Author Note: This post is a continuation of Kratz’s Wild Night, Part I. Please read the first part before proceeding. Or not. Some things are more fun without context.
Having gained the temporary appearance of a bona fide Drow, Kratz made for Valhalla, the last-known whereabouts of his companions.
Little did he know that his companions, Adair and Vedika, had long since left Valhalla to search for him, and that the only person eft to behold his half-naked majesty would be a fallen god, freshly reborn from Ragnarök.
When he arrived, the first thing he saw was an island guarded by a snake. A rainbow trailed off of one end and a column of runes circled over a bus in the middle. He didn’t recall seeing those there before.
Upon closer inspection, he saw that the bus was empty. Moreover, to his delight, the key had been left in the ignition.
Now, as far as mounts go, the white tiger that the goddess at The Amethyst Rift had given him was all well and good, but it paled in comparison to this rumbling deathtrap of a machine.
“White tiger, pale— I see what you did there,” presently quips Kratz, shooting finger guns from underneath the runestone at Somniatoris Arx.
Are we really doing this, Kratz?
“Just thought I’d lighten the mood! This story’s turning into a real slogfest. I can’t believe you’re writing so much that you’ve split the story into two posts. Talk about shoddy pacing.”
Suddenly, another Valhalla runestone drops from the heavens, crushing Kratz’s head.
“You can’t do that! No deaths at the Faire!”
He’s right, unfortunately.
Instead, a flock of wandering chickens descends upon him and lovingly pecks him into submission.
Is that better?
“Yep! Ow, OW!”
Anyway, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted: Kratz eyed the bus covetously, unaware that just moments ago, a certain disco-loving penguin had taken it for a brief test drive around Valhalla and was soon returning to pick up his things. All gratitude for his tiger dissolved before the prospect of making dozens of Fairelanders hurl.
He was about to grab the wheel when a deep, booming voice startled him.
“Are you sure about that?”
Kratz whisked around to find none other than the Fallen God himself, Alia Baroque, in humanoid form.
“Ah!” Kratz yelled, pointing a finger at him. “It’s none other than the Fallen God himself, Alia Baroque, in humanoid form!”
“…Is there an echo in here?”
“No, it can’t be,” muttered Kratz. “I thought I was the only one with a direct line to the narrator.”
Alia laughed nervously.
The eleven-forty moon from Ying Yang shone eerily upon Valhalla, casting silhouettes of the two men like shadow puppets on a scrim. Kratz became acutely aware of his two-dimensional nature and joined in the nervous laughter.
“You know,” he said to Alia, “You’re awfully quiet. It’s kinda intimidating.”
Alia hovered ominously and laughed again.
“If you’re trying to keep me from driving the bus, I admit you’re doing a pretty good job,”
Alia laughed, an uncharacteristically frantic look overtaking his features. It seemed that all he could do was laugh. And hover ominously. He was quite good at that.
“If I didn’t know better,” said Kratz, “it’s almost like you’re trying to say something, but someone is afraid of putting words in your mouth and is questioning the point of this whole scene, which she had built up in her mind as simultaneously dramatic and hilarious but is now sinking faster than an anvil in a bathtub.”
“That’s strangely specific,” said Alia in a moment of sobriety.
“Like I said, only if I didn’t know better,” Kratz shrugged.
Alia cleared his throat.
“Well, stranger,” he said, looking absolutely perplexed (but still ominous), “I was about to take down these kiosks and Ragnarök and roll over to the Fairechylde. But for some reason, I’m suddenly compelled to leave the bus up…”
As Kratz pondered the implications of Alia hearing the same voice that spoke to him, the Fallen God silently dismantled the kiosks behind him.
Several hundred meters away, a Fairelander asked if it was too late to purchase a Bifrost skin.
So deep in thought was Kratz that he failed to notice Alia fading into the distance. It wasn’t until the clock struck midnight, echoing all the way from Somiatoris Arx, that he realized he had just wasted twenty minutes he could have otherwise spent raining terror and perhaps tiger droppings down on unsuspecting Fairelanders.
Alas! All good things must come to an end. The glamour cast by the goddess of The Amethyst Rift broke, and away faded Kratz’s tiger and billowy silks like whispers upon the wind. His skin regained its usual pallor, and he was forced to put on proper clothing again, lest the Pawlice arrest him.
But not all hope was lost. Just as Alia had promised, the bus still stood.
The key remained in the ignition.
Yes, Kratz thought, the wicked wheels of his mind turning. He would have one last ride tonight. Take the wheel and let Adair and Vedika watch in horror as he single-handedly drove a dozen Fairelanders into the depths of Junction. And when I say single-handedly, I mean that literally—with one hand on the wheel while the other scratches who knows where.
And so he opened the door to the driver’s seat, dusted off the cushion, and prepared himself for the ride of a lifetime.
“That’s stealing,” the bus whispered.
So it was.
Despite his best efforts, Kratz couldn’t sit down. He tried coming at the seat from different angles. He even tried sitting in every other seat on the bus. Yet try as he might, the bus seemed to be enchanted with cutting-edge anti-theft magic.
“I’m not stealing; I’M JUST BORROWING! LET ME SIT DOWN, FOR LOLTH’S SAKE!”
His cry rang out across Junction and The Seventh Valley to where Vedika stood, interpreting the twitter of a sparrow to Adair.
In the brief silence that followed, Kratz realized he had made a grave mistake.
But it was too late. Pawlice sirens wailed in the distance, and he felt the unmistakable heat of a raging, level 17 berserker in the body of his sister.
And so Kratz did what Kratz does best. He ran.
Like the stomach contents of a Faireland bus rider, he raced back the way he had come, tearing across Junction, then The Cerulean Bombora, and Tempest Bay. By the time he reached the ornate gates of Somniatoris Arx, Adair was mere meters behind him, threatening him with all manner of pointy objects.
“SANCTUARY! SANCTUARY!” Kratz cried as he fled toward the central cathedral.
But because this was the Faire and not medieval France, his words had no legal standing and merely drew attention to the Somniator, in front of whom Kratz now stood, cowering.
Adair muttered a spell, and a giant runestone from Valhalla hurtled through the air and landed on Kratz. Fortunately for him, fatalities are expressly prohibited at the Faire, so the only damage he sustained was psychic.
And now we return to where we began.
“Pretty neat,” says Vedika to Adair, landing beside Kratz’s twitching body. “What do you call that one?”
“AFK Stone,” Adair replied. “I wasn’t sure what the letters stood for, but now I do: Anti-Felony Kratz.”
Vedika squints. “No. Doesn’t sound right.”
“That acronym,” Kratz wheezes. “I do not think it means what you think it means.”
“What’s that, Kratz?”
“THAT’S FIVE! FIVE INTENTIONAL ALLUSIONS! My work here is done.”
With that, Kratz’s body goes still, and Adair and Vedika let out a collective sigh of relief.
You may wonder what the moral of this cautionary tale is. To be perfectly honest, so do I.
Perhaps it’s something about not taking the Faire’s mysterious gifts for granted, or about not stealing Fallen Gods’ automobiles. Or maybe it’s both, and it’s also about mindfully living each moment of the Faire so that you can remember it for years to come, in precisely the manner that the man squashed underneath the Valhalla runestone will not when he wakes up. Who knows?
It is on a related note that I leave you, dear reader, and take my own advice.
Kratz (Soldier Disguise)
Helmet – [KROVA] // Confessor – GLD // RFL donation item
Mantle – !Reliquary! // Morbid Gorget // RFL donation item
Top – Hotdog // Gambeson . Fatpack
Pants & Boots – Petrichor // Karvis Bootpants
Staff – Petrichor // Araleus Staff
Aura – Cole’s Corner // RFL Hot Fizz 2021 // RFL donation item
Pose – Poseidon // Viking 1-6 complete
AFK Runestone – Fallen Gods Inc. // FFT21~AFK at Valhalla~ Stave Rune Boulder: Cross Stave [WEAR] // Gacha prize from Her High Faireness’ Treasures Gacha 2021
See Nadjanator’s blog for full credits and HUD previews.
The Faire has now begun fading back into the Mists, but the team will have a campsite at Relay Weekend on June 12th and 13th, along with select mementos from the Faire.