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 Post subject: Zamorak's Bane II: Friends Unknown, by Jaron
PostPosted: December 23rd, 2014, 6:01 pm 
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Zamorak's Bane II: Friends Unknown
by Jaron (2005)


Foreword: More Like 20/15 This Time Around

Due to popular demand, I decided to write the sequel to Zamorak's Bane. I can't possibly begin to say how many people sent me PMs on the Runevillage Forums or talked to me in-game about my first story (Jaron99, by the way.) The response to it was overwhelming. But each person seemed happy to hear of the sequel I was writing. This story is dedicated to all who read it. (You know who you are.) Anyway, to the summary stuff! Zamorak's Bane 2: Friends Unknown is, just like the first one, 40 parts. It was written from January 7th to April 9th of 2005. It continues where ZB1 let off, so it basically spans Parts 41 to 80. Unlike ZB1, from Part 70 onward, I incorporated mysterious happenings into this story that will be fully revealed in the first few parts of ZB3. (Yes, I'm going to write a sequel to my sequel! I've got a subtitle and everything.) And so, without further ado, Zamorak's Bane 2: Friends Unknown!

Prologue: Previously, on Zamorak's Bane...

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.

Part 41: A New Beginning

Jaron was running as fast as he could. His pointy colored hat swayed in the passing wind, but it managed to stay on his head as he ran full-speed out of the wilderness. Yet no one else was near him; he didn't seem to be in danger. He was not actually running from anyone, but rather to someone. Jaron tightly clutched a sealed envelope in his hand, and he knew he had to get it to Falador, fast. That was when he saw the shadow. It was a movement through the trees out of the corner of his eye. (I'm almost out of the wilderness,) he thought. (Just a bit further to Edgeville and I'll be safe...) Jaron ran with all his might, and finally reached the back of a building in Edgeville. He turned around with a grin to face his attacker, who had failed to catch up in time. But there was no one there. Jaron took a few steps away from the building, eyes narrowed, scanning the horizon for someone. Anyone. Yet there was no one behind him. (Maybe I was imagining things. The wilderness is a strange place.) Jaron turned back towards Edgeville, ready to continue his journey to Falador, when he saw the silhouette of a person standing on the roof of the building next to him. A glint of red clothes, and a dark-red dagger. The look of shock on Jaron's face was one that showed he had forgotten something. Something very, very important.

The look of shock on Omega's face was one that showed he had forgotten something. Something very, very important. "It can't be--" he uttered. Standing atop the Crafting Guild was the very same shadow Jaron had seen. Omegaman had been killing Cows to gather their hides for use in Crafting. That's when he had noticed the shadow. "The Monk. We never killed him," he said in self-realization. Omega ran full speed away from the Crafting Guild--he knew he had no chance. Looking back, he fired an arrow at the Monk, but he jumped high into the air, and the arrow missed. The sun glared in Omega's eyes, and he couldn't see his enemy. But suddenly, the Monk landed right in front of Omega, startling him. "You know," the Monk said with an evil smile, "you're all really hard to track down." He threw the dagger at Omega, who was unable to avoid the attack at such a short distance. Then came Omega's realization that the dagger was poisoned. Short of breath, and his vision fading, Omegaman fainted there just outside of the Crafting Guild.

Short of breath, and his vision fading, Ultima Cow fainted there just outside of the Heroes' Guild. A couple of hours later, he woke up again, in one of the Druids' soft beds of Taverly. "Ah, good to see you're well, Ultima Cow," a nearby Druid said. "We found you a short ways north of here, poisoned from something. But you're fine now." Ultima Cow sat up in the bed and looked around. A Druid was by the bed, though it was no one he recognized. "Um...yes, thank you, kind sir," Ultima Cow managed to say. Nothing really seemed that familiar to him. He got up and started to leave. "Wait!" Ultima Cow faced the Druid. "You forgot your staff." The Druid pointed over to a strange-looking stick in the corner. It was white, with a golden squiggly thingy on top. "That's...mine?" asked Ultima Cow. "Of course, you've had it for a while now. A real Staff of Guthix...who would even imagine?" Ultima Cow cautiously approached the staff, never having seen it before in his life. Deciding the Druid wasn't playing a joke on him, Ultima Cow took hold of the staff. Thanking the Druid again, he ventured out the door, and headed east, to Falador.

Jaron strolled into Falador from the north entrance, just having come from Edgeville. Why he had fainted, he hadn't the slightest idea. It was of no importance, though. (Hmm...what to do now?) he thought. He casually greeted everyone he passed, being in good spirits. Ultima Cow was walking east inside the city, coming from the West Bank. Pondering the staff he held, he walked without looking around the city. Omegaman happened to be walking through at the same time, having come from the south entrance. He had been ranging earlier today, as always! All three passed each other in the main square and exchanged greetings. Something along the lines of "Hi, how are you?" "Fine, and you?" "Good." And that was it. They acted as if they had never seen each other in their lives. And for all they knew--they hadn't.

Part 42: Friends Unknown

Jaron walked into the Falador Bank a little bit later and withdrew some Prayer Potions. "Selling Prayer Potions!" he said aloud. Omegaman was already in the Bank, and walked over. Ultima Cow was just entering and heard the sale, and walked over as well. "I'll buy a couple," Omega said. "Same here," Ultima Cow offered. "I just bought a bunch of Ranarr and Irits in Draynor the other day, and I made some potions out of them for the fun of it. It can get to be good money," Jaron said, simply making conversation. "I could use some. I've been hiding out south of here, attacking Highwaymen and other bad guys," Omega grinned. "I'm hoping to make some money by doing a job for the White Knights. The Black Knights are up to something and it's my job to find out what. Anyway, here's your money," Ultima Cow offered.

The Bank Teller looked at the three kind of oddly. "You're making them pay for the potions, Jaron?" It's not usually like a Bank Teller to interfere in an adventurer's affairs, much less know them by name, so all three were somewhat startled. "Um...excuse me?" asked Jaron. The Bank Teller nodded. "You guys are the best of friends. You come in here all the time, exchanging items." The three looked at each other, quizzical expressions on their faces. "Um...you must have us confused with some other people," Omega said. The Bank Teller looked them over. "Nope, don't think so. You're Jaron, Omegaman, and Ultima Cow, right?" This was getting weird.

At the sound of their names, some low-leveled adventurers turned around and noticed them. "OMG! It's Jaron, Omega, and Ultima Cow! Hey Jaron, will you play me in a game of Runelink?" Jaron looked taken aback. "Of...what?" Another of the players stepped forward. "Will you challenge me to a game of Draughts, Ultima Cow?" And another. "Show me your collection of Decorative Armor, Omega!" This was now beyond weird, it was insane. "I...think everyone's got us confused with other people," Jaron said, genuinely confused as to what was going on. "Nuh-uh!" the low-leveled person responded. "You're Jaron, one of the best Runelink players; you're Ultima Cow, one of the best Draughts players; and you're Omegaman, who keeps getting over 40 kills in each game of Castle Wars with your great ranging attacks!" he said, pointed to each of them in turn. "I've never heard of any of the things you're talking about," Jaron said. "Neither have I," Omega replied. "Nor I," Ultima Cow agreed. The low-leveled person seemed kind of angry. "I know I'm not as good of a player as you are in the Burthorpe Games Room, but you don't have to pretend I'm an idiot!" He stormed out of the Bank with his friends, leaving the three standing there, very confused.

"...Burthorpe Games Room?" asked Jaron. Omega and Ultima Cow simply shrugged, unknowing. "I know where Burthorpe is, but not of any game room," Ultima Cow said. "Hey, let's all go there and see what it's like," offered Omegaman. They all agreed, and went to withdraw their items from the Bank.

"My blue pointy hat, Rune armor, and Dragon weapon, please," said Jaron. "Which weapon?" asked the Bank Teller. "......Pardon me?" "Would you like your Dragon Battle-Axe or Dragon Long Sword?" Jaron's eyes widened in surprise. "I have a Dragon Long Sword? Since when? Um, I'll take my axe, please."

"I'd like to withdraw all of my steel arrows," said Omega. The Bank Teller handed him a hefty amount of arrows. Omega looked them over. "Aren't there more than this?" "Nope, sorry, that's all of the steel arrows in your account," the Bank Teller replied.

The three reconvened, and this time spoke softly. Something was wrong. "According to the Teller, I have a Dragon Long Sword," Jaron said, "but I've never bought one before." "Half of my arrows are missing, as if I've used them," Omega said, "yet I haven't done that much training in quite a while." Ultima Cow decided to put his information forward, and showed his staff to the others. "See this staff? Apparently it's called a Staff of Guthix, and it's mine, although I've never seen it before today." There was an uneasy silence. "...Let's head for Burthorpe," Jaron said. The others agreed, and they set off.

Part 43: The Basement of Burthorpe

The group of three--Jaron, Omega, and Ultima Cow--walked north of Taverly into the principality of Burthorpe. Everywhere around them, soldiers were training. "I hear they've got a campaign going on against the trolls to the north," Ultima Cow remarked. They strode into the nearby Pub. Jaron walked up to the Bartender, looking around the room. "Have you heard of a...games room?" The Bartender looked at Jaron; then his eyes drifted over to Ultima Cow. "Is this a joke?" asked the Bartender. (Dang, he recognizes us for some reason...gotta think of something...) Jaron leaned over the bar counter towards the Bartender, and whispered so that only he could hear. "Omega lost his memory, and we're just going along with it. He thinks he's never been here before." Jaron cocked his head over at Omega. The Bartender raised his head a little in understanding, and then spoke up in his normal voice. "Ah, of course, sir! The Burthorpe Games Room is located in the basement of the castle, just up the road there," he said, pointing to the castle out the window. "Thank you," Jaron replied, walking out with the others. "What did you say to him?" asked Omega, once out of the Pub. "I told him you lost your memory," Jaron grinned. Omega rolled his eyes. "I guess you didn't lie, at least," he muttered.

They entered the castle and headed down the stairs as instructed. There they found a large room full of tables where people were sitting and playing games. Some tables had a strange 8x8 grid with colored runes strewn about. The others had another grid, yet standing vertically and 7 pieces in width, whilst the players dropped runes through the top. "Interesting," Jaron remarked. A green pointed hat drifted to the ground in front of them. Omega looked up to see a female ranger running towards them. "Heh, sorry, dropped my hat and it floated over here. Oh, it's you guys! Hiya!" she said, greeting them. The three simply stared. "Do I know you?" asked Jaron. "Argh! Haven't you ever heard of the story of 'The Boy who cried Goblin'? One of these days you're really not going to know who I am, and then I won't believe you," the Ranger said, smiling. Jaron studied the Ranger, but nothing seemed to ring a bell. "Um...no...I'm serious," Jaron said, frowning. The Ranger's smile faded, but remained skeptical. "Helloooo? I'm Twisas?" Jaron slowly shook his head. Twisas could tell by the look in Jaron's eyes that he was telling the truth. "You don't remember me...at all?" Jaron looked away. How many other friends had he forgotten? Twisas looked around. "Let's go play a game of Runelink. That'll jog your memory."

The objective of Runelink was to get four runes in a row. As it turned out, Jaron was quite skilled at it. (Who knew?) "That's why you're one of the best players here," Twisas had commented. Jaron steadily rose through the ranks, challenging higher and higher players. Winning some, losing some, but mostly winning. The others cheered him on during the game, but offered no insights--that was against the rules. After one game against a very rich player with decorated armor, Jaron turned to his friends. "Did you see that? What was up with his armor? It was all blue around the edges," Jaron stated. "It's a status symbol," Twisas replied. "It shows that they're rich, which usually results in the envy of others." Omega chimed in. "Yeah, that special armor is somewhat of a rarity." Jaron's eyes widened as he stared at the wall ahead of him, noticing nothing.

South of Falador. A Highwayman with a Dragon Battle Axe. An arrow in his back. A ranger steps out from behind a tree in full Black Dragonhide and a Yew Longbow. "Mind if I come with you?" "Sure, I suppose so! There's strength in numbers!" "Alright! Lemme grab this guy's mask. It's somewhat of a rarity."

Jaron snapped out of it, realizing his friends were staring at him. The vision was gone just as soon as it had come. "Are you okay?" asked Twisas. "Yeah...I think so..."

Part 44: Better Than You'd Think

"You were staring at a wall," Twisas said, obviously concerned. She looked at the wall Jaron had been staring at a moment before, but it was all simply stone. "Are you seeing something I'm not?" she asked. Jaron smiled. "Nah, forget it. So, what's up next?" "I'd like to try my hand at Draughts," said Ultima Cow, "and see if I'm as good as those people said I was." The group of four headed down the hall into the Draughts Room. Most everyone in there was wearing some sort of colored pointy hat. One of them immediately saw Ultima Cow and challenged him to a game of Draughts. Together, they walked out of the room and sat at one of the tables outside. "Wow, that was fast," said Jaron. The other three went to cheer him on. It was a landslide. Once Ultima Cow learned how to play the game, it seemed he had tons of strategies worked out. He used his runes to jump piece after piece of his opponent's, finally reducing his opponent's pieces to zero. "Way to go, Ultima Cow!" His friends congratulated him. Ultima Cow turned to Jaron. "Wanna play me in a round of Draughts?" "Only if afterwards you play me in a game of Runelink," Jaron replied with a grin.

Ultima Cow beat Jaron at Draughts, although Jaron put up a good defense. In the end, Jaron had no moves left, and had to sacrifice some of his runes. On the flip side, Ultima Cow played a good Runelink game, but Jaron set up a trap and forced a win. "If I go here, I lose; but if I don't, I lose anyway. Shoot." Ultima Cow shook his head and laughed. "You've got me." Omega pondered the situation. "If you two are as good at Runelink and Draughts as that one guy said, then what's...Castle Wars?" Twisas looked at Omega. "Are you serious? You don't remember a thing? Oh, you're gonna love it." Jaron turned to the group. "Well, then, are we ready to go?" Just then, a person in full Bronze armor, a Bronze Medium Helmet, and an Iron Mace walked up to Ultima Cow and challenged him to a game of Draughts. Ultima Cow looked at Jaron. "Fine, one more game," Jaron smiled, shaking his head.

"So, what's that staff you've got?" asked the person. "It's called a Staff of Guthix," Ultima Cow said, double-jumping the person's runes and taking the two off the board. "Cool." "So, do you have any Magic Staffs?" asked Ultima Cow, looking at the person's full Bronze. "Oh, yeah, I'm really quite experienced. I was just out in the wilderness and decided to teleport here," he responded. Ultima Cow jumped the last of the person's runes in one big move, amazing him. "...Wow. I didn't see that coming at all." Ultima Cow smiled. "Good game! I've gotta go. ...Whew, this Bronze helmet gets pretty hot..." The person took off his Bronze Medium Helmet and got up from the table. Ultima Cow just sat there, dead still.

(Two Guards are coming! Forget the door, time to leave.) "Hey!" (Too late...can't run.) "Need help getting in?" "But you're...you're..." "We're not guards," smirked the Ranger, taking off his helmet.

Ultima Cow blinked and realized there was no one sitting at the table in front of him. ...What happened? His friends must be waiting. He shook his head, and went to meet them.

Part 45: Go Saradomin!

Ultima Cow walked up to the others. "Ah, there you are," Omega said, clearly wanting to go see how good he was at Castle Wars. "Uh...sorry about that. I'm ready now," Ultima Cow replied, still wondering just what had happened. Jaron turned to Twisas. "So, Twisas, where's this Castle Wars located?" "Ah, close to Yanille," Twisas said. "What?! Yanille?? That's like a bajillion miles away!" Omega exclaimed. Twisas smiled and rolled her eyes. "Relax. Look on your hand." Omega looked down. On his hand was an Emerald Ring. "Huh. Never noticed that before. What about it?" "You really have forgotten everything, haven't you? It's a teleportation ring," Twisas replied. Omega rubbed the ring, and with a bright flash they were all in a strange building, with glowing colored circles. "I'm guessing this is Castle Wars," Ultima Cow said. "You guessed right," Twisas grinned.

The group went to a nearby chest and withdrew their best weapons and armor, then walked over to the blue portal. Jaron stepped in first and stood there. Nothing happened. "Good job, you broke it," Ultima Cow said, laughing. Twisas spoke up, obviously amused. "Um...sorry to tell you this, but you can't take your hat with you." "I can't take my pointy colored hat? Why, oh why? The horror! *sniff* Goodbye, old friend," Jaron said, walking over to the chest and dropping it in. "Do you think that's enough sarcasm for one day?" asked Omega. "Maybe," Jaron grinned, walking into the portal again and vanishing.

Upon entering the portal, they were in a large cavern, and everyone instantly had a new type of headgear. It was a blue hood, it was a blue cape. In other words, a blue hooded cape. "Interesting design. I've never seen these before," Ultima Cow said. "*sniff* I miss my hat," Jaron said. Twisas turned to speak to them. "Let me explain the rules real quick, before the game starts. We're playing for the Saradomin team, so we start in the Saradomin Castle. The object of the game is to go over to the Zamorak Castle, get the flag at the top, and bring it back to the top of the Saradomin Castle to score. It's a huge battleground. Feel free to 'kill' anyone you want; they'll just reappear back at their own castle. Don't kill people on your own team, of course." "What if the person with the Zamorak flag drops it?" Omega asked, intrigued. "Two options. Either another Saradomin player can pick it up and keep going for a point, or a Zamorak player can grab it and run around. In that case, you'll need to 'kill' the Zamorak player to get the flag back. If not, you'll never be able to score. Ah--we're starting." The group was teleported into a small room in a white-walled castle. Everywhere around them, other team members ran out of the room and either down the steps or up the steps. It had begun.

Part 46: It's a Small World

The four looked at each other. "So," asked Jaron, "I take it the other team is trying to do the same? That is, steal our flag?" "That's correct," informed Twisas. Omegaman armed himself with his bow and some Adamantite arrows. "I'll make sure that doesn't happen," he grinned, running out the door and up the stairs. "It's completely up to you with what you want to do in the time you've got. See you in 20 minutes," Twisas said, running out the door. That left Jaron and Ultima Cow. "I take it each game lasts twenty minutes," Ultima Cow stated, raising an eyebrow. Jaron nodded. "It seems so. Let's get acquainted with the area before heading out." They walked out the door and down the stairs.

...And right into the biggest room of the castle. Everywhere, there were tables, with stuff on them. "Cool! Bandages, ropes, tinderboxes, pickaxes, potions..." said Jaron. A teammate ran past them and accidentally bumped an orange potion off the table. It exploded with a loud BANG! when it hit the floor, throwing glass everywhere. "Explosive potions, that is," Ultima Cow said. "Explosive potions...that seems familiar. Ah well. Let's grab some stuff and head over to the Zamorak Castle." Just then, a person with a red hooded cape ran in and started trying to attack Ultima Cow with his mace. "Entangle!" shouted Ultima Cow. The Zamorakian player froze in his tracks. Ultima Cow turned to Jaron. "You go ahead and get their flag. I'll stay here and guard the supply room." "Sure thing," Jaron replied, running out.

Jaron was halfway to the other team's castle when he caught up with another teammate. She had white robes on, and there was an Air Staff in her hand. "Hiya," Jaron said, running up to her. "Hi there," she replied. She noticed some of the items Jaron was carrying. Apparently it was her first Castle Wars game as well. "Hey, what's this?" she asked, pointing to something Jaron was holding. Jaron turned to answer her question and stopped dead in his tracks.

Hot. Very hot. Looking everywhere...can't find it. "Hey Shadow, what's this?" A mage in white robes. A warrior that looks like me, and a Symbol of Zamorak. "I'm Bebitwinnie, and this is Shadow_Xeron..."

"Helloooo?" Jaron snapped out of it and noticed she was staring at him. "...Bebitwinnie?" he asked. "Wha--how did you know my name?" Jaron looked around. "I'm...not sure. Do I know you from somewhere? Or do you know a Shadow_Xeron?" There was an uneasy silence, with the sound of a catapult firing in the background. "Not that I'm aware of. On both counts. ...Are you heading for the Zamorak Castle? Let's go together."

Omegaman was single-handedly stopping all enemies from taking their flag. Just then, another warrior ran up the steps and turned to Omega. "I don't seem to be the best at carrying a flag...can I join you in stopping the enemy from taking ours?" More Zamorakian players ran upstairs. But Omega didn't notice.

Still so hot...but gotta be ready. Three on three. What are those two warriors doing over there? They're gonna get in the way if they don't move. "Hold up--what's going on?" "We're fighting a team battle just for fun." "Can we join you?" "Sure." The female fighter turned to her friend and grinned. "We'll finish this later. Pick a side, Brandon."

"Brandon..." "Yeah, that's my name." Omega looked around and saw Brandon waiting for his answer. "Oh, uh, right. Yeah. Be my guest." They fought alongside each other, holding back the enemy. (How did he know my name?) Brandon silently wondered.

Ultima Cow was guarding the Supply Room when he noticed someone sneaking around the back, silently taking stuff. Hey--he has a red hood on! "Hey!!" The thief stood straight up. Ultima Cow cast a Fire Blast on him. "Ow ow ow hot hot hot!" Ultima Cow grinned. "That's what you get for stealing. Now get back to your own castle before I finish you off," he said. "You have my word." The thief turned to leave.

Jaron, Ultima Cow, and a thief. "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. Deathstorm, master thief, at your service."

"Deathstorm..." Ultima Cow whispered, as if in a trance. The thief, about to go out the door, turned. "What? I thought you wanted me to leave."

Part 47: Mission Objective: Get That Flag!

Deathstorm stood at the door to the Saradomin Supply Room. "You called my name. I thought you wanted me to leave." "Oh?---oh, yeah! Get out! I'll cast Entangle on you if you try to steal our stuff again!" Deathstorm walked out the door of the supply room. (But...how'd he know my name?)

Jaron ran to the wall of the Zamorak Castle, Bebitwinnie right behind him. He ran his hands through his hair, trying to figure out how to infiltrate the Zamorak Castle. Doing so, however, only made him realize he wasn't wearing his trademark pointy hat. (Sigh...) "How are we gonna get in?" asked Bebitwinnie. "Shh!" whispered Jaron, pointing up. There were several Rangers next to the catapult, looking for their next victim. Jaron and Bebitwinnie stayed close to the wall, under a sort of overhang. Hopefully, unless the Rangers leaned over the side and looked down, they wouldn't be seen. Jaron motioned with his hand to the right, and Bebitwinnie nodded. They quietly inched over in the general direction. Just then, another Saradomin player was running towards the castle, as well. The Rangers took him out in no time at all. Jaron and Bebitwinnie looked at each other with a look of half-surprise, half-shock, and moved on. They arrived at a door. Silently, Jaron picked the lock of the door and they moved inside. There didn't seem to be too much action on the inside on the bottom--all of the fighters were somewhere high up, looking over things. Their backs to the Rangers, Jaron and Bebitwinnie crept up a staircase. Then another. "I think there's one more. Ready?" asked Jaron, looking up. "I'll cover you," replied Bebitwinnie. Together, they ran up the steps to find the Zamorak flag safe in its holder. Jaron lunged for it just as three or four warriors ran at him. Bebitwinnie kept a couple at bay with an Air Bolt. In a hurry to get away, Jaron turned too quickly and tripped and fell--and one of the warrior's axes swung right over where he had been. Partly running, partly jumping down the steps, they made a run for it. "Hey! They're getting away with our flag!" announced a Zamorak player. The several Rangers near the catapult turned around and noticed them. "We won't be getting out that way! In here," said Bebitwinnie, ducking into the castle's supply room. Jaron ran in after her, just as she said "Get down that ladder--I'll be there in a second!" Jaron climbed down into the caverns below the castle and ran for an exit--but a rockslide blocked his way. "Out of the way!" Jaron turned around and jumped out of the way as Bebitwinnie took a huge chunk out of the rockslide with a pickaxe. Zamorak warriors were coming down the tunnel! "We're not gonna make this one," Jaron said. "Oh yes we are," replied Bebitwinnie. She threw her pickaxe down and held her staff out. With a powerful Air Blast, the rest of the rocks dislodged and flew away, bouncing along the floor. They ran through. "How's that going to stop them?" inquired Jaron. Bebitwinnie grinned and threw an orange potion at the wall. With a loud explosion, a rockslide once again blocked the path, separating Jaron and Bebitwinnie from the Zamorak players. "Very nice! Let's go," smiled Jaron, as they ran down the tunnel to their own castle.

Omega and Brandon were taking out anyone who came close to getting near the flag. The nearby warriors admired their skills. Every time a Zamorak player came up the stairs, Omega and Brandon 'killed' them before anyone even had a chance to react! During a lull in the combat, they struck up a conversation. "Nice defending! What's your name?" asked one of the warriors. "Omegaman, and thanks! What's yours?" "Call me Andrey. This is Tai, and 911225," Andrey said, pointing to his friends. Andrey had Saradomin armor and a Dragon Long Sword, Tai had a Dragon Halberd and Rune Armor, and 911225 had Rune Armor with a Rune Battle-Axe. "911225. Interesting name," Brandon stated matter-of-factly. "Eh, just call me 911 for short. Everyone else does." "Sure thing," Brandon replied.

Part 48: It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Hurt

The new group of Omegaman, Brandon, Andrey, Tai, and 911 were certainly doing a great job of protecting their flag. "All these Zamorak players seem so easy to beat when the five of us fight together. If this keeps up, we could hold their score at zero!" exclaimed Andrey. Just then, two new Zamorakian players ran up the stairs at once. Both of them had great armor and Dragon Long Swords. "You had to open your mouth," Tai said, rolling his eyes. Omega looked at the two of them. "Hey--I know you from somewhere...Euph, right?" he asked. Brandon then recognized the other. "--And Applequest!" Euph and Apple grinned. It was good when people knew who you were--and it meant they knew the fight wouldn't be easy. "Don't you guys usually play for the Saradomin team?" asked Brandon. "We walked in just as the game was about to start, and there was no room left on the Saradomin team," Euph answered. "But that doesn't mean we're going to let you win," Applequest added. "Doesn't mean we won't try," Omega replied, loading an arrow into his bow.

Jaron and Bebitwinnie climbed up a ladder in the middle of the battlefield and ran as hard as they could to their own castle. There was a Zamorak player following them at one point, but luckily the Saradomin catapult had taken care of him. Deathstorm was wandering around the castle, but he seemed preoccupied, and in any case didn't try to stop them. They ran up the final set of stairs in time to witness the battle between Euph, Applequest, and the other five. Euph kept using his Dragon Long Sword to knock Omega's arrows out of the air while Tai attacked him, and Applequest was doing his best to keep Andrey and 911 at bay. Brandon stayed just out of reach, getting attacks in with his Dragon Halberd. "Do you think we're just a tad outnumbered this time?" asked Applequest sarcastically, occasionally taking the blunt of a Rune weapon. "Nah," Euph replied, smiling. Brandon hit Euph's leg with his Halberd, knocking him to the ground and changing his decision. "Well, maybe. Let's go heal and come back." Euph got up and turned for the stairs as Applequest did the same, only to find Jaron and Bebitwinnie standing there. Jaron lobbed the Zamorak flag to Omega, who placed it in their holder. It promptly faded away, the sign for scoring a point. Jaron then pulled out his Dragon Battle-Axe, as Bebitwinnie readied her staff for an Air Blast. "I think we're getting a one-way trip back to our castle," Apple said, jokingly.

Ultima Cow walked up to the top of the castle a little later to find Jaron, Omega, Bebitwinnie, Brandon, Andrey, Tai, and 911 there. Omega introduced them all to Jaron and Ultima Cow. "Hmm...but where's Twisas?" inquired Ultima Cow. "Right here," she replied, breathing hard as she ran up the stairs with the Zamorak flag in her hand. "Way to go! Another point!" said Andrey. Just then, the castle faded away, and they were all once again standing in the Castle Wars main lobby. "Hey, where'd these come from?" asked Omega, looking at the two tickets he suddenly was holding. "Those are Castle Wars tickets. We obviously won, since you get two for winning. You can trade them in for Decorative armor and weapons over there," Twisas explained, pointed to a little ticket stall in the corner. Jaron ran back to the Bank Chest to grab his pointed hat, and then they walked over to the ticket stall. "You call this decorative? I could do better than this!" exclaimed someone arguing with the merchant. "Sir, we're expecting new items in the future, but for now, this is all we have." "Fine, I'll take it, I guess...it'll give me ideas for my 'perfect sword'," the person replied. "Perfect sword?" asked 911. The notion intrigued him. "Yeah, but all I have at this point is ideas, and now I don't know what to do next," said the person, turning to 911. "I had hoped the Decorative Swords I had heard of would help me with my design, but it seems they're not really that powerful anyway." 911 was a true quest fanatic, and he couldn't pass up this opportunity. "Maybe I could help you?" he asked, turning to Jaron. Jaron shrugged. "I don't see why not. Want to join us?" "Sure! I'm Bulldog, by the way." They walked out of the building, into the sunlight.

The Monk of Zamorak stood atop the roof of Castle Wars lobby, looking down on the group below. "She's beginning to be a nuisance," he said aloud. He took out a vial of a strange colored liquid and submersed his magic Dragon Dagger in the vial. Then, with his trademark high jump, he leaped down to the ground, landing just behind Twisas, quick yet quietly unnoticed.

"So where are we off to?" asked Bulldog. "I really don't know," Jaron said, realizing he was out of ideas. "Do you have any idea where we should go next?" asked Jaron, turning to Twisas. Suddenly, he noticed a shadow of a figure standing behind Twisas--with a dagger! She had no clue he was there! He quickly stabbed the dagger into her arm, and whatever type of poison was on it, it was powerfully effective. Without even a chance to say a word, Twisas fainted and started to fall backwards. And before anyone in the group could act, the Monk had jumped onto the Castle Wars roof and then again out of sight, holding in his arms Twisas' unconscious body.

Part 49: Twisas' Predicament

Twisas awoke, disoriented and slightly uncomfortable. "Ugg...where am I?" Her eyes became accustomed to the light, and she noticed she was in a cave. It wasn't really all that dark, because there was a medium-sized opening off to the left a little ways, where sunlight filtered in. Ahead of her and a little to the right was a large wooden table, with many vials of different colored liquids on it. And then Twisas realized she was chained to the wall. Her wrists were ensnared in steel shackles that were suspended at right angles to her body, though her feet were not held in any way. Feeling more conscious and awake, she struggled against the steel chains, trying to break free, but was having little luck. "Ah, you're awake," said a voice. A person in red Robes of Zamorak walked into the cavernous room from a passageway to the right. "Who are you, and why have you brought me here?" Twisas demanded, getting straight to the point. The Monk smiled, though it wasn't a smile of friendliness. It was more of a smile of satisfaction. "Okay, fine. First off, I am the one that suppressed your friends' memories. We actually go way back, you might say." Twisas waited for the answer to her other question, all the while still subtly trying to free her wrists. She wasn't having any luck, though. "I mainly had two reasons for bringing you here. One, you were beginning to become a nuisance. Jaron and the others weren't supposed to remember anything, and you were helping them search for answers." "If you think your plan even would have succeeded in the first place," she said, "you're wrong. Jaron, Omega, and Ultima Cow were traveling together before I even met up with them today. And I'm sure there are others like me who would have done the same thing."

"Which brings me to my second point," the Monk replied. "As you can see, and for reasons you don't need to know, I've become quite skilled in the art of Herblore. I've made all kinds of potions no one has ever seen before, and yet I have no way to test them out without alerting people to my presence here. I have ideas of their uses, but no hard observations. You, my friend, are going to have the honor of being the test subject in my Herblore experiments." "Oh, that sounds fun," Twisas said sarcastically. "Indeed it will be. For me, anyway," the Monk replied. He took a Dragon Dagger off the table and submersed the tip in one of the colored vials, and then walked over to where Twisas was held. She lashed out with her foot to try to kick him, but he jumped back out of the way. "I was expecting that," he grinned. "Don't make me shackle your feet to the wall, too." Obviously not having the upper hand, Twisas sighed and glared at him. He walked up and poked her in the shoulder with the dagger. Not enough to hurt, but enough to allow the poison into her bloodstream. Twisas' "get away from me" attitude diminished, as her eyes became glassy and she found herself disoriented once again. The Monk looked pleased and walked back to his table. Just then, Jaron entered the room through the left entrance, with his Dragon Battle Axe in hand! "...I could use a little help over here," Twisas muttered, barely able to speak. Jaron looked at her. "Why? You're chained to a wall! Finally, you might just shut up for once." Twisas raised her eyebrow. "...what? Jaron, come on...seriously..." The Monk turned around from where he was working to face Twisas, obviously pleased about something. Jaron walked over to the right, and leaning against the table, spoke again. "It was our plan all along, the Monk's and mine. We'd capture you, test out the potions he made, and sell them to become rich!" Twisas slowly blinked, nearly unable to raise her head. "But...that's not like you...you're lying..." The Monk walked up to her with an evil smile. "It seems my hallucination potion is a success." Twisas looked back at the table, and Jaron was gone.

"Dang! Where could she be?" Jaron asked, frustrated. "Anywhere, by now," Omega said, tired of searching. Ultima Cow sat down on a nearby rock. "Jaron, we've searched Yanille, every house in Ardougne, and everything between the two. We've got to rest if we're going to find Twisas." Jaron looked down. (She's counting on us, but he's right. We won't be able to search very well if we're all tired. Just hold on, Twisas...we'll find you. I promise.) "...Fine," he said relentfully. "We'll go find a place to sleep in Ardougne." They went off to Ardougne, and upon finding a place to stay, quickly fell asleep.

"Where am I?" asked Jaron, looking around. Everywhere was blackness. "You're dreaming," someone said. In front of him was someone familiar, right down to the silly pointed hat. "Hey, you're--me?" asked Jaron. The person smiled. "No, but we do look alike. Which was a good thing at one time. But that's beside the point. Twisas needs your help," he said, his attitude becoming more serious. "I think I've figured that out," Jaron said sarcastically, "but I don't know where to search." The other person cocked his head. "You know two things. One, the person that took her away likes high places, obviously. Two, she's south of Lumbridge Castle." "How do I know that?" asked Jaron. "Because I said so," came the reply. Jaron studied him carefully. "Just trust me on this one. And hurry." He turned away and started to walk into the blackness. "Wait--what's your name?" called Jaron. He turned back to look at Jaron and smiled. "Call me Shadow." And then Jaron woke up.

Part 50: Into the Shadows

Jaron looked around. It was daylight, and time to get up. (What a strange dream...Shadow? Where have I heard that name before? Wasn't that Bebitwinnie's friend? Ah, well. Wait a second--Shadow told me where to find Twisas. Lumbridge? It's worth a shot.) He woke up the rest of the group and prepared for departure. Ultima Cow, barely awake, staggered over to Jaron. "Ultima Cow, do you have a charged Amulet of Glory?" asked Jaron. "Uh, yeah, why?" "We need to get to Draynor Village, quickly." Omegaman looked at Jaron. "We're abandoning our search?" Jaron glanced back, determination in his eyes. "Not yet. But I've got an idea of where she may be." Ultima Cow left to withdraw his Amulet of Glory from the Bank. A few minutes later he returned, and with a purple flash, they all were gone. Several seconds later, Deathstorm (back from the Castle Wars game) walked into the room, looking around suspiciously. Then he, too, pulled out an Amulet of Glory and vanished.

"Uh, why are we heading out here again?" asked Tai as the group walked into the swamps east of Draynor. "I think Twisas may be here," Jaron merely answered. Tai looked to 911, who shrugged, unknowing. Omegaman ran to catch up with Jaron. "Look for a high place," Jaron said, his eyes scanning the area. "This is a swamp, there's no high places around," Omega replied. "Even so..." Once they were deep into the swamp, they split up and looked for any signs of a 'high place'. Shortly after, they met back up next to the nearby coal rocks. "Did anyone find anything?" asked Jaron hopefully. He was met with silence. No answers. He lowered his head. (I've failed...brought them all out here for nothing. And now I've lost someone...) "Wow, we're so high up..." came a nearby voice. Jaron snapped to attention so quickly he nearly hurt his neck. The others had heard it as well. They all ran towards the sound of the voice, and finally found several people standing at the cliffs, where the sea meets the southern part of the continent. They were mostly all in Rune armor, although one had a strange golden helmet. (Another had a golden pointed hat.) The people turned around upon realizing they had company. "Uh, hi?" said one. "Hello," Jaron replied, getting to the point. "What did you say a second ago?" The person gave Jaron a strange look. "Um, well, I said we're high up. Look around--it's a long way down to the water from these cliffs." Jaron walked over to the edge, his eyes widening. "That's it! Why didn't I think of it before? Compared to the water, this place is high up! Omega, grab my feet." "Excuse me, what?" said Omegaman, surprised. "I'm going out over the edge. Don't drop me," Jaron said with a grin. Omega, with a puzzled look, walked over to where Jaron was and held onto his ankles. Jaron slowly edged over the cliff, until he was hanging upside-down and only his feet were visible to everyone else. "Pull me up," they heard him say. Brandon helped Omega pull Jaron back up the cliff, and to their surprise, he was smiling. "There's a cave in the cliff," he grinned. "Someone run to Draynor and get a rope."

The Monk walked back over to his table. "Well, we know that potion works," he smiled. "Ugh..." came the weak reply. The Monk pulled out another vial, ready to test another potion. Twisas was still awake, but not conscious enough to realize what was going on around her. Just then, Jaron entered the room through the left entrance, with his Dragon Battle Axe in hand! A few other people ran in behind him. "Twisas!" Jaron said at once, seeing her. The Monk hadn't noticed their entry. He spun around. "What?? How did you find this place?" The Monk quickly set down the vial he was holding and switched it with another, plunging his dagger into it. Then he jumped over to Twisas and stabbed the dagger into her shoulder, and jumped back. "The caverns are too extensive. You'll never find me," the Monk laughed, running into the passages to Twisas' right. Jaron stared after him. "Don't follow him. He knows the caves better than we do." Then he ran over to Twisas, who was apparently slightly confused. "...I thought you had a plan against me...bah..." she said, and then fainted. Her wrists were still held in the shackles, so her body leaned forward a bit before being caught against the wall. The others broke open the shackles and carefully got Twisas above ground. "Look at all those potions...should we take them?" asked Ultima Cow. "No, some may be explosive. It's not worth the risk," Jaron replied, leaving the potions alone.

"Is she dead?" asked someone, once they were all back above ground. "No," Ultima Cow replied. "She's just sleeping. Although you think she'd have woken up by now," he said, puzzled. "Thanks for helping us out," Jaron said to the other group. "No problem! What are you guys going to do?" asked the other person. Jaron looked to his group. "Not really sure. Wait until Twisas wakes up, and see what she tells us, I guess," Jaron replied. "Can we travel with you?" asked the person. (I don't see why not, I suppose,) Jaron thought. "Sure, if you want." "Thanks! I'm Magicana, and this is Cowseatalot, Toxic, EaglesFan, Bustergod, Bnjy, Petrenks, and Blackhairtp," he replied, introducing all of his friends. "We just doubled the size of our group," Omega said, rolling his eyes.

Part 51: Reflection

Magicana described his group as he introduced them. "Cowseatalot here is the one with the new Trimmed Rune armor." "Yep, hi, Cowseatalot," Cowseatalot said, self-introducing himself. "I do not," Ultima Cow replied. Omega rolled his eyes. Magicana continued. "This is Toxic, our Ranger." Toxic shook Jaron's hand, then recognized him. "Hey, I remember you! Your group walked past when Iissam and I were having a...debate," she said. Jaron shook his head. "Sorry, I don't remember. I'll explain later." Magicana spoke again. "We call EaglesFan here our Village Idiot. Bustergod's the one with the Halberd, and Bnjy's got the golden helmet. Blackhairtp's our resident Runecrafter, and Petrenks just kind of comes along for the ride." Each nodded in turn.

All eighteen (Twisas still asleep, probably from exhaustion) of them left the swamp and walked towards Draynor. Andrey ran in to get some food for lunch, and they all decided to have a sort of picnic. Finding a nice grassy area just west of Draynor Bank, they started eating. "You said you were going to explain something," Toxic said to Jaron, raising an eyebrow. "Oh, yeah. Okay, here's how the story goes. Apparently, our memories have been stolen," Jaron began. "What, everyone?" asked Bustergod, alarmed. "No, not everyone. As far as I can tell, it's just me, Omega, and Ultima Cow. Other people seem to know us, yet we can't remember a thing." Bebitwinnie spoke up. "Heh, that reminds me of the other day, when this lady kept trying to tell me about some telekinetic grab I did in the Varrock Bank Vault. Since when would I steal from a Bank," she said, smiling. They all stared at her. "What?" "Maybe it's happened to you, too," Omega hypothesized. "That would explain my...vision," Jaron muttered. "Hmm?" asked Omega. "Well, back during Castle Wars, I saw Bebitwinnie, except we were in a desert. And it felt real...not like a dream." Ultima Cow nearly choked on his piece of cake, then spoke. "I had something like that, too, but it was of you guys," he said, indicating Jaron and Omega. "And of that thief guy we met in Castle Wars." They all looked at Omega, who seemed uncomfortable. "Eh, well, me too, I guess, but I saw Brandon." This was all too much.

"Okay, let's recap," Jaron said. "If we assume that everyone who can't remember some things is affected, and that the people we see in the vision-thingies are affected, then that comes to me, Omega, Ultima Cow, Bebitwinnie, Brandon, and maybe the thief Ultima Cow saw." "What about everyone else?" asked Tai. Jaron shook his head. "There's no way to tell. It may have been thirty other people for all we know. Half of you guys may be affected and not know it, or none of you." Jaron took off his pointy hat and tossed it up, catching it on the way down. "What are you doing?" asked Bulldog, puzzled. "Nothing. I'm just bored. Shouldn't Twisas be awake by now?" And there was Twisas, lying unconscious. "Hmm...you're right. If anything, it seems like she's sleeping even more soundly," Ultima Cow observed. Jaron grabbed her shoulders and gently shook her. "Hey...wake up. You're missing lunch." But she didn't awake, even after he shook her again. "Dang," Omega said. "What do you think it is?" asked 911. Ultima Cow spoke up. "Remember what happened? The Monk stabbed her with some sort of sleeping poison and ran off. We should go see the Druids for an antidote, in case it's serious." With that, they packed up and walked westward, to Taverly.

Behind a tree not far away, Deathstorm quietly ate some chocolate cake. (Look at all those weapons and armors...I bet I could steal them...) He quietly and unnoticeable followed the group; there, yet unseen.

Part 52: Seventeen Awake, One Asleep

The group traveled north from Draynor, west and north into Falador, and then north and west again into Taverly. It was quite a journey, but no one complained. (Twisas slept through the whole thing.) Finally, they arrived in Taverly, town of the Herblorist Druids. One of them saw the group and came running. "Ah, Jaron! And Omegaman, and Ultima Cow! ...Where's the other ranger? Scholzman, is it?" Jaron looked confused, but understood what was going on. It happened often enough by now. "Um, hi. 'Scholzman'...isn't here. We do need your help, though, if you don't mind." The Druid ushered them into a house. (Scholzman, Shadow...how many others are there?) Jaron wondered as they walked inside.

Twisas lay on the Druid's bed. The Druid studied her posture carefully, and then finally made an announcement. "She's sleeping." Omega rolled his eyes. "We knew that, the jumping guy stabbed her," 911 said. The Druid spoke again. "Allow me to clarify. Your friend has been injected with a very powerful sleeping potion. While the potion has some good uses, such as not needing food or drink while asleep, it also had its side effects." "Which are...?" pressed Jaron. "She won't be able to wake up on her own. An antidote is needed." There was an awkward silence, while the true extent of what was happening set in. "Please tell me you know how to make the antidote," Jaron said. "I do," the Druid replied. "However, the ingredients are not easy to come by. A potion this powerful is rarely used. Should you still wish to try, I may be able to help, although I don't know how much." Ultima Cow pondered aloud. "Lessee...if we don't try, Twisas sleeps forever. If we do, we'll get our friend back. The decision seems clear to me." "And me." "And I." "Yeah, me too." Jaron turned to the Druid, tilting his pointy hat and smiling. "How do we start?"

"There's a lengthy list of ingredients you'll need. I have a few of them, though I don't know exactly how many. First off, you'll need a Talnift Herb." "Never heard of that one," Toxic said. "Indeed, it is a rare herb," the Druid continued, "but I believe the Trolls have some." A look of shock passed their faces. "Wait--the Trolls? As in the big rock-throwing-ugly monsters?" asked Blackhairtp. The Druid seemed unfazed. "Yep, they're the ones. I hear they've got some in their storeroom. Good luck." After a few moments, Jaron spoke again. "Well, it seems we're heading to Trollheim, guys. Let's go." As they filed out of the Druid's house, Jaron stopped at the door to ask something. "Oh, by the way--" "Yes?" inquired the Druid. "--do you know how to make any sort of Memory Restore potion?" The Druid pondered that thought. "Not personally, but we have an extensive potion-cookbook of sorts hidden away. I shall fetch it and get back to you on that, Jaron." With that, the group walked north, leaving Twisas in the Druid's capable hands.

Part 53: See Troll. See Troll Attack. See Jaron Run.

The group of seventeen (Twisas left in Taverly) walked north towards Burthorpe. "Look at all the Soldiers!" commented Bulldog. Indeed, everywhere they looked, a soldier was training, ready to defend his own against any onslaught of the Trolls. They walked northwest from Burthorpe, their eyes scanning the ground for any remaining Talnift Herb. Finally, they came to a fork in the road. "Which way?" asked Omegaman. "Hmm...let's take the left road," Jaron finally decided. But it wasn't long until the left road came to a dead-end at a house. Bebitwinnie knocked on the door. "Go away!" came the reply. "But--" "I said go away!" "Sir, we just--" "Leave!" Jaron looked at the others. It was clear they weren't going to be able to get this way. They returned to the fork, and rested from the long uphill-downhill walk. "So, is this our point of ingress?" asked Brandon. They stared at him. "He's asking if this is the way to go," Jaron said, translating. "Oh. Yeah, seems that way," Petrenks replied. "Tell ya what," Magicana began. "You guys go that way, and I'll see if there were any other ways around the house." Jaron pondered the idea. (It's not always usual for a clan to split up, but whatever is faster works better for Twisas' health.) "Okay, sure. If anyone wants to go with Magicana, go now. Otherwise, we're taking this...dangerously narrow passage," Jaron said, really looking over the right-hand fork for the first time.

Jaron, Omega, Ultima Cow, Bebitwinnie, Brandon, Bulldog, Andrey, Tai, and 911 went together through the passage. Magicana's original group, consisting of him, Cowseatalot, Toxic, EaglesFan, Bustergod, Bnjy, Petrenks, and Blackhairtp went together as well. Currently, Jaron's group made progress through the passage, which was barely big enough for two people to walk side by side. "Wait--" Omega hushed. They stood still. The sound of light falling rocks could be heard. "What?" Jaron whispered. "Hm. Thought I heard something," Omega replied. Just then, they all heard the unmistakable sound of a large rock rolling down a cliff! They looked up in time to see a boulder hurling down at them! "Scatter!" yelled Andrey as he dove out of the way. They ran the rest of the passage, the occasional small rock hitting them. At the end, finally, was a ladder, leading up to a new shelf of rock. Once up there, they regrouped. "You're bleeding, Tai," Bebitwinnie pointed out. Sure enough, one of the rocks had hit his head, causing a well-sized bump and some red hair. "I'll be fine," grimaced Tai. Whatever the Trolls' obsession with rocks was, it was dangerous. Several steps away from where Jaron's group stood were the several Trolls who had rolled down the rocks, yet all were now under attack by Soldiers. "Looks like they don't really care about us at the moment," Jaron said. Then a sound came from nearby. "Psst! Up here!" They all turned to see Magicana's group even higher up behind them. Magicana pointed to a steep, yet climbable slope nearby. A nearby Troll saw them and grunted, running at them and hoping to attack. They didn't waste a second getting up that slope.

"How did you get up here?" asked Jaron, making sure they were safe from the Troll below. "Well, once the old guy figured out we hated the Trolls as much as he did, he let us bypass his house. He's got this really cool gray hat. Anyway, there's a shortcut back there behind his house," Magicana replied. "We met someone else on the shortcut," Cowseatalot said, gesturing to a new person in full Guthix armor and a Dragon Battle Axe. "This is Coran. We've already explained the situation, and he wants to tag along." "Not a problem," Jaron smiled, shaking hands with Coran. All together again (plus one), they walked north, and found to their surprise a large castle built into the rock wall dead ahead. "That must be the fabled Troll Stronghold," Toxic said, wide-eyed. "It's not a fable anymore. It's our destination," Jaron said with determination.

Part 54: Fortress of Trolls

The entire group walked north towards the huge fortress built into the side of the rock wall. Upon going further, they finally came to a fork in the path. One led to the left, one led to the right. There were no markings to signify which way was better. "Which way?" inquired Cowseatalot. Jaron, as always, pondered the situation, but with no markings or any other evidence, it was a complete guess as to which way was best. "I don't know," he said. "No ideas here. Want to just take the right path?" Most everyone shrugged, not really caring which way they went, as long as they found a Talnift Herb. Jaron looked at the group's indecisiveness, and noticed Magicana, who was strangely still with his face devoid of emotion. "Uh...Magicana?" Magicana blinked and realized where he was. "I've...been here before," he mumbled. "You have?" asked Bebitwinnie. Magicana nodded. "It was like those visions you were talking about. All I know is that the left path leads to a secret entrance, and the right path isn't very safe." They all knew what this meant--Magicana must have been one of the people affected by the amnesia! "Well, then unless there are any objections, the left path it is," Jaron announced, finally happy to have some information on the matter.

Indeed, the left path did lead to a secret entrance into the Troll Stronghold. Once inside, the group found a Troll jailguard sleeping on the job. Someone was sitting inside the cell, and he stood as soon as he noticed the group. Ultima Cow noticed at once the sleeping guard and put his finger to his lips, indicating silence. "Can you help me out?" the prisoner quietly whispered. They looked around the room. Nothing could be used to free him...only the keys the guard was holding. "Who's the best pickpocket?" asked Jaron quietly. No one raised their hand, evidently afraid of what would happen if they failed. Jaron sighed and took the task upon himself, creeping over to the Troll guard, still fast asleep. Carefully, he pried the keys from the jailguard's hands, but just as he took them, the guard's eyes opened. "EEARGGH!" the Troll roared, throwing out his large fist and slamming Jaron (with the keys) into the wall opposite, where his hat fell off of his head and he fell unconscious. But one Troll is no match for seventeen other people. In no time at all, the Troll was taken down by arrows, magic, halberd swipes and other melee weapons. Jaron groggily woke up to see the prisoner standing over him. "Thanks. Not many people would have done that for me," he said, helping Jaron to his feet. "I'm Low Scorer, and I'd be honored if you'd let me join your party." "Uh, no problem, I guess," Jaron said, dizzy and rubbing the back of his head. He replaced his hat, and they all continued deeper into the stronghold.

Deathstorm walked in from behind a large rock. "This is an awful lot of trouble to go to, but the reward gets greater all the time." He looked down at the troll. "I could have pickpocketed him easily, even from inside the cell." The ground was suddenly covered in shadows. Deathstorm turned around, and took a stumbling step back.

They could hear multitudes of Trolls stomping and walking around upstairs. "Let's hope we don't have to go up there," Bnjy said. The tunnel they were in led to the kitchen, which was poorly guarded. Only the Cook was there, and even though Trolls are mainly stupid, they know enough to realize when they're outnumbered. "Where can I find a Talnift Herb?" Jaron asked the Troll in a no-nonsense tone. "Me not have any Talnift. Only Troll Commander upstairs has one. I not argue with him, he strong," the Cook replied. "I blame you for this," Bustergod jokingly muttered to Bnjy. Jaron walked over to the nearby staircase, where the sounds of the Trolls upstairs were louder. They all knew what they had to do next, but they didn't have to like it.

Part 55: Moving Through the Ranks

The group of nineteen moved silently up the stairs, hoping to attract as little attention as possible. They actually did quite well for such a large group, and only met one or two 'obstacles' on their way to the Troll Commander, which was much better than they had hoped. Upon entering the Troll Commander's room, he turned around. Much larger than the other Trolls, and carrying a much larger club to boot, he loomed over the group. "Human intruders! I smash you!" Jaron raised his hand, hoping to avoid violence in some way. Most of the group was intimidated by the sheer size of the Commander. "One moment. You don't have to smash us...all we want is a Talnift Herb. Have you heard of it?" The Commander slightly lowered his club, in what seemed to be thinking. If Trolls had the mental capacity to think, anyway. "I have much Talnift, but I not give it to puny human! I smash you!" Jaron sighed. "Can we offer anything in trade for it?" "Me do want bigger club." "You've got a big enough club as it is." "Pointy hat man not trade! I smash you!"

The Commander promptly brought his club down on where Jaron had been standing, but Jaron had already dived out of the way. This guy was powerful, but slow. He swung his club again, sideways, but everyone within his reach jumped backwards, just out of the way. Omegaman and Toxic let loose a barrage of arrows. The Commander knocked many out of the air with his club, but the ones that did hit him barely made any difference, besides making him even more angry. All nine warriors moved in with their melee weapons, but with the Troll Commander's amazing power in the swing of his club, several of them were hit and flew back against the wall, slumping to the ground. Still partially dizzy from hitting his head before, Jaron wearily looked over at Ultima Cow. "You've got to stun him!" Ultima Cow nodded and raised his staff. "ENTANGLE!" The Troll Commander stopped dead in his tracks, not able to move his feet or arms. "Huh? I not move!" "And that's a good thing," 911 muttered. Bebitwinnie and Blackhairtp cast Air Blasts on the Troll, knocking him against his own wall, while the rest of the meleers moved in for the kill. "Ug! Wait! Humans beat Commander. You take Talnift and leave?" Jaron stood up, gently leaning against the wall. "Don't finish him off. We've got what we need now."

The party moved back downstairs toward the secret entrance/exit to the Stronghold. They had the Talnift Herb in their possession, and the Commander should be gaining the feeling back in his feet in a little while. They had barely entered the kitchen when they heard the all-too-familiar yells of Trolls. "You escape no more! We smash you!" "What's their fascination with the word 'smash'?" Bulldog muttered as they ran down the tunnel towards the cells. Standing there were four Trolls, and in the middle, someone in black clothes. "Hey, that's the thief I saw in Castle Wars!" exclaimed Ultima Cow, "The one I had a vision of!" "We can't let him die--he may know something about our memories," Jaron said to the others. "Like you would have let him die anyway," Omega joked, rolling his eyes. The Trolls turned their attention from the thief to the group. But it was the last thing they did, as the group made short work of them. The thief stood there, shocked. "You...saved me?" "That's what we do," Jaron smiled. "Boy, did I have you guys figured out wrong," the thief said. "I didn't think you'd save me at all. I'm Deathstorm, by the way." "So, you don't remember us?" asked Brandon. "Um...no, should I?" They explained the matter to him. "Hmm...so we used to be friends? That's...interesting. In that case, can I come with you? I may remember something." Jaron tilted his head back in exasperation and rubbed his neck. "Well, it's getting to be a big group, but seeing as you already have a part in this, I guess so. You have to promise not to steal anything from any of us, though," Jaron said in a more serious tone. "You have my word," came Deathstorm's reply.

Part 56: Checkpoint!

The travel-weary group of twenty finally arrived in Taverly and went to see the Druid. Twisas was, to no one's surprise, still peacefully sleeping on the bed. The Druid came up to them. "Has your party grown? It sure seems that way." He took one look at Tai and grabbed a vial off a nearby shelf. "Here, drink this. It will help with that head injury of yours. Anyway, how did it go?" Jaron showed the Talnift Herb to the Druid. "Ah, excellent! And now for some good news, yes? As it turns out, I have more ingredients for this potion than I thought I did, and I only require two more." Jaron's face brightened at that. "Great!" "Indeed it is," replied the Druid, continuing. "Although, not to precipitate on your parade or whatever it is you all say these days, the ingredients won't be that easy to get. The first one is a vial of Nemardia Juice." Andrey raised an eyebrow, questioningly. "Nemardia Juice? Never heard of that before." "Alas, it is quite rare. To get Nemardia Juice, you must obtain it from the Nemardia Spring, which is located deep in the depths of the desert. I believe there is a type of slave camp built over it now." "Perfect," Omega remarked sarcastically. "What's the other ingredient?" asked Brandon, fearing the answer. "A scale from the King Black Dragon." He was met with stunned silence. (It was so quiet you could hear a pointy hat drop.)

Having all the details, they tried to decide on a plan of action. "Okay, so we need a vial of Nemardia Juice and a KBD scale," Jaron recapped. "Excuse me, but may I ask you something?" said Toxic. "Go for it. I welcome all questions, comments, and suggestions," Jaron replied. "What about the jumping guy that poisoned Twisas in the first place? Shouldn't we be tracking him down?" "I was thinking about that, too," Bulldog said. Jaron pondered that, trying to decide on how exactly to word his answer. "Well, yes and no. While it's always in the back of my mind that he's still lurking around out there, we currently have no idea of who he is or even where he'd be. In the meantime, we also don't know if Twisas' condition is life-threatening. That said, I'm trying to get the antidote as quickly as possible, putting all other things aside. Once we know she's okay, we'll shift our attention back to him." "Well then," Bebitwinnie spoke up, "if we're in a race of sorts for the antidote, we should split up." Jaron smiled. "That's a good idea! With a group this large, there's no problem in it anyway. So, half of us will fetch the vial of Nemardia Juice, and the other half will go up against the King Black Dragon."

It didn't take all that long to decide. Jaron, Ultima Cow, Andrey, Tai, 911, Toxic, EaglesFan, Blackhairtp, Coran, and Deathstorm were heading to the desert for the Nemardia Juice. On the flip side, Omegaman, Bebitwinnie, Brandon, Bulldog, Magicana, Cowseatalot, Bustergod, Bnjy, Petrenks, and Low Scorer were heading out to the Wilderness. Jaron's group used Ultima Cow's Amulet of Glory to teleport to Al Kharid, as Omega's group did likewise with Bebitwinnie's Amulet of Glory, to Edgeville. It was shaping up to be a big day.

Part 57: Separate Paths

Jaron's group, upon arriving in Al Kharid via Amulet of Glory, took a little hike to the south. In no time at all, they reached Shantay Pass, the gate into the (hotter part of the) desert. There was a Bank Chest nearby, and they each withdrew some money and walked over to the Shantay General Store. "Get your Shantay Passes here! And free Shantay Disclaimers! And desert gear!" Deciding that they would need to be best equipped in the desert, each bought a full set of Desert Robes and a Shantay Pass. Now dressed from head to toe in white garb, (except Jaron, who, of course, had a light blue pointy hat) they walked through the stone gate and into the heat. "The sun seems hotter here, on the other side of the gate," Tai pointed out. "There's a sudden rise in temperature within a few feet in this area. That's why the pass is built exactly here. So, where to?" Andrey answered and inquired. Jaron scanned the horizon, but could see nothing except the wavy lines of heat in the distance. "The Druid spoke of a slave camp built over the spring. I think I've heard about it...this way." They moved onward.

Omega's group faced a slightly different, yet not any less dangerous situation. In the safety of Edgeville Bank, each grabbed their second-best armors and weapons (so as not to lose their own in an emergency) and a bunch of food. Also, each person, mages and rangers and warriors alike, equipped their own Anti-Dragonfire Shield. "This shield's saved my life quite a few times," Brandon said aloud, noting the black charring around the edges of it. Finally ready to go, they walked north into the danger of the wilderness. Not too long later, Bustergod stopped. "Ah, shoot, I forgot something. I'll be right back." Bustergod ran back to Edgeville Bank, just out of sight because of some large rocks. The rest waited for his return. A minute later, he came running full-speed around the rock, a fireball right behind him! Seeing the situation, they all jumped up, and when the enemy mage moved past the rock, he was taken down in an instant by Omega's and Bebitwinnie's arrows. "Thanks...*huff*...I forgot...*puff*...the Antipoison..." "Oh yeah, Antipoison. Good thing you remembered," Omega said, smiling. Then he stopped smiling and stared straight ahead, unaware of anything around him...

Got the branch. Wait--where is he? "Quick, behind this rock!" "Aaaaaaaahhhh!!!" Two people run past the rock. The mage punches the enemy warrior, saving the ranger's life. "Thank...*gasp*...you...*gasp*..." Back to Draynor...

"Omega?" Omega looked around. "Oh, uh, sorry. Let's move on." Further north they went, towards the lair of the King Black Dragon.

Part 58: 103 Degrees in the Shade

It didn't take long for Jaron and the rest to be tired of walking in the extreme desert heat. They had brought waterskins--two full ones for each person--but by now they had drunk nearly all of their water reserves. "If we don't find the spring, we'll have to teleport out and start again," Ultima Cow said to Jaron. Jaron said nothing as he stared at his moving feet, but he knew it was true. Both of them were sweating, as was everyone else. Walking through a desert is hard work indeed, and the farther in you get, the worse you do. 911 was drinking the last of his water as EaglesFan spoke up. "I see something!" "Are you sure it's not another mirage?" muttered Blackhairtp. "No, I see it too!" Andrey replied. Jaron looked up. That was it! The slave camp! ...Of course, one wouldn't usually be this happy to see a slave camp, but at least they had found their destination.

Ten people, dressed head to toe in white desert robes, approached the gates of the slave camp. A Guard, one of several, stepped over and blocked their path. "Going somewhere?" he asked. "We're here to see whoever's in charge," Jaron replied, in as much as a business-like tone as he could muster. "And what business exactly do you have with him?" the Guard sneered. Ultima Cow stepped up, his pointy hat right in the Guard's face. "It's none of your business. But since you're so stubborn to know, we've got a shipment of slaves and wanted to see if your boss would be interested," he said in a tone that blatantly stated the Guard wasn't in charge. The Guard gave them a mean look, then walked over to the gate and unlocked it. "Just go. And no talking to the slaves."

Once inside the camp, they ducked into the main building. The bottom floor was deserted. "That was close, eh?" asked Coran. "Nice going, Ultima Cow," Jaron said, slightly surprised. "Thanks. So now what do we do?" asked Ultima Cow. An unknown voice gave the answer: "How about go to jail?" They turned around to find the boss at the foot of a nearby ladder. Jaron rolled his eyes. "Crud."

The Guard locked the cell and left. "So now what do we do?" asked Ultima Cow, smiling. "Find a way out, of course," Jaron said, already checking the walls. It didn't take long to find that one of the window bars was loose. The protruding bars cut a couple of people, but overall they were able to get out of the prison. Now, however, they were stuck between a cliff and the prison--there was no way to get around it back into the camp. Andrey pointed to a rock wall. "There's little rocks there we could use to climb out of here." "Better than nothing," Tai agreed. The rock climbing exercise led them back into the heat of the desert.

Ten people, dressed head to toe in white desert robes, approached the gates of the slave camp. A Guard, one of several, stepped over and blocked their path. "Going somewhere?" he asked. "Wait--didn't I just let you in?" Jaron promptly punched the Guard straight in the face. He fell over, unconscious. The nearby Guards readied their weapons, but Jaron's group produced their weapons faster. The Guards were outnumbered, and slowly stood down. "It's hot, I'm thirsty, and for today I'm sick of this non-violence stuff," Jaron said. He grabbed the unconscious Guard's keychain and walked over, opening the gate. None of the other Guards made a move to stop him. The rest entered the camp. Jaron walked back and locked the gate, looking at the Guards on the other side. "Don't say a word. I'm not in a good mood today," he threatened them.

Omega's group, deep in the wilderness, was actually having an uneventful time. The trek to the King Black Dragon's Lair was met with little to no resistance. There was still the paranoia of a large attack at any moment, but nothing of that sort happened. They did, however, see an oddity...as they got closer to the KBD's Lair, they caught up with two people heading in the same direction. Both had strange brown clothing on, and one wielded some sort of prod. "Baa!" "Oh no, it's turning around!" "Catch it!" ...And a sheep. "Oh, hey guys," one of them said. Omegaman could barely mask his surprise. "Euph? Applequest? What are you guys doing here?" "Call me Sheepquest," Euph grinned from behind his protective mask. "We're trying to prod a sheep all over Runescape," Applequest explained. "Then you might want to go catch it," Brandon said. The two turned to see the sheep getting away as fast as its little legs could go. "Aah! Come back!" the two yelled as they ran after it. Omega just rolled his eyes, and they continued on. They finally made it to a gate, and on the other side were several Lesser Demons, who were hungrily looking at the group. "I wonder how Jaron's doing," Omegaman muttered as he readied his weapon and opened the gate.

Part 59: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Nemardia Spring

Jaron and the others stood in the middle of the slave camp. Luckily, no ranking authority member knew they were there. So it was just them and the nearby slaves. "Well, should we head for the cave over there?" asked EaglesFan. "There's probably meaner Guards down there," Coran pointed out. "That's true;" 911 added, "if we go down there, we'd better find a way around those Guards." They all looked around for a solution, and then it dawned on them. Mostly all at once, as they smiled at each other. They walked over to a bunch of slaves who where busily mining away at some above-ground rocks. The slaves risked a glance at the group, and then hastily looked away, knowing they could be punished for the slightest thing. "Excuse me," Jaron said. The slave turned away and continued his mining of a rock. "Um, hello?" Jaron said again. "We're not supposed to talk," one slave whispered as quietly as he could. A look of realization hit Jaron's face. He didn't seem to know what to say. "Oh. Um, well, we were just wondering, if, by any chance, we could, uh, have your robes?" One slave looked around, and seeing no Guards, stood up. "(Have our robes? Are you crazy? What would we wear?)" he whispered. Jaron looked around. "You could have our desert robes, I suppose. And there's a way out into the desert through the jail cell window if you feel like getting out of here." All the slaves looked at Jaron as soon as he said that. "Are you serious?" one slave said at a normal voice level, which must have seemed like yelling to them. Jaron nodded. Obviously, the slaves agreed. Jaron's group had a new set of (smelly and somewhat disgusting) robes, and ten slaves had their freedom. With that, they went into the nearby cave.

It was dark down there, and there were many twists and turns. It seemed there was ore to mine everywhere, and many slaves were mining it. At last, they came to two Guards, stationed near a narrow passage. "Halt! What is your business here?" ordered one Guard, who had a strange light green pointed hat on his head instead of a helmet. "We've been ordered deeper into the cave," Jaron said. One Guard narrowed his eyes. "I'll go check with the boss and confirm that," he said to the other, leaving. The Guard turned a corner back down the path, and that left the other Guard. Ultima Cow looked around, and then looked at Jaron and tilted his head, as if asking something. Jaron saw Ultima Cow's look and looked around himself. There was no one nearby. He rolled his eyes and smiled, gently nodding. Ultima Cow pulled out his Staff of Guthix before the Guard could realize what was going on. "ENTANGLE!"

Now deeper into the cave, it was a race against time. "Eventually, they'll find that Guard on the floor," Tai said. "Agreed. We've got a lot of time until then, but we've got to get going," Jaron replied. They rushed through the tunnels, which were sparsely populated now-until they came to a Guard. Who would have been easy to defeat, had he not whistled and brought ten more. Now outnumbered, and fearing a fight would bring more Guards, the group let themselves be captured.

After a short walk even deeper into the cave, they were put again in a sort of prison cell. "How'd they even get down here?" asked one Guard to another. "Dunno, let's go check," he replied. The eleven Guards left in the direction of the entrance of the tunnel. "Shoot," Andrey said. "Now what'll we do?" Toxic asked. Deathstorm stepped forward. "Leave that to me."

Indeed, in no time at all, Deathstorm had picked the jail cell's lock--from the inside. Then a Guard's voice was heard in the distance, talking to another. "The boss didn't know anything about them. They could be spies. Let's kill 'em." The group, realizing the Guards were closing in on them, ran deeper down the tunnel as fast as they could. It actually wasn't that far to a strange puddle of orange liquid, which was as far as the cave went. "Finally!" Ultima Cow said. Jaron's eyes widened, and with a look of shock on his face he muttered, "Oh, shoot..." Blackhairtp stepped up. "Are you needing this?" he asked, holding out an empty glass vial he had brought. Jaron sighed with relief. "Thanks." He quickly collected the liquid in the vial. "There they are!" yelled a Guard who ran around the corner farther up the tunnel. "No time to lose!" said Coran. The Guard ran at them--but with the help of Ultima Cow's Amulet of Glory, they were already in Edgeville.

Part 60: The Only Monster Whose Name is an Acronym

Omega opened the gate to the Lesser Demon cage, and then shut it again after a moment. He turned around and addressed the group. "Wait, has everyone been down here before?" Some shook their heads. "Oh, okay. Well, let's see. Down that ladder are some poisonous spiders, so try to avoid them. There's a lever, and when you pull it, you'll be teleported to another part of the land, where the King Black Dragon resides. Be on your guard at all times. Is everyone ready?" Everyone nodded. With that, they ran past the Lesser Demons and down the ladder.

Omegaman, first to go down the ladder, stopped a few rungs short of the bottom. He looked down, only to see at least five Poison Spiders gathering at the bottom. Bebitwinnie, who stopped when Omega did, noticed the same thing. Omega had a look of fear in his eyes for a moment. After all, who would want to go up against a bunch of Poison Spiders, when the first bite meant you would be poisoned? Omega's look turned to determination as he brought his head up. "Hey, guys! All these spiders are gathering at the bottom of the ladder! I'll distract them, and you all hurry up, get down here, and pull the lever!" With that, he jumped from the ladder, landing on one of the Spiders. The others scuttled over to him, and he leaped as far away from the ladder as he could. He landed next to a wall, with nowhere to go. Luckily, his plan worked, and the other Spiders followed him. Bebitwinnie, Brandon, and Bulldog got to the bottom and pulled the lever in this amount of time. The room was quite small, however, and by now, one of the Spiders had already sunk its fangs into Omega's leg. Almost instantly, he started getting dizzy. He pulled out several arrows and immediately started firing them off at the Spiders next to him. He killed one or two, but in his dizziness, he completely missed some as well. Magicana, Cowseatalot, Bnjy and Petrenks had made it to the lever at this point as well. Omega's vision started to fade, and he couldn't think straight, yet he still firing away arrows around his feet. (Shoot...there's too...many of...many of them...shoot my feet...no, the spiders...too...) He started to faint and fall forward. The Spiders, expecting his demise, moved away so as not to be crushed. Just then, Bustergod and Low Scorer were next to him, kicking the spiders away and helping the drunken-like Omega to the lever. The Spiders took a bite out of Bustergod and Low Scorer's legs, too, but not as many as they did Omegaman's.

Omega was only a moment away from losing consciousness! Bustergod stuck the antipoison vial in his mouth, and Omega's eyes popped open. "Wow...that thing works fast," he said weakly. Bustergod and Low Scorer both drank the remaining two doses of the antipoison, but it didn't really matter since no one else was poisoned.

There were in a small room of a cave. Except that it wasn't fully a cave, since there was a small hole in the ceiling where a night sky and stars could be seen. And before them was the KBD--the King Black Dragon. Actually, it was sleeping, which was why they hadn't been attacked earlier, but it awoke soon enough, sensing prey. "Is it sleeping?" asked Bnjy. The KBD gave a mighty roar and stood. "Uh, no," Cowseatalot replied. They readied their weapons for the fight. True to its name, the KBD was large, evil, black, and king of all Dragons. Being the only non-melee fighter types, Omegaman and Bebitwinnie stood back. Everyone else readied their weapon of choice, be it Rune or Dragon, Scimitar or Long Sword, and rushed at the Dragon. The KBD blew a large breath of fire at the group, and luckily they all rose their Antidragonfire shields in time to ward off the blow. Brandon had the most trouble getting his shield up, as he wielded his Halberd, and his pointy hat was torched to a cinder. "Dang! Now I have to go buy a new one!" Omegaman shot Adamantite arrows at the KBD from the back, and Bebitwinnie fired Air Blasts. It noticed this and sent a large fireball in their general direction. Omegaman saw the fireball, and quickly dropped his bow, holding up his own Antidragonfire shield, as did Bebitwinnie. The KBD realized that his fiery breath wasn't getting it very far, so it resorted to melee attacks. Raising a large claw, it knocked Magicana to one side of the room, who was barely able to stay out of the lava nearby. Petrenks was hit and flew to the back of the room, hitting Omega and Bebitwinnie and knocking them over.

It was a drawn-out fight, but not as eventful as most. There was a strategy to it. Whenever the KBD opened its mouth, they all dropped what they were doing at readied their Antidragonfire shields. And when it raised a claw, they knew to duck. Even though the KBD's fiery breath sometimes leaked around the edges of their shields, it didn't do much damage. Not enough, anyway, with their supply of food. As the battle progressed, they could see the KBD getting weaker and weaker, as its fireballs seemed to lower in temperature. Finally, as a team movement, all of the warriors moved in at once and dealt the final blow. With a loud roar, the King Black Dragon fell over, dead. There was a great cheer. "Way to go, everyone!" Low Scorer exclaimed. Brandon walked up to the KBD and pulled two scales off of it. They only needed one, but you could never be too cautious. As a team, they moved together, ready to teleport back to Edgeville via Bebitwinnie's Amulet of Glory. They were just about to depart when they heard a noise, like a foot hitting the ground. Turning, they saw none other than the Monk standing next to the KBD! He pulled a scale off of it as well, glanced at the group, and vaulted high through the hole in the ceiling, getting away. "Why would he need a scale?" wondered Magicana aloud. Omega narrowed his eyes, planning on asking Jaron the same question once he got back.

Part 61: It's About Time

The Monk entered his laboratory under Lumbridge via one of the many tunnels. "It's a good thing those fools didn't mess with my potions," he muttered as he approached his table of vials. He looked the table over, grabbed one vial in particular, and ran back into the tunnel.

Jaron's group and Omega's group practically arrived in Edgeville at about the same time. They found each other waiting in the Bank; Jaron was looking through his account at his various colored hats. Seeing the others, Jaron held up the vial of Nemardia Juice, while Omega raised the KBD scale, each indicating a success. "Nice job," Jaron smiled. "Same to you," Omega replied, uneasy, "but I have some news. After we killed the King Black Dragon, that jumping guy came along and took a scale, too. Then he left before we could do anything." Jaron's smile faded. "...Why would he need a scale?" Jaron asked. "That's what I was wondering," Magicana said. "We'll ask the Druid when we get there," Ultima Cow said. "Twisas is waiting on us."

The Monk ran through the dark tunnel. He knew the way...these tunnels spanned the land, though nearly no one knew of them. It was an easy way to get from place to place. His thoughts drifted back to when he had taken up Herblore. The mixing of ingredients, the power of the results...all of his experience was going to come into use soon enough.

Taverly isn't a terribly far distance from Edgeville, and it didn't take long for the now twenty-member group to walk there. Finally, all at once, they arrived at the Druid's house. Walking inside, everything was as they left it. Twisas was asleep on the bed, the Druid reading some sort of book. "Aha, you are back," the Druid smiled. Jaron handed over the last two ingredients. "Perfect!" The Druid poured the Nemardia Juice into another half-readied vial of liquid, turning the mixture reddish. Finally, adding the KBD scale to the mix, the dark red potion was complete. Careful not to spill any of it, the Druid placed the vial in Twisas' mouth, as the contents slowly ran out of the vial. A few seconds later, Twisas sat up, coughing. "Ack!" Her coughing subsided, and she looked around. Finally seeing the group, she blinked. "Um...am I seeing double?" Jaron laughed. "No, we've had...a few additions. Good to see you're awake." She didn't understand. "Why...how long was I asleep?" she asked. "It's been a while," Brandon replied. They explained what had happened, from the Monk's sleeping poison to their quest for the ingredients. "We were hoping you could tell us something," Jaron said. Twisas thought about it. Finally, she shook her head. "Sorry. The only thing I know is that the guy said he's responsible for taking away your memories." "Ah, that reminds me!" Jaron said, turning to the Druid. "Did you come across a recipe for a Memory Restore Potion?" The Druid nodded. "I did, in one of the old books, yet it has not been used for generations. I am not sure of its effects. Luckily, I do have all the ingredients. I will fetch them." "Thanks," Jaron replied. Magicana spoke up. "Uh, before you go get the potion, I want to know one thing."

The Monk ran through the underground tunnel.

"Certainly, ask away," the Druid replied.

The Monk surfaced, not far from Seers Village. He ran southwest, into the forest.

"What other potions can be made with a King Black Dragon scale?" Magicana asked the Druid.

The Monk slowed, near a spot of freshly dug earth. It hadn't been that long ago.

The Druid cocked his head and thought about an answer to Magicana's question.

The Monk placed the KBD scale in his other vial he had brought, and mixed them together.

"Well," the Druid began, "there are only a few, to my knowledge. There's a really weak Restore Energy Potion..."

The Monk uttered some words, and poured the contents of his vial into the ground.

"...there's also a potion that makes Dragonfire hurt you more than usual, but that one's useless, of course..."

The ground beneath the Monk began to smoke, the same color as the liquid had been in the vial. Very thick smoke. It was working.

"...and there's also rumors that it can be used to restore someone from the dead, but no one knows how."

When the smoke cleared, there he was. Very much alive, yet very much mortal--CrazyArcher.

Jaron's eyes narrowed at that third potion. Restore someone from the dead? But who? And did the jumping guy know the secret of how to do it? Maybe with the Druid's Restore Memory Potion, he might find out. "Thanks," Magicana said. The Druid nodded, and went outside to gather the ingredients.

Part 62: Blast From the Past

In the forest southwest of Seers Village, the Monk bowed down to CrazyArcher. "Master; ever since the others killed you, I have spent my life preparing for this day." CrazyArcher smiled. "Thank you, my friend, I am glad to be back. This time around, I shall have my revenge. But first things first--it seems I have none of my god Zamorak's powers. That will need to be remedied right away. Come, let us go." The Monk stood and joined in step with CrazyArcher as they walked to the east.

The Druid walked back into the house. "Well, I have the ingredients." He grabbed a nearby book which looked extremely old. Looking back and forth from the book to his ingredients as if making a cake, he finished the potion a minute later. It turned out to be a light green color. The Druid turned to the group. "According to the book, the entire vial is a single dose. Also, I have no clue how powerful it may be. For all we know, it is a very weak potion. Who will drink it?" Jaron stepped forward, as usual. If there were any risk-taking to be done, he usually tried to put himself in front of his friends. "Are you sure? It may be dangerous," the Druid said in response. Jaron nodded. "If we're going to figure out what's going on, we need as much information as possible." The Druid thought for a minute. "Sit on the bed." Twisas, who had been sitting up on the bed, jumped off, while a puzzled Jaron walked over and sat down. "Um, if you don't mind my asking, why am I sitting here?" asked Jaron. The Druid grabbed the vial and walked over. "When testing a new potion, you must always be prepared. You never know what may happen." Jaron, expecting simply to have his memories return, shrugged. The Druid handed him the vial, and Jaron drank it down. After a few seconds, his eyes seemed to lose their focus, and he fainted. His head fell back on the soft bed as his colored pointy hat fell off--good thinking on the Druid's part.

(Where am I?) Everything around was black, and Jaron was there, except he wasn't there. It was like...like seeing something, yet not being there to see it. At any rate, the memories started flooding back, starting with the most recent. He was helpless to stop them, and suddenly he was in a vast desert. Nine of his friends were near him, and the Shantay Pass lay behind him. "So, where to?" asked Andrey. Jaron was helpless to do or say anything, while his body responded. "The Druid spoke of a slave camp built over the spring. I think I've heard about it...this way." He was able to think, though. (This was just a couple of hours ago! Way too recent...) Without warning, it all faded to black again.

It was like a train ride you couldn't control. Suddenly he was back in the Monk's cavern south of Lumbridge. Twisas was there, chained to a wall, head down. "Twisas!" The Monk, also nearby, turned. "What?? How did you find this place?" (This is earlier, but not that long ago, either,) he thought as the Monk ran down into the tunnel.

Other memories came to him, too. Such as facing Euph and Applequest in Castle Wars.

And beating Ultima Cow in Runelink.

The next memory took place in the wilderness. (That's strange, wasn't I in Falador right before I went to play Runelink?) He was running as fast as he could to Edgeville, holding a sealed envelope. Out of the corner of the eye, he saw someone. He reached a building in Edgeville and turned around to face his attacker--but no one was there. (Hmm. I thought there was someone there,) he thought. His body in the memory must have been thinking the same thing, too, because he looked over the horizon. But seeing no one, he turned to run to Falador. And there he was--someone on the roof. His body stopped running, and he felt the look of shock on his face. (It's the jumping guy!) Quickly, he tossed the envelope into the weeds next to the building, but the Monk didn't seem to notice. He was aiming his Dragon dagger, dripping with poison. Only a minute later, Jaron was on the ground, knocked out from the poison, as the Monk left to find another victim.

Jaron sat straight up in the bed, alarmed. The others looked surprised to see him wake up with such a start. Ultima Cow pulled out some sort of hand-held clock he had gotten from a Monk of Saradomin and looked at it. "You were out for nearly 30 minutes," he said, pocketing the watch. "Did you learn anything?" Jaron shrugged. "It was weird. I didn't learn too much--it only went back to right before I was poisoned. But I have a feeling there's something in Edgeville we might need to go pick up."

Part 63: The Sealed Envelope

The Monk and CrazyArcher were walking eastward. They were just outside the north gate of Falador, and continuing on. CrazyArcher was looking around, admiring the changes in the world he had left behind. (Not intentionally left behind, of course.) Just as he looked behind him at something, he saw a sight that caught him off-guard. It was a group of people--and some of them, he knew. (The pointy hats were kind of a dead giveaway.) "That adventurer again, of all places..." CrazyArcher led the Monk to a safe hiding place behind a rock nearby. The group of 21 passed with much commotion, and when they finally turned north to Edgeville, the other two emerged. "I wonder where they're going," CrazyArcher muttered. With that, they continued east.

Jaron and the others walking north into Edgeville, just outside the bank. "Man, I'm serious!" came a voice from within. "I don't believe you. I've been training Fletching for the last three days," another responded. "I'm not going to pursue this further, ACher. You've lost it. It's like you don't remember a thing." The speaker stormed out of the bank and past the group, apparently leaving ACher there alone. The group walked in, and Jaron walked over to ACher, unsure of what to say. "Um...hi. I couldn't help but overhear your conversation," Jaron began. "Yeah, he's kinda loud," ACher grinned. Jaron spoke again. "Well, what I wanted to say, was...it's kind of hard to explain. Did it ever occur to you that you may have actually lost your memories?" He was met with a blank stare from Acher.

After explaining the entire ordeal, ACher seemed really enthusiastic. "So, we probably know each other, and fought alongside for some reason or other?" asked ACher. "That's what it seems like," Jaron grinned. "Can I tag along, then?" ACher asked again. Jaron shrugged and looked to the group, as ever. Blackhairtp smiled and rolled his eyes. "Join the other 574," he muttered. Jaron laughed. "Sure. I don't think we're accepting applications after this, though."

The new group walked over to the edge of the wilderness, as Jaron looked around. "There--that's the building I saw in my vision," he said, pointing to the back of one. They walked over to it, and Jaron started searching the weeds growing alongside the building. Giving a shout of joy, his hands came up with a sealed envelope. Upon trying to open it, though, he realized he couldn't. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't find a way to open the envelope. Omega grinned. "Having trouble?" "You do it," Jaron said, tossing the envelope to Omega. Omega couldn't open it either. Nor Twisas, Bnjy, Magicana, or Coran. Finally Ultima Cow took it and looked it over. "You know, I think I've seen these. Only a high ranking wizard of the envelope's destination can open it. But the problem is, where's it heading?" They all looked at Jaron, who stared back. "Oh. Uh, let me think. Hmm..." A few seconds later, he nodded. "I remember in my vision, I was going to run to Falador. Maybe we've got to go there." "Good as anything," Twisas agreed. They set off for Falador, each of them having their own turn at trying to open the envelope as they went. Of course, none succeeded.

Part 64: Contents of a Magically Sealed Envelope

Jaron and the others strolled into Falador, looking around. Low Scorer was trying his hand at prying the envelope open. "Ergh..." he grunted. "You wouldn't think it would be that hard to open an envelope," Bulldog said. "Well, it is," Low Scorer muttered, giving up. Looking around, they decided the best course of action would be to go to the White Knight's Castle. They had no clue exactly where to go in Falador, they just knew it was in Falador itself. They walked across the drawbridge into the courtyard of the White Knight's castle. They entered the building, and deciding a more professional approach was at hand, 19 of the 22 stayed downstairs.

Jaron, Omega, and Ultima Cow walked up the stairs of the castle to the head White Knight's office. There, there was, of course, the head Knights and a mage. The head Knight saw Jaron and walked over to him at once. He saw the other two as well, but paid no attention. Jaron chose his friends however he wanted to. "It's about time! You're never this late." Jaron, sort of confused yet used to it, handed over the sealed envelope. The mage walked over, and pulling out an Air Battlestaff, pointed it at the envelope. A blast of air came from the battlestaff, blowing the seal of the envelope open and exposing a piece of paper. The head Knight took out the piece of paper and read it to himself, eyes narrowing. "Dang. Well, it's about time you knew." The head Knight set the letter down on a table nearby, took off his pointy hat, and then sat on the table, facing Jaron. He looked at the other two and raised an eyebrow. "It's...fine, you can talk in front of them," Jaron said. The head Knight nodded. "Well, anyway, let me explain. Let's see here...you remember how you helped Falador in fending off the Black Knights a while back?" Jaron thought for a moment, then decided to nod. "The attack was the work of CrazyArcher, as said your report. Of course, you killed him." "Of course," Jaron said, yet still unknowing. The head Knight continued. "We have intelligence reports that say a follower of CrazyArcher is trying to revive him." Jaron simply waited for him to continue. "To be truthful, I expected you to be surprised, Jaron. This is dire news." "Oh, indeed it is, and I am surprised," Jaron said, "but what should we do about it?" The head Knight sighed. "Oh, I don't know, I'll leave it up to you. But now you know, and we know for sure. I'll start preparing Falador for any sort of random attack, and you do whatever you have to. If you'll excuse me, I have to notify the other cities of Runescape." Jaron nodded, and he, Omega, and Ultima Cow walked down the stairs. "Were you actually surprised?" whispered Omega. "Nah, I have no clue what he was talking about," Jaron replied. "It has to do with that jumping guy, though, I'm sure of it. He must be the one trying to revive CrazyArcher," Ultima Cow interjected. "Then we have to stop him," Jaron agreed.

The Monk and CrazyArcher entered Varrock, looking around. Promptly heading for the Castle to the north, they entered without trouble. The Guards usually let people come and go, as long as they weren't hostile. The two walked into the Varrock Castle Library, to find Reldo alone, alphabetizing the books. "Can I help you?" asked Reldo. "You can't, no. I suggest you leave," the Monk said, brandishing a Dragon dagger. Reldo's eyes darted to the dagger. "Uh, sure, whatever," he said, backing away and leaving the library through another door. CrazyArcher looked around as the Monk shut the doors. "My god! I wish to speak to you!" CrazyArcher yelled. Suddenly an intense heat filled the room, signaling Zamorak's presence. "Speak," came a demonic voice. "I have returned from the dead with the help of this Monk, and I wish to exact revenge on Jaron and his crew," CrazyArcher said, bowing in the direction of the heat, yet seeing no one. There came laughter. "Yes, yes. You failed me last time, remember? I usually wouldn't even hear of such a request. But since you did do such a great job of causing chaos last time, I'll give you another chance." "Thank you, my lord!" praised CrazyArcher. A blast of heat again filled the room. It was so hot, the Monk fainted. Yet CrazyArcher stood there, absorbing all of it. And when it was over, CrazyArcher was no longer powerless. And he yelled his famous words, for all of Runescape to hear. "This isn't over!"

Part 65: Plan of Action

Jaron, Omega, and Ultima Cow finally finished explaining to the others what they had been told. "So," Twisas said, "basically, that jumping guy is trying to raise CrazyArcher from the dead?" Jaron nodded. "I remember CrazyArcher," Twisas stated. Jaron looked shocked. "You do? How? Oh, wait, you still have all your memories...did I ever tell you anything about him?" he asked. Twisas rolled her eyes. "You never told me much...you said most of it was classified by the White Knights of Falador. But you did say he was very powerful and was partly responsible for the attack on Falador, and that the 'This isn't over' yell was his doing." As if on cue, CrazyArcher's yell reverberated throughout the entire land. "This isn't over!" Twisas grinned. "Yeah, just like that! How'd you do that?" she asked. Jaron's face looked pale. "That...wasn't me." Twisas stared at him, realizing what had happened. "Oh, shoot," she mumbled.

The group gathered in one of the empty buildings of Falador. It was a well-lit room, with medium-sized windows, perfect for meetings. Jaron leaned against a wall and thought to himself, then spoke. "Okay, let's see. Apparently, CrazyArcher has been revived. We know next-to-nothing about him or what he's capable of. But since the head White Knight seemed afraid of his return, we must assume he's capable of a lot. Armed, dangerous, and probably pure evil. Needless to say, we've got to stop him. Of course, this would be very dangerous on our part, and no one had any clue of any mission like this when they joined the group. So, anyone that has their doubts can leave the clan now. I won't try to stop you," Jaron finished, gesturing towards the open door. But no one moved a muscle. Everyone had the determination in their face to see this through to the end--it was so quiet you could hear a pointy hat drop. Jaron waited for a few seconds, then smiled. "Thanks, guys. Onto the next order of business--any suggestions for defeating CrazyArcher?" Cowseatalot spoke up. "Seeing as we know nothing about him, we can't really decide on a plan of action, can we?" Others nodded in agreement. "That's true," Jaron said. "I guess we'll have to learn from experience...again."

All twenty-two of them walked to the Bank to grab some miscellaneous supplies, including food. "Hey, Jaron, I just thought of something," EaglesFan said. "What's that?" Jaron replied. "Isn't Reldo the librarian one of the most-informed people in the entire land of Runescape? And has run-ins with the god of evil himself? Maybe we ought to go there." "That's a good idea," 911 agreed. Others agreed as well. Jaron shrugged. "Fine by me. Let's walk to Varrock. Maybe we'll meet someone that knows something along the way." And with that, the clan had a new destination: the Varrock Palace Library.

Part 66: Teleporting Would Be So Much Faster, Y'know?

The group continued their walk to Varrock, wary along the way for any signs of trouble. "CrazyArcher and that jumping guy could be anywhere," Omegaman said, uneasy. Once or twice they heard footsteps nearby and all aimed their weapons at the noise, but it always turned out to be a Goblin or normal citizen. Past Barbarian Village, paranoia was in full force, so Jaron tried to take the group's mind off the matter. "So...anyone been this way lately?" "Nope, I've mostly been in Burthorpe lately," Twisas remarked. "I haven't been around this place, either," Petrenks said. "I usually just teleport into the city," Bebitwinnie replied. 911 was about to speak when he shut his mouth and looked around. "Wait...where are we?" "We're just west of Varrock," Bulldog said, grinning and rolling his eyes. "Isn't west of Varrock a forested area?" asked 911. Bulldog's grin faded as everyone looked around. Everywhere, there were tree stumps and the occasional unstrung longbow and shortbow across the ground. 'THUD!' They turned around to see a single female woodcutter, chopping down each tree with a single swing. She picked up a log, cut it with a knife, and threw the finished unstrung longbow to the side. Omegaman admired the craftsmanship on the bows--and they were everywhere! This was an offer too good to pass up. "Hi there. Uh...could I have a couple of these?" Omega called out to the woodcutter. She turned, and saw the group for the first time. "Oh, hi guys! Omega, you know you're always welcome to take what you want." She walked over to the group, but Jaron didn't notice.

Only four people, not twenty-two...shortbows and longbows everywhere, a ranger by my side. "Hi there. Uh...could I have a couple of these?" "Sure, take all you want. I'll be here all day, unless I go somewhere else." "That made no sense," the mage mumbled. The woodcutter introduced herself as Iissam333, and the four adventurers left for the Monastery.

"Jaron?" He blinked. The woodcutter was staring at him. "I said it's been a while. How are you?" He tried to find the right words. "Um...I'm fine, thanks...Iissam." She grinned and walked back to the trees, calling back. "Did that Magic Shortbow and those Rune Arrows ever do you any good?" (Magic Shortbow? Rune Arrows? I don't range often...why would I use them?) Jaron thought. But aloud, he said, "Yes, they did. Thanks!" Iissam smiled, happy to make someone's day. "Well, keep up the good work," Jaron said. Iissam nodded, and the group walked on. A little ways away, Omegaman turned to Jaron. "I thought you weren't much of a Ranger," Omega said. "I'm not," Jaron replied, puzzled at the whole thing. "I'm not bad at it, but it's not my method of choice. I like my Dragon Battle Axe; there's not many reasons I'd use a bow and arrow for anything." "And how'd you even know her?" asked Magicana. "One of those visions," Jaron replied. "We must have seen her before. She certainly remembers us, at least." "That seems to indicate that she wasn't part of the main group," Brandon pointed out. Jaron nodded and walked on.

Arriving in Varrock, they walked to the Palace. "It's huge...I've only been inside a couple of times," Coran said, admiring the outside. "Me too...as far as I know," Deathstorm added. Everything about Varrock Palace was magnificent. From the white tall spires to the large ornate doors, to the massive courtyard. They all walked inside, heading for the library. And after they had all entered, the Monk stepped out from behind one of the spires, on the roof of the Palace. Looking upon the empty courtyard below, he smiled, and waited for the group to return.

Part 67: Return of Reldo

Upon entering Varrock Palace, the twenty-two promptly headed for the library. Inside, they found Reldo, who looked shaken. He was alphabetizing books, but still quivered, as if he was afraid of something. Reldo saw the group enter, and turned to them, relaxing a little. "Ah, Jaron, it's good to see you," Reldo said with a sigh. Jaron smiled uneasily. "Um...it's good to see you too, Reldo. We were wondering...do you know anything about a guy named CrazyArcher?" Reldo sighed and nodded. "Yes, the Monk and CrazyArcher were both in here a short while ago." "Monk? Oh, you mean the jumping guy?" asked Tai. Reldo nodded. It seemed the jumping guy now had a name. Sort of. "What happened when they came?" Twisas asked. Reldo looked down. "I don't exactly know. They made me leave the room under threat of death. But I heard the evil lord's voice." "You mean Zamorak?" asked Blackhairtp. Reldo slightly winced at his name. "Yes...Zamorak. Anyway, I was near the entrance door, trying to listen, and all of a sudden this blast of heat came from inside. I thought maybe the library was on fire. I think we all heard what CrazyArcher said next." The group nodded, grimly. Reldo continued, "I believe CrazyArcher has regained...Zamorak's...powers. I didn't know what to do, but a few minutes later, I peeked inside, and both of them were gone. I've been working ever since, trying to take my mind off of it." Jaron went over the details in his head. (Okay...so CrazyArcher had Zamorak's powers before, and now again. How'd we stop him before? And what exactly could he do with those powers?)

Now it was EaglesFan's turn to speak. "Wait--you say he's regained Zamorak's powers--again? So, is he the one..." Reldo nodded and confirmed EaglesFan's suspicion. "Yes, CrazyArcher was the source of all that chaos not too long ago. You all remember...the huge pointy hats covering all the cities and trapping everyone inside, occasionally leading the Black Knight army against Falador, and all that other evil stuff he did. His second-in-command seemed to cause a bunch of trouble as well." "Second-in-command?" asked Jaron. "The Monk, of course," Reldo said, dryly. "Of course," Jaron replied. "Anyway, Reldo, do you have any idea how we can stop CrazyArcher?" Reldo thought on that for a bit. "You can always talk to Ykye. Remember him? The head Monk of the Monastery? Yep, he always seems to know about this sort of thing. Besides the Druids, of course." They thanked Reldo for his information, and left the library. "A Monk named Ykye? I guess that's where we're going next," Omega said, raising an eyebrow. "Seems that way," Jaron replied.

They left Varrock Palace, and gathered in a small circle to talk. "The Monastery's to the west, right?" asked Twisas. "Right," Bebitwinnie replied. Toxic, around the other side of the circle, saw something at the top of her vision. She looked up at the palace, and her eyes widened at what she saw. The others noticed her look of surprise and turned to see what she was looking at. And there he was--the Monk, on the tallest point of the Palace. Just then, a gigantic yellow pointy hat fell out of nowhere! It encompassed Varrock Palace and the group standing in the courtyard, but not much else. The yellow of the hat reflected the sunlight, so they could see. "CrazyArcher," Ultima Cow mumbled. The Monk jumped down from the spire of the palace, onto the roof just above the doorway. He was several feet off the ground, enough to attack the group in mere seconds. Jaron gave a hardened gaze at the Monk. "This seems familiar," the Monk said with an evil smile. "I wouldn't know," Jaron angrily replied. At this, the Monk laughed. "No, no, I guess you wouldn't. Maybe I should...refresh your memory," he said, holding at his side a poisoned Dragon Dagger.

Part 68: Poisonous Flashback

The Monk grinned, holding the dagger at his side. Barely atop the large doors to Varrock Palace, he was closer than any of them would have liked. The huge yellow pointy hat surrounding the Palace cut off any means of escape the group had in mind. "Try anything and we'll take you out," Brandon said, glaring at the Monk. The Monk laughed, and turned his eyes upward, as if trying to put the words together just right. "Ha! You won't be able to touch me. And I doubt you can fight well at all without your beloved leader." Most of the group just stared at the Monk, not realizing what he was talking about. But Jaron understood, as he tuned out reality...

Standing in front of Varrock Palace, again. And there was the Monk, standing atop it all. "We'll defeat you, no matter what you've got," said a nearby warrior. (Strange...he looks just like me. Wait--is that...what's his name...Shadow?) The Monk laughed and responded. "Ha! You won't be able to touch me. And I doubt you can fight well at all--" With a swift motion, the Monk's poisoned Dragon Dagger was in Jaron's arm. "--without your beloved leader." His vision fading, Jaron fainted.

"Without...beloved leader?" Jaron whispered to himself, blinking. Then, understanding, he turned his head up to the Monk. "Wait--that's what you said last time, right before you--" With another flick of the wrist, the Monk's dagger was again in Jaron's arm. Jaron felt the pain in his arm and looked to find the dagger embedded there. His eyes became glassy as he struggled to speak. "Shoot...not...again..." As Jaron fell over, unconscious, the Monk jumped down, took back his dagger, and jumped straight up to the tip of the yellow pointy hat. Once there, he cut a small hole in the top with his dagger and escaped. Omega, Ultima Cow, Bebitwinnie, Brandon, and Magicana had all had the same flashback as Jaron, except that they hadn't fainted at the end of it. They knew the severity of the situation. Omega turned to the others. "Okay, let me just say this has happened before. We need an anti-poison, and we need it fast. Bustergod, do you still have any of yours left from the KBD trip?" Bustergod produced from his armor an empty vial, and sadly shook his head. Omega sighed and looked around. This time, the hat encompassed only the Palace, not the entire city. "We need to get to the Bank and withdraw one," Bebitwinnie said. Magicana walked up to the side of the large yellow hat and tried to cut it with his Rune 2-Hander. He didn't have any luck, though. "We won't be getting out of here that easily," Magicana observed. Omega looked up. There was a small opening now at the top of the hat, which the Monk had created. (Apparently, his dagger was sharper than their weapons.) But there was no way for them to get up there--it was hopeless. Bebitwinnie took the matter into her own hands and held out her Air Staff and a Law Rune. "Camelot Teleport!" she cried aloud. Yet the orb on her staff didn't even glow. Teleports were useless, it seemed. Omega confirmed this, trying to use his Ring of Dueling to get out, but the same thing happened--which was nothing. And Jaron was looking worse with each passing minute. "Man, that's some tough poison," Bulldog remarked. Omega sat down. "What are we going to do?" he mused. Ultima Cow sat beside him. "I suppose my Amulet of Glory is useless," he muttered. "Probably. None of the teleports work," Omegaman replied. Ultima Cow held his Amulet of Glory and turned it over, looking at it. Then he saw a strange sight--something stuck to the back of his Amulet of Glory. "That's weird...have you ever seen anything like this?" asked Ultima Cow, pointing to a small flat blue square on the back of his amulet. Omega shook his head. "I've never noticed it before," Ultima Cow said, puzzled. "Maybe you added it recently, and your memory of it was erased," Deathstorm said, offhand. Ultima Cow's eyes widened, and he stood up, looking around. "Al Kharid Teleport!" he yelled, holding the Amulet high. And with a purple flash (with a hint of blue) he was gone, leaving the other 21 alone.

Part 69: E.T.A. of Death by Poison

Ultima Cow reappeared in the middle of Al Kharid Palace courtyard and looked around. The first sensation he felt was the heat of the desert, and then realizing where he was, he stared down at his Amulet of Glory. (Maybe Deathstorm was right...I must have powered up my Amulet in case anything like this ever happened again. Well, it's a good thing, anyway,) he thought to himself. Wasting no time, he ran straight to the Bank and withdrew an Anti-Poison. But then a situation presented itself. (Shoot...how am I going to get back in? Magicana couldn't even cut it with his sword...I wouldn't be able to do anything with just my staff.) Feeling hopeless, and knowing that every second counted, he sat at a Bank Booth in despair and tried to evaluate his options.

The other twenty sat near Jaron in Varrock Palace's courtyard. They couldn't do anything at all, as nothing but an Anti-Poison could help Jaron, and the Monk had escaped already through the top of the hat. Jaron was, of course, unconscious, breathing hard, and starting to sweat. "Whatever poison that was, it's quick. It usually takes longer than it did for someone to look that bad," ACher said, referring to Jaron. Omega glanced over, and hung his head. (What are we going to do? Think, think...hurry, Ultima Cow...)

In the Al Kharid Bank, Ultima Cow stood up, still unsure of what to do. He walked outside and started looking around, looking for anything that could get him inside that hat. Cutting it? That wouldn't work. Teleporting? It was probably possible to teleport into the hat, but no teleports known to mankind would go straight to Varrock Palace courtyard. The Varrock Teleport itself stopped at the fountain, only yards away. Looking out across the city, Ultima Cow was deep in thought. Then he saw something, and was filled with hope for a short time. (That could work...but I would need...hmm...how can I...shoot.) Then another idea hit him, and he ran to a nearby stall--the silk stall. "Hi, would you like to buy some silk?" asked the Silk Seller in a monotonous tone. "Yes, I would," Ultima Cow replied. "Well, thanks anyway--wait--you said you would?" asked the Silk Seller in disbelief. Not many people bought silk; it really had no use except for resale in Ardougne, but that was a pain, and not really worth the effort. Ultima Cow bought 25 pieces of silk and ran off to the east.

The Crafting Store owner was surprised to see a mage come bounding in. "I need (gasp) a needle and (pant) a lot of (huff) thread," Ultima Cow said, out of breath. The Storekeeper looked at Ultima Cow strangely. Ultima Cow glared back. "Please! It's an emergency of life or death!" Finally happy to have a large purpose in life besides selling jewelry moulds, the Storekeeper grabbed a few needles and several spools of thread and gave them to Ultima Cow, who paid for them quickly. Without any hesitation, Ultima Cow took everything to a nearby table and laid the silk out in rows. Not the best Crafter, yet certainly not the worst, he sewed the pieces of silk together, end to end.

They were just over Varrock now. "I see...that is one huge hat!" exclaimed the Gnome Glider Flyer. Ultima Cow nodded, and pointed to a small hole in the top. "How close can you get me?" he asked. "I've been doing this for years. You pick the time to jump off. Good luck," replied the gnome, heading in a course that would take him barely inches over the top of the hat.

Everyone inside the hat was getting worried. If Ultima Cow didn't arrive soon, Jaron would die. Period. Suddenly, a shadow befell the entire hat. "Hey, who blocked out the sun?" asked Toxic. "Ultima Cow did!" exclaimed ACher, looking up. Indeed, Ultima Cow had popped through the small hole at the top of the hat, where the Monk had left! He blocked the sunlight for a bit, and then started to fall down through. "What the heck is he thinking?" yelled Omega. "He's too high up! He'll die when he hits the ground at this rate!" agreed Cowseatalot. And then something pink appeared above Ultima Cow. "It's a parachute!" laughed Petrenks. A collective sigh of relief came from the group, as Ultima Cow safely landed nearby. He handed the Anti-Poison to Omega, even as the others walked up. "You're a genius!" smiled Bebitwinnie, examining the 5x5 grid of silk. "I have my moments," Ultima Cow grinned, walking over to Jaron. Omegaman had the Anti-poison in Jaron's mouth, and looked up. "That sure was a good idea you had," he said. "Thanks," Ultima Cow replied. Then Ultima Cow looked down and smacked Omega. "Oh yeah." He took the Anti-poison vial out of Jaron's mouth, who woke up with a few coughs. "*cough cough* ...Let me breathe, why don't you?" "That seems familiar," Brandon said, lost in thought.

Part 70: What to Do Now?

Jaron sat up, looking around. "...We seem to be in a giant hat," he said. "How very observant of you," Twisas said, grinning. Jaron rolled his eyes and stood up, while Ultima Cow explained his travels through Al Kharid. "Aren't we forgetting something, though? Now how do we get out?" Tai asked. Ultima Cow looked up to see a rope fall through the hole in the top part of the hat. Ropes usually weren't very long, but as they all watched, they noticed that this rope was actually several ropes tied end to end, and easily reached the ground. Ultima Cow smiled. "I figured getting the Anti-poison here was first and foremost. So I asked the Gnome Glider guy to toss a rope down afterwards to let us out. He said he'd get his gliding friends, and they'd all take us safely to the ground." Jaron patted Ultima Cow on the back, partially for congratulations and partially because he was still dizzy. "Seems you've thought of everything," Jaron said.

It didn't take long for all of them to climb up the rope. Once out of the hat, there were several Gnome Gliders waiting to take them to the ground below. After thanking the Gnome Gliders for their help, and repaying them for their kindness in gold, Jaron and the others walked into the Varrock West Bank. "So then, the usual question, Jaron," Omega said. "Which is, let me guess, 'Where now?'" Jaron replied. Omega smiled and nodded; Jaron looked around. "I figured we'd probably go see that Ykye fellow. We were heading that way in the first place, before the big hat trapped us in. Reldo said he was in the Monastery, right? Well, then that's where now."

The Monastery was pretty close by, as things go. Just past Barbarian Village, mostly. Upon climbing the ladder into the actual Monastery, a Monk of Saradomin came up to them. "We're here to see...Ykye," Jaron said. The Monk looked over the group. "Fine. But they can't come," the Monk said, pointing to Omega and Deathstorm. They looked perplexed. "Us? Why not?" asked Deathstorm. "Chances are it must have been something we did in the past," Omega said. "Let's go, Deathstorm. We'll wait outside." The remaining twenty followed the Monk to Ykye's room.

Upon entering, Ykye was sitting in a chair, reading. He looked up and then stood, smiling. "Ah, Jaron! How are you? I never got a chance to ask you--how was the pizza?" (Here we go again,) Jaron thought. "Um, nice to see you again; very good, thanks; and we have a question to ask of you," he replied. "By all means, go ahead." "Well, Ykye, CrazyArcher's alive again, and we need to find a way to stop him and his Monk. Reldo told us you might have an idea." Ykye thought it over. "Yes, I was told of CrazyArcher's doings by some of the White Knights. As for a way to stop them, sadly, I don't have one. But I do have reason to believe that you may find the two of them back where they call 'home'." "Which is...?" asked Jaron. "West of Ardougne, of course. You must remember," Ykye said. Jaron nodded. "Ah, yes, west of Ardougne, right. We'll best be off then. Thank you very much for the information."

The entire group gathered just south of the Monastery. "That didn't take long," Blackhairtp stated matter-of-factly. "You're getting good at bluffing," 911 said. "I keep wondering how much I've missed out on," Jaron replied, sadly. "Anyway, Ultima Cow, Bebitwinnie, think you can teleport us to Ardougne?" "No problem!" they both said. And with the combined forces of four Water Runes and four Law Runes, the group vanished.

Part 71: A Strange Day Gets Weirder

The group reappeared in the middle of Ardougne's Market Square. "So, west then," Bnjy stated. Jaron nodded. But then, as if interrupting them, Brandon's stomach growled. As if nothing had happened, Brandon simply said "I'm hungry. Can I go buy a cake?" Jaron smiled and nodded. "Sure, I guess, just meet us back here in a minute."

Brandon walked over to the Bakery Stall. He was pretty good at Thieving, and could have easily taken a cake, but he was feeling honest today. He also wasn't in a stealing sort of mood. So, as such, coming up to the stall, he reached into his pocket for some gold coins. "Excuse me," he said to the Baker. "Can I buy this cake?" The Baker took one look at Brandon and waved to someone nearby. Just then, Brandon felt a firm grip on his arm. "There you are. Returning to the scene of the crime, eh?" said a gruff voice. Brandon, puzzled, turned to see a Guard looking him straight in the eyes. "Huh? Crime? I haven't done anything," Brandon started. "Ah, sure you haven't," the Guard replied, rolling his eyes and giving a short laugh. The Baker just smiled. He had his baked goods stolen all the time, but it wasn't often that any of the thieves were brought to justice. But, of course, Brandon had done nothing. "Seriously, I want to buy a cake," Brandon said, holding out his money. The Guard was through with playing games. "Now you look here. I saw you with my own two eyes, stealing a cake from here just a minute ago. I would've come here myself, but I was too busy dealing with a pickpocket. You can't even try to tell me you didn't do anything--we all know you did." Brandon had no idea what was going on, and even worse, no idea what to do. Guards nearly never mistook someone for someone else...how'd he get into this?

"What's taking Brandon so long to get a cake?" asked EaglesFan. "I dunno, let's go find out," Low Scorer agreed. Some of the group walked the distance to the Bakery Stall to find Brandon there, talking with a Guard. It seemed he was under arrest for something. "Brandon, you didn't steal anything, did you?" 911 asked. "Of course not! Not today, anyway," Brandon replied. The Guard laughed and gave a tug on Brandon's arm. "Bah! I saw you myself, I say! Now you've got two choices, you little thief. One--we ship you off to Port Sarim jail, where you stay a day or two." Brandon shook his head. "I can't go to jail! Runescape's fate hangs in the balance, and I have to be somewhere!" "How many times have I heard that before," the Guard smiled. "Anyway, your other choice is to fight Master Paladin." "Who's Master Paladin?" Bebitwinnie asked. Turning to her, the Guard replied, "His name says it all. He's the best darn Paladin we've got in Ardougne, and almost no one's ever won a match against him." Out of options, Brandon sighed. "I guess I'll have to fight."

The Guards cleared everyone out of Ardougne Market Square for the fight. A tall, well-built Paladin in full shining armor and a bright silver pointy hat walked into the Square and over to where Brandon and the Guard were. The Guard spoke up, and addressed not only the two, but the entire crowd. "Here's the rules. The first person to get the other one on the ground, with their weapon to his throat, wins. Don't kill if you don't have to. If you win," the Guard said to Brandon, "you can go. If you lose, we ship you off to jail anyway." Brandon gulped and nodded. The Guard yelled "GO!" and ran to the sidelines, as Brandon pulled out his Dragon Halberd. The Paladin himself pulled out a large silver Longsword. Brandon tried to take a few swipes at the Paladin with his Halberd, but the Paladin kept warding off the blows with his own sword. Once, the Paladin thrust his sword forward, causing Brandon to jump backwards and fall over. He barely got up and away in time to not lose the match.

Jaron and the others stood helplessly at the sidelines. "What do you think are the chances he'll win?" asked Omega. "Not likely," Jaron said, sadly. "Brandon's a great fighter, but his Halberd is slow against that Longsword. One-on-one, he's not the favorite to win." Just then, out of the blue, a loud "THUD!" was heard, and the crowd gasped as they saw a Rune Arrow embedded in back of the Paladin's armor. The arrow hadn't penetrated the armor, but it had fazed its wearer. The Paladin turned to see who had shot at him, and Brandon, seizing possibly his only chance, knocked the Paladin to the ground from behind and held his Halberd near his neck. The Guard announced that, with or without the interference, Brandon had still won. The crowd went wild! All except for Jaron, who was counting heads. (18, 19, 20; 22 including me and Brandon. That makes the whole group. Then who shot the arrow?) He looked around, and finally saw movement on the second floor of a nearby building. He couldn't make out who it was, though, and the purple flash of a teleport showed that he wouldn't be finding out anytime soon.

Part 72: Enough Fooling Around

Brandon, grinning and free from the Guard's watch, walked over to the group. "You won!" praised Bebitwinnie. "Yep, but I wouldn't have if you didn't shoot that arrow," Brandon replied, looking at Omega. Omega shook his head. "I didn't shoot that arrow," he said. Brandon turned to Twisas and Toxic, both rangers, but neither of them had shot it, either. "Then who did?" wondered Magicana. Jaron spoke up. "I think I saw whoever did, but I couldn't get a good view, and they teleported off anyway. At any rate, you didn't actually steal anything? It's not like a Guard to be wrong about that sort of stuff." Brandon nodded, "I know, it's weird. I was thinking the same thing myself. Well, shall we head west, then?" With everyone ready, the group set off.

"This must be the place," Ultima Cow said, surveying the area. The trees nearby were wilted and dying; some of the trees were dead and large gravestones adorned the path. The group walked right into the middle of a big circle. Many of the gravestones were facing the circle. "So...do you think he's really here?" asked Bulldog. "I'm really here," came a voice. They turned to see a smiling CrazyArcher (with a Dragon-red colored hat on his head) standing atop one of the gravestones. At this, they readied their weapons, and CrazyArcher uttered an evil laugh, showing his amusement. Effortlessly, he rose into the sky, high above their heads. They all craned their necks up to watch his movements for any sign of attack, until suddenly they heard a clicking sound. Looking back down, Jaron did a double-take. Somewhere around 25 Monks of Zamorak had risen from behind the tombstones, where they obviously had been hiding. And every single one of them had a crossbow aimed at the group. Each crossbow contained a strange-looking arrow with a blackened tip which looked like a potion. "Oh shoot, the arrows are poisoned with something," Jaron muttered. "Ha ha HA!!! You fell for it again, you morons!" yelled CrazyArcher from above. "Like we knew it ever happened once," Omega yelled back.

CrazyArcher yelled orders to his troops below. "Shoot and kill them all! Then go make yourselves dinner or something...I'm going to Camelot." With a purple flash above their heads, CrazyArcher disappeared. And not a second later, every arrow was let flying towards the group. Each hit its mark, on an arm, a leg, or whatever. Toxic fell to her knees; she had taken an arrow in the back. She mumbled something incoherently and fell over, asleep. "Do you think it's the same stuff the Monk used on Twisas?" Ultima Cow mumbled questioningly to Jaron. He was barely able to answer back. "I sure hope not...but if we all fall asleep, the Monks will finish the job...we have to kill them first..." At that, they all aimed their weapons at the nearby Monks and did their best to take them out. One by one, the members of the clan slumped over and fainted, but one by one, the inexperienced Monks died from their attack. (The Monks really weren't that well-trained in combat, mostly in ambush techniques.) In the end, only a minute later, all the Monks that hadn't died had fled the scene. And the last of the group gave in to the blackness of sleep.

Maybe an hour later, Toxic woke up. And one by one, in the order they had fallen, the others did, too. Jaron looked around, a little dizzy. "So CrazyArcher went to Camelot..." He turned to the others, who also didn't look that well-off, either. "I don't think that...poison has worn off..." Bustergod mumbled. It was now certain something was wrong...none of them had much strength, barely enough to walk. Ultima Cow groggily walked over to Jaron. "We can't fight in this condition...we should go see that Druid in Taverly..." Jaron slowly nodded. "I agree...if you guys can teleport us to Falador, we'll walk the rest of the way..." Even with every instinct in their bodies telling them they didn't have the strength to cast a spell, Ultima Cow and Bebitwinnie were somehow able to send the group to Falador.

Part 73: An Unknown Friend

Shortly after arriving in Falador, Ultima Cow and Bebitwinnie collapsed, unconscious. Apparently, the strain of each teleporting 11 people was more than they could bear in their condition. Still affected by the poison himself, Jaron knelt down beside them. "Shoot...there's no way they'll wake up on their own..." With difficulty, he stood and turned to the others. "You know what that means..." "We leave them?" asked Low Scorer, barely smiling to indicate his joke. "We carry them," Jaron replied, sighing. The simplest tasks became mountains...Taverly seemed so far away.

With two people working together, the gate between Falador and Taverly creaked open. The group stumbled in and over towards their Druid friend's house. The Druid, seeing their predicament from a nearby window, ran outside to meet them. Calling two of his friends over, they took Ultima Cow and Bebitwinnie and laid them on the beds inside. "Thanks..." Jaron muttered, worn out from helping to carry the two. The Druid led them inside, and had them explain what had happened. Jaron told him about the poisoned arrows, their aftereffect, and how the group had gotten here. The Druid left the room and came back with some vials. "Luckily," he said, "I do have some potions that are an antidote to that particular poison." Taking drinks out of the vials, they felt somewhat better already. "What about Ultima Cow and Bebitwinnie?" asked Jaron. "They just collapsed from exhaustion. With this potion and some rest, they'll be fine, too," replied the Druid.

A little later, when the sky had darkened a bit, Ultima Cow and Bebitwinnie awoke. Then to everyone's surprise, the Druid said he had a present for them all. He left the room, while everyone shot puzzled glances between each other. A minute later, the Druid reentered the room with a small sack. He reached into the sack, grabbed something, and placed it in Jaron's hand. Examining it, Jaron found it to be a golden ring, with a strange greenish gemstone in it. He did, however, know about the enchanting of rings, and put it on. "What kind of gemstone is that?" asked Omega. "Jade," the Druid proudly replied. "And with special Druid enchanting abilities, we have created something we call a Ring of Talking." "Ring of Talking?" asked Ultima Cow. The Druid nodded. "Correct. It has a few different frequencies, which can be set. When you talk into the ring, other people with the ring on can hear it as well!" "That's amazing!" Twisas exclaimed. The Druid grinned. "I agree! We've tested them, and they work extremely well. The Seers across White Wolf Mountain keep boasting that eventually it'll be called 'Private Chatting', but you know them; they can't even predict the weather these days. I'll hand out all the rest of the rings in the morning. Anyway, you all should stay here for the night. It's dark out already, and the antipoison works better if you sleep after drinking it." They all agreed, and thanked the Druid for his hospitality. Exhausted as they were, it wasn't long until the entire group fell asleep.

"ZZzztt...sky...often." Jaron groggily awoke next to his pointy colored hat, hearing some sort of sharp noise or voices. Looking around, everyone else was asleep. Maybe he was dreaming of the noise. Then it came again, but a different voice--"It's wei...Zzztzt...we're looking at t...zzzttz..." Jaron sat up in an instant. Were those...voices in the ring? Careful not to awake or disturb anyone, Jaron got up and hurried outside. Holding the ring up to his mouth, he spoke: "Hello?" He was met with silence for several seconds, and then a strange voice responded. "Uh...hi. Who is this?" "My name is Jaron. How did you get a hold of a Ring of Talking?" Jaron asked. Again, a bit of silence. Finally, "Well, Jaron my friend, that's not really an important issue. But, my other friend, do you understand what I do?" The other voice came from the ring. "I do, I think I understand now. So, Jaron is it? I have a gift for you." "A gift?" Jaron said into the ring, uneasy. "Yes," came the reply. "All you have to do is go to the gate where Lumbridge meets Al Kharid. Enter Al Kharid, then take twenty steps north and four steps east. Dig there, and you'll find a treasure chest." Jaron looked to the sky, thinking it over. "How do I know my 'step' is the same as yours?" he asked. "Trust me. If you look for it, you'll find it," came the response. The first voice came over the ring again. "Jaron, good luck finding the treasure chest. And as for my other friend, shall we continue this discussion another night?" "Agreed," came the second voice. And then all was quiet again, leaving Jaron in the middle of Taverly, very confused.

Part 74: Surprise!

Jaron pondered what had happened for a few minutes, then finally shrugged and walked inside the Druid's house. (I'll think about it more in the morning,) he thought, going back to sleep. Morning came soon enough, and as the group thanked the Druid for the use of his home for the night, they walked outside into the sun. Suddenly, the Druid came running back outside, with the bag of Rings of Talking. "I forgot to give these to you all," he said, smiling. Everyone accepted theirs with gratitude (except Jaron, who was already wearing his.) As everyone admired their rings, Jaron pulled Ultima Cow and Omegaman aside to talk. "What's up?" Ultima Cow asked. "I heard voices in the ring last night," Jaron said, immediately getting to the point. "How's that possible?" asked Omega, stunned. "Yeah, no one has them but us," Ultima Cow agreed. Jaron shrugged, unknowing. "They said it wasn't important. There were two people, and they told me where to find a treasure chest." "You mean you talked to them?" questioned a stunned Omega. Jaron nodded. "I don't think they were near each other...they were communicating through the rings when I interrupted them. One of them asked my name, and the other told me he had a surprise. Then he told me the location of a treasure chest, and asked me to trust him." Omega and Ultima Cow seemed to be wondering about this as hard as Jaron was. Just then, Tai strode up. "So, where to now? CrazyArcher said he was going to Camelot, right?" Tai asked. Jaron nodded and looked around uneasily, struggling with a decision. (Could the treasure chest be a trap? The voices last night didn't seem evil...) Finally he spoke: "Yeah, he was, but I think we should head to Al Kharid first." "Al Kharid?" asked a stunned Deathstorm, walking up as well. "I'll explain on the way," Jaron said, "but first we should go to Falador and get some spades."

Spades were like shovels with a square head on them. Next door to the furnace in Falador was an empty house, which usually had a good supply of them. No one really knew why there were always spades there; some had a theory that the White Knights restocked them as a good deed to the people that needed them. At any rate, 22 people holding 22 spades made their way out the south gate of Falador and east past Draynor Village. Heading down the main road just outside Lumbridge Castle, they saw an interesting sight. Two people, a ranger and warrior from the looks of their armor, were walking in the opposite direction. The ranger had on a Mime Mask, and the warrior had on a Blue Halloween Mask, so that neither of their faces were visible. Passing the two, Jaron uttered some greetings, just a little "Hello." The two nodded and hurried on their way. Omega, with a colored hat on and shaking his head, turned around to watch them walk away. "Weirdos..." he muttered, turning back and continuing on.

The group walked up to the toll gate of Al Kharid. They all gathered on the other side of the gate and turned to Jaron, awaiting instructions. Jaron looked around and said nothing. Deciding on which way was north, he took twenty steps in that direction. Then turning at a right angle to the right, he took four more steps. The sand under his feet felt strange, like it had been dug up recently. He turned to the group. "This is where we have to dig. Apparently, there's a treasure chest here. It may be deep, so let's start." The thought of a treasure hunt appealed to most of the clan, and at once they gathered around where Jaron stood and started digging.

It wasn't even ten minutes later when someone hit something a couple of feet deep. The others came over and helped excavate whatever it was, and indeed it was a treasure chest. Lugging it up onto level ground, Jaron cautiously opened the lid. And what he saw surprised him. Everyone gathered to take a look. Inside the chest, neatly stacked, were eight Super Attack Potions, eight Super Strength Potions, and eight Super Defense Potions. "Are those what I think they are?" asked Andrey. Brandon nodded. "I'm a pretty good herblorist, and I can tell these are the real thing." "There's enough there for everyone to have one dose of each," Twisas examined. The entire group smiled. They carefully took all of the potions out of the treasure chest, and started heading back west, en route to Camelot.

Part 75: Preparations

Walking to Camelot by way of Falador, the group came to the crossroads at Draynor. To the west and a bit north, Falador; to the east, Lumbridge Castle. South was Draynor Village, of course, and the haunted Draynor Manor to the north. It was at the crossroads that they stopped for a moment. "Um, Jaron, do you think we could split up and meet back in a little bit?" asked 911. Jaron gave it thought, as he usually did, but didn't really see the point. "We've met with many distractions already. If you don't mind me asking, why should we split up?" Jaron countered. 911 looked around for support, and a few made their opinions known. "It's actually not a bad idea," Omega interjected, "as I could definitely replenish my supply of arrows. In a small amount of time, I could make some new ones, too." Twisas and Toxic agreed with him. Bebitwinnie spoke up as well: "I should probably get more Law runes and bring more Blast spell runes along; I could use a Bank right about now." On that point, Ultima Cow and Blackhairtp agreed, too. Jaron sighed, and nodded. "Okay, fine. Everyone can split up if they need to. We'll meet in Draynor Bank in fifteen minutes. But from there we're heading straight to Camelot to fight CrazyArcher, so if you have any doubts or fears, don't feel obligated to stay in the group. If you're not back in fifteen minutes, we leave without you." The others understood, and everyone separated.

Omegaman ran out of the Bank with a hatchet and a knife. "I haven't done this in a while," he remarked to himself, smiling. Running around the wall to the west of Draynor, he chopped down several trees in the area and cut them into arrow shafts. Nearby, he saw Iissam, the persistent woodcutter. Once again, she was chopping down all the trees with a single blow and leaving a trail of unstrung longbows in her wake. She saw him a walked over. "Hi, how are you?" she asked. "Good," he said, nodding, and explained his situation. Grinning, Iissam reached into her pocket and produced a knife, and quickly made several hundred more arrow shafts for him. He thanked her; "Ah, no problem. I've got thousands of them. I think I'll probably be heading over to Seers Village in a bit, anyway," she replied. Then using his hatchet, Omega went to a nearby farm and killed several chickens for their feathers. The farmer never seemed to mind, the chickens laid so many eggs anyway that he never had a population problem on his hands. Finished with several hundred feathered arrow shafts, Omega ran back to Draynor Bank to attach the arrowheads.

Ultima Cow, Bebitwinnie, and Blackhairtp stood in the Bank, reorganizing their supplies of runes. They opted for several teleport spells, but quite a few attack ones as well. Toxic and Twisas were nearby, depositing old arrows and withdrawing newer ones of better quality. Jaron walked in to do a little inventory rearrangement himself, and the Bank became quiet upon his entry. All of his friends looked up to see what made the Bank quiet, and simply saw Jaron there. Jaron looked at them and shrugged, not having a clue. When he was done and walked out, the Bank Tellers breathed a collective sigh of relief and the chatter continued as normal.

Brandon was thinking about making some potions out of some of the herbs he had, but decided against it, seeing as the group had recently found those Super potions. That was strange how it had all happened, now that he thought about it. Two people who Jaron didn't even know spoke to him in the middle of the night, through a ring that no one else had. Then they told him right where a treasure was, and the group had no trouble finding it at all. Shrugging, Brandon decided he had better things to do, and walked out of the Bank to do some combat training.

Most of the meleers were outside the Bank and to the west a little bit, in Draynor Market Square. Even though it was a small village, Draynor really had two "squares", the main one and the market one. The main one was basically four houses facing onto a small area. The Market one was just to the west of the Bank, where more people gathered to trade things. Sometimes, if you paid attention, you could smell the scent of dug-up rocks or fish. It was weird. At any rate, the only thing in the square these days were toy horses and plates. Jaron was watching them all fight; Brandon, Bustergod and Tai were facing off against each other with their Dragon Halberds, while some of the others were simply playing around. Soon enough, it was time to leave, and everyone went into the Bank, Jaron following behind them.

Jaron walked into the Bank again, and it became quiet once more. "You've got that hat...are you actually the person that blew up this Bank a little while ago?" asked a curious bystander. Jaron sighed. "Probably..." he muttered under his breath. He took a quick head count. "17, 18, 19, 20...we're missing two?" The others looked around. "We're here!" came a yell from outside, as 911 and Bulldog ran in, exhausted. Apparently they had run a long way from somewhere. Jaron nodded, smiling. "Okay then. Off to Camelot!"

Part 76: No More Distractions--Well, Maybe One

Walking to the north, west, and north again brought the group to the large city of Falador, where the White Knights resided. But seeing as this wasn't their destination, they continued on through its north gate and farther to the west, into Taverly. Strangely enough, Taverly seemed to be deserted. That or everyone was simply inside their houses. Just a moment later, a shadow appeared on the ground in front of them. And with one quick jump off of a nearby roof, there was the Monk, standing just ahead of them. Everyone pulled out their weapon of choice--there was no way he was going to win this battle. The Monk simply laughed at their preparation. "You can't beat me," he grinned. "Oh, I think we can," Tai countered. "You're a little bit outnumbered," Andrey agreed. "22 to 1? Sounds like good odds," the Monk replied, laughing. He pulled from his red robe his small magic Dragon Dagger, and threw it high into the air. And as if they had all seen it before, the Dagger changed right before their eyes into a Longsword, which he promptly caught by the hilt on its way down. "You actually plan on fighting us?" Bnjy put forth. The Monk sneered at all of them. "I don't plan on fighting you, for a lack of words. Since you won't actually be fighting, that is. You've all caused enough trouble--I can't have you barging in when my Master's about to reestablish his reign over Runescape, now can I?" With another quick motion, the Monk pulled a vial full of grey powder from his robe and threw it low, straight at the group. It hit the ground and shattered several feet from anyone, but the force of the impact blew the powder towards them. And as the powder touched the air, it became a type of grey smoke that knocked the entire group unconscious within a matter of seconds. As the smoke dissipated, the Monk slowly walked up to them, his Dragon Longsword in hand and a smile of satisfaction on his face.

Jaron woke up, mainly because someone was shaking him. His first few drowsy moments of consciousness were filled with Omegaman's unceasing chatter. "Hey! Wake up! We've got to get going!" Omega let go of Jaron's shoulders, who sat up and looked around. Everyone was here, in Taverly, perfectly okay. There was no sign of the Monk. "Where...why...wasn't...huh?" Jaron mumbled as he tried to make sense of their situation. Then, standing up, he fully phrased his questions. "Where's the Monk?" "We have no clue," Brandon replied, shrugging. "Why didn't he kill us all? Wasn't he going to finish us off once he used that potion?" "I got that impression, too," Ultima Cow said. They all looked around. Nope, he was gone. The Monk wasn't exactly a friend they knew well, but even they knew that he would have easily and willingly killed them all if given the chance. And he'd had his chance--so why were they alive? Now there were no clues, and no way to know. So they had to carry on, and continue towards Camelot--towards CrazyArcher. "I don't know. I'm just hoping that's the last we see of him. Let's move on," Jaron said to the group.

Camelot was on the other side of White Wolf Mountain, and then just a short distance away. The Mountain, named for the White Wolves that inhabited it, was very annoying to pass and hard to navigate. It was said that once you had an alternative to go around it, you never went over it again; it was simply that annoying to pass. One alternative, of course, was the system of teleport throughout Runescape, to take someone from one town to another. There was a such thing as Camelot Teleport, but they hadn't used it in case it was part of a trap. So the other alternative, which they took, was the Dwarven Passage. A Dwarf with a strange light-green pointed hat guarded the entrance. He nodded to them all and let them pass. If you could do a good enough deed for the Mountain Dwarves, they'd befriend you and let you use their special passage, which ran in a straight line, under the mountain. It was the quickest way to go, and even had an underground pub of sorts for those wishing to relax. The Dwarves were proud of their tunnel, and always kept the walls and stairs in peak condition.

The group reached the other side of the passage in barely any time at all, and walked up to the surface to arrive in the busy fishing town of Catherby. Fishers from all over came to Catherby, since it was basically the best place to fish. There was a place to cook the fish nearby, as well as a Bank to deposit anything you caught. Otherwise, there was also a store to sell anything you caught as well; it all added up to one of the best fishing spots in the entire land. "Camelot is just down the road," Magicana said, grimly. It was true, Camelot Castle was just north of Catherby. Taking the Super Potions they had found in the treasure chest, Jaron passed them around for everyone to drink. And determined to stop CrazyArcher in whatever he was planning, the group walked straight north along the road, armed for battle.

Part 77: Emergency Broadcast System

CrazyArcher paced in the middle of Camelot Castle courtyard, impatiently tapping his foot and waiting for his servant. "Where is he? He knows to meet me here..." Several minutes later, when the Monk still didn't arrive, CrazyArcher decided to wait no longer and take matters into his own hands. Holding his hand out, a small grey oval appeared there, shaped kind of like an egg. The oval had small holes in it near the top, and a long cylindrical rod came out of its bottom, reaching to the ground. CrazyArcher brought his face up to the oval and spoke into it. "Citizens of Runescape--" he began, and then stopped. He stared at the oval and tapped it. Finally he grinned, and reaching around to the other side of the oval, found a switch and activated it.

Eerfy, an everyday adventurer, was sitting in the Pub in Falador, enjoying a cold Asgarnian Ale after a long day's toil of mining. Many people came here after doing whatever they usually did in the daytime. Eerfy was tilting his grey pointed hat back when suddenly, out of nowhere, there came a loud high-pitched wail. It was like the squeal of a child, only worse. Apparently, others heard it as well, because almost everyone in the Pub jumped up and looked around. Iissam, standing by a nearby table with hatchet in hand, looked over to Eerfy, who shrugged uneasily. No one knew what was going on, but neither did they have any time to think about it, for as soon as the squeal ended, a voice was heard. "Is this thing on?" Iissam's eyes widened, as if she realized something. Motioning to get Eerfy's attention, she asked him, "Is that the voice of that one guy?" Eerfy realized it as well and nodded. Everyone knew CrazyArcher's screams and voice, even if they didn't know his name.

CrazyArcher's voice came once again, into the Falador Pub. "Ah, good, it works. Neat. Okay then. Citizens of Runescape, listen well! My name is CrazyArcher, and from this day forth, I shall be your new ruler!" A second voice suddenly came out of nowhere as well--"I don't think so!" Iissam's look of surprise told Eerfy she recognized the voice. "Is that Jaron?" Iissam asked, mostly to herself. (Who's Jaron?) wondered Eerfy. The voices came again, this time with CrazyArcher speaking first. In an obviously frustrated tone, he said: "What are YOU doing here? You should be dead right now!" "Ha! You'll never rule over Runescape, CrazyArcher. Not as long as we have a say in it. We've beaten you before, and we can do it again." There was a slight pause, and then CrazyArcher's voice came once more, but more pleasantly: "Ladies and gentlemen, we are experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by." And with a loud clicking sound, all was quiet in Falador Pub.

Part 78: With Friends Like You, Who Needs Enemies?

The group of 22 stood there with their colored pointy hats in Camelot Castle courtyard, CrazyArcher straight ahead of them. CrazyArcher threw aside the standing grey oval thingy and glared at them. "Where's the Monk?" asked CrazyArcher suspiciously. Jaron shrugged. "One second he was going to kill us, the next second he split. It seems your servant wasn't so trustworthy after all, eh?" he taunted. CrazyArcher replied by growling; "He's the best servant I've ever had; loyal, capable, and more trustworthy than you could possibly imagine. So are you going to tell me the truth about where he is or beat around the bush?" "You idiot, we seriously don't know," countered Twisas, "and besides, we wouldn't tell you if we did." EaglesFan spoke up next. "Yeah, so are you going to give up your crazy plans of world domination or beat around the bush, as you say?" CrazyArcher grinned. "Hah! Give up my plans? No way! Actually, I've already started them." The group just looked at him with confused stares, which led him to explain. "One of the powers my lord Zamorak bestowed upon me is a type of reverse Telekinetic Grab. With a single arrow and one of the Monk's potions, I can effectively and silently administer any potions I want to anyone, anywhere." CrazyArcher nodded towards behind the group. Still confused, they all turned around to see Brandon standing there with his Halberd. Which wasn't unusual--Brandon sometimes strayed towards the back of the group. What was unusual, however, was the grey-tipped arrow on the ground nearby and how Brandon suddenly rushed towards the group, swinging his Halberd and evidently trying to hurt someone.

The group dispersed from where they stood, scattering and trying to avoid Brandon's attacks. His Halberd had quite a long range, as a couple of them learned firsthand by receiving minor cuts and scratches. The problem was that no one would fight back, however, as Brandon was a well-valued member of the team and no one wanted to hurt him. They mostly tried to evade his attacks rather than counterattack. They actually could have taken him down quite easily had they tried, on the one hand because a Halberd is a slow weapon, and the other hand that Brandon was outnumbered 21 to 1. "Any ideas?" Jaron asked Ultima Cow as they sidestepped Brandon's attacks. "Not really," came the reply. "We'll have to either find an antidote, fast, or hope the potion wears off soon." CrazyArcher by now had risen into the air and was laughing at the action below. Omegaman used the lull in the attacks near him to look up at CrazyArcher. Omega was about to yell some insult about CrazyArcher not being able to fight his own battles when he saw CrazyArcher's eyes widen and his smile disappear. It was like he realized something.

Looking down on the ground below, CrazyArcher couldn't help but laugh. He was floating only a few stories high; the higher levels of Camelot Castle were to his back. "They're like little ants all running around in circles from one little guy...hah! I should crush them while I can. What happened last time won't happen again." He was thinking about how to wipe everyone out when he heard something from behind him. Surprised and not even knowing what the sound was, CrazyArcher wheeled around to face the castle--and barely didn't have time to react as a rune arrow flew out of a castle window towards him at an impressive speed. Had the arrow hit its mark, who knows what would have happened? Instead, CrazyArcher used his very little time to put his hand out and grab the arrow before it could hit him. Moving so quickly, though, the speed of the arrow threw him off-balance and he tumbled from his levitating position down to the ground.

Brandon was about to take a clear swing at Bulldog when CrazyArcher fell on top of him out of nowhere, knocking him to the ground. The sudden impact sent him a blow to the head, and as CrazyArcher jumped up, Brandon did too, albeit dizzy. Then he realized he was standing next to CrazyArcher and jumped out of the way. "That works, too," Ultima Cow said to Jaron. (Where'd that arrow come from?) thought Omega, looking up to the castle. He thought he could make out the figure of a person, but before he could do anything, a purple flash signaled that the person had teleported. Then there was a second purple flash, implying another. (That's weird...there were two people? It's probably good they left, it's not safe here.) CrazyArcher brought Omega's attention back to the battle. "No more of this! Time to deal with you myself," he growled.

Part 79: Oh, so you CAN teach an evil crazy guy new tricks...

CrazyArcher produced from his red robe a small Dragon Dagger. It didn't seem to be a magic one like the Monk had used, but he was still certainly skilled in using it. He jumped to action, and the scene unfolded. CrazyArcher would try to stab someone, and he or she would narrowly evade the attack. However, the speed of CrazyArcher's attacks prevented anyone from counterattacking. He was moving so fast that if an arrow or spell was shot at him, he would move, in effect making it hit somebody else. So, of course, no one attacked, not having a clear shot. After only a couple minutes or so, after evading yet another attack, Coran said, "Don't you have anything new to use or are you going to swing that Dagger around all day?" CrazyArcher looked as if he had just remembered something very funny. "Actually, now that you mention it," he muttered, "I do." Producing from his robe a small rune, he held it in the air. Everyone backed away a few steps. The rune had a picture of a blue butterfly on it. "That's a Soul Rune," Ultima Cow remarked. "What's he using it for?" Jaron asked. Ultima Cow shook his head. "I don't know. Not many spells use Soul Runes anymore. ...Oh, shoot." Jaron turned to him. "What?" Ultima Cow shook his head again. "Only the top mages know it--there were new spells created just recently. They're called Teleother spells. It does what its name implies." "Scatter!" yelled Jaron, his face full of surprise. A purple beam of light shot out from the Soul Rune, hitting Magicana and Low Scorer. In an instant, they were gone. Everyone else was stunned at the sight, and in that instant that they weren't moving, CrazyArcher was able to hit Bnjy, Tai, Bebitwinnie, EaglesFan, and Petrenks with the beam as well. That got them running again, but CrazyArcher's aim was too good--Coran, Brandon and ACher were also hit by the beam. He was about to send out another beam when his rune glowed and shattered. That left twelve people in Camelot.

It also left ten people with colored hats right in front of Lumbridge Castle. "What was that?" questioned Tai. "Teleother spells," Bebitwinnie offered. "They're new, and not many people know about them. But usually you need to have the person's permission before sending them around the globe. It seems CrazyArcher can bypass that." ACher looked around. "There's no time for this. The nearest bank is Al Kharid. We can get runes to teleport back to Camelot from there." With that, they ran off to the Al Kharid toll gate.

CrazyArcher was laughing maniacally back in Camelot. "Ha ha ha!! I cut your numbers in half!" "You cut less than half. We can still defeat you anyway," Jaron shot back. Omega, Twisas and Toxic readied their arrows and shot them straight at CrazyArcher. CrazyArcher held up a hand, and all three arrows shattered in mid-air. "Heh! You can't even touch me!" Without warning, a fourth arrow flew past the group of twelve from the general direction of the courtyard entrance. CrazyArcher didn't see it coming, and it penetrated his right arm. "Aah! Who shot that??" The group looked to the rangers, but Omega, Twisas and Toxic shook their heads. Jaron turned around towards the gate of the castle, but there didn't seem to be anyone there. Whoever they were, they must have run off. CrazyArcher yelled--apparently he was mad--"Enough! You fools stay standing even after everything I throw at you! That's either determination or stupidity." He pulled a red vial from his robe. (How many things did he have?) "This will finish you off. Your time is up."

Part 80: The Final Battle...Again

CrazyArcher stood there in the courtyard, the vial of red liquid in his hand. "I suppose you'll be needing an arrow, then?" remarked Twisas sarcastically. "Actually, no," grinned CrazyArcher, taking the plug off of the top of the vial. "This potion is quite different than any regular ones." Without warning, he waved the vial in a horizontal motion so that some of the red liquid splashed out. Some of it touched Andrey's right arm, instantly turned to smoke upon contact, and drifted upwards. But it left Andrey kneeling on the ground, his left arm holding his right. "Are you okay?" offered Omega, wanting to help but not get in CrazyArcher's line of fire. Andrey's arm looked perfectly okay, besides being limp; no burns or anything at all. He looked at it before responding. "I'm fine, except I can't move my arm...it doesn't hurt much." "That'll wear off in time. Not that it's time you have," CrazyArcher chuckled. Andrey got up and tried to wield his Dragon Long Sword in his left arm, but wasn't having much success. "So what is it, a paralysis potion?" Jaron said in a mocking tone. CrazyArcher laughed to himself. "It's not so much paralyzing you as taking away all of your energy and zeal." "(Zeal?)" muttered Toxic to Bustergod, quietly and inquisitively. "(Will to fight,)" Bustergod explained. "Lucky for me I've got plenty of these," CrazyArcher said, as he quickly waved the vial again, splashing several people with the liquid.

Iissam was walking the long path to Seers Village, "Woodcutting Central" as it was called to some. It involved leaving Falador from the north, going through Taverly and the Dwarven Passage, and passing Catherby and Camelot Castle to get there. The road from Catherby went straight north to Camelot and then straight west to Seers Village, so it was easier to just head northwest and pass up Camelot. But as she was halfway through the wooded area between Catherby and Seers, a stranger approached.

The potion was effective. Already everyone except for Bulldog, Omegaman, 911, Jaron and Blackhairtp had been hit by a lot of it. They were lying back on the ground, barely able to move; watching the battle but unable to do anything about it. No one could evade CrazyArcher's potion easily, though. Blackhairtp and Jaron ran in a formation, trying to get an attack in, but before they could get anywhere close they were hit with a huge blast of the potion. The red smoke appeared around them and then drifted away as they fell to the ground, face down, about ten feet apart. "Now would be a good time," 911 shouted. "I agree," Bulldog said, pulling a large blue-green sword from his armor. "What's that?" Omega asked. "That day in Draynor...911 and I were late because we ran all the way to that pie-loving dwarf south of Port Sarim. He helped me make this sword," Bulldog replied. "911 gave me some good ideas, and together we were able to make what I've been wanting to all along--the perfect sword." "Oh. Well, looks good," Omega offered--just before being hit by a splash of the potion. "Dang," Omega muttered as he fell, enveloped in red smoke. That left 911 and Bulldog still standing.

CrazyArcher thoughtfully stared at Bulldog's bluish-green sword. (The perfect sword? Ha! I can still beat them all. It's actually quite a large sword...I'll show him who's got the perfect skills.) Bulldog ran towards CrazyArcher, sword held high. CrazyArcher, to make things interesting, simply stood there, awaiting Bulldog's attack. (A sword that big has to have a slow attack, just like Halberds and Battle Axes. I'll move at the last second and splash the potion right in his face.)

Jaron laid face-down on the paved ground, a medium-length distance away from CrazyArcher. He was actually somewhat close to Camelot Castle's entrance gate, but it wouldn't do any good. He couldn't really move any part of his body very easily. All he knew was that Bulldog was probably charging CrazyArcher...hopefully he'd be successful. A grating sound came from Jaron's left, closer and closer. Something was scratching the ground nearby. Suddenly, Jaron felt something run into his head-and the skidding sound stopped. Groggily lifting his head up a short way, he saw, there next to him at arm's length, a Magic Longbow and a Rune Arrow. (Wha...? Where'd this come from?) Apparently CrazyArcher hadn't noticed. Jaron used most of his remaining strength to take the ranging supplies and turn over onto his back.

(You idiot...just a little bit closer,) thought CrazyArcher as Bulldog advanced. Suddenly, Bulldog started his attack and swung his sword horizontally. The sword, for all its size, was amazingly faster and lighter than it looked, and CrazyArcher was barely able to correct his mistake and get out of the way in time. Bulldog missed, but only by an inch. Angry at underestimating Bulldog's sword's capability, CrazyArcher indeed splashed the red potion at Bulldog, paralyzing him. Looking down on him, CrazyArcher grinned. "That indeed is a nice sword you've got there. You almost had me that time." Then, without looking and with a vertical motion of his arm, he splashed the potion all over behind him. A grunt signified he had hit his mark. 911 slumped to the ground, his sneak attack a failure. "That's all of them," CrazyArcher said, smiling. "No, it's not!" came a voice from the entrance. The earlier-teleported group of 10 stood at the courtyard's gate, ready for battle. CrazyArcher laughed and threw a full vial of the red stuff at them. It smashed near their feet, spraying everyone and disabling them all. "That was easier than anything else so far," he cackled.

The newly arrived Bebitwinnie looked up at CrazyArcher. "How did you get so strong?" she muttered, wearily. "Don't you recall our last encounter? Oh wait, I guess not," CrazyArcher laughed. He pulled from his robes yet another vial, this time green. He held it up, mockingly. "Here's the antidote to that memory-suppressing potion, by the way. Not that any of you will ever get it! Heh heh heh!!" To everyone's surprise, the vial suddenly levitated in CrazyArcher's hand-and started moving towards the open castle gate at an incredible speed. Soon enough, it was outside Camelot Castle courtyard, leaving a stunned CrazyArcher looking after it, standing in the middle of it all.

As soon as he felt the potion leave his hand, he knew something was wrong. Looking at where he had been holding it, CrazyArcher watched as the potion flew out of the courtyard. "Wha...what? How did...where is...?" But then a motion caught his eye, and he looked to the left. And the last thing he saw was a Rune Arrow heading straight for him.

Giant flames erupted around where CrazyArcher lay dead, and in an instant, he was completely gone. The potion did indeed wear off not too long afterwards, and they were all able to move around again. They all walked the short distance to Seers Village, thinking back on their adventure. It seemed CrazyArcher was finally dead, (again, apparently,) which meant the group no longer had a reason to exist. Jaron addressed the group on the way. "I guess it seems our adventure is complete, my friends. It's been great to know you all, and I thank everyone for your help. ...I suppose this is where we split up, although now that you all have your Rings of Talking, feel free to keep in touch. Maybe we'll organize some parties sometime." Everyone smiled, remembering the rings. As they all walked into Seers Bank for the last time, Iissam came up to them. Her Rune Hatchet had a green pointed hat over the blade, for some reason. "Hiya, guys. Someone told me to give you this." She held out the green vial. Jaron was shocked. "Wha-where'd you get it?" Iissam smiled. "I don't know who he was, but someone came up to me and told me to give it to you when you arrived, and for me to be careful with it. He also told me that you only need a drop of it, so there's easily enough for everyone." Jaron smiled; all was right with the world once more.

Epilogue: All Things Must Come to an End...Right?

The next few days were spent looking for the original
members of the clan. Now that they all remembered everything after drinking the potion, it was only right to seek out those who hadn't regained their memory. About a week later when all was said and done, it was decided between a few of them that they wanted to have one of those balloon parties in Seers Village Party Hall. Only seven of them could make it that day, but it was just as well. They were to meet in the upstairs of the Party Hall. Jaron, Ultima Cow, Omegaman, Brandon and Bebitwinnie were lounging around in the Pub upstairs when Andrey walked in. "Am I late?" he asked. "Nah, we're just waiting on Twisas," Jaron replied. "I brought some items to put in some of the balloons," Andrey grinned. Omegaman replied happily, "Great! I did too. We should have a good par--" With a purple flash of light, Omega was cut off in mid-sentence. Twisas arrived and ran up the stairs in her pink pointed hat, only to see no one there.

"--ty, then," Omega said, before he realized where they were. Tombstones, dead trees...this place was familiar. "Are we...west of Ardougne?" asked Jaron. "Right you are," came a familiar voice. CrazyArcher appeared behind one of the tombstones. "Not you again!" exclaimed Brandon. CrazyArcher only laughed. Raising his hand, thick transparent blue walls appeared all around them, separating the group into twos. Jaron and Ultima Cow were trapped in one box, Omega and Brandon in another, Bebitwinnie and Andrey in the third. "Teleportation boxes," CrazyArcher said. "Where are you sending us?" demanded Jaron. CrazyArcher shook his head and smiled as a blue light shone inside the boxes. "Not where, my friend. Not where."

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