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Dramatic Return

By GrimackReapum - MEMBER - October 08, 2014, 23:15:15

“No. All my great plans… ruined!” The words echoed in the dimly lit room, filled with piles of wooden beams, broken pillars and all kind of strange ornaments. A few Goblins rummaging through the piles were startled by the scream, but quickly returned to their previous activity as the oppressive silence returned to the room, only disturbed by the sound of water dripping down from the ceiling.

In the center of the room sat a lonely figure on a throne of some sort, flanked by a monstrous wooden statue from behind. It was actually more a like a giant battered marionette than a statue, as it consisted of multiple moveable parts, several missing, and currently stooped over the throne as if no one was pulling its strings.

The figure in the throne slightly resembled the giant puppet, wearing a menacing helmet with a large hairdo, spiky epaulettes and red gloves adorned with garish white bangles. The rest of his upper body was bare and rather lean and pale. Below that he wore khaki jodhpurs with a gaudy red belt and high boots. All together a truly dramatic ensemble.

But this look, although flashy, had just like the rest of its surroundings seen better days. There was wear and tear everywhere and it didn’t seem to fit his wearer all that well. The helmet and epaulettes seemed a tad too large, causing them to shift. The right eye of the mask was normally covered by a mechanical monocle, but was replaced by the bottom of a bottle. All in all a rather ragged look fitting in with the rest of the room.

The masked man slumped in his throne as he looked at a scale model of a complex airship lying at his feet, surrounded by little wooden puppets in tiny outfits. Most of them were wearing hoods in beige, blue and red, but one had a completely black outfit with a pointy hood and cape. He grabbed this black puppet and took off his cowl, revealing a blank white mask covering the faceless head.

“How could I have failed? I planned every little detail. Every piece was primed, individually, for years on end. The stage play was so extensive, the script immaculate… How did we get to this premature curtains?” He clenched his fist around the puppet. “Such farce! That arctic aristocrat shouldn’t even have noticed my masterpiece until it was too late! Who spoiled my spectacular finale?”

He raised his other hand as if he had strings attached to them and the disk on the palm of his hand started to glow. Next to his chair, a life-sized wooden puppet in his likeliness came to life and rose to its legs. “This seems like a dreadful reenactment of your original drama. Everything laid out in detail, working as it should and then completely ruined by something as trivial as a bunch of rodents revealing your rehearsal studio!”

He stood up and kicked the scale model of the Zeppelantern into the room, hitting one of the Goblins straight on the head. The little creature yelped in pain and scurried away. “I will not go down so easily!” the man shouted into the darkness. The puppet just stood there stoically as if he was watching the masked stranger’s outburst. “This was but the first act! No deus ex machina will ruin my grand design! Dramak the Schemer will not fade into the shadows! Not before the World of Twelve has seen and tasted my talent!!”

At the mention of this name, the puppet seemed to stir and his wooden monocle lit up. The masked monologist hesitated for a moment. “Yes, yes, Dramak the Second. I know. But I’ll show you: I’ll surpass you and become the greatest villain the World of Twelve has ever seen! Even Ogrest and Harebourg will dance to my tune! Once I’ve rebuilt your theatre and gained the power of the Dofus, I will become the one true Puppet Master!”

His dramatic punctuation was interrupted by the sound of a piece of scenery that came crashing down in the back of the room. Two Goblins appeared out of the following dust cloud: “Sorry, boss-man. Goblin dung no good cement!” Dramak put his face in his palm. “How did you ever manage to get anywhere with such subpar stagehands? Sigh, it’s so hard to find good help these days.”

He stretched out his hand and as his palm lit up again, the two Goblins were lifted up the floor as if strung up by invisible strings. “Listen to me and listen well. I’ve given you nails. I’ve given you hammers. I’ve given you every other tool required to rebuild this stage. Dung is not, I REPEAT, is not one of them! Do you understand?!”

The two imps looked sheepishly at their master, at each other and then back at him: “So what we use dung for then?” “You can eat it for all I care. But if I find one grain of excrement in my theatre, I will strip your skins and use them to mop the lavatories!!” He swung back his hand back and by an invisible force the Goblins were launched into the back of the room.

He swiveled around to face the puppet again: “Now, where were we? Right, my glorious comeback!” At that moment both he and the puppet stopped dead in their tracks and looked at the small Hoodlum puppets lying on the floor. “No, it can’t be…” Dramak walked up and kneeled next to them. “Yes! They’re alive!” He held the black hooded puppet that had been holding all this time close to his ‘monocle’. “Faintly, but he’s still there.”

He stood up again: “Ha-ha! What a wonderful plot twist! Not even the Cursed Count could take out my pawns! And now they’re there, in the eye of the storm, almost at the feet of the Ogre. The stage is set, the actors ready. My second act can unfold as scripted!” He took a closer look at the little white mask. “And with an unexpected bonus!”

“That foolish Frigostian has unwittingly given me a powerful plot device: he has charged my mask of mimicry with his most potent spells. Now my masqueraider will be invincible! From peon to demigod in one instant. Even my Machiavellian mind couldn’t have conceived such brilliant turn of events.” He shook the little puppet at the Puppet Master marionette: “Now watch me succeed where you failed!”

He jumped back into his seat and grabbed the control paddles in the armrests. As he started pulling them, the huge puppet in the back came to life: it came back up, outstretched its arms and its right eye and hand palms started to glow. In front of him the tiny puppets got to their feet and lined up before him. "Now, to turn this temporary tragedy into a full-blown spectacle!"

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