(Sorry for the delay, everyone, i've been really busy with my other fics and other stuff in my life, but here's the new chapter, so enjoy!)
Chapter 4: The First Key
"So what can we expect?" Sabrina asked as they headed for the tunnel to Unicorn Way.
"A cakewalk," said Vanessa.
"Unicorn Way is probably the easiest area in Wizard City," said Vanessa, "just Ghosts, Skeletal Pirates and evil Fairies to deal with for the most part."
"Ghosts?" Harvey asked.
"Pirates?" Valerie asked.
"Fairies?" Jenny asked.
"Just because the creatures walking the street are easy to deal with," said Andrew, "Doesn't mean you should let your guard down. One certain thing about living in The Spiral; anything can happen."
Just as they were about to go through the doorway there was a flash of black sparks. There stood a wizard wearing red and black armor wand wore a dragon-like helmet. Next to him was a small banshee. The wizard gripped his black wand angrily, which matched his irate expression perfectly.
"Duncan?" Andrew asked in a confused tone, "what…"
The irate wizard, Duncan, aimed his wand at Andrew's face, "Prepare for the afterlife, Andrew Greenspear! I'm gonna destroy you!"
"Like I said," said Andrew, "Anything can happen." He then walked right up to the irate Wizard, not caring that the wand was pointing right at him, "just what is your problem, Duncan Ghostfist?" he then looked back at Sabrina and the others, "this is another friend of mine."
"I'd hate to meet your enemies," said Harvey.
"I've got a major bone to pick with you, Andrew Greenspear," said the irate wizard, Duncan Ghostfist, "how dare you blow me off like this! You promised to help me with some Quests in Dragonspyre."
"I did?" Andrew asked, "that was supposed to be today?" he looked up in thought, "oh, right. I did promise to help you today. In fact, I did promise a lot of people I'd help them." He looked at Duncan Ghostfist, "but I can't help anyone for a while now. The headmaster has me assigned on a long-term Quest, so I won't be able to go with you, Duncan."
"But you promised!" said Duncan Ghostfist, "you made a promise between friends!"
"I know," said Andrew, "and I'm really sorry, but this Quest is bigger than the one you want to do."
"Really?" Duncan asked as he lowered his wand, "how big?"
"Really big," said Chris as he, Vanessa and Kayla walked up to Duncan, "big enough that the headmaster has our schedules cleared for the foreseeable future as well."
"It's really serious," said Kayla, "but we can't tell you what just yet."
"If this got spread around," said Vanessa, "it could cause a panic."
"Oh, you can trust me," said Duncan, "if it's a secret then I can keep it. Seriously, dude, you can trust me to keep my mouth shut."
"But you just tried to kill Andrew!" said Valerie.
"He wouldn't do that," said Andrew, "even though Duncan is a Master Necromancer…"
"Grandmaster," said Duncan, "I just got promoted yesterday."
"You did?" Andrew asked, "oh man, I was helping some newbie Wizards out in Crab Alley yesterday. Sorry I missed it."
"Well I'm Grandmaster now," said Duncan, "so you can let me in on the secret."
"I would, man," said Andrew, "but this is a top secret Quest. If you want in, ask the headmaster."
"I'll do that," said Duncan, "but that still leaves me one wizard short for Dragonspyre."
"Hang on," said Andrew, "I'll see if someone can go in my place," he closed his eyes as he sent out a telepathic message to his friends.
"So," said Duncan to Sabrina and the others, "what brings you guys here? You're clearly not Wizards."
"We're on a mission to save the universe," said Valerie.
"Aren't we all," said Duncan.
Andrew then opened his eyes, "I've got one confirmed response and two definite maybes."
Just then there was a flash of brown sparks. There stood a boy wizard wearing orange and yellow robes and had a small jade-colored elephant that stood on two legs.
"Valdus Titanbane," said Andrew to the wizard, "thanks for coming."
"You've helped me plenty of times," said Valdus Titanbane, "so what can I do for you, Andrew? I hope it involves Celestia, because I'm going there in a bit."
"I'm afraid not," said Andrew, "the headmaster has me, Kayla, Chris and Vanessa helping some outlanders on a special, super-important Quest, but I promised Duncan I'd go with him to Dragonspyre. I was wondering if you could go with him in my stead."
"But I'm supposed to go to Celestia today," said Valdus, "I'd love to help you out, Andrew, but not for this."
"I knew it was too good to be true," said Duncan in a disgruntled tone.
"Just hang on, Duncan," said Andrew.
"Can we help?" Sabrina asked.
"I've got this," said Andrew. He then looked at Valdus, "remember the time I saved you from that horde of Krok mummies in Krokotopia?"
"Uh…yeah," said Valdus in a sheepish tone, "not one of my finest moments."
"But we vanquished those rotten mummies," said Andrew, "and you'd said you'd repay me someday. Well, I'm calling in that favor. So, will you help out, Duncan?"
Valdus hesitated before answering, "well…alright, I'll do it. But only because I owe you one. After this we're even, ok?"
"Ok," said Andrew as he and Valdus shook hands.
Valdus then looked at Duncan, "meet you in The Basilica."
"Right," said Duncan, "give me a minute to get ready and I'll see you there."
"Now before I go help Duncan," said Valdus to Andrew, "can you tell me what this is all about?" He then looked at Sabrina and the others, "and just who are these guys?"
"You'll have to ask the headmaster that question," said Andrew, "I'd love to tell you, but it's a matter of security for The Spiral."
"Is it that serious?" Valdus asked in a hushed tone.
"Deadly serious," said Vanessa.
"Probably more serious than Malistare Drake," said Chris.
"And that's saying something," said Kayla.
"Alright," said Valdus, "but if I can help in any way, just let me know."
"Same with me," said Duncan, "We won't tell anyone what you're doing, even though we have no idea what you're doing, but we'll let some of the others know to keep their schedules flexible if you need them."
"I'll be sure to let them know if we need help," said Andrew.
"Same with my friends," said Chris, "I've got a few on my list who owe me a few favors."
"Me too," said Vanessa.
"Me three," said Kayla.
"Ok," said Duncan, "see you around, Andrew," he looked at Valdus, "see you in Dragonspyre in a second," with that he vanished in a cloud of sparks.
"Good luck," said Valdus to Andrew and the others and he vanished in a cloud of sparks.
"What is that that you do?" Jenny asked Andrew, "appearing and disappearing like that?"
"It's just Teleporting," said Vanessa, "or Porting as we like to call it."
"Every Wizard can Port," said Chris.
"Wow," said Valerie, "I wish I could do that."
"Why Port when I can just zap us to where we need to go," said Sabrina.
"But unless you know where you're going," said Kayla, "then you could end up lost."
"We can use Mana to mark a location and Port there later," said Chris.
"But it also helps to have a map," said Andrew as he held up a seemingly blank piece of parchment, which shimmered to become a map of The Commons.
"This is another piece of magic that all Wizards share," said Kayla as she, Vanessa and Chris also took out similar rolls of parchment.
"The map changes to whatever area you are in," said Andrew, "so once we go through the tunnel way, we'll see the layout of Unicorn Way. And the map also shows your location in said area."
"Think of it as a GPS device," said Chris as they walked through the tunnel and emerged in a large lawn divided by pathways, a brook and a large stature of a unicorn in the middle.
"This is Unicorn Park," said Andrew, "beyond it is the actual street and all the creatures that go with it."
"Wow, this is a nice place," said Sabrina.
"Nice enough to go on a date," said Harvey, "just the two of us."
"Just remember to bring the tuna," said Salem.
"We're going to leave Salem out of our dates from now on," said Harvey, "aren't we?"
"I hope so," said Sabrina.
"Over there," said Vanessa as she pointed to a doorway flanked by horse statures that held rapiers, "That's The Arena. That's were Wizards can practice Duels, sometimes for fun, but also for cash, prizes and bragging rights."
"We ought to have a practice match before we dive into battle for real," said Andrew, "so that Sabrina and her friends can see just what we Wizards can do."
"That's actually a good idea," said Chris, "Let's show these outlanders how we do things in The Spiral."
They walked towards the Arena and went in. Inside were a few Wizards casting spells against each other. They were all in large circles that had several rings of small symbols and eight large symbols around it. On one edge of the circle were the symbols of a dagger, a key, a gem and a small spiral. On the other side were a sun, an eye, a star and a moon. The middle of the circle had a large spiral spinning outward.
Sabrina and the others saw one Wizard standing at the dagger symbol and another at the sun symbol. They watched as one Wizard cast a spell, then the other cast a spell.
"Even the worst of monsters in The Spiral hare bound by a code of honor for duels," said Chris, "everyone takes turn. Whoever goes first is determined by chance."
"Up to eight people can be in a duel," said Kayla, "but if you join a duel after it's started, you have to wait until everyone who's already in it takes their turn before you can cast a spell."
"Everyone in the duel starts out with one Pip," said Andrew, "but there are wands that allow wizards to start out with two. As the duel progresses, more pips are accumulated, unless they're used for spells."
"Let's get a practice room," said Vanessa, "you'll pick things up easily enough as you watch one up close, and who's gonna Duel who?"
"I'll go!" said Kayla, "I'm ready to kick someone's butt."
"The only one who's getting their ass kicked," said Chris as he smiled eagerly, "is you, Kayla!"
They found an empty room where a circle waited for them, "those are called Duel Circles," said Andrew as Kayla stepped onto the dagger symbol and Chris stepped onto a dagger symbol.
"This time we'll flip a coin," said Chris as he took out a Crown, "call it!" he flipped the coin and caught it.
"Tails," said Kayla.
"Heads!" said Chris as he looked at the coin. "Alright, let's do this!"
Both Wizards then faced each other with their wands out, while a single whit eball of light appeared in front of them, "those lights are pips," said Andrew, "if you see a gold light, that's a Power Pip, which can equal two regular Pips for the primary school of the wizard.
Chris then traced a large purple lightning bolt with his wand. The symbol flashed brightly, and there in the circle appeared out of a bolt of lightning a large blue and yellow snake that looked to be a cross between a cobra and a rattlesnake. The Thunder Snake then zapped Kayla with its tail, delivering a mild but damaging electrical shock.
"Oh, that's got to hurt!" said Harvey.
"Not really," said Vanessa, "remember, this is just a pratice duel. Real battles do hurt, but not as much as you'd think."
Kayla was clearly unhurt, for she smiled as she traced a blue snowflake symbol in the air. From out of nowhere, a beetle made of living ice appeared into the circle and tackled onto Chris, freezing him slightly. He shook his head and recovered from the attack.
"Those are the first level attack spells for their respective schools," said Andrew, "but Dueling is more than just blasting each other."
"Although we can do that," said Chris. He then raised his wand and zapped Kayla with a bolt of lightning. She then responded by blasting Chris with a fireball.
They both now had two pips at their feat. "Now things are going to get interesting," said Vanessa.
Chris cast a spell that created a small shield around Kayla's feet that circled around her. The shield had a black storm cloud with a purple and yellow lightning bolt and purple spikes around the edges of the shield.
"That's a trap," said Vanessa, "it lowers an enemies' defenses. If you see a spikeless shield around the caster's feet, that's a Shield that increases defense. Round shields with swords that orbit around a wizards' head increases attack, while round shields with X's on them reduce attack power."
Sabrina, Harvey, Jenny, Valerie and Salem watched with fascinated eyes as Chris and Kayla spent the next few minutes taking turns building up their own offenses and defenses, while reducing the attack and defense of each other.
Chris then used a large spell that summoned a huge purple Kraken that reared up to throw a yellow lightning bolt at Kayla. One of the round shields around his head vanished, while one of the Trap shields and defense Shield around Kayla also vanished. The Kraken threw it's lightning bolt at Kayla, shocking her enough to knock her back.
But Kayla recovered and cast a spell that summoned a huge serpentine creature that was made out of ice. Kayla's offensive shields activated, while Chris's defenses also activated, then the Ice Wyvern blasted him with it's frozen breath, knocking him back.
"Wow," said an impressed Sabrina, "they don't have magic like this back home."
"I'm sure," said Andrew, "if you'll notice the small circles around Kayla and Chris, that line of light, that represents how much Health they have left. When you run out of Health, you lose."
"Unless you heal yourself," said Kayla. She then traced the green leaf symbol of the Life school, and there in the middle of the circle appeared a small fairy that flew around Kayla and created a bright green aura that restored part of the Health circle around her.
"All wizards can use healing spells," said Vanessa, "they just have to learn them.
A few turns later Kayla summoned a huge creature, like a living statue of a sword wielding warrior, made of ice. The Colossus then swung its sword at Chris, blasting him off his feet. But he still had a sliver of Health left.
"Alright, Kayla," said a grinning Chris, "now it's my turn to turn up the heat!" he then traced a red symbol that looked like flames, and a phoenix made of living fire burst onto the Dueling circle. It then blasted Kayla, knocking her off her feet. Her Health circle was completely drained.
"And that's that," said Chris as he walked over and helped Kayla up.
"Not bad," said a smiling Kayla, "not bad at all. But next time I'm so gonna kick your butt."
"Anything else you want to see about Dueling?" Andrew asked Sabrina and the others.
"I think we've seen enough o get the basics," said Harvey.
"We'll pick up the rest as we go along," said Jenny.
"We're ready to get that key," said Sabrina.
"Alright," said Andrew, "then let's get going."
They all left the Arena and went past the unicorn statue in the park, past a gazebo, and found themselves in a street lined with stone houses. Here and there were Wizards running up and down the sidewalks, while the street was full of ghostly creatures, like transparent white hooded robes that were devoid of anything else, gliding in the air through the street.
"Oh my god!" exclaimed Valerie, "Ghosts!"
"They're just Lost Souls," said Vanessa, "these things are pushovers compared to what's elsewhere."
"They're more annoying than dangerous," said Chris, "so it's best to stay on the sidewalk. For some reason, all the monsters and enemies in The Spiral avoid you if you walk on the sidewalk."
"And if you can sneak around them," said Kayla, "you won't get pulled into a battle."
"Good to know," said Sabrina.
"Just how big is this street?" Jenny asked as they turned a corner, careful to stay on the sidewalk and avoid the Lost Soul.s as they mournfully glided through the street.
"Not as big as most areas in The Spiral," said Vanessa, "but yes, it's gonna take us a while to get to where I saw that new house."
"You'll find that investing in well made shoes will pay off big time when traveling in The Spiral," said Chris.
"Don't you have cars here?" Harvey asked, "or at least bicycles?"
"You know," said Andrew in a thoughtful manner, "I've been traveling The Spiral for a while now, and not once have I ever seen a car or a bike. I'm not complaining about the lack of cars, things are a lot quieter and the air is so clean. Bikes would be nice though. But we have other, more faster means of getting around The Spiral."
"We'd show you what we're talking about," said Vanessa, 'but if we showed you our Mounts, we'd leave you in the dust."
"That reminds me," said Kayla, "on the way back from getting this key, we'll have to stop at Prospector Zeke. He'll have what Sabrina and the others need to get around."
"Can't you at least tell us?" Valerie asked as they turned another corner and found that the streets had instead of ghost, skeletons wearing bandanas and waving cutlasses about, "and what are those horrible things?"
"Skeletal Pirates," said Chris, "They're only trouble for Novice Wizards, but it's best to avoid unnecessary battles."
"Oh," said Valerie, "and here's another thing that's sure to give me nightmares later on."
"You think this is scary?" Chris asked, "you ain't seen nothing yet."
They turned another corner and now the streets were full of fairies with pale skin and red wings, wearing purple clothes.
"Dark Fairies," said Andrew, "again, best to avoid them unless you really want to fight them."
"Fighting stronger monsters give more experience," said Kayla, "And even more experience is received the longer the battle goes."
"I'm gonna need to write this down," said Jenny.
"Not me," said Salem, "I've got it all memorized, down to the last gritty detail."
"Well, aren't you special," said Kayla.
"Why are there so many creepy monsters about?" Sabrina asked.
"Things are gonna get worse, believe me," said Andrew, "but as for why all the creatures that are affiliated with the undead is due to the recklessness of Malistare Drake. He caused all sorts of chaos throughout The Spiral, all because he wanted to resurrect his wife."
"He stole a very powerful book of magic," said Vanessa, "The Krokonomicon, and took it to Dragonspyre, where he hoped to harness the power of the Dragon Titan, a monster of a dragon who turned Dragonspyre from a world of advanced magic and warrior arts to a volcanic ruin populated buy Draconians and ghosts of slain Wizards and warriors."
"If Malistare had gotten his way and brought his wife back to life," said Chris, "he would have created unparallel chaos across time and space. Fortunately a brave band of Wizards chased after Malistare and confronted him before he could unleash hell on the worlds."
"That's good to know," said Jenny, "at least we won't have to fight that guy."
"Instead there's an immoral warlock out to kill me and cover everything in darkness," said Sabrina, "no pressure."
"Worry about Diabolic later," said Vanessa as they stopped by a large stone house near the end of the street, "we're here."
"You sure this is it?" Kayla asked.
"I don't remember this house being here before," said Andrew, "then again, it has been a while since I was in Unicorn Way, so it might just be it."
"This is it alright," said Vanessa.
Harvey tried opening the door, but it was locked. He then tried to force the door open, but it wouldn't budge.
"Whatever's in there must be worth keeping locked up," said Jenny.
"Anyone know a good lock picking spell?" Kayla asked.
"Let me at it," said Salem, "I'll get that door open faster than you can name all the members of The Rat Pack." He lept down from Sabrina's arms and jumped at the doorknob, but he couldn't grab hold of it and kept falling to the floor. He kept trying to reach it, but his feline paws just wouldn't stay on the doorknob.
"And yet another reason why I miss having thumbs," said Salem. He looked up at Sabrina with pleading eyes, "could you pick me up, please?"
"Of course," said Sabrina as she picked Salem up.
"This is so embarrassing," muttered Salem. He then extended one claw from his left paw, "alright, give me a minute," he then tried to pick the lock with his claw, but then there was a small crack and Salem yelped in pain.
"What happened?" Sabrina asked.
"I broke a nail," pouted Salem.
"I got it," said Vanessa as she cast a healing spell on Salem's paw. Within seconds it was good as new.
"That's that," said Jenny, "but how do we get that door open?"
"Maybe there's a hidden switch somewhere," said Sabrina. She touched the doorknob, and suddenly there was a loud click and the door opened.
"What the…!" exclaimed Chris.
"Now we know for sure that Sabrina is the Chosen One," said Andrew, "if the key is in the house, then Sabrina is probably the only one who can lead us to it."
"Well," said Sabrina, "let's go get it." With that they all went into the house.
Somewhere in the deepest, darkest reaches of the other realm, Diabolic sat in a dimly lit chamber on a throne of pure obsidian, glaring at a large crystal ball in front of him that showed Sabrina and her friends entering the house where the key was.
Suddenly, Diabolic stood up, "Come to me, my ministers of darkness!" he shouted.
There were six flashes of dark magic and there stood four warlocks and two witches. The first warlock had short black hair and wore a dark purple military-style robe. The second warlock was bald and wore a sickly yellow military robe. The third warlock had long pale blue hair and wore glasses with matching blue military robes and the fourth warlock had dark indigo hair and wore red military robes. The first witch had long dark orange hair and wore green ilitary robes that was cut short to reveal her highly sensual figure. The second witch had shoulder length brown hair and wore glasses wearing brown robes in a more conservative style.
They all had one common feature; all of them had pitch black eyes.
"My dear friends," said Diabolic as he smiled viciously, "it has come to pass that Sabrina Spellman is indeed the Chosen One."
The warlock in yellow stepped forward, "Master Diabolic," he said, "send me to destroy the waif. I shall deliver her head to you on a silver platter."
"Tempting as the offer is, Revion Nightshade," said Diabolic, "the time for Sabrina's death is not at hand. She must posses all five talismans before the spell that will allow my ultimate triumph can be initiated. Then and only then can she be killed.
"But that doesn't mean that she should be allowed to go about her business unchallenged," he looked at the six dark magic users before him, "my friends, as each of you go out through the many lands of The Other Realm, I will ask one of you, perhaps more, to go to The Spiral to make things more interesting for the Chosen One."
He looked at the dark magic users one by one, first at the yellow robed warlock, "Revion Nightshade," the warlock in dark purple, "Talivik Bloodblade," the warlock in pale blue, "Jasvior Wraithclaw," the warlock in red, "Wyvern Darkstar," the witch in green, "Bevion Soulstalker," and the witch in brown, "and Halivorn Mindcrusher.
"Each of you possess equally powerful forms of magic and equally powerful styles of villainy. Therefore, I will choose by lottery who shall go to The Spiral and torment Sabrina, while causing as much physical and mental suffering for her friends, but don't kill them just yet. I want them to experience suffering the likes of which that will make them eager to accept hell."
He looked at the six villains and finally set his evil eyes on the warlock in red, "Jasvior, will you do me the honor of making things a living hell for Sabrina and her friends?"
"It will be my honor and pleasure, Master Diabolic," said Jasvior Wraithclaw as he bowed, "I guarantee that they will be driven to insanity and back."
"Then get to it," said Diabolic, "for the glory of the darkness!"
"For the glory of the darkness!" said Jasvior Wraithclaw. He then zapped himself out of the room.
"The rest of you," said Diabolic, "you have your assignments. Carry them out, for the glory of the darkness!"
"For the glory of the darkness!" said the five dark magic users. They then zapped themselves out of the room.
"Now," said Diabolic as he walked back to his throne and sat down, glaring at the crystal that showed Sabrina and her friends, "the game truly begins. I've made my move, Sabrina. Let's see what you'll do next."
The inside of the house had wooden walls and floors and ornately, but the floor space was bare, except for four creatures. The first was a larger version of a Skeletal Pirate that was armed with two cutlasses. The second creature was a Cyclopes armed with a large metal war hammer. The third was a banshee-like creature and the fourth was a snowman that looked to be made of lava.
"The Chosen One," said the doubly armed Skeletal Pirate as it looked at Sabrina, "at lass, thee hath come. I am Captain Blackheart, guardian of the first key. If thee wishes to possess the key, thee and they companions must defeat me and mine comrades in combat."
"He wants us to duel him," said Andrew, "alright," he smiled eagerly as he cracked his knuckles, "this won't take too long."
"This seems like a strong Boss battle," said Chris, "ought to be worth a lot of experience."
"And let's not forget the prizes that go with it," said Kayla.
Sabrina then noticed the ornately carved stone chest that was behind Blackheart, "is that where the key is?"
"Nay, lass," said Blackheart, "only by defeating me with the key be delivered to thine hands."
"That chest is a prize chest," said Vanessa, "put Crowns in it and you get something really cool."
"And the sooner we win," said Chris, "The sooner it'll be Treasure Time!" With that the four Wizards started towards Blackheart.
"Nay!" shouted Blackheart, "stay thy magics, wizards. At least one of thee must remain out of combat. For to obtain the key, the Chosen lass must partake this Duel."
"You want me to fight you?" Sabrina asked, "but I'm not a wizard. I don't have any spell cards."
'But you do have your witches license," said Salem, "and that allows yout o use magic that you normally wouldn't use."
"And you were gonna tell me this when?" Sabrina asked.
"Well," said Salem, "I figured on waiting for when the time was right."
"Well the time is now," said Sabrina, "so what kind of special magic can I use now?"
"Basically it's like Wizard magic," said Salem, "you can blast enemies with fireballs, freeze rays and thunderbolts."
"Like wand magic," said Kayla.
"But who's gonna stay out?" Vanessa asked, "I could do it. I mean, with Andrew there's already a Theurgist in the duel."
"We'll give them an extra kick in the pants for you," said Chris.
"You sure you want to do this?" Harvey asked Sabrina.
"We can't get the key if I don't fight," said Sabrina, "I have to do it."
"Be careful," said Valerie, "I really don't want to have to go looking for a new best friend, or looking up old best friends either."
"Same with me," said Jenny, "We just started this crazy Quest, so be careful."
"I will," said Sabrina, "Salem will be with me," she then picked him up.
"I will?" Salem asked.
"Of course," said Sabrina, "how else am I supposed to use the emergency magic if I don't know how? It's not something I learned from my Quiz Master."
"Can we begin this decade?" Blackheart asked.
"We might as well get started," said Andrew.
"Then let's do it," said Sabrina. With that she, Andrew, Kayla and Chris walked towards the middle of the room. A dueling circle appeared and Sabrina found herself standing at the star symbol, with Andrew at the sun, Kayla at the eye and Chris at the moon.
Blackheart was at the dagger, the Cyclopes was at the key, the Scarlet Screamer at the gem and the Magma Man at the spiral.
"I've got the first move!" said Andrew. He traced the Life symbol and a Life Trap appeared around Blackheart.
"My move!" said Kayla eagerly as she set an Ice Trap around the Magma Man.
"What do I do, Salem?" Sabrina asked as her turn came up.
"The emergency spells grant you the power of Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Lightning," said Salem, "just put me down, focus on whatever element you want to use, point at the target and say the element."
"Alright," said Sabrina. She pointed at the Scarlet Screamer, "Fire!" a fireball erupted from her fingertip and blasted the Scarlet Screamer, significantly reducing the Health Circle of the creature by about a quarter.
"Wow!" said an impressed Andrew, "you nailed that dead head!"
"I…I guess I don't know my own strength," said Sabrina as she looked at her hands, "wow."
"I always knew you were special!" shouted Harvey.
"Just how special," said Jenny, "I don't think anyone could know."
"Remind me to never make you mad, Sabrina," said Jenny.
"I'll say," said Chris as he set a Storm Trap around the Cyclopse.
"Now be it my turn!" said Blackheart as he summoned a Trap around Andrew, Kayla, Sabrina and Chris. The Traps had a spiral mark on them.
"These Traps work with whatever School is used for an attack," said Vanessa, "they reduce your defenses by 20%. Be careful!"
The Cyclops then summoned a Myth Blade around its head, while the Scarlet Screamer summoned a Death Blade and the Magma Man summoned a Fire Blade.
The next turn came and Sabrina noticed that the new pip around her was gold, a Power Pip. The same could be said for Andrew. "Now we're cooking with gas!" he said as he traced the Life Symbol.
Shooting out of the middle of the circle was a large tree that could walk and fight, "Nature's Wrath!" said Andrew, "get that dead head, Twiggy!"
The tree creature picked up a boulder that had appeared with it and threw it at the Scarlet Screamer. The Life Trap activated and the undead creature took a lot of damage.
"My move!" said Kayla as she summoned a snake made of ice that spat icicles at the Magma Man, activating the Ice trap and delivering a lot of damage.
Sabrina then blasted the Cyclops with a bolt of lightning, activating the Storm Trap that Chris set and seriously damaging the one eyed creature.
"I was gonna do that," said Chris, "you wasted my Trap."
"You're gonna have to learn how to coordinate Traps and Shields with others," said Kayla to Sabrina.
"Oh, right, sorry," said Sabrina.
"At least this move will finish it off," said Chris as he traced the Storm symbol and summoned, out of a sudden storm cloud, a trio of purple and yellow bats that crackled with lightning. They flew around the Cyclops, delivering enough damage to eliminate its Health circle. The Cyclops dropped its hammer as it clutched its belly and gasped in pain, before falling down and disappearing.
"One baddie bites the dust," said Andrew.
"Not bad," said Blackheart as he summoned more Traps around the Sabrina and the Wizards, "not bad at all."
The scarlet Screamer then attacked Andrew, appearing in the middle of the circle and unleashing a near deafening scream that almost knocked him down and delivering a small but significant amount of damage to his Health.
"Talk about lung capacity," said Andrew as he brushed himself off.
"Why is he spouting puns?" Jenny asked as the Magma summoned a Fire Trap around Sabrina, "I thought Andrew was so serious."
"He always does that in a battle," said Vanessa, "it's his way. You'll hear him tell a joke just about every time it's his turn."
"Which is now," said Andrew, "alright, time to raise the stakes!" he then cast a spell that cause the entire circle to be bathed in light that came from green sparks that came from about a foot beyond the edge of the circle.
"This is a Field Spell," said Kayla as she summoned an Ice Blade around her head, "which raises the power of whatever school it belongs to. In this case all Life spells get a 30% boost," she looked at Andrew, "which doesn't really help the rest of us that much."
"Hey, you snooze you lose," said Andrew as he shrugged his shoulders.
"And I thought I told bad jokes," said Salem. All of a sudden his tail began to wave back and forth, tracing the Life symbol in the air above him, "wait…what the heck is going on here!" all of a sudden a green Shield with the picture of a yellow helmet on it appeared around Sabrina.
"That's an Absorb Shield!" said a shocked but still smiling Kayla, "it can block up to 400 damage points!"
"Looks like you've got magic again," said Sabrina as she blasted the Magma Man with a stream of ice cold water, activating one of Kayla's Ice Traps and damaging it harshly, but not enough to destroy it.
"I honestly didn't know I had it in me," said Salem. He then sat down with a dignified expression on his furry face, "but then, I am an experienced warlock, just in a smaller, more agile body, with fabulous fur to boot."
"But you're still short," said Chris as he summoned a Storm Blade around his head.
Blackheart then summoned more defense reducing Traps around Sabrina and the others.
"Is that all you're going to do?" Sabrina asked as the Scarlet Screamer summoned another Trap around her, "cause if you're just gonna fool around like this, you should just give me the key."
"Feel cocky all thee wants, lass," said Blackheart, "for soon thee and thy friends shall taste my revenge."
"He's not joking around," said Chris, "he's working on a plan.
Just then the Magma Man summoned a small elf wearing red and yellow. The elf jumped around the circle for a bit before shooting a flaming arrow at Sabrina. It burned her a bit, but then she saw an orange diamond pattern orbiting around her feet.
"That's a Damage counter that'll hurt you for the next three turns," said Kayla.
"Multi-turn damagers aren't a laughing matter," said Andrew, "one can seriously hurt you, and several at once can cause you to lose the duel before you know it." He then grinned widely, "fortunately you've got me to back you up!" he traced the Life Symbol, "Triage! Feel the Heal!"
The Damage counter around Sabrina then vanished. "You ought to be a doctor," said a smiling Sabrina.
"I could have been back on Earth," said Andrew, "but I'm not; choices made, you know."
"Let's just take out the rest of the minions," said Kayla, "then we can focus on old bonehead there!" she traced the Icy symbol and summoned an Ice Wyvern that blasted the Magma into oblivion.
"I couldn't agree more," said Sabrina as she pointed at the Scarlet Screamer and a huge boulder fell out of the air onto it.
Chris then blasted the Scarlet Screamer with a bolt of lightning, destroying the last of its Health. The banshee creature then screamed in rage as it vanished.
"Looks like it is down to these old bones to carry on the fight," said Blackheart, "so be it!" it then traced the Death symbol in the air with his swords, summoning a large scarecrow with a pumpkin that had fire in its eyes and a raven on it's shoulders.
"A Harvest Lord!" said a shocked Vanessa, "look out! It can drain Health from all of you!"
"We know!" said Kayla, just as the Harvest Lord attacked. All the Damage Traps activated around Sabrina and the others. The scarecrow creature then sucked a huge amount of health from the duelists, then sent half of it into Blackheart.
"That hurt!" said Sabrina, "that really hurt!"
"What'd you expect?" Chris asked, "a slap on the wrist?"
"We're not out of the game yet!" said Andrew, "time to share the love!" he then summoned a unicorn that Healed each of the duelists in turn.
"Wow," said Sabrina, "that was awesome."
"Not as awesome as this," said Kayla. She then summoned an elf that was dressed in blue and white. It then shot Blackheart with a frozen arrow, creating a blue Damage counter around the sword wielding skeleton.
Sabrina then blasted Blackheart with another fireball, then Chris summoned a large purple shark that bit Blackheart. All these attacks damaged the undead pirate, but he still had more than half of his Health circle.
"We've got to end it before he pulls another fast one," said Kayla.
"Too late, fair lass!" shouted Blackheart, "for ye hath failed to notice thy doom looming at my bare feet!"
Sabrina and the others then realized to their shock that there were several power pips around Blackheart. He then summoned another Harvest Lord that nearly drained all the health from Sabrina and the others, while boosting his own Health at the same time.
"This fray is mine!" said Blackheart.
"Not yet, bone head!" said Andrew, "you're out of pips. It's gonna take you a while before you can attack again, and then you can only take us out one at a time. By then we'll have figured out to break you apart!"
"Any ideas how to do that?" Salem asked.
"As a matter of fact I do," said Andrew as he summoned a Life Blade around his head, "I have one card that can end this battle, but I need two more turns to get the pips I need."
"I have no attack cards right now," said Kayla, "only defense cards," she then cast a spell that created a blue Shield around her that had a spiral on it, "this will reduce the next attack by half, but it won't matter we get hit by another draining spell."
"What about this Absorb thing around me?" Sabrina asked, "it didn't help much."
"It doesn't work against draining spells," said Andrew, "I guess I should have mentioned that."
"Don't give up, Sabrina!" said Jenny, "we believe in you and the others!"
"It's not over till it's over!" said Vanessa.
"I'd help you if I could, Sabrina," said Harvey, "but I don't think it's allowed."
"I wish you could help me too, Harvey," said Sabrina.
Just then Harvey vanished, then appeared in the circle in front of Sabrina. "What the heck?" he asked as he realized what happened.
"How'd you get in here?" Sabrina asked, "I didn't zap you in."
"But you did use a spell," said Vanessa, "Sabrina, I think you summoned Harvey to fight for you this turn."
"I didn't feel anything," said Harvey, "but, I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth."
"Trust me, it's not a good idea to do that," said Salem.
Harvey then rushed at Blackheart and punched the skeleton in the head, knocking him back several feet. Harvey then vanished from the circle, only to reappear next to Jenny and Valerie, "That was weird," he said.
Blackheart got back up but all his Defense Shields and offensive Blades vanished, while a white shield appeared in front of him.
"That's a stun shield!" said Chris, "he can't attack next turn!"
"And one more attack and bonehead is finished!" said Andrew as a power pip appeared in front of him, "and now it's my turn!" he then summoned a white-winged angel with long blond hair and armed with a sword. Andrew's Life Blade then activated as The Seraph raised her sword and blasted Blackheart with green light. The creature's Health circle was completely gone and he collapsed into a pile of bones.
"And that's game!" said Andrew as the dueling circle vanished.
"Treasure time!" shouted Kayla as she, Chris and Andrew ran for the chest at the far end of the room.
Just then a gold key about 4in in length appeared in Sabrina's hands, "well, that's one. Only six more to go."
"That was incredible," said Valerie, "you were all blasting those monsters. And then you got attacked, but you shrugged it off. Then you brought Harvey in and he socked it to that pirate thing. That was so awesome! Summon me next time, will you?"
"I wouldn't mind trying my powers against a monster," said Jenny.
"I wouldn't mind going again," said Harvey.
"And of course, Salem played his part as well," said Vanessa, "if he can summon Absorb shields, then who knows what other abilites he has?"
"We won't know unless he gets trained," said Andrew as he, Chris and Kayla put some Crowns into the treasure chest, which then spat out various items that they pocketed.
"Where does all that stuff go?" Harvey asked.
"We have magical backpacks that can hold a lot of loot," said Chris, "mostly items we win in battle and from treasure chests."
"Which reminds me," said Kayla as she looked at the hat that appeared from the chest for her, "hmm, not bad, but I'll have to get it dyed before I can wear it," she pocketed the hat, "anyway, Sabrina, I think you and your friends are in need of a makeover."
"Excuse me?" Harvey asked.
"Not a slumber party makeover," said Kayla as she giggled, "I mean, if you're going to be in The Spiral, you'll have to dress for the occasion."
"Those Earth clothes will make you stand out like sore thumbs," said Andrew, "and since this is supposed to be a top secret Quest, we're going to have to get you guys wardrobes."
"And there's only one place where you can get what you want in Wizard City," said Vanessa, "the Market Place. It's on the way to the Three Streets, so we'll do some shopping before we get there.
Just then there was a loud explosion from outside. "Now what?" Valerie asked.
They all ran out of the house and saw the street in chaos. Wizards were running everywhere in a panic as first one house, then another, exploded.
"Look!" shouted Chris as he pointed at something across the street. There walking up to a house was a small black creature, round in body and walking on two short yellow feet and had white eyes. On it's back was a clockwork key turning slowly. Atop the round black creature was a lit fuse.
"That can't be what I think it is," said a shocked Harvey, "Can it?"
"It's a bob-omb!" said an equally shocked Andrew, "I've played the Super Mario Bros games enough to recognize one when I see one! But what's it doing in The Spiral?"
The bob-omb stopped outside the house and exploded, destroying the house and showering the street with stone fragments.
Andrew raised his staff and summoned a huge Absorb Shield that protected him, Kayla, Vanessa, Chris, Sabrina, Harvey, Jenny, Valerie and Salem from the deadly fallout.
"Apparently trying to kill us," said Salem.
"This is horrible," said Kayla, "who would do such a horrible thing?"
"Someone with a sick imagination," said Chris.
"It's a bout to get worse," said a horrified Valerie as she looked down.
Sabrina then looked down to see a bob-omb waddling up to her, with the fuse only seconds away from setting the explosive creature off.
To be continued…