Tangle in the Mirror's Web
world burst in an array of spectacular colors, coalescing into dingy
blackness. Iffley winced in pain as Adel removed the medicinal compress from
the wound on the back of his head. "You're lucky that you don't have a
concussion." She said, while pressing the cloth further into his injury.
Adel smashed the cloth into his head again, increasing the efficacy of the
medicine's special healing properties.
a short time, Iffley's pain subsided. He thanked Adel for her help, and told
her that he must leave again.
Iffley, there is something that I must tell you," She cast her eyes
downward, evading his gaze. "While you were gone...I...Perhaps it would
be best if I just blurted it out: The mirror is gone."
Iffley's voice rose to a loud roar.
Maelstrom's Witch stole it. She cast a freeze spell on me. That Book of hers
is really powerful. I was frozen in place, before I knew what had hit me. Then
Book?" Iffley interrupted.
Book of Incantations, of course."
wasn't aware that the Book had any such spell in it." Iffley's brow
furrowed with concern. If the Book had this new freeze spell, what other
surprises did Dion have in store for him? "So, Dion has joined sides with
the Maelstrom. Adel, I will need your help to defeat them. Get Taft and
Quiffquaff, we leave for the Maelstrom's castle immediately!"
* * The Spider's Parlor * *
Maelstrom stared as Adena awoke. "Well, my dear, I'm glad to see that you
are feeling better." The Maelstrom flashed his pearly whites at her.
patronize me," Adena glared back at him.
my. You're a fiesty one. But that's what I like about you, Enchantress. You
are almost too fiesty, perhaps--don't make me use this on you." He patted
the Staff at his side. Adena stared at him in horror. Anything he touched with
the Staff became totally under his control, unable to do anything but his
don't think that will be neccessary."
should hope not, the results could be most unfortunate." He leaned over
to kiss her, but was abruptly slapped by Adena's quick hand. He returned her
gesture, "I suggest that you never do that again!" He raised the
Staff near her face, "One touch, and your mine forever. Imagine that,
Adena. Imagine that you cannot control your own actions or thoughts. Imagine
my icy grip on your very soul, preventing you from ever escaping. I can even
make you love me, as you once did your husband."
could use that, if you wanted to, but you won't. You like me the way I am.
Even if you did use it, you might control me, but you will never make me love
we find out, my dear?"
Witch, Dion, quickly entered the room. "Excuse the interruption, Sire,
but Iffley is in the courtyard, awaiting a final duel."
you, Witch. Wait for my return. You, Enchantress, shall come and watch the
destruction of your friend." He pulled her by the hands, reopening her
lacerations. The pain streamed through her arms and across her mind.
Ironically, she remembered all of Tennyson's poem:
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
"The curse is come upon me," cried
The Lady of Shalott.
it an omen? Had the curse finally decided to descend upon them all? Adena
could feel the web tighten around her, she hoped that they all could escape
from the Maelstrom's evil grasp.
* * Spider's Prey * *
Maelstrom stepped lightly into the courtyard. His firm grip on Adena's arm
prevented her from doing anything rash. "So, Restorer, we meet again. Who
are your friends? I believe I recognize Taft and Adena of Ralle." His
cool exterior did not show his internal panic: they had four Keys against his
three. His thoughts turned toward the Amulet. If he had to control Adena, then
he could not give his attackers his full attention.
you shall have to fight against your friends."
a pig's eye." Adena retorted.
you shall fight them against your own will." He raised the Staff and
struck her with it. The energy probed her body, and nestled within her
conscience. She screamed in agony and collasped to the floor.
Iffley yelled across the courtyard. "What have you done to her?"
shakily stood up. "You see, Restorer, she is not harmed." The
Maelstrom whispered to Adena, "Kill the Restorer."
fought the suggestion. Her mind twisted with inner pain, forcing her to yeild.
His command resounded throughout her brain, and finally, she carried out the
command. The strongest-powered laser that she could produce lept from the
Amulet and flew toward Iffley.
however, was too stunned to move: Adena was trying to kill him! Quiffy jumped
from his shoulder and transformed into a lopsided wall. The bolt of energy
slammed into the structure, melted through its several inches, and continued
its flight toward its prey. Quiffy, mortally wounded, fell to the ground. The
laser's diminished force struck Iffley squarely on the chest, knocking him
into the back wall.
Adel screamed, as she summoned a large tornado. It swirled through the castle
wall, revealing the moat. Some of the acid in the moat, sucked up by the
vortex, splashed onto the ground by Adena's feet. She did not even flinch, for
her master had not commanded it. The spinning wind approached the Maelstrom,
who pointed the Talisman at the menace. Seconds later, the torando's energy
was gone, causing it to dissipate. The Maelstrom laughed uproariously.
Taft said, "if we attack him together, then he can't absorb all of our
power. I'll turn invisible and attack him from behind."
that will make me a sitting duck!" Adel protested.
know." Taft said, and he vanished.
moaned, and rejoined the battle. A severe laceration bled profusely on his
chest. He pointed the Sceptre at the Maelstrom, hoping to break the spell he
had on Adena. The ground around the Maelstrom shifted into molten lava. The
Talisman, however, cancelled the threat before his shoes were burned.
Sabre transformed into a long bow. A swift arrow arced in the air, narrowly
missing its target. Adel retaliated with a very hot bolt of lightning. The
Talisman, again, absorbed the energy, but the thunder, resulting from the
lightning, shook the very ground.
Amulet suddenly began to glow very brightly. The Maelstrom, out of the corner
of his eye, noticed this, "What is wrong?"
is behind us," Adena replied nonchalantly.
turned and created an advanced hologram of the Gibbenhide. Taft panicked,
sending the life-removing force onto the hologram. The dark shadow settled
onto Gibbenhide, causing the hologram to dissapate. The shadow, finding
nothing to drain, returned to the Diadem. Adena followed the shadow, and sent
a bombardment of lasers at the location of the shadow's disappearance. Her
attack caused no damage, however, for Taft was phased into ghost-form.
during the interim, transformed the ground into a giant mudslide leading
through the hole in the wall to the moat. Before the Maelstrom could
counteract the transformation, Adel summoned a strong windstorm, sending both
Adena and the Maelstrom sliding toward the moat. The Maelstrom grabbed a
section of the wall, but Adena's momentum sent him sprawling to the moat.
Adena struck the wall with a severe blow and drifted into unconsciousness. The
Maelstrom flew over the edge of the moat and, like before, saved his life by
grabbing the rim.
abated the windstorm, and she and Iffley ran to Adena. Iffley removed the Ring
and placed it on Adena's finger, disrupting the Staff's hold on her. She awoke
with a start, "Iffley...I didn't want to hurt you, but I..."
Adena, I understand," Iffley held her in his arms, and her shaking
stopped. From the edge of the moat, the Maelstrom was begging for help.
"I must go, Adena. He needs my help."
he tried to kill you!"
I didn't try to help him, then I would be just as evil."
nodded, "I understand."
ran over to the moat, and saw his evil twin hanging on the brink of
destruction. The Maelstrom, still holding his Keys, clawed desperately at the
ground. "Drop your Keys!"
The Maelstrom said with finality.
good will they do you if you are dead?"
I can't have them, then no one will." With some effort, he tossed his
three Keys into the boiling acid. The Keys bobbed in the acid, then dissolved
into nothingness. Their power escaped into the mystic winds.
Iffley coached, "give me your hand and I will pull you up."
don't trust you." The Maelstrom said coldly. Even this close to death,
his innate hatred of mankind prevented him from the simple act of trust.
you trust me, or you die; take your pick." The Maelstrom reached with an
outstretched hand. Iffley grabbed the muddy hand, his fingers grew white in
the grip. The Maelstrom grabbed Iffley's wrist with the other hand, and
started to slip. "No!" Iffley screamed, "Hold tighter!"
But it was too late, the Maelstrom slipped completely out of his grip and onto
the boiling acid. His scream echoed across the four corners of Ralle. Iffley
turned away from his decaying corpse, shocked. Then he saw a crying figure,
dressed in gray-black. Dion had apparently loved the Maelstrom as much as she
did Richard. The battle was not yet over.
* * Black Widow * *
advanced on Iffley. "Murderer!" She screamed.
I tried my best to save him." Iffley did not want to hurt Dion, even
after all the things she had done against him.
The Book of Incantations is even stronger here. It was originated in Ralle.
With one spell, I could kill you...or worse." She opened the Book and
quickly read a spell. The ground shook and a fissure opened up between the two
figures. "I could have just as easily have caused the fissure to open
realized that she was right, she was very powerful here in Ralle. Iffley
teleported across the fissure and started walking toward her.
back. I don't want to hurt you." She conjured a large spider to finish
him off. Iffley pointed the Sceptre and teleported it into the moat. He was
now almost upon her.
make me hurt you!" Dion screamed, and summoned a giant fireball. Iffley
transformed the water vapor into a surging wall of water, eliminating the
threat. He reached over and took the Book from her trembling hands.
knew you wouldn't hurt me, Dion. Now, lets go and join the others."
and Adel were busy comforting Adena and Quiffy. Quiffy was not far from death,
and Adena's injury was not much better. Iffley quickly perused the contents of
the Book and found the appropriate spell. He healed their wounds and his own.
He immediately felt better: it was a very powerful spell.
our only problem is returning to our own universe."
not." Iffley whirled around to see Fred, who was holding a mirror.
thought that you were not able to interfere."
am not supposed to. Because of my actions, however, I cannot return, for I
have no reflection." He held the mirror up to his face, which did not
cast his image. "I came for two reasons. The first is to return with a
mirror for you. The second, is that the City of Remembrance is being attacked.
Since your mission is not over, Restorer, Adena will need to protect
I don't want to go."
are the only available person; you must go."
if I must."
the mirror, then go to the Portal of Remembrance." Fred instructed.
followed the instructions to the letter. She reappeared in the Hall of
Mirrors, and stepped through the Portal. On the other side, the City of
Remembrance stretched out before her. Suddenly, the attacker appeared. He
walked up to the Portal of Remembrance and shattered the Mirror. Adena stared
in horror: Iffley, once he escaped from Ralle, would be trapped in the Hall of
attacker turned and faced her. It was Sterling. "What have you done with
| ||© 1985, ||K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, A. Mann, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft|