“In the days long before my time,” Doran began as he looked upon Tobee who sat perched proudly on a wooden stool dangling his legs back and forth anxiously, “We had a terrible punishment for what we called pranksters.” Tobee’s illuminated eyes blinked twice rapidly. “They went to bed without any bread in their tummy.”
“However, I don’t eat.” Tobee informed him, albeit politely.
Doran Biggelroot sighed with exasperation. “Well, of course you don’t. But, if you keep playing these terrible tricks such as hiding mealie magworms in my bedsheets or-” He stammered trying not to laugh before clearing his throat, “-or Fizzing powder is Rhazgul’s ale… well, I’ll let you read no more of my stories of Humans.”
Tobee made an audible sigh. “I am only doing as the season indicates as is customary amongst all Elarrans.”
Doran tilted his head quizzically, “What do you mean?” He pressed.
Tobee shrugged his mechanical shoulders, “It’s a special occasion. Elarra is preparing to move into through the rings, and as we near it, it grows colder. Thus, Elarrans enjoy playing tricks on each other for a jolly laugh before the bitter winds keep them indoors.” He nodded with self-assuredness. “It must be done. This is why I put quick drying mud in Aria’s hair wash. I keep waiting for someone to play tricks on me.”
Doran stood up. “Tobee, these traditions are not mandatory. Often they’re for younglings to simply mark the time as it passes. It’s part of youth.” He smiled gently, “Where I’m from we had Holidays in which we celebrated in specific fashions or ceremonies but really are not altogether necessary.”
“But fun, anyhow,” Tobee continued, “and fun in a fun way, not in a manner in which terrifies as when Vex was here.”
Doran shuddered at the sound of that name, especially coming from such a pure spirit such as Tobee. It almost fouled the air. “I know nothing he did that was fun, Tobee.”
“It’s all in the chronicles, of course.” Tobee said. “It was during during this time many passes through the rings ago that he collected Mystics from Darwyna’s Grove and cast a Glamour upon them which gave them quite a frightening illusion. The once cute and cuddly fur-creatures assumed the appearance of a Vexxor… scary little undead beasts with fearsome eyes and rotting flesh. Then he set them loose in the village when the Moon was high and people screamed.” He nodded sharply. “And they fainted.”
Doran’s eyes narrowed and his brow wrinkled. “Vexxors?”
“Of course,” Tobee hopped down off his wooden stool. “Vex was quite vain. That wasn’t a very nice trick. I suspect truly he had ulterior motives and it would have been to his benefit to chase everyone off so he could practice his dark magics without being exposed.”
Doran rubbed his beard thoughtfully. “What of these Vexxors today. Did he revoke the Glamour?”
“Oh they ran off. Of course that’s what they do, Mystics, they weren’t bothered. They just skipped through town unaware of the horrors they caused all around them and then went back about their business. At least my tricks are not so scary. Fe’Lora will get the gum from her wings.” Tobee said happily. But, Doran was silent. Tobee hated when he was silent. “Am I still going to be punished?” He asked with growing uncertainty.
Doran shook his head, “No. No, Tobee. You can still read my books. And continue to annoyingly correct my grammar- If you do me one favor.”
Relieved, Tobee stood at attention, “Anything! I’m always here to help.”
Doran grabbed his map from the top drawer of his desk, “I must find where these Vexxors have gone. If I can locate them and they do indeed still possess Lord Vex’s glamour, that means that we can study the fingerprint of his Magic.”
“Yes, Sir!” Tobee said obligingly as he cast a projection onto the surface of the map, “But why would we want to study the Magic of a very bad man?”
Doran stared at the vibrant lights before him indicating the location of the Vexxors, “Because it is the last known Magic of Vex… and now, perhaps, it will help unlock the secrets of The Gray.”