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The Never Ending (Except For When It Ends) Story

Guest Gumballthechewy

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Guest Gumballthechewy

This is a story I felt like writing, if you don't like it, well, it likes you so you just broke it's heart.

I will be adding more chapters as soon as I finish them.

If I add you into the story and you don't like it just PM me and I'll write you out immediately.

Map of Athris

*NOTE* This map is largely unfinished. Mostly it's just cities to add and things to name.

Click to enlarge


Book I: The Legend Of The Ancient Prophet

Chapter 1: Once Upon A Time...

Once upon a time there was a boy named Gumball, he was a happy little guy who lived in a tiny village way out in the mountains, undisturbed by the goings on in the realm. One day however, on a dark and dreary winter day, a man came into town, he walked into the tavern and ordered a pint of ale. Nobody talked to him for he was a scary chap, but one person did, little happy Gumball, for he was a friendly little bugger. He walked up to the stranger and said, "Hello sir, my name is Gumball, what's yours?" "I ain't got a name kid." he said gruffly, "Everyone has a name." replied Gumball. "Not me." the man said, "I'm nobody." "What brings you to our little town Mr. Nobody?" Gumball asked. The man looked hard at him, "That ain't none of your business boy." he said, "Now go away, I'm drinkin'." "But maybe I can help." he pleaded. "Git ye gone boy, before I become angry!" the man roared. So with that Gumball left and as he skipped home he felt a sense of dread creeping into his heart but he did not know why.

Late that night, as he slept, Gumball was roused from his slumber by the stranger from the tavern. "Young man, wake up!" he whispered hurriedly. "Wha-? Who? What's going on?" Gumball asked confused. "No time to explain, you wanted to help right?" the man asked. "Uhh, I'm not sure I want to help you with... whatever this is." Gumball said. "Don't get smart with me boy!" the man said angrily, "I'm not going to rape you! I need help and you're the only one who seems willing to help!" "Okay, first off, why are you in my house in the middle of the night and what is it that you need my help so bad with all of a sudden?" Gumball asked quite annoyed at the man from rousing him from his dream, it was a really good dream, too. "I'm on a quest to find an Ancient Prophet." he said, "It is said he is all knowing and all seeing and you can ask him anything past, present or future and he will answer, just imagine the possibilities! I could use a helpful young lad to assist me in my travels and you can ask a question too. I've had no luck in finding a companion thus far." "Not surprising." replied Gumball, "Seeing as you're a colossal asshat." "Good lord boy, not you too!" the man yelled, "I'm asking ya if you want to join me on a quest, so do ya or not!?" "Well..." Gumball began, "I have always wanted to go on a quest... Okay!" "So.. uh.. just like that then?" the man asked. "Yup!" Replied Gumball happily. "Well, okay then." the man said, "We leave first thing in the morning, meet me out front of the tavern at daybreak." "Wait!" Gumball called as the man turned to leave, "What's your name?" "They call me Ar." the man said, "Jay Ar."

Chapter 2: On The Road Again For The First Time

The next day at the crack of dawn our young hero bounded out of bed packed all that he would need for the journey and raced to the tavern where he saw Jay Ar waiting. "So boy." Jay Ar said, "Ya made it." "Yes sir!" Gumball replied all happy like. "I see you're all packed, good, now, let us be off!" Jay Ar commanded. "Yes, let's." Gumball added. "Don't ever do that again." Jay Ar warned. "Sorry..." Gumball said sadly. "So where are we heading?" Gumball asked as they waked. "To the north, there is a small kingdom that may know where to find the Ancient Prophet." answered Jay Ar. "What is the kingdom called?" asked Gumball. "The Kingdom of Grumplebottom, 'tis a small kingdom, but still many times larger than that village you lived in." answered Jay Ar, "It is ruled by Lord Grumplebottom father of Lady Sexybottom who is said to be the fairest maiden in all the Twelve Kingdoms." "Who's this Lady Sexybottom? I've never heard of her." said Gumball. "That's because you're an ignorant hick that has lived in the boonies you're whole life, now shut up and listen to me." Jay Ar said curtly, "I'm surprised word of her beauty hasn't reached your little village seeing as the kingdom is not but twenty leagues away as the crow flies." "Yeah, well, a bear can crap in the woods right behind you but you'd never know unless you turn around." replied Gumball. "What kind of response is that!?" yelled Jay Ar, "I've heard better analogies coming from a drunkards backside. At any rate, the Princess is said to be the most beautiful maiden in all the kingdoms, with hair like silken gold, skin like freshly whipped cream and and a buttocks so sublime many men have killed and have been killed for it." "Wow..." Gumball gasped, "That must be some divine hiney." "Mmm, yes, it is." Jay Ar replied, "And it's also a dangerous one. Every man who has asked for her hand in marriage was set an impossible and ridiculously dangerous task. No man who has lusted for her hiney has lived." Jay Ar looked over and saw Gumball drooling a little. "You will keep your eyes to yourself, do you understand?" he snapped, "Lord Grumplebottom is not a man to cross and when it comes to his daughter it does not take much to cross him!" "Yeah, yeah, I got it, geez! No eye banging his smoking daughter!" Gumball said. "It shouldn't take more than two days to ride there and in that time I'm going to teach you some etiquette and manners, lord knows you could use some.." Jay Ar said shaking his head. "What? Why!?" Gumball asked in disbelief.

Chapter 3: The Lady And The Tramp

They arrived in Grumple Town several days later, having been delayed on the way. "So," began Gumball, "Where to first?" "A tavern," answered Jay Ar, "Lord knows I need a drink after your little 'shortcut' through that swamp." "Hey! How was I supposed to know it was a swamp?" Gumball shot back. Jay Ar put his face in his palm and sighed. "At any rate we'll be going to the castle tomorrow." he said lifting his head, "I know King Grumplebottom personally, I helped him out of a jam when we were younger." Gumball wasn't listening. Jay Ar began cursing under his breath. "What's that?" asked Gumball, "Muttering to yourself old man?" "Yeah," Jay Ar replied, "About how I'm gonna kick your a-" He was interrupted as a young man bumped into him. "Watch where you're going you little punk!" Jay Ar yelled after him. "Okay, so, the tavern." Jay Ar began, rummaging through his pockets. "Wait a minuet!" he shouted, "My coin pouch is missing! That little sneak thief! Gumball, go after him and retrieve my pouch!" "What? Why me?" complained Gumball. "Because you're young and I told you to!" Jay Ar barked back. "Fine." replied Gumball as he ran off after the thief.

"Damned old man, always telling me what to do..." muttered Gumball as he ran, "I don't even know where he ran off to." He bumped into someone as he ran and they both fell to the ground. "Sorry about that." Gumball said as he stood up, "I was chasing a thi-" He stopped suddenly as he saw who he bumped into, she was a beautiful girl with long, blonde hair and bright green eyes, like emeralds. She was wearing a heavy brown cloak with the hood pulled low over her face as if to conceal that she was a woman. "Watch where you're going you slack jawed gimp!" she yelled at him. He just sat there gazing. "Why don't ya just paint my portrait, it'll last longer, ass." she snapped. Gumball shook his head as if he'd been woken from a dream. "I'm sorry." he repeated stupidly, "I, uh..." "Oh great, some slack jawed simpleton." she said angrily. "What? Simple, no." Gumball began but the girl cut him off, "Look, I don't have time to babysit you until your handler comes along, so here's a silver, take it and run along now. Go, shoo!" she said handing him a shiny silver coin and hurrying off. Even though she was rude to him, Gumball was smitten with her.

He returned to Jay Ar. "Well?" the old man asked, "Did you catch that little whelp? "No, he got away, but I bumped into the most beautiful girl I've ever seen! She was kind of rude but I think I'm in love!" Gumball replied. "Sweet salty Christ kid! We ain't got time for fallin' in love!" Jay Ar yelled at him. "Well don't worry, she took off in a hurry, I don't think she liked me." Gumball said sadly. "Girls don't like getting thrown in the mud? You don't say?" Jay Ar mocked. "And how am I supposed to drink with no money?" he asked angrily. "She did give me this." Gumball answered handing Jay Ar the silver coin. Jay Ar sighed, "Well, it's enough for a few drinks anyway, we'll go see the king afterwards." "But I thought we weren't going to see the king until tomorrow?" Gumball asked. "And I thought you could outrun a common street thief." retorted Jay Ar. Gumball just shrugged as he held open the tavern door for Jay Ar. "Just get in here and drink up you cranky old codger, you'll feel better." he said with a smile. "I'm seriously regretting brining you along." Jay Ar muttered as he walked in. "I enjoy you're company too" Gumball laughed as they sat down at the bar. "Two ales barkeep." grumbled Jay Ar, "Your strongest brew if you please."

Chapter 4: The Beautiful (And Possibly Psychotic) Lady Sexybottom

After they had drunk a few pints they headed off for the castle. "Now remember boy, be on your best behaviour and remember those etiquette lessons I gave you!" Jay Ar barked at Gumball. "How could I forget?" he asked, "I still have bruises." "Pain is the best teacher." laughed Jay Ar. "Yeah whatever..." mumbled Gumball. They came up to the castle gates. "It's probably best if you let me do all the talking and just keep your mouth shut unless someone addresses you, understand?" Jay Ar asked. "Yeah, no problem." Gumball answered. As they walked up to the gate one if the guards called out. "Halt! State your name and business at the castle!" Jay Ar stepped forward, "My name is Sir Jaymus Armond and I wish to speak with King Grumplebottom." he said with authority. "Sir Armond?" gasped the guard. "Right this way my lord!" He led them up to the castle doors and through the castle to a great hall where the King sat. A giant of a man, easily nine feet tall with arms like the trunks of trees, knotted with thick muscles, he was wearing a robe of brown and green with a great green cape, upon his head was a golden crown made to look like a circlet of thorns. Beside him sat a young woman with long blonde hair wearing a snow white dress and a silver circlet upon her brow. Gumball recognised her as the girl he bumped into. He tugged on Jay Ar's sleeve, "That's the girl I knocked over chasing the bandit." he told him. "Nonsense!" replied Jay Ar, "The Princess would never mingle with common rabble." Gumball tried to argue but Jay Ar ignored him and stepped forward and called to the king. "My lord!" he yelled. The king looked over and saw who it was. "Jaymus! Is that you?" he boomed. "Aye, my king. It's been a long time." said Jay Ar. "Too long!" the king yelled, "We must dine together! Ready the hall for a feast!" he roared. A great table was brought out and readied and many chairs as well.

The king sat Jay Ar on his right side and his daughter on the left and Gumball next to her. After the meal was brought out Jay Ar began talking with the king about their quest. Gumball, not wanting to disappoint Jay Ar, just sat there eating quietly when he felt something brush against his leg. He looked down and saw the Princess' leg brushing against his. He looked up at her but she was looking at her food, not paying any attention to him. He looked over at Jay Ar, who was talking with the king. He tried knocking away her leg but she brought the heel of her shoe down on his foot with a strength belying her stature. Gumball yelled out. Everyone looked over. "Are you all right boy?" Jay Ar asked. "Yeah." gasped Gumball, "Just really good food." "Okay, well try and contain yourself." Jay Ar told him and went back to talking with the king. He looked over at the Princess but she was focused on her food. He went back to his food as well. Next thing he knew she was grabbing his thigh. He looked over at her again but like before she paid him no mind. He tried shaking her hand off of him but she wouldn't let go. Finally he shook her off but a second later there was a sharp pain in his leg, he looked down and saw a knife in his leg. To stop himself from yelling out he bit down on his fist, a few guests gave him strange looks but Jay Ar and the king didn't notice. He glanced over again and noticed the Princess had a slight smile. It wasn't long before he felt her hand snaking around down there again, this time a little higher than his thigh, he tried slapping her hand away but she punched him in the gut, he tried slapping her hip but she knocked his hand away. She reached down and grabbed his crotch and she wasn't to gentle about it either. He tried kicking her but she just squeezed harder. His giggleberries weren't giggling. She started crushing his walnuts into the chair and just when he was on the verge of screaming there was a loud ruckus from the main entrance to the great hall. There in the doorway stood the young man that stole Jay Ar's coin pouch earlier that day. He hopped onto the table and ran up to the head of the table where the king sat and stopped in front of him smirking. "And who the bloody hell are you!?" bellowed the king. "They call me Mash!" he declared. "The greatest thief in the Twelve Kingdoms, and I have come for the greatest treasure of all." he said as he pointed to the Princess. The king stood up so fast his chair went rocketing out behind him. "Like hell you are!" he roared as he hefted a great battle axe that was resting against the table. "And with that!" the thief said with a wink and he threw down a smoke bomb. There was a great bang and a puff of smoke. Gumball heard the Princess scream and the sound of all the guests getting up from their seats at once. When the smoke cleared the Princess and the thief were nowhere to be seen. The king lifted Gumball up off the ground. "Please!" he shouted. "Go after them! Please bring her back!" he pleaded as he dropped Gumball on the ground. He looked at Jay Ar. "Well?" he yelled, "What are you waiting for? Go!"

Chapter 5: Party In The Woods

Gumball ran from the great hall and out into the courtyard. "He went that way!" shouted a guard, pointing. Gumball hurried off in the direction he was pointing. He heard the Princess scream and saw them ahead in the darkness, heading for the forest. He ran with all his might, slowly catching up. He chased them through the forest, running faster then he ever ran before, following the screams of the Princess. Suddenly he heard a man scream from close by. As he finally caught up with them he saw the thief holding his head and the Princess with blood all over her face. Gumball stepped forward. "That crazy bitch bit my ******* ear off!" the thief yelled at him. "Yeah, well, you tried to kidnap me you ass pirate!" she yelled back. "If I knew you were a psychopath I wouldn't have!" the thief shot back. "Oh, you know you liked it!" she retorted. "What!? Are you mad!?" He spluttered. "Enough!" shouted Gumball, "You've been thwarted thief now come back to the castle with me." The thief laughed, "I'm not thwarted you goon and I'm not going anywhere with you." And with that he pulled a dagger from his belt. Gumball had no weapon to fight back with! "Your leg!" shouted the Princess. "What?" asked Gumball confused. "The knife in your leg!" she yelled back. He looked down and saw the knife the Princess stabbed him with earlier. "Why is there a knife in your leg?" asked the thief. "Actually, you know what? I don't want to know." "If you won't come quietly things will get messy." said Gumball. The thief raised his dagger, Gumball yanked the knife from his leg. The thief ran at him and Gumball tried to stab him but the thief was as agile as a snake. He dodged the strike and countered faster than Gumball could react and stabbed him in the chest. Gumball gasped with pain then keeled over and passed out.

When he came to the Princess was smacking him in the face. "Great job you stupid dork!" she yelled at him. "That ass got away!" Her dress was stained with blood. "You really bit off his ear?" he asked her in disbelief. "Someone had to do something, you sure as hell weren't doing anything you jackass." she snapped. "Hey! I've never even held a sword before!" he retorted. "Wow!" she said in disbelief, "You are the worst knight I have ever seen, and I've seen an ass load of crappy knights." "I'm not a knight!" he said. "That much is obvious." she said rolling her eyes. "Hey! I did my best!" he shot at her. "Well, I guess you did." she said softly and slowly walked over to him. "Umm, okay?" Gumball said confused. She leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. "Well, I, uh, thanks." stammered Gumball. Then she punched him upside the head. "Good god woman! What is wrong with you!" he yelled at her. "You are what's wrong with me!" she shrieked at him, "Now get me home!" "My pleasure." he said sarcastically. They got back to the castle and were brought into the throne room. After they explained what happened the King thanked him and Jay Ar stood up. "You've never held a sword before?" he shouted in disbelief. "Well, no..." Gumball shrugged. "Well I have a lot of work ahead of me." sighed Jay Ar. "While you were rescuing my daughter, Jay Ar and I finished discussing your quest," the king said. "Yes," Jay Ar agreed. "We have been given supplies and directions now off to bed with you, we're leaving at dawn." As Gumball was lead to his room by a servant he thought about all that happened that day. "Good lord." he thought to himself, "A good nights rest is exactly what I need."

Chapter 6: Midnight Surprises

It was dark when he awoke. He couldn't move his arms or legs. He struggled but he couldn't move. A light came on. He saw Princess Sexybottom standing there with a lantern. He saw that his arms and legs were tied to the bedposts. "What the hell!?" Gumball shouted out. "Untie me!" "No, I don't think so." replied the Princess slyly. "Not before I have some fun with you anyway." She pulled out a long thin, whippy looking cane. "Wha- what's that for?" He asked. "For this." she said whacking him on the leg. "Ow!" he shrieked, "Stop that!" "Oh, I'm sorry, did that hurt?" the Princess asked. "Yeah, it did!" Gumball yelled at her. She whacked him a few more times across the knee. "Quiet worm." she commanded as she pulled out a small bundle of cloth and stuffed it into his mouth. He tried struggling and she whacked him on the ear. "Oh! You do like it." she giggled as her gaze wandered below his waist. Gumball tried protesting but all he could manage was muffled grunts. "Well you have been a good boy." she said as she pulled off her nightgown. She truly did have the most wonderful hiney he had ever seen. "Just relax." she said climbing on top of him, "Or do I need to get my cane again?"

It was dark when Gumball woke up again. "Ah geez your highness." he moaned, "I just want to get some sleep, please no more." he begged. "Don't wanna know." said a familiar voice. There was a sound of a match striking and a lamp was lit. Gumball saw it was the thief, Mash. "You!" He yelled trying to get up but he was still tied to the bed. "Oh, this is priceless!" sneered the thief. "How did you even get in here?" Gumball asked him. "Well I am the world's greatest thief you know." he replied. "Yeah, that's why you couldn't even kidnap the Princess." mocked Gumball. "Hey, I didn't want that crazy broad after she bit off my freakin' ear!" the thief shot back. "What are you doing in here anyway?" Gumball asked, "Come to finish me off?" "No, I think the Princess already, um, finished you off." he laughed. "Har har, very funny..." muttered Gumball. "No," the thief said, "I want to join you on your quest. I've heard all about what you seek and I want to help, I want to ask a question of the Ancient Prophet as well." Gumball looked at him, he could prove to be an invaluable companion but he wondered if Jay Ar would allow it. "I don't know-" he began. "Yeah yeah, that crusty old badger." said the thief, "Don't worry about that, I'll meet you both on the road, it's probably safer that way." He turned to leave, took one last look at Gumball and shook his head. "What!?" he yelled after him, "I was asleep when she tied me up!" but the thief was gone. "Thank god!" he said out loud to himself, "Now can I finally get some sleep!?"

Chapter 7: Three's Company (But With Less Women)

The next morning Jay Ar and Gumball were seen off by the King. When they said their goodbyes they headed north along an old highway. After a while Gumball decided he better tell Jay Ar about the thief. "Not a chance that little sneak thief comes with us!" Jay Ar yelled when Gumball had finished. "Oh, I don't know about that." said a voice behind them, it was the thief. "Hello my new travelling companions!" he said with a smile, "My name is Mash as you may remember." "Yeah, I also remember you snatching my pouch!" grumbled Jay Ar. "Yes well, I am a thief." he replied tossing Jay Ar back his pouch. "It feels lighter." mumbled Jay Ar. "Not as light as Gum's pouch I bet!" laughed Mash. "And what's that supposed to mean?" Jay Ar asked lifting an eyebrow. "Uh, just a joke." said Gumball hastily. Jay Ar just shook his head. "Now look," he said to the thief, "You may travel with us, you are a talented thief, but if you cross us I will personally reach down your throat and pull your testicles out through your mouth, do you understand?" "Holy hell old man! I ain't gonna cross youse guy's alright? Jeez!" Mash replied. "Very well." Jay Ar announced, "You may come with us to the Ancient Prophet and ask him a question." "Alright!" said Mash excitedly, "So, where to next?" he asked. "A small, isolated town in the mountains to the north." Jay Ar answered, "It's called Reddnekka, 'tis a queer place I've been told, never been there myself, the king tells me it's five days ride from here." "Reddnekka? I've been there, I know a short cut, it'll cut three days off the journey!" Mash said. "Oh no!" piped in Gumball, "No more shortcuts!" "That was your shortcut." Jay Ar rebuffed. He turned to Mash, "Have you used this shortcut before?" he asked him. "Oh yeah, all the time." Mash answered, "Reddnekka is a thief haven, I go there all the time using this shortcut. It started as a game trail through the Beegaz mountains but us thieves started using it to avoid the highway." "Very well." Jay Ar said, "We will use your shortcut."

So Mash led them to where the shortcut branched off the highway and up they went into the mountains. It wasn't long before a raging blizzard set in. They tried continuing through it but they couldn't see a thing. Luckily they came across a cave and took refuge inside of it. "Well the good news is we found this cave." said Mash. "And the bad news?" Jay Ar asked. "Well, there are no caves along the trail, I have no idea where we are." Mash said. "Great! Just great! We're screwed now! Game over man, game over!" shouted Gumball. "That's not helping boy!" Jay Ar yelled. "Oh what? You're best buddies now!" Gumball shot at him. "Hey hey hey! We can all be best buddies." quipped Mash. "Okay." said Gumball, "Let's hug it out." Jay Ar put his face into his palms and sighed. "Someone run me through..." he muttered. "That reminds me." he said looking up at Gumball. "You need to learn how to swing a sword." "Yeah." added Mash, "That was pathetic. I've fought a lot of people and you were, hands down, the worst." "Yeah, thanks." said Gumball rolling his eyes. Jay Ar pulled out two swords and gave one to Gumball. "Umm... Shouldn't we use like, practice blades or something?" Gumball asked. "Nope." Jay Ar replied simply. "This is gonna be good." said Mash smiling.

Chapter 8: Lost In The Mountains (But Not In A Good Way)

The next morning the storm had passed and they set out to find the path but there was no sign of it in the fresh, deep snow. "Well, we're boned." said Mash looking out of the cave. "Yeah, because of you!" snapped Gumball. "Knock it off you two." grumbled Jay Ar. "Sorry," said Gumball, "It's just I'm a little cranky on account of all the damn cuts and bruises!" "Well maybe you should learn to dodge." replied Jay Ar laughing. "I hate you all." grumbled Gumball. "Just last night you wanted to give us all a big ol' hug." said Mash. "Come here, I'll give you a big ol' hug with my fist." shot Gumball. "All right, enough!" yelled Jay Ar, "We aren't going to get anywhere bickering. The question now is should we forge ahead or try and find our way back." "No!" shouted Gumball. They both looked at him funny. "Uh, we must continue onward, we can't go back because of a little snow, what will the people think of us?" "Hmm... You're right." agreed Jay Ar, "We'd be the laughing stock of the town if we went back now." "Yes! Exactly!" Gumball said excitedly. "So," whispered Mash so only Gumball could hear, "You'd rather die in the mountains than go back to her, eh?" "Wouldn't you?" Gumball shot back, "She bit your ear off." "Well, then again, she is kinda hot..." Mash said. "What are you two whispering about?" said Jay Ar suspiciously. "Nothin' old man." answered Mash. "Just taking bets as to who dies first is all." "Very funny." grumbled Jay Ar. "Ten silvers on Gum." he added quickly. "Hey!" Gumball shouted. "Okay, let us be off." said Jay Ar, "We have a lot of lost time to make up for." And they set off, trudging through the deep snow. For days they wandered about in the mountains and eventually their food began to run low. "What are we gonna do?" whined Mash as they where setting up camp, "After tonight all our food will be gone!" "Maybe you shouldn't eat so much!" Jay Ar barked back. "Well, why don't I just go out and hunt us some food?" asked Gumball. "What?" laughed Mash, "You, hunt? That's rich!" "I can hunt you know." said Gumball rolling his eyes, "Why else would I have a bow?" he asked pulling out a long yew bow from among his gear. "Great flying zombie gorillas boy! Why didn't you say something earlier!?" demanded Jay Ar. "I, uh, forgot..." Gumball replied. "Forgot!?" shouted Jay Ar. "Yeah, so anyway, I'm gonna go and hunt us some life sustaining food now if you don't mind." "I'm coming with you." said Mash.

They were creeping through the bush when Mash stopped. "What?" whispered Gumball. "I have to pee." he replied. "Jesus..." Gumball said shaking his head. He heard some twigs snapping. "Shh! What was that?" he asked Mash. "What was what?" he replied. "I heard something." Just as he finished his sentience a huge brown bear came charging out of the bushes and tackled Gumball. "Mash! Save me!" he yelled as the bear slammed him to the ground. "Kay, just a sec, almost done!" Mash yelled back. "What the hell man!" Gumball shouted as the bear lifted him up and tossed him against a tree. "Yeah, almost, almost." Mash replied. Gumball pulled out a hunting knife and tried poking out one of the bears eyes but the grizzly swatted the blade from his hand and bit his leg. "God damn you Mash!" he yelled out. "Hey, I'm not the one mauling you to death." he said shaking off and pulling up his trousers. "Okay, wha-" he began but the bear came barrelling down on him and knocked him over. Gumball turned and started to run. "You coward!" Mash yelled after him. "You deserve it!" Gumball yelled back looking back over his shoulder. He saw the grizzly bearing down on him. He cursed and ran faster, branches slapping his face as he ran. He came out from among the trees and saw a cliff in front of him and he tried to stop, skidding to a halt just before the vast drop. He heard the bear tearing through the bush behind him but there was nowhere to run. He turned around just as the beast burst out of the woods and charged him. He stood there, frozen with fear, watching his furry doom coming at him and at the very last second he hit the ground. The bear went flying over the edge of the cliff and tumbled down into the darkness. Mash came through the bushes as Gumball was getting back to his feet. "Where's the beast?" he asked. "Down there." Gumball said pointing down the cliff. "Oh my god!" yelled out Mash. "Hey! It was me or him!" Gumball yelled back. "No you ball sack, look!" Mash said pointing out over the cliff. Gumball looked out and saw a faint glow in the distance, the glow of the City of Thieves.

Chapter 9: A Wretched Hive Of Scum And Villainy

It was morning when they made it to town. "Alright," said Jay Ar, "we should split up and search for any information about the Prophet. I'll check the tavern." "Okay old man, just watch your purse, people around here have sticky fingers." Mash said. He looked at Gumball, "You better stick with me, Reddnekka is no place for a guy like you to wander around." "I can handle myself!" Gumball replied defensively. "Uh, no." Mash said, "Just shut up and stick with me." "Fine." sighed Gumball. "So where are we going?" "I have a few contacts I can ask about this Prophet." Mash said as they walked down the street and entered a dingy looking pub. It was dark and smoky inside and smelled strongly of skunk. "Geez it stinks in here." Gumball mumbled. "Don't talk, just grab a drink and I'll meet with my contact. It shouldn't take long." Mash told him and walked into the back. Gumball walked up to the counter, sat down and ordered a pint. Someone sat down next to him. "What took you dip****'s so long?" said a familiar, naggy voice. He turned and saw her sitting there in her baggy cloak. "P-Princess!?" he asked flabbergasted. "Well no ****! Who did you think I was? The god damn milk man?" she said. "Um... What are you doing here?" he asked her. "I want to come with you to see the Prophet." she said. "No, you can't, we have to take you back!" Gumball said. "No! I'm not going back, you're taking me to the Prophet and that's that!" she ordered. "For the love of crusty dog turds..." Gumball said putting his face into his palm. "Look, it's dangerous, you can't come." he said. "Either I go with you or I tell my dad what happened." she told him. "Oh god... We have to ask Jay Ar, it's his choice." he told her. "Then you better make sure he says yes." she said with a smile. "Why?" Gumball asked looking skyward. "What did I ever do to deserve this?" Mash came out of the back room. "Good news!" he said, "I got the info we need." He saw who was sitting with him. "What is she doing here!?" he yelled out. "She wants to come with us." Gumball told him."No, nope, nuh-uh, not happening." Mash said. "If she doesn't come along she'll tell her father what happened and then he'll kill me!" he told him. Mash hit the floor laughing. Gumball stood there shaking his head. "Okay, let's go run this past Jay Ar, this should be fun!" Mash said.

"No." Jay Ar said, "She's a princess and she has to go back." "But I wanna go!" The Princess whined, "I wanna, I wanna, I wanna!" "It won't be easy." Jay Ar said. "I know it won't be easy!" she said annoyed, "But I want ask the Prophet a question too." "Very well," said Jay Ar, "you may come with us." "Oh my goodness." said Mash barely containing laughter, "This is going to be fun eh?" "Yeah." said Gumball rolling his eyes, "Tonnes of fun..." "Oh yeah!" pipped in Mash, "I got some info on the Prophet, far to the east there's a village called Noital at the foot of a great mountain, at the top the Prophet waits in a temple." "Good job Mash." said Jay Ar. "Well, there's a catch." replied Mash. "What?" sighed Jay Ar. "The guy who gave me the info also wants to come with us." Mash answered. "Oh jeez..." said Jay Ar. "How many more people will want to come along before we get there?" "Well, unlike Gumball and the Princess this guy might be useful, he claims to be an enchanter." replied Mash. "Really? Well if he is then by all means he can come with us!" Jar Ar said enthused. "So, where is he?" Gumball asked "Right here." said a man stepping into the room. "Hello good sir." said Jar Ar, "I am Jay Ar, what is your name?" The stranger look at them all slowly, "They call me... Tigs?"

Chapter 10: The More The Miserablier

"I'm cold!" the Princess whined. "Yeah, because we're in the freaking mountains!" replied Gumball. "Will you keep me warm?" she asked him. "I could help you with that." Mash quipped with a smile. "Watch it, she might bite off your other ear." Gumball joked. "Among other things." said the Princess. "Oh my!" replied Mash. Up ahead Jay Ar was conversing with Tigs. "So we just keep heading east?" He asked. "Yes, yes!" Tigs replied. "We go east 'till we coom to tha sea." "We have to cross a sea?" Jay Ar asked? "Oh aye! Bu' not joost any sea, a dune sea!" said Tigs. "What don't you see?" asked Jay Ar. "Noo! Not ah doont see, a dune sea!" Tigs said. "What? A dune sea?" asked Jay Ar. "Aye! A dune sea! A sand prairie! A desert!" yelled Tigs. "Oh! A desert! Well why didn't you say so?" asked Jay Ar. "I did! S'not my fooult ya can't hear properly!" retorted Tigs. "I can't understand a word you're saying you manky Scots git..." replied Jay Ar. "Oh aye! Make foon o' tha' Scot! You English dogs are all tha' same!" ranted Tigs. "Are you finished?" Jay Ar asked. "Because I can see the desert." Tigs walked up to the cliff Jay Ar was standing on and there, far down below and in the distance he saw the vast desert stretching beyond the horizon. "We have to cross that!?" said Mash finally catching up.

"Ohhh! My feet hurt!" said the Princess. "Suck it up buttercup, you wanted to come on this journey remember?" said Jay Ar, "You can turn around and go home if you like." "By myself? But..." started the Princess. "Then enough of your complaining, that's all you've done since you've been here." Jay Ar said. "I didn't think it would be so... hard..." she whimpered. "Very well." sighed Jay Ar, "Gum, carry the Princess until her feet stop hurting." "What!? Why me!? Make Mash do it!" Gumball protested. "Just do it boy!" growled Jay Ar. "Fine..." grumbled Gumball, "Get on." he said kneeling. "That's more like it." huffed the Princess. As they journeyed through the desert on a horse with no name they thought it felt good to get out if the rain at first but joy soon turned to misery as they baked under the blistering desert sun and froze during the nights. "I'm cold!" whined the Princess one night as they all gathered around a small fire trying to keep warm. "I didn't think deserts were so damn cold!" said Mash. "I can't feel my toes." said Gumball. "I can help with that." the Princess said. "Uhh... I'm good." he replied. "You know Princess, my toes are pretty cold too." pipped in Mash. "Go stand in the fire then." replied the Princess coldly. "All right ya proper tossers!" yelled Tigs, "Ye got ta nut up! Tha desert be a cruel, nasty place! You'll be thankin' ya lucky stars when ya git ta da udder side, if ya git der at all!" "Beautiful speech there Tigs." said Jay Ar sarcastically, "Very uplifting and motivating, but we have bigger problems." He was standing at the edge of the fire light, staring out into the darkness. "An' wha' dat be?" asked Tigs. "We're being hunted." replied Jay Ar. They all looked at him in disbelief. "Uh, by what?" asked Mash. "I'm not sure but..." he trailed off. "What?" asked Gumball. "I think it may be... a Vagzûl!" he said. Everyone gasped except poor, stupid Gumball. "What's that?" he asked. Everyone turned to him, flabbergasted. "You've never heard of a Vagzûl!?" Mash asked. "No..." He replied slowly. "They are creatures of shadow and evil." Jar Ar began, "They are spirits of the dead summoned back to this world to do the bidding of the sorcerer who resurrected them." Everyone was quiet and the very air around then grew chill. "How... how do you know that's what's following us?" asked Mash, "Maybe it's just someone from Reddnekka who overheard us talking about the Prophet." "No." replied Jay Ar, "This is no man." "How do you know?" asked Gumball. "I wasn't certain before but now I am positive. Last night I fought it, it nearly got the best of me but fended it off... for now..." he replied. "Wait, you knew and didn't tell us?" asked Mash. "I didn't want to cause worry until I knew for sure." he answered. "I knew." pipped in Tigs. "What!?" yelled Mash, "Am I the only one who didn't know!?" "I didn't." said Gumball. "I know you didn't buddy, I'm not mad at you." Mash replied. "Well I didn't either!" snapped the Princess. "At least we're safe for now, the dawn is breaking." sighed Jay Ar. "Uh, maybe not." said Gumball pointing to a group of horsemen riding fast towards them. "Hey, aren't slavers a big thing in these parts?" asked Mash. Jay Ar looked back and let out a long sigh, "oh crap..."

Chapter 11: Tigs Saves The Day

"Leave everything!" shouted Jay Ar, "Just make for that cliff up ahead!" "We can't outrun horses!" shouted Mash. "No, but we can try, they are still quite a ways back and the terrain past those ridges is more canyon-y and rocky, much easier to hide in than these dunes." The sky was growing lighter. "I can't run all the way there!" The Princess protested, "It's over a mile!" "Hop on my back." said Mash. "Really?" she asked, "You'll carry me the whole way?" "Of course! I won't let anything bad happen to you." he replied. "That's so sweet of you." she said climbing of his back. "Let's go everyone!" Jay Ar shouted, "We must be swift and tireless!" And with that he took off, sprinting towards the ridges up ahead. The others followed at the same pace at first but, after a long while, became fatigued and began to slow down. Jay Ar came to a stop. "We'll rest here for a minute." he said looking back. "They'll catch us long before we git ta safety." said Tigs. "I know, but we can try" said Jay Ar. "I need a drink." huffed Mash lowering the Princess off his back. "I can't die here!" screeched the Princess. "You most likely won't." Jay Ar replied, "You'll be taken as a slave." "We won't be?" asked Gumball. "Tha' depends on how much o' a fight ya put up." answered Tigs with a grim smile. "What is with slavers and the desert anyway!" yelled Mash. "Maybe it's the heat?" replied Jay Ar. "This is hardly the time for sarcasm." said Mash. They're going to catch us! sobbed the Princess. "Ahh, there's nothin' left ta do." mumbled Tigs, "You all go ahead, I'll stay an' hold 'em off fur as long as I can." "We can't leave you behind!" Gumball said. "It's either that or we all die." said Tigs. "He's right Gum, we won't make it unless someone stays behind. Tigs turns towards the riders, "Hurry, there are many of 'em, I won't last long..." They all began running again, leaving Tigs behind.

"Think he'll be okay?" asked Gumball. "What? No! Did you see how many riders there are? He'll get cut down in a second!" yelled Mash. "Shut up boy!" barked Jay Ar. When they made it to the cliff they hurried to climb them. Mash went first and then lowered a rope for the others. When they were all up the cliff they looked back over the sandy dunes but couldn't see anything. "I guess that crazy old bastard came through." said Mash solemnly. "He saved us all." said Jay Ar, "We all owe him a great debt." "We're still not out if danger." said Mash, "We have very little supplies left." "I'm afraid Mash is right." Jay Ar said, "We'll need to ration what's left of our food and water but I think we can make it." "Ooh!" whined the Princess, "I need my three square meals a day!" "You need to nut up is what you need to do your highness." Jay Ar grumbled, "You wanted to come on this adventure and here you are." "I want to go back!" she whined. "Well off you go, good luck!" he replied. The Princess grumbled and moaned a bit and then fell silent. Camp that night was miserable, they left their tents behind and all they had was a few spare blankets. After they ate a tiny morsel of food and a mouthful of water each they curled up as close to the fire as they could but no one could get warm. "I'm so cold." moaned the Princess. "Let me fix that." said Mash as he walked over to her and draped his blanket over hers and huddled together under. "I'm cold too." piped in Gumball. "Get under here ya big lug!" Mash said with a smile. "Uh, really?" snorted the Princess as Gumball got under the blankets with them. "The more the merrier!" said Jay Ar adding his blanket and getting under as well. "This ain't half bad." Mash said. "Alright," said Jay Ar, "get some sleep, no funny business, we have a hard couple days ahead of us."

"Night Princess."

"Goodnight Gum."

"Night Mash."

"Night Gummy."

"Night Jay Ar."

"Goodnight Gum."


"Hey Mash?"

"Yeah Gummy?"

"That's my leg you're caressing."


"I knew that..."

Chapter 12: The Joker And The Thief

They spent the next few days wandering throughout rocky, shrubby mesa, heading north as their food and water supplies slowly diminished. "It's been at least three days and there's no sign of any sort settlement!" complained Mash one day after they ate their last bit of food. "Noital is somewhere in those mountains." Jay Ar said pointing toward the mountains to the north that have been growing larger every day. "Those mountains are at least another three days away!" shouted Mash. "We're all gonna die!" screamed Gumball. "That's not helping." Jay Ar said shaking his head. "Look, we can hunt for food and forage as well, I've never been to the desert but I've heard about these." he said pointing to a strange spiky green plant. "They're called 'cack-tie' I believe and there's water inside of them." "Hey, these small ones aren't hurty like those big ones." said Gumball pointing to a bunch of smaller ones on the ground. "Yes, they look a lot easier to eat." agreed Jay Ar, "You take the first bite Gum." "Okay." he said and picked one and began chewing. "Ugh! It's so bitter!" he said swallowing. "It made my mouth even drier!" He ate another one. "If it's bitter and makes you're mouth even drier why are you eating another one!" yelled Jay Ar. "I dunno." he said eating a third one. Jay Ar walked over to one of the bigger ones shaking his head and sliced off an arm and cut a small piece out of it. He took a bite, "Mmmm, not bad." he said, "It's full of juice. Here everyone have a piece and for the love of god Gumball, stop eating those ones!" They all started eating the delicious, life saving plant. When they it was getting dark but the time they ate their fill. "Okay, we'll make camp here, at lest our bellies are full and our thirst is quenched." said Jay Ar. "Uh, is Gumball alright?" asked Mash. Jay Ar looked over, Gumball was sitting in the dirt staring at the stars, drooling. "Isn't that normal for him?" Jay Ar asked. "Yeah, but not for this long." replied Mash. "Hey Gumball, buddy, you okay over there?" he called to him. "Potatoes!" Gumball shouted and ran off into the darkness. "Good lord..." said Jay Ar shaking his head, "Mash, go find him." "Fine." he sighed. "I'll help look too." the Princess said. "Be careful you two!" Jay Ar said sharply, "Remember there is a Vagzûl hunting us, stay on guard!" Mash and the Princess headed off into the night after Gumball.

"God damn it Gumball, you crazy bugger!" shouted Mash, "Where did you go!" "He's safe, oh yes, he's safe." came a voice from out of the darkness. "W-who's there!" demanded the Princess. "Ah-ha ha! I am here!" said the voice. "And who exactly are you?" asked Mash. "I have many names, many names." replied the voice. "Why don't you show yourself?" Mash asked. A figure stepped closer but it was hard to make him out in the moonlight. "Better?" he asked. "Not really." Mash replied "Why do you silly people run around the desert at night without any torches, hmmm? I wonder." the man asked them. "I don't know." said Mash, "I just don't know." "Well, come with me, I'll take you to see you're friend, yes, yes." said the stranger. "How do we know you haven't already killed him? How do we know you won't kill us?" the Princess asked. "You don't." the man said simply and turned around and began to walk. "I guess we follow him." said Mash unsure. "I don't know..." began the Princess. "Don't worry, I won't let anything happen to you." he assured her. They followed the man through the dark desert, wondering how he can find his way with no light. "Here we are, yes, yes." the man said as they came to a large mound. "How do we get inside?" Mash asked. "Follow me." he said and walked into what looked like an incredibly thorny bush. "I'm not walking through that." the Princess said. "Nah, it's an illusion, watch." Mash said and walked into the bush. "Oh god! It's not an illusion!" he screamed out, "Oh sweet christ it hurts!" "What is the silly man doing? I wonder." said the man from the doorway next to the bush. The princess shook her head and walked in, Mash followed picking out thorns. Inside it was dimly light but could see the man now. He was tall with hair to his shoulders, he wore a black unitard. "So, what's your name?" Mash asked again. "Well, that's a tough one, hee hee." the man laughed. "How so?" asked the Princess. "I am the one who Sparkles in the Twilight, I am the Creeper in the Darkness, the Eater of Waffles, the Toucher of Bodies, the..." "Look, do you have a name or not?" Mash interrupted. "Oh ho! Yes, yes, Olias it is." he answered. "So what are your names, eh? I wonder." he asked them. "I'm Mash." "I'm Prin-... uh, Sarah." "Oh ho ho! No need to keep secrets from Olias." he said. "No secrets." she said. "Sounds like you were going to say something else." he said bouncing on the balls of his feet, "How do I know these are your names?" "So where's our friend?" the Princess asked ignoring the strange man. "Oooh. The one who ate the dream cactus, yes, heh heh! He's a funny one yes he is!" said Olias spinning around in circles. "Can we see him?" asked Mash. "Oh yes! Oh yes!" he said leading them down a hall and into a side room. Gumball was there laying on a bed, thrashing about. "Is he going to be okay?" the Princess asked. "Oh yes. Fine he'll be! On a vision quest he is!" replied the funny man, "In the morning he'll be right as rain, ho ho!" "Hey, I hate to be a bother but we have another friend in the desert, can we get him and stay here of the night?" Mash asked. "Oh ho! More friends!" he squealed with glee, "Of course, bring all you're friends, Olias likes friends!" "Okay, Prin-... uh, Sarah, you stay here with Gumball, I'll go get Jay Ar. "Okay but hurry back, I don't want I be alone with this guy for too long." she said. "Don't worry, I'll be back soon." he replied with a wink.

"So, you're the one who found our friend." Jay Ar said to Olias. "Ha ha! Yes, I found him, drooling in the dirt like a silly." he said balancing on one foot. "And you said he'll be okay?" Jay Ar asked looking into Gumball's eyes. "Oh yes, he just ate the dream cactus, he'll be fine, oh yes." Olias replied. "Say, could you show us the way to the city? I know it's towards the mountains to the north but I don't know know exactly where it is." Jay Ar asked. "Ah, oh, um, I know that city, yes, they don't like Olias there. Kick him and throw him out they did..." he said sadly. "Look, we need to find the city, we are seeking the Ancient Prophet, have you heard of him?" Jay Ar asked. "Yes, oh yes, wise and knowing he is, he was my only friend." Olias replied. "You know him personally?" Mash asked surprised. "Yes, yes, before he was the Ancient Prophet he was just Avelanch..." he said sadly. "Wait," the Princess piped in, "the Ancient Prophet isn't even ancient?" "Yes and no." Olias said, "The Prophets are just mortals, yes, but before they die they chose a successor and impart all their knowledge on them and pass on, yes. That's how they know everything, yes, yes." "Interesting." mumbled Jay Ar. "So, will you help us, please?" asked the Princess touching his arm. "We'll make sure no one kicks you, and if they do we'll kick 'em back twice as hard!" Mash said. "Okay, hee hee, in the morning when Drooly wakes up from cactus dream, I take you to Noital, through the desert and up the mountains! Yes, yes!" said Olias. The Princess shook her head, "We traded Tigs for this?"

Chapter 13: Dreams Of A Dubious Nature

Gumball sat upright in the pitch black, sweat running down his face. He remembered the dream vividly only it wasn't a dream, somehow he knew it was real. He looked around wondering where he was. He heard the door creak open and saw a shadowy figure step in the room. "Who are you?" Gumball asked. "Ooh! Yes, yes! Awake! Ha ha!" the shadowy figure exclaimed. The man lit a lamp and held it up. "Your friends are all ready to go, yes yes, come now!" he said. "My friends?" Gumball asked, his head pounding, trying to remember everything that happened. "Where am I?" he asked. "In my house, Drooly, I found you having cactus dream in the desert, hee hee!" laughed the man. "The fu-..." Mash burst into the room, "Gummy! 'Bout time you woke up! Hurry up and eat, Jar Ar wants to head out." he said. As he ate breakfast they explained what happened last night and introduced Olias. "So you saved me eh?" he asked the funny man. "Yes yes, saved Drooly out in the desert. Very lucky indeed!" he replied. "So he's coming with us?" Gumball asked Jay Ar. "Indeed, he knows the way to Noital plus he has plenty of supplies to lend us." he answered. "Know the way, know the way!" Olias said in a sing-song voice. "He seems a bit... touched..." Gumball said. "Yeah, get this, he

knows the Ancient Prophet!" said Mash. "Really?" Gumball asked in disbelief. "That's what he says anyway." answered Mash. They filled their packs with food, water, and supplies and headed off. The going was fairly slow as Olias often backtracked and went in circles but slowly and steadily they made their way towards the mountains. It was their final night in the desert as the terrain was quickly changing. "Up the mountain, yes yes, we'll be going up the mountain, I hope you brought your furs!" cackled Olias. "Yes we did." said Jay Ar, "We came through the mountains to the west to get to the desert, we have the gear. But what about you? Surely that unitard won't keep you warm?" "Oh ho! Don't worry about Olias, the cold won't bite him!" he said. That night Gumball had a fell into a deep sleep.

He was walking down a long, stone corridor. He was looking for something. He came to many intersections and branching paths but he always knew which way to go. Something was following him. He had to go faster, he had to find it.

"Come on man! Wake up!" Gumball was roused from his slumber by Mash. It wasn't even light out yet. "Wha' you wake me for?" he asked groggily. "You were thrashing around in your sleep." Mash answered. "Yes yes, Drooly has bad dreams." laughed Olias as he danced around them. "Well since we're all up we might as well get an early start." Jay Ar said. "The Princess isn't awake yet." said Gumball. "Then go wake her!" he replied. "Where were you anyway? Asked Mash as Gumball went to wake the Princess. "Scouting." he replied curtly, "We are still being pursued by a Vagzûl, remember? We must remain vigilant." "Let us go, let us go, to Noital we must get!" sung Olias. "Yes, let's." said Gumball walking back. "What did I tell you about that?" growled Jay Ar. "I'm sorry." Gumball said hanging his head in shame. "Why am I up at this ungodly hour?" complained the Princess. "Because we are heading out." "Oh. My. God. This is stupid. Why do we have to always wake up so early?" she whined. They set out and continued along at a steady pace encountering nothing interesting as they climbed higher up into the mountains. The day passed without incident and they made camp at nightfall. Gumball drifted off into a fitful sleep.

He was walking down a dark corridor. Something was following him, something evil, but salvation lay at the end of the tunnel, he knew it. He looked over his shoulder and saw shadows in the darkness. He began to run. He could see a light up ahead, safety.

Gumball sat bolt upright. It was dark, the fire had died down to embers, everyone was still asleep. He had to pee so he got up and walked over to a tall tree a little ways out of camp. as he was peeing on the tree he saw what looked like a shadow moving under the trees. He watched as the shadow slithered between the trees and out into the clearing where they had set up camp. He blinked and stared for a minute. "Wait a sec." he thought, "That's not a shadow!" He zipped up and went running back to his tent to grab his sword. "I better wake Mash and Jay Ar." he thought. As he left his tent he felt hands clamp over his mouth and neck. He struggled to get free but whatever had him had an iron grip that was as cold as ice. He tried to shout but he couldn't make a sound. Everything was fading, darkness was overtaking him. Then there was a blaze of light and a wave of heat washed over him. The hands let go and he took a deep breath. He looked around and saw hit tent on fire. He stood there shocked. "Uh, sorry there laddie, I got a little carried away." Gumball turned around and saw a familiar, bearded, face. "Tigs!" he shouted. "Who were you expectin'," he replied, "Sir Lancelot?"

Chapter 14: The City Of The Prophets

"You're alive!" cried Mash. "Yes, I'm alive. Whuh? Ya' thought I was dead?" asked Tigs. "Well yeah!" said Jay Ar impatiently, "Last time we saw you, you were being surrounded by fifty slavers on horseback!" "Yeah, turns out the slavers weren't slavers, they are just a band of desert vigilantes keeping the desert free from slavers." said Tigs. "Then why didn't you come back to us!?" yelled Jay Ar. "I wus makin' tha desert a safer place!" Tigs replied. "'N' besides, there was a lot o' them desert lasses easily impressed by a bit o' magic." he laughed. "Then why didn't you come back for me?" laughed Mash. The Princess smacked him in the back of the head. "Ow! What was that for?" he asked rubbing his head. She turned away and huffed. "At any rate welcome back." Jay Ar said. "Mmm, an' who's this one?" Tigs asked pointing to Olias. "We meet him in the desert after we lost you. He's a bit touched but he knows the way to Noital." Jay Ar answered. "I know tha way too, that's why ya brought me." Tigs replied. "Yes well, we thought you had died." Jay Ar retorted. "Well I'm back, tell him ta piss off now." said Tigs. "We can't do that!" said Jay Ar, "He saved Gumball's life and all of our lives, if not for him we would have starved to death if the dehydration didn't kill us first." Tigs grumbled a little. "Well I doon't like him, he'll betray us all he will." he said. "No no, Olias is friend!" he replied bobbing around. "Olias would never do that to his friends." Tigs glared at him. "Now now, get along you two, we have a long way to go yet." said Jay Ar, "Besides, we'll need all the help we can get, the Vagzûl have decided to make their presence known, they're getting desperate to stop us." They packed up what was left of their camp and headed out.

Night began to fall again when the Princess called out. "Look!" she said pointing ahead, "I see lights!" They all looked up and saw indeed there where lights. "Yes, lights! Happy happy! We made it!" sung Olias. As they got closer Olias seemed to get more fidgety and nervous. "Don't worry buddy, me an Gumball won't let anyone hurt you." Mash said. Olias laughed nervously, "Yes yes, my friends are good to me." he said. They walked up to the gate, a large iron portcullis set in a huge stone wall. "So, do we knock?" asked Mash. "Yes, knock, yes." said Olias. So Mash knocked. Three booming knocks. There was a moment of silence then with a cacophony of grinding metal and clanging the gate began to rise. With a thud it came to a rest and it grew silent again. The group stepped through the gateway and up the gate came crashing down behind them. A dark figure came walking down the street towards them and stopped a few meters away. "Greetings friends, I am Tortorella and I am The Boss, I am the lord of Noital, what brings you to our fair city?" the man asked. "Greetings Tortorella The Boss, I am Jay Ar and these are my companions, Gumball, Mash, Sarah, Tigs and Olias." said Jay Ar pointing to each of his companions. "Ah yes, I know this fool." said Tortorella The Boss looking at Olias. "What brings you back?" he asked with hate in his voice. "Helping friends, yes yes, bringing them to see the Prophet." Olias answered. "Hmmm, the Prophet eh? That's rich, we've seen many hapless adventurers meet their fate seeking the Prophet." answered Tortorella The Boss. "What do you mean?" asked Jay Ar. "You're not there yet!" laughed Tortorella The Boss, "You must go up the mountain and complete the trials in the Temple of the Prophet before you can actually see him." "Awww! More doing stuff?" complained Mash. "Shush!" hissed Jay Ar, "Uh, so is there an inn or somewhere we can rest for the night?" "Yes, just up the street here, follow me." replied Tortorella The Boss. They walked up the street a ways and came to a stop in front of a large stone building. "Here you go, the Bulging Bronco Inn." said Tortorella The Boss, "Come see me in the palace in the morning." and he turned and left.

"Well that wasn't creepy as all hell." said Tigs. "Yeah, no kidding, total weirdo." added Mash. "I'm tired and I need my beauty sleep so are we gonna go in or just stand out here all night like dip****'s?" the Princess complained. After they got their rooms all in order they decided to retire for the night. Gumball and Mash were sleeping in one room, Jay Ar and Tigs in another and the third room the Princess got to herself, Olias told them he didn't need a room disappeared shortly after. "Hey Mash?" said Gumball after everyone went to bed. "Yeah buddy?" Mash answered. "Think we'll finally get to see the Prophet tomorrow?" he asked. "I think so." he answered. "I'm so excited!" said Gumball. "Yeah, me too buddy!" he replied. Gumball rolled over and fell asleep with a smile on his face.

Chapter 15: The Temple of Hero's Murder

He was going through a corridor, running fast, time was running out. He ran through a doorway into a large room and there atop a great dais, upon an altar was his prize. He had to reach it, he had to get it, or else. He ran up the steps but something caught him by the ankle, something with a grip like iron and as cold as ice. He looked behind him and saw a face, blacker than the darkest shadow with eyes that burnt like coals. He reached for the altar but it was out of reach and he was out of time.

Gumball woke in the pitch black. He felt a chill run down his spine. He quickly lit a lamp and looked around, the room was empty, even Mash was gone. He heard the door creak open and saw a shadowy figure enter the room. Gumball lit the oil lamp beside his bed, drew his sword and hopped out of bed. Standing there was Mash. "What are you doing?" he asked slightly annoyed. "What am I doing?" Gumball shot back, "What are you doing creeping around in the middle of the night, and why are you so sweaty?" "I was, uh... practising my sword play, uh, yeah, that's it." Mash answered. "Why were you practising in the mid-" Gumball began but Mash cut him off, "Shh! Do you hear that?" he asked. Gumball listened. He heard voices talking, evil voices. "You are sure they drank the wine?" said one voice. "Oh ho ho! Yes yes, they drank it, indeed!" said another. "That's Olias!" breathed Mash. "Good," the first voice said, "now take them to the dungeon." Gumball heard the sounds of heavy boots marching through the hall. "Quick, out the window!" whispered Mash. Gumball hopped out the window but before Mash could get through the door burst open. "Seize him!" yelled Tortorella because he is the boss. "Run Gummy! I'll hold them off!" he yelled back to Gumball. He had no choice, he hated leaving Mash behind but had to so he could find a way to save the others.

He ran down the street in the dark. He came to a large, dark temple. He walked up the stairs to the great doors, he saw no handle or way to open them so he tried to push them open but they wouldnt budge. Suddenly he heard voices coming from down the road. He dove into some bushes out front. As they for closer he heard what that were saying. "You said they all drank the wine!" Tortorella said. "Hee hee ho ho! They did, but not those two! No, no." said Olias. "Yes well, six of my guard are dead because of it." The Boss grumbled. "No matter, ho ho, no matter. In the dungeons now they rot!" squealed Olias. "Good, good." muttered The Boss as he fumbled with something at the temple door. There was a loud clunk and the doors began to slowly open. They walked through and the doors shut behind them. Gumball hopped out of the bush and trotted back up the stairs. He looked around for whatever they used to open it but he couldn't find anything. He heard a strange tinkling sound, he looked around and saw nothing. "Hey! Listen!" called a voice. Gumball spun around but there was no one to be seen. "Up here!" called the voice. Gumball looked up. He saw what looked like a blue light with wings but when he looked closer he could see it was a teeny tiny glowing person. "Oh my!" exclaimed Gumball, "You're a fairy!" "Yes, and I'm here to help you. I saw what these people did to your friends. My name is Gilly." the fairy said. "I'm Gumball." he replied. "This used to be such a nice village, they used to help travellers but now they use the story of the Prophet to lure unwary adventurers here to sacrifice them to the Dark Gods..." she said sadly. "But what can I do?" Gumball asked. "This is the Temple of Heros, they've turned it into a sacrificial temple, inside is a blade that can only be wielded by a true hero, the Sword of Ages, many ancient hero's used this blade in ages past but now it's your turn to use it!" the fairy told him. "But.. How do you know I can use it? I'm no hero..." he said. "Trust me, I can see it in you." she said. Something inside Gumball hardened, he knew he had to do something to help his friends, anything. "Okay!" he said, "How do we get in?" "You have to pull that lever." she told him a little confused sounding. Gumball looked over and saw a very obvious lever on the wall. "Oh... my bad.." he said and pulled it. The doors opened and they stepped inside.

It was dark but the light from Gilly was enough to see a few feet ahead. "The sword rests in the catacombs below. It's a maze down there and you'll more than likely get lost but luckily I know the way, stay close." she said. They set off down the long corridor until they came to a large chamber. It was light with torches and there was a large fire pit in the center but there was no one there. "Good, they're not here yet, we still have time!" Gilly said, "Through here, this is the way to the catacombs." she said going to one of the side doors. They went down a spiral staircase, down and down for what seemed like and hour. They finally made it to the bottom and came out into a room with fifty doorways. "Okay, we go through here." Gilly said heading towards one of the doors but then the room grew ice cold. Out of the doorway stepped a tall black figure, he held a long pale sword his hand. It was the Vagzûl. Gilly came flying back to Gumball. "Hey! Listen! I will show you the way, you must go on, I'll distract him. Only with the sword can you defeat this foe!" she said touching his forehead. All of a sudden the memory of navigating the catacombs was flooding his mind. "Now go!" she yelled. Gumball ran into one of the doorways and took off through the catacombs. He was slow at first but as his eyes adjusted to the darkness he moved faster. The air began to crow chill, he knew the Vagzûl was coming for him. He began to run faster. He to a doorway that led into a large room and there atop a great dais, upon an altar he saw the sword. He ran up the steps but something caught him by the ankle. He looked behind him and saw the Vagzûl, it's face blacker than the darkest shadow with eyes that burnt like coals. He tried to break free from it's grip bit it was stronger than iron and as cold as ice. Then Gilly came flying up and started buzz around the Vagzûl's face. It's grip on his ankle lessened "Go!" she screamed at him. He shook free and ran up to the altar and and looked at the sword, it was beautiful. It was a long silver coloured blade with runes etched into it, the cross guard was in the shape of a golden eagle and adorned with diamonds, the grip was made of pearl and in the golden pommel sat a large sapphire. He reached out to pick it up and when he touched it he felt a warmth emanate off the blade and it felt as if it was vibrating slightly yet it didn't move. He lifted the sword and turned around, the Vagzûl stood there with it's pale blade in hand, watching, waiting.

Chapter 16: The Bloodiest Battle The World Never Saw

Gumball and the Vagzûl circled each other slowly, waiting for an opening. The Vagzûl struck first, lunging at Gumball with terrible speed, he nearly didn't dodge in time. He tried to counter but the Vagzûl parried. It was too fast for Gumball! The Vagzûl came at him over and over and each time Gumball dodged a little slower. He was going to lose soon if this kept up. "Hey! Listen!" he heard Gilly shout, "You need to focus, watch the way it moves!" So he watched as the Vagzûl attacked, studying the way it moved. The Vagzûl thrust at Gumball and he tripped and fell on his ass, then as the Vagzûl raised it's sword for the final blow Gumball lunged up and drove the sword through the center of the darkness that was it's face. It screamed out with fury and anger and then with a sudden rush of wind it collapsed into a pile of rags and armour, the Vagzûl was no more. Gumball walked over and poked at the rags with his foot. "So, it's gone?" he asked. "Yes!" cried Gilly, "You did it! You're the first mortal to kill a Vagzûl in over a thousand years!" "Yay!" He exclaimed bouncing up and down. "Now we have to rescue your friends!" she said. "Oh yeah! Let's go!" he replied.

"How do you know I'm a true hero? The sword was just laying there, anyone could have picked it up." he asked as they went back through the catacombs. "The sword chooses the hero that will wield it." she answered. "But it might have picked the wrong person." he said. "This is no time for doubt! Your friends are in considerable danger! They're going to be sacrificed!" Gilly scolded. "Then let's double time it!" he said. They hurried through the maze. "That sword was forged by the Ancient Race in a time when Gods still walked the Earth. It is the sword of evils bane, anything with evil in their heart cannot withstand the blade." Gilly explained as the ran. They came to the staircase and ran up it, when got to the top they stopped and heard many voices. "Shhh!" Gilly hissed, "Let's take a look." They peaked around the corner and saw the room was full of people chanting. The fire pit had a great fire lit in it. On a raised platform at the end of the room was The Boss, Tortorella and Olias. Gumball saw his friends in chains up there as well. "There!" he whispered pointing them out to Gilly. "I see them." she said. "How are we gonna got to them?" he asked. "I have a plan." she said, "I'll go up there and try to get them put of their chains keep them distracted." "Wait, what? Are you craz-" he began but she already took off. "Damn crazy fairy!" he muttered to himself. "And now let the blood sacrifice to Lekru begin!" boomed Tortorella. Gumball saw a guard lead Sarah to a low altar at the head of the platform. He pushed her to her knees and laid her head on the altar. "No!" Gumball shouted and jumped out from the doorway. "Ah, there your are, we've been looking for you." gloated The Boss. "Yes, here I am." Gumball said drawing the sword. "Kill him!" The Boss yelled. The people chanting turned to seize him and he saw guards making their way towards him. Gumball began slashing his way through the crowd like a farmer in a field of wheat. Blood was spraying everywhere and arms and fingers were flying through the air. Cultist after cultist he mowed through until he got to the foot of the platform but blocking the stairs up was four guards.he cut them down one by one and ran up the stairs.

There, at the top of the platform, was Tortorella, the Boss. Gumball stood there, dripping with the blood of his enemies, barely recognisable under all the gore smeared across his face. "So, you think you can stop me? I am a servant of Lekru! His power runs through me!" said Tortorella with madness in his eyes. "I will end you!" yelled Gumball in no mood for any shenanigans. He charged The Boss but he was too fast, he dodged and gave a swift chop to the back of Gumball's neck. It staggered him for a moment and The Boss struck again, knocking him down. Gumball got back to his feet. The Boss laughed at him, "You fool!" he spat, "You really think you can defeat me?" "Well, I did kill the Vagzûl." Gumball said with a smile. The Boss chuckled, "Lair. No mortal can kill a Vagzûl." he scoffed. "Not even with this?" asked Gumball wiping off the sword. "No!" The Boss shouted, "It cannot be! Not the Sword of Ages!" "The very same!" Gumball declared. "And now you will taste it!" Gumball lunged at Tortorella but he was too fast and Gumball missed, tripped and fell over. "Ha ha! Clumsy boy! Now you die!" The Boss said raising his hand. Gumball knew his time was up as black energy formed in Tortorella's palm but then a sword burst through his chest spraying Gumball with even more blood. Tortorella looked down at in in disbelief and looked behind himself and there was Mash. "Oh, you dick..." he said as he keeled over and died. "Oh wow, thanks for that." Gumball said as Mash helped him to his feet. "No problem!" he replied, "That fairy friend of yours is a real lifesaver, she told us everything." Gumball looked over the crowd, most were injured or dead and the rest had fled.

"Finally, it's over." sighed Jay Ar. "What do you mean it's over?" asked Gumball. "There's something I didn't tell you young Gumball, our quest was never to find the Ancient Prophet, it was to destroy this cult." Everyone looked at him astonished. "You see," he continued, "I am part of an ancient order of knights entrusted to keep the peace throughout the land, my order got wind that something foul was afoot here and sent me to investigate, when I saw you at the bar in your crappy little mountain village I saw a power inside of you and I was right." he finished pointing at the sword in Gumball's hand. "So... there's no Prophet who can answer any question we ask?" asked Mash all sad like. "Oh my yes, there is indeed." replied Jay Ar, "We can go see him now if you like." "Wait!" shouted the Princess, "If your plan was to fight a crazy cult all along then why did you bring all of us?" "Fodder mostly." Jay Ar said with a wave of his hand, "Alright, off to the Prophet for question." As they began to leave The Boss sprung up and pulled a dagger. "I will kill you all!" He shouted as he lunged for Tigs and sliced his throat. He fell backwards onto the altar with a gasp as Gumball leaped forward and lopped Tortorella's head clean off his shoulder, spraying Gumball with even more blood. He then knelt beside Tigs. "Yo' was a gud friend lad." Tigs whispered, "The rest 'o ya were a bunch 'o twats." He coughed blood into Gumballs face then died.

Chapter 17: Lekru: Demon Of Pain And Blood Orgies

Everyone was silent for a moment. Suddenly everything started to rumble and shake. "Earthquake!" yelled Mash. They all ran down the platform but before they could leave the room there was a loud crack from behind them, they all stopped and turned around to see what it was. The altar Tigs died upon had shattered and a dark smoke was billowing out. It gathered together above the platform and then floated softly to the ground, it looked to be in the shape of a great winged beast with a great black iron axe. "No!" cried Jay Ar. "It- it's Lekru!" exclaimed Gilly. "But how?" asked the Princess. "Tigs bled all over the altar!" said Mash. "Even in death he screwed us over." said Jay Ar. One of the cultists who was feigning death tried to escape but the demon stomped on him and squished him flat. The demon boomed with laughter, "Oops! Did I do that?" it asked sarcastically. Gumball stepped forward and raised his sword, "I am Gumball, wielder of the Sword of Ages and I will vanquish you demon!" he roared. "Quite the speech petty mortal." the demon mocked, giving Gumball a slow clap. "Do to you even know who I am?" it asked them, "I am Lekru: Demon of Pain and Blood Orgies!" it proudly declared. "Man, that just does not sound good for us." said Mash. "No, no it isn't!" the demon replied laughing.

Gumball wasted no time, he charged the demon head on only to be knocked away like he was nothing. Gumball got up and tried to charge again but Gilly stopped him, "Hey! Listen!" she said, "This monster is like no foe you've faced before, you cannot just hack and slash your way thorugh him! You must use the sword Gumball!" "I am using the sword!" he replied as he dodged a swipe of the demons claw. "No, use the sword!" she said. "How many ways can you use a sword!" he yelled as he ducked under a swing of the axe. "More then you'd think but less then there should be." she replied. "This isn't helping!" Gumball shouted as he dodged another swipe. "Okay, okay," she said, "you need to focus, the sword draws upon the users latent powers." "How am I suppose to focus with this thing trying to kill me!?" he yelled. Gilly flew over to the others, "Why are you all just standing here!?" she shouted, "Go help him!" Mash and Jay Ar ran over to Gumball's side and drew their swords. "Okay, you guys gotta keep him busy, apparently I need to focus or some ****." Gumball told them. "What!?" said Mash flabbergasted. "We got this Gum!" Jay Ar told him. He and mash charged the demon while Gumball closed his eyes and tried to focus. He heard the clanging on iron against stone, Jay Ar shouting and Mash screaming like a girl. "No no, your not focusing." said a voice in his head. "I am focusing! All I can focus on is the battle though." he replied. "You're focusing outwards, focus inwards." said the voice. "What kind of hippie crap is tha- uh, whatever, what do I have to lose right?" he said as he took a deep breath and focused inward. Suddenly he felt something he never felt before, a power deep inside of himself. It was distant and weak at first but as he focused on it it grew until it filled every corner of his being. He opened his eyes and his sword was glowing with a brilliant white light. The demon stopped and looked at him. "No!" it boomed, "It cannot be! You can't possibly have that power!" "It is and I do." replied Gumball and he charged the demon again. Lekru raised his hand and 10,000 needles came spraying out but Gumball held up his sword and a barrier formed and deflected the needles. "NOOOO!" the demon roared. Gumball stabbed upwards into it's belly and a gush of black, steaming blood came pouring forth, covering Gumball in the foul, scalding substance. The demon moaned in pain and punched Gumball upside the head sending him flying across the room. Jay Ar shook his head, "How many times have I told that kid to-" "Dodge!" shouted Mash tackling Jay Ar out of the way of a blow from the demons axe. "Thanks boy, now never do that again." he said gruffly.

Gumball got up, his head pounding. He looked around for his sword and found it lodged in the skull of a dead cultist. He yanked it out and turned to face the demon and saw it belch a black mist all over Jay Ar and Mash and they both fell to the floor. He charged the beast again while it was busy with them and jumped onto it's back. Grabbing on to a wing with one hand Gumball plunged the sword into the demons back. It howled and roared in frustration and pain and tried to toss Gumball off but he was rooted in there like a tick. He pulled the blade out and stabbed the demon a few more times before he lopped off one of it's wings. Lekru reached back and pulled Gumball off his and and started crushing him in it's hands. "I have you now mortal! No blood orgy for you, I'm going to eat you!" it said and opened it's gaping maw to swallow him, there was nothing he could do to struggle free and down he went. "No!" shouted the Princess. The demon turned to face her, "Ah, you'll be the next course!" It began to lumber over to her taking it's time, seemingly enjoying itself. Mash struggled to stand up feeling woozy and nauseous. He stumbled over to the demon and swung his sword but missed. The demon casually tossed him aside. The Princess fell to her knees in terror as the demon stood in front of her. It laughed as it reached out to grab her but then suddenly it stopped. The Princess looked up when suddenly a huge tear sliced through the demons belly and out leaped Gumball looking quite disgusting by this point. The demon stood still for a moment then suddenly it burst asunder, sending blood guts and ass all over the room. Everyone gathered to where the Princess and Gumball stood, covered head to toe in blood and filth.

"Finally!" exclaimed Mash, "I didn't think we'd ever kill it." Gumball, Gilly and Jay Ar laughed, the Princess looked ready to smack someone. "So can we finally go ask a ******* question or do we have to fight another god damned monster!" screamed the Princess. "Wait, I saw something move." said Mash. "Not funny!" shouted the Princess. "I'm being serious." insisted Mash as he waded through the corpses. "Well look who it is!" yelled out Mash, "Why, it's our old buddy Olias!" he said dragged the crazy man up. "I should just end you know!" he growled. "Ahh, no no! Olias is friend! Yes yes. You promised, yes, you promised you wouldn't let anyone hurt poor Olias!" he begged. "No, I promised nobody would kick you, I ain't gonna kick you." he said raising his sword. "Stop!" cried out Gilly, "Don't kill him!" "Give me one good reason not too." Mash replied. "Olias is no ordinary madman, he is special." she said. "You can say that again." Mash said rolling his eyes. "He was neck in line to become the Prophet but his mind couldn't handle the knowledge and now... now he's just broken..." she ended sadly. "Yes yes, broken I am, hee hee! Yes, no no no, not well, yes, no." Olias stammered. "Ahh fine, I won't kill this pathetic creature..." Mash said, "Go one, get out of here, but if I see you again I will kill you." "Oh ho! Olias will be free now! Yes, happy happy! He will bother you no more. Never see him again." he said and he ran from the chamber laughing. "I have a feeling it was a mistake not killing him." said Jay Ar. "Probably." said Mash shaking his head. "Alright!" Gumball said all excited like, "Let's finally go see the Prophet!"

Chapter 18: The Ancient Prophet

They stepped out of the dark temple into the sunlight. "Sunlight! Oh it feels like forever since I last saw you!" Mash said falling to his knees and basking in the light. "Hey, can we wash up please, I'm covered in demon blood and it's really ******* gross!" said the Princess. "You think you have it bad?" asked Gumball, "I was inside of a demons stomach! I am covered in so much blood it's no even funny!" "Well it is kinda funny." said Mash. "Well okay, just a little." laughed Gumball. "There is a stream on the way up to the Prophet's temple, you can bathe in that if you like." said Gilly. They headed up the ancient path that wound it's way up the mountainside. They came across the stream Gilly mentioned and bathed in it. "Oh my god! This feels great!" said the Princess. "Yeah, it seems kinda... warm..." said Mash suspiciously. "Yes, this stream is fed by a hot spring." said Gilly.

When they were all washed up and got out of the stream they continued on their way. "So, what are you gonna ask the Prophet?" Mash asked Gumball. "I dunno, I haven't really thought if it." he answered. "Really? You've been on a quest to ask the Ancient Prophet a question and you haven't thought of what to ask him?" Mash replied. "I haven't really had time to ponder it, why, do you know what you're gonna ask him?" he asked. "Well yeah, I want to ask him were the treasure of Captain Morgan is hidden!" he answered excitedly. "What about you Jay Ar?" Gumball asked. "I was sent on this mission for two things, to root out the evil in this city and to ask the Prophet to reveal more threats to this land." he answered. "Of course Jay Ar is all business." Mash said rolling his eyes. "There are more important things then treasure boy!" Jay Ar barked. "What about you Princess?" Gumball asked. "Well, I, um..." she stammered, blushing. "Look!" said Mash, "The temple!" Atop a great cliff there sat a temple of marble and gold, shining in the sunlight, ancient and beautiful beyond measure. "Wow." they all said in unison admiring it's beauty. "Well, let's continue." said Jay Ar.

They made their way along the winding path up the cliff and finally they made it to the intricately carved doors of the temple. They pushed them open and stepped inside. It was even more beautiful inside, there where carvings of all over the wall depicting the history of the world. In the center of the room was a shallow pool with crystal clear water. As the others admired the room Gumball walked over to the edge of the pool and looked in, the surface was as smooth and reflective as a mirror. As he gazed the reflection turned to images of far away lands, he saw mighty towers and vast mountain ranges, he saw many strange and wondrous lands. He saw a great barbarian king covered in blood, he saw a pirate king with piles of gold, then he saw darkness and the dead rising up and killing the living, spreading darkness across the lands until no light remained. "Whatcha lookin' at?" Mash asked. Gumball jumped and looked around, he forgot were he was for a second. "Umm, I was.. what?" he stammered. "You okay buddy?" Mash asked. Gilly flew over, "You shouldn't stare into the pool." she said, "This is the Pool of Vision, it can show you the past or the future, many people have gone mad trying to see what their future holds only to be shown images from the past." "Heavy." said Mash. "Yeah." mumbled Gumball. Gilly flew over to another set of doors, "Through here rests the Prophet." she said. They all gathered at the door. "Alright." said Jay Ar, "Are we all ready?" he asked. Everyone nodded. "Okay." he said and pushed the doors open.

They stepped into the room, it was a simple room with no carvings and a platform on the far side and stop the platform sat a man, the Ancient Prophet. The party walked forward and stopped at the foot of the platform and waited. The Prophet looked to be sleeping. "So what do we do?" whispered Gumball. "Ask a question." answered Gilly. "Uhh, Mr. Prophet sir, may we ask you a question?" Gumball asked. The Prophet opened his eyes and spoke: "Hail adventures, we are the Ancient Prophet and you each may ask us one question." he said. "Wait, that doesn't count as my question does it?" Gumball asked. "No." the Prophet answered, "But that one does." "What!? No, that's not fair!" Gumball complained. The Prophet laughed a deep hearty chuckle, "We are just having you on, you may ask a proper question." "Oh, so the Prophet is a comedian eh?" said Mash rolling his eyes. "You keep referring to yourself as 'we', why is that?" Gumball asked. "We are many, the conscience of all the Prophets before us, you see, a body is mortal but the mind is eternal, when our body becomes old we pass on our knowledge to the next Prophet and the one becomes many. Twenty years ago this body was just Avelanch the monk, one of many who tended to this temple, the young monk Olias was to inherit the mantel of Prophet but his mind rejected the enlightening and he became broken and we used Avelanch instead." answered the Prophet. Everyone was silent for a while. "So, is anyone going to ask us us a question?" the Prophet asked. "So that one didn't count either?" Gumball asked. "No, but the next question you ask me, regardless of what it is, will count." the Prophet said chuckling. "Okay well I'm asking my question." said Mash, "Oh wise and all knowing Prophet, where is the lost treasure of Captain Morgan?" he asked. "It is hidden." answered the Prophet. "Well duh, where is it hidden?" he asked. "I already answered you question." the Prophet replied. "That's bull****!" shouted Mash. "Now now, no need for that." said the Prophet. "You screwed me out of my question you hack!" "Calm down Mash, you should have worded your question better." Jay Ar said. "Eh-hem, wise Ancient Prophet, I am here in a noble quest to ask you to reveal to me any threats to this land so we may keep the peace." "There are many threats to peace. Would you like to know about the bandit that's going to rob an old woman or what about the cut throat planning of sacking a caravan?" the Prophet said with a smile. "Uh, well, nothing so trivial, I'm more interested in things like what we stopped here." Jay Ar replied. "We cannot interfere like that." the Prophet answered. "What do you mean?" asked Jay Ar. "We are not allowed to interfere with the flow of time so severely." said the Prophet. "Hmm... Well it makes sense I guess. So what can you tell me?" asked Jay Ar. "Prepare, a great evil will soon come." the Prophet said. "Ominous..." said Jay Ar. "Who's next?" asked the Prophet. "You're not done with me! I want a proper answer!" yelled Mash. "Fine." sighed the Prophet, "The treasure of Captain Morgan rests in a cave on a island in the South Sea." "That's it? There are hundred of Islands in the South Sea!" said Mash. "Then you better start searching." laughed the Prophet. "So you next." he said to the Princess. She stepped forward, "Am I the most beautiful person in all the lands?" she asked. The Prophet sighed, "Yes, and I must say you're hiney is absolutely fantastic." "That was your question?" asked Mash, "That's why you went on this adventure and put yourself through perilous danger? Just to ask if you're the most beautiful person in all the lands!?" "Uh, yeah." said the Princess indifferently. Mash shook his head. "So, Gumball, what is your question?" the Prophet asked. He was silent for a moment. "Am I really the a hero?" he asked. "You have the Sword of Ages do you not?" the Prophet asked. "Well, yes." "Then you are a hero. Let me ask you something, why do you believe you are not a hero?" asked the Prophet. "Well, I'm not special." he answered, "I'm not a prince or a knight or anything, I just grew up a poor farm boy." "Hero's aren't born." said the Prophet, "They don't come from the womb they come from the deeds they do and you have done a great deed here today." Gumball pondered for a moment. "Yeah, I think I understand now. Thank you Mr. Prophet!" he said. "You're welcome." he said, "We have answered you questions, thank you for coming to see me it's been so long since I've had any visitors but answering question makes me sleepy and now I must rest." and he closed his eyes and spoke no more. "I guess we go now." said Jay Ar. They left the temple and headed back towards the city.

"The Prophet was a jackass." said Mash. "No." said Jay Ar, "He could have told to exactly how to find the treasure you seek but wants you to challenge yourself, to better yourself, don't you understand?" "Well if I wanted to better myself I wouldn't have bothered coming here in the first place." he grumbled. "So what's going to happen to Noital?" Gumball asked, " We killed pretty much everyone here." "Well I guess when I report back to my order they'll send villagers to live there and knights of my order will be stationed there to make sure this will never happen again." They stayed the night in the empty inn and prepared to head out in the morning. "So I guess this is goodbye Gilly." Gumball said. "What? No silly, I'm sticking with you. It's my job to help the one who wields the Sword of Ages." she said. "Well I don't know if I want to be a hero anymore." he replied, "I just want to go home and rest for a loooong time." "What, you think being a hero is all quests and adventures all the time?" she laughed. "Uh, I guess not." he said. "All that is required of you is to come to the aid of the people when darkness threatens their safety." she said. "Yes, and you heard the Prophet, there is a great evil on the horizon." said Jay Ar. "Well, okay!" Gumball said, "But first I just wanna go home and have a nice long nap." Jay Ar laughed, "Don't we all!"

Chapter 19: The Way Home

They headed out, on the journey back home, down from the mountains they came and after a few days they came to the Mesa where Gumball ate the strange cactus. They came across Olias' desert hut, it was the same as when they left it, Olias didn't seem to have come back. "I wonder where he went." pondered Gumball. "Probably got lost in the mountains and died." replied Mash. "I feel sorry for him." said the Princess. "Why!?" asked Mash. "Well he did save Gumball." she answered. They continued on their way and came to the Dune Sea. "Oh yeah, we still have to cross this thing..." Mash said dejectedly. "Hm, quite." replied Jay Ar.

They set out across the sandy dunes and it wasn't long before they were exhausted. "Why are we crossing this thing again? Can't we go around it?" asked Mash when they stopped to rest. "Well we could but to the north is the largest mountain range in all the lands and to the south is a range of nasty, cruel, jagged mountains, nearly impossible to cross, so no, we could not have gone around." said Jay Ar. "Wait, I see something!" said Gumball looking off into the distance. "More riders." said Jay Ar. "Are they good or bad this time?" asked the Princess. "We won't know until they get closer." said Jay Ar, so they sat and waited. When the riders got closer they began to form a circle around the group and slowly got closer until they had them surrounded. One man stopped and got off his horse and walked up the group. "Who are you and what is your business in these lands." he asked with a strange accent. "I am Jay Ar and these are my friends, Mash, Gumball and Sarah. We are just passing through these lands on our way home." "Ah! You are Tigs' friends! I am Hashmeer! We picked him up and then we tried looking for you! I am surprised you are still alive! Where is Tigs?" he asked looking over them. "I'm afraid I have sad news." said Jay Ar, "We made it out of the desert some time ago, we were on our way to Noital when Tigs caught up with us but when we got there we were ambushed my cultists and Tigs was killed." explained Jay Ar. "That is sad news indeed." said Hashmeer, "Well, Tigs fast became our friend and since you were his friends that makes you out friends too. Come, we'll take you to our city in the sand!" "We can't begin to thank you enough." said Jay Ar. They climbed into the backs of horses who's riders were to carry them and they took off heading northward. It was nightfall when they came to the city. "Behold! Jawharat al Sah'raa, the jewel of the desert!" said Hashmeer as they dismounted. "Aww, my ass is raw!" said Mash. "I kinda liked it." said the Princess. "Of course you did." said Mash with a smile.

They spent the next few days in the city and when it was time to depart Hashmeer have them supplies and horses. "Godspeed my friends, you are always welcome in Sah'raa." he told them. "We will never forget your generosity Hashmeer." said Jay Ar. They rode off westward at a steady pace for several days before turning south and heading for the mountains. They came to Reddnekka in the evening and rented a room at the inn. They were having supper in the common room when Jay Ar noticed a knight in the service of King Grumplebottom. Jay Ar walked over to him, "Hello there, what brings a Knight of Grump so far from home?" he asked. "You have not heard the news?" the knight asked astonished. "Well, no, I've been on a long journey." Jay Ar replied. "The Princess has been kidnapped! I have tracked her to this rat hole but I can't pick up her trail beyond here." the knight said. "Well it's lucky I ran into you good Sir knight, we have found the Princess, in fact she has been travelling with us." Jay Ar said. "You!" shouted the knight, standing up and drawing his sword. "Uh, calm down Sir, I said we found her." said Jay Ar. "You are the kidnappers!" the knight shouted. "Calm down Knut." said the Princess walking over. "My lady!" said the knight kneeling to her. "Put your sword away! How dare you threaten my friends!" she scolded the knight. "Yes my lady." said the knight clumsily sheathing his sword. "I'm sorry about that." said the knight to Jay Ar, "It's just that the King has been worried sick about the Princess." "Well we are on our way back now Knut so you can just chill the **** out!" the Princess snapped. "Of course your highness." he replied.

The spent the night at the inn and in the morning they headed out on the road to Grumple Town. The whole way there the Princess was complaining about the weather and having to walk and pretty much anything else she could think to bitch about. "So, how long have you been in her royal service?" Mash asked Sir Knut with a jerk of his head towards the Princess. "I was assigned her personal bodyguard when her last protector hung himself when she was seven years old, I've been guarding her ever since." said the knight. "Good god man! How do you do it?" asked Mash. "It's a great honour to protect her royal highness." answered the knight. "Yeah, okay." said Mash, then he made a whip crack sound. Gumball and Mash started laughing. "What's so damn funny?" shouted the Princess. "Nothing at all." replied Gumball. Mash and Gumball laughed even harder. "Go **** yourselves!" she said and rushed off in a huff, Sir Knut hurried after her. "Aww, now I feel bad..." said Mash sadly. The Princess didn't talk to them the rest of the way to Grumple Town. They made it to town at nightfall and were greeted by the guards, "The King awaits you in the throne room." they said and escorted them inside. "My baby girl!" boomed King Grumplebottom as they entered the throne room. "Hi daddy." she said. The King looked our hero's over. "YOU!" he roared pointing at Mash recognising him, "Guards! Arrest that man!" "No, wait your highness!" said Jay Ar, "He didn't kidnap her!" "What do you mean!?" shouted the King, "Last time he was here he tried to kidnap her!" "Yes but he changed, he helped us in our quest to the Prophet." said Jay Ar. Then he proceeded to give a brief telling of their quest. "Ahh, I see." said the King, "Well then! You'll have to tell me this story in greater detail over supper!" He shouted for dinner to be served and soon a great feast was underway.

Gumball ate in peace this time. He noticed Mash was a little red in the face at one point and the Princess had a shadow of a smile on her lips. After dinner the King stood up and shouted out, "QUIET DOWN!" the hall fell silent immediately. "I have an announcement to make. After hearing of the great deeds of these two intrepid young lads," he said pointing to Gumball and Mash, "I have decided to make them offical Kights of Grump!" "Yay!" said Gumball. "Yay indeed!" said the King, "Now rise and let me knight you both." Gumball and Mash got up and kneeled before the King. He he drew his sword which was taller then most men and touched both Gumball's shoulder with it and said: "I knight thee, Sir Gumball T. Chewy!" Then he did the same with Mash and said: "I knight thee, Sir Phillip Humperton!" "You're name is Phillip?" Gumball laughed. "Shut up." growled Mash. "Now arise!" boomed the King. Afterwards they celebrated until late in the night. The next morning Jay Ar and Gumball got ready to leave for Gum's home, Mash was staying behind and staying in Grumple Town for a while before heading off to search for the treasure of Captain Morgan. The King, the Princess and Mash were there to see them off. "Well, good bye Gummy." said Mash, "It was fun but I'm heading to the South Sea to search for that treasure, are you sure you don't wanna come with me?" Yeah, I'm done with adventures for a while. said Gumball. The Princess gave him a hug, "I'll miss you." she said. "Me too." he replied. They then headed out, down the highway, towards home.

Chapter 20: On The Road Again For The Last Time

"It feels weird without Mash and the Princess." said Gumball to Jay Ar as they walked down the road towards Gumball's village. "Yeah, it kind of does." laughed Jay Ar. There was a long pause. Oh, and Tigs. added Gumball. "Meh." replied Jay Ar. "So, what will you do now?" Gumball asked. "I have to return to the Capital and report back to my order." he answered, "What will you do now?" "I dunno, I just want to go home and rest for a while." he laughed. "A well deserved rest." added Jay Ar. "How far away is the Capital?" asked Gumball. "It's a ways, at least five times the distance from Grumple Town to your village." "What's is like?" Gumball asked. "It's a very beautiful city, it's walls are as white as freshly fallen snow, it's building tall and clean, and the palace, it's simply to beautiful for words." answered Jay Ar. "Wow, sounds awesome." said Gumball. "You should come with me." said Jay Ar. "I might come see you sometime but I really have to get home." he answered. "Why do you need to get home so badly?" asked Gilly. "I want to see my grandma again. "She's old and could have croaked for all I know!" he said a tad defensively. "Woah, sorry, no need to bite my head off!" said Gilly. "I love my Gam Gam..." said Gumball. The rest of the day passed without indecent. The next day they continued on their way west. Around noon Gumball was gazing off southward. "Hey Jay Ar." he said nudging him. "What?" he asked. "Do you remember that swamp?" Gumball asked. "Yeah, and I will never forget that nor follow you on any 'shortcut' again." he grumbled. "Geez, no need to be such a downer man, chill bro." replied Gumball. "You talk like that again in my presence and I'll smack you upside the head boy." he growled. Gumball laughed out loud.

It was a quiet ride the rest of the way back home and it was late afternoon the next day when they finally made it to Gumball's village. "It's good to be back!" said Gumball practically bouncing in his saddle. Well, technically he was bouncing in is saddle seeing as he was riding a horse but- well, you know what I meant! Anyway, Gumball, Jay Ar and Gilly finally came to Gum's house and on the porch there sat a little old lady. "Gam Gam!" shouted Gumball as they walked up to the porch. Eh? replied the old lady. I missed you Gam Gam! he said. "Sasquatch." said the old lady. "This is my friend Jay Ar and this is a fairy, her name is Gilly!" said Gum. "Pleased to meet you." said Jay Ar. "Ahh, Gummy! Come give your grandma some huggies." she said shuffling over to Jay Ar and giving him a hug. "No Gam Gam, I'm over here." said Gumball. "I'll go make us some tea." she said shuffling inside. "Guess what Gam Gam!" he asked following her inside. "A fly flew into my mouth and I ate it." she mumbled. "I'm a Hero! Isn't that great! Look I have a cool sword and everything!" he said drawing the sword. "When I was a little girl dragons use to live in these mountains." she said and shuffled off into the kitchen. "Well your grandma sure is an interesting person." said Gilly. "Yeah, she's nuttier than squirrel poo." replied Gumball. "I made tea." Grandma said coming out of the kitchen. Jay Ar looked into his cup, there was just a dead mouse in it. "Uh, thanks but I don't drink tea." he said. "Scuzzlebutt." Grandma replied. "Be nice!" chastised Gilly. "No." replied Jay Ar. Soon Grandma Gum had dinner out on the table. Jay Ar poked at his food, then sniffed it, then tasted it. "Hey, I think this is real food, and it's good!" he said. "Yahtzee!" shouted Grandma. "Of course it's real food, how do you think I grew up to be a strapping young lad?" Gumball asked. The finished their meal in relative peace and afterwards Grandma brought out dessert which turned out to be mouldy bread. "Jello puddin' pops." she mumbled. "Uh, no thanks, I'm full from supper." said Jay Ar, "Well I better get to bed, I have a long journey still." "Good night." said Gumball. Grandma shuffled off to bed soon after. Gumball looked over at Gilly. "Hey, you wanna try some of this fairy dust?" she said to him. "Uh, sure why not?" he replied. "Oh my god!" he said, "I feel so alive!" "I know right?" said Gilly. "Let's go do stuff!" said Gumball excitedly. "Yeah!" replied Gilly. So they went outside and ran into town.

"Oh god! A monster!" shouted Gilly. "Where!?" yelled Gumball drawing his sword. "There!" said Gilly pointing down the road at a wagon. "It's coming right for us!" screamed Gumball as he charged down the street towards it. The man driving it leapt off as Gumball drove his sword into the wagon which exploded. "The hell you doin' boy!?" shouted the man. "No need to thank me sir." Gumball replied and ran off. "Wait for me asshole!" shouted Gilly trailing after him. As Gumball was running down the street he bumped into a man wearing a long, black cloak. "Vagzûl!" he shouted and cleaved the man clean in two. Blood sprayed Gumball covering him head to foot. "Wait a sec, Vagzûl's don't have blood..." pondered Gumball. "That's because it wasn't a Vagzûl you idiot! That was just a man!!" shouted Gilly catching up. "Oh, whoops!" said Gumball. The town sheriff walked up. "Well well well, what's goin' on 'ere?" he said. Gumball stood there with a goofy smile on his goofy face. The sheriff looked at the corpse. "Dear god!" he shouted. "Oh, we are so screwed." said Gilly. "I can't believe it! You killed the serial killer that's been plaguing this town for the last few months!" said the sheriff. Gilly's jaw dropped. " I can't believe it either." she said. "All in a days work!" said Gumball triumphantly, "Well, there's lots more for me to do, I must be off!" he said and darted away. "God damn it!" said Gilly as she raced off after him. When she finally caught up to him he was passed out, face down, naked in the mud. Gilly grumbled and cursed as she dragged Gumball back home and tucked him into bed.

The next morning Gumball woke with a raging headache. "Ugh, I feel awful." he said to himself, "What did I do last night?" "Well first you blew up a wagon, god only knows how you managed that, then you slaughtered a random dude who, luckily, turned out to be some killer, I dunno, then you ran off and, lost all your clothes and then passed out." huffed Gilly. Gumball was silent for a long while. "Cool!" he said at last. "It's not cool!" shouted Gilly. "Hey, you shouldn't have given me that fairy dust." he replied. "Yeah well, it won't happen again." she grumbled. "Oh, we better get up so we can see Jay Ar off." he said. And with that he hopped out of bed, threw on some clothes and ran down the stairs. At the table sat Jay Ar and Grandma Gum eaton breakfast. "I didn't think you'd be up in time." laughed Jay Ar, "Uh, why are you covered in blood?" he asked. "Raspberry jam." said Grandma. "You don't want to know." said Gilly. "Yeah, you're probably right." he said returning to his breakfast. Gumball say down at the table and big plate of bacon and eggs Grandma handed him, there was a dead pigeon on his plate to but he ate around that. After breakfast Jay Ar got ready to leave. "Well, I never thought I'd say this but I'm gonna miss you." he said to Gum. "Yeah, me too." replied Gumball sadly. "Don't worry, I'm sure we'll see each other soon." he said with a wink and turned and walked away. Gumball closed the door and sat down in his favourite chair and heaved a sigh. "Thank ******* christ that's over!" he said with a smile.


Book II: The Order Of The Black

Chapter 1: An Unexpected Letter

It was a fine sunny morning in late spring. The flowers in bloom, the grass green, the air crisp and fresh. There was our hero, laying in bed with the sun beaming down on him. "Wake up you slug!" shouted a voice. Gumball fell out of bed and hurried to get dressed. He hurried down the stairs and into the kitchen. There was Gilly the fairy and she didn't look pleased. "Do you know what time it is?" she asked him. "Uh..." "Ten o'clock!" she shouted cutting him off. "I'm sorry." he said. "You're late for your ceremony!" she yelled. "Cheeseburger." said Grandma Gum as she shuffled through the kitchen. "Can't I at least eat some breakfast?" pleaded Gumball. "No! Now let's go!" replied Gilly. "Ahh, fine." he said.

They went to the town hall were they saw a large crowd. "Ah, and here he comes now!" he heard the mayor say. Gumball walked into the stage and waved at the crowd. "Yes now, we are here to award Sir Gumball the Silver Star, given to those who go to great lengths to protect this town, for his valiant actions during the invasion of the R.O.U.S. and the subsequent cheese famine." said the mayor. Gumball knelt and received the medal. "Thank you!" he said to the crowd. "That's it?" asked the mayor. "Yup!" Gumball said then he jumped off the stage and ran home.

"That went... better than expected." said Gilly when they got home. Grandma shuffled into the room and handed Gumball a letter. "You're a wizard Harry." she mumbled and shuffled off. "Hey it's from Jay Ar!" said Gumball excitedly. "I wonder what he's been up too, we haven't heard from him in almost a year." said Gilly. "Uh, yeah, I know, why would you even need to say that?" asked Gumball. "Well, you know, for people who weren't here at the time." answered Gilly. "Who?" asked Gumball looking around. "Never mind." said Gilly with a sigh. Gumball opened the letter and read it. "What does it say?" asked Gilly impatiently. "It says he wants me to come to the Capital and that it's urgent." he answered. "Well we mustn't waste any time, we'll leave in the morning!" said Gilly. "Yes mother." replied Gumball sarcastically. "Just get packed." replied Gilly flatly.

The next morning they woke up early, Gumball said goodbye to Gam Gam and off they headed. They travelled for several days without much excitement, passing few people on the road. Eventually the mountainous terrain gave way to flatter lands with rolling hills. "Wow!" said Gumball astonished, "I can see for miles!" "Yeah, you could see miles in the desert too, you didn't seem to impressed." said Gilly. "Yeah but it was all the same, just sand as far as the eyes could see, here there's forests and rivers and such." he replied. "Hey, see that little tiny river way off in the distance?" asked Gilly. Gumball squinted, "yeah, I see it." he replied. "We have to make for that, there's a fortress there that guards the only crossing in that river, the Isle of Tears they call it." said Gilly. "Wow, you sure know a lot about this part of the world." said Gumball. "Of course I do! I've been here many times before." Gilly replied. "Really?" asked Gumball. "Yes, last time I was through here was about... a hundred years ago." she answered. "Wow! How old are you?" he asked her. She thought about it for a second, "I'll be eight hundred and seventy one next July." she said. "Holy cow you're old!" Gumball said. "Hey! That's not how you talk to a lady!" she shouted. "So, how many hero's have you been with?" he asked her. "When you say it like that it makes me sound like a whore!" she said, "Hmm, let's see, there was Ilduce, he was my first, then there was Orcho, Koro, Pele, Arthur and Ilsa so that makes you my seventh." "Oh, cool!" he replied. "Yeah, at the Capital there is a street where all the ancient hero's have statues and a short biography is etched into their plinth." she told him. "Wow, I can't wait to see it! The Capital sound really beautiful!" Gumball said excitedly. "It is." she said, "It's the most beautiful city in all of Athris." That night they set up camp, had supper and went to bed and Gumball fell asleep to dreams of this wonderful city.

Chapter 2: Barbarians Don't Make Good Captors

Gumball was awoken in the middle of the night by sounds of shouting. He jumped up and grabbed his sword and exited his tent and saw ten large men, each of them at least seven feet tall, all were armed with crude weapons and garbed in fur and leather and they were all ripped like an Austrian bodybuilder. "Put down dat toothpick little man!" one of them laughed as he raised an axe bigger then Gumball, "He so small!" "Hey guys, can't we talk?" Gumball asked them. "No talk! Smash now!" said another with a huge spiked club. "No! Boss wants dem live, more gold dat way!" said a third one. "I'm not worth anything to anyone." said Gumball. "Everyone worth something." one of the brutes responded. "We take you to boss now!" yelled the one with the spiked club and then he clocked Gumball upside the head and he blacked out.

When he came to he was in a dark tent. He tried to move but couldn't. He could hear voices outside and see firelight through the sides. He tried to wriggle out of his bindings but to no avail. "Gilly, where are you?" he whispered. There was no answer. He could hear talking outside the tent clearly now. "That last one didn't have a lot of money but he had this fancy sword." said a voice. "Hmmm, he might be worth something." said a deep, menacing voice, "We must head back north now, we have aroused enough suspicion." Gumball heard a bustle of activity and the tent flap opened and a giant man began disassembling the tent. When he was done he cut the ropes around Gumball's feet. "You gonna run now!" he spat at him, "Try to escape and you die!" Gumball looked around and saw a lot of these burly men all packing up camp in a hurry. Gumball saw many other people tied up like him. When they were done packing up they gathered Gumball and all the other prisoners together and the biggest, meanest looking barbarian stepped forward. "Alright you maggots, we're gonna run now, no laggin' or we'll beat ya, no runnin' off or we'll shoot ya!" he said with a deep, menacing voice and with that the whole party set off at a brisk pace.

They had run for three days with hardly a break, some of the prisoners had fallen down from exhaustion and were beaten then carried. At dusk on the fourth day they came to a place where a small river connected to a larger one. They split the prisoners into small groups and set a guard to watch each one. Gumball and six other prisoners were gathered into one group. "Hey, hey you." one of the prisoners whispered to Gumball when the guard wasn't looking. "What?" he replied. "My hands are free, I got a sharp stone and I cut free last time we stopped, I can cut the others free and we can make a break for it." he said. "What about the others?" asked Gumball. "What about them? We're not exactly in a position to rescue them." the man answered. "Well, I guess not." Gumball said sullenly, "Okay, let's do this." So quietly while the guard wasn't looking the man cut everyone free and told them the plan. "But what about the guard?" asked one of the other prisoners. "I'll deal with him." answered Gumball. He slipped up behind him, quiet as a mouse and drew the guards dagger and slit his throat. "Okay, let's head towards the river, we'll cross it and head north, there's a town up there, we'll be safe there." said the man who cut them free. "But I can't swim." said one prisoner. She was a young girl, no more than twelve years old, "Don't worry, when we get to the water just grab on around my neck, I'll get you across." Gumball told her. They snuck down to the riverbank and prepared to cross when a shout rang out in the night air. I think they know we are missing." said one of the prisoners. "All right, it's now or never!" said Gumball. The girl grabbed on tight and he jumped into the river. The current was strong and the weight of the girl was dragging him down but he soldiered on. Then suddenly arrows started hitting the water around them. Gumball looked back and saw the barbarians shooting at them. Gumball picked up the pace. He saw one of the prisoners ahead of him get hit with an arrow and disappear under the rushing water. He was almost to the other side when he felt a searing pain in his shoulder. He made it to the other side and told the girl to run to the trees. He saw two more of the prisoners come out of the water and head for the trees and he followed.

Once in the trees and out of reach of their arrows they stopped to rest. "You got an arrow in your shoulder." the one who cut them free said to Gumball. "Yeah." he replied, "Where are the others? I saw one go down." "I saw two go down also, it's just us now, the names Crom by the way." he replied. "I'm Gumball." "Erik." The other man said. "My name is Fia." said the girl. "Jesus, how did you get all caught up in this?" Crom asked her. "My village was attacked by these men, they killed my parents and anyone who fought back." she said sadly. "Christ kid, that's terrible!" said Erik. "Don't worry, I'll keep you safe for now." Gumball told her. "Okay, we gotta get going, I don't know how long it will take those barbarians to cross." said Crom "I've been with 'em for a while and I don't think they can swim." said Erik. "Well either way we better get to Blackwood." replied Crom. "What's Blackwood?" asked Gumball. "It's a city to the north, it sits on the edges of the Blacklake and the Blackwood itself." answered Crom, "They'll be able to rearm us and if these barbarians follow us they could hold them off." "Ah dammit!" shouted Gumball. "What's wrong?" asked Erik. "They took my sword!" Gumball replied. "Yeah, they took all our stuff." said Crom "This sword wasn't any ordinary sword, it was the Sword of Ages." he told them. "What was a chump like you doing with the Sword of Ages?" asked Crom. "I'm no chump, I'm Gumball, demon slayer!" he replied proudly. "You're that Gumball?" Erik asked astonished. "How many Gumball's do you think there are?" he asked back. "Either way, there's no getting it back now." interrupted Crom, "We should head to Blackwood." They all agreed and headed out at once.

Chapter 3: Flame Broiled Warg

They walked for the rest of the night and found a small forested grove to sleep in relative safety. They slept until late morning and then got ready to keep marching. Gumball looked his new companions over in the light. Crom was a muscular looking fellow yet not like the barbarians that took them captive, he was lean and agile with black hair and dark eyes. Erik was very tall and well built, he had deep blonde hair, light grey eyes and a long golden beard. Fia was slender with freckles on her nose, she had hair like copper and bright blue eyes like sapphires. They walked north all day without incident and Gumball got to know his new companions a little better. Crom was a lumberjack from Blackwood, Erik was Viking from far to the north beyond the Pillars and Fia was from a small village in the mountains to the south. By nightfall came to the edge of a great lake. "Here it is, Blacklake." announced Crom, "See that glow at the other end? That's Blackwood. "It's still a long way off." said Gumball. "Yeah, about two days still." replied Crom. "Let's rest here, I can't walk anymore today." said Erik. Crom made a dead fall trap and caught a rabbit to eat for dinner, it wasn't much but it was better than nothing.

Late that night Gumball snapped awake. He looked around but didn't notice anything. He was wondering what woke him when he heard a stick snap in the darkness. He stood up and drew the dagger he took from the guard. Then all of a sudden a huge wolf bounded out of the darkness and tackled him to the ground. He struggled to heave it off but it was much to strong. It tried biting for his neck and it took all his strength to hold it back. When it let off a little Gumball took this opportunity and drove the dagger into it's throat. A gush of blood came pouring out all over his face. He heard a high pitched scream. He heaved the carcass off himself and jumped up. There was ore more of the beasts one was on top of Crom. Gumball ran over and drove the dagger through the wolf's eye and into it's brain. He rolled the dead animal off Crom and helped him up. "Where's Fia?" Gumball asked. "I'm right here." she replied. "Then who screamed?" he asked. "That, uh, that was me." said Crom slightly embarrassed. "There's more!" shouted Erik. Three more wolves came out from the treeline and charged them. Gumball side stepped one and stabbed it in the top of it's neck severing it's spinal chord. Crom drove his thumbs into the eyes of the wolf attacking him and they popped and sprayed Crom with blood and eye juice. The wolf charged off into the darkness blind and insane. Erik was pinned by his wolf but he rolled over, picked up a rock and bashed the wolf's head until it was a mushy red paste.

Before anyone could catch their breath the biggest wolf Gumball had ever seen stepped out from the trees, five feet tall at the shoulders it was with teeth the size of steak knives, it took one look at Gumball and leaped into the air at him. Just then Gumball felt a wave of heat blow past him and saw the air ripple and a flash of light and the wolf burst into flame. He dove out of the way and turned around and saw Fia engulfed in flame, her eyes glowing like the sun. "What in the world!" Crom gasped, but before Gumball could say anything the fire went out as she collapsed. Gumball turned to look at the wolf and saw it was nothing more than a smouldering pile of ash. "Is she alright?" he asked walking over to where Fia collapsed. "She's breathing." answered Erik with his hand over her mouth. "We should stay on guard, where might be more of them around." said Crom, "I didn't think wargs came to this end of the lake, times are troubling." he finished shaking his head. "Times are troubling indeed." agreed Erik. "Wait, what's that sound?" asked Gumball. They all held their breath and listened. There was a whining sound coming for the ash pile the big warg left behind. Gumball walked over and saw the damndest thing, a little puppy. "What in the world?" he asked puzzled. He picked it up, it was soft and fuzzy. It had a strange colouring to it, it's back and sides were reddish brown and it's under belly was pure white and it's eyes were blueish white. "Kill it." advised Erik. "No, wait!" said Crom, "I've never seen a warg with that kind of colouring before." "Yeah, and it kinda phoenix'd out from that ash pile." added Gumball. "There's something different about that pup." said Crom. "I'm keeping it." declared Gumball. "And you know what else you got?" asked Erik. "What?" asked Gumball. "The first watch, goodnight."

The next morning they ate wolf meat for breakfast and Gumball took the wolf pup down to the lake to drink. When he got back Fia had awoken but she didn't remember what happened. "I remember the wolves, then a really big one came out and then it jumped at you and that's all I remember, I must have fainted." she said. Gumball explained what she did and she seemed perplexed. "Me? No, I couldn't have done that, if I could do that I would have saved my family." she insisted. "Well it's true, I've never seen anything like it." he said to her, "Oh and see this pup?" he asked as he pulled it out of his shirt where it had been resting. "Ooh, it's so cute!" she said. "Yes, it came from the ashes of the wolf you incinerated. "Wow... What's it's name?" she asked excitedly. "Uh, I haven't really thought of naming it." he replied. "Well you can't not name it! It is a boy or a girl?" she asked. Gumball checked, "Girl." Fia thought for a second, "Hmmm... How about, Zoya?" Gumball looked at the pup, "Yeah, that name seems to fit, okay, Zoya it is!" "Hooray!" Fia shouted. Zoya wagged her little puppy tail.

They resumed their march north along the lake edge, they walked all day and well into the night and they hadn't seen hide nor hair of any beast yet they felt like they were being watched. They picked a spot for rest for the night and Crom built a fire and the roasted the last of the wolf meat they brought with them. "Isn't it a little weird feeding that thing the flesh of it's own kin?" Erik asked. "Well it's either that or she starves to death." Gumball retorted. "I'd rather starve then eat one of you." replied Erik. "Hmm, it's almost a full moon. " said Crom looking up at the sky. "What about it?" asked Erik. "The barbarians will be able to track us easier by the light of a full moon." Crom replied. "He's right, we have to double time it tomorrow." said Gumball. "Alright then, Gumball gets first watch tonight." said Erik. "Hey! Why do I always get the god damned first watch?" asked Gumball angrily.

Chapter 4: The City Of Blackwood

Gumball sat awake keeping watch with Zoya asleep in his lap. He was a little on edge after what happened last night so he jumped at every rustle of wind through the trees. He thought he heard a twig snap and he nearly jumped out of his skin. Zoya hopped off his lap annoyed and wandered off to take a pee. Gumball watched as she sniffed a tree then she looked into darkness and growled. Gumball stood up. "What is it? A deer?" he asked. Zoya turned and ran back with her tail tucked. Gumball drew his dagger and then to his horror three barbarians barged out from the trees. "We meet again." said the biggest one. Gumball recognised him as the leader, he saw The Sword of Ages hanging from his belt. "You thought you could get away but no one escapes from the Roidrage clan!" the behemoth shouted. The others were roused from their sleep by the shouting. "What's going on?" asked Crom. "Barbarians!" shouted Erik. The leader stepped forward but then a blue light flashed. When Gumball opened his eyes and saw the burly man trying to swat something away. "Gilly!" Gumball yelled out, "Get the sword stupid!" she yelled back at him. "Oh, right." he said stupidly. He dove forward and made a grab for the sword but one of the other brutes knocked him away. Crom and Erik engaged the two hulky bodyguards and Gumball tried to make another go for the sword. He lunged at the stalwart mans leg and grabbed him around the back of the knee and lifted. The herculean barbarian came crashing to the ground. "Yeah bitch! Gravity and ****!" Gumball shouted. "The sword you dumbass!" Gilly yelled. "Sorry." he replied. He reached for it but the barbarian punched Gumball square in the kneecap and he collapsed. "Uh, you idiot!" Gilly shouted at him. The beast of a man stood up and swatted Gilly out of the air. " Seeing this Gumball's rage broke and he leaped up and delivered a flying kick to the barbarian's jaw and felled him again. Without wasting time he grabbed his sword from the behemoth's belt, drew it and lopped the giant's head clean off then without hesitation he turned around and slaughtered the other two that Crom and Erik were fighting. Gumball raised his sword and shouted out into the night covered in the blood of his fallen enemies. Crom looked over at Erik, "Hey Erik." Yeah?" "Remind me to never piss off Gumball." "Good idea." "Gilly! I didn't think I'd see you again!" exclaimed Gumball. "Pfft! You thought I couldn't deal with a few barbarians?" she said nonchalantly. "Umm, it that a fairy?" asked Crom. "Yes." said Gumball. "Who are these jackoffs?" Gilly asked. "This is Erik and Crom they helped me escape from the barbarians." Gumball answered. "Oooh! A real fairy!" gasped Fia in awe. "Cute kid, who'd you steal her from?" Gilly asked. "He didn't steal me, he saved me!" Fia shot. "Feisty, I like you kid, what's your name?" Gilly asked her. "Fia and this is Zoya!" she said holding up the pup. Zoya tried to eat Gilly. "Well, I don't know about you guys, but I need sleep." said Gumball and he fell asleep almost as soon as he laid down.

In the morning they continued towards Blackwood and it wasn't long when they came to a well used road. "This is the main road to Blackwood, it'll be faster going now." said Crom. They continued along the road as it wound north. "So, you really are the Hero of Noital." said Crom as they walked. "Yeah, I said so didn't I?" Gumball replied. "Maybe we are saved." Crom said in an undertone, Gumball didn't hear. "So, this girl, she torched a warg and then that pup came from the ashes?" Gilly asked him. "Yeah, pretty much." he answered and he explained exactly what happened. Gilly was silent for a moment. "What?" Gumball asked. "I think she may be an elementalist." Gilly whispered. "A what?" Gumball asked. "An elementalist, they are the living avatars of a specific element." answered Gilly. "Really!?" asked Gumball in disbelief. "I'm not sure, I don't know much about them, you'd have to get her evaluated by someone who knows these things." she said. As the afternoon wore on it began to rain a little. They finally made it to Blackwood City by nightfall and it was raining quite hard by that time. It was a large city on the edge of a great forest, it's walls were made of large logs and stood twenty feet tall. That walked up to the great wooden gate and Crom knocked hard. A slot opened in the gate and a voice shouted through it, "Who goes there at this hour? Gate's close at dusk and don't open 'till dawn!" "It's me, Crom! Open up Bill!" Crom shouted. "How do I know they didn't get you, huh? Maybe you're one of 'em! you've been gone a long time." the gatekeeper asked suspiciously. "I 'ain't one of them now open the door you old ass!" Crom yelled at the man. "Alright, but it's on your head!" the gatekeeper said as the doors creaked open. "Okay, we need to go see Lord Stanley immediately." said Crom leading them through the gate. "At this hour? Shouldn't we wait until morning?" asked Gumball. "Well, there's something I haven't told you, but I think it's best Lord Stanley told you." said Crom hastily. "Okay, what now?" asked Gumball slightly irritated, Crom didn't answer. They came to a large stone manor, at the door stood two guards. "Halt! What business to you have with the Lord of Blackwood at this hour?" they asked. "I bring Sir Chewy." he told them pointing to Gumball. "Right, Follow me." said one of the guards and he lead them into the manor.

He brought them into a large room with many bookshelves and couches and a big fireplace with a small fire burning. "wait here for Lorn Stanley." said the guard and he left. "So, you wanna tell me what's going on?" asked Gumball, "Another cult? Because I don't have fond memories of cults." "No, it's nothing like that, we... we need your help." said Crom. "Well why didn't you just say so? I'm a hero, that's kinda what I do!" he replied slightly anger at the deception. "It's..." began Crom but before he could finish the door opened and a tall man with dark hair and a close cropped beard walked in. "Greetings, I am Lord Frederick Stanley of Blackwood." he said with regality. "Pleased to meet you Lord Stanley, I am Sir Gumball T. Chewy of a small town you've probably never heard of." said Gumball politely. "I know who you are." he said, "I sent many scouts to look for you, I have a request to make of you." "I've gathered that." said Gumball starting to get a little impatient. "Someone has placed a curse on this city. I need you to find out who it was." said Lord Stanley. "What kind of curse?" asked Gumball. "I'd rather not say and if you solve it quick it won't matter anyway." answered Lord Stanley "Okay..." replied Gumball. "So will you help is?" Lord Stanley asked. "Oh course I'll help you, what kind of hero would I be if I didn't?" asked Gumball. "Excellent! You may gather whomever wishes to help and you may take what you need from our armoury." said Lord Stanley. "What about a hot meal and a warm bed?" asked Gumball. "Of course, of course! Go to the Belligerent Bear Inn and tell them I sent you, everything has been taken care of." answered Lord Stanley showing them out. "Thank you again for agreeing to help us." he said as they left the manor.

Crom led them too the inn. "Alright, I'll see you guys in the morning I have to get home, my wife is probably worried sick about me." he said. "You're coming with me?" asked Gumball. "Of course! I want to help save my city!" he replied. "Okay, well, see you in the morning then." said Gumball. Crom waved as he turned and left. "What about you, are you going to help me?" Gumball asked Erik as they walked into the inn. "You have proven yourself a fierce and might warrior, I will help you." replied Erik. "All right! This is going to be easier that I thought." said Gumball walking up to the counter, "Uh, Lord Stanley sent us, I'm here to help lift the curse." he said to the innkeeper. "Ah, right oh, you'll be wantin' a meals and a bed then?" he asked. "Yes please." answered Gumball and the man led them to the common room and sat them down. The room was dimly lit and there was a small fire burning low in the fireplace. There weren't a lot of people there. A bard was playing a lute and singing a song. "So, what'cha havin'?" the innkeeper asked. "I'll have a large steak, a big bowl of stew, a baked potato and a pint of ale." said Gumball. "I'll have a shank of mutton a roasted chicken and mug of mead." said Erik. "I'd like a bowl of stew too please." said Fia. "And what about the mutt?" the innkeeper asked. "Bring her a raw, bloody steak please." said Gumball. "Right." said the innkeeper as he left. "Eww! That's gross!" said Fia. "Hey, she's a wolf, that's what they eat, she'll love it." replied Gumball. "Don't you want anything to eat Gilly?" asked Fia. "Fairies don't eat." she answered. When they had finished eating the bard came over and say down with them. "So, you're the ones here to lift the curse?" he asked. He wore a long black cloak with the hood pulled down low, he had long sandy blonde hair and a dark beard. "Yes, who are you?" Gumball replied. "I name is Jeffrey, I am a bard, I wish to accompany you so I may wright songs of your heroism." he said. "Can you fight?" asked Erik. "Yes, of course. I often accompany knights on quests and frequently travel from city to city, it's would be unwise to not know how to handle a blade." he replied. "Okay, the more the merrier I guess." said Gumball. "Excellent! I will meet you here in the morning for breakfast." said the bard as he got up and left. Gumball and the others retired to their room, it was small but it had four comfortable beds. "Oh thank the gods!" said Gumball as he plopped down into one of the beds. "Much better then the cold hard ground." laughed Erik. "It's been so long since I've slept in a real bed." said Fia as Zoya hopped up onto the bed. "Well, get a good night sleep everyone." said Gumball, "It's gonna be a long day tomorrow."

Chapter 5: The Blackwood Forest

In the morning everyone gathered in the common room of the inn and a young man approached them. "Hello." he said, "My name is Pip, Lord Stanley sent me with this message sir." He handed Gumball a note. "It says to go to the blacksmith, he's been instructed to outfit us in whatever we wish and he'll be reimbursed." Gumball said after reading it. "Good, it's been too long since I've held a good piece of steel." said Erik. "Alright, now you stay here with Zoya." Gumball said to Fia. "Awww, but I wanted to help." she replied sadly. "It too dangerous." said Crom. "Okay..." Fia said and she took Zoya back upstairs. "Gilly, could you keep an eye on her?" Gumball asked. "No problem." she replied and followed after Fia. As they walked to the smithy Gumball could see people staring out of their windows at them. "Why is everybody staring?" he asked. "Well, this isn't the first time someone has tried to help us." replied Crom solemnly.

They came to the smithy and a large, burly man greeted them. "Hello there! You must be the ones Lord Stanley told me about, I'm William. I don't make much in the way of weapons and armour but you can pick what you like." he said rather cheerfully. "Hello William, I'm Gumball and this is Erik, Jeffery and I assume you know Crom." said Gumball. "I do indeed." replied the smith showing them inside. Crom took a long sword and a short bow, Erik took a broadsword and a round shield, Jeffery had a sword and took nothing. Gumball was browsing the smiths inventory but nothing in particular caught his eye until he came across a crossbow. It was a beautifuly crafted weapon, made of mahogany and gilded with gold. "Can I have this?" he asked tentatively. "Of course!" said the smith handing it to him, "'Tis my finest work. Commissioned by a young lord who came to help us, he got himself killed before I finished, he paid for it beforehand so you can have it." He then gave Gumball, Crom and Erik each a coat of chainmail with a tough leather jerkin to go over it and steel vambraces, Jeffery refused any armour. The smith then handed Gumball a dagger, it was a beautiful looking dagger with a wide, leaf shaped blade and a stout guard and the pommel carved into a wolves head. "Take this, it was forged by my great grandfather." he said. "I can't take this." said Gumball. "Please, you will do more good with it then I ever could. I implore you." begged the smith. "Are you sure?" Gumball asked. "Yes, it was made to serve a hero but he died before it was complete. It's almost as if you were meant to have it." answered the smith. "I cannot thank you enough." said Gumball taking the dagger and attaching it to his belt. "The only thanks I need is for you to lift this curse." replied the smith. "I will, or die trying." Gumball said. They thanked the smith then left his shop. "I feel like a proper knight." said Gumball. "Me too." said Crom. "So, what now?" asked Erik. "I have a contact who might be able to help us." said Jeffery. "Take us to him." said Gumball.

They walked through town until they came to a scuzzy looking pub, the sign read 'The Frisky Feline'. "This is where your contact is?" asked Crom. "Indeed." replied Jeffery. They walked into the hazy pub, it was dark and full of a pungent smelling smoke. "And there he is." laughed Jeffery walking up behind a man sitting at a table smoking a pipe. The man turned around, "Ah, ya great mushy umbrella, how ya been!" said the man. "Tigs!?" exclaimed Gumball. "Oh aye! How ya been lad, long time no see." replied Tigs. "I though you were dead!" said Gumball shocked. "Me? Dead? Nah, I'm still kickin' 'round." he laughed. "But I saw you die." Gumball insisted. "No, I doon't think so." Tigs replied stroking his beard. "Yeah, your death caused a demon to be summoned!" said Gumball. "I think I'd remember that lad. Anyway, it's good ta see ya again." said Tigs. "Yeah, you too." said Gumball a little confused. "So, you have information about this... 'curse', that's plaguing this town?" asked Jeffery. "Oh aye, there be a shrine, deep within the forest, a shrine built to protect the forest but it's been tainted." answered Tigs. "Are you sure about this?" asked Jeffery. "Oh aye." replied Tigs. "Do you know where it is?" asked Jeffery. "No." answered Tigs. "I do." piped in Crom. "Can you take us there?" asked Jeffery. "Yes, I've been there, when I was a child my grandmother use to take me there to pray to the forest spirit." replied Crom. "Alright, let's go see what's up with it." said Jeffery. "Hey Tigs, will you come with us?" asked Gumball. "O' course I'll come with ya lad. Hell with oot me 'n' Jay Ar around I'm surprised you haven't been captured by barbarians!" laughed Tigs. Gumball looked at the floor. "Ya got captured by barbarians didn't ya?" asked Tigs. Gumball nodded. Tigs sighed, "I guess coming with ya is for tha best then." he said shaking his head.

They left the bar and headed out of the city and into the forest following a fairly well trodden path. They walked for many hours through the forest, going deeper and deeper into it's darkened depths. "It's not far now." said Crom, "We just, uh..." he looked around. "What is it?" asked Erik. "I, uh, I'm lost..." replied Crom. "Well that's joost great!" shouted Tigs. "Hey, we can just follow the path back to where we can find the way out." said Gumball. "I don't think so." said Jeffery. They all looked around and realised they were in a small clearing. "Impossible! We never left the path!" exclaimed Crom. "The forest doesn't like our presence." said Erik calmly. "He's right!" shouted Tigs and he thrust his staff forward and a tree exploded. "How d'ya like me now forest!" he shouted and exploded a couple more trees. Jeffery lowered Tigs' staff. "That won't help us!" he hissed. "Sorry 'bout tha'." replied Tigs. "Now, he have to think. We entered the forest from the east now all we have to do is find out which way is east." said Jeffery. "We'll have to wait until the morning." said Crom looking to the sky. The sun had moved below the trees and the sky was getting dark. They set up camp and built a fire but the fire didn't seem to help, the darkness seemed suffocating. Gumball drew first watch and sat up tending the fire while the others slept. As his watch wore on Crom came over and sat down with him. "Your watch doesn't start for another hour." said Gumball. "Yeah well, can't sleep, I don't like this place." Crom relied. "Yeah, it feels like someone is watching you, don't it?" Gumball asked. Crom nodded. They sat in silence for a moment when Gumball heard a strange noise. "Do you hear that?" he whispered to Crom. "No, what?" he whispered back. "Listen." Gumball said. They listened, straining their ears for even the slightest sound, when out of the bush stepped a freakin' werewolf.

"Holy **** balls!" shouted Gumball as he and Crom both stood up and drew their swords. The other were roused by the shout and scrambled out of their sleeping rolls. The werewolf lunged at Gumball and tackled him to the ground, knocking his sword out of his hand. Crom stuck his sword into the beasts shoulder but then the wolf smacked Crom across the campsite. Erik charged but the monster slashed him across his face, it then chomped down on Gumball's shoulder. Fighting through the pain, Gumball he pulled the dagger the smith gave him and plunged it into the beasts gut. It reared back and howled in pain as Jeffery stepped up and lopped it's head clean off. Before anyone could celebrate the victory four more werewolves came out of the bush and attacked. Gumball sheathed his dagger and picked up his sword and went after one while Crom, Erik and Jeffery took the other three. Tigs exploded the ones Jeffery and Crom were fighting and was about to explode Erik's when one came up from behind him and tossed him into a tree. Gumball dispatched his foe then drew his crossbow, aimed and fired the one assaulting Tigs but he missed and hit Tigs in the arm. "Ahh, ya bloody idiot!" he shouted. "Sorry!" Gumball yelled back. More werewolves came out from the forest and one came at him and picked him up and threw him through the air. He hit a tree and remembered no more.

When Gumball came too it was dark. He stood up and looked around, there was no fire, no sign of the campsite or his friends. "Well, this sucks." he said to himself. He sat there in a dark funk for a long while then he heard a twig snap and in an instant he drew his crossbow and fired in the direction of the sound. He heard a scream then got up and went to investigate. "What the hell you psycho!" he heard a woman's voice yell. He came across a young woman laying on the ground with a bolt in her thigh. "What the hell is wrong with you!" she shouted at him. "I'm sorry, I thought you were a werewolf." he replied. "So you just shoot first then?" she asked angrily. "Sorry, I'm a little on edge, what are you doing out here anyway?" he asked. "I was out collecting moonflower for my grandmother." she answered. "In the middle of the night in a werewolf infested forest!?." he asked in disbelief. "What are you talking about?" she asked angrily. He began to explain but she groaned in pain and clutched her leg. "Let me build a fire so I can have a look at that." he said and got busy building a fire. In the firelight he got a better look at her. She had waist length jet black hair, pale skin and what looked like purple coloured eyes. She wore a black shirt over a white chemise and a black ankle length skirt. "I'm going to have to pull it out." he said pulling some bandaging out of his pack, "I can dress it but I don't have anything to put on it." "My grandma has a tonne of herbs and poultices and potions and salves." she said. "All right, this is going to hurt." he told her then grabbed the end of the bolt and yanked it out as she bit back a scream, blood started running out of the wound and down her leg and then he proceeded to bandage it up quickly. "So you were just out in the dangerous forest picking flowers in the middle of the night?" Gumball asked when he was finished. "What's so dangerous about this forest?" she asked. "You're joking right? There's god damned werewolves in here!" he exclaimed. "Werewolves? No, they're only make believe." she replied slightly confused. "They sure as hell aren't make believe! Me and my friends were attacked by a bunch of them and we got separated!" he replied. "I've lived here with my grandmother my whole life and I've never seen one before." she said. "Where do you and your grandma live?" he asked. "Deeper in the forest she answered. Gumball looked at her in disbelief, "Can you take me there?" he asked. "I can't walk." she replied. "I'll carry you." he said. "Well, ok." she said. So he wrapped the end of a stick in torch wrap from his pack and lit it in the fire and handed it to the girl and the kicked out the fire. "My name is Gumball by the way." he said as he picked her up. "Really? That's a strange name." she laughed, "My name is Gwendolyn but you can call me Winnie." "Ok, where do I go?" he asked. "That way." she said pointing off through the forest. "I hope you know where you're going." he said as they headed off deeper into the forest.

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Guest Gumballthechewy

I am a gumball fan but that wall of words beat me so I am just gonna give this 5 stars and be on my way

That makes me sad...

Every girl and boy should read this.

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Guest Gumballthechewy

Gumball is back. :]

I could never leave my jabroni! :P

oh, wb, gum!! hf getting boring for ya? now just to convince SC to come back, and Argon and GD..

and did someone say mmmmmonty python?

I only used HF for hockey news/talk, which I still do, I refuse to use this place for that.

Isn't Argon still in Australia or did he leave for good? And who's SC? I can't or the life of me think of who that is...

I feel bad for that....

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I could never leave my jabroni! :P

I only used HF for hockey news/talk, which I still do, I refuse to use this place for that.

Isn't Argon still in Australia or did he leave for good? And who's SC? I can't or the life of me think of who that is...

I feel bad for that....

Argon's still probably in Australia, yeah. SC is ScottishCanuck!

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Guest Gumballthechewy

once upon a time, like, a long time ago, someone took twilight sparkle out for ice cream and it was the bestest day ever.

Quit upstaging me!

Not that it's hard to do...

SC is ScottishCanuck!

I feel bad now....

Anyway, I finished another chapter! (Slow day...)

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