A guardian stands before you and says, "You must leave everything behind to pass, except for one item." What do you take with you? (Assume he will let you keep any non-magical clothing you are wearing. Treat a suit of armor, or something similarly bulky, as one item.)
Meren: "Easy this one is. My bow. Although without my quiver, useless the bow would be. My spellbook, perhaps?"
Phillip: "Yeah, I agree on the spellbook. If I can't constantly have Illusion magic at the ready, I'd be in deep trouble. I wonder if I can sneak my mask in under my robe so I can have that, too... Elf-girl, distract the guardian for a minute, would you?"
Meren: "Sigh. One thing only, Phillip. Just the book bring."
Phillip: "Fine, fine."
Cyn: "Does non-magical jewelry count as clothing? I need to have my amber on me at all times, but I have another piece of jewelry that means almost as much to me that isn't in any way magical. If the guardian won't let me take that one as well, I'll Charm him into allowing me to do so. If that doesn't work, forget it, I'm finding a different route that will allow me to bring both as I refuse to leave either behind."
Raff: "Uh. Well, Cyn beat me t'answering that one, so ditto."
Meren: "The only one the rules following am I?"
Raff: "Rules are overrated. Hey, if I give sad puppy eyes can I keep my mouse, too? ... oh, what am I saying, my animals can just follow me."
Cyn: "Why did I not think of that? I left my fox behind; while your animal entourage is passing through, can you herd Loxie along with the rest?"
Raff: "You named your fox Loxie? Foxie Loxie?" *snickers*
Cyn: "Said the elf who keeps naming mice after food products."
Raff: "I did that once, okay, maybe twice, but-"
Meren: "Bickering would you two stop, please? Some of us places have to be. Next question, if answer it correctly you three will?"
The crooked stranger before you opens the door and bids you enter. "Behind this door, you must battle your worst fear." What's in the room beyond?
Meren: "-Second thought on, continue bickering. That door past, wish to go I do not! Behind the door is behind the door: a room. Underground. Walls, always walls, no light! No trees! Dank air! Leave the room, I cannot and smaller it gets! Walls- why a door through did my fear have to be??"
Raff: "Woah, woah, calm down! You're not even in the room yet. Why don't you go outside and breathe and we'll finish these questions up?"
Phillip: "Yes, please do. My answer is going to make you even more twitchy since it's-"
Meren: *twitch twitch flee*
Phillip: "-Undead. Ranks of the nasty buggers, all sent after me, looking at me with empty eyes, teeth clattering, skeletal claws... can I follow Meer? If it's all the same, I'd rather not go through that door."
Cyn: "Fat chance. We don't wish to go through that particular door, either."
Phillip: *grumble grumble twitch*
Cyn: "There, see, not so bad. This is theoretical, not actual. For my answer... well, Raff, I hope I'd be able to see you on the other side, but that is rather doubtful considering what would be through there."
Raff: "What do y'mean?"
Cyn: "In that room I would be alone. My fear is being unable to reach our god and losing that inner divine connection- and in turn being exiled forever from our brethren, the people who have become my family. Being excommunicated, forsaken and unloved is my biggest fear."
Raff: "Ouch. Aye, that does sound absolutely horrible! Losing our Calling would be bad and I wouldn't handle that well, either, but-"
Cyn: "You have never truly been alone, so you would not know it well enough to fear it as greatly as others could."
Phillip: *mutters under his breath* "Hear hear."
Raff: "Exactly. So behind that door isn't isolation, but something more like Meren's. It's helplessness. Being weak, vulnerable, useless, not able to protect myself, the messages I carry or those who need my help. It's being taken advantage of and being powerless t'do anything about it. Been there, don't wanta face it again. Can we all just pick a different door instead? Next question, please."
As you rub the lamp, a genie appears! "I am in your debt! I shall grant you one wish." What do you ask him for?
Raff: "That's better. But is there anything I want? Hmm..."
Meren: *shouts from a distance* "This blasted claustrophobia lose I would like!"
Raff: "Aye, fixing the previous problem would be nice. I'd wish t'not be underestimated and if I am put in a situation where I'm treated like an easy target, I can get myself out of it quickly. Would that work as a wish? Should I simplify it and say I always want my wits, my weapons and my magic? How about you guys? Wishing t'cancel the skeletons and potential loneliness?"
Phillip: "Look at me, elf. Do you really think I'd miss an opportunity to be normal again? In case you haven't noticed, I'm purple."
Raff: "For all I know, that is normal. Meren's green."
Phillip: *eyeroll* "Of course purple isn't. My wish would be to look the way I used to. If I appeared normal, I wouldn't need to rely on magic and costumes to cover the fact that I'm marred and could concentrate my magic elsewhere."
Raff: *shakes his head* You're talking to the wrong people. We like disguises and being odd. Right, Cyn?"
Cyn: "Somewhat. You take it to an extreme, Greeneyes. However, no, my wish wouldn't involve my fear. I'm having trouble deciding which desire I'd ask for, though: A longer lifespan, being able to get along better with people, or for all evil priests to be gone forever and never turn up again."
Raff: "Geez, you don't aim for small, do ye?"
Cyn: "This is offering us anything. Well, with enough practice, I could possibly eventually get better at dealing with people, so wishing for that may be a waste. The third... that could have repercussions that might turn out negative because it is such a far-reaching wish- and it's too violent, too much like a type of genocide. In wanting to do Good, the action would end up decidedly not Good. Eliminating the Evil priests would eliminate their gods, or at least make them far weaker, which is good in theory, but what if that made the Good priesthoods too powerful and caused clashes within that alignment? Hermes and His Messengers would be caught in the middle since we do not take sides or strive for power."
Phillip: "That roundabout theorizing is giving me a headache."
Raff: *grins* "You'll get used to it. He's always like this. But you do think too much, Cyn. I can't see how getting rid of bad could be bad."
Cyn: "Perhaps not, but I'd rather not risk it. The first wish would probably be the best of the three as it would not effect my ability to be a Messenger and would not have any sort of influence on anyone else. It certainly couldn't harm anything, which undoubtedly makes it the most appealing of my options."
Raff: "And I can't say I'd dislike that one, but I still think getting rid of evil would be a good thing."
Cyn: "Then you should have wished for it."
Raff: "Guess we need t'find a second magic lamp!"
Phillip: "Whatever. I'm going to go try to break Meren from that claustrophobic crazy fit. Again. Freak rescuing the odd, as usual."
((If you're wondering why Meren sounds so odd, she's finally learned Common, the language the other three speak, but she's not very good at it yet. Meanwhile Raff's accent has slipped into the heavier version he picks up when he has no reason to hide it- and speaking of Raff, I'm working on a story where I get to throw his fear at him. Mwahaha!))