“What are you, some sort of overgrown fairy?” Xykon asked, looking over Celia. Her wings beat softly but could carry her nowhere given the circumstances. Tied up and with a lich ready to kill her at any moment, she could only sit and hope. Maybe Roy would succeed in his fight with Tsukiko and be able to rescue her.

“I’m a Sylph,” she said. There wasn’t any point in getting angry. It would only make things worse for her.

“Wait a minute. I know you from somewhere,” Xykon said. “Redcloak! Bring the TiVo, I want to check something. Oh, and Xykon’s Moderately Escapable Forcecage. Now sit tight while I go figure out who you are. I think you have something to do with that green guy trying to kill me with his hilt or something.”

Xykon rambled on, walking around the room while Celia sat in the cage, unable to escape. He doesn’t even know who Roy is, she thought. What kind of complete monster doesn’t even know or care who it is that’s trying to stop them?

A goblin in a red cloak walked in, his right eye a scabbed patch of skin. He set the TiVo down next to the Forcecage. “Sir, I think Greenhilt is trying to come kill you again. Black Squadron is on it, but I’m not sure if they’ll be able to stop him.”


“The guy who keeps trying to kill you, sir.”

No recognition seemed to pass over the lich’s skeletal features.

“He led the Order of the Stick in their defeat of us at Dorukon’s gate.”

“The Order of the Who?”

“He jumped on your dragon and you killed him.”

“I remember something like that happening. That was a few hundred strips ago, though, wasn’t it?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Then I don’t remember who did it.”

“Nevermind, sir. I’m just going to go bring reinforcements to Black Squadron.”

“You do that.”

“Yes, sir.”

The goblin left, and again Celia and Xykon were alone. The TiVo sat quietly by the cage until Xykon took a remote control and pressed a button.

“TiVo, I know I’ve seen her before. Find that scry, will you?” Xykon said. “I do all my best scrying with TiVo. He’s real good like that.”

Celia sat quietly, ignoring the lich and his remarks. If the TiVo had any recordings of her, that would mean Xykon would remember Roy and go out to kill him again. She had to hope that the TiVo had nothing.

“What do you mean you don’t have any recordings of her? I know I’ve seen her on your screen”

The TiVo simply shuddered in fear, watching Celia and avoiding its owner’s eye sockets. No, Celia thought. There’s no way it doesn’t have anything on us.

Xykon hurled some sort of spell at the TiVo, but the Tivo dodged and ran. Spell after spell flew from Xykon’s fingertips, but none hit the TiVo. In fact, most of them hit the floor around Celia’s prison in the Forcecage. The floor was weakening. If it fell away, she might be able to escape.

“Come back here, you stupid scrying focus. I won’t destroy you if you just show me the scry.”

The TiVo stood its ground, stopping right in front of the Forcecage. An image appeared on the screen, but Celia couldn’t tell what it was.

“That does it. Meteor Swarm!”

The blast destroyed the floor beneath the Forcecage as well as the ropes binding Celia. The TiVo was nowhere to be seen and through the smoke Celia could make out the form of Xykon coming down to survey the damage. She could escape through the hole and he would be none the wiser, probably thinking he’d incinerated her with the spell.

Celia flew out through the hole, thinking fondly of the little TiVo that had tried to protect her. She just had to find Roy and all would be well.

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