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Jackie the Giant

Retreci is a medieval land, mostly forests with a few mountains and plains scattered about. The biggest city is Riesun, with is just a little bit south of the North Mountains. Riesun itself is about the size of Dublin (the real one, in Ireland) and is made up of King Rey's castle surrounded by a slowly spreading expanse of peasant housing and markets.

11/3/2011 . Edited by Ibex, 11/2/2014 #1
Jackie the Giant

The middle of Benjiro Forest was peaceful and quiet... until a flash of blue light interrupted. It seemed to sollidify into the forms of two people, one a woman and the other a man. The man, Albatross, staggered slightly and attempted to blink the spots from his eyes. He gave a sigh of relief as he looked around and realized that they were their proper size, and not six inches tall.

"Lilia? Are you all right?" He asked his companion with concern.

11/3/2011 #2

Lilia tripped a little as the light started to fade. She was still clutched on his arm fearfully. She had no idea where she was, and she was terrified. She didn't want to move. She didn't want to do anything but stay near Al, who was the only thing about this strange but beautiful land she knew. "I'm okay." she answered breathily. "You?"

11/3/2011 . Edited 7/1/2012 #3
Jackie the Giant

"I'm fine." Albatross said as he led her along the street. "Now, I have a friend who tends to hang out at the Horrible Haggis Pub. She should be able to help us out." He led her to a doorway beneath a sign that portrayed a rat-like creature with a webbed feet and a finned tail. "That's a haggis, if you couldn't tell." Al told Lilia as he pushed open the door.

As soon as he pushed the door all the way, a knife buried itself into the doorframe by his head. "Milton!" He shouted; while glaring accusingly at an elf in a leather jacket.

"Whoops. Sorry." Milton said with an embarrassed grin. "I thought you were someone else."

"Where's Posie?" Al asked, peering around the pub. Milton pointed mutely at a martini glass on the bar, wherein a tiny figure slept. The Royal Magician sighed and approached the glass, picking up the fairy inside by the back of her shirt while she slept on. With a sigh, he turned back to Lilia.

"Lilia, meet Posie." He said, holding up the heavily drunk fairy.

11/3/2011 . Edited by Ebanine, 7/1/2012 #4

Lilia never let go of Albatross's hand, she didn't want to risk anything. And she stared at the fairy in fascination. "It's nice to meet you Posie." she said politely. She was in Albatross's home now, and she didn't have a weapon nor a clear idea of her surroundings. And that Milton character scared her already. "How can she help us?" she asked, she didn't want to add 'because she is only a few inches high'.

11/3/2011 #5
Jackie the Giant

"Posie may be small, but she is quite powerful when it comes to magic." Albatross explained. "Besides, she knows the surrounding countryside better than anyone else I know. We'll need her if we want to find Tulio's cavern."

"Hey, girlie! Want to play a round?" Milton asked Lilia, one eyebrow wiggling playfully at her.

"No she doesn't!" Al said before she could answer, then turned to Lilia. "Don't ever play poker with him. He'll take you for all you've got." He warned her.

11/3/2011 #6

Lilia smiled. "I'll take your word for that." she said. Lilia realized she was still holding the rose that Garret gave her. He felt so far away now, and Albatross was her only source of comfort here. She thought about what Garret had said right before they left Ascention, and almost rejected the thought that Albatross even wanted the idea of love. Instead of rejecting it, she put it out of her mind. Lilia released Albatross's hand and went to examine the knife in the doorway, it was embedded deep, but she need some kind of weapon. She took hold of it with one hand and yanked hard. It came out with some difficulty and she planted it in her holster. She almost thought about flinging at the elf, not to kill him, but to show him what kind of a 'girlie' she was.

Lilia once again looked at the rose she held, then snapped it in two and left it on the floor. She returned to Al's side and sank her weight on one hip. "Tulio's cavern? Shouldn't we try and find your mother first?" she asked Albatross.

11/3/2011 . Edited 11/3/2011 #7
Jackie the Giant

Albatross nodded. "Yes, of course. I should let her know that I'm all right. And the young prince as well." The Royal Magician held the door and made an "after you" gesture. "Oh, and don't be surprised if we get ambushed by a young man in the stables. That's the stable boy, Pascel. He tends to do everything a little too enthusiastically."

11/3/2011 #8

She walked out the door and nodded about his comments. She looked all around her, it was a beautiful place, but she had never been more scared in her life. She knew nothing about Riesun, and she didn't want to get in any more trouble like she did in Ascention. Yet she was also excited about meeting Albatross's mother. Lilia's stomach growled. She hadn't eaten for a good three days, but she ignored it. "So this is the famous Retreci? It's absolutely wonderful." she said taking Albatross's gently.

11/3/2011 . Edited 11/4/2011 #9

"It must feel wonderful to be home again, I wish my sister could see this." she said quietly. Lilia quickly dismissed the thoughts about her family. She had left that life behind, and she had to make a life in Retreci now. "Albatross, how do we tell who is under Tulio's power, and who isnt? I don't think we can afford any trouble if what you say about this man is true." she said as they strolled along.

11/4/2011 . Edited 7/1/2012 #10
Jackie the Giant

"I don't think he'll hypnotize anyone else." Albatross said. "In fact, now that we've gotten back, he'll make it as easy as possible for me to find him so that he can destroy me himself." He suddenly looked down at Posie, who was still sleeping in his hand. "This may seem off-topic, but Posie does not usually drink. The last time I caught her drunk was when her village's beloved leader died." He gently poked the sleeping form, and she rolled over. "Posie, wake up." He muttered, putting his lips close enough that his breath ruffled her beautiful hair. "Posie... what's wrong?"

Posie's eyes fluttered open, and she sat up groggily. "Al?" She whispered, as she caught sight of the magician's face so close to hers. "Al! You're alive!" She hugged his nose. "They told me you were dead!" She suddenly tensed and backed away. "Al, he killed them. The entire village! He burned it to the ground!" Tears were now flowing down the fairy's face.

11/4/2011 . Edited by Ebanine, 7/1/2012 #11

Lilia looked pitifully at Posie, she didn't know what village she was referring to, but it didn't sound good. However, all her mind stuck on was what Albatross had said. 'he'll make it as easy as possible for me to find him so that he can destroy me himself'. Lilia replayed it over and over in her mind, and she would do anything to prevent that from coming true. Even if it meant putting herself in line of fire. "Who Posie? Who's been killed, what happened? Albatross what does she mean?"

11/4/2011 . Edited 7/1/2012 #12
Jackie the Giant

Al gently stroked the fairy's hair and made comforting noises as she sobbed. He felt an ache in his heart, because many of those fairies had been friends of his, especially their leader, Ruber, who would often come over to play chess with him. He looked at over at Lilia, who had an unusually serious look on her face.

"We should get going." He told her. "Fortunately, the king of Transmare allows the countries he conquers to go about their usual routine, so we won't have to worry about being stopped on the way to the castle."

11/4/2011 . Edited by Ebanine, 7/1/2012 #13

Lilia nodded. "Where now?" she asked him as they walked. Posie was still crying in Albatross's hand. She felt bad for the little fairy, she knew how she felt. How quickly you can lose everything, and how much it hurts. Taking another look at Posie, she realized that she was about the same size Albatross was when he was shrunk. Lilia almost smiled a little. But it was too much of a serious time for that.

11/4/2011 . Edited 7/1/2012 #14
Jackie the Giant

"To the castle." Albatross said as he topped a ridge that overlooked Riesun. "Right there." He pointed at the enormous castle that sat at the very center of the city. "I need to make sure my mother and the young prince is all right." He took Lilia's hand and didn't let it go even as they entered the city. "What do you think?" He asked, for some reason finding it very important to have her approval of his home.

11/4/2011 #15

Lilia gasped at the view. "Albatross, it's... it's beautiful." she said dreamily. It was the most breath taking city she had laid eyes on. People wandered busily about, all being kind and all of them pleasantly happy. "It's the most wonderful thing I've ever seen." she said looking up at his face, and she truly meant it. She already loved it in Retreci.

11/4/2011 . Edited 11/4/2011 #16
Jackie the Giant

Al shot her a real smile. "I'm glad." He said sincerely. Posie was still sniffling in his hand, so she didn't offer any peanut gallery quips, which he was eternally grateful for. He was having a hard enough time sorting out his feelings for Lilia without the fairy "helping".

They had gotten about halfway to the castle, when Al was ambushed by a figure no taller than his chest. It was a young man, with brownish-gray, slightly wrinkled skinl; no hair and pointed ears. Al recognized him as the troll/human hybrid stable boy, Pascel.

"Pascel! What's wrong?" He asked.

"Oh! Sir! He took your horse! He took Cheval!" Pascel was crying the same way that Posie had been. Those horses were like family to him. Al sighed.

"Lilia, this is the stable boy Pascel. Pascel, this is my friend Lilia." Pascel bowed to her in the same exaggerated way he had hugged Al and seemed to do everything.

11/4/2011 . Edited by Ebanine, 7/1/2012 #17

Lilia fought the urge to back away from the boy. He was completely different from anything she had seen before. But she wasnt beyond being polite. "Pleased to meet you Pascel." she said with a tiny curtsy. Lilia kept assuming that the 'he' everyone was talking about was Tulio. And 'he' seemed to be doing alot of things lately. "Albatross, we should really get to your mother, and the prince." she said tugging on his robe. She wanted to get away from the stable boy, but if Albatross needed information, she would stay with him. She wasn't going ten feet any direction without Al for the time being.

11/4/2011 . Edited 7/1/2012 #18
Jackie the Giant

"Pascel, is it safe at the castle?" Albatross asked the stable boy.

"It is for me, Sir." Pascel said. "But Tulio took over your lab. I don't think you should go there." The troll boy looked deeply concerned for their safety.

"All right. I want you to go back to the stables, and keep an eye on things." Al told him sternly. "If anything happens that we should know about, then come and tell me."

Pascel nodded and ran off down the street. Al put Posie in his hood so that he could have both hands free, and grabbed Lilia's. "Come on. We had best keep going."

11/4/2011 #19

Lilia nodded, she couldn't deny that she was nervous. And she didn't like it. "Albatross, what if Tulio went after your mother?" she asked fearfully.

11/4/2011 #20
Jackie the Giant

Albatross shook his head. "He wouldn't do that, because then he would get into trouble with King Furym. There are rules that govern the behavior of wizards during times of war. One of those rules is that rival wizards are fair game, but anyone else in the kingdom may or may not get protection, depending on the king who invades. I am fair game, but my mother is protected by King Furym."

11/4/2011 #21

Lilia half relaxed, but she still was fearful for Albatross's life. They were closer to the castle now, and she could also see a huge library in the distance. "Alright, who do we go to see first?" she asked. Lilia shifted her gaze around fearfully, looking for Transmarean soldiers that might want to pick a fight with Albatross. Or worse, Tulio himself. She didn't doubt that he knew they were here.

11/4/2011 . Edited 11/4/2011 #22
Jackie the Giant

"We should go to my mother first." Albatross said. "I know she'll be in the library. The young prince could be anywhere." He led her towards the library, on the watch himself for any soldiers. The place was unguarded and surprisingly empty. The large, round room that took up most of the building was usually full to the brim with scribes, magicians, researchers and casual readers. Now there were barely five people in the room.

"Mum?" Al called out, and a concern expression crossed his face when he got no answer. Surely she had been protected, right? His fears were blown away however, when a round woman with wiry red hair came trudling otu of a side room and dropped her books at the sight of him.

"Albatross!" She squealed and ran over to grab him in a hug. She was only about as tall as Pascel had been, and there was really very little similarity between the two of them. "I'm so glad you're alive." She said happily, then noticed Lilia. "Ooh! And you found a lady friend. I knew you would do it someday." She nudged him suggestively, and Al's entire face reddened.

"Mum, really..." He said, mortified that she would say such a thing in front of Lilia.

11/4/2011 #23

Lilia laughed. "It's nice to finally meet you ma'am, Albatross talked about you often, and I'm only a friend." she said the last few words with emphasis. She said it for Albatross's sake, she didn't want to make him feel uncomfortable. "Your son got me out of quite a few tight spots, I owe him my life."

11/4/2011 #24
Jackie the Giant

Al's mum didn't look fooled for an instant. "Well, Alby here is quite good at that sort of thing."

Albatross looked at her. "Mum. Don't call me Alby. You know I hate being called Alby." All he got in return was his hair ruffled. He cleared his throat. "Mum, this is Lilia."

"Oh, a pleasure to meet you." Al's mum grabbed Lilia's hand and shook it heartily. "Now, I hate to leave you two, but a lot of the scribes have left so I have three times as much work." She paused to smile at them before going back to her books. "Oh, you two make such a good couple." She said proudly, leaving before Al could protest.

11/4/2011 . Edited by Ebanine, 7/1/2012 #25

Lilia bumbed Albatross with her hip playfully. "I believe your mother approves of our non-existent relationship Alby." she teased. Lilia watched his mother waddle away from them. She sighed happily and spun with her arms out wide. She loved books, she learned everything she knew from them, besides her fighting skills. She beamed at Albatross. She truly believed that she could be happy in Retreci, as soon as they took back the kingdom from Tulio, she reminded herself.

11/4/2011 #26
Jackie the Giant

"If mum had her way, I would have been married off at the age of thirteen to some farm wife who would fatten me up on bread and cheese." Albatross said. "And please don't call me Alby. It's a type of fish, and an ugly one at that." His gaze softened as he watched Lilia enjoying herself. He didn't even realize that he was smiling as he did so. She really was quite beautiful, and he wasn't thinking entirely of her looks. She had managed to stay kind, gentle and relatively innocent even in a bad place like Ascention. In his eyes she was an angel.

11/4/2011 #27

Lilia smirked fondly at Albatross's talk of marriage. "If my father had his way I would have been married to a pompous brat at fifteen, the same fiance who gave me this." she said shifting her dress sleeve up to show the pink 7 inch scar on her left arm.

11/4/2011 #28
Jackie the Giant

"I will never understand it when a parent gives their child to an abusive partner." Albatross said, frowning with concern at the scar. "I take it that there was some sort of status to be gotten out of it?" At that moment, he really did not like Lilia's father, and if he ever met the man who gave Lilia that scar then that guy was going to live the rest of his very short life as a housefly.

11/4/2011 #29

"It was my fault actually, if you could believe it." she said frowning. "Remember how I told you that I murdered someone using magic? That someone was my fiance's, Arthur's, father. He attacked me in the night thinking I was a burglar. The knife I bargained to Jarma, same knife that gave me my scar." she explained. Her face became sad as she recounted on the story. "I left my home that night, I left my father, my baby sister, all of them to the mercy of my grandfather."

11/4/2011 #30
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