Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Episode 32: Leaving Holes In Your Heart

It all began so pleasantly: sharing a nice mug of scumble with the man who's ruined your memories and has been of late trying to ruin your lives. Fundus was concussed and a little bit drunk, and more than willing to lead DCM to the meeting place where Chang Kai Eel lay waiting - the mastermind behind the ill-fated events on Lungfish Isle.

Fundus weaved his way up the narrow path that led to a man-sized rock covering a secret entrance in the rock face. The rock slides open, and a long chasm is revealed. Up ahead, two dozen orcs, a large ogre and the shadowy Eel himself await Fundus and his new 'bodyguard'.

Saladin, in bat form, flies ahead to scout out the scene, but has a turn of bad luck and meets the cave wall head-on. He then discovers that while bat urine does not serve as ogre repellent, guano can be an adequate fire starter...

Still feeling the effects of the blow to the head, the now-burning bat flees up the staircase at the back of the cave... transforms into his Saladin form... and falls down a dozen stone stairs and loses consciousness.

Somewhere above the planet's surface, the Gods of Ata'ri have a hearty laugh. "Don't you think the poor lad's had enough?" one asks. "No, not by a long shot," chuckles another.

Rushing to his side, Kobayashi helps get Saladin back to consciousness, before a flood of onrushing orcs chases him up and into what appears to be Chang Kai Eel's underground palace. As he watches, Fundus, Eel and the orcs emerge from the secret passage and disperse. But not before Eel sneaks up on Kobayashi and flattens him, knocking the portable hole open and causing the box of all pandoras to spew forth Xeno and the rest of the crew.

A melee ensues, and Iryien ("Doesn't she know how bloody dangerous that thing is?") opens fire with the Alien Bazooka, opening a tunnel-sized hole in the mountain. The sudden evaporation of thousands of cubic feet of rock cause a nearby vein of crystal to become unstable and start resonating at a high but audible frequency. This resonation fills the tunnel, and as it does so, the pitch climbs and fills the space, getting ever closer to fulfilling the equation Eik = 8πG/c4 tik. The only thing that was needed was a mass object of suitable size and density to act as a focus for the building sonic energy. Once introduced into the tunnel (read High-Powered Sonic Oscillator and Matter Accelerator), this mass object would trigger the 8πG part of the 8πG/c4 tik equation, and cause either a chain reaction of sub-atomic explosions throughout all of the non-living rock (out p=2D/∞ (∆-4)/∫˚• π miles, where D= 2d6) or a transformation (at the most basic atomic levels) of any organic matter inside the tunnel.

At this point, Saladin appeared, swimming through the living rock, and came upon the fleeing Chang Kai Eel. Saladin grabbed at Eel's heel, but missed. Chang Kai Eel lashed out at Saladin with his foot...

...and didn't.

The last thing Saladin heard as he toppled backwards into the tunnel was the climbing resonance of a million angels singing.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Episode 31: There's a Fundus Among Us

The plan was (relatively) simple: Xeno would go to the Barking Spider and order the lamb, while the rest of DCM covered the exits and observed. A straightforward approach that would most probably result in a safe, controlled reveal of the force (or forces) behind the recent attempt on Xeno's life and the trashing of DCM's headquarters.

Except DCM doesn't know the definition of 'most probably'.

Things started to go wrong when Iryien was approached by a drunken satyr.

What do you do with a drunken satyr?
What do you do with a drunken satyr?
What do you do with a drunken satyr?
Earl-eye in the morning?

Iryien, trying her best to be polite, spurned his advances. By this time, Xeno's 'lamb' had arrived, in the form of a 36" x 24" x 36" anthropomorphic sheep stripper named Baarbaaraa. As she led Xeno to the VIP rooms in the back, Saladin noticed a very interested onlooker was looking on most interestingly.

Count Fundus.

Shave his belly with a rusty razor
Shave his belly with a rusty razor
Shave his belly with a rusty razor
Earl-eye in the morning!

Takemiya, who was tracking everyone's thoughts, noticed that as soon as Xeno entered the VIP room, he lost consciousness. Saladin was alerted. He immediately tried to sell Iryien to the satyr in return for some chaotic influence in the backroom quest to find Xeno.

Kobayashi was alerted, and he immediately started tracking Fundus. Xoe chipped in and the two of them followed Fundus and his two bodyguards down a back stairwell.

As this was all going on, Xeno had regained a semblance of his consciousness, and in a moment of fight-or-flight pique, knocked Baarbaara into a candlelit boudoir while turning on the dancer who he believed had knocked him cold. But as Xeno leveled a magic-missile-laden finger at her fleeing back, Sean O'Verkkill, a minor god of Unnecessarily Good Fortune who had, if you believed in Luck with a capital L, just happened to be dining at the Barking Spider and had, at the exact moment the voluptuous redhead had burst screaming from the VIP room uttered the words "Now that's a hot one, innit?" And, as Luck (or just plain luck, for the Unbeliever) would have it, Xeno unleashed five of the hottest, most powerful and overwhelmingly efficient magic missiles in all of role-playing history.

But as the good luck giveth, it also taketh away; for the dying stripper's last act was to crumple in a scorched, lavender-scented heap at the feet of Adolphus Swordhilter, maniacal proprietor of the Spider. He quickly brandished his battleaxe and headed to the back room, only to be fleeing a few seconds later, a yellow streak (is that where that phrase comes from?!?!?!) trailing behind him as he fled his own establishment, leaving Xeno grinning like a madman.

So where were we?

Oh, yes.

Barreling down the back stairs towards the room are Fundus, Bert, Ernie, Kobayashi and Xoe.
Rushing into the other room (recently vacated by a dying stripper) are Iryien, Saladin and a satyr.
In between is an invisible Xeno wielding a powerful new friend.

The rest, as they say, is wildly improbable, but it happened.