Pondathon: The End – The Battle is Over

Pondathon: Readathon side-quest available!

New to the Pondathon’s story?
Read this prologue first
 or read the previous chapter.

You close your eyes, reaching within you for a spell that will save Xiaolong. You remember everyone’s bravery, as they fought and protected and did everything within their power to save the Pond. You think of the warmth of your friends’ love, how their friendship feels like a home that could weather any storm, typhoon, or quake. You think about how you, small as you may be, are here, and that in itself is something incredible.

As all of your memories and your feelings and the immensity of your small power come together, a grand power rises within you. It feels like all the light in the world, the stars and the cosmos bursting behind your eyes. You feel limitless, infinite. You believe.

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Pondathon: New Side Quest Available – The Final Spell

Pondathon: Readathon side-quest available!

New to the Pondathon’s story?
Read this prologue first
 or read the previous chapter.

With the first morning light, its soft glow shining on the Pond, the forest begins to wake – and so does Sprout’s magic.

As the trees arouse from their rest and the flowers unfurl, Sprout can now feel the hum of the forest, the hum of life. Everything in this world is connected, Sprout knows. A young shoot and an old oak may weather different worlds, but they are still connected to one infinite well of the earth – the greatest and oldest magic of all.

For Sprout, magic isn’t summoning or harnessing raw elements into power. Rather, they intertwine their magic with that of the earth. For Sprout, magic is openness, feeling, connection. Sprout inhales, and with their deep and steady exhale (and a slight wobble of the sprout on their head), they branch out with their magic – intertwining their magic with the roots buried deep into the earth, feeling the flutter of a leaf in a distant tree, and the drop of morning dew fall onto the Pond.

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Pondathon: New Side Quest Available – It’s Time to Party

Pondathon: Readathon side-quest available!

New to the Pondathon’s story?
Read this prologue first
 or read the previous chapter.

You are in the battlefield, casting your spells and swinging your swords and shooting your magic arrows, when, in the corner of your eye, you see Party.

Party, the little otter plush that Cuddle always carries around with her wherever she goes, lies in the middle of the battlefield. You look around – is Cuddle nearby? – but with the sweet otter nowhere in sight, you skid over to Party and hold her close to your chest.

“Where’s Cuddle?” you mutter to yourself. You look around, but it’s difficult to see anyone or anything in the flurry of battle. You decide to return Party to Cuddle, otherwise Cuddle will be scared without her favourite cuddling companion.

You retreat towards the heart of the Pond, towards the place where you found Cuddle last time.

But when you look down at Party to check on her, you stifle a yelp.

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Pondathon: New Side Quest Available – Aunty Buaya is Here!

Pondathon: Readathon side-quest available!

New to the Pondathon’s story?
Read this prologue first
 or read the previous chapter.

If there is anything that Aunty Buaya deserves after many years of service to the ancient order of the Knights of Strongjaw, it is the undisturbed quiet.

Having served decades as a Paladile for the ancient order called the Knights of Strongjaw, defending small critters from all walks of life from cruel and wicked beings, she can now appreciate the peace of simply being. For her, ‘simply being’ means sitting by the river-bed with her wife, tending to her garden (though she is absolutely horrendous at it), and finding cheap fresh produce at the local market with her trusty rolling bag.

Today, Aunty Buaya has decided to harvest her carrots – which took too long to grow and she simply cannot bear to wait for them to grow any longer. Unbeknownst to her though, the Pond friends continue defending the Pond against the darkness’s relentless attacks.

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Pondathon: New Side Quest Available – Varian’s Guilt

Pondathon: Readathon side-quest available!

New to the Pondathon’s story?
Read this prologue first
 or read the previous chapter.

As the battle of the Pond continues, the Pond friends are now separated.

Half of the friends now face the rising sun, the light of dawn casting long shadows across the Pond and the Pond friends have to work twice as hard to ward off the darkness’s reach. The other half face the setting sun and the dread of the coming night when the darkness’s power grows.

Varian sits at the centre of the Pond, surrounded by friends well-versed in the arcane arts of shield- and protection-magic. Day in and day out, Varian casts shield-magic, reaching with their mind to repair the damage to the Pond’s magical boundary.

When the darkness began to retreat, Varian was at the center of the celebration. They were among friends who congratulated and cheered with each other, who fell to their knees from joy and exhaustion. When people started shouting ‘We won! We won!’, Varian’s first instinct was to not believe it, to refuse to believe it. For all their knowledge on the art of war and battle, Varian knew that victory did not come so easily.
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