It punches you back. You are now sporting a swollen pink eye.
“What is this thing?” You ask Merlin, hoping he has more experience with such things than you.
“It’s a back ball.”
“A back ball?” you ask feeling your eye turn blue.
“Yes! A back ball! Now, Maud!”
The woman from the cottage pulls a rope you now notice hanging from the roof, and a sales table folds up from the ground, complete with awning, brick-a-brack, and Merlin the Merchant.
“One of its kind, as light as a feather, and on sale today!” Merlin chimes. “It can be yours for only two thousand gold pieces! Whatever you do to it, it does back to you! It’s a Back Ball. And if that doesn’t interest you, we have much more where that comes from! Would you like to see the catalogue?”
“You’re a sales man.”
“You’re a poser.”
“And it worked. I got you here asking about my Back Ball?”
Before you can punch the halfling in the face, you spot a chest tucked behind his sales table. “What’s in there?”
“Oh. This. I found it dumped along the side of the road. It’s rusted junk.”
“May I? How much?”
“For you? Take it. It’s free. I don’t charge customers for garbage.”
You kneel beside the chest and notice an inscription carved upon the rim.
“Opening this chest ends this,” you read. Shrugging, you—
“Wait!” Merlin calls and you peer up from the chest.
“Before you go, would you please consider signing up for the Newsletter? Subscribers receive the occasional Digest and monthly Newsletters. There are perks for you.”
“What kind of perks?” you ask.
“Ice!” Merlin says, handing you a pack of ice to place on your black eye. “Free stuff, first dibs on news, events, and releases, and you’ll obtain access to the not-s0-secret Secret Club. You can click here if you have questions about subscription.
After making your choice, you pry open the rusted chest, leaving Merlin, Maud, and Mary the Goat behind (Click on the chest to open it).