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  • Old News: September 2002

    (RP)-Scientific Discussion

    World News :

    Scientific Discussion
    Sep 26 2002 3:44PM

    As dusk settled, shadows stretched across the Britannia Castle's cluttered laboratory like a slow liquid oozing across the room. Tiny motes of dust shone slightly in the orange light of the sunset that tried to maintain its grip on the end of the day. The wizard Clainin circled the room lighting candles one by one, gradually illuminating the faces of those who sat around his large circular table.

    Krett, an experienced scientist, sat with his tinker's tools spread out before him. Also before him, stood a strange metal device that clicked every few seconds. As he waited for the meeting to begin, Krett inserted parts into his device, parts that made strange springing sounds as they were manipulated. To his left sat Borvin, the alchemist. Borvin was a rather sizeable man. Unfortunately, his bulk contained very little muscle, but he was a very experienced and intelligent man when it came to alchemy. Clainin trusted his knowledge. To Borvin's left was an empty chair that awaited Clainin; beside that sat Adranath, wise eternal of the Meer who sat calmly with his fingers laced.

    "Gentlemen, thank you all for coming." Clainin settled himself at the table and looked at his companions. Krett looked up and smiled as a large spring shot up from his device into the air. He snatched a hand up just in time to grab the wiggly bit of metal and set it back on the table gently. He grinned sheepishly. "It's been awhile since I've been able to hold one of these little chats." As Clainin spoke he brought a small sack out from behind his robe.

    "I remember your last discussion I had the pleasure of joining." Borvin laughed in his deep voice. "Who was that fellow, that mage who's on the Council of Mages now? Kept going on and on about how the world is kept in some jewel!"

    Clainin coughed nervously. "Ah. yes, that was. most amusing." Quickly the young wizard changed topics. "Master Adranath, thank you again for taking the time to join us. How are things with the Meer?"

    "We fare well, Master Clainin, I thank you. I am quite pleased you asked me to attend; it has been. well centuries since I have had the pleasure of discussing a scientific mystery with so many various knowledgeable scholars." The other three men at the table with Adranath swelled with pride after being complimented so highly by a mage who was thousands of years old.

    Clainin opened his sack and looked around the table excitedly at the others. "Let's begin, shall we?" He reached carefully into the sack and pulled out a very large zoogi fungus, then set it in the center of the table. "As we all know, the Solen hive has been discovered. Unfortunately the danger prevents any safe scientific research at the moment. The question today, my friends, is how does she turn this." he reached into the sack again and pulled out a small vial of translocation powder and placed it beside the fungus, ". into this?"

    The men stared at the two objects on the table as if they had become entranced. The room became so quiet a pin could be heard dropping. Krett proved this theory by dropping 4 of them. "I, ah. oh, I am sorry. I forgot I had these, ah. in my hand. I'll just put these. ah, yes away here. I'm sorry." He coughed nervously.

    Again the staring resumed, as if the gathered men could make the answers spring forth from the zoogi fungus by making it nervous with awkward looks. Occasionally one of the men would glance quickly around the table and then instantly back towards the fungus, making sure that everyone else was not staring at them waiting for words. Clainin could sense his social event collapsing. "Would anyone care for something to eat? I could have the cooks bring a small snack."

    Adranath, Krett and Borvin quickly exchanged glances that clearly indicated the world would crumble into space before they could collectively reach a decision about the food.

    ". if the rest of you are eating."

    ". I'm, ah. not starving but."

    ". I do occasionally enjoy human food."

    Clainin held up a hand as the men all spoke at once. "I think I'll have the cooks bring something up. Maybe eating will motivate us to think. Any requests?"

    "Do you have. pizza?" Adranath asked.

    As if time had come to a crawl the three human's heads turned slowly towards the ancient Meer.

    "Have I said something wrong?" Adranath's brow wrinkled.

    "No, no, not at all!" Clainin said quickly.

    "But, ah. you know, I mean, ah. you like pizza?" Krett asked.

    Borvin leaned forward, looking concerned. "You did have ale with it, yes?"

    "I. no, I only tasted the pizza." Adranath looked confused. "Dasha and I saved a small band of travelers from monsters near the Meer Crypt recently and their cook was rather insistent that we stay for a meal so he could show his gratitude. He made for us a. I am saying it correctly? Pizza?" The others nodded. "Your culture's food preparation is so varied and complex to that of the Meer. It is quite new to us. But I found the pizza to be quite enjoyable, very creative."

    Borvin sat back in his chair and grinned at Clainin. "I think a few pizzas are in order and a few ales."

    "I suppose the cooks can manage that." Clainin said. "Please excuse me, gentlemen, while I request the food. In the meantime, by all means, don't stop discussing the zoogi powder." His eyes rolled slightly behind his glasses.

    When he returned three minutes later, the staring contest with the zoogi fungus had resumed.

    "So." Clainin said loudly as he sat back down in his place at the table. "Who has a theory of how she turns the fungus into the powder? Anyone?" The frustration creeping into Clainin's voice was becoming evident.

    Adranath cleared his throat. "Ah, perhaps she has some magic powers derived from the decay in Yew? If these creatures are so new to the world I would expect that the decay would be what made them change."

    "I've examined it in every way I know how, mixed it with every potion I have. I wouldn't be surprised if some sort of magic was involved. I don't know how it could be done with any form of alchemy." Borvin said.

    "Ah, maybe. ah. perhaps it's something the fungus would do naturally on it's own and she just, ah. speeds it along somehow?" Krett absently played with one of the gears on the table in front of him as he spoke, rolling it back and forth. "Some sort of, ah. substance she produces in her body perhaps."

    Now we're getting somewhere. Clainin thought.

    "How long before the food arrives?" Borvin asked.

    * * *

    Hours later, as the empty plates and mugs were taken away by a castle servant, the discussion had made little progress.

    "What I'm saying is that perhaps being a product of the decay, she herself could be unknowingly producing and using magic." Clainin said adjusting his glasses. Depending on how fast they grew and whether or not it happened over generations, or to one single generation, magic could sort of be a part of her anatomy, so to speak."

    "That was really your first ale?" Borvin said to Adranath.

    "Can we please discuss the fungus and not ale, Borvin?" Clainin asked. "This little mushroom is a mystery and I'm surprised that you're not fascinated by it. This is a huge discovery."

    "I, ah. wonder if these would be any good on a pizza." Krett mumbled. The others nodded and mumbled in agreement. Clainin's head fell into his hands.

    "Clainin, I have your sack!"

    A familiar voice bellowed from the hallway through the door. Shamino, the skilled and trusted ranger, walked into the laboratory with a sack in his hand, grinning. He nodded to the men sitting at the table and tossed the sack to Clainin, who caught it with a surprise and opened it to look inside.

    "My goodness, this is a lot of powder, Shamino! How did you get this much?" Clainin looked up with a surprised smile.

    "The Matriarch gave it to me." The ranger sat down on top of a stool with his legs crossed.

    "Ah, you met her? I've heard rumors that she existed." Clainin closed the sack again. He walked over to a cabinet and put it away for the evening. "We were just. discussing how the queens make this powder out of the zoogi fungus."

    "If you like I could ask the Matriarch when I go back tomorrow." Shamino offered.

    "Go back? Why would you go back, Shamino? Wasn't it dangerous enough going in there once?" Borvin asked.

    "Certainly not, she made me a friend of the hive." Shamino stood up and casually started to walk casually out of the room as he stretched and yawned. "Interesting creatures, when they aren't trying to kill you. I actually got a worker to play catch with a small rock; he was fascinated."

    Adranath's eyes widened. "They no longer attack you?"

    "How. ah, how exactly did you manage that?" Krett asked.

    Shamino turned and grinned again as he made the last few steps out of the room backwards. "You just have to know how to treat a lady."

    After Shamino left, the men stayed silent in the room for some time.

    "Well, all this time and we could have just joined Shamino and stayed in the hive as long as we wanted." Clainin sighed. "We could have probably figured out all this fungus business by now."

    "Nevertheless, Clainin, I did enjoy the discussion this evening." Adranath said. "And the food was delightful." Clainin did his best to not visibly wince.

    Borvin smiled. "And you had your first ale!" Clainin winced.

    "And it's, ah. it's not as if the evening was a waste. I think in general we accomplished somewhat of a, ah. scientific achievement here." Krett said.

    "And what is that?" Clainin asked looking up.

    Krett held up the small tool handle to which he had attached the one of his fine-toothed gears. "I invented this pizza cutter."

     Posted by Borg
     Thursday, September 26, 2002 12:00 AM EDT

    Chapter 12 The Collective Hive pt 1 Harvesters or Harvested

    CHAPTER 12 The Collective Hive
    part 1 Harvesters or Harvested
    September 25, 2002


     Posted by Borg
     Wednesday, September 25, 2002 12:00 AM EDT

    RP- Orcs and Bombs

    Orcs And Bombs
    Sep 19 2002 4:33PM

    As orcs go, Fud and Grindek were not the most intelligent of individuals. As they looked down from the tree to which they so desperately clung, this fact did not escape them. It wasn't easy being told by most orcs that you were less intelligent, especially when the message was usually delivered by a sharp blow to the head, but actually realizing that you were less intelligent was proving to be far more disagreeable.

    Fud and Grindek were orc bombers. Science was painfully new to the clan and bombers were chosen very carefully. Most were chosen to continue the profession because they were more intelligent than the average orc. After all, not every strong thinker in the clan desired to become a power-user. Bombers had a new and difficult job to perform; one that was very risky. Almost daily a bomber was killed in the line of duty from making a mistake while mixing his ingredients or by accidentally dropping a bomb or, on more than one occasion, by testing his product for flavor and nutrition.

    Fortunately for the clan, most of the bombers killed by their own mistakes were like Fud and Grindek, orcs so incredibly stupid that other orcs made fun of them. It took a special kind of painful ignorance to get their job; the kind of utter idiocy that could actually make another orc shake his head sadly and groan. Only these special, these chosen few orcs had the qualities for the most dangerous job in the clan. Fud and Grindek, and those like them, were known as the "bomb-tryers".

    To say that the job of a bomb-tryer was pointless was not entirely true. The real bombers of the clan did on occasion decide to experiment with their potions in attempts to create better bombs. The real bombers were also too smart to test such things themselves. As a result, the clan leaders created the new position of bomb-tryer. The leaders' job included assigning the position. Complete fools like Fud and Grindek usually accepted the job with great excitement.

    Today, however, was becoming more exciting for the pair than they had planned. What was supposed to be a simple afternoon of throwing new bombs at things and making them explode had become a nightmare. Far below, in the grass, a number of huge insects chattered in clicks and squeals as they looked upward into branches where the orcs dangled from their fingertips. The ants did not seem pleased.

    "What we do now?" Fud asked in orcish.

    "We wait for when big bugs go away!" Grindek replied nervously.

    Below, one of the Solen stuck the tree violently with his arms. It watched as the orcs above dangled helplessly. Fud was sure the creature was giggling at him.

    "Me think bugs not go away." Fud whimpered as he struggled to maintain his grip on the branch above him.

    "Why you run up in tree?" Grindek grumbled as he gripped the branch.

    "Me run?! You run up tree! Me follow you up here!" Fud yelled.

    The tree shook violently again to the blows of the Solen below jarring the two orcs. Nearby a large hole in the ground seemed to be producing more and more of the giant insects. Fud and Grindek each reestablished their grip on the branch and looked at each other angrily.

    "Me follow you up in tree, Fud!" Grindek yelled back at his partner.

    "Me follow you first! You the dumb one!" Fud snarled back.

    Again the Solen smacked the tree and watched the two green meals above dangle like pine cones.

    "Me not dumb!" Grindek's patience was wearing thin. Ignoring the current danger below him he brought his leg up and kicked Fud in the stomach with a grunt. Fud responded with a kick of his own to Grindek's middle. The two began trading wild kicks as they hung precariously from the branch.

    The Solen stared upward in stunned silence.

    As the two orcs continued bruising each other, their brains again failed to remind them of danger. Huge experimental bombs designed by the master bombers hung from each of their belts. As they kicked and kicked the bombs, created to do little else than destroy the user in a glorious and entertaining explosion, slowly began to loosen and slip. It wasn't until one of the bombs fell from Fud's belt that the two stopped and took notice.

    As if time had slowed, they watched the large bomb tumble through the air, end over end, narrowly avoiding each branch of the tree on its way down to the ground. The Solen also watched it fall; their heads moved to follow it on its descent. Finally the bomb reached the ground and the world became a flash of bright light and deafening thunderous noise.

    Moments later, Fud blinked. He was wrapped around one of the branches of the tree, hugging it tightly. Looking around he saw Grindek near the very top of the tree, swinging like a pendulum on the highest branch. The two orcs looked at each other, then toward the ground where bits of Solen still lay smoldering in the blackened grass.

    Suddenly, a loud crack echoed through the air. The tree shook. Slowly, but with great determination, it began to fall to the earth. Grindek clung with all his might to the limb, as he watched the Solen hole rapidly approaching him. With a great crash the tree struck the ground sending Grindek flying directly into the dark cavernous portal.

    With a thunderous roar that shook the ground and rattled Fud out of the branches of the fallen tree, a huge plume of fire and ash erupted from the hole, now Grindek's tomb. . Too stunned to be frightened, Fud stumbled to the smoldering hole, now slightly larger than it was a moment ago. Through his dizziness he could see burnt bits of Solen below. Strangely, the charred Solen seemed to draw closer and closer. Fud began to panic. The Solen were dead! How could they move? Through the confusion a blanket of strange relief settled over him when he realized, "Oh. ants not get closer. me fall in hole!" With a thud he painfully landed in the soft dirt at the bottom of the hole, still warm from Grindek's bomb. Luckily his new bomb did not imitate Grindek's.

    This was strange; he was inside the ant hole. Ants had been coming out steadily until Grindek... until Grindek's bomb had fallen in! The new bomb was useful, and Fud still had his to show the others! Fud was now a good bomb-tryer! The other bombers in the clan would be impressed! Fud happily scrambled out of the hole back into the sunlight.

    This was a good day. Fud was alive, he was now the head bomb-tryer, and he was on his way home to brag about it. He was in such a state of bliss he hardly noticed the huge winged shadow closing in behind him. The next day a party of orcs discovered a dead ancient wyrm with a large blackened burst of soot where its head should have been.

     Posted by Borg
     Thursday, September 19, 2002 12:00 AM EDT

    RP- Crazy Miggie

    World News :
    Crazy Miggie
    Sep 12 2002 5:38PM

    The follwing is an additional story for the FIRST week of scenario fiction. The fiction for week 2 will be published when the scenario gets back on schedule.

    The Keg and Anchor in Trinsic was usually a calm place, where a weary traveler could stop in for cool ale and a hearty meal. The barkeeps always tried to keep the atmosphere relaxed and pleasant, with a good joke or an entertaining story. Most well-traveled adventurers knew they could find a night away from the rigors of battle and turmoil in a game of chess and a well-played round of dice-tossing in the warm setting of the pub.

    Only one problem that occasionally broke the calm and that was Crazy Miggie. None of the Keg and Anchor regulars knew where Miggie came from, or what exactly had made him crazy in the first place. Truth be told, they found it hard to care after putting a few pints in their bellies. Miggie, like most famous beggars, was paranoid. He was convinced that every threat that had ever fallen Britannia was there to claim him for evil purposes too horrible to repeat.

    Miggie fit the description of "crazy beggar" as if he had carefully researched it with a team of librarians and taken a "What do you consider to be an insane beggar?" poll across Britannia. His wild gray hair sloppily shot out in all directions, as if he has just had lightning bolt cast on him; his clothes stank as if he had washed them in a dead plague beast. His face was a maze of wrinkles with one eye that was nearly wrinkled shut. To say the least, Miggie was not a pleasant looking man. People avoided him whenever they could. Mongbats avoided him whenever they could.

    Nevertheless, Miggie was familiar to those to frequented the Keg and Anchor and his heated ramblings had become more of an amusement than an annoyance, mainly out of necessity to those trying to enjoy themselves. Time and time again he ran into the pub screaming of danger when none was to be found. Miggie had a tendency to become very alarmed very late.

    After Minax had laid siege to the entire city of Trinsic. things gradually returned to normal. The Keg and Anchor was no different. A fair number of patrons had returned on the pub's reopening for an evening of drunken entertainment. Rodger the guard relaxed in his usual chair taking long gulps of ale in-between boisterous guffaws. Ledge the mage and his portly warrior companion Rul sat near Samuel the barkeep trading stories and taking turns buying rounds of drinks. They needed to relax after seeing the city overrun with undead and relaxing was something they could do professionally if there was money to be made in it. These men were so good at relaxing that they hardly batted an eyelash when Crazy Miggie burst in the door like some sort of Insanity Elemental.

    "MINAX! She's here! Run for your LIVES! She's come to take over the entire city with her dead man friend! Do I smell bread? I swear I smell fresh brea.. SHE'LL KILL US ALL!!" Miggie grabbed Rodger by his tunic and tried to shake the man, but the burly guard was so strong that Miggie just seemed to flail about wildly.

    Rodger nearly spit out his ale. "By the shrines, man! Minax was driven from the city two weeks ago! If you do not unhand me this instant I'm going to cut the stink off of you with my halberd!"

    "That's a good idea there, Rodger!" said Ledge from near the bar. "I've never seen a halberd of mongbat repelling, could be valuable!"

    Rul laughed aloud and turned to Samuel the barkeep. "I think I'll have to hold off on that next ale, Samuel. Clearly this Minax business needs to be taken care of. Take me to her, Miggie! I'll tickle her out of town! She's quite the looker." He giggled.

    "Why, Rul, what would your wife say if she could hear you?" asked Ledge.

    "Wife? Wife! I knew I forgot something! Another ale, Samuel, I like what it does to me!" Rul and Ledge cackled loudly while Rodger did his best to shove Miggie away without touching him too much.

    "I seen her! She's outside right now! VIRTUES PROTECT ME; SHE'S GOING TO DESTROY US ALL!" Miggie screamed loudly and ripped part of his own shirt dramatically. The customers winced at his gravelly voice. The barkeep, Samuel, had heard enough.

    "Alright then, Miggie, out we go. Let's go see this horrible Minax. Goodness I'm glad you don't drink. Here." Samuel draped his dirty bar towel on Miggie's shoulder and then clasped his hand on it to lead the beggar out of the bar. Practically using Miggie to push the door open, he led the man a few steps in front of the pub. He could hear chairs shifting as people inside gathered by the window to watch the fun. "Now where is she?"

    "There! THERE! Oh Mistress Minax, spare me! Spare me, I beg of you! I'll do anything you say, please don't feed me to your dead man friend!" Samuel blinked as he looked into the streets. A grumpy old woman pouring her laundry water into the street stared back with a grimace on her face.

    "Sorry there Mrs. Brinstein, just Miggie having a bit of fun with us. Give my regards to Mr. Brinstein." The old woman let out a growl that would scare wolf pack leaders. "Go on, Miggie, stay out of the pub tonight, won't you? And while we're at it, stay out of my garbage."

    Samuel gave Miggie a little shove, leaving his bar rag on the man's shoulder. Miggie looked up into the threatening eyes of Mrs. Brinstein. Throwing the rag at her and screaming for mercy he bounded into the night to the laughter of everyone inside the bar.

    * * *

    "Exodus! EVERYONE RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!! He's sent his wicked metal men after me! They want to make me a metal man! His horrible, horrible gargoyles chased me for days!" Miggie collapsed into a jittering heap on the floor of the pub, covering his head with his arms. He shook as if someone had cast earthquake.

    Samuel didn't even look up from the mug he was polishing. "Defeated three weeks ago, Miggie."

    "No! NO! Big angry Bolems are after meeeee!" Miggie swatted violently at the air around him as if trying to spread his smell around the pub.

    "Golems, Miggie, Golems." Ledge said from his seat at the bar. "Exodus isn't going to send anymore Golems after us, he doesn't have any slaves left to make them."

    "Nice people those gargoyles!" Rul said before chugging the last of his beer. "Ledge and I saw their city, beautiful place. Not much to drink there though."

    Ledge quietly nudged Rul and gave Rodger a knowing look from across the room. "Say, Rodger, you're the city guard here. Why don't you. um. take Miggie outside and show him there's nothing to be frightened of?"

    "Because I still have some ale left in my glass and besides it's Samu. Oh, Oh, yes I am a guard! I am a guard and it is certainly my duty to make sure this citizen is safe! Here we go, Miggie, I'll show you that there's nothing outside that's after you." Rodger poked the quivering beggar with the back end of his halberd and got him to his feet.

    Ledge and Rul were nearly falling over each other trying to hold in their laughter. Rodger poked Miggie out the front door of the pub and within seconds a scream was heard that nearly shook the building. A stinky gray streak blurred past the two windows. Ledge and Rul were almost on the floor convulsing with laughter.

    "Samuel, I owe Ledge an ale." Rodger said grinning. "You were right. Building your own golem was useful."

    * * *

    From outside, everyone could hear Miggie's crazed rambling growing closer and closer until the door was opened by the shiniest set of armor, quite possibly, in the world. Inside the armor was a very young handsome warrior with a brightly colored sword and scabbard at his side. The man looked as if he had stepped out of a child's bedtime story about heroes and dragons. Miggie bounced around the man, yipping like a small, excited dog.

    "Ants! Giant ants the size of horses! HUGE, HUGE insects that could eat a man for supper! They were after me for their next meal I tell you!" Miggie almost seemed happy to have someone new to talk to. The more drunken of the Keg and Anchor patrons watched Miggies reflection bounce about on the man's mirror-like armor.

    "What can I get you today good sir?" Samuel asked the man. "Mug of ale for your pleasure this evening?"

    "Ale would make me less alert. A simple drink of water is all any good knight requires." The man said in a haughty voice.

    "I think that's the prettiest man I've ever seen." Rul giggled quietly to Ledge. The armored warrior shot a look at the two of them as if he could hear what they were saying. They coughed their laughter away.

    "I need saving good knight! The giant ants want to eat me! I seen 'em try to eat two orcs stuck up in a tree! They'll eat anything! I'd be eternally grateful to you my liege!" Miggie's throat made a sound like logs being ripped in half and he spit on the young warrior's armor. Using the ripped sleeve of his shirt he began to polish the spit into a nice smudge.

    The warrior, trying to ignore the new stain on his breastplate, looked around the room. "Who shall be brave enough to accompany me to seek out that which threatens this good man?"

    The silence in the room became deafening. The laughter that followed it was nearly explosive.

    "Wait, wait. you believe Miggie? Giant ants?! That's classic, that is!" Rul's face was bright red with giggles. "Miggie's finally making up his own monsters, I don't know if he's getting better or worse!"

    The man's face bent into a scowl. He looked down at Rodger who had his feet propped up and the last half of a mug of ale sliding into his throat. "You good sir, you are a city guard - are you not? Does virtue not bind you to protect this man with your life? Have you no valor?"

    "Certainly I have valor!" Rodger said behind a half-drunken grin. "I drink Samuel's ale don't I?" More laughter boomed around the room.

    "You, wise mage." the warrior nearly spat the words out. "Have you no compassion for this poor wretch?" The warrior was trying to gently stop Miggie's effort to soil his armor.

    "I think I ran out of compassion about three pints ago." Ledge flipped his mug upside down and set it on the bar. "Sam, one more glass of indifference for the road, please?"

    Samuel handed a fresh mug to Ledge and brought a glass of water to the young warrior. "We mean no offense, sir. Miggie here is known for his. creative. stories. If he says he saw giant ants chances are he fell face first into an ant hill and saw some up close."

    The young warrior seemed disgusted with the entire room. "None of you have faith that this man speaks honestly?"

    If people exchanging amused glances had a sound it would have been louder than an orc bomber being tossed on a fire in the pub.

    "I shall slay these giant ants for you if these cowards will not! Come good sir, and lead me to this nest of fiends that you. stop touching my armor. Now." Miggie followed the man out the door of the pub bouncing around and chattering again as if he had never told the story.

    * * *

    The next evening the man in shiny armor had become the talk of the pub. Ledge, Rul, and Rodger laughed for hours imagining the so-called knight stepping on ants all night. It wasn't until the pub door opened and Miggie stood silently in the doorway that they were stunned into silence.

    Miggie looked as if he had been run over by a stampede of balrons. Blood caked his hair and his clothes. He stood with a slight slump. These details were difficult to notice, however, due to the large ant heads clamped on to his body. The jaws of the heads clung onto him as if the ants were still biting him in death. One was locked around his neck, one around his right arm and one around his ankle. He looked as if he was wearing some sort of bizarre jewelry. In his left hand he carried the dented breastplate of the young warrior from the night before.

    His footsteps seemed to echo in the room as he limped slowly up to the bar and leaned casually on it. "Ale, please?" he asked calmly. Samuel nodded silently and poured a drink and slid it down the bar into Miggie's hand. Miggie casually pulled the giant ant head off of his wrist and set it on the bar so that he could guzzle the ale. He slammed the glass down on the bar and lifted the shiny armor, then dropped it with a clang in front of Samuel. "Will this cover the drink?"

    Samuel nodded.

    Miggie smiled and picked up the ant head from the bar and stuck it under his arm. As he shuffled out of the pub he looked at Rul and Ledge. "So. giant ants, eh?" The pair nodded, still to stunned to speak. Miggie stopped in the doorway and very slowly turned around to look at everyone.

    "I almost forgot. That golem thing? Not funny."

    With that, he turned and walked into the night.


     Posted by Borg
     Thursday, September 12, 2002 12:00 AM EDT

    THE OPS- Images of New Bugs and Fire Ants Colony


     Posted by Borg
     Thursday, September 5, 2002 12:00 AM EDT

    RP- I think, Therefore I Dig

    World News :
    I Think, Therefore I Dig
    Sep 5 2002 2:55PM

    The thoughts came slowly and randomly at first, like feathers drifting through an open window in a slight breeze. A consciousness was forming; one that, like a young child, started with small awkward steps that led to an unbalanced run and quickly dissolved into a clumsy fall. It was... frustrating, especially for a mind that was just becoming developed enough to be frustrated.

    After what seemed like an eternity of struggle the mind could manage to maintain the thoughts in a crude order, but not so crude an order as to be incomprehensible. Brief moments of understanding came in bursts, full thoughts that would not dissipate into a mist of confusion again, but would freeze like ice into a solid memory. Every new thought that was born led to the creation of newer and more complicated works of thinking. Faster and faster the consciousness grew, building ever stronger and more solid until a full cohesive principle was formed, one that would have more impact than any other upon the intellect.

    The being became self-aware. For the first time the intelligence had a grasp of the concept that it was an individual. No longer was it a simple arrangement of crude instincts and basic reactions, but a being capable of recognizing itself as a separate entity. A universe of possibility expanded in an instant.

    The creature, the mind inhabited, examined its limbs in the darkness. They were important. They belonged to it; it controlled them because they were a part of itself. The very thought was fascinating for a mind so young. Self-recognition was almost startling; suddenly the universe and the self were torn apart. The world that was once merely a backdrop for instinctive routine now hung like a mysterious curtain hiding incomprehensible wonders.

    Looking around the creature tried to recognize other things, slowly at first so the mind could have time to remember. If a thought was grazed over too quickly it could dissolve into distraction and forgetfulness. It reached out with a limb and touched the wall in front of it. The dirt crumbled away slightly in a familiar manner and the creature could see some remain on its appendage. This place was familiar. The creature belonged here. Primitive instinct swelled and grew eventually blossoming into clarity; this place was home. There was safety here. The... something was here, something important.

    Sounds from behind the being made it spin around quickly in surprise. A creature, something the mind was sure was alive, stood there silently and unmoving. The two remained still for a few moments when another sensation sent the being's mind reeling. Smells. There were old scents that went straight to the core of the new intellect's world and exploded in bursts of memory. Instantly there was no doubt, this new creature was a friend, a fellow. This place was also its home. It also seemed to recognize the being as nothing threatening and soon turned it's attention to the walls and the soil.

    Everything was so new and was coming so fast, but the creature's mind was expanding quickly to keep up. The consciousness continued to grow and elaborate; birthing fresh concepts with each new sight and scent. It was... pleasing, enjoyable to discover so much at once. Learn, discover - there was nothing else at the moment.

    Suddenly it all stopped in an instant. A new scent, one so familiar... so powerful... it was undeniable. The creature did not have to see anything with its eyes to understand this scent. With every part of itself it knew what message was being sent.


    This was not just fresh knowledge, this was something more. This knowledge came with purpose, information with direction. The creature could see that others like it also understood. Worlds of communication came with the instantly shocking scent and spread throughout every consciousness that was capable of detecting it. Commands. Orders. Instructions.

    The creatures within the space looked around as if to confirm with each other that what they all knew was true. As one they began to act and carry out the will of the single being they would allow to command them. With purpose and determination, hundreds of creatures had the same thought at once, a thought so clear and so familiar there could be no mistaking it.


     Posted by Borg
     Thursday, September 5, 2002 12:00 AM EDT

    Chapter 11 Savage Swamps Part 4 Parting Ways

    Chapter 11 Savage Swamps
    Part 4 Parting Ways

    The morning sun had not yet broken over the tops of the Destard Mountains and the only sounds heard were of the rustling of life waking up from slumber and rest. In a great cascade of explosions the innocence of the unborn dawn was obliterated. Grenadiers launched volleys of explosion pots at the south western edge of the Savage Capital of Nassasho. Huts burst into flames while the ground itself became a literal flaming wave cleansing everything in its path. Savage Shamen began to quench the fires while Savages began to assemble from their huts and begin to organize defensively. The Fleet of HONOR began to swing around and from the decks of the warships launched flights of arrows into the air toward the Savage forces moving toward the coast. Warlocks on board began to send walls of Plague and Fire onto the land as Savage warriors felt the arrows reach of the Ranger Cohort. Savages fell and began to litter the landscape but still more came from their huts.

    "Send the signal"; commanded Imperator Prometheus.

    A Grenadier attached a fireworks wand to an explosion pot and lit its fuse...launching it toward the Savage city the pot exploded releasing a flurry of fireworks in the sky above Nassasho. The Savages took notice and for a moment several looked around in a slight awe. It was then that the planks of the Fleet of HONOR struck down upon the burned coastline and the Gladiator Lines charged toward Nassasho. Rangers launched another flight of arrows then re assembled in formation inland while Warlocks poured in behind the Gladiators laying down plague and fire onto the Savage forces. Naval Buccaneers began to secure the beachhead and began to assist the Grenadiers in unloading their crates of explosives.

    A deep bellowing horn broke over the sound of battle, resonating and bouncing off the Destard mountains in the Northeast.. Savage forces now began to hear the marching sound of men moving through the swamps as Decurion Marcos the Black fought through muck and mire to reach Nassasho opposite the landing forces led by Centurion Coldren. Savage Shamen circled and enchanted the swamp itself to rise up and defend Nassasho as Poisonous and Acid Elementals formed alongside Plague Beasts.

    The battle raged and as the morning sun began to break over the Destard Mountains nearly all of Nassasho was engaged and Warlocks pounded the area with Meteor Storms and Ice Fields freezing Plague Beasts cold. Gladiator Lines began to mop up remaining Savage resistance while Grenadiers began to place their demolition chests around the city. Legionnaires moved to secure the city limits and helped move wounded onto the Fleet decks for medical aid. They had seen their first action and survived well the first test of their metal and minds. Centurion Coldren moved into the Capital building in Nassasho and found its throne empty. On the back of the throne was a familiar symbol...the seal of Lord Blackthorn. In the doorway appeared a pair of Shamen in shackles led by a pair of Gladiators.

    "It seems your Master seems to be absent."; Centurion Coldren states as he points toward the throne then looking back at the Savages.

    The Savages say nothing but look at Coldren curiously and at each other in vain.

    "As you can see..Blackthorn cares nothing for your people or your city...if he did he would have come to your aid would he not?"; barked Centurion Coldren with distaste for using Blackthorn's name.

    "You will be released Shamen...you are to inform your kind that Skara Brae and the Trinsic Mountains are no longer to be raided or trespassed upon. The destruction of your city of Nassasho will remain in your memory of the consequence of returning to your aggressive ways..and...AND for your allegiance to Lord Blackthorn!"; declared Centurion Coldren.

    As the Centurion motioned to the Gladiator guards to remove the shackles, Coldren moved toward the throne and prepared to sit upon it...he quipped;

    "Wouldn't Blackie be pissed to see me sitting in his chair aye?:
    As he began to sit the Shamen tried to stop him but the Gladiator Guards collared them and held them down by force. Centurion Coldren sat upon the throne with Lord Blackthorn's Chaos seal..a whirl was heard then a click then quick schwashes of air.

    "For HONOR..."; Centurion Coldren began to struggle to speak.
    "and...Emperrrrr"; Centurion Coldren's speech blurred to the sound of his flesh sliding away from itself.

    He had been cut by lines that made up the chaos symbol, giant blades and gizmos had diced him completely. Gladiators stood stunned and a few hollered for Warlocks. Centurion Coldren's Spirit was no where to be found. As one Gladiator guard unsheathed his sword to take his vengeance out on one of the Shamen. Imperator Prometheus entered and held his arm from its ill Justice.

    "Nay..sheath your swords..NOW!"; commanded Imperator Prometheus.
    "They have a job to do..let them go....Warlocks find his spirit"; ordered Imperator Prometheus.

    As morning moved to afternoon...still there was no sign of Centurion Coldren's spirit. His belongings were sealed up and taken aboard ship. Centurion Liz Shu reported in that there were no Warlocks able to find his spirit and that the Healers as well were unable to ascertain anything from his remains.

    The city of Nassasho was then abandoned by the Legion forces and as Plague beasts fed on the dead Savages and carcasses of ridgebacks and alligators, Imperator Prometheus ordered the demolition.

    It is said that citizens felt tremors in Skara and Trinsic when the Grenadiers from saftey of the Fleet of HONOR ignited the crates as it sailed for home.

    Imperator Prometheus knew of the rumors of the power the Books of the Dead held..he hoped perhaps through them could they find a way to bring back their lost soul of their comrade...their friend and brother.

    Never had a victory been so complete and so empty for the Gladiator line as it returned to Olympus and disembarked for Trinsic. The Lancer and Pike Cohorts had returned to the Imperial Barracks in Trinsic while Shadowriders were just stabling their mounts when the somber gladiators marched under the Arch of HONOR.

    "FOR HONOR"; they all declared as their hearts filled with ache.

    Back at Olympus Emperor Borg sat in his throne and received reports from each Centurion on the battles details. Imperator Prometheus reported in and accounted for Centurion Coldren's demise.

    Calmly Emperor Borg turned toward Praetorian Prefect Ser Brightblade and instructed Senator Kalinaf and Imperator Prometheus to remain. As the others departed for Trinsic, Praetorian Prefect Ser Brightblade opened a gate to the crypt where Dr Codene and Anfalas worked on the Books of the Dead. When they arrived they found it empty and only the sandy sinkhole in the corner.

    "They have them m'lord..we must find them."; remarked Praetorian Prefect Ser Brightblade.

    Slowly raising an arm and dropping a stone into the sand, Emperor Borg watched it sink in a spiral of sand.

    "Yes we must...but whom shall go?"; stated Emperor Borg in a question but knowing the answer.

    As all of the men volunteered...Emperor Borg decided not all would go.

    "Kalinaf take SteelDarknight and Silvanna with you to see Emeritus Gregory Merideth.he will join you on this mission. Prometheus you will temporarily be the Senator of War and we will promote Rand to Decurion while Steel is on this mission."; explained Emperor Borg

    "As you wish m'lord"; Kalinaf responded and a gate opened and they left Emperor Borg alone in the crypt.

    "Is this your work my old friend?"; Emperor Borg asked as he dropped another stone into the sand and it began again to spiral.

    There was no answer...or was there.

     Posted by Borg
     Sunday, September 1, 2002 12:00 AM EDT

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