Revis and Matticus Save the Kingdom, Chapter 26

“Attack?”  Steph’s eyes went wide with fear, “That can’t be!”

“The vampires must have gotten wise to the disappearing populace,” Revis replied.  “They probably sent out patrols to see if there were any groups camping outside the city walls.  That’s what I would have done.”

Steph shot Revis a death glare.

“What’s the plan,” Matticus whispered, trying to bring the focus back on their current problem.  “We have to go to their aide, right?”

Steph’s eyes went even wider.  She hadn’t ever considered leaving the small community she had been helping to build to their fate.  It troubled her greatly that such an idea would even be a consideration.  Her discomfort grew with each passing second it took the Knight to respond.

With a sigh, Revis shook himself out of his revelry and addressed Steph and Matticus.  “I’ll use my ring to get close to the camp and see what the situation is.  If there is a chance we can save what’s left I’ll come up with a plan and we can spring into action.  But…”

“There is no ‘but,’” Steph interjected firmly.  “We will help them.  Go ahead and see what you need to see, that’s fine.  I expect you to come up with a plan, though.  The First Knight needs to live up to his title right now.”

A look of profound sadness crossed his face as he replied, “I will do anything I can to rescue as many of them as possible, but I will not risk losing our chance to save the entire Kingdom in order to save a couple of people. I can’t jeopardize the lives of the many for the sake of the few. The job of First Knight is to serve the greater good. Sometimes that means making decisions that break your heart, but they have to be made anyways.”

Before she could offer a rebuttal, he turned himself invisible and started walking towards the camp. Steph debated telling Matticus her argument, but decided it could wait until Revis returned. The two of them waited in silence for  a number of minutes. Matticus managed to keep himself from jumping when the sounds of screaming came from the direction Revis walked. He put his hand on his sword, intending to go see what was happening.

“Don’t,” Steph advised, grabbing ahold of his shoulder. “You may cause more problems than you’d solve by going there.”

Out of the darkness, a woman came running. “Faithhopechocolate,” Steph exclaimed. “What happened?”

“No time,” the woman cried. “He needs your help.”

As Matticus and Steph hastened to follow Faithhopechocolate, the Jester was struck by the woman’s appearance.  She was wearing the stylings of the Order of the Holy Paraclete.  He had heard of the order but, as this was the first time he had ever met one of the sisters, he had presumed their numbers had dwindled away to nothing.

Her life of servitude had left her extremely strong and despite the stringency of her robes keeping her strides to a minimum, Matticus and Steph struggled to keep up with her.  The Jester was impressed.  He found her name very striking too.  Faith, hope, and chocolate, were three of his favorite things.

He knew he should be worried about his Knight, but Revis had managed to survive more than one harrowing situation in the past, it was one of the reasons Matticus had made him First Knight.  Beyond his loyalty to the kingdom, the man had an uncanny ability to find a way out of the worst scraps.  Plus, he had all those wonderful toys and tricks.  As much as he complained that he wanted to know where Revis had acquired everything he had stowed in his pack, Matticus trusted his Knight implicitly.

The closer they got to the camp, the thicker the smoke became. When they arrived, they found that there was a very large bonfire in the center of the camp, but the structures remained unharmed. From the other side of the fire, Revis stumbled into view. He fell to his knees, wobbled for a second, then finished his face-first fall to the ground.

Matticus and Steph rushed to his side. They rolled him onto his back. The entire front of his armor was covered with blood. His breathing was extremely rapid and his eyes were closed. “You better not die saving my people,” Steph muttered before turning to Faithhopechocolate and asking her questions.

The corner of Revis’ mouth turned up in the start of a smile, but it vanished so quickly that the Jester wasn’t sure whether or not he actually saw it. Deciding that he did, Matticus cuffed the side of his Knight’s head. “You jerk,” he yelled. “I was really worried about you.”

“Sorry,” Revis apologized, opening his eyes. Ignoring the look of pure hatred he was receiving from Steph, he continued, “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of getting Steph back. You just happened to be collateral damage.”

“What actually happened here?”

“I really did smell oil burning, but it was from this bonfire, not the buildings. They made it to burn the bodies of all the sparkly vampires they’ve killed. I just helped them put a couple in there. That’s where the blood came from.”

“Who protected them?” After Revis pointed at Faithhopechocolate, Matticus asked in disbelief, “You killed all of them?”

“Vampires don’t like crosses,” she explained.

“You just showed them crosses?”

“No, I hit them over the head with one.”

The Jester looked from Faithhopechocolate to Revis and back again, and then rolled his head back and belly laughed harder than he had in a long time.  Steph was not amused, but the Jester’s laughter was infectious and Revis joined in.  Sputtering between laughs, Matticus stated, “That must be one heck of a cross!”

Faithhopechocolate’s eyes beamed with love, “You better believe it!”

Steph stamped her foot in frustration, trying to snap the three of them out of their frivolity, “This is serious, though, if the vampires have sent out patrolling bands this far from the city, they must have known they were supposed to be looking for something, and when those patrols don’t make it back, they will send a larger force expecting trouble.  Well armed.  Prepared for whatever we can throw at them.”

The weight of Steph’s words couldn’t dampen the Jester’s mirth, he just kept picture sparkly vampire after sparkly vampire getting bashed over the head by a whole myriad of crosses.  In the back of his mind he made a mental note to make sure that some sort of weaponized cross was added to the armory when he made it home.

Revis had stopped laughing at that point. “Look, Steph,” he said, “you and Faithhopechocolate need to tell the people here to start getting everything ready for a road trip. They’re coming with us to Long Beach.”

“What about the people still left in Bruges,” Steph countered.

“I’m afraid they’re on their own for now.” Before Steph could argue any further, Revis continued, “I don’t like it any more than you do, but we can’t do anything for them.”

Reluctantly, Steph walked off to start giving orders to those in the camp. Matticus and Revis began refilling their own supplies, filling up on water and food. Halfway through their chore, a shout came from the outskirts of the camp. It was followed by another a few seconds later. The two men slumped their shoulders and shook their heads. They knew what was happening before Steph ran up to tell them.

“They’re attacking now,” she exclaimed. Revis and Matticus began reaching for their weapons. “No,” Steph stopped them. “You were right. You have bigger things to do. You two go. We’ll hold them off so you can get to Long Beach and stop these sparkly bastards for good.”

Matticus wanted to protest, but couldn’t. Revis had grabbed him and was pulling him away from the fight.

Revis and Matticus Save the Kingdom, Chapter 25

Originally posted on The Matticus Kingdom:

Steph easily scaled the ladder that rose out of the murky tunnel.  Revis tried to angle his breast plate so its light would follow her up to the top but the armor only let him bend so far and eventually Matticus and Revis lost sight of their guide as the darkness claimed her.

“This has been too easy so far,” Matticus whispered to his knight.

Revis said nothing and the Jester let the silence go on for as long as he could before he asked, “Revis, did you hear me?”

The Knight nodded, slow and solemn, his eyes still trying to pierce the gloom over their heads.  “We’ve still got a long road ahead of us, your Jesterness.  Once we get clear of Bruges we still have to find our way to Long Beach and see if we can join up with the rebels there.  Then we’ll still have to…

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I’m A Little Confused

Instead of a new episode of Agents of SHIELD this past week, they showed a special called Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe. In it, they chronicle all of the Avengers movies/shows, starting with Iron Man. They ended the show with previews of the upcoming movies: Captain America 2 (which releases in a couple of weeks) and the second Avengers (which I think releases next summer).

Now, when they talked about some of what happens in the new Cap, I understood it. It all made sense: both as a continuation of the Avengers storyline, plus as just a Captain America story. The part I’m confused about has to do with what they said to expect with The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Continue reading

Sceptre of Chaos – Chapter 7

SOC logo

“Back off, boy,” Kerven threatened.

Parshal kept coming forward slowly, sword drawn. The dwarf repeated his threat, but Parshal still approached. Suddenly, he was grabbed from behind by his armor and roughly thrown to the ground.When he looked up, he saw his High Priest standing over him.

“What do you think you’re doing,” Fragiel demanded. Continue reading

Revis and Matticus Save the Kingdom, Chapter 24

Instead of  acknowledging the accusation that Matticus had thrown at him, Revis used the magic of his ring to turn invisible. Except for the Jester, who was used to Revis disappearing, everyone was startled by his disappearance. Steph, in particular, was unnerved by it. “Did he just abandon us,” she asked, going back-to-back with Matticus.

“Don’t worry about it,” he reassured.

“Don’t worry about it? It was bad enough when it was ten against three. Now it’s ten against two. I’m good, but I don’t know if I’m that good.”

The Jester’s reply was lost when one of the circling vampires cried out in pain. A second later, its head fell off. With their attention momentarily fixed on their fallen comrade, Steph and Matticus leapt into action. In one motion, she unsheathed her sword,  decapitated the closest vampire, and plunged the blade into the chest of another.

Matticus hit the vampire closest to him with the flat of his blade while simultaneously activating the sword’s magic. It ran away, its clothing on fire. The next vampire took its time coming at him, wary of the flaming weapon. The Jester feinted to the left and, when the vampire went to block, he quickly brought the blade in from the right. It cleanly separated the vampire’s head from its neck.

After dispatching two vampires each, Matticus and Steph turned, ready to face the rest. There were none left standing. All they saw was Revis casually leaning up against the wall. “There were only eight, not ten,” he informed them with a shrug of his shoulders.

“Show off,” Steph mumbled under her breath as she cleaned her blade and returned the steel to its sheath.

Matticus, standing close enough to hear her, couldn’t help but laugh, and he whispered back to her, “He’s always doing stuff like that.  I guess you’ll get used to it too, if you stick with us.”

“What are you two chatting about?”  Revis returned his full weight to his feet and sauntered torwards them.

“The Jester was informing me that I would eventually grow accustomed to your antics if I journeyed with you a while, but, alas, that shall not be the case.  Once I get us clear of the city, I will send you on to Long Beach and I’ll stay here to help those I can.”

Revis surveyed the bodies of the vampires she had slain and nodded with approval, “It is obvious you can take care of yourself.”

“So, should we get to it then?”  Matticus asked, finally having extinguished his blade and safely stowed it away.  “Before even more vampires decide to descend on us, perhaps?”

Steph looked up and down the alley to get her bearings, and then motioned for them to follow her again, “Let’s go.”  Matticus and Revis fell into step behind her.

She led them through another series of twists and turns until she finally entered a burned out building. Matticus threw a questioning glance at his Knight, but all Revis could do is shrug. They continued to follow her down a hallway. The hallway came to an abrupt halt at a brick wall.

“Why are there so many hallways that lead to nowhere,” Matticus asked in confusion. “And why do we keep finding them?”

Steph shot him ‘The Look’ right before she reached down towards the floor. “The wall was put there to stabilize the house and keep it from collapsing after the fire,” she informed them as she pulled up a trap door.

“Oh,” he replied meekly.

After Steph had descended down the stairs, the Jester heard something at his back. Matticus turned to find his Knight trying not to laugh at him. “Shut up,” he commanded Revis, following their guide.

At the bottom of the steps was a tunnel. Turning to her companions, she told them, “This tunnel will lead us all the way out of the city.”

“Who built it?” Revis queried, peering as far into the darkness as the small amount of light filtering in from above would allow.  “It seems too old for it to have just been constructed in the last couple months.”

“You are correct,” Steph answered, pressing a hand into the ancient stones, soaking in their coolness.  “None of us know how old the tunnel is or why it was originally built.  As we go through you’ll see sections that we had to improve to make it passable, however.  Bardictale spread the word about it when the vampires came out in force and said the two of you had been killed.”

“That guy, again?  Really?”  Revis whined, and Matticus rolled his eyes.  “He’s not at the other end of the tunnel, is he?”

“No, he’ll still be at his bar.  As long as he keeps his stocks of wine up the vampires will leave him alone.”

Matticus pulled his sword from its scabbard and Steph and Revis both took a step back.  “What are you doing, Jester?”

“We’re going to need some light, aren’t we?  Or, did you have some torches in that magic bag of yours?”

“Of course not, your Jesterness,” Revis said with a bow. “That would be silly.”

Feeling triumphant, Matticus started uttering the phrase to activate his sword. Before he could finish, Revis spoke the word, “Illuminate”. A small part of Revis’ chest armor began glowing, throwing off a beam of light. Matticus sputtered the rest of his phrase out, failing to complete the magical enchantment.

“Why would I bring torches with me,” Revis continued, “when I can just use this piece of armor to light my way?”

The Jester took a look around, ensuring that no children were present, and then began a string of cursing under his breath that lasted for several moments. Revis didn’t hear all of it, but he was pretty sure one of things that was said involved bugs invading his crotch. When Matticus had finished, Steph leaned in to Revis and asked, “What’s a douchecanoe?”

With a shrug, Revis answered, “I’m not really sure. I think it’s something he picked up while we were in my brother’s universe.”

“You have a brother? And what’s this about another universe?”

“Uhh, nevermind. Let’s just get going.  I’ll take the lead, since I have the light.  Steph, just make sure you warn me about any twists, turns, or anything else before I stumble into a precipice, okay?”

“No problem.”

Revis slowly started moving forward, with Steph and then Matticus following closely behind so they could all use his light to find their own footing.  Steph shot Matticus a glance to make sure he had calmed down and was going to be able to focus, to concentrate, on the arduous journey ahead and was surprised to see him looking at her.

In the dim glow, she could just make out the the Jester mouth “douchecanoe” and then point at Revis.  Steph shook her head and rolled her eyes.  Matticus would always be silly, no matter how dire the situation was.  She turned back to warn Revis to duck just in time before he cracked his head on a section of the tunnel that was a bit lower.

They walked in silence, except for their heavy breathing echoing off the close walls, and the occasional pinging drip of water collecting in unseen pools.  The journey seemed to last for hours, but they all knew that time was funny underground where there was no sun or stars to track its progress.  When Steph saw the marker that indicated they were nearing the end of the tunnel, they were all happy their journey in the darkness was at an end.

“I’ll go up first, and see if the exit is clear.”

5 Comic Book/Superhero Movies They Need To Make/Remake

Since there have been many of these movies lately, and more on the way, I decided to give my opinion on which ones should be done next. Some of these I want to see done because of my comic book geekery. Some of them I want to see done because…. well, it’d just be awesome.

I’d like to start off by saying that I don’t pay enough attention to movie news to know if any of these are actually in  production or not. For all I know, all 5 of them are filming right now (which would be 33 grams of kick ass). Of course, a couple of these will never be made unless I win the lottery or something. Let’s start off with the first one on my list. Continue reading

Revis and Matticus Save The Kingdom, Chapter 22

Matticus tried to scream, but he had no mouth, and there was no air to carry the sound waves anyway.  Next to him, he saw that Revis had turned into a whale, and for some reason he thought that was weirder than his own predicament: he had turned into a potted plant.  He tried to laugh, but when nothing happened he remembered he had no mouth.

He did, however, notice that they were falling at a great rate of speed, and the world they were approaching was getting larger and larger.  As he began to feel the air rushing through his leaves he realized he could scream if he had a mouth, and was actually thankful he was a plant so he couldn’t hear the terror in his voice.  The whale thrashing around next time was making plenty of noice for both of them as it was.

As the air grew thicker he could feel the heat of the friction starting to singe his leaves, the pain started to border on intense.  And then, at a probability factor of 1 to 1.25 million to the twelfth degree, Matticus and Revis were returned to their bodies and safely transported back to the kingdom.  As the world around them righted itself, they thought they heard a monotone voice talking about an infinite improability drive going offline, but since they had no idea what that meant they assumed they’d misheard.

The prison cell looked exactly as it had when they left, except there was no sign of Jaded. Matticus pulled on the door, but it was locked. His Knight still had the key, so getting out was not a problem. They made their way out, getting only slightly lost now that Jaded wasn’t here to lead them around the castle.

While they were searching the castle, they noticed something strange. A fine layer of dust had settled over everything. Nobody had been here in some time. “How long were we bouncing around in between universes,” Matticus wondered aloud.

Revis ignored him, looking out for any traps that Jaded may have left for them on her way out. They made it to the hole that Grayson had made without incident. Judging from the position of the sun, it was around noon. The two men spent the rest of the day revisiting all of the other locations they had been to on the island. All of them were deserted as well.

“I hate to say it,” Revis began.

“Then don’t,” Matticus pleaded. “Please, don’t say it.”

With a shake of his head, the Knight finished his thought anyways. “We’ve got to go back to Bruges.”

“I told you not to say it!”

“Sorry.”

“You better be…  Do you still have the map?”

Revis unslung his pack and dug through it until, with a triumphant grunt, he pulled out the map that Ruta had given them back in Tuscon.  Unfurling it, carefully so its worn edges and fraying sections would remain intact, the two men studied it and discussed possibly routes until they had settled on the fastest of the paths least likely to result in their deaths.

As Revis placed the map back in his pack, Matticus mused, “Though, couldn’t you just use your whistle to ask if Rara or Grayson could transport us there?”

Revis thought about it and then shook his head, “No, I don’t want to call upon them unless we absolutely have to.”

Matticus frowned, and dug his toe into the dusty trail.  “I think it might be wise to talk to someone we can trust before we head into Bruges again.”

Looking up and around at the scenery, he continued, “It’s obvious some time has passed since we imprisoned Jaded here, we have no idea what we will find in the city.  We have no idea what this world is like anymore.”

“That’s a disturbing thought,” Revis quipped. “The problem with finding someone we trust to talk to first is that we’ll have to pass Bruges up to do that. Bruges is directly across the sea from us. We may not have time to go someplace new and then head back to Bruges. We should probably just go into the city and find out for ourselves. Either way, we’ll have to find a boat before we can go anywhere.”

They looked around the dock, but there were no boats in sight. Revis and Matticus walked further up the beach, looking for anything they could use to sail back to Bruges. An hour into their trek, they found a small cove containing a two man vessel.

There were two people on board, a man and a woman. The man, who was a sparkly vampire, had the woman tied up. Revis was about to signal to Matticus what they should do when the woman spoke. “This is what I get for picking a man without a beard,” she muttered.

“Shut up,” the vampire commanded.

“Do vampires have movements? Are your movements smooth? Do you have to push them out?”

“Shut up!”

As the captive continued to goad the vampire, Matticus and Revis crept down to the small dock the vessel was moored to.  With a silent prayer that it would work, Revis activated his ring, and both he and Matticus were relieved when he successfully disappeared from view.  As the knight did his best to stealthily board the small craft, Matticus went into action to distract the sparkly vampire.

“Hey, excuse me,” Matticus started, interrupting the heated exchange between the vampire and the woman.  Trying to play dumb, something that didn’t come naturally to the Jester, he continued, “Would you be able to help me?  I’m lost and trying to find my way to Bruges.”

“Get out of here,” the vampire growled menacingly, only throwing a minor glance in the direction of the Jester before turning his full attention back to the lady.

“So, you can’t help me then?” Matticus queried innocently.

The vampire, in a rage, whipped around and prepared to lunge at the Jester.  The speed of the attack caught Matticus off guard and he stumbled backwards, tripping over his own feet, and fell to the ground.  He fumbled for his sword, but he was too slow, the vampire would be on him before he could properly defend himself.

Luckily, Revis had made it into position, and two daggers suddenly sprouted from the vampires chest, then disappeared as the beast grunted in pain and surprise.  A moment later its head splashed into the water next to the boat, and its body crumbled to the deck.

Matticus untied the woman. “Are you ok,” he asked.

“I’m fine.”

“What about your movements,” Revis asked. “Are they regular?”

The woman answered excitedly. Matticus stared at the pair in confusion as they talked about their bowel movements for many minutes. “Uhh,” the Jester interrupted, “we’ve got things to do, Revis.”

“Wait a minute,” she shouted. “You’re Revis? And you’re Matticus!”

“Uhh….yeah. Who are you?”

“I’m Miss Four Eyes, but that’s not important. They told everyone that you were dead.”

“Who told everyone that?”

“Jaded and her mysterious sorcerer. They told the Kingdom that you two were dead when they took it over two months ago.”

“We’ve been gone for two months,” Revis muttered, shaking his head.

“I don’t care how long we’ve been gone,” Matticus yelled, grabbing Miss Four Eyes’ arm. “What happened to my family?”