Hi, Teach!

This is your favorite pupil, Oxalis, writing.

You recently asked me whether there had been no article on the SIN regarding our little outing shortly before Christmas – it seems that, instead of using it for the usual clickbait, the editors of the SIN New cut the whole article and it landed on the cutting room floor. So, as you are always interested in hearing what misfortunes befall me, here is a short report, and I hope that I will not forget anything important.

I was walking along the streets of Port Mirandia , together with Bardy, Cade, Faenoa and Glanfath, when we were approached by a man in drenched clothing, telling us that “the machines (in Blinsky’s) had gone mad” and beseeching our aid before rolling with his eyes, swooning and dropping unconscious. Needless to say, the name Blinsky didn’t mean anything to any of us. Checking the man did not produce any clues, except for the fact that his clothes were drenched in saltwater. So, we deposited him in the local tavern and went to what is to become Port Mirandia’s harbor to see if any of the fishermen there knew of that place.

While the name did not ring any bells with either of them, they had noticed an island that had sprung up on the coast that was in a range that this man could have swum from there to Port Mirandia. We persuaded one of the fishermen to bring us to that island with his boat, anti-promised he would pick us up later when we signaled him. He himself would not set foot on the island because he found it “too creepy”.

On our way to the island we were greeted in a manner of speaking by a blue hippopotamus sporting purple polkadots accompanied by some jolly festive music. Despite its jolly outlook and sound, this “beast” was as cantankerous as most members of its genus and is attacked our boat by ramming it, which prompted us to initiate our own aggressive actions to defend ourselves.

During the fight it was revealed as a kind of mechanical contraption. Despite hippos usually being vegetarian, the clover leaves I sent at it did not agree with its interior works and, together with the concerted efforts of all five of us, we managed to “kill” the machine.

Without further interference, we managed to reach the island which was dominated by a large building marked “Blinsky’s Toy Shop”. The only sign of life we could spot was a large nest on top of the building, from which there stuck out a pair of legs – obviously belonging to each other.

While we were still standing on the beach contemplating how to approach the building, we were accosted by some more supersized toys, this time in the shape of dinosaurs, but every bit as homicidal as their polkadotted companion. We were able to quickly get rid of them.

As we did not want to meet another welcoming committee, we approached the doors that, as if alive, swung open the sound of a fanfare, inviting us in.

Inside, we found a sales area with several long tables full with all sorts of toys: stuffed toys, nutcrackers, chess sets and whatnot, with two human bodies lying on the floor. In addition, there were several costumes one could dress in – unfortunately though, their zippers easily stuck, as we later found another female gnome that had got stuck in a flumph costume.

But before we could free her – more correctly: before we even discovered her – several of us were accosted by two machines intended for stuffing toys. While I can understand the machines mistaking Faenoa for a toy (she is, after all, only a few inches taller than I am), there seemed to be something wrong with the perception of the second machine which tried to stuff Glanfath. Whatever caused the machines and toys here to become homicidal, had not only enlisted the machines’ aid but also that of an army of swarm ants…. ermm .. a swarm of army ants. Whichever, they proved quite stubborn in attempting to moving Faenoa to the stuffing machine.

After we, so to say, beat the stuffing out of the machines, we found that the two people lying on the floor also had been stuffed as if they were puppets, which had proven fatal.

Next we explored the lower floor of the building, which looks like a large manufacture for seasonal toys. There were only a very few “weird” interruptions.

Not in order of events, we found a number of further employees that were scared because they had, they claimed, only that date appeared to work, but instead were attacked by the machinery that they had used the day before without any mishaps.

Hiding in a locker in the employees’ locker room we found two children hiding who were missing their nanny – they claimed she had run out of the building when the toys started attacking everyone. They especially mentioned their nanny wearing a big bow – a ribbon tied into a bow, not the weapon! As we had not seen any such adornment on that day, we were forced to assume that the nanny was still on the island – which does not bode well, considering the Dino toys are running amuck.

Talking of running amuck: in one of the workshops where we rescued one of the workers we were attacked by a whole set of puppets that seemed to imagine they were full-blown vampires.

Another employee we met there was called Mr. Fizzybottom. He was located in a subterranean office, where he was working as developer for a new line of toys intended for domesticated animals. He seemed quite apt for the job, considering he himself is of the canine persuasion, of the subtype called Yorkie, would be my guess.

As the source of all this seems to be located in the higher parts of the building – which looks like a small version of a wizard’s tower –, we finally managed to find the entrance to the tower part. To get in there, we have to cross a chessboard–letter–puzzle replete with two animated knight figurines that will attack people on the board as well.

Unfortunately, we had to leave the toy shop at that time, intending to return and give this Mr. Blinsky a good talking to regarding work safety and product safety laws.