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The Princess and The (Fraud) Squad


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#26 Masked Dave

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 10:16 AM

Kytheres took Ma'Skd's hand in his own and shook it and was probably a bit surprised when Ma'Skd responded with, "I think I need a lie down." as that wasn't how he remembered this introduction thing working.

*** 3 MINUTES AGO ***

Ma'Skd stood watching the spot where the tiny, annoying fighter had vanished into the canopy.

"Oh well, that's the end of that then. What a shame, seemed like a nice whathaveyou, etcetera, etcetera."

Dusting of his palms he turned back towards Ike.

"Come on then big fella, still got a long way to walk."

"UMLAUT!" thundered Ike.

"What?"

"Umlaut umlaut UM-LAUT!"

And with that he went crashing off in the direction Halifax had been flung.

"Oh yes, good idea, you go see if he's alright, I'll just... bugger off this way..."

Ma'Skd started to stride off in the opposite direction, not even caring if it was the right direction, just that it was opposite with a smile on his face and a spring in his step. He was finally free to be a solo operation again.

Suddenly he felt a tightening in his chest and shortness of breath.

Egads! he thought My hubris is finally catching up with me! Nobody to save me when I need them the most! My heart! I knew that there would be a down side to a diet that primarily consisted of mythological beasts!

Then in the next instant he found himself hurtling backwards through the air. This wasn't how he'd remembered heart attacks going, and he should know, he'd induced the vast majority that Generica had known. Looking down he saw a large slab around his waist and what looked like a knuckle.

Ooh, that stony, giant bastard.

When he landed on the ground again, dazed and confused, he found himself having his hand shaken by a clearly Evil Wizard who seemed to be calling him Mike and was starring at a point just past his left cheek.

"I think I need a lie down."

"Times Have Changed," replied Kytheres before pulling both himself and Ma'Skd to the ground.
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#27 Elihu

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 02:57 PM

That night, the evil misfits huddled around a campfire. Times were truly tough in the wildnerness, but luckily the adventurers were well prepared.

"These marshmallows aren't toasting properly," sighed Ma'Skd.

Kytheres, keen to impress his new allies, decided to help. He pointed a wizened finger at Ma'Skd's marshmallow.

"POWER WORD: PAIN!" he cried.

There was a blinding flash of light. There was a deafening crack of thunder. There was the victorious cry of a thousand demon lords as they breached, if only for a second, the walls separating the dimensions to destroy the cursed object of their infinite malice.

Ma'Skd's marshmallow was consumed by hellfire, before it was dragged, by demonic hands, into an abyssal vortex approximately three centimetres wide.

There was an embarrassed silence.

"Er," said Kytheres, "Sorry."

Ma'Skd's kebab stick, unused to demonic attacks, caught fire and melted into a bubbling pool of liquid metal.

Halifax decided to cheer them up.

"Come on, you grumpy rogues, let's have a sing-a-long!" he said, springing up.

"Oh no," said Ma'Skd. "I don't sing. Not since... the incident."

Halifax leaped up and speared a marshmallow on his sword. He cleared his tiny throat, and:

"I love to go a-wandering,
Along the mountain track,
And as I go, I love to sing,
My bag of infinite holding on my back-everybody now! Chorus!"

"Please," said Ma'Skd, "I'm in mourning for my marshmallow."

"Val-deri,Val-dera," sang Halifax, "Val-deri,"
Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
Val-deri,Val-dera.
My bag of infinite holding on my baaacck."

"I was looking forward to that marshmallow," said Ma'Skd, to no-one in particular.

"Encore! Val-deri,"

"-umlaut-umalaut!" rumbled Ike, joining in with the enthusiasm of a titanic blood-crazed berserker warrior.

"Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!" sang Halifax, cheerfully conducting the proceedings with his broadsword.

"Val-Dera-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha," intoned Kytheres in a dull monotone, anxious not to blow his cover.

"Umlaut-Umlaut-Umlaut-Umlaut-Umlaut!" roared Ike maniacally.

"Oh what the hell," said Ma'Skd. "Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha!"

"Umlaut-Umlaut-Umlaut-Umlaut-Umlaut!" roared Ike, trembling with murderous laughter.

"Stop him! He's out of control!" cried Ma'Skd, "He's going on a beserker rampage!"

#28 TSP

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 07:56 PM

"Which princesses are we talking about here, exactly?" A scheme was forming in Burold's mind. The two dummkopfs standing in front of him looked like they would believe any story he sold them. All Burold needed was to persuade them to part with some gold in the hopes of realising a significantly larger gain. He could easily run off with the gold and hand it over to the princess in order to get a share of the treasure locked in her vault.

"Princess Spondoolix," Valgus replied.

Burold tugged at his beard thoughtfully. "Ah, Princess of Spondoolix of the Kingdom of Moolah? Such a shame about her brother being locked up ... what business do you have with her?"

"We're going to save her from the cruel subjugation of the evil President Skinflint," Jakar explained. "And then write a song about the heroic deeds!"

"But mainly we're going to take away a ... fair share of the proceeds in reward for the good deed." Valgus spat out the last few words bitterly.

"Now as it happens, and bear in mind that I'm only making this offer on account of the two of you'se good reputation and clear proficiency at adventuring, I happen to own an Adventurer's Guide to the Kingdom of Moolah. The guide details the essentials of adventuring in Moolah, contains a detailed cloth of the region, and lists the location of all thirty hidden orbs. This makes me one of the foremost experts in Generica on the Kingdom of Moolah. Well, except for the people who live there. Now, I could accompany you on your quest ..."

Valgus and Jakar were nodding. Burold was pleased, they were clearly on the hook. "That sounds like a good idea."

"But unfortunately I'm barred from visiting the Kingdom. There was an unfortunate incident one night when the Moolahian ambassador visited the tavern, I might have said a few things about how Skinflint was treating poor Spondoolix. The only way I could get back in is ... no, never mind, I couldn't possibly ask you to do that."

"What is it?"

"Well, the border guards of Moolah are notoriously corrupt. Once we are there I could travel ahead and bribe them to allow us all entry, no questions asked. Otherwise you two might have trouble if President Skinflint has got wind of your plans." Burold whipped an abacus out of his pocket and began furiously moving beads back and forth. "The going rate for Moolahian smuggling bribes is around three thousand three hundred and thirty three point three recurring gold pieces per person. Approximately. So it would be a round thousand gold pieces to get us all in."

#29 Innokenti

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 08:37 AM

"That's nice Burold," Jakar said and made as if to reach for his purse, "but you forget! Jakar The Nonchalant Bard is Jakar of All Trades, Master of None, Fond of Speaking of Himself Occasionally in the 3rd Person!"

"Right," Burold said, understanding little.

"So I'm not too bad at the mathematics. And smelling out the lies. I can do all these things you see. And I've also relieved you of this priceless harmonica you are so fond of keeping in your inside pocket," Jakar finished, handing the harmonica back to Burold.

"Rats. Call it a fair five hundred?"

"The Guild, and ourselves, are sadly short in the financial department at the moment," Valgus sighed, then added, "Ooops, sorry Burold."

"Look, we'll give you fair share of the spoils, first go at any orcs we find and..." Jakar was reaching deep inside his purse and making that sort of gormless and melted face that you do when your hand is deep inside somewhere, "29 gold pieces. If you help barter down any inn prices. I don't like sleeping in the wilderness all the time."

"Oh deal. I'll draw up the contracts on the way," Burold conceded.

"Part-time lawyer!" Jakar proudly declared and marched forth from the alley.
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#30 Schtroumpf

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 04:02 PM

"You try stopping that!"  Halifax cried as he sprinted towards a distant tree.

Ma'Skd took another look at the twirling mountain of destruction and set off after the orc.  He swiftly overtook him and was perched at the top of the tree before Halifax had even made it to the base.  Kytheres remained stationary by the fire watching events unfold around him.  Ike meanwhile had ripped a boulder out of the ground and was using it hammer everything in sight.

"Oh, not the marshmallows!" Halifax cried as he pulled himself up onto the branch next to Ma'Skd.  Ike was currently switching between jumping up and down on the remains of the food and smashing it into the ground with the boulder.  After a short time he bounded over to the remains of the watchtower and started flinging rubble about.

"Are we safe up here?"  Ma'Skd asked Halifax.

"Are you asking if this tree could stand up to living mountain on a beserker rampage?"  Halifax pointed down to Ike as he smashed what looked like the remains of a solid oak door into splinters.

"Oh." Ma'Skd looked deflated.  "Well why did we climb up here then?"

"I was following you!  I thought you had a plan!"  Halifax replied.

"You were running towards the tree!" screamed Ma'Skd.

"Towards, yes.  Up, no.  This was all your idea."  Halifax replied matter of factly.

Ma'Sked placed his head in his hands. "Well how long is this going to go on?"

Halifax shrugged, "Could be a few minutes, could be a few hours.  Although last time it went on for four days.  He destroyed an entire dock town.  Good times."

A bird in a nest that was on the same branch peered over the edge to find out what the noise was.  Halifax removed it's head with his broadsword as it had been a while since he'd killed anything and the way Ike was behaving this might be his last chance.

"Bird's head?" he offered to Ma'Skd.

"No, ta.  That marshmallow really filled me up."  He rubbed his stomach and shook his head in that way explorers do when they want to tell that strange native that they'd rather not partake of their stewed monkey brains thank you very much.

Halifax shrugged and lobbed the severed head towards Ike, hitting him square on the top of the head.  He stopped pounding an internal wall that was now an external wall that was now a pile of dust into the ground.

"UMLAUT"  He thundered before charging towards the tree.

"What the hell was that?"  Screamed Ma'Skd as he frantically looked for an escape route.

Halifax shrugged, "I like throwing small things at big things.  It's a habit."

"POWER WORD: FREEZE!"   Kytheres had decided that this wasn't some sort of outdoor theatre and his new companions might warm to him if he saved them from certain death.

There was an almighty rumble and the ground around Ike erupted into towering fountains of ice.  The chilling screams of ice goblins filled the air as they burst out the ground in their frozen chariots, turning all they touched into ice.  The air filled with mist and Ike was quickly lost amongst it.  There was a flash of light and the goblins departed into the cracks from which they had emerged.  Their manic laughter fading as they did so.

The mist started to fade to reveal Ike standing completely still, yet totally unfrozen.

"UUUUMMMLLLAAUUTTT"  he screamed before setting off towards Kytheres.

He didn't even manage a step before he lost his footing and crashed to the ground, the shock of which forced Halifax and Ma'Skd out of the tree.  Ike clambered to his feet, roared again and promptly fell on his back again.  A huge sheet of ice now covered the ground all round him and no amount of trying would allow him to get purchase on it.  

Kytheres tried to look like this was what he had planned.  "Now we Wait For him To Calm down."

The three of them set about rebuilding the camp while Ike slipped about on the ice like a crazy deer on a beserker rampage.

"The temperature inside this apple pie is over 1000 degrees. If I squeeze it, a jet of molten bramley apple will squirt out. Could go your way; could go mine. Either way, one of us is going down."


#31 Masked Dave

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 05:33 PM

Come the next morning the members of Team Evil, as Halifax was insisting on calling them woke with the dawn. It had been a fitful night while Ike had raged but eventually he had stopped screaming at the laws of friction and just lay down on the ice to sleep. The fact the ice had melted over night now meant that as they continued on their journey to the Kingdom of Moolah it was raining, just for them.

Halifax seem reasonably pleased by this, "Come on, you can tell we're properly evil now we're walking under our own rain cloud."

"Yes but it's not a cloud is it?" replied Ma'Skd, "It's moisture dripping from a giant. That's not evil, it's just pathetic. And my robes are getting ruined."

"You just like complaining. You don't hear Kytheres moaning about it do you?"

Ma'Skd looked over at Kytheres who seemed completely oblivious to the water falling on his head. This was because he was still suffering from possessing a watchtower where having rain hit his head was par for the course.

"No... but then I'm not sure he knows that we're actually here."

"I See You!" barked Kytheres, making them all jump (which caused a minor earthquake when Ike landed).

"Okay, this is ridiculous, I'm going to scout on ahead."

Before waiting for an answer Ma'Skd sprinted off through the trees and over a rise.

As soon as he was out of sight he slowed down a bit, this was much better. A warm sun drying his clothes, a beautiful forest, the sound of birds and the soft tinkling of a waterfall falling into a lake, sure he may be an evil bastard, but that doesn't mean he can't appreciate the finer things in life. In fact it tends to mean he appreciates them all the more often.

He stopped by the side of the lake to fill his canteen when he sees a shape dart away under the waters.

"Now that," he mutters to himself as he reaches for a sharpened kipper from his belt, "is going to make one hell of a breakfast."
"It's amazing how deep we had to drill to find our key difference,
but it seems that whilst I am Amazing you are Ultimate."- Lu

#32 Carlisle Dave

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 07:22 PM

Jakar, Burold and Valgus emerged from the alleyway and looked up and down the street before Burold turned his nose back to the contracts he was drawing up.

"Is Moolah far?" asked Valgus above the buzzing of his hand.
"Yes, 'tis a tidy way," said Burold.
"We're going to need horses," said Jakar "Burold can you sort us out?"
"I'm afraid not. No stables I'm afraid,"
"But you're an inn-keeper!" exclaimed Jakar, almost dropping his lute he was so shocked.
"Yes, of an inner city inn. Do you know how much real-estate costs in this district? Building stables has never been financially viable. I mean I did consider and underground multi-story stable but..."

Jakar interrupted.

"So, no horses then. Do you at least have some form of a cart?"
"Oh sure," Burold pointed to a small cart a few feet wide and only several feet wide. "We use it for moving the casks around,"
"So, what are we going to get to pull it?" asked Valgus as one of the cities many stray cats began rubbing up against his leg. Jakar looked down at it.
"Say... how many cats do you need for a horses worth?"
"About a dozen, in monetary terms," said Valgus "Well, when they're dead at least, based on what you can get from the corpse." The others ignored this bit.
"I know just the song!" said Jakar, strumming his loot. "Memory, All alone in the moonlight..."

Twelve and a Half Minutes Later

Forty seven cats and one very confused chihuahua galloped through the city gates pulling a rickety old cart with three men all hanging on for dear life wiping them as they went.

#33 Innokenti

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 10:01 AM

"Fresh air Valgus! This, I have yearned for for many days. Staying in he city is always so... dirty. I do love the countryside," Jakar declared as they entered he lush green lands of Bakaria, "Can you feel the spirit of adventure once more enter our lungs?"

"I ate wasps last time this happened. Remember?" Valgus replied and Burold raised an eyebrow, hefting his tuna-steak-on-a-stick higher out of reach of the cats.

"What exactly is the plan when we reach the Orclands?" Burold asked, scanning around the cart for weapons, now realising how lightly-armed the party that he had joined was.

"Orclands? We haven't even passed through Bakaria," Jakar said, standing up on the cart and scanning the horizon, "surely there are unfortunate adventures that still await us, dying to... well... make us die?" There were a bunch of peasants having a bit of a disagreement a little way off. "I had quite forgotten that the countryside is also quite dirty. I wonder if other planes of existence are cleaner? Does anyone know a wiza-"

Jakar was cut off mid-sentence as the cat parade was forced to stop. There was over six foot of muscle towering before them (and being tentatively licked by a couple of felines).

"That's not a wizard," Jakar commented, in case the others had not quite cottoned one, "that is a barbarian. Did I look like I was ordering a barbarian?"




"Want to come beat up orcs?" Burold asked, hoping to gather a little more life insurance.
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#34 Strudel the Dancing Pastry

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 11:52 PM

Sammy woke, still perched upon Shadeyfax, who had remained his trusty stead throughout the afternoon and into the night. This was one of the few things he was sure about. Other small concerns like where the hell he was and what he was supposed to be doing were less certain, but he took comfort in his new friend.

It was clearly night time, that much he could ascertain by the darkness that surrounded him and the fact that he was bloody cold. He took a warm top out of his bag as a first step towards countering this discomfort but as he made to put it on he felt a brisk "Swooosh" brush past him and pull the jumper from his hands.

"Oi! What the hell?" he called out to whatever had just Swooshed. Looking about and hearing nothing but the slight breeze in the trees he tried for another jumper but before he could pull away, "SWOOOSH"

"Oi! Cut it out!" It was only after he'd said it that his brain really started up and he realised maybe it wasn't a good idea to shout out at some unknown menace that was stealing his stuff.

Without another thought, and a moment of feeling like someone had walked (or possibly swooshed) over his grave he dug his heals into the side of his Trusty Companion in a bid to launch full pelt into an escaping gallop. Said companion though, not having the physique of a horse, was less than impressed and more than slightly winded, and so collapsed onto the floor slightly before trying to regain her balance.

Once balance was regained, Sammy tried a different approach - a sort of rocking back and forth in a "let's go forward" sort of way - which seemed to work. After a few hundred yards, and several branches to the face, Sammy surmised that they were in a forest somewhere. For now though, he was less worried about the trees and more worried about whatever was in them and stealing his jumpers.

He was certain at least that he was Making Progress. He had left town and was on his way to rescue a princess and he felt there was a good chance he was heading in the right direction.
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#35 Schtroumpf

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 04:01 PM

"......and the capes should be black and have skulls on them and we have to yell TEAM EVIL everytime we run into battle!"

Halifax had just finished telling the other two about his plans for the group when they emerged from the trees by the lake.

"SSSHHHHHHH!  You'll scare away dinner." Ma'Skd kept his eyes on the shape under the water as it darted about.

"And our logo should be a fist punching a baby in the face."  Halifax added through the corner of his mouth.

"Damnit, shhhhhh."  Ma'Skd took a couple of steps into the lake, his sharpened kipper in hand.

Ike, who had been surveying the area since they arrived let out a quiet rumble as Ma'Skd decended into the water, "Umlaut, umlaut".

Something in the tone of his rumble caused Ma'Skd to stop and turn around.  He let out a high pitched yelp as something grabbed his ankles and pulled him down into the water.  He'd later tell people that it wasn't a terrified scream, but a battle cry taught to him by The Yelping Assassins of Skurtimpt.  Halifax drew his sword and charged towards the area where Ma'Skd had been standing.

"TEAM EVVIII....." He stopped running as he realised his was the only voice. "Damnit, guys come on.  We talked about this."  He started to wander back to the other two.  "Remember?" He started waving his sword about as he became more animated.  "In battle?  We yell TEAM EVIL! Remember?  Ring any bells?"

"I Have no Bell."  Kytheres informed him.  Watchtowers don't have bells.  Belltowers do, but he wasn't a belltower.

"Umlaut?"  Ike pointed over Halifax towards the lake.

"Huh?"  Halifax turned round to see Ma'Skd thrasing about in the water, stabbing his kipper frantically about his feet.  "Oh yeah!  TEAM EVIL! Chhhaaa.... GUYS!  We're going to have to rehearse this."

Halifax performed a graceful dive into the lake as Ike charged in, creating a small tsunami.  Kytheres meanwhile was still standing on the bank.  Halifax's mention of bells had him searching to see if waybe he was a clocktower or a belltower or something other than a watchtower.  This didn't leave much time for splashing about in a lake.

Just as he had decided that he definitely didn't have a bell he was felled as something large and wet landed on top of him.  Ike had decided that the best course of action was to remove Ma'Skd from the lake.  He had achieved this by grabbing him and directing him towards the land.  Ma'Skd picked himself up off the wizard and removed Halifax from his hair who had somehow ended up mixed up in the projectile.

"Fffiisshhhbrraaaiiinnsssss.  Yar!"  Whatever it was that had been pulling on Ma'Skd had exited the lake with them.

Ma'Skd peered at the figure flapping about on the ground amongst the group.  "Is. Is that a zombie mermaid?"

"A pirate zombie mermaid?"  Halifax added.

"Umlaut, umlaut, umlaut!"  Ike corrected, matter of factly.

"A youthful zombie pirate mermaid?  With a black beard?" Halifax repeated,  "I'm not sure I want that for dinner."

The youthful zombie pirate mermaid with a black beard had started dragging itself towards them.  "Shhiiverrrr meee tiiimbersss."  The group took a step back in unison.

"So are we going to over the lake or round it?"  Ma'Skd asked Team Evil.

Ike turned to a tree and tore off a limb before throwing it into the lake.  The water erupted into a frenzied mass of white water and moans as the branch was reduced to sawdust.

"Round it?"

"Round it!"

"Round It."

"Umlaut."

"The temperature inside this apple pie is over 1000 degrees. If I squeeze it, a jet of molten bramley apple will squirt out. Could go your way; could go mine. Either way, one of us is going down."


#36 Elihu

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 01:52 PM

Weeks passed, but the site admins don't have the budget to explain what happened (I wrote a dissenting opinion trying to get you guys the money but I was blocked - I signed a non-disclosure and we're awaiting the court ruling).

Instead we have been able to license the following low-res stock footage from The Lord of the Rings feature film series.
Posted Image



Posted Image


Right.

Team Evil crossed the mountains and passed through the gloomy and forbidding marshes. Many days did they trek, until, yea, their feet were quite sore.

And so it came as a bit of a shock for them to realise, early one morning, that none of them had been following a map.

#37 Masked Dave

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 03:21 PM

"Well that was a long and boring journey in which nothing much happened," said Ma'Skd as they sat around the campfire, feeling it worthy of mention since it was so rare in these dangerous, magical lands.

"Umlaut." agreed Ike.

"I'll admit I thought those Black Bearded Zombie Mermaids were going to have caused us a lot more trouble than they did," commented a thoughtful Halifax, idly picking his teeth.

"I Enjoyed Their Tea." stated Kytheres, who had surprised himself, if nobody else, in his ability to eat it and had over the days since started to discover a wealth of personality. Liking tea, for instance.

"So, um, are we nearly there yet?" asked Halifax.

Ma'Skd looked up at the stars, and hummed to himself.

Nobody answered.

"Umlaut?"

"What?"

"Umlaut umlaut, umlaut."

"Well I've no idea, I was following you." Ma'Skd had gotten quite good at understanding the giant's tongue.

"Umlaut!"

"Yeah! What about when you were trying to go off by yourself!" chirped in Halifax who'd jumped to his feet as if he could fight this geographical ignorance.

"I was just trying to get away. I didn't care where too. I assumed the Guild had pointed you in a specific direction before starting you moving and were just accounting on momentum for the rest."

"UM-LAUT!"

"Well there's no need for language like that."
"It's amazing how deep we had to drill to find our key difference,
but it seems that whilst I am Amazing you are Ultimate."- Lu

#38 Elihu

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 04:23 PM

"We're just going to have to stop for directions," said Halifax.

The others did not want to stop for directions.

"No, I'm not having this discussion with you guys," said Halifax, "It's time to man up and admit that we made a mistake."

"I Do Not Make Mistakes," intoned Kytheres in a flat monotone, "It Must Have Been One Of You Guys."

"Be that as it may," said Halifax.

"I For One Mock Your Mortal Pathetic Fallecy-" intoned Kytheres.

Halifax pointed at a nearby town, just visible on the horizon.

"Be that as it may, someone's going to have to go there and get us some directions." he said. He glowered at the group.

"Now, who isn't wanted by the municipal and federal authorities? Show of hands."

#39 Josh

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 04:26 PM

View PostElihu, on Mar 7 2011, 01:52 PM, said:

Weeks passed, but the site admins don't have the budget to explain what happened (I wrote a dissenting opinion trying to get you guys the money but I was blocked - I signed a non-disclosure and we're awaiting the court ruling).
I'm pretty sure that the NDA is also subject to an NDA. Right! That's it, I've had enough of your b-s, I'm calling Anton Scalia.
George Alagiaaaaaaargh: I lost my pecker in the siege :(

#40 Elihu

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 02:14 PM

"Ok, everyone stick together," hissed Ma'Skd under his breath, "We need to get the map and get out of here before one of the guards sees us. I'm leading you incognito, assassin-style."

"Umlaut?" grumbled Ike, plodding along despondently.

"No, I don't want to have to go over all this again," said Ma'Skd, "We're in a town. We want to get out of the town quickly. So what did we all agree?"

"No sidequests." groaned the group in union.

"Right," said Ma'Skd. "That means you ignore the following people and objects: people who are looking worried; people who are sick; people with magical exclamation marks over their heads; mysterious glowing objects lying the middle of the road; people in hoods standing at street corners cackling-"

"It's always hard to resist the cacklers," conceeded Halifax.

"-Fairgrounds; town criers; sick farm animals, police inspectors looking baffled," continued Ma'skd, "and above all, street theatre of any description."

#41 Schtroumpf

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 03:07 PM

Despite Ike's size, Halifax's over exuberance and Kytheres's inability to grasp that they were supposed to be sneaking they'd somehow arrived in an alley behind a shop with a sign that read:

Conan's Adventuring Supplies
We buy all surplus inventory items
(excluding plot specific items)


Ma'Skd leaned up against the wall and snuck a glance through a window.

"Ok, here's the plan.  Halifax goes in through this broken pane and unlocks the door for us.  Ike keeps guard while the rest of us grab a map and any useful items.  Got that?  Ike?"

Ma'Skd surveyed the alley way which was noticeably devoid of the walking disaster.

"Oh sure!  Now he learns how to be stealthy!"  There was an almighty smash and the sound of screaming emanating from the direction of the town square.  "Ok, maybe he hasn't quite mastered it yet."

There was a brief pause before Ike rounded the corner into the alley, clutching a signpost that had up until recently taken pride of place in the middle of the town square.

"Umlaut!"  He exclaimed as he excitedly pointed to an arrow on the sign that stated "Kingdom of Moolah - 35 miles".

"Good work buddy!"  Halifax commented before confidently marching off in the direction of the arrow.

Ma'Skd sighed and rubbed his temple.  "Could you do me a favour and turn round please Ike?"  

Ike nodded and performed what was actually a quite impressive flamboyant 180 turn.  Halifax had stopped walking by this point and was about to question the lack of movement when Ike looked at the sign again.

"Umlaut! Umlaut umlaut!" he said as he pointed at the sign, now saying that the Kingdom of Moolah was 35 miles in the other direction.

"My God!"  Halifax was in awe.  "You know what this means don't you?"

"Finally" Ma'Skd thought, "He's finally found some common sense."

"Umlaut?"

"Exactly!  The Kingom of Moolah is actually a magic moving kingdom and we've found the magic sign that always points to its location!  What luck!"  Halifax was almost jumping up and down with excitement.

"I Detect no Magic"  Kytheres informed them.

"I....I have no words"  Ma'Skd was looking more and more visibly deflated.  He turned round and dejectedly kicked the door of the store down before wandering inside.

"The temperature inside this apple pie is over 1000 degrees. If I squeeze it, a jet of molten bramley apple will squirt out. Could go your way; could go mine. Either way, one of us is going down."


#42 Masked Dave

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 05:16 PM

The shopkeeper stared at Ma'Skd from behind his counter.

"Oh... hi. Sorry about the door."

The shopkeeper said nothing. As Ma'Skd looked around the shop he noticed it was quite odd, almost all the shelves and counters were bare except for one side of the shop which was dominated by a huge pile of what looked like useless junk.

The shopkeeper was still saying nothing.

Maybe I already killed him? thought Ma'Skd. It wouldn't have been the first time.

He walked right up to the counter, looking around for a map to steal. The shopkeeper still said nothing but his eyes were clearly open and watching Ma'Skd.

He walked around the counter right up to the shopkeeper-

"HELLO! WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MY WARES?!"

Ma'Skd took great pride in the fact his only reaction was to take a small step back rather than leaping into the rafters.

"Um no, that's okay, I can already see-"

"WOULD YOU LIKE TO SELL ITEMS?!"

"Not sure I'm being trusted with money. Anyway, the only thing I've got are these mouldy acorns which I thought might make good emergency ammo but they're a bit too squishy-"

"5GP! OKAY?"

"You're going to give me five gold? Sure!"

The shopkeeper in one quick movement dropped the coins into Ma'Skd's out stretched palm, grabbed the mouldy acorns and threw them over his shoulder into the large pile of junk which, Ma'Skd suddenly noticed, had a dusty old sign hanging over it. It read: Misc.
"It's amazing how deep we had to drill to find our key difference,
but it seems that whilst I am Amazing you are Ultimate."- Lu

#43 Schtroumpf

Schtroumpf

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 01:39 PM

The rest of the party wandered into the shop, Ike still carrying the signpost.

"Can't we just kill him and loot the store?" Halifax stroked his blade hopefully.

Ma'Skd looked aghast, "Kill a shopkeeper?  Of course not.  We're only allowed to threaten, extort or kill vendors when it's a guild sanctioned side quest or part of the main plot."

"So even though we're evil we're not allowed to rob shops?"

"Only low level NPC's do that so the shopkeeper can give adventurers a quest to recover the stolen items.  I mean, technically we could but then we'd have all number of adventurers after us and I can't really be bothered with that."  Ma'Skd informed him while he peered over the counter at the Misc Pile in the vain hope there was a map sticking out of it.

"What if we kill him then so that he can't give out the quest?"  Halifax pressed.

"Then we'll just create a side quest where a family member asks people to find the loot and avenge the death."  He thought he'd seen a map but it turned out to be a pile of the clothes that most people discard as soon as they find their first armour.

"What if we kill him, burn down the shop and then kill all his family members?"  This was starting to sound like a lot of fun to Halifax.

"Then the local law enforcement will...."

"What if kill him, burn down the shop, kill all his family and then destroy the town?" Halifax interrupted.

"We don't have the time, plus there's the risk that if we do something that destructive we'll be elevated to end of chapter Boss Fight for any following adventurers.  Again, we don't have the time."  Ma'Skd was starting to think that they'd have to find another shop.  Maybe there was a map vendor cart somewhere.

"But surely getting a map so we can find the Kingdom of Moolah is part of the main quest?"  Halifax by this time was trying to pick fights with the rats scuttling about the floor but against previous form none of them seemed up for it.

"Umlaut umlaut.  Umlaut"  Ike chimed in, waving the signpost about. The shopkeeper ducked as it swung towards him which was the only movement he'd made during the whole conversation.

"Good point Ike.  Collecting the map could be a secondary objective of the main quest which is a bit more of a grey area."  Ma'Skd was glad someone else understood these things. "And would you put that bloody signpost down before you kill someone.  I mean someone you didn't intend to kill."

"I'LL GIVE YOU 35GP FOR IT."

"The temperature inside this apple pie is over 1000 degrees. If I squeeze it, a jet of molten bramley apple will squirt out. Could go your way; could go mine. Either way, one of us is going down."


#44 Masked Dave

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 06:45 PM

Ma'Skd sighed, "Come on, there's clearly nothing of use here. I'm starting to think that finding this map might be much more of a major quest goal than we'd thought. We still don't have much time though, so lets sell that sign and get out of here."

He pocketed the offered 35 gold coins before anyone had a chance to react and lead them out of the shop.

"Okay, now be careful, we've still got to avoid side quests. I'll see if the coast is clear."

Ma'Skd pressed himself against the wall of the alleyway they were in and peered out into the main street. Everything looked quiet.

He stepped one padded foot out into the street and then quickly span away as a plucky looking street urchin suddenly appeared and was moving towards him, jumped over the tear stained arms of a man wailing in dispair, grabbed the suspended sign of a potions shop being broken into and swung himself up onto a balcony before quickly diving off it into the next building's roof as he heard the sounds of an argument between two lovers over a serious moral issue. Sliding down from the roof onto a tree's low hanging branch he narrowly avoiding a lost cat and landed with a soft pat in the next alley across from where he'd started.

He looked back over the street to signal the next member of his party to cross.

They'd all gone.

"Bugger."

"Not usually," said a voice right behind Ma'Skd, causing him to jump in surprise, twist and land weapons drawn, "but if the price is right Sailor, I'm yours."

The owner of the voice was an impossibly beautiful and expensively, but revealingly, dressed prostitute with just the right amount of sass.

"Don't tell me," he groaned, "you've got a heart of gold."
"It's amazing how deep we had to drill to find our key difference,
but it seems that whilst I am Amazing you are Ultimate."- Lu

#45 Elihu

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    Boat press liaison

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 01:17 PM

The woman explained she was looking for heroes of legendary renown. Ma'Skd assured her that he was reknown verily on a local, regional and international scale.

Indeed, he pattered, wood-block impersonations of himself had graced the foremost newspapers of record in seventy different languages.

"I'm wanted in twenty states and four principalities and a small duck pond off the south of Maine," he explained, proudly.

"Oh, that's good, we're looking for people in demand," she said.

You'll do well at the try-outs, she said. What try-outs, he said. The hero try-outs, of course, she said. Like those guys, she said.

They have their trailer over there.

Ma'Skd looked around wildly. The last thing he wanted to do was to get hit by an oncoming caravan. He'd once been hit by a rogue milk float, and since that day… but no… The only thing he could see were four guys, who were just standing there. He saw that one of them had a lute and a drum. The man banged the drum. The men struck a heroic pose.

"This summer," said the man.

The next thirty seconds were very complicated. When Ma'Skd explained it to Team Evil later, phrases like "spinning-double-back-kicks" and "running very slowly away from enormous explosions" would be used.

Ma'Skd jumped up and down, waving his arms excitedly.

"And then one of them did the splits in mid-air and he like kicked these two guys and then he paused in mid-air and you could walk all around him!" he raved, breathlessly.

"UMALUT?" asked Ike.

"Well, two other guys had to hold him up while he did it but it was still pretty rad," conceded Ma'Skd. "Can any of you guys do anything like that?"

"I have a double-jointed toe," said Halifax, "look, I can bend it right back!"

"I Can Tap A Man's Life-force and Drain His Soul," said Kytheres, informationally.

"That sounds good, what does that look like?" asked Ma'Skd.

Kytheres pointed at a nearby NPC. The man groaned, clutched at his heart and fell over.

"No, no." said Ma'Skd. "That's not flashy enough!"

"Flashy enough for what?" asked Halifax.

"For our trailer!"



#46 Innokenti

Innokenti

    I am an awesome horse.

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 02:13 PM

"Let us never do that again," Burold concluded.

"I... I can still hear the sound of his-" Vulgus began before being cut off with a sharp look by Jakar.

"I may never wipe the image of the enormous... erm... but at least if we never mention it again I may have a chance to occasionally forget it," Jakar added in sympathy.

"I don't think I will ever forget it because you will continue to wake up every night screaming and... gesticulating," Burold grimaced. "Do you really have to do that?"

"I? It's so horrible," Jakar whined.

"Did I tell you about the giraffes?" Vulgus asked, gulping.

"Was that when Burold and I were busy with the... virgin-"

"Macaques? Yes. You didn't see us but we were there. 8 tall legs and some stilts. Watching," Vulgus said and gulped again.

"All I will add," sighed Burold, "is that I now hate cats."

The brave and the bold had lost a good week of the journey, and our adventurers hadn't made good time either, but at least they were now back on track, the horrors behind them physically, if not yet mentally. If they were to make up the lost time, however, they had to find a short-cut, something they would never consider under normal circumstances but which would be a necessity in such dire and deadline-ridden circumstances.

They would hire... transport!
Proud of Russia because we have cheaper Paracetamol
"" Jen (and KD) on my photoshop skills.
Look no further for Kentoshop™, KentiHugs™ and Abwebsobmeb!
"I don't know who he is either but whoever it is he looks craaaazy..." - Optimist about me. 

#47 Innokenti

Innokenti

    I am an awesome horse.

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 07:23 AM

"So explain, to me, again, why is it that we have to ride on these donkeys?" asked Jakar, bobbing along the poor thing's back.

"Because we're poor and can't afford stallions," Burold confirmed and shifted uneasily on his own mount, which seemed to slightly bigger than what Jakar and Vulgus got (and they had to share!) which led the latter to suspect it was probably a proper horse made small. And ugly.

"Is this really not something the, uh, guild money could really stretch to? Really stretch?" Jakar nodded at the bag of holding. It glared like a bag. "Or we could have gone into a proper town and I would have tried to rustle up some cash with a night's entertainment at a stag do in the inn.

"You're a stripper?" Vulgus asked, suddenly feeling the need to edge himself as far away from Jakar as possible, resulting with the donkey's rear end utterly collapsing, along with the donkey, packs and everything.

"No! Bard. Singing! Playing musical instruments, the occasional magical trick. Dancing."

"Strippers dance," Burold pointed out and let his horse slow down to circle the collapsed trio.

"They also strip. I hear," Jakar said and tried to encourage the donkey to stand up first with a carrot and then a stick. Both must surely have encouraged the thing at least a little, but the beast refused to get up. Or move, really. Its face was frozen in a terrified yet soundless donkey-yelp. It was unlikely to be going anywhere. "Okay. Okay. Lets go to the next town over and be male strippers until we have enough money for another actual horse."

"Wait. We're not experts. You're the expert. The one with skills! Experience! Come Vulgus, there's room on this pony for two," Burold said. "Jakar? We'll go on ahead and scout out the territory, see what vile dangers we may face. We'll see you tomorrow when you've got a horse and caught up."
Proud of Russia because we have cheaper Paracetamol
"" Jen (and KD) on my photoshop skills.
Look no further for Kentoshop™, KentiHugs™ and Abwebsobmeb!
"I don't know who he is either but whoever it is he looks craaaazy..." - Optimist about me. 

#48 Masked Dave

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 08:58 AM

"umlaut"

"In a world..."

"ummlaut"

"of Danger and Adventure..."

"ummmmlaut"

"if No-One Else Can Help You..."

"UMMMmmmLaut!"

"... and You Can Find Them..."

"UMMM LAAAAAUT!"

"...Maybe You Can Hire..."

"UMM LAUT! UM LAUT! UM LAAAAAAAUT!"

"TEAM EVIL!"

Masked stood sharply to one side as he finished his speech as pile of barrels they had borrowed from around town exploded in a massive fireball. (For some reason there had been lots of unsecured barrels dotted around the town, often with a few gold coins in. Why anyone was storing gold like this they had no idea. They'd also borrowed the gold.) Appearing through the fire was Kytheres, who believing that fire couldn't hurt his stone walls was perfectly safe, carrying a large banner on which was scrawled "EVIL!". This was torn in half as Halifax somersaulted through it (Ike having thrown him) brandishing his sword.

He landed, amazingly, perfectly on his feet, arms held high and cried, "TADA!"
"It's amazing how deep we had to drill to find our key difference,
but it seems that whilst I am Amazing you are Ultimate."- Lu

#49 Schtroumpf

Schtroumpf

    Swashbuckling Boat Mage

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 09:27 AM

"Slight misunderstanding it seems.  We're not really looking for evil."  The hooker with the heart of gold coolly informed them.

"You said you were looking for adventurers.  There's none more adventurous than us!"  Ma'Skd swept his arm past Team Evil and they all struck a pose.  Halifax twirled his sword and then thrust it a couple of times for good measure.  Ike ripped a boulder out the ground and held it above his head while Kytheres stood utterly rigid and upright.

"Heroes.  We were looking for heroes." She corrected him.

"You never said that!"

"Pretty sure I did.  We've had trouble like this before."  A few of the villagers that hadn't fled in terror nodded agreement.

"Could you point out where we went wrong?  You know, for next time."  He pulled a pen and paper out of his tunic and looked hopefully at the woman.

She reached up and removed a piece of shrapnel from her hair. "Well, for a start we kind of needed these barrels."

"Well don't leave them lying around then."  Halifax didn't really see the issue. "Or put a note on them or something."

The hooker cast her gaze down to the tiny Orc.  "And for the record, bursting through the chest of a man before leaping onto the throat of another is looked on as evil round these parts."  Halifax grumbled something about how he thought they weren't even supposed to be doing side quests.

"Looked cool though, right?"  Desperation was starting to sneak into Ma'Skd's voice.

"And when your wizard froze those people and the other guy lept off the building and shattered them?  Not heroic.  The village is down a doctor, a beekeeper and the postmaster."

"Plus the village mime artist!"  A random villager shouted out.  He slunk back into the crowd when Halifax made eye contact.

"Ok, so you did one heroic thing.  At the moment I count that as 32 to 1 in favour of Evil."

"But what about when I leapt through the window and decapitated those two guys before I hit the ground?"  Ma'Skd twirled one of his swords again in case anybody had forgotten how awesome they looked.

"You mean my brothers?"  A single tear rolled down her cheek. "Not heroic.  You can write that down."

"Well we're kinda heroic.  From a certain point of view."  In the background a woman screamed as she located her husband's body stuck in a tree.

"From whose point of view?"

Ma'Skd shrugged, "Ours?"

"The temperature inside this apple pie is over 1000 degrees. If I squeeze it, a jet of molten bramley apple will squirt out. Could go your way; could go mine. Either way, one of us is going down."


#50 Innokenti

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    I am an awesome horse.

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 01:17 PM

"Ladies and Gentlemen!" a rousing shout suddenly startled everyone gathered. Apart from Ike, who suggested "Umlaut," nonplussed.

"Yes, you!" the voice said, "And you!" the owner of the voice burst through the crowd, accidentally edging aside what appeared to be an ice sculpture but saving it masterfully inches from the ground with a dancer's precision. The owner of the voice turned out to be an exciting-looking and heroic (though not from the perspective of Ma'Skd) gentleman of no uncertain charm. A little unfortunately he was attired scantily, forgoing the a proper shirt and any kind of trousers for the 'oiled' look.

"I present you with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness my magnificent routine!" the man continued. "Though I am on an important quest of grave and monumental importance and continent-shattering gravity, I have taken the time out to grace your glorious town with a one-night show!"

"Uh..." Ma'Skd was about to interrupt but the oiled gentleman continued, ignoring Team Evil.

"The most extravagant! Racing! Adrenaline-pumping!" the man cried out each phrase with ever greater exclamation, the last even being accompanied by a small magical firework. "The best pole-dancing and strip-tease this side of life!"

Everyone stared.

"Umlaut" Ike sighed, thumping the oiled man two inches into the ground and knocking him out in the process. The oiled man hung limply like a lamp post.

"Poor man!" the hooker with a heart of gold exclaimed, "I sympathise everything he has been through! Let us take him to the inn and tend to him!"

"You... what?! But he's an idiot!" Ma'Skd protested.
Proud of Russia because we have cheaper Paracetamol
"" Jen (and KD) on my photoshop skills.
Look no further for Kentoshop™, KentiHugs™ and Abwebsobmeb!
"I don't know who he is either but whoever it is he looks craaaazy..." - Optimist about me.