Lady Ahavarwen and Lord Jaragorn approached the ruins of a once great castle carved from sandstone.
"This weathered fortress was home to the Mudbug tribe who fled Muddle Earth when MOAR!ON waged his war," said Ahavarwen. "Shelfin the Great Elfin Yabby refused to live in a realm where only ABAB rhyme scheme was allowed. He instructed his people to construct a huge ark on which they all sailed away across the Mudpuddle Sea. Knowing MOAR!ON despised free form poetry as well as alliteration, especially tongue twisters, his last words as they drifted away from the dock were, She saw sea shells by the seashore.
Jaragorn stared up at the sandstone tower that the bat creature disappeared into. He drew his sword and rapped it against the front door. To their surprise when it opened, DUGlo Baggins was standing there as fine and happy as can be!
"Greetings, my ffellow Fellowship friends!" the Glowyrm cried. "I'm so happy to see you! And I want you to meet my new acquaintance."
Dumbfounded, they followed the little bugger inside to where a Man in a black hooded mask and cape sat in a recliner. He was nursing a stein of ale. "Tada!" said DUGlo with a grand guesture. "Allow me to introduce ... the Dark Knight!"
The masked man slurped from the stein, hardly acknowledging them.
"THIS ... is the Dark Knight?" Ahavarwen asked incredulously.
"Yep!" DUGlo replied rather proudly. So much that he was beaming. Literally, as light was radiating from him in all directions.
Jaragorn sheathed his sword and scratched his whiskered chin. "DUGlo, are you sure? He seems a bit ... pudgy and out of shape. And why is he wearing a bat costume?"
The masked man leapt to his feet, spilling some ale as he almost fell forward. He took a moment to steady himself as if riding a surfboard. "Hey!" he scowled. "When you get to be a few thousand years old like me, you'll probbly get a bit of a spare tire too. Don't let the junk in this trunk fool you, Mister - I can still shake and bake with the best. Watch this!"
The Bat-Man proceeded to drunkenly swoop around the living room like a child pretending to fly, flapping his cape and spilling more ale.
"Oh, god," Ahavarven said. "I better put on a pot of coffee."
"BAM!" he cried, swinging wildly at the air. "NaPOW!"
"Make it two pots," said the Glowyrm. "Have I a tale to tell you!"
And the four of them sat by a roaring fire as DUGlo relayed the tale of how the Dark Knight first arrived in Muddle Earth. "He fell out of a hole in the sky along with my great great great great great great great grandfather and Keeper of the Sacred Poetry Books, Nice Admirable DUG." The Glowyrm paused for a moment to think. "Or maybe it was Vice Admiral . . .
He looked imporingly at the Dark Knight. The costumed Man threw up his hands, saying, "Beats the hell out of me. Last thing I remember is making toast this morning." Then he slugged down more coffee.
"Here!" DUGlo said, flipping through a photo album and pointing. "This is the first DUG of my bloodline with all of the poetry books he brought from beyond the Blank Space. This is how the Earthwyrms discovered so many wonderful forms of poetry that ushered in the Dawn of Literature. That is ... before the dark days of MOAR!ON's reign."
The Dark Knight began sobbing when they came across a photo of the Spiderweb Mistress in the album. "She was so beautiful," he said and sighed heavily. "I was her wittle Batman and she was my wittle Spider Woman."
The duo fought MOAR!ON on behalf of all the peoples of Muddle Earth, DUGlo continued to explain. "For he was on his way to destroy The One Poem ™ when the Ditch King pierced him with a Black Arrow. The Dark Knight fell from the sky and crashed landed into a deep ravine that trailed off into an underground cavern. When he awoke, The One Poem ™ was missing."
"It was those halfwit Frogs!" grumbled the Knight. "They hopped off with the darn thing, They stole The One Poem ™ from us while we were unconscious! They stole the Precious!"
"Why does he refer to himself as "we" sometimes?" asked Jaragorn.
"I'm not quite sure," replied DUGlo. "Occasionally he speaks to an invisible friend named Robin ... though it might be the alcohol talking. He hasn't been sober since rescuing me."
There was a faint sound of war drums. As they listened, it grew louder.
"To the Bat Cave!" the Dark Knight enthusiastically exclaimed, suddenly on his feet again. He leapt onto a one person trampoline and slingshotted up into the tower's belfry. After a few minutes of climbing the stairs like normal people, they found him staring out the observatory using his thumbs and index fingers as goggles.
Torches blazed in the distance, growing brighter.
"Holey Moley!" he cried. "Salamandar has discovered our whereabouts. Little Fellowship fellow, were you by any chance talking to anyone through that magic bowling ball in the dining room?"
"Ooopsie," replied DUGlo. "Sorries."
"Oh, ugh," Ahavarwen said. "It's an army of Porks!"