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Old 03-09-2005, 07:25 AM   #241
Estelyn Telcontar
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
And lo, all eyes turned to Merisuwyniel, both of the Velour and of the WeHaveNoIdeaWhatThisIsAllAboutShip. She stood tall and straight, her cheeks flushed most becomingly with righteous anger, dramatically clasping the Entish Bow to her heaving bosom. [Truth be told, though the Bow feared for its once and future life, it relished those moments, as my cherished readers can well imagine!]

“Never!” she cried out, and repeated it for emphasis, “Never!”

“What did she say?” Chanessa stage-whispered.

“Dunno,” Estë-Lynn replied. “Sounded to me like ‘Verily I come, I come to you’.”

Merisu was getting into the spirit of the occasion and raised the arm that held the Bow, shaking it defiantly. “Mogûl, if you want it, come and claim it!”

“Ummm, isn’t that what he just did?” Vairsacë commented pragmatically.

Taken aback ever so slightly, the Elven maiden tried again. “By Vinaigrettiel my deceased evil but repentant mother and Gravlox the Fair-Enough-In-My-Eyes, you shall have neither the Bow nor me!” With these words, she fled from the Lofty Halls of the Velour and was seen there never again.
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Old 03-09-2005, 08:21 AM   #242
Rimbaud
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Which left the Flounderingship, well, floundering. Feet shuffled, fingernails were inspected, and some took the chance to enjoy the fine art that adorned the walls. Seemingly, the favoured style was a splurge of paint and colour, perfected by – Hal peered to read the scrawl on the nearest – Jak’s Son, Pillock.

“I suppose,” he ventured, “That we should, um, be supportive and walk out, you know?”

“Nay,” said Manuël, sounding rather grand for once, although it didn’t last. “We should, you know, like, find a solution and appease Mogul.”

“Appeasement, eh?” said Hauliê. “Don’t much like the sound of that.”

And like a childhood failure on the hopscotch board, they were back to square one.

“Let me get this straight,” said Soregum. “Merisu has the bow, Mogûl wants it and we face certain annihilation if we demur from producing it. Seems clear to me.”

“We can’t abandon Merisu,” said Orogarn Two. “This mission ain't over until Pimpi sings.”

"Hey!" exclaimed a short sort-of-hobbity-human.

Hal’s mind cast itself back to memories of Merisu’s heaving bosom and concurred. “We must provide support,” he muttered.

“It’s us that, like, will get it in the neck, if you all leave!” exclaimed Vairsacë, somewhat plaintively. “If you hightail it outta here now, we’ll have to come after you for our own sakes.”

“Can’t you mount a valiant but ultimately fruitless defence?” asked Hal. “It would be jolly spiffing if you did.”

“Fruitless defence is the last resort of the valiant,” countered Haulië.

“And it ain’t got nothing like that in our contracts,” cried Mantoes.

“There’s, um, some small print,” murmured the Gateskeeper. “In a microdot hidden in the ‘V’ of Velour. We tendered the software package.”

“Word,” said Vairsacë.

“That’s it,” said Gateskeeper.

“No, I mean, just, you know, ‘word’,” said Vairsacë hurriedly. “Like, ‘word up, we’re in a jam’.”

“Ah.”

“We have two options,” said Hal, pompously. “Either we decide to support Merisu’s bounceless, er, boundless, um, problems…or we muck in with these chaps and fight a brave fight.”

The door slammed behind them, as the LikeWhatevership departed in a flurry of a hurry, leaving some seriously un-chilled out Velour in their wake.

Last edited by Rimbaud; 03-09-2005 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 03-09-2005, 05:44 PM   #243
Kuruharan
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Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Boots All your base are belong to us

The Gallowship fled down the escalator, past the plot hole, and out the Mall. They continued fleeing pell mell until they reached an indefinite point and flopped down.

Chrysopylax pointed toward a hill looming in the distance. “Excuse me,” he said. “I believe that is the enemy right over there.”

"DOH!!!"

There were thousands of them spread all about the base of the hill.

“Verily,” muttered Orogarn Two. “When my people tried this stunt the earth was changéd from a plane into a sphere. Is it not time for the earth to be changéd into a banana shape or something?”

“Eucatastrophes can never happen the same way twice,” opined Kuruharan.

“It wouldn’t be exactly the same way,” retorted Orogarn Two.

“It would be the same principle,” rejoined Kuruharan.

“Pipe down,” snarled Merisuwyneil. “Look in the center of the camp! It looks like there is some sort of prisoner being tortured there!”

The distance was too great to see clearly, but it appeared that some figure with shockingly blonde hair was bound and surrounded by other figures who seemed to be going over his body with ostrich feathers and hitting him with wet noodles.

“My darling…” murmured Merisuwyniel.

“What?” said Orogarn Two.

“err…Nothing,” said Merisuwyniel.

“Milady,” shrilled a voice. “There is nothing else for it but to launch a desperate frontal assault to rescue yon prisoner and avenge the honor of this pathetic land!”

“B-b-but, that might get us killed!” whined Pimpi.

“Almost certainly,” agreed Reaperneep ecstatically.

“But then,” mused Merisuwyniel, “the Ent-that-was-Broken would fall into the clutches of Môgul Bildûr, dooming Muddled Mirth for all eternity.”

“So?” said Reaperneep. “We’ll have met with a glorious death in battle!”

“If Môgul conquers the world, the Halls of Mantoes would be his as well,” replied Merisuwyniel. “Even in death we could not escape him.”

“Well, actually, I think that would be more of a problem for you,” said Orogarn Two with a certain smugness.

“What about me?” asked Kuruharan.

“Uhhh…” said Orogarn Two.

Suddenly the air was shattered by the savage battle cries of the orcs.

“LOL! u R lAMeERZ11!!! WE ROoLZzE!1!”

A regiment of the savage creatures sprang into view.

“U iZ giViN Uz EnT (sP?) or loL11 u r gIon dy!!111”

Merisuwyniel blinked uncomprehendingly at their attackers. “What?”

“ALl YouR bASE r BELong tO uZ LOL11!!!!11”

“Oh dear,” sighed Vogonwë. “I suppose this probably means that somebody set up us the bomb.”

A little to the side, Chrysophylax muttered something to Kuruharan. “I think it might be about time to use the Whistle. It would lend some meaning to post number 215.”

“What about post number 243?” asked Kuruharan.

“I think all hoped is lost,” answered Chrysophylax.

Without further ado, Kuruharan pulled out one small bundle he had acquired in post 215. Out of the bundle he pulled a little whistle. He set the whistle to his lips and blew a mighty blast. There was no sound and nothing happened. “Are you sure it worked?” asked the dragon. “No,” answered Kuruharan. “Quick, lemme up! We may need to make a quick exit from the story!” Just as the dwarf was climbing to his accustomed position, a dull rumble was heard in the distance.

Then came the horn.

“Oh, wait…” muttered Kuruharan. “I should have thought of this sooner…what if he’s been banned here too?”

“Too late,” hissed the dragon as an earthshaking barking erupted from somewhere nearby. The orcs stopped dead in their tracks.

“WhAz DaT!!!///?”

The orcs abruptly discovered that “DaT” was the sound of a pack of monstrously oversized, vicious, and bloodthirsty hounds who pounced upon them from above and went charging on toward the enemy camp, leaving a trail of gore and shattered limbs in their wake.

The horn sounded again, very near, and it shook the Don’tknowwhatthey’vestartedship to the ground. A figure of glittering scarlet and white flashed past at blinding speed, blasting deafening (but merry) notes on his horn. A few seconds later a group of stout fellows in pigtails and short red jackets went running past, wheezing and gasping like they were having a collective coronary.

“What in the name of my gem-encrusted toenail clippers was that?” demanded Leninia.

“Hornme the Foxhunter and his Magnificent Steed Har-har,” answered Kuruharan. He has hunted every thing from the Swine of Aha to the Bingos of Down Below.”

“But has he chased Electrons to and fro?” asked Pimpi.

“But I thought the Velour would not aid us,” said Merisuwyniel.

“He’s…different,” said Kuruharan. “Let’s go watch.”

The trail of shredded internal organs provided them with ample guidance to their destination. On a little knoll, a short distance from the appalling carnage (that I could not possibly describe on a family site) sat Hornme and Har-har themselves. Har-har was an incomparably dazzling specimen of cream-colored horseflesh (Merisuwyniel instantly wanted to go give him a good rubdown, the lucky stallion…). Seen at close range, the Messyship discovered that Hornme wore a funny little black cap, a gloriously scarlet jacket, shining white trousers, and impeccably shined jackboots. Under one arm he held a vicious looking riding crop and with his other hand he held a pair of golden field glasses. One could tell by looking at him that he contained all the haughtiness befitting his rank and station. He would speak with such noble disdain to every one, carry his nose so high (that the field glasses could more accurately be described as a periscope), strain his voice to such a pitch, assume so imperious an air, and gallop about with so much loftiness and pride (to say nothing of lack of regard for anybody else’s life or limb) that anyone who had the honor of addressing him would be seized by an irresistible urge to thrash him. His native power and his dogs invariably prevented such an outcome. He was also outrageously handsome so that most women were immoderately desirous to get their hands on him (at least until he opened his mouth). In his own eyes, he appeared to be the paragon of beauty. As can easily be imagined, his fellow Velour found him to be beyond insufferable and they’d packed him off to Muddled Mirth at the earliest available opportunity. Alas, those in Muddled Mirth had taken an ill view of his devastation of the land and wildlife and had recently sent him packing back to Valleyfornia. His attendants lay strewn about the feet of Har-har, all gasping fit to burst.

“Good show!!” he squawked at the top of his voice. “Rip out that large intestine!!”

The Gallowship looked upon the slaughter.

“I say, fellow,” bawled Hornme, rapping Orogarn Two on the top of his head with the riding crop. “Be a good chap and keep hold of Har-har while I go to inspect the damage!” With one final whack to the noggin punctuate the point, Hornme bounded out of the saddle and strode off into the mess. Har-har remained with a most disdainful air about his new handler. In the midst of the rout, the forces of Môgul finally remembered they had aerophants that would take them out of the range of these demented dogs and their deranged keeper. The ponderous pachyderms were packed with a polyglot parcel of pugnacious Dumbarians, orcs, and Loyers, all eager to escape the dogs and wreck ruin upon their assailants from on high. The surviving aerophants took to the sky and sped with winged speed upon the Gallowship.

“NOW WHAT?!!!” cried Merisuwyneil.

“Here,” yelled Kuruharan. “I picked these up in the Seventh Age.” He pulled a pair of long metal tubes and large stands out from the back of the wagon carrying the Ent-that-was-Broken. He set them up so that the tubes pointed toward the sky. He grabbed Vogonwë and shoved a smaller tube-shaped thing into the half-elf’s hands. “Jam these into the back end of the guns!” commanded Kuruharan.

“What’s a gun?” said Vogonwë.

“Just do it!” yelled Kuruharan, pulling out a funny looking helmet and goggles from his robes and putting them on his head. The ill-sorted pair readied their unbelievably anachronistic devices. Finally, they both grabbed a length of cord from the back of their respective thingies.

“READY!” cried Kuruharan. “FIRE!!”

Last edited by Kuruharan; 03-11-2005 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 03-11-2005, 09:11 PM   #244
Diamond18
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Eye Ker-splat

And lo!

Nothing happened.

“Well, this is anticlimactic!” Vogonwë complained, ripping off his goggles. “I’ve recited poetry with more lethal power than this thingie!”

Kuruharan ripped off his goggles in an unconscious imitation of the half-elf. A short, unconscious, imitation.

Pimpi rushed up with a glass of water and splashed it on the dwarf’s face whilst Vogonwë knelt to slap his hairy cheeks. “Who- wha- where?” he sputtered, regaining consciousness.

“You fainted from fear and frustration,” Vogonwë informed him helpfully, giving him another slap.

“I don’t remember that,” Kuruharan protested. “One moment I was ripping my goggles off and the next--”

“Nevermind that,” Pimpi pointed at the sky, “It’s chaos and anachronism up there, do something!”

“Right!” the damp dwarf exclaimed. He and Vogonwë reloaded the weapon and disengaged the safety lock, and lo!

With a mighty ka-blooey the thingie exploded into the Valleyum air, striking down one of the aerophants in a glorious and gruesome display of flinging flesh and spurting blood clouds of destruction and Doom!

“Oooooooh... explosion!” Vogonwë’s human half reacted with laconic admiration, while his elven half quietly and privately began composing a poem expounding the beauty of red skies.

“Yippy-ki-yay,” Kuru uttered jauntily, in a short, unconscious imitation of a man who dies hard, harder, and with a vengeance.

A moment later, blood and gore from the kill landed upon the Itshippers and their jubilant moods were somewhat dampened.

Last edited by Diamond18; 03-20-2005 at 07:23 PM. Reason: save fillum inners
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Old 03-12-2005, 05:47 AM   #245
Rimbaud
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The enemy then began a new and fearsome assault. Large, bright blue balls began bouncing from their ranks towards the Parodyship, whence they were fended off with stave and club. Upon contact with our heroes arsenal of weapons, they popped languidly, showering them with a mixture of home fertiliser and vinegar that was probably meant to be explosive, but was in fact rather a good salad dressing, and handy for use on compost.

The enemy moved forward smoothly, although with some minor pixellation, and a few jerky movements. The blue balls varied in size, bouncing almost comically towards them.

“This is too much,” said Hal. “We’ve stayed with the story because of the great history of REB and the humour and excitement of the first instalments. But this is just vapid, generated dross cooked up to satisfy the lowest common denominator.”

Yet no sooner had this fairly ridiculous little speech concluded, then more battles were upon them, complete with sweeping camera shots.

A huge red-faced warrior was upon Hal, and Orogarn Two stepped up to aid him. Their blades a blur so fast that they appeared to hum with some fierce power, they commenced a deadly dance, of skill, feint and counter-feint. Several others stopped their half-hearted slaughtering to watch. Operatic music soared above the scene as the combatants, um, combatasised,

It was breathtaking and dramatic. “Actually, this is quite good,” said Vogonwe.

“Doesn’t justify the stultified plot!” shouted Hal through the maelstrom of hacking and slashing. It did look good though, as they battled on a high ridge with the panorama of Valleyum spread beyond them.

“Watsa all theees?” asked a huge bouncy ally, bounding up to them with improbable ears. “I’msa Ha-Ha Sinks! I is here to…”

The enemy and the Parodyship ceased their battles and turned all their attention on the newcomer, who quicker than you could say, “when is a door not a door? When it’s ajar!” was pasted liberally on the ground (and stamped on). After giving each other nods and slapping their enemies on the back, battle resumed, if slightly more good-naturedly.

The battle swung this way and that, until Hal noticed that the enemy were magically regenerating out of huge skulls set in the cliff walls. “Get the generators!” he cried and Kuruharan threw throwing axe after throwing axe, while the others, wizards and archers and fighting women, protected him.

Thus was the gauntlet thrown down, and the battle raged among the over-described Itship and the truly opaque and casually explained forces of darkness.

Last edited by Rimbaud; 03-22-2005 at 04:22 AM.
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Old 03-28-2005, 06:02 PM   #246
The Saucepan Man
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The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!
The Eye

As soon as the battle had commenced, Soregum had lost no time in finding a comfortable vantage point on a nearby hill from which to view the proceedings.

“Er - fighting’s not really my thing,” he explained to a quizzical Hal as the limp haired handyman drilled his way through a column of Orcs and nailed a couple of Trolls for good measure.

“Coward!” cried a rampaging Reaperneep, leaping happily from one adversary to another, his tiny but (appropriately) rapier-sharp rapier introducing them all to an assorted selection of their internal organs.

“So what is your thing?” enquired Orogarn Two, overjoyed at the opportunity to revive Grundor’s ancient feud with Dumbar at the expense of a troop of red-clad and rouge-faced Dumbarian warriors.

Soregum did not answer (judging it imprudent to explain that it might not be in his best interests to join in the slaughter of his Master’s army), but instead took out a pouch of Old Toothrot and charged his pipe. Resting his hairy and fungally challenged feet upon a still unconscious Grrralph, he sat back to enjoy the spectacle.

The Entish Bow purred with delight as Merisuwyniel fired off one shot after another from a seemingly endless supply of arrows. Her violet eyes flashed as she paused momentarily to brush a stray auburn hair back into place and wipe a tiny speck of blood from her otherwise spotless face. Pimpiowyn stood proudly beside her, covered from head to foot in gore, relishing the opportunity to put her recently acquired shieldmaidening skills into action at last. Hush was silent no more as it contended loudly with any enemy who dared approach Merisu. Nearby, the Gateskeeper was fiddling with the controls on his staff (a cluster of buttons marked, respectively, with a circle, a square, a triangle and a cross). Every so often, random missiles (lightning bolts, arrows, a hail of bullets and, inexplicably, a bouquet of pink carnations) shot out from his staff and hit an Orc or a Troll, upon which they exploded in a shower of red and green pixels and quickly faded without trace. Leninia moved like a shadow through the fallen, dispatching the enemy wounded with the lethal tip of her umbrella, taking care not to break any of her well-manicured (and equally lethal) nails in the process.

Kuruharan stood to one side, busy drawing up odds on which member of the Battle-ship would score the most kills and raking in bets from the docile and gullible locals. Chrysophylax circled overhead barbequing any enemies who showed an interest in the Dwarf’s impromptu bookmaking enterprise.

Vogonwë, meanwhile, had warmed to his role of Master Elf Gunner and was training his fire on a second attack Aerophaunt as it swept in ballistas blazing. A resounding blast rang out over the battlefield and the mighty flying pachyderm and its crew were no more. Or rather, they were many more - only smaller and less cohesive.

“That only counts as one!” cried Kuruharan. He had placed rather long odds on the Half-Elf coming top in the headcount stakes, and was now rather regretting entrusting the mighty weapon of the Velour to him.

“Astounding,” thought a baffled Soregum to himself as he puffed on his pipe while the frenzied action carried on apace all round. “These guys really seem to enjoy this sort of thing.”

But his thoughts were cut short as the remains of the disassembled Aerophaunt fell down about him. As he scrambled for cover, he was dimly aware of a flock of winged shapes far in the distance but fast approaching.

“The Eagles! The Eagles are coming!” he cried predictably, but then fell forward as an unidentifiable, but hefty, chunk of Aerophaunt landed on top of him and darkness engulfed him.

The Eagles, meanwhile, passed high overhead as they flew towards the Council Chamber of the Velour, glancing only with passing interest at the proceedings below.

The Slaughter-ship pressed on. But, though they toiled diligently and characteristically in seeking to eliminate everything in sight, there seemed to be no end to Môgul’s hordes. The Dread Developer’s loyers had not been idle. As soon as the army had reached Valleyum, a small detachment had been despatched to the Pad of Mantoes, where they had busied themselves slapping requisition orders drawn up under the terms of the Orcish Conundrum Concordat on the bewildered Elvish officials. The custodians of the Pad were powerless to resist, as the paperwork was all in proper order, and had proceeded to release the resident Orcs from their Holding Pens. And so, every time an Orc died on the field of battle, he was immediately processed and sent back out to fight once more, slightly dazed and confused but otherwise none the worse for wear. The skulls in the cliff walls from which they emerged were an extra touch added by Greedhog, who had often regretted that his early artistic promise had been overshadowed by his loyering duties.

Meanwhile, Kuruharan had noticed that Hornme the Foxhunter’s participation in the conflict was somewhat lacking. The red-coated Velou sat perched on a hunting stick swigging from a hip-flask, as his hounds feasted on fricasseed Aerophaunt flesh. Puzzled, Kuruharan once more drew out the Mighty Whistle from Post 215 and blew silently on it. Nothing happened. He blew again, and again, and again until he was red in the face.

“I say old chap,” Hornme shouted over to him. “Would you mind not making that dreadful racket?“

“But what about the battle … your hounds … blood … teeth … guts … ?!!?“ stammered Kuruharan, for once at a loss for words.

“Sorry old bean, nothing I can do,” replied the Foxhunter holding up an official looking piece of paper. “The loyers have served a hunting ban. The paperwork is all in order, don‘t you know. It‘s not really my place to intervene anyway, so I am off for a spot of afternoon tea and crumpets. Best of luck and all that. Toodlepip!”

And so the tide of the battle swiftly began to turn against the Ebb-ship and before long they found themselves hemmed in on all sides by a seemingly (and, as it happened, literally) endless supply of enemies.

“Well it looks like the game is up,” said Merisu, a beautifully tragic expression suffusing her face. “It’s been nice knowing you all. Thank you for your help. I am sorry that it has come to this.”

“But you can’t give up,” protested Pimpi. “You are a shieldmaiden. And shieldmaidens never give up. They keep on going against the odds until a Deus Ex Machina turns up to rescue them. That’s just the way it is - isn’t it?”

“The only Deus Ex Machina around here passed overhead about an hour ago,” said Kuruharan grimly.

“Is this really the end?” asked Soregum, who had just recovered from one near death experience and was understandably miffed to now find himself faced with another.

“End? No, little one, the journey doesn’t end here,” replied the Gateskeeper in a kindly tone. “Death is just another path. One that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain turns all to silver glass and rolls back. And then you see it …”

“What, Gateskeeper? See what?”

“White shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.”

“We’ve already seen that,” observed Orogarn Two. “Back in Post 228. When we arrived here in Valleyum.”

“Oh yes,” muttered the Gateskeeper, his beatific expression dissolving. “We’re done for, then.”

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

And so the Backs-to-the-Wall-ship steeled themselves and readied their weapons for the enemy’s final blow. But the dark horde did not advance. Instead, the massed Men, Orcs and Trolls stopped and gazed about themselves in fear and awe. And then, slowly, they began to withdraw.

“Haha! I knew we would prevail!” cried a jubilant Reaperneep.

But no sooner had he spoken than four great Trolls began to beat out a rhythm on their drums and the enemy’s ranks began to part, with the exception of two particularly confused Orcs who were suffering the effects of a succession of hasty reincarnations. Bemused, their eyes rolled up as their foreheads each gave way to black pseudopodial spikes, which then promptly retracted. As the two Orcs slumped lifelessly (albeit only temporarily so) to the ground, a dark nebulous cloud behind them slowly resolved itself into the figure of a man. An incredibly handsome man, clad in black leather trousers and a leather jacket left open at the front to reveal an astonishingly manful chest. He ran a perfectly manicured hand through his mass of luxuriant raven hair and winked devilishly at the Gawp-ship.

Without exception, and against their better judgment, the female members of the It-ship found themselves going weak at the knees, while the remaining companions, to a man, were lost in admiration for this fine specimen of masculinity. Only Soregum was immune to the effect. He was weak at the knees too, but that was because he was only too aware of the identity of the charismatic stranger and was terrified out of his wits.

As raucous Orcish voices struck up a hypnotic chant in time with the rhythm of the Troll’s drums, the darkly angelic man began to sing.

Please allow me to introduce myself
A Velou of wealth and taste
I’ve been around for a long, long year
Laid many a realm to waste

I was ’round when the Elven folk
First came to Valleyum’s gate
Made damn sure that Feeblenor
Saw the light and sealed his fate

M’yeah

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

I stuck around ol’ Dairyland
When I saw it was a land for a change
Built up towns, malls and factories
’Til Yawanna screamed in vain

I charged a fee
Brought prosperity
While the deals were made
And the taxes paid

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah

I watched dismayed
As the Velour played
While you toiled through the years
Thinking that they cared

I shouted out
“Who split the Entish boughs?”
When after all
It was Mantoes’ vows

Let me please introduce myself
A Velou of wealth and taste
And I salute you Entish Questors
Who have led me a merry chase

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

Just as every light has a shadow
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Melvin
And I’m in need of no restraint

So now you’ve met me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
If you do, we all can profit
And save Muddled-Mirth from waste

M’yeah

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name
But what’s puzzling you
Is just the nature of my game


The Orcs were now in full swing with their chanting as Môgul (for it was he) conjured a gleaming obsidian Fender Spellcaster out of nowhere and played a gratuitously unrestrained guitar solo before continuing with his song. The tale had been going for seven pages now without him having the opportunity of a musical number and he was enjoying himself.

Tell me Merisu, what’s my name
Tell me Pimpi, can ya guess my name
Tell me Vogy, what’s my name
Join me now, there’s no shame

Ooo, woo
Ooo, woo
Ooo, woo
Ooo, woo
Ooo, woo
Ooo, woo
Ooo, woo

Oh, yeah
What’s my name
Tell me, Leni, what’s my name
Tell me, Gatesy, what’s my name

Ooo, woo
Ooo, woo
Ooo, woo
Ooo, woo
Ooo, woo
Ooo, woo
Ooo, woo


As the Orcish chants faded, Môgul sauntered impudently up to Merisu and, taking her hand, planted a kiss on it.

“We meet at last, my dear,” he said in a suitably sinister and clichéd manner. “And how delightful you are in the flesh.”

And with that, an amazing thing happened. Merisu’s cheeks flushed bright red, her hair fell dishevelled about her shoulders and she began to perspire. Her companions would not have believed it, had they had sufficient wit to notice. But each of them was bewitched, seeing in this man the perfect being, each according to their fancy. Kuruharan saw the astute businessman whose ability to turn a profit knew no bounds, while Leninia was once more the young and naïve groupie transfixed by the rock legend that she perceived. The Gateskeeper could only begin to guess at the power which lay behind his dark sorcery, while Vogonwë marvelled at the beauty of his poetry. Orogarn Two, meanwhile, was lost in admiration for the manliness of the man and was busy wondering just how he managed to keep his hair in such good condition. Each member of the Dumb-struck-ship fell instantly for him, with the exception of Grrralph, who was snoring loudly, and Soregum, who was once again trying (and failing) to merge unseen into the background.

“My dear Entish Questors, how enchanting it is to meet you all, old friends and new,” continued Môgul addressing the enthralled companions, who were oblivious to his villainous clichés hearing only the persuasive oratory of a master wordsmith. “It’s wonderful to see you here. It’s certainly a thrill. You’re such a lovely audience, I’d like to take you home with me. I’d love to take you home. But first, to business. You have met my breth/sist-ren and had the opportunity to see them for the uncaring fools that they are. I would hazard a guess that they were not too interested in your Quest. Am I right?”

As one, the Taken-In-ship nodded dumbly.

“As I thought. Do you really think that they give a flying flet what happens to Muddled-Mirth? Of course they don’t. They have not taken any interest in it for the past six millennia, so why would they start now? There is only one Velou who has the best interests of Muddled-Mirth at heart, and you are fortunate enough to have met him before it is too late. And now you each have a wonderful opportunity before you. For together, we can build a parodic paradise in Mirth. An unashamedly uncanonical Utopia where you can fulfil your wildest dreams. Think what splendour and riches await you if you will only relinquish the Entish parts and join with me.”

And as the Dread Developer continued to enthral them with his words, the companions’ thoughts drifted away and visions were conjured up in their minds of that which they each desired the most.

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Old 04-01-2005, 04:45 AM   #247
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Orogarn Two, son of… [oh, go back and read it on the first pages of this story – I can’t be bothered to repeat it all now!] anyway, the Heir Incumbent to the Proctorship of Grundor could not take his eyes off the epitome of manhood that stood before him. He had been feeling rather manly as the last of the three Heroes in the Questship, but not even Halfullion, Earnur and himself all in one could have competed with this splendid specimen. When Melvin beckoned to him to approach, he could not have withstood though he were as strong as he deemed himself at times. That shapely, masculine yet well-groomed hand held out a letter to him. He recognized his father’s handwriting and took it, too amazed to question its origin.

He turned it over and broke the familiar seal, that of the Royal House of Grundor - seven shining teeth and a white toothbrush on a black background, yet without the crown of the King. But lo! what was this? A golden crown adorned the seal! Too puzzled to wonder how a seal could be multi-coloured, he unfolded the paper without checking it for the watermark of authenticity.

He began to read:

Hail, King Orogarn the First!

His head reeled. What could this mean? Grundor had no king, Grundor needed no king, his father had often told him. He had asked, “How many hundreds of years must a Proctor gamble to become King?” And his father had answered, “Few years, perhaps, in other places of less dental hygiene. In the City of Pearly Whites ten thousand years of brushing, flossing and bleaching would not suffice.”

He continued reading:


You may indeed wonder at the title I give you, yet I only pass on what was given by the Wight City’s Council. Our family has been requested to take the kingship of Grundor, since it does not look like a king even exists, let alone will ever return to rule. Since I think more highly of you than of myself, I have decided that you should be the one to become king, and I, who am accustomed to the role of Proctor, will continue to carry the burden of hum-drum responsibilities for you.

There is but one condition – you must come back immediately, or this offer will no longer be valid. Leave your childish questing; there are others who can carry on with that, but you are the only one who can rule the realm.

Your bank account has been expanded without a limit, so that all necessary resources are at your command. Oh, and do you remember little “Neigh-o-whinny”, as you called the neighbour girl who went to school with you? She had a horsey face, you said, and a ponytail, and braces, and spectacles, and freckles. Well, she was away at a fancy boarding school somewhere out East, and now she has returned, looking drop-dead gorgeous and whispering to her friends that she will marry no one but you. I think you will find that it is worth your while to come back home. Please hurry!

Your affectionate father

PS - By the way, the new motto of our house is now "Once a King in Grundor, always a King in Grundor!"



Orogarn (forget Two – now he was Number One!) looked up, his eyes glazed with wonder and desire. He could envision himself, standing on the ramparts of Minus Teeth, his arm tenderly laid around the slender waist of a beautiful maiden, fairer even than Merisuwyniel on a good day, though he had not imagined that to be possible. A light breeze arose and blew, and their hair, raven waves and golden tresses, streamed out mingling in the air. And tooth decay vanished, and smiles were unveiled, and whiteness leaped forth; and the toothpaste tubes shone like silver, and in all the bathrooms of the City men sang despite the foam that welled up in their mouths from what brandname they could not tell.

Without realizing what he did, Orogarn walked slowly toward Môgul. His sword he dropped ignominiously into the dirt, not heeding the excellent quality of its blade nor the nobility of its lineage. He no longer needed it. From somewhere in the background, the strains of Grundor’s national anthem sounded triumphantly. He was on his way home.

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Old 04-02-2005, 11:04 AM   #248
Kuruharan
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Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Boots Bingo! I have Bingo!!

Kuruharan passed into a vision, his spirit forsaking his mortal body (which went kerplop on the ground).

It seemed to the dwarf that he traveled with winged speed (but this was ridiculous as he, like Balfrogs, had no wings). Kuruharan could not see where he went because he was surrounded by darkness.

Slowly, tiny lights began flickering before his eyes. They rapidly grew nearer. As he grew closer to the lights, they began to spread out below him. It looked like someone had spilled a great chest of gold and jewels and had left them sparkling in the void. In his vision, he swooped down to take a closer look. As he drew near, he recognized what he saw. It was the neon lights flashing from the signboards of millions of casinos, resorts, mansions, villas, bingo halls, and gardens. It seemed they spread to cover the entire earth. He saw teeming throngs of pleasure seekers swarming the casinos. There seemed to be no end to them. Humans, halflings, elves, and orcs crowded around the gaming tables pouring their money into the coffers of the dwarves. In all the casinos, the dwarves happily fleeced the masses. In the mansions and gardens that covered the world, the dwarves merrily cavorted and played. In his vision, Kuruharan traveled deep beneath the earth where millions of workers toiled in the strip mines to gain their meager wages, all under the watch of strict dwarven masters. Everywhere the same symbol blazed forth. A red twisting dragon (who seemed mighty familiar) bearing a gold and silver “K” rune.

In his vision, Kuruharan surged upward, out of the earth and toward great mountains that shimmered in the distance. Kuruharan knew where he was. He was flying toward the mountains where of old was the Kingdom of Hazard-boom. All was restored, more glorious than it ever was before. On and beneath the earth were pleasure palaces beyond all hope of counting. Kuruharan swept up toward the peaks. Atop the highest place sat a mighty tower that stretched far above the earth. Upon the flashing neon sign were the words, “The Tower of Sûkers-doom.” In the topmost condo was a throne room that put even the Great Hall of the Velour to shame. On one side was a great arena where Chrysophylax devoured defaulting debtors. On the dais was a throne. On the throne, Kuruharan saw himself. The joyful sound of falling money eternally rang throughout the room. The sound drove Kuruharan into ecstasy. Somewhere behind the throne, something dark and unpleasant was lurking. But it was so hard to pay attention to such distressing things when one was listening to the sounds of making money.

All of this could be his if he would just…

…do nothing at all. That was all that was required. Just do nothing at all.
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Old 04-02-2005, 08:37 PM   #249
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Eye The Lay of Vogonwë's Temptation

Next Mogul beckoned to Vogonwë Brownbark, son of Geppetuil the Elven-partyking, third cousin of Thranduil, Thrice Removed. Far from the boughs of Workmud had Vogonwë traveled, in passive voice. When he was but a wee elf-lad, he would never have dreamed of finding himself one day standing on the shores of Valleyum, face to face with the mightiest and most poetically gifted of all the Velour (as Mogul did seem to him at that moment). But there he was, undeniably standing there. And there was Mogul. And by all appearances, this surely was Valleyum.

He would have continued to marvel at these facts if a vision had not appeared to him then. But it did, so he didn’t.

He saw himself no longer standing on the shores of Valleyum (face to face with the mightiest and most poetically gifted of all the Velour) but rather he was riding through the boughs of Workmud on a gallant steed the color of wet sand. A steed with a twinkle of immense intelligence and dry wit behind its almond shaped eyes. The horse tossed its flowing mane and snorted, rearing onto its hind legs and pawing at the air majestically. Vogonwë’s own luxuriant gray-brown hair flowed behind him in the non-existent forest breeze, and he tossed his head as the horse reared. His locks danced about his head yet fell back into place impeccably.

“Whoa, Nelly,” said he, and his mount dropped its hooves to the fertile Workmud loam, snorting and pawing like a truly gallant steed. There before him gawked a gaggle of fine Workmudian lasses, who somehow found his luscious locks and skittish horse all very manly, or elvenly, or whatever.

“Oh Vogy,” one sighed, “recite us some poetry!”

He smiled (with gleaming white teeth) and opened his mouth to recite them some poetry, but of a sudden there came a commotion from his left, and his right. And behind! There was commotion all around! The elven lasses squealed and huddled together as vague yet menacing shapes advanced through the trees.

“Orcs!” Vogonwë exclaimed, making a face as if Orcs did smell mightily bad. (Which they do).

“Oh no!” screamed the lasses.

“Never fear,” he said, winking, and quick as a flash drew a handful of arrows from his quiver. Without hardly seeming to look, he hurled them in every direction, and lo! every one of them hit its mark, the blood curdling scream of an unlucky Orc signaling his success. Vogonwë’s hands moved at lightning speed, drawing arrows and flinging them into the woods, yet his head remained squarely upon his shoulders and he even had time to wink some more at the fine elven lasses.

When the last Orc was killed (for the foolish creatures kept coming even in the face of his awe inspiring arrow tossing) Vogonwë brushed one stray hair back down into place.

“No more orcs,” he proclaimed, and the lasses jumped and clapped and whooped and hollered.

“Poetry! Poetry!” they cried.

And then, he did recite them a poem. It was the most beautiful poem ever to be recited in the boughs of Workmud, or anywhere else for that matter. Even Vogonwë marveled at the words dripping from his tongue as if he were Midus and his drool liquid gold. Effortless rhymes came into his head and he wove an epic so beauteous, so moving, so lyrical, so dashing, that the fine elven lasses began to either swoon or throw items of their clothing at him (depending on their stamina).

The poem came to its triumphant conclusion just as another figure burst through the trees.

Lo!

It was Pimpiowyn, fairest of all the fine young lasses. She bounded gracefully into view, her golden curls flying about her head in a blaze of bouncing tresses, and her gigantic, almost animesque eyes (Vogonwë did not know what animesque meant anymore than he knew who Midus was, but such thoughts kept leaping to his head as if he were coining them himself) blazing with a fury so awful and terrifying that the elven lasses screamed louder than they had for any Orc. Pimpi brandished Hush above her head, her shapely young bosom heaving as she arched her back and hissed like a cat.

“Get away from my half-elf!” she cried, and fell upon the lasses in a rage. Chop, slash, gouge, slice, rip went Hush as Pimpi mowed through the half clad she-elves, screaming “He’s mine! Don’t even think it! If you want him, come and claim him!” and other such territorial declarations. Soon a waste of blood and gore replaced the group of lasses, and Pimpi stood triumphant in the carnage.

“Pimpi-love,” Vogonwë sniffed, moved. “I didn’t know you cared so much!”

Pimpi put away her sword and smiled prettily up at him. “Of course, Vogy-my-dear, I love you more than any other and no one shall ever come between us.”

Just as she said this, two more figures burst from the trees. One was instantly recognizable as O’Lando L’oreal Bloom, his distant cousin, and the other was a squat fellow in a cloak. Soregum!

They panted after Pimpi, exclaiming in unison, “We love you, Pimpiowyn, let us come between you!”

But Pimpi strode past them and put out a hand for Vogonwë to hoist her up onto the back of his gallant steed. She did not look towards them or even seem to hear them -- she took no notice of them whatsoever, as if they did not even exist. “Come, Vogy, my genius,” she said, “your father is throwing a massive party in honor of your mother coming back from the dead, and you are to recite a poem for her, so we must hasten before we are too late.”

“Gladly!” Vogonwë cried, his heart soaring. He lifted her up, light as a feather, and urged his horse forward as she wrapped her arms around his waist. “Shall I practice my recitation as we ride?”

“Oh yes! I would love that!” said Pimpi with the utmost sincerity.

O’Lando and Soregum, meanwhile, were moaning and crying out for her attention and affection. Vogonwë waved gleefully to his cousin as he rode away, trampling Soregum deep into the fertile Workmud loam in the process. They galloped off into the sunset, Vogonwë chanting a stupendous ode as Pimpi sighed dreamily, their hair flowing out behind them, tangled together in the non-existent forest breeze.

And then, it was over, and Vogonwë found himself standing again upon the shores of Valleyum, face to face with the mightiest and most poetically gifted of all the Velour.
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Old 04-03-2005, 10:18 PM   #250
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Shield In the Dining Hall of Desire

To Pimpiowyn Took, daughter of Pipsissewa Took and Éohorse Son of Needahorse (a valiant Man of the Mike) Mogul Bildur appeared to be a gigantic T-bone steak.

No, wait... that was not Mogul, that was the dinner laid before her in the hall she suddenly found herself in. Pimpi gasped as she lifted her eyes and looked about the room -- tables laden with scrumdillyumptious foodstuffs stood in rows, and the scents wafting from them were nothing short of heavenly. Meats, vegetables, fruits, puddings, pies, and candy bars littered the area, and all of it was hers, hers, all hers! She grabbed a knife and fork and began to carve away at her steak.

A door opened to her left, and the scent of freshly baked chocolate cake greeted her nostrils. She looked, and saw Vogonwë carrying a seven layer chocolate cake decorate with pink icing, strawberries, and cream. He huffed and puffed with the weight of the dessert as he rushed to deliver it.

“Delightful!” she cried.

“I’m so happy you like it,” said Vogonwë, setting the cake down next to her plate of steak. “I was a little worried that giving up poetry to become a Master Chef would leave me bored and dissatisfied, but that was before I realized that food preparation is an act of creative expression unrivaled by all other art forms.”

At first Pimpi worried that, as good as everything looked and smelled, Vogonwë would prove to be as talented a Chef as he was a poet. But as she mowed down her steak and set in upon the cake, she marveled at the perfection with which they were prepared.

“Do you like it?” Vogy asked anxiously, hovering over the crumbs solicitously. “If you like it I shall be ever so pleased and I will never bother with poetry again, who needs it anyway? I’ll spend all my days crafting dishes for your enjoyment!”

“I love it,” Pimpi mumbled around a mouthful of mashed potatoes (the creamiest mashed potatoes she’d ever mumbled around). “I never knew you were so good with food!”

“I wasn’t, not until Mogul taught me, anyway,” Vogonwë said. “He’s a far better cook than I, but he’s made me his protégé and I am ever so honored. And I’m happy you’re happy, darling, so happy that I’m going to go back to the kitchen and make spaghetti.”

“With meatballs?”

“Whatever your heart desires. We have endless supplies of food.”

“Delightful!” she cried, spitting bits of creamy mashed potato onto his shirt.

Vogonwë left, and Pimpi spent the next indefinite time period gorging herself on the goodies. She ate bacon and eggs, split pea soup with ham, chicken salad on croissants, roast beef sandwiches, pickles, glazed donuts, creamed filled donuts, jelly-filled donuts, donut holes, figgy pudding, cheese and crackers, baked yams, corn on the cob dripping with butter and crunchy with salt, Golden Delicious apples, seven layer salad, lasagna, pizza, chili, double fudge brownies, peanut butter, coffee cake, carrot cake, yellow cake, angel cake, pound cake, fruit cake, orange marmalade cake, cheese curds, French fries, potato chips, fish sticks, corn cakes, Caesar salad, bratwursts, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, baked beans, string beans, fava beans, a nice Chianti, focaccia bread, chocolate chip cookies, pickled beets, lembas, string cheese....

Etc. etc. etc.

Through all of this, Pimpi never felt uncomfortably full or even the least bit gassy. She ate and drank, ate and drank, ate and drank to her heart’s delight, and quick glances in the mirror showed her that she still looked lithe and graceful doing it. Periodically Vogonwë came in and asked her if everything was to her liking and took orders for whatever fancy struck her palate, but otherwise he did not make himself a nuisance, and never once tried to make his words rhyme.

Presently, she heard sounds of battle from outside. She paused and peeked out the window. There, she saw Merisuwyniel surrounded by dozens of foul orcs, dragons, and dwimmerlaiks, whatever those are. Merisu, though holding up her lopsided end of the fight admirably, was fair on her way to being soundly beaten. She put a hand to her head and cried, “Oh how I wish my faithful sidekick in shieldmaidenry were here to help me!” spitting bits of creamy mashed potato onto the orcs’ shirts.

Pimpi groped at her waist for Hush, and when her hand closed around the bejewelled hilt of her trusty dagger, she sprang forth from the dining hall onto the field of battle. With Pimpi now by her side, Merisu cried out in joy, and the two of them made short order of the bothersome foes. Pimpi moved with grace and agility, not hampered in any way by the amount of food she had stuffed into to her face.

After the foes were vanquished, Merisu approached Pimpi, admiration shining in her eyes. “Pimpiowyn, you have saved my life this day, and I am forever in your debt.”

“I am honored to serve by your side,” said Pimpi, glowing.

At that moment, Vogonwë appeared at her side, holding out a velvet pillow on which resided a plateful of shortbread cookies. “To celebrate your victory,” he said.

Stamped upon the cookies was the design of a (very handsome) nose.

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Old 04-04-2005, 03:08 AM   #251
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In his father's house

Hal shook himself, for the world seemed to turn, like a coin on a string. His head span.

He shook himself again. He was home. He thought of that in wonderment, for always it had been his father’s house, but now he thought of it as home. He felt indescribably warm inside.

“Halfemption!” cried his father, coming down the central staircase, sunbeams behind him from the great bay window of the first floor landing. “Great days are these, where the valiant Halfemption Gormlessar returns to his father’s house.”

“Greetings, sire,” said Halfemption, uncertainly. His father had never spoken to him thus, nor greeted him so warmly. If he had addressed him in the past, it had been by the name ‘Empty’, as a counter to his noble brother’s diminutive, Halfie.

“Why so subdued?” cried his father, approaching now, and clapping him on the shoulder. Halfemption nearly burst with pride. “Come, we must eat! Your exploits are the talk of all the land, but still I want the details! Come, come!” he boomed.

And so through to the great dining hall they went, and a feast was laid out in Halfemption’s honour, and servants were there, dressed in white. The Lords and Ladies of the surrounding estates, who were seated at the long table, rose as one to applaud the returning hero.

“Your coat?” lisped a curious voice at his elbow. Halfemption turned, and gasped. His brother, the grand, admittedly self-titled, Bravest Half-Elf in the World Ever, simpered at his side, hunched and with his eyes downcast. His bearing was slumped and not possessed of the same testosterone-fuelled arrogance of his true demeanour. His hair, once a thing of such beauty that there were more paintings of Halfullion in hairdresser’s shops across the land than any other living man, was lank and even straggly.

The strangest thing of all was that Halfemption felt no shame, next to his brother, he felt tall, broad-shouldered and strong compared to him. Moreover, in this strange world that seemed to have grown around him, Halfemption saw truly that his brother was not wise, and not truly noble, and that he was the better man. And his father believed this too, and he was loved.

“My lord!” said Halfemption, to the shadow of his brother. “What ails thee?”

His father pushed between them, a strong arm bringing Halfemption to the head of the table. “Don’t waste your time with Halfie, my boy! A waste of space and always has been. You know we caught him cutting the cook’s hair last week?”

Halfemption grinned despite himself. Although this didn’t seem right, it felt very good. He sat and looked down, and at the beaten silver platter, yet empty.

A face looked back at him. His face…yet, the eyes were bright, the hair was perfectly tousled and the teeth! The teeth were white and straight. He looked more like Halfullion than Halfullion did!

He frowned slightly. Over the shoulder of his reflection he saw something dark lurking, a cold figure of fear behind him. He turned, suddenly, but nothing was there.

Slowly, Hal returned to the feast, as his father passed an apple to him.

“Eat!” cried the huge man. “Eat, and be strong!”

Halfemption Gormlessar lifted the luscious red apple towards his mouth. It was so bright, and round and firm. Something did not smell quite right, but he closed his eyes and opened wide for the first bite…
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Old 04-13-2005, 12:52 PM   #252
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Reaperneep stood his ground in the face of the stranger before them, with sword drawn as his usual precaution when confronted with someone unknown to him.

“Why do you not draw your own sword, poltroon!” cheeped the Mouse. “Draw and fight like a Man!”

“Why should I fight against you, Little One?” a gentle Voice answered him.

“Do I understand,” said Reaperneep, withdrawing his sword for a moment and speaking very sternly, “that you do not intend to give me satisfaction?”

“Indeed not,” Mogûl replied, and it seemed to the Mouse that a light radiated from behind him. “I intend to show you the way to your greatest hope.”

“And just what do you think that is?” he queried sceptically.

“I can lead you to the eastern end of the world,” the Velour declared. “From East, across the sea, the great Blue Wizard ever comes to us. There you will find his own country.”

“So the end of the world is eastwards after all,” Reaperneep breathed ecstatically. “I knew it! Blue Wizard, you say? Isn’t a Wizard dangerous?”

“So am I, and you are dangerous as well, to your foes,” Mogûl answered. “Yet those who know how to speak with him will find wisdom in his words.”

The Mouse mused thoughtfully, “A wise woman of the woods, Silverberry was her name, once spoke this verse over me:

Where East and West met,
Where on waves dances flet,
Doubt not, Reaperneep;
To find all you seek,
Go unto the utter East.


“I do not know what it means. But the spell of it has been on me all my life.”

He turned his face eastwards, and it seemed to him that he saw from afar a wall that stood up between him and the sky, a greenish-grey, trembling, shimmering wall. Then up came the sun, and at its first rising he saw it through the wall and it turned into wonderful rainbow colours. Then he knew that the wall was really a long, tall wave – a wave endlessly fixed in one place as you may often see at the edge of a waterfall. Beyond the sun he saw a range of mountains, so high that he either never saw the top of it or forgot it. And those mountains must have been outside the world. Suddenly there came a breeze from the east, tossing the top of the wave into foamy shapes and ruffling the smooth water all round him.

Enchanted, he walked toward the Eastern light.
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Old 04-19-2005, 01:57 PM   #253
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Leninia realized that something was wrong when she closed her eyes, opened them again, and realized she was standing in the middle of a desert. Predictably, the first thought that popped into her head was: "Did I take the wrong turn to Säks?"

Her confusion was doubled when she saw a figure on the horizon, a figure that eventually took the familiar shape of her late, great husband, John Lemmon.

"I hate to break this to you, John," she said irritably, "but you're dead."

"How do you know it's not the other way around?" He asked.

"Don't contradict me!" Leninia snarled as she used to during the good old days. The snarling, however, did not make the desired effect. John smiled.

"You're in quite the predicament, Linnie-poo," he said good-naturedly. "Your friends have abandoned you in the middle of the desert and you're going to shrivel up and die of dehydration."

"So?" Leninia sneered. "What do you care?"

"I'm here to offer you a way out," John smiled mysteriously.

"Since when do you have all the answers?" Leninia grumbled. The heat, however, was beginning to get to her; she sat down on the ground and tried to open up her back umbrella to get some shade. The umbrella was stuck, and the usually friendly poodle-head that adorned the handle let out a snarl.

"Great," Leninia snapped.

"It's your friends," John offered, with a look of tender concern in his eyes.

"What about them?"

"They broke your umbrella and left you here to die," he said, as sympathetically as possible.

"Did not."

"Did too."

A vulture landed a few feet away and let out an unpleasant sound. If vultures can ever be pleasant, that is. Leninia considered her options.

"Ok, John, what do you want?" She finally asked when she noticed the vulture eyeing her with a gleam with its eye that momentarily reminded her of Pimpi alone in a room with a large, juicy steak.

"It's not about what I want, dear, it's about what you want," he patted her arm gently. "And what you want is to turn those two rocks over there into a nice vat of Përriër and a huge tub of Esty Louder facial cream."

"I do?" Leninia asked.

"Well, how else are you going to survive out here without water and moisturizer? Prove to me that you are Leninia the Tiny and Terrible! The way you were before, before you launched on this ridiculous quest that is."

"What's the catch?"

"Oh, just a little bit of fine print my dear."

Leninia knew all about fine print. Fine print didn't scare her; she practically invented it, in her past life. But she was beginning to feel suspicious. Something wasn't right. And it wasn't just the fact that she was in the middle of a desert, talking to her dead husband, while a fat vulture eavesdropped.

"Like what?" She persisted.

"Oh you know...Prove that you are Leninia the Tiny and Terrible by using your dark arts to save yourself from this intolerable heat and, while you're at it, renounceyourfriendsandalltheirdeedsandneverseethem again," he finished off.

"You forgot that I have great ears, dear," Leninia snapped. "Please bugger off and stop telling me what to do. I'll find my own way out of this ugly, barren place (you'd think they'd hire a decorator)."

Leninia wandered through the desert, the vulture close behind. The vulture was rather obese, and she took comfort in knowing she was helping it aid those few extra pounds.

Finally, in the distance, she saw a diving board, poking out toward the cloudless climbs. A pool! She thought, with much excitement. Water! Maybe even a poolboy!. The idea of drinking chlorine didn't much bother her; it would do nicely mixed with the stuff she kept in her trusty hip flask.

The pool, however, proved to be quite empty and deserted. And kidney-shaped, SO unfashionable! Leninian thought in disdain.

She climbed up to the diving board, hoping to look out across the desert and spy civilization; a mall, or even a small boutique would do. Instead, she ran into John, rocking himself on the board with a grin on his face.

"This is beginning to creep me out," she snapped. "You keep appearing out of nowhere. Stay dead, please, you are much more agreeable that way."

"I'll let you in on a little secret, Linnie-poo," John said. "If you jump off this board, right now, you will land in deliciously cool, clean water, and a boy in a towel will be waiting for you at the edge, with a pitcher of lemonade and massage oil."

"If I jump off this board right now I'll smash my head!" Leninia screeched.

"No, Linnie, no. You have to believe. Believe in yourself, in us, and inthefactthatyourfriendsareabunchoflosersanywayand itwouldbeeasytoforgetthemandlivehappilyeverafter."

"That trick doesn't work on me, John!" Leninia snapped.

"Ok, fine, Linnie," John sighed. "But why won't you look out?" He pointed towards the horizon. Leninia felt a rush of happiness; a great, gleaming city towered in the distance.

"Imagine, Linnie, all of that could be ours. You can do society lunches, have your hair done by Freederick Fekkie, ride a great metallic beast called a Bëntley and it will come in all of your favourite colours too...Justgiveupthisstupidquestandyourstupidbuddie sandcomewithme!!!"

"Not for all the silicôn in Californium," Leninia sighed. "And anyway. I figured out what's wrong with this picture. You're not my husband. My husband would never let me pick the colour of the Bëntley. We may have had a dysfunctional marriage, but I always let him pick his favourite colour; because...because...I was not as horrible of a wife that the tabloids made me out to be," she finished, her scarlet lips trembling.

John Lemmon went *poof* Or rather, he went *pooooof* as he got more transparent by the moment, until all that was left of him were the fingers of his right hand, flashing the peace sign. The vulture marveled at the peace sign, but Leninia just shrugged her tiny shoulders and climbed down. The vulture followed.

Leninia tried to kick it, it was beginning to get on her already damaged nerves. But as she attempted this, her feet slid out from underneath her, and she came crashing down hard onto her pretty head, her last thought being:

Did I break my heel?

Last edited by Lush; 05-02-2005 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 04-19-2005, 05:28 PM   #254
Thenamir
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Between The Mogul and the Deep Pea Sea

Gateskeeper bravely stood in the back of the If-You-Can-Be-Bought-At-Any-Price-You-Will-Be-Ship, but could no longer avoid the eyes of the Dread Developer.

"Ah," rasped the true voice of Mogul inside his head, "dear Gatessssey. Long time no ssssseeee. You've been bussssy haven't you? But you haven't been reporting assss ordered. Helping the Shhhieldmaiden. Think what you could have had working for me." And as he watched the surrounding carnage of fragmented Oliphaunts and dead/resurrected orcs faded away, and he was...

...back on the shores of the Pea Sea, sitting at a simple table under a pavillion fashioned after the crest of his mighty armies, the multicolored four-panel window. He was enjoying a fine cigar as the petulant leader of the Eunuchs, his longtime enemies, sat opposite him signing terms of surrender. At his side, hanging from an onately-jeweled strap was the Entish bow, who had become his confidante and close friend in the battles that conlcuded the war. Now it was saying things like, "I knew you would win in the end, mighty Gateskeeper. Who needs that miserable shieldmaiden anyway?"

"Peace, my bow," replied the Gateskeeper, "you are speaking of my wife." His thoughts returned to his beautiful suburban home near Dorktank, and to his new wife, the gloriously beautiful Merisuwyiniel. She would be waiting patiently for him to return from the battlefront so she could fawn over him and serve him. He knew that she missed him terribly, and occasionally whe he was on long journeys such as this, her normally perfect composure would crack just a little, and she would begin to cry softly for her husband and lover. Just thinking of that flawless porcelain heaving bosom...

He shook his head in the vision and was transported to his vast office suite on the top floor of Dorktank, where he was now Chairman, CEO, and chief programmer for the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Between ordering his minions to add meaningless revisions and unused bells and whistles to his soft wares, he was reviewing the latest reports tell him how far his O-mails were reaching, the vast percentage of Muddled-Mirth households into which his influence had penetrated, and how much his bank accounts overflowed. Let those dwarvish fools keep their casinos, and the elves their dairylands. They still had to run their operations using his software, and paying him for the khopy-wight to use them. He was well on his way to having them bound to his monopoly, and then the prices would only go up. Pretty soon even Mogul and his followers would be bound up with the onerous costs of using his works. And his own Loyers would draw the contract noose around Mogul's neck until...

"Tssssk tsssk tsssk. Sssuch delusionsss. You've been a naughty, naughty wizzzzard," came the interruption that was about as welcome as a case of athlete's foot. "Ssssso disssappointing. Ssstill, it will be fun for awhile, watching my bessst Korprat-Loyers have their way with you." And while the rest stood around still glassy-eyed with visions of their own private versions of heaven, the bespectacled Maia was well and truly in hell.

For now he was transported to the fell Dungeons of Default in Moredough. Cold iron manacles chained hand and foot to the slimy stone walls. Gateskeeper faced no less than a half-dozen immense dark forms from the darkest nightmares of the most depraved. They pelted him with vile injunctions, stabbed him with disgusting writs of habeus corpus, and shoved restraining orders under his fingernails with insane glee. In addition, they wove the foulest, most torturous spells with their chanting, words of ill-omen passed down even unto this day,


Leo Dicaprio,
Brittany Spears,
Jessica Simpson,
Watch them for years!

Visiting Mom-in-law,
Internal Revenue,
Washington politics,
Cleaning the loo!

Rush-hour traffic,
Nuclear strife,
Michael Moore flicks,
A nagging wife!

Country Music
Killing sprees
Gangsta Rap
and MTV!


Such was Gateskeeper's torment in his vision that he fell to his knees with a bloodcurdlng shriek of sheer terror mixed in equal measure with excruciating pain, with just a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of tabasco sauce, and baked at 350 degrees until crispy. Gathering all his strength (from where it lay in pieces all over the dungeon floor) he threw himself at his tormentors. The manacle holding his right wrist sliced deeply through skin and bone, there was a moment of blinding pain in his arm...

<the soundtrack rises to a crescendo, the picture goes to a brilliant white for a moment>

...and then he was free -- free of the torture, free of the vision, free of the Cloz'd Dheal mark on his hand. Indeed, he was free of his marked hand altogether, which lay on the ground in a small pool of blood. His arm ended in a badly-cauterized stump. But the throbbing pain of the mark was gone (replaced by the only slightly less intense pain of an amateur amputation job). Mogul had made the vision too real and, as is normal for overreaching evil dictators and overconfident dark lords, the instrument of his power became the vehicle of his intended victim's freedom. It was the deus ex machina he had been waiting for ever since post 141 (which we now visit in flashback form via the miracle of the 3-second cross-dissolve)

Quote:
While sitting in the food courts of the GAP of Soreham, he began to wish that he had not made that deal with Mogul, but even as the thought crossed his mind the burn mark of the Cloz'd Dheal throbbed under his one glove. Then he remembered the one thing that might turn the trick for him. In lore ancient beyond all reckoning there was a whisper of something more powerful yet than Mogul, something yet more powerful than even the beauty of Merisuwyniel herself, as improbable as that might be. The power of the deus ex machina, called by some the Plôt Twĩŝt. But invoking that power would involve suffering in the extreme.
The day had finally come, and the battle which had raged within him finally ended: goodness had triumphed over the evil in his soul, and the alternate personality fell into the void with a mournful wail of "precious!" and was gone. Light flooded Gateskeeper's entire being. Virtue emboldened him, righteousness strengthened him, courage drove him. Leveling a gaze at Mogul that would melt the very rocks he strode forward, staff wielded in his unmaimed hand, filled with the confidence of the just.

Mogul dismissed his advance with a casual wave of his hand. But it did ever-so-slightly weaken his grasp on the others for a moment.
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Old 04-20-2005, 12:37 AM   #255
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Merisuwyniel stood her ground, both repulsed by and strangely attracted to the handsome face she saw before her. Yet she was still aware enough of her own self to realize that this so seductive person was not bringing out the best in her. While she fought to regain her normally cool, poised demeanour, she heard a voice echoing in her mind.

“He looks fair and feels foul,” it said. It was the familiar voice of the Entish Bow, now fighting to save its own life after so valiantly defending hers. “All that is rhinestone does not glitter, not all those who disco are king,” it continued. “Remember the Alamo, remember your mother, remember Gravlox, remember anything else, but forget about him!”

At those words another face appeared before her mind’s eye, a face that looked foul, but felt inexpressively fair to her. She gasped; so real did it seem that she reached out to caress the cheeks, strangely more cleanly shaven than she remembered them. Those eyes, so tenderly loving their gaze… That gorgeous hair, softly waving in the breeze… Those manly hands, now well-manicured, so adept to touch her in more ways than she had time to recall now… And a soft, smooth voice spoke to her of everlasting love, never-ending passion, and the advantages of joint tax returns.

The two voices strove within her. For a moment, perfectly balanced between their piercing sounds, she writhed, tormented. Suddenly she was aware of herself again. Merisuwyniel, neither the wooden voice nor the smooth-talking one: free to choose, and with one remaining instant in which to do so.

The musical voice was not that of her deceased beloved. Flattering as its tones were, they jarred with the voice indelibly etched into her memory, and the spell was broken. She raised her lovely golden head, her beautiful eyes gazed with great clarity and strength into Môgul’s, and her melodious voice called out, “The words of this Velour stand on their heads! In the language of Môgul, help means ruin, and saving means slaying, that is plain. Do not offer what is not yours to give, Bildur! If Emu wills, I may see my beloved again someday. If not, still I will not forsake the Quest that has been entrusted to me. Begone, foul Dwimmerlaik! Go now and never come back!”
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Old 04-20-2005, 06:26 PM   #256
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The Eye

At Merisuwyniel’s words, a wistful expression passed across Môgul’s stunningly handsome features and his face fleetingly took on a noble, even kindly, aspect. In that moment, the onlookers saw him as he once had been: Melvin Bluenote, mightiest and firstborn of the Velour and damn fine guitarist. But the moment passed as quickly as it had arrived and the Dread Developer stood before them once more in all his villainy. Then he threw back his head and laughed. And his laughter was terrible, laden with malice, dripping with scorn and garnished with spite.

“How misguided of you to put your faith in Him,” he said. “For I am His firstborn and know His mind better than any here. You think that you will be saved by His will? He cares less for your pitiful lives than my sist/breth-ren. No, you will find no succour in Him.”

“It is by Yawanna’s will that the Ent shall be remade,” declaimed Merisu. “And when it is, vile spirit of greed, you shall be no more.”

“Yawanna is it?” chuckled Môgul. “You think that she will help you? Well, I’m sorry to disabuse you of that little notion, but the gullible wench thinks she is going to be my Queen. She has no intention of helping you now.”

He paused, staring intently at the Defiant-ship. His baleful gaze fell on each one of them, and they felt it pierce their very souls. Their resolve once more began to falter. Even Merisu’s heart fell on hearing that Yawanna’s aid now seemed lost.

“But your defiance is touching,” Môgul continued. “And shall be rewarded. You shall have your wish, Merisuwyniel.”

And with that, he promptly dissolved into a black cloud, which drifted lazily back towards the vast army still arrayed before the What-happens-next-ship.

“So that was Môgul Bildûr,” Orogarn Two commented to Kuruharan. “I always thought that he was just a red nostril.”

“The nostril is symbolic,” sighed the Dwarf wearily.

The Cornered-ship steeled themselves again for their final stand. But then the massed ranks began to part once more and from within came an embassy of Môgul.

At its head rode a tall and evil shape, mounted upon a sleek black Warg. The rider was suited all in black, with pinstripes of white, and red with blue polka-dots was his natty tie. The Solicitor-General of the Dark Tower Block of Barát-Höm he was, and his name was Greedhog. With him came only a small company of Korprat Loyery, and a single banner, black but bearing on it in red the Nasty Nostril. Now halting a few paces before the Questors of the West he looked them up and down and laughed.

“Isss there anyone in this rout with authority to treat with me?” he asked. “Or indeed with wit to undersstand my tortuoussly archaic phraseology? Not thou at leassst!” he mocked, turning to Orogarn Two with scorn. “It needss more to make a King than a ssseriously underused magical crystal, or a full head of feathered hair. Why, any sspandex clad rocker can show as good a follicling.”

Orogarn said naught in answer, but made to pick up his great sword which lay still on the ground where he had dropped it only moments before. Greedhog laughed once more.

“I am a herald and ambassssador and may not be assssailed,” he hissed. “And moreover,” he added as a reminder of a previously laid plotline. “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.”

“Then tell us of your errand,“ spoke up Merisuwyniel. “Yet I fear that you have troubled yourself in vain, for we shall never yield the Entish parts unless they be prised from our cold lifeless hands.”

“Speak for yourself dear,” whispered Leninia out of the corner of her mouth.

“Yes, steady on old girl,” added Orogarn Two. “This fellow seems to be offering us a way out of this predicament.”

“Quite,” observed Kuruharan. “Never say never when a deal’s on the table.”

“Ouch,” commented the Gateskeeper, attempting to stem the flow of blood from the startlingly real wound occasioned by his decidedly unreal vision.

“Ssso!” sneered Greedhog, addressing Merisu. “Then thou art the sspokesman - er - perssson for this rabble. Have we not heard of thee at whilesss, and of thy Quesssting, ever bringing chaoss and misssery to all who crossss thy path? I have a token that I was bidden to show thee - to thee in essspecial, if thou shouldsst care to look.”

He signed to two of the Loyers, and they came forward dragging behind them a figure, tethered and shrouded in black.

“I am telling you,” countered Merisu adamantly. “There is nothing that you could possibly offer me that could persuade me to offer up the Ent that was broken.”

The Loyers pulled the shroud off the figure with a flourish, revealing an Elf chained and manacled. His blonde locks flowed gloriously over his shoulders and his aquiline nose and delicate cheek-bones shone in the light of the Messéd Realm. And yet, there was something not entirely Elvish about him. Something subtly, yet perceptibly, Orcish.

“Then again …” said Merisu, gaping in astonishment.

“Who’s that?” enquired Soregum.

“That’s Gravlox, little one,” answered Orogarn Two. Then, taking a deep breath, he continued, “Merisu’s lost love who was a Captain of the Uruk-Hai in the service of Lord Sourone, but who turned out to be good in the end - something to do with his father - and who fought valiantly for us, but who died in the final battle at Minus Moreghoul, and who we all thought was dead, but who quite obviously is not, yet who now seems to have turned almost entirely into an Elf, and who …”. He stopped, wheezing and gasping for breath.

“Well, it looks like we shall be going home now then, after all,” piped up Pimpi, secretly rather relieved.

“Ai! Just my luck!” wailed Vogonwë, recalling his central role in the demise of Harvey the rabbit.

Merisu’s magnificent eyes welled up with tears, flashing gorgeously but momentarily blurring her vision of her true love. And in that moment her head was filled with pain and fear and doubt and confusion.

“Gravlox …!” she blurted out, her voice a shrill mournful cry.

“Merisu, don‘t …!” cried Gravlox.

But it was too late.

“I thank thee, Mistressss Elf,” gloated Greedhog triumphantly. “It isss plain from your reaction that thiss traitorousss oaf meanss sssomething to you, and it would be vain for you to deny it now.”

“I do not wish to deny it,” said Merisuwyniel, her composure recovered. “I know him and I love him. Truly, madly, deeply. I know true love, and despite your scorn, foul Advocate of Môgul, you cannot say as much.”

Merisu’s brave words hit home and Greedhog was quite clearly stung. The only love that the old Loyer had known had been back in Slangbad, many aeons ago. She had been a bit of a Dragon, but he hadn’t been choosy. But she had left to pursue a lucrative career in treasure hoarding and he had never seen her again …

“Enough of thisss banter,” he said suddenly, shaking his monstrous head clear of such thoughts. “You would be advised to take sswift counsssel with what little wit is left to you. For Lord Môgul does not take kindly to traitorsss, and what his fate sshall be dependss now on your choice. Hand over the fragmentsss of Rent Ent or sssay thine farewells to this primped up pssseudo-Elf.”
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Old 04-23-2005, 09:05 AM   #257
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
A blackness came before Merisuwyniel’s eyes, and it seemed to her in a moment of silence that the world stood still, time stood still, her heart was dead and her last hope gone. No matter which choice she made, she was doomed to lose. She answered him not, but Greedhog saw her face grey with fear and the horror in her eyes, and he laughed. “Now he shall endure the slow torment of years,” he taunted, “as long and slow as our legal arts department in the Great Tower can contrive, and never be released, unless maybe when he is changed beyond recognition and broken, so that he may come to you, and you shall see what you have done.”

Merisu faltered. Her comrades saw the anguish in her face; now she seemed crushed, defeated at the last. She stretched out her hands to touch her beloved, and so powerful was the love and sorrow mirrored in her face that Greedhog and his minions dared not restrain her. The lovers clasped each others’ hands and said not a word, yet Gravlox had used his time in Mantoes’ halls wisely, learning the art of O-sanity. The two did not move or speak with mouth, looking from mind to mind; and only their eyes, shining with love and unshed tears, stirred and kindled as their thoughts went to and fro.

“Do not give in to the wicked ones,” Gravlox said to her. “For it is your task to complete the Quest entrusted to you. If you do not find a way, no one will. You might have chosen otherwise, but you have forsaken neither the Entish Parts nor your companions. Your faithful love, which moved the heart of Mantoes on my behalf, shall be rewarded someday.

“Weep not, my beloved,” he continued, “for ‘tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

“Rubbish,” she answered with unwonted directness. “Memory is not what my heart desires; that is only a mirror - cold and flat. I have taken my worst wound in this renewed parting. Such is the way of it: to find and lose. May there be a final finding some day. Fare thee well, my love!” Reluctantly and in slow motion, she released his hands.

“You demand that I be faithless to my Sacred Quest for the release of this noble servant?” she called out, standing tall and straight.

Greedhog nodded eagerly. “That’s the general idea,” he gloated.

“What surety have I that Mogûl the Base Bildur of Treachery will keep his part?” she asked.

“Do not bandy words in your insolence with the Loyer of Mogûl,” he cried, enraged. “Surety you crave! Mogûl gives none. If you sue for his clemency, you must first do his bidding.”

“Dark is the Shadow,” she declaimed dramatically, “and yet my heart rejoices; for he, Gravlox, shall be among the great whose valour will destroy it. Alas! I cannot foresee it, and how it may come to pass is hidden from me. Yet with his hope I will hope. And the Shadow I utterly reject. Begone!”

Then the Messenger of Mogûl laughed no more. His face was twisted with amazement and anger to the likeness of some wild beast that, as it crouches on its prey, is smitten on the muzzle with a stinging rod. Rage filled him and his mouth slavered, and shapeless sounds of fury came strangling from his throat. He looked at the fell faces of the United-We-Stand-Ship and their deadly eyes, and fear overcame his wrath. He gave a great cry, and turned, leaped upon his Warg, and with his company colleagues galloped madly back to wherever it was that Mogûl had gone.

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Old 04-26-2005, 11:22 AM   #258
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Meanwhile, back in the Great Hall, the Velour sat, still stunned into immobility by the events of the past moments and hours. Not that immobility was unusual for them, unless they were pursuing recreational activities…

“So what do we do now?” Manuël asked. “Everything is so confusing – Yawanna allying herself with Melvin, that bunch of newcomers leaving an audience without so much as a “by your leave”, and Melvin’s demand for the firewood that they are towing with them. There’s an army out there to enforce his message – should we do something about them?”

“I say we fight,” shouted Tulk Hogan. “We haven’t had a good battle in ages. Let’s get ready to rumble!”

“But fighting is so messy,” Prada objected.

“Yes, so hard on the nail polish,” Chanessa agreed.

“Besides, I have absolutely nothing appropriate to wear to a battle,” Vairsacë complained.

“Did you see what that Elven dudette was wearing?” Estë-Lynn asked. “It looked feminine yet practical – I wonder if that’s the style this age in Muddled-Mirth?”

“We haven’t had any new styles here for such a long age,” Nír-Vana sighed. “It would have been fun to, like, ask her who makes her clothes.”

“Why did all this have to happen now, just when the waves are perfect?” TM Ulmo grumbled.

“But a battle would finally get some action into our lives, dudes,” Mantoes protested. “Since the Loyers took so many of my clients, it’s boring at my place.”

And so they sat in the Great Hall, talking without acting, a veritable Committee for Matters of Muddled-Mirth; and the AllOnOurOwnShip stood at the front alone.
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Old 04-29-2005, 11:13 AM   #259
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Kneeling upon the grassy knoll Gateskeeper watched the defiance of Merisu and the gloating of Mogul and his minions. Pimpiowyn, putting her recent shieldmaiden training to use, tended to his wounded arm as best she could. When he was sure no one was looking Gateskeeper leaned in closer to Pimpi (too close for Vogonwe, had he been looking) and whispered, "Shhhh...don't attract attention to yourself...keep working on my arm but listen carefully, we may only have one chance to get this right." Pimpi started, looking up at the face of Gateskeeper, but then obeyed, pretending to be intent on stopping the flow of wizardly lifeblood from the handless arm while actually trying very hard not to be sick. That is until she thought what a waste of food that would be, which settled her stomach immediately.

Gateskeeper continued in a voice strained both by blood loss and dramatic emphasis, "my staff...must restart..." Pimpi nodded surrpetitiously, wondering privately if perhaps Gatesey had been taking lessons in diction from Kirkdan. "take it...and speak...words of the Great Rheeboot...after me." Pimpi feigned looking in her pack for a wound-salve or balm, simultaneously grasping the staff with her other hand. Slowly she repeated the words whispered to her by the bespectacled wizard, "klaatu barada nikto, kontrole alt deleet!" (Of course, everyone knows how hard it is to kontrole alt deleet with only one hand.) Immediately, Pimpi's staff hand began to tingle as the staff was restored to power.

"Now," he went on, "place...staff in my hand...and keep your head down." Pimpi did as she was asked and bent over the severed wrist intent on completing her work. Gateskeeper began manipulating the staff in his one hand, calling up the sound-khaard insert he'd used back at Marrow-Bones. Good, he thought to himself, the recording is still intact. With all the speed he could muster, he began composing an O-mail message.
Dear Yawanna,

Mogul is leading you on. Please listen to the attached
em-pethree. And please accept my sincere apologies for that incident at the last Velour Annual Charity Auction and Bazaar. I do hope your hair grew back out OK.

"Andy" Andotiruves

cc: Emu the Flightless
Gateskeeper then edited the recording down to the relevant parts:

Quote:
"If Emu wills, I may see my beloved again someday. If not, still I will not forsake the Quest that has been entrusted to me. Begone, foul Dwimmerlaik! Go now and never come back!"

“How misguided of you to put your faith in
Him, for I am His firstborn and know His mind better than any here. You think that you will be saved by His will? He cares less for your pitiful lives than my sist/breth-ren. No, you will find no succour in Him.”

“It is by Yawanna’s will that the Ent shall be remade, and when it is, vile spirit of greed, you shall be no more.”

“Yawanna is it? You think that she will help you? Well, I’m sorry to disabuse you of that little notion, but the gullible wench thinks she is going to be my Queen. She has no intention of helping you now.”
He attached the recording to the O-mail message, withdrew his injured arm from Pimpi and whispered to her the words of omen, "duck and cover." He rose shakily to his feet, summoned up all his wizardly power, and bellowed a single word-of-command, "SEND!!". There was a blinding flash of light and a wave of power blasted out in all directions from the center which was the Gateskeeper. All who stood nearby were knocked to the ground. There followed a moment of terrible silence, broken only when Gateskeeper fell, unconscious. Followed shortly by the sound of Pimpi asking help to get out from under him.
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Old 04-29-2005, 11:31 AM   #260
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A phalynx of Orcs surrounded Gravlox and bore him away from the Itship and carried him to a nearby hill where they bound the partially reformed Uruk to a tree. Three Loyers stood nearby and leered at him as they sharpened their pencils. But the Itship could draw no nearer to Gravlox, for an army stood between them and the hill. There were Orcs, Uruks, Wargs, Hill Trolls, Valley Trolls, Mountain Trolls, Rock Trolls and many others besides. All had their weapons drawn and stood ready to assail the Itship.

Merisu led her companions to a hillock which was just marginally more defensible than the plain on which they had encountered Mogûl. They stood ready to meet the onslaught of Mogûl's many minions. "Mincemeat!" cried Reaperneep. "We'll make mincemeat of 'em!"

But things did look grim indeed. Kuruharan tested the edge of his axe and pondered their dilemma. "Could we," he said. "Just maybe, have considered negotiating? I mean, it's only a pile of wood after all..."

The Bow twisted and spun in Merisu's hands and, with a whistling rush, smacked the Dwarf upside his pointy head. "I'll remember that!" the bow hummed. The other Entish fragments growled in agreement. Kuruharan took a step back and rubbed his head with his gnarled hand. "Just a thought," he replied. "Ow! I bet I'll have a nasty welt in the morning."

"If you live that long," intoned Orogarn mournfully.

At that moment, a shadow obscured the sun, and the Itship shivered as if they had eaten a pint of rocky road too quickly. They looked up... in the sky... it was a bird... a plane (whatever that is)... no! It's....

"Mogûl!" growled Merisu.

High above flew the Dark Lord himself, perched upon a great black Aerophaunt. The great army cried out and stamped upon the ground until the earth seemed to shake. Then they grew silent. Mogûl swept down over the Itship and his Aerophaunt, Heffalump, trumpeted loudly. He raised a hand and shouted, "Kill them! Kill them all and bring me the fragments of the Ent! Bwah ha ha!"

But at that second, a new voice rang out and it was nearly as loud as Mogûl's. "Wait a minute Bildur!"

Mogûl paused and broght Heffalump to a hover. He looked down, then laughed. "Grrralph?" he snickered. "What are you going to do? Sing at me?"

Grrralph stepped forward. His black robes were ripped and tattered. As he stepped up on the hillock there was a gleam, too quick for certainty, a quick glint of grey, as if some garment shrouded by the black rags had been for an instant revealed. "Well met!" he said. "And what may you be doing in these parts? No doubt there is a tale worth hearing behind it all. Such things are not often seen here."

"And how would the likes of you know what is or is not seen here, Thingwraith?" hissed Mogûl. And with these words, he raised a great black spear and flung it at Grrralph. It flew straight and true. But the Wraith was too quick for him. He sprang away and leaped up onto a large rock. There he stood, grown suddenly tall, or at least taller, towering above the Itship. His hood and his black rags were flung away. His grey three piece suit shone.

Mogûl squinted down at the bright figure. "Do I know you?" he asked.

In response, Grrralph straightened the spectacles on the bridge of his aquiline nose, for indeed, he now had a face! Then he raised a tablet of yellow lined paper and gestured at Mogûl. A bolt of light flew from the paper and struck Mogûl in the chest before it coalesced into a tall stack of paper which wrapped itself around the Dark Lord. "A Summons?" cried Mogûl. "A lawsuit? You're suing me?"

Grrralph nodded. "For injunctive relief and replevin, to compel you to surrender the ELF named Gravlox to the custody of Merisuwyniel, and prohibiting you from attacking the Itship until Gravlox's rights are declared by Mantoes!"

"I do know you," growled Mogûl. "You're Sueim. You were In-house Counsel for the Velour."

"Until you paid off a jury to find you not guilty of anti-trust claims early in the First Page," replied Grrralph... or Sueim. "That got me fired by the Velour and traded to Sourone."

"Very well," growled Mogûl as he attempted unsuccessfully to wiggle out of the clutches of the legal papers. "I'll kill you later. After Greedhog litigates you into the dirt." With that, Heffalump flew off unsteadily. The great army of Orcs groaned and wandered off as Greed hog approached with his team of Loyers.

Orogarn approached the grey-suited figure in wonder. "Grrralph?' he asked.

After a moment's thought, there came the reply. "Grrralph? Yes. I remember now. I was Grrralph."

"Can we call you Grrralph?" asked Pimpiowyn.

"No." replied Sueim as he began passing out his business cards. Then he sat and collected his thoughts. Mantoes would be here soon to oversee the trial...
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Old 05-08-2005, 05:59 PM   #261
The Saucepan Man
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The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!
The Eye

And so Greedhog once more stepped forth from the vast army of Moredough. And lo! His pin-striped suit was cloaked in a gown of black. No longer did he sport a natty polka-dot tie, but a collar of yellowish-white, and a ludicrous grey wig culled from the hide of an ancient Warg sat atop his bald head. As he stood in silent contemplation, studying in detail the labyrinthine Writ that Sueim had conjured forth, numerous minions, the Clerks of his Châmbers, busied themselves arranging immense stacks of paper and vast dusty tomes around him.

Nearby stood Greedhog’s apprentice, Rûmpöll the Scaly, second only in his advocacy skills to the great Senior Loyer himself. And lurking in the shadows sat the Înstrùktïng Sólícïtôrrs, those whose job it was to feed Greedhog with the facts and figures (suitably loyered) to fuel his presentation of his case. Foremost amongst these were Klïffòrd Shànnse the Global, and Slôrrtern Maï, the Butcher of Burnhill. Each of them had played a decisive role in building up the vast and profitable empire of their dread client, and now they were present to take their part in his fate.

As the two parties sat on their opposing hillsides, each preparing their case, a plethora of dusty and bewigged Elven clerks, appointed by the Velour for just such an occasion, readied the clearing that lay between for the forthcoming trial. Which took somewhat longer than either side would have liked since it had been many Pages since a trial had last been convened in Valleyum, and the officials were rather out of practice.

The Trial-ship eyed the preparations that were underway on the hill opposite, fearful that their chamipon, Sueim the Disbarrèd, would be no match for the legal team that had been assembled on behalf of Môgul. Soregum looked plaintively at the Gateskeeper as he helped Pimpiowyn to tend to the Wizard’s arm (much to Vogonwë‘s annoyance).

“Tell me,” he said. “Is there any hope? For this quest - trial - thing, I mean?”

“There never was much hope,” replied the Gateskeeper. “Just a fool’s hope.”

“And it is a fool indeed that puts his fate in the hands of a Loyer,” snorted Kuriharan disdainfully.

“Aye,” chipped in Orogarn Two. “And ’tis grim for us when the only Loyer that we have to plead our case before the Velour is the one Loyer who was banished from Valleyum.”

“Pish and twaddle,” snapped Merisu irritably. “Grrralph - er - Sueim has proved faithful to the Quest. And I, for one, trust in him to see that justice will prevail.”

At that moment, one of the Elven clerks raised his voice so that all present heard his cry.

“Silence in court!”

“And so it begins,” whispered Merisu to her companions, “The great argument of our time.”

As all stood, the Velour entered the clearing with Mantoes at their head. Solemnly, they took the wooden seats appointed for them to one side of the clearing.

“Like, what’s with the upholstery,” complained Prada. “You’d think that they could have done something plush in leather.”

“Hey, get with it dudes,” intoned Mantoes. “This court is, like, in session, man.”

Last edited by The Saucepan Man; 05-08-2005 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 05-08-2005, 08:05 PM   #262
Mithadan
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Mithadan has been trapped in the Barrow!
Grrralph... er. Sueim rose and walked to the counsel's table which had appeared before the august panel of Velour. On it, he placed his legal pad and quill. Then he motioned lazily with his left hand and a tall stack of scrolls appeared upon the table. Rising to his full (and considerable) height, he addressed the Court.

"My Lord Mantoes," he intoned. "and distinguished Velour. I am here before you today to plead on behalf of Gravlox Uruk and Merisuwyniel the Fair who have had their deep and loving relationship shattered by Môgul Bildûr, formerly known to all here as Melvin Bluenote, who has wrongfully and without right seized and retained in his possession the aforesaid Gravlox..."

"What about his cousins, bagels, capers and cream cheese?" whispered a nearby Elf before he was seized, roundly beaten and dragged off by several bailiffs.

"As I was saying," continued Sueim. "This is a case about love interrupted by the dark and evil deeds of Môgul Bildûr..."

"Sob!" sobbed Howlie. "That's beautiful. Môgul's guilty! Let me execute his sentence!" He raised his hammer and hurled against the nearby mountain from which the reincarnated Orcs had been issuing. The mountain shattered with a flash of light. Moments later, a dull rumble was heard, even as Howlie's hammer spun back to him.

"Duuude," cried Mantoes. "It's not cool to, like, prejudge someone. Keep an open mind. Roll on, Sueim!"

"A case like this arises rarely," said Sueim. "Once a Page, perhaps do events of such great moment arise. And, sadly, I am but recently arisen from the stupor of my curse and am less than fully prepared, through no fault of my own. Therefore, I respectfully request a continuance so that I may adequately present my case. A short adjournment of, say, a decade?"

Greedhog rose to object, but before he could speak, a great clamor arose. A battalion of Orcs marched by singing Louie, Louie at the top of their lungs. Prada winced and conferred quickly with Mantoes who then spoke. "Dude, I feel your pain, but there is, like, no way that we are going to let all these Orcs and Trolls and whatever wander around here for a decade. We've gotta get this gig done so that we can get back to hanging out. Motion denied."

Greedhog snickered none too quietly, but Sueim was undaunted. "Then, I request just five minutes to speak with Gravlox and would like to designate some of these fine people who I quested with to act as my clerks?"

"Whatever," answered Mantoes. "Pick three of them to help you."

Sueim turned to the Itship and considered each in turn.

"He will pick me," thought Merisu. "For I am wise and strong and led this quest for all this time."

"He will pick me," thought Gateskeeper with a grin. "For I am smarter than all the others combined."

"He will pick me," mused Kuruharan. "For I am savvy and a great salesman, and what is a court case if not a sales pitch?"

"I wonder when dinner is?" thought Orogarn.

A ghost of a grin passed over Sueim's face, then he turned back to face the court. "Thank you my Lord Mantoes," he said. "I choose Pimpiowyn, Vogonwë and Leninia."

The audience of Elves that had gathered gasped, then laughed. They pointed and whispered as the three newly designated clerks stepped forward and huddled with the Loyer. After several minutes, including one loud exclamation of "You want me to WHAT?" Sueim nodded and walked towards the hill where Gravlox was bound. Pimpi and Vogonwë accompanied him reluctantly through the ranks of drooling and jeering Orcs. Leninia did not, however, join them. She walked off to the west with a determined look on her face.

Soon, Sueim returned and faced the court. "Where are your clerks?" asked Mantoes.

"They are off doing research, no doubt," answered Sueim.

"Very well," said the chief jurist. "Like, present your case."

"The Orcish Conundrum Concordat clearly and unambiguously provides as follows," said Sueim. "'In order to ease the overcrowding of the Mantoes reclamation facility and to ensure the orderly recirculation of resources, the Velour hereby agree that, upon application by Môgul Bildûr, in writing and upon reasonable advance notice, the Velour will release into his custody all previously slain or otherwise killed, departed, or passed on Orcs from Mantoes, save only that this clause may be invoked only once a Page.' Thus, by the way, Lord Howlie's action in destroying the recirculation portals was quite proper Môgul Bildûr has used his one option for this Page."

He strode over before the panel of Velour and gestured dramatically. "ORCS!" he cried. "This provision applies only to Orcs! Not Trolls, not Dwarves, not wraiths, not wargs, not bunny rabbits, not zerls and, especially NOT Elves! And Gravlox is now an Elf! He is no longer an Orc! He has been redeemed."

Gravlox nodded his head as best he could against his bonds. This was difficult as he remained tied to a stake on the nearby hill. But even as Sueim finished his sentence, a breeze blew, causing Gravlox's golden hair to wave and gleam in the sun. His grey eyes twinkled and shone and his aquiline nose was in stark contrast to the snouts and related bodily accoutrements that his Orcish guards possessed.

"Does an Orc sip tea?" asked Sueim. "With scones, yet? Does an Orc floss his fangs? Does an Orc say please and thank you? My Lord Mantoes, does an Orc use conditioner, pre-shave, post-shave, hair mousse, exfoliating cleansers and astringents? For this ELF does, as this court well knows. But if the court wishes proof, I have the statements, taken by Osanwë, of 100 Orcs from the division Môgul Bildûr assigned Gravlox to, all attesting to these uncontested facts." A large volume of paper appeared suddenly before Mantoes and landed with a THUD upon his table. A number of Elves in the Gallery applauded appreciatively as Sueim swept back dramatically to his table and sat down in his chair.

"He has done it!" thought Merisu with wonder. "He has surely won and Gravlox will be released to me!"

But if so, then why was Greedhog smiling....?

Last edited by Mithadan; 05-17-2005 at 07:53 AM. Reason: defoliating, exfoliating, I don't use that stuff... hee hee
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Old 05-16-2005, 08:59 PM   #263
Kuruharan
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Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Boots Interview with a Dentist

“With the court’s indulgence,” said Greedhog. He walked (not flew, walked) over to the nearby hill where Gravlox was tied up. The Loyer seized the stake and ripped it out of the ground. Then he carried the stake and Gravlox back before the bench…row of stools or whatever it was.

“May it please the court,” Greedhog proclaimed grandly. He thrust the stake into the ground again where everyone in the courtroom…meadow…field…whatever could see Gravlox’s face.

“Open your mouth,” commanded Greedhog.

“Mmm-mmm,” said Gravlox pinching his lips as tightly shut as possible.

“I said open it,” commanded Greedhog.

“Mmm-MMMMM,” said Gravlox turning his head in the other direction.

Greedhog reached forward with his mighty hand…paw…claw…whatever and wrenched Gravlox’s head around. With his other appendage he gripped Gravlox’s jaw and squeezed. Gravlox’s mouth popped open with an unappealing cloud of slobber revealing a hideous mouth of some of the jaggedest most vicious looking orc-fangs you ever saw. (They were, however, immaculately flossed.)

“Redeemed is he,” sneered Greedhog. “Looks to me like somebody skipped out from the program before completion. As the court knows, in order for an elf to be considered redeemed, the spirit must complete the creation of a new Hawaarrrrkk.” Greedhog pointed to Gravlox in some distaste. “This creature clearly has not done so.”

The panel of Velour made vague noises of assent and understanding, or it may have been just them settling down to a more comfortable position to take a nap.

“Your honors,” piped up Kuruharan, “if I may…”

“Shaddup!!” hissed Merisuwyniel.

Kuruharan paid his usual amount of attention to her wishes.

“We have reason to believe that the victim in this case was rippéd untimely from the Halls of Mantoes. Said victim was not given the chance to complete his orals. However, as the court knows, if the spirit is pure, then the flesh can be so too. All it needs is a little help.”

“ZZzzzzZZ…wha…” pontificated Mantoes.

“Exactly,” agreed Kuruharan. “Now, if the court will permit me…” The dwarf strode forward and handed over a card.

Mantoes examined the card and read aloud what it said. “Kuruharan the Longbeard, D.D.S., D.V.M., B.B.C., C.B.S., A.B.C., N.B.C., M.S.N.B.C., F.O.X., C.N.N., N.K.V.D., G.P.U., C.I.A., M.I.5, F.B.I., K.G.B., A.S.A.P., R.S.V.P, D.M.Z., I.I.R.C., L.O.L., I.M.H.O., and B.Y.O.B.”

“Duuuude…” said Manuël.

“I offer my services to the court to test the hypothesis,” said Kuruharan.

“Wha…” said Mantoes.

“Objection!!!” roared Greedhog. “He’s not offered his certification!!”

Kuruharan pulled a rolled scroll out of his sleeve and handed it over.

“The ink’s still wet,” said Mantoes.

“A miracle!” said Kuruharan. “May I begin?”

“Ob…” began Greedhog again when an antennae wrapped itself around his neck and choked him off.

“Council,” hissed the voice of his master, “I think this might be fun to watch.”

And so, Kuruharan was allowed to proceed.

“Nurse,” he called. Chrysophylax thumped down next to Gravlox and set down the most awful lookin’ gas-powered dentist’s drill you never wanted to clap eyes on.

Kuruharan pulled on some rubber gloves with a snap. “Anesthetic!”

Chrysophylax turned around and whalloped Gravlox with his tail. Gravlox slumped over like a boned fish.

*RUM-pa-pa-pa-pa* *RUM-pa-pa-pa-pa* *RUM-pa-pa-pa-pa* went the drill as Kuruharan enthusiastically yanked on the cord trying to start the contraption.

*RUM-RUM-WHIRRRRRRRRRR* went the drill as it spun to life.

“Hold his mouth open,” commanded Kuruharan as he gripped the drill and pulled it toward Gravlox’s mouth.

Who now will save Gravlox from a Dentistry worse than Death?

Mithadan's Post

Sueim stood up so quickly that his chair fell over behind him with a loud crash. The sudden noise fortunately distracted Kuruharan, who was about to begin an excavation of Gravlox's upper frontal... err, fang. Members of the audience alternately sighed with relief or groaned with disappointment depending upon their respective world views. "Before we begin tampering with evidence," interjected Sueim. "May I suggest an more appropriate solution to this issue?"

He adjusted his vest, smoothed his tie and stepped forward. "Counsel's argument presumes that the condition of Gravlox's teeth, other than his tendency toward oral hygeine, is relevant here. I would respectfully contend that it is not. Could we excuse the witness, Lord Mantoes?"

Mantoes, who had been observing the proceedings with a combination of disgust and boredom, nodded. A contingent of Orcs carried Gravlox back to the nearby hill and lashed him to the pole once again. Kuruharan hastily wrote out an invoice for services almost rendered and handed it to the Bailiff before retreating.

"I call to the stand..." cried Sueim dramatically. "SOREGUM!"

Soregum straightened as if a Troll had begun an in-depth exploration of his innards with a knife, then trotted nervously up to the witness stand. Sueim approached the witness with a sly smile.

"Soregum, you are of what race?" he asked.

"I'm a Hobbit, sir," mumbled Soregum.

"A Hobbit?" repeated Sueim. "Are you sure?"

"Uh, yes?" answered the witness.

"You have just seen Greedhog suggest that the nature of Gravlox's teeth may tend to show that he is an Orc," said the Loyer. "What did you think?"

"Pretty nasty, I guess," mumbled Soregum.

"Nasty," repeated Sueim. "Does the nastiness of his teeth establish him to be an Orc?"

"I dunno," answered Soregum nervously, with a quick glance towards Merisu.

"Open your mouth!" instructed Sueim.

Now Soregum looked over to Kuruharan, who had paused in his efforts to repack his dentistry equipment and was now observing the questioning with keen interest, with open terror. But Mantoes leaned forward and nudged the witness. "Come on, little dude," he ordered. "Let's see your choppers."

Soregum reluctantly opened his mouth and displayed his teeth in all their glory... all six of them... the green ones... the brown ones... the black one and the spotted one. A nearby Orc screamed with horror and loped away. Prada lifted a dainty kerchief to her mouth and averted her eyes. Even Greedhog appeared uncomfortable.

"Oh, man," cried Mantoes. "Like, gross. Totally!"

Sueim smiled at Greedhog happily. Then he spoke. "I believe my point is made. The witness is excused."

Last edited by Kuruharan; 05-17-2005 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 05-16-2005, 11:15 PM   #264
Diamond18
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Silmaril Pinecones of Desire

Suddenly, without warning, a burning rock came screaming from the sky and exploded into a million pieces, each one slamming into the ground with collasal force! Death! Destruction! The whole world was engulfed in flames and molten space rock -- people's large and small intestines fried like sausage and their bones disentegrated like tissue paper that's been held over a votive candle too long. Men, orcs, elves and Velour alike, dead, all dead! All dead! O, the carnage! Death to all Hatchlings of Emu Ilovetar!

Dear Gentle Reader,

Wait a gosh darn moment. This is all too final. Some other dues ex machina must be used.

If you find courtroom scenes boring, no matter how farcical the characters or outrageous the events, I apologize, for it is only going to get worse. For let us now turn our attention back to the true events of that fateful day in Valleyum, which cannot be rescued by great balls of fire or blood and destruction.

Well, great balls of fire, anyway.

We are now zooming back down to submerse ourselves in the ofttimes hard to suspend disbelief -- wow, that’s mixing metaphors, is it not, Gentle Reader? It doesn’t even make any sense. However, it is what we are doing. Zooming back down we see where Vogonwë Brownbark and his young love Pimpi are preparing to carry out a mission entrusted to them by the Loyer Formerly Known as Grrralph. But heck, we’re still going to call him Grrralph, Gentle Reader, because we’re just that way.

Hark, action is taking place....


“I don't believe what I'm hearing... Meri-Sue was right. You've changed!”

“I don't want to hear any more about Meri-Sue. The Velour turned against me. Don't you turn against me.”

“I don't know you anymore. Vogonwë, you're breaking my heart. I'll never stop loving you, but you are going down a path I can't follow.”

“Because of Meri-Sue?”

“Because of what you've done... what you plan to do. Stop, stop now. Come back! I love you!”

“Liar!”

Oops, heh heh, sorry, Gentle Reader -- wrong parody. Let me adjust the controls on my Parody-O-Matic here -- indispensable machine but it can be terribly glitchy -- and see if we cannot find the proper tone, this time. Ah yes, here we go:

“I’m hungry.”

“Not now, Pimpi, I’m composing,” Vogonwë replied with a hint of irritation. In fact, he was quite nervous, more nervous than he had been since that incident with the Giant Mutant Neanderthalic Black Skwerlz of Workmud when in the midst of battle he had run out of arrows and been reduced to throwing hair pins. His anxiety put him on edge and thus Pimpi’s tummy rumblings were not a welcome distraction from the task at hand.

Pimpi should have been more nervous than she was, considering what Grrralph had asked of her, but at the moment her task seemed a long time away and the hollowness inside was much more pressing. She looked over Vogonwë’s shoulder with half interest, reading the words he wrote upon paper and thinking that the Diabolical Workmudian Sleep-Well Spell he was crafting didn’t seem all that much different from one of his sonnets.

“You’d better hurry up,” she said languidly, “we have to do this before the trial is over.”

Vogonwë took a breath before replying, “I am hurrying -- and unless you can remember what the fourth line of the third stanza is supposed to be, it would be most helpful if you would refrain from speaking to me.”

“Oooookay,” Pimpi backed away. “Excuse me, your Poet-Laureatness.”

Vogonwë went on muttering snatches of poetry under his breath, scratching out the words on the paper and replacing them countless times, till the paper was a mess of unreadable scratches and half-baked rhymes. “Oh it’s no use, I can’t remember the Spell,” he moaned. “I should have paid more attention in school....”

“All hope is not lost,” Pimpi said bravely, swatting him on the shoulder. “I have faith in you, Vogy -- if you can’t remember the spell thingy, just improvise.”

“Improvise?” he looked at her cross-eyed.

“Yes! Ad lib! Write your own Diabolical Brownbarkian Sleep-Well Spell.”

“But I am a poet, not a spell weaver.”

“Whatever,” Pimpi fluttered one hand dismissively. “Same diff.”

“I protest, there is much--”

“Listen, I’m getting seriously bored out of my mind here, okay?” Pimpi snatched the paper and pen away from him. “Time is of the essence, now get over there and recite something.”

Vogonwë grumbled, and turned reluctantly to where Gravlox was chained to a pole, heavily guarded by minions of the Dark Lord -- who were, at the moment, eyeing Kuruharan intensely, but were sure to come down hard on anyone else who attempted to remove Gravlox from his spot. He cleared his throat and coughed nervously, then stood up and walked hesitantly over to where the Orc/Elf was awaiting his fate.

“Excuse me, tally ho,” Vogonwë said, waving at Orc guards. They snapped their attention away from the trial and menaced their weapons towards him, growling and snarling and saying “get lost” among other, less publishable things.

Vogonwë held his hands up innocently, “I’m so sorry to disturb you gents. But if you have a moment to lend me your incredibly large, misshapen, hairy ears, I have a favor to ask.”

The guards burst out into laughter at the idea of doing a favor, and told Vogonwë again to get lost or feel the wrath of their swords, clubs, and assorted switchblades.

“Okay,” Vogonwë broke out into a sweat -- very unbecoming in even a half-elf -- and tried to smile. He did a quick head count of the Orcs and ruled out the possibility of taking them out with his arrows -- his proximity to them and their number meant that he could hope to skewer only about half a dozen of them before the other dozen made him feel the wrath of their assorted switchblades. And no doubt the clamor would attract the attention of more unsavory types, not to mention the in session court down the hill. No, he had no choice but to go at this in the manner Grrralph had requested.

He took a deep breath. “Section 108 paragraph 5 line 9 in the Valleyum Unsavory Visitors Act states quite clearly that all prisoners being held on the shores of Valleyum by any and all Unsavory Visitors, such as yourselves, are entitled to three things --

1. The presence of an officiary of the religion of his or her choice
2. A root beer flavored lollypop
3. The recitation of a poem by a professional, licensed Poet.”

The Orcs looked at him blankly, wondering if the strange Elf before them was really All There.

“Now,” Vogonwë continued, “I see none of these things, though I do see a prisoner, and this is Valleyum, and you are all unsavory. Therefore you are in serious, er... well you’re all in a lot of trouble because this represents an unlawful something or other. However, this is also your lucky day because it just so happens that I am a licensed Poet and a Priest of the Order of White Rabbits, which is the religion of this Elf/Orc’s choice. Also I have in my possession one root beer lollypop, slightly sticky with a coating of pocket lint.”

The Orcs exchanged befuddled glances. Then one took a menacing step forward. “Look, chump--”

“The name is Brownbark. Vogonwë Brownbark.”

“Whatever, Chump. We don’t want any of your pansy Elf poetry around here, you got me?”

Vogonwë nodded understandingly, then said, “I thrill at the trilling hill of daffodils.”

The Orcs recoiled, expressions of pain contorting their already contorted features.

“Hey, I said none of that now!”

“Little Mincy-Mee of Shmee danced the Tootlefree in the land of Hannalee.”

“Argh!” The Orcs tried to charge Vogonwë, but were brought to their knees by --

“I went to the fair
I went to the fair,
I went to the fair
To see a bear,
And the bear was there,
At the fair.”

“You’ll never get away with this!” gasped one Orc.

Vogonwë smiled with a hint of sadistic pleasure and replied,

“The drooping fronds of pond leaves left scars
Day is night and night is day
Morning shadows drift down the wet dog nose of love
Rolling in the sand is a pinecone.
Of desire.”

No reply came from the Orcs this time -- they had all fallen face down and were lying motionless on the hill.

Pimpi came creeping up behind Vogonwë and asked, “Are they sleeping? Why have you stopped reciting?”

“I think they’re dead,” Vogonwë said, nudging one prostrate Orc with his foot. “I was experimenting to see what would happen if you mixed two napping spells with a traditional drinking song of Chippendale. And that last one was just something I was working on for social occasions. The effect has succeeded beyond my wildest expectations, the guards are out of commission permanently, which makes your task much easier.”

“I’m going to go untie him.”

“You’re welcome. Don’t mention it. No really, it was nothing...” Vogonwë said dryly, but his complaint was completely lost on Pimpi, who advanced upon the tethered Elf/Orc, and said, “Gravlox? Hello? D’you remember me?”

Gravlox mumbled something around his gag, and Pimpi reached to remove it.

“Be careful, he might bite,” said Vogonwë, hanging back.

Once the gag was free, Gravlox said irritably, “I do not bite and yes, I remember the both of you, to my regret. What have you come to do to me now? Is it not enough that you killed me, you must now come to gloat over me in my hour of subjugation?”

“No, we’ve come to rescue you!” Pimpi said earnestly, tearing away at the knots securing the ropes around his nicely manicured hands. “We’re going to take you away and hide you! Come along now, before anyone notices!”

Gravlox looked between Pimpi and Vogonwë suspiciously. “Is this some kind of trap?”

“Yes,” Vogonwë replied, “we’re going to chop you up and eat you with a side of lembas, that’s why we’ve gone to all this trouble to rescue you from certain death at the hands of Mogul.”

“You’ve become very sarcastic since I last knew you,” Gravlox observed.

“We don’t have time for this, come!” Pimpi urged, and the three of them hastened away, darting glances over their shoulders at the trial which proceeded merrily along, oblivious to the absence of its subject.

Last edited by Diamond18; 05-26-2005 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 05-26-2005, 05:58 PM   #265
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The Eye Meanwhile, back at the trial ...

Greedhog had watched the oral examinations of Gravlox and Soregum with the patronising and supercilious expression that only a truly seasoned Loyer could affect. When they were finally over, and Sueim had sat down, he rose once more and addressed Mantoes.

“My Lord, may I continue?” he asked.

“Whatever, dude,” came the mighty judge’s reply.

“My learned friend,” Greedhog intoned, spitting the words out contemptuously as if they were flies that had somehow become ensnared within his pallid jowls, but nevertheless bound by the code of courtroom etiquette to use them, “has put in contention the issue of whether the subject of this trial, one Gravlox Uruk, is or is not at the present time an Orc. I might point to his very name as evidence of his Orcentricity, under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. But I would submit that this question is wholly irrelevant, and therefore one which need not trouble your Lordship.”

“Sweet,” said Mantoes, with as much enthusiasm as he could muster. As far as he was concerned, the less he had to decide, and the quicker this tedious trial was over with, the better.

“For it is undeniably the case,” Greedhog continued, “that, while he may be seeking redemption, the aforementioned Gravlox is most certainly not yet fully redeemed. And thus it was when Lord Mögul exercised his option under the Orcish Conundrum Concordat in respect of, inter alia, the said Gravlox. Indeed, at that time the subject was undoubtedly more Orcish than Elvish. I can testify to that myself, having - er - questioned him at length.”

“And your point is…?” asked the judge.

“My point is, My Lord, that the whole purpose of the Orcish Conundrum Concordat, its raison d’être if you like, was to avoid a situation whereby you would be required to admit a former Orc into your hallowed Halls by reason of such Orc having sought, and successfully obtained, redemption. My Lord, I am sure that you of all people need no reminding of this, but, should proof of this proposition be required, then I would refer the court to page 3, post #119 of the trial papers prepared by my Înstrùktïng Sólícïtôrrs.”

Klïffòrd Shànnse and Slôrrtern Maï glowered in smug satisfaction and the mention of their handiwork, while Mantoes eyed the enormous stack of papers before him with some reluctance.

“No need, dude,” he declared. “I know the score. No way we wanted those gross Orcish dudes messing up the place and bringing everyone down, redemption or no redemption. Seriously bad vibes, man.”

“Ergo, My Lord, it follows that the aforesaid Concordat could only validly be invoked in circumstances where the Orc in question was seeking redemption, yet was not fully redeemed. Which is precisely the state that Gravlox Uruk was in when he was offered to, and accepted by, my client, Lord Mögul, under the terms of said Concordat.”

“Er, right,” said Mantoes.

“It follows that the subject has validly come into my client‘s possession by the proper operation of the Orcish Conundrum Concordat. Moreover, as I am sure that all present are aware, section XXXIX, clause 658, sub-clause 658.12, paragraph 3, sub-paragraph (d), sub-sub-paragraph (ixx) of the Valleyum civil code states that possession is nine tenths of the law. Accordingly, given that the said Gravlox is currently within my client’s possession and validly so, my client is legally and indisputably entitled to retain ownership of precisely nine tenths of him."

Greedhog paused for effect, an evil grin spreading across his grotesque features, before continuing.

"As to the remaining one tenth, my client is of course perfectly willing to deliver this up to my learned friend, should he so wish”

His submissions over, Greedhog sat down with a flourish and glared smugly at Sueim.

“He’s good,” whispered Kuruharan, clearly impressed. “Darn good. I wonder how much he charges for this sort of thing?”

“Aye. Ever had I heard that the dread loyers of Moredough were well practised in their dark arts,” added the Gateskeeper. “And now the evidence of mine own eyes testifies that the legends did not speak falsely.”

And so, as Merisuwyniel fought to hold back the rising tide of despair that threatened to engulf her, all eyes turned back to Sueim, upon whom the hopes of the Court-ship, and the success of their Quest, now depended.

Last edited by The Saucepan Man; 05-31-2005 at 08:43 PM. Reason: Save filled
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Old 05-29-2005, 04:43 AM   #266
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"You know, the West is just another ideological construct used to perpetuate stereotypes and dictate the nature of diplomatic relationships," a tiny voice sang sweetly to Leninia as she walked down a long, dark corridor toward her destination.

"Uh huh." Leninia brushed it off. She was concentrating on her task so hard that she didn't even resort to telling the voice to shut up. "Wait a minute, who is this?"

"The voice in your head, of course," the voice replied.

Leninia remembered the vulture from her previous dream, vision, quest...thing. and decided that she'd had enough weirdness for today.

"Could you go away, please?" She implored the voice in an uncharacteristically polite and only slightly irritated tone.

"Sure. Please don't think that my entire existence revolves around you. Yet before you throw me out so rudely, perhaps you should know that I have something say about the task that lies ahead of you."

"You do?"

"Yes."

A long silence followed, interrupted only by the sound of Leninia's high heels clicking on the polished marble floor.

"What was that again?"

"I said, yes. Oh, and almost forgot, FREE POLITICAL PRISONERS IN THE NAME OF DEMYSTIFICATION OF ALL SOCIAL CONSTRUCTS AND REPRESSIVE MEASURES THAT PERPETUATE THEM!"

The voice did not come back.

"Hello?" Leninia ventured. "Hey. Loser. Moron. Weirdo. Emotionally constipated freakoid who still lives in his mother's basement and wears the same socks for a week at a time! Ok. It really is gone. Great."

And at this, Leninia reached the door at the end of the hall. It was rather unremarkable and shabby, bearing graffitti along the lines of "Abandon all dope at the door, plz." Leninia prepared herself, tossed her hair about for extra confidence, and knocked.

Another long silence followed. Then a toilet flushed. Then a dull and disinterested voice yelled "it's open!" and Leninia stepped through into what appeared to be a particularly low-end office, with garish lighting from cheap novelty floor-lamps shaped like trees and stacks of dusty folders rising like towers and getting lost somewhere in the great heights of the ceiling.

A young man sat at a shabby desk and quietly yet deliberately thumped his head on it. Another young man, in suspenders and a not-so-crisp shirt, was eyeing Leninia suspiciously.

"The hair salon is down the hall in the opposite direction," he finally said.

"You think my hair needs a sa..." Leninia bristled, then quickly regained her composure. "I mean, I wasn't looking for the hair salon, I was looking...well. For you."

"For me?" Young Man #2 raised an eyebrow. Young Man #1 meanwhile continued thumping.

"Excuse me," Leninia smiled a glittering, toothy smile. "But is there anything wrong with your, um, colleague over there? Does he need help? Maybe we could give him a pillow?"

"Oh, no, that's qute alright, actually," Young Man #2 grinned. "He can't concentrate on his job otherwise."

"Must be a pretty tough job."

"Tell me about it," Young Man #2 groaned. "We keep getting our budget cut in half. It's supposed to be one of the most important jobs in this entire sorry establishment, assisting Our Beloved Foorer Mantoes himself. But guess what? This place has its priorities so screwed up that I'm beginning to think of transferring, before I go insane and get pushed into early retirement. All they care about is their defense fund!"

"Maybe I can help?" Leninia fluttered her eyelashes so much it seemed for a moment as if she might take off and sail straight up and away. "I'm sure we could get the budget improved drastically for the coming fiscal year. I have connections."

"What's the catch?" Young Man #2 eyed her cautiously and hungrily at the same time, like a bird eyeing a particularly bright-colored spider on The Yearning Channel documentary.

"Oh just a little bit of fine print, dear."

"Very fine?"

"Excrutiatingly fine, darling."

"Extremely fine?"

"Gloriously, divinely fine, pumpkin."

"As fine as you are?"

"Hmm. Why not?" And all the while Leninia's eyes continued to blink and glitter and radiate like miniature nuclear power plants. Young Man #2 began swaying from side to side, drooling, smiling, and muttering utter nonsense:

"And then we're going to have a...yes, barbeques on the back porch...the first one we can name, hmmm, something fashionable, like Arden...Maybe the second one will be Dior...Pink pram...Of course, you can keep your job...Cocktails in the den...Summer holiday at St. Tropessea...Pretty trinkets on your birthday...Yes, the lace one.." And so on.

This was enough to rouse even Young Man #1 from his head-banging stupor.

"What have you done?" He roared at Leninia. "We get off at five and we still have work to do? You want to get us fired?"

"No, sugar," Leninia smiled sweetly. "I want to help you."

"Listen lady, your tricks ain't gonna work on me..." Young Man #1 began.

"I know," Leninia interruped gently, remembering the voice's advice. "That's why I had to get your colleague here out of the way. Now listen to me very carefully: Rule number one, you do not talk about what happened here today. Rule number two, you do not talk about what happened here today. Rule number three, this so-called office decor really has to go. Rule number four, helpmefreeyourpoliticalprisonersandallyourfinancia lproblemsaregoingtodisappear."

"Whoa, lady, that's a whole lot of fine print."

"Well, put your glasses on," Leninia snapped.

"...And then we can install a pool...My mother can babysit the kids...You in your nightgown, brushing your long gorgeous hair...And the pink ribbons...Yes, of course, we can...A sale at the Gap of Rohan, you can get anything you want..." Young Man #2 was still going strong.

"And why should we listen to you?" Young Man #1 persisted.

"Because I know how this whole business was. I used to be slightly evil, you see, Leninia Tiny and Terrible, you may have heard of me. But then I met some people, entered a 12-step program..." Leninia trailed off, smiling, for Young Man #2 had come out of his stupor and was staring at her like a rabbit at a cobra on The Yearning Channel.

"Come, gentle revised budget, come, loving, green-coloured revised budget,
Give me my sanity; and, when I shall retire,
Take my stock options and cut them out in huge financial benefits,
So that all the world will be oyster, and pay no worship to my garish looks.
Oh, I will buy a mansion..." He whispered.

"Shut up!" Young Man #1 yelled. "Tell me instead if there are any political prisoners in our jurisdiction whose case may be up for review."

"We only have one. One lousy one." Young Man #2 ruffled a paper-stack, then another. On his twelth paper stack, as Leninia yawned, he finally came upon what he was looking for.

'Last name LaBamba. First name....eh...what is this? Too-thin? Since when can somebody be too thin? Or too r..."

"Ok, I get it man, you're obsessed with your retirement fund, I get it!" Young Man #1 roared.

"So, can we do something about this LaBamba gentleman?" Leninia coughed charmingly and politely.

"Wait, hold on, there is also something here about an...Hmm. An army dispatched here by Mogul? All classified under, er, enemy 'combustants'? Held without trial? Tortured with watching mid-level sitcoms and uh, other stuff...Hmmm. Seems like a huge violation of basic hu...I mean *cough wheeze* Maybe they were all mis-filed? An entire army mis-filed?"

'I'm telling you, we can turn this organization around," Leninia said. "Make it stand for something glorious again. Let it never mis-file another being, human or otherwise, ever again. Mis-filing. That word should have new meaning for us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will not go quietly to early retirement or otherwise! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to move on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our...eh...What date is it today?"

"No clue."

"Ok, fine, whatever, do whatever needs to be done."

"And..." Young Man #2 looked at Leninia like a prairie dog popping out of its hole and staring with astonishment at whatever it is there is to be stared at (all this Leninia of course learned from The Yearning Channel, copyright 200...eh, whatever year it is right now).

"And what?" Coy Leninia asked.

"And all of that before this? I mean...You probably think that I'm an uncool materialistic..."

"Emotionally constpitaed frekoid?" Leninia finished sweetly.

"Yeah...I mean no...I think...The things you said to me before? Are they...? Are they?"

Leninia remembered the voice in her head.

"Yes." She said. "Yes."

"Hold me closer, tiny and terrible Leninia."

Last edited by Lush; 06-07-2005 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 06-01-2005, 03:35 PM   #267
Mithadan
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As with any activity conducted in a public forum, so too are there fans of the legal profession; those who would rather perish than miss a trial of any great moment. Those who hang upon every last word spoken by a loyer and every last nuance of the law. From the corners of Valleyum, these had descended upon the plain before the Hill of Fish to witness Sueim strive against Greedhog. There they stood in the gallery. All two of them. At this moment, they were attempting to do the wave but were rather looking like Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum bobbing up and down from Through the Looking Glass. But that is, of course, a different story...

Hal sidled over to Merisu and patted her on the shoulder. "Have heart fair maiden," he cried. "It is always darkest before the storm. Every cloud has a silver lining. What goes up must come down. Our distinguished counsel will muster his wiles and deliver a brilliant repartee! Justice will prevail! E pluribus unum! Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo!"

"Ipsi dixit?" mumbled Kuruharan.

"Et tu?" snarled Orogarn with a glare at the dwarf.

Then Sueim smiled and rose gracefully from the counsel's table. He paused to straighten his tie, then advanced to stand before Mantoes. The shining loyer cleared his throat and then spoke in sonorous tones, words of great moment and significance. "I rest my case," he said.

"WHAT!" cried Merisu. "That's it?"

Sueim looked off towards the hill upon which the stake stood with a prisoner bound to it with leather thongs and duct tape. He nodded. "That is most assuredly it," he replied. "Hal would you escort Merisu to the rear of the Itship please?"

Hal gave Sueim a poisonous look, however, with the Velour looking on he had little choice but to comply. With bowed head, Merisu walked away until she was hidden from view behind Chrysophylax who, for the past few minutes, had been issuing a cloud of steam that even Prada's bright eyes could not pierce.

Mantoes hemmed and hawed for a few minutes with the other Velour, then returned to the bench. "Like, having reviewed the Orcish Conundrum Concordat and the records of Gravlox Uruk, we think that he was well on the way to redemption even before that idiot Elf or half Elf shot him full of arrows..."

From behind the Mists of Chrysophylax there came a voice. "What! Hey! I object! OW! Pimpi, why did you hit me..." Quite rightfully, the voice was dutifully ignored by all present.

"...Even after his untimely demise," continued Mantoes. "He worked hard at his lessons and training, even his dental hygiene though to little avail, and learned the ways and manners of the Elves. We find that he is sufficiently reformed to not qualify as an Orc for the purposes of the Orcish Conundrum Concordat."

"Oh my Emu!" came a distinctly and properly feminine yet strong and admirable cry from behind the Smokes of the Dragon. This cry was likewise ignored.

Greedhog ground his teeth in irritation and his clerks began discussing how to appeal from a ruling of the highest court on Muddled Mirth. Then Mantoes spoke again. "But like, however, the fact is that he is in the possession of Môgul Bildûr, formerly known to all here as Melvin Bluenote, and like, it is so totally true that possession is nine-tenths of the law. So I guess we kind of, like, have to rule in favor of Môgul Bildûr."

From behind the Mists of the Wyrm, there came another cry. One would have expected it to be the sound of anguish and grief of a distraught lover who had lost her one and only forever. But it sounded suspiciously like, "Yes! Yes!"

Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum gasped, as did a few of the other, less interested, observers. At Greedhog's counsel table there were high fives all around and not a few "Woo hoos" and cries of "Who's your daddy?" But Sueim rose and, to the surprise of all present, he did not look displeased. Indeed, he was smiling broadly. "My Lord Mantoes," he began. "Some clarification, please. As I understand, your ruling is that Gravlox Uruk is redeemed, but that whoever is in possession of him is entitled to his...errr... possession. Is that correct?"

Mantoes nodded. "Sorry, dude."


"No problemo," said Sueim. He motioned towards the sky, and a wind arose which blew aside the Mists of Chrysophylax. The dragon, who appeared almost to be a bit teary, stepped aside. There was revealed for all to see, the sight of Merisuwyniel and Gravlox Ex-Uruk embracing one another tightly. Next to them were Pimpiowyn and Vogonwë, Gravlox's rescuers. They waved happily at Sueim, who waved back. Then the Loyer turned to face Môgul's counsel.

"Possession is nine tenths of the law, Greedhog," cried Sueim. "In your face!"

The forces of Môgul Bildûr quailed at the blow that had been dealt to their master and a wail arose from the great mass of Orcs, Trolls, Wraiths, half-Orcs, half-Trolls and other assorted incestuous combinations that comprised the army. But suddenly a rain of legal papers fell from the sky and there, free from the bonds of Sueim's writs and injuctions was Môgul Bildûr, flying on Heffalump. "Who cares about a traitorous Orc or Elf or whatever he is," he cried. "The court has ruled and I am now free to act as I see fit. I think I'll take up right where I left off before this ridiculous sideshow began. Let's see... Where was I? Oh yes!" Mogûl swept down over the Itship and his Aerophaunt, Heffalump, trumpeted loudly. He raised a hand and shouted, "Kill them! Kill them all and bring me the fragments of the Ent! Bwah ha ha!"

But at that second, a new voice rang out and it was nearly as loud as Mogûl's. "Wait a minute Bildur!"

Mogûl closed his eyes in annoyance. "Deja vu, all over again. I hate deja vu." He opened his eyes and looked about to find the owner of the voice. And lo! There stood Leninia, and next to her stood a man in a rumpled suit who looked altogether too much like a bureaucrat. But the voice belonged to neither of them. Rather, it belonged to a very tall and skinny man, dressed all in black, who stood holding a long sword. And behind him was arrayed a vast shadowy army of the spirits of Men and Elves from the Halls of Mantoes. Yes, there was Feeblenor who long ago had wrought the Lava Lamps and his seven sons, Maypo, Maalox, Celebimbo, Curuthin, Ramrod, Ramfast and Carrera. And there were Thingy and his household, and Pinhead who had dwelt in the caves of Imablonde and many others of the Noodlar and the Doolalliquendi besides. And there were the great Mannish heroes such as Moron the Old and Who-Him and their hosts as well. But Mogûl's eyes were glued upon the tall thin man who had spoken. "Too-Thin Labamba," he whispered...
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Old 06-01-2005, 04:33 PM   #268
Estelyn Telcontar
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I feel pretty,
Oh, so pretty,
I feel pretty and witty and bright!
And I pity
Any Velou who isn't me tonight.

I feel charming,
Oh, so charming
It's alarming how charming I feel!
And so pretty
That I hardly can believe I'm real.

See the pretty being in that mirror there:
Who can that Green Goddess be?
Such a pretty face,
Such a pretty dress,
Such a pretty smile,
Such a pretty me!

I feel stunning
And entrancing,
Feel like dancing and ringing a bell,
For I'm loved
By a pretty wonderful Mel!


Yawanna twirled around as she sang in the gardens of Valleyum, and flowers sprang up where her bare feet touched the ground. It had been a long time since the words of the ancient tale of the West Side had occurred to her, and she was well aware of the fact that this song was no longer hip. But for some reason, it made her feel young, as young as Melvin had made her feel with his charming smile and flattering words. Ever since she had willingly suspended disbelief, she had surrendered to his enchantment, and it did not break.

She stretched a pale green hand down to collect some seeds, and the plants gladly gave them to her. Carefully marking each kind and wrapping them in paper envelopes, she put her most prized possessions in a large suitcase. She would turn Muddled-Mirth into a paradise, a garden in which love, light, and joy could dwell forever – or at least as long as it lasted. She envisioned herself as its Queen – she would not be dark, but terribly beautiful, fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth! All would love her and despair! Finally she would no longer have to play second fiddle to that upstart Prada – who did she think she was anyway, with her head full of fashion nonsense instead of Yawanna’s creativity?!

Thus did she dream of a fair future, and it occurred not to her to doubt Melvin’s sudden appearance nor to question the truth of his words. Yet gradually she became aware of a melody that intruded upon her singing, a discord that she at first wove into her own music, yet it did clash and she realized that her Cell-antír was ringing shrilly. And she loathed the thought of being interrupted in her pleasant thoughts and tasks, yet she was also curious to know who wished to send her a message.

Her green brows furrowed as she read the words. They brought back a memory she had thought forgotten, and indeed she was not inclined to revive it, yet it left a bitter taste in her mouth and her normally smiling lips pressed together as tightly as her clenched hands did.

Dear Yawanna,

Mogul is leading you on. Please listen to the attached em-pethree. And please accept my sincere apologies for that incident at the last Velour Annual Charity Auction and Bazaar. I do hope your hair grew back out OK.

"Andy" Andotiruves

cc: Emu the Flightless


Almost involuntarily, her hand moved to click on the enclosure. She listened to it, first with disbelief, then with increasing doubt. She recognized both voices, that of the Elven maiden and that of her beloved. Could it be?

“It is by Yawanna’s will that the Ent shall be remade, and when it is, vile spirit of greed, you shall be no more.”

“Yawanna is it? You think that she will help you? Well, I’m sorry to disabuse you of that little notion, but the gullible wench thinks she is going to be my Queen. She has no intention of helping you now.”


She sank to the ground, covering her face with her hands. Who was she to believe, this obnoxious “Andy” or her darling Melvin?
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Old 07-05-2005, 09:34 AM   #269
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Of the Chamber Pot of Doom or the Tale of Who-Him and His Son Too-Thin Labamba

Of old, when the Elves were brought to Valleyum, the Elder race was less old and had little experience with civilized life, having spent most of their time wandering in the woods and fields. Thus, when they were brought to the Blessed Lands the Elves were untidy (and thus were named by the Velour the 'Slobs'). Being glad of the company and bearing great affection for the Elder Children of Emu, the Velour resolved to tidy up after the Elves and later instruct them on the skills of housekeeping and cleaning up after themselves. So it came to pass that the Velour crafted for the Elves enchanted chamber pots which cleansed themselves and tasked the lesser spirits to do laundry and pick up the prodigious amounts of trash that the Elves, in their joyful free-wheeling style, left behind where ever they went. And the Velour, being a bit airheaded themselves, then forgot to instruct the Elves on such menial tasks...

But ages later, the Noodlar rebelled and returned to Muddled Mirth without the permission of the Velour. After taking counsel, the Velour resolved to encourage the Noodlar to return by withdrawing their magic from the chamberpots and prohibiting the lesser cleaning spirits from following the Elves to Muddled earth. Thus was hardship wrought upon the Noodlar who were forced to learn to clean up their own... messes, or live in untidiness. And the Elves did not learn quickly...

So it was that Prince Pinhead, the Lord of the great caves of Imablonde, could no longer bear the smell of unchanged chamberpots and dirty laundry and left his realm for a time on a ride through the forests of Dairyland. And lo! one night after days of riding without changing his clothes, he heard voices unlike those he had ever heard before. Pinhead dismounted and crept up to a clearing and saw a great multitude of people unlike any he had seen before, and these were the Younger Children of Emu, the Men. And after they had gone to sleep, he crept into the clearing and took up a rough hewn harp and sang a song of Velleyum. The Men awoke in an enchantment and loved his music and said, "boy, Pinhead, you sure can sing, but you smell bad!" And Pinhead dwelt among them for a time and they laundered his clothes and cleaned up after him and he rejoiced and resolved to bring the Men back with him to live among the Elves as their housekeepers, butlers, stablehands and other assorted menial workers.

So it was that the Lord of the Men, Moron the Old, agreed and Men came to live among the Noodlar and do their dirty work for a proverbial song. But Môgul Bildûr was displeased and sought to create strife between Men and Elves and he sent his agents among the Younger Race with whispers of Unionization, minimum wages and benefits. And some fell under the spell of the Dread Developer, but most rejected him, recognizing that he, his Loyers and his armies of Orcs and Trolls and whatnot were even greater slobs than the Elves. Then there was war in Dairyland...

Now Who-Him was a great lord of Men who had negotiated with the Elves and gotten lands of his own for his people so long as they cleaned up after the Elder race. And they did so with joy, knowing that they had a pretty good deal in comparison to the Men serving the Sons of Feeblenor who still had to sleep with the horses. And the people of Who-Him were faithful and brave and were great cleaners and warriors to boot. Indeed, they had grown so savvy and sophisticated that they were little unlike the Elves themselves, save that their lives were short. And among them arose minstrels who were nigh as skilled as the Elves, and greatest among these was Who-Him's son Too-Thin, who was also known as Labamba in recognition of his music. But the joy of the people of Who-Him was cut short and an army of Orcs rolled over his lands and Who-Him was captured and brought before Môgul Bildûr. And Môgul offered him his freedom if he would become a champion of Unionization and strive against the Elves, but Who-Him refused. So Who-Him was given nifty shoes of stone and taught to swim with the fishes...

But Too-Him and his band escaped the nets of Môgul Bildûr and gathered to him Men and Elves and created a travelling troope of performers who would offer to entertain the Legions of the Dread Builder, then, after the the Orcs and Trolls (and whatnot) were drunk as Zerls, would slay them all. And Too-Him wielded a great sword and would leave his mark, an "L", carved upon the chests of those he slew. And the Elves and Men of Dairyland rejoiced at the actions of Labamba and grew bold and strove against Môgul Bildûr even harder.

So the Dark Lord sent a great army afield to capture Labamba, and there was a dragon with them, Flourdrum the Dreadful. Yet even this army would not avail to capture or defeat Labamba, so Flourdrum went forth with but few Orcs around him and made a camp in the lands where Too-Thin was said to dwell. And Too-Thin and his troope came and played for the battalion, thinking to slay them as he had done so often before. But Flourdrum placed Labamba under a spell and convinced him of the benefits of Unionization so that in after times Too-Thin was both beloved and feared by the Elves.

At last, weary of the long wars against Môgul Bildûr, Too-Thin assembled a great army and planned to attack Slangbad in secret. And he built many ships and sailed his army to Valleyum, planning to march up the coast of the Blessed Lands and cross the ocean again in the far north thus coming upon Slangbad from behind. And it may be that Labamba's ploy might have been successful, for Môgul Bildûr's attention was elsewhere at that time, due to the untimely death of Flourdrum who had been barbequed by the Orcish army when provisions had run low. But when Labamba and his army landed on the shores of Valleyum, they were set upon by the Toll Maiar of VIA and arrested for illegal entry. Thereafter, they were imprisoned in the Halls of Mantoes, but it was said that when great need arises and the shores of Valleyum themselves are threatened by Môgul Bildûr, that Labamba and his army would be released together with the spirits of all who were ever slain or cheated by the Dread Developer and that Labamba and his army would then fight the Step-Sister of All Battles on behalf of the Velour and the Elves... and then seek back wages...
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Old 07-05-2005, 10:22 AM   #270
The Saucepan Man
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The Eye

“Curses! Foiled again!” exclaimed Môgul Bildûr in typically stereotypical fashion as he surveyed the host of Who-Him and Too-Thin from his perch atop Heffalump, before steering the great Oliphaunt back over the serried (and rather worried) ranks of his vast army. The Velour too made a hasty departure, muttering something about surf being up and having important affairs of state to attend to, judging (wrongly, as it happened) that all had now been set right, that the Bolstered-ship looked to be completely in charge of the situation and that this was really none of their business anyway.

And so, as the two great hosts faced each other across the wide plain, Môgul hastily convened a conference of his commanders. The various Uruk captains, semi-literate Trolls and senior Loyers present eyed each other nervously, fully aware of the likely consequences of their Master’s set-back. Only the Cap’n Ar-Kidd, the bushy-browed Dumbarian commander, remained in good spirits. In reaching Valleyum and discovering the fabled weed native to the land, he had achieved that which his ancestor, Ar-Peronome, had been unable to do. Whatever happened, he would now die a happy man (aided no doubt by the vast quantities of said fabled weed that he had been smoking). Greedhog, on the other hand, simply stared blankly at the ground, unable to comprehend how the trial had slipped so badly from his impeccably manicured grasp.

Having predictably worked out his anger on a selection of his unfortunate commanders, Môgul turned to his Advocate-General.

“There there, old chap. Never mind. It wasn’t your fault,” he said, albeit rather unconvincingly.

But Greedhog was inconsolable.

“They’re the good guysss,” he hissed in disbelief. “They’re not sssuppossed to cheat. That’s what we do. They are sssuppossed to act with honour and integrity. How are we sssuppossed to know where we sstand if they don’t play by the rulesss? It’sss just not right!”

“Whatever,” said Môgul, losing patience.

He had in fact been rather impressed with Sueim’s tactics and was seriously considering headhunting him (quite literally) to replace Greedhog. But right now, he had more important matters to consider, such as how to prevent his entire army being obliterated by a bunch of hoary has-been heroes.

“Now let me see …” he said, producing from deep within the folds of his black cloak a battered and dusty old tome and flicking through the pages.

The Dark Lord’s Bumper Book of Back-up Plans, Desperate Gambits and Aces in the Hole had never failed him in the past, but it was wearing rather thin. Most of the pages had been ripped out and those that remained seemed woefully inadequate to address for the situation at hand. But it was not long before a malignant smile spread across his face.

“The fools!” he chuckled. “Hmm, that should even up the odds a bit.”

“My Lord …?” said Greedhog expectantly.

“They have released from the Halls of that idiot Mantoes a host of long-dead heroes, right.”

“Right, Oh Magnifisscently Malisscious One,” replied Greedhog, seeking to curry favour with his Master once more.

“Well, it says here that, by doing so, they have caused an imbalance in the space-time continuum.”

“Er …?”

“Which means that all I have to do is reverse the polarity of the neutron flow …”

“Eh …?” mumbled a confused Greedhog.

“Sorted!” exclaimed a blissfully oblivious Ar-Kidd.

The remaining captains assembled simply stared dumbly, thinking that their Master had taken leave of his senses, but wisely refusing to articulate such thoughts.

“Shazam!” declared the Dread Developer portentously.

Nothing happened.

Shazam!” he said once more, trying a slightly different emphasis.

Silence. His commanders began to back away nervously.

Sha-zam!” he tried again, summoning up every remnant of dark sorcery within his black soul.

Still nothing.

“Oh Delightfully Diabolic and Dessceitful One,” piped up Greedhog. “If I might …”

“Shhh …!” hissed Môgul sharply. “Listen. Can you hear it?”

Almost imperceptibly at first, a deep rumble reached the ears of those assembled. Gradually, it built until it had become an ear-shattering roar, seemingly issuing forth both from the sky and from deep within the earth at one and the same time. The very ground upon which they stood began to shake and dark clouds gathered overhead. Bright shafts of jagged lightning rent the stormy darkness and a piercing shriek could now be heard above the roar. It was, as usual, all rather clichéd, but effective nonetheless. As was the Dread Developer’s reaction.

“Look! Look!” he exclaimed in jubilation. “They come! They come to me! MWAHAHAHA!”

Back at the site of the trial, the One-up-man-ship had been in the middle of celebrating their seemingly inevitable victory and greeting with great vigour the throng of Who-Him and Too-Thin when the hullabaloo had begun. Thinking that the army of Moredough was beginning its advance, they turned to meet it in battle. But the dark horde had not moved.

“What in Emu’s name is happening?” cried Orogarn Two.

“Ai!” wailed Vogonwë, clapping his hands to his sensitive ears.

“Good grief, what now?” muttered Kuruharan, glancing disdainfully at the Half-Elf.

“It can’t be …!” said the Gateskeeper in disbelief. Being a geek of colossal proportions, he had recognised the signs immediately.

“Can’t be what, Gateskeeper?” asked Soregum.

“He has reversed the polarity of the neutron flow!” declared the wierdo Wizard ominously.

“Oh no! Not the polarity of the neutron flow!” cried the It-ship as one, without having the faintest idea what he was talking about.

And there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth among the Wail-ship and their allies, until Soregum piped up.

“Um, what exactly does that mean, Gateskeeper?”

“It means, little one, that …”

But he was cut short by Too-Thin’s cry.

“Egad …!”

All eyes turned to follow his gaze to a nearby hill to where a great scaly reptilian head was rising over the peak. It was swiftly followed by a great scaly reptilian neck, a great scaly reptilian body, four great scaly reptilian legs and a great scaly reptilian tail.

“Flourdrum!” exclaimed Too-thin.

For indeed it was the great Dragon, father of the Hokikoki. And he was not alone. The storm clouds parted as a host of winged Dragons swept down from above, led by Ancalorgas the Black, the most terrible of his kind. And among their number were Smug the Complacent, Scathing the Critical and Argon the Inert. And lo, there ran the great Werewolves, Carchasscof and his sire, Dribblin, no longer hiding amongst innocent villagers but free now to wreak their beastly havoc. Above them wheeled the beautiful but deadly figure of Luringfemfatal, the Vampire vamp, temptress of the noble and virtuous (and, incidentally, Leninia’s former role model).

“It means, little one,” continued the Gateskeeper grimly, “that Môgul has released from the Void every evil spirit that ever dwelt in Muddled-mirth.

And sure enough, a great horde of Werewolves, Vampires, Demons, Wraiths, Zombies, Skeleton Warriors, Mummies, Frankenstein’s Monsters and Creatures from the Black Lagoon was now advancing down the hill towards them led by Flourdrum. And behind them all, a familiar old man wheeled his Vending Trolley. Saurkraut had returned too.

But that was not all. Way back in the mists of time, in his eagerness to conquer the hidden city of Gondola, Môgul had created an army of mechanical beasts and enclosed within them evil misshapen beings. They too now advanced towards the Dread-ship. And their metallic war cry was dreadful to hear.

Ex-term-in-ate!

Last edited by The Saucepan Man; 07-09-2005 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 07-12-2005, 08:07 AM   #271
Estelyn Telcontar
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
The Caught-in-the-Middle-Ship stood on the Great Plains of Valleyum, their heads moving to and fro in a manner reminiscent of tennis game spectators in later ages. On the one side stood Labamba with a multitude of valiant Men and Elves, yet the sight of the fearsome beasts both living and mechanical on the other side was verily horrifying to behold.

Merisuwyniel, their hitherto fearless leader, feared not Death nor the sickly, fluorescent green hue that the army had taken, obviously thinking it to be the proper appearance for an army of dead – or undead, as the case may be. She was not puzzled by the strange words concerning space-time continuum and reversed polarity of neutron flow, for her highly intelligent Elven mind was able to grasp even the most complicated of futuristic technobabble. She eschewed not the wear and tear of battle, knowing full well that her new questing habit in shades of lavender brought out the colour of her eyes and highlighted the sheen of her golden tresses in a most flattering display of femininity, whilst being eminently practical in matters of grime-repellent fabric and the close fit of the divided riding skirt.

And yet she remained motionless, indecisive even, in a way quite untypical for her normally courageous spirit. A feeling that she had never known before had taken control of her heart. It was not loneliness, for lo! was not Gravlox’ arm laid protectively about her shoulder? It was not anger, though that would have been an understandable reaction to the desertion of the Velour. It was not hunger, for she was no Hobbit.

No, this strange, hitherto unknown feeling was – fear! Fear and… despair! She had kept hope throughout the Quest of the Entish Bow, despite overwhelming odds time and time again. She had not despaired, though her small band of Questers bumbled its way through Muddled-Mirth in ways that would have served well as “How not to” instruction manuals. But now, when all hell was unleashed and seemed to have assembled against her, her strength and courage finally failed.

“Well, this is the end, Gravlox,” she proclaimed dramatically, clasping his now well-groomed hand. He looked pale and worn from his captivity, yet in his eyes there was peace and love. “I would have followed you, my Orc Captain… my almost-Elven lover… King of my heart!” she said. They embraced, oblivious to the terror surrounding them, and if their kiss was so fervent as to be embarrassing in such a public location, who could blame them? They had nothing to lose.

“I’m glad you are here with me,” Merisu sighed. “Here at the End of All Things.”

There was no protest from the Entish Bow, clasped firmly in her other hand. It, too, had seemingly given up hope.
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Old 07-12-2005, 08:32 AM   #272
Kuruharan
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Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Boots

While this moderately nauseating scene was going on, Kuruharan sat on a rock in a recently acquired rusty suit of plate armor with a ridiculously oversized lance planted in the ground next to him.

“Kuruharan!” screamed Orogarn Two, “what are you doing? Get over here and help!”

“…mmm…wha,” said Kuruharan. “Oh, sorry. I was just reading this fascinating treatise on military tactics. It’s shown me the importance of engaging critical factors of the enemy’s supply system.”

“Will you just shut up and get over here!” screeched Vogonwë.

“Humph,” said Kuruharan, “how rude.” He placed his book on the ground. Embossed in gold letters on the cover of the tome could be discerned the name of one of history’s greatest military thinkers. The letters read Donkey Hoté.

Kuruharan picked up his lance and strode over to Chrysophylax. The dragon was saddled and bridled and consequently not in the best of moods.

“Shouldn’t I be flying through the sky spreading death and destruction amongst our enemies?” the dragon asked, trying to sound reasonable.

“Nonsense, my loyal steed,” replied Kuruharan cheerily. “That’s a waste of effort! All we have to do is surgically destroy their food reserves and the enemy will starve to death!”

“Might not the Gallowship all be dead by the time that happens?” asked Chrysophylax.

“Every plan has an element of risk,” said Kuruharan. His gaze swept the battlefield in search of his intended target. “Now, where are the enemy windmills?” he demanded.

*Clang* went the visor of his helmet as it crashed down on his nose.

“Wha…I don’t think the enemy brought any windmills,” said Chrysophylax.

“Preposterous,” snorted Kuruharan as he raised the visor. “If they don’t have any windmills how will they grind up their grain to make flour for bread?”

“I don’t think they brought any grain to make flour for bread,” answered the dragon.

“Ha,” said the dwarf. *Clang* “Ouch!!! This just goes to show that you know nothing about logistics. (Stupid visor!) Armies march on their stomach…”

“Actually, this army flew,” interrupted Chrysophylax.

“…therefore they have to have a supply of food,” continued Kuruharan, not even hearing. “Ergo, they have to bring grain. This means they have to grind it up. This means they must have brought windmills.” *Clang*

“Why can’t we all think like you,” said the dragon sarcastically.

“Because then everyone would be a genius!” answered Kuruharan. He lifted his visor and scanned the battlefield again. “There they are!!!” he cried.

“Where?”

“Right ther..*Clang*…OW!!”

“Uhhh,” said the dragon. “I don’t think those are windmills. Those are three great enemy Loyers.”

“There’s something wrong with your eyes,” snapped Kuruharan. “How else do you explain their size and those four great vanes that are spinning about?”

“Those aren’t vanes!!!” said the dragon. “Those are their two arms and the great shadows about each of them that look like vanes!!”

*Clang* “Ooof!!” Kuruharan muttered. “We can be glad that you are just the loyal steed and are not in charge of tactical decisions.” The dwarf climbed into the saddle and set his lance. “Heigh-ho Silver, AWAY!!!”

“Shouldn’t that be ‘Gold’,” said Chrysophylax. “Chrysos (or krysos) means…”

“Oh very well,” said Kuruharan. “Heigh-ho Gold, AWAY!!!”

Away the dragon shot!

“EEEEEKKKKK!!!” squealed Kuruharan as he fell out of the saddle. He held on to the stirrup and was dragged along the ground in a most undignified manner, flailing around with his lance.

*Whang* went the lance off the side off Chrysophylax’s head. The dragon staggered and started weaving from side to side in his charge. “Oooohhh, nooow I see. Maybe those are windmills after all.”

Alas, their heroism had not gone unnoticed. The three Loyers watched as this growing threat stumbled and staggered unsteadily toward them. As one they opened their mouths and let loose a terrible cry.

“BAWH-HAWH-HAWH-HAWH-HAWH!!!!”

Unfortunately, at that moment Kuruharan’s lance plunged into the turf. Doubly unfortunately, this caused him to spring back into the air. Triply unfortunately, he still had hold of Chrysophylax’s stirrup. Quadruply unfortunately, this yanked Chrysophylax off balance and sent him sprawling.

The Loyers collapsed on the ground in convulsions of laughter.

Kuruharan was left trapped thirty feet in the air, clinging desperately to the lance.

“Would somebody like to give me a hand please?” said Kuruharan.

The Loyers were laughing so hard that tears were starting from their eyes and bursting into steam as they hit their faces. They could barely catch their breath.

The lancehead snapped off and Kuruharan began his descent to the earth.

“TIIIMMMMBEEEER!!!!” *splat*

The Loyers were writhing in delirium. They would have burst into laughter anew, but alas, they lacked the air…so they simply burst.

Thus it was that Kuruharan and Chrysophylax managed to kill three Loyers and live to tell the tale.

Last edited by Kuruharan; 07-21-2005 at 08:16 PM. Reason: I keep leaving out words
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Old 07-12-2005, 10:06 AM   #273
Thenamir
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With the deaths of the three Loyers and the consequential angering of the enemy hordes, it appeared that battle was indeed about to be joined in earnest (most likely dead earnest). Since recovering from his collapse after sending his O-mail to Yawanna Gateskeeper had merely stood observing the unfolding of events and commenting the bleedingly obvious. Until now.

Quietly he slipped off unnoticed from the We're-all-going-to-die-ship while they were distracted by the assembling of the resurrected enemies, disappearing behind a rock outcropping nearby. After a short period of quiet mumbling (and a couple of shocked gasps) a figure emerged from the shadows, grey and dirty robe tattered and ragged, a bent figure moving slowly. He looked like an old beggar-man, walking wearily, leaning on his rough staff. His head was bowed, and he did not look towards them.

Vogonwe was the first of the Hey-remember-we-are-the-good-guys-and-gals-ship to notice the figure, but could not see his face: he was hooded, and above the hood he wore a wide-brimmed hat, so that all his features were over-shadowed. Yet it seemed to Vogonwe that he caught the gleam of black-rimmed glasses keen and bright from within the shadow of the hooded brows . The wannabe-poet elbowed Orogarn Two, who was muttering to himself trying to keep up with all the newcomers now on their side. "That line of horses," queried the Proctor's heir, "can you make out the warriors astride them?"

"Sure," said the sharp-eyed arrow-thrower. "Who-him's on the first one, Too-thin's on the second, and Moron's on the third."

"Who's on the second?" asked Orogarn, slightly puzzled.

"Who's on first." replied the patient elf.

"No, what's the name of the warrior on second?"

"Too."

"Yes?"

"No, I meant Too is second."

"Of course two is second -- being Orogarn Two I ought to know. I want to know who's on the second horse!"

"Who's on first."

"What a moron!"

"Oh, he's on third."

"WHO'S on third?"

"No, Who's on first."

"Gah! I need Maalox."

"Oh, he's bringing up the rear..."

While these two prattled on, the bent grey figure positioned himself between the battle-readied questians and the approaching armies, so that he could no longer be ignored. Kuruharan gazed with wide eyes for a while, as step by step the figure drew nearer. Then suddenly, unable to contain himself longer, he burst out: "Your arrows, Vogonwe! Get ready! It is Sauerkraut. Do not let him speak, or put his hotdog smell upon us! Throw first!"

Vogonwe took his arrow slowly and as if some other will resisted him. He held it loosely in his hand but did not ready to throw. Orogarn and Merisu stood silent, their faces watchful and intent.

"Why are you waiting? What is the matter with you?" said Pimpiowyn in a hissing whisper.

"Vogonwe is right," said Orogarn quietly, "as improbable as that might seem." Vogonwe cast a withering glance at Orogarn, but the Grundorian failed to notice and it missed its mark, falling to the ground untouched. Orogarn continued, "We may not shoot an old man so, at unawares and unchallenged, whatever fear or doubt be on us. Watch and wait!"

"That's never stopped us before," noted the rest of the group, more-or-less in unison. The old man took no notice, but stooped and sat himself on a low flat stone. Then his grey cloak drew apart, and they saw, beyond doubt, a flash of white, but whether of hidden clothing or untanned flesh could not be determined. With a flourish he swept off the grayed and dirty cloak he had worn since he first appeared to the Whatdowedonowship. (At least, it was intended to be a flourish, and would have succeeded except that the sleeves momentarily tangled, destroying the effect.) The assembled Questians, surprised (and slightly embarassed) by the maneuver, averted their eyes, not knowing what the four-eyed man wore beneath (if anything). When they dared to look again, behold, the Gateskeeper stood before them, his hair was white as snow in the sunshine (as was his pasty white skin); and gleaming white were his dress shirt and jeans; the glasses under his deep brows were polished bright, piercing as the rays of the sun; a power strip was in his hand.

"Gatesy," murmured Merisu in surprise and wonder, "your hand is restored! And you're all in white!"

"I have come through fire and water, and a bit of Balrox Bleach works wonders," replied the shining geek, who wasted no time in turning to the advancing enemy who were momentarily blinded by the sunlight coruscating off his glasses and new attire. Using that moment to best advantage, Gateskeeper began speaking spells of delay and time-wasting:

Solitaire, Freecell, Pac-Man and Plus-pack!
Minesweeper, Tetris and Missile Attack!
Online casinos and fake-contest spam!
Neopets, Xanga, Napster and Hangman!


As he spoke the staff of the bright maia began to spin and turn in his hands, and soft wares began to appear, flying at the encroaching evil emissaries. Even more surprising, however, was the fact that the enemy did nothing to resist the incoming programs, but instead grabbed at them and fought over them. The advance of the enemies slowed to a crawl as they began examining, then playing the insidious games and mind-numbing amusements with single-minded focus. Mogul could hardly believe his eyes at the sight of great wyrms playing Dig-Dug, Werewolves playing Duck Hunt, and Orcs playing Beavis and Butthead (for them, a reality game) -- the Dark Lord had forgotten to put up the filters and firewalls.

Gateskeeper gave a great whistle, and from the recently resurrected came a horse shining white -- the fabled Fad-O-Slacks, Lord of Horses and Fashion Pantaloons. Leaping upon the great equine form the great software nerd cried, "Now! Charge!!" A roar rose up from the side of the Good Guys (tm) that shook the air and earth, and the line of righteous combatants surged forward to join battle.
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Old 07-17-2005, 01:54 PM   #274
Mithadan
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Seeing the success of their friends' actions, Gravlox and Merisu were heartened. They stood next to one another with heads held high as the battle raged. Orogarn assailed a troop of Orcs with his blade swinging madly. After several fell to his sword, his foes broke ranks and attempted to flee. But one lingered too long and was struck down with a cloven helm, ruptured spleen and torn zyphoid notch. The Orc's blade flew from his hands and landed on the ground with a clatter nearly at the feet of Gravlox. The almost Elf reached down and lifted it, even as Merisu drew her own blade. With a smile, Gravlox turned to her and asked, "Shall we?"

"Oh, yes," replied our heroine. "Let's!"

So the two entered the fray with the other members of the Bloodthirstyship and their assault was like a wrecking ball crashing into a condemned building. Heads flew from necks, arms fell from shoulders and legs were cut out from under their foes. Hearts, lungs and livers were pierced, bellies were disemboweled and spines snapped. And after a few minutes, they began to sing with joy.

Gravlox:
Such a pounding!
The enemies fleeing!
Madness takes its toll.
But listen closely...

Merisu:
Not for very much longer!

Gravlox:
I've got to -- keep control.
I remember, killing the Orcs,
Drinking those moments when
my foes fall dead.

All the Itship:
And the Void would be calling...

Let's kill some Orcs again!
Let's kill some Orcs again!

Orogarn:
It's just a jump to the left.
(Thwack, smash)

All:
And then a step to the right.
(Crash, biff, bam)

Hal:
With your hands set in fists...
(Whack, pow, oof)

All:
You bring your knees in tight.
But it's the sword's trust
That really drives you insane!
Let's kill some Orcs again!
Let's kill some Orcs again!


This went on for some time, and soon a great hill of slain foes had been created by the Itship. And indeed it seemed almost as if the tide had turned when Sueim raced up with a cry. "Look!" Nearby, a great Dragon was writhing with body english as a little yellow ball with a pie slice missing wound through the air before him. It was pursued by three ghostly wraiths, one red, one white and one brown. The yellow ball dodged desperately and the red and white ghosts turned away. But the brown one caught and devoured the ball. Immediately, magical runes appeared in the air which read "GAME OVER".

"Darn brown one," growled Gatesy.

The Dragon bellowed and spouted flames. Nearby a second Dragon snarled as the same set of runes appeared before it. In moments, many of the dragons Vampires and Werewolves were freed from their spells and were acting as if they were in really bad moods. The Itship retreated before this new onslaught and the enemy were heartened and shouted and cheered. "Back to the hill!" cried Merisu.

The Itship had barely gained its summit when the assault began. Their blades whished through the air and arrows whistled towards their targets. A new mound of Orcs, Trolls, Werewolves and Vampires was developing at the base of the hill. Yet no matter how many they slew, it seemed that more rushed up to take their places and the Dragons were gathering and waiting their turn. Could this be the end of the Itship?

"Shut up!" cried Vogonwë. "Damned narrator..."

At that moment, Sueim stood tall in the midst of the fray, and shaded his eyes as he looked off into the distance. Then he raised his hands to his mouth and cried in a great voice, "The Sparrows are coming! The Sparrows are coming!"

"Bloody great," muttered Kuruharan. "Just what we need. Some appetizers for the Dragons."

And they came... A great cloud of sparrows swooped in from the East and stooped down upon the dragons. "Oh no!" cried Pimpiowyn. "I can't bear to look!" But to the Itship's surprise, the valiant little birds flew straight into the nostrils of the Dragons. The Wyrms looked puzzled. Then they looked annoyed. Then they looked alarmed. Then, with great gouts of fire caught in their sinuses, their heads began to explode, showering the Itship with gore... and stuff.

"Oh, gross!" moaned Pimpi. "This is even worse than Sauerkraut's cart."
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:10 PM   #275
Kuruharan
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Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Boots A tale told by an idiot.

Chrysophylax stooped over the shattered cranium of Flourdrum. “Alas, poor Dumpling! I was once vaguely acquainted with him, Kuruharan: a fellow of infinite jest, of most depraved fancy. He hath inserted a whoopee cushion under my buns a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my bottom trembles at it. Here hung those lips that sneered at me I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? Your water balloons? Your taunts? Your whoopee cushions, that were wont to set the back end on fire? Here I am now to mock your own grinning!!!” Chrysophylax crushed the remains of the head.

Chrysophylax strolled over to the body of Ancalorgas the Black. “This was the scariest dragon of them all: All the dragons save only he did that they did in miserably low self-esteem. He only, in a general vicious thought and common ill to all, made one of them. His life was brutal, and the elements so mix’d in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world ‘WHAT WERE WE THINKING?!!’ But I come to bury Ancalorgas, not to praise him!” Chrysophylax jumped up and down on the corpse.

Chrysophylax walked over to the next body. “Ahh, dear old Smug the Complacent. Many the time he would natter on incessantly about the improvement of my character. He would ramble on about how I should give my thoughts no tongue. I should be familiar, but by no means vulgar. What friends I hast, and their adoption tried, I should grapple them to the ground with hoops of steel and eat them when they weren’t looking. I should give no dragon my ear, but shout at the top of my voice. I should also take no dragon’s censure, but be hasty in judgment. Not a borrower but a lender (at interest) be; for loans at reasonable rates are excellent ways to send money chasing after more money. And this above all: to my ownself be true! What a windbag he was!” Chrysophylax kicked the body over a nearby cliff.

“Here is Scathing the Critical. He was never happy with my name. He said I was a disgrace to dragonhood and wanted me to take a new one. He was always shouting, “Get thee to a punnery!!” Chrysophylax set the body on fire.

Chrysophylax stood over the last body. “Is he dead? Never could tell with ole’ Argon the Inert. Good night stinky dragon and flights of imps screech thee to thy rest!” Chrysophylax started munching.

“Why does the drum come hither?”

“Because the battle is still going on while you’ve been soliloquizing you idiot!!!” yelled Kuruharan. “Go, bid the soldiers shoot…or do SOMETHING useful!!!”

The fighting continues and a peal of ordnance is shot off

Last edited by Kuruharan; 08-10-2005 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 08-17-2005, 11:32 AM   #276
The Saucepan Man
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The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!
The Eye

The mighty Dragons had fallen, their pride fittingly swallowed, as it were. And at this, a great cheer had gone up from those who fought with the Embattled-ship. But many foes remained. And the most terrible of them were the metal beasts that trundled across the field of battle shrieking their harsh war cry.

Exterminate! Exterminate!

Like domed cones they were, roughly man-size, and knobbly were their armoured skirts. No arms had they, but two weapons, as like kitchen implements, extended before them. From one of these, as like a whisk, they fired rays of death which felled any who stood in their path. The purpose of the other, as like a sink plunger, was not entirely clear. Their domed heads sported single eyes on stalks and each was topped with a pair of flashing lamps. It might be said that they appeared rather dated, for they were conceived by Môgul in the days before he had developed the dark art of Sêejeeaï. Yet they were deadly.

Neither sword nor axe could breach their metal casing and no arrow could pierce their shell. Warrior after warrior fell to their cruel rays, and soon the order was given to withdraw. Vogonwë, Soregum and Orogarn found themselves caught up in the retreat, which before long became a rout. Blindly they ran and, though they fought against the tide, the harsh creatures mercilessly herded them into a barren gully, as like a quarry, from which there was seemingly no escape.

In desperation Orogarn scanned the cliffs that surrounded them, and soon he found what it was he sought.

“This way!” he cried, as he scrambled up a section of the cliff which permitted some purchase. His companions followed, climbing until they reached a narrow ledge high above the narrow gully.

“We should be safe here, for now,” said Orogarn. “It doesn’t look those things they are much good at climbing.”

“What in Muddled-Mirth are they?” said Soregum, panting to catch his breath.

“They are the Dar-lêks,” declared Vogonwë solemnly. “The dread metal beasts that Môgul Bildûr conceived to spearhead the assault on the swinging city of Gondola, once the jewel in Dairyland's crown.”

“Swinging city?” replied Soregum. “I guess that it was a pretty groovy place to live, huh?”

“Not at all,” replied Vogonwë. “It was suspended by great chains from two mountain peaks and swung in the air between them. The legends tell that living there was a rather nauseating experience. The motion sickness was quite hard to bear, you see.”

“So, anyway. How do we defeat these things?” spat Orogarn grimly.

“No Man, Dwarf or Elf could withstand them, save one alone,” continued Vogonwë. “The Elven Lord of Time, Dok-Dorhu was their nemesis. But he now dwells in Mantoes’ Halls and I fear that we can expect no help from him. I composed a poem about him once. Would you like to hear it?”

“As if we don’t have enough problems,” muttered Orogarn.

“Perchance it will serve to lift our spirits,” continued Vogonwë, oblivious to his companions’ objections.

Dok-Dorhu was an Elven-lord.
On him was praise loudly poured:
when he fought for Gondola swinging high
like a pendulum in the sky.

His scarf was long, his blade was sonic,
his companions’ love was purely platonic.
When Slangbad’s forces rudely attacked
many a Dar-lêk’s armour he cracked.

And while survivors took to the balloon,
He stood against the marauders aloone.
With a mighty stroke, the chains did fall
and down came Gondola, Dar-lêks and all.


“Er, if these Dar-lêk things cannot climb, how come they managed to attack a city suspended in the mountains?” enquired Soregum.

“Simple, my little fat friend,” said the Gateskeeper, suddenly appearing as if by magic. “In their later incarnations, they were able to hover.”

And sure enough, before the startled companions could respond, the Dar-lêks began, one by one, to lift from the ground and climb slowly through the air towards them.

“Well that’s just great!” groaned Soregum mournfully. “We are going to die then.”

“Not at all, my dentally challenged chum,” responded the Gateskeeper. “I really didn’t want to do this, but …”

He raised his staff and pointed it toward the ascending creatures. A bolt of lightning sprang from it and struck the lead Dar-lêk. It crackled and fizzed and dropped to the ground. The bolt leaped from one metal monster to the next and very soon they were naught but lumps of blackened scrap metal scattered across the gully.

“These level 3 spells can be really rather useful, you know,” said the Gateskeeper cheerfully. “Not really in keeping with the spirit of things, I know. The purists will have a field day, I fear. But desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Last edited by The Saucepan Man; 08-26-2005 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 08-25-2005, 09:02 AM   #277
Estelyn Telcontar
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
The battle to end all battles raged around the BattleShip, and the plains of Valleyum resounded with the clash of swords, the twanging of bows, and the clicking of loyers’ pens. Also with the sounds of the various creatures, sentient or otherwise, dying or still alive, that had come to participate in the fight. As if that alone wasn’t enough, suddenly there was heard a rushing of waters, the great noise of a great storm from the shores of that land.

For lo! though the Velour had left the Itship to battle alone (though now joined by the outpourings of Mantoes’ halls), some of their servants and helpers, the Maiar, pitied them and came to their aid. Either that, or they wanted to join in the fun too.

Master of the Pea Seas that wash the shores of Muddled-Mirth is a vassal of TM Ulmo, named Davossë. He goes into the depths of discussion and rejoices in the winds of opposition; for in storm he delights, and laughs amid the roaring of the posts. His spouse is Laluinen, the Lady of the Pea Seas, whose posts lie spread through all forums under the Barrow. All threads she loves that live in the Books, N&N, Movies, and Mirth, and all posts that grow there; to her posters cry when attacked by Davossë, for she can lay calm upon the waves, restraining his wildness. The Downers lived long in her protection, and held her in reverence, giving her titles both lofty and strange.

It is said that in the making of Canonicity, Mogûl endeavoured to draw Davossë to his allegiance, promising to him the certainty of final authority and the power of the last word, if he would serve him. So it was that long ago there arose great tumults of many pages that wrought havoc on the forum. But Laluinen, at the prayer of HI-wë, restrained Davossë and brought him before the Barrulmo-Wight; and he was pardoned and returned to his barrow; yet the delight in violence has never wholly departed from him, and at times he will rage in his wilful opinion without any support from the Legendarium. Therefore those who dwell on the Downs or come there to post may love him, but they do not agree with him.

With them, on the wings of the storm, came many other spirits, and their voices arose, crying out insults at the enemies.

“You steal taters from confused gaffers!”

“You are descended from grovelling stone trolls!”

“You look like a muddy-booted Baggins!”

“You terrorize wood-elves!”

Friends and foes alike stood still, confused at the abstruse meaning of those words. The InsultShip took advantage of the sudden silence and added a few creations of their own:

“You’re dating a horrible Dunlending!” Pimpi shouted.

“You take advantage of friendly Istari!” Merisu added, not to be outdone by her shieldmaiden-handmaiden.

“You’re being stalked by petty dwarves!” Kuruharan growled.

“You were misplaced by a forgetful Maia!” Orogarn declaimed.

The enemies were completely dumfounded; no loyer had an argument against such silliness, and they began debating whether some kind of libel charge could be pursued. However, the orcs needed no meaning; they knew when they were being insulted even without understanding the words, and they fought on all the more furiously. The respite was over, and the din of battle arose once again.
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Old 08-25-2005, 09:37 AM   #278
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Mithadan has been trapped in the Barrow!
High above the battlefield, the Velour had gathered in their chambers to hide... errr, to observe to progress of the war raging far below. Smoke obscured the sunlight which normally streamed through the windows and the crash and clamour of battle echoed in the great hall. The great ones slumped in their chairs and their normally bright and happy faces grew long as the forces of the Red Nostril swarmed over the plains of Valleyum. As most of the Velour wallowed in their misery, Haulië paced back and forth and Mantoes peeked out the window at the hordes below.

"High tide at the north beach," commented Tulk Hogan. "Should be some gnarly waves coming in. Anyone want to catch some waves?" But his companions sat in silence.

A groan came from Mantoes. "Melvin has loosed the dark forces from the void by reversing the neutron flow. There are dragons and vampires and werewolves!"

"Oh my!" cried Prada.

"Whatever," moaned Manuël Sàntana.

Haulië froze in mid-pace. "Whatever?" he cried. "WHATEVER?!?!?"

Manuël shook his head sadly. "War's over, man. Melvin dropped the big one."

"Over? Did you say 'over'?" shouted Haulië. "Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Dwarves bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!"

"The 'Dwarves'? And what's 'Pearl Harbor'" whispered Mantoes to Prada.

"Forget it, he's rolling," she replied.

"And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough... " Haulië paused to collect his thoughts and recall his cliches. Then he brightened noticably. "The tough get goin'! Who's with me? Let's go!" With a blood-curdling shout, he seized his hammer and raced to the stairs. He had gone halfway down the mountain before he realized he was alone. Cursing under his breath, he turned and trudged back up the stairs. When he entered the hall, the Velour were exactly where he had left them; slumped in their chairs with sour expressions on their faces.

"What the heck happened to the Velour I used to know?" cried Haulië. "Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? 'Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Haulië, we might get in trouble.' Well just kiss my forge from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Môgul, he's a dead man! Greedhog, dead! Sauerkraut..."

"Dead!" yelled Mantoes. The remainder of the Velour turned in surprise and Haulië stopped his rant and wiped away the foam from his mouth. "Haulië's right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these guys. Now we could do it with conventional weapons that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part."

"And we're just the guys to do it," cried Haulië.

"Let's do it!" shouted Tulk Hogan.

"LET'S DO IT!" screamed Haulië. He turned and, once again, raced to the stairs. This time, the rest of the Velour followed...
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Old 08-27-2005, 04:53 PM   #279
Estelyn Telcontar
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
As Merisuwyniel and her companions fought for their lives and for the continuation of their story, they were hard-pressed by their many foes. And they did cry out to the Velour for aid, and though the lords and ladies of that land heard their pleas, they did not deign to come to their assistance. Yet their hearts were not wholly hardened, and they sought to enlist help from another source.

And so it came to pass that Elves came to join them in battle; armed they were, carrying wondrous speaking swords made in Gondola of old, yet they sang merrily:

A wop bop a loo bop a whop bam boom.
Be-bop-a-lula, pooh pooh bee doo,
paah-dum paah-dum doo bee dum, pooooo!
paah-deeedle-eedeedle-eedeedle-eedum, poo pooo beee dooo!
Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-la, shing-a-ling-a-ling, shoo-be-doo-ah.


So they laughed and sang as they marched; and pretty fair nonsense I daresay you think it. Not that we care; we’re in this for cheap laughs, all the more if you tell us so. [Translator’s note: We humbly beg the readers’ pardon for this authorial pigwiggery; however, in the interests of an exact translation, we have adhered to the original document here.]

And though the waters raged with a great roaring, Davossë heard their voices, and his brows furrowed in anger at the inappropriateness of their presence in Valleyum. For they were not entirely consistent with the Legendarium, he deemed, and had no place therein, and therefore he cried out, “Go back to the fairytale from which you came! Yet your swords you may leave here, for they are the genuine stuff!” But they would not be dissuaded, and indeed the FaeryShip was glad of their help and welcomed them. And Laluinen comforted them, saying, “Of course you belong here! He didn’t mean it that way.”

Trolls there were that also came, with strange names, such as Bert, and Tom, and William. Evil they seemed, and prone to join the enemy forces, yet they knew pity and said, “Poor little blighters!” when they saw the valiant Questers beset by their foes. They too were derided by the spirits of the seas, though they neither knew nor cared, and fought against anyone who happened to be in their way – until the dawn came, when they turned to stone.
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Old 08-28-2005, 06:27 AM   #280
The Saucepan Man
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The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!
The Eye

Môgul Bildûr 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 Bildûr - 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-lêks, 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 Dûn-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-lêks 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.
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