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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
A Tale From Traz: 29 - 39
"So the intel was right after all. It was an army of Traz units approaching." Princess Eliza
walked calmly over to Prince Chip, then leaned down and gave him a big hug. She was a
little taller than Chip, but he was slightly more muscular. Chip just stood there, his arms
dangling limply at his sides. Phineas had to struggle to hold back a snicker.
Chip cleared his throat. "It is good to see that you-"
"And look at you," Eliza continued, holding prince Chip out at arm's distance. "To think
my nephew, my brother's son, has grown so much since I last saw him. By level you have
grown by two!" This time a snicker did escape Phineas and Chip shot him a glare. While
the princess was being sincere in her compliments, it still struck Phineas as funny that she
was making such a big deal about him going from level one to level three.
"You shouldn't laugh Phineas," Eliza remarked, flipping her straight brunette hair over
her armored shoulder. Phineas instantly felt ashamed, being scolded
A Tale From Traz: 20 - 28
"Phineas L., you're looking swell."
"So make me a bouquet, Mr. Bouté," Phineas replied to Seymour as he neared him in the
shrub-filled hex. Seymour smiled at the snappy reply, but Phineas kept a stern face. He
still wasn't in the mood after the previous turn's excitement.
"Where is everyone?" Phineas asked as he slid off of the sourmander he was riding. "I
thought this was the rendezvous point." The only other units in the hex besides Phineas's
escorts were Seymour and his escorts.
"Oh they went on ahead. Duke Chu and Wally returned to the column early this turn with
news from Ponchovilla's capital. Apparently Chu's former Queen is going to send a
contingency group to one of their nearby cities called Stashburns. Prince Chip is anxious
to get there so they left me to direct you toward their location when you arrived. That,
and so that I could finish my work here."
"Your work?" Phineas asked, raising an eyebrow.
Seymour shot him a look of disapproval. "Don't tell me you
Volpi.You will find that the story you tell
is very rarely your own. In Lucca,
even the smallest pebbles
breathe in the warm sunlight.
Knotted stones and cobbled roads
beat out a paper-dry heartbeat heat
my city breathes in and out,
inhales sparrow air.
It's writing a story.
You are the pen.
You will find that in Lucca
the daisy chains forge fire
in side streets and back alleys.
Teenagers intertwine. Tell me,
odd flower, are you still closed?
Here we are colored wax;
the heat of the city melts us.
We run into each other, rhapsody
of pigments. Operas are our specialties.
Open up; feel the reds.
If not, try and see them. There is a place
of deep knife marks, a street
long as midnight
you may learn something there.
Valentina's voice glimmers like red wine.
You may enjoy intoxications. Still,
know alcohol has no story
and will swallow your own.
Find the sign with the wolf on it.
You'll know the place. Epiphanies ring true as church-bells.
Lucca still guides the wanderers
to well sp
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