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Duchess Sophie Vespre

"Sit down and enjoy the pepper"

0 · 377 views · located in Wonderland

a character in “On the Wings of a Dream”, as played by Orbweaver

Description

Did you hear about...
Image
Image

Full Name: Sophie Vespre

Role: Duchess

Age: 16 (Is about the same age as the Queen)

Gender: Female

Personality: The Duchess loves to gossip but doesn't often get to do so because she spends most of her time in her mansion with her cook looking after pigs and momeraths and writing fictional stories about the residents of Wonderland, her favorite of which being 'Hopping Mad' a romance story about the White Rabbit and the March hare. She has one pig in particular that is always with her and often transforms into a human child she refers to as her son or her boy, however, nobody knows where he came from or what his name is, he seems to be very intelligent but doesn't talk. Despite being a very caring person, she is often misguided in her attempts to look after people. She considers herself to be the Queen's friend, if not her best friend but doesn't know how the Queen feels about this. She is very friendly, sometimes overly so and loves to have visitors

Hair Colour: Long honey coloured hair

Eye Colour: Amber

Quirks: (if any)
● Writes fictional stories about Wonderlanders
● Has a fondness for pigs and momeraths
● Can't resist giving awaythe morale of a story

Appearance Description: Extra information? Build? Height? Preferred apparel?

The Duchess likes to wear a victorian gown of golden yellow and orange and will often wear a bonnet with this for when she goes outside. She is pale and of an average build (It wouldn't do for a lady of her class to be skinny). Her boy wears a school uniform that consists of a dark orange vest, white shirt and dark grey pants and often has a book with him.

Quotes:


Likes:
● Morales
● Writing
● Gossip
● New Aquaintances
● Pigs and Momeraths

Dislikes:
● Rude children
● People with no manners
● Writing critics
● Non Fiction
● Unladylike behaviour from everyone but herself and the Queen

Powers: Projection, whatever she imagines can become reality for a limited amount of time, for example, a pig may become a baby, however, this is limited to her immediate surroundings, about a meter away.

Contractor: Belca

Weapons/ Things They Are Carrying: She has a pepper grinder which acts as a gattling gun, however, it's difficult to aim. She also has a croquet mallet which she uses like a hammer. Her boy carries a meat cleaver that the cook gave to him.

Back Story: : [You should update this slowly, revelaing a little bit of your story in the course of the RP, because that would make it interesting. But you might not want to do that, in which case you can write it out.]

So begins...

Duchess Sophie Vespre's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre
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Duchess Sophie


The Duchess sat in her rocking chair with an open book in front of her, listening to her cook scream for more pepper. Overall, today had been a good day she decided, her boy hadn't even sneezed once which meant she didn't have to beat him.

"He's finally learnt that he can enjoy the pepper whenever he pleases," she remarked to the cook.

That was only one thing among many though, she had noted an increase of pigs and momeraths inhabiting the gardens that surrounded he mansion and to top it all off, she had finished the first draft of her book, Hopping Mad. She loved to write about the White Rabbit.

"He's such a well dressed young boy," she said to herself, "And the way he scampers about is just adorable."

Closing the cover of the book she resolved to make him read it the next time she saw him to see what he thought of the pairing, surely he would agree that it was a perfect match.

"Now where has my son got to?" she pondered, leaning back in her chair. As if hearing her thoughts, a pig came running into the room and began to nudge her legs through the many layers of fabric that made up her dress, "There you are, my dearest," she exclaimed in delight, picking up the pig and placing it on her lap.

As she began to pet it, the pig started to shimmer and change shape untill it was no longer a pig but instead a boy, curled up in her lap, a book clasped between his hands. The Duchess continued to pet the boy, as if not noticing the change, she ran her fingers through his hair, messing up the silky locks and ocasionally adding a braid or two.

"This is a good life," she thought to herself, "But like most things, it could do with some spicing up."


Isaiah "Grey" Gris

Grey fell to the ground, defeated. He was so tired, all he had done was walk and walk for countless hours but still he hadn't encountered anybody, he couldn't even tell if he had moved anywhere, the scenery never seemed to change.

"It's almost like I'm on a treadmill" he mumbled, pulling the cards out of his pocket, "I guess the smart thing to do is stay in one place and hope someone finds me."

With that thought he began to examine the cards, placing them in unusual patterns and trying to unlock their secrets, soon enough, he bagan to notice something perculiar, no matter how he shuffled the cards, the Fool would always be among the ones he placed down.

"The begining and the end," he thought to himself without knowing why, "A sign of unexpected events and adventure."

Somehow, he knew that was what the card meant. Was his memory coming back? The thought both excited and terrified him at the same time.

"I want to know who I am," he reasoned, "But what if I don't like what I find?"

Trying to think such a decision through made him feel ill and his head hurt. Placing his head in his hands he lay on his side and curled into a ball, the cards scattered around him like fallen leaves.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: The White Rabbit
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White Rabbit


The White Rabbit stopped in his tracks as the distinct scent of pepper hit his snout like a blow from a fist. He wrinkled his nose and the small mammal pawed his way to a large mansion surrounded by several pigs and momeraths. At the doorstep, he transformed into a human and curtly straightened his tie before knocking on the door.
Rabbit was more than aware that the large double doors, which loomed over his entire being, belonged to the Duchess along with the rest of the mansion. As far as he was aware, the girl had spent most of her life within her own vicinity, entertaining herself with writing delusional fiction and the company of her chef and the group of creatures that inhabited her garden.

The poor dear, I wonder if she ever feels lonely at times.

After a brief moment of waiting, he decided to invite himself in. The residents of Wonderland had their own strange rules of etiquette, it was normal for the guest to enter by one’s self. Besides, he had knocked didn’t he? Rabbit cocked his head up towards the ceiling. The place was indeed large but only very few of the rooms were regularly being used. The boy peered into the closest room beside him and saw the Duchess in her usual rocking chair, with a child in her lap.

Rabbit coughed forcefully, in order to expose his presence, before stepping into the room.
“I’m glad that I only had to look in one room to find you.” Commented the White Rabbit bluntly and focused his gaze briefly on the boy, “It’s nice to see your son again, madam.”
He cleared his throat again and pushed his spectacles up on his small nose.
“I’m afraid I don’t have enough time to hear another of your stories, I’m afraid. The Queen has sent a message to all of the Chains, including you.” The boy said matter-of-factly, narrowing his eyes at the hardback that was lying beside her chair,” She invites all of the Chains to play in a game she is planning. She wishes to see all of them at her Palace immediately.”

Rabbit had grown bored of repeating the similar message again and again to the receivers. Of course, Rabbit was accustomed to sending messages on behalf of the Queen but, on most occasions, it only concerned one person to which he travelled to. He usually didn’t have to worry about remembering the message. But it was a command from his ruler and he couldn’t complain, the Queen’s assistant was expected to put an effort in every little thing he did. He obliged to this willingly... But, even still, he tried to make this one as short and sweet as possible.

“I have sent this message to the bulk of the other Chains. They should be on their way now so I suggest leaving soon.” muttered Rabbit, “I shall hasten my leave. I shall also go to the Palace as well, but in the mean time... Goodbye.”
He promptly made his way back to the entrance of the mansion and warily closed the large doors behind him without a second glance.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre
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Duchess Sophie


"Well now," said the Duchess to her boy as she stood up, sending him to the floor, "How about that, the Queen wants to play a game."

She swept over to her bookcase, intending to replace Hopping Mad back amongst her other works of fiction but then decided against it.

"The poor rabbit, not having enough time to read my story," she said, twirling round, "I shall simply have to bring the book with me so he can read it at the palace."

She began to get a little excited as she picked her boy up off the floor, the prospect of hearing all the news made her happy. She'd have to hurry though, it wouldn't do to be late, fashionably or otherwise. Turning to ask the cook if she had seen her bonnet, she ducked just in time as a soup turreen came flying towards her head acompanied by an outraged roar for pepper.

"Oh do pull yourself together," said the Duchess calmly, pulling her boy closer to her, "It's in the pantry as it always is."

As she began to hunt for her bonnet, she spared a few moments to look at the book her son had been reading, she never knew where he got these from, they had the oddest of titles and they certainly didn't belong to her.

"He certainly is an enigma," she thought as she looked at him, "And a miracle."

At last she had found her bonnet which she quickly tied onto her head before rushing out the door in the direction of the Palace of Hearts, which was not too far away, luckilly.

"One must always look their best when appearing before the Queen," she explaind to her boy as he hurried to keep up with her.

Very soon she arrived at Lake Lacie with the Palace of Hearts in sight. A fair distance ahead of her were two figures, one wearing a newsbow cap and the other an eight section cap. The twins. She remembered with a smile, the story she had written about their forbidden love.

"Oh boys," she sang out, heading towards the two brothers, "Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee, wait for me."


Sinistra/Tweedle Dee

Sinistra turned at the sound of the voice calling him by "that" name to see a yellow and orange clad figure racing towards them, tailed by a smaller figure. It was her, the Duchess and her son.

"Oh dear," he muttered to himself, "Here comes the gossip hag."

He had never forgotten the time she had written a story about a forbidden love he supposedly shared with Destra, it had just added to the redicule he recieved.

"It wasn't even remotely believable either," he thought, "We hate each other too much."

As she drew closer he began to construct what he hoped was a pleasant and friendly look on his face and tried to imagine positive vibes emanating from his body. If he pretended that he liked her then perhaps it would come in useful for a trick later.

"My, if it isn't Duchess Sophie Vespre," he said, his voice dripping with syrupy sweetness, "I haven't seen you since that Caucus-race we had, its been far too long."

With a bow he swept his cap off, took her hand and kissed it.


Destra/Tweedle Dum

Destra rolled his eyes at his brothers obviously fake display of affection, he wouldn't be so quick to forgive the story she had written. Turning his attention to the Duchess's son he was surprised to discover the boy staring at him. He had always found the boy a mystery, surely he couldn't really be the Duchess's child, who would the father have been? Taking a step forward he crouched down to the boy's level and held out his hand.

"It's a pleasure to see you again," he said as the boy took his hand and shook it.

Destra remained there for a moment, as if in a staring competition, the boy just stood there silently, never blinking, as if trying to communicate with his eye. Come to think of it, he'd never heard the child say anything.

"Can you speak?" he whispered so only the boy would hear.

He boy still said nothing but looked down at the ground sadly. For half a moment, Destra thought that he was going to cry but then the boy looked up at him again, a look of sorrow and frustration in his eyes.

"It would appear not," thought Destra to himself, "He still seems to be quite intelligent though."

He smiled sadly at the boy before straightening up and adjusting his cap, turning to face the Duchess and his brother.

"Well then, Duchess, Tweedle Dee," he said with a smirk as a look of anger crossed Sinistra's face, "We shouldn't keep the Queen waiting any longer."

With that they all prepared to head towards the castle, as he was about to take a step forward he felt a small hand slip into his, looking down he saw the Duchess's son standing close to him.

"Looks like I've made a friend," thought Destra as he walked with Sinistra and the Duchess to the Palace of Hearts.

The setting changes from Down the Rabbit-Hole to Palace of Hearts

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre
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Destra/Tweedle Dum


He stood before the entrance to the palace, the hand of the Duchess's son in his own, Sinistra and the Duchess herself on either side of him. It hadn't taken them long to get here but now, nobody wanted to be the first to go in.

"Do you suppose we wait for someone to show us in?" he asked. He didn't expect an answer, nor did he get one.

He supposed that he could always just walk in but the Queen might take offence to that and chances were that there would be a horrible punishment involved. No, he was quite content to wait here for as long as it took, let his brother find out what mood the Queen was in. With a sigh he let go of the boy's hand and sit down. After a moment, the Duchess's son joined him and pulled out a book. Silence engulfed the group as the waiting began.


Duchess Sophie

"Now just what is the Queen up to?" the Duchess pondered, "She usually always knows exactly when a visitor arrives."

It was true, she had never been able to work out how the queen did it, she had suspicions of course but needed confirmation.

"It's rude to keep a lady waiting," she said to herself with a giggle, "Then again, she's a lady herself."

She was about to ask Tweedle Dee, or Sinistra as he preferred to be called, what his thoughts on the Queens uncanny ability to know when visitors arrived when she was interupted by a sneeze. She looked over at her boy, glaring, her eyes full of fire and wasn't surprised to see him shift his gaze downward in shame.

"What have I told you about sneezing?" she demanded, storming towards the boy, only to stop as he hid behind Destra. The sight was so adorable her heart melted, with a squeal of delight she rushed towards the boy and swept him up.

"Oh my darling boy," she cried, spining around with glee, "You're just so adorable."

The setting changes from Palace of Hearts to Tea Garden

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Alde Beriel [Queen of Hearts]
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Duchess Sophie


The Duchess paused in the middle of spinning her boy around as the doors to the palace opened, revealing a swarm of butterflies. Oh how she loved the way they flitted here and there, so whimsical and merry.

"Follow me if you please," came a voice from the center of the swarm.

"Oh, so very polite too," she exlaimed with delight, dropping her boy and proceeding to follow the butterflies down the hall.

It had been such a long time since she'd been here, she supposed that was what came from working on literary masterpieces at all hours of the day though. As her thoughts turned to new ideas for her stories, the butterflies led the group into the Queen's tea garden, the Duchess took note that the Queen was not alone, sitting with her were Cheshire and the Caterpiller.

"Oh no!" she scolded herself mentally, "I musn't refer to him as that. It's Absolem."

Having corrected herself she turned her attention to the garden surrounding her, it truly was a beautiful place, she pondered the idea of emulating it at her own home but decided that the pigs and momeraths would simply mess it up.

"Oh what a delightful place, your majesty," she said to the Queen with a curtsey, "It has simply been too long."

With a start she began to look for her son, she was sure he had been there when she had entered the palace. Turning round she saw him once again holding the hand of Destra.

"Of course you remember my son," she continue, gesturing at her boy, "I just couldn't bear to leave him at home."

Having finished the required plesantries she cu of the flow of her conversation, waiting for one of the others to say their bit.


Sinistra/Tweedle Dee


Sinistra gazed in wonder as the Duchess rambled on and on.

"How does she not run out of things to say?" he thought to himself, brushing an imaginary speck of dirt off his coat tails.

He began to think of ways he could trick the chains in the garden, a shiver of excitement running down his spine at the thought of a prank, but nothing came to mind.

"It's probably for the best," he considered, "The Queen might take offence to it."

Thinking of the kind of punishments the Queen would make him endure was enough to make him squirm with discomfort. it took a moment for him to realise that the Duchess had stopped speaking.

"Finally," he exclaimed in his head, "She must have run out of air."

Now was the time to suck up to her and possibly embarass his brother at the same time.

"How very nice to see you again," he said, with a bow, "We would have been here sooner but Destra refused to leave without his nightlight."

He had to stiffle a laugh as he watched the fury blaze within Destra's eyes.

"The White Rabbit told of a game your majesty wished to play with us chains," he continued, smiling.

He fell silent then, curious to find out what the game was. Knowing the Queen, probably something brutal.


Destra/Tweedle Dum


Destra bristled with rage at his brothers remark, hopefully the Queen wouldn't take such an obviously false statement to be true. Feeling the Duchess's boy squeeze his hand he took a deep breath.

"Contrary wise," he said with a quick glare at his brother before turning back to the Queen, "We were told your majesty wished to play a game with the chains by the White Rabbit."

For a moment he couldn't tell if his statement had mad him sound smarter than his brother of if it had just sounded plain stupid but then decided it didn't matter, the Queen wouldn't care about something as small as that.

"The truth of the matter," he said in a very serious tone, "Was that we encountered the Crow again and were in hiding when the White Rabbit found us so it may have taken him a while to discover our location."

Fear began to gnaw at his insides as his mind turned to the image of that black silhouette against the sky, drifting lazily in the breeze.

"I hope your majesty can forgive us for being late," he finished, turning his gaze away nervously to look at the Duchess's son.

The boy had stared at the Queen the entire time, never shifting his gaze, as if trying to read her mind. As soon as Destra had finished speaking he had switched back to Destra.

"It's odd," thought Destra, "But he doesn't seem to fear the Queen at all. I'm sure even the Duchess does to some degree."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Alde Beriel [Queen of Hearts]
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Absolem / Caterpillar


Absolem took note of Cheshire's reaction to him, simply withdrawing his hand. He wasn't one to press further into emotions if he didn't have to. He hated getting his hands dirty afterall, figuratively and literally speaking. He merely smirked into Cheshire's gaze. Absolem wasn't one to easily forgive being given the cold shoulder while trying to be civil either, but for the most part, he overlooked Cheshire's reaction to his statement, it probably sounded cruel and grotesque, not caring about dying, but then he just moved his hand to his teacup taking another calm sip. He was forever in a calm state, until one called him Caterpillar. It was quite preculiar how he managed to maintain this, even when it was obvious the Queen touching him made him uncomfortable, or anyone for that matter, yet he seemed to be able to compose himself, even then.

When the Queen mentioned not dying, his smile turned to a frown behind the teacup, the lower level.. it took everything inside the Caterpillar's being to keep from shivering. He'd heard stories, gruesome stories, but if no one escaped, how did these stories ever become rumors in the first place? He assumed they were exactly that, just stories that someone bored came up with.

"I don't plan on it, although having friends in this wonderful place we call Wonderland, I am not one to trust myself with a commerade, especially when the lower level is involved, too risky, too many things could go wrong having to fight eachother in the end would just be pointless, would it not? Too many emotions and setbacks, it's not quite my or Cheshire's scene if it's not rude for me to say so, but I am quite glad you mentioned it my queen, I shall definitely keep it in mind." He was talking less and less frequently, holding up less and less of his charming and flirty behavior. He was becoming his normal self slowly but surely. Tea seemed to bring out his natural side, it was just way too calming.

Then the Dutchess and those two twins came in, Destra and...oh yes, Sinistra. his eyes scanned them over, and as if he just knew the Dutchess was about to call him Caterpillar, his eyes simply narrowed warningly. He then turned his gaze back to the flowers and teacup, He too wouldn't mind remaining in wonderland if the Queen would merely grant him immunity to her antics.

The setting changes from Tea Garden to Down the Rabbit-Hole

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Alde Beriel [Queen of Hearts]
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Cheshire

Boredom was never a good thing, especially when it came to Cheshire. He had been trying so hard to keep himself in check for fear of Her Majesty, but now things were getting dull. Questions were left unsatisfied and he was itching to find the answers for himself. He glanced at Absolem, choosing to let the man ramble. He could only imagine how his mind must be whirring.

His ears twitched at the abrasive sound of the Duchess and he watched the other Chains stumbled into the Tea Garden. He growled under his breath. He had been in the palace for far too long and was beginning to get fidgety. Knowing that the Queen was going to have to repeat herself he couldn't help but feel himself stir within. He loved change. Even if it wasn't always good, it was different. Change was a relief, never repeating, never mundane. Just knowing something others didn't was fun, until he was obligated to share that information. He floated into the air once more, leaving his full cup of tea behind. The air around him vibrated and colour swirled about him like ink in water.

He was completely lost in the swirling hues, only his bright yellow eyes visible. They looked at each character within the room with an almost insane gaze, happy to once again fall victim to his theatrics. His sudden bright smile broke through the mist and he followed it out to land before the newcomers. Now female, she bowed extravagantly, keeping her crazed eyes on the creatures before her. She understood the Queen may object to her..abruptness, but tossed the thought aside. She was finished playing the pawn, waiting in dread for the Queen to direct her horrid game. Now that she knew the stakes she would take matters into her own hands. "Welcome, creatures," Her grin seemed quite sinister. Thanks to these fools, she'll have to endure another bought with the Queen, "Thanks to your tardiness Her Majesty is now a victim of repetitiveness," She sighed dramatically, allowing her body to go limp and float into the air, "As well as poor Cheshire.."

The setting changes from Down the Rabbit-Hole to Tea Garden

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Alde Beriel [Queen of Hearts]
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Duchess Sophie

"Well now, there's no need to be rude, Cheshire," said the Duchess, "I came as soon as I could."

Taking a seat at the table she listened to the Queen's explaination. It was a wonder thing to hear that there would be ten new people in wonderland for her to meet but the talk of the Lower Levels put a bit of a damper on the situation. Still, it wasn't every day that one could make new friends.

"Why how delightful, new aquaintences," she said, "I simply cannot wait, the poor dears will be wandering around alone and confused. Tell me where they are, I must go to them."

It was all she could do to keep in her seat, every instinct told her to run out of the tea garden and go search for for the the new arrivals but she knew that she couldn't without angering the Queen.

"I can't bear to stay here knowing there are people out there that are lost or confused," she thought to herself, tracing the designs of the chair with her finger.

The game, she concluded, would prove to be very interesting if not difficult, she wondered if she was up to the challenge, surely one of her status would stand a better chance than the others but somehow she wasn't convinced.

"I'll simply have to win," she thought, "Even if it's just for the sake of my boy."

The setting changes from Tea Garden to Down the Rabbit-Hole

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Alde Beriel [Queen of Hearts]
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Absolem / Caterpillar


Absolem was drinking his tea when the Queen looked to him, raising his index finger instead of his pinkie, a subtle change, but it was his way of showing, he'd be quiet. He put the teacup back down. Watching the Tweedles, then Dutchess, she was so much like the Queen it made the sugar in the tea he'd previously drank turn sour. He however turned his attention to Cheshire. The cat was going through it's usual dramatics, so he simply watched, waiting for the Queen to finish her description. Rather nice how he can turn into a she within meree moments. Though, he can also do the reverse in mere moments. It's curious if I do say so myself, and in fact, I do. He tried to watch the transformation, but the mist made it impossible, a light frown on his face. How is it done..? He shook it off, his fixated expression switching to someone else, Destra and Sinistra. He looked between the two. If that one is Destra and that one is Sinistra, what is the defining feature that helps one tell these two apart? The hair is parted to opposite sides, I do see that, but hair is so fickle. Anything else..

Absolem sighed when he could no longer avoid talking, the Queen would want everyones answers, so he decided to go after Dutchess, "Well you can write my name down, either of them, as long as it's not put on a jersey." he cringed at the thought of having his team named, 'Team Caterpillar.' His mood instantly dampened, a shiver running down his thin physique, "I am definitely participating." If it means getting away from the likes of you, I'd cut off my own foot. You're not an ugly girl my Queen, why must you act so? His eyes narrowed as he tried to discover the reason behind her cruelty, something that has sent him chasing his own tail for decades.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Rhiannon Jakalyn Pierce Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Alde Beriel [Queen of Hearts] Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Yumika "Ivory" Rae Character Portrait: Ariana Storm
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Cheshire

She continued to float higher, her body still limp. The words of the Chains were lost to her as she ignored everything below. She was irritated and bored and was almost to the top of the ceiling. She was preparing herself to leave, to disappear back to her tree when the Queen suddenly revealed The Great Hall. She twisted herself around, happily surprised at the change of scenery. Who had done it? Were they fighting already? She looked down upon the Chains with interest, but the new contestants caught her eye. They seemed lost, too uptight to be creatures from Her Wonderland, then again being in the Queen's company does that to people. She twitched her ears and flicked her tail, letting her jewelry sing to her as she studied them. They seemed 'normal', almost dreadfully so and this excited Cheshire immensely. She hadn't seen a 'normal' creature in her Wonderland for quite some time.

Allowing herself to fade, besides her manic eyes and wonderful grin, she makes herself known to the children. Appearing a nose length away before the first child she takes a few seconds to study before moving on to the next. A variously coloured mist follows suit, emphasizing her bright wide eyes and glowing teeth. "Well aren't you all dull," she croons in her ectasy, her eyes changing rapidly from yellow to blue to green and back again. She counted the children. Two males were present in this little crowd, which surprised her. Female's for some odd reason were more common to venture into her Wonderland. Interested in these two, she swept around them, taking note of their traits and composure (or lack of one). The young one with the long silvery hair, put her off, reminding her of that wretched White Rabbit. However, the other seemed boring as well, though the short blue hair was at least something fun. Her eyes widened looking over the blue haired child in sudden recognition. Her grin grew exceptionally larger. "Oh, aren't you the clever one?" she exclaimed, swirling around the kid, "You're not at all what you seem to be are you?"

She decided to try this one out. The surprise was refreshing and hopefully the child would be too. She jumped away from the trailing mist and landed upon the child's shoulders as a cat, nestling against the neck. Pleased to finally be resting against something warm and soft, she can't help but purr. The short hair was a plus. She wouldn't have to dig around to get comfy. Oh yeah, Cheshire decided, this one's a keeper.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Sinistra "Tweedle Dee" Lato Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Rhiannon Jakalyn Pierce Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Alde Beriel [Queen of Hearts] Character Portrait: Ariana Storm
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Ariana saw other people and creatures of the world she thought to be wonderland. Looking around the room, Ariana didn't make a move. She didn't like to jump into action without knowing what she was jumping into to, and on the other hand she did. Any thrill that was thrown at her she would face it head on. Seeing a cat and a man with mint color hair talking to two of the people that were there, Ariana put her ipod back in her pocket and wondered what was going on. "Last time I recall I wasn't in a room but on a hill...such a fickle world this is," Ariana mumbled to her self.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Destra "Tweedle Dum" Lato Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Eve V. Kimberly Character Portrait: Alde Beriel [Queen of Hearts] Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: Yumika "Ivory" Rae Character Portrait: Ariana Storm
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Cheshire

Her closed eyes seemed to smile in that content way felines do. She stopped purring, her ears twitching as her contractor spoke. "If it's not too rude to ask, who are you...what are you?" If it's not too rude? Was she serious? She opened one eye upon her child and then to the others around. They all seemed to be taking things in stride. Her grin shrunk a bit, assuming their abilities to adapt so quickly was because each child was 'gifted'. Why else were they in her Wonderland? She sighed. At least this Rhia creature wasn't dull. Though fear tinted her voice, she kept it well under control, which would be useful later on.

Lazily, she opened her other eye and began kneading the child's neck. "Your manners are surprising for one who's been kidnapped from their world." The marks in her fur shimmered as several shades of purple and indigo rippled across her form. Unsatisfied in her current state, she faded only to reappear on the child's other shoulder. She snuggled once more against the girls nape. Now that things were finally in motion her mood was lightening up. Now was the time for fun, for molding her future underling. She would not fail in this aspect. She clears her throat ceremoniously before speaking. "I am The Majestic..The Knowing," her smile grew as her list of names rolled smoothly off her tongue, pausing dramatically for emphasis. "I am The Shifter..The Powerful..The Lost-And-Found." She shrugged her head, suggesting her contractor to follow her gaze across their surroundings and the Chains near them. "You, like them, are in my Wonderland." It was difficult remaining composed. Having knowledge over a person who was so 'out-of-the-loop' was exhilarating! She would enjoy it to the fullest. "Call me Cheshire," she said simply, "That name seems to tie everything together."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Belca
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Duchess Sophie

The Duchess had been observing the candidates carefully, trying to decide not which one would have the best chance of winning but which one would need her help the most. At last her eyes fell upon a girl with silver hair. She could tell with one glance that this one needed teaching in the ways of ladylike behaviour.

"Come along my son," she said, stepping forward, "I fear that there is a tremendous amount of work to be done with this girl."

Silently she stopped behind the girl, arranging her dress neatly and tidying her son's hair before coughing quietly to announce her prescence.

"Hello my dear," she said majestically, "My name is Duchess Sophie Vespre but you may address me as the Duchess."

She hoped that she had succeeded in appearing grand and noble.

"This here is my son." she continued, gesturing to her boy and was dismayed to find that he had started reading one of his books again.

It was terribly rude of him to be reading infront of company, she really thought she had taught him better, she had half a mind to set the infernal thing on fire but there were more important things to attend to.

"There is a game about to begin and if you want to have any hope of surviving then you'll need to form a contract with me," said the Duchess, hoping that she wasint sounding too pushy, "I'll explain more once we get to my home, by the way, what's your name dear?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Belca
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Duchess Sophie

The Duchess winced as the girl swore at her. It appeared she had her work cut out for her if she was to turn this foul mouthed creature into a real lady.

"Honestly now," she said fixing the girl in her gaze, "There's no need for that kind of language."

She had to admit, the remark about her clothing had cut a little deep, it wasn't nice to insult a lady's appearance.

"I must say, your manners are atrocious," continued the Duchess, "Were you never told that if you have nothing nice to say then don't speak?"

Really, all she had wanted was to politely introduce herself and then explain things once they were somewhere more comfortable, perhaps over a cup of tea. She could see however that the stubborn girl had no intention of going anywhere untill she had some answers.

"I was not the one who brought you here or gave you your amnesia," said the Duchess, trying her hardest to speak warmly and calmly despite the child's verbal offense, "I also have no intention of harming you, such behaviour would be unbecoming of a lady such as myself."

A small noise behind her made her pause as her son shifted his position and turned a page in his book.

"You were right about the game though," added the Duchess, "It's most unusual. Nine others besides you were brought here by the Queen of Hearts and you are each meant to contract with one of the chains of Wonderland, I myself am one such chain. The chains and contracters then have to battle the other pairs untill one pair is left, the ones that lose are sent to the lower levels, let me assure you, it's somewhere you don't want to go. Please believe me when I say that neither of us has a choice in this and it is for both of our benefit that I request you contract with me."

There, she had said all she could with as much passion as she could bear, her eyes were nearly overflowing with tears as she begged the girl to accept but all in all it came down to the girl and whatever decision she made.


Isaiah "Grey" Gris

Grey had to supress a gasp as his body floated into the air, it was a most perculiar feeling but then he realised it was Absolem who was doing it. Soon after, the man explained about his ability and how Grey himself would develop something similar.

"I wonder what kind of ability I'll have," thought Grey before he was nearly dragged off his feet by Absolem.

Hurrying to keep up he began to look around, was it his imagination or was the scenery changing for once? He couldn't be sure. As the pair continued on their way he started trying to think of something to say but all that came to him was another riddle.

"The rich man needs it, the poor man has it and the dead eat it, what is it?" Grey asked Absolem, not really expecting an answer, "Where exactly are we going if you don't mind me asking."

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Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Belca
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Duchess Sophie

The Duchess blinked at the child before her, really, she was far too direct for her own good. Still, she wasn't going to back down from the challenge. This girl would become a woman whether she liked it or not and the Duchess was determined to enter a contract with her.

"If it's all the same to you, I'd like to start walking back to my home while I explain things to you," said the Duchess, "I'm begining to miss the smell of pepper and would like to rest my feet before this game begins."

Without waiting for an answer she turned on her heels and began to walk away. If the girl chose not to follow her then it would be because of her own stupidity. After a few steps though she looked back and saw that her son had taken the girl by the hand and was leading her along gently.

"Chains are the residents of Wonderland and each of us have certain...abilities," explained the Duchess, if the girl wanted to know more about these abilities then she'd have to compromise, "Before I say another word however, I'd like to know your name,"

The Duchess smiled, she would quite happily give the girl all the information she wanted but she'd have to learn how to use her manners to get it.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Alde Beriel [Queen of Hearts] Character Portrait: Belca Character Portrait: The White Rabbit Character Portrait: Yumika "Ivory" Rae
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White Rabbit


"B-But..." Stuttered Rabbit before sighing in resignation, "Yes, Your Majesty!"

With trembling fingers, he fiddled with his tie - as an attempt to pull it up - before tentatively stepping into the Great Hall. Rabbit would always ponder about the Queen's sometimes reckless decisions but whenever the Lower Level was related, Rabbit understood that no wasn't an option. He had heard terrible stories about the Lower Level and that terrible Jabberwocky; a shiver ran down his spine by just thinking about it. He mentally shook his head, he thanked his tail and whiskers that he was blessed to be living in the more... civilised area of Wonderland.

Where was Hatter anyway? Rabbit knitted his eyebrows together, he couldn't help blaming the odd-bod but if it wasn't for him the small boy wouldn't have to deal with the Queen's game. Even Rabbit had to admit they haven't always been the most fun. If it wasn't for this, all of them could've spent this wonderful afternoon in a tea party. He scanned the area and saw that Absolem had already found his own Contractor - a boy with long silver hair - and watched as the Caterpillar dragged the unlucky fellow out. He had to suppress a chuckle before drifting his attention to the Duchess who was also conversing with another, a girl with a rebellious demeanour. They seemed to be... enjoying themselves. Cheshire was nowhere to be found. He's most likely brought his own child back to that wretched forest. Thought Rabbit.

Only a few where left to be claimed, however one girl brought his interest. She had placed herself quite far away from the rest of them. He strided closer towards her and pushed up the bridge of his gold-rimmed spectacles. Her whole being was themed on the colour white; what with her pale skin, snow-coloured hair and her simple dress. The only exception was her irises, they were a lovely shade of green. Unlike most residents of Wonderland, Rabbit didn't need to tilt his head up in order to look at her. She only looked about one inch taller than himself.

"Why, hello there child." Muttered Rabbit and tried to look as superior as possible; despite being shorter, "I am White Rabbit, it's a pleasure to meet you."
He paused for moment in order to brush minor creases from his shorts.

Now that he was at a distance where he could examine the girl properly, he came to realise that she looked extremely frightened; she was shaking and had kept a firm grip on her dress. Little Rabbit understood how she felt though, he had still managed to hold onto a drop of his humanity. Besides, how else could you react in such circumstances?
"Now don't be afraid." He said tenderly, "What is your name?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Belca
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Duchess Sophie


"Belca?" questioned the Duchess, "What a curiously wonderful name."

The fact that the girl had relinquished her name gave the Duchess hope that she wasn't fighting a lost cause to make the girl into a lady. She paused for a moment as she heard the girl ask her son what his name was, come to think of it, she didn't even know. Not knowing the name of her own son was slightly unnerving but she pushed the thought from her mind. She reasoned that her boy had lasted without a name so far and could continue to do so but still, she couldn't keep the feeling that she had lost a precious part of her memory.

"My boy doesn't speak," said the Duchess, trying to keep a calm exterior "And oddly enough, I can't recall him ever having a name. Perhaps you'd like to give him one if it makes you feel better."

She continued on her way, leading the girl out of the hall, finding the way the water swirled around the bottom of her dress unpleasent.

"The place I found you is known as the birthing place but I'm unsure why," said the Duchess, "It's located within the Palace of Hearts but we shan't reamin here much longer."

Soon enough they had left the palace behind and were making their way along Lake Lacie and deeper into Wonderland till eventually her mansion was in sight. The Duchess's face broke into a wide smile as she saw the pigs and momeraths roaming around outside.

"This world is called Wonderland," she explained as she led the Belca towards her home, "Don't you agree it's a beautiful place? By the way, I suggest you duck."

This last piece of advice she offered to Belca as she opened the door to the mansion and was met by a scream of pepper from the cook and a block of knives flying through the air out the door. In fright her boy shimmered and once again became a pig.

"We shall have tea in the conservatory," she remarked joyfully, sidestepping the knives and walking inside.


Isaiah "Grey" Gris


Grey smiled as Absolem answered the riddle correctly, he hadn't expected it to be a challenge for him, rather it was to test he taller man's skill at riddles and wasn't disappointed.

"I'm not actually sure," replied Grey, when Absolem asked if he was hungry, "Considering how long I've been here I should be hungry but I feel nothing, still, I should probably eat something to keep my strength up."

Grey continued along, trying to keep up without crushing anything as Absolem pulled him along. To keep his mind busy he began to think of his cards again, hoping that he might remember some more about each one but was frustrated that all he could recall was that the cards were called Tarot cards.

"This place is beautiful," he said in answer to the question of what he thought, "I feel like it should remind me of something, perhaps a book I read before turning up here."

He buried himself in his thoughts again but was once again disappointed to see that there were no answers to be revealed.

"If it's not to rude to ask, why did you say the others call you Caterpillar?" asked Grey before he could properly think the question through.

Instantly he regretted it, he felt that perhaps he had gone to far to satisfy his curiousity. Hoping to make amends he decided to change the topic to another question that had been burning in his mind.

"Never mind," he said hastily, "When I woke up here I wasn't in that hall where you found me, I was somewhere else, it felt...wrong."

He then proceeded to describe the wasteland he had been in upon waking, asking if Absolem knew anything about it hoping against hope that he would have an answer.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Belca
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Isaiah "Grey" Gris

Grey tried to push thoughts of the wasteland out of his head as Absolem informed him that he should never go to places like it by himself but he couldn't help but remember its ruined beauty.

"Well I didn't exactly choose to wind up there," said Grey, "But I understand."

He knew he'd never succeed in removing the memory of the wasteland from his mind so instead tried to replace it with something else. It occured to him that Absolem's answer about being called the caterpillar had been very metaphorical and wondered if the man was a poet, he definitely had the right sort of mind to be one.

"I think I can handle fighting girls if there's such a risk involved," said Grey, "However, I'm not sure how good I'll be in a fight but I'll do my best and never give up."

He felt in his heart that he wasn't trying to be brave and tell Absolem what he wanted to hear. The truth was, he didn't want to let the man down. Despite the fact that Absolem had a certain coldness about him and the two hadn't known each other very long, Grey had grown to like the man and wasn't surprised to find he truly trusted him.

"You can count on me Absolem," he said, "I won't let you down and I know you won't let me down, I trust you."

He continued following Absolem wondering why the man had seemed so troubled when he had brought up the wasteland but didn't think that now was the right time to ask about it. Binging out his tarot cards he began to shuffle through them while humming the tune again. Suddenly, one of the cards flew out of the pack, without even thinking he reached out and caught it between two fingers before turning it round to see which one it was.

"Oh no," he whispered, "This can't be good."

He had remembered that if a card fell from the pack during shuffling then it held some significance but that wasn't all, staring at the card he began to remember its meaning, in his hand was...

"The Tower," said Grey, "Collapse, despair, defeat, danger, disaster, hostility, hate and destructive events."

Just looking at the ominous card filled him with dread.

"I hope this is just a warning rather than a prediction," he said to Absolem, "The future doesn't look so good."


Duchess Sophie

"Well that was an impressive display," said the Duchess, leading Belca into the conservatory, "You seem to know your way around a sword."

She didn't bother to offer an explaination for the violent greeting for she felt that it should have been clear that the cook was the one to blame.

"Oh look how the momeraths roam outside the window," cried the Duchess gleefully as the cook brought a tray of tea and cakes, muttering the word pepper, "They're simply so adorable and green."

With that she went to the bookcase and took out a book, she figured that she might as well start editing Hopping Mad now as she may not get another chance.

"I do so love literature," said the Duchess, "I wrote all these books myself about the other chains, feel free to read some if you like."

For the next few minutes she set about tidying up the story, pausing only to sip a cup of tea. Soon she brought her process to a stop, she felt like there was something else she should tell the girl infront of her.

"Ah. yes," she said, "We have three days for orientation before this game actually begins, I assume so you can get used to Wonderland and discover your ability as well as learning to work with me."

She had no doubt that the girl was strong, especially after seeing her skill with a sword. She wondered what Belca would think of her when she saw what she was capable of.

"In any case, there is time for that later," said the Duchess, "For now I insist you eat something as it will be a while before dinner and I can't have you wasting away on me."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Belca
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Duchess Sophie

The Duchess raised an eyebrow as the girl asked if the books were just an index of scandal.

"Of course not, silly girl," she said in a dismissive voice, "That would make it non fiction and non fiction is a dirty and disgusting thing."

It did occur to her that perhaps the girl wasn't part of her target audiance, she had also noted that she had picked up the story about the twins which had been far more intense than what she usually wrote.

"If you don't like it though then you could always ask to borrow one of my son's books, they have interesting titles and I have no idea where they come from," she continued, "Sinistra and Destra aren't really like how I showed them in that story by the way but then again, nobody ever knows for sure."

She began to think of the twins and how they were always at war with one another, she was sure that they'd be loving this game very much. Another part of her wondered if they'd been contracted yet, she hoped so.

"They're really quite charming once you get to know them," she said, "Quite handsome young lads they are too."

Feeling she had said quite enough on the matter she reached for the teapot, tapping it twice before pouring it into her empty cup. Instead of the same tea pouring out as before, a pleasant smelling green tea flowed out.

"Ah, green tea with jasmine, how refreshing," she remarked, taking a sip, "I see you've grown tired of being a pig again, so soon."

It was true, despite the fact that he had transformed only moments before, her son was once again sitting on the floor as a boy, reading a book.

"What is it you're reading this time?" she asked, reaching for a cake.

Once the cake was in her hand though she'd lost the desire to eat it. Frowning she began to focus on it untill it became a block of chocolate which she hurridly began to eat. She knew that it would turn back into cake very soon. As the last piece disappeared she looked over to her son who was holding up the book for her to see.

"The Lord of the Rings trilogy," she read aloud, "How very perculiar, I bet it's as odd as it appears."


Isaiah "Grey" Gris

"Singing flowers?" asked Grey, tilting his head to the side, "Now I'm sure I've heard that somewhere before, what sort of things do they sing?"

He continued following Absolem, absent mindedly as he tried to work out what the concept of singing flowers was so familiar. Grey almost bumped into Absolem as the man came to a stop by a large mushroom, Grey opened his mouth to ask where they were but Absolem seemed to be preocupied with something else, with a start he realised there was another man sitting on top of the mushroom. As Absolem and the man began to talk, Grey soon got lost in thought. Had Absolem just called the other man Cheshire and what did the man on the mushroom mean by Absolem preferring men? The words made Grey blush but he wasn't sure why, no doubt it would make sense when he memory came back properly. Soon all three of them were inside the mushroom which struck Grey as odd.

"A room without doors or windows nor any walls or roof," he thought, remembering another riddle, "What else could it be other than a mushroom."

He was glad to see however that this mushroom was laid out like a house. Thoughts of caterpillars and mushrooms began to flow through his mid in an unstopable torrent.

"I'd greatly appreciate a drink," he replied when Absolem asked, "I didn't even realise how thirsty I was."

He went back to his thoughts as he began to hum the tune that felt so familiar. The message from the tarot cards had been a little frightening but like Absolem had said, the future was fickle, still, he couldn't help but feel uneasy, perhaps his cards would come in useful during this game. He gave a start as he realised that Cheshire was talking to him.

"Jabberwocky?" said Grey, "That sounds really familiar, it's like..."

Suddenly it all made sense to him. It was as if this last piece to the puzzle had unlocked the part of his memory that had been evading him for so long. That was why everything seemed familiar, it was like the book he had read about a girl falling down a rabbit hole as well as the other one where she went through the mirror. Unbidden, the words of a poem bew into his mind.

"Twas brilig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"
recited Grey.

He was sure there was more but it would take so long to say it all.

"I'm sure that it's probably nothing like the poem described but it made one thing clear," he said, "It's something to be afraid of. I remeber something about a vorpal blade too. Is any of this correct?"

He sat in silence, waiting for the other two to respond, hoping that he hadn't just made a fool of himself.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Absolem "Caterpillar" Pillars Character Portrait: Cheshire Character Portrait: Isaiah "Grey" Gris Character Portrait: Duchess Sophie Vespre Character Portrait: Belca
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Isaiah "Grey" Gris

Grey sat sipping his hot chocolate as Cheshire and Absolem continued to trade witty remarks. Really, the way they acted around each other made them seem almost like siblings.

"Now there's a thought," said Grey, "I wonder if I have any brothers or sisters back wherever I'm from."

The concept didn't ring any bells though so he decided not to persue the matter further. Instead he turned his attention to Chesire. The person was so very enigmatic but still, Grey felt a liking for him. He felt like Cheshire probably just wanted friends despite the way he talked to people.

"Now who could have imagined that I'd ever be sitting in a mushroom and drinking hot chocolate?" thought Grey to himself, gazing around the room.

The place was quite nice but it was clearly set out with efficiancy in mind rather than style or comfort. Suddenly his cheeks behan to burn, he had just worked out what Cheshire had meant by his remark before.

"Clearly I'm a little slow on picking up innuendo," mumbled Grey, unsure whether he should be ok with this knowledge or not.

Now that he had worked it out he couldn't stop thinking about it. Absolem had denied being gay but looking at the way he moved and behaved, even sometimes the way he spoke, it wouldn't have been a far stretch for it to be true.

"It's not like it really matters anyway," said Grey quietly to himself, "There are certainly more important things to worry about than someone's sexuality. But then I can't help wondering what my preference is."

For the life of him he couldn't imagine whether he liked girls or boys or both or neither but like he had told himself, there were bigger things to worry about and this was soon proven when Absolem warned him to keep a strong will.

"Got it," said Grey, "Becoming a puppet doesn't sound like fun at all."

The more he heard about the Jabberwocky, the less he liked it but he didn't feel scared. He was certain that Absolem would protect him no matter what, even in the face of such a formidible sounding foe.


Duchess Sophie

"Oh, do you know of it?" said the Duchess as Belca repeated the name of the book, "I have no idea how he gets them, they just seem to appear. The Queen of Hearts is the one that brought you here but as to how I'm not quite sure, you'd have to ask her."

She smiled at her boy as if he was the cleverest thing in the world.

"He had one called Maximum Ride last week and another called Eragon the week before that," she continued, "I've never got around to reading them myself, I've always been too busy writing my own stories. I suppose it's the best I can do for company."

She smiled again as she took another sip of her tea and then frowned before a look of concern crossed her face. Trying to keep her face blank she willed herself to remain calm.

"It's just my imagination," she told herself.

But she couldn't help herself. Just then she had been sure she had smelt a faint whiff of decay as if it had been carried into the room by a distant wind. She prayed that it wasn't so because that smell could only mean one thing. Looking at her son she noticed he had sensed it too, even the cook had left of her screeching for a moment and out in the garden the pigs and momeraths were running around in a crazy panic. She looked at Belca wondering whether she should tell her or not, she didn't want to make the girl panic but then again, she seemed a sturdy sort and could probably handle it.

"Tell me, Belca," said the Duchess gravely, "What do you know of the Jabberwocky?"