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 Post subject: Zamorak's Bane, by Jaron
PostPosted: December 22nd, 2014, 11:35 pm 
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Zamorak's Bane
by Jaron (2004)


Jaron's note (2014): Haha, it's hard to fathom this was made over a decade ago. Zamorak's Bane (as well as its sequels) started as a topic called "Jaron's RS Story" on the RuneVillage forums in 2004, where I declared that anyone who posted a character bio on the thread would be added into my story. It just kind of snowballed from there, which is why people join the tale at odd intervals. ...And for what it's worth, I really did love my hat in RuneScape.

Foreword: Hindsight is 20/20

That which you are about to read is the story created by myself, Jaron. It started on July 30th, 2004, and ended on November 7th of that same year. The first few parts were sort of experimental, and you can easily see how I settled into my final writing style around Part 5 or 6. It spanned 40 parts in all (as in chapters.) One of the most predictable things about the story was the traditional "hat joke" that occurred in every part. Somewhere in each part, I would refer to the silly colored pointy hats people wear around in Runescape. Sadly, in the parts of the late 30s I started to forget to put in the hat jokes. The three "edited versions" you see are a result of my readers going "Hey, you forgot the hat joke!" And so, without further ado, Zamorak's Bane!

~~~

Prelogue: Too Good To Be True

A hooded stranger walks up to me. "You are Jaron, are you not? I have a special offer, just for you. High-level herbs for very cheap prices. Ranarr and Irit for only 50 gp. I have plenty--take them!" Though Herblore isn't my best skill, I might as well work on it, I thought. I paid him for the herbs, and he walked away...

~~~

Part 1: Recipe for Disaster

So there I am. Making potions in the Draynor Village bank. Consulting my nice little Herblore book. "Mix Ranarr Weed and Snape Grass to make a Restore Prayer Potion. Warning: Do not ever mix Snape Grass with Lohsill Herb. The mixture becomes explosive and..." blah blah blah. Ok, Ranarr, Snape Grass. A perfect Restore Prayer Potion! So I make another...and another...and another! I get up from the table I'm working at and go back to the bank counter to get more Snape Grass from my account. Behind me, unseen, a Prayer potion turns light red. Then red. Then darker red. (Saw that coming, didn't ya?) As I turn back, the vial is actually shaking. One look at it and I yell, "Everybody get down!" As four or five people 'hit the deck', the vial explodes, throwing glass everywhere and shattering one of the bank counters' windows. As everyone slowly gets up, we all look around, astonished. One table is completely blown to bits. There's smoke everywhere. And I lost all my real Prayer potions! Then it hits me--this was no accident. Someone wanted me dead. I go back to the counter. "Rune legs. Rune plate. Rune kite shield. Dragon battle axe. And my nice little blue pointed hat, please." Leaving 2K to cover the expenses of the explosion, I step out, armor, hat, axe and all, and start my search for the man that deliberately give me a Lohsill Herb.

~~~

Part 2: Every Little Bit Helps

There I am, right outside the Draynor Village Bank. As I'm walking north along the main road, several people stare at me oddly. Finally, one guy turns to me and says, "Do you have anything to do with that bank explosion?" To which I reply, "Um.......yeah, why?"
Him: "Oh. Just wondering. Your face is kinda cut just a bit from what looks like glass."
I then realize one of the vial shards probably got in my face. I had been so mad about the attempt on my life, I hadn't even realized my face was in pain. Ow. Yep, now it hurt. Why'd he have to say anything?
Me: "Yeah, someone gave me a Lohsill Herb hidden in a bunch of Ranarrs. It was a good price for them all. It seems to have been done on purpose--I think someone's out to get me."
Him: "Lohsill, eh? That only grows in the cave past Rimmington."
Well, that's news to me.
Me: "There's a cave past Rimmington?"
Him: "You have to be evil or know where it is or something like that. I hear the Rimmington Storekeeper buys the herb sometimes. If you don't mix it with Snape Grass, it's good medicine."
Me: "Thanks. I think I just got my next lead..."
I walk off, intent on questioning the Rimmington Storekeeper. Then I hear, "Oh, by the way!"
"Yes?" I reply, turning around.
"Nice hat."
"Thanks." With a smile, I'm off once again.

~~~

Part 3: Not Your Average Level-5

Onward to Rimmington! Past the stone wall into the next kingdom, past the road that leads to Falador, past..."Hey, you!" I turn around, trying to figure out who said that. It turns out to be a Highwayman, one of those robbers who raid the area. "Give me all your money, or I'll kill you!" Knowing full well I could squash him like a bug, I reply "Ex-CUSE me?" To which he does something I could never have imagined. He pulls out a Dragon Battle Axe. Masking my astonishment, I reply "I don't know who you managed to steal that from, but it doesn't scare me. You couldn't wield it if you tried. You're more into training your thieving than your attack." Something else I couldn't imagine. He grabs it with one hand and swings it around, grinning madly at me. Things aren't looking up. "You're...not your average Highwayman, are you?" I stammer. In reply, he starts running at me, axe raised! 'THOT!' His eyes widen, he shivers...and then he falls over, an arrow in his back. A short distance away, a man steps out from behind a tree, in full black dragonhide armor and a yew longbow. "Thanks for that," I yell. "No problem. He seemed to be waiting for something, so I figured he was up to no good. I'm Omegaman1111. How are you?" "Fine, thanks. I'm Jaron99. That's two attempts on my life in the last hour...something big is going on. I was on my way to Rimmington to get to the bottom of this."
Omegaman: "Mind if I come with you?"
Me: "Sure, I suppose so! There's strength in numbers!"
Omegaman: "Alright! Lemme grab this guy's mask. It's somewhat of a rarity."
As he grabs the mask, we walk off to Rimmington together.
Omegaman: "Oh, and Jaron?"
Me: "Yeah?"
Omegaman: "Cool hat."

~~~

Part 4: A Mystery Unfolds

There's two of us now, me and Omega. A warrior and a ranger; a perfect team. In full armor, we must have looked kind of intimidating when we strode right into the Rimmington General Store. The shopkeeper was surprised, anyway. "We don't get that many people in these parts. What can I do you for?"
Me: "Earlier this morning, I was given a Lohsill herb, and I don't think it was an accident."
Shopkeeper: "Lohsill, eh? Yeah, it was probably an attempt on your life, or some black market scum ripped himself off thinking they were Ranarrs. They're similar in color."
Me: "I've noticed. Do you know anything about this?"
Shopkeeper: "Well, word travels fast. I assume you're the one that reduced the Draynor Bank to rubble?"
Me: "Rubble? There's just a black spot on the wall, a destroyed table, and a broken glass window."
Omega: "Oh, is that it? I heard someone got killed, too."
Shopkeeper: "I heard three."
Me: "That's what rumors do for you. Just some scratches on my face. Anyway, do you know anything about recent sales of Lohsill?"
Shopkeeper: "Sort of. I saw a hooded guy walk past my shop the other day with a bundle of herbs. He reeked of paint smell. When I confronted him, he said he had been repainting his armor."
Me: "Yeah, I repaint my rune armor sometimes when it gets all dirty. Makes it shiny again."
Shopkeeper: "Tell me about it. Shinier armor sells better. Anyway, his hands were all black."
Me: "Uh, from gloves?"
Shopkeeper: "No, they weren't all black. Just big splotches."
Me: "Black hands. So?"
Omega: "I've got it! Black hands, paint smell. He was repainting black armor!"
Me: "And the only people that wear black armor all the time are...Black Knights! But what do we do from here?..."
Omega: "Simple. Infiltration. I've got a couple of bronze and iron bars. Bronze medium helm, iron chain, and we're in."
Shopkeeper: "Be careful. Oh, and--nice hat, Jaron. Mind selling it?"
Jaron: "Nope, sorry, it's not for sale. But here's some coins for that information."
With a turn, Jaron and Omega leave the Rimmington shopkeeper alone. Again. But he's used to that.

~~~

Part 5: The Castle Near Ice Mountain

As quickly as possible, Jaron and Omega set off again, pickaxes in hand, to the Falador Mining Area. It wasn't that close to Falador, really it was mostly known as the Rimmington Mine. But that didn't matter. What mattered was the bronze, tin, and iron ores they were collecting. "This is a piece of cake!" smiled Jaron. "Yeah...when you're mining coal and mithril for such a long time, you can get bronze and tin almost instantly," replied Omega. 5 bronze, 5 tin, and 15 iron ores later, they waltzed right into the Falador furnace. Not inside the furnace, of course. Just the building it's in. The heat kept most low-leveled people out, but the hardest-working smithers never seemed bothered by it. Together they quickly made 5 bronze bars, but only 9 iron ones. "I totally forgot that the ore is often too impure to refine..." said Omega. Jaron merely frowned as they walked off to Doric's.

Doric's shack was a small, simple house with a couple of anvils and a bed just north of Falador. "What can I do for you guys today?" he humbly asked. "Nothing, thanks, Doric," replied Jaron. "We've got it under control today." Rather than waste the bars, 5 bronze medium helmets and 3 iron chain mails were made. Then the two of them walked the on the long, winding road to Varrock. Of course, once they had gone a short way, they left the path into the grassy plain, heading north. But it wasn't a grassy plain for too long, until a steep cliff stood in front of them. "Where was that place again..." murmured Jaron. "Here it is!" exclaimed Omega. With that, they walked up the steep incline, the only place the cliff was able to be walked up. Not too much further and the Black Knight's Fortress came into their view.

It was like any other fortress. Except bigger. Wider. Longer. Taller. Blacker. More evil. And any other adjectives that have to do with the words "Black Knight's Fortress." With the front doors securely locked, Jaron and Omega took their armor off and donned the bright bronze helmet and the heavy iron chain mail. Slowly walking over to the side door, they saw a mage, all dressed in blue robes and silly pointed hat, holding some sort of plant-looking thing. He seemed to be desperately trying to get inside. One look at the team and he turned away and started to walk in the opposite direction. "Hey!" yelled Jaron. The mage stopped dead in his tracks and slowly turned. "Need help getting in?" At this, the mage looked astonished. "But you're...you're..." he stammered. "We're not guards," smirked Omega, taking off his helmet. "We're on a mission to find out why someone's trying to kill off Jaron here." The mage sighed. "Oh, I'm so glad," he finally said. "I'm on a mission from the dwarves to stop whatever evil weapon they're developing in there. I teleported in the first time, but now I have no runes and they're almost done creating it. All I need to stop it is this cabbage." "Well, you're lucky at that!" said Jaron with a smile. "Come on in with us. We've got a spare helmet and chain mail. And join us, if you wish! Someone's sure to be dead at the end of this quest." The mage took the helmet. "After I destroy the weapon, maybe I will. I love a good quest," he said with a grin. "I'm Ultima Cow." "I'm Jaron99, and this is Omegaman1111. But you can just call us Jaron and Omega. Alright, everybody in!"

Jaron: "By the way, Ultima Cow......nice hat."
Ultima Cow: "Thanks, Jaron. Same to you."
Omega: "What is it with you and that hat? Jeez..."

~~~

Part 6: The Plot Thickens

The three donned iron chains and a bronze medium helmet, which gave them all a bad case of "helmet hair", and cautiously walked inside the amazing dark fortress. Once in, they dropped the now-needless items and equipped their regular armors once more. They hurriedly walked into the next room, but stopped dead in their tracks when they heard voices to the right.
"Those poor guys...they really didn't do anything wrong."
"They were in the wrong place at the wrong time, I suppose."
"You two are supposed to be BLACK KNIGHTS! We don't feel sorry for people--we kill them!"
"Yes sir..."
"Yeah..."
"At any case, those people cannot be let out until we have confirmation that Jaron99 is indeed dead. We can't risk anything, and--AH! We have intruders..."

Jaron, Omega, and Ultima Cow made short work of the three black knights, then walked up the stairs. "Why do they want you dead, Jaron?" asked Ultima Cow. "I wish I knew..." he replied. At the top of the stairs, Ultima Cow's eyes widened. "OH! Almost forgot...wait here." He ran into the room across the hall. Suddenly there was a shriek..."MY POTION! IT'S RUINED! WAAAAHHH!!!!" Ultima Cow came back out with a huge smile on his face. "Okay, we can go now."

The walls were certainly very ornate for an evil castle. Swords and shields adorned the halls, and dragon heads and beds with nice sheets were all over in the rooms. On the highest floor, at the end of the hallway, was a door. But just as the three were about to open it, they heard footsteps, followed by an unknown voice: "Take them to the Dungeon Jail." "Shoot! In here!" whispered Omega, leading them into a side room. The door then swung open and several people walked out, single file. In the front of the line and the back were five Black Knights each. The people looked very sad and forlorn. "I can't shake the feeling I've seen these people somewhere before..." whispered Jaron. After they all left, the three crept out of the castle. "Well, where are we off to now?" asked Ultima Cow. "He said they were going to the Jail. I wonder if he meant Draynor or Port Sarim?" wondered Jaron aloud. To which Omega responded, "Not any normal jail...the Black Knight's Jail! I know the way--let's go!"

~~~

Part 6: The Plot Thickens (Edited Version)

"At any case, those people cannot be let out until we have confirmation that Jaron99 is indeed dead. We can't risk anything, and--AH! We have intruders...with funny pointed hats!"

On the highest floor, at the end of the hallway, was a door. But just as the three were about to open it, they heard footsteps, followed by an unknown voice: "Take them to the Dungeon Jail." "Shoot! In here!" whispered Omega, leading them into a side room. The door then swung open and several people walked out, single file. "They all have those stupid hats on," whispered Omega. "What's up with everyone and those hats? I gotta get one..."

I wonder if he meant Draynor or Port Sarim?" wondered Jaron aloud. To which Omega responded, "Not any normal jail...the Black Knight's Jail! I know the way--let's go! But first, let me stop by a store to buy one of those hats!"

~~~

Part 7: What's a dungeon like you doing in a town like this?

The three adventurers quickly headed east from the Black Knight's Castle. Past Barbarian Village, past Varrock. "...Where are we going?" asked Ultima Cow. "We're off to buy Omega a hat. He's had it with the hat jokes and wants to go get one," replied Jaron quietly. After a quick trip to the werewolf town to buy a golden pointed hat and dragon-red-robes, they ran off again to the west. Soon they came to "The Wall", as it was known. "This thing is pretty amazing," remarked Jaron. "I wonder how long it took to build...it stretches from one end of the land of Runescape to the other!"

A skip, hop, and a jump later (or just a few steps, really) Jaron99, Omegaman1111, and Ultima_Cow stepped into the town of Taverly. A nice little town, with white-clothed Druids, worshipers of Guthix. Guthix was the neutral god of the three gods of Runescape, the other two being Saradomin (the holy one) and Zamorak (the evil one). A short distance south from the town, the beautiful trees seemed to lose their leaves. Several steps later, the trees were bare and the ground was hard and rocky. In the center of this unnatural wasteland was a strong ladder, standing through the ages, built by adventurers years ago. They descended into the darkness.

Torches lined the walls. Bones were everywhere, yet whether they were from dead adventurers or animated undead (skeletons) no one could really tell. Most bones looked the same anyway. Deeper into the dungeon, ghosts and bats were found. But the team's first challenge came unexpected. They had just walked into a semi-large room, when Jaron's eyes widened and he yelled, "Look out!" A large axe was hurtling through the air straight at Omega! Omega was caught off-guard, and had no time to pull out any arrows, though they would have done no good against the speeding axe. "FIRE WAVE!" Large flames streaked out in three directions from Ultima Cow's fire battlestaff. The axe stopped in mid-air, shuddered, and fell straight to the ground. There was no time for thank-yous, however, as another floating axe slowly rounded a corner nearby. This time, Omega was ready, as from across the room the axe was hit by one of Omega's arrows and fell. Onward they continued.

The next hall held another challenge well voiced before in Runescape, standing between "a rock and a hot place." A small ledge bordered both a wall and a pool of lava. Poisonous scorpions tread the path, but for some reason or other did not attack the group. Intelligently, the group did not attack the scorpions either, lest they be poisoned. "I forgot my poison cure potion...don't make these guys mad..." whispered Jaron. Just past the scorpions was a sight hard to miss. Large, ornate doors: the entrance to the Black Knight's Underground Fortress.

~~~

Part 8: It's hard to be stealthy when you're the only one wearing a silly pointed hat!

The doors slowly swung open, and the sight Jaron, Omega, and Ultima Cow saw made them think about turning back. But only for a second. There were many Black Knights in the room, but they were all eating. Eating what, no one knows, but they, in their black armor, all sat at the large round table in the middle of the room. Slowly, the three crept along the outside wall of the huge underground cavern, making their way to the left. That's when it happened. Just as they were passing behind a cabinet, Jaron stepped on Ultima Cow's foot. "Ah--!" squealed Ultima Cow, unwillingly. Thinking fast, Jaron ducked behind the cabinet. Ultima Cow was too busy thinking about his foot, so Omega quickly pushed him behind the cabinet as well. But it was too late, all the Black Knights now saw Omega. "Take him to the jail!" yelled the ranking Black Knight.

"(Sorry, I didn't mean to step on your foot,)" whispered Jaron from behind the cabinet. "(That's alright...I know you didn't mean to. I don't have plated foot-armor, you know. But Omega saved me back there...we have to save him now,)" replied Ultima Cow. "(No argument there!)"

When the Black Knights all went back to eating, Jaron and Ultima Cow (several steps apart this time) crept again along the wall towards the jail. They finally got there without any trouble or being seen. There were two cells, one on each side of the hall. A sleeping guard held the keys. Omega was in one of the cells with all of the people back from the tower. Jaron's eyes widened. "NOW I know where I remember you guys from! You all were in Draynor Bank when my vial exploded!" One man spoke up. "Right after you left, several Black Knights came in. When they didn't find you, they took all of us prisoner and tried to make us tell you where you went. We didn't know where you ran off to, but even if we did, we weren't going to tell them." "Thanks, I appreciate that." said Jaron. "We have information to tell you if you could break us out of here," said one woman. "Uh, don't look," said Jaron. With that, he promptly killed the Jailer in his sleep and took his keys so the Jailer couldn't alert anyone who was leaving. Jaron let everyone out. "We need a plan!" said Omega. "We'll never get past all those knights!" "Drat! Does anyone have a air rune?" asked Ultima Cow. "I have one," replied a man. "Thanks. When I give the signal, run for the exit as fast as you can." "Ultima Cow?" "No, Jaron, I have to do this. Get ready." Everyone watched as Ultima Cow lifted his fire staff and pointed it at the table of knights. Suddenly, three great lines of fire spouted from the end of the staff, drawing attention from every knight. "Now! GO!" yelled Ultima Cow. As everyone ran but Jaron and Omega, the flames hit the knights, knocking them down, some unconscious. "Ultima! We have to go!" Some of the Black Knights were creeping towards the people, others towards the three heroes. "No! You guys...go ahead! I'll meet up with...you later! There's not...much...time!" He was clearly strained from having to keep up the Fire Wave for so long. "He's strong. Let's go, Jaron. Those people need us." "You're right, Omega...get out of here as soon as you can, Ultima Cow!" "Just....go! I'll be okay!" With one look back, Jaron and Omega ran for the door, helping all the people out of the underground cavern and out of the dungeon, leaving Ultima Cow to escape from the Black Knights on his own...

~~~

Part 9: Yet another unexpected turn of events!

Back above ground, all of the prisoners ran away from Taverly and continued to work on whatever they were doing before they were captured. That left Jaron and Omega at the top, waiting for Ultima Cow. "We shouldn't have left him..." said Jaron. "Hey, we had to. For those people," replied Omega, motioning to the now-free people walking across the landscape. "Still...hey, wait a second. They're all safe now. What are we doing? We can go help now!"

Back down into the dungeon they went, on a search for Ultima Cow, running all the way toward the Underground Fortress. But they didn't go too far when they found him, face down on the floor. Apparently so had a Giant Spider. It was just about to sink it's fangs into Ultima Cow's neck when Jaron whacked it out of the room with his battle axe. "He's okay, right?" asked Omega. "Yep, just unconscious," replied Jaron. Together, they carried Ultima Cow out of the dungeon and above ground, where the Druids of Taverly came and saw to him.

"Shh! He's waking up..." Ultima Cow awoke on a comfortable bed with beings in white clothes standing around him. Being accustomed to the darkness of sleep, his eyes couldn't handle the white, which made it seem all the brighter. "Am I...dead?" he murmured. "Nah, you're fine," replied Jaron with a smile. Ultima Cow turned his head to see Jaron and Omega leaning against the wall, both obviously happy about something. "Hey, guys!" said Ultima Cow. "How are you? And, uh, what happened?" A Druid spoke up. "Magic over-exhaustion. You must be a strong wizard to have kept a Fire Wave up for that long and walked away before passing out. You should be fine, now." Ultima Cow sat up. "Thanks for helping me, everyone. Well, Jaron, what's up on the agenda now?" "I figure I'll never know who was behind the attempts on my life, but the Black Knights will probably stop pestering me now. How about we head over to the Dwarven Camp so you can get your reward from the cabbage-castle thingy you did?" "Cool!"

From Taverly, the Dwarven Camp was a short walk away. As they approached the camp, Omega suddenly said, "Hey, look! Is that...on fire?" Indeed, smoke was pouring out of a window of the nearby Black Knight's Castle. The three ran over to see what was going on, but a loud, booming voice sang out. "You have failed me! Those who I trust most!" Followed by another voice, clearly of a frightened man.
Man: "I'm sorry, my Lord! We tried!"
Voice: "YOU TRIED? All I ask is that you kill one man, and you cannot even do that!?"
Man: "Jaron99 escaped before we came, my Lord! It was not our fault--"
Voice: "YOUR FAULT? He's not dead! WHO'S FAULT IS THAT? And now there are others with him!"
Man: "No, I'm sorry!! Please, my Lord! Give me another chance!"
Voice: "One more chance is ALL you get! Jaron99 MUST be killed for me to take over Runescape!! You WILL not fail me again, or I, Zamorak, will toss this forsaken castle into the Wilderness and feed you to the King Black Dragon himself!"
A loud "poof" sound was heard.
Everyone's eyes grew wide as the word "Zamorak" echoed in their heads...Zamorak? Here? Among mortals?
Man: "........All of you! Find Jaron99 and his crew, NOW! Take them ALIVE this time! NOW GO!!"

Neither Jaron99, Omegaman1111, nor Ultima Cow had ever run to Falador quicker than they did that day.

~~~

Part 10: The Takeover Begins

Once in Falador, Jaron99, Omegaman1111, and Ultima Cow caught their breaths. "Did I hear...*huff*...what I thought I heard?" asked Omega. "It...*puff*...seems so..." replied Jaron. "Now we know WHO wanted me dead, but not WHY." Ultima Cow spoke up. "I think that's all beside the point." They stared at him. "What do you mean?" "What I mean," began Ultima Cow, "is that there are Black Knights turning over every blade of grass out there looking for US. That we need to get somewhere safe, as far away from the knights as possible, and NOW." "Point taken," said Jaron. "Let's go. Maybe Ultima Cow's friends in Yanille will take us in." "I doubt it," he replied. "They're kind of strict with the 'no one under magic level 66--it's unsafe!' thing. But it's an emergency, who knows."

They left through the north gate of Falador, heading for Taverly. Just then, a lot of Black Knights walked through the gate separating the kingdoms. "They're from the dungeon we were in earlier! Okay, to the east, then!" said Jaron quickly. "As they turned, they saw many more heading down the path from the Black Knight's castle towards them. "...This would probably be a good time to retreat," said Omega. "I second that motion," replied Ultima Cow. "Motion carries! To Falador!" Jaron yelled out, as they all ran back.

The peacefulness in the office of the White Knights Commander was broken as a messenger broke in. "B-B-Black Knights! Heading THIS WAY!!" The commander's eyes widened...there hadn't been a full-scale attack by the Black Knights in quite a while. Why today? "Rally all the troops! Get all White Knights, Guards, and civilians that know how to use a sword to the north gate, NOW! And messenger, take that silly pointed hat off! This is serious!"

"We don't even know what's going on! What do we do now?" asked Ultima Cow. "This deals with Zamorak," Jaron said. "We need someone with background knowledge. Someone that might be able to tell me why I am being searched for. Someone...like Reldo the Librarian!"

Ultima Cow quickly gathered the runes, and with a Varrock Teleport, they were off.

~~~

Author's Intermission:

Right after Part 10, Omegaman wrote in the story's topic, "I'm starting to get tired of these hat jokes. *Runs to bank to eat hat*" That spun off into its own joke I used a couple of times, such as in the next part.

~~~

Part 11: The Legend Unfolds

Varrock was a huge city, perhaps the second largest city in the whole land of Runescape, Ardougne being the first. After teleporting in, Jaron99, Omegaman1111 and Ultima Cow ran to the library of the castle. Once there, they found a man scurrying around, organizing everything. A man named Reldo. "Hello! What can I do for you all?" he asked. "We need your expertise," said Jaron. "You see, Zamorak has--" At the sound of the word Zamorak, Reldo shuddered. "I...uh...personally know the Dark Lord. What about him?" Eyeing Reldo suspiciously, Jaron went on. "All of the Black Knights are after us, because supposedly I am the only one able to stop Zamorak from taking over Runescape. There were two attempts on my life today, which led me to starting my search." Reldo's eyes widened. "You--you wouldn't happen to be Janor--would you?" "Janor? Uh...no. Well, if you switch the n and r...my name's Jaron." "JARON! That's it!" Reldo looked as if he was about to fall over dead. Which wouldn't be good at this point, since he obviously had information.

Reldo spoke to the group. "There is a legend, complete details of which I am unsure of. It tells of a warrior who will one day stop.....Zamorak." He seemed uneasy saying the name. "However, the warrior needs help, because he can not do it all on his own." Omegaman was watching people move about in the library, looking for books. Several rangers and mages were around. "The legend past this point is unclear. From what I could gather, the warrior needs some sort of item or something that is very important. However, I do not know what that item is, I am sorry to say." Most of the mages had left, but there were still a few left. "Throughout the legend, however, I was able to catch clues to the names of the people in it. It was extremely hard to piece together the words. One, I thought, was Janor. Obviously, it must be Jaron, you. The other was longer...something like...Schelzman." One of the rangers stepped out from the next aisle over, wearing one of those stylish colored pointy hats, and said "Did you call my name?" They all stared at him. Ultima Cow stuttered, "Are...are you Schelzman?" "Close. Scholzman." This was too good to be true.

Then the topic of conversation changed slightly. Eyeing Scholzman's headgear, Jaron said "Nice hat." "Thanks, same to you and Mr. Mage here. Hey, Ranger, why don't you have a hat like theirs if you're in their group?" "He ate it, the idiot," muttered Ultima Cow.

"So, Scholzman," said Reldo after explaining the legend once more to him, "you seem to be a part of this. Tell me, is there...any item or thing or place you can think of that would be somehow important to Jaron's quest?" "That's a big question. Let me think." Several seconds went by. "You know, there's a dream I have every so often. I would generally dismiss it as that, a dream, but it is too clear to be a dream. Like something there is calling to me. It's a tall hill...the cliffs around it are steep, and there is a sort of temple in the middle. There are trees at the bottom of the hill and as far as the eye can see..." Ultima Cow gasped. "I...think I know where that is. I can take us all there." "Well then," replied Jaron, "that's our next destination."

~~~

Part 12: A Place No One Dares Go

"Everyone hold hands," said Ultima Cow. With his LAST charge of his Amulet of Glory, the now group of four--Jaron99, Omegaman1111, Ultima_Cow, and Scholzman--were off to Draynor Village. Just as they vanished, Reldo smacked his forehead with his palm. "Drat! I didn't tell them about the trap! They could be lost forever..."

"I chose Draynor Village because Falador is probably under siege right now," said Ultima Cow. "So...what's going on?" asked Jaron. Ultima Cow started into his explanation. "A little while ago, I did a quest for the Wizards in the Wizards Tower. A skill long thought forgotten has come back--the art of Runecrafting. With this skill, someone can take a Rune Essence--a blank rune stone," (Ultima Cow took a Rune Essence out of his bank and gave it to Jaron) "and a Talisman, such as this Air Talisman," (Ultima Cow took an Air Talisman out of his bank and gave it to Jaron) "and create runes. All we have to do is go to the 'Air Altar', a place just south of Falador. If we use the Talisman with the Altar, we'll be teleported to another realm. Each type of realm deals with the rune being made. For instance, Fire Runes are made on an island in lava. Nature Runes are made in a place teeming with life. Air Runes--are made on a tall hill, overlooking a vast land below." They all realized at this point that Scholzman's visions about the hill were coming true. That place was real. The threat to Runescape was real. And their determination to win--that was real as well.

The four used the Air Talisman on the mysterious crumbled Air Altar, and were whisked away to a land unimaginable. Well, except for Scholzman, who had seen it all before. After catching their breaths and admiring the view, Scholzman spoke. "In my dreams, or visions, or whatever you want to call them now, I walked down this cliff to that tree down there." He pointed to a tree in the distance. "No one dares go down this cliff..." Ultima Cow replied. "...This realm may be unstable in the lands beyond the altar. It's unsafe." "But it seems to be our only choice," said Jaron. "Agreed," put in Omegaman.

They all started to carefully go down the steep cliff, but ended up tumbling helplessly down the rocky slope to the bottom. Scholzman's silly pointed hat flew off his head when he fell, and got stuck in a tree. They finally got the thing out after a few minutes of work. When they arrived at the tree Scholzman pointed out to them, it didn't take long to see an old treasure chest on the other side of it. "Well, open it!" said Omegaman. As the lid opened, they saw a piece of paper inside the chest with strange writing. And then they heard it. There was a loud buzzing noise and a bright flash. The four turned in shock to see the portal back to the main world--the portal on the hill near the altar--fizzle, shudder, and disappear entirely. "It's a trap!" yelled Ultima Cow. But it was too late. The portal back to the world was gone. Ultima Cow's Amulet of Glory had no charges left. And the handful of runes Ultima Cow DID have created no teleport spells. They were stuck in the Air Altar Realm--perhaps, forever.

~~~

Part 13: A Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn't Want to Live There!

It was terrible. Jaron99, Omegaman1111, Ultima_Cow, and Scholzman were all trapped in the Air Altar Realm...forever. Ultima Cow's Amulet of Glory had lost its charge, so he took out all of the runes he had. "I left almost all of my runes in the bank!" he exclaimed. The contents of his Rune Sack were emptied out onto the ground. "13 earth, 8 body, 3 fire, and 2 law. None of those make a teleport spell. It seems...we're stuck," he said. Omegaman refused to believe it. "We can't be stuck! There's gotta be a way out! Anyone got a Ring of Dueling? No? Well, we just have to wait until someone comes into the realm! They'll help us! You'll see!" "Dude, chill out," Scholzman said, sitting down. "Ultima Cow's right. We have no teleport spell out, and if the portal is closed on this end, I'm sure it's closed on the other end, too." Ultima Cow, Scholzman, and Omegaman laid back on the grass.

Jaron seemed deep in thought standing over them, but ultimately came up with nothing. "I can't think of anything. I just...don't know." Putting his hands in his cloak pockets, he walked over to the other three. Then, his eyes widened. "Ultima Cow, what runes are needed for a Varrock Teleport?" "One fire, three air, one law," he responded. Slowly, Jaron pulled a Rune Essence out of his pocket. "I think we've got a way out." All three jumped up. "Where'd you get that?" Ultima Cow asked. "You gave it to me earlier when you were explaining about the art of Runecrafting, remember? Now all we have to do is get to the top of that hill again." "It's not that simple," Ultima Cow said. "We need three airs for the teleport. I'm the only one that can make three with one Essence. You all can only make one." "Then you're getting up there!!" exclaimed Omegaman.

The hill was steeper than they thought. But, after sliding back down several times (mages aren't too good at climbing) Ultima Cow finally got to the top. No one could see what he was doing. But a few seconds later, he reappeared--showing four Air Runes to his friends below. Ultima Cow went back down the hill. (It wasn't too hard, he just took his first step and tumbled the rest of the way. His hat flew off, but Scholzman caught it in mid-air.) The strange paper in hand, Jaron said, "How convenient. We're going to Varrock--right where we need to go. I just hope Reldo knows something about this paper..." One flash of light later, and there was silence once again in the Air Realm.

~~~

Part 14: Enter Ykye the Monk

Jaron99, Omegaman1111, Ultima_Cow, and Scholzman walked into the Library of Varrock, where Reldo, the resident librarian, rushed up to them. "Oh! I'm so glad to see you're safe!" "YOU KNEW ABOUT THE TRAP?!?" yelled Omegaman. "Uh...sort of...but I was so caught up in everything, I completely forgot! I'm sorry!" replied Reldo, hastily. Jaron intervened. "It's okay, we're fine. What can you make of this?" Jaron showed Reldo the paper with the strange writing. "It's in a text I've never seen before. I wouldn't be able to decipher it anytime soon." "Do you know someone that can?" asked Jaron. "There may be one. Up in the Monastery, there is a monk named Ykye2. He goes by Ykye most of the time. He is quite trained in ancient texts and prayer." "Uh...that's kind of close to the Black Knight's Castle. We're trying to avoid that place," said Ultima Cow. "From what I've heard," said Scholzman, "the Black Knights are concentrating all their resources on Falador. If we're careful, I figure we could sneak over to the Monastery."

The four ran quickly to Barbarian Village, then carefully crept to the Monastery. A couple of Black Knights stood guard at the doors of the large castle, but luckily, the guards didn't see them. All having high enough prayer levels, all four were allowed into the upper level of the Monastery. Jaron walked up to one of the monks. "We're here to see Ykye2," said Jaron. The monk stared at him, then at Omegaman, Ultima Cow, and Scholzman. After a bit, he sighed and said, "Fine, follow me." They walked to the end of the hall, where the monk knocked on the wall. To everyone's amazement, it opened to reveal another hallway with several doors! The monk opened one of the doors and led them into a room occupied by a single man. The man, hearing the door open, turned around and greeted the group.

"You must be Ykye2," said Jaron. "I am. With what can I assist you, adventurer?" Jaron showed Ykye2 the paper. Ykye2 studied it, then finally said, "I can read this. Let's see..." Omegaman, curious as ever, walked over to a small door in the corner of the room. Ykye continued. "This paper speaks of an amazing food." "A food?" asked a confused Ultima Cow. "Yes. It seems to have certain powers, though I cannot determine what they are." Omegaman grabbed the doorknob, amazed to see it was unlocked. "According to this, you need an extremely high cooking level, and three ingredients worthy enough to be used in the food." "Worthy ingredients?" asked Scholzman. "Yes. Though I don't know what they are, each one will be from a representative of each of the three gods of Runescape." Omegaman opened the door, and his jaw dropped from what he saw inside. "HEY! Shut that door!" Omegaman quickly shut the door. Ykye2 gave him an icy stare, then continued. "It is possible the highest ranking member of each god holds an ingredient. Find the ingredients, and report back to me."

The four walked out of the Monastery. Jaron said, "The highest ranking member of the three gods of Runescape. We should probably start in Taverly, with the Druids. Let's teleport to Camelot and then walk back from there, to avoid what's going on near Falador." As they were about to teleport, Scholzman said, "Hey Omegaman, what was in that door?" "Hats," he said. "Those silly pointed ones. And not just that, they were in every color imaginable. Those monks hoard those hats! If I could get a couple of those weird colors, I'd be so rich, that--" With a flash of light from Ultima Cow's staff, they were gone.

~~~

Part 15: The First Ingredient

After teleporting to Camelot, the four--Jaron99, Omegaman1111, Ultima_Cow, and Scholzman--cautiously made their way over to Taverly. They went in the Dwarven passage under White Wolf Mountain to save time. It was dark and damp, and sort of smelled bad, but it was a shortcut nonetheless. After that, they entered Taverly and headed over to the Guthix Altar just east of the Hero's Guild. There they found several druids, staring at them. "Do you come in peace or war?" asked one Druid. "Uh......strength through balance?" replied Jaron. "Good answer, although it does not complete the question. Welcome, friends. What is your business here?" "We seek a...uh...'worthy' ingredient to the recipe of a special food." The Druids eyes narrowed a bit. "Where did you learn of this food?" the Druid asked. Ultima Cow replied, "We translated a strange paper we acquired from the Air Realm. We think it will help us in quest to stop Zamorak from taking over Runescape." The Druid thought for a moment. Then, he said, "I believe you are trustworthy. The ingredient of which you seek has been passed down for generations of Druids. It is something no one but the highest Guthix worshipers are aware of. But you must pass a test to get it." "I thought you said we were trustworthy," said Omegaman. "Trustworthy, yes. Worthy itself, that is yet to be determined."

"Well, what do you need?" asked Scholzman. "All Druids are expert herblorists. It would be greatly appreciated if you could get us a Lohsill herb. We are experimenting with its uses." Jaron's jaw dropped. "I still have some herbs from earlier today. Let me check." Emptying his pockets of herbs, Jaron carefully examined them and found several Ranarr and Irit, and two Lohsill. "Here's one. ...Just don't blow yourselves up with it, okay?" "We have no intention of adding Snape Grass to this mix, adventurer. Or do you speak of what others call an 'inside joke'? Nonetheless, let me attend to your needs. Please wait here."

Five minutes later, the Druid came out of a nearby house holding a pot. "Here you are, adventurer." "That's...just flour," said Omegaman. "Flour indeed it is, yet it is Flour of Guthix. A worthy ingredient for which you seek. Protect it well."

The four walked off. "All right! We've got one ingredient, two more to go!" said Scholzman. "Where should we go next?" Ultima Cow said, "I have enough runes for an Ardougne Teleport. Should we go to the church there?" "Sure thing," said Jaron. "I'm just wondering what this flour will be used for. Flour can be used to make so many things..."
~~~

Part 16: The Search for the Second Ingredient

Jaron99, Omegaman1111, Ultima_Cow, and Scholzman walked into the Ardougne Church. It was mostly empty, but there were a couple of monks here and there. After locating the monk of highest rank, Jaron explained to him, in detail, their quest to find the three ingredients. The monk was puzzled. "You speak of silly tales. All of that adventuring has gone to your head," the monk said. "No, really," said Jaron, "we've already got the fir--" Ultima Cow poked him in the back. Jaron turned around, and Ultima Cow whispered "Maybe he's not a high enough rank to know about the ingredients. We probably shouldn't tell him." "Oops...you're right," said Jaron. "Ahem. Yes, you're right, we probably got our details mixed up somewhere. But can you tell me where your...uh...highest-ranking monk is?" "Ah, you must mean Axel Slice! He's away on business. He wanted to visit his friends in Zanaris. He teleported to Draynor a short while ago and took the Dramen Staff--" The monk points to a staff over in the corner. Then he stares at it. "Axel Slice forgot to take the staff...and he only brought enough runes for a one-way teleport, since there was a bank in Zanaris. Hmm. That is no matter. He'll just have to walk back." "With Black Knights swarming Falador, that won't be easy," replied Omegaman. "Come on, guys," said Scholzman. "We've got to go to Draynor and find Axel Slice!"

They went to the little Village of Draynor. Jaron tried to somewhat hide his face from the people walking by. One passerby said, "You've got a funny-looking hat there. Do I know you from somewhere?" "Uh, no, I don't believe we've met, sorry," Jaron replied, and hustled off. "What was that about?" asked Scholzman. "I blew up part of the bank earlier," said Jaron. "I'm hoping no one's still mad at me." The four walked into the forest to the east, and somewhat soon met a monk walking in the opposite direction, obviously frustrated about something. Well, as frustrated as a monk gets, but it was still noticeable. "Hello, sir," said Jaron. "Are you, by any chance, Axel Slice?" "I am, adventurer." They all explained the legend and the details of what was going on. They also explained why Axel wouldn't be able to walk back to his church. Finally, Axel Slice said, "I know of that ingredient. And seeing as you have the first one, I will give the second to you. Provided you help me with something." "Name it," said Omegaman. "Monks don't accept runes from other people, and I have nothing of value to trade. Also, the Draynor Village Bank is out of runes, so I must go to the one in Zanaris. My only hope of going back to my church--and getting your ingredient--lies with you getting me a branch from the Dramen tree and letting me make it into a staff." "We're on it," said Ultima Cow. "I'll be waiting in the bank here in Draynor," said Axel Slice. "Good luck."

~~~

Part 17: The Mystical Dramen Tree

The current mission objective: To get Axel Slice, the head Saradominist of Ardougne Church, a Dramen branch. With it, he could enter Zanaris, go to the bank, and then teleport back to Ardougne. And so, Jaron99, Omegaman1111, Ultima_Cow and Scholzman all went to their own bank booths in the Draynor Village Bank to withdraw some items. "What should I bring, all my best armor and stuff?" asked Scholzman. Ultima Cow called across the room, "Nah, we have to go through Entrana, and the monks won't let us take weapons or armor there. The only things we can bring are food and potions. Deposit all your other stuff." "Yep, the ride to Entrana is free. Everyone just bring food," replied Jaron, who had the booth next to Ultima Cow. Omegaman was silent during all of this. The Bankers were watching Jaron suspiciously, as if he'd spontaneously combust or something right before their eyes.

Jaron walked out of the bank with a sack of lobsters, a few strength potions, and a red pointed hat atop his head. Omegaman walked out with a closed sack as well. Ultima Cow had trouble with his sack, since the swordfish in it kept poking holes in the sack. Scholzman decided to bring some Super Potions, which he said he had acquired dueling other rangers in the Duel Arena. And so, the four walked off to Entrana. "Would you like to take passage to Holy Entrana? If so, you must leave all weapons and armor behind. It is Saradomin's will," said the monk on the dock. "Yep, we know," said Jaron. The monk searched all of their packs, lingering a moment on Omegaman's. "You walk a fine line, Adventurer," the monk said. With that, they were off to Entrana.

When they got there, Scholzman asked Omegaman, "What was all that about?" With a wide grin, Omegaman walked over to a grassy area away from the docks. "He said we couldn't bring armor. He said nothing about making it when we got here." Holding his sack upside-down, out spilled several Black Dragonhides, some needles, and some spools of thread. "Yeah, a loophole in their laws! That's funny," said Scholzman. They promptly made full sets of Black Dragonhide armor, which, as Ultima Cow put it, "was better than nothing." (He still preferred his mage robes.) Crossing over to the other side of the island, they found a ladder leading down. "Once we go down, there's no turning back, you know," said Jaron. "If you guys don't want to go, you don't have to." "I'm sticking with you," said Omegaman. "Same here, Jaron," Ultima Cow replied. "Okay, I'll stay in Entrana," said Scholzman. They stared at him. "Guys, I'm kidding. I'm with you all the way, Jaron!" With a smile, and shaking his head at Scholzman's style of humor, Jaron99 lead his group of friends down the dark ladder into Entrana's evil underground lair...

~~~

Part 18: The Evil Part of the Holy Land

Eventually, all four of them lost their grip on the ladder and fell into the depths below. After getting to their feet, they dusted themselves off and looked around. "That was strange," said Omegaman. "It was like one second I was climbing down the ladder, and the next second it just didn't exist. I was holding onto air." "Yeah, I think we all had that feeling," replied Jaron, looking around. They were in a large domed room (with no visible hole in the ceiling--how odd) and one room off to the right. They cautiously peered into the next room to see zombies walking around. Armed zombies. "Those guys have axes," said Scholzman. "And you've got your foot. Come on," said Ultima Cow. They all ran into the room, surprising the zombies. Jaron killed his relatively easily with several punches, using a single lobster. He tossed a couple of his lobsters to the other three during their fights. Ultima Cow, Scholzman, and Omegaman defeated their zombies too, but not as easily. Being rangers and magers, they weren't as trained in the regular combat skills as Jaron was. "Hey, this guy dropped his axe," said Scholzman. They walked over. It was an axe, all right. More like a hatchet. "Let's take it," said Ultima Cow. They strode into the next room to the right.

The next room had two ways to go. To the left, a shining door was shut. To the right, a glowing tree stood. And in the middle, blocking the way, were several Greater Demons. They had noticed the group by now, and were staring hungrily at them. "Uh.............wanna run on three?" asked Omegaman. "Fine by me," said Ultima Cow. "1......2......3!" They sprinted across the room and arrived at the Dramen Tree relatively easily. Or so they thought. "Phew! Good job, everyone," said Jaron. Then they noticed Scholzman was missing. Looking back, two Greater Demons had grabbed Scholzman's legs, were holding him upside-down, and were hitting him like a punching bag, trying to tire him out. "That's gotta hurt," murmured Omegaman. The three rushed out and jumped on the demons. Scholzman was weak and out of breath. "I...don't think...I can make it...back through this room...on the way back," Scholzman uttered. "Yeah, if I was hit by two Greater Demons without very good armor, I wouldn't either," said Ultima Cow. Hoisting Scholzman onto his shoulder, Ultima Cow ran to the magical door. Setting Scholzman down on his feet, he quickly said, "Open it! We'll meet later!" Scholzman grabbed the handle, pulled it, and vanished. Turning around, Ultima Cow saw three Greater Demons advancing on him. He managed to bolt between them, but not without getting seriously injured. A few of his swordfish set him right back on track, however.

The remaining three approached the Dramen Tree. Jaron took the axe and swung it at the tree, but at that second a magical barrier flashed around the tree, and the axe bounced off of it and flew to the corner of the room. A ghost with a silly grey pointed hat appeared, saying, "I am the Spirit of the Dramen Tree. If you wish to cause harm to the Dramen Tree, you must defeat me first." "We only wish for a single branch to aid Axel Slice, the head monk of the church of Ardougne," Jaron replied. "I am the Spirit of the Dramen Tree. If you wish to cause harm to the Dramen Tree, you must defeat me first." They stared at the ghost. "Can you say, 'This is not a recording?'" asked Omegaman. "I am the Spirit of the Dramen..." The three, tired of the ghost, immediately drank some potions and ran at the ghost. The Black Dragonhide armor, potions, and food certainly helped, but the adventurers were at the end of their ropes and the ghost was nearly dead. Realizing they weren't going to win, they looked at each other. Jaron ran to the corner of the room. "Back off!" he yelled. As Omegaman and Ultima Cow backed away, Jaron grabbed the hatchet from the corner and threw it like a tomahawk at the ghost. The ghost slowly turned around, but just as it realized the flying axe was coming at it, it was too late. With an ear-piercing scream, the ghost faded away. Jaron quickly chopped off a branch and they split for the magical door. The scream had driven away the Greater Demons, granting them safe passage.

As it turned out, the door led directly into the wilderness. Ultima Cow's eyes widened as he realized Scholzman was nowhere to be found. They were looking behind some big rocks when they heard an approaching yell. "Quick, behind this rock!" said Omegaman. Running into view, obviously out of breath, came Scholzman ("Aaaaaaaahhhh!!!"), a warrior right on his heels. The warrior (with some strange skull over his head) had a dragon battle axe, but otherwise no armor. As they passed the rock, Ultima Cow jumped up and punched the warrior straight in the face before he had a chance to react. Scholzman fell over. "Thank...*gasp*...you...*gasp*..." Leaving the unconscious warrior behind, Jaron99, Omegaman1111, Ultima_Cow, and the gasping Scholzman headed south out of the wilderness.

Less than two minutes later, a low-level player stepped out from his hiding place behind another rock. Cautiously approaching the unconscious warrior, the player took his iron sword and stabbed him. The warrior vanished, but his Dragon Axe was left behind.

~~~

Part 19: Over the River and Through the Woods...

Jaron99, Omegaman1111, Ultima_Cow, and the half-scared-out-of-his-wits-because-a-high-level-dragon-battle-axe-wielding-guy-chased-him-around-the-wilderness Scholzman walked south into Edgeville. After withdrawing their usual stuff (armor, weapons, arrows, runes, colored pointy hats, etc.) they set off once more to the south. First they walked alongside the river that separated Barbarian Village and Varrock. It was a lightly-traveled path, not many people came down it. After the river broke away, a forest of trees awaited them. They walked down the east fence of Draynor Manor, meeting a few Giant Spiders along the way; but they were no threat. Mostly a nuisance that jumped on you out of the trees...which scared the group every once in a while. Finally, out of the forest, they came upon the path to Draynor Village, where they found Axel Slice, the head monk of Ardougne church. "There you are! Thank you very much for this," said Axel Slice as Jaron handed him the Dramen branch. Axel Slice cut it into a staff fairly quickly. "Adventurers, I shall meet you in Ardougne," said Axel Slice. With that, he headed into the Lumbridge Swamp. With an Ardougne teleport, the group was off. As soon as Jaron flickered out of sight, the bankers in Draynor Bank seemed much more relaxed.

Axel Slice was already in the church when the group walked in. "Jeez, he's quick," commented Omegaman. "Ah, you have come. Thank you again for helping me. I'm sorry it was not easier, but as a monk, I cannot accept runes from others." "Don't worry about it, Axel Slice," said Jaron. "We're all well and fine." They all nodded. "Stay here, I shall return," said Axel Slice. A couple of minutes later he did return, with a small bag. "Do not open this until you have all three ingredients. It will go bad fairly quickly once exposed to air." "Great, now we have to wait to figure out what's in it," muttered Scholzman. "Thank you very much, Axel Slice," said Ultima Cow. Turning back to Jaron, he said, "Well, Jaron, what now?" "We've got to find the third ingredient. A representative of Zamorak will probably have it. I've heard of a very evil land west of here, where Monks of Zamorak live. That's probably our next destination." All in agreement, they thanked Axel Slice once more and left. Axel Slice stared at the doorway for a long time after the group had left, obviously thinking of something. After a few minutes, he narrowed his eyes, nodded his head, grabbed his magical staff, and left the church.

The group's journey took them far to the west, where the trees began to wilt and die. They came upon an area with large gravestones, and walked in cautiously. There was only a single person there. "Uh...hello," said Ultima Cow. "Are you the, uh, head person here?" The person turned around, and smiled. It was a smile that made the group uncomfortable. "Why, yes, I am," he replied. "My name is CrazyArcher. What a group you are...two rangers, a mage and a warrior. What can I do for you?" "We're looking for some sort of legendary ingredient," Jaron said. "We thought you might have heard of it." "Heard of it? I have it! Let me go get it for you," CrazyArcher said. He walked back a little, out of sight. "This seems too easy," Scholzman said under his breath. The others had doubts as well. CrazyArcher returned with a bag with something in it. "Here you are, adventurer," he said, handing Jaron the bag and backing away. Jaron opened it and looked inside, and blurted out "But this is only a rock!" He looked up, and noticed that about 25 Monks of Zamorak had risen from their hiding places--behind the tombstones. Every one of them had arrows poised, poisoned, and aimed at the group. CrazyArcher spoke again, this time with a distinctly evil edge to it. "You don't honestly think that I'd give you the legendary ingredient, do you?? You've got to be joking. But I will enjoy all the new armor and weapons your deaths will get me," he said with a huge grin. My fellow monks, prepare to fire......"

~~~

Part 20: Hostage Situation

Twenty-five Monks of Zamorak had crossbows aimed at Jaron99, Omegaman1111, Ultima_Cow, and Scholzman. There was nothing the four could do to save themselves, or so it seemed. Jaron99 tried to stall for time; hopefully someone would come up with something. "Wait...uh, if this isn't the legendary ingredient, then what is?" CrazyArcher smiled and pulled out another bag. "I guess it really doesn't matter if you take this or not, for you'll not live to see it used anyway," he said. He tossed the bag to Jaron, who held it tight. (Well, there's one problem down, we've got the ingredient,) he thought. (But how are we going to get out of here? There's no hope for us...) "Monks of Zamorak! Aim your crossbows! I shall enjoy killing you, Jaron," CrazyArcher cackled. There was just something purely evil about him. "FIRE!" As twenty-five crossbow bolts streaked across the air towards the four, suddenly a blue bubble surrounded them, and all of the bolts bounced off of it, falling to the ground. "What??" CrazyArcher was definitely angry now. Stepping out from behind a bush, Axel Slice appeared. He was praying "Protect from Missiles", a prayer to protect someone from a Ranged-type attack. "Jaron! It's good to see you again. I wish it could be under better circumstances, however," Axel Slice started. "You've got the ingredient. All of you--go where you need to. I will grant you safe passage back." "No, you won't!!" yelled CrazyArcher. Axel Slice looked straight at him. "ENSNARE!" CrazyArcher's body suddenly became as rigid as stone--he couldn't move, not even talk. Unsure of what to do, the 25 Monks of Zamorak just looked on. "Hurry! Get out while you can," Axel Slice quickly said. "Thank you, Axel Slice. We won't forget this..." The four quickly ran off into the distance. Axel Slice began to walk away, but some of the other Monks blocked his path. It was just about this time the Ensnare wore off. CrazyArcher took a few steps forward. "You...you're responsible for this. You let them get away. You shall pay......Monks of Zamorak! Arm your weapons!" Axel Slice put up his prayer shield. "Everyone knows Prayer doesn't last forever, Axel Slice," CrazyArcher sneered.

Jaron, Omegaman, Ultima Cow, and Scholzman were running away from the area with the third ingredient. They stopped to take a rest atop a tall hill, and were able to see what was happening below. Axel Slice had his prayer shield up. But then, it flickered...and then vanished. The sound of twenty-five crossbows firing at once filled the air. Unable to watch, Jaron turned away. Even from this far away, the screams of CrazyArcher filled the air. "This isn't over, Jaron!! Do you hear me?? I will have my revenge! I promise you--on the name of my god Zamorak, I will kill you! I'll kill you all! This--isn't--over!!"

~~~

Part 20: Hostage Situation (Edited Version)

...(Well, there's one problem down, we've got the ingredient,) he thought. (But how are we going to get out of here? There's no hope for us...) "Monks of Zamorak! Put on your evil pointy hats! And aim your crossbows! I shall enjoy killing you, Jaron," CrazyArcher cackled...

~~~

Part 21: The Legendary Food At Last

With the three Legendary Ingredients in hand, yet only knowing what one of them was, Jaron99, Omegaman1111, Ultima_Cow and Scholzman strolled into Ardougne. There was quite a topic of discussion going around. Everyone had somehow heard CrazyArcher's screams and were all going "Who's Jaron?" "Beats me, maybe he worships Zamorak." "Did you guys hear those screams, too?" and stuff like that. Walking quickly to the bank, Ultima Cow withdrew his Amulet of Glory. "Are you ready? We'll teleport to Edgeville," he said. "Hey, I thought you were out of charges on that thing when we were stuck in the Air Realm," said Omegaman. "I've got a few of these," smiled Ultima Cow. Rubbing the amulet, the four disappeared in a flash of purple light.

From Edgeville, they walked on to the Monastery. Along the way, they noticed that a lot of the trees had been cut down. They finally came to a female adventurer named Iissam333, rune hatchet in hand, felling all the trees with one swing. A pile of unstrung longbows and shortbows littered the ground nearby. "Hi there. Uh...could I have a couple of these?" asked Omegaman, pointing to the bows. "Sure, take all you want. I'll be here all day, unless I go somewhere else." "That made no sense," mumbled Ultima Cow. Omegaman and Scholzman both grabbed a few unstrung bows and headed on their way. When they finally got back to the Monastery, they were immediately ushered in to see Ykye. "Ah, adventurers! I am glad to see you have returned safely. You have the ingredients, I trust?" Jaron showed him the pot of flour and the two closed bags. "And the high level cooker, as well?" Jaron's eyes widened. "Uh...we were too busy gathering the ingredients, we completely forgot about someone to cook them!" "No worries, Jaron. I took the initiative and found one on my own." A man in red clothes, a red pointed hat, and a white beard walked into the room. "Jaron, meet Mr. Santa 06. Now, let's begin." Opening the bag from the Saradominist, the group found...some cheese. Pure white cheese. Then, opening the bag from the Zamorakian, they found the most blood-red tomato anyone had ever seen. Mr. Santa 06 mumbled, "Flour, tomato, cheese, it seems like a pizza to me." Ykye left the room and came back with a bucket of water from the Monastery well. Mixing the flour with the water, Mr. Santa 06 carefully created a pizza dough. Then he added the other ingredients: the cheese and the tomato. Cooking the pizza to perfection, he said, "Pizza's done!" "So...what do we do," asked Scholzman, "eat it?" "Sounds like a good idea to me," responded Jaron. Cutting the pizza into four slices, each of them ate their slice. "Whoa...that was the best-tasting pizza I've ever had," said Omegaman. "Yeah, but what was supposed to happen? I don't feel any different," replied Scholzman. "Hmmm....let's go talk to Reldo," said Jaron. "He'll know what to do."

The four, happily walking from that great tasting pizza, walked out of the Monastery. They walked half of the way to Varrock, and then Ultima Cow said "Wait..." They all turned to look at him. "What is it?" asked Jaron. "Look around. There's not a tree in sight. And this is usually a forested area." He was right, everywhere they looked were only stumps, and an unstrung bow here and there. "Iissam333 sure was busy," Omegaman said. With that, they continued their tree-less walk to Varrock Castle.

~~~

Part 22: The Search for the God of Evil

Jaron99, Omegaman1111, Ultima_Cow, and Scholzman arrived in the Varrock Castle Library. It was more organized than they had left it last; obviously Reldo had been busy. Finding him in one of the many aisles of books, the group walked up to him. "Hi, Reldo," Jaron said. Turning to see who was talking to him, Reldo saw the group and replied, "Oh, hi guys! Did you have any luck with the rest of the legend?" "Lots of luck, and one great tasting pizza," Omegaman smiled. "Ah, a pizza, was it? Hmm. I don't know what place it had in the legend...ah well. What can I do for you?" "Would you happen to know where Zamorak is at the moment?" Ultima Cow asked. Reldo gave a slight shudder at the god's name, but responded. "Um...er...well, as you know, I seem to...meet up with him quite often. He always pushes me around, or tortures me or something...now he ordered me to bring him some Wine of Zamorak. I haven't done it yet." "Wait--he wants you to bring it to him? You must know where he is, then," said Scholzman. "He only told me I should use this ring to teleport, and then find his symbol nearby." Reldo handed them a sparkling green ring. The group looked at each other. Omegaman shrugged. "It's worth a shot." Rubbing the ring's gem, they were enveloped in a purple light, and then they were gone.

The first feeling Jaron had was that it was hot. "Jeez, it feels like a desert," he said. "Dude, this is a desert," said Omegaman. Looking around, they noticed that they were at a gate. Beyond the gate, an extremely large building. "I've been here, this is the Duel Arena!" said Scholzman. "Let's look for Zamorak's symbol," said Ultima Cow. They split up, but didn't stray far from each other, all within sight of one another. A short while later, they all met up again. "I didn't find anything," said Scholzman. The others hadn't, either. A voice came from nearby. "Hey Shadow, what's this?" The four looked over to where the voice came from. Two people were standing in the distance, but it was hard to make out who they were in the glinting sun. The four walked over to them. They could be seen clearly now. One was a female mage, with mage robes white as snow. She had an air staff that matched her clothes perfectly. The other was a warrior, clad in full armor, all except for one of those blue pointed hats. Nudging Jaron, Omegaman said, "(Hey, he looks almost exactly like you with that hat on.)" Jaron smiled and turned to the two people. "Um, hi there. I'm Jaron, and this is Omegaman, Ultima Cow, and Scholzman. Would you, uh, mind showing me what you've found?" The mage gave him a quizzical look, but figuring it was of no value, handed Jaron the item. It was white, with a string. It curved back and forth in a jagged motion. "That's it," said Scholzman. "I've seen those. It's a Symbol of Zamorak."

"Could you tell me where you found this?" asked Ultima Cow, indicating the area. "Right here, by this rock," said the mage. "It was mostly covered in sand, but the sun shined on it and it caught my eye. What do you need it for?" "It's a long story, but I'll tell you if you really would like to hear it," Jaron said. "Sure, we've got time," said the warrior. Jaron launched into an explanation of everything that had happened. From the Lohsill herb in the beginning, to the Black Knights invading Falador, to their search for Zamorak. "Zamorak wants to control Runescape?" the warrior said aloud. "Is there anything we can do to help you stop him? Maybe join your group, perhaps?" Jaron mulled it over. "Six is a big group, but when you're going up against one of the Gods, there's strength in numbers. Sure, you can tag along." "Thanks," said the mage. "By the way, I'm Bebitwinnie, and this is Shadow_Xeron. We all just call him Shadow, though." "Nice to meet you both," said Ultima Cow. "Ready?" asked Jaron. They all looked at the symbol in Jaron's hand. Jaron rubbed it the way he had rubbed the ring earlier. Nothing happened. "Uh, how does it work?" asked Scholzman. "I'm not sure," replied Jaron. "It could be broken. For all we know, this thing has--" With a rush of wind and the heat of flames, all six disappeared into nothingness.

~~~

Part 23: Prelude of Evil

The group now consisting of six, Jaron99, Omegaman1111, Ultima_Cow, Scholzman, Bebitwinnie, and Shadow_Xeron, suddenly found themselves in a large domed room. It was hot in the dome, as there were many lit torches nearby. The walls were made of rock, and there were black scorch marks here and there. Behind them was a door, and in front of them--in front of them was Zamorak, the God of Evil. He looked like a Greater Demon, but it was apparent that he was much more large, evil, and powerful than any Greater Demon. Zamorak had his back turned and did not notice who exactly had come. "Ah. So, Reldo, you have brought my wine," he said. Ultima Cow and Bebitwinnie raised their staffs. Omegaman and Scholzman readied their bows. Jaron and Shadow pulled out battle axes. "Not exactly," said Jaron. Zamorak turned around and gave a gruff laugh. "Aha! Jaron99, I presume. And you've brought your little clan along for the ride." A look of surprise crossed the group's faces. "Hey, a clan, that's a good idea," said Ultima Cow. "Yeah, and I wouldn't feel as bad when new people join our group," replied Jaron. "We could name it," added Omegaman. "AHEM!" They all turned back to the god of evil. Zamorak started again. "Don't annoy me. I can do anything I wish." With a snap of his fingers, a red pointed hat appeared on Zamorak's head. With another snap, the hat was gone and a dragon battle axe was in his hands. "We'll beat you," said Jaron. "I don't think so," countered Zamorak, "seeing as I have this weapon in my arsenal." Zamorak circled his arms around, and the air wavered in front of him, just like when there is invisible smoke over a fire. "Uh...so? What was that supposed to accomplish?" asked Scholzman. They all stood there, unfazed. Then Bebitwinnie and Shadow promptly fell over, unconscious. "WHAT? Why aren't you all unconscious??" yelled Zamorak. "That must've been the use of the pizza," said Ultima Cow. "That explains a lot," responded Jaron. "Come on, Scholzman, let's get them out of here. Hold Zamorak off, you guys." Jaron and Scholzman picked up Bebitwinnie and Shadow (who was heavy with all that armor) and walked over to the door in the rock. Suddenly, flames sprang up from the ground in front of the floor. "You're...not...going...anywhere," growled Zamorak. "My Black Knights have failed me once again. But your luck has run out, Jaron. I shall kill you all--myself."

~~~

Part 24: The Battle for Runescape

The group of six, two now unconscious, were trapped between a fountain of flames and a god of evil. Setting Shadow and Bebitwinnie down beside the rock wall, Jaron, Omegaman, Ultima Cow, and Scholzman prepared to battle Zamorak. Zamorak loomed large over them, with a Dragon Battle Axe in his hands. "Try this on for size," he laughed. Suddenly, Zamorak--and his axe--started growing extremely quickly! It wasn't long until his head nearly hit the ceiling, and was most certainly taller than the highest castle in Ardougne. "Feel the wrath of my axe!" His Dragon Battle Axe promptly came falling to the ground. The group dove out of the way, just in time to see the axe--whose head was now larger than a person--crash into the ground. Omegaman quickly rolled to his feet and shot of a rune arrow in Zamorak's direction. It hit him in the leg. "Aah!! My leg! No!! That hurts! I'm dying! Ack!" Zamorak fell to his knees, his large hands wrapped around his leg. "Can't...breathe...leg...in pain..." The group walked closer together, wondering if this was the end. Omegaman was still looking at Zamorak. Suddenly, he dove out of the way, just as the rune arrow he had shot whizzed right by his head. "I'm not that weak, you imbeciles," Zamorak said. "You couldn't kill me with a million arrows, let alone one." He raised his fist up and pounded the ground, trying to crush someone. But they were actually quite fast, and evaded his punches. Zamorak scooted backwards on his knees a little bit, and with a snap of his fingers, his Dragon Battle Axe was replaced with a Dragon...uh...long-looking-blade-thing. "What the heck is that?" asked Jaron. "I've seen them around," Ultima Cow replied, "and I think they're called..." "Halberds," Zamorak finished. "And look what I can do with one!" With an evil grin he reached his arm out and swiped the blade at the adventurers, but they all ducked and it narrowly missed over them. Another swing proved the same.

Zamorak's smile quickly faded. "I tire of this." Zamorak shrank back down to his normal size and headed over to his throne on the other side of the room. Sitting down, he snapped his fingers. Sections of the rock wall rose up, revealing many skeletons with swords. "Kill them all," Zamorak uttered. Then he picked up a copy of 'The Pointy Hat Catalog' and started reading it. Backing up, and standing back to back, the four kept the skeletons off as best they could. Jaron whacked a few with his axe. Omegaman and Scholzman took out a few with arrows. And Ultima Cow learned just how good a Fire Battlestaff actually is in close combat. Meanwhile, Zamorak was holding his catalog up in a way that he couldn't see them, but he really didn't care. They'd be dead soon enough. In the end, for the group, there were too many skeletons, and not enough fighters. As the evil skeletons advanced on them, no one knew what to do. Finally, Ultima Cow raised his staff. "Crumble Undead!" Silently, all of the skeletons around them crumbled. Each of their bones became detached from the others, and there turned out to be a large pile of bones littering the entire room.

Turning to Zamorak, Scholzman was about to say something, but Jaron quickly covered Scholzman's mouth. Scholzman looked to Jaron in surprise, who in turn pointed to the throne. Zamorak was still reading his catalog, unaware of what had happened. "Ooh, Dragon Battle Axe color. I should go order that. I mean, order them to give me that, heh heh." Submersed in his reading, Zamorak didn't see the group sneaking up on him. Only feet away from Zamorak's throne, he suddenly realized there was no noise of battle anymore. He lowered his magazine, just as Jaron brought his own Dragon Battle Axe down on Zamorak's head. Stunned, Zamorak wasn't quick enough as Ultima Cow cast Confuse, Weaken and Curse upon him. Omegaman and Scholzman then let loose a barrage of arrows, all hitting their mark. Zamorak sat there, a mark from the axe in his head, and many rune arrows stuck to him. "Ow. That...actually hurts." Slowly getting up, Zamorak spoke. "So it seems mere mortals have actually somewhat bested me this time. No matter. I have other pressing matters to attend to other than watching you die. I'll go and heal myself, and next time, you won't be as lucky. In my absence, I shall give most all of my powers to my greatest follower. We will meet, again, Jaron99. I warrant you that."

Zamorak snapped his fingers, and with a fiery 'poof', he was gone. The flames by the door subsided, and Shadow and Bebitwinnie woke up. They all walked over to the door, and upon opening it, suddenly found themselves back by the Duel Arena in Al Kharid. It was then that they heard it. The all-too-familiar screams of CrazyArcher. "I told you! This isn't over!"

~~~

Part 25: A Much Needed Rest

All six halted at the sound of CrazyArcher's screams. "Hey, it's that guy we heard earlier," said Shadow. "Shoot. Not him. Does this mean what I think it means?" asked Omega. "I think so," Jaron replied. "CrazyArcher's inherited Zamorak's powers. ...And I think he's really mad this time." "Really?" asked Scholzman, sarcastically. "Well, what can we do," asked Ultima Cow, "since Zamorak's away somewhere healing himself and CrazyArcher's ranting about how he's going to kill us all?" "We need some time off," Omegaman sighed. Then they all looked to the east.

"3...2...1...FIGHT!" Jaron, Ultima Cow, Bebitwinnie and Shadow watched from above as Omegaman and Scholzman shot arrows at each other from behind obstacles. "Yeah, go Omega!" "Get 'em, Scholzman!" They had stopped for a break and a morale boost of sorts at the Duel Arena. Scholzman seemed to be having bad luck, and missed several shots at Omegaman. Jaron gave something to the other three. "On 3, okay? 1...2...3!" Four icky, rotten tomatoes flew at once towards Scholzman. Most landed near his feet, but one hit its mark. Scholzman turned to look at them. "Hey!" But with his attention distracted, Omegaman jumped out from behind a wall and nailed Scholzman right in the arm. His arm wounded, Scholzman could no longer fire arrows and was disqualified. "Omegaman is the winner!"

Just for the fun of it, Jaron and Ultima Cow decided to give it a go as well. This time, though, they were in some kind of a large maze. Jaron was quietly walking through the maze, trying to gain the upper hand of surprise. "Hey, I'm going to beat you, Jaron!" yelled Ultima Cow. His voice seemed to come from everywhere. It must have been a special feature of the maze. "Oh yeah, why's that?" he asked. A fire blast suddenly hit Jaron right in the back. What's worse, his rune armor contained the heat from the blast, making a powerful spell even more hard-hitting. Weak from being caught off-guard, Jaron stumbled to the ground. "Haven't you heard?" Ultima Cow said as he walked up behind Jaron. "Mages own warriors." Staring down at Jaron on the ground, Ultima Cow promptly got hit in the back by a rotten tomato, followed by laugher from above.

They all decided the final match should be 3 on 3. The teams were set, and each person staked a different colored pointy hat. Jaron, Ultima Cow and Scholzman versus Shadow, Bebitwinnie and Omegaman. Each team had one of each type of fighter. Upon the yell of "FIGHT", they all ran to their respective sides. Omegaman stepped out and shot a few arrows at Jaron's team, but Ultima Cow hit him with Weaken, Curse, and Confuse all at the same time! His strength decreased, Omega dove for cover. There were two other people fighting in the arena nearby. One male, one female, both meleeing the other. "Hold up," said one. "What's going on?" "We're fighting a team battle just for fun," Shadow said. "Can we join you?" "Sure," Omega replied. The female fighter turned to her friend. "We'll finish this later. Pick a side." With a grin, they ran to opposing sides. The female fighter, on Jaron's team, introduced herself as Catherine. The other, on Shadow's team, was named Brandon.

They fought a long battle. Shadow was the first person out. He rushed at the other team, but Ultima Cow hit him with another fire blast, and Scholzman finished him off with a few arrows. Jaron motioned to Catherine some signals, and she nodded. Back over at what was now Omega's team, Bebitwinnie was looking for a target. Just then, Jaron ran at them from around a corner, yelling. Brandon, Bebitwinnie and Omegaman together knocked him down. They all walked over, looking straight at Jaron. "Do you think we're stupid?" said Omegaman jokingly. "That's for you to decide," grinning Jaron. Catherine's Dragon Long sword suddenly slashed out from behind them, hitting both Omegaman and Brandon and catching them off-guard! Their injuries took them out of the fight. Leaving Catherine, Ultima Cow and Scholzman on one team; Bebitwinnie on the other. Bebitwinnie cast Fire Blast on Catherine, earning a KO. But Ultima Cow sent out a Fire Blast of his own, surprising her and knocking her out of the fight!

"That was great," Shadow said. A ranger came running up to them. "I saw the whole thing," he said, "nice battle!" Brandon and Catherine introduced the ranger as Danosman, their friend. "You're good fighters! If you haven't got anything better to do, would you like to join our little clan and go with us on our quest to stop Zamorak from taking over Runescape?" Omegaman offered. It was a long sentence, but thinking it over, the other three agreed. The clan was up to nine members, and it still didn't even have a name.

~~~

Part 26: CrazyArcher Settles Right In

West of Ardougne, in the cemetery occupied by CrazyArcher and his fellow Monks of Zamorak, a lone Monk came running up to CrazyArcher, who was seated in a gigantic throne made entirely of stone. "My lord, you called for me?" "I did," CrazyArcher replied. "My friend, you have been at my right hand ever since we have known each other. You have greatly helped me throughout the years, and I ask your assistance once more." "Certainly, my lord. What do you ask?" "I ask...that you slay Jaron and his crew. Kill them all." With an evil grin, CrazyArcher stared at nothing, obviously contemplating how happy he would be if Jaron were dead. The Monk's words brought him back to reality. "But, my lord, I am only trained to worship Zamorak, our god. I possess no combat skills!" CrazyArcher looked down at the Monk. "Ah, but you know that Zamorak has bestowed upon me his powers for the time being." With a snap of CrazyArcher's fingers, a large Dragon Battle Axe lay on the ground in front of the Monk. The Monk picked it up and investigated it. "I apologize, my lord, but even with this amazing treasure, I would know not what to do with it." CrazyArcher motioned the Monk forward, and stepped off his throne. Standing together, CrazyArcher then put his hand on the Monk's head. The Monk didn't seem to understand. But then there was a brilliant flash of red light, and the Monk flew backwards to the ground, unconscious. CrazyArcher smiled again. "I have other things to do." He walked to the west, towards Ardougne, leaving the Monk lying on the ground.

"How about Zamorak's Bane?" Ultima Cow suggested. The group was trying to figure out a name for their new clan. "That makes sense, at least," Jaron said. The nine of them--Jaron, Omega, Ultima Cow, Scholzman, Bebitwinnie, Shadow, Catherine, Brandon, and Danosman--were walking to the north out of Al Kharid. Their plan was to visit Reldo in Varrock once again and ask his guidance. Walking up the east road, they came to a sort of roadblock. The Varrock East Mine on their left, and tons of tree stumps on the right. In the middle, standing in the road, were two people. One was Iissam333, the woodcutter they'd seen before. The other was a miner, named Toxic. It was obvious Iissam was at wit's end. Toxic just seemed drunk. "I'm sorry, but you're incorrect. Try woodcutting and fletching, and you'll see," Iissam said. "Nosh, it's mining...really rakes in the casch..." "Woodcutting is more profitable." "Mining ish." "Woodcutting!" "Minigg!" The clan just sort of passed them, trying not to get involved in the age-old question of which skill was more profitable than the other...

The group was nearly to Varrock when a large red wall just fell out of the sky! It fell around the outer wall of Varrock, and was so big that it encompassed the entire city! The red wall stretched toward the sky, yet it came to a sort of point at the top, like a cone. "What the--?" said Scholzman. Upon investigation of the wall, it was soft, yet people could be heard yelling on the other side. "Get us out!" "Anybody out there?" "It's kind of dark in here!" The city of Varrock was in chaos! "What do we do now?" asked Omegaman. "I don't know," said Jaron, lost in thought. They all started walking back to the south to find out what was going on. "Look!" Ultima Cow said. Pointing south to Al Kharid, the other eight realized what he was looking at. The same thing had happened there, but the wall was a light green. Looking west, Bebitwinnie saw more of these walls. If they could judge the distances right, a blue wall was over Falador. A gold wall over Draynor. A purple one on Lumbridge. A grey one over Rimmington. No matter where they looked, these walls were everywhere. And then it hit them. "Jaron," said Omegaman, "I think those--are really big pointed hats." Everyone staggered at the thought of a hat sitting on a city. Then thoughts arose. "I want one of those, I wonder how much it costs?" "Costs? Ha! I wonder if Omegaman could eat it." "Dude, I only ate one! Leave me alone!"

About this same time, the unconscious Monk west of Ardougne began to stir. He woke up and sat up. Then he grabbed the Dragon Battle Axe and looked around. It was all clear now. In his mind, he now knew every combat technique there ever was to know. And he knew his mission, as well.

~~~

Part 27: A New Enemy

Jaron started off on his usual numbered list thing. "One, huge hats are covering towns. Two--" "We don't have a two," Omegaman said. "You know," started Ultima Cow, "CrazyArcher's sure to be looking for us. I'm sure he had something to do with this." "I'm sure he had everything to do with this," muttered Scholzman. "(Who's CrazyArcher?)" Bebitwinnie asked Shadow. Shadow shrugged, unknowing. "At any rate, we need to find a way to help the people inside," said Catherine. "We could catch the hats on fire," suggested Danosman. "Uh, yeah, but not without catching everyone inside on fire," said Brandon. "But at least they'd be free," countered Danosman. Everyone stared at him. "One, huge hats are covering towns. Two--" "We don't have a two."

The group walked down the road, stopping in front of a windmill. After finally deciding to teleport into Varrock, the clan gathered together in a circle. Ultima Cow frowned. "I don't think I have the ability to teleport nine people at once," he said. "Can you handle four and a half?" asked Bebitwinnie, offering to help. "...How can you teleport half a person?" asked Scholzman, innocently. "People are saying weird things today," muttered Omegaman. Ultima Cow and Bebitwinnie cast Varrock Teleport at the same time, and the entire group faded away in a flash of purple light. A vague shadow of a person stood on top of the windmill, looking at the spot where they had been. Then it was gone.

"It actually is kinda dark in here," said Shadow. They all agreed. Though the lights from houses nearby and the flames of Varrock Palace lit the domed hat they all stood in, it was still clear that it would be pitch-black without the lights. A sense of doom wafted around the town, although there seemed to be nothing to be afraid of at the moment. The group walked down the streets, passing frightened people by. The more experienced people didn't seem afraid, but they were ready for a battle, should one come. "Just a sec," Brandon said. He ran into the nearby bank, and a minute later came out with the type of weapon Zamorak had used. "It's a Dragon Halberd!" someone yelled. "Whoa, he's got one of those things?" The people around now were more curious than frightened, which helped lighten the mood somewhat. The group walked on, with some people following along, toward the castle. "Hey, what's that?" asked Omega. Following his gaze, they all noticed a shadow on the hinge of the gate. "Is that just a mirage of the darkness or is it actually something?" "Oh, I'm something all right," said the shadow. It jumped off of the hinge, wielding a Dragon Battle Axe. He had bright red robes. "You're one of those Monks of Zamorak!" exclaimed Ultima Cow. "That's correct. But you'll find me much harder than any of the others," he responded. "Because I have this." He held up the Dragon Battle Axe. "So? I've got one, too," scoffed Jaron. "You don't understand. Mine is special." Upon speaking, the Monk threw the axe into the air. It twirled around as it rose into the sky, becoming smaller and smaller. It started to fall as anything would, and when the Monk caught it in mid-air, it was a poisoned Dragon Dagger. "It can become any weapon I wish it to be." Everyone was amazed, and a little bit frightened at the news. "We'll still defeat you, no matter what you've got," Shadow said. "Ha! You won't be able to touch me. And I doubt you can fight well at all--" The Monk threw the poisoned dagger without warning, and it struck Jaron right in the arm. "--without your beloved leader." Dizzy from the poison, Jaron fell over, unconscious. When the group looked up again, the Monk was gone.

~~~

Part 28: A Dying Friend

As soon as Jaron was hit by the dagger, the group sprang into action. Even without him, they could still operate as a team. Shadow dropped his Dragon Long Sword and picked Jaron up, walking towards the Varrock West Bank. Omegaman and Scholzman ran ahead to withdraw an Antipoison from their bank accounts. The others stayed behind to fight the Monk, but he was long gone by then; so they went with Shadow to the bank. As soon as Shadow arrived in the bank, he could tell something was wrong. Omegaman and Scholzman were at the counter, but didn't have the Antipoison. "Are you kidding? We need it! Now!" Omega yelled. "I'm sorry," replied the Banker. Omega and Scholzman walked back towards the group. "Bad news. They don't have any antipoisons on hand, and the other ones are in the bank vault downstairs. The problem is, the person with the key is away, and is now trapped out of the city." All eyes turned to the unconscious Jaron, who seemed to be looking worse with each passing minute. "You can set him down in my home," a bystander offered. "It's just across the street."

Bebitwinnie, Ultima Cow, Danosman and Catherine stayed behind in the bank, trying to pick the bank vault lock. The others went across the street and put Jaron in a bed. "We've got to focus on other things," Omega said. "That monk's still out there, and chances are he's still in Varrock, so keep your eyes peeled." Bebitwinnie entered just then. "Do any of you gu--uh, why's Shadow in the bed there?" "I'm over here," Shadow said, leaning against the wall. "Oh. You two look a lot alike. Anyway, do any of you guys have a rope? We can't pick the lock, but we can see the antipoison." "A rope's not going to make it," said Scholzman. "By dragging it towards you, the potion would fall over and spill everywhere. If only there were some way to just get it..." Jaron looked really bad now. He didn't seem to have too much longer to live. Whatever kind of poison was on the Monk's dagger, it was very strong. Bebitwinnie's eyes widened, and then she smacked her palm into her forehead. Then she ran out the door, leaving the others with puzzled looks. A minute later, she ran back in with the Antipoison, and Omega quickly stuck it in Jaron's mouth. Shadow looked quizzically at Bebitwinnie. "Telekinetic grab," she said, rolling her eyes. Jaron's eyes slowly opened. Ultima Cow smacked Omega. "Oh yeah." Omega took the Antipoison vial out of Jaron's mouth, and with a few coughs he woke up. "*cough cough*...Let me breathe, why don't you?"

Disaster was averted once again, but not for the last time. After giving the bystander some money for the use of her home, the entire clan set out again. "No, seriously, what do you think of Zamorak's Bane?" asked Ultima Cow. Catherine interrupted him, shouting "Look!" Following her gaze, they all saw a shadow on top of Varrock Palace. Then it jumped to the ground below and ran inside. Jaron grinned and faced the group. "I think that's an invitation. Let's go."

~~~

Part 29: A Funny Thing Happened to me on the Way to Varrock Palace Today...

The entire group of nine went right away over to Varrock Palace. It was a grand old place, home of the King. In the darkness of the city now, however, it seemed gloomy and saddened. "You guys go ahead, I'll be there in a second," Jaron said to the group. Still weak from the poison, he took a rest against a building for a minute. Catching his breath, he leaned against the wall, and felt a presence behind him, like the uncanny feeling you get when you think you're being watched. Turning around, he spotted a man dressed in full black, holding golden coins--Jaron's golden coins. "Hey!" The man started to run away, but suddenly a flash of light came out of nowhere and hit him. He froze in his tracks, and Jaron turned to see Ultima Cow standing a few feet away. "Bind. Works every time," he said with a smile. Jaron walked over to the man and cornered him. "Just what do you think you're doing?" he asked. ".....Okay, you caught me. I'm sorry. Here's your coins." The two were startled...a thief who gives the money back? "I was thieving from people to save up for a good weapon. Then I was going to take revenge on whoever stuck this ceiling over my hometown." He seemed honest enough. For a thief, that is. "It's not a ceiling, it's a giant pointed hat," Jaron murmured. "A hat? Whoever did this to Varrock must have a weird sense of humor." Jaron couldn't help but grin. "It's not only Varrock, though," Ultima Cow offered, "it's every town in the entire land. They're looking for us." The thief seemed intrigued now. "They are? So...you know who did this? Could I help in any way?" Jaron looked to Ultima Cow. Ultima Cow shrugged. "I suppose you could join our clan, but you have to promise not to steal from any one of us." "You have my word. And that means more than you think," he said with a smile. "Deathstorm, master thief, at your service."

After rejoining the group, the now clan of ten continued to Varrock Palace. Yet once again, something out of the ordinary happened. "COME BACK HERE!" They all looked in the direction of the yell, and spotted two men with Rune Two-Handers running toward them. They both had full Rune on, and one had an eye-patch over his eye. Several guard rangers pursued them, shooting arrow after arrow. Each arrow that managed to hit the two, however, simply bounced off of their armor. Knowing that a large clan of 10 and two other warriors could easily best them, the guards cursed a little and retreated. Omega eyed the new people warily. "Hi, how's it going?" One of them smiled and shook his head. "We...were kidding..." He was trying to catch his breath; easily noticeable since Rune armor was so heavy. The one with the eye-patch explained the situation. "Those guards were stationed at the south gate, and we were nearby. When the wall fell, they were so startled they started attacking anything they could find. That's hired help for you, I guess. Anyway, I snickered that they wouldn't be able to go get their Asgarnian Ales anymore, and Magicana here thought it was a riot. The guards obviously didn't think it was funny, and tried to take their rage out on us all the way here..." "Whew, that was fun. So, what's going on?" asked the one called Magicana. Jaron replied, "We were just going into Varrock Palace to catch the person who dropped the hat on Varrock." The eye-patch warrior looked surprised. "It's a hat? Who drops a hat on a city?"

Deciding there is always strength in numbers, the Zamorak's Bane, or Death, or whatever clan let the new people join. "You know me already, you can call me Magicana." "What's your full name?" Scholzman asked. "Magicana Drofulcus," he replied. "Magicana will do," Shadow said. The other person spoke up, "And I'm TLoZOoT." "TLOZOOT?" Jaron asked. "No, two of the Os are lowercase." Bebitwinnie was curious. "What's TLoZOoT stand for?" "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time," he replied. They all looked dumbfounded. "What's an ocarina?" asked Catherine. "Forget that, what's a Zelda?" asked Danosman. "We can talk it over later. We've wasted long enough--it's time for payback," Jaron said.

They entered the dark castle to find many of the guards unconscious on the floor. It seemed most were poisoned, but it wasn't as strong a poison as had been used on Jaron. "These guys'll recover," Ultima Cow said aloud. They walked through the entire bottom floor, but found nothing. It was the same thing everywhere--poisoned guards on the floor or an empty room. "One thing bothers me," Omega said. "What's that?" asked Jaron. "Doesn't the King stay on the bottom floor? So where is he now?" They all looked at each other with wide eyes. Then they ran upstairs.

~~~

Part 30: Reunion

As the entire clan ran upstairs, some people's minds were elsewhere. "Hey, TLoZOoT, what did you say an ocarina was again?" someone asked. "Argh! Forget it! Just call me Bowser instead, okay?" he replied. "That would be easier," Jaron muttered under his breath. Once they reached the top of the long stairs, they looked around, only to find much the same scene as on the first floor; unconscious guards. "That Monk was busy," Ultima Cow said, looking around. "And obviously caught everyone off-guard, as well..." offered Catherine. A knocking sound came from nearby. All heads turned in the direction of the noise--a closet. Walking over to it, Jaron stared at the doorknob, pondering what to do. Silently, he turned around and gave a nod to everyone else. Jaron readied his Dragon Axe. Shadow and Catherine got out their Dragon Long Swords. Brandon, Magicana, and Bowser furnished their Rune Two-handers. Omega, Scholzman, and Danosman armed their arrows, and Ultima Cow and Bebitwinnie pointed their staffs at the door. Seeing that everyone was ready, Jaron turned back and gave a huge pull on the door. And then nearly jerked his arm out of its socket.

"You know, you could've at least seen if it was locked first," said Deathstorm, as he was picking the lock to the door. Jaron just rubbed his sore shoulder in response. "I think I've got it," Deathstorm announced. "Okay, *ow* we'll try this again," said Jaron. All took their places as before, and Jaron yanked the door open. Everyone at once lowered their weapons, and Jaron peeked around the door to see what was going on. There, the King of Varrock was tied to a chair, with a cloth covering his mouth. He was mumbling something no one could hear, because the cloth blocked the noise. Everyone ran into the room, and Omegaman quickly took the cloth off of the King's mouth. "IT'S A TRAP!" yelled the King at once. Realizing what they had just done wrong, Jaron ran for the door, only for it to slam at the last second right in his face. "...Ow. Now my shoulder and my nose hurt." "So, we meet again," came an all-too-familiar voice, belonging to none other than CrazyArcher. Jaron turned back away from the door, only to realize the surroundings had changed. Everything was black. The walls, floor, ceiling, everything was black. They were standing on nothingness. CrazyArcher was floating a little above the "ground" a short distance away. "Something tells me we're not in Varrock anymore," someone said. "You could say that," CrazyArcher snickered. The King was gone as well; it was just CrazyArcher and the twelve clan members. "As a clan, you're very powerful, I'll give you that. But what if you didn't have each other?" Ultima Cow spoke up, "Just what do you mean by that?"

CrazyArcher raised his hand, and a small ball of light appeared over the clan. He promptly brought his arm down, and with his inherited powers of Zamorak, a transparent dark blue covering flew down from the ball of light, trapping the clan in a sort of spherical cage. They were standing in the middle of the sphere, as if there was ground cutting through the middle of it. Each of the members ran to the side of this cage, but could not break through the covering. "This is fun...I'll deal with you later. I've got to go torture some noobs..." With that CrazyArcher snapped his fingers and disappeared. "...So what do we do?" asked Brandon. "We obviously can't get out of this," said Shadow. "Not even my sword can cut it," offered Catherine. Then the cage started to get a little brighter. "Hey, look!" said Magicana. The cage turned from dark blue to a normal blue, then to a light blue. From there it slowly grew in brightness and color to a shining white light. The clan members had to cover their eyes so as not to be blinded. When the cage grew as white and bright as anyone could think anything could ever be, a large pulse of energy fired down from the ball of light at the top onto the clan members below.

Jaron woke up to the feel of grass on his back. Sitting up and looking around, he realized he was alone.

When Omegaman realized he was waking up, he jumped up and aimed his bow around in a circle, trying to find some enemy to shoot. Then he lowered his bow, for he, too, was alone.

Ultima Cow woke up at the edge of the Wilderness. Realizing where he was, he quickly ran the short distance to Edgeville. And that's when he noticed he, as well, was alone.

One by one, each of the clan members woke up. And each was by themself. With no way to tell where everyone else was. And no idea what to do next.

~~~

Part 31: The Search for Friends

After getting up, Jaron realized he was actually in the vicinity of Seers Village. Sighing about his misfortune of being split up from the rest of his clan, he went and leaned against a Yew Tree. "Um...could you please move?" Jaron looked up to see Iissam333 there, Rune hatchet in hand, woodcutting once again. "You just don't give it a rest, do you?" asked Jaron. "Nope," grinned Iissam. Jaron backed away from the tree but seemed to be lost in thought. "Hey, Iissam, how many logs do you have?" "I have a whole bunch of every kind of log," Iissam replied, "why do you ask?" "I'd like to buy some," Jaron said, as they walked over to Seers Bank.

Scholzman woke up on the outskirts of the large town of Varrock. (It seems the pointed hats are gone,) he thought to himself, as he strolled on in. Looking for the rest of the clan, he couldn't spot anyone. He searched every store, every house, every bank and public place, but to no avail. "What do you think you're doing?" "Uh...nothing. Ow!" Scholzman walked over to the guard tower, the only place he hadn't checked. And there, inside was Deathstorm. "At it again?" asked Scholzman, rolling his eyes. "Ah, there you are! Where's everyone else?" Deathstorm replied with a question of his own. "I have no clue," Scholzman said. "Let's go look for them."

Omegaman ran up into the Duel Arena, hoping to spot someone he knew. He looked down into each battlefield, scrutinizing from a distance, trying to find out if anyone looked familiar. At long last, he finally spotted someone dueling someone else. They both looked sorta familiar, but from this distance, it was hard to tell. So Omega threw a rotten tomato at them. "Hey! What's the big idea?" (That voice sounds sort of familiar,) Omegaman thought. Then aloud, he said "Hey, is that you, TLo....Bowser?" Bowser looked up and shouted back, "Ah, Omega! There you are! We thought the clan dissolved, or something! We'll be right there?" (We?) thought Omegaman... Sure enough, a short time later, Bowser came running up to him, Magicana right on his heels. Both had their Rune Two-Handers, and had obviously had some fun dueling. "That accounts for three of us, nine to go," Omega said. "Let's go find the others..."

The other five clan members were tirelessly looking for the rest at the same time. By strokes of pure luck, Brandon met up with Shadow in Ardougne. Danosman and Bebitwinnie recognized each other in the busy town of Catherby. That left Catherine, who was near the Legends Guild, asking the guards there for directions. "Have you seen anyone named Jaron around?" The guard shook his head. "Omegaman? Ultima Cow? No one?" The guard shook his head again, sadly. "Hmm...how about Flummballen?" "Sorry, lady, I haven't really seen anyone come by lately." Another one of the guards inside spoke up. "Are you Bebitwinnie?" "Um...no...but I know her." "Well, someone was looking for her, but they went down to Ardougne." On the tip of the guard, Catherine walked the path south to East Ardougne. Upon arriving at the gates, though, she met Brandon and Shadow leaving. "Small world," Brandon grinned. "Not small enough," Catherine mumbled.

Ultima Cow used his Amulet of Glory to teleport to Karamja. Finding no one around, he then took the boat to Ardougne. Even though there were other clan members close by, they didn't happen to see each other. Alone, and not knowing if anyone else was even alive, Ultima Cow continued his search as he walked to the Tree Gnome Stronghold.

~~~

Part 32: A Shocking Turn of Events

Shadow, Catherine, and Brandon were walking around Ardougne, looking for the others. While Catherine and Brandon admired some silk at a nearby stall for a moment, Shadow said, "Hey, is that Jaron over there?" He proceeded to walk down the road. However, the other two didn't hear him, and when they turned around he was nowhere to be seen. "Shoot, we lost Shadow," Brandon said. "Let's go look for him, then," Catherine sighed.

Realizing the person he was following wasn't actually Jaron, Shadow turned back and went back to the Silk Stall. But when he got there, Catherine and Brandon were gone. "Dang." Not knowing what to do next, Shadow took matters into his own hands and walked north, looking for anyone he knew.

Ultima Cow had scoured the entire Tree Gnome Stronghold, but to no avail; no one was to be found. As a last resort, he took the Gnome Air glider to Al Kharid. Feeling down on his luck, he was just about to touch down, when he exclaimed, "Hey, there's someone I know! Land over there, if you can!"

Omegaman, Magicana, and Bowser were just about to leave Al Kharid when a Gnome glider touched down not too far away. Ultima Cow came running up from a distance. "Hey, how's it going, Omega? I'm glad to finally see someone," Ultima Cow said. After exchanging greetings, and both telling each other that they had no idea where Jaron was to be found, they, too, left for western territory.

Shadow was walking along on his own to the north, when he finally saw a familiar face coming out of Seers Village Bank. It was Jaron! "Thanks again, Iissam," he said. Shadow ran up to him. "Hey, Shadow! How's it going?" "Fine, and you?" Shadow responded. "I'm okay. I'm sort of worried about everyone else, and about CrazyArcher returning, but besides that, all is well." "Don't worry about CrazyArcher--if he comes back, I'll cream him for sure with my Dragon Long Sword," Shadow said. "Yeah, I've got my Dragon Battle Axe, too, but I'm not so sure..." replied Jaron.

At the same time Catherine and Brandon were walking north from Ardougne, Bebitwinnie and Danosman were striding west from Catherby. Even then, Omega, Ultima Cow, Bowser, and Magicana teleported to Camelot with Ultima Cow's teleporting power. All of this had a lucky effect--all three groups converged in Camelot. "It's good to see you all again," Ultima Cow said. "Same here," Bebitwinnie replied. "So, who are we missing then?" asked Catherine. "It's seems Jaron, Shadow, Scholzman, and Deathstorm are still out there," Omegaman said. "Let's see if they're anywhere west of here. It's a short walk to Seers Village."

A warrior, holding a Dragon Battle Axe, ran through the dense woods west of Seers Village, a floating enemy on his tail. "I've got you now, Jaron! There's nowhere to hide," CrazyArcher yelled through the air. But he kept running--there had to be something he could do to get away! He nearly tripped on several tree roots, but always seemed to get his running pace back up. Looking back, CrazyArcher was flying between the trees behind him. He obviously had learned how to use Zamorak's powers by now. "It's over, Jaron!" CrazyArcher pointed his finger at him, and he immediately froze in his tracks and fell over on his back. CrazyArcher touched down and slowly walked over to him. "The time has come. You're finally out of my way, Jaron. Runescape will crumble, and I will reign!" With an evil laugh, CrazyArcher pulled a Dragon Spear out of nowhere and struck it down into his victim's chest. "Now, Jaron, heh heh...do you have any last words?" With his dying breath he looked straight at CrazyArcher and said: "Yeah.....I'm not Jaron." CrazyArcher's eyes grew wide as he turned around. There, several steps away, was Jaron. He had a Magic Shortbow aimed with a Rune Arrow right at CrazyArcher. With a serious look on his face, he said "This one's for Shadow"--and then he shot the arrow. It pierced CrazyArcher's body, and with an agonizing scream of being caught off guard (that or having an arrow go through him), he was finally dead. Jaron ran over to where Shadow lay dying on the ground. "I'm not gonna live through this, Jaron," Shadow said with a weak smile. "But trust me, in the words of CrazyArcher, this isn't over." Shadow_Xeron was dead.

Omegaman, Ultima Cow, Bebitwinnie, Catherine, Brandon, Danosman, Magicana, and Bowser ran onto the scene. They looked at Shadow's body, and then at CrazyArcher's. Jaron looked up at them. "It was his idea," he spoke aloud, his voice full of sadness. "We looked so much alike...just by trading weapons...and CrazyArcher fell for it." There was a short silence. "So Shadow's......dead?" asked Bebitwinnie, sadly. A strong gust of wind blew through the trees. Jaron looked over beside him to see Shadow's Dragon Long Sword leaning against a tree. That wasn't there a second ago. He picked it up and looked it over. "No, Bebitwinnie--I think he lives on."

~~~

Part 32: A Shocking Turn of Events (Edited Version)

Omegaman, Ultima Cow, Bebitwinnie, Catherine, Brandon, Danosman, Magicana, and Bowser ran onto the scene. They looked at Shadow's body, and then at CrazyArcher's. All of them took off their pointy hats in respect to Shadow death. Jaron looked up at them...

~~~

Part 33: A Roadblock at Every Turn

Taking Shadow's Dragon Long Sword, the clan slowly walked east to Seers Village and civilization. "I don't want to go to Seers Village," Omegaman said. "How come?" asked Danosman. "Because everyone there will say they saw it coming," he replied. That got a smile out of a few people. At least it seemed everyone still had their sense of humor. They all continued their walk, and, once arriving in Seers Village, the group found Scholzman and Deathstorm looking around for them. They were a clan again; everyone was together. The group sadly relayed the news of Shadow's death to Scholzman and Deathstorm, who felt as the others did on the matter. They all went upstairs to rest.

After climbing up the ladder, many of them realized they had never been on the top floor of the Seers Bank before. There were several chairs to sit around on, and an office of a Banker, which was at the moment not in use. "So...what's next on the agenda, Jaron?" Scholzman asked, plopping down onto a chair. All of the others sat as well. "Well, now that CrazyArcher's dead, Zamorak probably took his powers back," Ultima Cow offered. "In that case, we could head for the Duel Arena again and teleport into Zammy's little chamber," Bebitwinnie said. "Sounds like a good idea to me," Jaron said, "so let's go with that." Right then, a Dwarf came up the ladder into the room. With his small height, he had a little trouble making it up the ladder, but he eventually did. The clan looked at the Dwarf, who in turn said "Heya, mates! Anyon' want a kebab?" Omegaman looked at Jaron with a raised eyebrow. Jaron shrugged back, not really knowing what to do. "I could eat a kebab right about now," Deathstorm said, mouth watering. Jaron then realized it had probably been a while since anyone had eaten anything besides that great-tasting pizza a while back, and that was only four people in itself. "Sure, we'll take eleven," Jaron said. "Let me go get some money from downstairs..." "Ah, there's no need for that, sir! 'Ere, have some, on me!" The Dwarf seemed happy just to have people eating his cooking. He passed a kebab out to everyone, a smile on his face. "So, what're ya up to?" "We're on a quest to stop Zamorak from taking over the land of Runescape," Brandon said, stuffing the kebab into his mouth. These were, without a doubt, the best kebabs anyone had ever eaten. "Can I help in any way? I could probably help ya out by making ya all more kebabs for food," the Dwarf offered. Everyone's eyes turned to Jaron. Eyes that said, "Let him join, please?" Eyes that said, "We could use a cook." Eyes that said, "Hahahaha! Free kebabs! Yum yum yum! Kebabs! YUM! Free! Hahahaha!! Let him join! Free! Ha! Mmm!" Jaron tried to ignore that third set of eyes there. "You know, we travel a lot, and we've actually fought Zamorak up close. Are you sure you'd want to come?" Jaron asked. "Well, on second thought," said the Dwarf, "me little legs don't aid me too much in walking long distances, and I'm more into cooking than combat. Neve'mind. But if you ever need any kebabs for your quest, you know where I am!"

The clan walked southeast to Al Kharid. They were nearly there when the evil Monk of Zamorak jumped out of nowhere onto the path in front of them. "Where's my master?" he asked with an evil look. "He's dead. Excuse us," Omega responded. "You couldn't have killed him..." said the Monk. "Well, I'm sorry, but the fact of the matter is, he's dead, and you're in our way," Omega replied once more. "(We might not want to make him mad,)" Jaron whispered to Omegaman with rolling eyes. The Monk seemed to be in shock. "Must...have revenge..." He took out his magic Dragon Battle Axe and threw it high, straight up. Near the top of its accent, it seemed to break. It fell as several Dragon Short Swords, and they all hit the ground. And where a sword fell, the dirt rose up out of the ground to become a Rock Golem. Which meant Rock Golems wielding Dragon Short Swords. "I'm blaming this on you," Ultima Cow said to Omega. Jaron quickly made a tally. "There's twelve of them and eleven of us. Everyone take a golem and watch out for the remaining one," Jaron shouted. The battle was short-lived, as everyone was able to take their golem down. It wasn't exactly easy, and a few people got a couple of cuts from close calls, but in the end there were twelve dead golems on the ground. The Monk had vanished, and the Dragon swords the golems had been wielding were gone with the Monk. "That was a quick battle," Catherine said. "Who took out the twelfth golem?" No one said a word. Each looked to everyone else for an answer. Jaron did another quick count and found 12 golems dead. He walked over to one of them and found a Dragon Long Sword stabbed into it. He pulled it out. "...This is Shadow's sword," Jaron said. After a few moments of silence, they all walked onward to Al Kharid, some of them looking to the sky.

~~~

Part 34: There is a Window With a View You've Never Seen

As the group of eleven walked into Al Kharid, they met an adventurer coming the other way, laden down with many items. Upon coming closer, his load of items tilted, and the adventurer fell over, with the items scattering everywhere. The clan members ran over to help. "Here, let us help you pick all this up. Seems like you've got a ton of items," Jaron said. "Yeah, I do...I don't know why. I'm good at creating items like these (he held up a bottle of anti-poison) but I never have any reason to use them, nor the will to throw them away." A few people rolled their eyes at the sight of the anti-poison, for obvious reasons. "I'm Khadgar, by the way." After all eleven introduced themselves to Khadgar, Omega blurted out "Want to join our clan?" Khadgar's face lit up. "Sure! Now there'd finally be someone to use my items! What's your clan name, anyway?" "'Zamorak's Bane'." "No, it's 'Silly Pointed Hats'!" "You're both wrong, it's 'Zamorak's Death'!" "Maybe 'Zamorak's Silly Pointed Hats of Death?'" "In any case," Jaron said, "we're a clan, and we stand together. We're off to go battle Zamorak. But I've got to warn you, it's not all fun and games." "(Just 90% fun and games)" Scholzman said. "Some have died for our clan, as well," Jaron continued. "No problem here," Khadgar replied. And with that, the new group of twelve walked over to the Duel Arena.

Upon arriving at the spot Bebitwinnie and Shadow had originally found the teleport to Zamorak's room, they realized there was nothing there. There was no Unholy Symbol of Zamorak, no way in, nothing. "That's strange," Ultima Cow said. "I wonder why there's nothing here now?" "We should go ask Reldo," Catherine offered. "Shoot. Don't look now, but..." Half expecting what to see, no one was surprised to see the evil Monk standing at the very top of the Duel Arena. Suddenly, he jumped off--and was heading straight for the group with a Dragon Spear pointed at them. If they didn't move, the spear was going to impale somebody, and soon. "Let's get out of here!" yelled someone. "I don't have a Fire Rune to teleport to Varrock!" Ultima Cow yelled. The Monk was falling faster and faster, about to stab someone quicker than the speed of gravity would allow. "Allow me," Khadgar said. He tossed Ultima Cow a Fire Rune, and with a flash of purple light, the group was gone. A split-second later, the Monk landed on nothing but sand. He wasn't even injured from the long jump. He stood up and looked to the town of Varrock in silence.

"It's...uh...different every time," Reldo said. "So.....where's the symbol then?" asked Magicana. "I don't know. Usually...Zamorak...comes to me with some demand or order or threat to kill me, and tells me where the symbol can be found. I haven't seen him lately." Scholzman took off his hat in disgust and put in on a table nearby. "Which means it could be anywhere," Bowser said. "Or nowhere--as in not exist at all at this point in time," Bebitwinnie said. "That's a possibility," Reldo said. "Well...thanks for your time, again, Reldo," Jaron said, as they all walked out. Once in the courtyard, they had no idea where to go next. Just then, a large gust of wind blew Jaron's hat off of his head. "My hat!" He ran to pick it up. Scholzman's eyes grew wide. "Speaking of hats, I think I left mine in the library. Be right back."

Scholzman was walking towards the library. (Man, it's a lot hotter in here than I remember,) he thought to himself. Just as he was about to turn into the library, he heard voices from within. "How's it going, my favorite person in the entire land?" "Uh, fine, my Lord...how are things where you are?" "Well, I've got to tell you, Reldo, my most worthy servant failed me. A guy named CrazyArcher. Things were looking up for him, too. I gave him all of my powers and still he died. That doesn't say much for me, eh?" "Uh, no, my Lord..." "Jeez, I must be in a good mood today. Anyway, I need you to do something for me, Reldo. You know that Wine of mine you were supposed to bring? YOU DIDN'T BRING IT!!" Even from outside, Scholzman could feel the heat in the room. "I'm sorry, my Lord, uh, you see, I had the Wine, and went to the Duel Arena like you said, but the Symbol was gone, and someone attacked me and took the wine!" Scholzman heard silence, as if Zamorak was trying to tell if Reldo was actually telling the truth. "Well, you are a puny little weakling, but in any case, I'll let you give it another go. You've got to prove yourself this time, though. I've put the Symbol--at the end of the Underground Pass. I'll be expecting you..." The heat faded from the room, and Scholzman walked in. Reldo looked scared to death. Jaron and the others walked in just then. "Scholzman, what's taking you so long?" Scholzman smiled. "We've got a lead."

~~~

Part 35: The Entrance to Iban

Big. Evil. Deadly. These were just three words that described the large cave that the twelve now stood in front of. "So...we have to go in there?" asked Bebitwinnie. "Yeah, that's the Underground Pass, all right," Omegaman said. "I suggest we stock up on things before heading in," Jaron offered. "Fine by me," Magicana said. With that, they all turned around and walked to the Ardougne North Bank.

Each of the clan members brought their own supplies for the journey, and, of course, their best armor and weapons. The listing of supplies was as follows:

Jaron: A variety of potions, many lobsters
Omegaman: Two ropes, several lobsters
Ultima Cow: A variety of runes and magical devices
Scholzman: Two ropes, some planks
Bebitwinnie: A variety of runes, a few cakes
Catherine: Many swordfish
Brandon: Many lobsters
Danosman: A variety of arrows, a few tuna
Deathstorm: His trusty lockpick and a variety of potions
Magicana: Several tuna
Bowser: A couple of sharks (where'd he get those?)
Khadgar: A variety of potions and other items

Upon returning to the cave, they were ready to meet the challenge. They all entered the darkness of the Underground Pass and promptly came to a swamp. Bowser stared at it. "So...who goes first?" They all stared at him. "Sure, I'll go..." Bowser took about three steps into the murky swamp. "Ew...hey, I think something's got my le--" He was promptly pulled under. Several gasped at the sight. "Uh...let's wait for him," Brandon offered. No one dared go after him. A couple of minutes later, Bowser emerged from the swamp, gasping for breath. "Let's...*gasp*...not do...*gasp*...that again..." Noticing a side route, Jaron led the group in that direction instead. It consisted of several rockslides that they had to pass over. Several people slipped and fell, and a couple needed food fairly early. Danosman gave out some of his tuna; he only had a couple of them left. After the entire group finally made it to the other side, they had a new dilemma: a raised drawbridge. "How are we going to make it past that?" asked Deathstorm. Omegaman eyed a fire blazing nearby, and then noticed a cloth on the ground. He picked it up and studied it. "Leave that to me." Wrapping some of his arrows in the cloth, Omega then set fire to them. He handed the arrows to Jaron, and then climbed up a rocky slope. Upon finally reaching the top, he took back the arrows from Jaron below. With precise aim, Omega sliced the two support cables holding the drawbridge up. It fell with a loud "thud".

The next obstacle they came to was a large rock protruding from the ceiling over a medium-sized pit. Scholzman was fighting off some Giant Spiders in the meantime. Omegaman took one of his ropes and swung it at the rock. It stuck and he swung across. He was then followed by Ultima Cow, Brandon, Danosman, Bowser, and Magicana. When Catherine went, the rope slipped off of the rock from repeated use and she fell into the pit without any warning. They all looked down into the black pit, but couldn't see a thing. "......There's no time to waste," Jaron said. With another one of Omega's ropes, Deathstorm, Khadgar, and Bebitwinnie swung across. When Jaron tried to swing, again the rope loosened and he fell into the darkness.

Jaron tumbled down the rocky slope until he hit the wall at the bottom--hard. Catherine turned around with a grin. "Nice of you to join me," she said with a smile. "Yeah, it seems those ropes can't handle too many people," Jaron replied, massaging his head. They made their way back up the slope, tripping over rocks as they went. "Just a second," Catherine said. They stopped. After a moment, she said, "Do you hear that?" Jaron was puzzled. "Hear what?" After trying to listen for another moment, Catherine gave up. "I guess it was the wind. Let's go on."

Together, Jaron and Catherine arrived at the edge of the swamp near the entrance. They made their way over the rockslides to the drawbridge again. It took a little toll on Jaron's lobster count, but after getting to the drawbridge, the rest was easy. As they came back to the pit, Scholzman was there, waiting for them. With Scholzman's rope, all three of them crossed over, and they went on their way.

~~~

Part 36: Join us...

They continued up the path and came to a gigantic metal grid. "What the heck is that?" asked Scholzman. "It doesn't look very sturdy," Bebitwinnie pointed out. "Yeah, we should probably go one at a time," Ultima Cow agreed. Jaron, deciding to go first as not to put his friends in unknown danger, walked over to the grid. It seemed to be made up of squares, five wide and five long, twenty-five in all. He stepped on the middle square in the first row. Nothing happened. "I guess it's safe," Jaron said. He stepped to the middle square in the second row. And the third. And the fourth--suddenly, the square rotated in place and threw Jaron into the pit below it. The square turned completely around until the grid was exactly the same as it had been. The other eleven just stared in shock at where Jaron had been standing a minute ago. Then they heard a noise from behind them. A trapdoor opened in the ground, and Jaron climbed up a ladder from inside. "You guys should probably know there's spikes down there," he said as he ate one of his lobsters. Jaron walked back to the grid, and all the way to the third row. Thinking about his choice, he stepped diagonally to the left, to move to the second square in the fourth row. Then he took a few steps forward to the same square in the fifth row, and sensing nothing was happening, quickly jumped over to solid ground. A few people cheered. "Way to go!" "Who's next?" asked Jaron. Omegaman stepped forward. He promptly walked over to the middle square in the first row as Jaron did. But when he walked on it, it tilted and threw him into the pit. "Shoot," said Ultima Cow, "I think each person's different." "It would seem so," Catherine replied. Omega climbed up through the trapdoor. "Let's make this go quicker," he said.

First up for the first row, from squares one to five was Omegaman, Ultima Cow, Bebitwinnie, Scholzman, and Catherine. Each of them stepped forward. No one fell! Everyone took another step. Again, by luck, no one had fallen! "Wanna switch places for this one, Omega?" asked Ultima Cow. "It's worth a shot," Omega said. Bebitwinnie, Scholzman and Catherine stepped forward and stood there without incident. Omegaman stepped diagonally to the right, and Ultima Cow to the left. Miraculously, no one fell. "You guys are having incredible luck," Jaron said from the end. Each stepped forward one square--and Bebitwinnie tumbled. She went up the trapdoor and came back to where she was, then stepped to the left with Omegaman. "Hey, Catherine, wanna trade places on this one?" asked Scholzman. "I suppose so," she agreed. Ultima Cow stepped forward and off the grid, as did Omegaman and Bebitwinnie. Scholzman and Catherine stepped diagonally, and both squares threw them into the pit. They came up the trapdoor, and Catherine walked over to where she had been, and ran straight across to the end. Scholzman did so, also. "That's the last time I listen to you," Catherine said.

Brandon, Danosman, Deathstorm, Magicana, Bowser and Khadgar all crossed in the same way--by trial and error. In the end, several of them fell, as they weren't as lucky as the first six. Bowser ended up eating a couple of his sharks, leaving one left, and Danosman gave out the rest of his tuna. Just as Khadgar was walking to the final square, someone in full wizards robes ran into the room. "I've got 2 HP left and the spiders are chasing me!!" He ran across the grid, and about the third row got thrown into the pit with a scream. Khadgar stared at the spot he fell, and sidestepped to a wrong square. He got thrown in as well. "What'd he do that for?" said Catherine. Khadgar came up a minute later with a blue wizards hat atop his head. "In his death, I got his hat!" he said with a smile. Then he, too, stepped to the end. The group walked on in the dark cave. Danosman seemed to have a lot on his mind. "What's wrong?" Brandon asked him. "Do you hear that?" Danosman asked in response. "I don't hear anything," Brandon replied. "Hmm...maybe not..."

~~~

Part 37: Secret of the Glass Orbs

The group of (here we go) Jaron, Omegaman, Ultima Cow, Scholzman, Bebitwinnie, Catherine, Brandon, Danosman, Deathstorm, Magicana, Bowser, and Khadgar walked down the narrow passageway toward the end of the Underground Pass, and, their goal, the Unholy Symbol of Zamorak. It was a very small passage, and many had already gone through, when they all heard "OW!" Everyone turned toward the noise to see Brandon being stuck with a spike--coming right out of the wall. "Where did that come from??" he said. He ate a lobster and went on his way. Magicana stopped to look at the trap on his way past, but upon investigating it, it struck out and hit him as well. "Stupid..." Bowser said from right behind him. Magicana just walked on. "Twang!" "Ow!" Magicana turned around. "Who's stupid now?" he said. Bowser just grinned and followed him.

They met up in a semi-large dome-ceilinged room. Well, as large as can be expected. In comparison to real buildings, it was quite small, but after walking through a low, narrow passage, it was a relieving sight. "It splits up in several directions," Omega observed. "Yeah...I'll go check this one. I'll be right back," Jaron said. He walked down a dark path. Soon, they all heard a loud crack, like wood breaking. Jaron came running out with a large glass orb in his hands. "What's that? And what happened?" asked Catherine. "This is some sort of glass orb. Beats me why it's here. That crack back there was a large ogre trying to ambush me. I was too quick for him, though, and his club hit the wall." He smiled at outsmarting the ogre (which is normally an easy task.) "I want to go on the next one," Scholzman said. Jaron divided everyone into groups. "Ultima Cow, Omega, and Scholzman, you're with me. Bebitwinnie, Catherine, Brandon, and Danosman, you all stick together. And Deathstorm, Magicana, Bowser, and Khadgar, same for you." They all split up and took the three different routes.

"Seriously, I hear something," Khadgar said. "Don't go insane on us," Deathstorm rolled his eyes. "I'm not insane, I'm telling you...there's voices." "There's no one but us in this cave," Magicana said. "Hey, there's an orb," Bowser pointed out. Sure enough, right at the end of the path was one of the glass orbs. Magicana went to reach for it, but Deathstorm pulled him back. "Don't--this could be a trap." Deathstorm walked over to the orb and looked at it carefully. "Okay. See this thingy it's sitting on? That's a pressure pad. If I can just..." Deathstorm fiddled around with the trap, and carefully took the glass orb. Nothing happened. "Way to go, Deathstorm!" Bowser said. "They all started walking away. "Do you hear something?" asked Khadgar. "Will you shut up about the voices?" "It's not voices," Khadgar said as he turned around, "it's a huge chunk of wood. RUN!!" A large log flew down at them on a rope! They ran as fast as they could. The first three made it out quick enough, but Khadgar, in the back, got struck a little bit by the log and tumbled to the ground. "Ow." Magicana gave him a tuna and they walked back to the main room.

Bebitwinnie and Catherine stared at the pressure pads on the floor. "Guys, you're just hurting yourself," Catherine pointed out. She was usually the voice of reason in the group. Brandon and Danosman kept trying ways to bypass the pads in the ground, but kept getting stabbed by the spikes that came out of the wall when they failed. "At this rate, we'll be dead in five minutes," Brandon said. Catherine tossed them a few swordfish. "Let's go back, maybe someone else had better luck."

Scholzman carefully walked across the plank, and nothing happened. "Way to go! It's a good thing you brought those," Jaron said. Scholzman picked up the plank and set it down in the other pressure pad, then walked across it as well. "Hey, there's an orb over here," he said from around a dark corner. He walked back and used the planks again, walking safely across the pressure pads. The group headed back to the main room.

"We got an orb," Deathstorm smiled. "We did too," Ultima Cow said. "Uh...we figured we'd die if we kept trying," Danosman said. "What's wrong?" asked Omega. "There were these pressure pads in the ground, and we couldn't get past them," Brandon said. Omegaman grinned and looked at Scholzman, who held the plank in his hand and grinned back.

A short while later, the group had retrieved the final orb. "So...what do we do with these?" asked Deathstorm. They looked around the large room. A well and a furnace stood nearby. Jaron threw the orbs into the furnace, and the well seemed to shimmer. "That seems like an invitation to me," Omega said. "If only it weren't so dark and dirty," Ultima Cow said in disgust. They all jumped down the well--save one. Khadgar was about to jump in when he looked around in surprise. He seemed to be listening for something. He stared at nothing for a while. Then, he shook his head real hard and seemed more conscious, and jumped down as well.

~~~

Part 38: The Remainder of the Pass

The entire group of twelve landed in a new cavern after jumping down the well. "Whoa, look...weird people in cages," Scholzman pointed out. They walked closer. "They're not weird, they look like they've gone insane," Catherine observed. The group slowly walked past all the slave-like people in cages, and turned the corner at the end of the hall. It came to a dead end. Above them, straight ahead, was the way forward, but no one was tall enough to reach the ledge. "Let's backtrack. Maybe we're missing something," Jaron said. They all walked past the slaves once more, and all continued on but Danosman. "Hey, look at that pile of dirt over there," he pointed out. The others stopped and walked back to where Danosman was. Sure enough, in one of the cages, a pile of dirt looked...strange. Jaron tried the door and was surprised to realize it was unlocked. He walked over to the dirt, with the slave just staring at him, sitting in the corner. Jaron sifted through the dirt with his hands. "Here, use this." Khadgar pulled a spade out from his variety pack of items. The others looked on in surprise. "How'd you fit that in there?" asked Omega. Khadgar just smiled. Jaron dug the dirt up and threw it aside, to reveal a small passageway. He glanced at the others, and then went in. "Hey, come on through!" they heard from inside.

As it turned out, the passageway simply lead to the other side of the rocky wall. They followed the new hallway, and it came out just above where the dead end had been earlier. A narrow ledge led off to the left, indicating where they needed to go. The entire group headed in that direction. Most made the narrow walk, but a few of them fell off the ledge into the dead end below. "We'll come back around," they said. Magicana gave out a few of his tuna to those who had fallen. After that was another hard part--another narrow walk, this time over spikes. Deathstorm eyed a door nearby. He picked the lock and went in, but it slammed shut behind him. No one else could pick the lock. "Uh, I'll meet you on the other side," Deathstorm said. The others had to walk over the spikes. This time, when people fell (and they most certainly did) the damage was much greater. Bowser ended up eating his final shark, and Omegaman gave away several of his lobsters. Once finally across the path, they met up with Deathstorm and continued on their way.

The path now led the group to a cage. Strangely, there was a dead unicorn in it, with the horn on the ground nearby. Brandon picked it up and looked it over. "Do you hear that?" asked Khadgar. "Seriously, shut up about the voices!" "No, I hear them too," Jaron said. "It could be because there's people over there," Omegaman said, rolling his eyes. They approached the people, who turned out to be three Paladins. "Who goes there, friend or foe?" they asked. "Friends," Jaron said. "Ah, good. We're taking a rest here. Have some food," they said. Everyone ate some of the food, and felt ready to take on the task of completing the cave once more. After thanking the paladins, they group went onward. They came to a well and a door. Ultima Cow tried to open the door but was thrown backward by a mystical force. A well nearby bubbled. "Maybe the well needs something," Magicana guessed. Brandon threw the unicorn horn in, and the door magically opened itself. On the other side of the door was something the group had never seen before, and maybe never again. They all stood there in shock. "This has got to be the largest cavern in the entire land," Omega said. "I can't even see the walls in the distance," Bebitwinnie agreed. The room was gigantic, and a small path led around it. 99% of the room was a large black pit. One thing did catch their eyes, however. The large island of sorts that seemed to be floating in the distance out in the middle of the pit, and the hideously narrow bridges that led there. "We haven't come all this way just to stop now," Jaron said. "We're almost there. Let's go."

~~~

Part 39: Journey to the Center of the Pit

All eyes looked to the seemingly floating room over the bottomless pit. Then they all looked at each other, some in amazement of the sheer size of the pit, some frightened for if they fell into it. "My guess is we've got to get over to that room. Any other thoughts on the matter?" No one raised their hand, but it was easy to tell that everyone had thoughts on the matter--thoughts of falling, thoughts of dying, etc. They walked over to a slim, narrow bridge heading out into the pit. Upon stepping on it, they all found that it was big enough to walk across. "Well, at least we don't have to really worry about falling," Omegaman said. "Don't be so sure," Ultima Cow said, "look ahead." Not too far ahead, the platform was completely gone. And then it started up again. "We'll have to jump it," Ultima Cow said. Scholzman didn't look too pleased at the idea. "Since they were all standing in a straight line across the narrow path, and there was no way to change positions, Jaron had no choice but to go first. He jumped the gap with ease, and stood on the other side, smiling. "Come on across!" Omega then jumped across as well. And Ultima Cow jumped--but lost his footing upon reaching the other side, and fell into the black pit. "ULTIMA COW!!" they all yelled. Scholzman looked rattled. He had known Ultima Cow for a while, and now what? He was dead? This was too much. A few seconds later, Ultima Cow came running along the outer ledge of the main cavern. "Hey, guys!" There was a collective sigh of relief from everyone. He rejoined the group at the back of the pack. "That fall hurt a lot, but it's not as far as it looks. There's even a staircase leading back up here. I think there's magic to block your view of the bottom. (Hey, Magicana, can I have one of your tuna?)"

The rest of the group proceeded in the same way. Jump, jump, jump, fall, run back, jump, jump, fall... When the entire group finally passed the gap, Bebitwinnie had given out all of her cakes. Then came the shocking news--there were two more gaps on the way to the floating room. Jump, jump, fall... One or two people came back up only to fall again on the first gap of the three. Finally, a long while later, when everyone was past the final gap, Jaron handed out all of his lobsters to everyone. Then they looked at the building before them. It was a large building that sort of looked like a library. It had pillars on the sides, and two large doors in the front, with steps leading up to them. They slowly approached the doors and went inside. In the room was a empty throne and a well. And there, sitting on the ground in front of the throne, was the Unholy Symbol of Zamorak. Jaron grinned and walked over to it. "Are you all ready?" They stood together, and then Jaron rubbed the symbol.

Nothing happened. "Didn't this happen last time?" asked Scholzman. Omegaman replied, "Yeah, and then a second later we were telepo--" But this time they weren't teleporting. It was what was happening that stopped Omega in mid-speech. The walls of the room seemed to grow. The throne shimmered, and then grew as well. The well just seemed to shimmer away. Two large torches appeared in the front in the now-huge throne, and lit themselves, casting an aura of heat around the room. The doors to the room slowly shrank and shrank until they were nonexistent. "We're trapped in!" someone said. With a cloud of smoke, none other than Zamorak appeared on the throne. "Yes you are," he said. "And this time you won't be getting away. I don't know why it's so hard to kill you, Jaron, but I can't have you interfering with my plans to take over Runescape." "Why me? Why can't Omega interfere with your plans? Or anyone else?" Jaron said. "I guess you'll never know," Zamorak replied with an evil grin. With a snap of his fingers, tons of Black Knights came out of nowhere. "This time, you won't be using a Crumble Undead spell, will you, Mr. Cow? Ha ha ha ha!!" Zamorak seemed to be having fun, at least. The Black Knights ushered the group into a circle, and the 12 walked closer together, back to back. They would have thought of fighting, but it would have done no good. Bebitwinnie tripped while backing up and dropped her Air Staff. Figuring that if they did have to fight, everyone would need to be armed, Jaron picked it up for her. But then a Black Knight grabbed Jaron and threw him over to an empty area. "I'm going to see you die, personally, Jaron99. All of the Black Knights turned and formed a circle around Jaron, and then suddenly a clear, transparent, light blue wall came out of the ground and raised itself around the Knights and Jaron. Now, everyone but Jaron was safe. Omega ran to the wall and pounded it, but it was the hardest thing anyone had ever seen. There was nowhere for Jaron to run. Nowhere to hide. And these Black Knights weren't going to stop at anything until he was dead. The entire situation seemed hopeless. Ultima Cow stepped up and eyed the wall. It was about three people high, so no one could climb over it in time to save Jaron. Still the Knights pressed in at him. Ultima Cow reached into his pack and pulled something round out, and threw it as hard as he could. "Jaron! Catch this!!" It just barely got over the wall, and Jaron caught it. It was a single Law rune. Realizing that he was still holding Bebitwinnie's Air Staff in his hand, he held the Law rune and Air Staff and yelled "Camelot Teleport!" In a flash of purple light, Jaron was gone, leaving many, many confused evil knights. Zamorak was just as shocked as what happened. "WHAT??" The remaining group of 11 stood together, and Ultima Cow pulled out five Air runes and another Law rune. "This isn't over, you Cow! Expect me back to kill you all! SOON!" "That's Ultima Cow to you," Ultima Cow said. With another spell cast, the other eleven teleported to Camelot as well.

~~~

Part 40: The Final Showdown

Ultima Cow and the other ten clan members materialized in Camelot, just outside of the castle there. They saw Jaron standing nearby and walked over to meet him. Jaron just sort of stared off into the distance. "That was a close call, eh?" asked Omega. Jaron turned to look at Omega, half not hearing what had been said. "Does anything feel...different to you?" The other clan members looked around at the surroundings. Camelot castle to the north, Seers Village to the west. "Everything seems normal," Brandon said. Jaron seemed deep in thought, then he shook it off and turned to his clan. Ultima Cow spoke up. "The way Zamorak reacted to our leaving, I don't think he was very happy about it." "That's obvious," Magicana said, rolling his eyes. "Yeah, but he said to expect him again. Soon. And this time I think he meant it." "Then lets go stock up on supplies," Catherine responded. The group ran all the way to Seers Village Bank, with possibly not a second to spare. Upon entering, they all started talking to each other, trying to figure out what to bring. There were only two other people in the Bank, and the sight of twelve running in a pulling out their best items raised concern. "What's going on?" asked one of the two. "We're going to fight Zamorak," Bowser said, grinning. The questioner raised an eyebrow. "Zamorak, the god of evil? Seriously? .....Can we come?" Jaron looked over in the general direction, too busy withdrawing food. "Sure, the more the merrier, or so I'm told. Grab your best stuff, and don't be afraid to die. There's always a risk of that." "Fine by me. I'm Tweedy Ball, and this is ACher." Both of them had full rune on with Dragon Battle Axes. "Be ready for anything," Ultima Cow said. "Expect the unexpected, because it certainly seems to happen a lot." Just as one of the Seers Village Bankers was handing Jaron the last of his food, there was a bright red light, and suddenly the entire bank was empty. The Banker looked around in shock, and then finally deciding that everyone was indeed gone, went on to other duties without missing a beat.

The group, now fourteen members strong, again found themselves in the large domed room Zamorak so often used. Before they could realize what had happened and where they were, Zamorak was already barking out orders to his waiting Black Knights. "Grab Jaron and take him over there! There isn't much time!" Without warning, several Black Knights grabbed Jaron from the front of his clan where he usually stood and threw him over in another empty area. Once again, a light blue transparent wall rose out of the floor, but this time the wall folded at the top to form a ceiling, and trapped Jaron in completely. However, this time there were no Knights with him. He was alone, trapped in the cage-like box. "Ha! Just in time! Now no one can stop me from taking over Runescape," Zamorak happily said. "What's the meaning of this?" yelled Jaron. "I thought you wanted me dead, not trapped in some stupid box!" Zamorak looked over in Jaron's direction. "You can't see the big picture, Jaron. There's only one thing that could have stopped me from taking over Runescape, and now he's trapped in an anti-magic cage! No amount of magic power from the inside can destroy the cage, and none of your clan members are strong enough to destroy it from the outside! Ha ha haaa!!!" Omega seemed surprised. "Anti-MAGIC?? Jaron's not a mage, you idiot!" Zamorak shook his head, obviously amused. "Don't worry, it'll all become clear in about 4...3...2...1..."

Suddenly, there seemed to be a little light coming from inside the box Jaron was in. He seemed to be staring out into nothingness again, and when he snapped out of it, he looked around at the box as if he had never seen it before. Then he looked down at the Dragon Battle Axe in his hands and threw it on the ground to the side of the box. He raised his hand, and a strange white staff with a zig-zag looking line on the top appeared. He then stared at Zamorak, who seemed to be taking in every second of this. "Ha ha ha!! What do you think of that, my dearest brother?" The clan members didn't seem to understand. "...Brother?" mumbled Ultima Cow. And then Jaron spoke. It was Jaron's body, and Jaron's voice, but it was not he that spoke. "You won't get away with this, Zammy." "Stop calling me that, or I'll start calling you Sara!" Half of the clan members suddenly seemed to be in shock, for they had just figured out what was going on. "Wait--" stammered Scholzman, "--you're..." "Saradomin. That is correct."

"But how is that possible?" asked Omegaman. Saradomin looked at the group, sighed, and started to explain. "Although we gods can do most anything we wish, it takes a lot of power and concentration to inhabit someone's body. Zamorak, somehow with the powers of black magic and the help of his Black Knights, found a way to descend onto the mortal plane of Runescape. With the exception of the Varrock Palace Library, no god can come to the mortal plane. All contact with mortals must be made by inhabiting someone's body. So, when I realized that Zamorak planned to take over the land of Runescape, I had to intervene. I had been watching Jaron for some time, among several others, trying to determine leadership skills and whatnot. When the time came, I had to make a quick decision. I started at once to focus my powers to become Jaron and stop Zammy here. Unfortunately, it takes a long time for it to finally work, and Zamorak somehow learned of who I was trying to inhabit. He then proceeded to try to kill Jaron in any way possible in order to stop me. Now that I have finally succeeded, it seems to be too late." "That's right, my brother! You can't break that box from the inside, and even if you could, you couldn't stop me, one-on-one! The land of Runescape is mine for the taking!"

"Not if we can help it!" yelled Omega. And then the fight started. Dragon and rune weapons hit Zamorak, arrows flew into the air, and spells were cast. And in the midst of it all stood Zamorak, laughing, not being hurt one bit. "You all only defeated me last time because I was caught off-guard! There's no way you can win this time!" He laughed as the clan continued their fight. Even though everyone knew that there was no way they would be able to win, they kept fighting. Zamorak started hurting people simply by poking them with his fingers. Ultima Cow backed away from the fight. No one noticed as his clothes started to glow, and then become a bright white. A large staff, too, appeared in his hand. "ENOUGH!" Zamorak's grin faded faster than you could say "Ha!". Saradomin, as Jaron, looked over at Ultima Cow and smiled. "Didst thee think that I would not learn of thy plan, my brother? Letting the land of Runescape fall into evil hands indeed wouldst cause great unbalance on the mortal plane. And I couldst not have that, could I?" Ultima Cow, inhabited by Guthix, raised the staff and shattered the cage holding Jaron with a single spell. "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" Zamorak yelled. Saradomin and Guthix walked towards each other and stood there together, faced against Zamorak. "You said you couldn't beat me if it was one-on-one, Zammy." "But if mine own power joined with my brother's, thee wouldst not stand a chance." The two raised their staffs. "You will not find your way to the mortal plane again! We banish you to the plane of existence reserved for the gods!" Spells from the two staffs merged into one and hit Zamorak square in the chest. He seemed to fade away, screaming at his failure. When it was over, the two gods breathed a sigh of relief and turned to the clan. "We thank you for your endeavors," Saradomin said. "Zamorak is gone now, and we will do our best to make sure he stays where he should. Unfortunately, it's the same place we stay, so I'm sure we'll get an earful of his rage later," he said with a smile. "Your efforts have made Runescape safe for every citizen." The clan members stood there and nodded their heads, acknowledging praise from the two gods. And then Jaron and Ultima Cow found themselves staring at the clan. Jaron raised an eyebrow. "Well, that was certainly interesting." "I guess we get to keep these," Ultima Cow said, looking over the staff in his hand. Omega just shook his head and rolled his eyes.

With their quest completed, the clan dispersed, although many kept in touch. Ultima Cow replaced his Fire Staff he usually carried around with his new Staff of Guthix, which attracted the notice of many adventurers. Jaron and Omega remained close friends, as did many of the others. And at their final parting in Seers Village, where all of the members of the clan stood together, saying their good-byes, no one noticed a shadow on the highest building looking down at them. A shadow of a Monk with a Magic Dragon weapon.

The end?

~~~

Epilogue: Covert Operation

After the entire clan dispersed from Seers Village, Omegaman and Deathstorm walked towards Varrock. "Since we're going in the same direction, what do you say we make a little pit stop?" Omega asked as they were passing Ice Mountain. Deathstorm looked puzzled, not understanding. They walked north from there and entered the Monastery's upper floor. A monk walked up to them. "We're here to see Ykye," Omega said. "He's not here at the moment," the monk replied. "That's okay, we'll wait. Where's his room again?"

They were ushered into the room, and the door shut behind them. Omega promptly walked over to a door in the corner and tried to open it. It was locked. "Aw, darn! ...Hey, wait a second...Deathstorm, come here." Deathstorm walked over to the door. "Could you pick this lock for me?" "In no time at all." And, true to his word, within a few seconds they heard the CLICK of the door unlocking. Omegaman opened the door and smiled at the sight that greeted him. Deathstorm looked shocked. "So many colors..." Footsteps echoed down the hall! Omega and Deathstorm grabbed as many hats as they could, and then rubbed their Rings of Dueling. When Ykye entered the room, there was no one to be seen, and half of his hat stash was missing.

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 Post subject: Re: Zamorak's Bane, by Jaron
PostPosted: December 22nd, 2014, 11:46 pm 
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Fun fact: I ran into the real Scholzman again in 2007 when we both ended up at the lighthouse having Dagannoths for Slayer tasks. He was a incredibly high-leveled fighter. I was excited to see him, but he had absolutely no idea who I was and didn't remember ZB1 at all, hah!

Also from the annals of time, probably end-of-year 2004:
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 Post subject: Re: Zamorak's Bane, by Jaron
PostPosted: December 23rd, 2014, 9:35 pm 
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This is the reason I took an interest in writing (albeit, for a short time), and the reason I ended up joining RV. <3

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Kikori wrote:
Topsummoner wrote:
Riptide wrote:
I used to get you and J@n mixed up. Except your funnier. And nicer. Happy 21st bro!

Oh man Jan, you just got zinged by Riptide. How much does THAT suck?


Well, statistically speaking, slightly more than a giant suckusaur. A dire one.


PenguinGuy wrote:
Lets see if I remember how to play...

EX REX IS MAFIA SCUM FOURTHVOTER UNVILLAGE BLAH BLAH BLAH SCUM BLAH WINE IN FRONT OF ME BLAH BLAH META GAME BLAH BLAH BLAH SMELLS OF ELDERBERRIES BLAH

Right?


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 Post subject: Re: Zamorak's Bane, by Jaron
PostPosted: December 24th, 2014, 5:55 pm 
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Riptide wrote:
This is the reason I took an interest in writing (albeit, for a short time), and the reason I ended up joining RV. <3
Yeah, I think a couple of people ended up joining RV because of this series. :D It makes me really happy to have had such an impact.

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