View Single Post
Old 08-28-2005, 06:27 AM   #280
The Saucepan Man
Corpus Cacophonous
 
The Saucepan Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: A green and pleasant land
Posts: 8,467
The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!
The Eye

Môgul Bildűr allowed himself a brief sneer of satisfaction. Although it was traditional for one in his Dark and Lordly position to hold an unshakeable belief in the inevitability of his ultimate victory, however many setbacks were encountered on the way, the sheer dogged determination of the Foil-ship to thwart his every move had recently given him some reason for doubt. But now, for once, everything seemed to be going according to plan. The battle continued to rage, blood continued to flow, corpses continued to pile up (and then mysteriously disappear) and deeds both heroic and treacherous continued to be done. And yet there appeared to be no sign of a let up in the fighting. It was as he purposed.

“Well Colin,” he said. “All seems to be in order, wouldn’t you agree?”

“Yes Lord Môgul - er - Lord Bildűr - er - Sir,” replied Sauerkraut obsequiously. “And thank you very much Sir for freeing me from the Void Sir.”

“Yes, yes. That’s about the twentieth time that you have thanked me. Remember. All you have to do is make sure that the polarity of the neutron flow remains reversed.” Môgul turned to Greedhog. “Your moment has come, my faithful Advocate-General.”

At this, the Senior Loyer brightened considerably. He had yet been sulking over his ignominious defeat at the hands of Sueim and he was also somewhat put out by Sauerkraut’s reappearance and blatant attempts to inveigle his way into his Master's affections. But there now appeared to be an opportunity for him to redeem himself in his Master’s (indeterminate number of) eyes.

“Yesss, Oh Prince of Pernicious and Poisonous Plotsss,” the old Loyer hissed. “What iss it that you command? Do you wisssh me to assail their armies with the absssolute assssurednessss of my authoritative argumentsss? Or sshall I neutralise their knightss with my notable knack of negotiation? Perhaps you would have me decisively destroy them with deadly and deceitful debate. Or would you prefer that I pin them down with the precise persspicacity of my polemic?”

“No. I want you to steal the Entish parts.”

“Dammit, my Lord,” replied Greedhog, momentarily thrown. “I am a Korprat-Loyer, not a burglar!”

“Take a detachment of your most artful Loyers, and some sturdy Trolls for protection,” continued Môgul, ignoring the Loyer’s protestations. “Make your way through the enemy ranks and rendezvous with our operative in the opposing camp. He will know what to do. Taking advantage of the distraction occasioned by the relentless battle, he will lead you to the arborious articles so that you may take possession of them.”

"Ah, I take your meaning, Oh Dark and Dreadful Duke of Deceit,” said Greedhog, resuming his customary manner of address. “But what of the Entisssh Bow? Ever it isss within the grasssp of the maiden Merisssuwyniel.”

“Well, if our diminutive double-agent is not able to appropriate it, your Loyers will just have to improvise with some spell of sequestration or injunctive incantation.”

“Underssstood, Oh Masster of Magnificently Mighty and Malignant Malevolence and Murderous and Malicious Maleficence,” nodded Greedhog, surpassing even his own high alliterative standards. “It sshall be done.”

************************************************

As he surveyed the havoc wrought by the Gateskeeper among the Dar-lęks, it suddenly occurred to Soregum that he was not where he should be. He felt a strong but inexplicable urge to return to the Ent-ship’s encampment.

“Come,” he called to his companions. “We must return to the battle and hold true to our Quest.”

Vogonwë, Orogarn (Two) and the Gateskeeper were momentarily taken aback by the Hobbit’s sudden and uncharacteristic turn of valour, but could not deny the truth of his words. And so they headed back towards their camp. Yet as they tracked back along the narrow ravine, the sky above darkened abruptly as if a storm were gathering about them. There was a sudden great roar and, in an instant, they were immersed in flames. Only the Gateskeeper’s quick-thinking and trusty Firewall spell saved them from a swift and deadly immolation. With a great rushing of wind, an immense shadow passed over them.

“Curse that scatterbrained Dragon!” cried Orogarn. “Our troubles are bad enough without having to deal with friendly fire.”

“That wasn’t Chrysophlax,” declared the Gateskeeper solemnly. “There were two of the beasts, one black and gaseous and the other golden with conceited air about him.”

“Ancalorgas the Black and Smug the Complacent!” declared Vogonwë. “But it cannot be! I saw their foul forms scattered across the battlefield with my own (Half) Elf eyes!”

************************************************

Greedhog’s company steadily made its way across the battlefield, cutting a swathe through all who stood in its path. Deadly were the Loyers’ enchantments and fell the insults of the Trolls. It seemed that none could withstand them. Yet there was one who stood alone before them, wielding an axe two-handed: Who-Him, erstwhile Lord of Dűn-Romin and general all-round good guy. His axe smoked in the black blood of the Troll-guard of Greedhog until it withered (for the Loyers had exploited a loophole in its lifetime guarantee), and each time that he slew, Who-Him cried: “Staurë continuata! Plot shall come again!” Seventy times he uttered that cry, but the Loyers grappled him with their craftily worded clauses, which clung to him though he severed their provisos; and ever their options were renewed, until at last he fell buried beneath their fine print and died on a technicality.

Victorious, Greedhog stepped forward and ordered his company onwards, his black gown swirling about his head like two vast wings. And yet he paused, sensing a vague irritation in the general region of his feet. Looking down, he saw that his right foot had been pierced by a small but finely-wrought Elven blade, while an umbrella skewered his left. As he watched, each smoked and smouldered, then writhed and withered and were consumed. So passed Hush, the dagger of Pimpiowyn, and the poodle-headed umbrella of Leninia. And had there been any two blades which could have dealt that foe a bitter wound, they were not these two. For Greedhog just laughed and, as he did so, his wings spread across the field of battle.

“Did you not know,” he said to Pimpi and Leninia as they cowered before his vast form. “That no Human, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, Troll or Orc, or any combination thereof, whether living dead or undead, and whether male, female or otherwise, may hinder me.”

“That’s as maybe,” said a commanding voice behind him. “But it says nothing about Loyers.”

“Wha -!!??” uttered Greedhog, turning to the source of the voice. And as he did so, Sueim (for it was he) swung his mighty blade. Greedhog’s grotesque features acquired a perplexed, and somewhat disappointed, look as his great misshapen head parted contact with his hideous neck.

“But sssurely that’s a breach of professssional etiquette …” it hissed as it span through the air. But then it was silent and the Advocate-General of the Dark Tower Block was no more.

“Nice work ladies,” said Sueim to Pimpi and Leninia, flashing them a winning smile.

************************************************

When they returned to the encampment, Pimpi, Leninia and Sueim found their companions deep in discussion. All save Soregum, who skulked awkwardly by the waggon bearing the Entish parts, greedily eyeing the Entish Bow slung over Merisu’s back.

“And now the Dar-lęks have reappeared,” resumed Vogonwë once he had made a suitably appreciative fuss of his valiant sweetheart. In the distance, the metallic monsters bobbed and weaved there way back towards the battle, their harsh cries carrying over the tumult.

“Gateskeeper, have you any knowledge of what foul magic is at play here?” enquired Merisu.

“Aye,” replied the Wizard gravely. “’Tis the imbalance in the space time continuum.”

The Blank-ship stood blinking dumbly.

“As log as the polarity of the neutron flow remains reversed, all who die on the field of battle will continue to return. I sense Sauerkraut’s hand in this, but the power that he wields is that of the Dread Developer.”

“You said all who die,” ventured Hal. “Does that not apply to those on our side too?”

“It would appear so,” said Who-Him, appearing in their midst.

“Indeed,” continued the Gateskeeper unruffled. “For as long as Môgul goes unchallenged, this Battle of Evermore will continue with no respite, binding us here until the very end of time itself. And while the Velour languish impassively in their Ivory Tower there are none here with the power to challenge him.”

“Cool!” chirped Reaperneep, to general disapprobation.

Last edited by The Saucepan Man; 09-29-2005 at 02:22 AM.
The Saucepan Man is offline