(A Xanth Thread Original)
Good Magician Humfrey Our trio stood before the
rose path in befuddlement. "What we need is a come-pass!" says
Bink. "What kind of pass?" queried Mina with a look of bewilderment.
"A come-pass! Unlike the faux-pass, a come-pass will always lead you
in the direction you need to go!", Bink explained in excitement.
Bink, we don't have a come-pass! We have a rows path! We need columns!
What are we going to do?" "Wait! Look at those bugs on the
exclaimedBink, "Those are magne-tics!" "How can they help?"
"They can make a come-pass for us!" said Bink excitedly. "See
how they are all facing the same direction! Their combined power makes
a come-pass for the rows-path to point in a parallel direction! This whole
area is actually a magne-tic field! We just have to get them to change
their direction long enough for us to get through!" "Ohh! they're
kind of cute!" giggled Mina. "Yes they can be attractive at times.
But they can also be repulsive!", explained Bink. Esk had an idea.
He hates it when this happens, because it makes his head heat up and sometimes
his hair gets singed. "Me no whelp! Me can help!" he said, and
suddenly he jumped into the air, landing with a resounding THUD!!! knocking
Mina and Bink over and causing the magne-tics to scatter wildly. "Go
bug! Me thug!" he roared. At this, the magne-tics came to their senses
and tried to run away from Esk, which also happened to be the direction
of the good magician's castle! The rows slowly started turning as more
magne-tics started running away."Hooray for Esk!" shouted Bink.
Mina jumped up and down with delight. They immediately dashed down the
newly formed come-pass before the magne-tics could forget what they were
running from. Soon they were through, but then, a huge grey fog blocked
their path! "Oh no! cried Bink, "This must be a second challenge!
How are we going to find our way through that!" Almost in answer to
his question, a large brown spider steped lithely out of the fog. Mina
screamed in fright. "Sorry to alarm you so, young lady! I certainly
mean no harm to you! I'm only here to help." said the spider.
d-did y-y-you c-come f-f-from?" Mina asked the spider nervously. "Oh,
pardon my rudeness! My web is just inside the fog. The threads of it connect
to all sorts of interesting places in Xanth. I built it before the fog
rolled in just to make my travelling a little easier. Now that the fog
has rolled in and blocked my vision, I depend upon it! Its the only way
I travel!" "Whats your name?" Mina asked comforted by his
friendliness. "My name is Neddly Scamperson Webb, the Brown Spider.
You can call me Ned-Scamp Webb BrowSer for short." "Oh! Ned-Scamp!
Could you help us! We need to get to Good Magician Humfrey's castle!"
"Why certainly! Whats his URL?" "What?" asked Bink,
"We don't know anyone named Earl!" "Oh no!", laughed
Ned-Scamp, "I mean his address!" "Earl wears a dress?? How
weird!" exclaimed Bink. "We don't have any dress to give him
anyway!" added Mina. "Okay then," said Ned-Scamp, "we'll
just have to do a search! It may take a little longer, but we'll find him!
Just hop on my back and we'll be off!" The trio hopped onto Ned-Scamps
back. "How will you search?" asked Mina. "By gliding across
the surface of my web," Ned-Scamp said, "I call it web surfing!"
With that he jumped into the fog and onto his web and started skimming
across its surface at break-neck speed! "YAHOO!! what a way to
shouted Bink, "Web surfing is fun!" Before they knew it, they
were standing before the good magician's castle. In front of the castle
stood a man with a weak chin, wearing spectacles. Beside him stood a huge
wooden gate leading into the castle. "Who are you?", Bink asked
him. "My name is Phil," The man said, "and this is my
"Your gate? Doesn't it belong to the good magician?" Mina inquired.
"Nope, its mine. I'm just letting him share it for awhile, and no
one gets through unless they're a registered user!" Phil said with
a smug look on his face. "Well," Bink said to the other two,
"if we want to get in, we've got to get past Phil's Gate!" Phil
grinned. Esk felt a strong urge to punch him, but Mina shouted "No
Esk! Don't! I know he's a jerk, but we have to deal with him anyway!"
"How do we get registered!", Mina asked Phil, "We've got
to see the good magician!" "Your soul and your signature on this
lie-sense agreement is all that is needed!", Phil replied.
What's that?" Bink askd. "If you can't make any sense out of
it, I lie to you!" Phil replied again. "No way!" Mina said,
"We can't agree to giving up our souls or accepting your silly
"Then you don't go through!" Phil hotly replied. "Wait a
minute!" Bink said, "What about Good Magician Humfrey? He didn't
agree to your terms, did he?" "Well..er..um..er..uh not *those*
terms." Phil stammered. "That's right! You said he was sharing
it! Can't we do that?" Mina asked. "Well...yes...I suppose you
*could* do that." Phil stammered again, and then said quickly as he
opened the gate for them, "Not for more than thirty days! Otherwise
I get your soul!" The trio ignored his last remark as they hurried
past him into the castle.
Inside the castle:
"Well well!" the good magician exclaimed, "I see the
three of you made it! Good! I can send you on your way again before it
gets here!" "Before what gets here?" Bink askedwith a start.
"Nevermind. Whats important is that the key cHaMeLeOn is carrying
be used on the right lock!" "How can we find the right lock?",
Mina cried fretfully, "Where's cHaMeLeOn and the others?" "This
answer should cover both questions." the good magician said, "The
key will fit many locks! But only one lock is the right one! To find the
right lock and cHaMeLeOn, you need to find the golden locks of hare!"
"Hair?" Mina asked. "Hare!" said the good magician.
"Hair??" Mina asked again, getting more confused. She looked
at Bink. He shook his head. She turned back to ask Good Magician Humfrey
...he was gone...
Instince the Teleporter Just as fast as the Good
Magician disappeared, a new person appeared before them. "Hey, where's
Humf? He said he'd be here!" said the man. "Pardon me, but who
are you?" inquired Mina. "Why, don't you know?" said the
man, shocked. "As a matter of fact we don't." replied Mina. "I'm
Instince, third in line for the throne, and royal teleporter." "Oh,
well how'd you get here so fast?" asked Mina. "Does it matter?"
Instince replied. "Mina ask how, so say now!" rhymed Esk. "Oh,
didn't notice you there big fellow. Kinda hard not to though. If you must
know, I teleported. It's my talent." Just then the Gorgon walked in.
She was wearing her usual thick veil, and carrying a plate of Gorgon-zola
cheese. When she saw the group, her expression turned a little sour. "Glad
you could make it Instince, and looks as if just in time. I see Humfrey
already disappeared." said the Gorgon. "Huh?" said all but
Instince. "You see, Humfrey knew he would disappear, so he sent for
the one person who could help speed up your quest. Instince will take you
straight to the three golden hares." she explained. "Wait, if
he teleports, couldn't he be responsible?" asked Bink. "No Bink,
because the Good Magician wouldn't have sent for him." answered the
Gorgon. "Plus I have to touch in order to teleport someone else."
added Instince. "Everybody form a circle." said Instince. "Wait.
What exactly are the three golden hares?" asked Mina. "They are
mythical creatures, now go!" said the Gorgon. They all formed a circle.
When they were set, there was a slight out-of-focusness in their vision,
then they were in a cavern. Before them sat cHaMeLeOn, StormWing, Grundy,
Wolfgang, Murphy, all asleep, and Humfrey wide awake. "Hey, my talent
never fluked before. What happened?" exclaimed Instince. "My
talent! The Gorgon said the three golden hares were mythical creatures,
so seeing as we would teleport to nothing, my talent took control and brought
us here!" said Bink. "Yes, now quickly we must rouse the others
and leave," said Humfrey. They woke the others up and quickly explained.
They were starting to form a circle when suddenly:
"HALT!" bellowed a voice, as a huge robot appeared in the
Nir "Cyborg" Solomon When the robot
got closer, the group saw his full appearance. It was a large scale robot,
holding a flat slab of wood with many key-rings on it, each holding a few
dozen keys. "Why, how nice of you to drop by!", said the robot.
"Let me introduce myself; I'm Key-Board Cyborg, the evil, newly born
general of the army of Com-Pewter. Now lets talk business. You have something
that I want, and I have something you want. Let's exchange" "Wow,
this 'bot is maniac!" whispered cHaMeLeOn, "I can't imagine Pewter
having an army!" "I think so too." said Instince "Let's
all form a circle quick! Lets teleport away from here!" "Let
us consider this for a while." Stormy cried to the twice-as-tall-as-Esk
robot. As they were forming a circle, Cyborg said restfully, "By the
way, I think you all need to know that..." When they started the
, a frightening "zzzZZZAP" sound was heard, and the group popped
up from nowhere two feet high and fell on their backs. "This cavern
is protected by a one-way shield, which prevents teleportation" Cyborg
completed. "That was hurt, you eat dirt!!" shouted Esk, and he
ran toward Cyborg, screaming something Ogreish. "STOP WHERE YOU ARE
OR YOU WILL SUFFER DIRE CONSEQUENCES!" cried Cyborg, not impressed
by the frightening look of an Ogre charging fiercely. The moment Esk hit
him, he started to blur, looking like a reflection on the surface of the
ocean. Esk was stunned; He passed right through him! "Us not kill,
you not real!" rhymed Esk, confused. "That's a smart Ogre you've
got there." said Cyborg, talking about Esk as if he were a house pet.
"He is right! I am a 3D hollow-gram! My body is really at the Com-Pewter
control room, while my mind is right here! But since your lovely Ogre has
insisted, I will have to come all the way here. But I have a friend who
will help me. RIGHT, INSTINCE?" The poor Instince, when
"Prince Harold Harpy"
Suddenly, a portal opened and a harpy was flung into the
chamber. The harpy, a clean groomed male, prime for his species,
exclaimed "What in Roogna's name am I doing here?"
Seeing her chance, cHaMeLeOn jumped at Cyborg, who was in a
state of distraction, and unlocked the hares. The three Golden
hares leapt from Cyborg's chest and scattered.
Cyborg turned his attention to cHaMeLeOn as another portal
appeared. Out popped a female goblin. "Where am I?" she asked.
Gwenny, the goblin girl, saw the monstrous Cyborg and screamed.
Cyborg oriented on her, as Esk ran up behind him and bashed at
his head. "Me crunch, you bunch" he yelled. The head of the
robot dented and it crashed to the floor.
"Hurry and grab those hares. I have a bag we can put them
in. We shocked that robot, so let's use it to our advantage.
We don't know for how long or how bad." said Humphry, in a very
authoritative tone. The group scattered, except for the harpy
and the gobliness. "You too." Humphry said. The harpy and the
gobliness ran off to catch one particular hare that decided to
dash off in the opposite direction of the other two.
Bink was the first to chase one hare down. He grabbed the
hare and was instantly covered in gold light. Humphry hustled
over and stuffed it into a sack. The other two took more time.
As Esk chased one his temper finally exploded. "Me jump, you
stump" and Esk jumped and flipped one of the hares into the air.
Stormwing neatly caught it in midair, as he was also engulfed
in golden light. Stormwing placed the animal in the bag.
As Esk silently congratulated himself he felt a tap on his
shoulder and heard a metallic voice. "Oh ogre, did you forget
me? How careless of you." and the Cyborg bashed Esk across the
room. Esk slammed into a wall and blacked out. "Well, that's
that. Now where are those hares? I will really get upset if I
don't get them back."
As the harpy and goblin girl chased down the last hare, an
argument began. "Look green skin. I don't need your help to
grab this little guy, so make yourself useful and split." the
harpy said to the goblin. "We'll see." said the girl.
Suddenly, as if the word "see" had activated his thinking, he
noticed something that he hadn't noticed before. The gobliness
was wearing glasses. Well, he didn't have to much time to worry
about that. "Oh, harpy. Are you chasing one of those vermin?
Here let me help." The harpy heard the voice of Cyborg, as a
gun appeared out of his arm. It shot the harpy squarely, and
knocked him out of the sky, and into the goblin. As he crashed
into Gwenny, a book fell to the floor. It dropped open to a
random page which the harpy's wing fell upon.
As Gwenny reached down to pick up the book, she touched
the page on which the harpy's wing was resting. A man in Power
Ranger like armor, riding a floating platform, popped out of
the book. "How can I help you Miss?" the man asked, through a
helmet. Gwenny pointed to the hare that had disappeared around
a corner. "Catch that." she replied.
"Roger." said the man, and he zoomed off to catch the hare.
"Well now. That's not fair, calling in extra help." the
Cyborg said as he raised his gun port level to the gobliness.
Suddenly, Humphry ran up and threw a bow tie at the robot. As
it touched the robot it began to bind him up, like a mummy.
"What was that?" Mina asked, as the man on the platform
handed the hare to the gobliness. "That's a Bow-a-Constrictor."
Humphry answered, matter of factly. "They like to tangle things
up. Now lets get out of here, but first we need Instince."
The Man, as if in reply, looked down and asked "Can I be of
any service? What is the problem?" As he stepped off the
platform, Esk piped up in his usual rhymes. "Me thank" he said
to the Man. Then he pointed to Instince, who was standing like
a zombie. "He blank."
"Oh that's no problem." The man walked up to Instince and
waved a little box near his head. Instantly Instince's eyes
flared back to life.
"Anything else?", he asked. Gwenny looked up from the
unconscious harpy. "Can you help him?" she asked. "Of course,
little lady", and with that he walked over and waved the same
box near the harpy's body. The harpy groaned.
"Anything else?" he asked once again. "No." Gwenny said.
Then the man disappeared.
"I hate to interrupt, but the bot is almost through the
bow." said Humphry. Then the group huddled together near the
prone harpy and vanished as Cyborg burst free of his bondage.
"%^&!" he yelled.
Another voice was heard in the room. NOW CYBORG. WHERE ARE
THOSE GOLDEN HARES? I ASSUME YOU HAVE CHAMELEON'S KEY BY NOW.
"She and the hares have escaped." Cyborg replied.
THEN FIND THEM. THE KEY AND THE GOLDEN HARES. WE NEED THEM
"Yes master" and the robot disappeared.
The group appeared in Humphry's tower. The harpy pulled
himself up from the ground, and began to clean his feathers.
Finally, Esk asked the question they all wanted to know.
"I am Prince Harold Harpy. I have been released from the
Brain Coral, thanks to a warrior named Dor who saved Xanth from
"So you are from the past. At least, from where we stand."
said Humphry "Now Gwenny. What was that book you were carrying?"
"It's a Mundane coloring book. I have a bunch. Of course,
the pictures don't usually jump out." Gwenny replied.
"You and Harold share the talent of animation of coloring
book pictures. Why don't you both touch another picture?"
Harold reluctantly touched the same page that Gwenny was
touching, but nothing happened. "Try one that is colored."
Humphry prodded. So they repeated the process. The colored
picture of a Hawaiian beach scene popped out and Humphry's
dreary tower room became transformed into a tropical beach.
"Enough!" shouted Harold. The picture disappeared.
""What does this mean, old man?"
"It means that you and she each have 1/2 of a talent."
"Let me bandage your back, Harold." said Gwenny.
Suddenly their eyes met and everything else seemed to stop
for just a moment. Then Harold gruffly said "Alright."
Wolfgang whispered to Stormwing "I think they like each
other, but the harpy is afraid to admit it."
"That could be true, but only time will tell."
Stormwing whispered in reply.
Then he piped up so that everyone could hear him.
"Now what? We have the hares, but what do we do now?"
Bink turned to Humphrey. "What are the Hares for? What is their
"Well, Bink, these hares have the power to grant one wish each. There
are three of them, so that means that there are three available wishes.
There are two catches, however: The Hares must be used together, by
one person. A wish cannot be granted unless all three Hares are
"What about the second catch, Humphrey?" Asked Chameleon "Didn't
you say that there were two?"
"Yes," Answered the Magician "But I cannot tell you the other one.
You must find out for yourselves. Now, you have bigger problems.
The evil Com-Pewter is building up an army of robots that will overrun
Xanth if we let it. Fortunately, they are locked away, and we have the
key. All of you are needed to protect the key, and use the hares to
stop Com-Pewters army."
So, Bink, Chameleon, Instince, Esk, Stormwing, Wolfgang, Gwenny and
Harold all left the castle together, looking for a way to stop the
impending robot army.
"If we need soldiers, we could go to Goblin Mountain." said Gwenny "I
could get us a small army there."
"No," replied Stormwing. "I think that Humphrey meant for us to stop
Com-Pewter's plan before it started. We need to neutralize the army
before it is set loose on Xanth. Good thing we've got that key!"
"How are we going to do that?" asked Wolfgang.
"Well," began Bink, "Maybe one of us could wish on the Hares that the
army had never existed. Then it wouldn't be a problem!"
"No, that wouldn't work." Stormwing looked pensive. "There is this thing
about wishes. An animal called a parrot-ox. No-one knows why, but it
makes up rules about wishes. We couldn't wish that the army never
existed, because then we would have never gotten the Hares. If we had
never gotten the Hares, then we could never have wished that the army
had never existed. See? The parrot-ox won't let us do that."
"Maybe we could talk to the parrot-ox and change its mind." stated
"We might not be able to reach it in time. It lives just below Mount
Parnassus, and we might not be able to get there before the robots broke
forth." said Stormwing.
"Hold on," replied Instince. "I can just teleport us there! It will
only take a minute!"
They all agreed that it was a good Idea, so they joined hands and
were teleported to the base of Mount Parnassus. They looked up, and
everyone said something along the lines of "Whoa!" or "Wow!" or "Geez!"
Harold said, "I'll fly up and see if I can spot the Parrot-ox." And
off he flew. "Wait up!" shouted Stormwing. "Maybe I can help!"
When the flying creatures had returned, they reported that they had
spotted what might be the parrot-ox's lair just a short walk (or trot)
away, so off they went.
When they arrived, Bink turned to the others and said, "Now remember,
we want to treat the parrot-ox with the utmost respect, so that it might
allow us to make this wish. So, put on your best manners, everyone!"
After everyone had taken out and put on their best manners, they were
ready, and knocked on the door. It was opened by the strangest animal
they had ever seen, kind of like a cow mixed with an exotic jungle bird.
"Hello, folks." said the parrot-ox. "How may I help you?"
"Well," replied Wolfgang bluntly, "We were wondering if you would let
us make a wish that might contradict your nature."
"WHAT??" screeched the huge bird-thing. "That is totally out of the
question. There is no way I can allow it. I would be in BIG trouble
if I let folks just go around breaking the rules of the parrot-ox.
Do you know what would happen? There would be chaos, total chaos!"
All this was too much for Chameleon, who broke down in tears.
"Oh, no!" she cried. "Now how are we going to stop the evil
Com-Pewter? Please help us, Mr. parrot-ox, please."
Now, when Chameleon is in her pretty phase, the sight of her crying and
begging is too much for any mortal male to take. The parrot-ox was
suitably moved. "Well, maybe I could make a suggestion," he said
sheepishly. "Why don't you wish your selves up to the top of Mount
Parnassus, and ask the Simurgh?"
"Oh, thank you, thank you, wise parrot-ox," said Chameleon. "You have
helped us so much." Then she planted a kiss on his cheek. "Don't
mention it," mumbled the parrot-ox gruffly.
The group joined hands, took out the hares, and Instance said "Hares:
Take us to the top of Mount Parnassus."
Everything was consumed in a sheet of white light, and then they found
themselves on the top of the mountain, face-to-face with the Simurgh.
"WHO DARES DISTURB MY REST?" asked the great bird.
"It is just us, a few loyal Xanthians, striving to save Xanth from the
evil Com-Pewter!" shouted Stormwing.
"NO NEED TO SHOUT, I CAN HEAR YOU ALRIGHT FROM HERE. I WAS
WONDERING HOW LONG IT WOULD TAKE FOR YOU TO FIND YOUR
WAY UP HERE. THIS IS WHAT YOU MUST DO: USE THE SECOND
WISH TO FIND OUT WHAT TO WISH FOR. HUMPHREY CANNOT HELP
HERE, HE IS BOUND BY THE PARROT-OX. YOU MUST USE THE
HARES TWICE MORE. HURRY, COM-PEWTER IS VERY IMPATIENT,
AND WILL SOON RESORT TO DESPERATE MEASURES. THAT IS ALL
I CAN TELL YOU."
"Is that truly all there is to it?" asked Bink, but he received no
answer. Apparently their meeting was at an end.
Suddenly, a group of rocs appeared on the horizon. "Is this our ride?"
asked Gwenny, and the huge Simurgh nodded.
When they had finished exclaiming over how wonderful the ride to
Humphrey's castle with the rocs had been, Esk abruptly said "Must make
wish, not coish." At that, everyone became very serious, and Stormwing
asked for the hares. "Hares," he said, "what must we wish for in order
to stop Com-Pewter for good?"The same light enveloped them all, and a voice said "YOU MUST WISH
FOR COM-PEWTERS PLANS TO ALWAYS GO WRONG. THIS WON'T
CONTRADICT THE PARROT-OX, AS THE PLAN DOESN'T HAVE TO
HAVE GONE WRONG YET, AND THIS WILL ENSURE THAT THE EVIL
COM-PEWTER'S SCHEMES ALWAYS BACKFIRE, MEANING THAT HE
WILL NEVER HARM XANTH AGAIN. THERE IS A CATCH THOUGH. ONE
THAT COM-PEWTER CAN NEVER LEARN. IF HE PLANS TO BE GOOD
TO XANTH, IT WILL BACKFIRE, AND HE WILL HARM IT. HE MUST NOT
KNOW OF THIS WISH, OR HE WILL FIND A WAY AROUND IT. GOOD
The group stared at each other for a long while afterwards. After a
few hundred years, Stormwing said "Well, it seems so obvious now. I
guess we may as well get it over with."
So, the wish was made, the Hares disappeared, and Com-Pewter was
stopped once again. The world of Xanth was made safe from his
machinations (get it? MACHINE-ations? Hee, hee!)...
unless, of course, he learns of the wish, and finds the loophole.