The stone fort felt wrong from the moment we went inside. The darkness was wrong, a twilight that was not real. Our shadows disappeared, and they felt weak in the corners. Or my connection was weak, it was hard to tell. There was no life in here. A verdant forest outside, but not a weed among these stones.
Inside the main building, Red hears tapping upstairs, and in short order, we go. It is more wrong inside, even before we find the satyr on a throne of bones. Red starts throwing questions at him, and he turns to us slowly, like we aren’t really there. He does have the viola we’re after, though it has a blackness to it, too. Page starts playing music to counter the chord he struck, but Red gets bored and jumps him.
It’s a bit rough going, but when we take him down, he melts away, like those devils we fought just the other day. Nevi grabs the viola, but Page makes him put it in her bag. She seems afraid of its blackness, as we head back outside and around to the moonwell.
It’s a natural pool in this manmade fort, though surrounded with stacked stones. The water is dark, but with pinpricks of lightness, almost like sequins. Orange wants to drink it, and it takes all of us to stop him. Red takes him away to go patrol the area. I stay behind and patrol the pool edge to keep Orange from making a break for it. The rest of them study the pool of tainted magic. For a long time.
I tune them out for a while. Tempers are running high when I check back in. Page is playing angry music. Nevi is on about a unicorn again. The Big Guy is reading through a book and every time he suggests a spell that sounds helpful to me, Page just gets angrier. We give him a bunch of gems and magic things, but he just keeps reading for a while. Then Red comes back, confused why we haven’t started, yet, and the brothers add in some magic of their own. The Big Guy finally starts a cleansing ceremony, and we all try to give him what energy or focus we have.
Two hours in, the satyr comes back. Sitting on top of the fort, laughing at us. Those not involved in the casting go after him. It devolves into a game of tag on the roof, but we put him back down again, and get the viola back for Page, again. After another two hours, the Big Guy collapses, the moon shines down, and a geyser of water shoots up from the pool. When everything settles down again, it is purified and clear. The ground begins sprouting new life, and the viola is cleaned of the darkness. We finally let Orange drink, and it knocks him on his butt. He doesn’t seem to mind though. I pull some dinner out of my book and we camp there for the night, just to be sure.
In the morning, we windwalk down to the big lake to go fishing. Orange goes for a swim and Page starts shooting missiles into the water. Orange gets really annoyed, so she walks to another section of the beach. Altogether, they bring in five big rainbow fish. Then we windwalk the rest of the way back down to the Cat Lord. He is very happy with the fish and sent us back home.