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"hmm...not a kind I'm familiar with...European possibly?" He asked astra more than penny, the latter of whom was busy with cherry pops and Astra as always remained a sheep....a magical sheep but a sheep none the less.

 

"Clearly experimental...that much is for sure, it's more of a....fungal skeleton with a squishy cheese coating." He mused as he set down the hunk of golem and with a bit of enchanting incanting he worked a beautifully inlaid compass into existence and began to attune it to the thaumatic wavelengths of the golems animating magic.

 

"At best; Very irresponsible....at worst actively malicious...to dangerous to ignore."

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GM

 

"Whats that? It looks like a compass!" said Penny, peering over the shoulder of Oz. 

 

She was most perceptive. 

 

"It certainly looks like a grade A puzzle solver. I love it when Puzzles have easy solutions!" she said, although her face was a bit more conflicted. Perhaps there was that sentiment, but it might be better described. She liked fun puzzles. With not too much danger involved. A little bit of danger, fine!

 

The compass swung around in all directions. It wibbled. It wobbled. But after all its wibbly-wobbly flutters, it settled on clear direction. 

 

Freedom City. 

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"I prefer to think of it as a nudge in the right direction my dear." Oz hummed as he examined the part compass, part pocket watch ticked clearly through the coordinates of freedom city.

 

"Freedom city...I had hoped to avoid going there...bit too...lively for a retired man like myself but at least it's not that bedlam place." He sighed as he rubbed his temples and looked at astra with concern.

 

It was unlikely she would sit still whilst he was gone so far away for so long.

 

"Let me just get Astra's leash ready and I will whip us up a portal."

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Astra was munching on something invisible floating through the ether. Who could truly say what it was? Probably not even Astra herself. 

 

"What the darnation is that?" asked Penny, slightly irritated now she had used up all her Cherrypop!s

 

"Do you use it to grow herbs or something? Keep the gardens watered?"

 

She fought the temptation to poke it with a stick. 

 

"Anyway, as you may know, Freedom City is a pretty zany place. But a walking cloud tends to attract attention"

 

She pulled her woolen hat over her head. 

 

"And I'd prefer to live some kind of normal life. Without people pointing at my ears and calling me Spock...." she grumphed. "Is it possible to go incognito? Or use a cloak of invisibility or something?"

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"ah astra? She's my pet from back home, when I was just starting out and working on my thesis!" He laughed as he recalled some of his less than successful experiments.

 

"Magical flight isn't possible with magic from where I am from so I took to studying cloud sheep and their lighter than air wool." He explained as he rubbed his chin a little with thought

 

"Had I succeeded I would probably have been considered the greatest young arcanist of my age.." his eyes twinkled with half remembered ambitions and dreams of glory.

 

"But alas, prodigy or not it was beyond me, I had to make my name another way...still I had grown rather affectionate of little astra whilst I was studying her and decided to keep her as a pet." He explained.

 

"I'm afraid I can'r leave her here alone...she is very much like a cloud you see...prone to wandering where the wind may blow...and cunning enough to escape almost anything I could do to try and contain her." He confessed a little bemused as he ran his hand through the thick wool on his pet's back.

 

"She would almost undoubtedly turn up eventually of her own accord if I don't"

 

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Penny stroked Astra too. 

 

"Well she is pretty weird. Strange weird. Not freaky weird. Well, maybe a little bit freaky" she said, her mind mercurial. 

 

"Look, I understand. I had a cat once. Bill. Dollar Bill. Haha. Yes, it went well with Penny Coin" she said, grinding her teeth a little "Dad is such a joker..."

 

"I don't mind Freedom City taking pictures of you. Or even some reporter like Jack Jackson filming you and asking you questions. Its just I dont want fame. Well, I would want fame. Like being a really cool instatube star. But I dont want all the stuff that goes with fame. Not when I have these ears" she said. 

 

"So could you give me a break and disguise me or something? Give me a mask. Ill be your sidekick. Like...Munchkin maiden!"

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"yes i see...hmm" he pondered a little before deciding on a course of action "what would you like to look like? I don't really keep up with the world of fashion as im sure you can tell." he explained "if you can describe to me in sufficient detail it'd be a matter of saying the words and making gestures." he mused "at least until you want to turn back of course."

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GM

 

"Anything but me" answered Penny, quickly. 

 

"Well, nearly anything. Not a clown, obviously" she said with a shudder. "They freak me out. Those smiles that go the wrong way? Brrr...." she said, hugging herself. 

 

"And not a frog. I don't like frogs much either. The way the hoppity hop and that big ballon where their throat is...brrrr....."

 

"And certainly not a clown frog!" she concluded, almost going white at the thought. "Hey, why did I even think about that? Thats super freaky to the max! Have you got a spell of forgetfullness or something?" she asked. 

 

"Anyway any thing but that....!"

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"oh yes I was assuming you wanted to remain human...how about one of my old acquaintances daughters or grand daughters...Hm Abigail maybe?" He mused and with a gesture and an incantation transformed pixie attire and all into a slightly taller, paler and befreckled red head with green eyes, a button nose and small rounded ears.

 

"Hummm...or perhaps Lisa? I was hoping to make her my apprentice one day..." He mused as another gesture turned her into a shorter but stockier dark skinned young woman with brown eyes and curly black hair.

 

"Caitlin might be more your speed though...quite a hellion you know?" He chuckled as one last word and gesture transformed pixie into a similar to herself sized young brunette with long straight hair of a medium build with a sharp nose, not unlike a beak 

 

A click of his fingers and pixie was once again herself.

 

"Any in particular you like?"

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"Too red. Too short. Too much nose"

 

Penny Coin was not easily satisfied. 

 

"Can't you make me look like a real bad ass? Like, maybe Kat Klaw, you know? From Gunbusters 9?"

 

Gunbusters was a series of stupidlypopular low budget action flicks that had lots of guns in. Kat Klaw was the heroine of the latest installment, Gun busters 9, who indeed was a bad ass. Tall, willowy, with short slicked back jet black hair, deep brown eyes, and a master of kung fu. With guns, of course. 

 

"Please? And give me some awesome Kung Fu skills! Like the dance of the drunken mantis!" she demonstrated, showing off her fantastic imaginary kung fu (or arguably, kung fool) skills. "And some of her awesome microguns!" she added, firing of a pair of imaginary automatic snub-nosed pistols. 

Edited by Supercape

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"let me just get a picture up, I'm afraid I can't teach you Kung Fu and I'm not giving you a gun." Oz's answered in one breath as he thumbed through his smart phone to find references.

 

"Oh...quite a popular movie I see..might draw more attention but I'm guessing in a way you'd like?" He mused as he worked his magic one last time to whisk pixie into the picture he'd found.

 

"Ta-da! And for my next trick..a portal to Freedom city....once I have astra ready for travel at least.

 

A few minutes and headbutts later, he, his sheep and a polymorphed pixie were ready to go.

 

"If I'm doing this right a portal should open somewhere near to where we need to be." A good mumbling and fumbling of his fingers later and a mind green hole formed in the air before him.

 

"I'd suggest not holding your breath and focusing on one fixed point...your ears may pop."

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GM

 

"Awesome!" replied Penny, at both her new badass appearance, and the portal. 

 

She was a bit dissapointed she didn't also know drunken mantis style, but hey, she could try and pretend. 

 

Pop! Went her ears as they landed in the middle of Freedom City Park. There were people milling about, ponds, greenery, the mysterious ten foot statue of Block Head, and a chilly crisp atmosphere full of sunlight. 

 

And pretty soon, stares, pointed fingers, and mobile phones taking pictures. Who was this mysterious wizard, and what was Kat Klaw doing with him?

 

Pretty soon the rumour mill had started. They were surely shooting Gun Busters 10!!!!

 

Penny did nothing to dissuade them. 

 

"What now, mister?" she asked Oz, as the cheesedar swung wildly, around and around. The message was clear...this was something underground!!!! The sewers!!!!

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"well it's either directly above us or more than likely directly below is according to this....so we're going for a sewer safari...hmm. not dressed for that at all."

 

A click of his fingers solved that for himself and pixie, duck yellow raincoats and green Wellington's 

 

"There that should keep us from touching anything nasty."

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Meanwhile...

 

In the sewers of Freedom City, a man was at work. 

 

A sort of man. 

 

Not much like a man, in truth.

 

He was seven feet tall, dressed in black, with a fantastic cape and heavy black boots. He had no head, just a glass helmet full of shiting orange vapours that sort of kind of half resembled a head now and again. Ish. 

 

He was reciting a spell in his underground lair, full of arcane symbols and ancient books. It was not big, but it was most certainly secret. And he had almost got rid of the stench of the sewers. 

 

With a final phrase in Babylonian, there was a puff of smoke in the centre of the summoning circle, and the Forever Boy appeared!

 

The caped sorcecrer groaned. "Damn. Another failure! Who are you?"

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Forever Boy

 

One moment, Pan was at Claremont Academy. It was a normal day, classes, training with the rest of the Blue Squad, more classes, trying not to fall asleep. Class had just ended, he was about to head to lunch and then he was suddenly standing in the middle of a sewer, in the middle of a summoning circle.

 

Pan blinked once, his eyes darting around, before being drawn to the voice in front of him. A very tall man in a cape and with no head, just a glass bowl. He had tried much, but suddenly disappearing while flying to lunch was new. It was hopefully still Earth Prime. He really hoped so, at least. And the man with the glass bowl for a head and the cape did not seem pleased to see him, so best to assume it was still the same plane, and with a flash of Pixie Dust, his Forever Boy uniform replaced his regular clothes. The man obviously didn't know him, so no reason to give away the secret identity that had been set up for him.

 

"Greetings, I am Forever Boy." He bowed with a flourish, while keeping his eye on the man. "And where exactly have you brought me?"

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"Ah...yes...." said the orange domed sorcerer. He spoke with a deep voice, with a vaguely Italian accent. 

 

"Not the bestest of places. You stand in a summoning circle in the filthy sewers of Freedom City. I ah...apologise for bringing you here" he said. 

 

"My name is Lorenzo. Some call me the Black Rose"

 

He was indeed dressed in black leathers. And he did smell faintly floral. 

 

"I did not intend to summon you. It is interesting...I wonder why you did appear? I am trying to open a portal to...well....somewhere else. Why did you come, I wonders?"

 

 

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Pan did not like the black leather look on this Lorenzo fellow. Without really waiting, he drifted up from the circle he had found himself standing in. Summoning circles did not sound nice at all, especially not with the events at Halloween. Summoning something from somewhere else just made him think of that. But at least this Lorenzo did not seem like a lust mad teenage boy, though of course the helmet could hide just that. The glowing dust falling from him, he stayed a bit above the ground, circling slightly around Lorenzo.

 

"Well, that could depend on a good many things, Mr. Lorenzo. Do tell, where exactly did you try to open a portal a to?" 

 

Pan did not like this at all, no. He was confined in the sewer, which did not exactly smell well, he had no idea what was going on either... no, he would need to figure that out first.

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GM

 

"A land of fertile earth, with crystal clear rivers, fruit on every tree laden with sweet juice, where the skies shine clear even as gentle dew rolls over the greenest grass you shall see..." started Lorenzo. 

 

"Unfortunately, it is also home to the most mad of fae folk. Which, if you have ever met their kind, is a most irritating prospect. Nevertheless, I intend to reach that strange realm. It is the only chance I have of regaining my body" he said, bluntly. 

 

"I have made precautions for my visit. Unfortunately, I have misplaced my golem. But I hope it will return soon. In any case, I must reach the Green lands..."

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Fae. Fairies. Pixies. Oh yes, Pan had met plenty of Pixies on Neverworld, and while they could be strange to human minds and eyes, calling them mad was not something he would ever have done, but if other worlds did indeed have mad Pixies, or other kinds of Fae, then that could lead to awful situations indeed. Like the man's missing body.

 

Pan eyed him for a moment, a dry grin splitting his lips. "Well, if you are trying to reach Fae lands, then it appears that my appearance here has something of an explanation, at least." He gestured to the golden dust that continuously fell from his body as he floated before Lorenzo. "Pixie Dust." 

 

He paused for a brief moment, to let the thought set in. And wait for the inevitable mention of Peter Pan, before he continued with another question. "Care to share why exactly they have your body?" Maybe it was a just punishment? Or perhaps an act most unjust? Time would tell, if Lorenzo were to be trusted at least!

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Lorenzo paused, the golden gas inside his glass domed head congealing into some semblance of a face. A displeased face. Possibly even an angry face. 

 

"Pixie dust???" he said, raising his black gloved arm and pointing a black gloved finger. 

 

"Can you tell me why you are carrying PIXIE DUST?" he said, more and more angry. 

 

Meanwhile...

 

"This stinks!" complained Penny, dressed in Wellingtons and Raincoats. "The colours don't match...like at all!"

 

She was most displeased that her spell of looking like the badass Kat Klaw was coming to an end. And she didn't have any guns. She had to make do with her fertile imagination.

 

Ahead, as they stomped through the sewers of Freedom City guided by Oz's magic compass, they heard the sound of the Black Rose, Lorenzo, raising his voice...

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Oh, that earned a reaction. Swift, and full of wrath it seemed. So, Pan put some more distance between them in the cramped sewer. There was little reason to stay too close to someone that was clearly angry with him simply for existing. Or rather, for having something that he had had for ages.

 

"I believe that I asked the first question, Mr. Lorenzo." The smile on Pan's lips had broadened into a wide grin once more. He could not help himself. There was just something in Lorenzo's voice, or rather, in the anger in its tone, that made it so easy for him. If this man hated the fact that he had Pixie Dust, then just why should he tell why? "Share your story of a lack of a body, and I shall share mine of Pixie Dust." 

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GM

 

The gas in the dome congealed into a furious displeased face. 

 

"Don't make demands of me!" said the Black rose. He raised a gloved black hard and brought his fingers into a fist. "I am a master alchemist! a professor of herbology! I served the DeMedici family for decades, and have spent centuries with my mind dancing through time and space beyond your understanding!"

 

"Only the fertile lands of the fae could possibly have what I need to grow, to recover! Now, a strange flying boy with pixie dust strikes me as just the sort of idiot who might stop me....tell me, are you one of those mad fools?"

 

 

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"It stinks because it is a sewer, my dear." Oz responded wryly as he tromped through things he didn't care to think on further as they made their way deeper into the subterranean labyrinth.

 

"Not quite as open as the ones back home." He commented. "Then again you don't hope to encourage useful creatures to live in them I imagine." He mused breifly before catching the sounds of a raised voice on the horridly humid wind.

 

"Ah...seems we have found our cheesemeister...take Astra for me won't you? I'll need both hands for this."

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Oh, alright then. This was fine. This man, Mr. Lorenzo was quite obviously not a good guy! That made things so much easier. And making demands of him now, stating that his mind had danced through centuries in ways that Pan did not understand? Now he was just trying to insult his intelligence! The man might be furious, but Pan was almost laughing!

 

"And yet, for all the knowledge you seem to posses, you do not seem to have the simple ability to listen! I asked you a question first! An answer for an answer!" He was not about to give in this easily, rasied voices and threats or not. He could very well make his own threats. 

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GM

 

The Black Rose seethed. 

 

"Very well then. It seems it is you who do not listen. You are in no position to make demands...."

 

And suddently, in the blink of an eye, the world become pitch black. From afar, Penny and Oz could see a great well of blackness, dark beyond dark, down the sewer. 

 

"I am the Black Rose, Lorenzo Sabatini! I have no time for elves or pixies, or any of the mad folk!" rumbled the Black Rose. "Now, you will tell me from whence came your filthy pixie dust!!!"

 

And a sweet floral smell, enchanting and hypnotic, filled the air. And more importantly, filled the nostrils of the Forever Boy!

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