Greetings

Glad you could join us for the next rousing episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

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Photo credit: Shikhei Goh

Dawn danced across the Meadow where the Knights of Service had prepared the training ground.

Thousands filled the field. On the ground, mammals and reptiles, amphibians and crawling insects, all in high spirits, called to friends, shouting victory to come. In the surrounding trees, fliers with feathered or gossamer wings twittered and tweeted, flittered and buzzed, vibrating the air with an electric hum.

The Lieutenant leaped to a highpoint. Silence fell.

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Savoring the Bittersweet

Glad you could join us for the next catch-up episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

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Image credit: NatGeoWild / S.T. Ranscht
“Hey, what about King Arnie of Bog and his Knights of Service? They don’t write… they don’t call…” You, trying to remember what they were doing 50 episodes ago.

When we last saw the fine fighting forces of Bog, King Arnie was honoring Lady Connie, her family, and their neighbors for helping to win the final battle against the Marauders. Well, final for now. Together, Bog and Fen had repelled the enemy without conquering them, and no one was foolish enough to think the war was over.

So what have they been doing?

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Sliding On the Sky

Glad you could join us for the next avian episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

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Photo credit: halex

“Thank you,” Elliot’s pride battled with the enormity of what he’d just heard, and wisely surrendered to humility. “I will do my best — faithfully — to deserve this Name.”

First Combat Master Vladimir the Just bowed his head to Elliot the Faithful. “May your Name inspire all who meet you to trust that you will serve them well.”

The celebration of a new Naming was a raucous, thirsty affair. Elliot was certain every creature in attendance must have congratulated him in person — some many times — with a toast for success and a shot of aged nectar.

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The Naming

Glad you could join us for the next definitive episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

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Photo credit: Marc Steurbaut

Without a wave or a formal good-bye, the Granters hopped from their mushrooms and retreated to a dim green corner, excited hissing whispers trailing behind them. Placing a hand on Elliot’s shell, Master Vladimir urged him toward a passageway in the opposite direction.

“This isn’t the way we came in,” Elliot observed.

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The Granters

Glad you could join us for the next indecisive episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

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Photo credit: Igor Siwanowicz

Someone in the dining hall closed the door behind them. Elliot wore the dark on his back like a hooded coat, pushing himself to keep his face within the sphere of lantern light. The further they descended, the closer the walls seemed to lean in until the deepest chamber beneath the Tower of Honor opened around them with the moist aroma of fungus gently touched by fresh air.

Mushroom lights sprouted from cracks in walls that gleamed like black glass, and poked their heads up randomly from loamy patches in the floor. Non-glowing fungi, taller and woodier, stood like posts and platforms scattered over harder ground. Two of those held the room’s only other occupants. Four eyes glistened in the newly golden glow.

“This is Elliot,” the First Combat Master announced. “These are the Granters — they grant many requests, but tonight they will decide if you are a worthy recipient.”

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A Downward Spiral

Glad you could join us for the next descending episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

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Photo credit: Irish UE

All eyes followed them as First Combat Master Vladimir the Just escorted Elliot the length of the dining hall to a square door recessed into the wall facing the High Priestess’ table. Only half the height of any other door in the Tower, its lock fought valiantly against the key Master Vlad inserted, in a vain attempt to keep the secret it guarded.

Its heavy planks dragged open on hinges rusty from neglect and disuse, the door’s screeching protest pierced all ears and overpowered all pained gasps as the Master revealed a dark opening at the top of a stairway to blackness.

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First Combat Master Vladimir the Just

Glad you could join us for the next actual episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

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Photo credit: Carlos del Pico

In the second deepest chamber beneath the Tower of Honor, an expansive room carved out of porous white stone, the residents gathered to confer, converse, and dine. Organic lighting spread cheer with its impression of sunny windows.

As the High Priestess entered, everyone — hundreds, Elliot estimated — stood. Acknowledging them with a nod, she led him to a laden table on the raised dais at one end of the hall, then turned to the waiting diners.

Continue reading “First Combat Master Vladimir the Just”