Mr. Tambourine Man's win: A$280 Play Order: Mr Tambourine Man [- cards] [4 Ale] Ethelred [8 cards] Slakko [3 cards] [1 Ale] JT [7 cards] saaremaa [7 cards] Robin Hood [7 cards] Alfvaen [2 cards] [6 Ale] two-star [9 cards]
At Wed, 04 Feb 1998 09:06:16, Balsamic Dragon played cowboy (loose end):
Texas, a wild land which lends itself to a wilder breed of people. Here in the west, life and death go hand in hand. And a man's honor is all that makes him a man. Sam hunkered down closer into his saddle as the wind picked up, blowing dust across the barren plains. The cold seeped through the hardened leather of his chaps, through the denim underneath and straight through the flesh 'till it hit bone. There it stayed, an icy warning that if he didn't find shelter soon, those bones would never feel warmth again. The moon shone full and by its light, he spotted movement up ahead. Spurring his tired horse onward, he approached the small herd of cattle. They had run all day and most of the night after the stampede, and now they were tired, their breath coming out of them in hot, white clouds of steam. Knowing that he would never get them all the way home tonight, he let his mare push her way among them, pressing in close for warmth. Dropping the reins, he placed a hand on the mare's flank and spoke soothing words. He had raised her since she was new born and she would never feel fear while his hand was on her. He edged her over to a small clump of rocks and climbed down. Unpacking his blankets, he knew it was close to dawn, but a few hours of sleep were all he needed. Too tired to start a fire, he soaked in the warmth of the cattle as he lay down in the shelter of the rocks to sleep.
At Wed, 04 Feb 1998 23:42:57, Malenkai interrupted with cold (successfully).
At Sat, 07 Feb 1998 11:59:33, Malenkai played bass (burned):
But Sam couldn't sleep, it was just too damn cold. First his mind wandered trying to remember the true purpose for his being in this land, then he became distracted by the distant sounds of Under my Thumb being butchered by a really bad rock band. Surprised that a bar this remote would be open this late, he made is way towards the sounds anyway, hoping to find some shelter for the night.
He walked into the place, checked is coat and pistols, and ordered a double shot of Wild Turkey to warm his frozen bones. The place was pretty empty, so he had no trouble making his way to a table right in front of the band, who were now trying to play Smoke on the Water.
He started making small talk with the fine-looking, young lady at the next table, who seemed strangely out of place here, being all alone, sober, and wearing a blue evening dress. As the small talk got bigger, and the band kicked into their rendition of All Along the Watchtower, this 6'10 red-headed dude in a three-piece suit came out of nowhere waving a knife in Sam's face.
Sam, weaponless, jumped back from the table, and was soon cornered against the stage by the knife-wielding maniac. In a desperate moment of reflex and inspiration, he reached around and grabbed the frontman's bass right out of his hands, and swung it around, SMASH, into the side of his assailant's head. Ouch.
The chick in the blue dress rushed up and and threw her arms around Sam, screaming, "Oh thank god Romeo you have saved our legacy!".
Romeo? Legacy? Sam didn't ponder it too much. At least he would sleep somewhere warm tonite.
At Sat, 07 Feb 1998 16:44:38, Alfvaen interrupted with knife (successfully).
At Sat, 07 Feb 1998 23:20:10, Alfvaen played giants (loose end):
Suddenly Sam heard a loud thundering noise outside. It was too cold for thunderstorms, he thought first, and then realized that the sounds were regular, and getting closer. As they did so, he could feel the floor beneath him start to vibrate.
"What the--" he started to say, but the babe in blue cut him off.
"It's the giants!" she said. "They're coming! Oh, Romeo, you must save us!"
While Sam was trying to decide between confessing he wasn't Romeo and probably losing the broad, and playing along and probably getting mashed by a giant(yeah, right, a giant), he heard the telltale sounds of startled cattle. Damn! He had to get out there before the things started to stampede. He pried the girl's arms off him, ducked around the frontman, who was just deciding to confront Sam about his wrecked bass, and dashed out the bar doors.
In the predawn light, he could see them. They were giants, all right.
At Mon, 09 Feb 1998 21:41:26, Karma interrupted with pygmy (unsuccessfully).
At Wed, 11 Feb 1998 00:07:27, Alfvaen played hologram (burned):
In fact, Sam couldn't just see the giants--he could see through them.
No, not all of them. There were eight giants he could see, and as he looked closer he realized that there were two that were opaque, and each of them had three transparent images that echoed their movements. He frowned, a thought tickling at the inside of his brains. For a moment the word "hologram" flickered before his eyes, and then was gone.
What the hell was that? He shook his head to try to clear it. Even if six of those giants were holo-hooeys, the other two were real. He knew that Texas was a damn big state, but he didn't know there were giants that actually lived there.
"Romeo, what is it?" the girl in blue asked, looking concerned.
"Look, darlin'--" he began.
"Do not speak to me so!" she said, affronted. "You know well my name is Elspeth. What is wrong, Romeo? Have you forgotten how to fight the frost giants?"
At Wed, 11 Feb 1998 11:14:43, Balsamic Dragon interrupted with temple (unsuccessfully).
At Thu, 12 Feb 1998 22:12:56, Alfvaen played snowgod (loose end):
Erphil gazed down on the scene displayed before him in his icy pool. The giants should have no trouble in achieving their goal. He was glad he'd discovered those image-makers; now he could send two to do the work of eight.
Suddenly he noticed one of the tiny figures near the small building on the plains. Him? What was he doing there? "Narf!" he roared.
His Right Hand appeared a few second later. "Yes, Snowgod?"
"What in all the frozen depths of Niflheim is he doing here? You told me you'd taken care of him by now!"
The giant peered at the pool, and curled his lip. "Curse him! I'll have Dagny's head for this. He swore that R--that that one had been buried so deep it would've taken him millennia to dig his way out!"
"Take no chances this time," Erphil growled. "Send out the Lunatic Finger."
Narf nodded and ducked back into the frozen halls of the Snowgod's castle.
At Fri, 13 Feb 1998 02:39:53, Slagothor interrupted with telepathy (unsuccessfully).
At Fri, 13 Feb 1998 09:02:26, Balsamic Dragon interrupted with castle (successfully).
At Fri, 13 Feb 1998 12:02:31, Balsamic Dragon played thin man (loose end):
Erphil waved his mighty arm across the waters, and the image in the pool began to draw closer to the scene below. The giants stood, tall and terrible; Sam, frightened but defiant fingered his pistol; but the ice pool ignored these, and swiftly focused on the man standing in the shadows of the building. Erphil peered closer into the pool, trying to make out his features which were concealed by the darkness of the Texas night. Suddenly, the man looked up straight into Erphil's eyes! His face was emaciated, worn, with a stubble of a beard on his chin. He flashed a huge grin, with many pointed teeth.
"Yes," he said, "I thought you would pursue your claim, but the boy is mine."
Erphil growled and sputtered, his face a mask of uncontroled fury. "It cannot be you!" he managed to get out between clenched teeth.
"But it is me," said the shadowy figure, and he stepped out of the darkness into the light of the neon sign hanging in the window of the bar.
He was dressed in a ratty shirt hanging out of a pair of torn jeans. He stood maybe six and a half feet tall, but his frame was practically a skeleton. Boney knees poked out through the rips in his jeans and his ribs were visible even through the thick cotton of his shirt.
"That boy, Sam, may be half-norseman, but the other half is mine to claim. The Navajo sing my praises as the Coyote, but for now you can call me... the Thin Man."
At Fri, 13 Feb 1998 16:19:50, The Gingham Wearer interrupted with secret identity (successfully).
At Fri, 13 Feb 1998 18:37:45, The Gingham Wearer played poker (burned), also burning the loose end giants and earning him an ale:
Sam swallowed hard. He had no desire to fight the giants. Even one on one he would be no match for one of the brutes but he definitely did not like these odds. He kept having to remind himself that only two of them were real, and could only hope that the giants thought he had been deceived. That would be his best chance - no, his only chance.
The beasts that only yesterday he would have sworn did not exist were closing in on him, and as of yet no-one had emerged from the inn to help him. He was backed up to the door and desperately trying to concoct a plan when he noticed the two real giants were still lingering at the back. As the sweat rolled down his brow a thin flicker of a smile crossed his face. He still had his pistol, even if it did only have one bullet left. He would allow the holograms to get close to him and then fire at one of the real ones. With a bit of luck the other one would become angry and chase him. Sam was fast and would wager he could lose anyone in the nearby woods.
The giants approached and Sam fired his gun. Click. "Damn!" Sam recognised he was in trouble. He took out his knife and resolved that if he was to die then he would at least try to take one of them with him. Just then a mob emerged from the inn, led by the barkeep, and carrying improvised weapons: broken glasses, a carving knife, pool balls inside socks. Sam much preferred these odds. Evidently someone else had realised that most of the giants weren't real, and the mod began to overwhelm the two giants by shear weight of numbers. One of them was taken out by a red hot poker to the eye and the other, realising the situation was hopeless, fled.
The barkeep came up to Sam, "You were pretty brave there partner. I've never seen anyone stand up to one of them there giants before."
"What? You've seen them before", asked Sam.
"Absolutely, and I'm betting we're gonna be in for some trouble..."
At Fri, 13 Feb 1998 23:27:46, Slagothor interrupted with victory (successfully).
At Sat, 14 Feb 1998 00:44:14, Slagothor played 2600 (loose end):
As Sam stood, empty revolver in hand, in front of the suddenly victorious mob, two strange figures pushed themselves to the front. One was a tall, lean man with sunken eyes and pointed teeth. The other figure was a gangly youth clad in a mosaic of brightly colored, horribly clashing clothes. From his sagging chartreuse knee-length socks to his Day-Glo blue fedora, he was the epitome of bad taste. Plus, Sam noticed in astonishment, he was carrying -- of all things -- a vacuum cleaner.
The two beings reached the front of the crowd simultaneously. Both began to confront Sam, then suddenly noticed each other out of the corner of their eyes.
"You!" they roared in chorus, staring daggers at each other. Then, inanely, the youth muttered, "Jinx, can't talk 'till I say your name." The gaunt man screamed in inarticulate fury and jumped for the other's throat, but Sam stepped between them before any harm could be done.
"Now, fellas," he began, "I don't know who you are and what you want, but --"
"I have many names among many people," the taller stranger interrupted, "but you can call me the Thin Man." The crowd behind him gasped, and he folded his arms across his emaciated chest and stared calmly at Sam. "What I want can wait until later." He glared at the younger stranger, who stuck his tongue out in response.
"And you?" asked Sam, turning to the other and wincing inwardly at the spectacle of hot pink Bermuda shorts being worn with a canary yellow belt.
The young man struck a supercilious pose that, for some reason, recalled to Sam something about shaken martinis, and intoned, "2600. _Kirby_ 2600."
The Thin Man rolled his eyes.
"And what I want," the caricature proclaimed imperiously, "is purple hedgehogs in the bathtub."
At Sat, 14 Feb 1998 02:39:22, Slakko interrupted with mutant (unsuccessfully).
At Mon, 16 Feb 1998 23:59:32, Slagothor played ring (loose end):
A tug on his arm broke the spell and made Sam look to his left.
"Romeo," said Elspeth, "guard this with your life, for it will be your protection where you are about to go." She stared searchingly into his eyes as she pressed a small object into his hand, and then turned and left. Not walked off, disappeared into thin air. Sam's completely overloaded brain struggled to catch up. When, he wondered, had he lost control of this situation?
As if to underscore the point, the Thin Man walked up to him and said, "Are you ready to go, Romeo?"
Sam stared at him blankly. Without waiting for an answer, the Thin Man began to hum a tuneless song and wave his hands in the air as if weaving on a loom. Kirby 2600 stopped his impromptu tango with the vacuum cleaner, looked at the two, and shuffled over to stand beside them. The Thin Man glared at him but did not halt his song.
Sam glanced distractedly at the object Elspeth had given him. It was a ring, a finely wrought silver ring with a glittering ice-blue crystal set in it. There seemed to be something moving in the depths of the crystal.
Suddenly it was all too much. Sam hollered at the top of his lungs, "Wait! Stop! Will _some_one please tell me what the hell is going on here?!?"
The words were hardly out of his mouth when the bar, the crowd, and the forest all disappeared and were replaced by a howling blizzard on an icy mountaintop.
At Tue, 17 Feb 1998 00:50:23, two-star interrupted with disappearance (successfully).
two-star was declared asleep at Sun, 22 Feb 1998 02:48:22, and it became The Gingham Wearer's turn.
At Sun, 22 Feb 1998 10:38:07, The Gingham Wearer played rocket to the moon (burned):
Being blown this way and that by the chill wind Sam struggled to stay on his feet. More by luck than judgement he managed to make his way to a small cave, which whilst not luxurious, did at least shelter him from the worst of the wind. He examined the ring that somehow had managed to find it's way onto his finger and thought about the events of the last few hours. None of it made any sense; when he'd entered the inn it was almost empty, and yet a large mob had emerged to face the giants. How had that happened? How had he found himself here?
All of a sudden he heard Elspeth's voice. No, he felt it; it was nothing more than a thought. The ring was glowing softly. "Romeo, through your ring and mine we may communicate. There is only one way for you to defeat the Snowgod, you must find the talisman of Banna and use it against him." "Snowgod? Banna? What?" "Unfortunately", Elspeth continued, ignoring Sam, "The Snowgod knows this and has hidden the talisman on the moon. You must go and fetch it." "What? How?" "Use the power of your ring. Transport yourself away from the domain of the Snowgod. You cannot beat him there. Why else do you think he took you there?"
With that the ring stopped glowing. Sam thought about what had just been said when suddenly the cave walls began to disappear from around him. He felt disoriented, and when he had regained his bearings he found himself on a rocket to the moon.
At Sun, 22 Feb 1998 15:21:38, Karma interrupted with riddle (successfully).
At Wed, 25 Feb 1998 20:46:09, Karma played bounty (burned):
sam (no longer the cowboy, but a still befuddled participant in an adventure he hasn't been able to come to terms with, but knows a lot more about than 'e wishes to remember) much to his suprise and a hint of dismay boarded the "rocket" which was little more than a firecracker fixed around his back, saw kirby 2600 straddle 'is vacuum cleaner , much like a witch would ride a broom, and thin man transform before his eyes into a coyote, (as his nick name would dictate) and the coyote reluctantly joined kirby 2600 on 'is vacuum by means of the extension cord almost comfortably looped around his chest."looks like these clowns have been weaved into my adventure ,for now", Sam mttered to 'imself. as they procceded to the moon (which one,they did not yet know for up in the sky were many to be pontificated, in an almost comical flight formation Sam asked " y are you two clowns going with me to face snowgod??"
after a pause thin man "the coyote" , and kirby 2600 answered in that same annoying unison that only two who knew each other for many lifetimes could accomplish said "we're bounty hunters"
"It figures" Sam muttered reproachfully, then laughed inside, "to the moon!!"
At Thu, 26 Feb 1998 08:37:35 -0500, Balsamic Dragon interrupted with transformation (successfully).
Balsamic Dragon and Malenkai then both left the game, making it Karma's turn again.
At Wed, 04 Mar 1998 20:35:49 -0500 Karma played camera (unsuccessfully, burned):
although sam and "friends" were journeying to the moon in a crude way , they were actually at their destination instantlyfor the ring ewore gave only the sense of the journey in a picturesque state. Not only to imself but his companoions as well, it was like the shutter of a camera opening and closing so fast , but the result is an almost everlasting image, crude , yet , timeless. As the moon unfolded and embraced them they were first hit by an atmospheric change , their lungs filling with the scents of perfumed flowers and earthy stellae rock, the combination of the two was unknown to the three heros , but a smell that woke up , centuries of reincarnation far back in their subconciousness, the first structure they had all tuned into was an enourmous temple. sam recalled seeing this particular temple , but only in a rapidly deteriorating state when he ventured to mexico what seemed like a thousand years ago (given all this craziness that has past in so short a time), it was magnificent to behold from afar.
At Thu, 05 Mar 1998 02:27:53 -0500 Slakko interrupted with flashback (successfully)
At Thu, 05 Mar 1998 12:32:56 -0500, Slakko played cheese (burned):
Sam could see the moon getting closer, and then suddenly realised that he didn't have any brakes. The firecracker was running out of fuel, fortunately for him, but that still left him tumbling at an enormous velocity. Despite his huge level of innate cowboy self-control, he screamed for help to the Coyote and the vacuum-cleaner guy.
Suddenly without warning, the vacuum cleaner cord whipped around Sam, pinning him, but keeping him close to the cleaner. Then the Coyote grabbed a little switch marked BLOW and toggled it. A huge gust of air and dust came out of the vacuum cleaner and was propelled at a great rate towards the ever increasing moon. Sam could tell that the velocity wasn't going to fall in time though. He closed his eyes for the inevitable landing...
and bounced. He opened them again. The moon's surface seemed spongy, very flexible, and in fact, on a second glance, quite dairy. He settled down again with the vacuum cleaner cord having retracted back into the model, and began to laugh. Everyone had told him the moon was made of cheese, but he had never believed them before. It looked like quite a nice Gouda, actually, but there was no doubting it was real cheese.
Sam was grateful - he'd been in this story for weeks but still hadn't had a proper meal.
At Fri, 06 Mar 1998 01:02:18 -0500, Alfvaen interrupted with bounce (successfully).
At Sat, 07 Mar 1998 23:10:20 -0500, Alfvaen played trap (successfully):
Sam had just eaten himself to repletion on cheese(Kirby 2600 had vacuumed up a few spare pieces, and was currently engaged in building a cheese-man; Thin Man didn't seem hungry)when he heard Elspeth's voice again. "Romeo! I'm sorry!"
"Sorry about what, darlin'?" Sam asked, puzzled.
"The talisman of Banna is not on the moon after all. It's a trap!"
Suddenly the ground rumbled beneath the trio. There was an explosion and cheese flew into the air(flying quite high in the moon's low gravity). Out of some subterranean caverns climbed three giants--none of them transparent, this time.
"Run!" Kirby 2600 said, and did so. Sam and Thin Man followed. But the giants seemed more accustomed to the low-gravity environment, and were clearly gaining on them.
What Sam needed was his mare, he realized. He'd left her with the cattle on the plains when he went into the bar, and in the confusion afterward hadn't had a chance to get her. But how?
Maybe the ring would work. "Elspeth? Could you use your ring to send me my horse?"
"No, Romeo, I could not. Only the most powerful can use them to transport anything other than themselves, and even then only the things they are most familiar with."
Well, dammit, he'd raised that mare from a foal, hadn't he? He wasn't sure if he was one of the most powerful, but he could only give it a try. As he ran, he imagined the mare, remembering the feel of her mane between his fingers, her back between his legs, running together joined in a mystic unity. And all at once there she was, and the two of them easily outdistanced the giants.
At Mon, 09 Mar 1998 17:20:04 -0500, Hubert attempted to interrupt with telepathy, but that had already been burned.
Alfvaen was declared asleep at Sat, 14 Mar 1998 19:25:07 -0500, and it became two-star's turn.
two-star was declared asleep at Sat, 21 Mar 1998 18:13:02 -0500, and it became The Gingham Wearer's turn.
At Sat, 21 Mar 1998 18:50:21 -0500, The Gingham Wearer played space station (loose end):
It was not long before Sam realised that the giants had been left far behind and called his horse to a stop. He was bewildered to find that Kirby 2300 and the Thin Man had got there before him.
"What the..." he started. "No time to explain," started Kirby, "You must use your ring to get us out of here," continued the Thin Man. "But where to?" "To wherever your heart takes you..."
"Romeo, Romeo, I have found the location of the talisman," came the voice in Sam's head through the ring, "it has been split into three separate parts, one is in the space station Mir, one is on an asteroid guarded by Snowgod's servant The Lunatic Finger and the third is in Snowgod's castle. Each one has some element of power but only with them all together can you hope to defeat...Aarghh he's got me, Romeo, Snowgod is taking me away. Romeo, please help..."
And with that the voice faded. Sam concentrated for a few seconds and then teleported to the Mir space station. The Thin Man was already there and Kirby 2300 appeared there a few seconds later. Sam wasn't sure how they did that, and didn't really want to ask.
"So," asked Sam, "do you know what the talisman of banna looks likes?"
At Tue, 24 Mar 1998 13:37:56 -0500, The Gingham Wearer played self-modifying (burned):
"Well," pondered the Thin Man, "there are three seperate parts to it, all with there unique look..."
"One of them looks like a bowling ball," interrupted Kirby, "and another manifests itself as a cornucopia and the third..."
"The third is constantly modifying itself." said the Thin Man.
"...is self modifying," finished Kirby.
"A bowling ball, a cornucopia and a self modifying piece." mused Sam, "So where do we start looking?"
"You never learn do you? The ring!!"
Sam concentrated, looked at his ring and reappeared next to a chair. Which changed to a ball. Then a bin. Then a toy car. And then carried on changing. The Thin Man and Kirby 2300 appeared again.
"This..." started Kirby.
"... is the self modifying part of the scepter of banna."
"Take it and then leave this space station..."
Sam picked up the piece of the scepter of banna, now looking like a chunk of edam, concentrated and disappeared.
This play also burned the loose end space station. The Gingham Wearer received an Ale (eir 2nd).
At Mon, 30 Mar 1998 16:35:48 -0500, The Gingham Wearer played irrigate (burned):
Upon a large asteroid
Next to the Thin Man.
Kirby 2600 was their also
And Sam mused briefly, before saying, "So,
"Exactly what is the manner
In which I retrieve the thingie of banna?"
Said ThinMan: "'Tis guarded by the Lunatic Finger
A giant with hair of the brightest ginger...
"The only weakness of his that I ever did see
Was a hatred of really good poetry."
"In addition," said Kirby, "he's known to detest
Water which can't be found here so your quest,
Must be to find some with which him to greet
Which with a bit of luck should let you him defeat."
With that Sam touched his ring to the talisman part
As images through his swift mind did dart.
As the Lunatic Finger rounded the corner
Looking as if he had left many a mourner
Sam decided that he needed to irrigate
The land currently made of driest slate
And water poured forth
Throughout the whole of the land
Worrying the giant.
two-star (Alexandre Muniz) left and then rejoined the game at Thu, 02 Apr 1998 00:46:10 -0500. Effectively, e paid A$20 to lose one card.
Attila the Pun (Micah Smukler) joined the game at Thu, 02 Apr 1998 01:29:55 -0500.
At Sat, 04 Apr 1998 04:55:42 -0500, The Gingham Wearer played asteroid (burned):
The Lunatic Finger bellowed in rage at this threat to his fiery being and cast forth from his hand a huge fireball, heading towards Sam. In an amazing show of speed and agility Sam dived to the ground, the fireball scorching his coat and then going on to hit Kirby flat in the face. His mastery of the ring increasing all the time Sam threw up a wall of water between himself and The angry giant, and rushed over to Kirby's aid. The Thin Man was already at his side, sobbing.
"Is he....dead?" said Sam nervously.
"No" replied the Thin Man, "but he is sorely wounded. I must return him to our resting place where he can recuperate. For now you must fight The Lunatic Finger alone. Do not worry though, I will be back."
With that, he waved his arm and both he and Kirby disappeared.
The Lunatic Finger finally managed at this point to break out of his hastily constructed watery prison and a mighty battle did ensue. Ranging across the entire asteroid The Lunatic Finger pursued Sam, clearly having the upper hand until in a cataclysmic explosion of fire and water the bit of the asteroid on which he was standing detached itself from the rest of the ground and blew off into space. As he flew off into the distance, throwing more fireballs as he went, Sam made out his voice, "I will return! Count on it, human!"
And so Sam set to searching the rest of the asteroid for the second piece of the Talisman of Banna.
At Sun, 05 Apr 1998 09:24:25 -0400, rufus interrupted with explosion (successfully).
At Sat, 11 Apr 1998 10:48:00 -0400, rufus was declared asleep and it became Attila the Pun's turn.
At Sun, 12 Apr 1998 20:55:22 -0400, Attila the Pun played Tuesday afternoon (burned):
The old man stopped speaking and folded his hands on his lap.
"What happens next, Grandpa?" asked the child.
"Well, Sam searched the asteroid for many hours. Finally, he found a small casket. Opening up the casket..."
The old man checked the clock hanging over the mantelpiece.
"My goodness," he said. "Your parents will be furious! I have forgotten that you have a violin lesson every Tuesday afternoon at three! It is currently two-forty-eight, and it is a Tuesday afternoon, leaving you only twelve minutes to return home and get taken to your lesson! Excuse me. I really must stop employing these exclamation marks. A bad habit of mine."
"But, Grandpa," said the child. "I don't want to go to my violin lesson. I want to stay here and here more of the story. What does Sam do next?"
"I am sorry," said the old man. "Your parents will be furious with me if I cause you to miss your violin lesson. Tomorrow perhaps?"
"Very well," said the child, grudgingly.
At Mon, 13 Apr 1998 01:59:59 -0400, Hubert interrupted with alternate reality (successfully).
At Wed, 15 Apr 1998 06:40:16 -0400, Hubert played ambulance (burned):
Sam skipped along the sidewalk, happy to be finished with school and get back to his Grandpa's story. But as he neared his Grandpa's house, he saw a large ambulance with flashing red and blue lights standing in the driveway. He liked ambulances; he had a few toy ones at home. But his parents had told him that real-life ambulances were a Bad Thing. They meant that someone had been hurt real bad.
Sam ran up and tugged at the pants of one of the doctor men who were loading something into the ambulance.
"Mister, what's happening?" he asked. "Is my Grandpa OK?"
The tall doctor man paused, looked down at Sam, and then looked away, swallowing hard. Before Sam could say anything more, he was swept off the ground and hugged tight by his weeping mother.
* * *
Kneeling in the mud, Sam placed the colorful flowers in front of the large smooth stone. He paused a second to run his fingers over the carvings in the stone, then stood and took his parents' hands again.
As they turned to walk off, Sam looked up through the driving rain at his mommy and asked, "When's Grandpa coming back, Mom?"
His mother smiled sadly and kneeled in front of him, tousling his hair gently. Through the rain and her tears, she said quietly, "Grandpa's gone to a better place, Sam. We won't see him again for a long long time," and hugged him tight again, crying even harder.
But this wasn't right, thought Sam. His Grandpa was the only one who knew the Sam story!
At Mon, 20 Apr 1998 19:08:11 -0400, Hubert played joker (burned):
That night as Sam lay asleep, he dreamed that his Grandpa was sitting by the bed, rocking slowly back and forth in the same old blue chair he'd always loved.
"Grandpa," said Sam, "why can't you tell me what happened to Sam and the Thin Man and Kirby and the Finger and all of them?"
Grandpa grinned at Sam and said, "That's where the story ends, Sam. It doesn't go any further than that."
"But Grandpa! You can't do that!" cried Sam, shocked.
Grandpa chuckled. "I'm just kidding you, Sam. Don't worry."
"You're such a joker, Grandpa."
Grandpa tousled Sam's hair. "If you want to know what happens in the story, Sam, there's only one way to do it."
"What is it, Grandpa?" asked Sam eagerly.
Grandpa leaned forward and whispered in Sam's ear. Sam's eyes grew bright, and as he laid himself back down, he hardly noticed his gently smiling Grandpa leaving silently through the wall.
Sam closed his eyes, imagining the vastness of space in front of him. An asteroid hurtled through the black expanses of his mind, and as he heard the howl of a coyote and the whir of a vacuum cleaner, he smiled.
He'd come home.
At Wed, 22 Apr 1998 22:53:19 -0400, Hubert played money (burned):
Sam pulled it out of the casket and held it between his thumb and index finger, turning it over and over and watching it glint in the starlight.
"Now what in blazes was this doing on an asteroid?" he wondered aloud.
"I told you you'd find it here, Romeo," said Elspeth from behind him.
Not in the least surprised at her sudden appearance, Sam turned around and greeted her with a hug. "You're tellin' me _this_ is the second part of the Talisman of banna?" he said, staring at it incredulously.
She nodded, smiling as she took his arm.
"But Kirby said... one looked like a bowling ball, and --"
She was looking at him reproachfully. It was true, Kirby wasn't the sanest or most trustworthy of superhero impersonators. Sam grinned.
"Shucks, this is only a good ol' quarter from back in the U.S. of A. We use 'em for money there; they're a dime a dozen." He flipped it in the air, caught it, and chuckled as the asteroid dissolved around him into a vista from another snowbound mountaintop. He turned to look at Elspeth, and suddenly realized that the Thin Man and Kirby 2600 were there too. All three were looking at him expectantly.
Sam smiled, and gestured at the yawning cave in front of them. His companions smiled back at him, even Kirby (who cut off his conversation with the invisible six-foot rabbit), and side by side they set off into the darkness leading to snowgod's castle . . . and to the third part of the talisman of banna.
At Thu, 23 Apr 1998 13:16:08 -0400, The Gingham Wearer interrupted with bowling ball (successfully).
At Tue, 28 Apr 1998 17:40:19 -0400, The Gingham Wearer played falcon (burned):
As the three intrepid adventurers walked down the path they spotted a large bird circling overhead.
"A falcon", Thin Man identified, "where I come from they are considered to be lucky."
Kirby laughed. "Where you come from pretty much everything is considered lucky!"
Thin Man's scowl left the group in silence for a moment, and then Sam realised something, "Say, what's happened to Elspeth?"
"You really should concentrate more", said the Thin Man, "Elspeth was kidnapped by Snowgod, that was just a projection of her mind that you saw."
"...." said Sam, slightly embarrassed, and then cleared his throat, "so where do we go now?"
At this point the falcon flew down flapped it's wings a few times then flew off slowly. Thin Man nodded, "We must follow the falcon", he said, "for it will lead us to the third part of the Talisman."
At Tue, 28 Apr 1998 17:50:52 -0400, rufus interrupted with bird (successfully).
rufus was declared asleep at Wed, 06 May 1998 23:17:23 -0400, and it became Attila the Pun's turn.
At Fri, 08 May 1998 16:11:41 -0400, Attila the Pun played one-eyed, one-horned (loose end):
The falcon flew slowly down the mountainside, stopping periodically to pounce on the occasional mouse. Eventually, it reached a cave set into the side of the mountain, which, despite its narrow opening, somehow gave such an impression of depth that Sam would not have been surprised to know that it reached to the other side of the earth itself.
"In this cave," said the Thin Man, "is the third piece of the Talisman of banna. Beware, for it is guarded by a great monster, the Quirpele of Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. It is said that this deadly beast has one eye and one horn, and exudes miniature dust particles from every pore of its skin, causing grievious lung damage in all those who combat it."
"So what should I do?" asked Sam.
"Well..." began the Thin Man. But before he could get any further, a great bellowing sound was head from within the cave. The face of the mountain around the mouth of the cave burst outward in a shower of rock fragments, and a giant monster, with only one eye and one horn, came out from the now-enlarged passageway.
"Run!" shouted Kirby 2600. "It's the Quirpele of Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis!
At Thu, 14 May 1998 16:38:03 -0400, Attila the Pun fell asleep. It became Karma's turn.
At Thu, 21 May 1998 13:36:26 -0400, Karma fell asleep. It became Alfvaen's turn.
At Fri, 22 May 1998 22:46:22 -0400, Alfvaen played water tower (burned):
As the Quirpele of Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis approached, Sam remembered his ring. They needed time to think, to plan, where the monster couldn't get at them. Like some kind of high place, a mesa or...
As Sam concentrated, the ground rose up beneath the feet of the three travellers. It soon carried them out of the reach of the Quirpele of Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.
But not of the choking cloud of dust which surrounded it. It rose on the icy wind, a black fog climbing the side of the tower. Sam thought of raising the tower even further, but he could feel it becoming less stable beneath them. He wasn't sure how much higher he could make it before it collapsed. No, what he needed was to do something about that dust. Like dust on the prairie. Well, hell, all it needed was some rain!
Drawing on the power of his ring once again, he sent jets of water shooting forth from the tower in all directions. The cloud of dust thinned out as the air was rinsed clean. In the cold air, the water froze quickly upon hitting the ground, and that gave Sam another idea. He directed more of the jets in the direction of the Quirpele of Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, and soon the cyclopean monoceratopsian creature was frozen solid in a block of ice.
"Good work--whoa!" Kirby 2600 slipped on the suddenly icy top of the tower, and slid headlong towards Thin Man. Before Sam could react, the two of them flew off the top of the tower and fell towards the snowy ground below.
This tied off the one-eyed, one-horned loose end; Alfvaen received his second Ale.
At Wed, 27 May 1998 22:54:28 -0400, Alfvaen played thud:
It took precious seconds for Sam to react, and when he did use the ring to blink himself back down to the ground, he was too late. In a mess of tangled limbs, ThinMan and Kirby 2600, as well as Kirby's vacuum cleaner, hit the ground with a resounding thud, accompanied more quietly by the sound of breaking bones. By sheer ill fortune they had landed on a bare patch of exposed rock face.
Hoping against hope they had somehow survived, he stumbled his way through the snow toward them. By the time he reached them, though, he knew it was too late. There was no life in the spindly limbs, whether wrapped in leather or in motley. Even Kirby's vacuum cleaner was broken open.
There had to be a way to bring them back! There had to be! Suddenly he thought of the Talisman of banna. Maybe the two parts of it he had were not without power...
He took them out--the twenty-five cent piece, and the eternally shifting one--and set them on the rock. Then he sat before them, cross-legged on the rock(thankful for his chaps), and concentrated on the two pieces of the Talisman and on the bodies before him.
And he felt something! But not what he was expecting. Within the pieces of the Talisman were life forces themselves. They were somewhat familiar to him, and reminiscent of his two companions. At his slightest mental touch, they sprang forth into the two ruined bodies and started them undergoing a swift transformation. Barely had Sam opened his eyes again when he saw them before him.
On one side was an eternally-shifting figure, with Thin Man's spindliness but a variety of faces and limbs. And not nearly as much height--only three feet tall, with pointed ears that seemed almost that long. Dressed in a drab green that would certainly be good camouflage in a forest. And on the other side...
A figure resplendent in a white jumpsuit, shimmering rhinestones, slicked-back hair, and sunglasses, holding an electric guitar. "How ya doin'," the figure said. "Ah'm Elvis."
At Thu, 28 May 1998 17:24:43 -0400, Slakko attempted to interrupt with gift of the gods (rejected).
At Mon, 01 Jun 1998 23:21:29 -0400, Alfvaen played Elvis (burned):
"Elvis?" Sam said disbelievingly.
"And that over there is Elves."
"Please to meet you!" "Hi there!" "Eat your pencil!" "Grease the skis!" Elves seemed to speak in many voices all at once, and Sam couldn't make out all of them. Then, more clearly, Elves said "And you must be Elwes!"
"Nah, he ain't yet," Elvis said. "No more than Kirby 2600 was me. But there's no time for that now. We have to get the third part of the Sceptre of banna."
"Well, there's not much chance that Snowgod doesn't know we're here, is there?" Sam said wryly. "So we'd better not waste any more time, or else we'll be up to our earlobes in giants soon."
The three of them entered the cave. Elvis's outfit seemed to glow a fluorescent white in the darkness, which was a good thing because soon they entered a tunnel that twisted so much they would have been in the dark otherwise.
"What's this tunnel for?" Sam asked quietly. "It's too small for a giant. Does Snowgod know it's here?"
"He's not used to thinking on that scale," Elvis whispered. "Too much time hanging around with giants. Okay, here's what we want."
They stopped in front of an even smaller tunnel. Without waiting for anyone else, Elves crawled into it(still shifting visibly as he--they?--did so), and emerged minutes later with a large woven wicker horn filled with food.
"Take it," Elves said. "Take it!" "It's yours!" "The third piece, you know." "Elwes."
This also burned the loose ends thin man and 2600. Alfvaen received 2 Ales.
At Sun, 07 Jun 1998 18:41:59 -0400, Alfvaen made the following play (with no cards):
Sam took the third piece of the Talisman(or was it a Sceptre?)of banna, and
everything he was
He _was_ Elwes. He had been Sam. He had even been Romeo, and some still knew him by that name. But events were too important for him to remain separate.
He remembered it all now. Erphil's father had been Snowgod then, and Erphil not even born. And he had gotten above himself, the way Erphil was doing now. It took eons for the world to recover from it, in fact. But at least there _was_ a world, not just a huge block of ice left for the frost giants.
But the cost had been great. To preserve the world, the three of them had had to create the Talisman of banna, binding much of themselves into it and leaving themselves shadows of their former selves--Romeo, Thin Man, and Kirby 2600.
And it had been Erphil, so much later, who had seen the last of Romeo. His two comrades having been waylaid elsewhere, he had tried to face Erphil alone, and while he had kept Erphil's schemes from coming to fruition that time, the Talisman of banna had been broken, and Romeo had forgotten himself, waking up in this land of Texas. And he'd ended up as a cowboy.
Well, those days were over now. Elwes was back. And whatever Erphil thought of himself, he was not the Snowgod his father was. The three of them were together, and they had the Talisman of banna, although at this point it was little more than a symbol, the power they had stored into it having returned to them.
He adjusted his mask and turned to the others. "So, let's take care of this upstart, shall we?"
Elvis grinned. "That's mah boy."
This burned the loose end cowboy. Alfvaen received 1 Ale for it.
Alfvaen fell asleep at Thu, 18 Jun 1998 23:47:27 -0400. It became two-star's turn.
two-star fell asleep at Mon, 22 Jun 1998 23:57:25 -0400. It became Mr. Tambourine Man's turn.
Mr. Tambourine Man was on vacation, so e fell asleep immediately and it became 867-5309's turn.
867-5309 passed before Thu, 25 Jun 1998 21:16:08 -0400. It became Slakko's turn.
At Fri, 26 Jun 1998 03:10:41 -0400, Slakko played reaper (loose end):
Elwes turned to head down the tunnel into snowgod's lair, with Elvis and Elves following. The dim light of their new-found friendship was enough to let them see their way for a few yards. Suddenly the path ahead seemed blocked, not so much by any tangible thing as by a presence.
Elwes knew this, and instinctively motioned the others off to one side, while himself sidling up along the tunnel. As he approached the presence, he could hear snippets of words, but could not understand them. All he heard was "Poit!" "Zort!" and, finally, after some short time, "Narf!"
"Narf, my old nemesis!" Elwes thought to himself. "So he too has been weakened by the snowgod and imprisoned by an amulet. No matter, with my powers back I should be able to fix this."
Elwes sensed the presence as the aura of what Narf should have been, rather than the little lackey snowgod had mutated him into. He saw the result that he wanted, and subtly /changed/ Narf into the presence. As the process completed, though, Elwes knew something was wrong. snowgod had perverted the mind of Narf as well.
"HA HA HA" came the oddly deep and distorted voice which was once Narf's. "Now you have come this far, Elwes, prepare to meet your doom". Narf, or at least that which was once Narf, stepped into the spotlight. A figure swathed in a black cloak, with a large scythe, and skeletal figures. "Time to face destiny, Elwes."
Elvis and Elves jumped out, in an attempt to surprise the Reaper, with the battle cry of ages: "We've gotta face the Reaper!"
Slakko plays: reaper
At Fri, 26 Jun 1998 09:07:39 -0400, Alfvaen interrupted with Narf (accepted).
At Mon, 29 Jun 1998 01:00:23 -0400, Alfvaen played the following without a card (rejected):
"That black cloak doesn't become you, Narf," Elwes said with a sneer. "Let's see just how good you are with that scythe, shall we?" He slid his rapier out of its sheath, holding it negligently in his left hand.
His bravado notwithstanding, he knew he could very well be in trouble. If Narf was channeling the Reaper, that scythe could be dangerous despite its deceptive slowness. And every second they delayed gave Snowgod more time to prepare further defenses.
It would take all three of them to defeat Narf.
The talisman of banna forming a mystic link between them, they hardly needed to think before moving into action. Elwes leapt into the air and dove over his opponent, his place taken by a crowd of dancing Elves. Elvis had taken out his guitar and was trying a variety of odd sounds in an attempt to find the scythe's resonant frequency.
In the midst of the action, Elwes felt a familiar nudge at his mind. 'Hello, Elspeth', he thought.
'In the flesh, once again,' he thought, ducking under the scythe and lashing out with a boot in an attempt to hit something solid in the folds of Narf's billowing cloak. An Elf screamed briefly as the edge of the scythe hit it, and it disappeared. 'We'll be there in no time, my dear, as soon as we dispose of this refugee from a medieval agricultural college.'
'You can't!' she thought. 'I don't understand fully how, but Snowgod is using Narf to absorb your energy for himself. If you use enough to destroy him, you'll destroy yourself!'
'Damn,' he thought. The trio reduced their assault on the Reaper, using only enough to keep him at bay. 'So what do we do, then?'
'I think you'll have to let him kill you.'
At Mon, 29 Jun 1998 02:25:40 -0400, Slakko interrupted with swordfight (successfully).
At Mon, 29 Jun 1998 03:26:00 -0400, Slakko played runesword (burned):
The shout from Elvis and Elves temporarily surprised the Reaper, but it appeared to be too late. The scythe was already mid-swing, its rusty blade on a sweeping arc aimed directly at Elwes' heart. They appeared to be too late, and could do nothing as they watched the scythe's fatal slice.
Then an odd thing happened. The scythe appeared to pass through Elwes, without making so much as a mark. Elwes just stood there, grinning. "You should have known that the scythe would do nothing to me. You have no power, that-which-was-Narf. Surrender and you may avoid punishment."
"Never!" came an inhuman cry from Narf's body. "For as long as I have my special weapon, you are always within my grasp." With this he drew a great beast of a sword out from the black robes. Fully five feet long it was, with sigils flaming up and down its length, in languages long ago forgotten, and others never understood at all.
Elves gasped. "A runesword." Narf, or at least the thing in Narf's body, snickered. "Not just any runesword - they are a ducat-a-dozen these days. This is the mystical Sword of Ebs. It can defeat any creature, mortal or not."
Elwes responded by drawing his rapier and adopting an en garde position. "Well, then, you'd better get on with it. I'm sure snowgod doesn't have all day to boss you around."
This only proceeded to get "Narf" completely angry. With a deafening roar he charged at Elwes.
At Thu, 02 Jul 1998 14:53:22 -0400, Slakko played exorcism (burned):
Elwes danced aside with the reflexes of an insect, and prepared himself for Narf's next charge. He knew that a beast on the edge of rage like that could do nothing else but attack, and that a sufficient distraction would be the key.
"That's it!" Elwes exclaimed. "What the hell are you talking about?" came the response from Elves and Elvis.
"We just need a distraction. You two, circle round behind Narf and start attacking him - he's too confused to deal with the double attack, and won't have the co-ordination to hurt either of you all that much. I'll deal with the real problem."
Saying that, Elwes reached into his pocket, and pulled out a golden banna. Narf saw this, and recoiled as if it were a live snake before him. Elwes saw the opportunity, and pressed home the advantage while Elves and Elvis prepared to rain down blows on the now frightened Narf. Elwes looked into the spirit realm, and saw the presence of that which had taken over Narf. Elwes knew what had to be done.
With a deft hand, he removed a bottle of holy water from another pocket, and sprinkled it over the golden banna. "Foul fiend that has possessed Narf, begone from this place! Your time is not now and your place is not here! I command you by the laws of banna, to return from whence you came!"
The exorcism looked shaky for a minute, as Narf and his possessor appeared to struggle. Finally the link was broken, and a feeling as cold as ice passed through everyone as the spirit was driven away.
Slakko passed. It became rufus' turn.
rufus fell asleep at Fri, 10 Jul 1998 23:35:51 -0400, and it became Attila the Pun's turn.
Attila the Pun fell asleep at Sun, 19 Jul 1998 23:38:27 -0400, and it became Karma's turn.
Karma was On Ice, and so was immediately declared asleep. It became Alfvaen's turn.
At Tue, 21 Jul 1998 01:32:15 -0400, Alfvaen played godfather (burned), and (for an Ale) tied off the loose end reaper:
Elwes was puzzled, though. Why had Narf been possessed by the Reaper? He knew that the Reaper never entered into any soul that was not willing, but it was a move of such desperation...
"You won't get past me," Narf said. "Though the Snowgod be guarded by Narf alone, still it will only be with my death that you shall pass!"
...and then he had it. The one thing than which Narf would rather face the Reaper, or death itself. He concentrated once again on his ring. Sensing this, Elvis and Elves moved forward to run interference.
With so powerful a being as he was calling on, he could not compel, only ask. But he still knew that the one he called would come.
<<Godfather?>> he said. <<I have found thy son. He is here within the citadel of the Snowgod. If thou helpest me, than thy son shall be in thy possession once more.>>
He felt a slight stirring, which grew larger and larger as the Godfather drew nearer. Soon Narf perceived it too, and fought with renewed ferocity. But Elwes returned to the fight, and soon the three of them had Narf restrained.
"No, you can't do this to me!" Narf screamed. "You can't give me back to him!"
"You have escaped payment for your crime for far too long," Elwes said.
"Indeed he has!" a voice boomed out from above. Then the ceiling was split by a bolt of fire, and the face of the Godfather peered through.
At Fri, 24 Jul 1998 21:12:02 -0400, Alfvaen played surfing (burned):
Narf was consumed by fire, but his screams were cut off as he disappeared.
"Thank you," said the voice of the Godfather. "I have long been searching for my son, but he has always eluded me. But the Snowgod's citadel has always been impenetrable to me. I let it be until now, but now let it feel my wrath!"
The light that shone through the crack in the ceiling became brighter. "Whoo!" said Elves. "It's getting toasty in here." "Time for swim-trunks!" "Isn't this place made of ice or something?"
Indeed, the heat of the Godfather's anger was causing the Snowgod's citadel to begin melting around them. "Let's get outta these tunnels before we all get drowned!" Elvis shouted.
"I concur," Elwes said, and they all ran for the stairs. But their progress was slowed by the newly slick floors. It took them several minutes to get above ground(sea?)level.
"Hey, look, there's Erphil now!" Elves said, pointing out a window. "He's got Elspeth!" "Sure runny out there." "He's in a boat!" "Let's get after him!" With that, the agglomerate being pulled a surfboard out of some sort of pocket dimension and leapt out the window and into the river that was flowing from Snowgod's citadel.
Elwes and Elvis exchanged a glance, and then leapt out the window as well. Elwes fashioned a swift sailboat for himself using the power of his ring, and when he glanced over at Elvis he saw his companion above him clinging to a hang-glider. All three of them sped after their fleeing foe.
At Sat, 01 Aug 1998 02:28:56 -0400, Alfvaen was declared asleep and it became two-star's turn.
At Sun, 09 Aug 1998 14:53:58 -0400, two-star was declared asleep and it became Mr. Tambourine Man's turn.
At Thu, 13 Aug 1998 01:42:39 -0400, Mr. Tambourine Man was declared asleep and it became 867-5039's turn.
At Sun, 16 Aug 1998 21:20:27 -0400, 867-5309 played joust (burned):
But Erphil was not completely defenseless. He raised a staff Elwes hadn't noticed before -- a staff, Elwes mused, that resembled remarkably the sceptre of Banna -- and plunged it into the torrent beneath his feet, which immediately froze solid.
Elwes' sailboat, its keel caught in the suddenly crystalline river, lurched to a halt. Elvis, whose hang glider had been following too closely, became tangled up in Elwes' mainsail. Only Elves, whose surfboard seemed to shred ice as easily as water, was still in pursuit.
Thinking quickly, Elwes yelled "Elves! Catch!" and lobbed his rapier high into the air. "What?!" "Catch it!" "Watch out!" "Got it!" "Who's driving this thing?!" came the numerous responses as Elves' components managed to fumble the rapier into some sort of fighting position. They/he held it out in front of the surfboard like a miniature lance as they sped toward Erphil.
Quickly ripping off his huge cloak, Erphil threw Elspeth roughly to the ground behind him. Just in time to meed Elves' charge, he whipped out the staff and held it thrust out before him as he braced himself against an ice drift. Catching Elves' rapier thrust on his massive forearm, he planted his impromptu polearm solidly in the middle of the speeding conglomerate, scattering elves in every direction. Elwes watched in horror as the tiny beings froze solid and shattered upon contact with the enchanted ice.
Erphil threw his head back and roared with laughter. "Come! Who will be the next to challenge the power of Eissnein?"
Elvis, having untangled himself from the rigging, began to step determinedly out of the boat. "Are you mad?!" Elwes gritted, grabbing him by the arm. "You saw what that ice did to Elves!"
"'S okay," drawled the King, pointing to his soft bluish-gray leather shoes. "It's _mah_ turn now."
At Mon, 17 Aug 1998 13:18:09 -0400, Slakko interrupted with killer (successfully).
At Mon, 17 Aug 1998 17:19:39 -0400, Slakko played blue canary (burned):
"But Elvis..." Elwes attempted to interject.
"Don't chew worry. The King here is gonna take care of that hound dog."
"The ice is perfect on the ground, but useless in the air."
With that, Elvis reached down to take off one of his shoes. The ice under his feet started melting through the socks he was wearing, but Elvis seemed not to mind. Maybe the sequins on the socks were doing a good insulation job.
"What are you going to do? Throw a shoe at him?"
"Don't step on the reputation of my blue suede shoes. Besides, everyone knows that's just a cover. Watch." And with that cryptic comment, Elvis did, indeed, throw the shoe high into the air.
Where it suddenly unfolded, becoming a bright blue canary, which proceeded to soar over the icescape, rapidly gaining altitude. Elwes reached out to the bird with his mind, to try to get it to return for instructions. The bird promptly complied, and perched itself with little fuss on Elwes' shoulder.
Knowing that erPhil would grow tired of this chicanery, Elwes hatched a cunning plan. Suddenly the canary was carrying a tiny stick of lit dynamite between its feet. It darted off like it was on fire, heading straight for erPhil.
Or so it appeared initially. The canary gradually gained some altitude, then set up for a dive-bombing run. erPhil tried to evade the merciless bird, but it appeared that the single-minded quest the bird was on was too powerful.
The dynamite was dropped, the fuse almost gone.
At Sat, 22 Aug 1998 05:25:48 -0400, Slakko played concession (burned), and cleared up the loose end snowgod to receive 1 Ale:
The stick landed right in front of erPhil. Unfortunately, due to a small error of magnitude, it was only two centimetres long. erPhil looked quizzically at the tiny little stick of dynamite, and picked it up. That could have been regarded as a Bad Move.
Surprisingly, erPhil had forgotten the first law of Cartoon Dynamics, which is that the explosive power of any device is inversely proportional to the volume of that device. When the dynamite stick looks like a firecracker, watch out. erPhil being oblivious to this, though, he was waiting for a little pop, when suddenly
A now charred and smoky erPhil lying on the ground. Elwes rushed over to aid him, but Elvis restrained him with a sequined arm before Elwes could get that far.
"I have to help him! He looks hurt!"
"Have you forgotten why we had to hurt him? Besides, it could well be a trap. Don't be nobody's fool."
"Yeah, but if we don't get over to him then we won't get to hear the deathbed confession."
"Oh, alright. But don't be cruel."
With that bad pun out of the way, Elwes rushed over to erPhil's side. He saw erPhil's lips moving, and knelt down to hear the words he had been waiting for ever since the adventure started.
"Well, young Elwes, it appears I must concede the battle to you. I had not counted on your companions, nor on your ingenuity. Elves had taught you well. No doubt I will be back, for you can never truly escape your snowgod, but for now I cede the battle to you."
At Thu, 27 Aug 1998 14:39:48 -0400, Slakko played queen (burned):
With that last cry, the body of snowgod slowly evaporated, until no sign was left of where he had fallen. Elwes knew this sort of thing happened all the time with the really evil characters, so he wasn't at all surprised. He went over to Elspeth, who had recovered sufficiently from the rough treatment she had received at the hands of snowgod.
"Oh Romeo! Finally ... hang on - you aren't Romeo, or are you?"
"Don't worry. You needn't use that code any more. I remember what I have always been, and what I am once again. Elwes has returned for Elspeth, as it had been foretold from the beginning of time. Together we shall rule this land, but without the iron fist which the corrupt snowgod had used."
"Look, cut the exposition. It's great to have you back, and it's also great to have control of the land for once. Still, wasn't this all just foretold by the prophecy anyway? Don't we know what is going to happen?"
"Well, if we did, it wouldn't have made for anywhere near as good a story. Now let's get on with the formalities."
With this, Elvis stepped forward, holding a small crown in his hands. He passed it to Elwes, who placed it carefully on Elspeth's head.
"I, Elwes, declare you, Elspeth, Queen of ... What was the name of this land again?"
"Beats me." "I thought you knew." came the responses from Elvis and Elspeth.
"Queen of the Kingdom Formerly Known as Snowgod's."
At Wed, 02 Sep 1998 21:07:05 -0400, Slakko was declared asleep and it became rufus' turn. At the same time, it was noted that Karma had left Ackanomic, and so eir bench became empty.
rufus left YORL at Thu, 03 Sep 1998 16:15:28 -0400, and it became Attila the Pun's turn.
Robin Hood took the empty seat of Karma at Thu, 03 Sep 1998 22:57:56 -0400.
At Mon, 07 Sep 1998 01:26:37 -0400, Attila the Pun was declared asleep and Under the Table. E was removed from play and it became Robin Hood's turn.
Ethelred claimed an empty seat at Mon, 07 Sep 1998 08:06:37 -0400.
At Mon, 07 Sep 1998 14:34:25 -0400, Robin Hood played lantern (loose end):
'Elwes, your hands alone can not crown Elspeth queen.' an old man proclaimed, his staff striking the ground with a resounding thud.
Elwes was a little startled, this man seemed to have come from nowhere. He was an old man, stooped and withered by time, his eyes filmed by cateracts. He was obviously completely blind, yet he carried a lantern. Then Elwes remembered, this was the court seer; master of mysteries, writer of riddles, prophecying poet and royal nuisance.
''What do you mean?' Elwes asked.
'Snowgods malice scarred the land and his shadow haunts it still. His death proved you a worthy aspirant to the throne, but before the land will accept a new master, you must heal it.'
The seer thrust the lantern at Elwes. 'First you must light this, the Lantern of Truth, then by its light your path shall be guided'
At Mon, 07 Sep 1998 14:44:51 -0400, Mr. Tambourine Man interrupted with puzzle (accepted).
At Mon, 07 Sep 1998 22:10:33 -0400, JT took an empty bench.
At Wed, 09 Sep 1998 16:59:08 -0400, Mr. Tambourine Man played icicle (burned):
Elwes stumbled as the lantern was thrust upon him and nearly dropped it but after juggling with it for a short while finally managed to hang onto it. It looked like an ordinary lamp but he knew the drill; there had to be something about it that would make it almost impossible to light. These lanterns that you had to light in order to claim a kingdom always had some sort of magical defense. Even so, he pulled a match out of his pocket and held it to the small wick inside the lamp. Much to his surprise it lit easily.
As the flame caught he noticed that it was a magic lamp and some sort of magic was radiating out form it. The snow of snowgod's kingdom started to melt at an amazing rate. Soon all the snow and ice was gone form around the small triumphant group and the cleared area, lush with green grass, was rapidly expanding. There would be terrible flash floods in the lowlands that night. And then Elspeth noticed that there was a solitary icicle that hadn't melted and out of curiosity she went over to it and pulled on it, causing a nearby section of wall to slide accross and reveal a secret door into the mountain.
At Sun, 13 Sep 1998 00:51:43 -0400, saaremaa took an empty bench.
At Sun, 13 Sep 1998 11:26:00 -0400, Mr. Tambourine Man played cornucopia (burned), burning the loose end lantern and earning one Ale:
The four of them walked cautiously into the tunnel, Elwes leading the way holding the lantern of truth. Before long they stumbled into a large
cave which was filled with a veritable cornucopia of treasures. There were sceptres, necklaces, jewels and other vast riches. By far the greatest of all the treasures though was a fabulous elegant crown.
"The crown of the Kingdom of Alaska!" proclaimed the seer. "Now Elwes you may crown Elspeth Queen."
Elwes stood in awe for a couple of seconds but then handed the lantern back to the seer and picked up the crown.
""I, Elwes, declare you, Elspeth, Queen of Alaska. May your reign be long and prosperous."
A tear started to well up in the corner of Elspeth's eyes. "Thank you" she said.
With that the triumphant party walked back outside. To their surprise what had been wasteland when they had gone in just minutes earlier was now a fertile meadow.
At Fri, 18 Sep 1998 13:09:17 -0400, Mr. Tambourine Man played Romeo and Juliet:
Slowly but surely Elspeth stated to rebuild the kingdom and was ably assisted by both Elwes and Elvis. She was an able queen and well loved by all her people. As the weeks turned into months and the months turned into years and Elspeth and Elwes fell in love. They were engaged to be married and it was agreed that the best day for the wedding would be on the second anniversary of their vanquishment of Erphil. The day was declared a national holiday and huge feasts and parties were planned. Finally the day of the wedding arrived.
"...And do you, Elspeth, Queen of Alaska take Elwes to be your lawfully wedded husband?"
"I now announce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride"
At the wedding reception Elvis approached the newlyweds.
"I am afraid that now I must leave you, Romeo, and you, Juliet" he started using their codenames from back when they were fighting Erphil's father, "for the time has come for me to continue my journey."
The pair were sad to see their good friend leave but accepted that it was what Elvis needed to be happy. He walked off into the distance and they waved until they could no longer see him. With that, Romeo and Juliet looked at eachother and kissed.
Ethelred interrupted with rice (rejected) at Fri, 18 Sep 1998 13:22:00 -0400.
Mr. Tambourine Man won this game.
Page by: Joseph DeVincentis, Duncan Richer.
Last Updated Saturday, September 19, 1998