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She kept throwin’ darkness spells behind her, makin’ it difficult for me to see and early on, I stepped into a big empty flower pot made out o’ iron, what somebody left out, and my foot got wedged tight in it!

It wasn’t no picnic tryin’ to follow her through that inky blackness she kept placing in front o’ me but I managed to catch a glimpse o’ her here and there, and I ran like the wind, clankin’ and clunkin’ along with my foot still jammed into the damn flower pot and managed to gradually close the distance between us!

I’ll tell you, if you’re really determined to catch someone, you can make a fair job o’ it even if you have a big iron flower pot stuck on to yer foot!

I finally got close enough to give her a good whack on the back with my falchion. I used the flat part o’ my blade, thinkin’ she’d be worth a lot more alive than dead, ya know? I could see myself now, me pockets stuffed full o’ coin, lookin’ through rack after rack o’ gowns in Anastasia’s fine Apparel, an up-scale clothing shop just down a block or two from where I was standin’!

Well anyways, down she went but she ain’t stopped wigglin’ and it was annoyin’ me so I give her another hard wallop, she whimpered a little and then she lay still. Then I stomped hard on her fingers with the flower pot, squooshin’ ‘em good so she’d not be shootin’ anymore spells out o’ them at nobody.

I had a bunch o’ rope in me pack and I used some o’ it to bind her hands and feet, makin’ a nice neat bundle o’ her! I wrapped what was left o’ my rope around a lamp post and tied a huge knot in it thinkin’ if she had a mind to go anywhere, she’d be havin’ to take the lamp post along with her!

Sun-Ok and Belfron had fallen behind in the chase ‘cause Bel don’t run so fast and couldn’t keep up. Sunny decided to stay with him, makin’ sure he didn’t take a wrong turn and get himself lost, you know? The both o’ them came along soon enough and the three o’ us just stood there staring’ at our captive, wonderin’ what the hel we should do next.

The lot o’ us was curious ‘bout what she looked like, so straight off, we decided to remove her funny lookin’ helm what had the broom stickin’ outta the top o’ it. Well Odin’s apples, was that helm stuck on tight!

Belfron got a good grip on it by curlin’ his fingers under the lip what came out from both sides. Then I wrapped my arms ‘round Bel’s waist and Sunny got hold o’ my foot what had the flower pot attached to it. The three o’ us yanked and tugged and struggled so hard we actually bent the lamp post I’d tied her to!

Finally we popped it off, the three o’ us tumblin’ backward, end over end windin’ up in a heap, with our arms and legs all tangled up with each other, and Sun-Ok clingin’ to the flower pot what had also come off o’ my foot in the process!

We sorted ourselves out and made our way over to where our prisoner lay, anxious to have a look at her. There she was, stretched out before us! Finally un-masked for all to see! The malevolent Stonemark Strangler!

And, oh geez! . . . It was Vala!