Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Episode 30: The Gods Are Most Certainly A Tad Bit Insane

Xoe watched her brother melt his way into their glaciated home. How in the hell did this happen? Who were these things? Why do I have a feeling this was Xeno's fault? As she pondered the possibilities, she though she heard a distinct 'woof' in the distance.

"Smoke!" cried Iryien. The group turned to look at a plume of purplish smoke rising from the woods behind HQ. It was coming from the general area of Xeno's Bunker of Lethal Experimentation. Saladin went aloft to check it out, and when he returned, he reported that two creatures, apparently slightly maimed, were crawling through the underbrush, away from the bunker. The currently smoking bunker.

"Looks like my carefully planned defenses have done their job," quipped Xeno. The group quickly decided to investigate. Longbottom quickly decided that he had other, less lethal things to attend to.

"I'll be in touch," he whispered to Xoe as he backed away from ruined headquarters, the smoking bunker and the group of heavily armed and bemajiked adventurers who were heading off to interrogate the interlopers.

The problem with the Gods is, they don't get to choose where they live.

Relying on the concentration of devout followers, the Gods will, as is their nature, tend to hang out where they are liked. And sometimes, as the devout splinter into their subgroups, heresies and offshoots, Gods find themselves in the company of subtly different, but often like-minded deities.

One look at the group of shabby deities huddled over the weekly Most Honorable Lords of Ata'ri Cripple Mister Onion game would tell you one thing about the devout on Atari - they didn't think too highly of mathematics.

"Double 30s? Impossible!" cried Lee Chang Seven, considered by most to be the luckiest of Atari's pantheon. He once rolled a Triple Onion in the court of an Arch-duke of Hell's personal valet, and was considered lucky to ever see the Prime Material Plane again.
"Not impossible, dear Chang," chuckled Didymus as he scooped up the dice, "Just highly improbable."

Iryien and Xoe crept up the hill on opposing flanks. Xeno led the monks up the path in the center. Saladin watched from the treetops with the bemused detachment of one who realized that the chances were good that someone would die.

"CURRENT ODDS FAVOR THE GNOME," said a voice - not so much in Saladin's ear as directly in his head. It sounded like a heavy stone being rolled over the mouth of a tomb. He turned to see Death sitting on a branch next to him. He was smoking a cigarette. "THE LITTLE BUGGER'S BEEN RIDING HIS LUCK OF LATE. PROBABILITY SAYS IT HAS TO RUN OUT SOON."

Saladin looked down at his companions. He noticed that for a half-elven ranger trying to sneak up on an enemy, she was particularly easy to see. He reckoned the shiny plate mail didn't help.

All at once, the group's quarry came into view - great gelatinous behemoths, covered in eyes, were making their way towards Xeno's group. Xoe, on the left flank, attempted hitting one with her crossbow, only to succeed in missing Iryien by a few feet. Iryien, bravely gripping the hilt of her sword, leapt towards the Ocular Custard with a mind of smiting it goodly...

"Who's that one then?" said Threepole Thrice, a minor deity of Northdumbria. "I like her style. And you know, I've always been partial to the half-elves..." Xi-Gong the Prolifically Bad at Subtraction looked down upon the scene and snorted. "Stick to the dice, Threepole. I'm sure she doesn't need your help. Besides, you're more likely to cause her harm than-"

Iryien punctured the Custard with a well-timed stroke, only to have the poor creature literally empty itself of its innards in a pool at her feet. Backing away from the mess, Iryien thought this just might be her lucky day as she looked up to see how the others were faring. Xeno had entered the fray, and was about to give the other Custard an outright stabbing...

Xeno was performing the perfect Malbegonian Eye Gouge on the Custard when he heard a distant rattling noise. Distracted, he looked up in the trees and thought he saw a robed figure cracking his knuckles as he sat watching the fray. Was that where the sound came from? Come to think of it, his hands appeared to be very bony. I bet his cracking knuckles would sound almost exactly like rolling dice. The next thing he knew, he was up to his eyes in custard, the overwhelming stickiness filling his ears, his eyes, his mouth. He couldn't even manage a loud vulgarity before everything went black...

Igor the Inauspicious was late to the dice game. He'd burnt the cookies, forgotten the beer and to top it all off he really had to use the Male Deities' Room. But if he didn't hurry, he'd miss out on a chance to get into the Big Onion, and when Fat Shoe Heel is rolling as poorly as he has been of late, there was serious green to be made. Damn this bladder! He really couldn't wait... But wait! He was a minor deity, wasn't he? What was the point if you couldn't use your eminent powers to bend the rules a little? And it wasn't like he was reworking the fabric of the time/space continuum or anything. He just needed to empty his bladder and get on to the game. Now if he could just concentrate on someone down on the planet's surface, the first person who stood out - and use them to rid himself of his liquid burden... There. It was done. And quite easily, too!

Igor remembered just a little too late that he'd had asparagus last night - and in great abundance. Well, it wasn't his problem now...

Xeno awoke, spitting and sputtering. He had been talking to someone, someone who SPOKE LIKE THIS, AND WAS BEING MADE TO FEEL LIKE A NAUGHTY SCHOOLBOY WHEN the speaker was washed away by a tidal wave of some sort. That was a lucky break. The guy was really starting to creep Xeno out.

He looked around. The others were all gawking at him (except for Takemiya, who was for some reason fiddling with his robe with his back turned). Oh well, Xeno thought, I feel great! So great in fact I think I'll barge right into my bunker and see who set off one of my traps. I'm sure it was probably nobody important - just a brazen local thief or cheeky teenage daredevil. I'll wager they lost an eyebrow or two and are making a beeline back home to mommy as we speak. I bet they even peed their pants! Haha, let's just open this cracked and dented door here and see what lies... within the charred and... smoking remains of my... bunker? Oooh, what's this shiny thing stuck in the wall?

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