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 Post subject: Zamorak's Bane V: Plot Unknown, by Jaron
PostPosted: December 24th, 2014, 5:46 pm 
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Zamorak's Bane V: Plot Unknown
by Jaron (2011)


Foreword (written March 4th, 2011):

So here's the deal. Goten declared February's Legends theme to be Fan Fiction Month. Somewhere around the 8th of February, I got the bright idea to randomly write ZB5 just like old times--at a rate of one chapter per day, every other day, from the 10th to the 28th. Ten parts in all.

Zamorak's Bane 5 started, pretty much, without a plot, so its subtitle is "Plot Unknown" (keeping with the tradition of ZB subtitles being [noun] Unknown.) I'm not even sure if you can call it canon, because I pretty much just tried to reference or parody as many things as I could think of while writing it. :awesome:

Enjoy. This is for you, ZB crew!

Part 161: Four Years Later...

Jaron fought at the top of the Saradomin castle, attempting to stem the deluge of Zamorakian attackers. He was doing well despite the sheer number of players on the other team. Luckily, any time he lost a battle, there were only two staircases to ascend before he would be back into the fray. With a poisoned Dragon Dagger in hand, Jaron swiftly stabbed a couple of opponents. Twirling the dagger by its handle, it transformed into a Dragon Longsword, which he used to dispatch both attackers, sending them reeling down the stairs. Taking a couple of steps backward towards the Saradomin flag, Jaron spun the longsword again, and it suddenly elongated into the Dragon Halberd responsible for reaching (and killing) another new foe who had sprinted to the castle's peak. He twirled the weapon again, turning it into a dagger once more, which he pocketed. "Yeah. I still love this thing."

Jaron suddenly appeared in the Castle Wars Lobby, emptyhanded. "Man! This is why I hate Castle Wars. Rack up a ton of points and have nothing to show for it in the end," he said, a hint of disgust in his voice. Suddenly, sound burst from one of the enchanted rings on his hand. "Jaron! Jaron Jaron Jaron Jaron Jaron!" Jaron looked at his enchanted Jade Ring of Talking and immediately recognized the voice. Or wait, yeah, people are calling it the Ring of Private Chatting now. Those Seers were right, after all. He raised his hand to his mouth and replied: "Goten! What what what what what?" "Are you busy? Can you come here for a minute?" Jaron turned and looked at the Castle Wars portals, where several adventurers were jumping into the bright lights and vanishing. Pfft, if I wanted to kill things for another twenty minutes, Gargoyles would have better loot. "Of course, where are you?" "The Grand Exchange," came Goten's reply.

Swapping out his armor and magic Dragon weapon for a grey colored pointy hat and Dramen Staff, Jaron grabbed some runes and teleported to Varrock. He could have used his Amulet of Glory to go to Edgeville and then taken the agility shortcut into the Grand Exchange, but he really didn't feel like squeezing through a tight hole underground and getting all dirty today. Seriously, they should just remove that northwest section of wall; it's not like it's stopping anyone from getting in or out anyway. Jaron strode into the Grand Exchange from its south entryway, scanning the over-populated area for signs of Goten. He headed over to the northeast section where he commonly bumped into other RuneVillagers such as Magicana, but Goten didn't seem to be there. Nor was he to the north, west, or south. Jaron was about to contact Goten through his Ring of Talking when he caught the telltale glimpse of a tan cavalier. Walking towards it, sure enough, there was Goten--in the dead center of the Grand Exchange, behind the counter, decked out entirely in purple. Goten waved, and Jaron pushed around all of the people crowding the counter. "Hey Jaron! Check it out! I got a part-time job!" "About time." "Oh har har, very funny." "Yeah, I thought so, too. So what's the job entail?" Jaron asked. "Oh, nothing all that hard, but it's important stuff to keep the Grand Exchange running. Check it out." Goten grabbed a handful of papers from under the counter and started reading them off. "Okay, so this guy Shomina141 wants three Bullseye Lantern Lenses, right? And here's someone named Hana that's trying to sell a hundred of them. Bam, put them together, do the math, sale made." "That's pretty cool," Jaron agreed. He never really wondered how the Grand Exchange worked, but it made sense. "And here," Goten continued, grabbing another slip of paper, "this guy Gregor wants one hundred th--what, a hundred thousand pots of flour?! Forget that, I'll do that one later. Let's see, this next one says Jaron99's buying a hundred grey colored poi--" "ANYWAY," Jaron said, cutting him off, "I'm happy for you. It looks like you're having a good time here." Goten snickered, reading the rest of the paper to himself and putting the slips back under the counter. "Yeah, I am. The best part is that since I'm forced to watch the prices go up and down all day, I'm already making a killing on merchanting items whose prices I know are rising. I think that's why the Grand Exchange has to hire new people so often; all of their employees strike it rich merchanting in the meantime and quit." "JARON. JARON JARON JARONNNNN" came a voice from Jaron's other enchanted ring, the new Opal Ring of Clan Chatting. "You're popular today," Goten said, smirking. Jaron only grimaced in reply. "Pyrooooooooo. What is it?" "Meet me in Taverley!" "Oh, this'll be good, I can tell," Jaron replied. "Just do it! You never meet me! I'm always like HEY JARON LET'S GO TO SIX F--I MEAN CASTLE WARS and you're all NO I THINK I'LL JUST BE BORING AND STAY HERE." "Pyro, I was just at Castle Wars not five minutes ago. Where were you then?" "JUST COME TO TAVERLEY OKAY?" Jaron lowered the ring from his mouth, cutting the connection. "I'll see you later," Jaron said to Goten, who nodded. "Yep! The next time I see you, you'll be 85000 gp poorer." "I--what?" "Grey hats are 850 gp apiece." Jaron merely laughed and turned away, headed west.

Part 162: Seriously, it's like a deleted scene in the DVD of life or something

Jaron walked down the path towards Taverley, using his Dramen Staff as a walking stick of sorts. Taking strolls and admiring the view was sort of one of his pasttimes lately, but this segment of path wasn't really one of his favorites. To get from Varrock to Falador or Taverley you had to go through the rowdy Barbarian Village, at which point the path turned entirely to dirt. And then there were the Black Knights and the Dwarves that lived nearby. For what it was worth, Jaron's favorite path was the one that started at Catherby, headed up to Seers' Village, down past Hemenster, through Ardougne, and ended at the Monastery--and 80% of that one was paved, actually. Perhaps he'd walk that when he was through meeting Pyro with whatever it was he wanted.

As he got closer to Taverley and passed the section from which you could plainly see the Black Knights' Fortress, Jaron glanced to the north and was surprised to see...absolutely no one. That's...really weird. Usually there are like a dozen Black Knights milling around. I wonder where they all headed off to? Oh well, I'm sure someone's got it under control. Tiffy probably has a full report filed somewhere to boot, even. He pressed forward, went through the gate separating Taverley from the rest of Asgarnia, and immediately saw Pyro leaning up against a house, who perked up when he saw Jaron coming. Before Jaron could get out a "What's up?", Pyro was already running towards him with a piece of paper. "Jaron! Sign this!" "Yeah, because that's not suspicious at all," Jaron said, taking the paper and reading it over. "I, _______, hereby give my support to Pyro3000 for the title of King of Leg--what is this?" Pyro handed Jaron a pencil, saying "It's nothing we don't already know, really; I'm just collecting signatures."

"HOLD IT." A man suddenly rounded the corner of one of the druids' houses, wearing bunny ears and holding a paper of his own. "Tanksandguns! What are you doing here?" Pyro yelled, taking a step back and gritting his teeth. Tanks laughed in reply. "The next time you try to meet up with someone, you should do it over Private Chat and not Clan Chat, you noob. I knew what you were planning. And here, Jaron, you should sign this one instead." Jaron took the paper and raised an eyebrow. "This is the same form, except you crossed out 'Pyro3000' and scribbled in 'Tanksandguns'." "SEE? He's even mooching off of me! I'm the clear choice here," Pyro said. Jaron sighed. "Didn't we go through all this in 2009?" "2009 never happened, Jaron, everyone knows that." Tanks pulled out another scroll and handed it to Jaron: "Here, I have a list of 44 Legends that pledge loyalty to me. You should join them!" Pyro pulled out one of his own, saying "And I have 44 too, check it out." "I take it there are 89 Legends total," Jaron muttered, examining the scrolls.

The next couple of minutes were spent in silence as Jaron pored over both of the scrolls. Finally, he opened his mouth and addressed them. "After looking at both of these lists and deliberating on the matter, I've come to the conclusion--" (Pyro and Tanks both barely leaned forward to hear the decision) "--that you're both cheating. Seriously, how many of these signatures did you forge? It's like whoever one person didn't take, the other one did." "How can you say that?!" Tanks exclaimed. Jaron showed them the lists and pointed to a couple of names. "A5Chow supports Pyro but Applequest supports Tanks. I find that fishy." Both of them cringed, realizing their mistake. Jaron raised his Jade Ring of Talking to his face. "Hey Goten?" His ring crackled to life: "Oh god, the same guy ordered a hundred thousand buckets of milk, too, this sucks. What is it, Jaron?" "Are you supporting Pyro or Tanks for King of LD?" "Neither; I hadn't made a decision yet. Why, did someone put me down?" "Yeah, Tanks did." "Tell him he's a noob." "I'll do that. Thanks." Jaron handed the two scrolls back to their respective owners, and headed towards Catherby via the Dwarven Passage. Walking away, he called back to them, "As co-President of RuneVillage, I order you two to get along and stop cheating. I'll see you guys later!" Pyro and Tanks just stood there in silence until Jaron was out of sight. "So...I get Jaron then?" Tanks asked, grinning. "Only if you erase Goten from your list," Pyro replied, sprinting off towards the Grand Exchange.

Part 163: For the occupational hazards involved, their salaries probably are pretty bad, after all

As he finally exited the lengthy Dwarven Passage and his eyes grew accustomed to the light again, Jaron beheld Catherby in all of its glory. The double-row of clean buildings on the north side, the farming plots and randomly-wandering unicorns to the west, the ships in the harbor, and the constantly ranting fishers on the shore. "I caught more sharks than you! Nyah!" "Big deal! I catch sharks with my FIST." "AGH! My net got sucked into a whirlpool!" "Ha ha, what a noob! Go back to fly fishing." This...is why I stick to Piscatoris.

It was a partly cloudy day; not too hot, not too cold, gentle breeze, simply beautiful. Jaron decided to go ahead with his plans and trek all the way down to the Monastery for lack of anything better to do. Perhaps he'd lounge around at his house in Yanille afterwards or something. It certainly needed cleaning up; the place always seemed to be the focal point of random parties, although he didn't mind that in the least. Walking up to Seers' Village, Jaron poked his head into the bank, checking to see if Syne was around, but didn't see him anywhere. He's probably in Yanille then, Jaron figured, wondering what the young fletcher had been up to recently. He ambled down the path, approaching Hemenster, and was just passing the Ranging Guild when a familiar face opened its doors and stepped out. "Hey, Jaron! What's up?" Omegaman called out, putting the rest of his Rune arrows away in his quiver and joining Jaron in his trek southward. "Nothing at all, actually. I finished up some games of Castle Wars earlier and w--" "Did you win?" "Pfft, no, heh. I'll never understand how you got your Castle Wars Silver Armor set." "Lots of free time, and a lot more arrows. I'm actually over three quarters of the way to the Gold set," Omega replied. "When you attempt to finish it, let me know; you seem to win all the games you play," Jaron joked.

They continued their conversation all the way to Ardougne, at which point Omegaman had to leave. ("I've got some business I need to take care of in Witchaven, but I'll see you later!") Jaron stopped for a moment in the East Ardougne Zoo to watch the animals, then continued southward to the point where the path would finally end. At the last bend in the road, a Saradominist Monk leaving the Monastery and heading in the other direction saw Jaron and flagged him down. "Ah, just who I wanted to see!" "Oh, hey Stip," Jaron said, recognizing him immediately. Stip had been the head monk of Ardougne Church for nearly five years now, following the death of Axel Slice. "I've got very important news," Stip said, wasting no time. "Ykye from the Edgeville Monastery has informed me that the Black Knights are nowhere to be seen! The top Saradominist Monks think that they're up to no good, and we need someone to find out what's going on before they launch some sort of evil scheme!" Jaron went ahead and indulged himself in the conversation. "Yeah, I was up that way earlier and noticed there wasn't anyone outside. Did they just head off somewhere, maybe? Perhaps they took a trip to the Dark Warriors' Fortress in the Wilderness." Stip shook his head. "No, Ykye said he saw no mass exodus of knights, and he's close enough to really keep an eye on them." Jaron gave it some thought. "Could they have...I dunno...teleported somewhere? If I was in their shoes I'd probably amass a small army on the edge of somewhere lightly defended." "Like where?" Stip asked. "Like...um...Brimhaven?" Jaron suggested. "...Brimhaven? Why would they take over Brimhaven?" "Maybe it doubles as their paid vacation time. I don't know, I'm just randomly guessing, Stip." "This is serious, Jaron! The Black Knights are never up to any good. Isn't it partly your job to keep them in check, as a Temple Knight of Falador?" I'm...pretty sure that's supposed to be a secret, Jaron thought, subtly glancing around and making sure no one else was nearby. "Fine. You're right. I'll see what I can do," he said. "Thanks, Jaron. I knew we could count on you," Stip said, heading towards Ardougne again.

Jaron strolled into Yanille bank, having thought long and hard on the situation on the way there. One, the Black Knights are gone. Two...we don't have a two. So they're either ALL somewhere else, readying an attack, or they're all couped up inside their castle, sacrificing their external defense for some other plan of action. Either way, Stip and Ykye are right; they're probably up to no good. And since the Black Knights take orders directly from Zamorak...I wonder if I could stand to gain anything if I visited Reldo for a bit? It had become crystal clear over the last few years that in anything Zamorak was involved with, poor Reldo somehow got drawn into it as well. It was a perfect first plan of action, so without wasting any more time, Jaron withdraw the runes for a Varrock Teleport spell and vanished in a purple flash from Yanille.

Part 164: Everyone has a quest

Jaron walked into the Varrock Castle Library, immediately spotting Reldo, who was sitting in a chair near the door, vacantly staring towards the bookshelves. "Um...Reldo?" Jaron asked, and Reldo looked up at him. "Oh...hello there. What can I do for y--oh, it's Janor!" "Jaron." "Yes, right, Jaron. Sorry. What can I do for you?" "I need some information on whatever Zamorak's currently doing. You usually tend to be the one to know," Jaron said, trying to make his voice as gentle as possible, given Reldo's usual fright of Zamorak. But Reldo's response was surprisingly candid. "Pfft, he hasn't visited the Varrock Library in several months, thank goodness. I do think he's starting to play tricks on me, though." "Play...tricks on you?" Jaron inquired. "Yeah. For the past two days, I keep seeing bright flashes in some of the bookshelf aisles--sort of like his usual unannounced visits--but when I go to investigate, all I find are that a bunch of my books are gone!" "Gone? Like...toasted with evil flames?" "No," Reldo answered, shaking his head, "Simply gone. Like half of the books on any given shelf disappear. I swear, yesterday a tenth of my library went missing! It's infuriating!" "What kind of books go missing?" Jaron asked. "All kinds. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it all. At least three books have been taken from every single category we carry. Fletching to fighting to mining to cooking to fishing to summoni--" As if to accentuate Reldo's point, two aisles over, a there was a sudden bright red flash, which disappeared as fast as it had come. Both Jaron and Reldo ran over to the spot, and sure enough, two of the shelves were now half-empty. "And there goes my section on Dwarven Multicannons! Is there no end to this?" Man, Reldo's seriously fuming. But that probably means he doesn't know what Zamorak is up to; I can see that well enough for myself, and asking him again probably won't go over all that well. "Hmm. Well," Jaron said, "I'm sorry to hear your books are vanishing. I've got some business I have to go take care of, but if along the way I find out what's going on with your library, you'll be the first to know."

As Jaron left the castle and headed down Varrock's eastern road, wondering what to do next, he was passed by three men and a colored sheep. "Eup--er, Sheepquest?" Euph was too busy prodding the sheep northward, making sure it didn't get away, but Applequest extended a friendly greeting. "Hey, Jaron, what's up?" "The usual. Relaxing, then suddenly thrown into some quest. Checking out the vanishment of the Black Knights. You guys are still at this, huh?" "Oh, the Black Knights are missing? I'm sure they're still around somewhere. Maybe you should ask that guy in Falador that sits on the bench all the time. I think he knows more than he lets on sometimes. And yeah, getting sheep from Ardougne to the northern edge of the Wilderness, that's our quest! Wish us luck!" "Good luck," Jaron said as they walked away, adding, "And especially good luck on getting that sheep to climb over the Wilderness Wall. It's not a ditch anymore, you know." From far away, he heard the third man in their party, who was sporting blond hair and glasses, suddenly speak up with fervor: "Augh, the wall! We'll never get past that! Why did I join you guys?"

Applequest's idea is a pretty good one, really, and quite possibly where I should have started in the first place, Jaron figured. Zamorak will KNOW what the Black Knights are up to, but wouldn't be apt to tell me. Tiffy would know a little bit, but tell me everything. He headed for what would probably be one of the quietest places in Varrock: the far northeast corner of the Grand Exchange, over by the Spirit Tree. On the way there, he stopped by the counter to pay Goten a visit. "So, how's the new job going?" he asked. "Eggs," Goten replied. "W...what?" "The guy ordered a hundred thousand eggs, too. I mean, I was just joking about it earlier, 'Oh he wants flour and milk, I better not have to get eggs for the guy too.' But no." Goten holds up a slip of paper, detailing that Gregor was buying 100,000 Eggs from the Grand Exchange. Goten sighed. "I've got like two-thirds of all of his stuff rounded up already, but man, it's such a hassle. We should do something when I get off work; I need a break." "Sounds good; let me know when you're free. Hang in there," Jaron said, heading for the northeastern clearing.

"You're quite right, old bean, something is up for sure over there." Sir Tiffy Cashien's response to Jaron's story came in clearly over his Ring of Talking. "We do not, as of yet, know where the Black Knights have gone, but they have never deserted their castle before. Their plans must be big." "Should we...sneak into the castle, perhaps?" Jaron inquired. It was fairly commonplace for adventurers to dress up as Guards and enter the Black Knights' Castle, though it had become increasingly risky business lately. "No, no, no, don't do that, old bean. The small bit of information we do have is that the entrances have traps set and are loaded with explosive potions. It wouldn't be wise to try to break in through any entrance." "So they didn't sacrifice their defense after all. Which means 100% of their manpower could be going towards offense." "Jolly good show, that's correct! Yes, you understand how dire this situation really is." "I'll keep investigating, then," Jaron affirmed. "Good to hear, old bean. You may want to pay a visit to that Whycki chap up in the Monastery, what? He might know more, being close to the place and all." Whycki? ...Oh, Ykye. "Right. I'm on my way."

Part 165: where do you even get that many hats thats that many??

Jaron left the Grand Exchange through its south exit, declining again to crawl through the underground hole leading to Edgeville. He passed the Cooking Guild and crossed the River Lum, taking a moment to glance over at all the people practicing their fly fishing on the River Lum's west bank. Upon exiting Barbarian Village, he saw two familiar faces coming down the dirt path in the other direction. "Mastered? No way. You haven't even done everything there is to do," Monk Basher said. "And I take it you have?" TheAnimal shot back. Monk Basher nodded. "Of course. Find yourself an excellent Medic and everything else just falls into place." "A Medic? The Sandvich is the only Medic I need." "Sandwich? Like from the workers at the Tower of Life?" "Pfft, no, it's more than that. For one thing, it's got an olive. And--oh, hey Jaron!" TheAnimal noticed Jaron walking towards them, and the three stopped in the road. "Hey TheAnimal, Monk Basher. Where're you guys going?" "I've got some business with the Estate Agent in Varrock," TheAnimal said. Ah, the wonders of owning your own house. Fun. A dream come true. And outrageously expensive. "I'm just stopping by the Monastery for a Prayer bonus," Monk Basher added, glancing northward. "Oh hey, I'm headed up there too. I've got to talk to the head Monk and see if he knows anything about the Black Knights disappearing," Jaron replied. "Well then, this is where we split. Have fun," called TheAnimal, entering Barbarian Village and leaving the others behind for Varrock.

"I hadn't even realized the Black Knights were missing?" Monk Basher said as the two walked north towards the Monastery. "Yeah, apparently it's a recent, kind of hushed thing," Jaron replied. "I'm trying to figure things out sooner rather than later, since they're always up to no good. Hopefully Ykye knows something, because I never really had any leads to begin with." "I didn't even know you and the Monastery's head monk were acquaintances. That's kind of impressive, actually." "We go way back, I suppose," Jaron said, thinking back on his adventures several years prior. "You're more than welcome to join me if you want, heh."

They both entered the Monastery and were allowed entry to the upper level, where only the more devout Saradomin followers were allowed. Jaron walked up to one of the monks. "We're here to see Ykye." The Monk looked them up and down. "And who might you be?" he asked. "I'm Jaron." "And I'm Monk B--" Jaron shot Monk Basher a stern look, who immediately backpedaled. "Monk B...um..I'm Sighence. My name is Sighence." "What an innocent-sounding name," the Monk deadpanned. "Yeah, that's what I was hoping for," Monk Basher muttered under his breath. The Monk took them through a secret passage in the wall, down a hall, and into Ykye's room. Jaron entered first, and could have sworn he saw a pointy hat of a color he'd never seen before sitting atop Ykye's head. As soon as Ykye noticed he had visitors, though, he swiftly took off his unique headgear and threw it into a nearby corner closet with the rest of his stash. "Jaron! It's been too long. What can I do for--nevermind, I know why you're probably here. Did Tiffy send you?" His tone had suddenly changed from welcoming to dire, which accented the point that this was serious business. "Something along those lines," Jaron acknowledged. Ykye merely shook his head. "I'm afraid I don't have anything good to report. Obviously we've all been using the windows of the Monastery to keep tabs on the Knights, but there's only so much we can see." "What have you seen?" Jaron pressed. "Well, a couple of days ago, all of the Black Knights that normally patrol the outside of the castle went inside, and stayed there. We haven't seen them since. And yesterday, a couple dozen Black Knights entered the castle, and they haven't left either. But that's all I've got." There was silence for a moment, which Monk Basher broke. "Um...how did more Black Knights enter the castle if the original ones never left it?" Jaron looked up. "That's...an excellent question, Mo--Sighence. If we assume the original Black Knights didn't actually ever leave the castle, then..." "Then the extra ones came from somewhere else!" "Taverley Dungeon. Their secondary headquarters," Ykye breathed, catching up with their train of thought. Jaron grinned, determined that he'd find some sort of new clue there. "And my next destination."

Part 166: But who actually needs Body and Cosmic Runes, really?

Jaron quickly thanked Ykye for the information (little as it was), and wasted no time in leaving the Monastery. "Hey," Monk Basher said as he followed Jaron southward to the main road, "Do you mind if I come with you? I got my Prayer bonus, so I really don't have any plans right now...and entering Taverley Dungeon alone--especially the Black Knights' section--is rarely a wise idea." "I'd be honored," Jaron said, welcoming the company. "...But you're right," he continued, stopping, "if ever there was a time to be cautious, this is it." He looked himself over, suddenly realizing that his grey pointy hat and Dramen Staff probably weren't going to do him any good in Taverley.

So a few minutes later, the two of them left Edgeville bank, suited up in combat gear for the trek ahead. "A Dragon Battle Axe?" Monk Basher asked, brandishing his own Abyssal Whip as he glanced at Jaron's weapon of choice. Jaron chuckled under his breath, perhaps at a joke that only he was getting. "I figured I'd go old-school on this trip. And besides, you've got my back with your own heavy weaponry, right?" "That I do," Monk Basher replied, grinning. It really is nice to go questing with others again, Jaron thought, suddenly reviving fond memories of years past. Extremely dangerous memories that probably weren't anywhere near fond at the time, perhaps, but time has a way of making even the worst situations seem fun in hindsight. In fact, if he had thought this would all turn into a big battle, Jaron probably would have called some other allies as well. He knew Omegaman would love to come on a moment's notice, but didn't want to distract him from whatever plans he already had in Witchaven. Ultima Cow was surely way too busy running important Wizards' Guild business, most likely with Bebitwinnie. There were a bunch of RuneVillagers who would probably love to swell the ranks if given the chance, but Jaron put such thoughts out of his mind, knowing ahead of time that this probably wasn't going to be a very big ordeal.

And he was right. Jaron and Monk Basher plowed through Taverley Dungeon's usual enemies: Skeletons, Chaos Druids, and Animated Axes (luckily they were once again smart enough to not disturb the Poisonous Scorpions), but as they entered the main room of the Black Knights' Base, they saw only a single person, in the middle of the room. A single person...whose armor wasn't actually coated black at all. "Is that..." Jaron started, but the man turned around. "Jaron?" he asked, lowering his weapon. "It is! Eerfy! What are you doing here?" Eerfy walked towards the two as he explained. "I normally come down here and fight off Black Knights in combat to get runes." "Runes?" Monk Basher asked. "Yeah, I've started up a rune-selling store of sorts in RuneVillage, but people are buying me out faster than I can refresh my stock." Jaron made a sudden realization, drawing a connection between things long ago (or perhaps things to come.) "Why don't...you just start Runecrafting all of your own runes? For the time being, anyway. It's tedious sometimes, but I'm positive you'd never find yourself sold out ever again," Jaron said with a smile. "Yeah...yeah, I think I'll give that a shot! Thanks, Jaron." Eerfy turned back around and faced the empty room again. "Anyway, I came down here to fight the Black Knights, but it looks like the place is completely deserted. How bad is that?" "Perhaps worse than I'd care to think," Jaron grimly replied. "Hey guys, would you mind helping me scour this place for clues? Anything that might explain why the room is empty..."

It took about ten minutes scouring every room, surface, hidden nook and cranny, but finally, from a side room, they heard Monk Basher call out "Hey guys, come take a look at this." Jaron was the first to arrive, and Monk handed him a piece of paper that was slightly scorched around the edges. Eerfy walked in as Jaron began reading it aloud.

"Round up all of the knights under your command in this facility (aka everyone) and go to the Black Knights' Fortress north of Falador. In addition, bring all of the Iron Ore, Iron Bars, and Hammers you have. This is a direct and immediate order; do not delay or hesitate. Also, destroy this note before you go; we don't need random adventurers stumbling across it.
-Zamorak"

"They always were kind of incompetant," Eerfy remarked, noting that the note still existed. Jaron was more fixated on the contents of the note itself. So there most certainly was some sort of plan underway, even now. But why did it require as many Black Knights as possible, along with all of their Iron stores?

Part 167: But if they *were* made out of Iron, they'd probably be a lot cheaper

"...Why all the iron?" Monk Basher asked, breaking the silence that followed. "Yeah, that's what I was wondering, too," Jaron mumbled, too busy weighing all of the possibilities to remember to speak up. "What requires such a vast quantity of it..." "Cannonballs, maybe?" Monk asked. Jaron shook his head. "No, cannonballs are made out of steel, I think." "Sooooo..." Eerfy started, "If we know all of the Black Knights are up at the Fortress, what's the problem? You can go invade it and stop whatever plans they've got, right?" Jaron shook his head again. "Unfortunately, I've got it on good authority that all of their doors and windows are trapped with explosive potions. If it's anything like the ones used in Castle Wars, the place would probably blow sky high the moment anyone came close." "That...would stop them, though, right?" Eerfy asked. Jaron and Monk Basher glanced at each other. Well...probably. But not only would it be suicide, but it'd be moronic for so many Black Knights to be in the fortress when the risk of death-by-massive-explosion is so high. ...Unless... "...Unless maybe they're in the basement?" Jaron put forth. "Do they have a basement? I don't even remember," Monk said. Jaron shrugged. "For a plan of this magnitude, if they didn't have one already, they'd probably dig one. That way if the main level exploded, they could stay vaguely safe, maybe despite some rubble. ...But that still leaves us with no way in and no idea what they're doing."

Jaron's Ring of Talking picked that moment to broadcast Goten's weary voice into the echoing empty hall. "Jarooooooooooooon..." "Hey Goten. What's up?" Jaron replied, raising his hand to his mouth. "I'm off work. Delivered my items. First day sucked. Wanna do something?" "I'm kind of in the middle of a quest I can't leave right now, but you're free to join us if you want." "Oh hey, I love questing! ...Wait, 'us'?" Monk Basher raised his voice and called out "Hi Goten!" "Oh hey, is that Monk Basher? Tell him I said hi!" "You sort of ju...yeah, ok. Anyway, I'm heading for the Coal Trucks west of Seers' Village. Meet you there?" "Sounds like a plan. I wanna tell you some interesting stuff about my day, too. See you in a few," Goten answered. Jaron lowered his arm, and Eerfy was the first to ask: "The Coal Trucks?" "Well," Jaron said, "I'm out of ideas. Maybe Monk's right, and all of the Black Knights are underground trying to smith a bajillion Iron Cannonballs and launch a long-range attack on Falador? Or maybe they're not. Either way, I thought perhaps a Dwarf would be a good knowledge source for knowing if Iron Cannonballs are actually a feasible method of attacking or not. I'd go to Nulodion if he wasn't too darn close to the fortress itself, so second choice seems to be the guy with the cannon at the Coal Trucks. I think his name's Lawgof?"

The three of them (Eerfy decided to tag along as well) teleported to Camelot and then walked the rest of the way westward, passing Seers' Village, McGrubor's Wood, and finally arriving at the Coal Trucks. "Absolutely not," Captain Lawgof declared. "Iron Cannonballs barely put a dent in anything they're shot at, which is why we don't already use them. Are you daft, man? If there was a better way, we'd be doing it! Dwarves are masters of rock and ores!" "Yeah, that's...kind of why I wanted to ask a Dwarf," Jaron grumbled, slightly put-off and suddenly regretting having come all this way in the first place. He made tracks for the exit gate in the railing. "Thanks anyway."

It was moments later that Goten ran up from the south. He was no longer wearing his purple Grand Exchange uniform, but the tan cavalier was perched on his head as ever. "Hey there!" Jaron called out as Goten approached. "Hey. Sorry I'm late; I teleported into Ardougne, and boy was it crowded. Took me forever to get out of there. (Not nearly as bad as the Grand Exchange, though, blech.) So, how's your quest proceeding?" "Could be much better," Jaron said with a grimace. "So, what, you work at the Grand Exchange now?" Monk Basher asked. Goten perked up, suddenly remembering what he had planned to say. "Oh yeah! Okay, so get this. It's my first day, which means all the other Grand Exchange tellers pick on me and make me fulfill the hard orders that no one else wants to do. And this guy named Gregor orders a hundred thousand pots of flour, buckets of milk, and eggs! Seriously, who SELLS those? Practically no one! Well, not in such huge quantities, anyway. It took me all day to round all of the items up from a ton of different sellers, and then just before I got off work, the buyer came and picked up all of his items. You'll never believe it. Gregor--"

Wait a minute. That name sounds familiar, Jaron thought, suddenly recalling a conversation he'd had with Syne after a game of Castle Wars a few years ago. Syne had launched into a long explanation of everything that had happened to him...

"I didn't really have a choice in the matter but to head upstairs for 'debriefing', but in hindsight it was a stupid idea to say I had been performing reconnaissance. Failing to follow orders would have probably gotten me killed, after all. ...Well, killed again. But anyway, so I go upstairs, and the boss guy (who looked pretty ruthless by the way) welcomes me in and tells me to have a seat. My head's spinning with all these different ideas for excuses as for why I don't have any of this reconnaissance information he's probably expecting, but instead, he just goes 'So Gregor, have you completed your mission?' And when I don't produce a good answer quick enough, he says 'Give me the orb.' I reached into my pocket and pulled it out, and it's just glowing, pulsating red. The boss actually smiled at that point. And I'm like...shoot. I am SO dead."

"--is a Black Knight," Jaron and Goten both said at the same time. Goten failed to mask his surprise. "Huh? How'd you know that?" Before Jaron could answer, Sir Tiffy Cashien's voice came blaring over his Ring of Talking. "Jaron, old bean! Falador's under attak! It's an invasion the likes of which we've never seen!"

Part 168: How indeed.

"What?! What's going on?" Jaron shot back immediately. "Falador is being completely overrun! They're everywhere!" "Who, the Black Knights?" "No," Tiffy responded, "muffins! Thousands and thousands of advancing evil muffins! I've never even heard of such a thing. They're as far as the eye can see--I can't even count how many there are!" Jaron gulped. "I...think...I have it on good authority that there's a hundred thousand of them." "That would seem to be about the right amount, what?" Tiffy responded, not even bothering to question how Jaron had come across this information. "We have to teleport there and help out right away," Monk said, but Tiffy cut him off over the ring. "No, it's too dangerous! Falador is already lost, it's all we can do to merely defend the castle! You can't teleport in; it'd be a death sentence, old bean! ...I have to go!" And with that, Jaron's Ring of Talking went silent. Still caught up in the heat of the moment, yet heeding Sir Cashien's words, Jaron immediately grabbed his Dragonstone Amulet of Glory. "I'm going to Draynor," he said, just before vanishing in a flash of purple light.

After reappearing in Draynor Village, Jaron hadn't even taken ten steps towards Falador when the other three teleported in right behind him. "You weren't going to simply leave us there, were you?" Eerfy joked, jogging to catch up. Jaron turned around and faced the others. "I don't have any idea how dangerous this is. Especially if Falador was somehow already overtaken. I wasn't going to ask you all to risk--" "Oh just can it, we're coming anyway," Goten said. Deciding there was no point in arguing, Jaron managed a nod and set off westward again, out of Draynor and north to Falador.

The carnage was worse than anyone had expected. Buildings everywhere had been reduced to rubble. The Falador East Bank had collasped in on itself, and past that, one of the three-story houses in the eastern district was currently on fire. The General Store and Furnace Building seemed to have suffered the same fate, and were already burnt to the ground. Only the Hairdresser's Salon and the White Knights' Castle seemed unscathed, and it looked like thousands of little pastries were already inside the bounds of the moat, trying to make their way up the castle's walls. The entire Southern Gate Guard squadron was dead in front of them, their bodies covered in heaps of bread. Similar mounds of what used to be apparently-intelligent muffins were shored up against collapsed buildings and spread out all over the entire landscape, as if they were piles of the casualties of war. Jaron's stomach churned at the sight of it all. I was too late...to figure it all out, he thought. Of course everything made sense in hindsight. Gregor's name had in been in plain view from the very beginning. The flour, milk, and eggs were all used to make batches of evil muffins. While Zamorak had been stealing all sorts of random books out of Reldo's library, it was probably just to cover up the fact that all he really wanted the section on baking. Every single Black Knight from across the land had been called together to bake a hundred thousand muffins in the shortest possible amount of time, and in fact, Jaron went so far as to assume that all of the Iron had been used to make muffin baking trays in which to cook them all. Argh! All of the puzzle pieces were right there!

A crack in the main Falador Wall appeared behind them, and Sir Tiffy Cashien stepped out from a secret passage. "There you are, old bean. Quite the disturbing sight, isn't it..." Monk Basher spoke up first. "This is crazy. All of this was caused by pastries? How can muffins be so destructive?" "How can shaving cream be so flammable?" Goten asked. Eerfy did a double-take. "W-what?" "HOW INDEED BRAVE HEROES." "What I think Goten is trying to say," Jaron interjected, "is that it doesn't matter how any of this happened. We have to make sure this stops here and now." "(That actually wasn't what I was trying to say at all,)" Goten said, but Tiffy spoke over him. "You're quite right, Jaron. The dastardly things are small and defenseless, but there were way to many of them for us to have any chance of holding them off. You can see the ones we managed to defeat all around you, but I'm afraid the majority of them all have already broken through the eastern wall and are heading for Varrock as we speak. All of the White Knights are tied up here, defending the castle. I was hoping you lot could lead the offensive, what?" Jaron spun his Dragon Battle Axe around his wrist, and a moment later the handle he was grasping was that of a Dragon Spear. He nodded at Tiffy with all of the determination he had left. "I think it's about time we get the clan back together."

Part 169: Legends of RuneVillage

The first thing Jaron did was contact Omegaman over his Ring of Talking. "Omega, you busy?" "No," came Omega's reply, "not really. I'm tired of dealing with this Kenneth kid anyway. What's up?" "Ummmm...let's see. The Black Knights somehow baked a hundred thousand evil muffins which overran Falador and pretty much burnt it to the ground, and now the remaining muffins are marching (I assume it's marching) towards Varrock as their next target. We need to stop them as soon as possible to save Gielinor from an early demise, and I'm gathering people to help if they want." "Oh man I am so in. Are we getting the clan back together? Do I need my hat? What's the plan?" What...IS the plan? Jaron wondered, turning to Tiffy. "Actually...do you have any ideas on how to defeat 100,000 muffins, Sir Cashien?" Tiffy grimaced, which was actually sort of odd for the carefree park-bench-lounging Temple Knight. "Their numbers are probably half that now, since so many were squashed at Falador. I did as much research as I could in the small time we had, and extremely old texts tell us that evil muffins have surfaced in the past, as well. The first time they attacked, a woodcutter was able to make one of the muffins sick and contagious, causing the rest to flee. The second time, a noted wanderer was able to use magic spells to amplify a sneeze, sending all of the attacking muffins flying. I doubt either trick would work now." "--I have an idea! I'll meet you in Varrock soon," Omega said, before Jaron's ring went silent.

Jaron shrugged. "Well. Okay then. In the meantime, we need alternate plans and people." Using his enchanted Opal Ring of Clan Chatting, Jaron contacted the RV Lounge channel. "Attention RuneVillagers! As stupid as this sounds, a horde of evil muffins is on a rampage and about to destroy everything we hold dear. Anyone who's up for an incredible fight that may or may not cost you your life is welcome to teleport to Varrock as we prepare to defend the west gate. Obviously, it's dangerous, so I'm not going to outright ask anyone to join us, but--" "Are you serious? That's the most absurd thing you've come up with in a long time," one clan chatter said. Jaron growled back at them, his face turned down into the ring. "Of course I'm serious!! They've already--" Another voice sprang in, cutting Jaron out. "OH MY GOD YOU GUYS WHY IS FALADOR BURNT TO THE GROUND AND WHAT ARE ALL OF THESE PILES OF MUFFINS DOING EVERYWHERE?!" Jaron immediately recognized the voice as Monk Basher's, and looked up to see Monk not five feet away talking into his own ring. Monk shrugged, and Jaron could hardly hold in his laughter, appreciating the save. The skeptic's voice came back over the clan chat channel after a couple seconds of silence. "Hmph. We'll see. I was going to head for Varrock anyway, I might as well take the time to prove you wrong." I guess that counts as a win? Jaron thought.

Pyro's voice popped over the ring next. "Jaroooooooon! Hey! Let's go to Si--Castle Wars!" "This really isn't a good time, Pyro," Jaron responded. "SEE? I TOLD YOU. EVERY TIME I ASK, YOU TURN ME DOWN!" "This is only the second time you've ever asked me, and I'm pretty sure you did it just because you already know I'm going to Varrock." "That's besides the point," Pyro said, adding "but I guessssss I'll come to Varrock if we go to Castle Wars afterwards." "Works for me. If we stop the muffins, I'll play some games with you." "Not so fast! I'll be coming too!" Tanksandguns yelled over the ring, apparently not wanting to be outdone in any way by Pyro, who recognized this and countered quickly. "Give it up, Tanks! You've already lost. All of your papers technically have my name on them anyway. Scribbling them out is not legally binding! I have 88 signatures!" "Right, well, see you guys in Varrock soon," Jaron said, lowering his ring to avoid getting caught up in anything that would waste time.

The party teleported to Varrock, and while a few people rumaged through their banks, Jaron contacted as many people as he could over his Ring of Talking. Many who heard the news jumped at the chance to help out, which, Jaron felt bad to admit, was what he expected to happen all along. One by one, two by two, people teleported into Varrock and joined their ranks. Applequest. Magicana Drofulcus. Marik. Rory. Jackstick. Mord. Rocky Martin. TheAnimal. EaglesFan. Not_a_Kitty. Blackmage172. Rangerpker. Twisas. Garth. Buloo. Seifer439. tau_xi. Bulker. XXPK. Ten or twenty more, much too many to name or count, filled Varrock's West Bank before Jaron had even realized it had nearly reached its capacity. PacoTaco stormed into the building with a grave look on his face. "What--what's this I hear about the end of the world coming? This sounds like a quest I've been on before! RuneVillage--it's not MISSING, is it?" he asked. Someone near the entrance addressed his question. "...What? No. There's just a muffin onslaught on its way." "...Oh. Well, that's not the same thing at all! But I'll help out. I wonder if I can get Dizzle and Deneagle to come," Paco said, leaving the bank to chat privately in peace. The gang's all here, Jaron thought, wondering if they even stood a chance. All of the White Knights of Falador had only dented the muffins' numbers, after all. A shout came from the doorway. "Barbarian's Village is on fire! The muffins are past the River Lum!" Jaron withdrew his necessary items from the bank and followed everyone outside. There's no time for second-guessing. Our battle is about to begin...

Part 170: Under Attak for the third or fourth time

The forty or so RuneVillagers silently stood their ground at Varrock's West Gate, ready for battle against the slowly advancing onslaught of evil pastries. Rangers drew arrows back into their bows, while mages readied their staves. Jaron was nervously spinning the handle of his magic Dragon Dagger so fast that he accidentally morphed it into a Dragon Halberd, which clattered to the ground. Dang it. This is so nerve-wracking. We're doing it wrong. Sure, we've got forty of the best fighters I've ever known, but we can't be expected to hold our ground here. We're up against 50,000 evil muffins that apparently don't fear death (as it were, anyway.) That's...(five...twelve...drop a zero...) 1,250 muffins per person?? "That's not happening," he said aloud, as Jaron picked up his Dragon weapon and stood up straighter. A few Villagers turned to him in surprise. He looked straight down the road at their attackers, coming all orderly down the line. "We need a better plan than this. There's too many of them to too few of us. We need a strategy." "Look," Jackstick said, pointing down the road, "look at how they're bottlenecking at Barbarian Village! The muffins can't cross the River Lum--maybe they're useless if they get soggy?" Jaron noticed it too, now that someone had said something. In fact, they had seemed to avoid Falador Castle's moat like the plague as well. He spoke up right away. "Genius! They're weak to water! Everyone that can cast any sort of Water Wave spell, quick, get some runes from the Bank!" Half of the warriors and rangers immediately ran into Varrock West Bank and were out moments later. "But that's still a plan for when they overtake our position," Magicana Drofulcus pointed out.

"That's why I've got a Plan B," Omegaman said, coming up behind all of them, having just teleported into Varrock. Jaron turned to greet his old friend. "Omega! Glad you were able to make i--what the heck, why are you soaked?" Indeed, Omegaman's Dragonhide armor looked as if he had just been swimming in the ocean; it was drenched from the chest down. "I'm soaked," Omegaman said, smirking and holding up a potion vial full of red liquid, "because I was busy grabbing a bunch of these. Did you know those caverns south of Lumbridge flooded a long time ago?" Those...caverns? Huh? ...OH! OH MAN. "You don't mean..." he started, but Marik cut him off. "The apathy potion! Sweet! Gimme!" Omegaman handed Marik a couple, who immediately ran up on top of Varrock's west wall. The army of muffins had already covered most of the ground between the River Lum and Varrock, and were completely blanketing the ground. That made it just that much easier to hit them when Marik threw the red vial like a tomahawk as far as he possibly could. It landed in the middle of the muffin horde and shattered, spraying the red liquid absolutely everywhere. Wherever the liquid touched a muffin, it quickly evaporated into thick red smoke and drifted into the sky, and along with it went the muffins' will to fight. Marik excitedly called back to the Villagers on the ground: "Direct hit! The muffins are so small, I think I hit nearly a thousand of them with a single vial! They've all stopped in their tracks!" He immediately threw the other one in roughly the same direction, with the same result. From ground level, the Villagers could definitely see that about two thousand of the muffins had simply ceased to move, and the rest of the muffin army was moving right over them, creating large mounds as they backed up behind the roadblocks. Omega passed a few more vials up to Marik, and handed a few more out to Villagers on the ground (cautioning against actually touching the potion themselves.) Not bad, Jaron thought, after Marik had thrown a few more vials, specifically into spots where the muffins had bottlenecked around the other piles. Just like that, their numbers have dwindled by a further 25% or so. Maybe we can do this after all.

But their victory was short-lived, and thirty-eight thousand muffins turned out to still be, as one might assume, a heck of a lot of muffins. In no time at all the muffins had finally reached Varrock's West Gate. With a combined surge of magic, dozens of RuneVillagers cast simultaneous Water Waves at the advancing horde, immobilizing the muffins in the front lines. Once again, as the muffins were hit, they all piled up, and soon enough the mound at the gate was several feet high, with the Villagers' Water Waves no longer able to clear the heap. The remaining thirty thousand muffins climbed the mound on both sides and entered Varrock--and immediately followed the inside edge of Varrock's wall in both directions. "Wha--they're splitting up!" someone yelled. "They're completely ignoring us and encircling Varrock!" called another. Immediately, the RuneVillagers also split up, with each person ducking in between buildings to halt another path the muffins were taking. Jaron grunted in anger. Erk, divide and conquer. They actually have a strategy after all. Barely anyone's left to guard the ga-- Even as he was thinking it, the pile of soggy muffins at Varrock's West Gate finally toppled over, and thousands more advanced across the threshold.

Every one of the Villagers was fighting his or her hardest against the muffin swarm, but slowly and inevitably, all of them were being pushed back from all sides towards the center of Varrock. It didn't matter how many Water Waves were cast or how many vials of red potion were thrown--when your enemies number in the tens of thousands, there's often naught you can do to stem the tide of war. "It didn't work out..." Goten mumbled, cracking an Abyssal Whip at the muffins nearest him. "They're just too small is all," Marik said, crushing more muffins underfoot than he was with his godsword. "Yeah," Rocky Martin agreed, "I'm hitting the ground more often than I'm hitting these things. This is too different from normal combat to be effective..." Jaron looked around; everywhere, Villagers were starting to get cut off and entrapped by muffins moving in between Varrocks' buildings. Our strangest enemy yet may very well be the one to defeat us, he thought, ducking into another alley. One of Varrock's many stray dogs, chased down the same alley in the other direction, suddenly ran past Jaron and hid behind him. It whimpered at the chaos all around them, and then squeaked out an ear-splitting high-pitched yelp at its attackers. "Augh! Jeez, I'm trying to concentrate, you--" he started, but then suddenly noticed that all of the muffins had momentarily halted their advance. The dog ran off again towards Varrock Square, and Jaron's mind raced to figure out what was going on. They...stopped? Because of what? The lull only lasted a few seconds, though. As one, the muffins started moving back and forth in semi-confusion, like the waves of an ocean. And then, once again, they charged forward. Acting on an impulse, Jaron did a quick glance around to get his bearings, then ducked into a nearby house and slammed the door behind him.

"Why did I even bother showing up?" Mord muttered, swinging a regal-looking sword into the ground, impaling only a few of the muffin troops. "To prove that you're legendary, perhaps?" Omegaman replied, quick-firing an entire quiver of arrows into the surrounding crowd. "Pfft, everyone knows that already; I don't have to prove anything. ...Wait, is that 'ron? Is he...running away?" Omega followed Mord's gaze and saw, sure enough, Jaron jump through a building's second story window, and leap from roof to roof, heading east out of town. "I doubt it. Well, he better not be, anyway, because if I get out of this alive, I'll kill him," Omega replied, shifting his focus back to the muffins again.

Jaron leapt from the final roof onto the eastern wall, and from that to the ground below, trying to tuck and roll so that he wouldn't break a leg on impact with the grass. As fast as he could, he got to his feet and staggered forward, lunging for the musician playing for weary travelers just outside Varrock's East Gate.

"It's all over for us," Twisas said. All of the RuneVillagers now stood back-to-back in the middle of Varrock Square, with muffins encircling them on all sides, mere feet away and closing. The only small gap was towards Varrock Palace, but retreating there would still have simply been suicide. Pyro clenched his fists, already knowing how the group would meet their end. "T-Tanks...before this is over...I just want to say...I think you would have made a good King of LD." Tanks met his gaze. "Thanks, man. I think you would have made an excellent Jester." "H-HEY," Pyro raged back, "THAT'S NOT FAIR. I take it back!" "You can't take it back, you already said it." "YEAH BUT UNLIKE YOU I HAVE 88 SIGNAT--" A purple flash of light cut Pyro short, and suddenly Jaron was standing in front of all of them, holding a flute. Before anyone could react, Jaron inhaled, raised the flute to his mouth, and played a single note in a short burst. It was the loudest, highest-pitched note a flute could possibly manage, and once the Villagers had recovered from the ear-splitting blast, they noticed that the muffin mob had stopped. "Cover your ears," Jaron warned this time, and immediately played the note again, for a fraction of a second. Everyone stood in silence, waiting to see what the muffins would do. For a moment, it seemed like whatever this trick was might actually save the day, as the muffins barely stirred. And then, at last--they charged!

Jaron dashed into the Varrock Palace Library, slamming the door behind him. "ZAMORAK!" he yelled, glancing around, noticing in the meantime that almost all of the library's books had now vanished. Reldo was gone, too, probably taking refuge elsewhere in the castle. A circle of flames erupted in the center of the room, and from it sprang what looked like a Greater Demon, but was obviously very much more in every single way. Zamorak laughed as he appeared, obviously pleased with the success of his plans in every way, per usual. "Ha ha ha ha, we meet again, at long last," he cackled. "Have you come to surrender, Jaron? Has your silly clan and its stupid pointy hats finally fallen?" "You did well this time," Jaron agreed, speaking clearly in a low voice. "Ahaha, of course I did! Muffins! Who would have thought?! Sure, alone they're helpless and idiotic and a horrible excuse for a plot, but make a hundred thousand of them and their masses will overrun the entire planet! Falador has fallen! Varrock is falling! Everything is mine!" "We beat ninety thousand of them," Jaron replied sternly, to which Zamorak simply laughed again. "Ha ha, right! Ten percent of a lot is STILL a lot! And where might the other ten thousand be, Jaron? Outside, killing your helpless excuses for friends?" "No," Jaron said, "just outside." He whipped out the flute and blasted the high-pitched note on it, and Zamorak reeled backward. "Augh, what is that, some sort of beep? You're really reaching, Ja--" Zamorak was cut short as the door to the Palace Library crashed open, and ten thousand muffins invaded the room. Jaron glared straight at Zamorak and played the note several more times. The muffins swarmed forward, moved past Jaron's legs, and completely covered Zamorak in some sort of glomping attack. "WHAT? How DARE you?! I CREATED you! S-stop this--agh--I command you to cease at--at once!" Jaron swiftly left the room and shut the door as soon as the last of the muffins had filed into the library. The rest of the RuneVillagers walked up behind him, clearly unscathed. From inside, they could all hear Zamorak screaming and cursing and presumably shooting fireballs in every direction. "This isn't over, Jaron!! Do you hear me?? I will have my revenge!" Zamorak yelled, and with the sound of a mini-explosion, all was quiet in the library again. "That's totally not your line," Jaron muttered, opening the door. Omegaman chuckled, apparently thinking the same thing.

The Varrock Palace Library was burnt to a crisp. Every single one of the last ten thousand muffins were motionless, having been thoroughly toasted. Jaron was actually quite relieved that Zamorak had originally teleported out almost all of the library's contents anyway, because every book that remained was charred beyond recognition. Goten was the first to break the silence. "So...is there, like...a moral to this story? Such as...'If you ever find yourself up against an evil pastry, make a beeping sound and take it as your familiar'?" "Or, 'Stray dogs aren't entirely useless'?" Eerfy offered. "Perhaps 'Black Knights suck at Cooking'?" Rangerpker teased. "Or maybe 'Hey guys let's get out of here and go play Castle Wars'?" Pyro said. They all stared at him, but Pyro pulled a handful of Emerald Rings of Duelling out of his pocket and grinned. Jaron couldn't help but chuckle. They were already all suited up and ready to go anyway, as it were. "Sure, why not," he said, grabbing one of the rings in Pyro's hand and rubbing the gemstone. "That's how the last two adventures ended, after all."

~ The End ~



As an added bonus, here's a tally of all of the random things I referenced, in descending order. 8) Did you notice them all?

11 - Zamorak's Bane
6 - Zamorak's Bane III: Time Unknown
5 - Zamorak's Bane IV: Life Unknown
4 - Zamorak's Bane II: Friends Unknown
4 - Under Attak I & II
3 - Homestuck
3 - Pyro3000 vs. Tanksandguns for King of Legends' Discussion
3 - Team Fortress 2
3 - Pyro complaining about Six Flags--I mean, Castle Wars
2 - RuneVillage Chat
1 - Zamorak's Bane V: Plot Unknown
1 - Dinosaur Comics
1 - Freakazoid!
1 - Legends of RuneVillage, by PacoTaco
1 - Sheepquest
1 - Perfect Dark
1 - Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
1 - Sonic Adventure 2
1 - The Great Rollback of 2009
1 - The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
1 - The World Ends With You
1 - Timesplitters 3
0 - A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
0 - Henry the Evil Chicken[/quote]

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