating the food or putting the box somewhere safe, he takes the gravy smothered mushrooms in his hands and puts them in his pants pocket! Taly and Lana both get into the tiny cart and hold onto the rope, both of them knowing it’s going to be a long and bumpy ride, but having no alternative, they just grin and bear each jarring turn and the constant sway of the wagon. After what seems like hours on the wooded path, with only the stars as their light source, the ‘Broken Barrel Inn’ comes into view. “We’re here! I can’t wait to do some karaoke, have some drinks, and just let loose! Let’s go, Taly!” Awkwardly they climb from the wagon and Lana stumbles over a small doll that had gotten hooked onto her heel. Reaching down she lifts an action figure, dressed like a wrestler, and upon hitting a button on his chest, music fills the air. Startled, she drops it into the dirt, “What the hell?!” Naprico dismounts from the bike and picks it up, dusting it off and putting it in the pocket with his truffles. He was such an odd one! The women exchange another ‘look’ before they head into the establishment, looking for some fun, and likely some trouble.

Talyara shares a sidelong glance with Lanara when they hear the bicycle rider call the elder sister a “freaking idiot” under his breath, the green eyed witch forced to look away before she is overcome with giggles. His declaration that some food from the restaurant will suffice for payment doesn’t help the inebriated Talyara who attempts to mask her laughs as a cough. When the weirdo shoves the gravy soaked truffles into his pants pocket Talyara barks out a laugh that earns her a glare. “Aren’t you worried about the grease and stains?” She asks him. “Is that what you’re trying to do, ruin my life and make me look like a freakin’ idiot?!” He retorts before preparing to bike off which forces Taly and Lana to assume their positions on the rickety cart. He doesn’t say much at first but soon enough he starts chatting it up, apparently pulling two beautiful ladies into town is a confidence booster. “So you two have any skills? You know like nunchuck skills, bow hunting skills, magic hacking skills? I hear guys only like girls who have great skills!” Talyara nipped at her bottom lip to stifle another giggle before answering. “Well we are both witches. So I am skilled with elemental magic and Lana has a gift with animals!” Naprico whips his head around to look at the elder witch. “Nay, nay? I have a pet llama named Tina. And she won’t eat the food! No matter how much I throw at her! God!” He finally turns back around to pay attention to the road and Taly doubles up her grip on the rope to keep them secure. “Speaking of skills. I spent last month with my uncle in Frostmaw hunting wolverines!” Now it’s Taly’s turn to smack her sister to quiet her laughter. Eventually, the younger sister ventures a question. “Did you shoot any?” Once more Naprico whips around, likely giving himself whiplash, as if what she asked was the most offensive thing. “Yes, like fifty of ‘em! They kept trying to attack my cousins, what the heck would you do in a situation like that?! Freaking idiot!” Naprico continues to peddle into Rynvale and thankfully they are nearly upon the Broken Barrel in where more mischief is bound to arise! “I’m also an artist,” Naprico proclaims after a bout of uncomfortable silence. “I once drew a portrait of this girl I wanted to take to a ball and I spent like three hours finishing the shading on her upper lip. It was probably the best drawing I’ve ever done.” When they finally disembark from the cart, Taly is quick to catch Lana as she stumbles over a bizarre action figure, jumping in surprise when it begins to blast ungodly music. Once more the sisters share a significant look before they bid Naprico goodbye and head towards the inn. “So much has happened already and all we’ve done is eaten dinner!” Taly observes with a grin at Lanara. “Maybe things will calm down now?” Oh how very wrong the little witch was!

Lanara is beyond amused at the strange behavior from Naprico and she doesn’t manage to stifle all of her giggles, so as one bark of laughter escapes her, and he whips his head around to glare, she is so startled that she nearly falls out of the side of the rickety cart. Thankfully, Taly had a strong grip on her bicep and pulled her back into her seat, as the cyclist calls her sister a freaking idiot and talks about wolverines. Lana can’t help but chuckle as he starts babbling about his own skill set and how it took him over three hours to shade the upper lip of his crush. Was his crush a ‘he’ and not a she?! She was about to say something as they stepped from the cart, maybe a thank you, or some advice on how to encourage his llama to eat, when someone exits the bar and hurls an orange straight at Naprico’s head. The poor teen is pegged so hard that his glasses clatter to the ground and he falls forward, smashing his poor privates on the metal bar of the bike. The brute that hurled the fruit glares at Naprico and picks the kid up by the throat, before tossing him to the dirt atop his spectacles, “I’m taking this to the sand dunes in Cenril, and you can’t stop me!” Naprico picks up some of the orange pulp and tosses it at his assailant, though his aim is way off and he throws it about five feet to the left, “I’m training to be a cage fighter and I have the best reflexes of all time. You’re just jealous because I’ve been driving around babes like -all- night! Gosh!” He picks up his shattered glasses and places the crooked frames over his ears, before licking his chapped lips, and running off into the night, while leaving the cart and the rope just lying in the middle of the dirt road. Lana and Taly merely observed this entire scuffle, though neither of them lifted a finger to help. I mean, they didn’t even know Naprico and the guy that threw that orange had a hell of a throw. He was like a professional football player! Linking arms the duo enters the lively locale and a few of the men near the entrance do a double take, one in particular can’t quite keep his gaze off of the brunette in the black dress. It was none other than Nick, the wannabe-bard waiter from a few weeks ago, who had gotten fired from his antics at the Dancing Destrier. “My Love!” He shouts, and jumps to his feet, his blue eyes glued to the back of Lana as the sisters pass on by, not even giving him a mere glance. Had Lana seen this man, she just may have turned around and exited the bar, but she didn’t see him, and so the two find two stools before the bar and order some shots. Turning to her sister, Lana points to the stage that had been set up with the live band. Karaoke night! “We so have to do a duet. But I’ll need to down a few drinks before I’m brave enough to face this crowd!” The place was packed to the hilt, with about a hundred patrons filled into a small space, most of which were on the dance floor busting moves. A few healers race in and take out a nun from the local monastery that had fallen down on her way to the bar, and some psycho who was way into the music stomped on her head a few times, as he couldn’t stop moving his feet. The poor woman’s veil had been ripped to shreds, there were several visible bald spots on her head, and blood had begun to pool on her scalp, though not to worry as the dance floor was cleared and cleaned and everyone returned to drinking and dancing. “This is so great. I’m having a blast!” Clinking glasses with her sister, they take their first of many shots, and tilt their heads back in unison. “To a night we won’t forget… And maybe not remember!”

Talyara squeals as an orange is suddenly thrown at poor Naprico in the vicinity of the two girls, the younger sister clutching to Lana in case the tropical fruit assault wasn’t over yet. She is stunned into silence when the assailant picks up Naprico by the throat and chucks him before they both run off. “Wait he’s a cage fighter? I thought he was a wolverine hunting artist who drove a cart for a side job?” Taly shakes her head unable to decipher the puzzle that is Naprico and joins her sister inside the bar for karaoke night. It’s already active at the Broken Barrel and there’s a man sporting a white suit with gems resembling a peacock singing in a sultry tune. The elder women near him are swooning, reaching out for the silk scarves he offers and when he leans down to sing to one woman she screeches and faints, falling out of her chair. Taly is so focused on this spectacle that she too misses seeing Nick who looks sadly on as Lanara ignores him and heads towards the bar. “I’ve got an idea. Follow me boys!” He says to his group of friends before they disappear. Talyara grins when Lana orders several shots of tequila. She looks towards the stage where a healer is trying to revive the fainted woman, and another is trying to help the poor nun whose hair was ripped out in chunks. They finally staunch the flow of blood from her scalp but there are still several bald spots that the healers can do nothing about. Taly looks towards her sister before clinking her glass against Lana’s and then shooting it down with a slight wince. “Me too. I’m terrified of performing and singing in front of people,” she admits with a small flush. Suddenly, she feels a tap on her shoulder and turns to see a beefy many who points to a table laden with food. “My cousin and I were wondering if you and your sister would like to join us?” After sharing a quick look with Lana, the two shrug, grab their remaining shots and head to the table. “My name is Jay, this is my cousin, Tito.” Wasn’t that the name of the undead seal Lana had given Taly years ago? When she looks towards the cousin she realizes he is merely a child! “We’re here celebrating! You see, they finally caught the person who stole my scholarship! What are you too lovely ladies doing here?”

Lanara shakes her head at the nun who was making a spectacle of herself on the dance floor, completely dismissing the fact that she was assaulted by some man with an afro doing the moonwalk across her head. He had scalped the holy woman and Lana is sitting there, excitedly clapping, at his dance skills. “You know, I may have to use those moves myself sometime!” She winks at Taly, though it’s uncertain if she’s talking about the moonwalk move or scalping a religious figure, as both are entirely possible with the witch, depending on her mood. The crooner in the peacock suit saunters over and lowers his head, whispering something in her sister’s tapered ear that has her turning a fiery shade of red, before he moves onto the next woman. Apparently whispering sweet nothings in the middle of a song was working for him, because several more women flock to his side, one going as far as tearing off the scarf around his neck and inhaling his cologne. He wasn’t Lana and Taly’s type though, as he was an older gentleman and seemed to have an obsession with neck warmers that they just couldn’t comprehend. Next, this overweight man with sores all over his mouth, likely some variation of a modern-day herpes, approaches and invites them to his table, to dine with his cousin. Who was this guy?! Lana hesitates, but it’s their last night together and life was all about adventure, so she finds herself following her little sister, only to discover as they sit at the table, that Tito is only about eight or nine years old. Why was he in a bar?! It was only around ten at night, so it wasn’t as though the child was overdue for a bedtime that had them concerned, it was that he was at a -bar- and one that was known to get rowdy! Drinks were flowing, a crew of bicyclists in the corner was brawling, and that poor nun was just scalped! And we can’t forget what happened to Naprico at the entrance! The witches exchange a ‘look’ with each other as Jay talks about his stolen scholarship and how he was going to enroll at an academy and make something of his life. “Yeah, I wanna be a doctor. Get rid of these sores I got from my old girlfriend, Pascal… It’s like the best thing to catch from someone though; it’s always there to remind you! But I wanna get a new girl, and no one will kiss me with this…” Tito reaches for a chicken nugget and as his little arm extends, in a rage, Jay spears the appendage with a pewter fork, causing blood to spurt like a fountain. The kid screams, his cousin tosses the last nugget to the back of his throat, and the healers leave the side of the nun and rush to see to the child’s injuries. Narrowing her eyes on her sister, Lana scowls, wondering how they always end up in theses bizarre situations, so to escape the blood-splattered herpes-is-the-best-std weirdo, she grabs Taly by the bicep and clears a path through the crowd. Tugging her sister in tow, the two end up on the stage and the band picks up a lively tune, as Lana leads the song and looks to Taly to take up the next verse, where they both would sing the chorus. “It takes two, babyyyyyy…” The song isn’t too long, but after taking two shots of tequila each, and being such lightweights, their words slur a little and there are a few times Lana almost falls off the small stage, as she paces back and forth and jumps around, trying to incite the crowd. The duo gets a loud applause and the both bow, before exiting the stage and heading to the bar for more drinks. Ordering a pitcher of sangria, the two clink glasses, eager to try the beverage at this island locale, and Lana takes a big sip, her eyes going wide. She points, unable to speak, as Nick and four of his friends step onto the stage and he locks eyes with the witch. “This one’s for my best girl! The one, the only, Lanara!!!” Jay is clapping and pointing to Lana, as though everyone in the joint hadn’t already figured out who the dedication was referring to, as Nick and his pals were all ogling her and every head turned to look. The elf continues to sip at her sangria, trying to play it cool, though she clenches her jaw and speaks through a feigned smile, “Taly. What. The. Hell. Why is he here?!”

The dim light of the Broken Barrel Inn made it so that poor Talyara hadn’t even noticed the sores pockmarked around Jay's mouth until they had agreed to join him and his cousin at the table. Every offer of food was denied by the sisters who were unsure if this Jay fellow had a contagious disease and neither was eager to catch it despite his assurances that it was the best one to get. When he mentions catching the sores from a previous love and not being able to get rid of them, Talyara reaches to grab another shot of tequila and downs it almost instantly. “That’s, ah, fascinating. And what about you, Tito? What do you like to do for fun?” It was then that the young fellow was reaching for the last nugget only to have his hand impaled by his older cousin! Taly squeals as a spurt of blood heads her way and she pushes back in her chair to avoid it, nearly toppling over. With the healers on their way to attend to Tito, Lanara grabs Taly’s arm and leads her away but not before informing the server that their shots were to be added to Jay’s tab. Despite all her shots of liquor, Taly feels a wave of anxiety course through her body when she steps on stage with her sister, listening to the whooping and catcalls of the men who are enjoying the sisters in their short, tight dresses. Taly allows the tequila to do its job though, calming her and alloying her to successfully sing a duet with Lanara. Sure their words are slurred but their voices aren’t bad and they can harmonize very well! Both witches bow with beaming smiles on their faces when the song ends before hopping off the stage and heading towards the bar to try some of that famous sangria! Taly is just about to compliment the beverage to her sister when the next group takes the stage and its none other than Nicholas the ex-waiter from the Dancing Destrier! This time he plans on serenading Lanara with a group of boys from the backstreet apparently. Not only can they also sing but they have choreographed dance moves on top of that! Taly gives her sister a sidelong glance and can only give her a small shrug in response. “I don’t know! Maybe he’s a traveling bard?” She suggests before tipping the bottom of Lanara’s sangria glass, encouraging her to drink more. The boys manage to get the crowd going but poor Nick doesn’t get another glance or even an applause from the elder sister whom he is pining over desperately. He leaves the stage dejectedly but feels someone grab his wrist. He looks down to see a wheelchair bound man with bad cataracts in both eyes. “Let me ask you, son, was there another girl with Lanara?” Nick looks confused but nods his head. “Yeah, she’s here with her sister. You know, the less pretty one.” The disabled man grunts in annoyance and pulls out a bottle of shimmering blue liquid. “I want to help you get the girl of your dreams, boy,” he says with a sinister grin. Nick, not being too bright and only having thoughts for Lana, thinks this is a great offer! “Really, sir?! How can I do that?” The man gives a deep, throaty chuckle. “The name is Brian. I happen to be a great brewer of…potions. Just slip a bit of this into Lanara’s drink and I guarantee she will see your full potential and fall deeply in love with you.” Nick takes the bottle in hand and holds it up to his face, the blue glow reflecting in his eyes. “And what do you want for this, sir?” He asks, mesmerized by the liquid. “It’s on me,” Brian informs the bard. “I know Lanara is a great…catch…and you deserve her.” Excitedly, Nick takes the bottle, clasps Brian on the shoulder, and runs away. Little did he know that poor Brian had it out for Lanara. When the two witches were young girls they were at a summer festival and Lana had stolen a bag of prized onions right from his lap! As payment, she had left a headless bird in his lap. He had vowed since that day to find Lanara and make he pay for what she had done. And now he had finally succeeded.

Lanara downs three glasses of sangria, and though she pretends she’s not watching the show, out of the corner of her eye she knows the movement of the five guys on stage is perfectly synchronized. Their voices are soulful, enough to cause the coldest of hearts to warm, and for half a second she considers fan-girling over the backstreet bards, but that moment passes. She’s furious that Nick happened to be -everywhere- lately, and though most women would be fawning over the handsome man and his affections, she wasn’t into it at all. She had her handsome half-orc, who she was head over heels in love with, and yeah, Nick was gorgeous, but he also was a stalker, so that completely took away any appeal he may have. Even now, as he jumps off the stage, crestfallen that the brunette ignores him; he’s plotting how to make the girl his very own. Lana has other ideas, as she readies Taly with another shot of tequila, not even noticing as Nick is having an intense conversation with a disabled man. The sisters are giggling over something at the bar, when a pretty barmaid interrupts them and offers a glass of a shimmering blue liquid to Lana, with a little umbrella inside it. It was the potion that Brian had passed on to Nick! Not knowing that it was a ‘love’ potion or something equally as harmful, Lana wraps her hand around the glass and takes it with a smile. “Who is this from?” She was used to having men buy her a drink, and though she never took the bait as she was happily taken, she always gave her thanks. The barmaid blinks, clearly new on the job, and didn’t think to take his name, so she just shrugs and walks off. “Drink this with me, Taly! It’s so pretty! It must be one of the new drinks on their menu. Maybe it’s a blue raspberry sangria or something?” Eager to taste the beverage, Lana divides it into two shot glasses, and leaves the remainder to the side. Throwing her head back she drinks it down and coughs, as it tastes pretty awful, and she’s about to discourage Taly, when she sees that her glass had been emptied already. The remaining liquid in the glass is picked up by a mocha-skinned male in a baseball uniform, who storms over to the bar, drinks it down, and hurls the glass against the wall. “Maria! Why did you leave me?! Why did you have to go?” Lana is alarmed by his sudden outburst, and climbs onto Taly’s lap, where the two huddle together and watch the man have a conversation with himself. Clearly, he was heartbroken! Wanting to make things better, the witch clears her throat and pats the man on the shoulders. “There there, you are young… You will meet another. She just wasn’t right for you. Or maybe Maria will come back?” He looks at her and removes his cap, “I am twelve.” He wasn’t twelve; he was more like forty, though the sisters remain silent on that matter, as Lana tries again. “Look at the bright side, you can meet ano-” Her voice is cut off as he wags a finger in her face, “Look at all the albino’s!!!” Blinking, Lana turns her head to look up at the stage and as her head is turned the man snags her clutch purse and takes off. She was robbed! “HEY!” Slipping from her sister’s lap she rushes after him, though the effects of the potion, which really is a ‘poison’ of sorts, has slipped into her system and she grows dizzy. Unsteady, she stands in the middle of the dance floor, swaying side to side as the room spins, and that’s when Nick uses this to his advantage and pulls the elf into his arms for a bump and grind sort of dance. Helpless, Lana feels her head slump, and she hugs the blonde male tightly to her, not knowing what was happening or why she couldn’t react. Where was Taly?! Completely disoriented, Lana digs her nails into the wannabe bard and closes her eyes, trying to think back on what could have made her so sick.

Talyara was usually not a fan of synchronized man-groups singing but there was one man towards the back, a vampire if she did in fact see fangs, with tattoos and dark hair and dark eyes that she found quite handsome. But for Lanara’s sake, she did her best not to pay them any attention and likewise didn’t applause when their performance was over. A more sober Taly would have been cautious with the new drink as no one else at the bar had a beverage similar in color. But those tequila shots and glasses of sangria got the better of her and she was eager to try a new concoction, encouraging her sister to share her bounty. She immediately tips it back and gags, scrunching up her face in disgust before Lana has a chance to warn her. “Not their best drink,” she comments with a shake of her head. Just then the mocha skinned man comes bellowing up to the bar, dressed in a sports uniform, drinks the remaining blue liquid, and smashes the glass against the wall in a fit of rage, calling out to his beloved Maria. Taly screams and goes to stand to run away, but finds her lap occupied by Lana, the younger sister wrapping her arms around the witch and keeping her close. “No wonder why Maria left him,” she whispers quietly before the girls dissolve into a fit of drunken giggles. “That drink was gross but it was sooooooo strooooong,” Taly declares, her words more slurred than before. When the baseball player points to the other side of the room and declares that there are albinos, Taly whips her head around thinking that Bachias had somehow ended up in Rynvale! She is so busy trying to focus her fuzzy mind on the feral child that she doesn’t realize that the man has stolen Lanara’s purse or that her sister had run off after him. Taly squints until she suddenly spies the “albino” the man was talking about, squatting under a table and clutching a bottle in his hands as he rocked back and forth. Taly walks unsteadily towards him before crouching down. It wasn’t Bachias; it was a man a little older than her who was extremely pale with a bowl-haircut. “Hi there. Are you okay?” Taly asks him. He sniffles and shakes his head. “Ritchie said that there’s a murderer loose and he’s killing everyone named Howie! That’s my name! That’s my name…” Taly blinks. “Um, well did you do anything fun today?” She asks in an attempt to change the subject. “It was a really nice day out the sun was shi—“ The little witch is cut off when the man screams. “The sun is a monster!” He exclaims as the contents of his bottle go flying, staining the man with white viscous material. Taly once more squeezes her eyes shut wondering if this is just a symptom of that potent blue drink. “Um, how’s the moon treating you?” She asks. “Not a fan!” He yells one more time before flinging himself out from under the table, brandishing a wooden sword, and running into the crowd. The druidic witch shakes her head and pushes herself to a stand and nearly topples over. “What the hell…” she mumbles to herself, grabbing the nearest table in an effort to keep herself upright. “L-lana?” she tries to call out, her head swimming as she attempts to take another step towards the dance floor to find her sister; however, she does fall this time, only to be caught by that handsome, tattooed vampire Backstreet Bard. She flicks her eyes up to him giving him a small smile before her green eyes roll to the back of her head and she loses consciousness.

Nick had his hands firmly on Lana’s hips and is looking down at the woman of his dreams, his baby blue eyes filled with concern and a touch of lust. Had that guy given him a bad batch of that love potion? Lana looked as though she was going to puke and she’s constantly swaying back and forth, and even allowing him to paw at her and continue this strange form of dancing. At one point she nearly plants her face on the floor, but Nick catches her in his arms, and then she does this strange move where she bends over backwards, nearly splitting her spine in two, but he sets her right again. What the heck was going on?! The man feels terrible, as he didn’t mean to make the elf sick, he only wanted her to notice him and give him a fair shot! He had -never- felt this sort of connection with another, in all this thirty eight years, and now he’d gone and given her some lethal potion that was having adverse effects. He exchanges a look with the bearded vampire that had Talyara in his arms and they both tilt their heads in the direction of the exit. Lifting Lana into his arms as though she were his bride, they carefully make their way through the crowd and leave the tavern, where they set both sisters down on a bench. “AJ, cousin, what the hell? Wheels in there gave me this potion; it was supposed to be some sort of love spell! Man… I think they’re going to die!” Nick lifts his fingers to the side of Lana’s neck, feeling her pulse becoming weaker as the night goes on, and she went from looking overly nauseas, to stark white, as though death was creeping in. AJ slaps Taly gently on her cheeks, trying to get her to wake up, as she was still unconscious, but it’s to no avail, and he freaks out. “Nick… I’m NOT going back in the clinker again! This is all YOUR fault! I say we take their bodies and dump them somewhere else. So there are no ties to this bar, or us! Don’t you ever say that woman’s name again; don’t even THINK about her, she NEVER existed! And her sister? Well… We don’t even know her name, so that should be easy enough.” He looks around and spies Naprico’s abandoned wagon and rope from earlier and he hatches a plan. An hour later, both women are jostled from side to side as they are being drug through the woods, miles away from the Broken Barrel Inn. Lanara is still awake, though everything flashes by so quickly and she’s clearly not in the right mindset, as her head lolls to the side and she keeps muttering about ‘research’ and ‘grandpa’ and ‘Eli’s bones breaking’ though Taly is still sound asleep. By now, the elixir is completely in their system and as it first had a severe calming effect on them, when they were to fully awaken, they would be overly hyper and feel invincible. AJ uses his vampiric speed to hurry things along, drops the rope, ties the sisters together and shoves a dirty sock in Taly’s mouth, to make it look like an abduction. Nick runs his fingers through Lana’s long locks and places a tender kiss to her lush lips, knowing that his dream girl was near death, as she didn’t have the strength to fight off the lip lock. As he pulls back, his eyes are brimming with tears, and he shoves AJ’s other sock between her lips, and they flee the scene, leaving the sisters bound and gagged, at the side of the road, in Naprico’s little wagon. After what seems like hours, Lanara snaps out of her dazed state and looks wildly around at her surroundings, her chocolate hues clouded in confusion. Where were they? What had happened?! She can barely recall drinking a blue beverage, though everything after that seems pretty fuzzy. She tries to stand but finds her arms are tied behind her back to… Her sister? Spitting the sock from her mouth she screams for help, though they are so far away from civilization that no one hears her pleas. “Taly. Wake up! We’re in trouble!” She fidgets against the rope, the twine digging into the silken flesh on her arms, as she thrashes from side to side and panic sets in.

Despite the fact that she had eaten more this evening than she had in a long time, Talyara's poor food decisions for the past several months coupled with her thin frame and inebriated state, caused the faux love potion she had shared with her sister to react more quickly and more strongly. So while Lanara was hanging on in a semi-conscious state, Taly had completely given into the darkness. AJ found Taly attractive so he didn’t exactly mind having the pretty woman in his arms, but her unresponsiveness was becoming cause for concern. “What did you give them, Nick?!” He hisses to his fellow Backstreet Bard, giving Talyara a shake before hoisting the druidic witch over his shoulder, his arm locking against the back of her knees in a fireman hold, as he inclined his head towards the door. When they get outside and the witches are placed on a bench, Taly’s head lolls to the side and rests on her sister’s shoulder, her limbs hanging at odd angles. She was probably better off than poor Lanara who, having still been in a semi-conscious state might have been able to feel what was happening to them, hear the insane plan that AJ was hatching and proposing to his cousin Nick. Nick shrugs his shoulders and shakes his head. “I don’t know! It was supposed to be some type of love potion! I just wanted Lana to quit playing games with my heart and notice me for once!” AJ scoffs and spits on the ground at Nick’s feet. “You don’t know that she’s the one!” Nick places his hands on his hips and glares at AJ. “You show me the meaning of being lonely, then! Lana…Lana is larger than life!” AJ throws his hands up in frustration before pacing anxiously in an attempt to figure out the details of his plan to dispose of the girls. Taly is spared the fear of anxiety of being tied up against her sister and the disgusting sock shoved in her mouth. She was blissfully ignorant to the fact that these Backstreet Bards were staging their abduction and leaving them for dead on the side of the road. Talyara is still slumbering thanks to the effects of the potion when Lanara rouses and only when she begins to call out does her panicked voice sink into Taly’s brain. It takes a few moments, but Taly eventually rouses, gagging on the sock in her mouth and spitting it in disgust as she jostles her arms only to find herself bound to Lanara. “What’s going on?” She asks in an anxious tone that matches her sister’s, squirming as her head whips around to try and gain some semblance of their location. “Where are we? What happened?” Talyara squeezes her eyes shut for a moment, willing this to be some bad dream; however, when those emerald hued irises reappear she is still tied up in Naprico’s cart. All the thrashing begins to make her skin raw and she tries to calm herself and likewise her sister. “Lana! Relax a minute. I think I can undo the ties…” she says, probing the knot with her thin fingers. Taly bites the inside of her cheek as she does her best to concentrate and eventually, one hand springs free. She immediately twists around and finishes untying the rest to free them both before pulling Lanara into a tight hug. “Are you okay? Do you remember anything? All I remember is us drinking at the Broken Barrel Inn watching Nick and his friends perform and then we were here….”

Lanara blinks back tears and stops struggling against their binds, upon hearing her sister’s voice. Taly was awake, thank the Goddess! She was deeply concerned that perhaps the poison had put her sister into a coma-like state, and she couldn’t bear the thought of losing Taly like this, though the constant buzzing of the rune on her inner wrist let her know that her sister lived. Still, hearing her voice, even if it was strained and panicked, brought the elder sibling some comfort. As Taly undoes the knots, Lana squints and peers through the trees and the dirt covered road, trying to figure out their surroundings. “I… I think we’re still in Rynvale. And there’s this exotic pet shop about a half mile from here… I’m okay, just in disbelief. How dare Nick and his friend do this to us?! What sort of boy band are they?! I’m going to tell EVERYBODY what he did to us, and make sure he gets fired from every job he ever holds. I want it that way!!! I will make THE CALL to all the witches in the realm and hex that whole group!” Lana goes on and on, ranting, and when the rope is finally broken, she rubs her sore wrists and shakily rises to her feet. Her heels are covered in dirt and leaves and her legs are horribly cut from the side of the cart, as she wildly struggled. “All I remember is drinking that new blueberry sangria… We split the glass… Oh my gosh! That stranger drank it, too! In the uniform! I hope he’s okay… Taly, can you imagine if I drank the whole glass? I’d be dead…” Her voice trails off, as she lets the magnitude of her statement sink in. Nick thought it was a love potion, but it was a deadly poison, and whoever had given it to him clearly wanted to see the witch harmed. Who wished her dead?! Sure, she made a few enemies over the years, like Queen Josleen, a few jealous women, and of course that high-rolling orc in Cenril… But none of them were capable of making such a powerful elixir, and those incidents were from a long time ago… Her voice trails off as she helps Taly to her feet, and they share a long hug, shivering from the chill in the night air. Eventually, they head north, avoiding the Inn and the southern region at all costs. Danger lurked there, and someone had a death wish out for the sisters. As they walk along they hear a whirring sound and glancing over her shoulder, Lana’s eyes widen as the sees a disheveled man in a wheelchair ambling up the hill, with a goofy grin on his face. “Whoooo! This is a sweet ride! I stole it off some old geezer! He was blind, too!” He cackles, coming to a stop when he sees the two lost women, and he gives Taly a long look up and down, leaning in, conspiratorially. “Wanna ride on my lap? You two look like crap. I’m Al. Can we be best friends? Please?! Can we?” The sisters exchange a glance, as they had never seen this man in their entire life, though not wanting to be rude to a stranger around midnight, in the middle of nowhere, and still heavily drugged, Lana gives a hesitant nod. Sure, they could all be best friends! Al is elated, and all seems well, until he unsheathes a dagger and cuts deep into the flesh of his palm, screaming at the top of his lungs, “We are the wolf pack! Because we’re the three best friends that…” The elf isn’t taking any more chances tonight, and she sees the roofied look in the guy’s eyes, as the blood pours from his hand and he wheels towards them with the dagger in his hand. No way. She grabs Taly around the wrist, and charges through the woods, losing a high heel along the way and nearly snapping her ankle as the straps threaten to take her down. But Lana is resilient, and the adrenaline from the advancing danger keeps her going until they arrive at the exotic animal dealer, and she dives headlong into the window. Glass crashes as she pushes herself to her feet, unlatching the locks on one of the cages, and pressing her palm to a slumbering animal. It’s pitch black, and she has no idea what she’s even forcing her empathic abilities into, however, the rage in her emotions is fed into the form and a vicious roar is unleashed, before a massive tiger launches itself through the window and takes off for Al. A few minutes later they hear the shrill screams of their new ‘best friend’ as the tiger has its meal, and the witches relax amidst the safety of the dark room. “Taly. What are we going to do? I’m hearing double and seeing triple, and I really don’t feel well. But we can’t hang out in here… I’m too weak to wield a broom, and so are you! We have to escape this island! And did you hear Al?! He stole that wheelchair… I bet it was Brian! Holding a grudge from when we were kids!”

Talyara reaches out and attempts to rub Lanara’s back consolingly as she goes on her tirade about Nick and the Backstreet Bards. “Shh, I know. What they did was so messed up, but we can’t focus on that right now. We need to focus on getting out of here.” The druidic witch’s eyes go wide when Lana recalls that the burly baseball player had drunk half of the spiked blueberry sangria. “Oh my goddess you’re right! I wonder how he is handling all of this? Do you think he passed out like we did or no? And he really did see an albino! There was a weird guy under one of the tables who was yelling about the sun being a monster and how he wasn’t a fan of the moon either! It wasn’t Bachias though; this man was older than us.” As the two sisters begin to walk the path towards the only known landmark which is the pet shop, Taly kicks off her heels and carries them in one hand, while linking her other arm through Lanara’s—she wasn’t keen in losing her sister so it only made sense to keep physical contact lest something (or someone) try to split them up. When the man in the stolen wheelchair comes rolling over by the girls, screaming about being best friends, Taly nearly jumps back, giving her sister a significant look of horror as she pulls her closer. She opens her mouth to politely decline the offer of the ride when she sees Lanara give a slight nod out of the corner of her eye. Taly’s eyebrows hitch high on her face as she moves to step on her sister’s toes, a clear sign that she did not agree to this arrangement. However, as soon as the younger witch spies that dagger she grabs Lana and yanks her back several paces to put distance between them and the weapon. If this man was capable of stealing a wheelchair from an invalid who knew what he would do to a couple of witches in distress! Thankfully, Lanara seems to be on the same page (for once) and her fingers wrap around her wrist as she is tugged into the woods, the younger witch thankful she had shed her heels earlier on. While Taly runs normally she cannot help but admire her sister’s form--she is hunched over, chin to chest, arms close to her ribs with hands clenched and pumping with each stride, as she charges into the forest. “Where did you learn this agility, Lana?” Taly puffs out the question to her sister. Talyara attempts to slow their pace when they finally make it to the exotic pet shop but Lanara lets momentum take her and she launches herself through the front window, glass shards raining down on the younger witch who looks on in disbelief. “Lanara, are you insane?!” She hisses as she slips on her heels once more, attempting to limit her chance of stepping on a piece of glass as she climbs through the window after Lana. Unfortunately, this is after Lanara empathically enraged the tiger and the younger sister is forced to scream and roll to the side to get out of the path of the vicious animal who sprints after Al. Taly sits up and begins to pull shards out of her arm as blood trickles down her flesh, glaring at Lana. “Was that really necessary?! To release a tiger?!” She takes a few steadying breaths as she pushes herself to a stand and shakes her head. “I have no idea what we’re going to do. I don’t feel well either,” she says with a frown looking around precariously as the other animals begin to awaken with their ruckus. “Brian?! I told you not to steal his onions! And not only did you steal them but then you went into a pen with fawns and rolled around in deer feces! It was clumped in your hair so badly that mother had to cut it out!” Taly huffs and begins to brush more glass off of her sister before a voice from outside the shop startles them. “Perhaps, I can be of some assistance,” A short, petite man stands there with dark hair and dark almond shaped eyes, arms crossed over his chest and donning a cream colored suit. “My name is Leslie and I couldn’t help overhearing your predicament. “I am…a homeopathic healer,” he says with a grin, dipping his hand in his pocket, pulling out a bottle of capsules, and offering them to the girls. “There are all natural pills that will absorb the poison that you were given. I know this Brian you speak of and he is a bad man. I have been trying to stop him for many years now. Here…take.” Leslie extends his hand out to Talyara and shakes a few capsules into her palm. The druidic witch turns to her sister and gives her a look which silently asks if they should trust this man and take these healing pills. After silently confirming that they should give it a shot, Taly nods to Lana and swallows two pills.

Lanara peered over her shoulder as her sister admired her track skills, and she beams with pride, “Coach Hill. It’s an advanced form of agilities. He used to keep me after class back at the academy… I used to spend all of gym eyeing his assistant, Ohren… He was smoking hot. But… Now that I think back on it… His head looked like a dinosaur and his knees looked like chicken cutlets! I clearly had bad taste in men back then!” She says all of this, prior to the graceful dive through the window pane, and Taly’s admiration turns into sheer distaste as she brushes glass off of the both of their forms. The two bicker for a moment as the mauling of the tiger is audible from this distance, and the screaming of Al subsides as his throat is ripped out from the striped beast. “Wait, so there was an -actual- albino? I wonder if he fathered Bachias! We need to investigate further… I think I saw him. He was in a similar uniform as Maria’s man… And he was eating sunscreen or something like that?!” Lana looks more horrified at the aspect of an albino eating a questionable cream, than the deceased wheelchair-thief lying dead in the woods, and a tiger on the loose, courtesy of the sisters. She ignores the scolding that Taly gives her about the theft of the onions from the disabled man, the deer and the log rolling through their feces, and the cutting of her lustrous locks at the tender age of sixteen. The two sisters had a rather colorful past, and Lana scowls, not wanting to take the -full- blame for their shared shenanigans, so she waves a disproving finger, “It wasn’t all my doing, Taly! You stood there laughing instead of helping me as I fell into the dung! I was being stampeded by a herd of deer! And THEN! You! It was all YOU, missy! You went and played that game where you had to roll the balls and knock down the pins for prizes… Except you went and hid the balls so none of the children at the fair could play! You lost your balls! And then you threw some projectile at that poor old lady!” As the two bicker, Lana’s stomach begins to rumble, and she clutches her midsection, growing weasy. “I have to poop now! Those stupid truffles, I knew I shouldn’t have gone so crazy… But Grandpa Krawtch ordered seconds and I didn’t want to be rude!” Turning around in the nearly pitch-dark room, she hikes up her dress around her waist, and plops down, her derriere on the rim of a feeding bucket. However, the two haven’t noticed the midget lying passed out on the floor with his hand clutching the bucket. As Lana’s cheeks graze his knuckles and she heaves a sigh of relief, “Ooh this bucket is padded. Perfect. I just need to poop and we can get out of here and head home!” There’s a few plopping sounds, and suddenly the midget wakes up, his eyes growing wide, and he begins to scream as his fingers are covered in Lanara’s defecation. The elf screams in unison and jumps to her feet, using a towel to wipe her rear, as the little man awkwardly jumps around the room, his horror filling their tapered ears. “What the heck is wrong with you?! I was napping after lugging all the heavy food. And you came in! And you shi-” His words trail off, as a fourth member enters the party, and Leslie introduces himself and offers them some pills. Narrowing her eyes on him, Lana forgets all about the midget man, and eyes the slanted-eyed newcomer, his aura that of a sleazy salesman. She highly doubted that the pills would do just what he promised, but seeing that Taly had already downed a double dosage, Lana does the same, swallowing hard and exchanging a look with her sister. The irate midgets is so angry and bewildered by his shift ending this way, that he flings a turd, though instead of hitting either of the witches, it strikes Leslie, in the center of his chest! The poop slowly slides down his expensive suit, leaving an obvious smear on the cream colored attire, and he retaliates by opening one of the cages and hurling a little monkey at the man! The monkey screeches, the two men charge at each other, and Lana latches onto Taly’s wrist, and the two make their great escape through the broken window. “We have to run, Taly! Let’s go!” Lana is barefoot as she resumes her strange form of charging through the forest, and she drags Talyara close to her side, the two nearly side swiping a few trees as they begin to see everything in -very- vivid colors and the forest swirls. Was that a pink elephant? Lana stops, mid-agility, and bursts into a fit of uncontrollable giggles, at nothing in particular. Was was happening?! What did they ingest, now?!

Talyara wrinkles her nose when Lana speaks of her crush on her physical education professor and she tries to imagine a man with a dinosaur head and chicken cutlet knees and the younger witch cannot for the life of her figure out how her sister found him so attractive! Still this isn’t the time for inquiries so Taly continues to follow her sister and her amazing agilities to the pet shop where the mayhem ensues. “Yes there was a real albino! He apparently doesn’t like astrology, he kept screaming about the sun and the moon.” When Lana mentions that he was wearing the same uniform as that angry man she nods her head. “He was! I guess they play on the same team together. Anyway, we have no way of knowing where anyone else went!” As the sounds of Al’s screams reverberate in the air, Taly places her hands on her hips and scowls at her sister as Lana tries to lay blame on her for that day so many years ago. “Well, it was funny! And I hardly call a bunch of fawns jumping over you a stampede! You were supposed to be feeding them and you were rolling around with your onions!” The frown on her face soon cracks as the elder witch begins to reminisce about Talyara stealing the balls from that game. “You dared me to do it, Lana! Then I felt so badly that I made all those children upset!” Taly wrinkles her nose and relaxes her posture and shakes her head. “It’s too bad we got banned from the West End Fair. Grandpa Krawtch’s puppet show aside, that was a fun day. And everyone was so excited we came! Remember, they thought we were modern women from some big merchant city?!” When Lana grabs her stomach Taly looks at her sister with concern, thinking the poison is causing some more trouble. But when she explains it’s from the truffles and she needs to defecate Taly looks at her sister with disgust. “Oh my Goddess you’re going to do it right here?!” She asks quickly turning her back and gesticulating out of the broken window towards the woods as Lana squats. “The least you can do is do your business out there!” Talyara keeps her back to her sister as she does her business, merely shaking her head when she claims she found a padded bucket. Who heard of such a thing?! Taly feels her own stomach growing queasy as she heard the plops in the bucket but it is the unfamiliar scream that causes her to start and whip her head around. Her hands come to her mouth in disbelief as a midget begins screaming at her sister and Taly stumbles, nearly falling backwards out of the window when Leslie steadies her and offers her the pills. Both she and Lana partake but the man on the floor isn’t happy and when he flings the poo Taly likewise moves out the trajectory, gasping as it slides down Leslie’s cream colored suit. Taly feels her dinner burning in the back of her throat as she gags and breathes through her mouth in an attempt to keep her food down. “I…think…I’m going…to throw up…” she says to Lana with tears in her eyes. Thankfully, Lana is in better condition after dropping the kids off in the pool and she drags Taly from the shop and back into the woods away from the quarreling men. She eventually copies the posture of Lana’s agilities and finds that it greatly increases her speed so that her older sister no longer needs to drag her. The cool breeze that meets them as they run is enough that Taly no longer feels nauseous, but rather a feeling of euphoria is taking over and she finds herself giggling along with Lana. Eventually they stagger into a clearing and Taly playfully prods her sister in the shoulder. “Heeeeey Laaaaaana! Yoouuuu loooooook alllll swwwiiirrrrllllly,” she says as she breaks down laughing as if this is the funniest thing ever. Suddenly Talyara gasps dramatically and grabs her sister by the shoulders. “You know what I waaaaaant?” She asks Lanara, eyes wide, her pupils dilated. “Remember that one food cart we used to loooooove? Pasty Fortress?! They had the little square meat patties with cheese on bread. Mmmmmmm. We should goooooooo.”

Lanara is giddy with excitement, her bare feet caked in mud up to her ankles, as she leaps and bounds over fallen branches and logs, with the grace of a gazelle. The sisters are somewhere near the entrance of Gamorg at this point, the city of ogres, and they come up to a farmstead, where they stop to catch their breath. Suddenly, Taly grabs her by the shoulders, a fit of contagious giggles ensuing, and she’s going on and on about how she has the munchies and desires some cheeseburgers from an old locale back in Kelvar. “Talllllly! It’s not ‘Pasty Fortress’ it was called ‘Ivory Citadel’ and they had the best secret sauce! Why is it so farrrrrr away?!” Lana sways unsteadily, and wraps her arms tightly around her sister’s small frame, while pulling them both against the fence. Suddenly, the elf’s eyes widen and she yelps as a llama chomps down on the back of her head, tugging her by the hair, and trying to lure her into the enclosure. “Helllllp! I’m going to diiiie! This fat lard has a hold on my haiiiir. Talllllly….” She’s whimpering, not even thinking twice to stop this entire assault by using her empathic abilities. She wasn’t right in the head. Not after they both took a double dosage of hallucinogens! The llama won’t let up, and before she knows it, she’s climbing into the pen and wildly swatting at the air, while the farm beast continues to chew on her lustrous locks. The minutes tick by, before a massive ogre exits the house and glares at the troublesome witches, barely noticing that one of his pets was assaulting one of them. He bellows, “Tinah! Come ge’ yer dinnah! Wan sum ham?” The llama releases her grip on Lana, and the woman beelines out of the pen, though she nudges Taly and points to the ogre, neither of them ever having seen such a beast before. “Talllly. He kinda looks likkkke that girlll….” She wrinkles her nose, struggling to remember the brute from their yoga class back in their younger years. “She beatttt yooou upppp sooooooo bad. Then we hexxxied herrr…. Um…. Was it Lacy?” Clearing her throat, she lowers her voice and glares at her sister, doing what she assumes is her best drug-induced impersonation of the ill-mannered teen, “YOU’RE ON MY MAT!!!” Throwing her head back, Lana laughs hysterically, which draws the attention of the ogre, who points at the two with a grubby hand full of ham, “You two! Get off my property!” This only makes the sisters laugh harder, and Lana is about to tug Taly off in the direction she assumes is their long lost land, Kelvar, so they can meet up with their old friend Neal and his unicorn and get some grub, however, that is -not- in the cards, at least not on this night. Freakshow emerges from the shadows, wielding a rusty machete, and an expression of sheer hatred, as he advances on the young witches. Lana screams, knowing that it’s either Ham Hands in the north, Freakshow to the east, or Midget and Leslie from the south… Either way, they’d be captured. And in their altered state of mind, the colors and size of their advancing predators is intensified, the fear in their minds that much more magnified. Unsure how to get her and Taly safely out of this situation, they do the only thing left to do, and that is to charge into the woods to the west and pray for the best. They do their famous agility sprint through the brush, brambles, roots, and trees, all beneath the cloak of darkness, though after a few minutes their escape comes to an end as the moon is clearly visible overhead and the trees begin to thin. Now where were they?! Lana pants, her bare feet, legs, and arms, covered in scratches as she holds onto Taly’s hand, exchanging a look with her sister, as they near the edge of a cliff. “We… We have nowhere left to run, Taly!” Looking over her shoulder she sees Freakshow leading the charge as he surfaces at the tree line, screaming obscenities at the sisters, and that’s when Lana takes a step back, and without a further thought, she leaps backwards over the edge of the cliff, her weight causing her sister to fall into the murky depths at her side. Beneath would be a pool of water that would channel into the familiar current that flows from Rynvale to Cenril, though it would be frigid and filled with heavy waves, as well as beasts beneath the water.

Talyara is overcome with a fit of giggles as Lanara corrects her on the name of the food cart the sisters so adored growing up. “Pasty Fortresssss. Ivory Ci-dal,” she pronounces incorrectly. “It’s the saaaaaame thiiiiiing.” Taly oofs and staggers sideways as Lanara wraps her arms around her small frame and the pair fall into the fence. Despite the fact that the wire is digging into her flesh and cutting her up, Taly cannot seem to stop giggling! Even as Lana’s head is suddenly yanked up by a llama she bends at the middle and laughs wholeheartedly. “It’s like the deeeeeeer all ovvvvvver again! Heeheeheeheeeeyyyy where are you goiiiiing?” She asks the elder witch as she climbs into the pen, Taly’s eyes wide and glowing in the moonlight. The druidic witch attempts to follow her sister; however, when she reaches the top of the fence she simply falls over off the top, landing ungracefully on her face. She takes some time attempting to get up, unable to find her balance and get to her feet. In the end she just crawls over to Lanara and uses her to pull herself up just as Tina the llama prances over to the ogre to get her meal. Taly’s green eyes fall on the man as Lana makes her comparison to their exercise classmate and Taly has to hang onto her sister to remain upright for she is laughing so hard that tears are streaming down her cheeks. “On…my…mat!” She repeats through bouts of laughter. When the man yells at them to get off his property, the sisters cannot help but nearly fall over one another as if this is the funniest thing to happen! Taly is especially feeling the effects of the hallucinogenic drug, having taken such a large dosage with her much too small frame. Everything is so intense and her senses seem to be on fire. Colors are brighter, smells are more potent, and everything seems to be shiny. It’s a good thing Lanara keeps her hold on her younger sister because Taly is having a lot of trouble functioning at the moment. Still, the agilities are ingrained in her mind, so even in her inebriated state; Talyara is able to mimic her sister’s form and charge forward. “I’m…going to…get a whole...satchel of…burgers!” She yells at Lana through her labored breathing only to stop short when Freakshow suddenly appears and advances on the sisters. Lanara’s scream doesn’t quite register to Taly, it seems very far away, and she cocks her head to the side as her eyes never leave that rusty machete. It seems enticingly shiny and the druidic witch is extending her hands out towards it. Thankfully, Lana grabs her wrist and drags her away, and the agilities continue. When she is halted at the cliff she turns around in a circle looking up into the heavens. “The moon isn’t a monster,” she whispers to no one in particular. “It’s not a monster!” She shouts, her face screwing up in sudden anger as she remembers what the albino was saying back at the pub. “Run? Why are we running?” She asks Lana, confusion etched in her features. Once more Freakshow is closing in on the sisters and Taly looks back at him with a morbid curiosity. But Lanara’s hold is too strong and the younger witch topples over and begins to freefall besides her sister. “Weeeee we’re flyyyyying!” She says turning to grin at Lanara as the wind picks up and rushes between them. “Like Grandpa Krawtch’s chickens!”

As the sisters are falling the long distance to the watery depths below, Lana gives her sister a sidelong glance, her expression one of confusion. On one hand they were being chased by a murderous man covered in oozing boils and wielding a machete. On the other hand, this was the most exciting adventure the two sisters had taken in many years, and she was thoroughly amused at the drug-induced antics of her little sister. Not to mention the fact they just jumped off of the edge of a cliff, in the middle of the night, while under the influence of some very strange pills and potions, during a ‘going away’ party for Talyara! Lana was literally sending her sister off… The edge of a cliff! The elf can’t fathom Taly’s sudden hatred for the sun and the moon, nor is she as excited to be hurtling towards the rocky channel below, as her metabolism had worked better than Taly’s, since she isn’t emaciated and had eaten heartily at dinner. For once, Lana is right in the head, though she’s thinking that Taly could use some time at the academy when she gets back to Kelvar. Eventually they hit the rushing waves, and Lana screams as the frigid water licks at her figure, engulfing her until she resurfaces, treading water and frantically looking around for her sibling. She finds Taly, and pulls her over towards a small cave, and she glances up, though it’s so dark and she’s not able to see if they’ve been followed by their attackers. Freakshow likely abandoned the pair after witnessing their sweet agility skills and seeing them skydive off a cliff! Lana plucks an eel from the water and holds the wriggling serpent-like fish in her fist as she extends it to Taly, “EAT THIS! It’s the cure! It will make you well again, Sister! I read somewhere that eating a well-balanced eel every day and inhaling lots of incest is the way to a healthy lifestyle.” Rounding on her sister, she inches nearer as the slippery eel fidgets in her grasp, and it’s then that Lana stands still and quirks a brow, before doubling over in laughter. “I meant MEAL! Not EELS!” And... Maybe she meant ‘incense’ not incest?! Though she didn’t quite catch onto that slip of the tongue, just yet. She’s laughing so hard that she loses her control over the eel and it flops around on the rocks, before slipping back into the water. The sibling’s laugh, seemingly for hours, over nothing and everything, cuddled up together and drying off, when it sinks in that they have to head home, and the effects of the drug seem to be dying down. Finally. Lanara bites back a yawn as she rises to her feet and pulls up her sister, motioning to the water, “We have to get back into the water… I have an idea. I will call on some of my aquatic friends to pull us into town. We can rent a room in Cenril for the night, but please don’t steal the mayor’s curtains again!” Leaning in, she gives Taly a kiss on the cheek, “I love you, Taly. And I will miss you when you go off to find yourself and visit our homeland. But you come back to me, okay?” Hand in hand, the sister’s wait on the rocks, until two manatees swim into view and wait for the women to mount their backs. They’d have about an hour or so of a ride, though after only ten minutes, Lana is snoring softly and cuddled up on the giant fishes back. She had too much excitement for one night, and all that running around had tuckered her out.

Talyara thinks nothing of free falling off a cliff—true, if she had been in her right state of mind she would be yelling and panicking and crying at this very moment. However, the combination of potions and pills is enough to let the younger witch lose her inhibitions. Her hair whips around her face and she closes her eyes and spreads her arms to better feel like she is flying. When her lithe body slices through the icy water she lets out a squeal of surprise, the temperature seeming to wash some sense into her. It takes some sprawling and erratic paddling on her behalf, but eventually she breaks through the surface of the salty water and gasps for air, her lungs aching from lack of breath. She doesn’t have to search for Lanara very long when the elder witch plucks her up and drags her towards the cavern. Taly’s eyes go wide when Lana pulls an eel out of the water and the former screeches and begins to run away. “Lana! You know I’m TERRIFIED of eels! Don’t you remember those nightmares I used to have? Mother sending me away to my own academy and being submerged in these pools of water full of eels only to be watched by creepy orderlies and nurses?” Lana remains oblivious to Taly’s fears but realizes her mistake—having meant meals and not eels—and drops the slippery sucker on the rocks before he makes his grand escape. The woodland witch’s laughter is contagious and soon Taly, tears streaming down her face, is laughing right along with her sister, looking completely manic. The sisters spend the rest of the evening laughing, cuddling up together to keep warm, and reminiscing on old times. When Lana suggests they wade back into the water Taly wrinkles her nose at the thought but sighs and nods her head. The kiss on her cheek prompts the druidic witch to pull Lana into a lingering embrace. “I will come back Lana, I promise. I won’t leave you for long, plus I’m sure Larz and Scandal will make sure you behave,” she adds with a wink before moving back into the waves and waiting for the sea cows. Taly is hesitant at first, but eventually she acquiesces and climbs on the back of her manatee. Like Lanara, she drifts off sooner than expected, the memories of their wild and crazy night flitting through her dreams, leaving a gentle smile on her face as she sleeps.