Calling of the Puzzler - RPLOG
Noon in Eastbank Forest, when most of the woodland's more dangerous creatures hide from the heat of day. In the distance, the bells of noon mass can be faintly heard from the nearest village, and yet beings can be seen walking down the road to the as yet undisturbed sections of the forest, heeding some strange call that beckons them forward and away from their social obligations. Under the canopy, the air is cool and fresh, and one gets the impression of a presence, waiting, watching for all those who will step into the clearing.
Fenris recognizes this feeling. He had it when Ser'Ther called out for audience. There was a spirit tugging at the minds and hearts of Firmament's people. He saunters along the path under the canopy of trees. "Maybe I can learn something new this time," the tiger mutters to himself.
Flora wanders in silently, her tail flicking. There was that odd feeling again, and she had an idea what it meant. Within her bag is a little surprise, just in case her suspicions prove correct...
Cedric had felt an odd tugging at his mind, piquing his curiosity. And so he'd decided to travel, following the other beings down the path to the forest. He's not sure how much of his journey is made of his own free will and how much is based on the mysterious lure. Anyhow, the badger approaches the clearing behind a few others.
Asher isn't sure why he is out here. There was work to be done and a new shop to finish setting up, but he felt the strangest urge to go for a walk to the woods. The corgi is surprised to see so many other beings walking out in the same direction.
A rustling emerges from the woods...followed by a host of sticks and leaves swirling about on eddies inthe forest. A heavy thumping follows these gusts of debris, and the ever-ridiculously attired Dupree emerges, chasing the winds--until she notices everyone else standing about. Jingling slightly as she dusts herself off, she gives a friendly wave. "Oh, hello, all you good folk!"
As the stream of beings filters down to a trickle, the impending presence grows stronger - until the moment the air is torn apart with a sound not too different from that of wet paper. From this hole, out steps a rather familiar vulpine fellow, clad impeccably in his suit and broad-brimmed hat, cane striking the ground as the hole closes up behind him.
"Of today's turnout, I will say
That I'm quite pleased of it this day.
Tall beings, short beings, thin beings, stout,
Those who have plenty and those who are without.
Time is short, so let us make haste
Of today's proceedings, without dither or waste."
Fenris smirks, ah, this one. Catching sight of some familiar faces, he winds his way toward his friends. He looks to Flora and raises an eyebrow. He can't wait to see what she has planned.
Cedric just sighs at the appearance of the familiar vulpine and shakes his head. He stays put before the clearing and listens to the rhyme quietly, looking around at the other beings for any familiar faces but none really stick out to him.
Asher has never seen anything so outlandish. How on Promise did the fox DO that? It looked like no magic he had ever seen! Though something about the being seems vaguely familiar. Where could he have heard that voice before? "Oh! Hello Fenris!" the little dog says as the tiger comes closer, then he gives a friendly nod to Flora and to Dupree as everyone comes together in the clearing.
Flora raises a brow and looks towards the puzzler, her tail twitching and her ears flicking as she flashes a wide grin. "Mister puzzlefox! That means Flora can ask her riddle and get a prize, yes?" she rumbles with a smirk on her snout, tail flicking behind her.
Dupree whinnies in absolute delight, her echoing winds zipping about the gathered folk in frantic excitement. She claps her hands and stomps her hooves eagerly, virtually quivering with excitment and making all sorts of incomprehensible noises. After a few seconds of this ecstatic frenzy, coherence finally emerges, in the form of a pinched, squeaking whine--"It's hiiiiiIIIIIIIIIIIM!"
The Puzzler looks at everyone's reactions and doffs his hat.
"Some here may not favour me And to that, 'tis just fine. All did rebuff the marvellous path The last time I announced mine. Wit and charm can save a life Or be used to play a game It can set one to laughing or crying Or save one lucky dame. Days ago i was the talk of the town My work many did see. Yet today's proceedings shall begin" With the customary riddles three.
To Flora, he turns, steps forward and reaches out with a genuine fondness, about to tousle the fur on her head.
"A little lady wishes to best me at my game,
A favour does she seek.
Well then, later she may try
But she may not find me so meek."
Fenris grins, riddles and rhyming, what was there not to love. The tiger shoves his hands in his pockets, and waits for the Puzzler to ask his question. A frown of worry creases his brow for only a moment as he sees the fox reaching out to touch Flora, but if a Spirit calling itself the Puzzler can't figure out Flora, maybe it wasn't worth talking to.
The badger is still standing among the others, seeming unpreturbed by the words and presence of the puzzler. He doesn't seem particularly hostile or suspicious. Just... hesitant to do much of anything except watch for a while. Cedric finds a nice shady tree to sit under, resting his spear against its side before sliding down to sit at the base and watch the scene.
Asher's jaw drops and he dodges behind Fenris as the fox in the strange clothes reaches out toward Flora. And the little corgi had rather been looking forward to a game of riddles.
Flora jumps back a tad as the Puzzler tries to touch her, letting a soft hiss out from between her teeth. "No touching Flora," she mumbles, fur puffed up and her tail swishing agitatedly as she looks back up at the puzzler. "Flora will wait, yes. Ask Flora the riddles, yes yes."
Dupree stands off in her own little world, fists clenched and shaking in excitement, focus flitting from one eye to the other, keeping the backup eye on the sky at all times. She doesn't want to interrupt her idol, but patience was difficult. She was trying, though, bless her heart. Failing to have caught the fox's attention thus far, though, she can no longer contain herself, and waving her arms wildly, she blurts out, "Ooh! Ooh! Me next, Mister Puzzler, sir! Please please please!"
Seeing Flora agitated, the Puzzler withdraws his hand, perhaps a little more skulky that would be appropriate for someone appearing to be a full-grown fox. "A forceful rebuff, that will be enough. To avoid chagrin, let us then begin." The spirit's sour mood appears to disappear almost instantly, though, what with his fickle self, and at Dupree's outburst he draws the brim of his hat over his eyes and grins, but says nothing. Seeing that all is prepared, The Puzzler leans his cane by a tree and begins.
"My voice is tender, my waist is slender,
And petite me is often called to play.
Yet wherever I go I must take a bow
Or else I have nothing to say."
Fenris laughs happily, drawing his violin and bow from his pack and playing a quick run of notes. "A Violin!" he cries.
Flora grins broadly, her tail swaying as she looks at the puzzlefox. "Flora has it. Violin!" she adds with a smirk, frowning lightly as Fenris just barely beats her to it.
Asher looks up at Fenris and comes out from his hiding place. "Yes," he agrees, "It must be a fiddle." The little dog is just glad that Flora didn't explode when the strange fox tried to touch her.
Dupree squeaks, "Oh, it's--it's--it's--" she seems to enter a fugue state, only to be interrupted by Fenris. As someone else steals her (metaphorical, so far) thunder, her face droops and a look of shock enters her uneven glance as the winds around her cool significantly, her bells jingling sadly. "A viola!" she blurts desperately, hoping she can at least be "more" correct.
As per the Puzzler's other appearances, the crowns materialise out of thin air, seemingly freshly minted and quickly grabbed up by the beings who were quick-witted enough to speedily come up with the answer. "Well," he says. "Now that the simple's out of the way, let us truly enter the fray...
An eye, but no sight
Faster than any being, but no legs
Stronger than any being, but no arms
Larger than any being, but no body. What am I?"
Fenris grins in eager expectation ignoring the stack of crowns that has appeared at his feet. This was HIS sort of game! The Puzzler was a strange one, but certainly appealed to the tiger. "A Storm!" he cries.
Asher jumps up and down. "Oh! I know this one!" he says, only to be beaten to the punch. "Yes," he pipes, "A hurricane!"
"Flora knows!" the cat rumbles again, grinning broadly, her tail flicking behind her as she shouts out her answer. "Flora thinks it's a whirlwind. Or a tornado, yes yes."
Cedric just continues dozing in the shade underneath the tree, unaware of any riddling going on around him.
Dupree sulks as everyone gets their answer in before she's even processed it. "A--a--a really big needle!" she cries, hoping that counts for something.
More crowns, more shouts, more excitement. Well, one can hardly blame everyone when there's free money to be had - although one wonders what kind of fish he intends to catch with such bait. "And now," the Puzzler says, "the last of the three."
"The sound of my thunder arrives before my lightning
My lightning arrives before my clouds
The rain that falls from me dries the land it touches
What am I?"
Asher wriggles with excitement. "Oh! Oh! It's A volcano!" he yelps. Then stands expectantly, hoping he got it right.
"Flora... Agrees. Volcano, yes yes," she murrs with a smirk, tail twitching behind her. "That means Flora can give mister puzzlefox her riddle, yes yes?" she murrs, looking up expectantly.
Fenris laughs and hoists Asher up onto a shoulder. "Brilliant, little friend!" he says happily, "And a brilliant game!" The tiger grins at the puzzler, his coin purse a little heavier and his puzzle itch scratched. Now to see what Flora was up to.
Cedric yawns from his napping spot, opening his eyes at the riddle, a slightly annoyed expression at his rest being disturbed, and stretches his arms up above his head lazily as he answers, "A yammering fox." Afterwards, he folds his arms across his chest and closes his eyes again.
Dupree flaps an arm wildly. "Ooh! I know this one! It's...!" She halts as she honestly...doesn't know. This is like her worst nightmare. Even worse than the nightmare about the harvest being poor and there being no more pastries whatsoever in Firmament. As the tiny Corgi answers, her windy echoes...stop. It almost seems like the entire air in the forest becomes heavier. And at that, a rumble does seem to emerge from the sky, seemingly with no source....followed by a small crackle as a low-hanging raincloud drifts overhead and begins raining on Dupree--and any unfortunates nearby. As morose as she's ever sounded, Dupree answers..."Me?"
As the last shower of gold comes to a halt, the Puzzler gives Flora a nod. "Our little lady wishes to try her hand, I, my mistake I wish to amend. Before I begin seeking those who would walk my path, I shall entertain her request and see if it's enough."
Someone wishing to challenge the Puzzler at his own game? Surely this is madness! Or is it?
Flora grins broadly, before stepping forwards, tail twitching behind her and her ears flicking as she pulls out a piece of paper.
"Flora paints it with light, In full black and white, Only a moment it takes, the image it makes, you can't quite object, Is nearly perfect."
The cat grins a moment, before looking up at the puzzler. "What is it?"
Fenris grins broadly. He certainly knows the answer. He wonders how much the spirits know about this sort of thing. The creators had ways to capture images, how old were the Spirits?
The badger is still napping, but not quite as heavily as before. One of his ears twitches a little every so often at the sound of others speaking, but he refrains from saying or doing anything himself.
Asher has no idea. He blinks a little at the riddle. "That doesn't sound like any riddle I've ever heard," he says. The little dog thinks for a moment then ventures, "The moon? Things look black and white in moonlight and ours is broken, so it isn't perfect anymore."
Dupree looks even droopier in the rain, her mane and forelock sagging damply. Her own personal thundercloud rumbles again, but she makes no move to dismiss it.
"Ah, yes..." the Puzzler certainly makes a good show of it, jabbing his fingers together in the most dramatic fashion and taking his time to reply, but at last he does. "A camera."
"I hope the little lady does understand
That these things she describes are quite the trend
In other worlds where my kind have been
Beyond the stars where stranger things are seen.
Certainly, yours is the first upon this land
'Tis a precious thing you have in hand.
Keep it well, safe and hale
And there shall be a fine ending to your particular tale.
Yet it was a good attempt
And from the rules I am not exempt
Your effort I enjoy, so you shall have your boon
I expect you will be claiming it soon?"
"No... Flora doesn't think that is quite right... Close, though. Flora doesn't mean the box, no. The pictures it takes, yes yes. Flora calls it a Pictura Lucidae, yes. Or Picturae Lucidarum for more than one, yes... Can mister fox stand still for about ten minutes?" she asks, finding a good place to set her camera up on a large treestump. "Flora believes miss... Horse likes mister puzzlefox? Could miss horse stand next to mister puzzlefox and stand still for ten minutes too?" she mumbles, pointing at a spot against the tree. "Flora also thinks it's best to turn off the rain, and turn on a smile, yes."
Fenris huffs out a little sigh. The Spirit knew. Of course it knew. Even Fenris himself had seen the captured images in certain creator ruins, it was probably too much to hope for that the Puzzler would not have seen the like, though his word was strange, it was apparent that the spirit knew what Flora's device was. "Not the moon, Asher," he says to the little dog on his shoulder, "Flora's new invention." He turns back to watch the proceedings. Flora's main goal had not been to trick the Puzzler, after all.
Cedric wakes up again with another brief yawn, stretching his limbs as he moves to stand up from his resting position. It was a nice nap, at least, though he's still rather annoyed at being dragged out of bed at the whim of some spirit. He decides to wait a little while and see if anything truly interesting is going to happen before returning home.
Asher sits, a little puzzled, on Fenris's shoulder. He was very proud of himself for solving a couple of the Puzzler's riddles, but now he was very curious about what Flora was trying to accomplish.
At this invitation, Dupree seems to perk up--though she remains rather sodden. She claps again, skipping merrily out of the rainstorm and over to the Puzzler. At first her hands are folded over her midsection, though she shivers with excitement...and after a whopping ten seconds, she flings her arms around the strange fox, the winds zipping about as she tilts the nearer eye upward towards him, her other eye pointing towards the ground. "EeeeeeeeI'msosorrymisterpuzzler!" She barely pauses for breath before continuing. "I really really like your puzzles, and you must be so disappointed, and--oh!" Unable to think of more to say, she clings and hyperventilates for the time being, making Flora's job rather difficult.
The Puzzler looks surprised for a moment, then says nothing and scoops Dupree to stand by his side, although it's not without some effort due to the mare's clinginess. With some difficulty, he turns to Flora and gives a nod, perhaps a little tongue-tied. It's not every day even a Spirit gets bum-rushed by someone as specia as Dupree, after all.
Fenris grins at the tableau in front of him. He only hopes that Dupree can hold still long enough for the image to take.
Asher has no idea what is happening, but he is glad that Dupree is so happy. He liked her answers to the Puzzler's riddles best. Even if they weren't exactly correct. It was nice to feel so tall up here on Fenris's shoulders. He might not have been able to see over the milling crowd otherwise.
"Flora really needs miss horse to stand still for just ten minutes, yes, or miss horse won't have a permanent image of miss horse with mister puzzlefox," the cat mumbles, ears folded back lightly as she looks into the box she has and pushing at the runes on the right and left side of the device, while an odd buzz fills the air a moment, as if something is slowly being moved. In fact, someone looking through the front of the device might just notice that there are, indeed, parts moving. Finally, she opens one of the lower cases and pulls out a wooden slide with a split in the middle, which she puts in the back of her device, then lifting the front part out of the way. "Stand still for ten minutes, yes, or miss horse won't have an image" she mumbles, before pressing another rune, followed by an audible *snap*, causing Flora to grin excitedly.
That being done, Flora quickly moves over to stand besides the puzzler, grinning broadly and rumbling delightedly, her tail curled around her leg to keep it from swishing and going invisible.
Dupree stays as still as she can--although she's quite noticably shivering with excitement (and coldness, given the wind blowing on her damp clothes). She attempts to hold her pose in The Puzzler's grasp, at least, although the wind ruffles both his hat and her bells, causing her to jingle merrily as she grins wide enough to split her head.
Amazingly, everyone manages to stand still for the whole of the ten minutes until the photo is taken, and Flora goes off to do appropriate things with her invention. "Now," the Puzzler says, addressing the audience, "after today's show, can anyone say it was a no-go? The offer is open, and it is enough - for those who would come, you are welcome to follow me on my path."
His usually jovial, playful voice goes a little somber as he speaks the following words:"I make an offer, a new way of thought, if you like it, we shake, and the pact has been bought. When you call, I will come, fast as a whip, when I call, you will come, with a hop and a skip. My power I will lend, my way will be yours, we will be tied together, forevermore."
Fenris gently lifts Asher from his shoulders and sets the corgi on the ground before walking up to the strangely garbed fox. He looks thoughtful for a moment, then extends his hand with a grin. "I've found your gifts across the land / It's a pleasure now to shake your hand. / If your aid you wish to lend / I think that I could call you friend," the tiger recites. It seems somehow appropriate.
Asher is a little surprised when Fenris sets him on the ground and goes to accept the Puzzler's offer. "Fenris?" he asks quietly, tilting his head to the side. The little dog is very lost here.
Indeed, once the second *snap* sounds, she bounds over to the camera, puts the second wooden plate back in, and carefully removes the slide, only to put it into the bottom tray of the camera. "Flora will... have to deny," she murrs softly. "Flora enjoys the puzzles, but... Flora doesn't think Flora wants to do that. But if Mister Puzzlefox knows anyone that can help Flora discover new things, like Flora's Picturae Lucidarum, Flora would like that, yes," she rumbles softly, smiling faintly as she holds her camera close.
Is...is Dupree wagging her tail? Once she's back down on the ground, she dances about once more, hooves thumping rhythmically as her tail swishes merrily about. Her walleyed gaze drifts off as she seems to enter a world of thought, pausing and closed off to the world for a second, before reciting:
"Offers of friendship
Grey mare gratefully accepts
If you would want her."
The Puzzler adopts a mien of seriousness as he clears his throat dramatically, "Very well then. There are certain protocols, as I'm sure you're aware. You can't just shove a few coins in a slot and expect it to work now can we?" A flash of his bright teeth as he draws out a kazoo and blows into it. Tweet. "I bid you to always seek answers. I offer you a second perspective to see around that which stands between you and understanding. You will always be seeking, though you will find much, it will never satisfy. My path is one of eternal exploration, and the joys and trials it brings with it. Do you accept what I offer?"
Fenris grins again. "I can accept those terms wholeheartedly," the tiger says. He thinks back to the only dedication he has witnessed, and looks a little nervous. "What do I need to do?" he asks, remembering Ser'Ther engulfing his prospective dedicants.
Waiiit a second. The puzzler actually catches the attention of the bored badger, Cedric, as he's about to turn and head back towards the city. He turns on his heel and heads back towards the meadow, pushing his way through a small crowd of beings gathered there and says, very clearly, "Alright... I'm interested now. I'll accept your offer." he says. Then again, it's not as though he has anything better to do anyway.
Asher nods his head. That sounds like something Fenris would choose. The tiger has always struck Asher as a restless soul. But that sort of thing was not what the little corgi was after. The tiny canine was after adventure, but a hearth at the end of the journey seemed better then an eternal search.
"Oh, so many," remarks the puzzler with over emphasized surprise. "Some lesser spirits would be overwhelmed to invest in so many in such a short period of time, but I am no lesser spirit," he boasts without shame, "Very well, let's make this a group activity. Step forward, my little puzzle seekers," he beckons them closer, "And hold hands. Hold in your mind the very image of the most puzzling thing you can envision."
The Puzzler had Dupree at the kazoo. Roaming! Puzzles! Joy! Eternal wandering and exploration! It sounded like her life already. The whole thing about never being satified worried her...oh, but it sounded so fun and exciting! A question burned in her heart, though, and stepping forward, she plucks at the Puzzler's robes, unable to help herself..."Can we get pretty clothes like yours, too?"
Flora squints a little, looking at the Puzzler curiously, before shaking her head. "Flora will... Consider," she mumbles, shaking her head lightly, before resting herself against a tree. "It is... Tempting, but Flora says no, for now," she notes.
Fenris nods and steps forward, extending a hand to Dupree and to the strange badger. He feels a little pressured to think of the MOST puzzling thing, he has seen more puzzles than he would care to admit, some stranger than others. The tiger closes his eyes and ponders on some of the greatest mysteries that have come his way and the even greater mysteries that seem to have no answers. Fenris turns his mind to a question that most beings of Promise never ask, What is the soul? The tiger had come late into being 'soulless' but he did not feel that his soul was any different from a being who remained whole. He looks to the puzzler, "I'm ready," he says.
Cedric steps forward a little more to link his hands with some other beings such as Fenris, obediently. He takes a moment to consider what could be the most puzzling thing he can think of and tries to find a good image in his head. Machines? No. Magic? Not really. It takes a little while, but what settles in his mind finally is a large group of beings of all sorts. He's picturing people in general. "Alright, yeah... I think that should do it."
Asher is way out of his league here. He had come out here for who knows what reason, to join in a riddle game that had suddenly become something full of portent. The little dog just sits and worries to himself.
Dupree concentrates intently, her eyes screwing up even more than usual. Puzzling? Jigsaw puzzles! Nah, those were pretty easy, really. Music? Nah, there did seem to be some sort of logic to it that she didn't get yet...Deep in thought, she thinks about...her father? A man who seemed displeased at her accomplishments, and never happier than when he was complaining. She never could understand that. With a stern nod, she comes back to reality. "Okay," she says.
The puzzler accepts hands given to him and gives a soft 'hmm', "Well, not what I was hoping for," he says with a bit of a pout, "But it will do. You are mine. I am yours. When you call, I will come. When I call, you will come. And now comes the fun part." Bright bands of purple and green surge from his hands through the circle of beings, engulfing them. Suddenly nothing makes sense, and everything makes sense. The questions in their mind seem trivial, the answer right before their noses, but as they reach for it, the sensation fades, the answer lost. New weights are felt on heads as everyone gets a righteous pimp hat all their own. Each one has a teeny tiny feather in it.
Fenris reaches up and removes the strange hat, turning it over and over in his hands. That was. . . strange. He looks up at the puzzler, "Now what?" he asks.
Cedric isn't sure what to make of the lightshow, the disturbing feelings inside, or... the strange new hats. He releases the hands of the other beings and also reaches up to touch his hat. "Huh... how curious..."
"What do you mean 'now what'?" asks the Puzzler with a guffaw, "Now you seek the unknowns, discover all that you can, and be smarter than your peers, as if you have any anymore. Let them boggle over how you find the answers. Maybe you'll even share one or two, but I suggest against it. Keep them guessing." He looks over his new callers, frowning a little.
"I'm forgetting something..." he says in a musing tone, rubbing his chin.
Fenris grins and settles the hat jauntily on his head. "I can certainly deal with that," the tiger says. He was thinking only yesterday about the way secrets made him itch until he was in on them. He nods to the Puzzler, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.
The badger doesn't have a lot of say in response, he's still thinking about what just occured. Cedric looks towards the puzzler, wondering about something. "Forgetting something? How so?"
The winds swirl around Dupree as the answer to nagging questions...and then...and then...the winds putter out and she is left with a sense of pleasant longing. As the feeling fades, though, she notices the hat on her head, and begins clutching at it with an ecstatic squeal!
A sudden snap of the fingers. How does someone with furry fingers snap them? Another puzzle. "Ah, yes. I should warn you. Once you set your mind to a puzzle, it will become obvious to others. The longer you take in digging at it, the more obvious it will be, until you look as confused as my own threads." He runs fingers down along his coat lines, "But I doubt you'll be confused for long. You have me after all."
Fenris raises an eyebrow. What was that supposed to mean? "You mean people will be able to SEE when we are thinking?" he asks incredulously. That could prove problematic.
Cedric also seems to be considering the puzzler's words. "Well... what's the worst that could happen? I'm sure it can't be that bad." he shrugs.
"Why," speaks the Puzzler, "Don't you try thinking on that. Consider it from all sides, and I'm sure the answer will come your way soon enough." He looks like he's holding a joke to himself, however, barely restraining the smirk that strains at the corners of his lips.
Dupree didn't seem to catch most of the caveat, since she was still dancing in delight at her new headwear. A puzzled look crossed her face, though. "How did you know our head measurements before you knew if we would dedicate ourselves though?" An embarrassed paused. "If I can ask, sir!" she adds with a nervous whinny.
Flora peers at the puzzler for a good, long while, before wandering over again. "Mister Puzzlefox? Flora has a question, yes.. You are a spirit, yes yes? Don't spirits have... Courts? Flora read something about that, was wondering what 'Court' Mister Puzzlefox was a part of, yes." she mumbles, looking up expectantly, before she looks back down to the ground again.
Fenris frowns and looks at the Puzzler. How could someone know when he was thinking? It didn't make any sense! He fingers the edge of his new hat, thinking and. . . well. . . puzzling over the fox's words.
Asher gathers up his things. He had questions, but they would wait. After all, he had a training session scheduled with Fenris still anyway.
Cedric scratches his head just under the brim of his jaunty new hat as he continues to ponder things over for a little while, looking down at the ground as he thinks.
"Oh my!" speaks the Puzzler, fanning himself, "I did not expect to be courted by someone I only just met. We should really date first, don't you think?" Even as he says that, Fenris' fur starts to darken in a spot, forming a question mark, as bold and purple as one could ever desire. Further thought causes a green one to appear elsewhere, slowly polkadotting the being the more they scrunch over the matter. "But since you ask, I am of the Outside court. We are the best court, of course, but the others are a bit more shy than I. Or busy. Never can tell with them."
Fenris ponders and puzzles, then glances down at his arm to see a brilliant purple question mark on his fur. He bursts out laughing, then doffs his new hat to his outsider patron. "Very clever, Sir," he says, chuckling, "I look forward to working with you." The tiger settles his new hat jauntily on his head once more. There was a whole new world to explore!
Well, it appears that the main focus of the show is over, and seeing that there're no more prizes to be had today, most of the beings begin filtering back to the safety of Firmament, especially since the afternoon is drawing to a close. Those who stay with their new patron Spirit are left, though, to their own devices, while the remainder head for hearth and home. It would appear that there is still much to discover and learn, as the Puzzler predicted, and the days to come will reveal as such.