This begins with a young knight out on a quest to slay the Dragon of the Southern caverns. Fred finds that his map is less than accurate and finds instead of one entrance to the caverns there are instead two. Fred, being right handed (a difference between the other Fred analogs....being that they are left handed) he takes the tunnel to the right. Soon, he comes upon an old man studying by the light of a magical light source. Fred decides to be a friendly sort and greets the man.....
"Excuse me, kind sir," says Fred. "I am Lord Fred."
"Hello Lord Fred." says the old man. "My name is Belboz, the necromancer."
"Necromancer? Do you do magic?"
"Yes, I do. For a reasonable fee, I can do any magic that I know. Other magic will have to wait until I can finish studying this tome."
"Cool!" says Fred. "How reasonable?"
"Depends on how much effort it takes me to cast a spell." comes Belboz's reply.
Fred thinks for a minute and asks the magician if he can create a spell to kill the dragon from here.
Not an unreasonable, nor stupid request. Fred has every right to ask and expect help, for surely Belboz realizes the significance of his presence within the caves. It had all to do with the outcome of the treaty that ended the bloody and disastrous Human/Dragon War. Part of the treaty legitimized the role of Dragonslayer in the dragon's eyes. Dragonslayers were only called forth to kill a dragon that had gone rogue (killing and terrorizing the humans.....threatening the peace) after the Dragon Council had tried all other means of recourse.
Belboz, apparently, thought that the dragon still had a means of recourse in court after consulting with some friends (who just happened to be lawyers).......
Fred put his hands in his pockets and whistled an innocent tune as he heard the sound of the magician approaching.
"Well..." Belboz said as he suddenly appeared. "I've consulted my lawyers..." "Your what!?" Fred asked, a confused expression on his face. "You said you were consulting freinds!"
Belboz chuckled slightly. "Oh no no, my good man. Im quite sure I said lawyers. Anyways, lawyers/freinds, all the same to me."(At this point Lord Fred thought that this magician must have some nasty freinds.)Belboz paused and looked Fred up and down with an appraising eye. "Well anyways." He continued "They say that I could be facing some serious legal difficulties from the dragon if I do what you ask."
"Legal problems!? I AM LORD FRED!! Do you want gold? I have gold! Power? I'll give you land and..."
"Talk is cheap!" Belboz interupted. "The only thing that would entice me to do your biding is if you did a little dance for me....or something."
Fred gazed at the magician with a blank look on his face and....
Refused to do such an undignified thing!
"You - you want me to dance for you?!?" Sir Fred asked, amazed.
"Just a little, yes," Belboz agreed.
"Listen, necromancer, I am Sir Fred, knight of His Most Royal Majesty! I'm here to find and stop a dragon, not to, to prance and gad about for your amusement! I refuse to submit to this indignity! I'll find and slay the dragon, with or without your help! And the threat of a lawsuit," he sneered, "Will be no deterrent!"
Belboz just looked at him for a moment, then said:
"I believe I asked you to dance, knight! Now dance!"
Fred suddenly found he could not control his movements. The blank look remained on his face as he began to move across the floor.
At first, he moved jerkily and without grace, but soon, he was dancing as though he had been doing it his whole life - which he had. His mother, the daughter of a bard and an accomplished dancer herself, had insisted he learn some rudimentary dancing skills. He'd never thought much about it (except when squiring some lovely lady across the castle dance floor), but now, it seemed to be all he could do.
"Very graceful, Sir Knight," Belboz snickered from off to the side. "No, I'm afraid I can't help you at all. The dragon and his family are quite powerful, you see. If I lend aid to you, I open myself up for all sorts of retribution. Including lawsuits!" he added with a shudder.
"In fact, I'm afraid I have to tell you that a contract I signed with the dragon a century or so ago means I have to prevent you from fulfilling your quest. In fact, I plan to arrange it so you'll never pose a threat to the dragon again. Nothing personal, you understand - although I've never had much use for knights and so forth. So - away with you!"
Belboz sprinkled an odd dust around the still-dancing Sir Fred, chanted something arcane sounding, then made an elaborate gesture - and with a soundless flash, Sir Fred vanished from the chamber.
Elsewhere, Fred rematerialized, unheralded by either flash or sound, and still dancing away. I feel - different! What's that old crank done to me? he thought.
The answer soon came.
In a nearby shiny surface, Fred caught a glimpse of himself - and if he hadn't been compelled to keep dancing, he would have collapsed in shock! Now he knew what Belboz had meant when he said he'd arrange it so Fred could never threaten the dragon! He had been transformed into:
A buxom, dark-skinned woman, dressed in a series of flowing veils, swaying before a leering group of rich drunkards!
The dancing went on for hours on end, and Fred finds that he doesn't tire....in fact the more he dances the more....energizing it becomes for him.
However, this is something of a runners high. Not a euphmism for the acts and desires that her drunken audience keep shouting and groping her for. Fred realizes that he can't stop....and even raise his voice in protest. All he can do is dance......
Then a strangely dressed man walks into the room, drawing shouted oaths and drunken bellows of rage from Fred's audience. All of which goes silent as the man looks at them in the eyes.....and Fred shivers inside as he sees them go slack jawed and start to laugh.....and drool on themselves. Fred shivers again but continues to dance as the oddly dressed man (who's dressed in blue jeans and jeans jacket with a dozen buttons....including a button with a picture of a dead pig and a question about: "How do you want your pork?"). "Well, move over Madonna!" the Walking Man leers, laughing as Fred struts his (er....her) stuff. "Let's just make one adjustment on that Matrix thing....as they call it at this one interesting sight.....and then......."
Fred gasps as he feels her entire being tingle....as if something was altered deep inside.
She then freezes in place as the Walking Man (RF of "The Stand" by Stephen King) puts her in stasis, making her appear as a marble statue. He then sends her off elsewhere to play in a game he's set up.
Flagg then chuckles and changes to his alternate, demoness form, and goes off to see a certain mage about a contract. Gotta keep the boys in the Home Office happy. That is, until thing change for the better for him....
Flagg then goes off to see a mage who's captured a unicorn and testing out the effectiveness of a spell that remade Fred into a young woman named Hannah....and soon dies as his peers and such catch up with him, finally.
Fred the dancer finds himself on Terra Prime, still under the compulsion to dance, and then he runs into a couple of unicorns, some other Freds, some other Astras.....
Urnath the unicorn breaks the curse of dancing upon her, but soon all are captured by Ocs on Terra Prime.
This Fred soon renames herself Joan.
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