Comics by Shaenon II

Mad science has never been so cute!
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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:39 pm 
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"Are you sure this is where it is?" asked Atrius holding his shepherd's crook in front of him nervously.

The sheep had split once more into their component parts-

"Yes, this is where the spirit is hiding from the demon."
"Yes, this is where the spirit is hiding from the demon."
"Yes, this is where the spirit is hiding from the demon......."


They walked into the home. It was a larger cabin, one room with a several huge beds lined against one wall, a huge table, a kitchen, chairs. A lone poppet lied facedown in the middle of one bed.

"This was a house filled with life, the last refuge of the spirit."
"This was a house filled with life, the last refuge of the spirit."
"This was a house filled with life, the last refuge of the spirit......."


hssssssssssssssssssssssss

Attrius swung his staff warily towards the sound. He had no lantern, but there was some moonlight streaming in through the windows. "Come out monster."

"...monster?" said the demon walking stepping slowly from withing the fireplace. It walked on it's hind legs again because, in its claws, it held of squirming light. "What do you hope to accomplish? There is barely a thing here to be saving." The demon held the wisp up to the light.

Attrius moved like lightning. He was upon the beast in a second, slamming its face with his crook. "It is enough."


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:53 pm 
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Zeroks moved so Andrew could cook, gritting his teeth. He could probably even et a picture... but it cost loads of energy to send so much as a goddamn note from any distance.
"...It's unfeasible. I can't drain myself for such a petty reason. Fredric!" he whapped the sleeping bun, holding out a little chocolate as bait.

"Hznuwha?"

"Get up, Fredric. I promote you 'In Charge of talking to the Merchant brat.'" he snapped, glaring into the fire hard enough to make green sparks appear.

"...monchu..." murmured Fredric, sleepily eating the chocolate.

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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:22 am 
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Claire munched on a little bit of egg, watching the sleeping merchant. Apparently he sold kaboomy stuff, but... well, he must be lying about something, if only his combat abilities. She hoped he wouldn't be traveling with them far. She didn't like him much. But Franky seemed to, for some reason. Then again, Franky had always had his Da's protection...

"Something wrong? You hear something?" Prim grabbed his staff, looking around quickly.

"What? Oh, no. Nothing's wrong. I was just thinking." She realized her tail was bristling and her ears were flattened against her head. She tried to relax a bit. "Umm... you don't think the merchant's going to be traveling with us far, do you? I don't really trust him..." Prim would probably know what to do. He tended to be better with people than she did.

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"Where's the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering Kaboom!" -Marvin the Martian

Spam Poison. I think.


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:10 pm 
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Prim snorted, gently petting her head, smoothing over her ears.
"I don't trust him an inch, but he can recognized the flower we need for Franky. After that... we'll see. I got your back though, okay? I won't let anything happen to you." he assured her, picking up the half-asleep bun and depositing him in Claire's lap.

"Watch him for me, will you? He takes a while to wake up." he said, getting up and packing most of the gear up as breakfast cooked.

Fredric looked up at her sleepily, huddled into his little tartan cloaklet he appeared to have fashioned out of a handkerchief.
"Monchu?" he queried, clinging to her affectionately.

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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:02 pm 
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Claire sighed, a bit relieved. If Prim said it was ok, it probably would be. And if he didn't let Jenny be mean to her, he probably wouldn't let a random strange, either.

She looked down at Franky, smiling slightly. "Good morning. Your Da's making breakfast-y things, and there's some coffee stuff. You awake yet?" She picked him up and scooted closer to the fire. He looked a bit cold. "How you feeling?" He was big for a long time yesterday, but she didn't know a lot about his curse. Maybe he was within its limits. She grabbed some breakfast stuff and offered it to him. "Think we can get to the flower today?"

She wasn't really sure how far away it was, but they could walk pretty far in a day. Maybe. Time and distance stuff got confusing after a while. And despite listening to Prim and looking at the map, she wasn't really sure where they were going in the first place. Of course, she could just follow other people, like Prim, who could actually understand maps...

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"Where's the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering Kaboom!" -Marvin the Martian

Spam Poison. I think.


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:23 pm 
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-David, David, and Draza: The Triple D Team-

David grinned, looking at his semi-fixed arm. "This is great! Thank you! Hey, maybe we could-"

Lady Draza folded her arms. "Ooooh no. "Taren", you and I need to get going. It's morning already, and we can't forget we have a purpose. As interesting as this..."alternate" is, we can't let him distract us from delivering that message of yours." She grabbed "Taren" and started pushing him.

"H-hey! Maybe I can help?" David looked at the two of them. "Come on! I've got nothing to do until my alternate-universe jumper recharges..."

"Then find something. We're leaving. Besides, we barely have enough Godsblood to let us both get there, so a third person would only slow us down." Lady Draza kept pushing the somewhat confused "Taren" away, as he waved goodbye to his near-perfect double.

David shrugged. "Huh... I wonder what there is to do in an abstract wilderness setting in a world I know absolutely nothing about?" He turned and started walking off.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Mikael-

He stirred and sat up, disturbingly cheerful for early mornings. "Good morning, everyone!" He stood up, wiping some dust off his shoulders, and waved to Claire as he walked past.

As he sat down, he was still lost in thought. A forgotten goddess... very intriguing. Something he'd have to investigate further, certainly. And of course, these people were his only link to the thing. Following them around, for the moment, had just become even MORE of a priority. Of course, he didn't really believe his original offer would be accepted anyway, but if he was to be successful he'd need more time, regardless.

"So, how did everyone sleep?" he took a sip from a waterskin and looked around the campsite.

_________________
We've learned a lot, but this still isn't going to be easy. But I don't think the elder star's confidence in us was misplaced. I know we can do this! We'll set things right! ...somehow.

"There is a fine line between a good King and a Despot. A King is best when His subjects barely realize that He exists. When His work is done and His will is fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:21 pm 
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Lady E. smiles back at Mikael. "Good morning, yourself." She joins Andrew at the fire, sniffing appreciatively. "Eggs? Looks good. Do we have plenty of eggs, cousin? If so, I can take some of the bread and sugar and make french toast."
It's nice-those 'holding bags' of his take a lot of the roughing it equation out of adventuring.
Jackie refills her coffee, and ambles over to Zeroks. "Heh-beats cold jerky and hardtack, or constantly foraging. Kind of funny, though, such a domestic set up on the trail. And no, I'm not complaining. So..." her voice turns curious. "M. How far does their influence spread? Just in the kingdom of Xyon? Or is magical threats something other countries and principalities bands together on?"

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.. not how Science works, love. 1st, you build the machine, then it tells you what it's for.
Do you think I had the 1st idea what a squidhole was when I invented it? Certainly not! I was just messing about! That's when the very best & very Maddest Science gets done. I thought,Why, this alabaster octopus looks like it wants a nice transmission inside it,& fairly soon I had a thing that obviously had a Use, though what that Use could be was a total mystery.
(Sameness Engine) I haven't the 1st notion of what it's for! That's not why I made it-I made it for the sheer joy of making something new! It's getting up to tell me what it wants me to do, though, I can just feel it. It's been giggling a lot at night.
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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:18 am 
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Jane watched the others as they gradually invoked their brains. Jackie. A follower of #2, if she'd ever seen any-- the drop spilled on the fire proved it. And Lady Viktor... she'd heard things. And she knew the Lady was good with a sword.

A swordswoman. A #2er. And her.... there were possibilities.
Well, that is, if Lady Viktor ever figured out that Jane's warning was completely bogus... :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:21 am 
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Zerox shrugged, rolling his eyes a little at the mere thought of beurocratic ballyhoos.
"Our jurisdiction extends through Xyon, and any countries that wants to maintain any kind of diplomatic process with Xyon. Trade agreement, peace agreements- they signed it, we're a part of the deal. Most places don't mind- it's more or less in everyone's favor to stamp out magical apocalypses, after all." he explained, accepting a plate of toast.

"So... across the board, I guess. We respect any ground rules for areas that aren't obligated to put up with us, of course. And as far as I know, similar Temples exist on every continent, but we only make contact in emergencies." he accepted a small vial from Andrew, uncorking it and pouring it on his toast- it smelled overwhelmingly like sugar.

Andrew nodded in the affirmative, handing his cousin a bag.
"Should all be in here- do help yourself. I wish these bags were something I could make available for others... but they're terribly unstable. Chaos is incarnate as a penguin and all that rot." he said cheerfully, seeming to have recovered from his post-wake up 'mood'.

(plot-reliant post tomorrow.)

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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:36 am 
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"Unstable? What happens when one...destabilizes?" Jackie asks, suddenly mindful of the holding bag she's carrying, complete with black powder bomb inside. Should've know it was too good to be true.
Does Zeroks look...amused? Hmmf. She'll get him later.

_________________
.. not how Science works, love. 1st, you build the machine, then it tells you what it's for.
Do you think I had the 1st idea what a squidhole was when I invented it? Certainly not! I was just messing about! That's when the very best & very Maddest Science gets done. I thought,Why, this alabaster octopus looks like it wants a nice transmission inside it,& fairly soon I had a thing that obviously had a Use, though what that Use could be was a total mystery.
(Sameness Engine) I haven't the 1st notion of what it's for! That's not why I made it-I made it for the sheer joy of making something new! It's getting up to tell me what it wants me to do, though, I can just feel it. It's been giggling a lot at night.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland
C Valente


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:50 am 
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The beast tore at where Atrius would have been had he not dodged back quickly. He was on his back now though.

The beast advanced on Atrius its demon grin widening..."Hn hn hn!"

A sheep slammed into the demon. Atrius had time to get to his feet. The sheep flew past him poison boiling and bubbling in its wounds. It landed among the other sheep zombi.

They came and made a circle, hedging the beast in. The demon rose in an instant and rushed Atrius.

His staff was up to block, but he was pushed back. A sheep hit the demon from the side stopping it from overwhelming Atrius.

Atrius moved quickly, not wanting to lose the advantage. He struck out against the beast, catching its arm.

The small wisp was freed. It flew quickly away from the monster's grasp.

The sheep descended upon the beast tearing at it and beating it. It was still unharmed though. There wasn't a single mark on it, meanwhile the sheep gained more and more boiling wounds.

(It's hopeless.) >Perhaps not.<

(Wha???) Atrius looked at his shepherds crook. It glowed with a faint blue light.

>I am not dead yet. I could destroy it, but I am weak now.<

"You can destroy it," Atrius whispered. "How?"

The last three sheep were barely holding the demon. Hsssssssssssssssssssssss!

>Do not speak. It can hear you.< (Sorry.) >No time. I need emotion to feed my power. I grew on the happiness in this village before it was destroyed. I need you to feel a strong emotion and I can channel it into the monster.<

(I...I...)

The monster threw off the last of the sheep and caught sight of Atrius' staff. "No." It threw itself at Atrius and bit into the crook, trying to draw out the spirit.

Atrius swung the staff throwing the monster back against the fireplace.

"You would not. What do you gain? You save nothing, and you lose whatever ally you might have had in us. What will you do when you are discovered among men Wolf? Who will take you when the apes condemn you?"

Atrius stepped back. He had heard this before. It echoed his thoughts.

>Shepherd!<

"You lie to yourself if you think you can be anything but a monster."

Another step. >shepherd please...<

"When their blades find your throat where will you turn? What then..."

"I...I'm careful. I'm not a monster. I don't hurt anyone."

"Of course you don't. They don't see it that way though, do they?" The creature seemed to be growing becoming larger and more monstrous than before.

Atrius looked around, his mind bombarding him with questions, (what do I do? they'll hurt me. what if it's right? haven't I asked this?)

>shepherd!<

"Join me Wolf. Set down the staff. You can trust me. I would never betray you like men. You can surely trust one like yourself."

Atrius looked for something anything. His eyes came to rest on the poppet. The doll of a small child...a family...a village...People who had been hurt. Hurt by the beast. "I am nothing like you!"

Golden light seemed to pour into the staff. "I protect." Atrius raised the staff.

"I am a shepherd." He brought the shepherd's crook down on the monster's head.

The cabin exploded with light.


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:53 pm 
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Andrew waved a hand, serving Jess up a plate of eggs and sausage, with a peice of toast and what seemed like a mug of orange juice.
"Oh, nothing you need to worry about. Just don;t put anything sharp inside without protection, and try not to put living things inside. Oh, and... as a little quirk, certain types of root vegetable with produce some odd effects. My father really hated parsnip, for some reason..." he said, dishing out breakfast and making room for his cousin to make the french toast.

Fredric stood up so that Claire could eat her breakfast, and wandered over to Mikeal.
"Aye, g'mornin. D' ye haeve more information a'hn th' location o' the flower? Th' sooner this a'ccursid curse is aef me, th' better."

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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:11 pm 
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Wallace rubbed his eyes, and slowly sat up. "Ugh... Lord Tinker, could I have one of those drinks... you know, with the blackness and the wakeyupness?" Stumbling over towards the fire, Wally sat down next to it, and held his hand out. "Or maybe some of what you're cooking. Smells goodish."

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Survivor of six years wandering the dimensions. Come on, just give the guy a break!


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:57 pm 
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Atrius stood outside the cabin.

"Our purpose is done. We go now to return to our lifeless state."
"Our purpose is done. We go now to return to our lifeless state."
"Our purpose is done. We go now to return to our lifeless state."

"Goodbye then," Atrius said. The sheep vanished into the forest.

Once they were gone Atrius turned to his staff. "Okay now what am I going to do with you."

>Would you mind allowing me to travel with you? There is nothing out here anymore...I would shrivel and die from the lack of emotions to absorb.<

"Sure I guess since I'm probably never going to find a home I might as well have some company."

>ouch<

"Sorry."

>err...Do you think I could get another body. The whole talking weapon thing is great and all but arms and legs are a step up.<

"Oh hold on," Atrius said. He nipped inside the cabin for a second. He brought back the doll from the bed. "Will this work?"

>Perfect!!!< The spirit flew into the doll. >This vessel was lavished with love and care. It is perfect.<

"Are you sure, because it's kind of a girl doll in a dress?"

>I am a spirit, we're androgynous.<

"But your voice sounds male."

>Whatever. Let's get going.<

The two ventured into the forest headed for the main road Atrius had abandoned, the doll riding on Atrius' shoulder. "By the way, what should I call you."

>Max!<

"Max?"

>It's short for Maxipharian okay.<

"Okay Okay."


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:18 am 
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(We now take you to a plane of reality far removed from our own, where Mithril Jack the bard is about to discover that not everyone is a music lover…)

Jack sat at a corner table of the Albino Bison Tavern, nursing his ale and sighing. It was very dangerous for him to break cover right now. The assassins of Gronan, His archenemy, were hot on his trail and closing fast, but he needed the funds this gig would bring to fuel his fight/flight against the cruel barbarian tyrant. “At least he calls himself a barbarian,” Jack thought,“ really he’s just a redneck despot wannabe. Ah, well, I suppose the show must go on.”

Jack arose from his table and walked to the tavern’s stage while he unslung his ebony and chrome seven string Stratocaster. As he tuned the guitar, melodious sounds emerged from invisible, ethereal amplifiers that seemed to follow wherever he went. “Good evening,” he spoke to the crowd. “For my first number I’d like to do something I learned from my uncle, the great troubadour Theodoric the Loud. Poor Theodoric is no longer with us; unfortunately, he was mauled to death while in flagrante delecto with a lady weretiger when she shifted at the height of passion. Anyway, this song is dedicated to the memory of Uncle Ted.”



Never before have I turned on you
You looked too good to me…




As Jack sang and played, the entire front row arose as one, throwing off their heavy cloaks and revealing loaded crossbows. The quarrels looked to be tipped with some sinister oily substance.

“Whoa, rough crowd!” Jack thought as he amped up the volume to maximum. A burst of solid sound blasted the assassins back, driving them halfway through the tavern wall.

“Damn it, there goes my share of the gate. That sonic blast is so hard on the furniture. Uncle Ted always said that this guitar could blow the nether regions from a charging juggernaut at sixty paces.”



See you there with your Cheshire grin
I got my eyes on you….



As the former front row tried to stagger painfully to their feet, some trying to remove splinters from their nether regions, at least twenty more killers burst through the front door, poisoned weapons in hand.

“Time to beat a hasty retreat,” Jack thought and turned toward the back door.



…The magic’s in my hands
When in doubt I whip it out
I got me a rock n’ roll band
It’s a free-for-all.



As one might expect, another score of assassins, similarly armed burst through the back.

“Hmmm, perhaps through the window,” Jack mused, but as he looked out the tavern’s only window, he saw at least a century of assassins led by the sorcerous warlord himself. Jack groaned. He would have to pluck the accursed black string once more. He just hoped that the chaotic energies of the string would not transform him into a chicken again.



Here we go, look OUT…


Jack plucked the string and a shimmering golden portal opened before him. Through the doorway he could see a forest glade and a lone man. The man had a doll upon his shoulder and a staff in hand.


The bard jumped through and the portal closed, but not before a poisoned bolt from an assassin’s weapon penetrated his derriere. Jack’s eyes rolled up in his head as he fell at the stranger’s feet. Fainting from the poison’s potent effects, he muttered, “Everyone’s a critic”.

_________________
Oh, I could be anyone I wanted to be,
Maybe suave Errol Flynn or the Sheik of Araby,
If I only had a pencil thin mustache,
Then I could do some cruisin' too!


-----J. Buffet, troubadour extraordinaire


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:15 pm 
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Just as Atrius finally had the ability to relax, to bask in his victory and move forward with his new ally Max, the air in front of him twisted. Colors unlike any other swam though the air, the cries of a thousand unknown rent the very matter of this unverse, and with a sudden, unforgettable wave of burning heat out came forth....

....a sort of 'sproing' noise, and what appeared to be a unconscious bard, who hit the ground like a sack of bricks.

-The Main Party!-
After a delicious round of french toast, the party packed up and returned to their travel, following His Grace Zerok's map. Luckily, the party diddn't seem to run into any monsters so far- although, whether this was luck of Claire's tendency to leap on any perceived threat-noise was a subject for debate.

Zeroks tapped his gauntlet, zooming in on the map.
"Alright, we'll be there soon. I have to warn you, the weird magic there is gonna interfere with my gauntlet... so the map is only accurate in bringing us into the vague area of the plant. We can't map the damn place out with magic... hence me accompanying you in person." he explained, double-checking their route.

"Indeed. And I may become... unstable. Er, more so? Depending on whether or not we''re actually walking through a crumbling abyss of ever changing patterns and colors right now."

"Forest, Da. Take year medicince, will ye?" Franky reminded him, from his perch on top of the GRand Wizard's head.

"Oh, really? Well, at least the patterns are rather tasteful. Good colors. Very 'spring'." he said idly, taking out a vial of something color full and adding a pinch of some odd little pelets, making the stuff bubble and fizz before downing it.

"Fan-damn-tastic. Well, we can only pray it doesn't turn out that the only place it grows is in the bottom of a trap-filled ancient temple or something inane." groused Zeroks, rolling his eyes.

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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:16 am 
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Jackie thwaps Zeroks on the arm. "You had to say it, didn't you? Now we'll be lucky if it isn't anywhere worse than that. Although I've found ancient ruins to be...interesting."
Her voice turns thoughtful.
Lady E. turns to the merchant. "You're from the area, right, Mikael? Anything you can tell us about this 'weird magic' ?"

_________________
.. not how Science works, love. 1st, you build the machine, then it tells you what it's for.
Do you think I had the 1st idea what a squidhole was when I invented it? Certainly not! I was just messing about! That's when the very best & very Maddest Science gets done. I thought,Why, this alabaster octopus looks like it wants a nice transmission inside it,& fairly soon I had a thing that obviously had a Use, though what that Use could be was a total mystery.
(Sameness Engine) I haven't the 1st notion of what it's for! That's not why I made it-I made it for the sheer joy of making something new! It's getting up to tell me what it wants me to do, though, I can just feel it. It's been giggling a lot at night.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland
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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:34 am 
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Atrius stared a bit. "Um...okaaaaay."

>This is a bit odd isn't it?<

They examined the bard. "What do you suppose this is?" Atrius held up the stratocaster.

>Some sort of giant lyre, maybe???< Max pointed at the strings.

"Why would it be shaped like this though? Maybe it's for hitting people with."

>It doesn't seem to be made of very strong materials though<

"Well, we'll ask him when he wakes up, I guess." Atrius pulled the dart out of the bard. "Poisoned. We'll need to get some medicines."

>I know what herbs we need< said Max running off into the woods on stubby legs.

"I'll get the firewood then."

Later...

"Alright he should be good now. He'll wake up in a bit."

>Oh good, it's still daylight. We might be able to go a little further before we make camp.<

"Wait, will other people be able to hear you, or will I look like a crazy person?"

>I'm not really sending my thoughts to you specifically, so they'll be able to hear me.<

"Good. I'm going to seem odd traveling with a doll anyway. At least it won't be too bad."


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:52 am 
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-David Toboz-

He stared at the undead abomination before him, the perversion of all life which was currently bidding some of its minions to serve him tea. "So... you're a skeletal creature of evil?" Oridinarily, he would feel obligated to destory such a foul thing, but the skeletal abomination had informed him that since he was a guest in another universe, attacking it's denizens, whatever the reason, would be nothing short of impolite. Although it seemed kinda weird to him, he didn't want to be rude to anyone, so he stayed his hand. Plus, the thing had an army, and he wasn't entirely sure he could handle it all without science backing him up.

Lord Zobev smiled. "A lich, more specifically... If our bodies are ever destroyed our souls fly to thingies called Phylactries and grow a new body there so we can have life eternal. Also, unlike zombies, our brains don't rot. Are you enjoying your tea?"

David looked down. There was a drowned rat in his cup, floating in a brownish liquid of indistinguishable origin. "Umm...yes!" he feigned taking sips and privately prayed that none of the cup's contents got on him. "So... what are you doing out here, in the middle of this scenic field?"

"Aside from polluting this creepy idyllic scenery?" Zobev pointed to two zombies, who were busy scattering salt on some wildflowers. "Well, I'm kinda hunting this woman... I think her name was Jane-something-or-other..."

David tilted his head, suddenly realizing where this was going. "Umm... may I ask why?"

Zobev made a fist and shook it. "That woman was the cause of my death! I mean, I don't THINK she was the actual person who killed me, (I don't entirely remember, mind you) but it never would have happened if it weren't for her! I'm rather annoyed at that turn of events, and I mean to choke her to death with my bare phylangies. Or at least have my undead army eat her." he scowled.

David looked a bit shocked. "W-wow... that's pretty harsh. So where is she?"

Zobev turned away. "Well..uh..you see... I don't actually know. My compatriot Cuvingsworth was trying to track her with a spell back in that city while I was reanimating corpses, and...well..." he produced a skull. "He met a rather unfortunate end. So I've not been willing to risk any further divinations on her myself. That's why I'm heading south, away from Ashi. Surely she'll be heading for cities! And I'll just conquer a few and see if I can't ferret her out."

David scooted a bit away from him. "Umm... I'm just... gonna... go... now, ok?"

The undead lord smiled warmly and waved. "Ok! Nice meeting you! Have a good day!" He watched as David left, and turned to smile at one of his skeletal soldiers. "I liked that kid. A bit stupid, but a nice guy. Now then... where were we? Oh yes... conquering Xyon and laying waste to it's living population just in order to find a lady that probably had something to do with my death, yes, that was it, I think."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Mikael-

"Hm?" he had been, apparently, lost in thought when Lady E asked her question. "Oh, my apologies, m'lady. My mind was elsewhere!" he closed his eyes and thought. "If memory serves, the whole region the nation of Ashi was built in was saturated with what you called "weird magic". In short, it's an odd thaumalogical field. Although arcane magic isn't exactly my area of expertise, if I recall correctly this field was supposedly disruptive to divination, magical communication, and mapping magic, as well as some other obscure types of magic. No one quite knows why. Some rumors say that it's because of the ancient vessel that the forefathers of Ashi came in, which crashed out of the sky and buried itself beneath a mountain in the area nearby. Of course, Ashi itself always denied such rumors." he smiled. "And as for the plant we're searching for... well, it's hard to say. The Makai fruit was overharvested several generations ago... there may be a few left, but if there are they'd be in hard-to-reach places... they typically were more common in the mountainous regions of Ashi rather than anywhere else, but they also grew in the southern forests, and a few sometimes grew underground... so I really have no better idea where they'd be than any of you! I apologize!" He chuckled and smiled. "But it'd be quite an adventure to find one, wouldn't it?"

_________________
We've learned a lot, but this still isn't going to be easy. But I don't think the elder star's confidence in us was misplaced. I know we can do this! We'll set things right! ...somehow.

"There is a fine line between a good King and a Despot. A King is best when His subjects barely realize that He exists. When His work is done and His will is fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
-Xin Yun


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:45 am 
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“Owwww,” Jack thought as he came to, “close escapes can be such a pain in the a---. Well, of course it would be, considering where they hit me.” He heard voices. Carefully slitting his eyes open, he saw the man he had previously seen through the gateway talking with his doll – and the doll was answering back!

“That man is a wonderful ventriloquist – no wait! The doll’s ‘voice’ is coming from inside my head. I’m not really hearing it. It must be some type of familiar or perhaps a homunculus. Obviously, the man is a powerful mage!”

“Greetings travelers,” Jack said as he slowly rose from his prone position, “my name is Jack, and I am grateful for the aid you have given me. No doubt I would have died from that poisoned dart without you. What names may I give to my saviors?”

_________________
Oh, I could be anyone I wanted to be,
Maybe suave Errol Flynn or the Sheik of Araby,
If I only had a pencil thin mustache,
Then I could do some cruisin' too!


-----J. Buffet, troubadour extraordinaire


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:41 am 
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-David-

He scratched the odd glowing blue runes tattooed on his right arm with the metal one. "Well... it looks like this portal-spawner thingy is recharged now... Time to go. I hope the next universe I end up in is home!" Pressing some buttons, he began to vanish into a cloud of black bubbles. "Man, I wish I knew how to use this thing... it'd probably work better if I wasn't just pressing random buttons and jumping to different dimensions each time."

And then he was gone.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Mikael-

The group kept walking, further into Ashi, all of them growing somewhat bored of the dull, barren scenery.

"If it helps your journey any, we passed a Makai fruit several minutes ago." Mikael commented.

Everyone turned to look at him. He rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. "Ah... um, W-why are you all looking at me like that? I didn't think it would be of any use to any of you! That's why I didn't point it out."

After a few minutes of backtracking, he pointed out what he had been talking about. A small, shriveled plant with blueish green leaves that looked to be drying up and decaying into a dull, crumbling gray. The fruit of the Makai, shaped like a falling tear, looked to be dried and shriveled, covered in wrinkles, the blue skin having developed faint blotches of fading color on it. "See? This Makai is old and dying... there are a few seeds that might be worth harvesting, but the fruit of this plant would be hard pressed to dispel a cantrip, much less the curse affecting Frederik. So I simply didn't believe it was worth commenting on. That's all."

_________________
We've learned a lot, but this still isn't going to be easy. But I don't think the elder star's confidence in us was misplaced. I know we can do this! We'll set things right! ...somehow.

"There is a fine line between a good King and a Despot. A King is best when His subjects barely realize that He exists. When His work is done and His will is fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
-Xin Yun


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:54 am 
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Claire stepped forward and tugged on the fruit, pulling it off the plant. Then she poked the plant. The fruit might come in useful anyway, after all...

She offered it to Franky. "You want to eat it anyway? Maybe they taste good or something." If not, she'd just shove it in her pack. Fruit was good.

_________________
"Where's the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering Kaboom!" -Marvin the Martian

Spam Poison. I think.


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:30 am 
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Atrius and Max exchanged a look. "Well, you can call me Atrius. And he's Maxiphawhozat or something."

>Just Max will do fine. We are traveling together for now. Perhaps you would care to join us?<


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:41 am 
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"It would be an honor and a privelige to accompany you. Where are we going?"

As the three walked along, chatting amiably, Jack softly picked out the tune to "We're off to see the Wizard" on his Strat.

_________________
Oh, I could be anyone I wanted to be,
Maybe suave Errol Flynn or the Sheik of Araby,
If I only had a pencil thin mustache,
Then I could do some cruisin' too!


-----J. Buffet, troubadour extraordinaire


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:52 am 
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Jane, walking along with the rest of the party, stole a glance over at Lady Viktor. It looked as if the two of them were stuck in the same group for a while. Maybe, just maybe, it would be for the best to retract her fake info.

...or, (and here, a small voice in her head started giggling by way of agreement) she could just leave her to stew for a while...

The next sideways glance grazed Jackie... whoever she was. Obviously a follower of #2. It might be a good idea to talk to her... they probably had a few things in common.

Or was it too risky? Was trying to reach out a bad idea? It was too hard to tell.
Jane continued on, locked in her own head, her senses on their automatic search for threats and danger.

_________________
"My conscience is feeling all prickly."
"A bit of absolute power can remedy that."
Kid Radd


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:45 am 
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Jane's next sideways glance at Jackie is intercepted, as their eyes meet briefly.
"So, Jane. That entrance you made was pretty spectacular." Her voice is conversational, but her lip keeps twitching.
Jane winces inside-will she ever live down that crash? Her expression remains cool, as she airly waves it off. "Oh, that?"
Jackie tries to supress it, but a soft giggle escapes. Her voice is soft, like they're sharing a joke. "When you crashed into the gentry over there, (snort), and plowed a furrow, and that "you!", and (snicker) you just wave "hi", and the look on her face..., priceless."
Her grin to Jane is friendly, not mocking. She murmurs, "Still, somehow I have you pegged for more subtle magics."
The two give each other innocent looks.
Neither one is fooled.

Emily's walking by Frankie and Claire. When Claire mentions eating the fruit, she smiles. "Best let cousin Andrew take a look at it first, it looks pretty old and moldy. It wouldn't be a bad idea to save the seeds. At least we know what plant and fruit look like now."
She spares a glance for Jane and Jackie-thick as thieves, they seem. Maybe...maybe she should reach out a little? Looks like they're going to be travelling together-again. Deep in thought, she falls back by Sir Wallace, and walks there a while.

Later-The sun's right overhead, heat and light pouring down. Jackie has her hood pulled forward and her head bowed down, watching the ground before her. Trusting to the others to keep a sharp eye out ahead and around.
She feels a firm hand on her arm. "You okay?" The voice is gruff.
She glances up, and spares a brief smile. "Yeah, copper, I'm fine. Damn bright light's a little hard on my eyes, that's all."
"Do we need to stop?"
"No." She sighes a little. "Honest, I'm okay. I'm in a group, I don't have to keep an eagle eye out at the moment."
"And what would you do if you were by yourself?" He huffs a little.
She grins. "I'd take my breaks at the height of day and night, start earlier and stop later. And if I had to press on? Simple, I'd just step from shadow to shadow-make a lot better time, at that."
He's not mollified. "And you didn't think to mention this before we set forth? What if we were attacked, right now? What would you do?"
"Oh, for-it'd be okay. I hit that golem in the eye earlier, didn't I? I can defend myself when it's bright, I'd just end up with a bad headache later." And sunburn, but she's got her salve. "And yeah, I haven't done the quest adventuring heigh ho, heigh ho bit before, or I'd have thought of something better for an eyeshade than a hood."

The group trudges on.

_________________
.. not how Science works, love. 1st, you build the machine, then it tells you what it's for.
Do you think I had the 1st idea what a squidhole was when I invented it? Certainly not! I was just messing about! That's when the very best & very Maddest Science gets done. I thought,Why, this alabaster octopus looks like it wants a nice transmission inside it,& fairly soon I had a thing that obviously had a Use, though what that Use could be was a total mystery.
(Sameness Engine) I haven't the 1st notion of what it's for! That's not why I made it-I made it for the sheer joy of making something new! It's getting up to tell me what it wants me to do, though, I can just feel it. It's been giggling a lot at night.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland
C Valente


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:49 pm 
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Zeroks rummaged around in his pack for a second- he always packed a spare pair...
"Here." he said, handing her a pair of spectacles, made out of darkened glass.
"Bright light gives me a headache, so I keep these. Remind me if we get to another town, and I'll get someone to make you a pair." he said, smiling at her slightly.

Lord Andrew noted the exchange, nudging his cousin.
"Nice to see His Grace with a friend, hmm?" he suggested, sketching some notes briefly. TA least now they knew for certain that the plant grew here. But would any of it remain? It was hard to be sure.. He woudl just have to hope something improbable and lucky happened.

As it happened, the universe was still faintly rippling from the sudden appearance of an extra Bard, and the creation of an inter-dimensional portal. The warping energies drew together, responding to the Wizards silent plea, silently drawing it;s from from the arrival of a swashbuckling traveler...

The party, as one, came to a halt at the sound of a curious screeching.
"Have I already moved on to the *audio* side of my hallucinations today, or did that sound like a monkey?"

"No... it sounded like three monkeys. I've heard that sound before." His Grace looked up, out into the forest.

It was about then, that Atrius, Max, and Jack were suddenly attacked by a Three Headed Monkey. Before they could respond, it had shoved them down a hill- the end result being that they bowled into the group, sending them as one smack-dab into a patch of suprisingly weak soil, that gave away and sent them falling down a tunnel.

Luckily, the same bizarre spasm of dimensional energy that had kicked off this turn of events seemed to ensure that no one was injured in the fall. Andrew managed to cast a little light-globe into the air, illuminating where they had landed.

"Yep. Three headed Monkey. I hate it when that happens..." muttered His Grace, refusing to get up form his position flat on his back. If he got up, he would just have to see where he *was*...

The little ball of light revealed that they were in some kind of stone cavern- it looked man-made, the walls carved delicately with odd glyphs and whorls. A pool of water shone gently some ways away from the party, a half-submerged statue resting eerily within it.

_________________
"Only If It's Funny".


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:19 am 
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Atrius rose to his feet and looked around, "Oh hello. Nice to meet you again," he said recognizing a few faces.

>You know these people?<

"I escaped from lizardmen and a Dragon with them."

>Oh.<


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:34 pm 
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Jack shook his head as if to clear it. He didn’t think his song had summoned a flying three headed monkey, although the coincidence was unsettling. “I’m glad,” he said, “that the beast chose to throw us, rather than what monkeys normally throw. They call me Mithril Jack, at your service.” With that Jack bowed to the group.

As introductions were made along with small talk regarding the various odd flying fauna that Jack had encountered in his travels (including the reclusive airborne Pythonian ovine), his attention was drawn to the glyphs on the wall. “Hmmm, somehow those runes look familiar. Perhaps it’s Ancient High Melnibonean, or maybe it could be MS Wingdings.” Jack set about examining the symbols more closely, singing as he concentrated.

Quote:
When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It's a wonder
I can think at all
And though my lack of education
Hasn't hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall…

_________________
Oh, I could be anyone I wanted to be,
Maybe suave Errol Flynn or the Sheik of Araby,
If I only had a pencil thin mustache,
Then I could do some cruisin' too!


-----J. Buffet, troubadour extraordinaire


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 Post subject: Re: The Madde Alchemy Wars: The Cauldron of Elementals
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:57 pm 
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His Grace Zeroks had gotten up, taken a decent look around, and promptly say back down again. He wasn't injured- not physically, anyways. But perhaps his *mind* was bruised... and whatever was left of his pride.

"Temple. I had to say 'Temple'. I ought to just become a damn fortune teller! Only it only works when I hazza frazza rggggg..." me quietly ranted to himself, taking his damn time letting off steam. With any luck, he could be done with it before someone figured out the way further into what was *sure* to be a trap infested, terror-ridden labyrinth.

Andrew straightened his glasses, leaning closer to the walls.
"Hmm, no- this is the ring area for Wingding Runes. Although, I believe there has been some sightings of Apple Chancery dialect runes around here. Not much for the way of *religion* though, mostly just tacky tablets. Better than the dreaded standing stones of KomikkSans, though..." he traced a swirl with a single finger, frowning.

"Well, I think we can write off the swirls as decoration... the rest of this is in fairly nice shape. It looks like the same phrase, translated into as many languages as would *fit*. Clever, that. Aha! Germanik! Used to be quite the lingua frassa." he peered closer, narrowing his eyes.

"No... swimming... no... diving... no... running..."

_________________
"Only If It's Funny".


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