Abby Tract was a level one warlord. Nothing about her was special, except for her possession of the dance fighting special. Her half dozen turns of life had passed without event, as one might expect belonging to a side not in open hostilities with anyone. Indeed, the most exciting thing that had ever happened to Abby was her popping. And although she didn't know it, that was all about to change.
Abby danced her way around the courtyard. She had completed her other duties, and had elected to practice for the rest of the turn. Everything was still fairly new to Abby, but she was finding that inactivity didn't sit well with her. Without something to do, a restlessness swept over her, driving her up the wall with boredom. Only six turns old, and Abby was finding herself fighting this feeling a lot.
And so Abby danced, popping and locking her joints, gliding across the hard packed earth of the level 3 city. It was as she entered her second rotation of the courtyard that she heard the noise begin. The oscillating wail echoed off the walls of the courtyard, disorienting her as she looked around and searched for the source. It was then that she saw the box.
It hadn't been there a moment ago. She was sure of that. The box was too big to miss, and her path around the courtyard would have taken her right past it. And even if it hadn't, the box didn't exactly blend in. It was a deep, rich blue, and Louvreshaq was made of pasty white stone. The box stood out like a beacon.
Abby cautiously made her way over. The courtyard had been empty save for herself and some low level pikers standing guard. The pikers had been alarmed by the noise, but lacking orders, and not being under obvious attack, they seemed unsure what to do. Abby silently ordered for them to remain at their post.
As Abby neared, she saw that the box was equipped with a door and windows, though the windows were clouded and betrayed nothing of the box's inside. She circled the box once, examining it, before hesitantly reaching for the door handle. The door jerked inward before she could reach it.
"Oh! Hello there! What city is this, then?"
Abby blinked hard, startled. Before her a tall man was framed in the doorway. His voice was friendly and singsong. He wore no armor, wearing only a jacket over a buttoned up shirt. And most notably, he was beaming ear to ear.
"Hello? Alright there? Can you hear me?"
The man waved, and Abby realized she had been staring. She quickly stammered a reply.
"Yes, sorry. This is Louvreshaq. But shouldn't you know that already? When I popped, I knew who I was and what side I belonged to without having to ask."
He had to have just popped. It was the only thing that made sense. Popping usually happened at the beginning of the turn, but a non-allied unit couldn't enter the city off turn, and if he had already been here and dispelled a veil, he would be registering as an enemy. Maybe popping with an artifact took longer?
The tall man's grin widened.
"Louvreshaq. Lovely! Never heard of Louvreshaq!"
He leaned out and peered around with interest.
"Looks pretty enough, though I suspect a Signamancer could improve it some. Still, the swooping walls and crooked towers look very impressive."
"Excuse me, but is that who you are? Our new Signamancer? I didn't know we were set to pop a new commander so soon."
The man fixed his gaze back upon Abby.
"Me? No, I'm not a Signamancer, though I've certainly had my brushes with that branch. And furthermore, I'm not a member of your side. I'm the Caster."
That only confused Abby more.
The man's grin widened, and he swept past her, closing the door of the box behind him.
"Just the Caster. Now, I'll imagine you will be wanting to try and capture me right about now, but I hope you'll find it within yourself to hold off on such an impulse. I don't mean you or your side any harm, and I simply want to have a look around. Would you mind calling those two off?"
Abby looked and saw to whom he was referring to. The pikers had left their posts and begun rushing forward as soon as the man had stepped foot out of the box. Abby had been so distracted by her own senses warning her of an intruder in the city that she hadn't noticed them until now. She silently ordered them to stack with her, and moved to bar the man's path.
"Wait just a minute now! Tell me exactly what is going on!"
All thoughts of inexperience and worry left her as she was faced with the possibility of a threat to her side. This was a stranger, and it was her Duty to protect the city. She didn't reach for the sword hanging at her belt, but the pikers angled their weapons lower in a menacing way. The man began to raise his hands in supplication, but when the pikers leveled their spears, he lowered them again. He had already identified himself as a caster. Abby wasn't about to give him a chance to demonstrate what kind. He spoke in a reassuring tone.
"My name is The Caster. The box behind me is called the TARDIS. It lets me travel anywhere, regardless of whose turn it is, or how far away I'm going. I come from an ancient side of people called the Turn Lords, but I'm the only one left. I don't have a home, so I travel from place to place. I know you have a lot of questions, and I'll be happy to answer most of them, but I think they'll have to wait. Unless I'm very much mistaken, your chief warlord is coming up behind you."
Abby turned and saw that he was right. Chief Slingstone had emerged from the castle and was quickly covering the ground between them, a stack of knights in tow.