Monday, November 28, 2011

Episode 49b: Flashback in Baator

The Jade Scarab watched as the rest of the God Squad was sent, one after another, to follow Dolorous and Captain Bonkers into the Abyss. He was the tiniest bit anxious, but that was only to be expected. The thing that worried him the most, however, was that every time Mr. Prim consulted the construct on the Desk and sent another team member shimmering into the Beyond, a small tic reappeared just above his right eye.

Something has him concerned, thought the Scarab. I must make myself ready for the improbable.

When, a few moments after Stonehenge's silhouette flickered out of sight, the headless corpse of Holth (Death of Giff) evaporated, Mr. Prim rose up from behind his desk. For the first time since he'd known him, the Jade Scarab detected a tremor in his voice. Prim's smoke-lensed glasses, however, prevented the Scarab from getting a clear reading on his true emotions.

"There is a situation," Prim said, rising from The Desk. "You're needed in Baator, the first level of the Nine Hells. There you will seek out the afterlife forms of Holth, Aramis and..." Prim paused, looking like he was about to vomit up the very next word, "Snooki."

The Jade Scarab steeled himself. A solo rescue assignment. He could do this.

Half an hour later, the Jade Scarab was sitting in a hot, sulferous cavern with a glazed, bemused look on his face. He had just killed Aramis with his Dagger of Healing, and was currently watching the body of a five-headed dragon in chains being dragged towards a massive, glowing portal by hundreds of chitinous scorpion/spider hybrid monstrosities. Aramis' shade was hovering nearby, whispering just loudly enough to be heard over the din: "pantsss.... i want yourr paaaaaantsssss....". Holth's animated, headless, slime-covered corpse stood next to the animated, far-too-tiny-bikini-clad, slime-covered corpse of Snooki.

That was the moment he realized the true meaning of the phrase "I am in Hell."

Meanwhile, on another layer (the 632nd, actually) of another evil plane (the Abyss - go figure?), Dolorous, Stonehenge, The Enigma, Koresh, Bonkers and his troupe of dwarves (hi hooooooo!) found themselves explosively transported inside what appeared to be a hot, steamy temple. Pool of magma. Five-headed dragon inlays. Living, pulsating, chocolate-seeping (is that ¢hº¢o£ªte? Gºds I hºpe it's ¢hº¢º£ªte!) walls.

The Tumblers of Improbability clicked over.

Up ahead, a commotion was heard. The Enigma, Stonehenge and Captain Bonkers climbed a short, wide staircase to investigate. Koresh tried to BAMF. Dolorous readied her Pick of Extreme Digging.

As a shadowy, multi-limbed denizen appeared at the end of a tunnel, shrieking in rage and blood-curdling wroth, the party did what it always does when things get dicey: stand back and let a gnome work.

Dolorous raised the pick.

She rolled a 30.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Episode 49a: Oh, Yes It Could

Koresh quickly assessed the situation: He hadn't seen Aramis' shade since they'd entered the cavern and had to assume the worst. Holth's headless body had just taken a nasty spill after attempting to head-butt Tiamat's blue dragon head, while The Jade Scarab had been stomped on by a giant and was probably dead. Dolorous was lying in a pool of the Balrog's magma blood and wasn't moving - and he could swear he smelled her burning hair over the fiery stench of brimstone...

And he? Well Koresh seemed to be having it much easier than the rest. He was merely clinging for dear life to Dolorous' Pick of Extreme Digging as it was being shaken vigorously by the Balrog who, it must be said, seemed to be recovering quickly from the pair of flesh wounds dealt him previously by both he and his sister.

"All in all I'd have to say victory was within our grasp," Koresh thought to himself.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Episode 49: It Could Not Possibly Get Any Worse, Could It?

There are questions you should never ask*, because there's a distinct possibility that someone out there in the multiverse will answer it...

Everthing was going smoothly or the former members of Der Chelonian Mobile Enterprises. Having been recruited by a number of local deities and promoted to 'hemi-god' status, our intrepid adventurers had merrily, if not improbably, made their way down to the 142nd layer of the Abyss. Once there, they not only set about tracking down the leader of a fairly small (by Abyssal standards) realm, but they also managed to (even MORE improbably) blast him out of existence.

This casual coup d'état also served to place Koresh on the throne of a small yet geographically enviable piece of land, surrounded by bloodthirsty enemies, and with few (if any) resources to draw on for the overwhelming demonic invasion that almost immediately ensued.

*Should they stay and defend this nascent realm?

*"Why the heck not?" was the ominous reply.

So what happened next was what Abysstorians will forever refer to as 'the Battle of New South Waco': where a ragtag group of adventurers, conscripts and last-minute allies defeated three separate invading armies; where Koresh was transformed into the demon-winged, tiger-skinned deity/ruler of the realm; where he thereby defeated a draconic general of Tiamat's army in single combat and absorbed his armies; where he then used said general as a weapon (wielding him by his testicles) to behead a different general (and thus absorbing her armies); and where Stonehenge used love's sweet inspiration to drive a shambling, gibbering horde of invaders from the realm.

The field was won.

The day was saved.

And a period of Peace and Plenty was declared for as long as it took the victors to party and pass out... twice.

It was at this point in the revelry that The Enigma, not used to Strong Drink (or Le Tournedos de Stench Kow et son Ragoüt de Chimpanzee å la Béarnaise, for that matter) climbed the Rickety Staircase of Consciousness, rummaged through the Untidy Attic of Reality and asked with a groan:

*"Where's my head?"

It was at precisely that moment that Stonehenge looked up from his Le Carre d'Agneau Roti et son Jus au Romarin et Flan l'Ail and saw an assassin at the window. But keen eyes and swift actions are nothing when compared to the God Squad's Improbability Vortex, and The Enigma's head returned to the scene just in time to intervene and deflect a Dagger of Truly Horrible and Soul-Destroying Venom as it was headed for Dolorous' spine. Stonehenge and Koresh tracked down (with appropriate comedy) the assassins and dispatched both (with extreme prejudice).

The Enigma then got his act together (along with his body and his head) to See with the Light of One Million Clarities and violently punch Dolorous' fork out of her hand. The fork, it turned out, was no normal fork; it was a Fork of Eternal Thanksgiving. Had she continued to eat for just a few more minutes she would have weighed as much as a small star.

Thankful for the reprieve, Dolorous decided to repay The Enigma's kindness by poking The Fork with her holy, anointed silver Fist of Vishnu.

*"What could it hurt?" she asked.

*"What happens if she rolls a one?" thought the DM.

Meanwhile, Koresh was having a tough time of it. Catching up to the whirling sand/obsidian storm that was Stonehenge, he watched as his friend clumsily (yet thoroughly) interrogated the two blonde assassins. But rather than turning it into a workable (if a little derivative) scene from Penthouse Forum, ("Dear Penthouse Forum, You'll never believe what happened to me while chasing down assassins in the jungles of the Abyss last night...") Stonehenge botched it by sandblasting the both of them, scouring every bit of soft, supple flesh from their bones and incorporating thousands of bone fragments into his ever-growing storm field.

It was too much for Koresh to bear.

Eyes rolled. Spittle formed. Muscles convulsed. A rant was formed and Koresh, seized with self-righteousness, brought down his fury on Stonehenge for killing without permission in his realm.

Stonehenge, sick of the self-important posturing of this overinflated gnome gave him the back of his hand.

*"What happens if he rolls a one?" thought the DM.

Within the temple, the Fist touched the Fork.

Without, the Hand slapped the Face.

Ones were rolled.

An explosion...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A New Wacko in New South Waco

Hello, dear readers - this is Honus Blaedewraithe coming to you from the newest realm on the One Two Seven - New South Waco! I'm sitting here with the hot new head in town, Koresh - who has catapulted into power by besting the former head of the former Sri Raji in single combat and now sits comfortably on the throne having defended his nascent realm from a trio of invasions, all on the same day! And as usual, your Honus is first on the ground with this rising star.

Nocturne in Black - When did you first realize you wanted to rule a portion of the Abyss?
Koresh - Thank you for asking, Honus. I'd like to say that the good entities of NSW have been incredibly supportive during this time of transition, and I'd like to extend my innardsfelt appreciation to everyone, especially those who took up arms in support of the cause. And I'd like to welcome the new members of our family, as well, from neighboring realms--welcome, new New Waconeers. This really is a family, where I am the father and you are all my children, to be loved and cherished, or alternately punished, according to your performance, which let me assure you is being reviewed at this very moment, as are your actions of this and every day, beneath my unceasing eye, which sees and knows all, unceasing, untiring, and aware of your every thought before its even fully formed. Anyhoo, for me, I guess it happened during a particularly gruesome battle not long ago, when I realized I was trapped in a cycle of never-ending depredation, mayhem and slaughter. I thought, there has to be more than this, right? And that's when I conceived the idea of a much larger, never-ending cycle of depredation, mayhem and slaughter.

NIB - Which of your powers/talents would you say was most instrumental in your ascension to the throne of Sri Raji (now known as NSW?)
K - As you may or may not know, I serve Chaos, and I've had a good run behaving in utterly unpredictable--some say incomprehensible--ways. In return, my Masters may or may not grant me something, or nothing, or take something away that I never even knew I had. It's fun! And it sure keeps everyone around me off-balance and in a constant state of near-panic. We have a good time.

NIB - Do you see yourself as an up-and-coming demonic overlord or as a quaint, provincial head of state?
K - Do not presume to understand me, pale wraith! For in New South Waco a new realm is forged! Was ever one born a humble venomous squidworm so angry? Nay, nay I say! New South Waco shall be as none before, and none alike shall come after for there shall be none with the balls, as if they attempt I shall crush them between two of our judiciously applied mighty hams. Already, we have effortlessly driven our enemies before us--listen! listen! Still you can hear the lamentations of their women! Look, now, look, and be afraid! All shall look upon me and despair.

NIB - Do you have any intention on ransoming Lord Fangwang back to Tiamat?
K - Here's a fun fact, Honus: Did you know that during the Liberation of New South Waco, I not only captured Fangwang's entire army intact and suborned them to my will, but I had Fangwang eat the head of Nyarla. That's a good question, though, and I appreciate it. Let me answer by saying that I think a lot of beings are going to be surprised by what I think are some of the really dynamic, paradigm-changing monetary and economic policies we're already working toward in NSW. You can expect us to be a veritable dynamo of innovation and invention in coming epochs, and I'd like to take this opportunity to personally invite you to come back to our New Ideas in New South Waco economic summit we have planned for next month. I think there will be takeaways on fiduciary control, infrastructure investment and broader central bank involvement in a tripartite realm that your readers will really appreciate.

NIB - Can you tell us anything more about the relationship between one of your commanders and Xxxena the Fertile?
K - We have some projects we're working toward together, and we do have a military liaison in place. Xxxena's a great, great gal and I wish her all the best.

NIB - A number of your neighbors have detected great power fluctuations from within your realm. Can you assure everyone that nothing, shall we say, 'unstable' is happening within your domain?
K - Oh no, I'd never say that. We have some serious high-energy magic going on over here and I'd hate for anyone to think we didn't know about it. We do have it fully contained, though, and as long as no one disturbs any member of the Ebon Circle in their concentration, there will be no chance of a cataclysm the likes of which has not been seen since the universe was a-borning. Actually, that's not entirely accurate--they tell me they have some containment release program and complete containment failure isn't possible; the problem is that what they release is some kind of Black Matter, and while you're OK when it goes up, it could come down anywhere. Literally anywhere! I mean, apparently anywhere in the multiverse! No--don't even try to ask me any more, I don't even really understand what I just said, I just know it'd be bad for someone. Most of this I inherited from Nyarla--she was into some seriously kinky shit, but I liked what I saw and threw some more eggheads at it. So, as even I don't know who all the members of the Circle are, we all go around pretty quietly.

NIB - And finally, what is your favorite color?
K - Wow, that's actually a hard one. Ummm...gray.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Episode 48: The Battle for New South Waco

Lord Fangwang hovered over the companies of Abyssal Hordelings at his command and allowed a large number of teeth to show in an obscene, demonic grin. From his high vantage point among the rust-colored clouds of Scracthulon, he could see that Sri Raji was vulnerable; all magical wardings and barriers had been destroyed along with the realm's former potentate. Now the not inconsiderable acreage lay ripe for plundering, like the bloated corpse of a stench kow. The agzboéfgrzunder gnome may have gotten lucky with Arijani, but there was no way that mere luck could withstand the force of 4 Abyssal legions, thirsting for blood and ready for war.

Like taking candied pancreas from a bebelith, he thought to himself. This is going to be easy.

Nyarla felt a tingle of pleasure - that rare, cool pleasure of anticipation - at the thought of a new lord of Sri Raji. Arijani had rebuffed her so many times that she wondered if all those rumors were indeed true. Just because powdered tiger wang was an intense aphrodisiac didn't mean that actually HAVING one made you any more - oh, well, never mind. He was gone now, apparently in a puff of roiling, boiling steam, and Nyarla could only hope that his successor was ready to face the full force of her hot, steamy attentions - once, of course, she had marched in with her Demonids and slaughtered all that stood in her way.

She figured it would all be over before lunch. She was even leaving her beloved octophants behind...

Kfboebs flubbled egstastically in his new pseodphlange. He knew, deep withing the core of his pulsulating ectoclore, that the vile solidoform that had taken up residence in the neighboring domain was no match for He and his Kblobs. As He led them from the stinking pools that served as the breeding grounds of Puddle City, His recently-modified razorcles glinted frubjously in the Abyssal twilight. He could not wait to claim more territory with which to breed more Kblobs and eventually turn the whole of this layer into one gibbering mass of mouths, tentacles and slime glands.

It would be glorious. It would be quick. It would be over before the buffering slimes dried out on His new razorcles.

I really MUST remember to thank Khglingula for these, he thought. They are sure to come in handy this night...