B/X Kids Story
Blackskull Castle, Otherworld
A soft whirring sound filled the air as two pixies flitted across scorched ground. Ahead of them rose an ominous black fortress.
“Are you sure this is the place?” asked the female.
“Do you see any other black castle with a giant skull carved into the gates?” answered the male.
“You don’t have to be a jerk about it, Dragonfly,” scolded the girl..
“Sorry sis. This place just makes me nervous.”
“Yeah, me too.”
“Let’s get this over with.”
A vast fortress loomed over the barren and desolate ground. Many battles had been fought before the rough and jagged walls, but none had ever succeeded in conquering the castle. A small town had once been built to support the castle, but all the smaller and weaker buildings had been destroyed and burned. Nothing remained but scorched walls and rubble. Not even rats foraged in the remains.
The pixies flew on. Upon reaching the gates, they landed lightly.
The pixie siblings briefly glanced at one another, then the girl gently rapped on the massive gates. Nothing happened.
“Looks like no one’s home. Let’s go!” she said.
Before she could turn around and fly away, the gates slowly creaked open. A gatehouse rose over the entrance, and a road led through the bailey up to the entrance of the keep.
“Hang on sis.”
The inner gates opened onto an empty courtyard. No creature moved. Dragonfly and his sister Moonbeam walked cautiously through the gatehouse. The inner portcullis was raised. Red dots gleamed from narrow slits lining the walls. A faint clacking sound could be heard, as if bones were being dropped onto stones.
“Can’t we just go home?” asked Moonbeam in a whisper.
“When the Dark Lord of Blackskull Castle sends a summons to the Pixie Council, someone is going to have to answer. Just our bad luck, it was us.”
Dragonfly patted the pouch slung at his hip. Inside was a letter from the Dark Lord. Both Dragonfly and Moonbeam had read the letter, consisting of a single sentence:
Send two pixies to Castle Blackskull by Friday.
The letter was unsigned, but the letterhead showed an image of Castle Blackskull. None dared to use the Dark Lord’s personal stationary. The Pixie Council had selected siblings Dragonfly and Moonbeam to see what the Dark Lord required of the fairly folk.
The inner portcullis opened onto a courtyard. Nothing appeared to be moving, but Dragonfly couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched. Across the courtyard sat the fortress’ keep, a smaller castle inside the much larger structure that was Blackskull Fortress. Broad steps led up to two stout doors. The doors were closed.
As the pixies flew across the courtyard, the doors to the keep opened with a low moan, and two armored warriors stepped forward. The pixies halted in midair before the guards.
“Um, we’re here to see the Dark Lord?” said Dragonfly.
“We’re expected,” added Moonbeam with a tremble of fear in her voice.
The armored warriors didn’t answer, they just turned and pointed deeper into the keep.
Dragonfly zipped past the warriors, then slowed once he was out of immediate range to allow his eyes to adjust to the darkness. Moonbeam flew right behind him. Soon he could make out broad steps leading up to a second floor. The waiting room was empty of all furniture, but portraits of the Dark Lord hung from two facing walls. In both, he wore a massive suit of armor, and held a double bladed spear. The eyes seemed to follow Dragonfly and Moonbeam as the pixies flew across the room.
“The Dark Lord’s throne must be up there,” he said.
Moonbeam didn’t answer. She grabbed her brother’s arm.
“Couldn’t we have just sent a letter back asking what he wanted?” she asked. The closer they approached the throne room, the more nervous she became.
“I mean, what does the Dark Lord want with a couple of pixies?” she added.
“I’m sure he will explain. Let’s just see what he wants, then we can go back home.”
The two pixies flew up the steps and stopped in front of a pair of ornate doors. Skulls and flames seemed to be the major motif. Moonbeam shivered.
The doors creaked open. Ahead of the two pixies sat a man in an enormous suit of armor sat on an ornate throne. The armor was the same seen in the portraits, and covered the man from head to toe. A skull facepiece covered the Dark Lord’s face entirely. Red points of light gleamed from the eye sockets.
“We, uh, we are here to answer your summons,” said Dragonfly.
“How may we serve the Dark Lord?” added Moonbeam. She curtseyed awkwardly in midair.
The Dark Lord sat silently for several moments. He seemed to be judging the pixie messengers. Moonbeam and Dragonfly felt drops of sweat roll down their temples despite the chill of the throne room. Finally the Dark Lord spoke.
“I seek the Creator. I have discovered his location, but the way is blocked to me. The Pixie Council must open a portal between our world and the Creator’s and bring him through.”
“Th-th-the Creator, Lord?” stammered Dragonfly. “May I ask why?”
“You may not.”
“But Great Dark Lord! The Creator? He is the most powerful being in the universe. The Pixie Council doesn’t have enough power to bring such a being into our world,” protested Moonbeam.
“True. As it is, the Pixie Council does not. I have harnessed an additional power source from the Creator’s universe. When the time comes, the Pixie Council will have sufficient power. I have seen to this,” said the Dark Lord.
“As you demand, Great Dark Lord,” said Dragonfly.
The two pixies bowed deeply.
“May we take our leave of you now, Your Lordship?” added Moonbeam.
The Dark Lord waved his hand dismissively.
The two pixies backed slowly out of the throne room. Once they had crossed the threshold, the great doors slowly closed, again obscuring the Dark Lord from their sight.
“The Crea…?” began Moonbeam, but Dragonfly raised a finger to his lips.
“Not now, Sis. We have to make our report to the Council.
With that, the pixies’ wings blurred into motion, lifting them off the ground. They pivoted in midair, and flew away from the direction they had come from.
Inside the throne room, the Dark Lord rubbed his hands together. “Soon,” he said to himself. “Soon.”