Nov 16, 2019 8:48 PM
Sadde in Wonderland
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Everless nods approvingly. "It may be possible in principle, but, as only the Queen knows how to remove hearts, only she would know how to restore them."

She sighs. "Even were it possible, we would first need to recover the hearts themselves. They are kept guarded in a secret location, worn by the Queen personally, or decorating the chests of her most favoured - and most loyal - courtiers, the Hearts." The capital letter is audible.

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"Is this the best location for us to talk about this stuff?"

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"Good point. Follow me!" Everless takes off flapping down the hall. Unless Sadde has gotten turned around - which is possible - they seem to be heading back the way she came. 

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Yeah she's not really paying attention anymore, this is too insane. She'll just follow.

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The corridor fades back into a forest, this time bright and sunlit. Everless leads the way confidently, circling back every so often to make sure Sadde is still following. 

"We are going to meet the Mad Hatter," she explains. "He will be able to put you in contact with the leaders of the Resistance, and his house is a safer place for me to explain the political situation." 

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"Oh, there's a hatter who's also mad, of course there is."

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"Haven't you ever heard the saying 'as mad as a hatter'? I suppose it might have gone out of fashion," Everless remarks. "You see, the traditional method of hat-making involved the use of mercury, which..."

Her voice fades away as she flies off, forgetting to slow down for Sadde as she gets caught up in explaining.  

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She runs after her!

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No matter how fast Sadde runs, she can't seem to catch up with Everless, and she quickly loses sight of the raven. 

She finds herself in a strange forest, where the trees grow in odd shapes and the grass is varying shades of blue, yellow and purple. There is a path visible a few feet away through the trees. 

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This was presumably intended, and if not, she'll need to have Words with this Raven at a later date.

She follows the path.

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The path continues to be a path through a forest, which might be almost surprising at this point. The grass continues to be multicoloured, although there begin to be fewer blues and yellows, and more purples and reds. 

A little way down, she comes upon a hill to her left. It is perfectly round, treeless, and covered entirely in red grass. A figure in black armour is just barely visible around one side. 

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...black armour sounds ominous. She tentatively approaches them. "Hello?"

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As she rounds the side of the hill, another black-armoured figure becomes visible. They appear to be standing on either side of a doorway leading into the hill. Each bears a long spear, held upright and resting on the ground. Both have their visors down, and they appear to be mirror images of each other. Neither of them move or respond. 

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"Erm, excuse me?" she tries again. "I'm somewhat lost and this place took me here. I don't suppose this would be where I'm supposed to be?"

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"We are the guardians of the Red King," they intone in unison. "None shall disturb his slumber."

 

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"Oh. Fair enough. 'Bye."

Back to the road.

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The path is, surprisingly, still there. As she continues along down it, the grass goes from red to purple to blue and back to green. However, the trees now have blue leaves and yellow bark. 

This tree has quiet purring coming from somewhere in its branches. 

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...is the Cheshire Cat there, by any chance?

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A particularly orange patch of bark uncurls itself into a ginger cat.

"Hello again," he purrs. "Did you find the Raven?" 

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"I did! And then she was leading me somewhere and flew ahead too fast and the path changed on me. You wouldn't know if that was intended, would you?"

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"Hmmmm. Did it lead you anywhere interesting?" Chess stands up and begins pacing along his branch, tail lashing to help him balance.

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"Oh it was definitely foreshadowing. Perhaps I was supposed to challenge the guards or something but I'm not some tabletop RPG character, I'm sure it'll become a relevant plot point later and then I'll get to it."

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"Guards, hmm? Yes, that sounds like foreshadowing to me," the cat agrees.

"Where were you going with Everless?"

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"To see the Mad Hatter."

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Chess yawns, stretching himself out to his full length. "And do you want to see the Mad Hatter?" he asks.

"If you go that way, you'll meet up with Everless again," he adds, waving a paw in the appropriate direction, "but if you go that way, you'll end up at the Mad Hatter's before she does." He's pointing with his tail this time. 

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