Saturday, May 1, 2010

Episode 15: Eine Kleine Lootmusik

With Xeno licking his emotional wounds, Xoe took half the crew back to L’Villa D’Didough to finish the looting mission from yesterday that began (and ended) with a cadre of floating infants of dubious origin. It was Xoe's belief that these infants had been created by the now-deceased Bijaz and his Wand of Illusion. After all, Xoe was a gnome and gnomes know all about illusions, right?

Death dropped the tattered cigarette butt he'd been working to the ground and stubbed it out with one bony toe. "BUGGER," he sighed as he summoned his Mark IV Reaper Especiale. It looked like another long day was ahead of him.

Xoe, Saladin, Iryien and Kobayashi led two of the guidos and an assortment of Sulian conscripts back into the city. Their last foray into the villa had barely gotten past the foyer, and Xoe silently vowed to get stuck into some serious looting. As they gathered once again outside the villa the sun came out. A cool breeze freshened the air. It was going to be a good day...

The foyer was pretty much as they'd left it - only a few potted plants tipped in a panicked retreat gave any clue that someone had been inside the villa in the past year or so. Xoe immediately scanned the archway at the back of the foyer, looking for any sign of levitating babies. Nothing. The coast was clear, just as she'd predicted. With a smile of increasing smugness she detected a door cleverly hidden in the tile patterns on the side wall by the archway. She pointed it out to Iryien, who used her elvish charm to get one of her Sulian minions to make like a gentleman and open the door for her. Let the looting begin, thought Xoe...

Meanwhile, Saladin led a team upstairs to the bedroom that had been breached the day before. Wary of the possibilities for vile and horrid death that usually awaits a raiding party such as this, Kobayasi rummaged around for something with which to cast a Detect Harmony. The only thing left behind were 4 pairs of men's linen undergarments (at least they looked recently laundered). Kobayashi wove the spell and began folding the garments into origami animals. A lion, a camel, an eagle and a turtle sat on the floor and awaited the end of the casting.

Just as the spell was being finished upstairs, Iryien's minion Anaximander bristled forward to open the door for his new mistress. Perhaps this is it, he thought to himself, she has singled me out me for special favor! This beautiful woman could be my ticket out of this frozen hell and away from these drug addled madmen! Perhaps if I acquit myself with honor for this warrior angel she will notice me further and we can travel the world together... Oh, dare I dream that she would ever love me?


The Sulian thought he heard a voice as he turned the knob on the door, but everything fell away once he heard a quiet, metallic 'snik' and felt a sharp, icy sensation in his wrist. The cold quickly spread up his arm and into his brain where, after a second's cold shudder he felt suddenly warm and relaxed. So relaxed, in fact, that it didn't bother him one bit to see his own body lying on the floor. Nor did it trouble him to see a ghostly infant emerge from the mouth of what he could only assume was his corpse and begin to snuzzle the neck of his friend and comrade Athenodorus.

In fact, now that he'd gotten a fresh perspective on things, this whole venture seemed just a bit silly.


He saw the hulking figure of Death sitting in the archway, idly smoking a cigarette. Anaximander sidled up to him and turned to watch his former comrades. Xoe was hiding behind Aramis. Porthos was punching Athenodorus in the stomach. Iryien, he was pretty sure, was crying.


Anaximander turned to Death, and then back to the people he had once called 'associates'.

"Certainly, I am ready. This lot is completely mad. The sooner we get out of this place, the better."

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