As Amina nears the Pond, the quills on her back begin to tingle – she’s acutely attuned to the Pond’s magic, and yet, it doesn’t feel like it always does.
Rather, the Pond’s magic feels discordant, tumultuous, cacophonic. After Bao found her leagues away from the Pond, the pair have spent the last week journeying back. Bao has been a steadfast companion – patient with Amina (fast travel was never her strong suit) but also an infallible compass through the ruins of the now-unfamiliar forest. The forest is now bare, ruined from wicked and mean-spirited magic, and Amina’s heart aches at the sight.
To her side, Amina sees Bao falter in his step. His ears flop and his tail slows from an eager wag to a sad droop. The poor corgi isn’t tired, Amina senses, but is feeling the shadow of the evil thing’s power. It is old and ancient magic; it has existed for as long as there has been light and love and joy. But to say that this wickedness is a new kind of evilry would be naïve. Indeed, whatever evil that has attacked the Pond has old roots and embodies a spirit of chaos and destruction; a malice that thrives today adapted, subtle, and sinister.
Amina’s quills offer her protection, but not all possess the magic to ward off such despair. Amina pulls out her lute and begins to strum a quick and bouncy tune, layering her chords with all the good magic that she knows. Immediately, Bao’s ears perk up, his tail wagging once more.
Without warning, Bao begins to howl along to Amina’s tune. Awooo awoooo awooooo, he howls. It’s a little off-tune, but Amina finds that it bolsters her magic. Amina is pleasantly surprised by this, but, as she has learned and has been reminded time and time again: never underestimate the power of a good dog.
You whip your head to see where Sprout is pointing, and – they’re right! In the distance, you see Amina and little Bao approaching the Pond. But the darkness – how are Amina and Bao going to get through?
The closer Amina and Bao get, the answer becomes clear: Amina is strumming a jubilant tune (and hearing her music dulls the sharp aches in your muscles and softens the edges of your fatigue) and Bao is, well, doing his absolute best to accompany Amina. The darkness shrieks and pulls away – whether it is Amina’s music-magic or Bao’s zealous howling, you do not know. What you do know, however, is that their duet is creating a sort of shield.
As Amina and Bao pass into the Pond, the sounds of battle seem to intensify. Outraged by the music, the corporeal shadows redouble their efforts, launching their attacks with a startling burst of energy. In the distance, you can see Xiaolong doing her best to ward off the attacks, but you can see that the volley of attacks is pushing her and the other Pond friends back.
“Friend!” Amina calls to you. “To me! Xiaolong is in trouble!”
You fall behind Amina and Bao as they run towards the fighting. Amina strums a fast triplet on her lute and Bao howls an awo-awo-awoooo, their combined music manifesting as a powerful light-wave. The wave of music-magic hits the closest of the shadows, causing them to flinch, but more shadows take their place and push through.
“Sing, friend!” yells Amina, who is strumming furiously. “Join your music-magic with ours! Sing!”
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!
- Have any questions? You can read the FAQ/Tutorial!
You’ve received a quest!
Amina has finally returned to the Pond – and the darkness doesn’t like her music! Though Amina and Bao make a powerful duet, their music-magic can be even more powerful if you work together and become a trio!
Sing, sing, sing, friends! Your friends are depending on you!
Quest expires on:
13th February 2020, 9:00PM NZT [?] this quest is now over
- For every 10 pages that you read, you gain 2 points – and you successfully sing a harmonious note that amplifies Amina and Bao’s music-magic! [Repeatable]
- If you finish a book during the quest period (February 9th 2020 – February 13th 2020), you gain 20 points – and you successfully bridge Amina’s beautiful lute and Bao’s howling to create a song that is, somehow, in-tune and sounds great! [Repeatable]
- Bonus: Write a haiku or three-lined poem about your favourite book (it can be poetic, humorous, or serious) and share it on social media to earn a quest reward item: Ballad of Friendship!
You can now change your teams!
From now until February 14th, you can change your team!
Only complete the form below if you want to change your teams. Please think carefully before changing your team, as after you submit the form, you will not be able to change back to your old team.
If you are happy with your current team, you do not have to complete the form.