Gone with the Hurry-Cane

A Tale of Love, Magic, and Monsters During the Evian Civil War












A Tale of Love, Magic, and Monsters During the Evian Civil War

By Nathan M. DeHoff


Part 1



 At the time when the Land of Ev was ruled by King Evardo the Thirteenth, grandfather of the present monarch, there lived in a small village on the shore on the Nonestic Ocean a sorcerer named Kalnorsto.  He had been educated at Eastern Evian University, and had learned how to summon demons, transform his enemies into cockroaches, call down lightning to smite those who dared oppose him, and all kinds of other fancy tricks.  Like many people with college degrees, however, Kalnorsto had found out that these skills were not particularly useful in obtaining gainful employment.  So he took a job as Village Wizard for a town on the shore of Ev, performing mundane magical tasks like mending broken bones, locating lost children, summoning rain in times of drought, and setting off fireworks during the annual festival.  He was successful in his work, but quite surly, and spoke no more than necessary to his fellow residents.  He did not particularly like anyone, but that was just fine, because nobody particularly liked him either.  That is, until one day, when some wreckage of a ship washed up on the shore, just outside Kalnorsto's hut.  Thinking that it might be from a pirate ship or some other boat filled with untold treasures, the wizard walked out to the beach to investigate it.  A quick search revealed nothing of interest, however.  He took a second look, and was about to dismiss it as worthless, when he came across a small horseshoe magnet attached to the mast.  There did not appear to be anything particularly interesting about it, which was why Kalnorsto had missed it the first time, but the sorcerer’s magical intuition told him that it had some unknown power.  He put it in the pocket of his robe, and returned to his hut to await the inevitable arrival of villagers with problems that they thought they needed magical assistance to solve.  It came as a total surprise when, after Kalnorsto produced a pill to cure Enna Wenster’s dog’s cough, Enna told the wizard that she loved him.  Kalnorsto shrugged it off, thinking that it was simply due to her fondness for the dog, but it was harder to ignore when the next three customers expressed their love for the sorcerer.  Even Jervo Kimes, the mayor of the town, held Kalnorsto’s hands and told him just how much the village appreciated his work as Village Wizard.

Kalnorsto wondered what had come over the town.  Or was he the one who had changed?  No, he was exactly the same as he was yesterday.  Well, there was one difference, which was the magnet he had picked up from the wreckage.  Could it have been some kind of love talisman?  Just to test the theory, the wizard served his next few customers with the magnet locked away in a desk drawer.  They appeared to have the typical attitude of not really wanting to have to deal with Kalnorsto, but feeling they had no choice in the matter.  He returned the magnet to his robe for the next patron, a girl who needed a compound to remove a stain from her floor.  This girl told him he was the loveliest wizard she had ever met.  Granted, this was not exactly conclusive proof of the magnet’s power.  If it really DID have such a powerful effect, however, it would be silly to remain in the village and keep serving the irritating townsfolk, rather than using it to get something he really wanted.

What DID Kalnorsto really want, though?  And how would a love talisman help him in obtaining it?  The wizard pondered over this matter, and soon came up with an answer.  He had been in love once.  At least, he thought he had been.  The object of his affection (such as it was) was a young noblewoman named Eshla, from the independent state of Rash.  She had been taking classes at the Eastern Evian University at the same time as Kalnorsto, and he had found her quite captivating.  After first seeing her and hearing her lovely voice in his philosophy class, he had sought to find out everything he could about her.  It soon came to his attention that she was engaged to Prince Asha, the son of Kashi Pasha, Royal Ruler of Rash.  The sorcerer figured it must have been an arranged marriage.  Asha might have been royalty, but the wizard heard that he was a nervous young man who spent all of his time working with mechanical devices.  Why would the perfect woman have wanted to marry a man like that?  She was certainly no match for the top student in the sorcery classes!  (Actually, Kalnorsto had only received the third highest marks in those classes, but he was not prepared to let such minor details stand in his way.)  With help from the magnet, would it not be a simple matter for him to talk her into leaving Asha for him?

With this thought in mind, Kalnorsto hung a “sorry, we’re closed” sign on his door, made sure the magnet was securely in his robe pocket, and mounted his flying machine.  This was a project he had devised while in school, which appeared to be nothing more than a rowboat with a humming black orb in the middle.  The orb was actually a storage unit for magical power, however, and Kalnorsto had been regularly stocking it with stardust, in case he ever needed to travel anywhere.  Flipping a switch located at the base of the orb launched the boat into the air, and the oars could be used to steer it.  It moved quite easily, without requiring much strength to row it.  The sorcerer quickly flew his craft to the east, over the fields of the Land of Ev, toward the independent state of Rash.


Part 2



            There is a range of rocky, rugged mountains near the border of Rash with Ev, and it was into a cave in these mountains that Kalnorsto flew his boat, intending to spend the night there and find Eshla in the morning.  As it turned out, however, the cave was already being used for this same purpose by someone else.  In fact, it was an army of somebodies, led by a tall, sour-looking man in a golden crown, who paced back and forth in front of the sleeping troops.  Some kind of eerie green glow lit up the room.  The wizard, peeking through a crack in the rock, determined that he had seen the man before.  He was none other than Evaltho, King of Eastern Ev, and cousin to King Evardo.  What he was doing in a mountain cave, Kalnorsto had no idea, but he intended to find out.

            Simply announcing his presence was probably not the best plan, but what else could the wizard do at this point?  Everyone but the king himself appeared to be asleep, and the monarch was just pacing and not talking to himself, so eavesdropping was not an option.  Besides, the sorcerer decided that he knew enough spells to take out an army if he really needed to.

            “Your Majesty?” asked Kalnorsto, while slipping into the cave.  “What are you doing here?”

            The king jumped a little at this, and scowled at the intruder.  The magnet did its work, however, and the scowl quickly faded.  Without any goading whatsoever, Evaltho simply announced, “We’re planning to invade Rash.  We’ve tolerated its independence long enough, and I intend to make it part of my kingdom.”

            “I believe I can help you with that.  I have magic that will make anyone love me.  With this magic and your military might, we will soon make Rash a vassal state.”

            “But what do you want out of it?” questioned Evaltho suspiciously.

            “Only the hand of Eshla, currently the fiancée of Prince Asha, in marriage.”

            The King was quite prepared to grant this favor, and had soon made an alliance with the sorcerer.  Kalnorsto fell asleep near the army, but the anxious Evaltho was unable to catch even a wink of sleep.  Finally at five in the morning, the bugler woke the army, and King Evaltho led them into Rash.  Most things were pink in Rash, and the buildings were made of beautifully polished pink stone.  The climate was largely desert, but with fertile areas here and there.  When the army reached the pink stone castle where Kashi Pasha lived, a page announced the King and Kalnorsto, who entered the throne room to speak to the Pasha.

            “So, what is it you want, Evaltho?” asked Kashi, a tall, pleasant man with pinkish-blond hair and a pimpled face.

            “Why do you not address me as ‘Your Majesty’?” questioned Evaltho angrily.

            “You’re not MY king, Evaltho.  As ruler of an independent state, I consider you my equal in rank.  As a human being, though, I consider myself to be your superior by far.”

            “Oh, shut up, you broken-out buffoon!  I am here with my army to annex your country!”

            “I’ve seen your army, Evaltho.  They might look impressive, but my people will never surrender.”

            “If you won’t agree out of fear, what about out of love?” asked Kalnorsto, fingering the magnet in his pocket.  “Do you not love me, Kashi?”

            “I do!  I’m not sure why, but I do, very much so.”

            “Well, if you love me, why not take my advice and give your country into the keeping of Eastern Ev?  You will still be allowed to maintain a position as governor.”

            “I believe I shall,” said Kashi, in a much more agreeable tone.  “It sounded silly coming from Evaltho, but when you say it, it makes so much sense.”

            So Kalnorsto handed Kashi a treaty, which the confident Evaltho had written up before even gathering his army.  He signed it over a luncheon of beef, salad, and rolls.  During this luncheon, a young red-haired lady entered the room, causing the sorcerer to drop his glass of wine.  The girl was none other than Eshla herself, and Kalnorsto lost no time in proposing to her.

            “But I’m already engaged to the Prince,” replied Eshla, who seemed more resistant to the powers of the Love Magnet than anyone else had been.

            “Don’t you love me, Eshla?”

            “I do, but I can’t let Asha down!  He’s such a sweet young man!”

            “Why don’t we discuss the matter at my castle?” suggested King Evaltho.  “You can be our special guest.”

“I suppose that couldn’t hurt.”

Part 3



            After the luncheon, Evaltho and Kalnorsto departed, taking Eshla and the army with them.  A young red-headed man with a scraggly beard promptly entered the dining room, and said, “I’m sorry I’m late for dinner, father.  I was putting the finishing touches on my automatic sword.”

            “My son, a terrible tragedy has befallen us!” said Kashi, who had now recovered his senses.  “I’ve just surrendered Rash to King Evaltho, and he took your fiancée!”

            “What?  How could this happen?”

            “I don’t know!  It never would have happened if it hadn’t been for his friend.  All I felt for him was love, and I couldn’t resist doing what he said.”

            “Mind control magic!  Well, don’t worry, father.  I shall bring back my lady love, and have our country restored!”

            “All by yourself?  I’m thinking it would be better to send the army.”

            “My automatic sword is better than any army, as it will fight off enemies with no casualties on our side.”

            Kashi did not have total faith in his son’s inventions, which had the tendency not to work exactly as planned.  Still, it was Asha’s fiancée who had been captured, so the Pasha felt he could not deny his son’s wishes.  So, bearing his automatic sword, the Prince set out toward Evaltho’s castle on his hurry-cane.  This was a cane that moved by itself, hence saving the bearer the trouble of walking.  It did occasionally stop moving suddenly, the jolt of which would sometimes throw its user flat on his back or face, but Asha saw this as a minor problem that could be worked out.  It ran on clockwork, and had to be wound, but the Prince hoped that he could someday find a more efficient means of propulsion.  It worked its way through the deserts of eastern Ev before reaching the sub-tropical climate where Evaltho had his castle.

            The Pasha planned to secretly send a small armed force after Asha, in case he got into trouble.  That was before he found that his army had joined forces with Evaltho’s, in an attempt to conquer even more territory.

            “The whole army was enthralled by the King’s companion,” explained a footman, who had seen them all depart.  “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

            “It must have been that mind-control magic!” exclaimed the Pasha.  “We must find some way to stand against it, or nothing will stop Evaltho!  I hope nothing happens to my son.”

            So far, nothing much had happened to Asha, aside from a few spills when the hurry-cane wound down, or its works became jammed.  It was still faster than walking, however, and Asha made it to Evaltho’s imposing stone castle not long after the King and his own companions did.  He switched off the cane, marched boldly up to the front doors, and demanded admittance from the two guards stationed there.

            “And who are you, to demand admittance, young man?” laughed a guard.

            “Asha, Prince of Rash!” replied the young man confidently.

            “Rash?  You mean the sad little state that our King just conquered earlier today?” asked the other guard.

            “He conquered it unfairly, with mind-control magic!”

            “So what?  You’re still a subject of his now, and he owes nothing to you!”

            “But that argument doesn’t make any sense.  Rulers are the servants of the people, are they not?”

            “That’s an interesting way of putting it,” admitted the first guard, “but I don’t think His Majesty would agree with it.”

            “My brother doesn’t, either.  He thinks a ruler should be able to do whatever he wants, and the people are his servants.  It’s a good thing he’s not next in line for the throne of Rash.”

            “There IS no throne of Rash anymore!” insisted the second guard.  “Your father is just a governor now.”

            “Countries should not be taken by trickery.  If your King won’t listen to reason, I’ll petition King Evardo, who’s his superior.”

            “For now, anyway.”

            Asha was not sure what the guard meant by that, but he simply restated his request to enter.  This time, the guards opened the doors, allowing the Prince entrance to the castle.  The building was rather labyrinthine, and sparsely decorated aside from a few portraits and statues of Evaltho himself.  After asking a guard inside which way the throne room was, he hurried along to this chamber, wondering whether or not to expect King Evaltho to be in there.  What he did not at all expect was to find the throne occupied by a yellow-skinned being with a body that appeared to be made of some rubbery substance, four arms, and a head with two sets of bug-like eyes.  His bright green hair was slicked back, and his ears looked similar to those of a cat.  After his initial shock, however, Asha composed himself and asked, “Are you the regent here?”

            “I guesh you could shay that,” replied the creature, in a voice that sounded full of saliva.  “I wash shummoned by the shorsherer Kalnorshto, and told to eat anyone who comesh here to challenge the King.”

            “What I have is not exactly a challenge, but more of a request.  I would like for my homeland of Rash to be restored to my father, its rightful ruler.”

            “Ah, sho you’re the Prinsh of Rash?  Kalnorshto told me to eat you immediately, with no queshtionsh ashked.”

            “But you’ve already asked me a question, so it’s too late to eat me, right?”

            “Ah, don’t play Mishter Clever with me!  I musht fulfill my duty!  It ish the lot of all shummoned monshters!”

            “I have to warn you that, if you try to eat me, I shall have to use my automatic sword.”

            “Ha!  Do you think that pathetic piesh of metal shcaresh me?”

            Asha was already winding the clockwork mechanism for his sword, however, and released it just as the creature was coming down from the throne.  It was very haphazard in its movements, flying around the room and slashing seemingly at random.  Just as the beast was opening its mouth to devour the unwanted guest, however, it hacked right into its arm, causing bright green slime to ooze out.  The monster’s screams brought several guards into the room, but when they saw the sword flying around the chamber, they refused to enter.

            “Do you concede?” asked the Prince.

            “I cannot!  A shummoned monshter musht do itsh duty or die in the attempt!” objected the monster.

            “And why is that?”

            “It’sh been written down, and cannot be unwritten.”

            “And where is it written?”

            “In the—“ began the creature.  It did not finish this thought, however, as the skylight above the throne shattered, raining broken glass down on the beast.  Asha managed to jump out of the way, and saw that the cause of the breakage was a bearded man with a large red jar encasing his body, floating down to the ground with the assistance of a red umbrella.  This man landed right on the monster’s head, and the man called out, “So, where is that ding-jinged King Evaltho?  I have a bone to pick with him.”



Part 4



            “I don’t know,” said Asha to the newcomer.  “I’d like to find him, too.  He tricked my father into giving up his country.”

            “It sounds like we’re in the same boat, then, my boy,” replied the stranger, as he jumped down from the monster’s head.  “He’s stolen my castle as well.  I really can’t understand it.  My army seems to have decided that they like him better than me, so they’re following him.  I escaped with the aid of my magic umbrella.”  The man showed his umbrella, which had a carved handle in the shape of a camel.

            “So your umbrella can fly?”

            “Yes, it takes me anywhere I want to go.  I just have to say the name of the place.  The only problem is that, once it’s started, it won’t take any more commands until it’s reached there.”

            “I wonder if it would be possible to combine that kind of magic with my hurry-cane,” said Asha, as he showed his clockwork cane to the man in the jar.

            “Perhaps.  I’m still trying to figure out how the umbrella works myself.  I have a suspicion that might be powered by fairies, which would make its power difficult for a humble wizard to duplicate.  Fortunately, I’m not particularly humble, hoo-hoo-hoo, hee-hee-heek!”  With that, the man began an odd fit of laughing.  Upon calming down, he added, “In case you didn’t know from the jar, I am the famous Red Jinn, Jinnicky to my friends.  I hope I can count you as one of them?”

            “Most certainly, Jinnicky,” returned the Prince, shaking the Jinn’s hand.  “I am Asha, Prince of Rash.”

            “Oh, sho now I have to eat a wizard as well?” complained the monster, who had just recovered from Jinnicky’s landing on his head.  “I’ve done that before, and he didn’t tashte at all good.”

            “Oh, you don’t have to eat anyone.  In fact, I’d much prefer it if you didn’t.  I didn’t study wizardry for all this time so I could be a monster’s lunch.”

            “But I musht!  It is my compulshion as a shummoned monshter!  I musht either fulfill my duty, or die trying!”

            “I’ve learned a thing or two about summoned monsters, and there’s another option you haven’t mentioned.  I can banish you back to where you came from.”  And with that, Jinnicky pointed his umbrella at the creature, while stamping his right foot five times.  He then said a few odd words, and spun around twice like a top.  Finally, he pointed his umbrella at the beast again, and shouted, “Begone!”  Instantly, the monster vanished, leaving nothing behind but the drool and green slime it had gotten on the floor.

            “Very handy thing to know, my boy, very handy indeed,” said the Jinn cheerfully.  “Now we can be going.”

            “But I came here to rescue my fiancée, and I still don’t know where she is,” objected Asha.

            “Oh, that’s no problem, no problem at all!  What’s her name?”  When the Prince had relayed this information, Jinnicky told Asha to hold on to him, opened his umbrella, and told it, “Take us to Eshla.”  The umbrella rose into the air, and sailed toward one of the castle’s towers, where Eshla was looking out the window.

            “Asha!  You’ve come to rescue me!” called the lady.  “How very…typical!  But it’s just what I need now.”

            “And what am I, chopped ginger?” said the Jinn, as he and the Prince landed on the windowsill.

            “Thank you also, sir.”

            “You don’t need to call me sir.  “’Your Highness’ would be fine, though.  Or just plain Jinnicky.”  The Jinn closed his umbrella, and the two of them entered Eshla’s tower prison.

            “You’re a prince, then?”

            “I have my own castle and city to the north of here, on the coast of the Nonestic Ocean.  I’m mostly a wizard, though.  They call me the Red Jinn of Ev.”

            “Oh, I think I’ve heard of you!”

            “You must move in the right circles, then.  The only circles I move in are these,” laughed the Jinn, while spinning around in a top-like fashion again.

            “You certainly are cheerful for someone who just lost his castle,” stated Asha.

            “Oh, I find that it works best to cheerful at all times,” said the Jinn, as he halted in his spinning.  “Not that I am, mind you, but I try to be.”

            “Well, I can’t be, when I’m probably going to be forced to marry that awful sorcerer.  I remember him from university, actually.  He was always trying to be friendly, but I could tell he had a difficult time with it.  He’s a black-hearted man if ever there was one.  The only problem is, when he’s around, I fall in love with him.  It doesn’t work when he’s not around, though.”

            “So where did he go, anyway?” inquired Asha.

            “He went off with the King to conquer some more territory.  I heard them saying they would take a few more cities, and then wrest all of Ev from the control of Evaltho’s cousin.”

            “Well, with his mind-control magic, it might be difficult to stop him,” admitted Jinnicky.  “We’d better get to a safe place, so we can think about this.”

            With that, the Jinn opened the umbrella again.  Asha grabbed onto his jar again, while Eshla held the Prince around the waist.  Ordering the umbrella to take them to a nearby safe place, they were off through the air again.  This time, they landed on top of a fortress that appeared to have been made of a variety of materials, including wood, stone, and brick.  A tiny man dressed all in brown was standing in the lookout tower, but when he noticed Jinnicky, he jumped down and hurried over to the man, embracing his jar.


Part 5

Bitty Bit


            “Jinnicky!  What are you doing here?” asked the man.

            “I told my magic umbrella to take us to a safe place,” replied the Jinn.

            “Well, I suppose this place is about as safe as any in Ev.  Evaltho’s troops have spread out all over the country, and the defenders of the independent states and followers of King Evardo have all had to retreat.  When a number of us made it here to Falnor, one of the inhabitants made a fort for us.  Never seen anything like it, really.  He built it from scratch in a matter of minutes, using materials he found around town.”

            “What’s his name?”

            “Johnny something, I believe.  Johnny Didit?  No, not quite.”

            “Johnny Dooit?  I’ve heard of him.  One of the greatest builders in the land, is what I hear.”

            “It certainly seems that way.”

            “Anyway, I’m being rude, aren’t I?  This is Asha, the Prince of Rash, and his fiancée Eshla.  Asha and Eshla, meet Bitty Bit, the Seer.”

            “Seer?” inquired Eshla, as the two of them shook hands with Bitty.  “Then can he see what’s causing everyone in Ev to rally behind Evaltho, and why I can’t help loving Kalnorsto when he’s around?”

            “Yes, I’m way ahead of you there.  What I can’t see, at least at present, is what we can do about it,” declared Bitty.

            “So what’s happening?” questioned Asha.

            “At the root of the problem is a talisman called the Love Magnet, made by the wizard Conjo, who lives on an island in the Nonestic.  He gave it to a shipwrecked sailor, who then left the island in a boat made by Conjo, with the magnet tied to the mast.  The sailor was eaten by a whale, but the ship washed ashore at a coastal village in the western part of Ev, and discovered by the sorcerer Kalnorsto.”

            “If there were anyone who was resistant to the Magnet, they could take it away from Kalnorsto,” suggested Eshla.

            “Why, that’s just it, my girl!” exclaimed Jinnicky, as he jumped up and clicked his heels together.  “Goblins are unaffected by love spells.  It’s something in their hearts, I believe.  I learned that from Glinda.”

            “Glinda, the great Sorceress of Oz?”

            “Yes, I studied under her for a while.  Impressive, no?  Anyway, off I go to Goblin Mountain, to find someone to help us take that magnet!”

            “But the goblins have no loyalty to any human government,” objected Bitty.  “Why would they help us?”

            “I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it, har har!” laughed the Jinn, as he raised his umbrella yet again.  “The next time you see me, it will be in the company of a goblin, mark my words!  Har har, mark my words!”


Part 6

Gralgor T. Grestwen


            While waiting for the Jinn to return, Asha and Eshla joined in a game of Evian Checkers, which is somewhat like Chinese Checkers, but not exactly.  Also playing the game were Bitty, his even smaller brother Bittier, Johnny Dooit himself, and the nervous Mayor of Falnor.  Bitty, with his powers of foresight, could tell the outcome of every game, but he chose not to in order to keep things fair.  In between games, Bittier served food that he had prepared.  His resources were limited, so most of it was dried beef and pork with some occasional porridge, but the inhabitants of the fort were glad to have anything at all.  Asha had won six games of Evian Checkers, Eshla three, and the Mayor two by the time that Jinnicky had returned to the fort, leading a reddish-colored goblin by the hand.  Most goblins are rather short and squat, but this was one of the nobles of Goblin Mountain, who are tall and proud, and rather handsome despite their pointed teeth and ears, clawed limbs, and horns.  This goblin wore a simple but neat brown robe, and sandals that appeared to be made of some kind of metal on his clawed feet.

            “Well, this was the only goblin I could find, but I think he’ll do,” announced Jinnicky.  “Meet Gralgor T. Grestwen.”

            “Greetings,” began the goblin.  “The T stands for Tarmog, you see.  Very traditional goblin name.  It’s been in my family for generations.”

            “Nice to meet you, Mr. Grestwen,” said Asha, shaking Gralgor’s hand.  All of the other occupants of the room followed suit, although the Mayor had a faint look of distaste on his face at the time.

            “You can call me Gralgor.  Most of my people are not sympathetic to your cause, as they care not about the doings of humans.  I, however, have been thinking that we need to improve our relations with our human neighbors, and I hope that my alliance with you can provide a useful first step.”

            “Spoken like a true statesman!” said Eshla.

            “Thank you, my lady.  Now, where is this Evaltho, who thinks he can conquer the entire Land of Ev?”

            Bitty Bit went into a trance, pushing his fingers to his temples as he did so, and then said, “He’s at King Evardo’s castle, near Evna.”

            “Then off we go to Evna!” exclaimed the Jinn.

            “But how many of us are coming with you?” inquired Asha.

            “Well, I’m not sure how many my umbrella will hold.  It’s very strong, but it would be difficult for me to support too many of you while holding the handle.”

            “I think I can help you with that,” announced Johnny Dooit.  And with that, the little man set to work at an amazing speed, using boards, scraps, and rope that he found lying around the fort to construct a set of five seats that could be attached to the umbrella.

            “So there’s enough room for five of us,” said Bitty.  “I suppose I should go, since you might need my powers of foresight.  Jinnicky and Gralgor obviously should go as well, but who else?”

            Johnny Dooit volunteered to make the trip, but the Mayor absolutely refused, and Bittier Bit saw no need to join them.  So Asha decided that he would be last of the three to journey to Evna, leaving Eshla behind in the fort.  She was not entirely happy with this decision, but decided that her betrothed would probably be of more use in a fight than she would, so she reluctantly agreed.

            The flight was surprisingly smooth and swift, and it was not long before the five adventurers came down right in King Evardo’s courtyard, where Evaltho and Kalnorsto were attempting to negotiate with the King of Ev.  The monarch did not appear at all pleased, and was glad of the distraction of the small party landing nearby.

            “Ah, visitors!” said Evardo, in a friendly voice.  “You, my jarred friend, must be the Red Jinn of Ev, correct?”

            “Har har, you were right the first time!  And these are Asha, Prince of Rash; the Seer Bitty Bit; Johnny Dooit; and Gralgor T. Grestwen of Goblin Mountain.”

            “I’m quite pleased to meet you,” declared the King, shaking Jinnicky’s hand vigorously.  “My cousin is here for a visit as well, with his friend Kalnorsto.  I don’t know Kalnorsto very well, but I just LOVE him, and I know you will as well.”

            When the sorcerer looked at the travelers, they had to admit to themselves that the King was correct about this.  Well, all except for Gralgor, who blurted out, “Kalnorsto is a fraud, using a magic talisman to help Evaltho conquer your kingdom!”
            “What?  This is a very serious charge, my good sir goblin.”

            Instead of replying, Gralgor immediately ran up to Kalnorsto.  Before the sorcerer could make a move, the goblin had reached into the man’s right pocket, and taken out the Love Magnet.  King Evardo’s expression promptly changed from affable to angry, and he yelled out, “So, it’s treason from you, cousin?  I would have expected better from a member of my own family!”

            Evardo had soon called for the guards, who put Evaltho in chains and led him off to the tower prison.  Kalnorsto, however, managed to avoid the guards by means of a quick levitation spell, and attempted to grab the Love Magnet back from Gralgor.  The small party of adventurers had soon returned to their seats at the Magic Umbrella, which Jinnicky quickly ordered to travel to his own castle.  Kalnorsto summoned his flying boat, however, and pursued them at top speed.  His top speed was not as fast as that of the umbrella, but it was close.


Part 7

Kalnorsto’s Defeat


Jinnicky’s red glass castle was still occupied by some of Evaltho’s soldiers, but since the ruler was no longer there, they were not prepared for a fight.  Hence, Asha’s clockwork sword immediately put them to flight, allowing the five travelers entrance to the castle.  Kalnorsto followed them, landing his boat at the top of the hundred steps into the building.  As he chased the party through the Jinn’s throne room, Gralgor handed the Love Magnet to Bitty Bit.  When Kalnorsto came close to catching up to him, the Seer hurriedly threw it to Johnny Dooit, who took it through corridors, eventually running into a room and shutting the door.  Gralgor stuck out his foot and tripped the sorcerer, allowing the others to get a head start on him.  When they reached the chamber Johnny had entered, they noticed a flash of red light coming from it.

“Oh, ding jing it!  It’s my Bonding Chamber!” exclaimed Jinnicky.  “Johnny, are you all right in there?”

“Yes, I’m fine,” said the man, as he opened the door and emerged from the room.  “What was that red light?”

“I am afraid, my friend, that you are now bound to the Love Magnet.”

“What do you mean?”

“When a person or animal is bound to an object, it means they must come to its summons.  It also often requires them to obey the commands of the summoner, but such is not always the case.  It depends on the kind of bond.  Fortunately, the room was only set to a weak bond,” declared Jinnicky, indicating a gauge by the door.

By this point, Kalnorsto had regained his feet and found the group, and began running toward them again.  Asha, thinking quickly, turned a knob below the gauge, and told Gralgor to grab the sorcerer.  This the goblin gladly did, and at the Prince’s command, pushed the magician into the room.  Asha then threw in the first object he found in his pocket, which turned out to be a spoon.  Gralgor shut the door before Kalnorsto could escape, and the flash of red light came again.  When Jinnicky opened the door, only the spoon could be seen in the room.  Asha had set the room to the strongest possible bond, meaning that Kalnorsto no longer had any real physical existence unless summoned by the spoon.


Part 8

The Conclusion


That was largely the end of Evaltho’s campaign to control all of Ev, but some of his supporters refused to surrender immediately, so it was about a month before peace was finally declared.  As Evaltho was family, Evardo did not sentence him too harshly, but instead allowed him to remain under house arrest for the rest of his days.  King Evardo presented Jinnicky, Asha, Gralgor, Bitty Bit, and Johnny Dooit with medals at a great ceremony.  He then offered the Jinn control over the lands formerly controlled by his cousin, which the wizard accepted with pleasure.  The independence of Rash was restored, but Evardo promised that Ev would always remain an ally of the small state.  Asha’s wedding to Eshla was celebrated with great ceremony and magnificence, with King Evardo and all of the others as honored guests.  The newlyweds spent their honeymoon on a small island of the coast of Ev, but it was not long after this that they visited Jinnicky, who helped Asha to develop his hurry-cane into a viable means of long-distance transportation.  Bitty Bit, with some help from Johnny Dooit and the Red Jinn, had a castle built on Some Summit, which had a shooting tower that could stretch out and travel to various places.  Bittier stayed with him in the castle and served as his cook.  Gralgor continued his work to improve relations between goblins and humans.  After serving as Mayor of Falnor for a few years, he returned to Goblin Mountain, where he was elected Governor of the Goblins.

As for the Love Magnet and the spoon that now held Kalnorsto, Jinnicky kept them safely in his magical storeroom until the day that it was looted by a renegade Christmas tree, which then escaped across the Impassable Desert to Oz.  While there are tales of what happened to the Magnet, the fate of the spoon, and indeed of Kalnorsto himself, remains unknown.