Role Playing Fan Fiction ❯ The Mystery of Samera Woods ❯ Chapter 3

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

Mystery of Samera Woods Part 3


After another day of walking through the dark sense woods Sheldon saw in distance a long Gray stone building with flat tiled roof.

'That must be it,' Sheldon stated evenly.

His friends nodded gravely.

'So, ladies and gentlemen, we approach the 'Temple' quietly,' Sheldon commanded. 'Penny goes forwards and looks how many entrances there are. If there are several, which is quite likely, Penny creates a diversion by the back entrance to occupy part of the 'priests'.'

'And what diversion is that, sweetie?' Penny asked frowning.

'Well, you're a thief, you decide what it will be,' Sheldon replied dryly,

'Aalright,' Penny nodded, unsure.

'And then we steal in and fight 'priests' that are not occupied by Penny's diversion, and any animates and Pyrotaurs that may be in there,' Sheldon continued. 'Warriors go first, wizards, including me, after them. Then we retreat to return later to fight the remaining 'priests' and animates. Understood?'

'Yes, sweetie,' Penny grinned.

'Quite,' Leonard nodded gravely.

'You bet,' Howard grinned.

'Sure,' Bernadette smiled broadly.

'Certainly, Sheldon,' Amelia nodded seriously.

'Of course,' Raj nodded quietly.

'Perfectly,' Zorabel smiled gently.

'Very good,' Sheldon nodded briefly. 'Then let's go!'

His friends nodded gravely. They moved quietly towards the 'Temple' of Moloch. When they were near it's walls, Penny detached from the band and stole along the wall of the building, while her friends lay in wait patiently.

They saw Penny crawl around the nearest building end, saw her Wave her tail to them which meant she found one entrance, then she went out of sight. They waited again. Some time later they saw Penny emerge from a corner on the opposite building end. She waved her tail again. Sheldon nodded to her, showing her he understood that there was indeed another entrance. He waved his hand briefly to her, giving her a sign to proceed with the diversion.

Penny waved her tail briefly, then stole away from the back entrance. She crouched some distance away from the back entrance, took something from her bag, a small bag, untied it and poured some kind of powder from it on the ground, then produced a Flint from her bag and stroke it leaning over the little pile of powder. A spark from the Flint fell onto the powder and it began smoldering. Penny instantly darted away from that spot and to her friends.

'All right, people, move!' Sheldon barked.

His friends nodded briefly, and they raced to the main entrance. As they were entering the tall wide rounded arch, they heard sound of loud explosion and shouting from the other end of the building. They darted inside. They found themselves in a long narrow hall divided by a row of thick square Pillars along all its length. In the walls of the hall there were many tall arched doors, the walls of the hall were covered by ugly carvings of snakes and Minotaurs. Penny, Bernie, Howard and Zorabel were going first, Sheldon, Amelia, Leonard and Raj after them.

Immediately when they entered, three iron Statues of warriors with Spears and Shields in tall plumed helmets and in armour, with all their limbs on joints, stepped forwards from three nearest doors and closed on them.  

'Iron warriors,' Sheldon stated. 'Just great!'

Raj moved in front of the band and chanted, 'I unleash a Blezing Sphere on these Iron Warriors for four power points!'

Huge fiery sphere formed in front of him and flew at the three iron warriors. One ron Warrior dodged it but the remaining two were engulfed in flames. When the flames subsided the iron warriors were partly melted, one lacked right arm with the Spear, another lacked one leg and left arm with shield.

'Way to go, Raj sweetie!' Penny cheered. Raj smiled shyly.

Then Amelia raised her staff, whispered something on it, after which it glowed white, and brought her staff on the Iron Warrior without shield. It cracked, and its right arm with Spear fell off. Amelia smiled, satisfied.

At this point a tall thin swarthy black haired young man in long black and red robes ran out of a door on the left. He raised his arms and chanted, 'O Moloch Almighty, unleash your divine wrath on this man for five power points!', looking at Sheldon. A white lightning issued from his fingers and flew at Sheldon but met an invisible shield and fizzed out.

Then Sheldon chanted in his drawl, 'I unleash a Psychic Attack on this 'priest' for five power points!' The 'priest' yelled in pain and collapsed to the floor. Sheldon nodded, grimly satisfied.

The one iron Warrior that dodged Raj's spell charged at Bernadette but Bernadette dodged his attack aptly. Then she lurched at the Iron Warrior that lacked both arms and cut its head off with her short Sword. The Iron Warrior collapsed to the floor. Bernadette grinned.

Then Zorabel lurched at the Iron Warrior that was still intact and cut its right arm with his Sword.

Penny lurched at the Iron Warrior that lacked right arm and cut its left arm off with her cinqueda. Penny grinned.

Then Leonard produced a Dagger from his cloak pocket, lurched at the Iron Warrior and cut its head off. The Iron Warrior collapsed to the floor.

'You go, Leo sweetie!' Penny cheered. Leonard smiled shyly.

Then Howard who had his longbow already in his hands and an arrow notched, aimed leisurely at the third Iron Warrior and let his arrow loose. It whizzed through the air and knocked off the Iron Warrior's left arm with its shield.

'Howardzie, ty moj skarbie,' Bernadette smiled broadly. 

Howard grinned to her.

Then Amelia lurched at the Iron Warrior with her staff and hit it in the neck. Its head fell off and it collapsed to the floor.

'Very impressive, Amelia,' Sheldon smiled gently. 

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

Sheldon looked at the remains of the iron warriors and the carcass of the 'priest' of Moloch.

'All right, people, now let's look if there are any Pyrotaurs or mythical items here,' he commanded.

His friends nodded briefly.

Sheldon quickly entered an archway leading to a corridor next to the one from which the 'priest' of Moloch appeared. He passed along that corridor and reached a small room with some chests along the walls. Sheldon searched in them and found in one a Statuette of a bronze bull and in another a copper Armlet engraved with a two faced head one eye of which was inset with an emerald and the other with a sapphire. Sheldon smiled triumphantly, he knew very well what those two artefacts we're thanks to his extensive erudition. He seized the two artifacts and darted out of the little room and into the main hall.

'And what is this, Shelly?' Penny grinned.

'Well, the first is a bronze bull statuette, it turns into a real bronze bull and fight for you if you but Command,' Sheldon explained. 'And the second...well, you'll see later, Penny.'

Sheldon put the armlet on his left bicep, thankfully it had a gap in it for the facility of donning it.

 'Alriiight,' Penny nodded frowning.

'Now Penny, please go to the right of the main hall and see if there are any closed doors in the rooms there,' Sheldon commanded. 'And if there are please open them.'

'Got it,' Penny grinned. She slid through the first doorway to the right and found herself in a small cell. There were no doors in it. Penny checked the walls for secret doors, there we're none. Then Penny returned to the main hall and slid through the second doorway to the right. She found herself in a passage. She walked down the passage, it led to a small room with one door in it's far wall. Penny pulled the door, it was closed. Then Penny produced a master key from her blouse and picked the lock, then opened the door and slid out of the room and along the passage into the main hall. Then she slid into another cell further along the main hall, made sure it had No secret doors in it, left it and slid into another passage with another small room on it's end, with a door in its far wall. She pulled the door, it was locked, of course. She picked the lock, opened the door and slid back to her friends. 

'Done, Shelly,' she grinned.

'Very good,' Sheldon nodded calmly. 'Now people, be ready!'

And he barely uttered these words as two Pyrotaurs stormed out of the two passages, roaring horribly. Howard notched another arrow, Penny and Bernie drew their swords, Amelia raised her staff, and Sheldon, Leonard and Raj focused.

Raj chanted, 'I unleash a Blezing Sphere on these two Pyrotaurs for four power points!'

Huge fiery sphere formed in front of him and flew at the two Pyrotaurs and engulfed them in flames. Pyrotaurs roared horribly. When the flames subsided, both Pyrotaurs were very singed, and one had a black stump instead of right arm and another instead of left arm.

'Way to go, Raj sweetie!' Penny cheered. Raj smiled shyly.

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

One Pyrotaur roared horribly and collapsed to the floor. Sheldon smirked.

The remaining Pyrotaur breathed flame in the direction of Penny, but she dodged it aptly.

Then Zorabel lurched at the Pyrotaur with his Sword and hit it in the chest. The Pyrotaur roared horribly and collapsed to the floor, Blood gushing from his chest.

Sheldon nodded, satisfied.

'Now Amelia, take my left hand, Leonard, take Amelia's free hand, Penny, take Leonard's free hand, Bernadette, take Penny's free hand, Howard, take Bernadette's free hand, Raj, take Howard's free hand and Zorabel, take Raj's free hand, and everyone, be ready for strange sensations!'

His friends frowned but nodded.

Sheldon touched the Armlet on his left bicep, rubbing the emerald inset in it gently, and uttered, 'To the glade with the chimera carcass!'

There was a Bright flash of white light and a falling sensation, and the next moment they were on the glade with the chimera carcass, now eaten to the bones by eager Samera fauna.

'Wowzers!' Penny grinned. 'Some bracelet!'

'It's the Armlet of Janus, the God of doors,' Sheldon corrected her. 'It can transport one to a place he has been in, if one rubs the emerald inset in it.'

'Great!' Penny grinned. 'And it suits you, Shelly!'

'Yes,' Amelia nodded smiling gently. Sheldon blushed slightly at this.

'I've read about those things,' Leonard observed.

'Well, of course, you are a Sorcerer, though not as brilliant as me,' Sheldon nodded.

Leonard rolled his eyes.

'I've heard of these things too, but couldn't quite believe it,' Raj said in awe.

'Well, of course, you are just an Elementalist, though very good in your field,' Sheldon said dryly.

Raj rolled his eyes.

'And I've never heard about such things, but I'm just a Hunter,' Howard grinned.

'Same here, never heard of it, but it's damn great,' Bernie grinned.

Sheldon nodded.

They sat down on the lush Green grass of the glade.

'Well, what we do now?' Penny asked curiously.

'Oh, now we go to sleep, because I spent all my power, and Raj, Leonard and Amelia spent a lot of it,' Sheldon informed her. 'And tomorrow...well, if I rub the sapphire inset in this Armlet, it will return me to the place I previously teleported from. So tomorrow we get back to the 'Temple', it will take them by complete surprise, and we will fight the remaining 'priests' and Iron Warriors.'

'Alriight,' Penny grinned. 

'Penny, what substance you used to create that diversion?' Sheldon asked curiously.

'Saltpeter and mag...something, coated in linseed oil,' Penny explained. 'It makes a loud and showy explosion, and you know, Thieves need a distraction sometimes.'

'Magnesium,' Sheldon supplied. 'It's often used in fireworks.'

'Well, there really we're some fireworks today,' Penny grinned. 'Scared those people like Hades, I bet!'

'Quite,' Sheldon smiled gently.

'Shelly, play your flute for us, you promised,' Penny smiled broadly. 

'All right,' Sheldon nodded, smiling gently, fished in his bag and produced a recorder. He brought it to his lips and played a tender and sad melody, his long pale fingers dancing on the flute. It was a tune Penny knew very well, all musicians loved it.

'Greensleeves,' she nodded smiling gently.

Sheldon nodded, not interrupting his tune.

And Amelia sang gently to his flûte. 

'Alas, my love, you do me wrong,

To cast me off discourteously,

And I have loved you well and long,

Delighting in your company!'

Their friends smiled gently, listening to them.

'You could desire No earthly thing,

But still you have it readily.

Your music still to play and sing,

But yet you would not love me.'

'But I will pray to Gods on high,

That you my Constancy will see,

And that yet once before I die

You'll vouchsafe to love me!'

'Greensleeves was all my joy,

Greensleeves was all my delight,

Greensleeves was my heart of gold,

And who but my Lady Greensleeves!'

Amelia raised her voice and finished her song. Sheldon finished his tune and looked attentively at her. He removed his flute from his lips, leaned to Amelia and kissed her tenderly. She answered him gently but passionately.

When they broke apart for breath, their friends awwed.

'Hehe, our Sheldon got himself a lover!' Howard grinned.

Sheldon went red and spluttered but then calmed down and took Amelia's hand tenderly.

'Yes, and she has a doctorate,' he said proudly.

His friends rolled their eyes.

'You know, they say that a King composed this song for his wife,' Sheldon observed.

'Aww, how romantic,' Penny sighed. 

'Yes, except he grew dissatisfied with her when she failed to give him a male heir and set his eyes on her Lady in waiting, and had her falsely accused of adultery and beheaded,' Sheldon informed her.

'Yeah, that's not romantic at all,' Penny made a Face. 

'Well, historians are not sure that it was so,' Amelia consoled her.

'Oh goody,' Penny grinned. 'Then let's hope it was someone else, Maybe a brave Knight who performed many feats for his Lady and won her heart with them at last!'

'Yes,' Amelia smiled, squeezing her Sheldon’s hand gently.

Sheldon also squeezed her hand, smiling gently.

'Zorabel, do you know priest of what God blessed your heirloom Sword for your ancestor?' Sheldon asked curiously.

'I don't know, sorry,' Zorabel smiled gently. 

Sheldon nodded. 'I bet it was a priestess of Sekhmet, the lioness, the brave Warrior of the deserts!'

'Well, if you say so, Sheldon, you certainly know much more than I do,' Zorabel nodded smiling gently. 'So I trust your judgement.'

'As you should,' Sheldon nodded calmly. 'Sekhmet is the equivalent of Minean God Ares, or Mars, and the mythical items given by her to her divine agents must be like Swords of Ares, that is, to it's damage is added the Might modifier of its wielder. What is your Might modifier by the way, Zorabel?'

'Eight,' Zorabel said proudly.

'Impressive for a Warrior, Zorabel,' Sheldon nodded smiling gently.

'Thank you, Sheldon,' Zorabel smiled gently. 

'All right, people, let's sleep now,' Sheldon said resolutely. 'Good night!'

'Good night, Shelly,' Penny grinned.


Next morning Sheldon opened his eyes and uttered, 'Mmmm...'

'Good morning, my dear Sheldon,' Amelia smiled gently to him, lying on the grass by his side.

'Good morning, Amelia, my dear,' Sheldon smiled gently.

'Good morning, Shelly,' Penny grinned.

'Good morning, Penny,' Sheldon said evenly.

Leonard, Howard, Bernadette, Raj and Zorabel woke and greeted them too.

After they ate food they took out of their bags, Sheldon looked at his friends critically.

'Well, people, today is the day of the final battle with the cult of Moloch,' he stated. 'Take into account that the remaining 'priests' are likely more powerful than that junior 'priest', and that they can cast on us Divine Wrath, which inflicts damage up to six health points plus the priest's divine aura, and also that they can beforehand cast on themselves Divine Blessing which would give them plus two to one modifier, and they can cast, for example, two blessings on themselves or on each other, which would give them, say, plus two to both danger évasion and mystical fortitude. So be prepared please.'

'But we're not weaklings ourselves,' Penny grinned.

'Not by a long shot!' Bernie grinned.

'We'll show them!' Howard grinned.

'And I can cast Divine Protection on you, Sheldon,' Amelia informed her lover.

Sheldon nodded smiling gently, 'Do it please, Amelia my dear.'

Amelia touched Sheldon's chest and chanted, 'Oh Asclepius Almighty, I call your divine protection on this man for three power points!'

Bright white light surrounded Sheldon for a moment, then faded. Sheldon smiled gently.

'Now you have plus two to your mystic fortitude, défense class and physical vigour, Sheldon,' Amelia smiled gently. 'Asclepius shall protect you both from Moloch's wrath and the Iron Warriors' Spears!'

'I know, my dear,' Sheldon smiled gently. 'Thank you.'

Amelia smiled tenderly to him.

'Now Amelia dear, take my left hand, and the rest of you, link your hands as we did that time,' Sheldon commanded.

Amelia took her lover's hand gently, Leonard took her free hand, and Penny, Bernie, Howard, Raj and Zorabel linked their hands too.

Sheldon rubbed the sapphire inset in the Armlet of Janus, and uttered, 'Back to the Temple of Moloch! '

There was a flash of Bright white light and a falling sensation, and they were again in the gloomy main hall of the 'Temple' of Moloch. 

'Bernadette, I trust you to finish the 'priest' whom Leonard wounds, I'm sure I'll deal with my own adversary by myself,' Sheldon requested.

'All right,' Bernie nodded. Leonard rolled his eyes.

They marched along the main hall to it's other end. As soon as they reached the other end, three Iron Warriors barred their way.

Howard took his longbow from behind his back, then took an arrow from his quiver and notched it. Amelia raised her staff. Bernadette, Penny and Zorabel drew their swords. Sheldon, Leonard and Raj focused.

Raj chanted, 'I unleash a Blezing Sphere on these three Iron Warriors for five power points!'

Huge fiery sphere appeared in front of him and flew at the Iron Warriors, engulfing them in flames. When the flames subsided, the Iron Warriors were considerably melted. Two of them now lacked right arm with Spear and right half of their torsos. The third lacked left arm with shield and left half of its torso.

'You go, Raj sweetie!' Penny cheered. Raj smiled shyly.

Zorabel lurched with his Sword at the Iron Warrior who lacked the right half of its torso, and cut it's head off. The Iron Warrior collapsed to the floor. Zorabel smiled triumphantly. 

At this moment two tall thin swarthy dark haired youngish men in black velvet robes embroidered with red snakes stormed out of two side doorways. One of them raised his arms and chanted, 'O Moloch Almighty, I implore you to unleash your divine wrath on this wizard!'

He pointed at Sheldon, and a bolt of Bright white light flew from his hands at Sheldon. But it stopped, encountering an invisible shield. Sheldon cast a gentle smile at Amelia and chanted in his drawl, 'I unleash a Psychic Attack on this 'priest' for five power points!

The 'priest' yelped with pain and collapsed to the floor. Sheldon smirked grimly.

Another 'priest' raised his arms and chanted, 'O Moloch Almighty, I implore you to unleash your divine wrath at this wizard!' He pointed at Leonard. Bolt of Bright white light flew from his hands at Leonard but stopped, encountering an invisible shield. Leonard smiled broadly. 

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

The 'priest' yelped with pain and cursed. Leonard smiled with grim satisfaction.

Bernadette lurched at the priest with her short Sword, like a little lynx, and hit him in the chest. The 'priest' collapsed to the floor, Blood gushing from his chest. Bernadette grinned a toothy grin.

One Iron Warrior without right arm lurched at Amelia, attempting to hit her with his shield. But Amelia dodged aptly and hit the Iron Warrior with her staff, breaking its left arm off.

'Impressive, Amelia my dear,' Sheldon smiled gently.

'Oh thank you, Sheldon dear,' Amelia smiled tenderly.

Then Penny lurched at the Iron Warrior with her cinqueda and cut it's head off. It collapsed to the floor. Penny grinned triumphantly.

Then Howard aimed leisurely at the remaining Iron Warrior and let his arrow loose. His arrow whizzed through the air and hit the Iron Warrior in the joint of its left arm, breaking it off. Howard grinned broadly. 

'Howardzie, ty moj krolewicz,' Bernie grinned.

'Benio, ty moja koteczka,' Howard smiled tenderly.

Then Amelia raised her staff and hit the Iron Warrior in its neck joint. Its head fell off, and it collapsed to the floor.

'Amelia,' Sheldon smiled tenderly, approached Amelia, leaned to her and kissed her gently. She answered him tenderly and passionately.

'Sheldon,' she smiled fondly, embracing her tall slim lover.

Their friends awwed. When Sheldon and Amelia broke their embrace, Sheldon looked at the battlefield.

'Well, now we should look if there are other artefacts here, and for the traces of, Oh Athena the Wise, infant sacrifices,' Sheldon said resolutely.

'Yeah,' Penny sighed. 

'Amelia, you're a Healer, you are more accustomed to infant deaths, go look for traces of sacrifices, I'll go with you to support you,' Sheldon commanded. 'Leonard, I trust you learned enough about artefacts to be able to identify them? '

'Yeah,' Leonard rolled his eyes.

'All right then, the rest of you, people, stay here,' Sheldon commanded. He took Amelia's hand gently. She smiled tenderly to him.

Leonard went away to search the 'Temple' for artefacts. And Sheldon led Amelia to look for traces of child sacrifices.

In one 'chapel' off the main hall, by one of the 'priest's' Chambers, they found a great statue of a Pyrotaur, and on black 'altar' in front of it they saw a pile of tiny bones.

'Oh Asclepius the Healer,' Amelia winced.

'Exactly,' Sheldon sighed. 'I studied anatomy in university to know how the human body is composed and what parts of brain control what organs, so to better target my Psychic Attacks, Confusion, Illusions and Cloak, but this...Unlike Midians I don't think that infants aren't human, but    I think that 'people' that sacrifice infants to their 'God' don't deserve to be called human. I also studied ethics in university and would never use my considerable powers other than in défense or to help someone.'

'Well, my education was like that too,' Amelia smiled. 'I'm here to défend and cure people, Sheldon.'

'Now let's go out of here, my beloved,' Sheldon said resolutely. 'We destroyed the evil cult, and we have the evidence what it was, so Nothing is holding us here anymore.'

'Yeah,' Amelia sighed.

And hand in hand, Sheldon and Amelia left the 'chapel'.

Leonard was already standing there with the others.

'Well?' Sheldon asked him.

'Nothing as you see,' Leonard sighed. 'And you, did you find anything?'

'Unfortunately we have,' Sheldon sighed. 'Infant bones. It was awful.'

Leonard winced, so did Penny. Raj's large dark eyes widened in utter horror. Bernadette, Howard and Zorabel clenched their teeth in anger.

'Szlag!' Bernadette cursed.

Sheldon nodded gravely. 'Well, now we return to Goyeta, thank Athena, that won't take several days now, as we have this wonderful Armlet.'

His friends nodded hotly.

'Well, you know the algorithm, do it!' Sheldon commanded.

Amelia took his left hand tenderly, and the rest of his friends linked their hands. Sheldon touched the emerald on the Armlet, rubbed it and commanded, 'To Goyeta!'

Familiar Bright flash of white light and falling sensation, and the next moment they found themselves in front of Golden Salamander pub in Goyeta. Villagers that were in the square stared at them.

Sheldon looked around and commanded, 'Someone, go to Master Mattan and tell him we destroyed the menace to Goyeta, let him call the Council of Elders, I'll brief them what happened.'

Villagers stared at him in awe, then one darted away.

Sheldon nodded, satisfied. He led his friends and his beloved to the village Temple. They waited bu the lovely Temple, admiring it.

Some time later the village Elders headed by Mattan came to the Temple too.

'So Doctor Sheldon, you defeated the monsters, whatever they were?' Mattan asked eagerly.

'Yes, but let's go to the Temple, and I'll brief you on everything, gentlemen,' Sheldon told him calmly.

'Oh of course, Doctor Sheldon,' Mattan nodded hotly. 'Let's go in, ladies and gentlemen.'

They entered the Temple. The Elders sat down on a bench, and Sheldon with his beloved and friends stood in front of them. Mattan looked at Sheldon expectantly.

'Well, Doctor Sheldon, what was it, more Pyrotaurs in the woods?'

'Much worse than that, I'm afraid,' Sheldon said gravely. 'It was a cult of Moloch. They kept three Pyrotaurs in their 'Temple', one of which escaped. And they committed infant sacrifices, we found infant bones on their 'altar'. I'm proud to tell you that I, my beloved Amelia and my friends fully eliminated the evil cult. We defeated the three 'priests' that we're in that 'Temple', two Pyrotaurs that they kept as their 'sacred' animals and six Iron Warriors that guarded the 'Temple.' So I can safely say that the menace to Goyeta is eliminated. I sympathise with you about the loss of your children, by the way.'

The Elders listened to him in horror.

'Oh Gods, the children that went missing!' Mattan exclaimed. 'Beleshmun the Smith's daughter, Amtanit the Potter's third son, and Bomilco the Cooper's firstborn son!'

'Yes,' Sheldon said gravely. 'You didn't give any importance to their disappearances because you Midians think that infants under two years of age aren't quite human. Thank Athena, my beloved Amelia, who's a Healer, gave very much importance to their vanishing.'

Mattan nodded gravely.

'Howard will show you the way to the 'Temple' and you can find remains of your children there to give them a proper burial,' Sheldon said helpfully.

Mattan nodded gravely.

'Thank you, Doctor Sheldon, for your wits and Bravery, thank you, Doctor Amelia, for your wise insight, and thank you for helping Doctor Sheldon, Doctor Leonard, Miss Penny, Master Howard, Miss Bernadette, Doctor Raj and Er...what's your name, sir?'

'Lord Zorabel Barca,' Zorabel said gently.

'And Lord Zorabel!' Mattan said. 'Barca, that's a famous name.'

'Yes,' Zorabel nodded smiling gently. 'My family is rather renowned.'

'And it's Lady Bernadette,' Bernie said proudly.

'Oh, all right, Lady Bernadette, excuse me,' Mattan said hastily.

'Well, don't mention it, Master Mattan, though the praise is entirely deserved,' Sheldon said proudly.

Sheldon's friends rolled their eyes but smiled. Amelia smiled gently.

'We're so grateful to you, Doctor Sheldon, and to your beloved and friends,' Mattan smiled broadly. 'Do you want a reward?'

'Oh No, Lord Hasdrubal hired us, and it is he who owes us a reward,' Sheldon said graciously. 'But you can make a feast for us, that will be enough.'

'All right,' Mattan smiled broadly. 'When will you embark on the return journey to Solus?'

'Oh, don't worry, Master Mattan, I now have means to travel to Solus and back in an instant,' Sheldon informed him. 'So we'll go to Solus tomorrow to get our well deserved reward from Lord Hasdrubal and return back shortly, and we'll stay in Goyeta for some time, your village is so lovely!'

'Oh, wonderful,' Mattan smiled broadly. 'So I'll order our people to prepare the feast.'

'Very good,' Sheldon smiled gently.

'Oh, and congratulations on finding your love, Doctor Sheldon,' Mattan smiled broadly.

Sheldon blushed slightly, 'Thank you, Master Mattan.'

Amelia took his hand and squeezed it gently. Sheldon smiled gently to her and squeezed her hand gently too. Their friends and the Elders smiled at them.

When they left the Temple, Penny asked frowning, 'Why tomorrow, Sheldon?'

'Because one can use each of the Armlet's powers only once a day, Penny,' Sheldon explained. 

Penny nodded.


Later in the day they were sitting in the Golden Salamander at the table that Sheldon appointed as theirs when he first entered the pub. Sheldon and Amelia were sitting side by side, Amelia was holding Sheldon's hand under the table tenderly, and he was smiling gently to her. Leonard and Penny were side by side too, Penny was embracing Leonard's shoulders and he was smiling shyly to her. Howard was grinning to Bernadette, embracing her shoulders, and she was grinning in answer. Raj was looking at the three loving couples, smiling sadly.

It was even louder in the Golden Salamander than usual, because everyone in the pub was drinking and cheering loudly for the victory of the brave adventurers over the cult of Moloch that terrorised Goyeta.

'Oh Athena, what awful clamour!' Sheldon grimaced. 

'Come on, Shelly, they're glad that you saved them from that awful cult,' Penny smiled broadly. 

'I understand, Penny, but this awful racket hurts my perfect pitch,' Sheldon complained.

'Well, Shelly, you have to put up with it for awhile,' Penny grinned.

Sheldon nodded reluctantly.

'How long do you plan to stay here in Goyeta, Sheldon?' Bernie asked curiously.

'Oh, several days, I think,' Sheldon informed her. 'I take into account the feast and the time that will be needed for Howard and Raj to recover from the, er, conséquences of the feast.'

Howard and Raj rolled their eyes, Bernie nodded grinning.

'And then, Sheldon, where do you think to go then?' Bernie grinned.

'Well, I don't know, perhaps we'll go back to Solus or stay here for awhile to see if inhabitants of neighbouring villages or towns have a job for us,' Sheldon said evenly.

Bernie nodded grinning.

'What towns are near, Sheldon?'

'Well, Maliba, the town of tents, Telabyr, the gateway to the desert, and Maveleth, the last town, rather an unsavoury place,' Sheldon explained.

'Maliba is on the route back to Solus, Telabyr is on the route to the Desert Kingdom, and Maveleth is a place that's just plain scary because it's full of unethical magic users and cutthroat mercenaries,' Bernie considered. 'Well, I'll think about it some more.'

Sheldon nodded briefly.

'Bernadette, and where from did you come to Maliba? I know you came to Goyeta from Maliba, because it's the closest town to Goyeta. And I know that you didn't come from Solus because otherwise we would be in the Same caravan.'

'Oh, we came to Maliba from Etica, because Ama wanted to honour the Tombs of the Midian Queens, and in Maliba we met a messenger from the Elders of Goyeta who was searching in Maliba for some heroes wanting to help their village,' Bernie grinned. 'And to Etica we came on a ship from Argos with a stop on Seriphos.'

Sheldon nodded briefly. 

'Shelly, everyone is celebrating today, why don't you loose up a little and celebrate too?' Penny grinned. 

Sheldon cast a long look at her. 'I suppose you're right, Penny, though I promised my mother when I went to Oxenford that I won't become a drunkard.'

'Several cups of red wine won't make you a drunkard, Shelly,' Penny smiled broadly.

'You're right, Penny,' Sheldon nodded thoughtfully. 'Server! Bring a cup of red wine to me please!'

A serving lad nodded to the tall lean young Sorcerer and hurried away. He returned some time later with a copper goblet full of dark red wine. He put it on the table in front of Sheldon, bowed respectfully and went away.

Sheldon sipped from his goblet thoughtfully.

'To our illustrious victory, my friends!' he announced. 'To our common effort, and to you, my beloved Amelia, my trusted mate!'

Amelia smiled tenderly to him. Leonard smiled softly. Penny, Bernadette and Howard grinned. Raj smiled shyly, and Zorabel smiled gently.

'To Dr Cooper's Merry Men!' Howard grinned, raising his cup.

'Please, Howard, we're just Dr Cooper's Men,' Sheldon corrected him.

Penny grinned, raising her own cup, 'To our merry band of adventurers!'

'It was good after all that these villagers sought help from two sides,' Bernadette smiled broadly. 

'Yes, or I wouldn't have my Amelia and you wouldn't have Howard,' Sheldon nodded thoughtfully. 'I believe it's called a blessing in disguise.'

Bernadette nodded grinning. 'And if Penny wasn't in your band, imagine what would happen!?'

'Oh, I can tell you,' Sheldon smiled softly. 'I was this close to casting an illusion of spiders crawling all over your body.'

He showed about half an inch with his fingers.

'And I would have drawn my Sword in answer,' Bernie grinned. 'Good thing that Penny was in your company!'

'Yes, thank Gods,' Sheldon smiled broadly.

Penny grinned at them, 'Yeah, you both can be scary when provoked!'

Sheldon nodded smiling broadly. 'Well, I'm Sheldon the Black-Gold after all!'

'And I'm Bernadeta Marianna Rostenkowska of the Rostenkowscy of Dolný Kazimierz!' Bernie grinned.

Sheldon and Bernie nodded to each other, smiling broadly, and clinked their cups together.

Penny grinned looking at them.

At this point a tall burly Thulean barbarian with long golden hair and beard, in a wide blue tunic trimmed with gold meanders and wide red breeches, with a huge morning star in his hammy fist, entered the Golden Salamander, looked around and stopped his eyes on Sheldon and his merry company.

'Hey you, Gallian weakling, free your place, I want to sit in this spot!' he thundered.

Sheldon gave him a cold stare, 'Excuse me, sir, but it's MY spot, and I will sit in it with my friends.'

The Thulean smirked, 'Oh Yeah? Your spot? Free it at once, or I'll pump you within an inch of your life!'

Sheldon's friends started grinning, this Thulean brute won't even understand what hit him!

Sheldon fixed the Thulean with a cold even Gaze and whispered, 'I cast on this Thulean barbarian an illusion of flames all over his body for three power points!'

The Thulean gasped and started to slap himself all over his huge body frantically.

Sheldon smirked looking at the Thulean brute.

'Relax, you northerner,' he drawled in an acid tone. 'This is just an illusion, I fooled the visual center in the cortex of your brain into thinking that there are flames all over you, and I bet your limbic system panicked and made your medulla oblongata to quicken your breath and heartbeat. Yes, I'm a Sorcerer with considerable gift, I went to three universities and have five degrees, two of them doctorates. I can do much worse to you, but only if you threaten my life, because unlike you I studied ethics and know when not to use my abilities. Now kindly desist and apologise to me, or you'll see what a powerful Sorcerer can do!'

The Thulean looked at Sheldon with wide eyes, and stammered, 'I-I beg your pardon, sir!'

'You are forgiven,' Sheldon smiled softly. 'Next time think whom to oppose, northerner!'

The Thulean staggered away, dumbfounded. And Sheldon's friends and beloved grinned broadly. 

'You go, Shelly sweetie!' Penny cheered.

'That's my beloved,' Amelia smiled gently, squeezing Sheldon's hand.

'Thank you, Amelia my dear,' Sheldon smiled tenderly to her.

'You can call me Amy, as my family calls me,' Amelia smiled gently.

'Amy,' Sheldon drawled tenderly. 'It means 'beloved' in Gallian, you know?'

'Yes,' Amy smiled softly. 'And the sound of this name on your lips is so sweet to me, Sheldon, my beloved!'

'Amy,' Sheldon repeated. 'Amy, you are my light and my strength, and I wish to never part with you.'

'Oh Sheldon!' Amy breathed deeply.

Sheldon looked at her and suddenly dropped to one knee in front of her. Amelia stared at him wide eyed.

'Amelia Farrah Fowler, will you do me the greatest honour of agreeing to be my wife?' Sheldon asked tenderly, looking right into her eyes.

Amy's breath caught in her chest, but then she gained control over herself and breathed, 'Yes, Oh Yes,  Sheldon!'

Sheldon looked at her with starry eyes and, removing a signet ring from his right index finger, put it on Amy's right ring finger gently. Then he rose to his feet, leaned to his fiancée and kissed her passionately. Amy answered him gently and tenderly.

Their friends and everyone in the pub cheered loudly.

'And someone said he will never marry lest his judgement would be clouded,' Zorabel smiled gently. 

Sheldon went red at these words.

'You said this, Sheldon?' Amelia smiled gently. 

'Errare humanum est, my love, every human makes mistakes,' Sheldon said smiling to his lovely fiancée gently.

'Indeed,' Amelia smiled tenderly.

'And who would think that Sheldon Cooper will be the first of us to get betrothed!' Raj smiled dreamily. 'There is yet hope for me!'

'Oh of course, Raj sweetie!' Penny grinned.

Sheldon looked at musicians on the gallery of the Golden Salamander and called loudly, 'Hey, good musicians, can you play Greensleeves for us?'

The musicians, one lute player, one Harper and one with a shawm, nodded to him readily and started to play Greensleeves tenderly.

Sheldon rose to his feet and offered his hand to his fiancée, 'Shall we, my dear?'

'Oh of course, Sheldon!' Amy answered smiling gently and took his hand. Sheldon led her to the dance floor and started to guide her gently. She followed him eagerly.

Penny grinned looking at them. 

Later that night Sheldon escorted Amy to her room, and when they stopped by her door he leaned to her and kissed her gently. She answered him tenderly. When they parted for breath, Amy looked beaming at her engagement ring, his signet ring. It was a thin silver band with a dark red oval carnelian set into it, and on the carnelian there was engraving, an owl holding an open book in its claws.

'Sheldon, as you are a commoner, is that your personal emblem?' Amelia smiled gently, showing the ring to him.

'Yes, it is of my own design,' Sheldon smiled softly. 'Book is knowledge, and owl is intelligent, dangerous and cute like me. I had this ring made when I got my first doctorate at Heidelberg.'

Amy nodded smiling.

'Of course I shall buy you a real engagement ring when we return to Solus,' Sheldon said hastily, blushing slightly.

'Oh don't worry Sheldon, this ring is to my liking,' Amelia smiled softly. 'It suits me perfectly too.'

'All right, my beloved, good night,' Sheldon smiled softly. 

'Good night, my love,' Amy smiled gently.

At this point they saw further along the corridor as Howard was carrying Bernadette bridal style towards his room. Both were grinning broadly. Howard fished in his pocket for his key awkwardly, opened the door and pushed it. He leaned to Bernie and kissed her soundly. She answered him eagerly and Howard carried Bernie inside and closed the door with a sound thud.

Sheldon and Amy looked at the closed door smiling gently. 

Sheldon coughed gently, 'Seems Bernadette and Howard shall have a passionate night today.'

'Yes Sheldon, my beloved,' Amy smiled gently. 'I'm glad for them.'

'Me too,' Sheldon smiled. 'Good night again, my love.'

'Good night, my beloved,' Amelia smiled. 

Sheldon cast a long look at Amy and walked away.


Next day Sheldon, Amy, Leonard, Penny, Howard, Bernie and Zorabel were standing in front of the Golden Salamander. 

'All right people, you know what to do,' Sheldon commanded. 

His beloved and his friends nodded smiling. Amy took Sheldon's left hand, Leonard took Amy's right hand, Penny took his free hand and so on. Sheldon looked at them, touched the Armlet of Janus, rubbed the emerald and commanded, 'To the street in front of Lord Hasdrubal Eshbelya's mansion in Solus!'

Familiar Bright white light and falling sensation, and they found themselves in front of Lord Hasdrubal's mansion, before its front door.

'Wowzies!' Bernie shouted. Howard looked at her smirking. Bernie blushed.

Sheldon smiled gently to them, walked to the front door, took the ring of the door knocker that a majestic lion head was holding in it's mouth, and knocked against the door resolutely.

'Yes?' an elderly male voice answered.

'Dr Sheldon Cooper to see Lord Hasdrubal Eshbelya,' Sheldon announced firmly.

The door opened instantly and an elderly swarthy man in long blue tunic told them, 'Please this way, Dr Cooper, ladies and gentlemen!'

Sheldon nodded evenly. 

The elderly servant led them to the courtyard where Lord Hasdrubal liked to sit in his chair. When Lord Hasdrubal saw Sheldon and his companions, he rose from his chair swiftly.

'Oh, Dr Cooper, it's you!' he exclaimed hotly. 'Did you help Goyeta!?'

'Oh Yes, Lord Hasdrubal,' Sheldon said evenly. 'The threat to Goyeta is fully dealt with. It was a cult of Moloch in the Woodlands of Samera. They sacrificed local infants to their foul 'god' and kept three Pyrotaurs as the symbols of Moloch. One of the beasts escaped and plagued Goyeta. But we defeated the Pyrotaur and went to the woods to investigate the matter further. We found a 'Temple' of Moloch, destroyed three 'priests', two remaining Pyrotaurs and six Iron Warriors. Now the native village of your mother can live peacefully, Lord Hasdrubal.'

Lord Hasdrubal nodded gently.

'I'm very grateful to you, Dr Cooper, and to your friends. You have new companions, I see?'

'Yes,' Sheldon smiled gently. 'My fiancée, Dr Amelia Farrah Fowler, a Healer, Lady Bernadette Rostenkowska, and Lord Zorabel Barca.'

'Oh, congratulations, Dr Cooper!' Lord Hasdrubal smiled softly. 'Pleased to meet you, Dr Fowler, Lady Bernadette, Lord Zorabel.'

'Thank you, Lord Hasdrubal,' Sheldon smiled and squeezed Amy's hand gently. She smiled tenderly to him.

Lord Hasdrubal smiled at the young Sorcerer and the young Healer softly.

'Lord Zorabel,' he said softly. 'Barca is a famous family. I can see you're worthy of your ancestors.'

'I try my best, Lord Hasdrubal,' Zorabel smiled gently.

'How did you meet Dr Cooper and his friends?' Lord Hasdrubal asked softly.

'We we're in one caravan destined for Maliba, I went to honour the Tombs of our Queens,' Zorabel told him gently. Lord Hasdrubal nodded softly.

'Now Dr Cooper, what reward do you wish?' Lord Hasdrubal asked briskly.

'Well, Lord Hasdrubal, I wish a Beta Ray wand for myself to help me fight animates, a Lightning Wand for Leonard and a Ring of Earth for Raj,' Sheldon said evenly. 'Oh, and a Quiver of Artemis for Howard.'

'You shall have all this, Dr Cooper,' Lord Hasdrubal smiled softly. 'Oh, I see you found an Armlet of Janus in that 'Temple.'

'Yes, I used it to come to Solus today,' Sheldon nodded proudly.

'So will you stay in Solus or return to Goyeta?' Lord Hasdrubal asked briskly.

'We'll return to Goyeta today, Lord Hasdrubal,' Sheldon informed him. 'It's a lovely quiet village, it has Maliba nearby, and the village Temple that you commissioned is wonderful.'

'Yes,' Lord Hasdrubal nodded proudly. 'Well, then I'll send my envoy to the Fruitful Tree Inn, where you usually stay in Solus.'

'That will be excellent,' Sheldon nodded gently.


When Sheldon And his friends left Lord Hasdrubal's mansion and headed for the Fruitful Tree, Raj shouted starry eyed, 'Ring of Earth! Oh thank you, Sheldon, thank you!'

'Well, it shall give you the elemental powers of Earth, the only significant powers in your field that you lack,' Sheldon shrugged. 'Don't mention it.'

'Yeah!' Raj shouted excited. 'Hands of Stone, Bronze Armour, Animate Statue, I'll be able to část all this!'

'I'm glad for you, Raj sweetie,' Penny smiled gently.

Raj blushed deeply.

''Oh Gods, Quiver of Artemis!?' Howard shouted. 'The legendary quiver arrows in which never end, and shooting them gives you plus one to Missile modifier!? Oh thank you, Sheldon!'

'Don't mention it, Howard, you're a Hunter after all, you need this,' Sheldon smiled gently. 

Howard nodded grinning broadly. 

They got to the Fruitful Tree and settled in their rooms, waiting for Lord Hasdrubal's envoy.

Sheldon was playing chess with Leonard, the latter losing hopelessly, when they heard knocking on Sheldon's door.

'Checkmate, Leonard,' Sheldon said evenly and went to the door. 'Yes?'

'Dr Cooper, it's Lord Hasdrubal's envoy,' a young male voice answered. 

Sheldon opened the door and saw a swarthy youth with a silk parcel. He opened the parcel and saw two bronze finely engraved wands, one with a Green crystal in its head, other with a blue one, a quiver lined in red velvet with golden details, full of golden feathered arrows, and a golden ring with an erupting volcano engraved on its square bezel.

'Thank you, my good man,' Sheldon said evenly. 'Rely my thanks to Lord Hasdrubal please.'

The youth bowed and departed.

Sheldon smirked and put the artefacts on the table.

'Leonard, please call Howard and Raj here,' he requested.

Leonard rolled his eyes but left. He returned a short time later with Howard and Raj.

Howard and Raj beamed when they saw the things on the table by the chess board.

Howard immediately removed his quiver from his back and donned the new one grinning. Raj hesitantly took the Ring of Earth and put it on his slender brown finger.

Sheldon meanwhile put the Beta Ray wand into his bag. Leonard put his Lightning wand in a pocket of his dark Green collared cloak.

At this point there was knocking on the door again.

'Yes?' Sheldon asked evenly.

'Shelly, it's Amy, Bernie, Zorabel and me,' Penny's voice answered.

'All right, enter,' Sheldon allowed.

The door opened, and Penny, Bernie, Amelia and Zorabel came in.

'Ooh!' Bernie grinned. 'So is this the fabled Quiver of Artemis?'

'Well, let's see,' Howard grinned, took his longbow from behind his back, notched an arrow, aimed leisurely at the door and let his arrow loose. It whizzed through the air and nested in the door. Howard looked at the quiver, there were exactly as many arrows in it as there was before.

'It definitely is,' Howard grinned. 

'Howard, why did you damage the door!?' Sheldon rebuked him, appalled.

Howard just grinned at him.

'Well, I won't use my Ring of Earth as it would sap on my power,' Raj said resolutely.

'Very wise, Raj,' Sheldon said with approval. 'Howard, you should take a page out of his book.'

'Well, I have No powers to sap, so that's different,' Howard grinned.

Sheldon let out an exasperated sigh. But Amy took his hand in hers, and he looked at his beautiful fiancée and on the ring on her hand that was more precious than Raj's Ring of Earth, and smiled gently to her. She smiled tenderly to him.