SIMON

When Simon was young, his mother ran off with another man, but his father had been too busy with another woman to notice. He was instead left with a strict uncle. Simon's grandparents had always had breakfast nooks. Before long, about the time of his thirteenth year, Simon decided it was time for him to run away as well. For the next half-dozen years he did all sorts of labor to stay alive. He had worked on farms and in factories before he had gotten good enough with his hands to go out and work for himself. He had spent some time in jail and even some in school. He survived by using his wits, but somehow finding the simplest solutions to the most complex problems.

Before arriving at Festeron in the Second Age of Magic, his most recent occupation was running a crooked shell game, which he estimated he started age the age of sixteen. He was always very careful just where people stood when he played the pebble game, especially if he planned to palm the stone. Since he had to depend on himself for income, he always threw himself into whatever he did. If there were five people running the shell game in the same park, Simon would run it faster, with a better line of patter, and even let the marks win once in a while. Because of that the suckers would come back to him, again and again: they would even have some fun while they lost their money. It was like that with everything else he had tried, from selling brushes door-to-door to singing on street corners. Anything he did, he did it to the fullest. What it came down to, he realized, was that he had a personal code he lived by—a code of honor, he supposed one might call it. After all, that was the one thing that separated adventurers like Simon from common cutpurses and thieves.

The job kept him on the move, relocating often, traveling from one little country to the next, completing with other carnival barkers for three years. And every place had its own native customs. During these years, Simon spent a lot of time with a lot of young women. He learned to know just what to do, what to say. He had all the moves just the way he wanted them. Women fell victim to his fatal charm. It came from his being a traveling man, bringing with him stories and romance from far-distant countries. That always got them, especially in little provincial places like Festeron. And it did not hurt that he knew how to talk fast, either.

Before his arrival in the island nation of Festeron, Simon had thought of the tiny country as pretty dull. He had even considered moving on someplace else. But when he was lustfully drawn to the beautiful Gloria, it looked like his would be staying around for awhile.


DETAILED ACCOUNT OF SIMON'S EMPLOYMENT AS A FESTERON POSTMAN
Simon set up his crooked shell game at the Festeron Fun Pier. The current sucker was Brad MacGuffin and his girlfriend Shirley Magnifico. Simon made it easy for Shirley to find the pebble beneath the three cups, only to lure Brad into betting a gold coin. He fell for the scam. But when Shirley’s older sister, Gloria arrived, Simon was mesmerized by her beauty. Wanting to impress her with his generosity, he formed a fašade by returning the coin to Brad, and lied that it had accidentally fallen out of the cup. Gloria was impressed by his charity, and so was the mysterious Mr. Sneed who happened to be standing by. This is the same Mr. Sneed that has once been a Festeron postman. This former postman, unaware that Simon’s game had been a scam, praises him for his noble deed.

In the meantime, the Festeron police force had been alerted to Simon’s criminal activity on the pier. It had been reported that he had set up a “game of chance” which was designed to lure innocents, causing them to wager actual money. The second charge was Simon’s refusal to sing the national anthem when it had been played on the loudspeakers. Six officers were sent out to the pier. They apprehended him. Oddly polite and courteous, they carried him to the police station while giving him a friendly tour of the town. At the station, Sergeant MacGuffin, enraged by Simon’s violations of the law, orders the perpetrator to be tossed in a cell with “reduced rations” of bread and water, which turned out to be croissants and fresh bottled water.

A guard informed Simon that he had a visitor. Sneed entered the cell, but he was not the intended visitor. Gloria arrived, and unable to see Sneed, interrupting him in mid-sentence. Gloria confessed her love for Simon and additionally tried to warm him about “Festeron’s dark secret,” but the citywide curfew went into effect. Gloria was forced to leave, but she and Sneed planned to be present at his trial in the morning and speak in his defense.

After another “reduced rations” breakfast of water and freshly-baked cinnamon buns, Sergeant MacGuffin, wild with rage, railed on Simon through the bars. He was escorted by four officers to the courtroom. Brad, Shirley, Gloria and Sneed were all present (though no one else but Simon noticed Sneed). It was here for the first time that Simon heard the charges against him. Sneed’s attempted to speak out on behalf of the accused, but no one was able to hear or see him, even when he frantically pounded on the judge’s bench. Gloria’s testimony was discounted because of her romantic bias towards Simon. Because Simon was a foreigner, he was forbidden to testify. Two of the judges sentenced him to death, but the Grand Justice found that punishment to be too lenient. Instead, Simon was sentenced to become the new Festeron postal worker, a much more severe penalty than death.

When Simon arrived at Festeron, the town had been without a postal worker for weeks and weeks. But its villains conspired a plan which they believed would ensure full transformation of Witchville. Gladys planned it that prior to sending the current postman with a ransom note to Y’Gael, she would steal Wishbringer. Gladys did so, stealing the stone by subterfuge, but was only able to succeed with her task because Y’Gael had let her have it. Of course, Gladys thought that she had stolen it from her. But when Gladys swiped the magic rock, she also swiped a little extra spell Y’Gael placed upon it, a spell that would activate only when Festeron is turned to Witchville. The minute Witchville appeared, the stone would disappear. It would become invisible and furthermore move three feet to the left of wherever it had last been in Festeron. Thus Gladys would have casted her spell with no way to complete it. For no one was able to see the magic Wishbringer stone, unless they were wearing the magic glasses. But there was more to the plan. The villains had thought they were so clever, planning to succeed by choosing a postman of ill repute. With the aid of the High Court, they had selected Simon, who, in their opinion was doomed to failure. They had thought Simon to be a common criminal, a lowlife who would run at the first challenge. And that was where they would make their first mistake.

Simon was taken by half a dozen policemen to the post office where he was to instantly start his sentence. The postmaster, Mr. Crisp, gave him a small room, a new dark blue uniform complete with pants, shirt and cap, and a map of the islands. After being reminded by Crisp to be back before dark, Simon embarked from the post office on his first route.

The first package was to be delivered to the Festeron Public Library. Along the way, Simon met Sneed, who apologized for being unable to help Simon at court, and then accompanied him to the library. The package was delivered to curator, Violet Voss, who was, as usual, rude and quick to anger. (People like Miss Voss, who acted like they owned the world, always got on his nerves.) The next letter was given to Hortense D. Fester who lived across from the theater. In exchange, she gave Simon a Kitchen Wonder, as was the usual custom with new postmen.

Simon decided to sort the jumble of mail at the church. He was upset that everyone, including Sneed, avoided talking about “something” that it seemed he was the only one that did not know. Sneed was determined to inform Simon about what was going on when they were outside of town. As an excuse to get to the outskirts as quickly as possible, as well as to see Gloria, he set out to deliver a letter he had to her home.

Shirley answered the door of the Magnifico residence, but he insisted to deliver it directly to Gloria. When she arrived, Simon and Gloria were twitterpatted with one another. He asked if she would meet her later that night or the next, but she became uneasy, simply stating, “If nothing changes…” When he further inquired, especially about the post office, the Magnifico family quickly told Simon that he needed to leave and the door was shut on him.

Sneed believed that they were far enough from town that they could not speak plainly. Before they could, Mr. Crisp found Simon, and gave him a letter to the proprietor of the magic shop in North Festeron. The shop would close within the hour and Simon had to hurry. By this time Sneed had vanished. For when the little man had felt that it had been necessary to tell Simon about Gladys’ plans, he was worried and upset. The more that he had wanted to talk to Simon, the worse it became, until it came to the point where he felt he had to talk to Simon. Unfortunately, at that instant, no one could see or hear him, not even Simon.

On the nearby beach, Simon is lured up a radio playing rock music. This magical radio was able to communicate with the postman. It told him that he had won the “WFES Winning Contest” and that he had to reach the Magic Shop to claim his prize. Simon then had two reasons to head that way. Unbeknown to Simon, this delivery was part of a scheme instigated by Mr. Crisp on behalf of Violet Voss.

By the time Simon reached the foot of the bridge that linked both of the islands of Festeron together, Sergeant MacGuffin intercepted him with flurries of vulgarity and forceful reminders that he needed to reach the magic shop before it closed. The northern island had a single path that wound up the side of a sheer cliff to the magic shop. The 25 minute walk brought him to the door of the shop and he entered. He had made it on time.

Y’Gael appeared out from behind a curtain. Simon held out the letter for her, but she told him to read it instead.

Dearest sister:

I have you now. Even as you read this, my minions are taking over the country. And I have found the stone. There is no way you can stop me. By dawn tomorrow, Witchville will be forever!

Yours Cruelly,

The Evil One


Y’Gael explained the normal procedure that the usual postmen embarked on. Usually she would present the postman with the Wishbringer stone which would be used to aide him in the quest to retrieve Y’Gael’s cat. This time, however, Gladys already had the stone. Simon had been chosen in this specific instance, because it was believed that he was doomed to fail. Y’Gael did not believe that. At that time the clock struck 6:00—Festeron transformed to Witchville. Simon had to capture the stone from Gladys before the night was through. Without the stone, Gladys was helpless and Festeron would return with the dawn. She also warned him about the dangers of Witchville, and the transformation of the civilians’ personalities.

The radio forced itself on to announce that Simon was the winner of the “WFES Winning Contest.” He received his prize, a pair of Festeron Magic Shop Magic Glasses. Y’Gael revealed to Simon that she had let Gladys steal the stone, but also had placed an extra spell on it that made it teleport three feet away and turn invisible when Witchville appeared. No one was able to find the stone without the magic glasses. All Simon had to do was capture the stone before midnight.

When Simon left the shop at 6:30, it was foggy outside. Instead of WFES, the radio had changed stations to WTCH. Simon was only able to see his way down the cliff while he wore the magic glasses.

Simon had to somehow rescue Wishbringer, of Festeron, and perhaps the rest of the world would soon be subjugated beneath Gladys’ dictatorial cruelty. And if he did not rescue the stone, and was captured instead, he would be subject to a death too hideous to comprehend.

Simon finished his climb down the mountain only to find that the bridge which he had crossed before was now modified with girders, lights, an iron gate, and a sleeping ogre guard. The radio, having a mind of its own, turned back on to warn Simon about the Boot Patrol (since the time of the original postman, the Boot Patrol no longer consisted of magical boots, but were now composed of a troop of men under the same name in the spirit of the former). The radio’s voice awoke the ogre and he came out to block Simon’s passage across the bridge unless he had a toll. Simon handed him a Festeron coin, but the monster only accepted those of Witchville and thus wanted to eat him instead. In defense, the radio began to play “New Crusty Monsters” and “The Men in my Little Girl’s Life.” Hearing these songs was too terrifying for the ogre, that he took a leap off the bridge to get away from them. Simon had free passage across the bridge.

The first person that Simon sought was Gloria. At the Magnifico house, Gloria and Shirley dressed themselves in the attire of a prostitute, hoping to seduce the men of the Boot Patrol, as they usually did during the Witchville nights. Their father was a heavy drunkard on these nights. Gloria did not even remember Simon. He left in bitter defeat.

Outside the cottage, Sneed’s voice came, but it took a moment for the little man to solidify so that Simon could see him. He explained to Simon that he used to be a former postman. Because of his current incorporeal state, he was overlooked during the transformation to Witchville. Thus he believed that he was a valuable asset to help Simon defeat Gladys.

A cry of “Help me!” along the beach snagged their attention. It was Princess Tasmania, who once again was in despair. This time she was caught in a metal trap. The entire beach was littered with trap that had been intended for Simon. Sneed triggered the rest of the traps with a dead branch while Simon used the Kitchen Wonder’s Trap Neutralizer function to remove the trap from Tasmania. As a reward, Tasmania showed Simon had to activate the Kitchen Wonder’s whistle attachment (she was out of the normal whistles that were commonly given to the postmen). After throwing the platypus into the water, they heard the Boot Patrol drawing near.

Sneed vanished in fear, while the radio blasted for a moment before Simon turned it off. To escape, Simon blew the whistle attachment which magically translated him to the Misty Isle, straight into the palace of King Anatinus. Tasmania had already made it back safely. Simon was introduced to the king, and his advisors, Glenfizzlewizzle and the Honorable Roger. Simon shared the story of his escape from the Boot Patrol. Anatinus saw this as already repaying his rescue of Tasmania. Still, he requested for more help, asking them to aid in his search of Wishbringer. While it would take too much time for immediate help, Glenfizzlewizzle would start to prepare a conjuration that might help in the future.

Simon blew the whistle and returned to the beach. The Boot Patrol was gone but he heard a woman’s scream that sounded like Gloria. Following the cry, he found the entire Boot Patrol at Gloria’s. Brad was hugging Gloria while another patroller had Shirley in his arm. The Patrol captured Simon and strapped him upside-down inside a giant six-foot tall boot, and carried him in it to the police station where Sergeant MacGuffin had been waiting for him. Simon came out of the boot, nauseous from the ride. He threw up upon MacGuffin’s shoes. After threats and obscenities, Simon was thrown into the deepest cell below the dungeons with food unfit for consumption. Sick, the postman passed out.

Simon awoke to the sound of the radio. The magical device, along with the Kitchen Wonder and the magic glasses had not been seized from him upon his capture. The radio warned that Sergeant MacGuffin was coming to kill him, and that an escape route had been discovered behind the carcass of a dead rat in the cell’s southwest corner. Behind a dead rat was a loose stone in that corner. Simon stomped on the floor stone. The floor dropped out beneath him. He slid down a long, smooth chute into darkness, where he landed on an overstuffed couch.

This was the home of Amy Sue Grue and her child. Some historians find this account very unlikely, but must be wise to listen to the words of the female grue herself. The legend stated that no one had ever seen a grue to live. Amy Sue Grue assured Simon that as long as he did not see her, he had nothing to fear. Simon explained his situation to the mother grue, including his employment as a postman and Wishbringer. She helped Simon by directed him to a tunnel that lead to the movie theater, and told him that the current film running would reveal the location of Gladys’ current headquarters, as its position changed each cursed night.

Simon emerged from the tunnel at Festeron Circle, just outside the theater. Miss Voss was seated in the ticket booth. Amy Sue Grue grabbed hold of Simon’s ankle and pulled him back underground. The postman caught a glimpse of her hand. Because of this, he received pain, but not enough to kill him—the penalty for seeing any other body parts of a grue resulted in much more terrible consequences. The reason for her snagging of Simon, was that he had accidently went the wrong way. The other branch brought him directly inside the theater.

He was alone in the theater. The screen was blurry. It was only clear when Simon put on the magic glasses. The movie showed him Gladys inside the First Church of Festeron Science. But as long as he wore the glasses, not only could he see her, but she could see him. He removed the glasses. But before he could escape, Gloria entered the theater. When Simon went out to her, Mr. Crisp handcuffed him from behind. Violet Voss was at his side; the two whispered terms of endearment to one another. The two villains decided to take their prisoner to the library to be tortured. Gloria desired to watch, and they permitted her.

In the library, Princess Tasmania was found hanging from the ceiling by one foot that had been caught in a thick rope noose. Gloria caught Tasmania when the trap was released. Violet Voss planned to put both Tasmania and Simon into the automatic stamper. The platypus tried to gain freedom by biting Gloria. In reprisal Mr. Crisp clamped her beak with a handful of rubber bands.

It was here that Sneed once again appeared semi-transparent. He took the Kitchen Wonder from Simon’s pocket, using it to unlock his handcuffs. Because of Gloria’s protests for Tasmania to be saved (it was much too cruel to torture a poor dumb creature), the evil couple decided to stamp Simon first, but not without gratifying their romantic desires. During this intermission, Simon took Tasmania from Gloria, then forcibly demanded the girl to come with him. Simon, Gloria, Tasmania, and Sneed made their way out of the library.

Outside the library, Simon ran headlong into Gloria’s father, who was stumbling around, drunk. Possessions were scattered. Instead of grabbing his own glasses that had fallen off, the father instead set the magic glasses upon his face. Whoever wore the glasses found that the spell of Witchville was broken, returning them to their Festeron personality. Simon retrieved the glasses, intending to place them on Gloria, but Gladys appeared. The Evil One beckoned for Gloria; she came to her.

Tasmania freed herself from the rubber band muzzle and taking the Kitchen Wonder from Simon, blew its whistle attachment. Simon, Sneed and the platypus were magically taken back to the palace on the Misty Isle. Glenfizzlewizzle reported that he had “narrowed” down the location of Wishbringer to the island of Greater Witchville (unless, of course, it was hiding somewhere in North Festeron). Roger had already summoned the Platypus Guard—they would be ready to assist Simon once they all arrived. Hoping to fulfill the prophecy of a human turning into a platypus, Tasmania dared to kiss Simon. There was no effect; Simon was not the one. King Anatinus blew the whistle, sending Simon and Sneed back to Witchville so that they could further search for the stone.

The two landed in the northeastern woods. Sneed could hear the clacking of the wild mailboxes that frequented this territory. Sneed revealed that he had found Gladys’ hideout in the church, but Simon had already known this. The north road guided Simon and Sneed to Witchville, which was deathly quiet. There was less than an hour to midnight. Sneed tried to enter the church using the ‘unlock door’ function of the Kitchen Wonder, but erroneously pressed the blender button. Simon encouraged the worried, shameful Sneed to try again. This time the little man was successful.

But at that moment, Gloria opened the doors and informed the Evil One that they were there. Gladys handed over the killing of Simon to Gloria, who in turn handed it over to Brad and the Boot Patrol. Simon and Sneed made a run for it. The Boot Patrol pursued them towards the beach. The Radio originally suggested for them to turn north along the beach and to climb the hill to the old tree stump, but the updated traffic report revealed that MacGuffin was waiting in the threes for them with an arsenal. They embarked upon an ulterior southern route into the graveyard instead. There was less than 40 minutes unless midnight.

This road was also hexed by Crisp and Voss with a trip wire across the road. If activated, a giant net would descended upon them. The Kitchen’s Wonder ‘detecting trap wire’ function, which beeped to alert them of its presence, allowed them to avoid it. When the two love-sodden villains went to check the trap, they triggered it themselves, but had no quarrels about being romantically caught.

Though the graveyard was incredibly dangerous, Simon and Sneed had no alternative to escape the Boot Patrol and Sergeant MacGuffin (who carried a rocket launcher), but to tread those eldritch vapor plagued grounds. The spirits caressed them.

The Boot Patrol followed them into the graveyard. This was clearly in violation of the rules which the three sorceress sisters had bound themselves—the Boot Patrol was forbidden from entering this region. The eldritch vapors went after the Patrol instead, but the spirits were not enough to hold back the entire troop.

Sneed lead Simon into an open grave. At its bottom was a secret door with an entrance into the underground region. The Boot Patrol continued to transcend upon the predetermined rules by entering in the tunnels after them. Sneed originally took a wrong turn, leading them to Amy Sue Grue’s nest, but Simon realized that this was for the best. Simon turned off the flashlight and warned the mother grue of his arrival and their pursuers. She placed Simon in a closet while she went and ate the Boot Patrol, including Brad MacGuffin. She let them out afterward, and the two men hurried up to the surface, emerging at the tunnel beside the movie theater. There was 17 minutes until midnight.

Simon and Sneed returned to the church, which was surrounded by a fence of barbed-wire. When the postman placed on the glasses, he found that the fence was but an illusion. The back door was wide open. The two entered the church. A door opened and Gloria came out. Simon grabbed her arm, and while Sneed covered her mouth, placed the magic glasses upon her. While trying to kiss Glorian, the glasses continued to fall off, flipping her personality. 12 minutes were left.

Gloria led the two men upstairs to the bell tower where they found Princess Tasmania tied up with an immense amount of rope. Simon untied her. All four proceeded to the Evil One’s laboratory. The magic glasses granted Gloria with the ability to spy the otherwise invisible Wishbringer. Gladys entered, wanting to know what it was that she saw.

When Gloria adamantly refused to give away the location of the stone, the Evil One snatched the glasses, restoring the curse upon the girl. She informed her that Wishbringer was in the middle canister. Gladys put on the glasses to verify Gloria’s claim, then grinded them into the linoleum with her foot. Sneed was about to take charge with the Kitchen Wonder’s ‘subduing witches’ function, but the Evil One snagged it, tossing it into a fluid-filled cauldron. It was destroyed, along with the radio that was smashed on the floor immediately after.

Y’Gael and Hortense materialized into the laboratory. While their presence in the entire Witchville affair was breaking the rules, they did so only to stop Gladys from further violating more. The following charges were brought against her:
  1. The Boot Patrol was forbidden to enter the cemetery
  2. The Boot Patrol was forbidden to enter the underground passageways
  3. The magic plastic glasses were forbidden to be destroyed
  4. The radio was forbidden to be destroyed
  5. The Kitchen Wonder was forbidden to be destroyed
Each of the three sisters summoned magical creatures to do battle: a magnificent golden eagle for Y’Gael, a miniature horse with dark blue wings for Hortense, and a half-scorpion, half-spider creature for Gladys. The Evil One lost, but when the sisters relaxed their guard, the Evil One fabricated a colony of huge snakes that wrapped themselves around them so that their arms were pinned to their bodies. Before anything could grow worse, the Honorable Roger arrived with the Platypus Guard. The troop rescued the entangled sisters and carried them out of the room. There was now only 2 minutes remaining.

Gladys and Simon made a dash for the three canisters—one of which contained Wishbringer. The postman reached them first, and quickly flipped them over, setting up a custom version of his very own shell game. He secretly palmed the stone and rearranged their order. The Evil One turned them over, finding it beneath none of them. Simon had tricked and delayed her.

At that moment the clock struck midnight, and Festeron was instantly restored. Y’Gael and Hortense returned, informing Gladys that Sergeant MacGuffin would soon be there to take her somewhere to rest. Tasmania, in love with Simon, inquired of the sisters if they might be able to make him into a platypus. Whether serious or in jest, they simply told her that they would work on it. Now that their task had been finished, all of the platypuses left for the Misty Island by the toot of their whistles. Gloria gave Simon an adoring handshake (as the nature of Festeron had returned, anything more would be improper).

Now that Festeron had returned back to normal, Simon was praised as a hero. He returned Wishbringer to the two goods sisters, who, overjoyed, promised to shower him with gifts and anything else he wanted within reason. Simon had to remain a postman, as only the Festeron court could remit his sentence, and they had all went on vacation when Witchville appeared, thus it appeared that Simon would be required to defeat The Evil One once or twice more during the time of the court’s vacation, but there was problems that came with every job. Sneed permanently solidified and showed his gratitude by helping Simon with the mail. Gloria accepted Simon’s offer of a date as long as there was a chaperone present and she was home by ten.

It was immediately after his conversation with Gloria, when Mr. Crisp handed Simon a crumpled envelope addressed to the Magic Shop. While no historical accounts have surfaced detailing what became of Simon following his first triumph, almost all scholars presume that the curse of Witchville continued on. How many postmen and curses followed? One may never be certain. It is however, well agreed upon, that by the First Great Diffusion, that the Witchville curse was finally revoked, at least temporarily. There are no records that claim its continuence into the Third Age of Magic, or beyond, and does seem rather unlikely.