Chapter 5

The Statue of Dionysus

The Jester and Aaron had been walking through the woods but for a moment before they happened upon a strange rock. Carved into it were symbols, some seeming to form a phrase, yet they were archaic and unreadable by either one of them.

“These must point to something around here, maybe the entrance to the fountain. If so, it might be good for me to use my knowledge spell to see if I can decipher these runes.”

Aaron then chanted a phrase before his eyes began glowing blue. He scanned the rock for a few seconds before returning to his normal form.

“Nothing. I can’t seem to make out what any of this says. The only part I know, from my studies, is the last part here. It says ‘to the north’ which is good, since we’re already heading that way.” The Jester and Aaron continued on, and as the sun hit midday in the sky, they decided it best to have some lunch. As they were eating, they heard laughter from further in the woods. Deciding to check it out, they headed over to where it was coming from, where they found a group of Squish Soldiers.

“Hey, what do you two want?” one of them yelled out.

“Uh, nothing. Just heard someone laughing and wanted to see what was going on,” the Jester replied.

“Well, you two shouldn’t be around these parts of the woods. Dangerous creatures live around here. They even say that when it gets dark… wolves come out of their dens to eat Squishes traveling through here.”

The rest of the group laughed.

“Well, we’re not going to be here for long, just passing through,” said Aaron.

Then, as soon as he finished his sentence, a group of opposing soldiers rushed out of a nearby treeline and started attacking the soldiers. They fought as Aaron and the Jester ran behind a tree.

“What should we do?” the Jester asked. “Well,” said Aaron, “I am a mage.” Aaron then proceeded to transform again, but this time into an orange form. Orbs of fire orbited around him and his eyes burned with flames. He flung fireballs at the feet of the invading soldiers and they began to run away.

“And don’t come back,” shouted Aaron.

One of the soldiers ran up to Aaron. “Woah… how did you do that?” he asked.

“Magic. Just plain old, good magic.”

The Jester then noticed that something was left behind by the other soldiers, a banner of some sort. He walked over to it and picked it up.

“Hey Aaron, what is this?” he asked.

“It seems to be some sort of standard, let me check my notes.”

Aaron then pulled out a book from his pack and flipped to somewhere in the middle.

“Ah, here it is. That’s the Battle Standard of the Dragon. It’s a mythical item that increases our health for a short amount of time. Pretty cool, huh?”

“I wonder why they dropped it,” the Jester asked himself. He then put it on his shoulder and asked Aaron if they could leave.

“Wait a minute,” said Aaron. Those soldiers said there were creatures around these parts, perhaps one of them could help us find the fountain.”

“So, those creatures they said would eat us… you want to ask them for help?”

“They said wolves would eat you. There’s a difference. Anyway, let’s go before it gets dark.”

Aaron and the Jester made their way through the woods and found a cave next to a lake.

“Let’s spend the night here,” Aaron suggested. “It’ll be safe as long as we stay quiet.”

“Fine, but I’m using this battle standard thing as a blanket. As they were about to go to sleep, they heard a noise.

“What was that?” the Jester asked.

“I don’t know, but it came from inside the cave. We better get going.”

It was then that a giant spider made its way out from the darkness and attacked the two Squishes. The two fought with swords, but it was no use, the spider had a shell as hard as rock.

“My book, throw me my book,” Aaron shouted. The Jester did so, and Aaron opened it to a page and shouted a chant. The cave lit up with light, and the spider was gone.

“What the--, how did you do that?” the Jester asked.

“It’s an ancient spell, it consumes darkness and uses it to slay monsters. Takes a lot of energy though, and so it’s time for us to rest.”

Suddenly, a glimmer from further into the cave caught their eye. They made their way towards it and found a statue in the shape of a dragon, the glimmer being a gemstone lodged into its base.

“Woah, what is this?” asked the Jester.

“I don’t know but it might help us find the fountain. This statue, which seems to be of Dionysus, can’t be here for no reason. That spider must have been a minion of theirs. We better keep this safe.”

They spent the night in the cave and the following day made their way outside, where smoke in the distance piled up into the morning sky.

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