Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Episode 92: Excerpt from THE BOOK OF IRYIEN

And there appeared a great turban in heaven; women barely clothed with the sun, and no floor under their feet, and upon their heads crowns of shooting stars: And they plummeting cried, travailing in terminal velocity, and pained to be landed. 

And there appeared another wonder under heaven; and behold a great philosopher, having a leopardskin tunic and natty satchel, and the Philosopher's Bone. 

And then this monkey drew down the third part of the turban, and did cast most of it to the earth: and the philosopher stood before the women as they were being delivered, and was nearly pelted by them several times over. 

And he brought forth this monkey, who was to rule all nations with a rod of diamond: and this monkey was made up to sound like James Mason, who is a God. 

And the women fled into the wilderness, where they hoped to have a place prepared of God, but then the philosopher smote them. 

And there is war in Port Harbor: Xeno and his angels cohorts fought against the Sultan; and the Sultan fought with his cohorts, 

And prevailed not; neither was his place found any more in Port Harbor. 

And the great Sultan was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole island: he was cast out into Ata'ri, and his angels were cast out with him.

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our Goddess, and the power of her minions: for the harasser of our brethren is cast down, which tried to smite Xeno day and night. 

And they overcame him by the blood of the Monkey, and by the word of his testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the monk's death. 

Therefore rejoice, ye island, and ye that dwell on it. Woe to the inhabiters of Ata'ri and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. 

And when the Sultan saw that he was cast unto Ata'ri, he persecuted Xeno (or at least tried to, anyway)

And to the Xeno were given two wings of a great bat, that he might fly into the wilderness, into his place, where he is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the Sultan. 

And the Sultan cast out of his mouth water as a flood after Xeno, that he might cause him to be carried away of the flood. 

And Tree of Life helped Xeno, and opened it's mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the Sultan cast out of his mouth. 

And the Sultan was wroth with Xeno, and went to make war with the remnant of his seeds, which keep the commandments of the Goddess, and have the testimony of Iryien the Radiant... 

Episode 91: Many Explosive Returns

As the blue vortex whirlpool explosions faded into memory, the members of DCM Inc., found themselves lying on a rich, Muralian carpet in Ben Firenze's house; and that didn't even qualify as a 'top ten weird things' of the past 24 hours...

"Well, I'll be damned if I'm not actually glad to see you Xeno..." Old Ben himself stooped over to help the damp yet mysteriously smoking gnome up off the ground and into an unabashedly comfortable sofa. "It took some doing, and there were gaps I had to deal with, but thanks to Iryien I was able to track you down." Ben whirled around, looking at the rest of the party as they unsteadily got to their feet. "Not here, is she? Damn. I was looking forward to seeing her in her... raiment."

Xeno took a cup of hot cocoa from - was it Prudence? Constance? He took the cocoa and looked around. It was then that he noticed the explosions.

"What was that?" He jumped up and ran to the window. a ruddy glow lit up the nighttime sky. Port harbor, it would seem, was on fire.

"Port Harbor is on fire," said Ben with a furrowed brow. "We have  been under attack for the past 24 hours. It would seem that a handful of mind flayer ships have descended upon Plank Town with fire. They took the Hammer of Grapthar by surprise. It was sent crashing down into the town in flames."

The two monks looked up from their recently-delivered warm cocoa-based fluids.

"Any word of the crew? Saladin? The hurwaet? Rodant Kapoor?" Takemiya looked gravely concerned. Kobayashi just looked grave. He rubbed his forehead subconsciously. He'd never forget the llicking the town put on him. If it had burned to the ground, well, it served it right in his view.

"We've heard nothing of them," Ben cast his eyes down to the carpet. "We have quite a few people out there, gathering information. It's a mess. Illithids and their minions. Scouring the island. Looking for something... They're up at the prince's palace now - a pitched battle with the palace guard. It's just a matter of time before the palace falls. Do you know the best way to fight a group of mind flayers?"

Ben looked around the room at all the drained pale faces holding drained, pale cups.

"Well, die, of course!" Ben laughed and laughed and laughed. No one else joined him. "Ah, gallows humor. Where would we be without it?" Ben looked up at the ceiling and fingered his chin, as if trying to remember something...

"Oh yes, DCM headquarters has been attacked as well. By another spacefaring group - of the humanoid variety. Some sort of petty sultan by the name of Abdullah Faloon."

At the mention of the name, Xeno spit out the last mouthful of cocoa. He turned to Ben. "Any word on Der Mobile? Have the, er - invaders gotten to it?"

"Can't be sure," replied the old wizard. "They seem to be a focused bunch." Ben turned his bright gray eyes on Xeno. "It would seem, dear Xeno, they are looking for you."

Xeno twitched imperceptibly. He started pacing back and forth across the carpet. He jumped at every far-off explosion. He was working something up in his mind and the others could only watch...

"We need to get to the ship - if it still exists. Air power is the key. If we can get up and about, we can see if anyone survived the Hammer... We can also outrun the mind flayers, probably. And there's something on the ship for the sultan..." His voice trailed off, his mind drifting deep into it's own past, searing for memories that were once there...

"Hey, man," piped up Madmartigan. He had been rummaging through the cold buffet that had appeared a few minutes ago. A scrap of ham had found its way into his beard. He seemed to take no notice. "You know, I can getcha out near your place, man. I know some tunnels that can take us to the beach right near there. We can stop by my place for supplies. I have some stuff we can use. And I need to check up on Lance."

Madmartigan looked down at his feet. Six men lay dead or dying on the wet sand of the dark and briny beach. Up the beach, a pillar of smoke was rising out of the woods in the general direction of DCM headquarters. Loud, drunken chanting could be heard. Then suddenly, like an obscene moon rising out of the trees, a giant turban rose up, up, up and into the smoky night sky.

Kobayashi, brandishing the ring he'd picked up at Madmartigan's, gave an aggressive yelp of delight and took off like a shot towards the ship. Kobayashi, whose decades of wisdom and meditation told him that he didn't need decades of wisdom and meditation to see that the excrement was about to hit the air conditioning, took off after his acolyte, hoping to at least keep him from killing himself for the next five minutes.

Xeno and Madmartigan, having looted every pantaloon on the beach, followed after. Both of them had seen enough shit to know that keeping your distance from Kobayashi was a good life strategy at this point.

They crept up the beach.

They saw the turban lift itself up and over the trees.

They saw Kobayashi raise his fist into the air...