II – The Conflict

While Merlin kept experimenting, FUDson asked for a few days off to which Merlin shook his hand in dismissal “Sure, whatever” while he was staring at yet another old, dusty scroll through a giant magnifier.

FUD set the “salvation plan” to motion as he was traveling from kingdom to kingdom, spewing poison in the ears of this king or that “Why should Merlin have the Dome? What is he after? Who knows what power he’ll be able to yield when he’s figured out the Dome’s true nature?”

Doubt started eating away at the souls of the kings in the shape of a parasite named FUDson. Kings began questioning Merlin’s motives and each other. Soon, they all wanted the Dome to themselves and the conflict began to escalate.

Sometime later, a clueless Merlin was summoned to The Chamber of Lords to discuss the fate of the Dome and there, he discovered the scale to which this conflict had already escalated. Of course, nobody spoke of FUDson; they all thought he was on their side and their side alone as a result of FUD’s careful and calculated manipulations.

They turned on Merlin… Then on each other… The argument was heated, cups were thrown, tongues were swung and parents were called flies… “STOOOPPP!!!” shouted Merlin “STOP THIS INSOLENCE AT ONCE! I’m very close to getting the equation that lets me harness the power of the Dome right, this power would be equally distributed amongst our kingdoms and let us live at ease and plenty without trivial daily challenges!” The kings didn’t believe him though and continued the feud. Between the clanking of cups and slurping of tongues, FUDson leaned in and whispered something in Merlin’s ear that triggered a look of inspiration on Merlin’s face after he shushed everyone yet again, he announced “… Alright! Alright! I can do a spell using the Dome’s own power so that IT will decide which kingdom to go to based on the King’s worth, the merit of their soul and the caliber of their tongue!” After further lake-draining discussion, everyone agreed.

Enough time passed for Merlin to gather his mojo and cook up a strong spell to settle the conflict of kings. All the while his elders at the academy never stopped warning him about the price of dark magic “ppfftt… this isn’t dark magic” Merlin kept repeating to himself. As much as Merlin hated to admit it, FUDson had been a great help; He kept coming up with bold and bright ideas as if he’d finally gained insight into what being a sorcerer’s apprentice really meant and overall he wasn’t acting like his old cowardly, floor sweeping, chamberpot scrubbing self. “Maybe it’s time to promote ol’ FUD…” Merlin decided “… but after this shit show is over.”

The day was nigh, the spell was ready. All amphibians of Frogsylvania gathered below the Volaranae tower, cheering. On the balcony, Merlin waved at them and announced that this year is going to be the Year of the Frog! He then proceeded to talk about the Dunkelheit Dome and the way in which he’d figured it could find its new home, leaving out the part where it was his apprentice who’d filled in some gaps.

Merlin walked up to the Dome and started casting his spell. All amphibians fell silent in anticipation, save for the fly that passed and the tongue from the crowd that caught it. Merlin made several hand gestures and walked in circles around the Dome. the Dome changed color to a brighter and brighter purple, and the gas-like substance inside it raved and twisted. The etched Ethereum binds on the dome cracked into shards as Merlin’s chants got louder and louder, the dome started hovering up in the air, and a surge of blinding, magical energy burst out of the dome as the spell was completed and the dome gently fell back into the remainders of its cradle… there it was, the spell was complete. The crowd kept silent for a few moments then they started to cheer, throwing party hats and carnival clothes and confetti.

But the party was premature. Dark purple clouds started to gather over Frogsylvania with a loud buzzing of electricity, very unnatural indeed…

Leave a Reply