"It's mine and you can't have it!" yelled the orc warlock from his balcony perch. Baron William and the five young adventurers stood in the castle bailey's centre. The orc lord’s keep towered high above them, creeping ivy had climbed the gray stone walls all the way to the top.
“Your army is defeated. We have survived the labyrinth. We are here to return the world’s heart before its power destroys the everything!” yelled Percival.
“I will never give away my riches. It's all mine! The heart of the earth is mine! All mine” he laughed maniacally from high above.
“Your wealth belongs to the people of Wedsborough. It was stolen. What will you do with your gold? Eat it? Sit on it like a gold coveting dragon? The people are starving. Weeds choke our streets and pollen fills our lungs.”
Lucille the beautiful elven healer was blotting calamine lotion on Eustace's irritated poison rashes.
“Enough of this! It is time to write the final chapter in the magic book!” said Eustace.
He clenched his fist, “Ignis et flamma i tuam potestatem!” a roaring flame burst to life from his wizard staff.
The evil warlock raised his hideous staff and chanted, “Nubibus et aquis tonitrua et pluvia!”
The clouds above the castle in the weeds turned grey and twisted. Lighting bolts sparked the earth around them. First the clouds started with a sprinkle. Then a series of thunder claps shook the earth.
Petunia wrapped herself around Percival, trembling in fear. he held her slim waist tightly. Eustace threw a flame ball at the wizard, he motioned it away effortlessly, hitting the keep’s wall and catching the ivy on fire. The clouds started pouring water in a downpour.
The warlock yelled, “Soldiers close the gates!” “Enjoy your watery deaths heroes.” he laughed mockingly.
William yelled, “Petunia they're locking us in the castle courtyard! Quickly shoot them with your pistols.”
Petunia pulled two silver flintlock pistols from her leather baldric holster and aimed. When the flint snapped down the powder fizzled and died from the rains, “It's no use! My powder is all wet!”
The courtyard was now full with about two feet of grimy water topped by a layer of dead weeds and leaves. Digby had already sloshed his way to the stairs leading into the keep’s only entrance. Despite being a mighty barbarian his giant axe only sparked when he struck the metal door.
“Come on! Digby has the right idea. Let's get out of this water before we drown!” ordered William.
The party sloshed their way through the now waste high water towards the stone staircase leading to the bowels of the keep.
“Eustace! My foot is stuck! Help me please, the water is almost over my head!” Lucille coughed and gasped for air.
Eustace, seeing his yellow haired maiden in distress, wrapped his arms around her and pulled her feet out of the Grabgrass’ leafy grip. She hung onto his back, waterlogged but alive. Eustace was the last to make his way up the high steps, huffing as he carried his love to safety. However, there was no way to open this solid metal door.
Petunia yelled, “Percival there are weed soldiers coming up the stairs! “ she pointed.
Percival turned around with shield and spear at the ready, like the ancient hoplites he studied in history class. He stabbed one clean through with a solid thrust, chlorophyll oozed out of its wound . It collapsed into the rising water.
Rapid strikes started pelting his raised shield. The soldiers hit metal with their thorny clubs.
“Digby, lend me your axe hand, barbarian of the frozen wastes!”
“I'm so hungry!” he raged. His battle axe cut a large swath of weedmen in its wake.
“Eustace! Can you pick this lock?” yelled Petunia in the storm.
“I don't know! It's very loud and scary and I'm nervous.” he examined the lock. “I don't think I can open this lock. I need to level up my lockpicking skills but I'll try” his wizard cloak was soaked. He frantically searched for his lock picking set in his pockets.
“Hurry, Eustace. We're running out of time! The water is almost here.” yelled Petunia
“Will you please stop yelling at me? I can’t concentrate!” the thunder and lightning clapped. "I can't unlock it! Ive failed my quest...”he ssad defeated.
“Yes you can! I believe in you brave wizard.” his beautiful elven goddess planted a loving smooch on his lips.”she smiled lovingly. open the lock my cutie boy!”
Eustace smiled wide. Finally he got a kiss from his fair maiden, boosting his courage. He took off his thick black glasses and poked his tools into the complex lock. Tongue between lips; a satisfying click sounded and the heavy door swung open.
Baron William motioned with his hand “Come on, children get inside now!” he ordered. Percival stepped cautiously backwards as the group entered the doorway. His spear was stained green from plant juice. His spear stabbed one final foe and William slammed the door behind Percival deftly.
They took a few well deserved minutes to collect themselves after that frightening ordeal. The entryway floor was soaked as everyone wrenched their clothing free of rainwater.
“Ignis virgam lux iter nostrum," whispered Eustace. His staff gently became a match. He lit the wall scones in the crowded entryway. Their light and warmth were comforting.
Keeps are notorious for their difficulty to assault. The circular staircase winded all the way up to the top floor; where William's deformed brother waited for them with devious magical surprises.
Percival led the way with his shield and spear raised, weedmen fell by the dozens as they ascended the long circular stairwell to the lair of Lord Malsham. Dreaded warlock of two worlds.
The group poured into his lair one by one from the tight doorway. The most prominent item in the throne room was the heart of the world entrapped in a glass case behind the warlock.
The green diamond floated in the air , emanating similar coloured vapours around its beautiful sparkling exterior. A priceless stained glass window blocked out the outside world with radiant splendour.
“My sweet brother Malsham, I forgive you for what you've done to our town of Wedsborough and for sending me to this world. Give me the heart of the earth and redeem yourself in their eyes.” he pleaded with arm outstretched.
“It's mine, you can never have it!” he hissed.
“You leave me no choice dear brother. I must do what I must for our beloved town and Britain. This must end before both worlds are consumed by your greed and the weeds!”
“Hah. you must think me balmy in the crumpet to help those worthless rabble. They exist to work in the fertiliser factory and make me richer. You got in my way, nothing personal. It's what our father wanted, big brother.” he scowled. “Now you will all die here. Behold the power of the earth’s heart!”
He raised his arms high and chanted a spell, “Cor terrae da mihi donum tuum!”
The green vapours grew and swirled around him. He winced and cackled as his form began to change. He was completely surrounded by a green cloud for several moments until his metamorphosis was complete. His arms were now long leafy vines and his body was a large bulbous plant. His former hideous face is now the shape of a snapping venus fly trap. The massive plant roared and snapped its leafy jaw menacingly.
“Gor blimey! Crickey. blooming bonkers.” the young adventures said in unison.
Petunia fired both her pistols but the lead balls sunk harmlessly into plant flesh, burnt gunpowder filled the air with a sulphur smell.
Malsham’s leafy vine hit Petunia and launched her across the room, knocking her unconscious.
Percival stabbed the plant's flesh, causing large gashes to ooze green blood from its wounds.
“Eustace you must light Malsham on fire. It's his only weakness!" yelled William.
Eustace held his magic staff with both hands at his centre, “Igne et sulphure ego praecipio tibi!” his staff head was surrounded by fire now.
Digby grabbed his staff to Eustace's shock, “Digby? What are you doing? Unhand my staff so we can end this madman’s reign!” he begged.
“I'm so hungry! Don't you smell that? I can smell roasted urkey leg, baked potatoes and banana creampie coming from its mouth. Just let me see what's inside before you kill him.” he said in an intoxicated trance.
Percival was a stout lad and had tackled Digby before he was digested in the plant monster's trap mouth.
Do it now, Eustace! Burn lord Malsham for good!” Lucille yelled.
Eustace pointed his staff at the monstrosity and shot a red hot flame.
The plant monster hissed and popped as plant flesh burned. His vines were flailing about causing everyone to warily dodge their menacing thorns.
“Fairest maiden! I beseech thee! Smash the diamond and release the heart back into the earth!” yelled Eustace. She was the only one left.
Lucille nodded determined and ran around the flaming plant monster to the glass case, smashing it open and holding the glowing green diamond high up.
Malsham sensing his doom whipped his thorny vines and stabbed Lucille in the stomach, causing her to drop the heart and fall down injured.
“My dearest lucille! Are you alright my sweet?” She didn't answer his plea.
The only one left standing was Baron William Gloucester. It seemed fitting that he would finally send his brother to his prison deep in the earth. He grabbed the crystal.
Eustace's staff had stopped its flame spell. The plant monster was burning red hot now but couldn't die while the heart was still trapped.
“I'm sorry sweet brother. Mother would be ashamed to know what you have become!’
The plant roared at this grievous and wounding insult. William smashed the crystal on the wood floor. Green vapours filled the entire room swirling at a blinding speed. The plant monster exploded covering everyone in plant goop.
Seconds later the adventures were being sucked into the swirling vortex. The wind in the room had tossed books from their shelves and dust in the air.
“What is happening?” asked Percival in the confusion.
“The heart… it's changing the world back. Hold on!" yelled William.
Within seconds the fateful party had been sucked into the green glow and were transported away from this doomed alternate world.
“Oh nooo! Ahhhhh! were falling!” they yelled in unison. Their bodies had been transported back to Britain in a flash of green, directly above a large lake outside of Wedsborough.
The six heroes plunked into the water. After they regained their senses they once again were soaked to the bone. They coughed and sputtered as they reached the edgeeach in their own time and fashion.
Lucille had checked herself for wounds but they were healed. They were back in reality. Their weapons and armour had returned to the way they were at the start, useless and cheap.
“My book! Eustace, give me my magic book. I need to read how the story ends!” Eustace rubbed the wondrous book covetously, “ It's mine. You can't have it.”
William looked at him in shock.
“I'm just joking . here you are Baron.”
He laughed, relieved. Baron Gloucester opened the book to the final chapter and read aloud.
“The brave heroes returned to their town and were celebrated. The fertiliser factory was closed down and converted into a safe and clean furniture factory by the newly appointed Baron William.
“What about me?” Asked percival
The mighty and brave Percival married Petunia and became the best police chief the town ever had. Eventually moving to London becoming a very successful police commissioner.
"Digby, you become a very wealthy and well fed famous chef. Everyone comes to your restaurant from all over the country to taste your food." he traced his finger as the words scribbled across the pages.
"Eustace eventually marries his one true maiden and succeeds the Baron after he passes away many years from now.”
Percival spoke to his best friend elated, “Did you hear that old chap? You become the Baron of Wedsborough! Eustace?”
It was no use. Eustace and Lucille were smooching and hugging with a new love for one another.
“ Now that is very lore friendly!” said Petunia with delight. "Lucille.. You kissed a frog and turned him into a Baron!”
They all laughed as they started walking the long road back to a pristine and beautiful town. Wedsborough once again won the best British town for many years to come.
The weeds were gone and the air was clean again. Life was good again for the brave adventurers.