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A Tale From Traz: 61
Phineas and Eliza broke the water's surface, gasping for air. The weight of the princess's
armor threatened to pull them back down again, but the kelpie soon arrived to assist.
With its help, the caster and warlord managed to pull themselves out of the dungeon that
was now overflowing with water.
On his hands and knees, Phineas took a moment to spit out a mouthful of dirty river brine
before standing up and offering a hand to Eliza. All enemy units in the garrison were now
croaked or captured. The city had fallen. They had won.
Or at least, they had not lost. The Carnymancer was having trouble feeling victorious
with all they had to sacrifice to get to this point. After retrieving his hat from where it
floated on the water, he looked over to where Chip lay slumped against the wall on the
wet floor. His arms and legs lay limp, but the man still managed a broken smile. "We d-
did it," Chip said with some effort. Phineas couldn't help but smile back, even if only
A Tale From Traz: 52 - 60
Phineas followed his former side's most experienced warlord into the hallway of their
enemy's garrison tower. Even in the less than athletic guise of Queen Chevron, Eliza's
skill and power were evident. The way she held her hammer ready over her shoulder. The
way she moved carefully and purposefully with every step. It was like watching a cat
hunting for a mouse it could smell nearby. Magnificent.
Still, these mice threatened to eat this cat alive. Phineas had never been one to be afraid
of croaking. Even leaping from a tower top toward likely demise had not worried him.
Sure, he had always paid close attention to the threat of croaking and tried to minimize
the risks, but he had never feared the possibility. But here, knowing he was going to
croak but not knowing when or how... It was starting to edge into his consciousness.
They turned a corner. A pair of guards at the end of the hall noticed them immediately
and engaged. But as they approached, Phineas noticed they seemed
A Tale From Traz: 40 - 51
Nobody in the room knew what to do. Eliza sent Wally out to get everyone into a single-
stack as they waited for what they knew was soon to come. King Chip seemed to be
sulking as he stared blankly at all the intel lying on the war table. Every once and a while
someone would try to say something comforting or encouraging, but Chip would just
shrug it off. For twenty more minutes it went on like this until the inevitable eventually
happened. Their capital city had been captured. They were all barbarians now.
Chip pounded a fist against the table. "I want everyone out," the now ex-ruler said
without looking up.
"Chip," Eliza replied gently, taking a step toward her nephew. "This is no time to lose
your head. There is still a lot-"
"Please, just... don't argue."
She didn't. Eliza, the other warlords, and Phineas himself all exited Chip's tent one by
one. Once outside Eliza spoke up again. "I know it is a tough time for all of us. I lost my
brother today an
Of Snake Charmers and TreesThere are mathematicians
that calculate the gravitational
pull that tethers us to one another,
teasing sense out of the fabric
of Time and Space like
wizened snake charmers.
I thought them so horribly
unromantic, searching for
logic amidst wildflowers-
reasoning being reason enough
to put one foot in front
of the other each day.
True beauty lay printed
on petals and pages,
where I delved for pearls;
the patterns in the pathos
intriguing me into each
rising of the sun.
I do not remember when
it occurred to me that
without fractals there would
be no trees, nor without love
would people have any reason
to calculate the distances that
separate them from their muses.
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