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Old 01-26-2004, 01:55 PM   #130
Spirit of Mist
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tol Eressea
Posts: 2,897
Mithadan has been trapped in the Barrow!

Snuffling and sniffing along, like a hunting dog hot upon a scent, Grrralph led the way along the trail following the aroma of Vogonw's mousse ("Hair gel," protested Pimpi, but all ignored her). The hero-and-heroine-ship followed behind in no particular order. That is all but Chrysophylax who was wallowing in the exquisite pain of true-love lost and indulging himself in the age old cure of eating to forget his pain. Days later, Merisu noticed that the Dwarfling, Norni, had disappeared, but as none could quite recall when he had last been seen, it was deemed inappropriate to question Chrysi about his absence.

The Wraith stopped abruptly before the opening of a cave in the side of a hill. "Are you sure we're going the right way?" asked Orogarn Two. "I haven't seen any footprints." Grrralph sniffed at the cave entrance and turned to..."face" Orogarn. "His mousse is here," Grrralph answered. "Can't you smell it?" Earnur sniffed dubiously at the dark opening, then his eyebrows flew up. "Now that you mention it..."

Merisu stepped forward, taking command of the situation. "Now is the time for our esteemed Kuruharan, who has proved himself a good companion on our long road, and a Dwarf full of courage and resource far exceeding his size, and if I may say so possessed of good luck (and a bag of merchantable goods) far exceeding the usual allowance - now is the time for him to perform the service for which he was included in our Company..."

The reader is by now well familiar with Merisu's style on important occaisions, so more of it need not be given. More to the point, Kuruharan quickly interrupted by opening his bag and pulling out an ornate business card.

"If you mean that it is my job to go into the dark passage first, O Merisuwyniel, may your hair grow ever longer," he said crossly. "Then I suggest that you speak to my Loyer, specifically to inquire regarding the consequences of engaging in racial discrimination, to wit, the assumption that Dwarves are more appropriately the persons who should engage in the exploration of dark holes in the ground than any other race in Muddled Mirth." He handed the card over to Merisu, who with a shaking hand held it up. "I cannot read the fiery runes," she said almost, but not quite as it would be out of character for a shieldmaiden, fearfully.

Grrralph stood by the aforesaid hole in the hillside tapping his red high heeled boot on the forest floor impatiently as the others debated who would lead the way into the cave. Then he drew his sword and flailed it about, for Pimpiowyn had begun to whimper again. "Very well," he cried. "I shall lead the way. Follow me, all ye whose hearts do not fail at the darkness." This would have been a truly dramatic moment were it not for his sibilant "s" which caused a squirrel and two wrens perched on a branch above to giggle helplessly.

"Showoff," muttered Earnur as he drew his sword and plunged into the cave after the wraith. The others entered, folowing Grrralph and Earnur, ignoring the protestations of Kuruharan. "Wait, doesn't anyone want to buy a torch first?"

The dark enveloped them like a cave without light as they trudged along the tunnel. Their footsteps seemed to echo loudly amid the other earthy noises of the crypt-like cavern. "My blood runs chill," muttered Orogarn. "Then button your shirt," retorted Kuruharan. "Its not like anyone here needs to see your manly chest right now."

Earnur stumbled upon a tree root and sprawled on the tunnel floor. Then Pimiowyn banged her head on a low hanging rock. Finally, the oppressive dark curled its chilling hand even around the heart of our heroine, Merisu. "Oh for Valleyum's sake," she cried. "Doesn't anyone have a match?" Orogarn handed her his mystical Bc, and she lit a lantern and held it up to light their way. It was then that the Itship beheld a horrific sight.

"He's dancing again," sighed Earnur. For Grrralph was hopping about, stomping, kicking and waving his arms as he writhed from side to side. "I think its the Umbar Hat Dance," guessed Pimpiowyn. "No, no," cried Kuruharan. "It's the Easterling Sword Dance." Merisu chimed in with, "No, it's..."

At that moment, Grrralph engaged in a particularly graceful high kick. To Pimpi, it was reminiscent of a ballet move from Dragon Lake. To Earnur, it seemed like a penalty kick from a game of Schr. To Orogarn, it was the spitting image of a fld gl. Of the three guesses, Pimpi's was the least correct. Grrralph's red-booted foot made solid contact with something which flew through the air only to land in Merisu's open arms, where it writhed, scratched, bit, meeped and prrted.

"ZERLS!" cried the quick-on-the-uptake-ship...
That which once was shall be again!
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