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The Morbidden Hunt i
TailsCatalus

Tails meets Prince Catalus. Art by Casanovas and John M Burns.

s a 4-part Tails story, beginning in Issue 28 of Sonic the Comic. The story is Tails' 3rd STC adventure in the Nameless Zone.

Staff

Story

A sad Emerald Hill Zone citizen tells all; Badniks came along and dragged his friends away. Confident as ever, Sonic the Hedgehog says he'll deal with it, telling Tails to stay put as he drags his new furry friend away for an adventure. Tails is fed up that Sonic gets all the excitement, but it isn't long before a mysterious green portal materialises nearby - the Nameless Zone is calling once again! Tails has no choice but to answer and, upon entering the Zone, the fox is confronted by the village elders, led by Shaman Warpull. The Enchanter Kings have taught the Shaman how to open the gateway to Mobius, enabling him to summon Tails to a new mission. Providing Tails with his enchanted armour, the elders explain that goblins arrived in the night and 'stole' two cubs, Jimmy and Jilly. Tails is to go to Castle Morbidden and rescue them, no questions asked. Tails sets off on his way, meeting the babies' mother on the way. Tails admits it'd be easier if Sonic was here to help him, but she supposes Tails' "assistant" would merely slow him down. More aggravated, Tails carries on. In the throne room of Castle Morbidden, the slothenly Queen Vulpecula is tired of waiting for her brother, Prince Catalus, to return with the fox cubs. Vulpecula's sidekick, Liemould, suggests that the Queen could have gone to get foxes herself, a suggestion she doesn't take kindly to. Elsewhere, as Tails meanders along peacefully, he is unaware that a hungry beast is tailing him...

Tails spots the gryphon just in time, leaving the bird-lion to eat dirt. The dim-witted creature loses Tails as he slips behind a cliff. It isn't too long before the gryphon spots him again, chasing him to a ravine that the fox doesn't see. The two plunge over the edge, but Tails manages to get his tails together in the nick of time, flying out of the way as his chaser slams into the ground. Watching on, centaurs Ginny and Neddy are amazed that this new warrior has vanquished the terror that has plagued their village for weeks. Tails is led to their village of Portstable, where he is greeted to a raptuous applause. Explaining his situation, the centaurs offer Tails use of one their ships, which allows him to get Morbidden much faster. However, the vessel won't stop as it approaches the other beach and the consequent crash sends Tails hurtling onto the sand. In fact, the hero lands right at the feet of one Prince Catalus.

The Prince remains calm, nicely asking who Tails is, attacking subordinate Grack when he suggests that the fox be cooked. Catalus leads Tails to a tent, where Jimmy and Jilly are found, quite well actually. They get to stay up late, eat all they want and even get to play with Catalus' sword. They're having so much fun that they don't want to be rescued and are going with Catalus to play some sort of trick. As the goblin leaves to do some work, the cubs explain they're off to play hide and seek with the Queen, only Catalus is going to hide them all so well that she can't find them! The young ones find this hilarious, Tails is much more dubious, longing for Sonic once more. Later, the flying goblin ship docks at Castle Morbidden and Catalus reminds them of the plan. He also informs them that hide and seek is known as 'fox hunting' to the Queen. In the throne room, she is keen to start, letting them know her secret Red Jackets police will be helping her. The hunt begins and the cubs are scared now. Tails tries to lead them to Catalus' secret hiding place, but all the doors look the same! Queen Vulpecula spots them and chases them into a dead end, where Tails tries his best to put Vulpecula off.

Tails again regrets writing letters home, telling everyone what a hero he was. Fortunately, the Queen isn't finished. She enjoyed the game so much that she wants to play again, sending the foxes on another chase. Tails finds a hole in the wall, covered by a rug. They crawl through a passage laden with cobwebs before coming out of another door, met by Catalus. The goblin isn't so friendly now, unhappy about being ordered about by his sister. Keen to spoil her fun, he wants to kill the foxes and end the hunt. Catalus swipes about with his sword, getting it stuck in the door. Tails uses this opportunity to grab the cubs and flee. As they run up a tower, Jilly is sad that Catalus tricked them, but he is a goblin after all. With the goblin in hot pursuit, Tails realises they're trapped at the top of the castle. Jimmy realises they can't fly away, giving Tails an idea. The three leap off a bridge, but the cubs are heavy. Needing somewhere to land quickly, they make their way to the flying ship they arrived on. The ship casts off and Vulpecula is furious.

The cubs arrive back in the village and the elders are pleased that Tails has saved the day again. Holding onto his armour, Tails returns home to find Sonic, who's been looking for him. There's no rest to be found here, there's a long day of work ahead!

Trivia

  • This story marks the first (and only) appearances of the village elders, as well as named goblins such as Vulpecula and Catalus. Shaman Warpull would return again in the next adventure, whilst goblins would be the subject of future stories, particularly in Sonic the Comic Online.
  • Centaurs made their first appearance, living away from other species in the town of Portstable. Neither the settlement or these people are seen again, although a centaur appears in the Shining Force story, The Curse of Zeon.
  • Tails doesn't get into a single fight this time, rendering his armour pointless.
  • Liemould is a rat, even though we get to see much smaller, Earth-like rats in Catalus' tent.

Reprint

This story was reprinted from Issue 155 to Issue 158.

Timeline

The previous Tails story was The Land Beyond. The next is Zonerunner and the Flock.

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