Through jade glass, he saw the tower all the way across the little valley, sitting atop a lonely hill of stone and surrounded by a moat of green water. No wait—the water wasn't green, that's just how it looked through the glass. He lowered his tinted spectacles to view the scene with more clarity.
"Pretty," squeaked a small voice beside him. Turning to his left, he glanced down at the little girl there. Her orange curls bounced as she rocked on her heels. "Looks like it's all alone..."
A grunt came from his right, and he turned back around to look up at the hulking form of the noise's origin. Clad in heavy black leather adorned with a royal purple cape, he gave the tower a look. "Don't look too fancy to me, Finch," he said, his words heavy in his big mouth. "You sure there's treasure in it?"
"Worry not, great Dune, for looks can be deceiving," he replied as he turned back to gazing ahead. "Wouldn't you think such an unassuming tower would be the best place for one to hide such riches? There's no sense in flaunting the hidden, now is there?" Finch intertwined his fingers as he stretched his gloved hands out before him.
Dune put a hefty mitt to his wide chin, looking like he was coming to such an understanding. "Makes sense."
The little girl to Finch's left began to swing her arms back and forth. "I still think it's pretty."
Dune's mouth twisted in a grimace as he gave the girl a sidelong glance. "I guess so." He shrugged, his armored shoulders clinking and clacking against their pieces of steel. "But you know, Dixie, I bet the jewels stashed inside are even prettier," he said with a smirk.
Finch ran a hand over his mess of short dark hair, then adjusted his green spectacles, squinting at the somewhat distant tower. "I see it's got its share of fancy spells on it, though," he said as he observed the wavering fields of light through his jade glass. He smirked. "Looks like a lot of fun."
Dixie smiled as she looked to the tower as well, though she couldn't see such fields. "You think we can get in?" she said as she opened up the bright orange pouch around her waist, retrieving a small baked good and lifting it to her round face for inspection before taking a bite.
Finch shrugged. "Can't tell until we get to the door, D'," he said as he flipped his spectacles closed and fit them in the pocket of his green vest. Behind them, his big beady eyes were revealed as solid colors of one fluorescent green, and one vibrant red.
"Then how's about we get down there and find our way inside?" said Dune. He looked to his companions with his big arms crossed over his armored barrel chest.
"Right-o!" exclaimed Finch. He stepped forward with swagger and a smile, tilting as he started downhill. He put his arms out to flip into a handstand, beginning to cartwheel downhill. He fell on his face.
Shaking off, he stood to strut back up to the spot between the others. "Let's try that again," he said, his smile still strong.
He took the step, flipped forward, and proceeded to launch himself into a cartwheel, into a springing handstand, and with a green flash, bounced all the way down to the bottom, where the little valley plateaued to stretch toward the moat.
"Woo!" he shouted, his cry echoing faintly. He glanced back up to his companions with a grin.
Dune barked a laugh as he stepped down the hill, walking quickly to catch up. Dixie finished her muffin, wiping her mouth with a sleeve. She giggled as she skipped along after the big man.
The three crossed a rickety bridge over the sodden, shallow moat. The path looked to be old and untouched as it led the way to the big door at the tower's base.
The three stood before the imposing gateway, looking up to the top that sat at twice their height. Dune went up and pushed and pulled on the handle, but it didn't yield.
"Hm. 's'it locked?" he said, standing back with his hands on his hips.
Finch examined it, finding a twined web of ethereal spellings wrapped around the doors. "Indeed it is..." he said, putting a hand to his chin.
Dixie looked up, pulling a hairpin out of her orange locks. The corner of her long hair fell before her eye. "Can it be picked?" she asked.
"Do ya see a keyhole?" said Dune, gesturing to the plain wooden door, whose big iron handles sat alone.
With a grimace, she fixed her hair back into place, locking the locks with her makeshift pick.
Finch put his hands forward, feeling the magic that held the tower closed. "It's gonna need a special touch to get us in there," he said. "Something to open it in just the right way..."
Dune cracked his knuckles. "I'll be happy to kick it down. Or tackle it open. I could even try just punching it. That special enough?"
Finch shook his head. "Well now, I can't say for sure, but I bet it's protected against that." He put an arm down, and turned one hand to the space between the handles. "Beyond it, I can feel a thousand different kinds of magic. But right here, I find only one."
With the back of his fingers, he rapped the wooden door. To Dixie and Dune, nothing happened. But he felt it break. Finch proceeded to push the doors open. "Open sesame!" he said.
The three stepped forward to look inside the tower curiously, finding the dark space inside vast and dusty. As soon as they set foot beyond the doorway, a light came on. Around the room, old candles set about lit themselves, followed by a large iron chandelier hanging overhead. The ground floor was illuminated to show its untouched contents laid out as if someone had once lived here, yet hadn't for a long, long time.
There was a multitude of interesting baubles and contraptions around, set up for tinkering and toying. Among it all there stood an archway across the room, beyond which was a dark staircase. It was blocked by a set of iron bars that shimmered with a light that couldn't always be seen. In the center of the room was a large pedestal, upon which sat a tablet facing the trio.
As they approached, words began to form before their very eyes, as if writing themselves in glowing white light. The ethereal scrawling soon read: 'Hunters of Fortune and Mischief in one, seek no further, for the Game has begun.'