Nisrioch Cthonique pedaled as fast as he could on his gyroorthinothon. He had to admit, it was a great improvement on its various predecessors, though the sparks that flew off the central wheel were mildly alarming, even to him. Still--they made travel interesting, and wasn’t that the point?
Looking ahead he saw it--the spires and banners of Castle Terribel. The Dark Lord of the Screaming Waste smiled to himself. As fun as wandering could be, there was always a special sort of joy associated with coming home.
“Nisrioch!” came a familiar voice. “I knew it was you. You’re the only person I know crazy enough to build a flaming deathtrap as a means of travel. And then use it.”
He glanced to his right and nodded. “Hello former apprentice. May I state the wings are a surprising, yet skillfully done addition?”
Jean Crow glanced over her shoulders at the great black feathery wings that were sprouting from there. “What, these?” She gave a dismissive snort. “They’re nothing. A bit of elementary shape-changing I hit on because I was sick of using broomsticks.” She leaned forward. “All the real interesting stuff is back at the castle.”
“Well, as that is where I plan on going, you may show it to me there,” stated Nisrioch. He began to guide the gyroorthinothon to the Castle. “So I understand everything’s been all right in my absence?”
“Well, Morgaine made me sub for you as one of the judges in the Great Summer Carnival,” said Jean, flying alongside Nisiroch’s vehicle. “And I’ve been dealing with the resulting death threats as best I can.”
Nisrioch nodded. “Those farmers do take all that seriously.”
“And Pelleas is trying to organize a kite festival in the castle,” noted Jean. “And getting a lot of blank stares.”
“Well, glad to see he’s enjoying himself,” said Nisrioch, touching down on a rampart.
“On a less positive note, there are a lot of unpleasant stories coming over from across the river,” said Jean, her wings dwindling as she set herself down beside Nisrioch.
“That can wait,” said Nisrioch. “I need to tell the others I’m back.”
Jean shut her eyes and took a deep breath. “Just give me a moment. There are all sort of subtle changes that I do alongside the wings that take a bit longer to get rid of.”
“I’m glad you’ve found your talent,” said Nisrioch with a smile.
“It’s a family thing,” said Jean with a shrug. “Elaine says my great-great-grandmother Arianrhod could turn herself into all sorts of things, and spent half her time as a spider. Now, why you’d want to do that, I have no idea, but then again, from what I’ve picked up we du Lacs make you Cthoniques look like the definition of sane normalcy for the…” She paused as a crackling sound reached her ears. Turning around, she saw that the gyroorthinothon was now shooting off rather dangerous looking purple sparks, while shuddering ominously. She glanced at Nisrioch. “Should we run or… something?”
“Don’t worry,” said the sorcerer, raising his hand. “I’ll handle this.” A shimmering field of color surrounded the pair, just as the gyroorthinothon exploded into a hail of sparks and parts. Nisrioch gave a mournful smile. “You know if I can just solve that one mild defect, that thing would be close to perfect.” He turned back to Jean. “Now what was that you were saying?”
“For the most part,” finished Jean quietly.