The Last Illusion


The script can be read here but below is a synopsis.

The heroes are trekking through the Swamp of Darkness to rendezvous with the Dungeon Master when they are attacked by a swamp squid who attempts to eat Uni. The heroes battle the monster but Presto conjures a shower of perfumed petals and when the squid attacks him he runs away and becomes separated from the group who can't see him because of the raining petals.

Reaching the swamp's shore Presto thinks he has evaded the pursuing squid but it rears up behind him. The disembodied voice of Varla warns him of the attack and guides him away from the swamp. Varla projects an illusion of herself and implores Presto for help saying that she is in the Forbidden Tower before fading away. Dungeon Master appears and explains that she is gifted with wondrous powers that will grow as she grows and hints that by finding Varla he may find the way home.

Presto treks further through the forest that borders the swamp and is grabbed by Jeriff who demands to know who he is and what he is doing in the swamp. The other heroes rescue Presto and Marinda arrives to pacify her husband and explain that they heard children's voices and came to investigate. Marinda invites the heroes home for dinner despite Jeriff protests about how they must be evil witches and wizards to navigate the swamp and not wanting them in his house.

The village that Jeriff and Marinda live in is experiencing famine and drought. The heroes are given a meal of swamp lizard stew much to Eric's disgust. Jeriff loses his temper and confesses that this is all they have and demands that they leave. Again Marinda pacifies the situation and explains that Jeriff has not been the same since their daughter, Varla, was lost in the swamps a year ago. This was followed by their crops being destroyed by winds and livestock running off. Presto explains that he saw an illusory girl in the swamp but before he can tell them where he has a seizure and supernatural winds sweep through the village.

In the Forbidden Tower Varla is imprisoned in a force field and using her illusory powers to create the winds. Venger chastises her for summoning help and threatens to harm her parents if she does so again, before instructing her to continue casting illusions in the village.

Back in the village Varla is making Presto's seizures coincide with lightning strikes. The superstitious villagers accuse him of causing the supernatural storm. Presto protests that his magic is good. He summons a jet of water to extinguish a fire caused by the lightning strike but Varla's illusion turns the jet into a flames.

In the Forbidden Tower Varla casts an illusion over Venger to make him and his nightmare steed look heroic. Venger then flies to the village and dispels the storm damage much to the elation of the villagers and the duped heroes. Only Uni suspects there is something wrong but her hunch is dismissed by Bobby. Venger then accuses the heroes of being evil witches and wizards intent on destroying the village. The villagers overwhelm and imprison the heroes. Their totems are confiscated  and claimed by Venger who flies off with them. It appears that the heroes are to be burnt at the stake at dawn.

In the prison Presto is still feverish from his seizures and explains that he can feel it when Varla hurts and insists that she is still alive and that he saw her. Eric, undeterred by the loss of their totems, begins complaining noisily about the cell conditions in the hope of attracting some attention from the village.

In the Forbidden Tower Venger seals the totems away in a hidden compartment and claims that only Dungeon Master stands in his way now and that Varla's illusions will be able to deal with him. Varla reminds him that he promised to let her go but he revokes his promise saying she is too valuable to ever be freed.

In the prison Eric is still complaining noisily when Varla projects an illusion of herself and confesses that the storm and the fire were her illusions and that the heroic warrior who took their totems was really Venger before giving them directions to the Forbidden Tower. Jeriff and Marinda arrive to free the heroes and are elated to see the illusory Varla who vanishes on the arrival of Venger who has caught her projecting for help again. The heroes escape with the help of Jeriff and Marinda but the villagers capture Varla's parents and pursue them.

Arriving at the Forbidden Tower the heroes despair about how to get past the two orc sentries without their totems. Dungeon Master appears and gives them a morale boost, saying things are best when they look worse, before disappearing again. Hank formulates a plan to distract the orcs by tying Eric's shoes to a frog so that the clattering sound will lure the sentries away from the door allowing the heroes to sneak inside.

A sixth sense guides Presto to where Varla is imprisoned but before they can free her orcs arrive with Venger so Varla casts an illusion to make the heroes look like orcs also. Venger suspects he is being deceived and hurts Varla, breaking her concentration and dispelling the illusion. He then begins firing mystic bolts at them but Hank grabs a mirror to deflect one and it rebounds into the wall and destroys the secret compartment where their totems are stashed. The heroes retrieve their totems and begin battling Venger with Hank destroying the statue that is generating the force field that imprisons Varla. Varla then conjures an illusion of Tiamat the dragon but fades out of existence from the exertion. While Venger is busy battling the illusory dragon the heroes escape. The Forbidden Tower is destroyed by Vengers mystic bolts but he too escapes on nightmare.

The villagers catch up with the heroes and Jeriff and Marinda are distraught to learn that Varla has not survived. The villagers demand that the heroes must be punished for the damage to the village and the death of Varla but Presto notices that the village still looks ruined and realises that if Varla's illusions still exist then she must be alive. Dungeon Master arrives and instructs Presto to find her by following his heart. Presto walks towards the ruined tower and is reunited with an exhausted Varla. Her illusions vanish and the village is restored to normal with no famine or destruction. Presto carries Varla back in his arms and the Dungeon Master bows as conclusion.

5 comments:

  1. There's a voice goof near the end of this episode, as Varla disguises the pupils as Orcs. When Uni 'talks' while disguised as an Orc, we see Sheila (as an Orc wearing her cloak) saying 'Quiet, Uni' with Bobby's voice.

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  2. Ah, but Sheila never had her cloak during that scene as it was confiscated by Venger in the guise of a flying warrior. So not sure whether a purple cloak indicates that it is Sheila.

    It could be Bobby but with his orc disguise given an illusory cloak like his sister's. I've watched this more carefully and the orc that speaks with Bobby's voice (purple cloak, dagger belt buckle and single-spiked helmet with embossed disc) changes back into... Presto!

    But there's lots of other animation glitches during that scene and at one point I counted five illusory orcs with purple cloaks and several colour changing cloaks throughout.

    If you're looking for a possible explanation you could say that Varla was weak so her illusion had errors. Maybe that was Bobby speaking but he was given a cloak like his sister's and then when Varla was hurt she lost concentration and that particular disguise got mapped onto Presto instead?

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  3. Am I the only one who thinks that Presto probably isn't physically capable of carrying Varla like that all by himself? She probably weighs about as much as he does and she's a little taller.

    Besides that I was overall pleased with this episode.

    Presto is awesome and is my favourite character.

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    Replies
    1. Ah, but the power of love... ;)

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  4. Loved this episode. Presto was my favorite character too. :)

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