Project Update: Chapter 13 || The ‘Sus’ Cat and the Chest
Logic wins out and they decide that invisibility will probably be better going through dangerous caves. Gray had looked the tiniest bit upset as they put the runes back in the bag, but Fluff had seemed relatively relieved that they don’t need to listen to screaming all through the caves.
Instead they decided to split into two groups by guild since the potion couldn’t cover them all;, DERP would go in first and try to find Max quickly, and Destruction would follow uncloaked. Beau and Biscuits both look delighted at being given the task to tear apart the monsters, like it’s a game they’ve built up between them, and Abitail looks annoyed that she has to waste her magical instruments on them.
They set off quickly and the caves aren’t hard to spot. The sign overhead says “DANGER” in red letters with a sad looking skull; only Bones seems to find this funny. DERP sets off first, only being able to move so quickly before the sounds of their footsteps are too loud. They tiptoe through the cave, ignoring the little monsters easily, and soon they hear the sound of a fight breaking out behind them.
There are many dead ends in this cave, and Floof uses her colored magic to leave small traces on the walls, which was thankfully something they’d said at the beginning to do. The other cats to follow would know what to do if they saw the sparking green lines.
Tuff is in the lead, with Gray holding the back, with the twins huddled between them. It’s Fluff who reacts first to the droplets of blood, biting back a gasp, and tapping Tuff aggressively on the shoulder. She points a now shaking paw at the trail that leads deeper in, and the tiptoeing pace is abandoned.
They start running, and the monsters around them startle, trying to find the origin of the sound. Thankfully, most of them only follow a slight ways before stopping in confusion by Floof’s color magic. Finally, they find the cat that Bones had very clearly described, curled around a scroll and surrounded by… meowing chests? Yes, those were most definitely chests.
The cat’s long tail lashes out, dark shadows bouncing off of the little chests. They equally hiss and nip at the cat, and he hisses in anger back, cradling a wounded leg. The light from Floof’s magic fades as she pulls back her spells, and she focuses on placing wards, but it’s clear her bursts of magic are coming to an end. Fluff rushes to aid her, casting light healing magic that snakes through the air.
Max sees the company, and smiles, a toothy look that almost looks cunning. He pulls out the scroll that begins to glow, and the mimic chests scatter around, fear seeming to take them as they run in odd circles. “Slam the lids shut! It should stun them for a while.”
They begin doing that one by one, until finally the room falls silent except for the odd chittering the closed mimic chests make.
“I’m glad you came when you did. DERP guild, right?” They nod, and he hobbles up, favoring the leg greatly. “There’s a problem. Something is making the monsters here go crazy - a small lich attacked me while I was studying the curse lines in the central cave. It’s not big enough of a lich to cause all of this.”
“Max!” An echoed cry comes down the hall with the sound of more fighting, and Bones appears first with one of the spectral minions darting ahead. It races in between the closed mimic boxes. “Are you okay?”
“Got caught unaware. Not my finest moment. You need to go take a look, Bones.”
“I’m not leaving you in the middle of a cave surrounded by some mimics. Do you want that on your gravestone? Was cursed 54 times but died to a mimic?” Max grimaces. “It was already a dumb idea to come in here alone.”
“Yeah yeah, you’re fussing too much.” Max sighs when Biscuit and Beau finally appear, a certain relief there. “Good, I’m glad they’re here. They can go with you. I’m sure the halls are clear leading here?” Beau nods. “Then perhaps two of these young DERP members can take me back. I’ll be of no use here, but I can take a mimic back and study it in the meantime.”
They quickly discuss the logistics, and it’s decided that the Floof - already a bit worn from overcasting her magic while guarding off the mimics - would go back, with Biscuits as the guard. The rest of them would continue on back into the chamber to see if they could figure out the problem.
As they leave, they huddle again, and Tuff raises an eyebrow at Bones, who is staring after their retreating shadows. “Why is he called the Sus Cat Mage?”
Bones blinks twice, then fishes in his pocket for something. “Oh, he… looks like that because he fusses with curses too much, but also he looked a tiny bit… suspicious when he entered the sorcerer academy. He always wore this ridiculous hat with a drawn up robe. No one knew what to think of him.”
Tuff takes the photo that Bones offers. “Should I ask why you keep this around?”
“Blackmail. You can always let me know what other blackmail you’d want. I’ve got tons.” Bones answers, before steeling his shoulders. “Should we be off? We need to take down a lich, it seems.”
Harro harro! Been staring at this one for a little bit - stickers!! If the goal is met, we get some "blackmail". I mean, not really, but look at that weirdo in his weird hat and cloak.
It'll be available for all 3+ tiers (we'll offer it as an addition or not, so if you don't particularly care for stickers, we won't force them on you). The choice today does add more "blackmail" into the set, so pick which you'd like!
3 days left! :D
🐾Mel, Jess and Venetia