The magical boundary shatters.
Darkness spills into the Pond like opaque smoke. Shadowy fingers, like in Gen’s garden, reach forth and drain the greenery and life from the Pond’s flora. Drained, the plants wilt and slump, their energies stolen. A chill blankets over you too, and the courage you held onto gives way to despair and hopelessness. Is this the darkness’s doing? How can there be hope now…? What hope do you have against such power?
“Friends!” calls Xiaolong, as the darkness looms closer. With a stamp of her wooden staff, you feel warmth and hope swell in your chest, your mind clearing. “Believe in your friends, because they will protect you! Believe in yourself, because you are strong!”
Corporeal shadows emerge from the darkness. They have no face, no expression, but they have legs that carry them closer and hands that wield weapons as deep as the moonless night.
Xiaolong holds her staff out before her and conjures a circular rune written in a mystical language that radiates with power. The rune washes the Pond in green light, and verdant vines spill from her rune, growing in an unfathomable speed as they rush towards the dark fog. The vines spear through the shadows in its path, pushing back the darkness, and the shadows silently dissolve into wisps of smoke.
But some of the shadows evade Xiaolong’s magical vines. The shadows begin to run, converging on the source of such immense and radiant power: Xiaolong herself.
But Xiaolong doesn’t move.
“Xiaolong!” you call out to her.
But she doesn’t seem to hear you. She is frozen in her stance, her eyes closed and focused as the vines continue to grow and penetrate the enemy’s lines. And then, you remember: a long time ago when you were talking to Varian about powerful magic, they said that users casting powerful spells will be caught in the magic’s current, rendering them motionless until the spell is complete.
One moment, the shadows are far away. The next, they are upon her. You see a shadowy axe, raised high. You feel their unspeakable intent.
You don’t think.
One moment, you are behind her. A heartbeat, and you are parrying a shadow’s sword with your own weapon, making it just in time.
With a grunt, you push the shadow back and ready your weapon.
It’s time to fight.
What is the Pondathon?
- The Pondathon is a co-operative and narrative-driven readathon where you read books and collect points to protect your friends from the encroaching darkness beyond the Pond.
- If you missed out on what the Pondathon is, you can read about when the evil was first discovered and information about the readathon at Pondathon: Prologue – Something’s Wrong…
- You can find the complete schedule for the readathon at Pondathon: Prologue – It’s Time to Fight and Protect.
- You can find information about the teams that you can join at Pondathon: Prologue – We Need You and Your Magic; Choose a Team!
- And you can sign up at Prologue – Join Us In Battle and Armour Up!
You’ve received a quest!
Xiaolong has gotten ahead of herself and has cast a powerful summoning rune that has left her unable to move. While she finishes casting her spell, protect her from the shadows that get past her nature-magic!
Quest expires on:
29th January 2020, 9:00PM NZT[?] this side quest has now expired
- For every 10 pages that you read, you gain 2 points – and successfully protect Xiaolong from an incoming attack! [Repeatable]
- Bonus: Read 60 pages during the duration of this quest (January 25th 2020 – January 29th 2020) and you will earn a quest reward item: Mark of the Brave!
Save or Submit Your Progress!