Arcanus
By: Caroline

The Adventures of Sinbad belongs to Atlantis Television and American Films. Master of Magic belongs to Micro Prose software. I don't own the characters; I'm just borrowing them for a little while.

NOTE: If you haven't played the game "Master of Magic", you might want to check out my Master of Magic Summary. It is NOT necessary to be familiar with the game to understand my story, but it might make a little more sense.

The day was beautiful. There were just a few friendly clouds in the sky, and the sun was shining pleasantly down upon Sinbad and his crew. The morning aboard the Nomad was very similar to other mornings on the ship; Doubar was manning the tiller, Sinbad was studying the maps, and making sure things were going smoothly. Maeve, below deck, was practicing her magic with Dermott, and Firouz had once again conned Rongar into helping him with his latest invention.

"Sinbad, where are we going?" asked Firouz looking up from his work as the captain came on deck.

"To the Isle of Jolpa to see an old friend of Dim-Dim's."

Firouz thought for a minute, and began tinkering again. "I've never heard of that island." he said motioning for Rongar to attach a metal rod onto a large metal bowl with holes punched on the bottom.

"Dim-Dim told Doubar and me about it." Sinbad replied. "Firouz, what are you making?"

"I call it the 'rain tub'. You just stand under the metal bowl, put water into the bowl, and SHAZAM!! You're taking a bath in the rain."

Sinbad looked to Rongar for an explanation, but the Moor just shrugged.

"So," continued Firouz, "why are we going to Jolpa?"

"To find to a wizard. Dim-Dim told us that if anything should happen to him, we should go to the island of Jolpa and talk a wizard named Ariel."

"Have you ever met this wizard?" inquired Firouz, looking up again.

"Yeah. Dim-Dim took Doubar and me to see her when we were children."

"That's not quite what happened, Little Brother," Doubar said coming up behind them, "if I remember correctly..."

"Let's talk about it later." Sinbad interrupted his brother. "We need to get more speed if we want to get to Jolpa before night-fall." With that, Sinbad started calling to the men to trim the sails, adjust the course a little more up-wind, and various other things associated with the workings of a ship.

Shaking his head, Doubar followed his brother, leaving Firouz and Rongar to go back to work and wondering just how Sinbad and Doubar had met the wizard Ariel.

*****************************************************

A steady wind came up, and the Nomad arrived at the Isle of Jolpa around mid-afternoon. Using the longboat, Sinbad, Doubar, Maeve, Rongar, Firouz, and Dermott went ashore to visit the mysterious Ariel. After securing the boat, they set off to find Ariel. Rongar, Maeve, and Firouz had expected to be greeted by someone, but they were met only by the rustling of the trees in an empty forest.

"Um, Sinbad," Firouz said as he stopped to look around, "where does this wizard live? I don't see any evidence of civilization around here. Are you sure this is the right place?"

"This has to be it, Firouz," replied Maeve, "I can feel very strong magic here." As if to agree, Dermott flew off into the woods.

"The tower is along that path," informed Sinbad, pointing to a winding path that led through a very overgrown Forest, "about 2 miles in the direction that Dermott is flying. With some luck, we can be is Ariel's by breakfast time."

"Breakfast time!" exploded Maeve, "It's not even dinner time, and we don't walk THAT slow!" Rongar nodded his agreement.

"Ariel's fortress isn't on this plane." Sinbad explained, "You have to go through a tower with an Astral Gate to get to her plane--the Arcanus Plane."

"Kind of like the planes that we traveled to when we had our first dealings with Scratch?" inquired Maeve.

"Exactly. Now let's get going."

The crew walked along in comfortable silence, broken occasionally by Firouz's mutterings about the abundant plant and animal life on the island. In fact, Firouz was so engrossed by his thoughts, that he was slightly startled by Sinbad's call to halt about 45 minutes later at the base of a large, ominous looking tower.

"Well, here we are." announced Sinbad, "Is everybody ready to visit Arcanus?"

"As ready as I'll ever be, Little Brother" replied Doubar. The others nodded their agreement as they followed the brothers through the doorway leading into the tower.

*****************************************************

Although the trip to Arcanus felt much the same as the trips the crew had taken to other planes, Sinbad's crew was completely surprised by what was to be found in Arcanus. Everyone except Sinbad and Doubar expected to end up in some relatively deserted plain or forest. Instead, they found themselves in the center of a bustling town square, just waking up in the early morning sun. Firouz was the first to voice his surprise.

"Astonishing! Simply astonishing!"

"Aye," admitted Maeve. "I've never felt such strong magic before. Where does this wizard live, Sinbad?"

Sinbad pointed to a white marble palace that was so tall, the top was lost in the lazy overhead clouds. "There." he simply said, and began walking in the direction of the palace. He set so fast a pace that the others had to hustle to catch up with him.

"Sinbad, Slow down!" begged Doubar, slightly out of breath after jogging for several blocks. "We're not in as good of shape as you are!"

Sinbad smiled at this. "I'm sorry Doubar. I'm just in a hurry to get to Ariel's fortress."

"You're hoping that Dim-Dim is there, aren't you?" inquired Maeve.

"Yes." he replied simply. "I'm hoping that he's either here, or that Ariel can tell us where he is."

As they were talking, Doubar and Rongar enjoyed the view of the early morning city: The Smithy starting up his fire, the Baker setting out freshly made breads and pastries, and many others quietly getting ready for the day. What they didn't notice, however, were the two darkly clad men who were following them.

Doubar and Rongar were walking together, just slightly behind the others enjoying the sights, when Rongar saw the baker's tasty pastries. Rongar signaled to Doubar that he wanted to sample the pastries that the baker had set out. Doubar agreed whole-heartedly, for there were not many things that Doubar enjoyed more than junk food.

"Good idea, Rongar!" he exclaimed. They started towards the baker's shop, but before they could get there, the two shadowed men stepped in front of them with their swords drawn.

"What's seems to be the problem gentlemen?" Doubar asked them. The two men responded by rushing them. Doubar and Rongar fought bravely, but they could tell that even their skills were no match for the men they were fighting. Rongar's martial arts were nullified by his opponent's skills, and Doubar's strength seemed to falter at the slightest tough from his opponent. It was almost as if the men were using magic to best them. There didn't seem to be any way for him and Rongar to win alone, so he called for Sinbad and the others to come and aid in their fight.

*****************************************************

At the sound of his brother's voice, Sinbad turned and saw what was going on, and that he and the rest of the crew were nearly a block from Doubar and Rongar. Maeve and Firouz also noticed and they took off at a run to aid their comrades, but before they could even go half of a block, the two men vanished in a shroud of purple darkness taking Doubar and Rongar with them.

"By the gods!" exclaimed Sinbad, arriving at the spot where his brother had been only moments before.

"Sinbad, the gods had nothing to do with this." corrected Maeve, stopping beside him. "Evil magic is at work here!"

The threesome wanted to search for their missing comrades, but they didn't have a clue as to which way the men had taken their friends. They simply hadn't left any clues behind. Maeve tried to use her magic to find them, but she wasn't powerful enough to find the trail, and after about ten minutes, she decided to give up.

"Could Rumina have taken them?" volunteered Firouz.

"No," replied Maeve, sounding decidedly nervous. "it's not Rumina. Her magic is weak compared to the magic that was used here. The person who took them is even more powerful than Scratch."

"Well, we're not getting any closer to finding them by standing around here discussing our situation." observed Sinbad. "Let's find Ariel, and hope she knows how to find them."

"A very rational idea, Sinbad, but what makes you think that Ariel will know where Doubar and Rongar are?"

"Firouz, if this Ariel can open up portholes to different planes, then she should be able to tell us where are friends are." explained Maeve.

"Let's not give up hope." Sinbad stated. "Just because we haven't found Dim-Dim, doesn't mean we won't find Rongar and Doubar. Besides, they have to be either in Arcanus or Myrror; only Ariel can open a gate to other planes, and she has only opened the one that we traveled through. Granted, there are natural gates, but they only go between Arcanus and Myrror. If they are here, Ariel can find them."

Firouz looked doubtful, but reluctantly nodded his head to agree with his friends. The trio walked the rest of the way towards the palace in silence. By the time they had come to the gates of the palace, even Sinbad had to admit to himself that finding his brother and Rongar would prove difficult. And even more difficult still would be getting them back. If Ariel couldn't help them, their chance of success was slim to none.

*****************************************************

The first thing Rongar noticed when he woke up was the fact that he couldn't see. Then, he opened his eyes, and discovered he couldn't see much better than he could when his eyes were closed. He looked around, and found that he was in a dungeon. He saw Doubar over in the opposite corner, still unconscious, and decided to see if he could rouse him. He wasn't chained, so he picked himself off the ground, and walked over to aid his friend. Rongar gently shook Doubar, but he didn't wake up, so Rongar started shaking harder. After about half a minute of Rongar's shaking, Doubar finally opened his eyes and looked up at his friend.

"Rongar," he asked, "where are we? The last thing I remember is fighting those goons. One of them grabbed me, and then everything went black."

Rongar signaled that he remembered similar events, and that he didn't know where they were.

"Well, since the people who took us don't appear friendly, I suggest we get out of here." Doubar promptly got up and walked up to the cell door. He grabbed the bars, but before he could bend them to get out, the bars started to glow a bright purple, and Doubar found that he was suddenly too weak to stand up. Rongar rushed to his side, and helped him back up to his feet.

"It's as if those bars are bewitched!" Doubar exclaimed when he had recovered from the experience. "I got that same weak feeling when we were fighting those men who took us. They have to be magic users, Rongar. They have to be! I hope Sinbad and the others are Okay."

Rongar shook his head to signal his agreement, and he and Doubar sat back down on the floor of their cell to plan out other ways of escape.

*****************************************************

Before Sinbad and the others could pass through the gate, a tall man wearing the uniform of a high-ranking military official stopped them.

"What is your business in the palace?" He asked simply.

"We wish to speak with the wizard Ariel." replied Sinbad. "A friend of ours is missing, and we were told she could help us."

"Ariel has much better things to do than find your missing friend." stated the guard.

Sinbad pushed the issue. "This friend of ours is a friend of Ariel's also. His name is Dim-Dim."

At the mention of Dim-Dim's name, the guard looked surprised. He recovered quickly, though, and apologized to the three friends. "I'm sorry. I had no idea who your friend was. Come right in!" With that, he motioned for the other guards to open the gate, and led Sinbad and the others into the palace.

As they passed through the immense doors into Ariel's fortress, Firouz couldn't help but wonder what the wizard was like. Sinbad had never mentioned her before, and seemed reluctant to talk about how he had met her. Before he could ponder further, the guard called for a halt at a stairway in the middle of a gigantic hall. Firouz was amazed by the sheer size of the room let alone the rich furnishings that filled it.

"Stay here," the guard ordered. "I'll go inform Ariel of your arrival."

"You're too late, Mizar." aid a voice from the top of the stairway. "I've known that they were coming for sometime now." The speaker of the voice walked down the stairs, and into the line of sight of the foursome looking upwards. A woman of about thirty was coming towards them. She had long, curly, brown hair that was tucked up into a Greek-style bun, and eyes even more blue than Sinbad's. She had a pleasant smile that made Maeve and Firouz trust her immediately.

"Hello, Ariel." said Sinbad running up to her. She gave him a quick peck on the cheek that made Maeve jealous for a moment.

"Hi, Sinbad." She answered. "I haven't seen you since you and Doubar were boys! Now look at you! You're all grown up! Oh, forgive me! Maeve, Firouz, I'm Ariel." She walked up to each of them, and lightly squeezed their hands.

"I'm very pleased to meet you, Ariel." said a very bewildered Firouz. "How did you know our names?"

"Easy," replied Maeve for the wizard. "she was watching us through her crystal, and heard us talking. Simple magic."

Ariel looked impressed. "I see that Dim-Dim has taught you well. Most people think that I can read minds." She gave a meaningful glance in Sinbad's direction. "Your knowledge of magic will come in useful when you go to rescue your friends."

"Then you know where they are?" asked a very worried Sinbad.

"No, but I know who took them." Ariel gestured towards the stairway. "Come with me to my chambers. I'll tell you what I know on the way."

Ariel led the sailors up the twisting stairway. When they were about halfway up she continued. "Rjak took them. I'm afraid he also knew of your visit, and any friends of mine are enemies of his. So, to make me mad, he kidnapped your friends, and is keeping them in one of his cities."

"Do you know which one?" asked a hopeful Sinbad.

"Unfortunately, no." the wizard replied. "But, I can make an educated guess. If Rjak is true to form, he will take them to Hellgate, his capital in Myrror."

"Is there any way to find out where they are?" asked Maeve.

"I am going to try to contact the other wizards. While I do that, I want you to meet my heroes." Ariel and the three had arrived at the entrance to another large room. There were only two people in the room: a bearded man in his late sixties, and a young woman with unruly blond hair. They seemed to be in a heated discussion.

"Zaldron," the young woman exclaimed "how can someone tell what direction they are going without looking at the position of the sun? It's impossible!"

"It's quite simple, Shuri," exclaimed the one called Zaldron "our planet has places that pull certain types of metal. If you can find this type of metal, and make a device that can tell you which way it is being pulled, you don't need the sun to tell you which way you are going."

Before Shuri could make a retort, Ariel spoke up "Zaldron, Shuri. I'd like you to meet some friends of mine: Sinbad, Maeve, and Firouz. Please make them feel at home." After speaking, Ariel turned and walked out the door.

Firouz was the first to speak. "Zaldron, right?" The sage nodded. "I am a scientist, and I couldn't help overhearing your conversation with this young woman. I made just such an invention as you were discussing, and I'd like to hear your ideas on the subject."

Zaldron looked very pleased to have someone to talk to and he readily agreed. "Of course, Firouz! It will be wonderful to talk to a man of science about science for a change!" Zaldron gave Shuri a teasing glance, and she glared back at him with a twinkle in her eye.

As Firouz and Zaldron discussed their scientific views, Shuri got up of the couch and walked up to Maeve and Sinbad. "Hi! I'm Shuri. Remind me to thank your friend when Zaldron finishes talking his ear off. I know Zaldron means well, but most of the time I just don't understand what he's trying to tell me."

"We feel the same was about Firouz." agreed Maeve. The three laughed at this, and when they had finished, Shuri motioned for them to follow her.

"Let's go and meet the others." she said. "I think they're down eating breakfast. Oh!" she exclaimed suddenly. "How rude of me! Have you eaten yet?"

"No," replied Sinbad. "but I don't think I can eat until we find our two friends that Rjak took."

"How awful!" replied a horrified looking Shuri. "Well, you can be sure that when Ariel locates them, The others and I will help you find them!"

Shuri led Sinbad and Maeve down yet another stairway, and out into a patio where four people were in the middle of breakfast. All four looked up when the threesome stepped out onto the patio.

"Hey, guys," started Shuri "I'd like you to meet some friends of Ariel's. They are Sinbad and Maeve." The quartet of heroes all voiced their hellos. The Shuri walked them over to a table where two men and a young woman sat.

"Sinbad, Maeve, this is Torin, the leader of our group." Shuri pointed up to a tall man with long brown hair. His eyes seemed to be glowing.

"Pleased to meet you." Torin welcomed. Shuri then nodded towards a couple dressed in white robes.

"Sinbad, Maeve, meet Roland and Elanna. They are the religious part of our group."

The two both nodded together. "It's a pleasure to meet friends of Ariel's." said the one called Roland.

"Yes, I hope we get to know you both better." greeted Elanna.

"I hope so to." responded Sinbad.

Shuri finished the greetings by walking over to an elven woman who had the look of an aristocrat. "Finally, this is Allora."

"Charmed." Allora bowed her head towards them. Maeve couldn't help but feel a little nervous around the woman. She didn't seem snobby, but she did have an air of authority.

"Now that all the introductions are made," Sinbad stated "I'd like to tell you why we are here." The others gathered around Sinbad and Maeve. "Two of our other friends were kidnapped by a wizard named Rjak."

"Oh, how terrible!" muttered Allora. "What can we do to help?"

"Well," continued Sinbad "Ariel is trying to find out where they are being taken. You can help by telling us all that you know about Rjak."

At that moment, Ariel came out followed by Zaldron and Firouz. "Everyone, this is our other friend Firouz." said Sinbad.

After the final introduction was made, Ariel proceeded to tell everyone her news. "I found out from Tauron that Rjak does indeed have your two friends. He isn't keeping them in Hellgate, as I feared, but in Cremona, the city that he took from me last month."

"Well, what are we waiting for?" shouted Shuri. "Let's go get them! If we start now, we can be there by tomorrow morning."

"We need a plan." Zaldron reminded her.

"Right." replied Roland and Elanna together.

Sinbad shook his head "We can't ask you to help us."

Torin raised his hand to as if to cut Sinbad off. "You're not asking for us to go, we're telling you that we're going. We have a long grudge against Rjak, and I'm sure that everyone here wants to rescue your friends as much as you do. So we're going, whether you like it or not."

"My thanks." responded a smiling Sinbad. "Since it's all agreed, let's get planning!"

With those words, the eight heroes and Ariel sat down at the nearest table and began planning the rescue of Doubar and Rongar.

*****************************************************

The guard walked down the dimly lit corridor, calmly whistling to himself as he went about his duties. He was just passing the cell holding the two newest prisoners when he felt an arm snake around his neck.

"Give me your keys." a deep voice commanded. The guard was about to call out when the arm tightened its vise. "Do it quietly, or my friend here will be forced to do something unpleasant." The helpless guard lifted the keys off of his belt and held them up. A second hand appeared and took the keys. "Now, since I don't want to hurt you, but I also don't want you to sound an alarm..." those were the last words the guard heard before his world suddenly went black.

"Good work, Rongar!" congratulated Doubar as Rongar let the man slide to the floor. Doubar reached a large hand outside of the cell, and started trying all of the different keys in the lock. After about five or six different keys, he found the right one and opened the door. He quickly exited. He was surprised that the bars hadn't tried to drain his strength. He decided that the spell only worked when tried to use his strength against the bars.

While Doubar was thinking, Rongar had stepped out into the hallway and carefully checked all around for any other signs of life. He found none. Rongar placed the guard into the recently occupied cell, locked the door, and then carefully tucked the keys into the sash at his waist. He signaled for Doubar to follow him. Rongar led the way to the stairway that the unfortunate guard had just come down. The two started up it, and when they found it deserted as well, Rongar started to have strong suspicions that getting out of the cell had been, well, just a little too easy.

*****************************************************

"Well then, it's decided." said Ariel. She stood up from the table where she had been sitting and stretched her legs. "Let's go up to my casting chamber, and get you on your way."

The others got up after Ariel, and stretched their legs as they got up from the table. Several hours had passed, and although they had taken a few breaks to eat and drink something, no one had really gotten up since they had originally sat down. The heroes walked followed Ariel as she made her way up the stairs that led to her chambers. They passed the heroes' quarters, and walked up yet another flight of stairs. At the top, Ariel stopped in front of two gigantic wooden doors. She mumbled a few incantations, and the doors swung open. They were so huge, that Firouz doubted that even Doubar, with his incredible strength, could budge them even an inch. The thought of his made Firouz even more anxious to hurry the rescue along. Ariel interrupted his thoughts.

"Okay," she said. "everyone stand together in the center of the room." They complied. "Alright. I can't send you right into the city, because Rjak has an army there, and my spells won't work through his wall of darkness spell. I'll transport you just outside of the city limits. Once you enter the city, you're on your own." With those words, she opened a rather large leather book and began reciting a spell: "Horum Goras T'palla Stak-ti. Send these heroes to yonder city." A bright light filled the chamber, and took Sinbad, Maeve, Firouz, and the others out of Ariel's world, and into the dark world of Rjak.

*****************************************************

As they progressed up through different floors of the murky dungeon, Doubar began to have the same feeling: getting out of the cell had been way too easy. They had already gone up 2 floors, and all they had found were men and women, all trapped like Doubar and Rongar had been. When the two friends had tried to free them with the keys Rongar had taken from the guard, they found that the keys only fit into a few of the locks. The inhabitants of the newly-opened cells were very grateful to be let loose, but very few of them had the ability to leave on their own. It was disheartening. When Rongar opened the last open-able cell, a man stepped out of it into the hall way.

"Thank you for setting me free." he said in a slightly raspy voice. "I used to be the magistrate of this village, but when Rjak took it from Ariel he put me into this prison."

"Ariel?" Doubar interrupted. "We came here with my little brother to find her. We were captured before we got to talk to her about Master Dim-Dim."

"Dim-Dim? What's happened to him?"

"He was sent away by a sorcerer named Turok. We've been searching for him for several months now, but we've had no luck."

"Dim-dim is a very good man. I believe he was a good friend of Ariel's long ago. I hope you find him." The Magistrate paused for a moment and then continued. "Well, enough chatter! We need to get you back to your friends, and I need to get to Ariel so we can plan the attack to regain this city. I know of a few secret passageways that I don't think even Rjak has found yet. We used to use them. If no guards see us enter them, I can get you safely out of here." The man started back the way Rongar and Doubar had just come. He started down the stairway, and when he got to the fifth step down, he held up an amulet that had been hanging around his neck up to the wall and traced the sign of the Egyptian Ankah. A white doorway appeared in the wall and the man paused in front of it only long enough to say "We use these things as escape tunnels incase of a takeover." Doubar and Rongar looked a little confused. This didn't used to be a prison, you know. It was the hall of records. Well, are you two coming, or not?" Rongar turned to Doubar and shrugged his shoulders. Then the duo walked up the magical porthole and stepped through.

*****************************************************

Evil. Pure evil was what Maeve sensed as soon as she had teleported onto a grassy knoll on the outskirts of what was once a proud city. Now, you couldn't even see the city. A thick, black fog surrounded it, making it impossible for Maeve and the others to even guess what was happening on the inside of the cloud.

"What is that black cloud, Torin?" asked the ever-curious Firouz. "Is it some type of wall composed of air?"

Torin responded after a slight pause. "It is a wall Firouz, but it is not made out of air. It is made of pure evil." Everyone looked un-easily at the fog, and gave a silent prayer that Rongar and Doubar were alright.

"Well," said Zaldron, "it's not wise to just stand here staring. Let us proceed."

Sinbad nodded his head in agreement. "Where do we enter? I don't think it would be wise to go in through the front gates." he finished that last sentence with a small smile. It was the first smile that anyone had seen Sinbad make since his brother and Rongar had been taken. Maeve took heart in that.

Alorra spoke up. "I know of a secret entrance that leads into the Hall of Records. It's deep and cavernous, and since Ariel didn't have a dungeon, that is what Rjak would probably use as one."

"That sounds great to me." Sinbad replied. Alorra led the heroes stealthily down the knoll towards what once was a proud city of life. Everyone paused just outside of the fog.

"When you go through the fog," Roland began, "don't be surprised if you feel cold."

Elanna finished for him. "It's just the evil trying to get enter into your soul. It can't hurt you if you don't let it." Everyone reluctantly continued on towards Alorra's secret entrance.

"Well, that's certainly refreshing." mumbled Firouz just before he followed the others into the thick fog.

*****************************************************

Doubar was starting to get tired of walking through one cramped, twisted tunnel after another. "How much farther is it?" he complained after walking for almost 10 minutes in the near-dark.

"Not much farther my boy" the much smaller magistrate replied. "Not much farther at all."

Rongar tapped Doubar on the shoulder as if to say "Don't worry, I'm sure we'll get out here sooner or later". Rongar hoped it would be sooner than later. MUCH sooner.

After about 5 more minutes, when Doubar was just about ready ask how much farther again, he spotted a small circle of light.

"There it is! I knew we were almost there!" Exclaimed the magistrate. Doubar had a retort, but he was so excited about finally getting out and finding his brother that he forgot it.

*****************************************************

"Elanna was right," thought Sinbad, "that fog did feel cold!" He, like the others were on the inside of the cloud that surrounded the city. As he glanced around he noticed that everyone else seemed to be shaking off the effects of the cold as well.

When Alorra had recovered she pointed towards a mass of dying vines. "That is where the entrance is." She started towards it, but before she even took three steps, Maeve put a hand in her way.

"Hang on a moment." Maeve said with a concentrated look on her face. The others waited patiently while she paused. "I think I hear something coming from the entranceway." She drew her sword and carefully proceeded towards the shriveled vines. Sinbad and the others needed no orders--they drew their weapons as well.

*****************************************************

Rongar put a hand on Doubar's shoulder to stop him.

"What is it, Rongar?" he replied. Rongar cupped his hand around his ear to tell Doubar he heard a sound.

"What's keeping you boys?" Asked the magistrate, "The entrance is just a head!" He turned around to face the two younger men.

"We hear something!" Doubar informed him. "It could be the palace guards. We'd better be ready."

Rongar signaled that he wished he had his dirks.

"I wish I was armed as well, Rongar, but we'll just have to do with our fists." The three escapees tread quietly toward the entrance. When they got there they each took a deep breath, and prepared to do battle. They rushed out into the open, and Doubar was just about ready to clobber the man in front of him when he realized that it wasn't a man--it was Maeve.

"Doubar?!" She exclaimed as she dropped her sword. In shock, Doubar looked around for his brother. Finding him, he ran up to Sinbad, and gave him a big bear-hug. It was only when Sinbad's face turned almost blue that he released him.

"Doubar! I thought you were gone, big brother! How did you get out?!"

Gesturing towards the Magistrate he told the group about the secret passage, and the dungeon beyond. He was about to go on, but Shuri interrupted.

"I hate to spoil this reunion. but we really should be getting out of here before those guards get any closer!" Twelve guards were slowly advancing towards the group. Since they hadn't been spotted yet, and Doubar and Rongar didn't have any weapons, Torin gave the signal to withdraw. That they did, and when the friends returned to the knoll, they were teleported back to Ariel's Fortress.

*****************************************************

Later that night, after everyone had been introduced, the new friends were telling old stories about each other. Elanna told about how she and Roland had met, and Sinbad told about his first encounter with Rumina. Just one story was still waiting to be told before Sinbad and crew could go back to life as usual aboard the Nomad. The story of how Sinbad and Doubar met Ariel...

*****************************************************

End of Arcanus


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