Role Playing Fan Fiction ❯ The Mystery of Samera Woods ❯ Chapter 2

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

The Mystery of Samera Woodlands Part 2


Goyeta was a little village consisting of reddish flat roofed square houses, a small Temple with pylons And courtyard with palms And a Tavern with a sign of golden salamander, with a dark line of huge trees in some distance. The burly farmer drove his cart to the pub And shouted, 'Whoa!' The two oxes harnessed into his cart stopped. 

'Well, this here is Goyeta,' he grinned. 'Your call!'

'Thank you, Master Jerubel,' Sheldon smiled gently. 

'You're welcome,' Jerubel grinned. 'Goyeta sure needs some heroes to put a Stop to the shit that is going on here!'

'Well, we're more of three mighty wizards, a Hunter And a feline thief,' Sheldon said proudly. 'But thank you all the Same, Master Jerubel!'

'And again welcome, Doctor Sheldon!' Jerubel grinned. 'Good luck!'

'Thank you, Master Jerubel,' Sheldon smiled gently And jumped off the cart awkwardly. Leonard And Raj jumped off the cart awkwardly too. Howard And Penny jumped off the cart gracefully.

Sheldon headed resolutely into the Golden Salamander pub. His friends followed him.

Inside there were dark wooden tables And seats, dark wooden beams on the ceiling supported by tall dark wooden Pillars, And a counter behind which a swarthy petite barmaid with long dark curly hair was looking bored. And as always in the pubs it was full of smoke And loud voices.

Sheldon looked around meticulously and headed to a free table by a window in the corner.

'That table,' he said shortly. 'It's optimally placed.'

His friends rolled their eyes but followed him.

And at this point a high shrill voice pierced the air, 'Who the Hell do you think you are!?''

Sheldon looked at the source of the voice And saw a very short slim young woman with long wavy blonde hair, in a pink short dress with a dark blue blouse over it. She was glaring daggers at him. Beside her was a tall slim young woman with long straight brown hair And a prominent nose, in glasses, in a long lilac Cardigan with black stripes And a long pleated dark Green skirt, with a long wooden staff in her hands. She was looking at the short blonde with apprehension.

Sheldon drew himself to his full considerable height And glared right back at the short blonde.

'Who am I !? I'm Sheldon the Black-Gold, a mighty Sorcerer!' he said proudly. 'And who are you, might I ask!?'

The short blonde drew herself to her full height And put her fists against her sides, belligerent.

'I'm Bernadeta Rostenkowska!' she shouted in her shrill high voice. 'Nie spod sroce ogona wypadlam!'

'I'm sorry, but your name says Nothing to me, young Lady! ' Sheldon retorted. 'Whereas I'm a famous Sorcerer with five academic degrees, two of them doctorates!'

'Oh Yeah? ' Bernadeta shouted. 'And I'm a famous Warrior! In your Face, you beanpole!'

Sheldon blanched with anger. 'Well, I've never heard about you in my life, Miss Rostenkowska!'

'Well, now you heard about me, And I won't let you snag a job from under my nose!' Bernadeta shouted. 'You think you can just come into Goyeta and take my job!? Won't happen, _Doctor_!'

Penny, who all this time kept behind the tall lean young Sorcerer in tight black doublet And trousers with vertical golden stripes that made him look even more of a beanpole, stepped forwards at this point And shouted, 'Bernie!?'

Bernadette looked at the tall blonde with black cat ears And tail, shouted, 'Penny!!!', ran to the half feline thief And hugged her strongly.

'Benio!' Penny grinned at the short blonde Warrior, returning the hug fondly.

'Lopo!' Bernie smiled broadly.

Sheldon just looked at them, nonplussed. 'You know her, Penny!?'

'Oh Yeah,' Penny grinned. 'She's that friend I travelled with, Bernadette Ros..rost...'

'Rostenkowska,' Bernie smiled broadly. 'So, this is your new company?'

'Yeah,' Penny grinned. 'Met them in the White Turnip, in Heraklia.'

'All right,' Bernadette smiled broadly.

'This is Dr Sheldon Cooper, our fearless leader,' Penny grinned. 'And the others are Dr Leonard Hofstadter, a Sorcerer like Sheldon, Dr Raj Koothrappalli, a wizard of air And Fire, And Howard Wallace, a Hunter.'

Bernadette nodded, 'And this is my Healer, Dr Amelia Fowler.'

'Pleased to meet you,' Amelia said evenly.

'Likewise,' Sheldon said calmly.

'Glad to meet you,' Leonard said shyly.

'Pleased to meet you, dear ladies,' Raj smiled shyly.

'I say, did your hair cost you much, because it's pure gold,' Howard grinned, staring at Bernadette.

Bernadette looked at the short slim young man with long dark wavy hair And prominent nose, in a Green pointed cap with a red feather And a short Green tunic, with a gold And red longbow And a red And gold quiver behind his back. He was grinning at her so openly.

'No, this is my natural hair,' she smiled broadly.

'Then you must be from the land where sea bleeds amber,' Howard grinned.

'That's true, I'm from Polonia,' Bernie smiled broadly.

Penny looked at them smiling broadly. Raj And Leonard stared at them. And Sheldon just looked at them calmly.

'Bernie, how did you meet Amelia?' Penny asked smiling broadly. 

Bernadette tore her eyes off Howard And grinned. 'Well, I was in the far north And got into a fight with an Ice Dragon. It was tough. But then Ama appeared from nowhere, whispered something on her staff And then struck the dragon dead! Since then we travel together, we became fast friends!'

'Divine Caduceus, isn't it?' Sheldon asked, greatly interested. 'It turns an usual staff into a Magical Weapon that deals an usual damage of a staff with damage equal to the Healer's Curative Gift if it's used against creatures that use Energy Drain, or Petrification as in the case of an Ice Dragon. What is your Curative Gift, by the way?'

Amelia looked at him with equally great interest. 'Six. And you are a Sorcerer? What is your Psychic Gift?'

'Seven,' Sheldon said proudly.

'That's...impressive,' Amelia said. 'You said you have five academic degrees, two of them doctorates?'

'Yes, a BA from Oxenford, a BS, MA And a doctorate from Heidelberg and a doctorate from Princeborough,' Sheldon answered proudly. 'And where did you get your doctorate?'

'Oxenford,' Amelia smiled. 

'Oh, my first Alma mater, it's sandstone towers, quads, clear calm Isis river,' Sheldon sighed dreamily.

'Oh Yes,' Amelia sighed.

Penny looked at them smiling. Bernie And Howard grinned. Leonard And Raj just stared.

'Now what was that about a job, Miss Rostenkowska?' Sheldon asked curiously.

'Well, the villagers of Goyeta asked us to fight the monsters that plague the village,' Bernie told him. 'I thought that you came to fight those monsters too, so we are rivals. And why are you here really?'

'Lord Hasdrubal Eshbelya from Solus asked us to Save Goyeta from monsters,' Sheldon informed her.

'What!?' Bernadette shrieked in her high shrill voice. 'Those cheaters! How dare they ask another party for help!?'

'Perhaps they thought they need all the help they could get, so asked their noble compatriot to help them in addition to hiring your party,' Sheldon reasoned. 'It's understandable.'

'Yeah, that would be it,' Bernie sighed. 'Can't say I blame them.With the awful tales that are going around about those monsters, they are probably not wrong.'

'Oh Yes,' Sheldon said gravely.

They looked at each other.

'Well, our band can use a Healer,' Sheldon said resolutely.

'And another Warrior too,' Penny added.

Sheldon looked at her, 'That's it. Miss Rostenkowska, Dr Fowler, will you join my band?'

'Sure,' Bernie grinned.

'Certainly,' Amelia nodded resolutely.

Bernie proffered her hand to Sheldon. Sheldon hesitated but shook it firmly.

'But you should know this, Miss Rostenkowska, I'm the leader here And I make orders, And I decide how the finances of this band are distributed,' Sheldon said sternly.

Bernadette cast a long look at him but nodded reluctantly.

'All right, now that's settled, let's go to the village Elders And ask what is exactly the matter with this village,' Sheldon commanded.

Bernadette nodded resolutely. Amelia nodded thoughtfully. Leonard, Penny, Howard And Raj rolled their eyes but nodded too.

Sheldon marched out of the Tavern. Bernadette, Amelia, Leonard, Penny, Howard And Raj followed him. Sheldon patted the first villager he met on his shoulder And asked firmly, 'Hey good man, where does your Council of Elders meet?'

The burly villager looked at the tall lean young foreigner accompanied by two young men and a young woman looking like wizards, an obvious Hunter And two young blonde women with swords, all looking like Foreigners too, And sighed with relief. 'Have you come to fight the monsters?'

'Why Yes,' Sheldon said proudly. 'So where?'

'Oh, thank Bel!' the villager shouted. 'Our council of Elders meets in the village Temple. I'll tell old Mattan, the Chief of the council, that you've came to Save us!'

'Thanks, my good man,' Sheldon smiled gently. 'I'm called Dr Sheldon Cooper, or Sheldon the Black-Gold, And my band is called Dr Cooper's Men.'

The villager nodded, slightly bemused, And went away.

'The village Temple,' Sheldon said resolutely. 'So let's go there!'

His friends rolled their eyes but nodded.


Sheldon marched to the village Temple, his friends following him. They passed the gate with pylons in the reddish brick wall, And saw a very unusual building. It was in red brick, like a narrow cross in plan, with pointed tiled roofs, two tall narrow rounded arched windows at each end And with a wide rounded arched door under the two tall narrow windows at one end And a small belfry on the roof of another, with a rounded drum-like protuberance with a rounded tiled roof And an exquisite frieze under the roof in each quoin, with benches along each protuberance. 

'What a fascinating building,' Sheldon said looking at the Temple.

'Indeed, I've seen Nothing like it in my entire life,' Amelia observed.

Sheldon looked at her And nodded, blushing slightly.

Penny And Howard grinned. Leonard And Raj just stared. Bernie smiled broadly.

They waited by the Temple, on a meadow among palms And cypresses. Some time later there came five elderly swarthy strong men in long Bright tunics trimmed with golden embroidery. The one who was at their head looked at Sheldon And his companions.

'Dr Sheldon Cooper?' he enquired.

'Yes,' Sheldon supplied. 'And you must be Master Mattan?'

'Yes, Doctor Sheldon,' Mattan nodded gravely. 'Let's go inside.'

Sheldon nodded briefly. He followed Mattan And other Elders into the Temple. His friends followed him. The ceiling And walls were painted in Green, red And gold with winged Heavenly beings And intricate tracery, And there were dark wooden carved benches along the walls. Mattan walked to one bench And sat down, followed by his fellow Elders. Sheldon moved so that he was standing in front of the Elders, his friends moved behind him.

'So you are adventurers?' one elder asked.

'I'm Dr Sheldon Cooper, a Sorcerer with two doctorates,' Sheldon stated proudly. 'And my friends are Dr Leonard Hofstadter, also a Sorcerer, Dr Raj Koothrappalli, a wizard of Fire And air, Dr Amelia Fowler, a Healer, Master Howard Wallace, a Hunter, Miss Penny Black, a thief, And last but not least, Miss Bernadette Rostenkowska, a Warrior.'

The elder nodded, satisfied. 'Four wizards, three warriors, that's good.'

'Please note, one of them with two doctorates, one from Heidelberg and one from Princeborough, And three other degrees, a BA from Oxenford And a BS And MA from Heidelberg,' Sheldon informed him.

The elder nodded, impressed. 'And how old are you?'

'Twenty six,' Sheldon said proudly.

The elder nodded in awe.

'So Doctor Sheldon, you came to Goyeta to Save us from the threat of monsters?' Mattan enquired.

'Yes, Master Mattan, Lord Hasdrubal Eshbelya asked us to,' Sheldon replied gravely.

'Lord Hasdrubal?' Mattan exclaimed. 'Oh thank Bel, Lord Hasdrubal heeded our plea! You must know, Doctor Sheldon, that his mother, Lady Afeat, is from this very village, And it was him who commissioned this Temple! Before that we had an old, crumbling Temple, And we are so grateful to Lord Hasdrubal! I knew he would help us!'

'If you knew he would help you why would you hire another party of adventurers?' Bernie snorted. 'It's just sheer good luck that we didn't get into a fight with magic, And that's only because Penny, one of Sheldon's party, is my good friend!'

Mattan had the grace to blush. 'Er, sorry, Miss Bernadette, we needed all the help we could get. I'm sorry, And I'm glad that you joined forces with Doctor Sheldon.'

'Its all right,' Bernadette grumbled. 'No thanks to you!'

Penny snorted.

'Well, Master Mattan, what seems to be the problem?' Sheldon asked frowning. 'What are the monsters, And how much of them is there?' 

'Well, there is only one, but it's very scary,' Mattan supplied. 'Its like a minotaur, only it's red And breathes Fire, it's killed many people already, just burned them to ashes!'

'A Pyrotaur,' Sheldon concluded. 'Well, isn't that just great? Thank Athena that I'm a powerful Sorcerer And have rather good wizards And good warriors as my companions!'

''Indeed,' Leonard said dryly. Penny grinned. Howard And Bernadette rolled their eyes. So did Raj. Amelia just nodded calmly.

'All right, so we will patrol the village in search of the Pyrotaur,' Sheldon stated. 'Dont worry, gentlemen, we'll help you to get rid of the menace.'

'Oh thank you, Doctor Sheldon!' Mattan exclaimed with relief.

'Don't mention it, Master Mattan,' Sheldon said gravely. 'Lord Hasdrubal asked us to help, And we'll do it.'

Mattan nodded hotly. 'Doctor Sheldon, do you have a place to stay? If not, I'll be glad to invite you to my house!'

'Oh No, Master Mattan, I don't like to impose on people,' Sheldon said quickly. 'We'll stay in the Golden Salamander.'

'Very well, then,' Mattan smiled gently. 'Good luck to you, Doctor Sheldon!'

'Thank you very much, Master Mattan,' Sheldon smiled gently.

'Are you sure that you will defeat the monster?' one elder frowned.

'Oh please, I have five academic degrees!' Sheldon snorted. 'If I won't defeat the Pyrotaur then nobody will!'

The elder nodded in awe. Leonard, Penny, Howard, Raj And Bernadette rolled their eyes. Amelia just nodded gravely.

'We are very thankful to you, Doctor Sheldon,' another elder said. 'We don't know what we would do without you!'

'Again, don't mention it, though it's entirely deserved,' Sheldon smiled gently.

Leonard, Penny, Howard, Bernie And Raj rolled their eyes. Amelia smiled slightly.

'Well, if that's all, I'll bid you good night, gentlemen,' Sheldon said gently.

'Yes, that would be all, good night, Doctor Sheldon,' Mattan said.

Sheldon bowed And headed to the exit, his friends following him.

'All right, ladies And gentlemen, let's patrol around the village now,' Sheldon said resolutely. 'We must break into pairs, one wizard And one Warrior. Leonard And Penny will go together, And I'll join them as there are seven of us. Howard will go with Raj, And Miss Rostenkowska with Dr Fowler.'

'Oh, you can call me Bernadette or Bernie, as you wish,' Bernie smiled.

'All right, Bernadette,' Sheldon smiled gently.

'And you can call me Amelia,' Amelia smiled gently.

'All right, Amelia,' Sheldon smiled, blushing gently. 

Penny, Leonard, Howard And Raj smiled at them. Bernie grinned.

'All right, let's go, Raj mate,' Howard grinned. Raj nodded, And they walked away.

'Let's go, Ama,' Bernie grinned. Amelia nodded calmly And they went away.

'All right, let's go!' Sheldon ordered to Leonard And Penny. They rolled their eyes but nodded. Sheldon headed away resolutely, Leonard And Penny followed him.

Sheldon led them to the edge of the village that faced the Woodlands of Samera.

'Why here, Sheldon?' Leonard asked curiously.

'Well, as our unit has two Sorcerers And a thief, it's more reasonable that we patrol the direction the Pyrotaur is most likely to come from,' Sheldon explained calmly.

'Oh, I see,' Leonard nodded. 

They walked back And forth along the edge of the village facing the dark ominous woods.

'So Shelly, I see you like Ama,' Penny grinned.

'Yes, she's a most intelligent Lady,' Sheldon said calmly. 'I believe we shall become good friends.'

'Oh No, Shelly, that's what not I meant, at all,' Penny grinned. 'You like her as a lover!'

Sheldon went red And spluttered, 'Th...that's preposterous! She's a friend to me, not more!'

Leonard smiled gently looking at him. Penny grinned. 

'Oh Shelly, the way you blush when you talk with her, the way you look at her, it's clear as day!'

'Nonsense!' Sheldon said indignantly. 'She's a Lady friend, not more!'

'You keep telling that to yourself, Shelly,' Penny smiled broadly.

Meanwhile Bernadette And Amelia we're patrolling the opposite edge of the village.

'So Ama, you like Sheldon, don't you?' Bernie grinned to Amelia. 

'Yes,' Amelia answered calmly. 'He's a most intelligent man, And he's very tall And slim, And his clothes suit him very much. I foresee we shall become a good couple.'

Bernie grinned. 'Yes, he's clever like you, And he's a handsome man, as wizards go, of course.'

Amelia nodded calmly. 'And you, Bernie, are you satisfied with Howard?'

'Oh Yes, he's a Hunter, And he's handsome, what's not to like?' Bernadette grinned.

Amelia nodded calmly. 

Some time later Sheldon, who was looking at the dark edge of the Samera Woods attentively, noticed a large red silhouette that appeared from the woods and started approaching the village. 

'People, Pyrotaur is coming!' Sheldon barked. Leonard and Penny looked at the large red silhouette. It neared the village and they saw it was a huge red burly minotaur with long sharp horns. It was galloping towards the village, flaring it's nostrils and growling horribly.

'Leonard, prepare your spells, Penny, get your Sword ready!' Sheldon commanded.

Leonard and Penny nodded.

Sheldon chanted in his drawl, 'I unleash a Psychic Attack on this Pyrotaur for five power points!'

The Pyrotaur roared in pain. Sheldon smirked.

The Pyrotaur breathed Fire in Penny's direction, but she leapt out of the way of the Fire spurt and at once lurched at the big brute rapidly and hit it in its belly with her wide short Sword with crescent shaped downwards handle with black wooden hilt with silvery tacks. The Pyrotaur roared in pain, bleeding profusely.

Then Leonard chanted, 'I unleash a Psychic Attack on this Pyrotaur for five power points!'

The Pyrotaur roared in pain and fell to the ground motionless.

'That's it,' Sheldon stated smugly. 

Leonard and Penny nodded hotly. 

'All right, now we have to ascertain if there are other such beasts in these woods,' Sheldon said resolutely. 'And for that we need Howard's skills.'

Penny and Leonard nodded. Sheldon headed off resolutely, Leonard and Penny following him.

They found Howard and Raj on another edge of the village. 

'We defeated the Pyrotaur, Howard,' Sheldon told. 'Now your talents are needed to learn where it came from and if there are others like it in those parts.'

Howard nodded, grinning. 'So we are going into the woods?'

'Well, that's obvious,' Sheldon said dryly. 'Let's find Amelia and Bernadette and go there.'

Howard nodded briefly.

Raj looked at them fearfully with his large dark eyes.

'Oh, don't worry, sweetie, there are seven of us, four wizards and three warriors,' Penny reassured him. 'Don't forget that you're a wizard of air and Fire, you're like our cannon!'

Raj nodded, smiling shyly to her.

They went to search for Amelia and Bernadette. They found the tiny Warrior and the tall Healer at yet another edge of the village. Bernie grinned when she saw them, and Amelia nodded calmly.

'We're going into the woods to see if there are other Pyrotaurs in there,' Sheldon informed. 'Howard will track the Pyrotaur's way.'

'All right,' Bernie nodded resolutely.

'Most wise,' Amelia nodded calmly.

'Wait, what if Zorabel comes here and doesn't find us?' Penny frowned.

'Who is Zorabel?' Amelia asked.

'Lord Zorabel Barca, a young nobleman from Solus, he travelled in the Same caravan as us to Maliba,' Sheldon supplied. 'He's a well mannered young gentleman and a good fencer with an enchanted Sword. He said that when he visits the royal Tombs he will come to Goyeta to help us.'

Amelia nodded calmly. 'We can use another Warrior. So you can go to the Golden Salamander and tell the barmaid that if Lord Zorabel Barca appears here, she must tell him that we have gone to the Woodlands of Samera to hunt monsters and that he should seek us in the woods.'

'Very reasonable, Amelia,' Sheldon looked at her with great approval.

'Oh thanks, Sheldon,' Amelia said evenly.

Sheldon blushed slightly. Leonard, Penny, Howard, Bernie and Raj smiled at them.

Sheldon matched to the Golden Salamander, his friends following him. Sheldon approached the bar and looked at the bored barmaid.

'Good woman, if Lord Zorabel Barca from Solus appears here, tell him that we went to the Woodlands of Samera to hunt monsters,' he told her. 'Oh, and tell Master Mattan the Elder that we defeated the Pyrotaur, its carcass can be found on the far edge of the village, and we have gone to Samera Woods to look if there are other monsters in there.'

'All right,' the barmaid smiled.

Sheldon nodded and marched out of the pub, his friends following in his footsteps.

'All right, ladies and gentlemen,' Sheldon looked at his friends. 'Now we're going into the dangerous Woodlands of Samera. I don't need to remind you to be very careful, as you're all seasoned adventurers, well, Maybe except Howard. We need to keep together and not to stray far from each other. I'll go first with Amelia, Leonard and Penny shall go after us, and Raj with Bernadette shall go in the rear. Understood?'

'Sure, sweetie,' Penny grinned.

'Of course,' Leonard nodded.

'Yeah,' Bernie nodded firmly.

'All the way,' Howard grinned.

'Oh, sure,' Raj said a bit fearfully.

'Of course, Sheldon,' Amelia smiled gently.

Sheldon looked at her and blushed slightly. His friends smiled looking at him.

Sheldon marched towards the far edge of the village resolutely. Amelia slid to his side and took his hand gently. He blushed deeply but didn't retract his hand.

Leonard and Penny, who we're going right after them, grinned. Leonard offered his hand to Penny, she took it smiling broadly.

Howard offered his hand to Bernadette, grinning broadly. She took it also grinning. Raj sighed looking at the three loving couples.

They passed through the village and came to the Pyrotaur's carcass. 

Howard looked at it and whistled. 'Now that's some beastie! Good blow, Penny!'

'Thanks, sweetie,' Penny grinned. 

'So Howard, now use your skills and see where this beastie came from,' Sheldon commanded.

Howard nodded and walked a bit around the carcass. 'Let's see, let's see...'

Then he headed off resolutely. 'Well, its footprints go right here, follow me!'

'You heard him, people, let's go!' Sheldon commanded. 

He headed off resolutely after Howard, Amelia still hand in hand with him.  Leonard, Penny, Bernadette and Raj followed him. 

'So Penny, Leo is your lover, isn't he?' Bernie grinned.

'Yeah, he is,' Penny grinned. 'He fell in love with me at first sight when I came up to them in the White Turnip. But he is so shy, it took Sheldon to tell him that he was in love with me.'

Leonard blushed gently.

'Sheldon, Eh?' Bernie smiled. 'He's a brainy Cove!'

'Well, five degrees, two of them doctorates, what do you think?' Penny grinned.

Bernadette nodded and looked at Penny's Sword. 

'Nice cinqueda you have here, Fine work!'

'Yeah,' Penny grinned, drew her Sword and showed it to Bernie. '25 inches long, seven inches wide, rosewood grip, leather scabbard, silver details. Lovely blade! Sheldon is generous when it comes to weapons or food, but he would never give money for betting or 'superfluous' clothes or jewellery, so I have to ask Leo. Good that Leo is a kitty and he always helps me!'

Leonard smiled shyly, blushing a bit.

Bernie nodded grinning. 'Sheldon is a strict commander, isn't he?'

'Oh Yeah, but he's the most intelligent person I know, so he's nearly always right.'

'I know the type,' Bernie grinned. 'Ama suits him, she's as strong willed as him.' 

'Oh Yeah,' Penny grinned looking at Sheldon and Amelia. 

Following Howard, they crossed the meadow between Goyeta and the woods and entered the dark dense woods.

'You know, Sheldon, I asked around what's happening in the village, and you know, over last several years several small children went missing, never to be found,' Amelia informed Sheldon. 

'Oh really?' Sheldon asked alert.  'Why didn't they tell us about that then, surely this could be connected with their problém? '

'Well, Sheldon, the thing is those children were very small, less than two years old, and you have to know what that means,' Amelia explained to him.

'Oh Yes, of course,' Sheldon said. 'Midians consider children below two years old as not quite human, because they can't speak, so people here think that they don't have a soul yet. They are not even buried like adults or older children, they are instead cremated and buried in urns on special funeral grounds. So a death of such young child isn't considered a great loss.'

'Oh Artemis, are you serious!?' Penny said, horrified. 'Well, of course you are, why am I even asking, you don't joke about such matters. How awful to the poor little dears!'

'Yes, Penny, I was quite serious,' Sheldon said calmly. 'Such is the Midian custom.'

'Alriight,' Penny nodded. 'So weird! Wait, you said that these disappearances could be part of the problem? Like what, those Pyrotaurs eat the poor children!?'

'Oh No, much worse than that, I'm afraid,' Sheldon said gravely. 'In Midia once there was a cult of Moloch, God of death and Fire. It was banned by the first queen of Midia, Dido Elishat, because it's practices were quite bloody and barbaric. It even included sacrifices of children. Officially the cult is long forgotten, but you know how pervasive cults can be.'

'Oh Yeah,' Penny nodded grimly. 'So you think there is a Temple of Moloch in these woods?'

'Almost certainly,' Sheldon nodded gravely. 'Considering that Moloch was depicted as a minotaur...'

'So they hold Pyrotaurs in that Temple of theirs, and one escaped?' Bernadette asked, frowning.

'Yes, Bernadette, I believe you're right,' Sheldon nodded gravely. 'There was likely more than one Pyrotaur in that Temple, which means several are still in there.'

'Just great,' Leonard said dryly. 'Pyrotaurs, and of course some priests, and Maybe some animates as guardians of that Temple.'

'Oh holy cow, it's really an evil cult!' Raj exclaimed, his large dark eyes even wider with fear.

'Raj, you're an Elementalist, a wizard of Fire and Air,' Sheldon reminded him. 'You can burn those priests, Pyrotaurs and animates, or throw them to their death with the power of winds. Really, you are the artillery of our band, as Penny said.'

'Oh thank you, Sheldon,' Raj said, reassured.

'You go, mate!' Howard grinned, returning to Raj and squeezing his hand gently.

Raj smiled shyly to him.

Howard returned to tracking the Pyrotaur's footprints. His friends followed him.

'Sheldon, do you have a middle name?' Amelia asked gently.

'Yes, Léon,' Sheldon smiled gently. 'And you?'

'Sheldon Léon Cooper, I like how it sounds,' Amelia smiled gently. 'And my middle name is Farrah.'

'Farrah,' Sheldon smiled gently. 'It means happiness or joy in Akhamenian. Amelia Farrah Fowler, it's a lovely name.'

'Oh thank you, Sheldon,' Amelia smiled gently.

Sheldon blushed gently.

Penny, Leonard and Raj smiled at them. Howard and Bernie grinned.

'Sheldon, do you have family?' Amelia asked gently.

'Yes, they live in a village called Medford in East Wessex,' Sheldon replied. 'My mother, Míra, is a farmer, and my twin sister, Melissa, Mellie, is a barmaid in the Red Lion Inn. My father, George, died when I was fourteen and studied in Heidelberg.'

'Oh, I'm sorry, what happened?' Amelia asked softly. 

'He was killed by a bobcat that was stealing our chickens,' Sheldon replied softly. 'And I wasn't there to use my Psychic Attack on the bobcat or at least to compel it to run away!'

'Oh, Sheldon, I'm so sorry,' Amelia said softly.

'Oh, it's all right, it was years ago,' Sheldon said softly. 'But thank you for your compassion.'

'That's what friends are for, Sheldon,' Amelia smiled softly.

Sheldon blushed slightly and squeezed her hand gently.

Penny, Leonard, Bernie and Howard smiled. Raj shed a tear.

'And what about your family, Amelia?' Sheldon asked gently.

'My parents are merchants,' Amelia answered. 'My mother, an imperious woman, completely dominates my father, Lawrence, a meek man.'

Sheldon nodded softly.


Some time later they were trundling through the dark dense woods when a beast lunged towards them, growling horribly. It looked like a thin very hairy boar with long neck and a huge head with sharp long tusks.

'And what the heck is that!?' Penny blurted out.

'It's a catoblepas, Penny,' Sheldon explained. 'Be careful, it has the power of petrification.'

'Just great,' Penny said sarcastically.

Sheldon glared at the catoblepas and chanted in his drawl, 'I unleash a Psychic Attack on this catoblepas for five power points!'

Catoblepas growled in pain. Sheldon smirked.

Then Bernadette drew her short Sword and lurched at the catoblepas. She hit it in it's belly. It growled horribly and attempted to hit Bernadette with it's wicked fangs, but Bernadette dodged it's attack. Then Amelia whispered something, holding her staff before her eyes. It glowed white for a moment. Then Amelia raised her staff and hit the catoblepas on it's head. It growled horribly. Sheldon smiled gently at Amelia, she blushed slightly.

Then Raj chanted, 'I unleash a Blezing Sphere on this catoblepas for four power points!'

Huge fiery sphere formed in front of him, flew towards the catoblepas and engulfed it in flames. The catoblepas gave a terrible growl. When the flames subsided there we're only Ashes in the place of the beast. Raj beamed like a royal washbasin.

'Good work, Amelia,' Sheldon smiled gently. 'Your Divine Caduceus was admirable.'

'Oh thank you, Sheldon,' Amelia smiled gently.

'It didn't use it's petrification power,' Penny grinned.

'Well, boars aren't known for their wits, even Magical ones,' Sheldon said dryly.

'And I'm a noble, so I  have a bonus to my skill and luck,' Bernadette smiled broadly.

'You're a noble, really?' Howard grinned. 'So I, a simple Hunter, got myself a panna?'

'Yeah,' Bernie grinned. 'I'm from an old Polonian family, Rostenkowscy of Dolný Kazimierz. Our coat of arms is Dolenga, azure, in a horseshoe with upturned ends argent an arrow with its point downwards of the second.  I was often called Rostenkowna at home, as unmarried girls are called in Polonia, but I prefer Rostenkowska, I'm a Warrior and not just someone's daughter.'

'And you bloody well are!' Howard grinned.

'Howardzie, ty moj misio,' Bernie smiled tenderly.

'Benio, ty moja ksiezniczka,' Howard grinned.

'Misio means little bear,' Sheldon supplied dryly.

Penny nodded grinning. 

'So Bernie, does that mean that your ancestors were excellent riders and archers?' 

'Oh Yeah, they were, among other things,' Bernie grinned. 'Like fencing, Hunting, chess, swimming, music, all the things nobles are supposed to be good at.'

'And you, are you good at all these things, Benio?' Howard grinned.

'Fencing, well, I'm a swordswoman,' Bernie grinned. 'Swimming and chess, Yes. Hunting, a little. Music, I play flute. Archery, worse than fencing. Riding, I can ride but I don't like it.'

'Oh, I play flute too,' Sheldon shared. 'And I like playing chess.'

'You play flute, Sheldon?' Amelia asked with great interest. 'And I play harp!'

'Really?' Sheldon asked curiously. 'I also play drums and cymbals!'

'Really!?' Penny said, amazed. 'I knew about chess, but not about the rest!'

'Well, I obviously can't carry drums or cymbals with me in my travels, and my flute, well, I keep it in my bag,' Sheldon explained. 'I can play for you sometime.'

'Oh, please, Shelly,' Penny smiled broadly.

'We can play flute together,' Bernie grinned.

'That would be great,' Sheldon smiled softly.


They travelled through the dark dense woods for several days, resting on lush Green grass in glades when they fell tired, Fighting forest beasties like wolves and boars. One day they suddenly saw a nightmarish beast, looking like a lion with three heads, a lion head, a long scaly horned dragon head and a ram head with big sharp spiral horns, and for a tail it had a snake head. It charged at them, its lion and dragon heads roaring horribly, the snake head hissing ominously.

'Oh Gods, what is this!?' Penny shouted, aghast. 

'It's a chimera, Penny,' Sheldon explained. 'It has three Attacks, and Yes, its dragon head breathes Fire and the snake 'head' is venomous.'

'Well, isn't that great,' Penny said dryly.

'Leonard, Raj, Amelia, prepare your spells, Howard, prepare your arrows, Penny, Bernadette, get your swords ready,' Sheldon commanded. 'Avoid the Fire breath and the snake bite!'

His friends nodded briefly, Howard took his longbow from behind his back, took an arrow from his quiver and notched it. Penny and Bernie drew their short swords. Amelia raised her staff.

The chimera raised it's dragon head and breathed fire in direction of Sheldon, but he dodged it quickly. Then Raj chanted, 'I unleash a Blezing Sphere on this chimera for four power points!' 

Huge fiery sphere formed in front of him, flew at the chimera and engulfed it in flames. The chimera roared horribly, and when the flames subsided there was only a black stump in the place of the dragon head, and the chimera was considerably singed.

'You go, Raj sweetie!' Penny cheered.

The young Elementalist blushed deeply.

The snake 'head' lurched at Amelia, but she dodged aptly. 

Sheldon chanted in his drawl, 'I unleash a Psychic Attack on this chimera for five power points!'

The lion head roared horribly and hung down, lifeless. Sheldon smirked.

Howard aimed leisurely at the snake 'head' and let his arrow loose. It whizzed through the ait and hit the snake 'head' through one eye. It hissed awfully and hung down, lifeless. Howard grinned.

'My Hunter!' Bernie grinned. Howard grinned back at her.

Then Leonard chanted, 'I unleash a Psychic Attack on this chimera for five power points!'

The ram head roared horribly, the chimera staggered and fell to the ground, motionless.

Penny embraced Leonard and kissed him soundly. He answered her gently.

Bernie ran to Howard and hugged him tightly. Howard grinned, leaned to her and kissed her passionately. She answered him eagerly.

Raj looked at the two loving couples sadly.

'Sheldon, you were impressive,' Amelia smiled gently.

'Why thank you, Amelia,' Sheldon blushed slightly. 

At this point they saw Zorabel who walked into the glade and looked at the slain chimera then at them.

'Oh, Zorabel!' Sheldon said politely. 'So you got my message?'

'Yes,' Zorabel smiled gently. 'Imagine my surprise when I came to the Golden Salamander in Goyeta and asked about you, and the barmaid told me that you went to the Woods of Samera! What happened!? Oh sorry, I see you have new company! And, by Bel, is that a chimera!?'

'To answer your questions in reverse order, Yes, it is, and meet Dr Amelia Fowler, a healer, and Lady Bernadette Rostenkowska, a Warrior,' Sheldon said calmly. 'We met them in Goyeta, it turned out that the villagers hired them to deal with the monsters in addition to asking Lord Hasdrubal for help. We joined our forces. And what happened...well, we suspect that there's a cult of Moloch in these woods, as the monster that terrorised the village was a Pyrotaur, and several small children went missing over last years. So we went to the woods to find the 'Temple' of the evil cult and to deal with the 'priests' of Moloch, other Pyrotaurs that they may be keeping, and whatever else that is guarding that 'Temple'.'

'Bel's thunders!' Zorabel gasped. 'Yes, it looks you're right. Oh, glad to meet you, Doctor Amelia, Lady Bernadette, Lord Zorabel Barca at your service.'

'Glad to meet you,' Bernadette grinned.

'Pleasant to meet you, Lord Zorabel,' Amelia said evenly.

'So have you visited the royal Tombs, Zorabel?' Penny asked curiously.

'Yes, and honored the memory of our great Queens,' Zorabel smiled gently. 'Dido Afeat who gave us the Laws of Dido, Dido Boriya who reconciled with the Khettim after a long war,  Dido Hayilet who repelled the Typhonian Autarchs who tried to conquer our land, Dido Hannat who signed the Concordat with the Minean colonies in our land, making them a legal part of Midia, and Dido Gobaya who set in motion the plans to give the Gokheri the full citizenship and représentation in the Senate, that her daughter, Dido Yophet, the current queen, fully realized.'

Sheldon nodded wisely. 'Yes, those were indeed great Queens. Of course, there was plenty of mediocre or plain weak Queens in Midian history too.'

Zorabel nodded smiling gently.

'Only Queens?' Penny frowned gently. 'Do only Queens rule Midia?'

'Yes, it's our Sacred custom,' Zorabel replied. 'Of course, there were male usurpers, but they didn't last long on the holy throne of Midia. And what about your countries? I know little about Hyperborea but I do know that there are kings as well as Queens in those lands, just like in Minea, Desert Kingdom and other lands.'

'Yes, Wessex, my land, had kings as well as Queens,' Sheldon explained. 'Now our King is Edward the Sixth.'

'And Uberwald is not an united country, it's more like a quilt,' Leonard explained. 'Kingdoms, principalities, duchies, free cities, hundreds of them. I personally am from the little town of Hofstetten, which is in the Principality of Furstenberg in Schwarzwald, 'Black Forest', a densely forested Highland.'

'And I'm from Polonia, it's a Kingdom ruled by kings who are usually chosen,' Bernie supplied. 'There we're many strange candidates to the Polonian throne, such as a petty squire proposed as a candidate for the throne as a joke, or a brother of the Gallian King who ruled in Polonia for some time before returning to Gallia to become King as his brother died without issue.'

'And Ghat is divided into many states like Uberwald,' Raj explained. 'But I wouldn't call it a quilt, more like a colourful carpet.'

Zorabel nodded smiling gently.

'Zorabel, it's very good that you joined us,' Sheldon said gravely. 'The 'Temple' is most likely guarded by animates, such as Bronze Archers or Iron Warriors, and sorcery doesn't have effect on them as they have No mind.'

'And now you have four warriors instead of three,' Zorabel smiled broadly. 'I would be glad to be of service to you, my friends!'

'Thank you, Zorabel,' Sheldon smiled softly. 'Now let's continue our way together, find that cult and put an end to it!'

Zorabel nodded smiling broadly.