Rollo Rockberg stretched her running legs in the yard. To the ocicat’s back was a solid wall of iron, casting a tall shadow of an impenetrable barrier that beckoned any attacker to dare lay siege to its powerful battlements. It protected the inner yard, and the Tower of Hoss. Rollo touched her toes in a stretch and looked at the tower; It’s marble structure was the envy of every mason for eyes that could behold it’s beauty. It grew from the ground into a powerful fortress, just grazing the clouds up above. The tower could be seen from miles around, peaking above mountains at it’s awesome height, making it a key landmark for many lost travelers of the land. At just the right light of sun, the marble shined a brilliant gold color of wealth like a precious coin to a merchant. The Tower of Hoss, known by many to be the home of magic casted the spell of awe in the hearts of those that happen upon it’s enormity. The enclosure composed of acres of field, filled with exercise tools for the growing hopeitanian in training; from rocks for lifting and punching, target dummies for archery, and offensive magic casting, race tracks for sprinting, to pleasant fauna surrounding a fountain for meditating in and breathing. Today, the race track was not the dirt path that ran around the inner circle of the heap of iron walls, nope! Today, Rollo’s race track was a vertical run all the way up the golden Tower of Hoss, up into the clouds! This time, she challenged to make it to the top.
“Okay tower, let’s see if you can stop me this time, I’m ready for ya!” Rollo motivated herself and stretched her hamstrings and arms, shaking her limbs loosely. Her starting position was at the metal walls, all lights red. “Let’s do this on go. Ready? Three...” The feline crouched into a runners position.
“Two...” She breathed in through the nose, and out through the mouth.
“One...” She focused her energies on the moment, ready to sprint.
“GO!” All lights were green! Rollo made a mad dash at the center of the run, soon yards of running up the Tower of Hoss! Green blades of grass ran through her padding furiousness, speeding jugernaught of awesome slowed down for no object in the way. “Coming through!” Five Hopeitanian Knights in training could barely hear the warning before the mad sprinter rocked through their sword play. Armed trainees jumped out the way of a speeding bullet before shaking their fists.
“Sorry!” Rollo didn't stop padding her paws on the ground furiously. The tower was just in her sights. She leaned forward and pulverized with her paws against the passing ground. Sound gave sharp blasts of energy and exploded! Grass beneath Rollo tore into shreds as the target was just under her foot, adrenalin rushing as she ascended up and on the structure.
“Going up!” The easy part was behind and down below now. The crazy cat was running up the tower! Marbled stone was slick, but it was no match for raw speed and power. Rollo’s determination shined through and kept dashing up the Tower of Hoss. Other hopeitanian looked on and saw one of their champions attempt this boss challenge. Still with no end in sight the tower seemed impossible to reach, but that did not matter to the challenge taking bravado of Rollo Rockberg, one of the champions of the Hopeitanian Knights, true warriors heart of gold never stopped beating out of intensity. Shredding the towers frame did a soul of kindness reach peaking limits of her own mortality. Gravity was starting to take effect; It began to pull Rollo down to her possible death.
It seemed there was no end to the tower, Rollo started to show weakness and slowed down. Forces of gravity soon became too strong, and her stamina ebbing. Trouble soon set in, but she pressed on forward through the burning desire of reaching the top. The cat didn't get winded easily, breathing in and out steadily, there was still a chance she could make it. but those chances were dwindling with every step, decelerating on the run. She stopped in mid run and reached for a window ledge on the tower before falling to her demise. It was just in time too, looking down brought excitement of how far up she had run. There she hung out and took a breather, dangling high above the ground for all to see. She didn't move from this spot for several minutes, resting from her choice spot to take a break. As she took respite, a mouse stopped by from inside the room. Errah poked her head out in confusion over Rollo just hanging outside the ledge like that.
“What are you doing?” Errah wore a hooded cloak, concealing the poisons and gadgets the hopeitanian assassin kept on her.
“Oh...you know...just hanging around!” Rollo laughed at her own trick.
Errah couldn't help but smile. “Well get your fuzz butt in here. You’re worth less to us if you go woooooo...splat! Grand master Styles is having a meeting with the champions.”
“Oh? A meeting you say?” Rollo hoisted herself up from the ledgeing and dusted her light leathers off. “Are you excited about this meeting as I am Errah!”
The mouse shrugged. “It’s probably nothing. Maybe about peace talks between the kingdoms or something boring like that.” A shiver ran down her spine. “Can you imagine? Peace talks? Sitting in a room full of ambassadors and mind-numbing words that would melt your brain? Bleh!”
However Rollo only clapped happily. “I like peace talks. It leads to happy healthy lives, and a wealth of friendships across all tables!”
“I’m going to gag!” Errah laughed at her friends sincerity. “Peace talks don't make for a good war. When there is no war, there is no one to slay! Well, most of the time.”
“Aww, just think of all the happy people Errah.” Rollo walked towards the core of the tower where a flight of stairs began for the floor they were on.
Errah mumbled under her breath. “Happy people my foot.” She followed behind, hugging the walls of the staircase.
Rollo and Errah descended the stairs to the meeting room. On the way they passed barrages of rooms which held magical artifacts. A host of information about magic in forms of scrolls and how to cast them, open for the curious to take charge and find their secrets. Continuing down forth came dormitories and living spaces. Here, a Hopeitanian Knight could adjure after a hard days training. The walls were lighted with magic, a warm glow emanating from colorless spheres of light attached to the walls overhead. The small party persisted past rooms that held working forges. The forge rooms-steam technology combined with flowing magic of the tower’s siphoning powers. These rooms going down the stairs beheld rhythmic hammers striking anvils across all noise, resembling the beat of drums to inquire sound weapons for defense and offence. Going past the forge rooms brought a stroke of heat to the duo traveling the towers design.
Errah crossed her arms and kept her decline down the stairs. “These stairways are too long, If you don't mind me saying.”
“It could be worse! The tower could be much taller.” Rollo sniggered.
“Bah the tower could be taller!” Errah mocked, “What gives! It’s not like all these rooms are being used. Look at this one coming up, it has a sign that reads, “Empty!” Why do we need empty rooms?!”
Rollo stopped in front of the door with nothing in it. “We need empty rooms so we have room for our hearts, friend!” She expanded her arms to reach outwards in happiness, then soon stepped away and continued the descent downwards.
“Hohaha! Room for our hearts! Yeah, I’ll remember that one!” The stairway went into a clockwise spiral descent, passing up more rooms. Storage rooms, hospitable rooms, technology rooms, rooms full of knickknacks. There were far too many to count along the way to destination of hope.
“Finally we’re here.” Errah sighed in relief as Rollo opened the door. A score of Hopeitanian Knights surrounded the edge of the room. In the center were Grand Master Styles and Bell sitting around a luxurious map table. A bright light illuminated the area and casted shadows around.
A graying lion waved a paw for the duo to enter. “Ah good! You two made it. That makes all my champions present. Please, take a load off and sit.” Styles was dressed in yellows and reds, colors of his knightly hood. The powerful lion had summoned his three champions to meet him. Here, he explained the mission in a soothing voice. “Gather round the map, let this old paw tell you of what awaits you three. For it is nearly time for you champions to go forth and purify the water sources of the peoples towns and villages.”
Rollo’s paw shot up, the ocicat eager to speak. She shook her paw wildly in the air like a mad flailing lunatic.
Master Styles sighed and pointed at the excited party. “Stop with your waving Rollo, I can see you perfectly, I’m not blind you know. Now, yes, what is it?”
“Oh! Oh! This means that we get to meet the people, yes?!” Rollo was thrilled about going outside the Tower of Hoss’s iron walls, normally she’d be stuck inside training. Punching rocks, lifting stone, running around for hours on end.
Errah shook her head in disappointment. “It’s just people, friend. I wouldn't be so happy if I were you, some may intend on slaying you.”
Master Styles nodded. “Errah is right, there are many dangers out there. Which is why each of you will go out in a pack of three to ensure safe passage across the lands of Alver.” The lion motioned for six of his troops to come from the edges of the room to accompany his champions on their quest, placing nine glass tubes filled with a white substance on the map table. “You will also need these vials filled with the purification concoction, blessed by our very own Bell here.”
Bell was the most quiet of the three champions, opting for silence. The Labrador wielded white magic, his robe a pale ashen lined with red and yellow edges of the hopeitanian color.
Errah however, was not fond of others following her on her quest. “You know I’m going to ditch my company as soon as we leave, right? I can sleep walk faster than they can run.” The mouse reached outside the obscuring cloak, taking three of the vials.
Styles gave a hearty laugh. “Oh I know you’re not one for company. Your skills garden a certain aptitude that best describes your set as a single soldier. But the two I have appointed to follow your course are ideal companions, if you at least consider it, allow them to follow from a distance. I’m sure they will prove their worth as extra eyes and ears should the need arise.”
Rollo took three water purification vials, got up, and danced. Her tail waged in a fluid like state as she shook her body and moved those arms about. Jumping about, she turned and dangled her hands around in a wave. Began clapping in rhythm, swaying side to side.
“Rollo?” Said Master Styles. The others looked on with a smirk about the dancing champion.
Rollo closed her eyes and swayed her hips side to side, legs moving inwards and outward, hopping from left to right, left to right. Foot paws lifted high in the air and twisted around, spinning around in a boogie jam’n dance.
“Rollo.” Master styles said again impatiently.
The ocicat’s body grooved to invisible music. Shoulders moved up and down on their own accord. Then jumping presumed, reaching amazing heights, she somersaulted in the air! Continuing to dance, she did it with spicy salsa; arms making short waves in the air, moving herself energetically.
“Rollo!” Master styles got up and slammed his old paws on the table.
“Waaait! I still got more, I got a quest item!” Rollo complained.
“Sit. Down.” Styles breathed in and counted to ten in his head. Rollo was a good champion, sometimes even the best. But even her status needed a tight leash at times.
“Sorry Master Styles.” She sat back down, toes tapping to invisible music.
Bell took his three vials. “Sir, there are a few towns that we will be hosting a contest of sorts I hear?” He twitched.
Styles nodded. “Yes indeed. The people are excited to see magic happen, and a chance to show us what they can prove to earn a place here. Because of this, I have allegations that would assume there will be thieves and marauders out to slay you three. Hence the extra bodies I want to follow on your travels. Magic should be controlled by a single principle, by an order of power. It is our duty to make sure magical artifacts does not fall into wrong hands.”
“Agreed. Capture magic at all costs.” Bell twitched.
“But help all those we can!” Rollo smiled.
“There are those in the world that must be slain.” Errah peered about in her cloak.
Master styles clasped his paws together. “Good! We all understand what we’re doing? Questions? No? Then it is time to go on your routs and do your duty. Rise my champions and face the ordeals that await on your journeys, take magic with you and go forth, turn the tide, and do my bidding. My will is the hopeitanian’s future, and the future of the kingdoms that rest at our door steps. Go now, and succeed in your travels, may you all be blessed.”
The three champions agreed, and left with their hopeitanian companions under their command. The group of nine went their ways, Rollo’s squad plummeting down the towers reign. They came outside to walk the distance of one of the iron gates that led to the outside world. It opened to a show of flat ground with mountains in the distance. Stable ground led to the nature of their business to reach towns in need and quest for the purification of their waters. Taking this to heart, the ocicat stepped outside the walls and led her two knights, Kikinack and Fie, on a journey that would press them. To arms! And to a good day of riding the winding path of missions. The road leading to the three locations on their map was stared. What could possibly go wrong?