The girl leads you into the back room, where you get your first look at the older woman. She seems to bear a faint resemblance to the younger woman. Her hair is auburn and reminds you of leaves in the fall. The woman's eyes are her most striking feature, pale blue and bright. She, unlike her younger assistant, is wearing natural clothes, in hues of brown and tan. She looks up from the book in which she is writing as you enter.

"Thank you, Ramona," she says to the girl, who plops down in a plush chair with a sigh of relief. You take a look around the back office. There are books of history, magic, and fable spread everywhere, and stacks of papers. There are swords, crossbows, and weapons placed around the room, as well as magic ingredients and artifacts. You see a crystal ball on one end of the desk the woman is working at and a silver dagger at the other. Farther back in the office there are large, water-filled glass basins set into the wall, like fish tanks. In fact, you can see small creatures moving about in the tanks. The woman rises from her chair, drawing your attention back from your surroundings.

"My name is Indyana," she says, holding out a hand for you to take. You shake her hand, introducing yourself. She nods and steps back. "Nice to meet you. What brings you to the Creature Refuge?"

"I was hoping to tour the Refuge," you say.

"It's going to be a beautiful day for it," Indyana says. "I would take you around myself, but I still have plenty of errands to run, and I wouldn't want to bore you with them. I believe, however, Ramona has a free schedule." She turns to look pointedly at the younger woman, who has picked up a book and begun perusing it.

Ramona glances up from the pages and raises an eyebrow. "Do I?" she asks. After a moment of silence, she closes her book and rises from her chair. "Very well... let us start the tour with... the office."

She gives Indyana a falsely sweet grin and motions for you to follow her toward the other side of the room.

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Last Updated: June 18, 2004