Deven and Calex’s adventure continue as this time they find themselves on a beach world full of human sized otters, and of course they’re in need of rescuing.
To the Dragon Lands! Maybe!
The great Lord Nuzid sat atop his throne which was raised high above the rest of the dimly lit stone chamber that was at the heart of his castle. Most of his body was shrouded in a gray cloth. But one part was visible, a long sharp claw that was tapping at the arm of his chair impatiently as he looked down on his current guest.
“So, with your ridiculous obsessions you allowed the tanuki to take back their world.” Nuzid spoke with a growl. “Why did I bother giving you the legendary powers of a nine-tails if you’re not smart enough to use it?”
“S-s-sorry.” A nine tailed fox was kneeling before the throne. He had a belt around his waist with broken pickle jars hanging off them. “We met with stronger resistance than expected. The tanuki had help.”
“Very well.” Nuzid withdrew his claw into his cloak. “You are forgiven. After all, the treasure you found and brought back will make retaking the world trivial. Now, hand over the Chromatic Pearl.”
“About that…” The fox looked sheepish. “I sort of lost it.”
“I asked for one thing.” Nuzid’s voice grew to a roar. “One simple thing! I gave you magical power so you could conquer an entire world! All I asked in return was for the Chromatic Pearl hidden in that world and you lost it!? Give me one good reason not to reduce you to ash where you stand.”
“It-it asn’t my fault!” The fox stammered. “You see this dragon and faerie showed up-“
“Wait, you encountered a dragon? That’s impossible!” Nuzid leaned back in his throne. The news was clearly of great concern to him. “I sealed all the gateways to the Dragon Lands myself. It shouldn’t be possible for any dragons to get out… Unless… There was one who was away from the realm during the sealing. No, this could ruin everything. And they have the Chromatic Pearl now? No doubt, they intend to collect all of them and use them against me and unseal their brethren.” Nuzid paused and looked over at the fox remembering he was still there. “You, failure, be gone from my sight. I need to think and your air of incompetence is distracting me.”
“Y-y-yes sir!” The fox stammered and with no hesitation flew out the large red doors that acted as the only entrance and exit to the room
“The dragons are the only ones that still remember the legend of the pearls.” Nuzid began to tap a claw again. “Now not only will I have to get the pearl back from the dragon but collect the remainder of them before they do. I am up against a truly monstrous adversary. Very well… I shall simply have to empower my minions further and deal with this gargantuan beast.”
In another world there was a small slit in the sky as a toddler three-year-old dragon with a two-year-old faerie riding on his back slit off.
“So that gem thingy I think it’s a pearl.” Calex was speaking. “But never seen a purple one before.”
“Hey speaking of which where did you put my shiny?” Deven demanded.
“Turns out as a faerie I have access to some magic” Calex grinned, showing off his fang that somehow remained despite his form looking almost completely human. “But basically I created a pocket of extradimensional space and stored the pearl in there. Figure can put anything else we come across in there as well. Neither one of us is really in any position to be carrying anything heavy around. So now I have a void to toss loot into!”
“Oh neat.” Deven ceased flapping his wings and let himself glide on the winds as he descended into the new world they had arrived in. It looked like a beach with a long boardwalk going out over the water. There were various buildings and stores along the boardwalk and all of them looked to be made for someone human sized. That meant too small for a dragon, and yet somehow too big for a toddler dragon like Deven.
“So I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess we’re not at the Dragon Lands yet.” Calex grinned cheekily.
“I told you! It’s a long and complicated journey! I’ll get us there! It’ll be fine, we’ll make the next jump when-“ Deven was cut off as suddenly a massive whirlpool opened up in the ocean at the end of the boardwalk. The entire pier seemed to move as if being pulled towards the vortex. It looked like only a matter of time before the boardwalk would break apart and be sucked into the whirlpool. At this point at several points the pier and boardwalk had broken off of each other leaving long gaps between them. This meant there was no way for people on the pier to get away.
“Well that looks like trouble.” Calex leaped off of Deven’s back and used his own wings to take flight. “I think we need to get down there. People clearly need help.”
“Right, the next jump can wait.” Deven dove down with Calex to the beach and start of the pier to get more information on what exactly was happening. There they were greeted by a human sized otter wearing swim trunks and a snorkel mask.
“Oh it’s awful!” The otter shouted. “I dropped my fish kebab during all this ruckus! Oh yes… And a whirlpool is opening up out of nowhere threatening to swallow up the pier is also an issue.”
“Okay, okay, calm down.” Deven stood up on his hind legs. “Do you know anything about what’s happening?”
“No, nothing at all.” The otter shook his head. “Only that now five of my friends are stuck out there with no way to get back.”
“If you’re otters couldn’t you just swim?” Calex asked.
“Are you crazy?” The otter gave the faerie an appalled look. “That whirlpool is strong enough to suck up the entire boardwalk. Anything in the water would be caught in its current and drawn right in.”
“Ugh guess that makes sense.” Calex groaned.
“It’s okay! We can help!” Deven beamed with pride. “I’ll find each of your friends and give them a ride back to land so they’re safe and sound.”
“Don’t think that’s going to work.” Calex crossed his arms. “This entire pier could give way any minute. We don’t have time to make five trips to carry people back.”
“What do you suggest then?” Deven asked Calex in frustration. “The more time we spend arguing the less time we have to rescue them.”
“Actually, I have an idea. Remember the shiny thing? Any otters we meet we’ll just toss into the extradimensional space with that thing. Then we can get them all in one go.”
“Is… Is that safe?” Deven asked unsure.
“Safer than staying on the pier.” Was Calex’s reply.
“Guess it’s the best we got.” Deven ran out to the start of the pier. “Okay we’ll just do a quick fly over and-“ As Deven spoke strong winds began to pick up and water spouts came out of the ocean circling around the different broken off pieces of the pier. “Okay… with winds that strong flying is out. You going to be ok Calex?”
“I’m fine.” There was a shimmering barrier of light around the faerie. “I can protect myself from the winds but um… You’re too big for me to include in the spell. I’d fly ahead and do everything myself but if we need some heavy lifting done or breaking things.”
“So we both gotta go, got it.” Deven ran to the edge of the pier where the first break was. “I can’t believe we’ve arrived at two worlds in roll where I can’t just fly through it.”
“Hmmmmm.” Calex looked thoughtful. “Maybe there’s a reason for that. Some kind of magic at play… But there’s no time to focus on that let’s get going. If you time your jumps right and avoid the water spouts you can at least glide a short distance. Just keep in mind which direction the wind is blowing cause you’re going to land left or right of where you were aiming based on the current wind flow.”
“I know how to glide.” Deven rolled his eyes. “I’m a natural born dragon remember?”
“Sorry, but I was under contractual obligations as the fey member of the team to give that advice.” Calex responded.
“Okay then…” Deven looked ahead. There was a section of the boardwalk right in front of him, but the wind was blowing fierce. If he tried to glide to it he’d miss it by a long shot… And he remembered what the otter had said about anything that landed in the water. Looking around he spied a piece of the pier further back and to the left. It was a longer glide but it looked just the right distance for Deven to glide.
He leaped from the pier and spread his wings letting the wind carry him. Sure enough he was swung hard to the left in the air. He barely managed to grab the edge the pier he had aimed for with his claws and scramble up it. He was going to have to be careful.
“Cool, ok we accomplished the first step. Leap into watery death and doom. Now, what’s step two to find the five missing people?” Calex glanced around as he asked.
“Just making it up as we go and wait…” Deven paused. “Do you hear that?”
“No.” Calex grumbled. “Because my ability to hear has drastically gone down things to no longer being a cat.”
“There’s muffled screaming coming from one of the buildings nearby.” Deven explained He ran around the corner of the piece off boardwalk he was on and found a store where several pieces of plank had been blown into place locking the door shut.
“Wow these otters are really unlucky.” Calex sighed. “But the boardwalk pieces are wood… So you know what to do, just don’t set the entire place on fire.”
“Right!” Deven opened his mouth and shot out a blue fireball. The boards and door burned away revealing a trembling otter on the other side.
“I don’t know what’s happening! One moment I was just getting ready to open my seashell shop and then this!” The otter gestured around.
“Yeah we’re currently working on that. For now we need to get you to safety.” Calex spoke up. “It might be a little infinite voidy in there, but there’s plenty of air, it’s temporary and you’ll be fine.”
“Wait what does that-“ the otter didn’t finish the question before Calex made a gesture and a circle appeared in the air. It dropped down over the otter causing the otter to vanish before the circle did the same.
“If things looked a little less doomy I’d explain more.” Calex spoke up before Deven could chide him. “But we need to find the remaining four.”
“Right!” Deven ran around the section of the boardwalk he was on now. There didn’t appear to be any other others here. That meant gliding to a further out section. After judging the distances and wind speeds he managed a jump to the next section without being hit by one of the waterspouts.
It didn’t take long to find an otter here. They were up on top of a flagpole outside one of the shops with a death clutch on the flagpole.
“Hey! We’re her to rescue you!” Deven shouted up. “Come on down!”
“I can’t!” The otter shouted back.. “My hands have tightened so hard I can’t let go of the pole.”
“I’ll just fly up and throw him into my void.” Calex flew up and threw out the circle again. However, it just broke apart.
“What’s wrong?” Deven asked.
“He’s stuck to the flagpole and the pole is too big.” Calex sighed. “We have to get him off before I can throw him in.”
“Okay then…” Deven looked around and then spied the mechanism to raise and lower the flag. He got an idea and stood up on two legs as he began to crank it lowering the flag.
“H-hey!” The otter shouted. His hands were slightly below the flag and as the flag came down so did he. Eventually he was ground level but his hands were still stuck to the pole.
“Sorry in advance but this is for your own good.” Deven ran around the other side of the flagpole then lightly rammed into the otter’s fingers. He tried to be as gentle as possible.
“OWWWWW!” The otter pulled back his hands freeing himself. “Why would you-“ And then the magic circle was thrown over him.
“Three to go. But looks like we have to get further out into the pier to get to them.” Calex glanced down at the wooden posts holding the boardwalk up. “And I don’t think we have a lot of time so get a move on it.”
“I’m going as fast as I can!” By now Deven understood how to time his jumps with the wind so it was no issue to reach a further out section. There, the dragon and faerie split up looking for any signs of an otter. Eventually they both came across a stone house with a solid looking door and could hear someone crying on the other side.
“Hey! Can you open the door? We’re here to get you out of here!” Deven shouted hoping he could be heard through the door.
“Oh help has arrived?” The otter stopped sobbing. “Thank goodness! I can’t get out of my house because the door is locked.”
“So, is there someplace I can look for a key then?” Deven asked.
“Oh it can only be unlocked from the inside.” The otter responded.
There was a moment of dead silence.
“So why don’t you unlock the door?” Calex finally asked.
“I’ve been trying but I’m shaking too much it can’t be done!” The otter complained.
“Great now what…” Deven looked at the door. “Pretty sure fire isn’t the answer, and if I ram that only thing I’m going to break is my own horns.”
“Hmmmmm.” Calex flew up above the house noticing a small cylinder-shaped chimney. “I think this one is up to me. I’m just small enough to slip through up here.” With that the faerie dove and found himself in a maze of pipes. “Wow this is a lot more complicated than I thought it would be. Why is it like this? This seems like a needlessly complicated set of tubes for a chimney.”
He flew around hitting several dead ends before he finally found the exit and emerged from the fireplace inside the house.
“Oh my!” The shaking otter shouted.
“Yes, yes I’m very magical, we’re on a tight deadline right now. As in we’ll all be dead if we aren’t on time.” Calex flew past her to the door. It was a simple bolt lock. He pulled the bolt loose and the door opened.
“Oh thank goodness I’m finally free. I have so many things I would love to tell you as thanks for freeing-“
“No time, go in void.” Calex held out his hand as the magic circle appeared again and took that otter. “Okay… Only two left we’re in the home stretch.”
“Yeah but we’re getting really far out.” Deven looked around. “I’m not sure if there’s a path we can actually take back once we find everyone.”
“If there’s no path we’ll just have to make one.” Calex slammed a fist into his palm. “That or I’ll just throw you into the void too and fly you all back.”
“Let’s hope there’s a route.” Deven wasn’t sure was an extradimensional space created by Calex would look like, and he wasn’t in a hurry to find out. Instead he got to a run, leaping out further into the pier. He landed on one platform and it immediately began to crumble beneath his claws forcing him to run on all four as each piece of the pier slowly fell away into the water as he ran on it. At the end of the long stretch he jumped without gliding coming to a stop on a stable piece of the pier.
“Well not taking that way back.” Calex observed.
“Yeah, that… That was close.” Deven was thankful he could run so much faster on all fours than two legs.
There were no more buildings this far out on the pier. As a result it was easy to see the next otter as they were huddled beneath a bench not far from where Deven had landed on the platform.
“Oh good there’s number four.” Deven walked up to him. “We’re here to help so you can-“
“Void.” Calex threw out the magic circle throwing the fourth otter into his extradimensional space.
“Hey! You didn’t even give me time to explain things!” Deven protested.
“Again!” Calex pointed at the whirlpool then at all the water sprouts. “We have an unknown time limit before all of this gives way and we find ourselves facing deathly death water of ultimate doomy doom.”
“Point taken but there’s only one more to find so we just have to find them and then we’re done!” Deven looked around, it was easier to see a lot further now.
And he saw the last otter. They were at the very edge of the pier clinging to the rail threatening to fall right into the vortex at any moment.
“Of course, they’d be all the way out.” Calex sighed. “Better get moving.”
“Right.” Deven worked his way out further along the pier. Some platforms gave way collapsing into the ocean, some required him to do a loop and approach the jump from a different angle to arrive safely thanks to the wind. But bit by bit he made his way out to the very edge.
“Grab my claw!” Deven shouted as he reached the end of the boardwalk and stretched out a claw towards the otter. The otter grabbed it with his spare hand with zero hesitation as Deven slowly pulled him up onto the pier.
“Thank you, I was almost a-“ the other started to say.
“Void.” Calex spoke flatly throwing him into the extradimensional space. “Okay, that’s all five, let’s get out of here before this place collapses completely.”
“Oh you won’t be going anywhere.” A voice sounded from somewhere down in the vortex. Suddenly the entire section of the pier Deven was standing on gave way. He was about to be pulled into the whirlpool.
“Deven jump over the whirlpool now!” Calex shouted.
“Are you insane?” Deven asked.
“Just do it!” Calex screamed.
Seeing no other options Deven did as told and found a pleasant surprise. Once above the whirlpool itself the winds were calm. And that meant he could fly freely with no danger of falling into the water.
“Heh, just as I thought.” Calex grinned. “It’s an eye of the storm type situation. You should be able to fly there.”
“Wait… you knew it was safe right?” Deven asked. “You didn’t just make a guess.”
“It was not a guess.” Calex crossed his arms. “Maybe an educated guess… But look if things went wrong I was ready to void you any second.”
“Will you two stop prattling!” The voice from the bottom of the whirlpool shouted. And then a rocky formation roses out of the very center, and upon it stood a shark wearing a white leather jacket. “This is the dragon that’s foiling our plans?” The shark sneered at Deven. “Just a baby. This won’t take long.” The shark held his hands in the air and suddenly a guitar flew out of the ocean and into his grip.
“Okay that was kind of cool.” Calex admitted.
“Wait did he say we foiled something?” Deven asked.
“The Chromatic Pearls belong to Lord Nuzid! I’m afraid I’ll be taking back the one you stole, along with the one hidden at the bottom of the ocean in this world.”
“Wait did you create the whirlpool? Just to get some kind of pearl! You’re a shark! You could have just swam down! Why would you recklessly endanger people?” Deven growled.
“What can I say?” The shark strummed the guitar. “Once I start playing, the entire ocean is a rockin’. Now… Time for my new solo! Let it be your requiem.” He began to play the guitar as jets of water shot up out of the whirlpool aimed right for Deven.
“I don’t think I have to warn you, getting hit by that and dragged into the whirlpool is bad.” Calex muttered. “But we’re going to have to close the distance… And I bet shark skin isn’t very heat resistance.”
“Right!” Deven stopped flapping and let himself glide instead. He quickly adjusted himself as jets of water shot up into the air after him, doing barrel rows to avoid some of them. Before he reached the shark.
“Oh, you wanting an autograph?” The shark grinned. “Even my enemies love me.”
“Your music is garbage you tone deaf bottom feeder.” Deven shot a fireball striking the shark in the chest.
“H-h-h-h-hot!” The shark dropped his guitar and the whirlpool began to collapse in on itself.
“Quickly back up into the air before you’re swallowed up!” Calex shouted.
“You don’t have to tell me twice!” Deven flapped his wings to get as high as possible. “Is it over?” He got his answer when the whirlpool reopened and the shark was standing with his guitar held out again.
“Okay, so didn’t like the first verse? Well let me tell you this… The second is to die for.” The shark began to strum at the guitar again, and once more jets of water began to shoot out. However, this time there were also two twisters that appeared rotating in a circle around the whirlpool. As Deven glided down he had to avoid those or risk being thrown around.
“This guy is really delusional if he calls that music.” Calex muttered.
“Kind of busy dodging!” Deven muttered as he got to the bottom and delivered a second fireball. Once more the whirlpool collapsed and he had to quickly fly back up to sky for his own safety.
“It’s not over yet.” Calex warned Deven. “These things always come in threes.”
“Oh I have had enough!” Sure enough the whirlpool opened up again. “I will not lose to a whelp like you! You want to rock hard? Then let me play you the music of my soul!” The shark began to strum wildly at the guitar creating something that on some far-off world might be considered music; assuming in said far-off world that the creatures there were mostly deaf. Really it was nothing more than noise. But the water jets were coming faster and now there were four twisters. To top it off a shield of water had appeared in front of the shark. And as Deven began to glide down again the shield moved so it would always be blocking his fireball from being able to hit the shark.
“Guess it’s time for a team up attack.” Calex replied. “I’ll do my best to distract him. You likely won’t have time so be ready to strike as soon as his shield is down.”
Deven and Calex circled the shark trying to avoid the twisters and jets of water. They were level with him now and each stayed on the opposite side of him as they flanked him flying in a circle.
“Don’t you get it? There’s nothing to be done. My music is too much for little brats like you.”
“Call me a brat huh…” Calex muttered. “Well let’s see how you like a time out in my void.” Calex threw out his magic circle. The shield of water quickly move to intercept it, and vanished as the shield was throw into the extradimensional space. “Now before he gets another shield up!”
“ROOOOOOOOOOOAWR!” Deven gave a roar and blew the hottest fireball he could. The shark’s guitar erupted into flames before falling apart and the shark fell off of the platform he had been standing on. Then the whirlpool began to close up again.
“Huh…” Calex paused as he saw a glint in the water.
“Hey move it before you’re caught in the water!” Deven shouted.
“I’m coming!” Calex flew upward.
Dragon and faerie emerged from the whirlpool before it completely collapsed. When it did the winds calmed and the ocean returned to normal. The two were able to quickly flew back to the beach now that there was no danger of being blow away.
“Okay five otters coming right up.” Calex created a circle in the air as all five otters came falling out of it.
“You saved them all!” The otter with the snorkel shouted. “And you stopped the whirlpool.”
“Trivial stuff for a dragon.” Deven puffed out his chest.
“Hey… Deven, there’s one more thing I grabbed before the whirlpool collapsed.” Calex opened the magic circle again and another shiny orb fell out. This one was colored a deep blue like a sea. “Matches the purple one we found in that other world. I believe the shark called them Chromatic Pearls?”
“Huh what do you think they do?” Deven asked.
“No idea.” Calex shrugged before putting it back into his extradimensional space. “But I suspect letting the shark or whatever lord he claimed to work for have them is a bad idea. So, for now we should keep them.”
“Maybe when we get to the Dragon Lands some of the elders will be able to tell us about them.” Deven suggested.
“If you can get us there.” Calex flapped over and landed on Deven’s back.
“I told you it’s a complicated process!” Deven retorted. “It takes a few jumps… Normally it’s faster because we don’t have to save the world.” This was actually a lie and Deven was becoming somewhat concerned he had not managed to make the jump to the Dragon Lands yet. He was starting to feel like something was wrong.
But, he did his best and flew high into the sky. Once more there was the tiniest of cracks in the sky and then both dragon and faerie were gone, on to another world and another adventure.