Eight moons ago
“Is there room for one more?” The one in the big suit asked of the doorkeeper.
The doorkeeper smiled, and said, “Always room for one more at Le Salle Autre.”
The tavern itself was small and cozy, and the suited one settled into a chair at the table where his friends already held council.
“Shogun, so glad you could join us.” The man to his right said, with an air that bordered on dismissive.
“EnPsyClops, my good friend, I’m equally glad to be here. I have only just escaped the clutches of the Wicked Witch. I rode long and hard to reach here ahead of her evil forces. She will know that you rebel against her summons.”
“Shogun, you worry too much. Perhaps, you should take a leaf out of our friends here. Comrades in the revolt against the Wicked Witch, of course. The lady to your left is Ruby Tuckwar, shield-maiden of the Order of the Goozooz. The diminutive gentleman beside her is the acclaimed swordsman and soapbox reveler, Inbeef. The other gentleman across you is Vingav the Warhorse, Taskmaster, and the rather mature lady next to him is Ancient Na’sa, the Wisdom of the Age.”
“You’ve all rebelled against the Wicked Witch? Won’t she notice that some of the greatest powers this side of the Sphinx have refused to side with her on this night?” Shogun noted with a sense of worry.
“Eh. Screw her. We’ve just routed the Gluchmunster, a mammoth task in itself, and almost all of us believe that the Wicked Witch was the one who loosed the demon upon us in the first place. Her summons to fight the Gluchmunster seemed false even at the outset.” EnPsyClops spoke, with a certain caustic tone that none had heard in his voice before.
“Aye, we found trails of ethereal force connecting the Gluchmunster’s lair in Chapeldoor to the Wicked Witch.” added Ancient Na’sa. “It is my area, and I’m expected to know the ley lines there.”
“With a title like the Wicked Witch, I wonder why we even trusted her thus far.” Remarked Inbeef.
“Where I come from, I’d pronounce that with a ‘B’.” Vingav, a large intimidating hulk of a man, remarked with his trademark wry smile.
“What’s a ‘bicked’?” Ruby said, and the tension broke.
Shogun felt more at ease. Indeed, they would celebrate the routing of the Gluchmunster in style. With a lot of good meat and a lot of good grog.
With impeccable timing, a raven flew in to the tavern and alit at their table. Before anybody could respond, it shrieked out in its harsh voice, “Hello… ahem, hello. This is the Wicked Witch. I summon you to a banquet in honour of my heroes who routed the Gluchmunster. I assure you, it will not just be jazz by the bay. There will also be mead. Arrive soon and show your solidarity. Or die.”
With one smooth motion, Vingav unsheathed his blade and sliced its head off.
“The Witch knows we’re here. We have to move.” Inbeef yelled. “My friend Beavis has already gone on ahead to warn the other towns. We should go there. Protect them from the wrath of the Witch.”
A general hubbub ensued, in which there was much hubbubing and very little sense made.
EnPsyClops’ voice rose until it was heard by all. “I have a better idea. The Witch expects us to run, maybe hide, or even rush to protect the towns. But surely, they’re well prepared if Beavis has been sent to them. I say we attack her strongholds, demolish them while her guard is down. She will never expect it.”
There was silence as everyone absorbed the meaning of this statement.
Vingav was the first to retort. “Marvellous! Absolutely marvelous thinking, old chap. You are not called the Wizard of All for nothing. To the chariots!”
Before the night was out, the Witch’s Tifrit juice-bar had been pulverized. The Witch’s Lotte had been left smouldering. And no music played by the bay, for the Witch’s banquet was a disaster of epic proportions. Stuck between a hard rock and a place, she had been handed a crushing defeat by the rebels.
As the rebels realized how much power they wielded together, Shogun’s war cry rose to a crescendo.
“ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US!”