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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

The Book of Ataniel

The Hell and Back Archives
Plus Ca Change, Plus C'est La Meme Chose, Part III

Character(s): Jack Paris, Ebreth Tor
Author: Laura Redish, from Cal-i-for-ni-ay
Storyline: Dinner, Drinks, And Baths Before That Mysterious Woman Shows Up
Title of Post: Back To The Mithril Dagger
The Rat Pack staggered in to the Mithril Dagger, exhausted from their day at Signetland. Kit, who had eaten too much cotton candy, couldn't bear the thought of dinner, but no one else shared her sentiments. Kayla, despite seeming to be a little bit distracted, had not muffed even one item on the large, diverse, and (in some cases) very particular tab. Jack was even more impressed by her than he had been the first time he had come here. He didn't look at her legs at all this time, though. Jack was a one-woman equation.
He stood up and stretched as Val smiled at him over her elven wine. Maybe she had noticed he wasn't looking at the waitress. That was good. "I think I'm going to go read to Ebreth for a while," he said. "You'll come get me if the mystery woman shows up, won't you? I don't want to miss it or anything--"
"Of course, dear," purred Valende.
Jack liked it when she called him "dear". Cori had stopped reacting negatively to Val's displays of affection towards him. Actually, she acted as if the elf just plain didn't exist. Jack shelved that one for later, though. Cori obviously didn't want to talk about it yet. "Follow me, Ebreth. We can use one of the rooms up--" Ebreth Tor rose from his seat and put his hand in Jack Paris', his face completely blank. Jack was a little surprised. "Uh, that's right," he said, and squeezed his friend's hand. "Come with me."

Character(s): Khyrisse and the Rat Pack
Author: Kristin L.K. Andersen
Storyline: Well, What Now?
Title of Post: Something Resembling a Responsible Leader-- Just Add Hope
Khyrisse stared, glass of cider frozen several inches from her mouth, as Ebreth got up and put his hand in Jack's. It was the first thing even approaching an independent action that he'd taken since they'd rescued him. She suddenly felt as if her heart had started beating again after a long, unnoticed stillness. The distracted, nervous fog she'd been moving around in for days began to clear out of her head. "Jack," Khyrisse called softly, as they went up the stairs. "Jack!" Jack turned to look at her. "Thank you."
Jack blinked at her, obviously a little puzzled. "Um, sure."
Jack and Ebreth vanished up the stairs, and Khyrisse sat at the table, thinking. Okay, we're all out of the Lower Planes. Jack seems to be back to normal... Valende seems to be all right... so does Vas. She glanced over at the kids. Skitch was impishly offering to share his dessert with Kit, and giggling at the exaggerated groans of revulsion she made at the idea. Kit and Skitch seem just fine...
She mentally ran down her list of the Rat Pack. I don't have the slightest idea how to deal with Asinus when he's normal, much less when he's possessed by Zerthimon. I think I'll have to leave him to Jack, she decided ruefully. Garal has been twitchy since we left the Abyss... but I don't know what's wrong with him. Cori and Kristin have been twitchy since the Oyster Totem went off. I have a pretty good idea what's wrong with them, and it�s not my business. I'd suspect that they got caught in a room together, if Cori weren't so fervently ignoring Valende's existence. Khyrisse glanced at Tarrin. I think that means that the princess was caught in a room with Tarrin. But Tarrin seems perfectly normal. I don't get it. She sighed a little. Alphred looks worried. I wonder if he realizes we have all three of the people he was looking for? She blinked. At least, I hope we do. I don�t think I�ve seen the Rat since early on in Hell.
Which leaves Schneider and Ebreth. Khyrisse closed her eyes, wincing. What a mess. How did Rhynwa ever decide whether or not someone needed talking to, anyway? Her mouth twisted ruefully. And how loudly?
�Are you all right, Khyrisse?� Vas said. She opened her eyes to find him tilting his head at her, looking mildly amused. I must have been making a pretty interesting face, she thought, smiling a little. I�ll finish worrying about this stuff in private, I think. I�ve still got to sort out how many loose ends we left lying around...
�Yes, I�m fine. I�m off for the tub. Send Val for me if our mystery lady arrives, would you?�
�Oh, I could do that, milady,� Vas replied innocently.
�No, Vas,� Khyri and Val said, simultaneously.


"Oh!" Khyrisse stopped halfway up the stairs, turned around, and came back down. She left some money with Kevin and got room keys for everyone. Under the pretext of getting towels for her bath, she whispered to Kayla, "I'm sure Flicker just got delayed somewhere. I'll cast some spells tonight and see if I can find him."
"Would you?" Kayla said, with a little smile. "Thanks."

Character(s): Jungle Boy and Spirit Maiden
Author: Jeff Hersh and Kristin L.K. Andersen
Storyline: Well, What Now?
Title of Post: Darn Those Prophecies...
Khyrisse walked into the Mithril Dagger's bathing room, towels in hand-- and bumped into Alphred, who had been waiting patiently for her to arrive. She shouted and jumped back, towels flying everywhere. "Alphred!! What are you doing here?!"
"It is time, Spirit Maiden. Those who have been predicted are assembled. We must head off for Salagia," said Alphred, looking grimmer than he had ever looked before.
Khyrisse just folded her arms and looked at him. "Right now?" It wasn't really a question.
Alphred opened his mouth, then closed it again. "No, not now. That would be foolish. I need to talk to Nur'ur and the Rat first. Tar'rin has already agreed to come with me. Time is critical here, Spirit Maiden. We have until the three moons are in opposition. Tar'rin tells me that is just two weeks away."
Khyrisse relaxed her belligerent posture and sat on the edge of the tub. "What are we supposed to be doing, again?" she sighed. "There are... problems with both Jack and I running off to Salagia right now."
"While I was away, I was brought to the land of the Great Spirits. They reminded me of the rise of evil in Salagia. The Lizard Demon Malat'k and his hordes of reptiles and fowl are overrunning the land. The predictions say that you, me, the Eastern priest, and the rodent who knows will defeat this evil. If we do not, then all of Salagia will fall to the hordes."
Khyrisse blinked a little. Her mouth moved, shaping the words "Lizard Demon" incredulously.
Alphred paused, sighed, then continued. "From what was revealed to me, Malat'k plans to free the great demon lizard T'aal from his prison in the Bottomless Gorge of Mists. Legend says that nothing can stop this creature except those the Great Spirits have chosen. Now do you understand why we must leave as soon as possible?"
"Okay, that does sound bad." Khyri thought for a second, holding her forehead. "We have two weeks? Does the prophecy say anything about the others?"
"No, the prophecy is vague on that point. But the four of us must go. Your magic carriage can bring us far, but I doubt even it could travel quickly though the jungle lands. Time, again, Spirit Maiden, is not our ally here."
She sat for a moment muttering the words demon and lizard in variable order under her breath. "Oh!" she finally said, sounding startled. "Alphred, are there any tales about what this Malat'k looks like? Big? With scaly skin, and wings? Breathes some kind of natural force like fire, or cold, or fog?" Alphred thought for a moment, then shook his head. "No, I fought Malat'k once before. He is not like that. He is about my height with sharp claws on his hands and feet, and a vicious mouth full of teeth. One of his foot claws, on each foot, is longer than the others. He is also a great shaman of his people, the K'atet."
Khyrisse looked momentarily confused, then shook her head. "No, no, sorry. I mean the thing Malat'k is going to free from the Gorge... T'aal? Does it look like that?"
"I don't know. Some legends say T'aal is a mindless beast whose purpose is to destroy all it sees. Others say T'aal is the original god banished when the world was made. Others go further to say that he was created by an insane shaman who wanted to bring life back to his flock after they died. The only thing that is consistent is that T'aal is a destructive force. Whenever he has appeared, thousands have died."
"Okay, that's definitely bad." Khyrisse rubbed her head a little, tangling her hair. "All right, I'm going to get cleaned up; when I'm done, you can talk to Jack while I sit with Ebreth. If we've got two weeks, I'm sure we can prevent this Malat'k from summoning the thing." She smiled at Alphred; an extremely wry expression, but a little amused as well. "I and my friends once had even less time to accomplish the same sort of thing. We managed."

Character(s): Khyrisse, doing the best she can with a 12 wisdom
Author: Kristin L.K. Andersen
Storyline: Well, What Now?
Title of Post: A Questionable Bedside Manner
Khyrisse came into the room Jack and Ebreth were sitting in, wearing a loose tunic and leggings, hair still in dark curls from her bath. �Hi, Jack... Um, Alphred needs to talk to you and the Rat. It�s about Salagia, and it�s important. I�ll keep Ebreth company until you�re done,� she offered hopefully.
�Um, okay. I�ll go see what�s up, then,� Jack said, marking his place in the book he was reading. �I�ll be back in a bit, Ebreth.�
Khyrisse sat on the end of the bed after Jack left, and smiled at Ebreth as she began brushing out her hair. �Hi,� she said, looking a little shy. �I�m going to ask Jack if we can split your evenings between us, until you�re better. I think he and Valende could use some time together, and I�d like to help keep you company, too. I hope that�s okay with you.� She brushed her hair in silence for a few moments, bronze curls clinging damply to her shoulders. �I wanted to talk to you about Schneider,� she finally said, without looking up. �I heard about what happened. I�m sorry. For a long time today I wanted to belt him one, and he�s one of my closest friends.� Khyrisse shook her head, setting the brush aside. �Schneider did some things during the Madness that he hasn�t forgiven himself for yet, I have a feeling. I don�t think he�s really in his right mind yet. Not many of us are. So I wouldn�t take what he said to heart.� She sighed and got up off the bed. She was still too upset to stay in one place. �Schneider thinks you�re the original Ebreth Tor; he doesn�t know the whole story,� she said. �You�re not the same man at all. I don�t think you need to be sorry for things you didn�t really do.�
�As for the �noble sacrifice of going to Hell� theory,� she continued, starting to sound angry as she paced back and forth next to the bed, �I have to say that�s the dumbest thing I�ve ever heard. As if you could even be certain that Ariath would leave me alive. As if people got rescued from Hell all the time.� She made a furious gesture as she paced, face flushing. �I�d still like to smack him for one thing. My relationship with you has nothing in common with my relationship with Eric. You�ve got about as much in common with Eric Tremontagne as you do with the original Ebreth Tor. I think that both my taste in men and my judgment have improved a little since I was fifteen damn years old!�
She stopped at the end of the bed and thumped her forehead into the bedpost, breathing deeply as she got a grip on her temper. �Sorry,� she said quietly. �I�m not mad at you; I�m mad at him, and at the Madness for doing this to him, and at myself...�
Finally, Khyrisse sighed, and chuckled ruefully. �Alphred or Jack will be back any minute now. I think we�re going to have to go to Salagia next.� She came over and looked intently into Ebreth�s blank blue eyes. �Ebreth, I�m not a particularly patient woman, and I�m not much given to pity,� she said fiercely. �I wouldn�t spend my time and energy, not to mention my affection, on someone who wasn�t worth it-- and I�m willing to spend quite a lot of all three on you. I want you back, and I�m not going away unless you tell me to.� She kissed him lightly. �So you think about that instead, is my advice.�
There was a tap on the door, and Valende leaned into the room. �Khyrisse?�
�You must be improving,� Khyri murmured to Ebreth, with a wry grin. �Once again, no privacy. All right, Val, I�m coming.�

Character(s): The Rat and Alphred
Author: Jeff Hersh
Storyline: Walkabout
Title of Post: Rat Talk
The Rat sensed that he was safe. Well, at least he was no longer in the place with the demonic cat. Sniffing, he came out of his hiding place. His paws were covered in dried and drying ink from his mathematical scrawling. His fur looked unusually unkempt. He had the definite look of an eccentric professor about him.
The Rat rounded the corner and nearly jumped out of his skin. Sitting on the floor was Alphred. The strange thing was that he didn't smell him.
-There you are, honored Rat,- said Alphred, in the pantomime language of rodents.
The Rat was surprised. This was the first time he had ever come across a human who could speak the rat language.
-You surprise me,- answered the Rat silently as he sat up on his haunches, -Most humans cannot speak my tongue.-
-It is a shame, it is such a elegant language.-
-I agree.-
-Honored rodent, I need your help.-
-What is the matter?-
Alphred related the prophecy to the Rat.
"I understand," said the Rat, speaking in high pitched Dalen.
The Rat thought quietly for a moment. What the Jungle Lord was asking was extremely dangerous. Still, he had spoken to him in his native tongue, and he didn't doubt the urgency of Alphred's request.
-I agree,- said the Rat.
Alphred bowed to the Rat, and gave him some seed from one of his pouches. The Jungle Lord then got up and walked away.
I hope I don't regret this, thought the Rat.

Character(s): Laura's New Character
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: Ashes to Ashes/Jungleland
Title of Post: Oh, la belle femme
"Excuse me," said the woman in green, to Skitch. "Is Khyrisse Starshadow here?" The boy regarded her carefully. Neither her breasts nor her buttocks were hanging out, so she probably wasn't from the lower planes. She could still be a backstabber. "She's having a meeting," he said.
"Could you bring me there? I really need to talk to her."
"I could go get her." Skitch hopped off the barstool, tugging Vas' sleeve as he went by. "Hey, Vas, the lady's here to see Khyrisse. Would you mind keeping her busy while I see if she's ready?"
She smiled at him. She was a dusky elven woman of breathtaking beauty, luxurient black hair falling in soft curls most of the way down her back. No, Vas wouldn't mind at all. "Valende," he called whimperingly. "Help."

Character(s): The Rodent Admiration Society
Author: Kristin L.K. Andersen
Storyline: Ashes to Ashes
Title of Post: Nice Elves Don't Explode
Khyrisse piled her hair on top of her head and looked at Valende. It's getting too long again. I've been mortal what, three months, and already I need to chop it off? Hell with it, let it grow... "What's up?" she sighed.
"Jack wanted to know--"
Skitch came pelting up the stairs. "Hey! The lady who wanted to see you is here!"
Khyrisse puffed out a rueful laugh and tugged on her hair, then let it fall back down onto her shoulders. "Um, Val, would you go let Jack know that? Skitch..." She hesitated for a moment. I know he's feeling paranoid right now, but... "Skitch, would you do a big favor for me?"
"Would you guard Ebreth for me? I don't want him to be alone while we're talking to this woman."
Skitch bit his lip and knotted his forehead, but eventually gave in. "Okay... You'll be really careful?"
"I promise. I'll yell if I need help," Khyrisse said soberly.
"All right. I'll tell him a story, how about that?"
"That sounds like a great idea, kiddo." Khyrisse kissed him on the cheek. "Thank you."
Khyrisse and Val got to the top of the stairs before Skitch settled down to telling his story. Khyrisse groaned at the sound of his young voice beginning the tale. Valende just laughed. "Oh, Grendel... did he have to tell that one?"
"It's still better than 'expensive weasel'..."


Khyrisse hurried down to the common room to find Vas chatting in a determinedly not-flirting fashion with an absolutely stunning elven woman. Khyri looked inquiringly at him. He nodded, and the woman turned to look at her.
Khyrisse smiled a little, wistfully. I'm almost glad Ebreth isn't in any condition to be at this "appointment". Not quite. "Hello," she said, feeling self-conscious over the shadows under her eyes, her too-thin face, her still-damp hair. "Kayla says you've been looking for me. I'm Khyrisse Starshadow."

Character(s): "Ember" (not a Sunfighter)
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: Ashes to Ashes
Title of Post: Oh, la belle timecop
"I'm afraid I need your help," she said. "Call me Ember."
"That's not your name?" said Val.
"Good guess. I'm from the future."
Khyrisse looked at her quickly, but her eyes were a most unreflective indigo. "Does Rip Hunter know you're here?" she demanded.
"There's been a coup," she said. "Rip Hunter's been displaced. Luthien the Dead has come back through time to make our future real--"
"Luthien the Dead?" exclaimed Val, before she could stop herself.
"To make your future real?" said Khyrisse, confused.
"There's a lot of math," said Ember. The rat yipped "I understand," but she ignored him. "The gist of it is, I have to invalidate our future by stopping him from bringing it to pass. There are others already wrestling with the alternate worlds. I just need to balls up the Lich Lord's present plans."
"Won't that destroy you?" said Vas, in chivalric fashion.
"I'm a hero." She shrugged. "Sucks to be me."
"We were, uh, kind of on our way to Salagia," murmured Val.
"No problem," she said. "I have a rendezvous." She looked at Khyrisse. "But, you know, things are likely to get pretty grim at some point. If you have a party member who really isn't in much of a condition to be dealing with a lich lord, you might want to consider leaving him behind." She paused a long, meaningful second, and then turned to gesture gracefully at Kit, sipping her root beer at the bar.
"HEY!" hollered Kit.

Character(s): Garal
Author: Eric Gasior
Storyline: Ashes to Ashes
Title of Post: Inner Demons
Garal wasn't sure what to do next. He did not want to talk about the Abyss with his companions, and he had missed the trip to Signetland by being upstairs when Kit suggested it. That left him with little to talk to them about. He had tried starting conversations with Cori and Princess Kristin, but the first grew uncomfortable when he tried to sit with her, and the other was too distracted to talk. Everybody else seemed distracted, either by Ebreth or an upcoming trip to Salagia. The jungles. How less useful could I be? I don't know the paths through there, or the languages. I can't even see them needing a negotiator. I'll let Khyrisse decide, maybe she knows something I don't. He started to get up, and noticed that Khyrisse had sat down with a woman. The stranger was breathtakingly beautiful-- he did not know what to say to her. "Hello" had not even occurred to him. Garal settled back into his seat, asked Kayla for some water, and started waiting for Khyrisse to finish her conversation. He did not realize that he was staring at the newcomer.

Character(s): Khyrisse (fallen divinity)
Author: Kristin L.K. Andersen
Storyline: Ashes to Ashes
Title of Post: And Both Demi-Gods Missing, Dammit...
Luthien the DEAD?? Luthien, a Lich Lord...? Khyrisse stared at the strange woman. Ye screaming gods, Luthien would be appalled.
All right, if she�s from the future, and she�s come back here to prevent Luthien the Lich Lord from making that future real... Khyri thought back to the little she�d learned about temporal theory. I think that makes her as real as he is until she stops him... but then it�s still all right, because once she stops him, they�re equally invalidated, since they come from the same future.
If she�s telling the truth.
Khyrisse blinked suddenly, remembering something from the dream spell she�d used to talk to the Sunfighter. They�d been talking about the prophecy of the four hands that Tarrin had �broadcast� to everyone back in Rumi. The fourth must be prevented, he�d said. The future begins to unravel. Do you think we're hanging out with Norn for the company? Oh, hell. No wonder Flicker hasn�t gotten in touch with Kayla in months. They�re mucking about in alternate timelines trying to prevent the fourth lich lord. I�ll bet Luthien�s appalled, all right...
Khyrisse sat down on the nearest stool, fingers pressing into one temple against the incipient headache. After a moment, she looked up at Ember and asked, �Wait a minute, if Rip Hunter�s been �displaced�, and you�re from the future, how did you get here?�

Character(s): "Ember"
Author: Laura Redish (with lines from Evan)
Storyline: Ashes to Ashes
Title of Post: Ladies' Night
Ember smiled at Garal with her eyes and graciously accepted Vas' offer of a drink. "Mint juleps," she said. "Coming right up!" said Kayla, cheerily.
"How did I get here." The time-traveler made a soft sigh. "Let's see, a wish spell, a prophet, a lot of math, one of the Novem Potentis--" She drew back her cloak to reveal a golden bracelet around her slim upper arm. Her sleek green dress was sleeveless. "--the assistance of a former temporal mechanic, and a little luck. The concerted effort of most of the... remaining... heroes of my timeline, in other words. I was attuned to the bracelet, so I'm the one who got to come back. Thank you." She took the drink from Kayla. "Would you mind if I tagged along with you for a while? I need to meet my destiny. Or something like that."
"I would like nothing better than to travel to Salagia with three beautiful elven women," announced Vas. He looked mischievously at Val. "Well, two beautiful elven women and my sister."
Val swatted him.
Khyrisse looked at the vivacious, sexy cleric and the exotic, glamorous time-traveler, and sighed internally. One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn't belong.
"I'm the greatest thief on Ataniel," said Kit, looking crossly at the new arrival. "So you better watch what you imply about me."

Character(s): Jack, Kit, etc.
Author: Douglass Barre
Storyline: Ashes to Ashes
Title of Post: Too Many Adventures
"I'm sorry, young man," Ember smiled faintly, "but that title belongs to Kitreyla d'Gracien. I know, we're friends. She once stole immortality from one of the Deathless... I think you ought to set your sights elsewhere."
"I, um... need to go to the bathroom," Kit said, her face pale, and she ran off.
"You know," said Jack Paris, who had just come down from checking on Ebreth, "mathematically, it doesn't make much sense to establish a future by working backwards from it. You'd have to have a hell of a lot of coincidence to get anywhere near a stable past reality."
"That's where the Myriad comes in," Ember said.
"Norna said something about the Myriad back in Rumi," Khyrisse said. "What is it?"
No one expected the answer to come from Asinus Paris. "The Myriad is a god's flarkin' toy. It's a conglomeration of alternate time whatsies all rolled up into a pretty little package."
"How do you know all this, Uncle Asinus?" Jack asked.
"Well, I once lost the Myriad to a Diarian psilord in a poker game."
"You owned the Myriad?" Ember asked.
"You lost a poker game?" Jack asked.
"You let a Diarian get it?" Khyrisse whined.
"He didn't have it for long," Asinus said. "Last I heard, it was somewhere up in Riklandir."
"Maybe we should go there," Jack said.
"We must go to Salagia!" Alphred insisted. "Time is running out!"
"Yeah, actually, that's what I came down to talk about," Asinus grumbled. "I need to head back to the estate. I needed your help with the Remnant, remember?" He looked pointedly at Jack.
Jack looked around anxiously. "But Uncle Asinus... I'm one of the people prophesied to be needed in Salagia."
"Nur'ur is called by the Spirit Gods," Alphred agreed.
"Chu-I Po," Cori whispered to no one but herself.
"Look, I know you're not blood, but you're a Paris. You've got a responsibility, boy!" Asinus brayed.
"Asinus," Khyrisse said, "this will be over in two weeks, one way or another. Can Jack wait until then?"
Asinus frowned. "I guess so. If we're not all at the bottom of the ocean by then."
"We'll all come, as soon as this is done!" Jack promised.
"I'll let Caimen know, then." The donkey turned and headed for the tavern door. "See you in two weeks, toots," he leered at Khyrisse.
Then Asinus was gone.
"Thank you," Jack said quietly to Khyrisse.

Character(s): BFYR
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: Vive la Tobrinel!
Title of Post: Omeria, closet liberal
"This health care initiative is too expensive," disagreed Hotspur. "We'd have to raise taxes. The upper classes would be angry."
"There are a lot more people in the lower classes," Omeria pointed out. "And you only get one vote, no matter how rich you are."
"The wealthy have much more influence. You don't want to make enemies of them."
"No," she said, carefully, "no, I don't. But I don't want uninsured children dying on the streets of Tobrinel, either." She considered. "I've got it. I'll bury that initiative in a broader social package fronted by education reforms."
"Are you insane!" yelped Hotspur. "That's even more expensive!"
"Yes." She pointed at him with the pencil, grinning her evil smile. "But I can claim that education reform will nip our vampire problem in the bud, and then Beliath can see to it that it does."
"Damn," said K'Mar, "she's good."
"Did I mention recently that Trillarillia's still dead?" said Ariath.

Character(s): Marty Hu
Author: Douglass Barre
Storyline: The Scenic Tor
Title of Post: The Vegetable's Apprentice
Marty grunted as he clambered along the front wall of the Mithril Dagger. He had followed his master here, to this inn, but there were way too many people around downstairs. Given the choice, Marty was more scared of the crowd than of the second floor elevation.
Moving from window to window, he finally found the one which led to his master's room. Clumsily, he pried it open with his sword.
"Master, I've found you!" he said almost cheerily as he clambered into the room.
"Who are you?" demanded a small boy who popped up from behind Marty.
Marty froze. "Don't hurt me, man, I'm just here to study from the master! Don't kill me!"
Skitch looked around to see if this intruder was perhaps talking to someone more intimidating than the ten-year-old sorceress' apprentice. "Who are you?" Skitch demanded. "I'm Khyrisse's apprentice, so if you don't tell me, she'll turn you into a thri-kreen!"
"I'm... I'm Marty," Marty said.
"Marty who?" Skitch asked.
"Yeah!" Marty cried. "How'd you know? Are you reading my mind, man? Please don't erase my mind!"
Skitch was confused. Adults with swords didn't act like this. "What's your last name?" Skitch asked.
"Hu," Marty said. "Don't play games with me, little wizard guy."
"Who? You, you dummy!"
"Not Yu... Hu."
"Not Yoo-Hoo?" Skitch asked, totally confused. "Look, whoever you are..."
"Not Huever. Just Hu."
Skitch winced with pain. "I don't care. I just want to know why you're sneaking into Ebreth's room!"
"Is that the Master's name?" Marty asked. "Master Ebreth. Is that Eee-breth or Ebb-reth?"
Skitch looked nervous. "I don't know. Everyone calls him something different."
Marty turned to Ebreth sitting on the bed. "Which is it, Master?" he asked. Ebreth said nothing.
"Wow," Marty said. "How wise he is."
Skitch had a dilemma. He wanted to let Khyrisse know that a nut had sneaked into Ebreth's room, but he didn't want to leave Ebreth alone with him. He decided just to yell.
"KHYRISSSSSE!!!" Skitch shouted.
"Whoa, you need to learn peace from the master, little wizard guy," Marty said, and he sat next to Ebreth on the bed.
"This is too weird," Skitch sighed.
Marty didn't answer, he was too busy sitting next to Ebreth trying to be silent and still.

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