Finally having defeated the evil Christmas-stealing dragon you return your attention to Santa Claus. Waddling back to the room where you locked him in you knock on the door to see if he has regained his sanity, while dAnkan readies a spell to unlock the magic seal.
— “Hello, Santa, are you there?” you ask politely as you can say when knocking on the door. Receiving no response you knock again.
— “What do we do if Santa has not turned back to himself?” dAnkan ponders out loud, to which you turn.
— “Perhaps Mrs. Claus could fulfil his duties this year while we work on a remedy?” you suggest.
— “I don’t know. You know Mrs. Claus already handles all the navigation from the workshop, I don’t know if there is any navigator as skilled as her to handle it if she’s driving the sleigh…” dAnkan shoots down your idea, reasonably. While further discussing the worst case scenario you hear a faint grumbling from inside the room, to which you both shut up and lay your ears to the door.
— “ho ho ho… hello?” you hear a weak voice say from inside the room, and you light up like a Christmas tree.
— “He’s back! Quickly dAnkan, open up the door!” you shout to dAnkan, without thinking of their already very close proximity to you. dAnkan continues with their spellcrafting for a little bit and then turns towards you.
— “Good or bad news first?” dAnkan asks you.
— “Bad.” you quickly respond.
— “The bad news is that I lied about the good news being good, they’re also bad.” dAnkan says.
— “Okay… So the other bad news is?” you lead dAnkan on.
— “The other bad news is that I cannot open the seal. So we kind of more or less need to force it open…” dAnkan continues. “The other good news that I didn’t tell you about is that I based the spell of a crossword (or here) I saw earlier, so if we can just crack that we’re good to go!”
Editors note: we had a change of plans and now the password is in the feedback form instead of the crossword as the story suggests.
Together you manage to solve the puzzle and open the magical seal. Out from the room a somewhat dirty and ragged looking Santa Claus emerges.
— “Santa, you’re alright!” you shout, perhaps a bit too loud. dAnkan turns to you.
— “See, no one can say that I’ve ever broken an oath.” dAnkan says. Not feeling like picking a fight you ignore the comment and run to hug Santa Claus, who welcomes you with open arms. dAnkan joins the hug, although perhaps a bit less enthusiastically.
— “You little rascals, who would have thought that you would go through such a struggle to save old Santa.” Santa says, with a few ho:s thrown in throughout his sentence. “But now we need to leave at once! There is still much to do if all the little elves and orcs of Yuletide are to get their presents in time.” he continues.
Santa leaves to get his sleigh from the workshop, and later on returns. You load the sleigh with all the stolen presents and as you see the moon rising in the distance Santa leaves, making a silhouette against the moon in the sky.
Looking up towards the sky, you feel the experience from this past adventure setting in, and with it you feel yourself getting stronger.
— “Sweet, a level up!” you hear dAnkan say, only for them to instantly get more buff.
— “dAnkan! You know you’re not supposed to be metagaming!” you tell dAnkan off.
— “Oh who cares, it’s Christmas!” dAnkan responds to you, shrugging across the table.
— “That it is, and quite a merry one.” you say, finishing the session.